Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-14-2015, 03:08 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 74
K30 Low light performance

Am I the only one who finds that the K30 low light performance is really bad?
I get extreme amounts of noise starting at 32,000 ISO. Most indoor scenarios when I am looking to take photos, it always needs 32,000 ISO or more and can't get faster than 1/40.

Anyone got some tips or tricks for shooting in low light without having to resort to the flash on the camera?
I'm assuming lens with high f-stop would help? But seems like anything with good f-stop is pricey.

05-14-2015, 03:24 PM - 1 Like   #2
Pentaxian
EarlVonTapia's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vancouver
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,150
QuoteOriginally posted by mellowyeahlow Quote
Anyone got some tips or tricks for shooting in low light without having to resort to the flash on the camera?
I'm assuming lens with high f-stop would help? But seems like anything with good f-stop is pricey.
Tripod
Fast lens - Fast 50mm's are quite cheap, and can help you get those low-light shots you need.
Steady hand

It's also quite amazing how much detail you can rescue from the shadows in a RAW file. A picture might look dark on your LCD, but try and see what you can do with it through post-processing.

Also, I've found the shake reduction to be quite good. After some practice, I can usually get good shots at 1/20 if needed.
05-14-2015, 03:27 PM - 1 Like   #3
Site Supporter
jimr-pdx's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: 1hr north of PDX
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,480
Wow, if iso 32k is what you need that is going to be tough for nearly any camera. A 24 or 28mm f2.8 will help at a fairly low price point but a 3.5-5.6 zoom will not be your best option. Can any other ambient light be added to the room?
05-14-2015, 03:28 PM - 1 Like   #4
Junior Member




Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New England
Posts: 40
I actually find the low light performance of the K-30 to be quite good - certainly a step up from my K-x (which was also quite good)!
I shoot up to iso 800 without second thought, don't mind using up to 3200 on a regular basis, and can get some usable results from 6400 (with noise reduction in post-processing).
As you said, it helps to use lenses with a large maximum aperture (f2.8 or less), as small f-stops mean that the lens lets in a lot of light.
Fellow PF member Heie has written a useful guide on holding the camera steady for long exposures: Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - In-Depth Articles

05-14-2015, 03:56 PM   #5
Site Supporter
virusn3t's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 582
How can you got 32k ISO? My K-30 only reach 12.8k ISO, maybe 25.6k with expanded sensibility...

I like the performance up to 4k
05-14-2015, 04:04 PM - 1 Like   #6
Veteran Member
clockworkrat's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Black Isle, Scotland
Posts: 405
I'm pretty content with it so far. The sensor-based SR and decent high-ISO performance make a good team.
05-14-2015, 04:16 PM - 1 Like   #7
Pentaxian
richandfleur's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,003
QuoteOriginally posted by mellowyeahlow Quote
Am I the only one who finds that the K30 low light performance is really bad?
Probably. It's the same classic sensor as the K-5 era cameras, and they're all pretty well regarded in the APS-C world.




QuoteOriginally posted by mellowyeahlow Quote
I get extreme amounts of noise starting at 32,000 ISO.
There's your problem then. I don't shoot about 1,600 on my K-30 normally, but will push to 3,200 if required to get the shot, and only higher if it's absolutely necessary.
Whilst the dial allows you to set higher ISO figures, they're close to worthless in reality.


QuoteOriginally posted by mellowyeahlow Quote
Most indoor scenarios when I am looking to take photos, it always needs 32,000 ISO or more and can't get faster than 1/40.
Across the board there has been a big push for high Mega Pixel count cameras/sensors, often at the expense of noise/high ISO capabilities.
Agree there are times where you can't control the lighting, flash isn't allowed or isn't suitable, and where some decent ISO ability would be really handy.
Maintaining a fast shutter speed to freeze motion is not easy if you haven't got enough light to play with.




QuoteOriginally posted by mellowyeahlow Quote
Anyone got some tips or tricks for shooting in low light without having to resort to the flash on the camera?
I'm assuming lens with high f-stop would help? But seems like anything with good f-stop is pricey.

What subject matter/location are you trying to shoot?
Do you have any control over lighting levels at all?
Can you shoot earlier in the day for instance, where applicable?


Shooting with a wide aperture / lower f values, say f1.8 - f4 for instance, opens up the lens and lets in as much light as possible.
It will reduce your depth of field though, so getting focus correct is very important at these wide apertures.


Keep your shutter speed as low as possible, to gather more light.
This doesn't work so well if there is any movement, unless you're going for that effect. Keep the camera steady if there is no movement in the shot, using a tripod or a monopod for support etc.


Yes basically after doing all you can on camera you will need to introduce some more light to play with, and flash seems the most obvious way to do this.
So, if it's suitable use the on camera flash or use one or more off camera flashes.
Wait and buy the new FF camera, as hopefully this will have better low ISO
05-14-2015, 04:19 PM - 1 Like   #8
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,959
QuoteOriginally posted by mellowyeahlow Quote
Am I the only one who finds that the K30 low light performance is really bad?
I get extreme amounts of noise starting at 32,000 ISO. Most indoor scenarios when I am looking to take photos, it always needs 32,000 ISO or more and can't get faster than 1/40.

Anyone got some tips or tricks for shooting in low light without having to resort to the flash on the camera?
I'm assuming lens with high f-stop would help? But seems like anything with good f-stop is pricey.
I think for the most part, it's a question of mastering the technique. Around ISO 3200 the K-30 does exhibit a noticeable amount of noise, but you should still be able to get excellent images for web and print use.

First of all, are you shooting in RAW? Feel free to post samples of results you're dissatisfied with and we'll take a look.


Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

05-14-2015, 05:14 PM - 1 Like   #9
Pentaxian
Oldbayrunner's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Havre de Grace, MD
Posts: 1,220
Are you selecting 32,000 or is your camera auto selecting? I don't know of too many crop sensor cameras that won't exhibit a good amount of noise at that high ISO. Try limiting your ISO range lower.
05-14-2015, 05:15 PM - 1 Like   #10
Pentaxian
richandfleur's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,003
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I think for the most part, it's a question of mastering the technique. Around ISO 3200 the K-30 does exhibit a noticeable amount of noise, but you should still be able to get excellent images for web and print use.

First of all, are you shooting in RAW? Feel free to post samples of results you're dissatisfied with and we'll take a look.


Agree, and what is the OP's approach to dealing with the noise in post also?
05-14-2015, 05:57 PM - 1 Like   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Photos: Albums
Posts: 613
I think the OP meant iso 3200, but either way, show us some pics or we can't help! I don't mind using iso 3200, but I do post process the RAW file afterwards.
05-14-2015, 06:10 PM - 1 Like   #12
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,482
QuoteOriginally posted by mellowyeahlow Quote
Am I the only one who finds that the K30 low light performance is really bad? Most indoor scenarios when I am looking to take photos, it always needs 32,000 ISO or more and can't get faster than 1/40. .
As indicated by others, the K-30 has a decent sensor and should be a good performer in low light. But you need to mount a fast lens to get good performances in very low light.

What lens do you use? Your kit lens?

In low (to very low) light, you need to use a fast lens: f1.8, f1.4 or even f1.2. This is a necessity.

Let me share a personal experience with my old K-7. The K-7 is well-known to be quite bad at high ISO. Anything above ISO 800. I was shooting many years ago with my K-7 together with a friend who had a FF Nikon with a zoom lens (f2.8 possibly, but most likely f4). We were outdoor and it was sunset. About 19:00, I had to stop shooting with my zoom and I replaced it with my VL58mm f1.4. At 19:15, my friend stopped to shoot with his Nikon FF. I was able to shoot with my old K-7 + fast prime until 19:45 when I went home. And I had decent shots....

Simply a fast lens (ie a fast prime) is a must in low light.
05-14-2015, 07:04 PM - 1 Like   #13
Pentaxian
richandfleur's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,003
As above though, it may not be suitable for the shot you had in mind, as in f1.4 is going to give a narrow depth of field, unless you're back far enough that the subject is past the infinity setting of the lens.


Overall better ISO / low noise ability is something I'd really want in a camera, more so than an ever increasing MP count. You have to be bold to achieve it though, such as Sony's A7s camera.
05-14-2015, 09:02 PM - 1 Like   #14
rfg
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 137
QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
I think the OP meant iso 3200 ...
Yes assume so

To the OP, how are you viewing your photos? If 1:1 then you will see noticeable noise with any crop sensor camera at 3,200. Most of the images posted here are down-sampled to ~1024 pixels on the long edge, and certainly there are a bunch of very nice high iso examples from the K30 in the image thread. Or use the sample photo search tool and select K30 and 3,200 iso. Do you get similar results to these?
05-14-2015, 09:08 PM - 1 Like   #15
Pentaxian
Kozlok's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,668
For ISO 3200, you need software for noise reduction. Shoot in Raw, adjust the luminance noise slider.

Do consider a fast lens. The Sigma 30mm/1.4 is an excellent indoor choice. Shoot it at f2, and it's quite great, and probably 2 full stops faster than your zoom. Any 50mm 1.7 or 1.4 is also great.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
f-stop, iso, k-30, k-50, k30, k30 low light, light, pentax k30, pentax k50, performance
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question about 6MP bodies and low light performance Darley Pentax DSLR Discussion 82 11-16-2013 02:18 PM
DA 17-70 low light performance sany Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 08-09-2011 07:39 PM
K200D low light/high iso performance indytax Pentax DSLR Discussion 22 02-07-2009 07:49 PM
K20D low-light performance Stoosh Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 03-03-2008 03:44 AM
A Low-Light Performance paden501 Post Your Photos! 3 01-29-2008 12:18 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:29 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top