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12-31-2010, 02:10 AM   #1
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K-5 high ISO night shots compared

I've found adjusting to the K-5 to be more of a learning curve that I had first presumed. This isn't a bad thing, it just means the camera behaves differently than what I expect. Sometimes I realize that I've chosen the wrong setting, and sometimes I am pleasantly surprised that the result is beyond what was possible from my previous cameras. The color rendition and metering are quite a bit different than what I was used to with the K20d and K-7, and pics seem a little contrasty and sharpened in camera.

I decided to see what I could get away with when walking through a Christmas display at Butchards Gardens at night. I've then tried to show what it really means to include some of the noise reduction processing packages we have all heard about. While we have seen the results, what is the image like out of camera and how much improvement do we see? I'm not pushing one particular brand, but I did download an eval of Topas Denoise which is used in the pics. I'm sure results will be varied and this isn't an extensive controlled test, but here is what I found tonight.

No, these are not keeper shots....but they serve the purpose of seeing a bit more of what to expect from the K-5. All shots are with the K28/2.0.

We'll start with the middle ground.....ISO 6400 handheld at night. I have had trouble with ISO 800 on my K-7, so I'm was obviously interested in seeing what I could get away with. While there is obvious lighting, it was still a very dark shot and I was very happy that I could get away with a handheld shot. Shot raw, saved as jpg in Adobe. No other processing....



Single pass with Denoise at "strong", which did make a difference, but not so much for a web photo.



The next is what I normal would expect...ISO 100 and a tripod. Denoise didn't seem to make a difference so only one pic posted.......





ISO 12800 - I seemed to get better result with ISO 6400 in really dark scenes with high contrast lighting, but ISO 12800 was better in some circumstances. No PP...just straight from raw to jpg via Adobe...



ISO 12800 with a run from the noise removing software and some lightening...




Last edited by SteveM; 12-31-2010 at 02:19 AM.
12-31-2010, 06:40 AM   #2
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That ISO 12800 shot with Topaz is amazing. I also am checking out Topaz's 30 day free download and find that it makes my K7 not just usable but capable at ISO 2500 which serves my current needs pretty nicely (ie, I can wait a while before I buy a K5 at reduced price point). Check out my Topaz/Noiseware comparison posts in the Postprocessing Software Forum if you are curious.
12-31-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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Thanks Workingdog....I'll check out your comparison shots. I'd be curious to see what else is out there for noise reduction, but the Topaz plug in seems to do the job quite well. I wish I had looked into it a long time ago when I had my K-7.

I'm surprised that technology has gotten to a pint where we can shoot handheld at nighttime.
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