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01-18-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
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k-5 iso help

Hi Everyone !

Long story short, had a :

canon xs, k10d, canon 30d,
k-x , loved the low light performance, sold it
moved to Nikon when d5100 came out, awesome price, even better low light, sold it
got a k-5, i see others with awesome low light shots , 6400-51200, with insane low noise without pp !!

WTF am i doing wrong ? do i have a k-7 in my k-5 body ?? settings off ? Please help before i think about jumping camps for good to Nikon ( .
shots below are shot with an old kit lens, da 18-55mm AL. shouldn't be this bad right ? i'm going insane ! this was suppose to be my unicorn, haha

just shot this morning set. light coming in from pink curtains.
k-5 iso help - a set on Flickr


f3.5, 1/60, iso12800, 18mm


f5.6, 1/40, iso12800, 55mm


f5.6, 1/60, iso12800, 55mm

i don't have samples, but even at 6400 i'm getting a lot of noise. oh, on 1.12 firmware cause i thought it might help.


Last edited by yenou998; 01-18-2012 at 04:27 PM.
01-18-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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To summarize:
Are you complaining that K-5 in ISO 12800 have more noise than Nikon D5100 in ISO800?
01-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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oh no no, that comment was taken out to avoid confusion.
i took my d5100 to a xmas light festival: shot 800iso, 1/50, f3.5 awesome results.
k-5 same shot, same lighting, would not produce at the same 800iso. i think i'm doing something wrong.

these guys are doing something right.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/159954-iso-8000-rocks.html

any suggestions? or do i have a bum k-5 sensor ?
01-18-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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i might be asking too much out of the k-5. gonna play around some more. i'm a novice so any suggestions would help. thanks !

01-18-2012, 05:00 PM - 1 Like   #5
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According to that thread:

"
I shot an outdoor theatrical event this week that had very dim stage lighting. Since the rehearsal was in progress, I couldn't use flash so I bumped the ISO up to 6400. Still not enough so it stayed at 8000 most of the night and up to 10,000 for a few shots. After a little work in Camera Raw and some touch-ups with Topaz Denoise 5 , I got dozens of very good, publishable images. Very happy client and very, very happy K5 shooter."

Are you shooting in raw?
The examples that I have seen from the k-5 at ISO 6400 look similar to my eyes to results from the k-x at ISO 1600 - quite good, but some color denoising might be required at low exposure.
01-18-2012, 05:48 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The noise in your album photos are mostly related to 'underexposed' category. Pentax DSLR (k-7 and k-5 etc.) puts more emphasis on protecting highlights, therefore, in these cases, you can use +EV compensation and perhaps also try to use center-weight instead of matrix to get the proper exposure. I have no issues with my k-5 high-iso noise even at 12800 level; however, with my k-7, I often try to keep iso below 3200.
01-18-2012, 06:38 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The basic rule of ISO is that you'll get much better images with adequate light. Bumping up the ISO in well lit situations lets you reduce the shutter speed, and on cameras like the K-5 will produce very good results. High ISO in low light will always have more noise than decently lit conditions, and will usually require some noise reduction in post. It lets you shoot in low light, but it isn't flawless - there will be some noise to remove. I think you'll find that most "extraordinary" looking high ISO shots were taken in adequate light to begin with.
01-18-2012, 06:55 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Judging by the exposure, I'd say these look about right.

My experience is that the K-5 does wonderfully up to ISO6400, which can be cleaned-up to look every bit as good as ISO200(with a good hand). And all that lay beyond that point becomes progressively harder in terms of noise control, dynamic range, metering and of course managing to keep the images from being taken over by noise and detail loss.

For example, if it were me and I had to shoot those room scenes, I would have pushed the eV as far to the right as possible so as to maximize on detail above noise. Otherwise(as you may have notice), the noise levels ramp-up exponentially when we pull up exposure in software.

Anyways, with a little practice, I'm sure you'll have no problems getting the most out of your K-5 at higher sensitivities. And so it's just a matter a getting familiar with the system and it's characteristics.

And to help illustrate, here's an example of what the K-5 can do:

META: K-5, 1/125, f/3.5, ISO6400

Image shot in RAW, processed in RawTherapee w/Topaz Denoise

SEE: Full size image here

- Hope this helps

01-18-2012, 08:16 PM - 1 Like   #9
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What I find to be high noise levels ends up being essentially the sensor not getting enough information (light) to do anything with.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but noise on the K5 sensor comes from two sources. One is that at high sensitivity settings your signal to noise ratio decreases, ie. any sensor will generate noise but the signal usually overcomes it, at high sensitivity or high iso the signal is less able to overcome the noise. The second is similar, but noise being caused by underexposure causing what I call lowlight blown details.

So the strategy in low light conditions especially is to expose as much as possible without blowing the highlights. We get spoiled with the K5 because at lower ISO, less than 1600 or so, there is so much detail that can be pulled out of the shadows. So the tendency is to underexpose to avoid blown highlights; you can always get details back in PP.

But in low light it doesn't work. The sensor just doesn't get enough. So we have to expose as much as possible, or expose up to blowing the highlights, without letting the iso climb to unusable levels. Expose to avoid blown lowlights.

I'm just figuring this out myself. I had exactly the same experience as you and wondered why I had all this noise while others didn't. I was consistently running with exposure adjust -1/3 to -2/3 to avoid blown highlights. Which worked for that purpose, but I was always getting noise and lost detail.

I've finally figured out why the exposure adjust is so easy to get at, even assignable to one of the wheels.
01-18-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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you guys are the best !
yes, after i posted , i started messing with the exposure settings too and discovered that it was the culprit.
plus my 35 2.4 just came in, slapped a few shots of the kid and was impressed all over again. i think that old kit lens i was shooting with was a little crap too.
k-5 is truly an enthusiasts camera with controls beyond my knowledge. time to crack open a book.
01-18-2012, 10:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by yenou998 Quote
you guys are the best !
yes, after i posted , i started messing with the exposure settings too and discovered that it was the culprit.
plus my 35 2.4 just came in, slapped a few shots of the kid and was impressed all over again. i think that old kit lens i was shooting with was a little crap too.
k-5 is truly an enthusiasts camera with controls beyond my knowledge. time to crack open a book.
Glad to hear it!
Looking forward to seeing some pics as things move along for you.
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