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02-19-2017, 01:38 PM - 6 Likes   #1
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The terrible high iso quality of my K3...

Ok so each time a new model come out people always rave of their fantastic high iso performance and how many EV more we get with it. People don't hesitate to say the model is 1 EV, 2EV, why not 3EV better than the previous generation.

When you listen to them, this repeat with each new model. People explaining they need it, that now you don't need fast glass anymore bla bla blah...

But are K5, K30 and K3 that terrible at high iso? Really? Well I got out last night to see the Nice carnival and took a few shots. Each time I give the iso I used and how much exposure I added or removed to get the effective iso. You can always click on the picture to get the full size shoot on flickr, if that interrest you.

In term fo processing, I used DxO. Sensia 100 rendering, quite a bit pushed on contrast/vibrance/micro constrast and used prime for noise removal.

FA77, f/2.5, iso 8000, No exposure correction in post, effective 8000 isos



FA77, f/2.5, iso 2500, +1.3 exposure correction, effective 6400 isos



FA31, f/2, iso 2000, -0.15 exposure correction, effective iso 1600
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FA31, f/2.8, iso 1600, +0.95 exposure correction, effective iso 3200



FA77, f/1.8, iso 2500, cropped to 9MP, + 0.85 exposure correction, effective iso 4500



FA77 f/3.5, iso 2000, +0.9 exposure correction, effective iso 3500



FA31, f/2.5, iso 2000, +1.95 exposure correction, effective iso 8000



This isn't as bad as many want us to think... If you have some capable hardware use it and master it before thinking you always need more. And I don't pretend by far to master my gear.

I can trust 2EV more for K1. sure. Maybe even 1EV for KP/K70 in the right circonstances. But really, do you think theses shots taken at effective 3000-8000 for most would look at good at 12000-25000 isos on latest hardware? I seriously doubt it. No offence to anybody. Some want to thing there more between KS2 or K3 and K70 or KP than between K10 and K5...


Last edited by Nicolas06; 02-19-2017 at 01:59 PM.
02-19-2017, 02:00 PM - 6 Likes   #2
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By the way... Notice my friends are Pentax users (red k30)


02-19-2017, 02:19 PM   #3
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The detail certainly looks good to me. I took quite a lot of photos at 1600 and 3200ISO on my recent trip to Japan. Check whether you have high ISO noise reduction on in the camera. It may be that the camera is reducing the noise? Having said that, I haven't noticed anyone complaining about noise on the K3. I found the noise on the K5ii to be acceptable. The worst camera I had for noise was the K7.
02-19-2017, 02:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
This isn't as bad as many want us to think.
wonderful shots and IQ results.

02-19-2017, 02:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
The detail certainly looks good to me. I took quite a lot of photos at 1600 and 3200ISO on my recent trip to Japan. Check whether you have high ISO noise reduction on in the camera. It may be that the camera is reducing the noise? Having said that, I haven't noticed anyone complaining about noise on the K3. I found the noise on the K5ii to be acceptable. The worst camera I had for noise was the K7.
Sorry dude I was not clear apparently. I am quite happy with my K3 and the pictures it provide, even at high isos

But many aren't and think all theirs issues would be solved if only they broughts the latest greatest... At least that is my point.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 02-19-2017 at 03:00 PM.
02-19-2017, 03:16 PM   #6
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You get very good results, Nicolas. I am glad for any incremental improvements that Pentax can bring in the high iso department. Certainly I don't shoot a lot of really high iso stuff, but when you want to, it is nice to know it is there.

I have been happy with the K3 at high iso, although I will say the dynamic range gets pretty weak and you can get some odd color shifts over iso 6400.
02-19-2017, 03:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Sorry dude I was not clear apparently. I am quite happy with my K3 and the pictures it provide, even at high isos
But many aren't and think all theirs issues would be solved if only they broughts the latest greatest... At least that is my point.
Sure, I got that. I was curious whether the high ISO noise reduction was enabled, because I suspect that some people who complain about noise on the K3 have it turned off. Of course the manufacturer wants to claim that their gear is getting better all the time to encourage sales, but the differences between models aren't always worth upgrading for.
02-19-2017, 04:22 PM   #8
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It took awhile for me to get used to hi ISO on my K3. Like you said though if you expose your shots correctly and do some work in post you can get decent results.

K3 with the Tamron 70-200 at 200mm f3.2 1/60s ISO 5000 handheld.


K3 and DA*16-50 f4.5 ISO 8000 31mm


K3 and DA*16-50 at ISO 8000



I never had a K5 but I know one thing, my K10D was never going to do shots like these.

02-19-2017, 04:46 PM   #9
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I took some pictures the other day on my k5iis in low light conditions, not wanting to use flash, I pushed iso up to 12,800. The pictures came out noisy (grainy), but I ran them through Luminar denoise
filter and it really cleaned them up. Really impressed with the abilities of Luminar in denoising pictures.
02-19-2017, 04:57 PM   #10
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First, those are very nice shots, congratulations.

Second, we have a local say here "A bad ballerina blames the hem of her skirt" which is more or less "A bad workman always blames his tools". And it is not only about ISO... and yes, it is also about me :-)
02-19-2017, 04:58 PM   #11
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Does anyone really say the K-3 is better than the K-5 for noise? If anything people say it's worse. I don't understand your argument.
02-19-2017, 05:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
Does anyone really say the K-3 is better than the K-5 for noise? If anything people say it's worse. I don't understand your argument.
He is saying that people tend to slam the K3 when it comes to noise and are putting forward newer cameras as better. But in his experience, the K3 performs pretty well in high iso situations.

At least, I think that is his intent.
02-19-2017, 05:13 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
Does anyone really say the K-3 is better than the K-5 for noise? If anything people say it's worse. I don't understand your argument.
His argument is that people claim that the high-ISO performance of the K-3 is terrible, so he's posting high-ISO shots taken with a K-3 to challenge that claim.
02-19-2017, 05:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
Does anyone really say the K-3 is better than the K-5 for noise? If anything people say it's worse. I don't understand your argument.
Nobody say the K5 is worse. I just say that K3 like K5 or K30, quite older cameras than K70 and KP are quite capable to achieve great result if you actually use them for the job. To me if your K3 or K5 picture isn't up to snuff in term of noise, this isn't the camera fault. More that you didn't manage to use it to its best... And quite likely that unfortunately the same may happen with the next body you'll buy.
02-19-2017, 05:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Sure, I got that. I was curious whether the high ISO noise reduction was enabled, because I suspect that some people who complain about noise on the K3 have it turned off. Of course the manufacturer wants to claim that their gear is getting better all the time to encourage sales, but the differences between models aren't always worth upgrading for.
The only noise removal applied is by DxO on the Raws. I used the defaults setting just enabled "Prime". I am sure sometbody more experienced than me would do much better

And I know that lightroom for example is also quite capable to handle noise well.

Honestly there I didn't spent time on noise at all. I spent time delete the files I didn't like, to reframe when needed, to correct for exposure/constrast and to select a color profile for the serie. That's it. For high iso, there still no replacement for a good shooting raw + noise removal. Even with the best FF out there.
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