Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some More New K-m Tests and Samples Pentaxian yobboy published his another two K-m tests on the ISO performance, P-TTL exposure accuracy and SR effectiveness as follows (Posts in Traditional Chinese, use Babelfish to translate if needed):-

1. ISO and SR Tests:

Some of his (more important, I think) comments:
- No big problem for exposure accuracy in general, in dark environment it tends to overexpose, by around +0.3 to +0.7EV;
- Auto WB is Neutral and better than that of the K20D which tends to be "warmer";
- Camera consumes very little battery "power" (actually it should be "energy", in engineering sense :-)), AA lithiums still go strong and battery indicator still shows full after 700 shots, some with flash and quite some playbacks and reviews have been executed;
- The "AF" button on the back can be customised into an "AE lock" button (there is no AE lock button as printed);
- ISO 100 and 200 excellent, 400 good, 800 okay, 1600 still usable after NRed or viewed in small size, 3200 similar to 1600 but with colour changes noticeable;
- Details retained well for high ISO speeds, but NR has no significant visible effect in reducing noise.

My observation is that owing to his test pics are of high contrast and main subjects are somehow overexposed whilst the dark areas are just too dark or black in colour, we cannot see more noise as it should be even in the crops (and for the full pictures, these are just somehow rather small in size to judge better). However, it should still be noticed that it's better NOT to use the NR function, no matter in "weak" or "strong", as it could change the colours (which is obvious, as seen from the posted test shots, strong setting changes the colour more - become cooler and less saturated) but however the noise level differences are not that obvious (as this has also been pointed out by the tester).

The SR, as tested very briefly, worked quite well.

2. P-TTL and second SR Tests:

Again, his more important comments are:
- AF responsiveness at low light is good, provided that there are at least some contrast/texture for the AF system to lock on;
- There is no difference in AF speed with SDM lenses;
- The optical quality of his DAL 18-55 kit lens is inferior to that of the DA 18-55 and DA 18-55 II in his opinion;
- Just discovered that the K-m do NOT have the cable release socket, somehow disappointed;
- The SR seems to be improved and more effective than that in previous Pentax DSLRs;
- P-TTL system in K-m looks more stable than that in other previous Pentax DSLRs.

My remarks: His test on the re-bouncing flash with P-TTL with different angles and from the left and right shows that the exposure levels are somehow different but the variation and results IMO are acceptable (shots do look somehow dark in general, anyway). There is no drastic change between P mode and Av mode. However, IMO his test target and scene may not be a good one as the objects are either black or white, which could somehow fool the metering system. (Well, maybe the tester intentionally to do so, for selecting some more tricky objects, who knows? ;-))

Also, the SR test with the DA* 50-135 looks good for the results.

Now, let's move on to another site, for a few of other interesting (yet again direct) sample photos produced by the K-m, see this Blog of a professional photographer:-

The digtal filter effects look quite promising to me, especially for the posted "E to C" (the effect obtained for slides to be processed by C-41 instead of E-6 in the old film days, especially popular in Taiwan), paintbrush effects which simulate the pastel and water colours. Anyway, I can see that the photographer intentionally to arrange the model to dress in dark clothing and with a pure white background that would make the results more perfect. But I think the camera does do a nice job here as I would comment that the results just look quite nice and are better for what I could get with some PC software in doing similar image processing jobs which I have tried before.

The blogger also says that she will be invited to speak in a product press in December for the local Pentax agent (so she is official, anyway!).

Whilst the toy-camera digital filter function (those like what Lomo cams produce) can be found in the official K2000 user/owner's manual, I cannot find that "E to C" function, that is just a mystery to me. I just wonder if this function is unique in the K-m but not existent in the K2000? Btw, that "E to C" final results look very real to me, especially when I can compare some protrait shots made in "E to C" which I have myself.

Finally, if you want to see more real end-users' K-m samples, I suggest you could follow this growing flickr link:-

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