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11-19-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
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K7 and noise ... again.

I have been reading threads from this website
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/80535-k-x-vs-k7-iso-3200-a.html
and another well known one, regarding this issue with the K7 having "more noise" than either the Kx and/or the K20D.
This has almost become an urban legend!

Now frankly, and I am calling on USERS of the K7 who can realistically give their opinion on the noisy question, it would be nice to have some REAL feedback.
I would also guess that most K7 users would have owned a K10D or a K20D, perhaps a Km even.

Speculating of those facts, are you, K7 users, satisfied with your results?
Would you say that you regret having purchased the K7, because of a noise issue?
Is this noise issue really a big problem?
How often would/will you shoot at 3200 ISO?
Overall, do you like the K7 performances under "normal" light conditions (i.e: full sun, cloudy, overcast, indoors ... )?
Any of you doing wildlife/bird photography ... do you like the way the K7 handles and the results you get? (trying to compare to the K10/K20D'S).
Had you known that the K7 would produce such "intolerable" (quoting from another website) noise, would you have thought of switching to another brand altogether?

Anyway, those are questions I ask to myself because I am just about to get the K7, give my very dependable K10D to my son and keep the K20D as my other workhorse.

Any comments from K7 users would be very much appreciated.

Cheers to all.
JP

11-19-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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What noise?
Kidding. I am very satisfied with noise up to and including 1600, especialy the type of noise (fine grainess). In a good/enough light 3200 looks pretty good to me. In fact, recognazing and dealing with light is what helps the image quality the most. Anyway, comparation with Kx, as you said, become a urban legend from people that didn't use any of these cameras. Comparing to K10 that I also have, K-7 is miles ahead. ISO 640 is realy no usefull on K10.

IMHO, the most realiable rference are the tests that falklumo did - Falk Lumo Chek it.
11-19-2009, 06:18 PM   #3
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Shooting RAW, the noise is not worst than other high end cameras like the, dare I say, almost legendary Nikon D300, which is about 25% to 35% more expensive.

Shooting JPEG is another story, but RAW is very good. The K-X might be better, but it is a newer generation sensor with less pixels, so it is to be expected.

Note that Nikon was not really able to improve the noise characteristics of the newer D300s over the D300, so overall, I'd say that the K-7 is damn good.
11-19-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
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I shoot 3200 in indoor swimming pools regularly. My conclusion is that the K20 has less noise at 3200 than the K7. However, the K7 is a much better handling camera -- it is more responsive and more comfortable. 3200 is a small percentage of what I shoot and I have no regrets on the K7. I posted some examples from the K7 here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/79355...15-2009-a.html and some samples from the K20 here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/80096...22-2009-a.html Note that it is not a scientific study -- different pools, different subjects, different meets, etc. Dave

11-19-2009, 06:53 PM   #5
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I just received my K-7 this week, so I don't have a lot to go on... (and I wonder why I didn't buy it sooner)

I am coming from the K200D and KM. Pixel Peeping (which I don't do too often), I would say noise is similar, if not better on the K-7. (BTW, I always shoot RAW) I'd say up to ISO 1250, maybe 1600, I probably wouldn't even bother with a noise reduction program outside of Lightroom. 1600+, needs some noise reduction, but not a great deal as the noise is not intrusive to the photograph. What I mean by that is , even at higher ISO's, the level of detail retained is better than I have ever seen from a DSLR (or any camera for that matter).

I've been reading a lot of complaints about the noise recently (even more so now the K-X is out), but in reality, I think it is VERY exaggerated. Probably by more non-users than users. I have no issues shooting at anything up to ISO 1600. I'd even go above that in ceratin situations. That is OK in my book. Heck, my favorite DSLR (and the K-7 is giving it a run for its money) is the Olympus E-1. On the E-1, ISO 400 was about as high as you'd want to go (800 in a pinch).

My point is, you learn to live with different shortcomings, because (hopefully) the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. And this is where personal preferences come into play. I may feel a super quiet shutter, 5 FPS, and weather sealing are more important than a clean ISO 3200. You may feel that that shooting at ISO 3200 all night long is something you need. I have searched for the perfect camera (and camera system), but it doesn't exist. In my perfect world, I'd have a K-7 with every limited ever made, a D700 with some fast primes to take advantage of low light and extreme DOF, and an E-3 with some fantastic Olympus zooms to utilize the 2x crop factor. However, I am not a rich person, so I have to decide what is best for me at this time. I think I have found it.

Back to noise, I plan on making some K-7 prints to see how *bad* this camera actually is... I have a feeling that in prints of 16x20 or less, you'd be hard pressed to see any noise equal to or under ISO800, maybe even higher. And when printing larger or at higher speeds, I imagine the noise would look more like grain because of the detail in the shot.
11-19-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jadran Quote
What noise?
Kidding. I am very satisfied with noise up to and including 1600, especialy the type of noise (fine grainess). In a good/enough light 3200 looks pretty good to me. In fact, recognazing and dealing with light is what helps the image quality the most. Anyway, comparation with Kx, as you said, become a urban legend from people that didn't use any of these cameras. Comparing to K10 that I also have, K-7 is miles ahead. ISO 640 is realy no usefull on K10.

IMHO, the most realiable rference are the tests that falklumo did - Falk Lumo Chek it.
I read that review too and I agree that is very well done.
I often use 1000 ISO with the K20D while bird "shooting" and almost never 1600. So, I suppose any take at or under 1000 would be quite acceptable with the K7?
JP
11-19-2009, 07:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
Shooting RAW, the noise is not worst than other high end cameras like the, dare I say, almost legendary Nikon D300, which is about 25% to 35% more expensive.

Shooting JPEG is another story, but RAW is very good. The K-X might be better, but it is a newer generation sensor with less pixels, so it is to be expected.

Note that Nikon was not really able to improve the noise characteristics of the newer D300s over the D300, so overall, I'd say that the K-7 is damn good.
Yves,
I always shoot RAW. So that is not an issue with me. Did you own a previous camera model before the K7? Like K10 or K20D?
I like the fact that it is not worse than any comparable "hi-end" competition.
JP
11-19-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by davef Quote
I shoot 3200 in indoor swimming pools regularly. My conclusion is that the K20 has less noise at 3200 than the K7. However, the K7 is a much better handling camera -- it is more responsive and more comfortable. 3200 is a small percentage of what I shoot and I have no regrets on the K7. I posted some examples from the K7 here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/79355...15-2009-a.html and some samples from the K20 here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/80096...22-2009-a.html Note that it is not a scientific study -- different pools, different subjects, different meets, etc. Dave
Nice thing is that you made comparisons of the same lighting situations with two different cameras, and that is exactly what I want for feedback.
I can see what you mean, as far a noise is concerned, especially at 3200 which I most likely would ever use. So, if that is even better at 1600, for the K7, ... great!
If you ever have any taken at 1000 and 1600 ISO, please post some.
Thanks!
JP

11-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
I just received my K-7 this week, so I don't have a lot to go on... (and I wonder why I didn't buy it sooner)
Good for you! I hope to see some of your photos at ISO 1000 and up as soon as you have them

I am coming from the K200D and KM. Pixel Peeping (which I don't do too often), I would say noise is similar, if not better on the K-7. (BTW, I always shoot RAW)I always shhot RAW too. I'd say up to ISO 1250, maybe 1600, I probably wouldn't even bother with a noise reduction program outside of Lightroom. 1600+, needs some noise reduction, but not a great deal as the noise is not intrusive to the photograph. What I mean by that is , even at higher ISO's, the level of detail retained is better than I have ever seen from a DSLR (or any camera for that matter). I am told by Pentax Canada that the noise reduction algorithm is different for the K7, thus retaining more details.

I've been reading a lot of complaints about the noise recently (even more so now the K-X is out), but in reality, I think it is VERY exaggerated. Probably by more non-users than users. I have no issues shooting at anything up to ISO 1600. I'd even go above that in ceratin situations. That is OK in my book. Heck, my favorite DSLR (and the K-7 is giving it a run for its money) is the Olympus E-1. On the E-1, ISO 400 was about as high as you'd want to go (800 in a pinch).

My point is, you learn to live with different shortcomings, because (hopefully) the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. And this is where personal preferences come into play. I may feel a super quiet shutter, 5 FPS, and weather sealing are more important than a clean ISO 3200. You may feel that that shooting at ISO 3200 all night long is something you need. I have searched for the perfect camera (and camera system), but it doesn't exist. In my perfect world, I'd have a K-7 with every limited ever made, a D700 with some fast primes to take advantage of low light and extreme DOF, and an E-3 with some fantastic Olympus zooms to utilize the 2x crop factor. However, I am not a rich person, so I have to decide what is best for me at this time. I think I have found it.
Actually, the main reasons which attracted me to the K7 are:
fast FPS (5.1/s), quiet shutter, larger and more precise rear screen for reviewing the shots, and a lighter/smaller camera which is great considering I use a DA*300 F4 coupled to a 1.4x TC a lot, and that becomes rather heavy at times.
I have never used ISO3200 with the K20D.


Back to noise, I plan on making some K-7 prints to see how *bad* this camera actually is... I have a feeling that in prints of 16x20 or less, you'd be hard pressed to see any noise equal to or under ISO800, maybe even higher. And when printing larger or at higher speeds, I imagine the noise would look more like grain because of the detail in the shot.
I have some prints done at 8" x 12" with shots taken with the K20D at ISO 1000 and there is absolutely no "grain". On a larger print (16" x 20" as you mentioned) I am quite sure that they would still be very acceptable.
So, I would assume that the same prints from shots taken with the K7 at 1000ISO would render the same results.
That is something no-one has mentioned here as far as I can see through the threads and posts.
Thanks for the reply!
11-19-2009, 07:41 PM   #10
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Speculating of those facts, are you, K7 users, satisfied with your results?

Absolutely thrilled with it.

Would you say that you regret having purchased the K7, because of a noise issue?

No
Is this noise issue really a big problem?

Not really for me
How often would/will you shoot at 3200 ISO?

Almost never...but, will use it if needed. But, will not use 6400 at all.

Overall, do you like the K7 performances under "normal" light conditions (i.e: full sun, cloudy, overcast, indoors ... )?

Yes. When extremely cloudy and you need high iso there are better choices.

Any of you doing wildlife/bird photography ... do you like the way the K7 handles and the results you get? (trying to compare to the K10/K20D'S).

I don't do much wildlife, but have been out with it a bit looking for birds and such, and have been happy so far...it handles a whole lot better than my old K10D

Had you known that the K7 would produce such "intolerable" (quoting from another website) noise, would you have thought of switching to another brand altogether?

LOL, if I am a jpeg only shooter, this might be true.







I used my k10D to a maximum of iso 400, I will use upto iso 1000 to 1250 with no problems. Nothing beats iso 100, so i try to keep it there, but I will use iso 1000 even for images that I want the ultimate IQ.

A couple of high iso PPG images I took with the K-7

iso 1000
PENTAX Photo Gallery

PENTAX Photo Gallery



iso1250
PENTAX Photo Gallery

PENTAX Photo Gallery

I will not buy the K-7 for it's iso, and if you are a RAW shooter, then I wouldn't avoid the k-7 for it's iso performance either.
11-19-2009, 07:43 PM   #11
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Why do everyone seem to bother with noise
I find tread about noise boring...
All camera produce noise period.
11-19-2009, 08:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
...

Speculating of those facts, are you, K7 users, satisfied with your results?
Would you say that you regret having purchased the K7, because of a noise issue?
Is this noise issue really a big problem?
How often would/will you shoot at 3200 ISO?
Overall, do you like the K7 performances under "normal" light conditions (i.e: full sun, cloudy, overcast, indoors ... )?
Any of you doing wildlife/bird photography ... do you like the way the K7 handles and the results you get? (trying to compare to the K10/K20D'S).
Had you known that the K7 would produce such "intolerable" (quoting from another website) noise, would you have thought of switching to another brand altogether?
Done! Switched to Canon because of the K-7 ... Having had the K200D (my first digital SLR) and then a K20D, I was excited by the promise of the K-7. In so many ways I was not disappointed by it, the fast shooting, the improved AF, the fantastic auto WB, nice feel, there's more... It's a nice body at low ISO, but above 800 for me the noise is a deal breaker - much worse than the K20D. Other switchers from this board that I know of - nostatic (switched to a 5D2 like me), jgredline (D700 - still has his K-7 but complains about noise ), maxwell1295 (a couple 5Ds - I don't think he ever owned a k-7, but left after it came out I think), there are probably more...

Shooting birds really did-in the k-7 for me, because I wanted to raise the ISO to keep the shutter speeds up, but when I did, the feathers turned into mush (well actually sand is a better analogy - very coarse grainy sand).

QuoteQuote:
Anyway, those are questions I ask to myself because I am just about to get the K7, give my very dependable K10D to my son and keep the K20D as my other workhorse.

Any comments from K7 users would be very much appreciated.

Cheers to all.
JP
Keep the K20D, consider the K-X or the replacement to the K-7 when it comes out. Consider the increase in value of your Pentax lenses and the fact that you can now sell them for at or above what you originally paid for them and you may just come to the conclusion I did .

QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
Shooting RAW, the noise is not worst than other high end cameras like the, dare I say, almost legendary Nikon D300, which is about 25% to 35% more expensive.

Shooting JPEG is another story, but RAW is very good. The K-X might be better, but it is a newer generation sensor with less pixels, so it is to be expected.

Note that Nikon was not really able to improve the noise characteristics of the newer D300s over the D300, so overall, I'd say that the K-7 is damn good.
Yves, I know you know what you're talking about, so I'll put it down to sample variation, but in my experience the K-7 RAW noise was far worse than the K20D above ISO 800, and all detail was gone and the photos "unusable" by my judgement by ISO 3200. I always shoot RAW, and process in Lightroom, so the jpeg performance doesn't concern me, but my K-7 exhibited large chunky noise which obliterated fine detail much more than the K20D did at the same ISOs.


Below is a screen shot at 100% zoom of the only ISO 3200 K-7 file which I didn't delete (I have a few others converted to jpeg just to save the memories - I don't know why I haven't converted this one yet). NR is at 0 so you can see what there is to work with, everything is at Lightroom defaults.
ISO 3200, 1/100, f/8
11-19-2009, 08:07 PM   #13
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I didn't mean you as in you, I was trying to stress a scenario where two people have two entirely different objectives and two different cameras might be the best solution for each. It sounds like the K-7 would be a good choice for what's important to you.

Thanks for the reply, info, and this thread. There is some decent info unlike some of the K-7 noise rants.

QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I have some prints done at 8" x 12" with shots taken with the K20D at ISO 1000 and there is absolutely no "grain". On a larger print (16" x 20" as you mentioned) I am quite sure that they would still be very acceptable.
So, I would assume that the same prints from shots taken with the K7 at 1000ISO would render the same results.
That is something no-one has mentioned here as far as I can see through the threads and posts.
Thanks for the reply!
11-20-2009, 12:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote


Below is a screen shot at 100% zoom of the only ISO 3200 K-7 file which I didn't delete (I have a few others converted to jpeg just to save the memories - I don't know why I haven't converted this one yet). NR is at 0 so you can see what there is to work with, everything is at Lightroom defaults.
ISO 3200, 1/100, f/8

This looks worse then what I see in my 3200 shoots. Have you tried to print this photo? Could it be that the preview settings in Lightroom are set to low? What is the magnification of this screenshot?
11-20-2009, 12:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jadran Quote
This looks worse then what I see in my 3200 shoots. Have you tried to print this photo? Could it be that the preview settings in Lightroom are set to low? What is the magnification of this screenshot?
Maybe I (and all the other folks complaining about noise ) just have bad copies of the K-7 (or you have an exceptional one.) To address your questions, Lightroom preview quality is set to high, magnification is 1:1. This is a little above average in terms of high ISO noise I usually saw from my K-7 .
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