Pentax K series SLR image quality?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by SimonLW, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. SimonLW

    SimonLW Guest

    Over on dpreview, the *ist DS was criticized for lack of image quality from
    out of the camera jpeg. Shooting raw was the way to go with this one. Seeing
    the side by side test with competing Canon and Nikon showed the lower
    resolution jpegs that were much improved in raw mode. I'm wondering if this
    has been improved with the new K-- versions. Pentax seems ignored on
    dpreview as far as reviews go.
    SimonLW, Sep 7, 2006
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  2. SimonLW

    SteveB Guest

    Yes it has been greatly improved in the K100D. It's that good it's now a job
    to see any difference between JPG and RAW.
    SteveB, Sep 7, 2006
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  3. SimonLW

    SimonLW Guest

    Thanks SteveB,
    I'll have to poke around for some full sized samples and reviews. Did you
    see this information in a review?
    SimonLW, Sep 8, 2006
  4. SimonLW

    SteveB Guest

    I've read it a couple of times in foreign reviews and am fairly sure that
    Pentax have stated that JPGs have been improved a lot. Having looked at
    many a K100D JPG at 100% I have yet to see one artefact, unlike the D50
    which I've also researched quite a bit although that's still pretty good.
    SteveB, Sep 8, 2006
  5. SimonLW

    SimonLW Guest
    Note the lower noise, sharper image, less haloing in the Rebel image. Canon
    really has in camera jpeg nailed. A few pages later, RAW mode is tested and
    really shines in the Pentax. As stated at the end of the review, in camera
    JPEG processing is a let down.

    The K110D is a hell of a bargain at $450. I don't care about wiz bang
    features, I just need the camera to deliver great image quality.
    SimonLW, Sep 9, 2006
  6. The 'whereabouts' question is answered further on in this response. I paused
    here to ask what you mean by "the highest quality JPEGs ... are at the limit
    that the specification allows." Could you elaborate on this please? I'd
    particularly like to know how you can tell that the jpegs reach the limit, what
    that limit is, and where in what specification any of this can be found.
    You should have read more of the review. At the point you quoted the review is
    talking about the absence of jpeg compression artifacts and is not otherwise
    commenting on image quality. If you had read the rest of the review you would
    have found the following statements, which do comment on image quality beyond
    compression artifacting.

    "The *ist DS built-in image processing isn't the most elegant we've seen, it's
    more like that which we're used to seeing in compact prosumer cameras rather
    than digital SLR's."

    "Although not immediately obvious from the crops below there is a very
    significant difference in resolution and sharpness between JPEG and RAW. Indeed
    it's so significant as to consider the in-camera JPEG mode as significantly
    "The 100% crops below clearly demonstrate that the *ist DS is capable of
    excellent resolution and clear detail as long as you're willing to shoot RAW."

    "We learned fairly early on that the *ist DS's built-in image processing was
    sadly lacking, initial resolution chart shots were disappointing and certainly
    compared to other six megapixel digital SLR's the performance is below par. That
    was until we developed a RAW image of the chart, the difference is like night
    and day...."
    "It's disappointing to find that the camera's built-in image processor is
    throwing so much detail away, the sensor is clearly capable of capturing very
    good resolution but for some reason this is being destroyed by poor bayer
    interpolation or excessive moire reduction algorithms."
    "The difference was so stark that we chose to shoot RAW for many of our gallery
    images (we wouldn't normally do so)."

    "Next it's obvious that the Canon's in-camera image processing is far better
    with much clearer detail, there's a slight softening of the EOS 300D's detail at
    ISO 1600 but it's still revealing more of the original scene than the *ist DS."
    "Once more the *ist DS exhibits weak in-camera image processing, the D70
    exhibits more detail throughout the ISO range."

    "It's a disappointment then that Pentax equipped the camera with such poor
    in-camera image processing. Because of its target market the *ist DS is likely
    to be used mostly by people shooting JPEG, as we've demonstrated on earlier
    pages of this review there's a vast difference in resolution and detail between
    JPEG and RAW and it's obvious therefore that a lot of the detail captured by the
    sensor is lost by the in-camera processing if you shoot JPEG."

    "During our test of the *ist DS it became clear fairly early on that there was a
    significant difference in resolution and detail between JPEG and RAW...."

    "First of all there's a noticeable difference in both tonal response and color
    saturation between JPEG from the camera and RAW converted in Adobe Camera RAW."
    "Here I think you can see that the *ist DS is actually capturing more detail
    than is being revealed in its JPEG images."

    "Further evidence if any where needed that the *ist DS can produce great images,
    but only if you shoot RAW."

    "Used as designed, shooting JPEG straight from the camera the *ist DS delivers
    fairly disappointing results from our resolution chart with low absolute
    resolution measurements and a very strong cut-off of detail beyond a certain
    point. As we've demonstrated over and over in this review it's possible to get
    much more detail and a much more gradual 'fade' of resolution by shooting RAW
    and converting using the supplied Photo Laboratory or Adobe's Camera RAW."

    "Excellent resolution as long as you shoot RAW, average otherwise"
    "Average resolution in JPEG mode, images can look over-processed, better to use
    "On the downside we were very disappointed that such a good camera appears to be
    let down by an average image processor which is very clearly not extracting all
    that's being delivered to it by the sensor. The difference in detail rendition
    between JPEG and RAW is stark, a much bigger difference than we're used to

    Your belief in this view is predicated on a very small aspect of the review. As
    I've already noted, the part you quoted covers only compression artifacts. The
    reviewer is indeed pleased with the lack of noticeable compression artifacts,
    even at the intermediate compression rate, but of course that doesn't mean that
    he is pleased with all other aspects of in-camera-jpeg image quality.

    As Simon LW has clearly noted, he is interested in learning whether the
    in-camera jpeg processing has been improved. Someone who apparently knows the
    answer has stated that it has. As I've demonstrated, SimonLW was correct in
    stating that dpreview was very disappointed with the quality of jpegs produced
    by in-camera processing, and your assertion that "the review seems quite happy
    with the best Pentax JPEGs" is incorrect.

    This seems to illustrate the principle that (may Pope forgive me) "A little
    reading is a dangerous thing...."

    maxsilverstar, Sep 11, 2006
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