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03-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
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Optimum Q settings?

I found it particularly helpful when Adam listed optimum settings for new K-01 users. I'm not sure we have a similar resource for the Q.

Two items are of particular interest to me.

First, I'd be curious how often anyone uses highlight or shadow compensation. I shy away from it on the Q because I hesitate to use any higher ISO than is necessary on the small sensor. I don't worry about that at all on the K-01 in high contrast settings.

Second, I wonder how auto-NR works. My assumption is that it uses low-level smoothing in the low ISOs, and then high-level is triggered at a certain ISO point. However, if it is more sophisticated than that - and auto-NR uses less smoothing at ISO 125 than you get by going with the low-NR setting at that ISO - that would be a far better situation. Obviously, for RAW shooters most of us want to control the amount smoothing and start out at no smoothing or a minimal amount.


Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 03-27-2013 at 02:40 PM.
03-27-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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I recommend shooting in raw and at minimum iso at all times, since the a doesn't let you control denoising in the menu.

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03-27-2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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Well, yes, that does answer the question about avoiding highlight compensation in the same way I approach it. This doesn't really help, though, on whether or not shadow compensation is ever something to consider.

I also had wondered about the auto-NR. Since my original post, though, I did do a quick test of auto-NR vs. low-NR at ISO 125 and couldn't find one bit of difference in terms of smoothing. This indicates that auto-NR is not sophisticated, and simply has some particular ISO setting where it goes from low to high smoothing. So, RAW shooters do the minimum damage by setting NR to low. It would be nice, though, if Pentax simply spelled this out in the manual.

Another question comes to mind regarding electronic shutter enabling in the menu. When enabled (setting 2), folks assume that the lens shutter will always be used unless the bright lighting needs the shutter to go above 1/2,000 (assuming use of a Q lens); if this is so, I don't see any reason why disabling the electronic shutter option is the default setting. Why disable the electronic shutter ability?
03-27-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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The shadow/highlight correction does work (see our MX-1 review for some samples), but it's only worth using if you're shooting jpegs and there's a high contest scenario.

I think if you turn on the electronic shutter, the leaf shutter won't be used, so your minimum shutter speed and flash sync speed will be worse.

As for the nr algorithm, I think you're right. Dxo has an interesting article about it.


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03-27-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Another question comes to mind regarding electronic shutter enabling in the menu. When enabled (setting 2), folks assume that the lens shutter will always be used unless the bright lighting needs the shutter to go above 1/2,000 (assuming use of a Q lens); if this is so, I don't see any reason why disabling the electronic shutter option is the default setting. Why disable the electronic shutter ability?
It's probably to avoid giving people surprise jello.

Unlike Adam, I'm not guessing about how it behaves though. I've had (and used!) a Q for half a year now and have never observed it not use the leaf shutter at a speed it can handle, and I've had the electronic shutter on since just a few days in. So defaulting to off may have been an overly conservative choice, but not really surprising.

And since I know people on the internet don't read, I'll just restate it with a simpler sentance: The leaf shutter will always be used when it's possible. If the shutter speed is slow enough, the leaf shutter will be used, no matter what your settings are. (With firmware 1.10 at least.)
03-28-2013, 12:18 AM   #6
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This is what I've found best;

AUTO ISO 125-800
Aperture Priority at F2.8 - I have the Prime Lens
Highlight/Shadow correction OFF
SPOT AF

Set your quick dial to Digital Filters - use INVERT COLOR filter for Selection One. You can edit the parameters for this to NOT Invert. I leave my camera in RAW and use this to quick flip back and forth as it Defaults to JPG when a filter is selected. I also have HDR on the quick dial for the high contrast situations.
03-28-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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02 lens f-stop

Regarding lens settings, I only have the 02 in Q mount, and I have only done studio testing on the (weakest) 15mm setting. Despite what Photozone indicates, 15mm f/5.6 is optimal due mainly to elimination of CA but also because contrast is slightly higher, as well. Overall, though, it is apparent that the lens will perform very close to optimum whether wide open or stopped down (but never past f/5.6).

Thanks for the input from everyone. This can be a valuable thread (if I may so myself).
03-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by drougge Quote
It's probably to avoid giving people surprise jello.

Unlike Adam, I'm not guessing about how it behaves though. I've had (and used!) a Q for half a year now and have never observed it not use the leaf shutter at a speed it can handle, and I've had the electronic shutter on since just a few days in. So defaulting to off may have been an overly conservative choice, but not really surprising.

And since I know people on the internet don't read, I'll just restate it with a simpler sentance: The leaf shutter will always be used when it's possible. If the shutter speed is slow enough, the leaf shutter will be used, no matter what your settings are. (With firmware 1.10 at least.)
I've been shooting a Q for over a year and my experience confirms drougge's, that enabling the electronic shutter only adds the electronic shutter capability when a speed faster than the leaf shutter's max is needed. I enabled this after my first set shooting in direct sunlight.

I believe that the electronic shutter is disabled by default because the designers assumed that the user would want to use the ND filter to get proper exposure in bright sunlight to retain the advantages of using the leaf shutter in the Q system AF lenses. I found that I could not depend on myself to remember to activate/deactivate the ND when I needed to, and the electronic shutter gave me pretty good results, so I just left the ES activated.

Scott

03-28-2013, 09:20 AM   #9
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Electronic shutter vs. leaf shutter

QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
I've been shooting a Q for over a year and my experience confirms drougge's, that enabling the electronic shutter only adds the electronic shutter capability when a speed faster than the leaf shutter's max is needed. I enabled this after my first set shooting in direct sunlight.

I believe that the electronic shutter is disabled by default because the designers assumed that the user would want to use the ND filter to get proper exposure in bright sunlight to retain the advantages of using the leaf shutter in the Q system AF lenses. I found that I could not depend on myself to remember to activate/deactivate the ND when I needed to, and the electronic shutter gave me pretty good results, so I just left the ES activated.

Scott
That makes absolutely good sense, except that I just tested out the 02 lens at 1/4,000 and it allowed me to add the ND. Perhaps ND is independent of the shutter; otherwise if ND is actually disabled then this should get a firmware correction (blanking out ND availability).

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 03-28-2013 at 11:08 AM.
03-28-2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
That makes absolutely good sense, except that I just tested out the 02 lens at 1/4,000 and it allowed me to add the ND. Perhaps ND is independent of the shutter; otherwise if ND is actually disabled than this should get a firmware correction (blanking out ND availability).
The ND is independent of the shutter. I never suggested it wasn't, as I was only offering a reasonable explanation why the electronic shutter would be disabled by default.

I imagine it would be interesting if the enabling of the ND could be automatic when the electronic shutter was disabled and the exposure exceeded the ability for the shutter to compensate, but I'd imagine that would require a high speed servo in the lens and some pretty sophisticated firmware to support it. Personally. I wouldn't want or need that.

There is no reason to disable the ND if the electronic shutter is enabled -- it just gives us another 2 stops to play with when using the AF Q system lenses .

Scott

.
03-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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Electronic Shutter - Menu #13 set Enable (2)

OK, got it - that's clear. As I read your original post I just jumped to the thought that two stops of difference between the shutters is the same two stops as you get from the ND. Much like the big bodies this is a situation where the default setting (not allowing physical aperture rings to meter properly) cripples a particular desired use for no good reason.
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