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02-22-2014, 08:20 AM   #1
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K10D and ETTR & High ISO


Previous K-5 user. I am currently a m43 user.

Recently I used a friend's K100D (not Super) body. While I didn't like the viewfinder and general responsiveness of the body (maybe it had to to with the bad-looking after on the body) I was impressed with the colors and the 1600 iso clarity. Here are few examples I took with the body. The images were made with a Pentax A 50mm f/1.2. These are just for giving the camera + lens combo a go, nothing artsy or technical;

These are all shot at ISO1600-f/1.4-1/160 (the kit lens is 1/15) under dim-ish light. I overexposed these shots by +0.3EV (or maybe +0.7, not sure) and then in photoshop I slightly pulled the bright areas and moderately darkened the shadow areas. This method is supposed to yield clear high ISO images in any camera, but I still didn't expect the K100D to provide such clean images. There is some selective sharpening and contrast on the images too. A very very mild amount of NR applied.

The 6MP sensor of the K100D might have something to do with the high ISO too. Seeing this I am thinking of getting a cheap used Pentax body which will not irritate my wallet. Since I will be using it with the only Pentax lens I have, which is a manual lens, I think a K10D with a pentaprism would suit me better with its brighter VF. But since the K10D is 10MP I am not sure about the high ISO performance. But it has more pixels than the K100D and that could be a positive factor too, since size reduction greatly takes care of the noise.

So how will the K10D yield in this process? Or would you recommend me another body?

Any information will be appreciated. Thank you.

02-22-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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I have a K10D, and high ISO can be noisy, but it still has the CCD sensor so the colours are very good indeed. This set on Flickr shows the worst case scenario I have ever faced with the K10D. Bad, mixed, lighting and not much of it. K10D + DA* 16-50. I didn't try to denoise it except with DxO, and this was years ago, so it did not do anything spectacular. The picture made the local paper. There is a full size JPEG in there. Coming from film, as I have, I really don't see the problem with noise. It comes from too much pixel peeping, I think.
02-22-2014, 11:43 AM   #3
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High ISO (800 and 1600) on the K10D sucks by current standards. Both are usable, but it depends on subject. Other than that, the sensor is great.

Here is one at 800 that turned out pretty good (intentionally desaturated):

...and another at 1600:

You can see noise in the out of focus background on both images. Default Lightroom de-noise for both. Missed focus on both...arggg.


Last edited by stevebrot; 02-22-2014 at 12:02 PM.

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