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10-09-2015, 08:15 AM   #1
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Why was the High ISO NR a problem on the K3?

I mean in principle I understand this. When I try to reduce noise in PP, the image becomes unsharp.
But why was this a problem with the K3. I checked my K30 and High ISO NR is set to HIGH.
Is it because of the increased resolution?

I am getting a K3. I guess the recommendation is to use Custom High ISO NR.
That is set it to OFF. Is it from 100 to 800 or 1600? Which one will you recommend.
What about rest? 3200 onwards.

Another question is that, will keeping this same settings above on my K30 increase the sharpness of images?

10-09-2015, 09:01 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Why was the High ISO NR a problem on the K3?
Are you referring to the claims made by Ed at Photouniverse on YouTube? I did a controlled series of test shots with my K-3 about a year ago in an attempt to verify his claims. That thread may be viewed at:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/282200-k-3-high-iso-noise-...-pictures.html

My conclusions at the time were that there was little, if any, actual loss of detail below ISO 1600 traceable to the Auto-NR function* and that performance overall may be improved by fine tuning the NR applied in post-processing (Lightroom, in my case). At least, that was the case for RAW. For JPEG, I concluded that turning auto-NR off or a custom profile might be a good idea.

As for your K-30...they are two quite different cameras in terms of sensor and image processor. Conventional wisdom with the K-3 the last I heard, is to set a custom NR profile similar to this:
  • 100 - 1600 NR OFF
  • 3200 NR Low
  • 6400 NR Low
  • >6400 NR Medium


Steve

* I also qualified that conclusion by stating that quality of light might be a consideration. Ed (Photouniverse) lives in Utah where the natural light lends itself to higher contrast overall than the more diffuse light used in my tests. I may have gotten different results had I done my tests under high contrast conditions.

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-09-2015 at 09:15 AM.
10-09-2015, 09:07 AM   #3
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Higher resolution means smaller pixels which means less light per pixel. Plus, the 16MP sensor of the K-30 & K-50 seems to be in a sweet spot of resolution vs. light sensitivity. It took me a while to get used to the K-3 after being spoiled by the K-50.
10-09-2015, 09:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Are you referring to the claims made by Ed at Photouniverse on YouTube? I did a controlled series of test shots with my K-3 about a year ago in an attempt to verify his claims. That thread may be viewed at:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/282200-k-3-high-iso-noise-...-pictures.html

My conclusions at the time were that there was little, if any, actual loss of detail below ISO 1600 traceable to the Auto-NR function* and that performance overall may be improved by fine tuning the NR applied in post-processing (Lightroom, in my case). At least, that was the case for RAW. For JPEG, I concluded that turning auto-NR off or a custom profile might be a good idea.

As for your K-30...they are two quite different cameras in terms of sensor and image processor. Conventional wisdom with the K-3 the last I heard, is to set a custom NR profile similar to this:
  • 100 - 1600 NR OFF
  • 3200 NR Low
  • 6400 NR Low
  • >6400 NR Medium


Steve

* I also qualified that conclusion by stating that quality of light might be a consideration. Ed (Photouniverse) lives in Utah where the natural light lends itself to higher contrast overall than the more diffuse light used in my tests. I may have gotten different results had I done my tests under high contrast conditions.

Yes that is true. I saw that Eds video on youtube.

Even before then I had seen a couple of threads here claiming this notion that their shots were not sharp

I will read thorough your findings

10-09-2015, 09:42 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Even before then I had seen a couple of threads here claiming this notion that their shots were not sharp
When the k-3 first came out there were a number of post complaining about the shots not being as sharp as the k-5/k-50 series. I had issues myself at first and from personal experience these are my conclusions:
1) The higher number of pixels requires better technique. Simply put, the k-3 is a bit like a sports car, things you got away with on the 16mp become noticeable on 24mp. Early reviewers ignored this or were not aware of it.
2) The sensor in the k-3 is different than the one used in the k-5/k-5II/k-30/k-50. We went a long time learning to process for that sensor family and the k-3 is different. Throw out your processing presets and start over. You will get much better results. I was not happy with my k-3 images until I did that, but the issue was my workflow not the camera
3) NR is different on the k-3. Whether that is the sensor profile, new algorithms or what I have no idea. But again forget what you knew from the older sensor and learn the new one. In my case I shoot only RAW so I just have NR turned off and deal with it in post. I also rare shoot at high ISO so I can do that. YMMV.

I have shot the k-x, the k-5 family and now the k-3 and in my mind I am starting to think of sensors not as something fixed but more like different films. You used different processing on different film stock, you need to do the same on different sensors.
10-09-2015, 10:14 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I have shot the k-x, the k-5 family and now the k-3 and in my mind I am starting to think of sensors not as something fixed but more like different films. You used different processing on different film stock, you need to do the same on different sensors.
+1 to this. It was driven home to me when I transitioned from the 6MP CCD to the 12MP CMOS sensor. The downside of the 16MP "sweet 16" being used in so many bodies for so long was that we came to expect a certain performance across the board.
10-09-2015, 11:20 AM   #7
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What are those certain techniques that you need to learn shooting 24MP vs 16MP?

I have 16MP camera and a 36MP camera and both have the same format sensor. Some of my lenses doe a little better on 16MP in terms of sharpness and it is easier to get a handhold shot sharp on 16MP vs 36MP without stabilization. But Pentax has that covered.
10-09-2015, 12:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
What are those certain techniques that you need to learn shooting 24MP vs 16MP?

I have 16MP camera and a 36MP camera and both have the same format sensor. Some of my lenses doe a little better on 16MP in terms of sharpness and it is easier to get a handhold shot sharp on 16MP vs 36MP without stabilization. But Pentax has that covered.
Actually that was going to be my next question? Can someone elaborate on those techniques?


edit: I just noticed this was my 400th post.


Last edited by Culture; 10-11-2015 at 12:59 AM.
10-09-2015, 12:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Actually that was going to be my next question? Can someone elaborate on those techniques?
keep the camera and lens very still, a slight movement is more noticeable with the k3 then with the k5/7 at any iso
10-09-2015, 01:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
What are those certain techniques that you need to learn shooting 24MP vs 16MP?
Not certain techniques, just better technique. You could be rather sloppy with holding, breathing on 16mp but not so much on 24mp. If your technique is good with a solid hold and brace, smooth shutter release, good breath control then you will see little difference. If you are sloppy in any of those areas you might get by just fine @ 16mp but it starts to show @ 24mp.

At least it did for me and others noted the same back when the k-3 first came out. So, nothing special, just do what you are supposed to do but do it right.
10-09-2015, 02:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Franc Quote
keep the camera and lens very still, a slight movement is more noticeable with the k3 then with the k5/7 at any iso
I thought the image stabilization was going to take care of that. Obviously gross movements is another thing but typical shooting that shouldn't be a problem 16MP or 24MP, no?
10-09-2015, 02:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
I mean in principle I understand this. When I try to reduce noise in PP, the image becomes unsharp.
But why was this a problem with the K3. I checked my K30 and High ISO NR is set to HIGH.
Is it because of the increased resolution?

I am getting a K3. I guess the recommendation is to use Custom High ISO NR.
That is set it to OFF. Is it from 100 to 800 or 1600? Which one will you recommend.
What about rest? 3200 onwards.

Another question is that, will keeping this same settings above on my K30 increase the sharpness of images?


The two "Gotchas" with the K3 were the DEFAULT factory setting of the Auto high ISO noise reduction and the DEFAULT factory setting of the AFA mode.


Either of these settings could and would produce randomly unsharp images for no apparent reason. It was the no apparent reason that was unsettling.


Notice that the K-3II comes from the factory with the AF set to AFS not AFA now.


Though High ISO noise reduction still requires you to set a custom curve and take the camera off of Auto.


Basically RAW was not a problem, but JPEGS were where you really had no idea what was going on.


(And I was in Oregon, not Utah and now I'm in Idaho... )


Edward
10-09-2015, 06:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
it is easier to get a handhold shot sharp on 16MP vs 36MP without stabilization. But Pentax has that covered.
You would think so, but not that easy.

QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Can someone elaborate on those techniques?
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Not certain techniques, just better technique. You could be rather sloppy with holding, breathing on 16mp but not so much on 24mp. If your technique is good with a solid hold and brace, smooth shutter release, good breath control then you will see little difference. If you are sloppy in any of those areas you might get by just fine @ 16mp but it starts to show @ 24mp.
What Jatrax said. The K-3 really shows the soft underbelly of the IBIS system. Turn it off and you must have a tripod. With it on, good technique rules the day.


Steve
10-09-2015, 06:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qwntm Quote
(And I was in Oregon, not Utah and now I'm in Idaho... )


Edward
Pleased to meet you Ed. For some reason, I thought you were down around St. George in the Beehive state. I guess if I followed your videos I would have noticed the frequent local Oregon flavor.


Steve
10-09-2015, 06:41 PM   #15
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Once I got my presets in order, I notice no difference whatsoever. With the K-3 I use less sharpening in my presets and turn off sharpening and edge sharpening altogether when necessary. My sharpening with K-5 tends to be in the 30-40% range. With the K-3 in the 10-20% range or turned off altogether. I lose no detail unless I have to turn on noise reduction or otherwise mask noisey images, but that is far from a common practice. And there is never else detail than there would be with a K-5 in the same sized image.

If we are talking about jpegs, I'm out, i have little experience with them.
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