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03-30-2015, 11:21 PM   #1
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Waddya mean by too much noise?

Greetings,

I am seriously considering going over to Pentax digital photography. I have been doing some research, particularly the Pentax *ist D S. I do not understand what is meant when giving a review, that at certain ISOs, it gets noisy. ????? Please help.

Thanks,

Tonytee


Last edited by Tonytee; 03-30-2015 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Omission
03-30-2015, 11:48 PM   #2
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This might be a useful read:

Digital Camera Image Noise: Concept and Types

Personally, the *ist DS is also pretty old. For not much more, newer 'old' Pentaxes like the lovely K-x are available cheap.
03-31-2015, 03:06 AM   #3
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I had a DS and loved it, but that was a lot of models ago.
Things have moved on sooo far: on the noise front anything newer will be better, and the feature set will be much better too.
I was pretty happy with a lot of the pics I took with the DS but I wouldn't go back to it!
I didn't own anything between the DS and the K5, so I can't comment too much on the intervening models but there will be lots of options better than the DS.
03-31-2015, 03:37 AM   #4
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Below a test shot with the K10D at ISO400. If you look closely, you will see that the texture of the bottles and the sewing machine are not smooth but full of little specks.

Below a 100% crop (meaning a section of the original without resizing) that shows it more clearly.


Personally I find the image acceptable from a noise perspective; but going to ISO800 makes it a lot worse.

Compare it with a modern camera where you will not see any specks at ISO400. Below a shot with the K5 at ISO3200.


Note
Those were just some test shots

For the istDs, you can see the effect of the higher ISOs at Pentax *ist DS Review: Digital Photography Review (only crops).

03-31-2015, 04:52 AM   #5
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The higher the ISO (sensor sensitivity), the more noise you get. Noise are random little spots. They are the size of a single pixel and there are ways to reduce this noise (which have some downsides as well). Nobody notices a little noise, but it can get overwhelming.
In the film days, it used to be film grain and high ISO film had more coarse grain. But back then, you were stuck with just one ISO per roll. With digital cameras, you can choose between many different ISO values. One other thing is that modern camera sensors are much better than older ones, so they can reach higher ISO values, they have less noise at all ISO, and so on.
So I would suggest you get a used K-r or K-30 or K-50. Even a K-200D will be a better choice than the *ist, simply because every generation digital cameras improve a little. The main thing to keep in mind is that you cannot change the sensors. Digital cameras have one sensor and you are stuck with it, for better or worse.
And newer cameras have other perks, like faster performance, more compatibility with modern gear, and so on

Here is a photo to look at:
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/RIMw3dn6doI/maxresdefault.jpg
(its from this video)
See, at 100 it is clean, but at higher values, the photo has noise. And that photo is from a pretty good camera, older cameras will be much worse even at ISO 1600.

But what else does ISO do? It lets you take photos in darker places. So if you are indoors or it is getting dark, you will need to raise the ISO (or use flash, tripod.. there are other ways to take photos in darkness, but raising ISO is the easiest). At low ISO, 100 and 200, there won't be a big difference between older and newer cameras in terms of noise.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-31-2015 at 06:03 AM.
03-31-2015, 05:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rod_grant Quote
I had a DS and loved it, but that was a lot of models ago.
Things have moved on sooo far: on the noise front anything newer will be better, and the feature set will be much better too.
I was pretty happy with a lot of the pics I took with the DS but I wouldn't go back to it!
I didn't own anything between the DS and the K5, so I can't comment too much on the intervening models but there will be lots of options better than the DS.
I still have my DS with me although I haven't touched it for ages. Digital noise is always going to be there, but advancing technology can help on both hardware and software. Generally speaking, if you are shooting at bright sunny day, you probably won't notice any difference since your ISO might be at baseline. Which, if you can tell the noise difference between newer dslr after resize down, you are probably one of the kind human with super sense on eyes. But noise will dramatically increase when ISO goes up. That's where you actually see difference on the technology.
03-31-2015, 06:05 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Do yourself a favour, if you're starting now and looking for a cheaper model, go for the original K-5. There have been improvements in AF speed and accuracy etc. but for what it's capable of in IQ it is still pretty much unsurpassed. And with K5IIs' coming up second hand now, their price is quite reasonable.
03-31-2015, 08:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by photodesignch Quote
I still have my DS with me although I haven't touched it for ages. Digital noise is always going to be there, but advancing technology can help on both hardware and software. Generally speaking, if you are shooting at bright sunny day, you probably won't notice any difference since your ISO might be at baseline. Which, if you can tell the noise difference between newer dslr after resize down, you are probably one of the kind human with super sense on eyes. But noise will dramatically increase when ISO goes up. That's where you actually see difference on the technology.


Yes, that was a long time ago in regards to technology improvements. Cameras since the K-X have been great high ISO cameras and The K-5XX, K-30/50/500 all used the Sony 16MP sensor which is great with high ISO settings. ISO 3200 is still clean whereas ISO 400 - 800 will give you a lot of noise, specs, in older cameras,

03-31-2015, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Personally I think all the hair pulling over ISO noise is overdone. This was shot at ISO 20,000 with a K-5 and still made the PPG...

03-31-2015, 10:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Personally I think all the hair pulling over ISO noise is overdone. This was shot at ISO 20,000 with a K-5 and still made the PPG...
.



Agree, and great pic by the way, but that was taken with the Sony sweet 16MP sensor of which is the same sensor from the list of cameras that I had said in a prior post. Now if you take that pic in a K-7 or older cam, you would be pulling your hair out and wishing it could handle high ISO better.
03-31-2015, 10:12 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Personally I think all the hair pulling over ISO noise is overdone...
...though if you want to hide noise, hair is an excellent place to do so

Green backgrounds, on the other hand, don't do so well


Steve

(BTW...really like the photo...)
03-31-2015, 10:19 AM   #12
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The *ist DS is a nice camera, as long as you keep the ISO down. The K-x has a lot less noise at higher ISOs, double the resolution of the *ist DS, and is available for $150 used. I'm still using the K-x and am quite happy with it. That said, if you can afford it, the K-5 is even better.
03-31-2015, 10:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimC1101 Quote
.



Agree, and great pic by the way, but that was taken with the Sony sweet 16MP sensor of which is the same sensor from the list of cameras that I had said in a prior post. Now if you take that pic in a K-7 or older cam, you would be pulling your hair out and wishing it could handle high ISO better.
I wouldn't have tried the shot with my K-x either. That shot at ISO 20,000 with the K-5 seemed to have the same noise as the K-x at ISO 6400. But it was really all about how much detail to sacrifice to NR.

I'm 'almost' sad to give up the K-5 and 55-300 to my father in exchange for the K-3 and lil'Bigma
03-31-2015, 12:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Do yourself a favour, if you're starting now and looking for a cheaper model, go for the original K-5. There have been improvements in AF speed and accuracy etc. but for what it's capable of in IQ it is still pretty much unsurpassed. And with K5IIs' coming up second hand now, their price is quite reasonable.
What Norm said. The K5 seems to be in a pretty sweet spot for price vs quality. Less capable cameras than the K5 aren't all that much cheaper than it. The newer models have better low-light performance, but it's better than earlier models on that front as well as pretty much everything else.

And the batteries it uses work in newer models, too, in case you upgrade down the line. not a huge deal, but it was nice when I bought a K3 to not have to buy new spare batteries.
03-31-2015, 03:38 PM   #15
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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!
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