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08-15-2012, 06:39 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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K-30 dynamic range

Coming from the K-r, I've been pretty impressed with the dynamic range of the K-30. I was out shooting this evening after a thunderstorm and decided to take a challenging shot and see how much shadows I could recover in Lightroom. This photo is not meant to be a work of art, just a test!

The first is the original RAW file exported as a jpg. The second is obviously the edit. All done in Lightroom. I didn't spend a lot of time on this, but I was pretty impressed. The noise level is not high at all in the shadow area and much detail and color information was salvageable. Much better performance than i could've gotten in a similar situation from my K-r.

Feel free to post your own examples!

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08-15-2012, 06:41 PM - 1 Like   #2
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And that, is a wonderful shot. Goes to show - get the shot, clean up in post. What the k-30 and the k-5 and the k-01 are good for.
08-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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Crikey! You almost don't need to worry about getting your exposure right at all.
08-15-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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Very nicely done, on both highlights and shadows!

I must ask, though: Is that scene really that intensely green in real life? Or did you enhance it a little in Lightroom? It's been such a long time since I've seen actual green landscapes here in drought-stricken western Nebraska that I'm not sure if I can remember what they look like anymore. Ha???

08-15-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Welfl Quote
Very nicely done, on both highlights and shadows!

I must ask, though: Is that scene really that intensely green in real life? Or did you enhance it a little in Lightroom? It's been such a long time since I've seen actual green landscapes here in drought-stricken western Nebraska that I'm not sure if I can remember what they really look like anymore. Ha???
Thanks! It's a fairly accurate representation. Might be a bit oversaturated. I wanted to see how much color I info I could get from the shadows without causing adverse effects. I know this is a small file so not easy to tell, but there is not much noise at all in the original.
08-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Might be a bit oversaturated. I wanted to see how much color I info I could get from the shadows without causing adverse effects.
Ah! That makes perfect sense. You even allude to that in your original comment, but I just didn't put two and two together.

QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
I know this is a small file....
Do you plan on posting larger sizes of these test images on your Flickr account? You really should! They are certainly worthy.

QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
...not easy to tell, but there is not much noise at all in the original.
I've actually downloaded K-5, K-01 and K-30 images from Flickr (temporarily) that have dark shadows and bright highlights, just to test their dynamic range in post processing. Even though they were lower-quality Flickr JPEG copies, I was still able to dramatically improve the shadows and highlights without revealing any noise. I've not yet found a RAW sample image to download that has significant shadows and highlights. That's why I was (am) curious to see how well K-30 RAW images can be improved in this regard.
08-16-2012, 03:17 AM   #7
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Welfl - check out the RAW shadow recovery tests in the comparative review - Pentax K-30 Camera Review - Image Quality - PentaxForums.com
08-16-2012, 04:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Welfl Quote

Do you plan on posting larger sizes of these test images on your Flickr account? You really should! They are certainly worthy.
I am bandwidth challenged, living in a rural area with limited Internet options. I can only do 5GB a month. I need to move! Anyway, I could upload a larger version of the shadow-recovered file if there is a real clamoring for it, but the ones from the review mentioned above might be just what you are looking for. Thanks for the kind words!

08-16-2012, 08:34 AM   #9
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What kind of adjustments did you make to go from the first image to the second image? I use Adobe Camera Raw to open up my images in Photoshop CS5, and I wonder how I would do something similar. I normally adjust the sliders for Exposure, Fill Light, Recovery, Saturation, and Contrast when I'm working with shots similar to the one you posted, but it normally doesn't give me the quasi-HDR look that your processed image has.
08-16-2012, 09:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
What kind of adjustments did you make to go from the first image to the second image? I use Adobe Camera Raw to open up my images in Photoshop CS5, and I wonder how I would do something similar. I normally adjust the sliders for Exposure, Fill Light, Recovery, Saturation, and Contrast when I'm working with shots similar to the one you posted, but it normally doesn't give me the quasi-HDR look that your processed image has.
I upped the exposure just a little, careful not to blow out the sky. I added lots of Fill Light. I also played with the Contrast sliders (especially Darks and Shadows). I always fiddle with luminance/saturation settings for individual colors using the targeted adjustment tool in Lightroom. Darkening luminance in the sky, adding a bit of saturation to the blues. I also brightened green luminance and added a bit of saturation. I don't recall if Camera Raw has the individual color luminance settings or not. I think that's about it.
08-16-2012, 09:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info. Would you mind posting or sending me the DNG file so that I could try to see if I can figure out how to replicate in Photoshop what you did in Lightroom?
08-16-2012, 10:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Thanks for the info. Would you mind posting or sending me the DNG file so that I could try to see if I can figure out how to replicate in Photoshop what you did in Lightroom?
Sorry, it's way too big for me to send! Remember that 5GB monthly cap I'm living with! If you can wait until Monday when I'm back at work, I could get it to you then. Apologies from the rural hillbilly with crappy Internet service!
08-16-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
Welfl - check out the RAW shadow recovery tests in the comparative review - Pentax K-30 Camera Review - Image Quality - PentaxForums.com
Thanks, ihassa. I did check them out the day the review was posted. They do a great job of showing off the dynamic range of the K-30; however, there is very little shadow at the base EV setting. As I wrote in another thread, "A number of reviewers test dynamic range by changing the EV settings on the camera so that the test images (all shot in daylight) range from almost completely washed out to nearly black. In [my ideal] test, however, [someone] would leave the EV set at a 'normal'/'realistic' level (i.e. whatever the situation demands) and shoot some images in real-world dark [or shadowy] conditions at a relatively low ISO...." I also wrote, "...take a few ... shots in which there is a 'tall' building with the sun generally behind it (or directly behind it, as the case may be)," so that it creates a stark shadow. Loco's photo, although in a (gorgeous) rural setting, very much resembles my request, at least regarding the bright background and shadowy foreground (even if it wasn't all that shadowy in real life).
08-16-2012, 04:13 PM   #14
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This is impressive! What version of LightRoom are you using?
08-16-2012, 04:14 PM   #15
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OK, I uploaded an almost full size jpg of the edited file to Flickr so you can see there is very little noise in the area where the shadows were recovered. Here's the link to the 'original' size file on Flickr.

All sizes | K-30 dynamic range test - edit | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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