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04-10-2016, 08:07 AM - 1 Like   #1
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The High ISO Scam?

It seems as though Hi ISO specs on cameras is now the latest sales gimmick a -la the previous / ongoing mega-pixel war. Bear in mind this is only my view, I mean whats the point of these hi iso specs? the images look ridiculous. For me I would like the advancements to be made at normal or low iso's. Its obvious that cameras still have noise at base iso levels so why are manufacturers seemingly ignoring this end of the scale? As a Pentax newcomer it does seem as if Pentax are rather biased to images of Landscapes and scenery at least as far as their marketing goes. In fact the main reason I have invested in Pentax is because of some of the excellent people images posted by users on this forum. Even looking at the new K-1 lens library the images are not particularly selling it to a portrait photographer like myself. Different lenses with the same subjects. Anyway I have some hope that the K-1 will deliver in the Low- normal iso range as I will never need to go above iso 12000 for what I do.

04-10-2016, 08:14 AM - 1 Like   #2
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A lot of the specs they sell cameras on are worthless to most photographer in practise. I have never used my camera's highest ISO setting, nor am I likely to. Same with frames per second - my fastest is about one frame per ten minutes and I don't care what the camera is capable of. Video - shall never use it.
04-10-2016, 08:20 AM   #3
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I agree that there is a lot of hype about high ISO. How about going below 100? As far as I know (open to correction) only Leica offers DSLR with something less than 100 ISO.
04-10-2016, 08:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
K-1 will deliver in the Low- normal iso range as I will never need to go above iso 12000 for what I do.
12,000?? I very rarely shoot above ISO 400. LOL Image quality is very important to me and I find ISO 800 to be unusable on the K-3. I'm hoping to be able to use 800 or even 1600 on the K-1 but we will see. I realize my requirements are different from others and I do see quite nice images taken at higher ISO's, but for my work I stick to 400 and lower at the moment.
QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
it does seem as if Pentax are rather biased to images of Landscapes and scenery at least as far as their marketing goes.
I would not go by that much, Pentax has not until the K-1 done any marketing for maybe 4 years. The K-1 is the first real marketing campaign I have really since the 1980's. Still, Pentax is billing the K-1 as "field camera" and the feature set should appeal to those who shoot that way.
QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
Anyway I have some hope that the K-1 will deliver in the Low- normal iso range
I have more than hope, same sensor as the D800 I believe so I expect that level of performance or a little better. However, the K-3 already delivers in that range so why the concern?

04-10-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin Quote
I agree that there is a lot of hype about high ISO. How about going below 100? As far as I know (open to correction) only Leica offers DSLR with something less than 100 ISO.


My K5IIs goes to 80 ISO.
04-10-2016, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
Bear in mind this is only my view, I mean whats the point of these hi iso specs?
I consider the usable range of my Pentax K5IIs to be from ISO80 to ISO 12800, anything beyond that requires a lot of cleaning up.

QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
Its obvious that cameras still have noise at base iso levels so why are manufacturers seemingly ignoring this end of the scale?
The funny thing is CG animation studios frequently add noise to their films make them look realistic, Noise is an inherent characteristic of digital imaging. There are people who specialise in Zero-noise photography, but personally I think that approach is utterly pointless.

QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
Even looking at the new K-1 lens library the images are not particularly selling it to a portrait photographer like myself
The Pentax digital 645 cameras do superbly at portraiture, The K-1 with either the FA77mm f/1.8 Limited or FA*85mm f/1.4 should be also excellent for this purpose. However flash sync limits make Cameras such as the Leica S much more attractive for outdoor on-location work than the Pentax 645 cameras. The K-1 with it's 1/200th Sync speed is a step forward in increasing the practicality of using flash outdoors.
04-10-2016, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin Quote
I agree that there is a lot of hype about high ISO. How about going below 100? As far as I know (open to correction) only Leica offers DSLR with something less than 100 ISO.



QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
My K5IIs goes to 80 ISO.
and k5
04-10-2016, 09:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
12,000?? I very rarely shoot above ISO 400. LOL Image quality is very important to me and I find ISO 800 to be unusable on the K-3. I'm hoping to be able to use 800 or even 1600 on the K-1 but we will see. I realize my requirements are different from others and I do see quite nice images taken at higher ISO's, but for my work I stick to 400 and lower at the moment.

I would not go by that much, Pentax has not until the K-1 done any marketing for maybe 4 years. The K-1 is the first real marketing campaign I have really since the 1980's. Still, Pentax is billing the K-1 as "field camera" and the feature set should appeal to those who shoot that way.

I have more than hope, same sensor as the D800 I believe so I expect that level of performance or a little better. However, the K-3 already delivers in that range so why the concern?
I would be happy with that although I believe the D8xx are ISO 64 native.

04-10-2016, 09:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
12,000?? I very rarely shoot above ISO 400. LOL Image quality is very important to me and I find ISO 800 to be unusable on the K-3.
I find the same, but the K3 excels in other areas. I use my Df to 6000 or higher and end up with reasonable results (after DeNoise), but then again it's only 16MP. There are times when being able to shoot handheld is low light is very handy.

I would assume high ISO will get better as sensor technology develops.
04-10-2016, 09:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote

The Pentax digital 645 cameras do superbly at portraiture, The K-1 with either the FA77mm f/1.8 Limited or FA*85mm f/1.4 should be also excellent for this purpose. However flash sync limits make Cameras such as the Leica S much more attractive for outdoor on-location work than the Pentax 645 cameras. The K-1 with it's 1/200th Sync speed is a step forward in increasing the practicality of using flash outdoors.
Agree... 645z seems to be the first Pentax camera with a marketing push towards portrait and studio photography. I have ordered the K-1 with the 77 Limited based upon what you were thinking, should be a nice setup for studio stuff, and dare I say it Capture One tethering would be amazing.
04-10-2016, 09:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
It seems as though Hi ISO specs on cameras is now the latest sales gimmick a -la the previous / ongoing mega-pixel war. Bear in mind this is only my view,
I tend to agree, though would caution that the world has changed a lot in the five years or so decade in regards to high ISO (above 1600) quality and usability. The current claimed top end numbers are sort of silly unless you are shooting for documentation purposes. OTOH, with my K-3, I have no problem allowing auto-ISO with a top end of 6400 for some types of shooting (street or snapshots) and up to 25600 12800 in some cases. The noise is apparent, but cleans up very nicely with available tools. With the K10D I purchased in 2007 anything above ISO 800 was essentially unusable. On the K-3, 800 is the top end of where I will shoot if I am doing fine work and am willing to spend time in PP on noise reduction though I usually shoot at 100 or 200.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-10-2016 at 12:41 PM.
04-10-2016, 09:37 AM   #12
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It looks like the K-1 will give us quite usable high iso images up to 3200. I'm speaking as a very picky person who never shoots over iso 800 with my aps-c camera.

One thing not frequently discussed: Although it looks like the K-1 will give you much better high iso performance than it's aps-c predecessors, you are going to have to stop most lenses down more to deal with the higher resolution. This can effectively cancel the advantage. It depends on the lens and your own critical standards.

I agree about the high iso scam and would never use 12000 or over, unless I was employed as an investigative reporter shooting a difficult subject at night, and that's pretty unlikely!
04-10-2016, 09:38 AM   #13
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In general I agree, but if you like to know your one-in-500 shot is covered then it can be a comfort. Here's an ePM2 crop (~60% crop?) at iso 4k and 200k, straight jpeg, nr set to Low. I think this is one click down from max ISO, exposure = EV3. Not a poster candidate but quite acceptable to me for jpeg.



The Sony 4:3 sensor is yet another sweet-16 winner!
04-10-2016, 09:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
believe the D8xx are ISO 64 native
I have seen that argued both ways (native and not). But I've no idea. I did like the ISO 80 on the K-5 and was hoping to see that on the K-1, or 64, or 50. But alas, no.

Someplace I read something about why Pentax chose 100 ISO instead of the same as the Nikon, but I cannot find it right now. Not sure anymore if it was real info or speculation, though.

I was processing some images last night that I had shot at ISO 2500 on the K-3II. I spent some time with them and out of about 2 dozen I still have 2 that I might send on to the agency, or not. They just are not up to my standards, and though they are really nice shots I may just delete the lot. Just re-enforces my opinion that anything over over ISO 800 is a waste of time.
04-10-2016, 10:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Someplace I read something about why Pentax chose 100 ISO instead of the same as the Nikon, but I cannot find it right now. Not sure anymore if it was real info or speculation, though.
That is my take as well. Some claim that Nikon's digital ISO equivalence is skewed relative to that of other makers. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, IMHO and if a Pentax camera at ISO 100 performs similarly to Nikon product at ~1/4 stop lower, that is fine with me.


Steve
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