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08-12-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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K-30 banding noise, aka vertical lines at ISO 1600 and up

Hi,

Before I get into a fisticuffs with my local Authorized Service & Repair Center, I'd like your opinions on this. I'm suspecting a faulty sensor but I'm also mentally prepared that the service guys won't find anything wrong (because they never actually test anything...)

A couple of days ago I noticed a few lines appearing on dark images shot at iso 1600+. This was weird, since I'd shot as high as 6400 a week earlier with no problems (other than normal noise of course). I've successfully replicated the "banding" noise a few times later, but it doesn't happen all the time, but close to 50% on images shot on 1600+, in darker conditions, such as very dark shadows, inside the house with only one light.

I've also tried fiddling with the WB settings, shake reduction and auto focus settings, but none of these have any impact. The lines continue to appear.

Here's a 100% crop of an unedited RAW file shot at iso 1600. Pay attention to the hands of the girl and the chair. Those lines go through the whole image, usually quite near the centre. The more I try to remove them with PP (noise reduction), the more they stand out.

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08-12-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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Its hard to tell but... I'm going to guess this could be normal IF... the image is underexposed and was pushed in RAW. At which point I'd add, can be remedied using a debanding tool such as; Nik Software Dfine or Topaz Denoise.

However, IF... the image it not underexposed and pushed in post, then I'd say this could be a problem. However... I'd ask for a few similar K-30 samples(from other owners) first to compare.

PS. the same can be done with a K-5(any K-5 btw).

Last edited by JohnBee; 08-12-2012 at 04:12 PM.
08-12-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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Don't think it's normal, pushing RAW images in photoshop with my previous cameras, it never came out to have lines no matter how high the ISO was and what settings was used.
08-12-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Don't think it's normal, pushing RAW images in photoshop with my previous cameras, it never came out to have lines no matter how high the ISO was and what settings was used.
Try pushing harder
I can do the same with a K200, K20 and K5 by pushing an ISO1600 RAW 2 stops or more. Then again... I can also shoot to avoid having to do this also. And so I think it all comes down to ones wants and needs.

08-12-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Try pushing harder
I can do the same with a K200, K20 and K5 by pushing an ISO1600 RAW 2 stops or more. Then again... I can also shoot to avoid having to do this also. And so I think it all comes down to ones wants and needs.
Looking at the photo again and you're probably right. I know the K-30 isn't this noisy at high ISO's, but judging from the photo; Extremely noisy, possibly from way underexposing and heavily PP'ing it to expose correctly.
08-12-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Looking at the photo again and you're probably right. I know the K-30 isn't this noisy at high ISO's, but judging from the photo; Extremely noisy, possibly from way underexposing and heavily PP'ing it to expose correctly.
I agree on the K-30's NR performance(very clean). Then again... most of the test I've seen seem limited to OOC JPG and so its likely that were looking at NR quality over rather than RAW performance. To which I'd add, I've found RAW to be be very illusive in this way.

Or I could be completely wrong too. Keeping in mind that this "looks" like shadow recovery banding, but that it could be a defect as well. Tough to say without the original tbh.
08-12-2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
I agree on the K-30's NR performance(very clean). Then again... most of the test I've seen seem limited to OOC JPG and so its likely that were looking at NR quality over rather than RAW performance. To which I'd add, I've found RAW to be be very illusive in this way.

Or I could be completely wrong too. Keeping in mind that this "looks" like shadow recovery banding, but that it could be a defect as well. Tough to say without the original tbh.
I personally don't have a K-30 to test with, but from the images that I have seen, the K-30 have almost zero banding noise through to atleast 12800. (also very limited chroma noise). It was basically limited to little lumina Noise at 6400 and exponentially worse at 12800 and 56000.

As you said it looks like it has been push processed significantly.
08-12-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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You shouldn't see banding at any ISO up to 1600 unless VERY underexposed (which on this sensor would be 5+ stops) and then pushed to get a decent exposure. Anything above 1600 is the camera pushing anyway, so if it is very underexposed AND you're pushing it further you might see banding. But under any normal circumstances you shouldn't any...

08-12-2012, 05:59 PM   #9
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This post seems to ring a bell from a thread I read over at dpreview:

Canon 5d banding ruining another shot, yet again.: Canon EOS-1D / 1Ds / 5D Forum: Digital Photography Review

The OP was pulling the pants down on everybody. So, with no exif data (which can be faked) and no files as reference, who knows, it "could" be the same guy.
Is this even a shot from a Pentax?
08-13-2012, 01:19 AM   #10
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OP here. I'm an idiot.
Just checked the images from my work monitor, which is a proper HP ZR30w and the banding is MUCH less obvious than it is at home. I also checked the the exposure and I have to admit that yes, the images were severely underexposed.

Thank you for your time, I'm gona go sit in corner now and slam my head against the wall...
08-13-2012, 03:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by qwertyazerty Quote
OP here. I'm an idiot.
Just checked the images from my work monitor, which is a proper HP ZR30w and the banding is MUCH less obvious than it is at home. I also checked the the exposure and I have to admit that yes, the images were severely underexposed.

Thank you for your time, I'm gona go sit in corner now and slam my head against the wall...
Don't take it too hard buddy!

I still do stupid stuff.. The other day I was having a freak out about my camera "hanging" I would take a shot with flash... I would hear the shutter close it would make another noise straight after, then nothing. couldn't do anything to make it respond without turning it off and on again. Then after about 5 minutes of freaking out I realised I had left the exposure bracketing on and the first shot would fire ok, then the second shot would be like a 15-20 sec exposure because it didn't have the flash to get enough light.
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