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01-06-2019, 05:24 AM   #16
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I'd also like to know how your *ist DL "performed better" than the K-3. Could you please show us examples of this?
Certainly, the images you've posted here are differing from both camera shake and misfocusing. That's what's making the blur.
Best in those low-light situations that have a still (static) subject to use a tripod and shoot with lower ISO. If it has to be handheld, then shoot with an ISO that will give a shutter speed of 1/60 or faster (if the lens you use is <100mm in focal length. Hope this makes sense.

01-06-2019, 06:41 AM - 1 Like   #17
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Just for completeness, this is my K3 at iso 1600 with the DA 55-300. Obviously this is a lot better light than in any of the OP's images, but it does say that iso 1600 can be used in the right situations on a K3 without too much of a penalty.

01-06-2019, 07:16 AM - 1 Like   #18
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+people should keep in mind post-processing plays a major role in how good your finished images look. Let's take the above image, the noise looks awful right? Remove color noise, add a little denoise/blur, sharpen the edges, pump the contrast, a little clarity, maybe little vignette and suddenly it looks a lot better.
The automatic processing on phonecameras is good, but in terms of the quality the cameras are far better. It's up to the shooter to edit their images or choose the right settings in camera if shooting JPG.

*Coming from a K50, I know the K3 produces better images at high ISO (6400+).

**Phonecameras are Point-and-shoots: tap the screen and that's it. Real cameras require you to know what your are doing or you'll end up with very bad shots.
For example: Do you ever care about focus when taking pictures with your phone? Not really, right? Well, I made a winter portrait photoshoot today with a 135mmf/2,8. If you miss the focus just by half an inch, the image is useless!!!

***another thing: have you ever zoomed into your phone shots 1:1? They look quite bad.
01-06-2019, 07:47 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by labidas Quote
*Coming from a K50, I know the K3 produces better images at high ISO (6400+).

**Phonecameras are Point-and-shoots: tap the screen and that's it.
I too came from a k50 to the k3. I think the k50 was slightly better at noise at high ISO but I still typically preferred the k3. To be fair without looking at exif I can't immediately identify which camera took what.

Phone camera images can be far more sophisticated and can be controlled quite precisely. I tend to use more manual controls.

Low light phone images have dramatically improved using image composite modes that are all but magic to the end user.

01-06-2019, 09:24 AM - 2 Likes   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
One thing to remember is the phone's taking the picture at maybe f1.8. The ISO might be more than four times lower than with that Sigma at the long end.
I often take advantage of that with my XG-1. for forest mushroom shots etc. the DoF at 2.8 is comparable to to ƒ8 or ƒ16, I didn't work out which... but for exposure it's 2.8 keeping a faster shutter speed for hand held images. I could match these images with a DSLR but I'd have to stop down and use tripod the images in this thread were all hand held. Best tool for the job and all that. If what the author is saying is for some shots the phone might be better and more convenient, there's no argument from me. On the other hand if he's arguing he couldn't take more time and get better with a DSLR then I might have an issue. But as suggested more light might be necessary. A couple of 120 watt equivalent LED flood lights would probably do the trick.

Low light, want 2.8 plus wide DoF? -

One of the examples.
01-06-2019, 09:48 AM   #21
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Thanks everybody for usable hints.

My expectation that green button on K-3 should work better compared withPentax ist*DL but now I understand that maybe this camera should not be usedwith dummy green buton.

I purchased my first Pentax ist*DL DSL back 2004 and taking pictureswith "dummy green button" could not be compared with anysmartphone/iPhone on the market that time (let me try to find those images as wellso I can post it). Differences in image quality Pentax ist*DL DSLR vs phonecamera were enormous. The only problem with Pentax ist*DL DSL wasshooting in low light settings so I was looking forward solving the noise and blurrinesswith K-3.

Now I tried some of your advice using tripod. I don't like to use flash (built in) as it makes nonrealisticimages not capturing natural light in the room. Maybe I need to play with thata little bit more. I corrected exposure to 0, using tripod and used "Av" aswell as "Dummy Green". Lets also compare it with iPhone X (I will also tryto find some images from Pentax ist*DL DSL model 2004 vs phonecam shoots that time):

Comments on image quality? Compared with iPhone? I need to try with RAW format, any hints on simple to use software for this format?
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01-06-2019, 12:22 PM   #22
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Nice fireplace. Anytime I'm on a locked tripod I use the two second delay. That removes any chance of mirror vibration affecting the image. I also use the lowest ISO possible, preferably 100. That gives you maximum dynamic range for shadow detail. Get your histogram up on your back screen review and expose to your histogram. The exposure the camera calculates may not be to your liking. The histogram will tell you if you have the image detail where you want it. That being said, your lighting looks like my daughters basement. I rarely get good photos down there. The issue is, there are basic light requirements that really can't be fudged.

Based on recent comparisons I did I'd work with jpeg as long as you can. You have to be pretty good with raw to match the jpeg engine. From what I've seen it does some spot white balance adjustments and exposure adjustments, my raw processor can't even do. I'd have to export to a second PP program to do what it does.
01-06-2019, 01:13 PM   #23
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The green button is only going to give you what the camera thinks are the best exposure settings for the scene it is metering (measuring to photograph).
The fireplace setting is hard to meter because there are very bright parts of the image along with dark parts. The camera has to decide how to measure the light to work out the exposure. It is best if you as the user intervenes and calculates the settings needed to get the effect you want.

Tripod, longer exposure and lighting the scene adequately to balance out the dark areas: all of this helps to keep the image sharp and well exposed.
Good luck.

01-06-2019, 01:42 PM   #24
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Just regarding the comment about flash making "unrealistic images with no natural light from the room" ..... This is another example of where photographer knowledge and experience comes into play..... Ot course you can balance natural and flash light with your K3, it just needs knowledge and the photographer taking control with the settings and exposure parameters.

Your K3 gives you huge scope for new learning and a world of creative and technically proficient photography is there waiting for you!
01-06-2019, 04:09 PM   #25
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I think it's also worth saying something here in support of phone cameras...

Most current phone cameras have just one fixed lens, or at most (in just a few cases) two. Because of the tiny sensor, the focal length of those lenses to get the necessary field of view is very small, which means that even at a ast aperture of, say, f/2 or better, depth of field is considerable (hence why these lenses don't need an adjustable diaphragm). Plus, the typically wide angle lens and fast aperture allow a slow shutter speed for static subjects and, hence, a low ISO in anything but very poor light. Further still, the image processing software in the phone tends to be quite heavy on noise reduction and sharpening, and might contain clever stuff such as real-time HDR processing of multiple images (perhaps even without the user's knowledge).

For images viewed on large screens or printed at large sizes, the aggressive noise reduction and sharpening won't stand up to close scrutiny. But if they're viewed on a typical laptop or small home PC monitor from sensible viewing distances, perceptually they can look very good indeed - with very little (if any) post-processing by the "photographer" (I put that in quotes, as the phone's camera software is doing a huge amount of the work here).

To that end, if the phone camera's field of view works for you, your creative intent can be realised with the large depth of field and, if necessary, slow shutter speed required to keep ISO to the base level, and the viewing medium is a typical laptop or average (not large) PC display, then it can produce very appealing images. Indeed, there are some situations where the phone camera might even be considered an excellent (even an ideal) tool for a specific job.


The moment you need more creative control - shallower depth of field, different fields of view, good performance at higher ISOs without losing too much detail, interfacing to external lighting etc. and a whole bunch of other creative elements, or if you want to display or print at larger sizes, the phone camera's images will very quickly betray their huge limitations.

I came to the smartphone game late in the day, kicking and screaming against the concept of anything beyond a device that allowed me to make phone calls and send texts As a result, I have an inexpensive Blu Vivo 5R phone, which - as with even the cheapest smartphones - has a built-in camera... in this case, based on a reasonably capable (but by no means special) Sony 13MP sensor, with a wide angle fixed f/2 lens (I can't remember the focal length, but it has a wide field of view). In suitable lighting conditions and accepting limited creative capability and intent, it produces photos that look rather good on a 17" FHD laptop monitor, even at full screen reproduction... perceptually, at least... and often that's what counts for casual viewing. But zoom into those at 1:1 reproduction and they're actually quite horrifying in terms of the detail smudging, noise reduction and over-sharpening. For casual use on web pages, though, they'd look very good...

We can do all the same processing as a phone camera with our DSLR / mirrorless camera images using post-processing software to get the same "phone camera look" at relevant sizes. But the processing in the camera's JPEG engine, and in post-processing software, is much gentler by default...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-06-2019 at 05:51 PM.
01-06-2019, 05:45 PM   #26
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I have both a iPhone 8 plus (which has 2 lenses) and a K-3 with an assortment of prime and zoom lenses. When I get a chance I will try some posts but my impressions comparing my iPhone with my K-3 with my DA 16-85 are:
1. The iPhone takes great pictures, especially casual snapshots but beyond that, it really cannot compare to what I can get with the K-3 and 16-85 combination. The difference really becomes apparent when the pictures are viewed on my 21.5 inch iMac computer. There you can see the difference that a high quality digital SLR can make. Its simple to me; bigger is better. When I am out with both, I use the iPhone for a quick video, or for an image I want to keep on the phone to text to a friend or family or use for wallpaper.
2. I use mostly Av and Tv modes on my K-3 so I can control the key settings to suit my shooting but still maintain a degree of point and shoot simplicity.
3. While my iPhone cannot equal my K-3, its images look every bit as good, maybe even better than what my wife's 2010 Nikon 10MP Coolpix can do in it's fully auto mode. She stopped using the Coolpix and now only uses her iPhone.

Last edited by jddwoods; 01-06-2019 at 05:51 PM.
01-07-2019, 01:16 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by myNevista Quote
Differences in image quality Pentax ist*DL DSLR vs phonecamera were enormous.
Remember that today's phones, like the iPhone, have extremely powerful processors and software tailored to the built-in camera and lens. We're also seeing more and more advanced "computational photography" - e.g the newer phones that (more or less successfully) can emulate a wide aperture and blur the background, or even recreate "missing" data in images. Used in the right way this can produce very nice images, but it's hard to control - just push the button and hope for the best.

For me, using a "proper" camera is all about being in control. I decide what the camera should do and I decide what happens when processing the images on my computer. It does require more knowledge and technique, but that's part of the fun. It also demands a lot more of my time. But when I get it right the results will far surpass any phone camera shot.

That does not mean that I never use my phone for taking pictures, though. It's quite a capable camera. Sometimes it's the only one I have with me - and sometimes it's the one best suited for the situation even if I have other options.

QuoteOriginally posted by myNevista Quote
I don't like to use flash (built in) as it makes nonrealistic images not capturing natural light in the room.
I agree that it's hard to get nice looking pictures with the built-in flash. Placed so close to the lens it will provide a very flat light. I guess it works better if you can manage to balance it with the ambient lighting. Using off-camera flash (or an on-camera flash that can be bounced) can work very well, though, even if it takes quite a bit of practice to get right.
01-07-2019, 01:59 PM   #28
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My K10D takes better pictures in all situations than the 1.3 megapixel camera on my flip-phone.

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