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K-5, the best of the APS-C sensor cameras...Canon the worst!

Justin Serpico , Apr 15, 2011; 06:03 a.m.

We already knew the K-5 was the best of the APS-C cameras, and one of the top rated cameras on DX0's testing, just like the K10D was a few years ago (Pentax last Sony sensored flagship).

Pentax actually flipped the tables on Canon, no longer do you have to politely explain to Canon (or Nikon shooters) that their camera gets a mere 1/3-2/3 stop advantage, rather than the 2-3 stops the rumor mills circulate at times. In fact, Pentax now has the 2/3 stop over Canon and Sony.

In terms of DR, Pentax takes the lead at the lowest ISO and upper ISO, it is tied with Nikon at mid ISOs. Canon and Sony really drop off in comparison to the Nikon and Pentax offerings.

They even compare the Nikon APS sensors to the D700 (full frame). The results are not surprising. APS-C is still about a stop worse at high ISO. (though that is offset by the ability to open up 1 stop for equivalent DOF, so in reality 1 stop is OK, more would be significant). DR goes to the APS-C sensor, and color depth is tied.

Anyway, while it appears that Sony was optimizing it's sensor and camera for video, DXO seems puzzled by the 60D's low scores. For me a little more shine has been taken off our fearless market leader. I wish the 7D was included in this, but I suppose the 60D is newer, and one would have expected better results with Canon's in house sensor designs.

http://dxomark.com/index.php/Our-publications/DxOMark-reviews/DxOMark-review-for-APS-C-camera-2010-who-takes-the-lead

Responses


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Lindy Stone , Apr 15, 2011; 09:13 a.m.

Weird, my D700 from 2008 is included in your link of This Best of 2010 DxO list.

Tests and reviews for Nikon D7000


Tests and reviews for Sony Alpha 580


Tests and reviews for Nikon D700


Tests and reviews for Canon EOS 60D


Tests and reviews for Sony SLT Alpha 55


Tests and reviews for Nikon D90


Tests and reviews for Pentax K-5



Anyways,

Its 2011 and I've been using D700 full frame with Nikon made glass the past year. I parked all my Canon gear, though wife still uses it, I am waiting to see who blows my mind, Canon's 5D III or Nikon's D800. I'd like to trim down to one brand of kit but with the ongoing disaster in Japan I suspect I'm another year or two away from Canon and Nikon's next wave of affordable full frame cameras.

Stain free Pentax K-5 from the current serial number series 4xxxxxxxx sure looks sweet, a great choice for those who want a high end crop format dslr to drive their Pentax mount glass.
Pentax seems perfectly fine offering a $1,400 K-5 & $10,000 645D with zero Pentax choices in between.

What if one wants to drop just $2,500 on 24x36 D700, for more sensor real estate ?
Pentax owners then shop elsewhere or spend 4x the money ;^O

Silver K-5 at full list price sure sold out quick, huh ?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755619-REG/Pentax_14898_K_5_Limited_Edition_Digital.html

When are you going to buy your 6 month old technology Pentax K-5 Justin ?

I have to say the D700 from 3 years ago technology remains a fantastic camera!
Paired with my Nikon Japan 14-24mm 2.8 I am hard pressed to consider buying another camera from either Canon or Pentax.

One day Canon will respond to Nikon's 2008 D700 & I suspect the following month Nikon will then respond as well.

Matt White , Apr 15, 2011; 10:26 a.m.

"Worst APS-C camera" is like "slowest formula-1 car". Sure, there probably is one, but anything with an APS-C sensor made in the past few years is probably pretty damn good. Stop pixel peeping, get out of the house, and go take interesting pictures with interesting subjects.
Gearheads make me sick.

Richard Harris , Apr 15, 2011; 11:28 a.m.

Canon boo Pentax yayayay.

Craig Dickson , Apr 15, 2011; 01:00 p.m.

Personally, I really just don't care how things compare among APS-C cameras. I don't use them. How does Pentax compare in full-frame? Oh, wait a minute, they don't have one. Well, so much for that.

And, more fundamentally, I agree with Matt White... stop boasting or grousing about some lab's test scores and go shoot something. Anyone who even feels the need to call attention to this sort of thing, or post "Canon boo Pentax yayayay" (unless that was meant sarcastically?), is clearly focusing on the wrong things and probably suffering from an inferiority complex. Grow up, guys.

The K-5 looks like a very nice camera, but as a system Pentax is unfortunately rather limited. For example, as far as I know there has never been a Pentax tilt/shift lens (only the SMC 28mm shift-only lens and one or two third-party offerings from the likes of Zenitar and Arax), and Pentax has no full-frame digital body. This is enough to exclude them from consideration in my view. They are doing some very nice stuff in medium format, but that has nothing to do with 35mm or APS-C.

Yury UKhov , Apr 15, 2011; 01:19 p.m.

-pro choose mid format sooner or later ,can be some one time start doing foto- wide Vs. light ?

Justin Serpico , Apr 15, 2011; 03:33 p.m.

Personally, I really just don't care how things compare among APS-C cameras. I don't use them. How does Pentax compare in full-frame? Oh, wait a minute, they don't have one. Well, so much for that.

But the 645D made the full frame Canon 1D look like it was faulty, so if you are playing that game, then it looks like you lose at that too. Again, I hate to gloat, but it looks what I had been saying for years is true. Full frame is marginally better than APS-C at much higher cost when lenses and bodies are put into a system. 645D is significantly better than full frame, and with Pentax being competitive to top end FF cameras with the 645D, the cost to quality ratio is much more in favor of 645D than ever before.

Lindy, if you read the review, they do compare the D700, mostly for shi-giggles. In the review they showed the D700 is superior by 1 stop in noise, but equivalent or worse in the other areas. For anyone shooting at lower ISO this is completely irrelevant, and furthermore as noted, 1 stop is neglible because it can be offset by opening up a stop.

I realize if you spent a lot of money on full frame camera this fact isn't something anyone cares to admit. In reality for full frame to be worthwhile (at current prices) over it's 645 and APS-C counterparts it would have to do a lot better than 1 stop, which again, can be made up by opening up the aperture for equivalent DOF. For it to be superior to 645D it has a long way to go with image quality. So it's negligible vs APS-C, and inferior to 645, how is it the holy grail?

For me the review was interesting because Canon spends more than any of the mainstream DSLR makers on R&D, and it's gone with it's own sensors for some time. On the flipside Sony and Kodak seem to make a great sensor. If Canon was Pentax (or even Nikon), would it still be in business using inferior sensors generation after generation?

I will say one thing, I get a kick out of how seriously certain people take this stuff. Remember, Pentax/Oly/Sony wasn't the company that took out the full page "ad of lies" in Pop Photo a few years ago blasting in camera SR as a scam, that would be the company with the biggest marketing machine. Who is that?

Craig Dickson , Apr 15, 2011; 03:58 p.m.

Medium format is a different ball game altogether. Even price-wise the difference is significant; street price for a Canon 1Ds III body is about $6100, for a Nikon D3x about $7100 (according to a quick check of Google Shopping); the Pentax 645D body is almost $10K. Furthermore, there are less expensive full-frame offerings, including the Nikon D700, Canon 5D Mark II, and Sony A850, all under $3000. There is also the issue that in many cases full-frame and APS-C can natively (i.e. without an adapter and with full functionality) share full-frame lenses, so there is an upgrade path from APS-C to full-frame that doesn't exist going to medium format. As far as I know, the Pentax APS-C system has no compatibility with components for the 645D, or vice versa. Considering all this, I regard your "medium format is even better" argument as a red herring.

Lindy Stone , Apr 15, 2011; 04:01 p.m.

Everything I've read shows the 645D is fantastic. The high rez image of SanFransico I saw months ago was insane. Details, details...

I suspect a 24x36 K Mount would also be fantastic, something I'd actually consider along with D800 & 5D III.
I still have most of my Pentax gear incase the full frame K Mount gets made & sold soon.
K-5 looks great, still none to handle locally, so no hands~on testdrive with my glass inhand for me to see what's up.

The K-5 owners seem to really dig it.

Its looks to be The Best K Mount Dslr Pentax has ever made.

Too bad for me Pentax won't cram a 24x36 Sony Sensor into a K-5 sized & spec'd Dslr & offer for sale by let's say:

Dec 1st 2011.

Justin Serpico , Apr 15, 2011; 04:16 p.m.

Craig,

Exactly, medium format is a true "upgrade", it's not a parallel upgrade. You hit the nail on the head, it's a completely different system, but not a red herring.

As far as the lenses, Pentax has always allowed adaptation between systems.

Obviously you can't mount a smaller format lens on a bigger system, and even if you could, you are now effectively shooting with a smaller system, negating any advantage to the bigger system. But you can use 67 lenses on 645, 35mm, APS-C cameras.

You can use 645 lenses on 35mm and APS-C.

You can use 35mm lenses on APS-C.

BTW, as far as I know (and I could be as wrong as you were), Canon doesn't offer a crop mode like Nikon did (and still does???) for it's APS-C lenses to FF? Is this correct? If it is, then a person with APS-C Canon lenses has to buy an entirely new kit. That said, I feel like I'm probably wrong on that, I'm sure Canon offers a similar crop mode.

Secondly, as I noted, there is no real benefit to FF over APS-C, the "upgrade path" is marketing to sell more cameras. If you go into a camera store (as people on this and other forums have noted on several occasions) the camera store tries to sell you an APS-C camera first, telling you full out that FF is an upgrade path. The logic they give is "you aren't ready for that level of camera". My impression is a FF camera works just like an APS-C camera, no special knowledge to use it beyond that of any other camera. So why wouldn't everyone be ready for FF on day 1? Why upgrade at all? As a matter of fact, this begs the question, why does Canon produce upper end APS-C cameras at all?

I guess I don't understand the upgrade path thing. Upgrade paths aren't about marketing and creating some nice little niche for future sales, but about a real benefit to the end user. Since FF offers a VERY marginal benefit over APS-C, I'm not entirely sure where the "upgrade path" is.

On the other hand, since 645 offers a substantial upgrade over both APS-C and FF, it would seem if you were going to invest into another system that you would be best off saving your pennies for another year or two and buying something significantly improved.

Purely an opinion, but I think a bulk of hard core full frame proponents, don't want to deal with simple crop factors, and more importantly, want to use their legacy lenses as they always have. That's fine, and there is nothing wrong with those reasons, but they are hardly reason to consider one format the holy grail.


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