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10-13-2014, 10:29 AM   #1
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K-5 IIs vs K-x noise removal characteristics

May be I'm overthinking this, but to me it seems like K-x RAW files handled noise removal much better compared to K-5 IIs files. By better handling I mean K-x files still looked very real after applying considerable noise removal in Lightroom. Whereas K-5 IIs files look smudgy, oil painting-like (of course when zoomed all the way in).

I don't have exact comparison files to post so far, this is from my processing of initial 400-500 images from my new K-5 IIs. Did anyone else felt this?

10-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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You got more megapixels now so zooming in at 100% will in most cases look like that. If you instead stop at the K-x (12MP) equivalent zoom you'll see increased details instead.
10-13-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
You got more megapixels now so zooming in at 100% will in most cases look like that. If you instead stop at the K-x (12MP) equivalent zoom you'll see increased details instead.
I've noticed the same on my K-30 vs my K-x in Lightroom, how do you stop at the equivalent zoom instead of 1:1?
10-13-2014, 01:35 PM   #4
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Lightroom is not the apex of performance in every area, and they especially don't take the time to optimize well for every camera. A classic example is how Capture One's out-of-the-gate processing of Fuji X-Trans sensors was better than Adobe's follow-up "fixed" processing. From what I've read, Adobe has too many employees and too much bureaucracy to care. And like the Fuji X-Trans, the unique sensor on the K-5 IIs (the first natively AA-less DSLR sensor) was probably too much trouble for Adobe to optimize for. In reality, I believe you should be able to get better NR on the K-5 IIs, since the image isn't "pre-blurred."

A company or individual can have all the correct framework in place, but if they don't care the results are mediocre. If you're passionate about something, you need to work with others who care. And if it's a well-functioning company or organization, rest assured it will eventually fall into the hands of someone who doesn't care.

(But don't despair, sometimes circumstances turn around for the better, after a new person who cares more comes in. Sigma is an example of this. And while the Jury's still out on Ricoh, they certainly care more than Hoya. Unfortunately, this usually requires a company that's loosing traction, not one that keeps enjoying blind success in spite of its mediocre performance. Even companies that are slowly failing often have trouble turning around (e.g. Kodak or all of Detroit (except maybe Ford)). So don't expect Adobe to change anytime soon - they just don't have the motivation to do so.)


As far as I can tell (though I never did formal comparisons) the K-5 IIs produces better NR and overall processing results for me (compared to the K-5 or K-x) in Capture One. So when a new, innovative camera comes out, some software companies see this as an exciting opportunity to produce better results. Others view it as simply a bother - something to be "managed."


If NR is critical to you, I suggest you try other editing software or a third-party NR product ( such as Neat Image: Neat Image - best noise reduction for digital cameras and scanners ).


Last edited by DSims; 10-13-2014 at 02:00 PM.
10-13-2014, 03:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
You got more megapixels now so zooming in at 100% will in most cases look like that. If you instead stop at the K-x (12MP) equivalent zoom you'll see increased details instead.
That makes sense. May be I need to stop zooming in to check the amount of detail.

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
If NR is critical to you, I suggest you try other editing software or a third-party NR product ( such as Neat Image: Neat Image - best noise reduction for digital cameras and scanners ).
Thanks. I'll give NeatImage a try. I just didn't want yet another software for post processing, but I'll definitely give it a fair shot.
10-13-2014, 03:07 PM   #6
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Give x4 quickzoom a try, it seems to be a good compromise between 'why are all of my images noisy!?' and actually checking that things are sharp and in-focus.
10-13-2014, 05:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonakG Quote
Thanks. I'll give NeatImage a try. I just didn't want yet another software for post processing, but I'll definitely give it a fair shot.
Neatimage can be bought as a Photoshop plug-in, so you can stay within many Adobe products (I use Elements 10 with several plugins including NeatImage).
10-13-2014, 06:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
Neatimage can be bought as a Photoshop plug-in, so you can stay within many Adobe products (I use Elements 10 with several plugins including NeatImage).
I use lightroom and they don't have a plugin for that. I downloaded their standalone demo version. Haven't got a chance to play around with it yet.

10-13-2014, 07:09 PM   #9
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It works, but $80 and no Lr plug-in, ouch!
10-13-2014, 08:05 PM   #10
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This issue of K-x vs K-5II extra noise is identical to what we saw when K-5 users went to the K-3.

I am also a long-time believer that the K-x has some pixie dust in it. Very clean files, great IQ, hard to take a bad photo with it.
10-13-2014, 08:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
This issue of K-x vs K-5II extra noise is identical to what we saw when K-5 users went to the K-3.

I am also a long-time believer that the K-x has some pixie dust in it. Very clean files, great IQ, hard to take a bad photo with it.
That just makes me want a K-5. I feel spoiled, 'hey look, it's a new camera, why don't you want it?'
10-14-2014, 07:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I am also a long-time believer that the K-x has some pixie dust in it. Very clean files, great IQ, hard to take a bad photo with it.
I'm appreciating K-x even more after getting the K-5 IIs. There's definitely something about the IQ it produces with that cute little body.
10-14-2014, 08:42 AM   #13
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The more technical camera review sites have tests that show where a sensor makes its noise. It may be color noise or whatever. The dpreview K-x test has a nice graph at the bottom of page 15 for RAW noise of different types at various ISOs. I use this information for my starting settings in noise reduction software. If you can find similar data for the K-5 IIs, you can figure out how that camera is different.

I would set up a tripod and take a shot with each camera of the same scene, same settings, same lens. Then see what processing gets you.
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