Another high ISO myth broken!

Started Dec 26, 2009 | Discussions thread
OP tigrebleu Senior Member • Posts: 2,060
Re: Another high ISO myth broken!

jamesm007 wrote:

Well written. Just a IMHO to add.

When the K20D came out it had one of the finest APS sensors available. Now long after we know the truth; and for a double blow although highly capable Samsung did not follow through with the K-7 sensor in the areas most consumers want.

Agreed. The only problem with the K20D was the banding that was found on a few samples. But the 14.6 Mpix CMOS Samsung sensor did pretty much as good as the Sony 12 Mpix CMOS, despite a higher photosite count. When the Nikon D300 came in, it took back the lead, thanks to a very fine approach to noise reduction (remove more chroma noise, keep more luminance noise), which was a bit better to the Pentax approach, at least regarding my own taste (too much chroma noise on the K20D IMHO).

The K20D had it all to be a successful DSLR and it was a very decent seller.

But the D300 became such a success that it made similar models (specs-wise), such as the K20D and EOS 50D, look like they were lagging behind (!). Of course, the difference was slim on IQ, but with its weather-proofing, high fps burst and 51-area AF, the D300 was just a pro-spec DSLR in a world of semi-pro products. Since then, Canon responded with the EOS 7D — it was about time Canon had a sub 5000$ body with rugged weather seals (the EOS 5DMkII has pretty good seals, but they're nowhere near the 7D in terms of dust and rain protection).

So while the K20D was an excellent and top-of-the-line DSLR in its price category, it was just released on the market at a bad time (price drop on Canon 40D and 50D products, D300 release, etc.), so it didn't became the success story it should have been. On the other hand, the K-7 and the K-x look like they're doing very good so far, despite the fact that the K-7 has a slightly inferior sensor to the K20D, in terms of high ISO performance.

I shoot RAW and while ISO 1600 is excellent on my K-7 (better than on my K10D!), ISO 3200 is doing very good but just, and ISO 6400 is just awful (like most APS-C DSLRs, for that matter). The K-x seems to be very good at ISO 6400.

I'd trade the higher fps and (not excellent) video of my K-7 for the high ISO performance of the K-x sensor anytime. But I couldn't live without the weather seals and the battery grip, so the K-7 suits my needs best.

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