The results are in: the Nikon D7000 has failed to topple the Pentax K-5 as the APS-C king.
...But just marginally. The D7000 ends up at 80 vs. the K-5's 82. For all intents and purposes, the category results are equivalent—as Ctein is forever trying to point out, tiny differences in scores 'n' measurements aren't visible to anyone in practical use, even if they're detectable in scientific tests (and sometimes they aren't even then).
Still, that's the nature of the competition/rankings beast. Sometimes a whole season can come down to a kicker making or missing a field goal. (Sorry for bringing up those memories, you people in Buffalo.) Does anyone remember the fascinating little aural presentation the New York Times did of the differences between medal times in the Olympics called "Fractions of a Second: An Olympic Musical"? (If you've never seen—or rather, heard—it, you really should check it out.) The sonic equivalent of "photo finishes." Sometimes a very quick "beep-beep-beep" was the only difference between gold, silver, and bronze. One silver medalist missed gold by about the amount of time it takes for a hummingbird to flap its wings once.
Still, I think it's impressive that the Nikon doesn't smack the Pentax down. Nikon is Goliath and Pentax is David, for sure. (Nikon, 34% market share in DSLRs, 1st place; Pentax, 7.8% market share, 4th place.)
At the first link, note how much bigger the Nikon is than the Pentax, by looking at the relative sizes of the sensors.
So the gold/silver/bronze APS-C cameras now rank:
- Pentax K-5 at #6
- Nikon D7000 at #10, and
- Sony A55 at #20.
There's a rather stunning demonstration of the K-5's DR prowess at Pentax Forums (thanks to Ivan in the Comments for this link). I couldn't get in touch with "JeffJS" to ask for permission to reproduce the illustrations here, but you can see them there. He inadvertently underexposed a frame by three stops, resulting in a frame that's almost all black, and yet was able to pull a pretty impressive result out of it with the exposure and fill light sliders. Cool beans.
Finally, I should mention again how quiet the K-5's shutter is. This is something that Kent (who missed his true calling as a jazz concert photographer, I think) mentioned in his "Featured Comment" yesterday, and I was careful to notice it when I used John's camera last night. Tough to really quantify it in a noisy restaurant, but it did seem like an unusually quiet SLR.
(Thanks to Bob Rapp and Joe Cameron)
P.S. I tried to do an illustration for this post of a K-5 with a crown on it. Let's just say you should be grateful that I'm a writer and not an illustrator.
ADDENDUM: Maybe I should add, to those who seem somewhat dismayed by the content of this post, that most of my best digital pictures were taken with a Konica-Minolta 7D...6 MP, current DxOmark ranking no. 86.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.