Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-28-2015, 09:50 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Englewood, NJ USA
Posts: 11
K-7 Noise at High ISO and Firmware Update

I just purchased from Ebay a K-7 with 9k actuations with the 18-55 and 50-200mm lenses in excellent condition.

I bought it because of the many glowing reviews that it received but I came across one afterwards that talked about unuseable images for anything above ISO 800.

The review mentioned that Pentax intended to improve noise reduction above ISO 800 with a firmware update to make images cleaner and more useable. However, none of the firmware updates that I found indicate that this was addressed or improved.

Does anyone know if this was done or is this still the K-7 Achilles heel?

Aside from this limitation, the camera in construction, and features, seems to have the best of some of Canon and Nikon's semi-pro or pro cameras combined.

I do not feel I made a purchasing mistake but wanted some of your insights. Thanks.

01-28-2015, 10:05 PM   #2
Senior Member
grog85361's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
One person's "unuseable" is another persons' perfectly acceptable. Enjoy your K-7, use it for the photos you like to make, and be your own judge. The issue of noise is very subjective. Try not to let one naysayer influence your enjoyment of a fine camera. If it is too noisy for you, you now have the opportunity to learn how to manage this limitation. Back in film days, ISO 800 was a big deal, and very grainy!

Last edited by grog85361; 01-28-2015 at 10:07 PM. Reason: lousy spelling
01-28-2015, 10:08 PM   #3
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
Firmware will not change noise behaviour of a sensor. You can check the firmware version of your camera and check how many versions you're out. Press the menu button while switching the camera on.

Adam's thread https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html might be helpful to get better jpegs out of the camera at high ISO.
01-28-2015, 10:10 PM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Manteca, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,653
The K-7 has been regarded as one of the noiseiest cameras made by Pentax. I've owned it for years and have never seen an update that reduces noise. It is your typical Pentax flagship with second to none build quality, but unfortunately you have a noisy camera. That being said you will still capture amazing photos with this camera albeit noisy it's a great body.


Last edited by j2photos; 01-28-2015 at 10:16 PM.
01-28-2015, 10:12 PM   #5
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,770
Have you tested this on your images or are you relying on the internet?

Everyone has a difference tolerance for noise, depending on the ultimate use of the image, your personal preference, how well you expose an image, what the subject is and so on. For example I rarely shoot at 400 ISO on the k-3 and consider that almost unusable for me. But others routinely shoot @ 3200 and get good results.

I would not (and do not) put much faith in internet reviews. They can be a guide but verify the facts in your own situation before making a decision.

Another thought is, when was that review written? Noise reduction technology has made huge strides since the k-7 was released. Lightroom can clean up a remarkable amount of noise and there are even better plug ins available. So perhaps when the review was written it was a problem, but with today's software, not so much.

Anyway, shoot some images and process them and see what you get.
01-28-2015, 10:35 PM - 2 Likes   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Far North Qld
Posts: 3,294
If you bought the K-7 for low light shooting, you bought the wrong camera. But for everything else it's awesome. I had one for 5 years, it was a great camera.
btw: If you go looking for 'noise' you will find it with any DSLR.
01-28-2015, 11:29 PM   #7
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,531
The K-7 is a great camera at low ISO. Teamed up with a prime, it delivers great shots and my K-7 continue to deliver, even as a backup for my K-3.

The K-7 is on the other hand noisy above ISO800. You can always correct (eg Noiseware), but from ISO800-1600, you start loosing a lot of details.

In low light, you need to mate the K-7 with a fast prime (eg f1.4) to keep the ISO at or below ISO 800.

In terms of the body, yes the K-7 is great for handling and body solidity. No surprise since the K-5, K-5ii and K-5 bodies are all based upon the K-7 design!
01-28-2015, 11:41 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Bruce Clark's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Brookfield, Victoria
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,768
The K-7 was my first and only Digital SLR and I reckon even after 55,000 actuations it is still a great camera. It does have a reputation for high noise compared to some other units but as others have pointed out this can be quite successfully treated in PP. If you can learn to live within its limitations you will have a very enjoyable experience with your K-7. I would not agree that images above ISO 800 are all unusable. Sure they may not be suitable for some purposes but his does not mean they all are totally worthless. Attached photo was from my first week with this camera at ISO 800, hand held at 1/4 second shutter speed and not processed in any way except downsized for this upload. This is what a K-7 and the sometimes derided Kit lens is capable of in the hands of a novice.

Go and shoot some pictures at various ISOs in various light conditions, process them and post some results. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-7  Photo 
01-28-2015, 11:43 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Manteca, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,653
QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
The K-7 was my first and only Digital SLR and I reckon even after 55,000 actuations it is still a great camera. It does have a reputation for high noise compared to some other units but as others have pointed out this can be quite successfully treated in PP. If you can learn to live within its limitations you will have a very enjoyable experience with your K-7. I would not agree that images above ISO 800 are all unusable. Sure they may not be suitable for some purposes but his does not mean they all are totally worthless. Attached photo was from my first week with this camera at ISO 800, hand held at 1/4 second shutter speed and not processed in any way except downsized for this upload. This is what a K-7 and the sometimes derided Kit lens is capable of in the hands of a novice.

Go and shoot some pictures at various ISOs in various light conditions, process them and post some results. You may be pleasantly surprised.
I used mine frequently at ISO 1600, but would rarely go above that. So ill agree that 800 is not the ceiling for the K-7.
01-29-2015, 12:02 AM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Bruce Clark's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Brookfield, Victoria
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,768
QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
Attached photo was from my first week with this camera at ISO 800, hand held at 1/4 second shutter speed and not processed in any way except downsized for this upload. This is what a K-7 and the sometimes derided Kit lens is capable of in the hands of a novice.
.
Just for the heck of it I did a quick process of the original in Topaz Denoise.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-7  Photo 
01-29-2015, 04:20 AM   #11
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,217
The biggest thing with the K7 is not to under expose. I usually would have about +0.7 EV dialed in to my exposure compensation if I wasn't sure. As long as you hit your exposure right on, you can use iso 1600 and iso 3200 without too much problem. But bringing up images in post always seemed to bring a lot of noise out of the shadows.

If you shoot jpegs, then Adam's post mentioned above can be helpful. If you shoot RAW and do a lot of high iso shooting, then I would recommend either learning noise reduction techniques in lightroom or, getting a free-standing noise reduction software like Noise Ninja, Topaz Denoise, or Nik Dfine.
01-29-2015, 05:43 AM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,455
Unless you do a lot of low light photography and want perfectly noiseless images the k7 is still a very good camera. I've never really understood quite what's being photographed by so many people that demands high ISO but I spent years using film where anything over 200 ISO was grainy (noisy)
01-29-2015, 08:02 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 440
The k20d has the same internals, I've actually taken a liking to the noise at 800 or 1600 - but for black and white. It has a different look to the the "grain", more film-like, akin to Tri-X - which I like a lot.
For color though it has a lot of chroma noise that's hard to get rid of. Best thing is to expose for shadows so as not to underexpose. For comparison, the 16MP sensor used in most of the recent cams has almost no chroma until you get to 3200, but it achives that with a kinda "splotchy" look vs. the "grain" look of the k20/k7.
01-29-2015, 07:50 PM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,430
I've had a K7 since it came out. My advice is this:

Shoot RAW
ETTR
Fast Primes for low light situations (I personally prefer the M 50 1.7 or the DA 50 1.8)
Try to stay under ISO 1600

You'll be fine.
01-30-2015, 05:00 AM   #15
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
The issue with the K7 is that when it came out, it was the high ISO champ. Want terrible quality at ISO 1600 try a K10

But time has passed it by, the K5 at ISO 5000 is better than the K7 at ISO 1600, but the K7 is not all that bad

K7 using the 1.7x AFA and the K300/4 at ISO 1600,

and 100% crop of the head
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, firmware, images, iso, iso and firmware, k-7, k-7 noise, noise, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K-3 High ISO Noise Reduction and Loss of Detail (With Pictures!!) stevebrot Pentax K-3 19 12-11-2014 07:38 PM
High ISO, noise and better lenses fgaudet Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 02-23-2014 09:29 PM
Pentax K-x High noise, even at ISO 100 mpmetro Pentax DSLR Discussion 9 05-26-2012 11:17 PM
Is this kind of unusually high noise expected for K-x at ISO 400 ? photoleet Pentax DSLR Discussion 38 09-26-2011 11:04 PM
K-5 and High ISO Noise software David Pentax K-5 7 11-24-2010 01:16 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:02 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top