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03-04-2008, 07:02 PM   #1
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Improvements for Landscape Photographers

The K20D seems aimed at landscape photographers like me who are forever chasing better detail and resolution in a small package (much to the chagrin of sports and action photographers).

I don't really believe that Pentax is preferring one segment of the market over another; it's probably got to more to do with technical limitations than anything. However, if Pentax continued their current ways with equipment that suits folks with a similar forte as me, there would be a few improvements in their next high-end offering that I would like suggest:

1) Faster write times. Landscape photographers use long shutter speeds and need to capture moments in time and light that are fleeting (think alpenglow at sunrise/sunset). Waiting 30 seconds for a 30 second exposure to write to card is excruciating when the light is changing rapidly.

2) Bigger, brighter viewfinders. I don't care if it's not FF if I've got the resolution of a K20D. I like smaller, lighter. However, I lust after the viewfinders of the FF cameras (yes, I use the magnifying eyepiece - it's not enough).

3) A liveview that's not a gimmick and actually provides feedback regarding exposure and depth of field that is useful. (However, it must be reliable.)

Give me all of this with a full range of optics and lighter, smaller bodies. Backpacking and climbing landcscape photographers will eat this up.

My two cents; overdue, I might add. Any other landscape/nature photographers out there?

03-04-2008, 08:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeoffreyS Quote
Waiting 30 seconds for a 30 second exposure to write to card is excruciating when the light is changing rapidly.
This doesn't sound right. The time to write to the card is totally unrelated to the exposure time. You're saying the orange card access LED stays on for 30 seconds for one shot?

Should be maybe a second, or at most 2 seconds per image, even if you're writing JPEG+RAW. My K20D takes about 10 seconds to write 5 shots to the card in JPEG(****)+RAW(DNG) format. (Each pair of images is about 34 megabytes.)

Perhaps you have a very slow card? Or perhaps you're in Continuous drive mode and the camera is actually starting on the second shot?
03-04-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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No, if you have the NR for exposures after 1 sec it takes such a long time to save the file. I agree. I hate it too
03-04-2008, 08:19 PM   #4
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Sorry to say, when shooting in RAW at long exposures you will find the write time as long as the exposure (maybe longer due to dark frame subtraction). I use SanDisk Extreme III card or other comparable 130 to 150ms cards.

03-04-2008, 08:51 PM   #5
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That isn't the write time, it is the second equal length exposure used for dark frame subtraction.
The write time will be the same as any other picture.
03-04-2008, 08:59 PM   #6
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Okay, let me state this in as real-world terms as I am able (and my experience is with the K10D here, just to be perfectly clear). A 30 second exposure takes at least as long as 30 seconds before the little orange light goes on and you can squeeze off another exposure! It would be great to decrease that amount of time so that I can capture more of the fleeting moment! Enough said.
03-04-2008, 09:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tyler Quote
No, if you have the NR for exposures after 1 sec it takes such a long time to save the file. I agree. I hate it too
Oh jeez, you are absolutely correct: after a 30-second exposure, there was a 26 second pause (presumably the Noise Reduction) and then about a second for actual card writing. That's truly pathetic.

And you're right: there doesn't seem to be any way to turn off that NR, even if you save ONLY in RAW mode. You can choose between having NR "Auto" or "ON"; not much of a choice. You can turn off the camera immediately after the exposure, but it's smart enough to keep doing the NR before it actually turns off.

So "RAW" isn't really raw, with long exposures.

I was thinking of the High ISO Noise Reduction, which you CAN turn off.
03-04-2008, 09:41 PM   #8
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This is not the same kind of noise reduction that you get that reduces resolution. A better name for this is hot pixel subtraction. All sensors have some pixels that are a little hotter than others. The longer the sensor is on the brighter these pixels get. To get rid of this the camera or you have to take a photo that is just as long as the original photo but in the dark (shutter closed). The camera then knows that every pixel that is brighter then black needs to have that amount subtracted from the same pixel in the original photo. This is not removing random pixels that some algorithm thinks maybe noise but may also be some detail. But to get this the second photo must be the same length as the first so the hot pixels are the same. No way to make it faster. Now this type of noise is most visible in dark photo like night scenes. For daylight it may not be as important so you can try the photos with out the dark frame NR. On the old *istDS you could tune this off but I don’t see any way in the K20D to do it. The best you can try is auto and hope the camera thinks it is not necessary and not use it. Not having the ability to turn this off looks like an oversight to my and if Pentax thinks so they may change this in some later software.


Last edited by DAZ; 03-04-2008 at 09:49 PM.
03-04-2008, 10:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by infosyn Quote
Oh jeez, you are absolutely correct: after a 30-second exposure, there was a 26 second pause (presumably the Noise Reduction) and then about a second for actual card writing. That's truly pathetic.

And you're right: there doesn't seem to be any way to turn off that NR, even if you save ONLY in RAW mode. You can choose between having NR "Auto" or "ON"; not much of a choice. You can turn off the camera immediately after the exposure, but it's smart enough to keep doing the NR before it actually turns off.

So "RAW" isn't really raw, with long exposures.

I was thinking of the High ISO Noise Reduction, which you CAN turn off.
I think you have it backwards, infosyn. The noise reduction on long exposures can be turned off in the Custom Menu. The noise on high ISO cannot be treated in camera, except by very exact exposure. If you turn off noise reduction in the Custom menu, the long write delay will go away. At least that's how my K10D works.
03-05-2008, 12:55 AM   #10
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That's correct. Just perform your noise reduction later with software. If you're photographing lightning for example you can't wait for another 30 secs for NR because you will miss many good shots. For that reason I just live without it and hope that one day they'll improve long exposures with DSLRs to meet the standards we had with even the 70s and 80s model film cameras. Actually a lot of the early film cameras didn't even require batteries for long exposures thanks to a mechanical shutter.

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03-05-2008, 01:12 AM   #11
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The “dark frame” subtraction can be done afterwards with PP, (just take one dark photo to use as the “dark frame”) and then fire away with NR off and zero waiting time.
03-05-2008, 04:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeoffreyS Quote
The K20D seems aimed at landscape photographers like me who are forever chasing better detail and resolution in a small package (much to the chagrin of sports and action photographers).

I don't really believe that Pentax is preferring one segment of the market over another; it's probably got to more to do with technical limitations than anything. However, if Pentax continued their current ways with equipment that suits folks with a similar forte as me, there would be a few improvements in their next high-end offering that I would like suggest:

1) Faster write times. Landscape photographers use long shutter speeds and need to capture moments in time and light that are fleeting (think alpenglow at sunrise/sunset). Waiting 30 seconds for a 30 second exposure to write to card is excruciating when the light is changing rapidly.

2) Bigger, brighter viewfinders. I don't care if it's not FF if I've got the resolution of a K20D. I like smaller, lighter. However, I lust after the viewfinders of the FF cameras (yes, I use the magnifying eyepiece - it's not enough).

3) A liveview that's not a gimmick and actually provides feedback regarding exposure and depth of field that is useful. (However, it must be reliable.)

Give me all of this with a full range of optics and lighter, smaller bodies. Backpacking and climbing landcscape photographers will eat this up.

My two cents; overdue, I might add. Any other landscape/nature photographers out there?
Geoffrey,

I do landscapes, architecture and some studio stuff, with a little concert shooting thrown in. It is because of the better resolution and feature set of the new K20D that I'm selling my K10D's.

The live view is an important feature to me and I hope it is not just a toy on this camera -- for manual focusing on studio shots it should save my back and my patience. For my architectural shooting it should help keep me off my back, if not on my knees.


wll
03-05-2008, 05:26 AM   #13
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You can. Just turn off long exposure noise reduction (dark frame subtraction), and you won't have to wait.
03-05-2008, 06:00 AM   #14
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Pg 34 of the K10D manual.

Noise Reduction - "[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/ALANGL%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/ALANGL%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg[/IMG]Sets whether to use noise reduction in slow speed shooting"
03-05-2008, 11:07 AM   #15
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Geoffrey,

As a landscape, architecture and travel photog - What more could I ask for?

The only thing that ever came up with the K10D was short shutter / high ISO shots with more noise than I liked. I would always adjust the shot to eliminate the noise so I was never left disappointed. The K20D beats that problem.

A few weeks ago I was set on the K20D to make my f4 glass a bit faster with better high ISO performance but now I think I'm gonna drop my dime on the f2.8 glass instead.
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