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10-30-2010, 09:39 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax K-5, Low level NR testing...

Just to tell you that dgaies and I have been hard at work testing the claim or myth that the K-5 applies low level NR to RAW files.
And I won't spoil the fun of posting the results just yet, but I'd want to say that there are going to be a lot of disappointed people!
I'm setting-up the samples for display, and I should be posting the results within a few hours.

... update pending


Last edited by JohnBee; 10-30-2010 at 10:54 PM.
10-30-2010, 09:44 PM   #2
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Well, work faster ya lazy bastage!! I only have about 6-months I can wait...hehehehehe....actually THANKS for getting that ball rolling!
10-30-2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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In doing so, you may want to note that the following is what DXO says of Pentax RAW NR:

QuoteQuote:
"Noise filtering processing is present on the Pentax K10D (ISO 800 and ISO 1600), the Pentax K20D (ISO 3200 and ISO 6400), the Pentax K200D (ISO 800 and ISO 3200), the Pentax K7 (ISO 3200 and ISO6400) and the Pentax Kx (ISO 3200, ISO 6400 and ISO 12800)."
DxOMark - DxOMark review for Pentax cameras

Just to be clear on that. DXO does NOT say Pentax applies NR to everything in RAW. If there is RAW NR being applied in the K-5, it is quite conceivable that it may only be kicking in at very high ISO's, if at all.

I notice that there is a lot of BS about on the issue of 'DXO says Pentax does NR on all RAW output', especially from some of kookier denizens of the dpreview forums.
10-30-2010, 10:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I notice that there is a lot of BS about on the issue of 'DXO says Pentax does NR on all RAW output', especially from some of kookier denizens of the dpreview forums.
Great info.
And dgaies and I made sure we covered all of the bases in this test.
No room for errors

10-30-2010, 11:20 PM   #5
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It's also worth noting why DXO doesn't like this kind of in-camera RAW NR.

According to DXO, NR is best done out of camera because:
- in-camera RAW NR is not as likely to be as sophisticated as out-of-camera NR software;
- in-camera RAW NR is hardwired into the camera, and can't improve over time, unlike out-of-camera RAW convertors;
- in-camera RAW NR can destroy fine detail.

DxOMark - Noise reduction
and:
DxOMark - Conclusion

The first point is sensible - in-camera RAW processing is not likely to be as powerful as the RAW processor you might run on a modern PC. This is also a logical position to take if you also happen to sell RAW conversion software

Less certain is the notion that in-RAW NR is bad because it is hard-wired into the camera and can never improve, whereas out-of-camera RAW processing can evolve over time as algorithms and the software get better. This argument is weak because if the in-camera RAW NR is implemented in firmware, that code can also change over time too with a firmware update. This is also a position you would expect a RAW software vendor to make

The most crucial point DXO raise is that in-camera RAW NR can destroy fine detail, and once it that detail is destroyed and gone at a low-level within the camera, you can never get it back.

However this argument may be a weakened if it can be demonstrated that a strong level of detail is indeed still emerging out of a sensor even if some in-camera RAW NR is suspected.

In other words, if there is a ton of fine detail still evident in the RAW output at high-ISO from a camera, no-one will care (even DXO) if there is any in-camera RAW NR going on. That may turn out to be the story of the K-5.
10-31-2010, 05:02 AM   #6
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Just a question added to the RAW NR, How about a T-Stop Test?
It would be nice to see the results.
10-31-2010, 07:58 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
It's also worth noting why DXO doesn't like this kind of in-camera RAW NR.

According to DXO, NR is best done out of camera because:
- in-camera RAW NR is not as likely to be as sophisticated as out-of-camera NR software;
- in-camera RAW NR is hardwired into the camera, and can't improve over time, unlike out-of-camera RAW convertors;
- in-camera RAW NR can destroy fine detail.



Less certain is the notion that in-RAW NR is bad because it is hard-wired into the camera and can never improve, whereas out-of-camera RAW processing can evolve over time as algorithms and the software get better. This argument is weak because if the in-camera RAW NR is implemented in firmware, that code can also change over time too with a firmware update. This is also a position you would expect a RAW software vendor to make

The most crucial point DXO raise is that in-camera RAW NR can destroy fine detail, and once it that detail is destroyed and gone at a low-level within the camera, you can never get it back.

However this argument may be a weakened if it can be demonstrated that a strong level of detail is indeed still emerging out of a sensor even if some in-camera RAW NR is suspected.

In other words, if there is a ton of fine detail still evident in the RAW output at high-ISO from a camera, no-one will care (even DXO) if there is any in-camera RAW NR going on. That may turn out to be the story of the K-5.
Response:

If NR is applied in camera, a firmware update will not help me with the shots already taken and developed. A firmware update is not retroactive. My photos from my K10 are fixed: no FW update on my K-7 will change those.

One of the big advantages of raw (to me) is that we can apply new techniques and tools to old images.

In terms of detail, we must remember that "tons" of detail to our eyes today may not be impressive in a year or two. As techniques change over time, our own standards tend to raise over time.

The point is that we want least possible irreversible "improvement" done to our raw files. What is improvement today may be seen as damage at a later date.

I am a beginner, as my sig notes. Owing to that, I don't know what I will want or what the technology will be capable of in five years. I simply want to preserve my options.

Perhaps more experienced photographers are more confident.

Last edited by glanglois; 11-01-2010 at 01:04 PM.
11-01-2010, 05:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote

In other words, if there is a ton of fine detail still evident in the RAW output at high-ISO from a camera, no-one will care (even DXO) if there is any in-camera RAW NR going on. That may turn out to be the story of the K-5.
This is how I feel. I do not care as long as the detail is there.

However I would like the option to turn it off as that is only fair for those that do care.

11-01-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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Did I miss something? Where's the beef!
11-01-2010, 05:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by telfish Quote
Did I miss something? Where's the beef!
Were still shooting it
We had to start over again because I discovered that NR is most visible in the red channel and the original files we shot(dollar bill) did not really exploit that.

So dgaies is just putting the finishing touches on the new scene now and we should have it completed sometime this evening.

It's alot more work than we anticipated, to present the data properly
11-01-2010, 06:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Were still shooting it
We had to start over again because I discovered that NR is most visible in the red channel and the original files we shot(dollar bill) did not really exploit that.

So dgaies is just putting the finishing touches on the new scene now and we should have it completed sometime this evening.

It's alot more work than we anticipated, to present the data properly
Let's just say last night my wife wanted to know why there was a $20 bill taped to the wall... and tonight she wants to know why a stuffed animal is dressed in our son's red shirt, holding a $20 bill.
11-01-2010, 06:13 PM   #12
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Oh and lets not forget that photoshop decided we coundl't use money anymore.
At first we were alright... then suddently, the infamous banknote protection system kicked in
11-01-2010, 06:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Let's just say last night my wife wanted to know why there was a $20 bill taped to the wall... and tonight she wants to know why a stuffed animal is dressed in our son's red shirt, holding a $20 bill.

Sounds like a new fetish!
11-01-2010, 10:06 PM   #14
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Just to update, the tests are finally finished(phew!).
As hard is this is to beleive, I think this test turned out to be very demanding and dgaies has the persistence of a saint!

But, with something like 130 frames and 4 scenes later... we have what I believe to be a rock solid case study.
All we have to do now is compile the results for presentation
11-02-2010, 08:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Just to update, the tests are finally finished(phew!).
As hard is this is to beleive, I think this test turned out to be very demanding and dgaies has the persistence of a saint!

But, with something like 130 frames and 4 scenes later... we have what I believe to be a rock solid case study.
All we have to do now is compile the results for presentation
Thanks John and Dgaies, this saves the rest of us a lot of work. You guys should have a motto:

John & Dgaies Shooting crap and pixel peeping so you don't have to



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