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03-31-2015, 04:07 PM - 1 Like   #16
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You just need to learn how to take a picture within the limitations of the camera .
Yes it can be challenging , there is little to no room for cropping , and its best to keep the ISO @ or lower than 400 .
You are working with 6.1MP after all .




04-02-2015, 08:54 AM   #17
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Light makes a big difference. If you screw up and have the ISO set high in a well lighted shot, it doesn't seem to cause all that much noise. On the other hand, when you're in a poorly ("dramatically") lighted location and you've cranked the ISO up super high to be able to get the shot at all... that's a different story. But the newer bodies really do a decent job with noise.

This photo isn't great, but if it had been a bit sharper, it would be pretty usable if you don't go too large with it:


--SR71 Blackbird at the AirZoo

(the filename is wrong, part of the reason it's a touch softer than it should be... the camera thought I still had a 100mm macro lens on it, and it was actually the 8mm rokinon fisheye... so shake reduction wasn't correct... but that's irrelevant here).

Once you blow it up to full size, though -- see attached.

But that's at ISO 51,200. Rather extreme example.
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 

Last edited by narual; 04-02-2015 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Fix link, minor text updates
10-26-2015, 04:40 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
noise is grainy and fuzz like when the light is inadequate for a good exposure messing up the clarity and color of the picture taken.......noise was the main reason I upgraded my Olympus E-510 to a Pentax K-50 was the superior noise handling capabilities......in poor lighting there is a MAJOR difference in the quality between the old and the new........good luck with your decision and happy shooting!
Okay, at first I thought I must be on a slow bell, since all of the posts seem to fly in the face of convention. I mean in low light situation, the thing to do would be to lower the ISO Setting. However, reading it all over again, I get what is being said and that is it is predicated on the age of the technology. However, my little pea brain has just come up with a new thought, (which doesn't happen as much anymore) which is how is the shutter speed affected by all of this?

I have gone over my work with the Pentax k100d Super and could not locate any issues with noise. Of course I shoot mostly landscapes, seascapes and city scenes, so if the noise is non-existent, it must be camouflaged. I do a lot of flower macro shooting, so perhaps that is where I should be looking. Thanks again for many helpful ideas.

Tonytee
10-26-2015, 05:32 PM   #19
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If it's dark, higher ISO allows for higher shutter speeds, but the price is the noise ("grain") shown in narual's ISO 51200 picture above.

If you have enough light, you keep the ISO between 100-400 and get no-noise pictures like old4570's ISO 200 picture above.

If you have never increased ISO beyond 400, there is no noise to discover. I recently had a good experience with my K50 and ISO1600 - I was very happy that the pictures looked more like old4570's than narual's, so I agreed with the reviews that said the K50 was excellent with noise (at high ISO).

10-26-2015, 10:53 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jinnax Quote
If it's dark, higher ISO allows for higher shutter speeds, but the price is the noise ("grain") shown in narual's ISO 51200 picture above.

If you have enough light, you keep the ISO between 100-400 and get no-noise pictures like old4570's ISO 200 picture above.

If you have never increased ISO beyond 400, there is no noise to discover. I recently had a good experience with my K50 and ISO1600 - I was very happy that the pictures looked more like old4570's than narual's, so I agreed with the reviews that said the K50 was excellent with noise (at high ISO).
Interesting, higher ISOs creates faster shutter speeds. When I was shooting film, I tried Kodak ISO 800 a couple of times and I was not impressed. The colors were fine, but over all the pics did not look right. The Pentax k100d Super is programmed for Auto ISO, so no worries there. With this camera and a Takumar F 70~210mm lens the maximum ISO will be at 400. Thanks for your assistance. Tony
10-27-2015, 03:48 AM   #21
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I think the big thing is that you use as low iso as you can get away with for a given situation. If you are shooting landscapes on a tripod, then you just set your iso at 100 and probably don't care what your shutter speed is, as long as there isn't much wind. On the other hand, if you are in a dark restaurant or shooting a rock band, then you will need a higher iso in order to get a decent enough shutter speed that you don't end up with a blurry mess, either because of camera shake or subject movement.

Modern sensors don't do too badly, but the biggest things that happen when you move up your iso is you get more noise and the colors start to get washed out. If the light isn't too bad, it won't be as noticeable, while if the photo is really dark, then it can be pretty bad.

This is my son shot at f2.8 and iso 6400 and 1/50 second on a K3. It isn't too bad at web sizes, but if you blew the photo up much, you would notice quite a bit of noise.

10-28-2015, 01:47 PM   #22
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High ISO noise is much more worrisome to us pixel-peeping photographers than it is to those who view and enjoy our pictures. I used to limit myself to ISO 1600 on my K3 and K5, but over the last few months I've shot a good deal at 3200 and over - as high as ISO 10000, in fact (I use TAv mode so the K3 sets the sensitivity based on my preferred shutter speed and aperture). When I'm at my PC developing my photos in Lightroom at 100%, the noise is quite obvious - but with gentle noise reduction (I prefer no more than default chroma of 25 and 15 - 20 lume to maintain sharpness) and viewed at 1:2 from typical distances, it is rarely a problem. Heck, I even shoot at ISO 1600 with my tiny-sensored Panny TZ70, and at normal viewing distances, the pictures look great. It's a sad fact that we've become overly conscious of noise as a result of pixel-peeping (and I was guilty of this until just recently)...
10-28-2015, 02:50 PM   #23
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As an example, this is a crop from a quick snapshot of my K5 taken with the K3 + DA21 at ISO 6400. Not a great photo, it's just something I dug out from recent imports to demonstrate. I added very gentle noise reduction and this is comfortably viewable at 1:2 reproduction ratio even sat just 18" from my desktop screen. In fact, it's perfectly acceptable at 1:1 reproduction if you stand back just a little further - the noise simply isn't an issue (unless you're looking specifically for it!)

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Last edited by BigMackCam; 10-28-2015 at 03:12 PM.
10-28-2015, 03:34 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jinnax Quote
If it's dark, higher ISO allows for higher shutter speeds, but the price is the noise ("grain") shown in narual's ISO 51200 picture above.

If you have enough light, you keep the ISO between 100-400 and get no-noise pictures like old4570's ISO 200 picture above.

If you have never increased ISO beyond 400, there is no noise to discover. I recently had a good experience with my K50 and ISO1600 - I was very happy that the pictures looked more like old4570's than narual's, so I agreed with the reviews that said the K50 was excellent with noise (at high ISO).
I think you have the idea there.

When you take a photo you take care of a few things:

Shutter speed
High shutter speed allow to freeze action and ensure moving subject look sharp and still. On the contrary slow shutter speed allow to show any movement from the subject with potentially blury effect. Notice that because your hands are not perfectly still, if your shutter speed is too slow, it will blur the image randomly and un-esthetically. In such case a tridpod is required.

Here an example of very slow shutter speed, used to hide the cars on the road but only see their lights as long lines:



What is important to understand related tu shutter speed is that the slower the speed, the more light get in. 1/100s let enter twice the light than 1/200s.

Apperture
The apperture define the size of the hole that let enter the light through the length. The wider the apperture (the hole is bigger), the more light pass into the camera and also the less deph of field you get, allowing you to isolate the subject from surrounding environement.This is ofen desired for portraiture. The narrower the apperture, the less light you let in, but the more deph of field you get. This is typically what you want for landscape to have everything in focus and sharp on the picture. This is also what you want typically for macro as for such near subject the deph of field is almost always too small.

Portrait at wide apperture (here f/2.8). Notice that the background is quite blured



Landscape at smaller apperture to get everything sharp an in focus. Here f/8



Correct exposure

Now when you take a picture usually you want the blacks to be blacks and the white to be white and have all colors and variation in between.

If your photograph is over exposed, everything is light tones and potentially some areas are pure white. Except for few asthetics cases this isn't what you want. It simply doesn't look like in reality and is un-pleasant.
If your photograph is under exposed, everything is dark, potentially even some areas are pure black. It is difficult to see any details. Again no realistic and except for some few cases you want to avoid that.

So either yourself in manual mode or the camera in some automatic mode, ensure that the right amount of light get onto the film/sensor. Basically if the photo is too dark, using a wider exposure or setting a longer shutter time will correct the issue. On the contrary using a narrower explosure or shortter shutter time allow to darken the photo.Again the camera can manage it itself by changing the shutter speed, the apperture or both. Until now we are exactly like for film.
Sensitivity


What happen then if you are going out for a walk, at dawn or dusk, the sun is almost gone and you want to take a picture. The camera try to set a wide apperture but your lense is limited to no wider than f/4. So the camera only possibility (or yourself in manual mode) is to select a slow speed. Let say the camera choose a very slow speed 1/10s. You take the picture and it look blured because of your hand shake.

The only solution to keep a high shutter speed so there no blur from the hand shake, is to increase the shutter speed. But there no margin on the apperture that is at it widest setting. What to do? On film you select a roll with more sensitivity say iso 400, it allow to set the speed to 1/40s and the shake is no longer visible.

This is the sensitivity. For film you buy another roll with different sensitivity that can record the image with less light. But usually the result is not as pleasing. Not as natural, no as detailled: this is the noise.

On digital, you can dynamically select the iso to use (or the camera can do it for you).

On modern sensors (in Pentax that's starting from K5 so also K30, K50, K5-II, K3, K-S1, K-S2...) the performance is really really great compared to what you could have been used on film. Iso 1600-3200 iso on such camera give quality that is comparable something like 400 iso on film and anything in 100-800 iso range look almost perfect. If you choose such kind of camera and combine with a reasonnably fast lens then you'll be able to take great picture in many low light situations. In pubs, at concerts, nightscapes, cityscapes, interiors. Without having to use a flash or a tripod. The result may not be always perfect but they will be quite acceptable. In good light with iso 100-800, the result are going to be outstanding with lot of details, more than you typically seen on film.

On older sensors (ist familly, K10, K20, K7) depending of the exact camera and generation the iso performance is not as great. Starting at 800 iso the noise is quite visible. The camera also have less MP and less detail/sharpness (in particular the istD familly). Depending of the exact model the perform is either similar to film or a bit better for iso handling.


What to choose

All that being said, if money is not a huge issue, I'd advise to at least get a K5, K5-II or a K30, K50. Such body are under $300 used and give a lot. High iso and noise was one aspect. But there much more. The autocus is much better, the screen to display the pictures you have taken is bigger, the ergonomics are better... The camera is also resistant to dust and water ingress (light rain...) and also include a stabilization system to counter hand shake and allow to take picture at slower speeds.

It is only if you can't afford to spend that much money that it would make sense to use a quite older model counting all the benefit the new generation bring.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 10-28-2015 at 03:55 PM.
10-28-2015, 04:22 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
This is my son shot at f2.8 and iso 6400 and 1/50 second on a K3. It isn't too bad at web sizes, but if you blew the photo up much, you would notice quite a bit of noise.
And on a 4x6 print, you wouldn't see any at all.

I think those of us who spent years shooting film and were used to seeing grain, a little noise doesn't really bother us much. I especially like to do high ISO B&W shots and try to get the old Tri-X film look which I really like.
10-28-2015, 04:27 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
And on a 4x6 print, you wouldn't see any at all.

I think those of us who spent years shooting film and were used to seeing grain, a little noise doesn't really bother us much. I especially like to do high ISO B&W shots and try to get the old Tri-X film look which I really like.
In fact, I often *add* just a little grain to low ISO shots in LR. Things can look *too* perfect, sometimes
10-28-2015, 04:44 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
In fact, I often *add* just a little grain to low ISO shots in LR. Things can look *too* perfect, sometimes
*I tend to do this for portraiture. I don't like it much for most landscapes/architecture shoots. But it depend.

Still if something look grainy you can't make it sharp. But you can always blur and add grain to a sharp and clean picture. In addition, digital noise doesn't look that great if you didn't managed it with some noise removal tool (LR for example).
10-28-2015, 05:12 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
*I tend to do this for portraiture. I don't like it much for most landscapes/architecture shoots. But it depend.

Still if something look grainy you can't make it sharp. But you can always blur and add grain to a sharp and clean picture. In addition, digital noise doesn't look that great if you didn't managed it with some noise removal tool (LR for example).
Agreed, I wouldn't add grain for landscape or fine detail shots... but for portraits and street photography (among others) I think it can often make a photo look more natural and/or artistic (I love adding grain to photos of vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, or of machinery).

Regarding sharpness on already-noisy images - using LR6, I try to balance sharpening (between 25 and 50, with the minimum useful radius), masking (to omit all but the most important edges) and luminance noise reduction (15 - 20 usually, maybe 25 - 30 on rare occasions) to get an optimal result. I would normally tend towards the lowest possible levels of noise reduction to maintain whatever natural sharpness / detail has been captured. I've never blurred then added grain to increase sharpness - at least, not intentionally - but it makes sense
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