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03-04-2008, 08:20 AM   #1
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K20D noise handling

I'm tired of the Pop Photo test results and people reading it like the bible so here is ACTUAL real life results at high ISO with the K20D no manipulation.

ISO 800 brought back 1.75EV in ACR. Basically massively underexposed then brought back.



ISO 3200:


ISO 4000:


ISO 4000:


ISO 5000:


The totally unusable ISO 6400:


Please someone tell me that these are unusable high ISO images. These are nearly 8X12 in size on screen and when printed you couldn't tell if they were higher than ISO 800. So please feel free and show me how Pop Photo can be right.

03-04-2008, 08:26 AM   #2
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I concur. I haven't shot it much past 1600, but I did make an 11x14 from a 1600 ISO shot in very low light and what little grain that shows up on the screen doesn't show up at all in the print. It's quite usable. Your shots show similar results to mine, even cranked all the way up.
03-04-2008, 08:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
I'm tired of the Pop Photo test results and people reading it like the bible so here is ACTUAL real life results at high ISO with the K20D no manipulation.



Please someone tell me that these are unusable high ISO images. These are nearly 8X12 in size on screen and when printed you couldn't tell if they were higher than ISO 800. So please feel free and show me how Pop Photo can be right.
Unfortunately Chris, these are totally unusable!

I don't know if you noticed but there is a (rather small I conceed) dog in each and every one of them...

You have to redo the test with naked models for us to be completely sure... (man AND woman models would be good to please everyone and determine wether the camera is sex-sensitive or not...)


Anyway, the K20D is a crappy camera... didn't you read the test in Pop-Photo?
03-04-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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must...resist...buying. :-P

Chris, any tests in nightclubs yet? I noticed in your blog that you do that quite a bit. CMOS sensors don't seem to care much about high ISO as long as there is a lot of light...I've run my K10D at ISO1250 w/o any real noise in daytime conditions.

03-04-2008, 09:25 AM   #5
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An important note that I haven't seen anyone point out, from page 78 in the manual:

"Noise Reduction is set to [Strong] when shooting with a sensitivity of ISO
3200 or higher, regardless of the [18. High-ISO Noise Reduction] setting
(p.80) in the [A Custom Setting] menu."

The manual never points out where the high ISO NR starts, but I'm guessing it is at 800. The exif only ever shows if it is on and at what level, not if it did anything (shows on at 100). Presumably the settings that we can change only work with ISO 800-1600(?).

Either way, I agree that they are usable pictures. I'm very happy with my K20D performance. I think the noise is pretty low at high ISOs. But, as I've told lots of people, a noisy picture is better than no picture.
03-04-2008, 09:26 AM   #6
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they look great, but they're not even 4x6' in size.

can you take some shots without in body nr?
03-04-2008, 09:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by attack11 Quote
they look great, but they're not even 4x6' in size.

can you take some shots without in body nr?
dude, why must you bag so hard on the K20D,

go check out the K20D vs 40D thread by Chris, you get full rez pics there. (surprisingly i havent seen you comment on them at all... hmmmm)
03-04-2008, 09:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
dude, why must you bag so hard on the K20D,

go check out the K20D vs 40D thread by Chris, you get full rez pics there. (surprisingly i havent seen you comment on them at all... hmmmm)
huh? why must you pick a fight. 4x6 is 1200x1800, his images are smaller. "on screen size" depends on his monitor, on mine they're not that large. asking for no in body nr is simply to see how it performs. it's like putting on a different lens. notice how i own a k10d, and a bunch of glass. i'm just looking for real world performance examples.

03-04-2008, 11:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
Unfortunately Chris, these are totally unusable!

I don't know if you noticed but there is a (rather small I conceed) dog in each and every one of them...

You have to redo the test with naked models for us to be completely sure... (man AND woman models would be good to please everyone and determine wether the camera is sex-sensitive or not...)


Anyway, the K20D is a crappy camera... didn't you read the test in Pop-Photo?
I agree. Dogs bad. Naked shots good.
03-04-2008, 11:30 AM   #10
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I still question if the NR is applied to RAW files. I know that the CMOS sensor bumps the ISO at sensor level, instead of doing it after the fact like a CCD, which is why noise levels are better overall when ISO is turned up. However, I am not convinced that I am seeing a difference in noise levels at different settings in the RAW file. I will have to run a test using DNG+jpeg later to see the difference.
03-04-2008, 11:56 AM   #11
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Fantastic shots, and low iso performance. I really like your subject too!
03-04-2008, 04:36 PM   #12
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Well I've used 3200 on my istDs and been bloody happy to get the shot, so I would be happy with ANY improvement, and it appears there may be some!

Chris - with regard to the comment above: "Noise Reduction is set to [Strong] when shooting with a sensitivity of ISO 3200 or higher, regardless of the [18. High-ISO Noise Reduction] setting (p.80) in the [A Custom Setting] menu" from the manual, how fast is the camera at applying and saving an image at those high ISOs, ie. do you even notice a time lag. Cold you just keep shooting and not have to wait for the camera? Is it like my istDs after a 8 second exposure which then takes about 30 seconds to de-noise then save? Thanks.
03-04-2008, 05:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Well I've used 3200 on my istDs and been bloody happy to get the shot, so I would be happy with ANY improvement, and it appears there may be some!

Chris - with regard to the comment above: "Noise Reduction is set to [Strong] when shooting with a sensitivity of ISO 3200 or higher, regardless of the [18. High-ISO Noise Reduction] setting (p.80) in the [A Custom Setting] menu" from the manual, how fast is the camera at applying and saving an image at those high ISOs, ie. do you even notice a time lag. Cold you just keep shooting and not have to wait for the camera? Is it like my istDs after a 8 second exposure which then takes about 30 seconds to de-noise then save? Thanks.

Noise reduction settings have no effect on how long it takes to save the image. I just did a 10 second photo and it took no more than 2 seconds to save. It's much faster than a k100d.
03-04-2008, 07:56 PM   #14
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I am unhappy but I must repeat myself:

Do not compare ISO IQ between images scaled to different sizes. Don't. It's useless. Just enjoy the nice dog but draw no conclusions whatsoever. Period.

This is my original statement: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/188192-post19.html.
03-04-2008, 08:12 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Chris - with regard to the comment above: "Noise Reduction is set to [Strong] when shooting with a sensitivity of ISO 3200 or higher, regardless of the [18. High-ISO Noise Reduction] setting (p.80) in the [A Custom Setting] menu" from the manual, how fast is the camera at applying and saving an image at those high ISOs, ie. do you even notice a time lag. Cold you just keep shooting and not have to wait for the camera? Is it like my istDs after a 8 second exposure which then takes about 30 seconds to de-noise then save? Thanks.
QuoteOriginally posted by Romoman Quote
Noise reduction settings have no effect on how long it takes to save the image. I just did a 10 second photo and it took no more than 2 seconds to save. It's much faster than a k100d.
I think you're confusing the "common" Noise Reduction and dark frame exposure. The istDs, K100 and K10 activate the dark exposure on shots longer than 2s. It takes the shot twice, once normally and a second time with the shutter closed, generating a black image from where the noise is subtracted.
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