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06-16-2013, 02:27 AM   #1
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K-r Noise

Hi All

Recently I had to bump the ISO on my K-r up to 1600 and 3200 for some evening shots. I was always under the impression that the K-r was pretty good with noise, I may be wrong. Here is one of the shots where the blacks in particular, but all colours in general, are very noisy. I was using the kit 50-200 lens at f/8 and ISO 1600 to get a decent shutter speed. This is not a brilliant picture, but that's me not the camera.

Is it the camera, the lens or am I expecting to much? Other than this I am very happy with the camera and have got some great shots with it. Your views would be appreciated.

Thanks
Ray





06-16-2013, 03:01 AM   #2
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I think (a) you may be expecting too much from the K-r - you should expect to see noise appear at 1600 and get worse at 3200, but more importantly (b) the shot looks underexposed which will accentuate noise in the shadow/dark areas.

Try converting to b&w. The grainy effect of noise seems to suit b&w more.
06-16-2013, 03:02 AM   #3
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That seems pretty normal. The K-r isnt terrible, but the new 16MP sensor that Pentax uses is much better. But the main problem with that photo is that its still dark.
To improve it, you should have shot at wider aperture, focused on the bikers instead of on background. The other thing is, if you shoot raw you can fix your photos, noise-wise, in post. But if you raise the exposure (brighten the photo), it will add more noise. Thats why some like to overexpose (called 'exposing to the right') just below clipping highlights, and then darken in post. You can also try some specialist noise reduction software if you shot raw, like.. Topaz denoise, noise ninja and others

Edit: but yes, i shoot at iso 1600 with my K-r only when i really have to, otherwise i keep it under 800. K-01 spoiled me.
06-16-2013, 06:24 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, I appreciate you taking the time to reply. It looks like I should try to keep the ISO no higher than 800, which is a pity. I'll try experimenting with RAW at High ISO, however I'm not a fan of Topaz DeNoise. I think it destroys detail, even at low levels. What do you guys think of the in camera Noise Reduction? Should it be On or Off? Low or High? Currently it's set to Auto. To tell you the truth I'd not even taken any notice of it :~)

Ray

06-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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The dark frame/slow shutter NR is a good idea for long exposures, unless you will do your own dark frames and use special software.
The regular NR, I have set to auto. You can try setting it to custom and have it HIGH at ISO above a certain mark.
Another tip for denoising is to turn the photo black and white, it becomes less bothersome.

Or to just appreciate the noise for what it is - part of the photo
If you really like to shoot at high ISO, try getting a K-01 on sale. There are still some available online very cheap, and it has amazing IQ, better than K-r. But its not a DSLR. So its a good addition to K-r, they complement each other.
06-17-2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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The K-r was one of the best cameras for low noise at its time, and certainly the best for anything upt to two or three times its price, and that was the main reason I had bought it, but things have moved on since then, though probably even today you need to spend more than what a K-r cost then to get the same low light performance.

I find that unless you underexpose and have to boost the light in post processing even the shadows are pretty free from noise at 1600. Above 1600 I usually applied some noise reduction in light room (I always shoot raw) without any significant loss of detail. The trick is to experiment with the sharpening radius and strength in conjunction with the noise reduction settings.
06-17-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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Here are a couple of ISO 6400 shots with my K-r. I did apply a little bit of noise removal in post processing (I shot in raw). The title of the play is Sweeney Todd.





This one was the toughest to work with due to the wide dynamic range of the lighting. Still, the K-r was a great upgrade from my DS.


Tim
06-17-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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Thanks guys your comments are appreciated. Those pics are great Tim, at that size I don't see any noise at all, especially the first two.

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