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07-09-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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Too much noise in KM/K2000

Is it only me that finds the noise in KM-K2000 unacceptable? Or am I understanding something wrong?

Below you find a crop of a central part of a picture (slightly out of focus) in ISO400.
Setup:
- K2000 with jpg set to bright and sharpness +2
- DA 40mm
- f3.5
- 1/50 sec

So is it normal to get this amount at ISO400?

I was getting less noise with the K100D when shooting at ISO800 and just a bit more when shooting ISO1600 (vs ISO400 of KM!!!)



07-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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It looks slightly underexposed, which makes the noise in shadows look worse than a properly exposed part of the image. Also, I think that high-iso noise tends to make out of focus areas look even softer than they do with lower ISOs, so the fact that it is slightly out of focus may be visually misleading that the noise is having a bigger negative impact on your photo than it really is. Just my quick thoughts on it.

-Jim
07-09-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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This is the original image, maybe slightly underexpose... but I still think that K100D has at least one stop one stop advantage noise-wise over the KM/K2000:

07-09-2009, 09:28 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by soalle Quote
This is the original image, maybe slightly underexpose... but I still think that K100D has at least one stop one stop advantage noise-wise over the KM/K2000:
If you view a pic from a K2000 & K100D at 100%, of course the K100D will have less noise - fewer pixels are packed onto the same size sensor. However, the K2000 is also (potentially) recording more detail.

I recently moved from a K100D to a K2000. I never did compare the 2 cameras in the proper way - same subject, exposure, etc. However, taking similar shots with the 2 cameras, resizing the photos to ~ 1920x1280 and viewing at 100%, the "noise" is pretty darn similar between the 2 cams, with a slight edge to the K100D.

I seldom shoot jpeg. I dislike the jpeg engine of the K2000; I prefer the K100D's jpeg output.

In all honesty, I've never gotten a properly focused and exposed photo to resemble anything like the horrible example you've posted. If you are consistently getting this kind of output, something is wrong...


Last edited by flippedgazelle; 07-09-2009 at 09:36 PM.
07-10-2009, 02:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by soalle Quote
Or am I understanding something wrong?
In this case you did the following things wrong:
  • "sharpness +2" - higher sharpening makes noise more visible. Same with contrast.
  • underexposed face - proper exposure results in less visible noise
  • not properly focused face - out of focus areas look worse at high ISO, noise can be more visible
  • you are pixel peeping 6MP vs 10MP - of course more noise is visible with more pixels; downscale the 10MP image to 6MP and compare that to other 6MP images

It's very important to focus and set exposure properly, and use proper settings. And view pictures at real application sizes (i.e. monitor or print size, not 100% pixel peeping).

Btw, here is a 100% crop from an ISO1600 shot, JPG straight out from the cam.
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07-10-2009, 03:30 AM   #6
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also check whether shadow compensation function is on, if it is, turn if off.

you will get much better pics, and i believe you will not complain anymore.
07-10-2009, 04:16 AM   #7
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I have always been somewhat bewildered by the need to examine pictures at 100 percent crop. How big does anyone print? If you printed at 100 percent with the K2000, you would have a picture nearly five feet wide. It would be interesting to watch that family album passed around at Christmas. Even professionally publishing at 13X10, in a National Geographic two page spread for example, is rare. For a newspaper, for which I report and shoot, a four column shot is rare and that would be 8 inches across. If you look at magazines and newspapers, you see typically 6x4 and smaller. You will not see picture ruining noise at that level, especially with decent post processing. And on that subject, I would venture to say that ALL published pictures are post processed in one way or another. That is another aversion I have never understood. The idea that a picture must be perfect "straight out of the camera." I use the K2000 and am very satisfied with the high ISO for my purposes, especially for a camera that costs $400. Pictures below were taken at 3200 in low light with the Pentax 50 1.4 prime. First is the scene with noise reduction. Second is the 40 percent crop, that would print at 2 feet wide, and the last is the crop with further post processing, noise and sharpening. Bottom line for me is that the K2000 is a very good camera for the money.

Last edited by tarsus; 12-23-2009 at 06:14 AM.
07-10-2009, 06:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
In this case you did the following things wrong:
  • "sharpness +2" - higher sharpening makes noise more visible. Same with contrast.
  • not properly focused face - out of focus areas look worse at high ISO, noise can be more visible
I do not consider ISO400 as "high ISO".

For the sharpness +2, I guess I have to choose to have either low noise but soft jpeg or high noise but sharp jpeg.... I didn't have this kind of compromise with the K100D

07-10-2009, 06:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mystic Quote
also check whether shadow compensation function is on, if it is, turn if off.

you will get much better pics, and i believe you will not complain anymore.
OK, good point... I have already disabled the D-Range, I'll try to disable also the Shadow compensation to see how it goes...
07-10-2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by soalle Quote
I do not consider ISO400 as "high ISO".

For the sharpness +2, I guess I have to choose to have either low noise but soft jpeg or high noise but sharp jpeg.... I didn't have this kind of compromise with the K100D
400 is not too bad, but once I get to around 800 the noise really starts to pick up. I usually get a lot of color noise patterns with my high iso shots.

your shot even at 400 is underexposed, so might be equivalent to around iso800?

lack of high-iso performance and no weather seal makes me wish i had reconsidered this camera, but for the price it is awesome.
07-10-2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by soalle Quote
Below you find a crop of a central part of a picture (slightly out of focus) in ISO400.
Setup:
- K2000 with jpg set to bright and sharpness +2
That's an issue right there. Shooting JPEG doesn't give you nearly the same lattitude as RAW. And whatever noise might be there in the image is now "cooked" into the picture, and has been sharpened and made more "bright" too by an unfortunate choice of "recipes" for cooking that RAW data. Furthermore, by looking at out of focus areas in particular, you're ignoring the very significant advantage the K2000 gives by providing more detail in the focus area - and it's details that normally serves to drown out noise. Also, as mentioned elsehwhere, you're using the D-range, which increases noise.

QuoteQuote:
I was getting less noise with the K100D when shooting at ISO800 and just a bit more when shooting ISO1600 (vs ISO400 of KM!!!)
I challenge you to prove that by posting a similarly underexposed and out of focus picture, shot using the same noise-enhancing JPEG settings you used here, and blown up to to the same size (eg, much larger than 100%, since the K100D has less resolution). And then doing the same comparison for an *in-focus* area.

As I've said elsewhere, when you conduct the test properly - comparing similar shots at similar sizes, and don't choose camera settings that shoot yourself in the foot - you should find basically no discernible difference at all, except that the K2000 will give you, more detail for the same amount of noise, every time. But if you do end up seeing a slight advantage to the K100D's JPEG engine when using inappropriate settings, I'd further challenge you to reproduce the test using more
appropriate settings, and to try again shooting RAW to remove the different JPEG engines from the equation.

Aside from choosing very inappropriate camera settings if your goal is to reduce noise, I still think your main issue is comparing images at "100%" rather than at the same size. As it is, you're blowing the K2000 image much bigger than you ever did the K100D, so of course oise will be more prominent. It will be more prominent on the K100D if you blew it up that big, too.
07-10-2009, 09:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by soalle Quote
For the sharpness +2, I guess I have to choose to have either low noise but soft jpeg or high noise but sharp jpeg.... I didn't have this kind of compromise with the K100D
Yes, you did. It's inherent in all digital cameras - sharpening in JPEG processing will always sharpen noise too. The fact that you didn't notice it might just be that the K2000's JPEG engine is more aggressive in its sharpening at that +2 (you might find +1 more similar to the K100D). But it's also very likely simply a matter of the K100D not having as much resolution, meaning you never blew the results up as large.
07-10-2009, 10:27 AM   #13
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This may be kinda obvious, but have you tried tweaking the in-camera noise reduction settings? I do believe the default setting is off.
07-10-2009, 10:38 AM   #14
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Despite all the hypes and unrealistic expectations, more MP = more noise given the same iso and ccd size. Shoot raw if you want better quality cos Pentax jpeg is not helping either.
07-10-2009, 10:59 AM   #15
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Dude your subject has a great big hole in his face. Over-zealous Noise Reduction?
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