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Old Sep 28, 2010, 9:39 AM   #1
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Default Pentax K-5 best dynamic range of ANY digital camera!!

John, no need to post a correction, as I have further results that indicate that the Dynamic Range (DR) of the K-5 at ISO 80 is even better than the information that I had previously, and from my posting where Falk Lumo (falconeye) got his results.

I received an ISO 80 DNG raw image from one of the Beta version cameras at Photokina. This contains a strip of 10 black masked-to-light columns at the left edge of the image in landscape orientation which for this particular sample was offset by about 69 14-bit levels, meaning that the black read noise was not clipped to zero at all and the standard deviation was therefore not affected by such clipping. The standard deviation of these black level columns averaged about 1.1 14-bit levels, meaning that the DR *for this particular sample in these particular conditions* had a value of 16383 (14 bit maximum) : 1.1 or about 13.86 stops at ISO 80 for 16.2 MP on an APS-C sensor in DxOMark terms. This means that the "standard rated 8 MP equivlalent" DxOMark DR score would be about 14.36 stops, and makes the K-5 potentially the current low ISO DR king of all cameras measured so far. If these results are solely a function of the sensor, it is very likely that Sony and Nikon models using a similar sensor will have scores something about the same.

This means that these cameras can indeed use a 14-bit raw output file effectively, although it must be noted that these extra bits will only be of any use for ISO's below about ISO 640 and then only for the very deepest shadow details darker than about 10.7 stops below the bright clipping level. For brighter tones and/or for higher ISO's, the extra bits do nothing but make the resulting raw file sizes larger.

Regards, GordonBGood
taken from pentax forum post by johnbee where he quotes GordonBGood - if proven true with production k-5 then looks like it truely will be a winner - would love more dynamic range - certainly with the high iso noise performance and fantastic dynamic range the need for FF seems to be dwindling fast
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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improvements in DR are definitely welcome. I would easily give up the MP war if we could convert it to a DR war instead.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 10:35 AM   #3
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I agree, although I still am able to pull more shadow detail from my old CCD sensor (K10D/*stDS) than I can from my CMOS sensors, including the D700.

DR is still the shortfall of digital compared to film, the detail is already there but DR is a real pain, especially at a wedding with the traditional white and black of the bride and groom.

That said, the proof is in the reports from actual users of how the K-5 works for them, and I for one will wait until I hear back from the masses using the camera before I jump on the bandwagon. Until then the K-5 is interesting, but I could skip that just like I did the K-7 if it turns out to be less than advertised.

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