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05-06-2011, 09:34 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Wat? This is so technically wrong, on both counts.

Let's not be nasty about the K-x just to make the K-7 look better. Or vice versa.
Sorry, that wasn't clear. What I meant to say is that the K-x default NR starts at ISO 800, and Medium. This is very heavy NR, and causes an overly smooth plasticky look. Noise is reduced but so is detail.


Last edited by audiobomber; 05-06-2011 at 09:41 PM.
05-06-2011, 10:43 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
K-x default NR starts at ISO 800, and Medium. This is very heavy NR, and causes an overly smooth plasticky look. Noise is reduced but so is detail.
True enough then, especially for JPG (those settings make no difference to RAW).

But many will attest that there really is little IQ penalty with the K-x in turning the High-ISO NR Start Level option off until much higher ISO's.

As I shoot RAW+, I still want some JPG's from the camera, so I have the High-ISO NR threshold set to 3200 ISO, and leave the NR strength set at Low past that point. SOOC JPG results are usually more than acceptable, with no 'plastic' and minimal detail loss. The in-camera Medium and High NR settings may be a different story, but I never need to go there.
05-06-2011, 11:04 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Get the K5. Normally, I would say glass first, but I really think that if you get the K5, you will be set with regard to camera bodies for a long time. The other thing is to try something like Topaz DeNoise and see how you like your photos with it. Its probably the best out there right now and certainly you can shoot up to iso 3200 with the K7 with it (just don't pixel peep).
Hear, hear. Shut off all noise reduction in the camera and use an aftermarket noise reducing app. ( I like the Topaz DeNoise as well ). The computer has a lot more processor power to put into reducing noise without smearing all the detail, and you've got a lot more control over it. If you learn masking in Photoshop or other photo editor ( even Pixelmator if you ahve a mac) you can sharpen the edges and de-noise the tonal areas that show the most noise, and the results will AMAZE you.
05-07-2011, 01:01 AM   #34
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I shoot RAW so I thought the NR doesn't matter.

I use Lightroom 3.4 and the noise reduction is great but still some detail gets lost.

Some said the 43mm f1.9 isn't great for portrait work. Would others agree??

*** Here are some comparison images.

The first two images are K7 images - ISO 1600

The second images are Kx images - ISO 1600

No noise reduction applied.

Attached Images
 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-7  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-x  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-x  Photo 

Last edited by crossover37; 05-07-2011 at 01:08 AM.
05-07-2011, 01:27 AM   #35
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Personally, I tried K-7 and it certainly does not match the k-x IQ. I have repeated this is so many posts (including your previous post). Probably there the expectations mismatch, for some people external NR works but for me, what is lost is lost. Your mileage may vary, but even at ISO 200, k-x rocks.

43mm should be great for full or half length portrait, but may be a bit short for head-shots.

QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
I shoot RAW so I thought the NR doesn't matter.

I use Lightroom 3.4 and the noise reduction is great but still some detail gets lost.

Some said the 43mm f1.9 isn't great for portrait work. Would others agree??

*** Here are some comparison images.

The first two images are K7 images - ISO 1600

The second images are Kx images - ISO 1600

No noise reduction applied.
05-07-2011, 04:34 AM   #36
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Neither one of those photos looks particularly good at 100 percent, but then again, very few people actually print at 100 percent. I would say that you could print both up to A4 size, but I doubt that you could print the kx photo much larger than the K7 one.

As for succesful high iso shooting with the K7. I think it is important to turn off in camera sharpening and be very careful not to under expose.

It is fine to get a new camera, or a new lens, but you can also get by without. Obviously, in "the old days" iso 800 film was pretty grainy and didn't look that great and yet photographers managed. It is possible to get good photos with a K7, even in low light settings.

Edit: I notice that on the K7 photo that the Exif indicates that you shot with a -1.5 exposure bias. That certainly is going to bring the noise out of the wood work in a major way.
05-07-2011, 04:42 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
Some said the 43mm f1.9 isn't great for portrait work. Would others agree??
Quite the opposite. It renders portraits with clarity and distinction. Great for emphasising the character of a face, for head-and-shoulders framing of small groups, and more applications. Remember that on APS-C it works as a short tele.

For women or modelling work you may prefer the FA77 to flatten features.


Ghanaian drummers with FA43

05-07-2011, 05:15 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
<snip>
My concerns are clients will think my camera is not "professional" enough if I keep the Kx.* Some people I photograph have more expensive cameras than I do and I know that's not the issue but in their eyes it might be (even though I have better lenses and more gear, and know how to use it). The final results are what matters but I’m wondering if people will think “hey, you’re charging money for portraits and you’re using a entry-level camera). It's tough decision.
<snip>
Did you get your clients by advertising "My camera's better than your camera"? If they question the quality of your equipment, you should be able to counter with "it's your knowledge, skill, and time that counts. Here look at these images".

05-07-2011, 05:35 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
True enough then, especially for JPG (those settings make no difference to RAW).
That's not quite true. I know that the noise reduction in raw isn't applied until you save to jpeg. What I'm saying is that if you use DCU4 to view your raw file, it will show the NR settings you used in the camera. If you convert to jpeg using the camera's NR settings. I believe most raw convertors do this, the odd exception doesn't.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
But many will attest that there really is little IQ penalty with the K-x in turning the High-ISO NR Start Level option off until much higher ISO's.

As I shoot RAW+, I still want some JPG's from the camera, so I have the High-ISO NR threshold set to 3200 ISO, and leave the NR strength set at Low past that point. SOOC JPG results are usually more than acceptable, with no 'plastic' and minimal detail loss. The in-camera Medium and High NR settings may be a different story, but I never need to go there.
I agree with all that. I use Low as well, starting at ISO 1600 and there's no plasticky look. I use Noiseware standard edition when I need more aggressive NR.

Last edited by audiobomber; 05-07-2011 at 06:18 AM.
05-07-2011, 05:59 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
I shoot RAW so I thought the NR doesn't matter.

I use Lightroom 3.4 and the noise reduction is great but still some detail gets lost.

Some said the 43mm f1.9 isn't great for portrait work. Would others agree??

*** Here are some comparison images.

The first two images are K7 images - ISO 1600

The second images are Kx images - ISO 1600

No noise reduction applied.
The K-7 image looks a little under exposed and focus is soft.

The most important question is: Do you find yourself cropping your images this much for actual work? Does this test = real world use?
05-07-2011, 09:27 AM   #41
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Rparmar - cool, that's good to know. That image is awesome! I love how the 43mm f1.9 renders photos.

-----------------

So the RAW files don't have noise reduction applied right?

The image may be a little soft but the grain is undeniably bad compared to the Kx.

Maybe not everyone will look at images at 100% but a cleaner file is a cleaner file and you can tell the difference when there is a lot more grain, even when not viewed at 100%.

Maybe the image is a little underexposed but when taking pictures, sometimes it happens and I'm afraid if I do underexpose, I will have to risk the high amount of grain.
05-07-2011, 12:34 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Neither one of those photos looks particularly good at 100 percent, but then again, very few people actually print at 100 percent. I would say that you could print both up to A4 size, but I doubt that you could print the kx photo much larger than the K7 one.

As for succesful high iso shooting with the K7. I think it is important to turn off in camera sharpening and be very careful not to under expose.

It is fine to get a new camera, or a new lens, but you can also get by without. Obviously, in "the old days" iso 800 film was pretty grainy and didn't look that great and yet photographers managed. It is possible to get good photos with a K7, even in low light settings.

Edit: I notice that on the K7 photo that the Exif indicates that you shot with a -1.5 exposure bias. That certainly is going to bring the noise out of the wood work in a major way.
I totally agree with that, many pictures now are discarded because they do not look good at 100%. But I do think you can print those pics atleast A3. You just then need to view them at a normal distance, and not look at them while your nose is touching the picture. If you would print both pictures at A3, hang em on a wall and look at them from a NORMAL distance, I do not think you would see any difference.

BTW, I did take a picture of my son today in a cafetaria eating an icecream at ISO2000 with the K7. And it shows less noise than your K-x pic. But then again, I did have excomp set at +1.
05-07-2011, 02:05 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I believe most raw convertors do this, the odd exception doesn't.
Interesting. Maybe DCU does this, but from what I can see of the RAW conversion of Lightroom 3, LR doesn't. Default K-x RAW output on LR is always (for me) nice and finely grained with little evidence of NR at all all the way up to 12800. Hence I do my RAW conversions by default in LR.

DXO Optics Pro v6 (my other favorite RAW processor) is another story entirely - it applies overly aggressive NR (esp luminance smoothing) to K-x RAW output that starts at pretty low ISO's and gets very smudgy and ugly at the highest ISO's, and which is hard to completely turn down. Whether this is a result of picking up the in-camera NR settings and applying them, or the result of DXO's own quirky RAW processing formula, I'm not 100% sure yet. I've asked them about it, and they say it's their own RAW engine doing it, but who knows.
05-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Interesting. Maybe DCU does this, but from what I can see of the RAW conversion of Lightroom 3, LR doesn't. Default K-x RAW output on LR is always (for me) nice and finely grained with little evidence of NR at all all the way up to 12800. Hence I do my RAW conversions by default in LR.

DXO Optics Pro v6 (my other favorite RAW processor) is another story entirely - it applies overly aggressive NR (esp luminance smoothing) to K-x RAW output that starts at pretty low ISO's and gets very smudgy and ugly at the highest ISO's, and which is hard to completely turn down. Whether this is a result of picking up the in-camera NR settings and applying them, or the result of DXO's own quirky RAW processing formula, I'm not 100% sure yet. I've asked them about it, and they say it's their own RAW engine doing it, but who knows.
I think you're right, rawr; I don't see any evidence of NR in my lightroom imports, either, even at HIGH ISO (25000, etc). I actually really like the way the 6400+ images look when converted to black and white. Better than the Tri-X pushed to ISO 1600 I produced back in high school!
05-07-2011, 03:03 PM   #45
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I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that the Samsung sensor used in the K7 (or the previous sensor used in the K20) didn't deliver the high ISO performance that was desired.
If one spends a bit of time reading any forum dedicated to Pentax, one would quickly conclude that high ISO noise was a problem with these two sensors.
I would ask the OP directly, did you not do your homework prior to buying a K7?
If you did, why are you here complaining about it's high ISO noise?
If you didn't, consider it a lesson learned.

Regarding whether the K5 is a better camera, as far as high ISO imaging qualities go, yes, it is a much better camera than the K7. I don't know if it's better than the KX, I've never shot with one.
About the only thing people seem to complain about with the K5 is that the imaging sensor outstrips the abilities of the AF sensor, in that it is possible to use the camera at ridiculously high ISO values, getting usable pictures in light levels low enough that the AF is no longer reliable.
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