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10-18-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
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K7 High/low key impact on image noise

Hi all, did a quick search on this, and found nothing, so here goes.

I have in my hot little hands one K7. Noise in Jpg and raw is not impressive relative to the K200d it is replacing.

I am interested in shooting iso 400-800. I'd prefer Jpgs (one of the reasons for picking up this camera), but will still go Raw when needed. I have played around with the low shutter speed NR, and high iso settings (- set to low ). I am using the muted, natural and portrait settings, have distortion and aberation turned on and highlight compensation and DR extension settings off.

I have two questions:

1. The High/Low key setting seems to really have an impact on the visible noise. When I set it back to the negative setting, a LOT of the visible noise seems to disappear (out to 1600 with the muted setting). Does anyone else have comments regarding this issue?
Does anyone have any useful settings for this, and the Contrast settings relative to noise?

2. I usually shoot Raw. What settings in adobe camera raw (I use elements) do people find good at iso 400-800?

Do I need to take it back and buy the KX (the plastic on which creaks BTW).


Last edited by Clarkey; 10-18-2009 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Yes you can set noise reduction to kick in at 400. Operator error...
10-18-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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I don't know the ins and outs of the K-78 - what's this "high key / low key" setting you refer to? You're not referring to exposure compensation, are you?

Aas far as I'm concerned, if one is concerned with image quality at the level to be asking questions like this, one should just be shooting RAW. JPEG is fine for the "easy' shots where you don't have to obsess over these details, but if you are about these details enough to obsess, that's what RAW is for.
10-18-2009, 05:41 PM   #3
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Hi Marc, don't worry, I still will be shooting RAW, just less for some situations where others need Jpgs straight away. Honestly, the jpgs are very good, but I think that they could probably be tuned even better.

There are new drop downs in the picture styles menus; one for the High/low key adj, and one each for contrast highlight and shadow adjustments.
Here is a pic

Given that one of the actions in my RAW workflow is to bring up the Enhance|lighting| Shadows/Highlights (to bring up shadows without bring up noise), playing with the contrast and key settings in particular (in-camera) seems to bring a lot better noise performance.

I'll see what else pops up.

Last edited by Clarkey; 10-18-2009 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Added weblink
10-18-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
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The K-7 allows separate controls for Brightness Boost/Reduction in Bright and Dark areas - hence the High/Low Key terminology. Its a useful JPEG tool, if you chose to make use of it.

At High ISO, reducing the brightness in Dark areas (negative Low Key) reduces the visible High ISO noise in darker areas. The drawback, of course, is that you completely lose some detail in the shadows, as some areas become completely black.

I usually use Natural at High-ISO, with reduced Contrast (-1).

10-18-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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OK, thanks for the response - So, essentially by dialing in negative high/low key, you reduce the tonal range (and detail) in the shadows, if your image detail is more in the low key range?

This is a bit of a nuisance since Pentax's skinny highlight range contributes to images tending to be underexposed into the shadow range. However, If the detail is noisey rubbish anyway I guess it works very well...
10-19-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
Hi all, did a quick search on this, and found nothing, so here goes.

I have in my hot little hands one K7. Noise in Jpg and raw is not impressive relative to the K200d it is replacing.

I am interested in shooting iso 400-800. I'd prefer Jpgs (one of the reasons for picking up this camera), but will still go Raw when needed. I have played around with the low shutter speed NR, and high iso settings (- set to low ). I am using the muted, natural and portrait settings, have distortion and aberation turned on and highlight compensation and DR extension settings off.

I have two questions:

1. The High/Low key setting seems to really have an impact on the visible noise. When I set it back to the negative setting, a LOT of the visible noise seems to disappear (out to 1600 with the muted setting). Does anyone else have comments regarding this issue?
Does anyone have any useful settings for this, and the Contrast settings relative to noise?

2. I usually shoot Raw. What settings in adobe camera raw (I use elements) do people find good at iso 400-800?

Do I need to take it back and buy the KX (the plastic on which creaks BTW).
Didn't notice about high/low key but for high iso noise reducing the in camera sharpness to far left negative will also help on K-7
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