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12-15-2011, 06:38 AM   #1
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K5 High ISO Shots...Your opinions

I took my K5 to a high school chorus last night. Ambient only. Not sure if these are deplorable, adequate, or superb when we're talking about pushing the limits of the ISO capabilities for the K5. Its worth noting that because of the extremely low light I was shooting wide open at 2.8 with my Tamron 70-200. So keep in mind the shallow depth of field. I'll post the SOOC and the results from just LR3 using the noise reduction sliders.
What are your opinions?

SOOC RAW at 12800 ISO

Noise Reduction slider and a few other adjustments in LR3


PP'd in LR3 with noise reduction


PP'd with noise reduction and slider adjustmens

They clean up nice but I'm not sure if the SOOC should be better. I'll defer to the experts for their opnions

12-15-2011, 06:43 AM   #2
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Sheesh we expect a lot nowadays - really nice shots, even hair detail at 12800. When I were a lad I took nature and aircraft pics using a 400mm lens and the fastest slide film on the planet - GAF 500 - unbelievable grain and 1/2 stop latitude - boy are we spoiled...
12-15-2011, 06:49 AM   #3
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In these samples, I think the OOC samples look better.
But that's likely because they have more detail than the PP ones.
Having said that, I think you could wring-out much more detail if you limited your LR NR to chroma and used a tool like Topaz Denoise to address the luma noise afterward.
Either way, these are quite impressive considering the sensitivity.
12-15-2011, 06:50 AM   #4
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I think they are very good.


12-15-2011, 06:55 AM   #5

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QuoteOriginally posted by Deiberson Quote
What are your opinions?
Pretty good. A little bit of motion blur, a little bit of noise, but overall a result you should be very happy with, especially as your ISO range was 6400 - 12800.
12-15-2011, 07:48 AM   #6
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It seems I'm running into a clarity (too much of it) problem when I bump the noise reduction up in LR. Is this where I'd be better off using Topaz? I agree....I', losing detail in the image by reducing the noise.
12-15-2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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I think they are very good. A slight amount of noise is visible which was at acceptable limits before the NR in Lightroom. You will find widely different opinions on noise. I kind of prefer your pre NR shots. There are a couple of threads running where some are still complaining about the noise in K5 shots. Coming fresh off a K10D, I find the noise difference huge. The K10D would have as much or more noise as ISO 800.That said, I found the K10D had far better IQ at high ISO than I got from any of the high ISO film I used. Those of us who shot film for years just accepted the grainy look. I often shoot low light shots with my K10D with the intention of converting to B&W and trying to reproduce the Tri-X look.
12-15-2011, 07:59 AM   #8
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Topaz could give you a little bit more control in the color correction during noise fixing, which I think is important in your second picture.

In that first picture, you can probably go with something like 25% luminance noise correction and increase your detail to 75% and it should look better than the second picture. Luminance noise is ugly only if there's a lot of it, which there doesn't appear to be in your first shot. Color noise is ugly even when there is a little, but I don't see much color noise in your pictures.

12-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #9
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Nik Dfine is another really good option. I'm not sure how well it runs in Lightroom, but it's amazing in Photoshop.
12-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #10
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They look plenty fine to me! We are getting shots we never dreamed of just a few years ago, and on top of that, they are very usable shots! Wonder what the future holds?
12-15-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
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My preference is to do as little noise reduction as possible but I would rather adjust the contrast a bit (such as in the second one)... I agree that indeed iso12800 shots from k-5 is quite usable most of the time when you need it.
12-15-2011, 09:26 PM   #12
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I strongly prefer the unadjusted shots.
12-16-2011, 02:29 PM   #13
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I too prefer the original shots, they are very good for the conditions and ISO. The processed backgrounds are fine but faces seem to look a bit plasticky.
12-16-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
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Once you go higher than ISO1600 in the K-5, you can get much the same effect, shooting with the same aperture & shutter speed at ISO1600, and boosting 2 stops in PP, since gain above ISO1600 is done digitally.

Differences using this technique:

1. No in-camera raw NR at or below ISO1600. This means you have a bit more NR flexibility when applying NR later in PP.

2. You save 2 stops of clipping headroom in this example. The sleeves on the guitarist are blown. Shooting two stops underexposed at ISOI600 would have preserved this. You can then adjust the "exposure"/brightness and tone curve later in PP to display the sleeves cleanly.


Last edited by dosdan; 12-16-2011 at 10:57 PM.

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