for all practical purpose

Started Jan 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 4,352
Back to basics.

A camera is a box with a lens at the front, and image recorder at the back and various bits of convenience along the way. (Starting with a calibrated shutter, then exposure control, then autofocus etc.).

The K7/K5 are basically the same camera give or take the sensor, the K5II has a AF improvements, and the K3 has many small improvements to help the process of picture taking.

Back when the *Ist-D was new I took some a test photo and had it printed 6x4 at native resolution (500 pixels per inch), and then scaled down the image to different numbers of Pixels and came to the conclusion beyond about 150pixels per inch the eye can't see any improvement. I have the prints to prove you can make a very good A3 print from 6MP, and have seen decent A4 prints from 2MP cameras. Since we often view our pictures on computer screens of less than 2MP and ~ A4 size this shouldn't be a surprise.

Law of diminishing returns has really kicked in with pixel counts. What we are seeing is better high ISO performance and longer dynamic range, which in everyday shooting probably don't matter a lot, but for certain cases are vital .

The only way to get a big step in quality from the K7 era is to change something fundamental, like the sensor size. The question is, given how good crop sensors are, how many people really need (as opposed to want) that step with the cost that comes with it.

 James O'Neill's gear list:James O'Neill's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +2 more
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