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05-19-2008, 05:51 PM   #1
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Pentax k20d High ISO Photo Gallery

I have seen some really nice pictures from people here using high-iso on the k20d. There is still some thought that the k20d does not perform well at ISO above 1600 (in part due to a popphoto review that characterized the k20d as "unacceptable" above iso 1600)

Well I thought I would start a thread for people considering buying this camera to view, and see just how wrong this assessment is. The idea being that we pool the best of these example shots in one thread.

Only above ISO1600 please. The idea is good examples of performance, and no extreme crops. (People that want to agree with "unnacceptable" can start thier own thread ) Just good useable everyday pictures like most people take or would like to take.

I'll start off:

ISO 2200


ISO 4500


ISO 6400



Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-19-2008 at 06:01 PM.
05-19-2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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Good thread - and a challenge

interesting shots, definitely all useable.
05-19-2008, 08:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sergei Quote
interesting shots, definitely all useable.
Thanks. Sergei can you post a couple of your iso 3200 wedding shots here? Those were beautiful.
05-19-2008, 09:40 PM   #4
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PentaxPoke:

I believe what Pop Photo meant by "unacceptable" was in comparison to the competition. Their results, which, I assume, must have some validity clearly show the K20d (which I proudly own) as lacking at ISOs > 1600. However, if I remember correctly, they only posted results for ISO 3200 in this review. So, I do not know what their assessment is for the ISO range which falls between 1600 and 3200. I do not believe you can infer, from their published review, that they ever said ISOs > than 1600 but < than 3200 are unacceptable on the K20. Do I make any sense?

You have shown us some great shots of high ISO from the K20--kudos! However, these shots will not earn %100 respect from we who analyze them until we see them at original size. Clearly, the effect of shrinking a pic has a directly proportional effect of hiding noise in the pic--would you agree?

But all this is kind of silly. The K20 has image stabilization which surely offsets some of the competition's advantage at higher ISO. We must note we can not say this about the A700 since it has stabilization aboard the body too. In fact, it is generally accepted that the Sony has a slightly better stabilization system.

The fact is, like so many other areas of life, that which is best is not decided in a black and white manner. What I mean is, although there surely are objective criteria by which a camera is judged, there is also, more importantly in my mind, subjective criteria, unique to the heart of the photographer, too.

The K20 offers a superior utility for old lenses. How, precisely, do we score this in the review--clearly, we can not. Why, because its value is determined by the individual photographer, not by some silly test.

I have digressed a bit, but for a purpose and I am steering back to your ISO concerns. Who cares if other cameras scored higher in the ISO test than did the K20? I knew this, but still bought the K20. What you find acceptable, another person will not. For some people, the edge the competition has at higher ISOs is vital, thus making the K20 "unacceptable." I care about high ISO, but I also care about other things as well. There seems to be a bit of an inferiority complex lurking about, but there is no need for it. I think it is good to simply admit the other cameras in the review outperformed the K20 at higher ISOs--IT IS THAT SIMPLE! But who cares! The K20 is still a great camera, capable of producing stunning resolution pics at very large prints.

No human being is perfect; we are all equally flawed--this surely is what makes us interesting and lovable. If we were perfect, there would be no need to be here--correct? Now if we are not perfect, how much further will the things we build be from perfection? This high ISO thing is much ado about nothing! The more we discuss it, the more it truly makes the K20 look like it is hurting.

I can't help but be reminded of the energy-packed rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. I am, for better or worse, a Red Sox fan. It is only recently that I have even known an iota of the "better" side of the coin. For decades I listened to how the Red Sox were just as good as the Yankees, but the facts remained the Yankees nearly always out-performed them. 

I need to wrap this up! Discussions which set out to prove an earlier review about the K20 wrong are, in my eyes, missing out. The camera is a great camera. The camera is not the best performer in every single category--get over it. We need to be happy with what we have, not unhappy with what we don't have. How many years, how much pain, and how much wandering should it take to get to the soul of things?


05-19-2008, 10:08 PM   #5
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Wow. Just...Wow. I don't even know what you are talking about. There was no comparison with other cameras. It was an absolute scale. Ok, wasn't trying to start a philosophical discussion here. Just asked people to post some high iso shots of some real pictures. You know the kind people look at on thier computers or prints, and not blown up to poster size? This is not a scientific comparison here. Some people might like to see what the camera is capable of in the real world. I know when some friends see the shots my camera takes under these conditions they are amazed. Not everyone is a measurebator that wants to know the relative noise of a picture while looking at a poster size pic with a magnifying glass. They want to know how well will that camera take a picture of my kids graduation in a dark gymnasium for example.

So do you have some pictures to share? That was the point of this thread, hence the title "Photo Gallery." Maybe you could start a different thread to discuss all your thoughts above.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-19-2008 at 10:24 PM.
05-19-2008, 10:20 PM   #6
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PentaxPoke:

I believe your inspiration for this post is clear in your words below:



Well I thought I would start a thread for people considering buying this camera to view, and see just how wrong this assessment is.
05-20-2008, 12:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Wow. Just...Wow. I don't even know what you are talking about. There was no comparison with other cameras. It was an absolute scale. Ok, wasn't trying to start a philosophical discussion here. Just asked people to post some high iso shots of some real pictures. You know the kind people look at on thier computers or prints, and not blown up to poster size? This is not a scientific comparison here. Some people might like to see what the camera is capable of in the real world. I know when some friends see the shots my camera takes under these conditions they are amazed. Not everyone is a measurebator that wants to know the relative noise of a picture while looking at a poster size pic with a magnifying glass. They want to know how well will that camera take a picture of my kids graduation in a dark gymnasium for example.

So do you have some pictures to share? That was the point of this thread, hence the title "Photo Gallery." Maybe you could start a different thread to discuss all your thoughts above.
I think the problem with these "tests" is that they only look at *absolute* noise rather than *how* that noise impacts on the photo. In otherwords, they may pixel peep a certain area of a photo and show that there is possibly more noise grain on the K20D than another camera with good high ISO noise suppression, but that the noise may be less objectionable from the K20D.

What I do find appealing about the high ISO image quality of the K20D is that it looks very nice and film like when compared to other cameras high ISO noise. Yes, some may have slightly less noise, but they don't always look all that nice.
05-21-2008, 05:57 AM   #8
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nice shots

Very nice shots can you share the settings on the camera like where the dial was set etc thanks nice work.....

05-21-2008, 08:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DILWORTH Quote
Very nice shots can you share the settings on the camera like where the dial was set etc thanks nice work.....
Thank you. Would you like the exposure settings? I can go back and add those.

Now how about some shots from other folks here? This is supposed to be a "Gallery".
05-21-2008, 11:14 AM   #10
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I don't know if my pictures qualify as good examples, but I am satisfied with the ISO-3200 setting on K20D.

Straight from camera - only crop some and resized to 750 pixels:
Attachment 12622

Selective Noise reduction and resized to 750 pixels:
Attachment 12621

Last edited by Henrik Kristensen; 06-22-2008 at 12:09 AM.
05-21-2008, 11:40 AM   #11
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Great example, nice subject, perfectly exposed, and thank you! Let's keep 'em coming...

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-21-2008 at 12:30 PM.
05-21-2008, 01:05 PM   #12
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what do u mean by selective noise reduction?
05-21-2008, 01:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vlad Quote
what do u mean by selective noise reduction?
Only reducing noise where it matters the most.

In this case I reduced the noise on an entire layer and then erased the noise-reduction in her eyes to maintain detail and sharpness (and maybe the hair as well). The noise was most obvious on the blach parts.
05-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #14
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Sure That Would Be Great Your Shots Look Super Thanks
05-21-2008, 02:27 PM   #15
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Like henrik I am not sure what constitutes a 'good' high iso photo, but I went out last night and set the K20 to 1600 & 3200 and snapped away.
Lens was Tamron 70-300 @ 70mm f4. Handheld.
Here are the shots, converted in lightroom, resized but no pp of any kind.

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 12-27-2008 at 02:07 AM.
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