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01-09-2014, 05:56 AM   #1
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K-3 Noise

Evening all,

So my K-3 showed this afternoon. After running off a few frames I decided to take a look at them in Lightroom. Even at ISO 200; I'm surprised how much noise there is in just normal indoor light.
I downloaded a trial version of DxO Optics Pro and it seems to do a good job of cleaning it up.
So I have two questions;
Is this normal?
Does anyone have any suggested LR Noise Reduction settings to apply on import? I'll buy DxO if I have to; but I'd rather not spend another $100 plus add another step to my workflow.

- Lurch

01-09-2014, 06:15 AM   #2
CDW
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I apply a slight bit of luminance noise reduction in LR. The reality is that it's pretty much a non-issue on prints unless you're using high ISO settings and it appears in areas of solid colors, such as blue sky.
01-09-2014, 06:29 AM   #3
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I use Nik Dfine, just because I have it I guess. With it, I feel like iso 6400 is usable on the K3.




(this is iso 6400 pushed 1/2 stop in post due to underexposure).
01-09-2014, 06:31 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
I apply a slight bit of luminance noise reduction in LR. The reality is that it's pretty much a non-issue on prints unless you're using high ISO settings and it appears in areas of solid colors, such as blue sky.
When you say a slight bit, can you give a starting point on the settings you use?




01-09-2014, 06:33 AM   #5
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Since it is a 24MP sensor, there are a lot more pixels where noise can occur, than there were with previous cameras. Generally speaking, this should not be a problem, because for real use you will either print or make small jpegs. If you do this, a lot of noise disappears. Also, if you are pixel peeping at 100%, every shot will have some noise. Any camera, any ISO (unless the camera has auto-NR, which will also soften the whole image a little)
The other thing to keep in mind is, that noise is one of those OCD things - once you notice it, you cant stop noticing it and it might bother the photographer way too much, while other viewers won't even notice it.
Oh, and one more thing, if you shoot raw and do a lot of post processing, noise might become more prominent. You might want to look at ETTR technique (Expose to the right). By some accounts, this can get the most performance out of a digital camera.
There are also many plugins for NR, like Topaz Denoise, Noise Ninja, and others. But they might be a pain to use. Lightroom has a default NR, but I often turn it down for low ISO to keep more detail in the shot. A little noise never hurt nobody.
01-09-2014, 07:06 AM   #6
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Consider using "Sv" mode to contol your ISO setting (see Manual) and for JPG output, fine tune the custom setting for NR (up to ISO 3200 = OFF, 3200+ = LOW).

I post process DNG images using LR5.3+NIK plug-ins. If you can install DxO and get something pleasing, you have the computing firepower to run LR+... Anyway, NIK's Define will help address noise in shots up to ISO 25800 with good results. Define is one tool I use in the array offered by NIK. It has a slight learning curve, but NIK offers excellent free on-line tutorials. With a little study, you can figure it (them) out.

Cheers... M
01-09-2014, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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This is ISO 8000, a little noisy but not bad


ISO 2000
01-09-2014, 10:30 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
... once you notice it, you cant stop noticing it and it might bother the photographer way too much, while other viewers won't even notice it.
I'm definitely one of those other viewers. Remember, you're seeing 50% more pixels than I am with my K-5ii, so 'more noise' is quite relative. Looking at the images I've seen from the K-3, it's not something that catches my eye at all

01-09-2014, 11:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lurch Quote
Even at ISO 200; I'm surprised how much noise there is in just normal indoor light.
Is this normal?
There should be no visible noise at ISO 200 if the exposure is correct.
01-09-2014, 01:52 PM   #10
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For me it is an illusion that the K-3 is noisier than the K-5. I have not been pixel peeping my K-5, the K-3 yes. Now I looked at my K-5 pics and find them "equally noisy". Time to step back for a while and just shoot. I find that sometimes a ISO6400 shot is great and sometimes a ISO200 is shit. Depends on the subject and how much cropping is done.
My friend has the D800 and at ISO400 it is noisy as hell, but only when looking at 100 %. If you have to crop til 100% then you need a longer lens.

(If your pictures are not good enough, your not close enough...)
01-09-2014, 02:13 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I hesitated to buy a K-3 due to my concern over the noise issue. I read everything I could find on the subject and in the end I ordered one. After using it a bit I did notice some noise in my photos. I even considered returning the camera. Before doing that I decided to try taking some pictures using my K-5 and compare them to pictures taken of the same scene on the K-3. I used the same settings on both cameras. When I looked at the photos on my computer monitor (even when viewing them at 100%) I could not see any significant difference in terms of noise. Since I rarely use ISO settings in excess of 1600 I did not continue my experiment beyond that point. I realize that my ‘experiment’ is hardly scientific yet it helped me to see that, at least for me, the issue of noise was not going to be very different than it had been with my K-5. I’m finding that the K-3 is really a great camera.
01-09-2014, 02:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Appoggiatura Quote
I hesitated to buy a K-3 due to my concern over the noise issue. I read everything I could find on the subject and in the end I ordered one. After using it a bit I did notice some noise in my photos. I even considered returning the camera. Before doing that I decided to try taking some pictures using my K-5 and compare them to pictures taken of the same scene on the K-3. I used the same settings on both cameras. When I looked at the photos on my computer monitor (even when viewing them at 100%) I could not see any significant difference in terms of noise. Since I rarely use ISO settings in excess of 1600 I did not continue my experiment beyond that point. I realize that my ‘experiment’ is hardly scientific yet it helped me to see that, at least for me, the issue of noise was not going to be very different than it had been with my K-5. I’m finding that the K-3 is really a great camera.
Yesterday, i compared the images of k-3 and k-5 II at the same settings(iso(3200), same shutter speed, focal length and lens( 50mm 1.8)). Even after watching the images for 10 -15 mins, i did not see any difference in noise at 100% crop.
01-09-2014, 07:01 PM   #13
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The "K-3 is noisier" argument is faulty. DXOMark says the K-5's and K-3 have equal noise up to ISO 1600. At ISO 3200, the K-5 family get a big injection of non-defeatable raw noise reduction, causing a 1/2-stop gap, which dissipates by ISO 128000. If you equalise the NR, the results will be the same, at every ISO. People need to stop pixel peeping at unequal resolutions.
01-09-2014, 08:43 PM   #14
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FWIIW, Since I stopped worrying about noise with my K-7 it went away
01-09-2014, 08:53 PM   #15
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Perhaps I'm being too anal.

K-3. Pentax-A SMC 50mm F1:2, ISO200, 1/125sec



But that red is full of noise.
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