Monday, June 22, 2009

K-7 Will Have an Altered Sensor

That's what the AP reports:-

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/amateur_photographer_delays_pentax_k7_review_news_284834.html


And actually Ned Bunnell also writes that he has not yet received a production K-7 in his blog, lately:-

http://nedbunnell.blogspot.com/2009/06/da-18-55mm-wr-lens.html

The image quality with the WR kit lens is quite impressive, but he did apply much +ve exposure compensation for all those shots made so as to bring out the good IQ/PQ, I have to mention. A discussion on the (serious) underexposure issue of the K-7 is going on here.

Yvon Bourque is also posting his latest ISO test samples taken under bright sun for his Jeep:-

http://pentaxdslrs.blogspot.com/2009/06/pentax-k-7-firmware-10-test-at-iso-100.html

What I have to say is that the noise levels are totally NOT acceptable - just inspect the ISO 400 and 800 crops of the test shots yourself.

If the first lot of production K-7 performs just like this in IQ, I'm afraid that I have to hold off my K-7 purchasing plan and cancel my pre-order. In fact, just that serious underexposure issue, if it is still being existent even in the K-7, is more than enough to piss me off! :-(

As the Japanese on sales date of the K-7 is on June 27, I expect not much significant improvement and difference could be found in the first production K-7, could there? Sensible educated guess will tell me NOT!

Plus when considering the K-7 kit lens is asking for HK$1500 and a new DA15 (which I was quite interested in) is for HK$6800, street prices (1 US$ = 7.8 HK$, fixed), the chance for me not buying any Pentax stuff anymore is actually possible now! :-((

Afterall, it is just a joke for an APS-C DA prime with F4 widest aperture can be sold more expensive than both a Canon FF EF 70-400/4L and a EF 17-40L, which are selling for at around HK$5,500 at HK streets. The Pentax new 18-55 kit is also doubled the price of the Canon 18-55 IS kit. Really much ridiculous..

Now EVEN IF the "altered" K-7 can be good by the body itself (but not that optimisstic owing to the minimal time left and what we have been able to see with beta K-7 units with production firmware), what lens can I invest further in the Pentax land? What? And at how much? Well, I do have the money, but it is just UNJUSTIFIED!! NOT!

Update (6-23): Falk Lumo (falconeye) learnt from Pentax Germany that the "alteration" to the sensor and production K-7 hardware would NOT affect much the final image quality and noise performance, expect when one measurebates. If this is true, this would be the biggest disappointment so far since the K-7 was announced! It is simply totally not acceptable that the IQ and noise performance of the K-7 is even worst than the K20D, which was designed at least 1.5 years earlier! In view of the current situation, I'm afraid it has been more and more likely for me to cancel my pre-order and forget about the K-7, or, also maybe the brand Pentax! ( I have totally lost my patience after these five years of waiting! :-( )

At the end, I just wish to ask: If the K-7 is only be able to have IQ/PQ like that and is yet so much noisy, what is the point of having so many additional features and "improvements" in the body? And still, the exposure accuracy seems much worrisome so far for what I have seen for various different tests and results.

22 Comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG !
It's becoming harder and harder to be a Pentax Fan.
I like so much my K10D and I was so much looking forward to the K-7. I'm so disappointed.I really thought I could trust Pentax and invested in 5 lenses in the last 2 years. I really feel like I only can cross my fingers now...
My Flickr

Anonymous said...

.. well, we'll see if these price tags get reality on the street and what happens in a year or two, when the "crisis" of capitalism is through...

Anonymous said...

Buhahaha

Anonymous said...

Why is it totally impossible to understand that there are only beta units of the K-7 available at the moment? Old beta units with beta firmware, beta hardware and beta version of the sensor. NOT production units. And they are all hand built.

Please understand that image quality from beta versions with beta hardware and beta sensor does not reflect the image quality of the production units.

As for the "underexposure problem", the different beta units are different here - and they should be because they are *beta units* !!!

There are beta units with brighter exposures and beta units with darker exposure. This says *nothing* about how the production unit will be. There are different versions of the beta units out there and Pentax has tested different settings.
So? Beta = in development.

Why is this so totally impossible to understand?

RiceHigh said...

The abnormality is when the camera is to be put onto the market very soon, at least at Japan home, within just a few days (five days left only), no reviewer or press on Earth, or even the Pentax Imaging (USA) does NOT even have a copy of production unit for testing and not even to mention for reviewing by others, it is just *very* unfortunate and it is rather worrisome about the maturity of the "production" K-7s!

When an immature product is forced to be put onto the market, it will be very problematic and surely cause damages to the company and much - but not generating long-term profits and gain better creditability for the company with the customers.

Anonymous said...

"And actually Ned Bunnell also writes that he has not yet received a production K-7 in his blog, lately:-

http://nedbunnell.blogspot.com/2009/06/da-18-55mm-wr-lens.html

The image quality with the WR kit lens is quite impressive, but he did apply much +ve exposure compensation for all those shots made so as to bring out the good IQ/PQ"

I think you are jumping to wrong conclusions.
Take a closer look at the pictures using some basic exposure knowledge.

A camera meter is normally calibrated to 18% grey. Most of the subjects in these pictures has a light tone in centre. I.e. the children has caucasian skintines. So it is perfectly normal to pluss compensate when using centre weighted here. (This said: One off the samples makes me wonder, can't really figure out why #8 needs compensation.)

RiceHigh said...

So, please tell us what higher reflectance values those scenes/subjects should be and what are the differences in EV stops for those reflectance differences!

Anonymous said...

Kind of hard to tell, without being there in person. The files just tells us whats recorded, not how the actuall light was at scene.

But jugding from the skinntones I see, I would say that +1EV looks reasonable depending on their complection. +1EV is more or less standard as a start point. No matter what camera you are using. In fact it would had me worrying if these shots didn't need any compensation. Honestly speaking.

The rest of the bunch are a lot harder to judge without really knowing the subject. But I find no surprises there, eccept from shot #8.

Anyway. I'm just sharing my opinion, based on my experiences with other cameras. I'm not claiming to be an expert.

---------------

One little side note: IMO these samples should not be taken to seriously. As far as I understand, the last beta cameras are being tested by insiders right now while we discuss these pictures. I don't think Ned is among that inner circle. He is head of Pentax USA, not a real beta tester.
He is simply playing around with an early beta sample, making some buzz. The same goes for the rest of the pictures we have seen floating around.

Anonymous said...

Ley me correct my clumsy writing. Hopefully the beta testing is ended now.
The point is, that the pictures we have seen, does not come from the final version.

Anonymous said...

Rice didn't you know, that the "correct" exposure for caucasian skin is 1EV above 18%? What a terrible lack of knowledge for such a great photographer...:P

nlx said...

Rice, i am inclined to give you some new credit and take you somewhat seriously, but if you strat again about a camera not in stores and you didn't touch yourself you will just make people laugh at you.

Just buy the damn thing, you have 7 days to test it YOURSELF and make your OWN conclusion. If you don't like it : send it back.

I'm sure its what people are interested to know : whats your point of view with the camera you TESTED yourself and nothing else.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

With launch coming quickly, someone should have access to the current release levels. I would expect these camera to already be shipping through their channels.

Using Olympus as an example of good prep work:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/06/the-ep1-not-exactly-what-you-want.html

"Olympus organised a photo "safari" through several locations in Berlin. Each journalist received an E-P1 with the 14–42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 kit zoom on it. For every group, there were a couple of people from Olympus with additional lenses and adapters. I also had my backpack with my E-3 and several lenses in it, one OM lens, and a couple of 4/3 lenses."

(models were also provided)

(These are not "reviews"; but everyone got a camera to work with)

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how long it would be before you showed your true colors. Getting enough hits? time to start blasting Pentax now? Please cancel your pre-order and just look at other peoples pictures. Actually come to think of it I have never seen a picture that you have taken.

Zntgrg said...

EV compensation is a tool, it is meant to be used...light meter have limits and they must be aided a lot. Complaining for +/- EV compensations as camera flaws is like complaining for a fast lens unable to keep everything in focus :)


Then, better underexposure than blowing everything in Nikon style ;)

Anonymous said...

Ricehigh,
Not many positive Pentax comments old mate.For people who want to take good pictures of family and friends, the Pentax is cheaper, better built for the equivalent priced competitor, has inbuilt image stability, better high iso performance, better built kit lenses, and cheaper battery replacements. Not to mention more accurate colour reproduction, imo.
Have you seen the price of IS lenses for Canon and Nikon in Australia? A joke.
Pentax produces one standard of lenses in coating and materials: Canon and Nikon? Ok is cheaper, good is expensive.
Think again why we all bought Pentax: value for money.

antiq said...

About the evaluation, I have to side with Rice on this one - falconeye checked with pentax and they told him that pre-production hardware with firmware 1.0 (available to alpha testers) will indeed be indistiguishable from the final hw in terms of noise. BUT - the noise NOT acceptable? What? It's very good actually. If you don't want no grain at iso 800+ while pixelpeeping on 100% crops, I seriously pity you. Detail retention is where it's at ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh,
And pentax kit lenses come with a lenshood.
Not the case with Nikon and Canon, at least if our Nikon D40 is a common example. Optional extra, says the documentation
My own K100D is much better built, and the Slkpix software much more useful than the supplied Nikon stuff.
Kudos to Pntax!

RiceHigh said...

> If you don't want no grain at iso 800+ while pixelpeeping on 100% crops, I seriously pity you.

Have you actually viewed Yvon Bourque's samples? These are in small size but yet the dominant noise and large grains even at ISO 400 are so visible.

> EV compensation is a tool, it is meant to be used

It is a tool to control exposure and adjusting for different reflectance but not to correct metering or exposure *errors* of a camera!

> And pentax kit lenses come with a lenshood.

Except the DALs.

Anonymous said...

Rather strange opinion of Rice...
I've found ISO1600 of K-7 not worse than Canon FF cameras. ISO3200 is not bad too.
ISO1600 is better than K20D. No doubts.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping that the updated sensor will be FF or perhaps bigger :)

Amilcar said...

Pfffft!
Nah! Most of the comments about "underexposure" are really not very well documented, they seem a bit on the "techie" side kind of guys who would look at a sensor rather than a whole camera.
First things first. The sensor is quite good, to me, pictures I've seen are quite good in image quality, I'm sorry if you where expecting a camera with "Beach Shot", "Sunset" and "Running Kids" mode, this looks a camera more for photographers who actually know what they are doing with the camera.
It is, also, a camera to be used full time RAW, I have a K10, I'm quite happy with it, just think that could use more ISO with less noise, I will be quite happy with the K-7 since is better.

Then we can see it's rugged (even more than K10 and K20) body, magnesium alloy, that extra 5% viewfinder cover, and more frames por second (in full resolution) than the competition... It looks all good, why do you expect D700 IQ and Hight ISO noise at 1/2 the price??? Nikon and Canon have great products at their top end, but in this price range, honestly, as a "photographic tool" K7 looks much better than the competition...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Ricehigh.

The direction Pentax is going in worries me.

The K7 is going to be expensive and feature packed but probably will be an under-performer in terms of image quality, esp in regard to high ISO. Certainly nothing much better than the K20D.

And the recent pricing trend in Pentax lenses is alarming. Pentax now has only a limited lens range and pretty much all of them are more expensive than they should be. Comparisons with Canon and Nikon prices now make Canikon lenses look affordable, and yet the Canikons have more lenses in their range, often at price points well below Pentax (eg for 50mm primes).

So I can now get cheaper lenses, more modern sensors, better image quality, and a migration path towards full-frame out of Nikon or Canon.

Unless the K7 really pulls something out of the hat, I think the K7 may be the end of the line for my relationship with Pentax.

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