Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-15-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Manila
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,190
Curious about Pentax dynamic range

I usually read reviews at dpreview and dxomark and it's somewhat fascinating to me why Pentax prefers to have better dynamic range covering the lower end of the line. I'm curious as to why a lot of photographers (as the dpreview says) would prefer to have better highlight recovery than shadow, and why Pentax seemingly chose otherwise.

Any ideas?

11-15-2011, 10:43 PM   #2
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,695
Covering the lower end of what line? Cameras or ISO range?
The K-5 has remarkable dynamic range, particularly at ISO 80 and 100, but is exemplary to about ISO 800 to today's sensor standards. The K-x, I feel, was Pentax's break into excellent dynamic range throughout the ISO range all those years ago.

Shadow recovery is important (to me) because a lot of what is done in PP to improve images comes from recovering this shadow detail. Highlight detail is significantly harder to recover when pushed too far in an exposure, as is common for high contrast scenes, like daytime landscapes.
11-15-2011, 10:56 PM   #3
Pentaxian
JohnBee's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: front of computer
Posts: 4,620
QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
I usually read reviews at dpreview and dxomark and it's somewhat fascinating to me why Pentax prefers to have better dynamic range covering the lower end of the line. I'm curious as to why a lot of photographers (as the dpreview says) would prefer to have better highlight recovery than shadow, and why Pentax seemingly chose otherwise.

Any ideas?
I was actually told that all sensors were better suited to shadow recovery than on the highlight end of things(though I can't remember why). I think it has something to do with the sensors ability to collect and store light data or something along those lines.
In any case, based on my own experience, it is far better to preserve highlights and pull-up shadows than it is to pull back highlights in terms of color accuracy. ie. I used to shoot a Fuji S5 Pro which was designed specifically to capture more DR than any other camera at the time. However, highlight recovery was always limited by these horrible false color casts(usually pink) which proved to be completely useless at some point. Though when I pull-up shadows with my K-5(for example) I never get these types of problems. And so for me... the idea of shadow recovery is much better than the other end of the curve.

Hope this helps.
11-15-2011, 11:00 PM   #4
Pentaxian
v5planet's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,913
QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
I usually read reviews at dpreview and dxomark and it's somewhat fascinating to me why Pentax prefers to have better dynamic range covering the lower end of the line. I'm curious as to why a lot of photographers (as the dpreview says) would prefer to have better highlight recovery than shadow, and why Pentax seemingly chose otherwise.

Any ideas?
I have noticed this too, and my guess is that it has to do with taking advantage of the higher signal-to-noise ratio at that end of the dynamic range. If you are pushing up shadows to recover detail you will magnify digital noise, but if you pull back highlights you won't. Although I have seen examples of images shot the K-5 that had recovered sooo much noiseless shadow detail even with several stops of PP exposure adjustments that I'm not sure this is a valid concern anymore.

11-15-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
Pentaxian
v5planet's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,913
QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
I was actually told that all sensors were better suited to shadow recovery than on the highlight end of things(though I can't remember why). I think it has something to do with the sensors ability to collect and store light data or something along those lines.
In any case, based on my own experience, it is far better to preserve highlights and pull-up shadows than it is to pull back highlights in terms of color accuracy. ie. I used to shoot a Fuji S5 Pro which was designed specifically to capture more DR than any other camera at the time. However, highlight recovery was always limited by these horrible false color casts(usually pink) which proved to be completely useless at some point. Though when I pull-up shadows with my K-5(for example) I never get these types of problems. And so for me... the idea of shadow recovery is much better than the other end of the curve.

Hope this helps.
I always shoot to preserve highlights, too, myself, unless an overexposure of the scene is necessary to get a subject exposed decently. I wonder if highlight recovery problems from digital have anything to do with individual -- but not all -- color channels being completely blown. I will often have, for instance, the red channel overexposed, even when green and blue are still fine, and it is not attractive.
11-16-2011, 01:49 AM   #6
Pentaxian
dosdan's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,699
The manufacturer can adjust the exposure reference level to allow more highlight headroom, but doing so also increases the deep shadow noise, so the actual DR remains about the same: it's just a calibration choice (raw) or the amount of bending the manufacturer puts at the top & bottom in the tone response curve (JPEG). If you shoot raw, don't be afraid to set -0.7 EVcomp to -1 EVcomp when shooting high-contrast stuff, as there's a lot of pull-up-abilty of the dark sections in a raw converter with K-5 shots.

Dan.
11-16-2011, 06:32 AM   #7
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
Considering that with the exception of the K20 and K7 which have a samsung sensor, in reality there are only two sensor makers out there today, canon and sony

so there should be no real question about the dynamic range of pentax, it will be the same as sony, and nikon because they all use the same sensors.

How individual manufacturers treat their JPEGs has always been a debate, and not every one agrees with the decisions pentax has taken, relitive to the popular mainstream press (who like those who pay the advertising bills)
11-17-2011, 04:01 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Manila
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,190
Original Poster
Thanks for all the answers. I guess even with basics like DR, Pentax thinks things differently. Like you guys, I also noticed it's easier to get back some lost detail if it's shot to preserve highlights (recently I've been learning a lot from shooting RAW). When my Canikon buddies and I compare shots (usually portraits) they always ask why I'm shooting "to-the-dark" and shrug thinking I'm doing something wrong... come PP and they still think their blown skies and the pale look of the model's face is better than an evenly-detailed image shot from a Pentax.. *sigh*

but anyways, why did C/N favor highlights then, if it's easier to pull back details from shadows?

11-17-2011, 04:27 AM - 1 Like   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
but anyways, why did C/N favor highlights then, if it's easier to pull back details from shadows?
I think someone answered that already; because of the signal to noise ratio. Pulling down an image doesn't increase the visibility of noise; pushing the shadows does -- or did, before cameras like the K-5. So, on a camera like the K-7, I had to try to learn to "expose to the right" -- and I was constantly blowing highlights. I hate blown highlights more than anything, so I just decided to live with the noise. On the K-5, however, you can "expose to the left" quite a bit, and bring up your levels in post to where you want them without noise being as much of an issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
If you are pushing up shadows to recover detail you will magnify digital noise, but if you pull back highlights you won't. Although I have seen examples of images shot the K-5 that had recovered sooo much noiseless shadow detail even with several stops of PP exposure adjustments that I'm not sure this is a valid concern anymore.
11-17-2011, 07:30 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Manila
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,190
Original Poster
Ah, that's why... I see. "digging out details from shadows", I thought v5planet was talking about shooting with more shadow areas increases noise or something. Thanks pentup!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dpreview, pentax, pentax help, photography, range
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K5 and Dynamic Range dmort Pentax K-5 40 08-08-2011 04:31 AM
Pentax k5 dynamic range challenge. ffureel Pentax K-5 15 05-09-2011 02:11 PM
Dynamic Range on the K-x Shahmatt Pentax DSLR Discussion 33 04-22-2010 03:51 PM
Lumolabs: Nikon D700 vs. D5000 vs. Pentax K-x, Dynamic range and noise falconeye Pentax News and Rumors 12 12-18-2009 05:34 AM
Pentax Dynamic Range LeDave Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 11-06-2009 12:29 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:13 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top