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05-16-2011, 01:17 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Why K-5 DR and High-ISO matters.

I've been in a lot of threads where the discussion turned to the DR and High-ISO performance of the K-5 came up. I knew from working with the RAW images in Lightroom that the K-5 was something special, but I haven't really quantified it. Well, today I was shooting pictures of some pale pink flowers in a pool of sunlight against the dark red bricks of my house, and the shadows fell out black by the time I dropped the exposure enough to retain highlight detail in the flowers. I threw 'em in Lightroom and slid the "fill light" slider a bit, and brought up the detail I wanted. I tend to like darker images, mostly, but still, I knew that with the K20D, I wouldn't be able to make that much adjustment and retain image quality that I found acceptable. Since I still have both cameras, I decided to test.

Before I could get back, the sun had moved, so I picked another (less interesting, but less mercurial, as well, since it's breezy) subject and performed a test. I set the FA 50mm f4 at f5.6 and the camera at ISO 100 and backed down the exposure until I retained highlight detail in the off-white park benches we have in our back yard. I then threw both camera's output into Lightroom and adjusted the fill light slider to matching levels of illumination. This is what I got.

The original images, as shot: (yes, I noticed the unfortunate removal of the space in the name )

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

Now, side by side with fill light:

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

Now zoomed in to show detail:

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

I've found this ability extremely valuable, particularly in wildlife images. With the K20D, I had trouble recovering images where the animal or bird was partly in strong sunlight and partly in shadow; the K-5 allows me to ... not just *recover* those images, but make them *strong* images.

Anyone else have real-world situations where high-iso and high DR makes your photography better, or lets you get better images than before? I'm not asking everyone to do this experiment; just drop images here that wouldn't have been as strong without the high-iso or high DR of the K-5.

05-16-2011, 01:42 PM   #2
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I think I've posted this here before, but it bears repeating.

Original Capture:


Shadows Boosted:

(click image for larger sizes)


I was bracketing for HDR in this shot but I didn't have my tripod on me. I decided that I liked the single image output better and the result is me just raising the shadows up a bit (about 4 stops?).

I have a friend who shoots with a 7D, and when he raises up the levels of his shadows they look like butt. It makes me really happy with this sensor!

Last edited by RXrenesis8; 05-16-2011 at 01:57 PM.
05-16-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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This illustrates vividly what I experienced with the K-7 vs. the K-x. Of course the K-5 is better than the K-x, but even with the K-x, I could push the exposure a few stops without getting a ton of noise. I'm glad I got the K-7; it has forced me to be much more attentive to proper exposure.

But my K-5 should be here in about a week.
05-16-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RXrenesis8 Quote
I was bracketing for HDR in this shot but I didn't have my tripod on me. I decided that I liked the single image output better and the result is me just raising the shadows up a bit (about 4 stops?)
Woa, that's an excellent example too!
Very realistic.

05-16-2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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Out of the camera:


Pushed in PP:

Last edited by bjdavey; 05-16-2011 at 06:34 PM.
05-16-2011, 06:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjdavey Quote
Out of the camera:
[url='https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/album.php?albumid=3147&pictureid=24710'][img]

Pushed in PP:
[url='https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/album.php?albumid=3147&pictureid=24711'][img]
Nice example! Thanks!

Am I the only person seeing the BB code rather than the images? (I hadda cut-n-paste the http links to see 'em)
05-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Nice example! Thanks!

Am I the only person seeing the BB code rather than the images? (I hadda cut-n-paste the http links to see 'em)
i only see bb code too...
05-16-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
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Not sure what happened with the post - I've corrected it now.

05-16-2011, 06:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RXrenesis8 Quote

I was bracketing for HDR in this shot but I didn't have my tripod on me. I decided that I liked the single image output better and the result is me just raising the shadows up a bit (about 4 stops?).

I have a friend who shoots with a 7D, and when he raises up the levels of his shadows they look like butt. It makes me really happy with this sensor!
I'd be curious as to how exposure fusion held out there.

Yes, I've noticed the pattern noise in that sensor that is shared also with the T2i, 60D, and now even the T3i.
05-16-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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Who has a printer capable of printing 14EV of DR? To my knowledge there is no printer that comes close.

If I am wrong please post the correct information. How much DR can professional printers produce?
05-16-2011, 07:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Who has a printer capable of printing 14EV of DR? To my knowledge there is no printer that comes close.

If I am wrong please post the correct information. How much DR can professional printers produce?
Since print is a reflective medium, dynamic range depends in large part on how white the paper is and how well it holds the ink, but most of all, it depends on the intensity of light illuminating the print.
05-16-2011, 07:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Who has a printer capable of printing 14EV of DR? To my knowledge there is no printer that comes close.

If I am wrong please post the correct information. How much DR can professional printers produce?
I'm not certain why you're asking this question. If one *records* 14 stops, one can *compress* the dynamic range to fit on the medium of choice. This is exactly what I demonstrated; the adjusted print prints very nicely in the contrast range of print media.

ALL photographs on reflective media compress dynamic range, incidentally.
05-17-2011, 01:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
Yes, I've noticed the pattern noise in that sensor that is shared also with the T2i, 60D, and now even the T3i.
This is what shadows raised in post from a 7D look like:
Attached Images
 
05-17-2011, 02:12 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RXrenesis8 Quote
This is what shadows raised in post from a 7D look like:
I can't see the difference. Same photos perhaps ?
05-17-2011, 06:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RXrenesis8 Quote
This is what shadows raised in post from a 7D look like:
Are the stripes in the dark area sensor banding?
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