Most underestimated camera currently available

Started Mar 4, 2019 | User reviews
Jhaakas
Jhaakas Senior Member • Posts: 1,166
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Jhaakas wrote:

Thank you very much for this post

Pentax KP and K-1ii strike out significantly as outstanding in terms of DR and ISO.

Pentax KP shows amazing numbers - pretty much comparable to a FF!

Beats Canon

As I have written a couple of times already - those numbers are possible to manipulate. They are based upon the signal to noise ratio. And, if you do noise suppression this ratio goes up. In practice, state of the art sensors all have the same signal to noise behavior if they have the same size. More or less. The differences are marginal.

The noise suppression kick in can easily be seen in the curves. If you compare K-1 and K-1 II, you see that they have identical values up to ISO 636. At that point K-1 II adds a noise suppression algorithm that gains one and a half stop. You can do the same for K-1 in post processing.

The two question regarding this noise suppression in the RAW data are

  1. Is this noise suppression superior to one made in post process?
  2. Does this noise suppression do anything degrading to the image?

NOTE - it is, of course, practical to have it in most cases. But, question 2 above is kind of important, for some of us.

Thanks for the nice details.

I am now trying to narrow it down further:
Let us say if we get Nikon/Sony/Pentax bodies having same sensor and used Pentax lenses on all with adapters and manual focus/settings.. will we then get pretty much exact raw files?

I am trying to find oiut what makes the real difference .. looks like it is the lenses. And just to take out the s/w from equation - I mentioned raw.

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Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available

Roland Karlsson wrote:

The two question regarding this noise suppression in the RAW data are

  1. Is this noise suppression superior to one made in post process?
  2. Does this noise suppression do anything degrading to the image?

Good questions. I'll add:

3. Are you measuring an actual image?

Alex

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Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 29,273
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
3

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

The two question regarding this noise suppression in the RAW data are

  1. Is this noise suppression superior to one made in post process?
  2. Does this noise suppression do anything degrading to the image?

Good questions. I'll add:

3. Are you measuring an actual image?

I am not measuring anything at all. This is from www.photonstophotos.net. And they are only measuring dynamic range and low level limit. No images involved.

Whether there actually is any usable image or not is not measured. The noise reduction might decrease the resolution, maybe. That is not seen in the graphs.

That is why I have my two questions.

But, I assume that you had a rhetorical question, and already knew that.

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/Roland
Kalpanika X3F tools:
https://github.com/kalpanika/x3f

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Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

The two question regarding this noise suppression in the RAW data are

  1. Is this noise suppression superior to one made in post process?
  2. Does this noise suppression do anything degrading to the image?

Good questions. I'll add:

3. Are you measuring an actual image?

I am not measuring anything at all. This is from www.photonstophotos.net. And they are only measuring dynamic range and low level limit. No images involved.

You, them; the question stands.

It is actually the most important question in any performance evaluation. In this case, the answer is no, they're not measuring a real life image.

Whether there actually is any usable image or not is not measured. The noise reduction might decrease the resolution, maybe. That is not seen in the graphs.

Or maybe the noise reduction they're detecting is content aware thus their evaluation is invalid.

That is why I have my two questions.

But, I assume that you had a rhetorical question, and already knew that.

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 29,273
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
4

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

The two question regarding this noise suppression in the RAW data are

  1. Is this noise suppression superior to one made in post process?
  2. Does this noise suppression do anything degrading to the image?

Good questions. I'll add:

3. Are you measuring an actual image?

I am not measuring anything at all. This is from www.photonstophotos.net. And they are only measuring dynamic range and low level limit. No images involved.

You, them; the question stands.

It is actually the most important question in any performance evaluation. In this case, the answer is no, they're not measuring a real life image.

Whether there actually is any usable image or not is not measured. The noise reduction might decrease the resolution, maybe. That is not seen in the graphs.

Or maybe the noise reduction they're detecting is content aware thus their evaluation is invalid.

That is why I have my two questions.

But, I assume that you had a rhetorical question, and already knew that.

Alex

I am sorry Alex, but their measurements are probably just fine. All state of the art sensors have, more or less, the same efficiency. So, to improve the noise to signal ratio you have to do noise reduction. It is as simple as that. And those measurements looks very genuine. There are others that do measurements like this. And they generally get the same kind of results. The jump you see in the K-1 II graph is what happens when the camera kicks in noise reduction.

And note, there is not content in the image for this kind of tests. You often just take a set of exposures of a gray card, measuring the clipping and the noise content. From this you can compute the lowest level with a certain signal to noise and also the highest level where it doers not clip. And, from that you can draw those charts.

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/Roland
Kalpanika X3F tools:
https://github.com/kalpanika/x3f

 Roland Karlsson's gear list:Roland Karlsson's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
1

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

The two question regarding this noise suppression in the RAW data are

  1. Is this noise suppression superior to one made in post process?
  2. Does this noise suppression do anything degrading to the image?

Good questions. I'll add:

3. Are you measuring an actual image?

I am not measuring anything at all. This is from www.photonstophotos.net. And they are only measuring dynamic range and low level limit. No images involved.

You, them; the question stands.

It is actually the most important question in any performance evaluation. In this case, the answer is no, they're not measuring a real life image.

Whether there actually is any usable image or not is not measured. The noise reduction might decrease the resolution, maybe. That is not seen in the graphs.

Or maybe the noise reduction they're detecting is content aware thus their evaluation is invalid.

That is why I have my two questions.

But, I assume that you had a rhetorical question, and already knew that.

Alex

I am sorry Alex, but their measurements are probably just fine.

Maybe I wasn't clear - yes, their measurements are probably fine but what are they measuring?

I've seen people looking at such charts then crying, "aggressive noise reduction obliterates detail from ISO640!" - which is nonsense. There was no detail obliterated or otherwise reduced in those tests.

Of course, I'm more strict about such things due to my profession. OTOH this also means I know the consequences of not being careful what it is actually measured vs. what you think it is

All state of the art sensors have, more or less, the same efficiency. So, to improve the noise to signal ratio you have to do noise reduction. It is as simple as that. And those measurements looks very genuine. There are others that do measurements like this. And they generally get the same kind of results. The jump you see in the K-1 II graph is what happens when the camera kicks in noise reduction.

And note, there is not content in the image for this kind of tests. You often just take a set of exposures of a gray card, measuring the clipping and the noise content. From this you can compute the lowest level with a certain signal to noise and also the highest level where it doers not clip. And, from that you can draw those charts.

And that's the problem. You get some nice charts about content-less images.

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 29,273
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
4

Alex Sarbu wrote:

And that's the problem. You get some nice charts about content-less images.

That is not a problem. It measures what it does and you get the information you get.

What this measurement tells is at what light level you get too much noise.

Do you want more information, you have to do some other measurements.

And suitable complementary measurements do measure e.g. resolution or MTF.

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/Roland
Kalpanika X3F tools:
https://github.com/kalpanika/x3f

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Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
1

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

And that's the problem. You get some nice charts about content-less images.

That is not a problem. It measures what it does and you get the information you get.

What this measurement tells is at what light level you get too much noise.

I'm afraid we have to disagree once again.

Well, technically you're right but the kind of data you're getting is useless - some sort of a number.

Much more useful is to look at images, then you can see with your own eyes the quantity and quality of noise.

Do you want more information, you have to do some other measurements.

And suitable complementary measurements do measure e.g. resolution or MTF.

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 29,273
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
4

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

And that's the problem. You get some nice charts about content-less images.

That is not a problem. It measures what it does and you get the information you get.

What this measurement tells is at what light level you get too much noise.

I'm afraid we have to disagree once again.

Well, technically you're right but the kind of data you're getting is useless - some sort of a number.

Much more useful is to look at images, then you can see with your own eyes the quantity and quality of noise.

Do you want more information, you have to do some other measurements.

And suitable complementary measurements do measure e.g. resolution or MTF.

Alex

No - the number is not useless. It tells things about the sensor and the RAW pipeline. And if you combine it with other measurements you will know even more.

It tells that a bigger sensor gives you a better dynamic range. And, if you get a better noise behavior than is physically possible, it tells you that there is some noise reduction going on.

Looking at pictures? There are people that are better at taking pictures. There are different opinions on how a good picture looks. There are subjects that look better or worse.

Sure, you can look at DPReview test images. It is standardized. But, it has happened that the result is sub par, probably due to faulty focus or vibration.

Sure, you can take images carefully and look at them and evaluate them. But., if you take the same images with another camera some days later, you can absolutely not mentally compare them, if there aint something wrong with one of the cameras.

Lenses might be easier to evaluate with images, I assume you easily can spot if it is your 50/1,4 or the classic FA 50/1.4 that is used at F1.4. Put, put both at F8.0. Hmmmmm ... then we need to measure I assume. Some MTF maybe.

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/Roland
Kalpanika X3F tools:
https://github.com/kalpanika/x3f

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Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
1

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

And that's the problem. You get some nice charts about content-less images.

That is not a problem. It measures what it does and you get the information you get.

What this measurement tells is at what light level you get too much noise.

I'm afraid we have to disagree once again.

Well, technically you're right but the kind of data you're getting is useless - some sort of a number.

Much more useful is to look at images, then you can see with your own eyes the quantity and quality of noise.

Do you want more information, you have to do some other measurements.

And suitable complementary measurements do measure e.g. resolution or MTF.

Alex

No - the number is not useless.

It doesn't tell me how the image would look like. I cannot see the number and visualize the end result - the image.

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 29,273
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
4

Alex Sarbu wrote:

It doesn't tell me how the image would look like. I cannot see the number and visualize the end result - the image.

Fair enough.

But numbers that have no meaning for you can still be meaningful for you.

I assume that you cannot visualize that your HD PENTAX-D FA ★ 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW has 15 lens elements, and that some of them are aspheric and that there are some exotic low dispersion lenses. Still, I think you can appreciate the facts.

BTW - the numbers you cannot visualize potentially means better low light performance and higher dynamic range. Just as an aspheric surface potentially means higher IQ.

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/Roland
Kalpanika X3F tools:
https://github.com/kalpanika/x3f

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Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
1

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

It doesn't tell me how the image would look like. I cannot see the number and visualize the end result - the image.

Fair enough.

But numbers that have no meaning for you can still be meaningful for you.

Hmm...

I assume that you cannot visualize that your HD PENTAX-D FA ★ 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW has 15 lens elements, and that some of them are aspheric and that there are some exotic low dispersion lenses. Still, I think you can appreciate the facts.

Just for the record, I'm not generalizing and I definitely don't reject numbers altogether. Being a software engineer, I work with numbers (and I know a bit about testing)

BTW - the numbers you cannot visualize potentially means better low light performance and higher dynamic range. Just as an aspheric surface potentially means higher IQ.

It's not that I can't, it's simply impossible.

I'm quite certain nobody here can associate a certain image with the corresponding numbers from those tests. Yet I've seen claims made about things those tests don't even measure...

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
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Roland Karlsson Forum Pro • Posts: 29,273
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
4

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

BTW - the numbers you cannot visualize potentially means better low light performance and higher dynamic range. Just as an aspheric surface potentially means higher IQ.

It's not that I can't, it's simply impossible.

I'm quite certain nobody here can associate a certain image with the corresponding numbers from those tests. Yet I've seen claims made about things those tests don't even measure...

You definitely can for the low numbers. Low numbers you get for small sensors. And then you get noise and bad dynamic range. I think that is clear enough.

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/Roland
Kalpanika X3F tools:
https://github.com/kalpanika/x3f

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Sigma DP3 Merrill Sigma dp2 Quattro Sony RX100 III Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 +14 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Roland Karlsson wrote:

BTW - the numbers you cannot visualize potentially means better low light performance and higher dynamic range. Just as an aspheric surface potentially means higher IQ.

It's not that I can't, it's simply impossible.

I'm quite certain nobody here can associate a certain image with the corresponding numbers from those tests. Yet I've seen claims made about things those tests don't even measure...

You definitely can for the low numbers. Low numbers you get for small sensors. And then you get noise and bad dynamic range. I think that is clear enough.

It's clear, I know what you're saying - but it looks like my point doesn't get across.

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Nothing new Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
1

Alex,

I believe that you’re talking about different things. One thing is to do technical scientific objective testing of cameras and lended in controlled environments and compare the quantitative results. Another thing is to compare the esthetic impact of images including the subjects, the light, the colors, the composition and so on. These two are not one and the same.

Similarly, some of us can compare the technical abilities and performance of different car models (a BMW, an AUDI and a Mercedes-Benz, for example), their maximum HP and torque, the time from 0 to 60 MPH, etc. Other people will say that all these things make no difference but the overall beauty of the body, the materials used for the interior, etc.

 Nothing new's gear list:Nothing new's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P1000 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-1 II Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) +7 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available

Nothing new wrote:

Alex,

I believe that you’re talking about different things. One thing is to do technical scientific objective testing of cameras and lended in controlled environments and compare the quantitative results. Another thing is to compare the esthetic impact of images including the subjects, the light, the colors, the composition and so on. These two are not one and the same.

Similarly, some of us can compare the technical abilities and performance of different car models (a BMW, an AUDI and a Mercedes-Benz, for example), their maximum HP and torque, the time from 0 to 60 MPH, etc. Other people will say that all these things make no difference but the overall beauty of the body, the materials used for the interior, etc.

That was 3 months ago...

No, I'm not talking about something different. A "technical scientific objective testing" (wow! that sounds serious!) resulting in some numbers is useless if you don't know what those numbers means in practice.

Including what you're actually measuring.

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Nothing new Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
1

You’re right, of course, that numbers, charts, equations and other technical and scientific information is meaningless to those who don’t understand it. Just like every other kind of language that it foreign to some people.

On the other hand, just like every other language, technical language is useful for people who understand it.

 Nothing new's gear list:Nothing new's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P1000 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-1 II Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) +7 more
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 12,164
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available

Nothing new wrote:

You’re right, of course, that numbers, charts, equations and other technical and scientific information is meaningless to those who don’t understand it. Just like every other kind of language that it foreign to some people.

On the other hand, just like every other language, technical language is useful for people who understand it.

You're insisting too much on people not understanding, yet can't - or rather won't - understand even my simple and repeatedly explained point.

I won't explain again. To the ignore list with you.

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
Nothing new Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available

Alex,

I don’t know why you're so upset about your own statement I’ve agreed with... This is what you’ve said:

"technical scientific objective testing" (wow! that sounds serious!) resulting in some numbers is useless if you don't know what those numbers means in practice.“

As I’ve said I fully agree with this statement. Technical scientific objective testing resulting in some numbers are only useful to those who understand the meaning of these numbers.

 Nothing new's gear list:Nothing new's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P1000 Pentax K-5 Pentax K-1 II Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) +7 more
henricoo Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Most underestimated camera currently available
1

I never shot pictures with high end DSLR FF cameras of other brands nor do I have the K1. But I am completely happy with my K1ii that serves my few new DFA's and many old glass better than anything else did before. That's the reason I bought one.

Pentax better should have made the RAW NR adjustable. Not because it would result to seriously better pictures, but to avoid all these discussions. In case the baked in 800 ISO+ RAW NR could be switched on or of, I guess I most time put it on "on" to avoid unneccesary post processing. About 95% of my pictures are shot low ISO. Only using my longest glass hand held makes me sometimes use ISO 1600 or higher, but this glass does not have 36 Mp resolution power and IQ relies most on SR then...

 henricoo's gear list:henricoo's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Pentax KP Pentax K-1 II
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