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11-02-2013, 06:08 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
at ISO 51200
I am not worried about anything that happens at ISO 51200.

I've been to ISO 25600 on the K-5 during a night rodeo shoot and it's not pretty either.
I've never shot ISO 51200. If I did on either the K-5 or the K-3, at best I would probably use it for 4x6 prints, not A3.

As Imaging Resource note about the K-5 II in their review of it:
QuoteQuote:
"ISO 6,400 prints a nice 5 x 7, with only minor grain in the shadows.
ISO 12,800 prints a nice 4 x 6, which still is a good size for this ISO.
ISO 25,600/51,200 prints are not usable at any size and are best avoided."


11-02-2013, 06:10 AM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samoht Quote
Starting to get confused now, reading this thread I get the impression that higher MP is a disadvantage and I'll be better off buying a K-5II rather than the K-3 that I was going to buy. Think I need to read a bit more about the K-3 before deciding which to buy.
I wouldn't read too much into it until there are more real world high ISO samples. The difference being demonstrated for me is marginal at best, especially if you downscale images back to the 16mp of the K5. Everything being compared at the moment is from test charts, and to me the difference is marginal at best.

I would work on a priority list of your most important features. For me loosing a little high ISO is fine in return for AF and metering improvements.
11-02-2013, 06:10 AM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
You can set the RAW/FX button to be a toggle for the Shake Reduction! Finally, a physical switch again! I've missed that since my K20D, mainly because I take my camera on and off the tripod or panohead all the time.
Yessss!
11-02-2013, 06:14 AM - 1 Like   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samoht Quote
Starting to get confused now, reading this thread I get the impression that higher MP is a disadvantage and I'll be better off buying a K-5II rather than the K-3 that I was going to buy. Think I need to read a bit more about the K-3 before deciding which to buy.
Ugh. Sorry about that!

It seems my attempt at providing some personal first impressions of the K-3 has upset some of the more technically-oriented folks who have drawn this thread away from "a new owner's first impressions" and made it a "someone is wrong on the internet" crusade!

Be sure to take whatever is posted by *anyone* in this thread with a big grain of salt! (Including me, because although I have a K-3 in hand, I don't have a K-5IIs, nor do I take or print photos of test patterns.) The best way to determine whether a camera is good for *you* is, unfortunately, to actually use it. Dithering about numbers and test results and whether one person had a defective diopter or whatnot really only confuses the issue, which tends to be very personal. It is also very early days for the K-3, as really only one processing software truly supports it (included in the box), and the firmware is v. 1.00.

Me? I'm going to ignore the "when you print it, the noise doesn't matter" crowd, because I sell digital files that have been processed within an inch of their life and are inspected by folks in the FX and design industries down to the very pixel. Not typical, but it's how I make money with my gear. I also have many reasons for not wanting or going "full frame" or switching to another brand, so I ignore those arguments as well. However, because I may have started this whole "noisy K-3" mess, I'll at least re-process my images in the Ricoh Digital Camera Utility 5 and post them.


Last edited by panoguy; 11-02-2013 at 06:30 AM.
11-02-2013, 06:28 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Me? I'm going to ignore the "when you print it, the noise doesn't matter" crowd, because I sell digital files that have been processed within an inch of their life and are inspected by folks in the FX and design industries down to the very pixel. Not typical, but it's how I make money with my gear. I also have many reasons for not wanting or going "full frame" or switching to another brand, so I ignore those arguments as well.
If your work is this critical, why are you shooting with APS-C? Apparently your need for clean high ISO is not as great as your reason for staying with APS-C, and your brand loyalty is greater than you need for clean high ISO.
11-02-2013, 06:39 AM - 1 Like   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
If your work is this critical, why are you shooting with APS-C? Apparently your need for clean high ISO is not as great as your reason for staying with APS-C, and your brand loyalty is greater than you need for clean high ISO.
I really shouldn't respond, but... you're taking it all out of context. This isn't about "clean high ISO" but rather what happens when you push the dynamic range in an ISO 800 (and below) file. My informal comparison images of NR techniques are ISO 800... is that considered "high" today?

Next, as I clearly said, I have my reasons for sticking with APS-C Pentax. Of course, you may consider them unimportant or delusional, but here ya go: I shoot on locations that require lots of hiking around, and I mount my camera on top of a 15 meter pole and shoot 360 panoramas with 5-shot AEB set to +-2 ev. For that I need a small, light camera with good AEB, and decent DR at "medium" ISOs so I can make a good HDR file (from the raws) without long shutter speeds that would get blurred from subtle motion in the pole. Next, I also shoot lots of "backplates" to go with these HDRs, which means I need a good variety of quality prime lenses, but not huge ones or my bag would be a brick. Also, these backplates sometimes end up as billboards or multi-page spreads, so my clients want as many pixels as possible, and I may stitch the backplates together to get images of 80-100MP (time consuming!).

EDIT: Just in case anyone is wondering, here is what an (unretouched and quickly tonemapped) HDR polepano looks like (in Flash format, sorry iOS folks). I know this is a very special use-case (closest to a landscape photographer, which is why AF hasn't been my priority), but I do also use my Pentax bodies to photograph wildlife and family and the occasional architectural oddity. I love the improved AF and overall speed of the K-3, and it was great on Halloween night for "unavailable light" photos of my kids and spooky decorations. The K-5 would've been manual focus the whole time, and while I can reduce noise, I can't fix badly OOF!

Last edited by panoguy; 11-02-2013 at 07:25 AM.
11-02-2013, 06:48 AM - 1 Like   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I really shouldn't respond, but... you're taking it all out of context. This isn't about "clean high ISO" but rather what happens when you push the dynamic range in an ISO 800 (and below) file. My informal comparison images of NR techniques are ISO 800... is that considered "high" today?

Next, as I clearly said, I have my reasons for sticking with APS-C Pentax. Of course, you may consider them unimportant or delusional, but here ya go: I shoot on locations that require lots of hiking around, and I mount my camera on top of a 15 meter pole and shoot 360 panoramas with 5-shot AEB set to +-2 ev. For that I need a small, light camera with good AEB, and decent DR at "medium" ISOs so I can make a good HDR file (from the raws) without long shutter speeds that would get blurred from subtle motion in the pole. Next, I also shoot lots of "backplates" to go with these HDRs, which means I need a good variety of quality prime lenses, but not huge ones or my bag would be a brick. Also, these backplates sometimes end up as billboards, so my clients want as many pixels as possible, and I stitch the backplates together to get images of 80-100MP (time consuming!).

Apparently, however, my "needs" are mistaken, and I'll defer to your pre-judgement.
Your name makes sense now.
11-02-2013, 07:26 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Just in case anyone is wondering,
Impressive. One day (when they improve the resolution, maybe), you should check out the Theta. It would also be perfect for mounting on a tall pole.

11-02-2013, 07:43 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Impressive. One day (when they improve the resolution, maybe), you should check out the Theta. It would also be perfect for mounting on a tall pole.
Thanks! I honestly can't look at that example for very long... there are so many things I want to fix or correct in it (the colors, bad tonemapping, the nadir shadows), but it was never sold to a client so I can actually show it.

I've asked Pentax Canada about getting a Theta to test out, but no response. I want to mount it on a quadcopter!
11-02-2013, 08:03 AM   #85
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I'm not sure this discussion has directly addressed what I think is the critical question around mexapixels and IQ.

Two assumptions:
1) The desire for higher MP count is largely driven by an ability to further crop images
2) For any given format, there's a tendency for higher noise at the pixel level as pixel count increases

So I see a trade-off or balancing act as sensor pixel count increases.... cropping ability vs noise increase.

That brings me to the big question: How much can one crop an image (stated as percentage of original size) to benefit from a 50% increase in pixels displayed while not suffering from the noise degradation of those pixels? In other words, at what point does the benefit of increased resolution start to take a back seat to image noise? The answer I'm sure is different at each ISO, too.

One data point -- as Mr. Pearson has discovered, at ISO 51200, noise has overshadowed resolution without any cropping taking place. At ISO 100, undoubtedly the answer will be much different.
11-02-2013, 07:01 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samoht Quote
Starting to get confused now, reading this thread I get the impression that higher MP is a disadvantage and I'll be better off buying a K-5II rather than the K-3 that I was going to buy. Think I need to read a bit more about the K-3 before deciding which to buy.
I would recommend to either
a) not care, because in an absolute sense the K-3's performance is just fine, or
b) wait for the DxOMark results.

You really don't want to base your decision on these preliminary reports where people are comparing at different magnification settings, different shutters speeds, different white-balance, tone-curves, etc.
11-02-2013, 07:16 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
My first impression comparing the K-3 with the K-5IIs at ISO 51200 is that, printed at A3+, both colour noise and luminance noise of the K-3 are worse than that of the K-5IIs.
It may well turn out that your findings will be confirmed, but AFAIC we don't know much at this stage.

Note that user Brew1brew reported that you didn't use the same shutter speeds. Note that you observed different white-balance. Note that you may be using different tone curve shapes (the tone curves are hidden in the camera profiles). All the above will have an influence on how noise looks like.

If you want to be serious about noise comparisons, I would suggest to
a) use a different RAW converter, such as dcraw, so that you are dealing with less hidden variables (as you do when using ACR), and
b) take spatial resolution into account.

One potential reason for the K-3 files to look noisier may be that Pentax eased up on the noise reduction they perform on K-5 (II) RAW files. That would cause a noisier "out of the box" performance, but would allow more detail to be captured.

Again, I'm not saying that it is impossible for the K-3 to have higher image noise than the K-5 (II) but determining whether that's the case takes a thorough analysis. I personally am happy to wait for the K-3's DxOMark result. BTW, even if it turns out that the K-3's high ISO performance isn't quite as good as the K-5's, there are many other reasons why the K-3 could still be the better choice.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
I would expect Adobe to fine-tune the colour matrices and a few other details for specific models, once they get hold of a camera.
Yes, but this will only give you Adobe's twisted idea of what the colours should look like. I'm deliberately using the term "twisted" because Adobe camera profiles use a "twisted hues" approach, i.e., they change hue values based on luminance values. That's technically wrong, but yields more pleasing images (with "pleasing" being a subjective term).

The embedded profiles already give you Pentax's idea of what the colour matrix should be and if you can do your own ColorChecker Passport ones, all the better. BTW, I personally found I had to manually tweak the results of the automatic ColorChecker Passport camera profile generation. The automatic calibration does not seem to work a 100% for all patches.
11-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
wait for the DxOMark results
Indeed. Since the K-3 has evidently made it to France now, judging from some posts here and on flickr, their tests shouldn't be far away.

But it is with some trepidation that I await their test results. To borrow the phrasing of 1000 Noisy Cameras, 'Pixel-Peepiential Judgement Day' approaches, and the K-3 is about to face Judge DxoMark Dredd.
11-02-2013, 07:19 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Just in case anyone is wondering, here is what an (unretouched and quickly tonemapped) HDR polepano looks like (in Flash format, sorry iOS folks).
Panoguy, you should start a thread to explain how you got this image. It's really really impressive. I'm curious in the technique and software used to create such a marvel.
11-03-2013, 07:36 AM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by 7samurai Quote
Panoguy, you should start a thread to explain how you got this image. It's really really impressive. I'm curious in the technique and software used to create such a marvel.
Oh thumbs up and +1 and all. Please do give some more details. I know this can be done with special equipment but you seem to have not used anything but the camera and software.
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