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12-10-2007, 11:44 PM   #1
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Noise - K100D vs. K10D

This was posted in the thread K100D battery life -

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
I'm having a hard time believing you're getting better noise from the K100D vs the K10D - Are you using Firmware version 1.30 in the K10D?

I've seen ISO 3200 shots from a K100D and it seemed like a last ditch effort to use.. So, all things being equal, the K10D at 1600 seemed far better than the K100D at 1600..

Just my expereience so, don't go shooting me.
- since it seemed out of place in that thread - I thought I'd respond in a thread with a more appropriate title.

In theory for the same sized sensor the more pixels, the smaller each photo site/pixel -
and smaller photo sites usually give higher noise (or lower signal to noise ratio).

However this is not quite linear or straight forward.
The more pixels - the more effective the noise reduction -
simply because there is more information to play with.

I took the samples from the reputed reviews of the Pentax K10D and K100D - dpReview and dcResource Page, and placed them side-by-side so that comparison would be easier -

dpReview samples showing noise -




dcResource Page - noise samples -




Looking at these side-by-side - K10D's ISO1600 looks less noisy than the K100D's ISO3200 -
but to me the K100D ISO1600 looks better than the K10D's.

The K10D does do a creditable job on its ISO1600 -
but one can see the softening due to the noise reduction -
whereas I think the K100D does a better job in its balance in retaining detail/definition.

12-11-2007, 07:50 AM   #2
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What I'd like to see someone do is put the K10D in 6Mega-pix mode and compare it to the K100D @ the same ISO levels & lighting levels. My thinking is it'll be the same, as adjacent pixel averaging of noise in the K10D should reduce the overall level.... But I'd love to see the results of someone w/a studio lighting setup, to confirm (or not) that supposition.
12-11-2007, 07:59 AM   #3
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I'm with m8o on this.. Also, I really do not put any faith in the dpreview or dcreview images. I hear they are done under 'controlled' lighting, nothing else. The testing done by DxO Labs seems far more reliable and is more in line with my own experience with the camera. Basically, if your firmware version on the K10D is 1.30 and you have more noise than the K100D at ISO1600, I'd send the unit back 'cuz you have a dud..
12-11-2007, 08:09 AM   #4
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I haven't done any formal tests. I just know that at the same viewing size, I got more images at ISO 1600 from the K100D where the noise didn't bother me than I do with the K10D. I'm pretty happy with the ISO 1250 output though, so maybe it's not fair to say it's a full stop worse.

12-11-2007, 09:05 AM   #5
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Now has anyone tried to do the comparison in raw mode. It's my understanding the internal image processor on the K10D causes the jpeg to come out a bit soft.
12-11-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
I'm with m8o on this.. Also, I really do not put any faith in the dpreview or dcreview images. I hear they are done under 'controlled' lighting, nothing else. The testing done by DxO Labs seems far more reliable and is more in line with my own experience with the camera.
Interesting....

Can you please give a reference link to the DxO Labs tests on the K10D and K100D?

Actual photos taken with the cameras under test are very valid -
afterall that is mostly all we do......

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
Basically, if your firmware version on the K10D is 1.30 and you have more noise than the K100D at ISO1600, I'd send the unit back 'cuz you have a dud..
Again VERY interesting - according to the Pentax Firmware Update page for the K10D -

"Changes to V1.30
1. Correspond to PENTAX DA lens which built-in supersonic motor (SDM System) "

No other changes/improvement were listed.

The previous two changes were -

" Changes to V1.20
1. Correspond to PENTAX REMOTE Assistant 3 "

" Changes to V1.11
1. Correspond to development in the RAW data camera when multiple exposing.
2. When built-in flash is used the luminescence control by the trailing-shutter-curtain sync was corrected. "

be grateful if you can please tell us about the changes in Firmware 1.30 that affects the noise or noise reduction processing?
12-11-2007, 10:45 AM   #7
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v1.3?

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
I'm with m8o on this.. Also, I really do not put any faith in the dpreview or dcreview images. I hear they are done under 'controlled' lighting, nothing else. The testing done by DxO Labs seems far more reliable and is more in line with my own experience with the camera. Basically, if your firmware version on the K10D is 1.30 and you have more noise than the K100D at ISO1600, I'd send the unit back 'cuz you have a dud..
What happened in v1.3?

Apart from introducing support on SDM, I can't remember anything about better high ISO noise figures.
12-11-2007, 01:09 PM   #8
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I suppose V1.30 firmware could do something about noise reduction, but I haven't read anything about noise being addressed in any of the firmware updates.

Looking at the new D3 by Nikon and what they're able to do with noise reduction at ISO6400 (albeit on a full-frame sensor) is encouraging. However, I doubt Pentax will spend their limited resources on updating a camera that was released a year ago. Rather, I suspect any noise reduction improvements are being worked for the upcoming cameras.

I'm encouraged to hear everyone else's experiences that the K10D at least approaches the K100D low light capability. I've already purchased a couple of faster lenses (at least, that was my excuse) to help compensate.

12-11-2007, 05:03 PM   #9
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Personally, for the type of pictures that I get, I don't see any real advantage with either the K110D or K10D...NEITHER of them come out perfect, but both are ok...

Very poor lighting...
Here is a picture of an old church at ISO1600 with K110D


Same church at ISO 800 with K110D


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



Here is a shot at ISO 1600 (max on a K10D) @28mm[/b]


Here is a similar shot still at 28mm but allot closer and ISO is only 1100



Note: Keep in mind that I am a total amateur and don't know what I am doing..I used no tripod...I just point and shoot...These are also two different churches / missions..
12-11-2007, 05:19 PM   #10
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I posted a thread here (I think) and on dpreview a while back with some comparisons. In my very unscientific, subjective experience, I actually prefer the K10D to the K100D at ISO 1600. The K100D is the clear winner at ISO 3200.

There seems to be a fair amount of disagreement on this, which simply tells me that the difference is slight and subject to user interpretation. I find ISO 1600 RAW converted in Lightroom and processed with Noise Ninja to be very usable in most cases.
12-11-2007, 05:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
I posted a thread here (I think) and on dpreview a while back with some comparisons. In my very unscientific, subjective experience, I actually prefer the K10D to the K100D at ISO 1600. The K100D is the clear winner at ISO 3200.

There seems to be a fair amount of disagreement on this, which simply tells me that the difference is slight and subject to user interpretation. I find ISO 1600 RAW converted in Lightroom and processed with Noise Ninja to be very usable in most cases.
I agree with you and I also agree that the K110D and K100Dsuper works better at ISO3200 than does the K10D
12-11-2007, 06:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
I agree with you and I also agree that the K110D and K100Dsuper works better at ISO3200 than does the K10D
I wouldn't be so sure. I've had similar results pushing 1600 by one stop in the K10d. Comparable and maybe better than the 3200 results posted above after applying some noise reduction. IMO, both are pretty crappy though, it's just a question of which is crappier.

It would be nice to see some unaltered tiffs of the various exposures of both cameras. That would at least give us an apples to apples comparison. Too bad I've only got one body.
12-11-2007, 08:56 PM   #13
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I remember being such a noob that I thought it was nice that the camera would be "quieter" at long shutter speeds due to the noise reduction...

The irony is the K100D has one of the loudest of all shutters.

Oh, the same-ISO samples above look better with the K100D, one of a few reasons I hesitate to get the K10D even at a good price.
12-11-2007, 09:02 PM   #14
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oh yea haha I thought my GX-1L was loud. When I fire off the K100D, everyone's head turns. I also found that different lenses modify the flap sound a bit.
12-12-2007, 07:25 AM   #15
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The reference to Firmware version 1.30 is to insure your's is up to date. I say this because some folks had experienced vertical banding and poor low-light performance with the K10D early on. Updateing the firmware, I believe at the time it was 1.10 or 1.20, seemed to fix the issue, so, since it doesn't make sense to download anything but the latest firmware, I mentioned 1.30 instead. If you don't want to download to see if it will fix your camera, that's fine with me.
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