New Pentax K-50 leaked

Started Jun 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
marike6 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,088
Re: 12-bit RAW? Must be Sony special sensor

GordonBGood wrote:

rwl408 wrote:

I thought 14-bit RAW is standard these days. I could be wrong but K-30 and this one seem to be the only two with 12-bit RAW.

I think they have just mostly re-packaged the K-30 design, which used the same 12-bit Sony sensor as the K-01 and K-30, which is a different sensor than the 14-bit one used in the K-5 and K-5 II's.  The 12-bit sensor seems to have a faster scan rate for higher specification in video modes and a faster frame rate for Live View.

It's the same Sony 16 mp Exmor, but I believe the 12-bit is more a result of the DNG RAW format vs the PEF RAWs files from the K-5.

Not much is being lost due to 12-bit instead of 14-bit raw depth, especially with this sensor, as if it had 14-bit output one would only get about one extra usable distinction in level in the deepest shadows which would only be usable at ISO 200 and below, but at a cost of about 40% larger average raw file sizes after they are loss less compressed due to inefficiencies in compressing more random noise in the majority of the settings and due to inefficiencies in the 14-bit compression parameters.

I remember reading on DxOMark that the 12-bit RAWs essentially cost the K-30 / K-01 about 1 EV DR.

Personally I don't know why Pentax is limiting what are otherwise perfect cameras like the K-30 and Ricoh GR with 12-bit DNG.  Even the D5100 has 14-bit uncompressed RAW, so it's not a low-end / high-end thing.

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