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11-20-2009, 12:44 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by wll Quote
Here is a shot at 12,800 ISO with the K-x shot at about 1/15 as I remember, in a corner of my living room. Crappy light, hand held. Blows every Pentax I have had out of the water in the low noise department. This photo is untouched, as it came out of the camera.

http://photos.imageevent.com/wlleven/k10dtest/downloadphotos/Front%20Room%20...0Untouched.jpg


wll
Impressive, to say the least!
JP

11-20-2009, 12:45 PM   #47
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I'm waiting for the first prints from the K-7 (due very soon) ... but unfortunately none are ISO3200 or even ISO1600 for that matter. But judging from the acceptable prints that came from the K10D @ ISO1600 I'm guessing things can only look better on the K-7 @ ISO3200. Paper can hide a lot of "defects" like CA, noise, etc.
11-20-2009, 12:49 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by kunik Quote
To be fair the megapixel race was relevant up to a point. For me 10MP was the end of the race because at that point you had plenty of resolution to do some serious cropping and still get a good picture.

The ISO race is similar in that people will on occasion shoot insanely high ISO's and when they do so they will appreciate a camera with lower noise.

What these two things have in common, though, is that they are both appreciated as much by people who are making mistakes in their photography as by the true professionals who shoot under exceptional circumstances and need those extreme resolution values. With the megapixel race if *I* had taken the photo with the correct framing in the first place then I would not need to crop. With ISO performance people need to realize that once they hit a certain point they may be overlooking some of their photographic techniques (like the use of flash, aperture and shutter speed). Without going into detailed description of what I mean I'll just say that not ALL sports photos need to be taken at > 1/1000

Of course there ARE exceptions which is why you can get a 50MP PhaseOne Medium format camera and why you can shoot comfortably at ISO 6400 on a D3. But MOST of the complaining about ISO noise can be attributed more to either user error or just simply wanting to "keep up with the Jones".

So for me the "Clean ISO in an APS-C Camera" race ends at ISO 1600 or 3200. Since this is a photography forum with a lot more talk than pictures here are my examples:

This shot was taken with a Canon 1D (under stadium lights) at ISO 3200; F2.8, 1/1000. Granted it was taken with a Canon but the point is it was ONLY at ISO 3200... so people are talking about how great a camera is at ISO 12,800 and I'm not sure why they need it?


This one from the Pentax (same game) is not quite as good (ISO 3200, F2.8, 1/800) but it is not a professional sports camera and it cost less than 1/4 as much as the Canon. Still - I wouldn't mind seeing a slight improvement in the next generation. Maybe they could consider a new 10MP model camera with improved ISO?


A funny thing is that I had to go WAY back to last May to find photos I had taken at ISO 3200.
I like the comparison you present here, and thank you for that.
The K7 shot might not be as good as the one with the Canon, however, and since I never shoot at 3200 ISO, this at least shows that at 1600-2000ISO, the K7 would perform rather well, in my humble opinion.
Thanks again for this very good comparison.
JP
11-20-2009, 12:52 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
I've not noticed any real difference between my K20D and my K-7 with regard to noise, though I don't make a habit of shooting high ISO with either of them. In the dark I use flash, in dim light I use fast lenses and don't go higher than 1600, because I know if I do with EITHER of them I'll get nasty results. To my eye, the K-7 produces a somewhat more film-like grain than the K20D, with less chroma noise as well. That's nice to me.

Anyway, I've ordered a K-x for lightweight/street/low light shooting, and I probably won't have to worry about the noise issue again until Pentax gets the bright idea to put the K-x sensor in the K-7 body.

...or releases a FF camera.
I suppose we all would wish for a hybrid K7-Kx-K20D.
JP

11-20-2009, 12:54 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
I own the K10D and the K-7 and I mostly shoot with the later because it's just a better experience all together ... faster, quieter, better noise control, nicer viewfinder, clearer and bigger screen. I need a grip tho, because I'm used to the bulky K10D.

I don't regret buying the K-7 ... it's a great tool for taking photos.
Thanks for the reply!
JP
11-20-2009, 01:07 PM   #51
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Thanks to all who answered this far.
All comments are much appreciated.
On the other hand, I don't really want to have a rant-thread and the object of my starting this thread was to have "opinions and comments" regarding the "dreaded" K7 noise issue. Yes, all comments are valid, whether positive or negative and let's try to keep it low profile, with no animosity between members.
In the meantime,
Thanks to all again.
JP
11-20-2009, 01:12 PM   #52
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I'm almost never satisfied with any pic from any of the current cameras above iso 800 and even that is a stretch. Because of this i am completely satisfied with the K7. on anything above 200 iso i usually employ topaz noise reduction. The only time shooting above iso 800 is relevant to me is for black and white where i want that film grain look. everyone has different needs/wants. full frame is the way to go for high iso and if it was that important to me, i'd save my money and get a full frame dslr. for high iso low budget pentax shooters, the kx is the way to go
11-20-2009, 01:24 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
I'm almost never satisfied with any pic from any of the current cameras above iso 800 and even that is a stretch. Because of this i am completely satisfied with the K7. on anything above 200 iso i usually employ topaz noise reduction. The only time shooting above iso 800 is relevant to me is for black and white where i want that film grain look. everyone has different needs/wants. full frame is the way to go for high iso and if it was that important to me, i'd save my money and get a full frame dslr. for high iso low budget pentax shooters, the kx is the way to go
Thanks Ivoire,
Comments and reply well appreciated.
JP

11-20-2009, 01:40 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Thanks Ivoire,
Comments and reply well appreciated.
JP
JP, i thought i'd add this link as i find it useful for comparison on the high iso "issue". Many are put off by this guy, but a look at the examples of high iso images may be helpful to those 'on the fence' k7/kx buyers.

DSLR Resolution and Noise Comparison
11-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
JP, i thought i'd add this link as i find it useful for comparison on the high iso "issue". Many are put off by this guy, but a look at the examples of high iso images may be helpful to those 'on the fence' k7/kx buyers.

DSLR Resolution and Noise Comparison
That is a good article. Thanks for the link.
It is also a matter of not underexposing. I was told once, and once only, by this very good photographer: underexpose and no matter which camera/lens you have, you will end up with more noise than you'd wish for!
I can imagine underexposing a shot taken at 1600 ISO, not even 3200, and se what happens. It did happen to me a few times (still does when I am not careful).
JP

Last edited by jpzk; 11-20-2009 at 01:47 PM. Reason: spelling
11-20-2009, 02:31 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
I don't remember - I suppose if you really want, I can check with exiftool and see what's stored away in there, but it was my understanding that NR was not applied to the RAW file of the K-7.
Or if it is, it kicks in only at higher ISO settings than it does for the K20D. Something like that.

Anyhow, *considering* that we're looking at a 14MP image at 100%, shot RAW with no NR, I'd say that the image you posted - while not especially pleasant - doesn't really strike me as all that surprisingly bad for APS-C. Since the K20D would have had some NR already applied, it would of course look better, but that just means you're starting off with less leeway to do your own NR (ie, some of the detail would have already been killed). So really, for a fair comparison, one should compare the K-7 with "some" NR already applied in PP against the K20D without. My guess is the the K-7 would have been quite close to the K20D, and with good NR software would probably have cleaned up about as well. But clearly, by all accounts, it's not an *improvement* over the K20D in any sense when it comes to high ISO performance. To get that, you would indeed have needed to move to FF.

On the other hand, I couldn't help but notice the picture you posted was shot at 1/100" and f/8. Not really a situation where you really needed ISO 3200, and thus appearing to lend credence to those suggesting that no one really needs good high ISO performance. Of course, that's not really true - some of us *do* - but that shot isn't a particularly compelling argument for such a claim. More importantly, consider that simply shooting taking that same shot at ISO 1600 and f/5.6 instead of ISO 3200 and f/8 would have yielded virtually the same image as an FF camera at the original exposure settings (and the FF camera would have needed a 1.5X longer lens to get the shot!) - both in terms of noise and DOF. So this shot also doesn't serve as an great example of the benefit of FF, since a simple change in exposure settings would have yielded the same benefit with the K-7.

Obviously, it doesn't always work out that way, though.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 11-20-2009 at 02:37 PM.
11-20-2009, 03:18 PM   #57
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I agree Marc - I could have shot it better certainly, especially if it was to be a portrait of my son's face . This was a quick snapshot of my wife and son walking this trail, and we had just been (30 seconds before) out in the bright light where I was using TAv... In this shot, I just brought the camera up to my eye and fired, without changing the settings for the dark forest we had entered. If I had opened the aperture to f/4, I could have used ISO 800, and had sharper lens performance (if I'm correctly remembering the MTF settings from the DA* 16-50). However - since I was trying to include my wife and the surroundings as well, I would probably want to keep the DOF of the smaller aperture, and again, since they were walking, 1/100 seems a reasonable compromise to stop motion (it's all compromise isn't it). Regardless of my skill (or lack thereof) as a photographer, the shot is the best (only) example I have of a RAW file from the K-7 at ISO 3200 and I thought it relevant (all the others were deleted or converted to jpegs).

I think the argument that photographers don't need high ISO performance is a bit silly - where do we draw the line and stop asking for better performance... Wouldn't better ISO performance help you capture Jazz artists, or help Marc L. with keeping the shutter speed up while shooting wildlife at dusk, and while we're at it, it can help me get better family snapshots . It's fine if someone can get the shots they want at ISO 400 - more power too them, but in five years I'll be buying a camera (or a phone or an implant or whatever we're using by then) which will take usable photos at ISO 102400 or something like that ... can't wait! (ok, that's hyperbole folks - I really don't wanna hear about how that level of sensitivity is impossible for whatever actual scientific reason )
11-20-2009, 03:49 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jadran Quote
Yes, K-x costs less then K-7, but those two are completely different class, and there are a lot of reasons for that. I am really bored of this "smoke out of the water" and such. How many of you shoot 3200? What are you going to do with such 12800 image anyway? If use on the web is the goal, then OK. Everybody should know what he/she needs, and chose on that premises. Very high ISO is just one of them. Here is one crop from jpg straight from K-7 at 6400 with no NR. Is noise horrible? (well, the light is a key) We could go on for like this for ages. Yes, K-x looks appx. 1 stop better at ISO higher then 1600. If somebody really need to shoot that much high ISO shoots, then Kx is maybe right tool for them. But, there is no sense to compare K-7 and Kx in any other way.


You got me wrong...I was just talking about the iso performance. I am not going to give up my camera which is better for 99% of my shooting for another that does better just for 1% of the shots I will ever take....No, I am thrilled with my K-7.
11-20-2009, 03:53 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Pcarfan:
Thanks for the reply!
That is a very good "user" review and with sample photos too.
By the way, I went to visit your photos on PPG and ... absolutely stunning! I see that this 31mm limited serves you well with the K7. What is the "other"lens you use?
Again, congratulations on your fine work.
JP

P.S. I am trying to add a PPG link as well under my signature but even if I tried many times, I always get a message saying "invalid file". Would you care to explain how exactly this is done? I am a bit of a computer-challenged one.
I think you meant to say the 77 limited or the 43 limited, as I don't own the 31. The other lens I have is the sigma 100-300 F4. I have the sigma 10-20 for a couple of shots there and one with the volna-9 (A russian M42 lens)
11-20-2009, 03:55 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The 7D is looking pretty good. I believe it's a cropped frame camera.

ISO 6400



ISO 12800



There are out of camera jpegs with "standard" noise reduction.
Photos used with permission.
Copyright Brian Schneider
That iso 12800 shot was shot at 1/500" at F4, and that is a bright scene where that iso performance is not that impressive.
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