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08-06-2011, 02:57 AM   #181
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Very interesting. It's useful to see how others work.

So there is no stage in your basic workflow where NR comes in, or stuff like distortion correction?

08-06-2011, 09:50 AM   #182
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
So there is no stage in your basic workflow where NR comes in, or stuff like distortion correction?
No distortion correction - haven't used that - I can tolerate it on the types of subject I shoot. So none there (I'm not even sure where that is, or even if my simple editors have that feature!)

Ah... NR - once in a while - but it is pretty rare - guesstimate probably less than a handful for the period I've owned the K-x? And this is with shooting this dark jazz club on a frequent regular basis - one can see how often I go there in this thread alone, and we're talking about so dark that in parts it's below both the metering and AF limits of my K-x with the humble lenses I use.

I think I'm pretty sure I always indicate if I've used NR in this thread (wouldn't want anyone to think the K-x can perform miracles) -

Also I have to confess I am not very skilled at NR - I have what I consider very good SW- probably one of the best when I compared them (an older version of Topaz deNoise- I can call this up from inside my editors - PhotoImpact 8 and PS Elements 7) - but I get my images "too clean" - so much so I have to add grain to get them not to look "painted" - so I tend not to use it too often - only when my photos require drastic bringing up dark parts that tend to reveal "crud"

I'm searching right now to find an example -

OK after my brief cursory search the most recent NR'd photo were these two, from Post #144 back in Jan/2011 -

I'll just paste the photos and blurb here so one can this in context -

QuoteQuote:
Notice the bass player in the deep shadows
to the right edge of the frame,
only just about discernible -

ISO5000, f/4, 1/8, 28mm -
this was grossly under exposed -
probably due to being past the lower metering limit -
so I had to bring up the brightness/contrast quite a bit to make it visible.

same again, exceeded the lower limit of the metering since I was using the 50-200 zoom:

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/13, 88mm
I'm actually shocked by how well that shot turned out -
I mean I can hardly see the details in the dark picture -
yet simply bringing up the brightness/contrast and using only standard sharpening - I got the result seen.

[NOTE: I have replaced the PP increased brightness shots -
because although on my monitor they looked just fine -
I happened to look at them on an over bright huge wide-screen Mac monitor
and the shadow/black areas looked pretty cruddy -
so I just ran these small pp jpgs through deNoise.]
(This is good example where I did not see artifacts on my crt monitor whereas on a friend's overly bright but premium Mac LCD monitor I saw the "crud" on the earlier version I posted.)

So it's not that I studiously avoid NR - because it can perform "near miracles" when I really need it - it's just that the K-x at ISO5000 (and don't forget I shoot mostly at 10Mp to get that very slight decrease in noise) - and for the sizes I post mostly humble 551x367 to about 768x512 - with the very occasional 960pixel width NR is really not needed and I actually like the very slightly grainy/noisy results - it kind of adds to the "atmosphere" of the shot.

This is the reason why I remain enthusiastic of the K-x even when limited to the two humble kit zooms - I like the results I get enough to keep posting them.

And although like anyone else I covet the latest gear - even when I look at samples at 100% pixel level from Imaging-resource.com from the current APS-C top dogs like the K-5, D7000, D5100 - they do not show enough improvements in the HighISO area to tempt me to want to switch.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 08-06-2011 at 09:59 AM.
08-06-2011, 04:40 PM   #183
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Still posting in the wind......

Last night was busy - went to see/hear a legendary local band and another legendary local band also did a set - so it was a two-fer -
normally I would have shot with my compact as I know how to use the flash better ( and I also now suspect the flash automation on the compact is actually better). But I had my K-x with me since I was going on to a later gig.

I had to learn very quickly how to get the flash to do more or less what I wanted to - but it was still kind of wanting - I need to study/experiment more - but nevertheless -
Scene setter - no flash -

ISO1600, f/3.5, 1/15; 18mm (no flash)
High contrast scene but attractive (albeit challenging) lighting.


ISO320, f/4, 1/25; 26mm; -1 stop Flash comp
using flash for fill against the very strong/overwhelming backlight.
Even with flash, the shot was still grossly underexposed -
and the original did not look like a flash shot, until I double checked the EXIF

The other band - later when it was dark outside:

ISO5000(!), f/5.6, 1/25; 28mm; -1 stop Flash comp
this turned out nicely balanced - but look at the ISO5000!!! - this is ridiculous for a flash shot - my compact auto-sets the ISO to ISO250 - the K-x will expose for the scene as if No flash then add the flash into the equation - I actually have my fixed ISO option set to ISO250 or sometimes to ISO320 to use fill flash - but in my excitement of the moment I forgot - however, the pic did turn out OK and the K-x ISO5000 performance mitigated my mistake and non-optimal shot.

The main event and why I was carrying the K-x - yes, the dark jazz club (no flash used) but a very different event - this was a collaboration of two of the top trumpeters in town doing Kenny Dorham arrangements - I went because I realized that the two players were very different stylistically and wanted to hear how they sounded together. However the arrival of the two sit-in players from the night before did not hurt.

Scene setter -

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/25; 18mm; -2/3 stop comp
light colored clothing in spot light - black clothing in shadow - had to catch the face when there was a bit of light on it.......

Otherwise it'd be like this shot -

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/25; 18mm; -2/3 stop comp -
still interesting enough to post. I particularly like the lighting on the stage center face (reflected off the sheet music on stand).

here's a shot that I had absolutely no right to expect anything - the bassist's face was mostly hidden behind the double bass's neck, and even when I walked around the room I still could not get a good angle on him -

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/20; 80mm (handheld)
I am quite taken with this shot.

the drummer was easier -

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/13; 63mm -
I'm actually a little surprised that there was a little less light here compared to the bassist -
perhaps it was just the bassist's white shirt than made the difference....

Even though this was a more formal gig with a defined theme - there was still off stage action -

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/8; 18mm; -1 stop comp
I was across the room when I heard/saw this - that's the alto sax player from last night (seated right)

and this -

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/8; 18mm; -1 stop comp -
lots of subject motion blur - it's only because of the huge reduction in size and a step over-sharpened that it's even show-able - nevertheless the K-x performed well look at the stationary objects are all sharp.....

OK what's all this leading to?

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/30; 95mm (handheld - standing)
I thought pretty good shot....

until I took this -

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/125; 80mm; -2/3 stop comp......
08-06-2011, 05:13 PM   #184
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I think you do awesome work. I remember seeing your photos before I purchased my Kx about a year ago and one of the factors choosing my camera was the excellent low light performance that you presented. Reading your post processing, I assume you don't shoot RAW, are you?

08-06-2011, 05:17 PM   #185
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I'm also wondering, what is the shutter count on your Kx? Just curious .
08-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #186
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QuoteOriginally posted by agsy Quote
what is the shutter count on your Kx? .
32332.

QuoteOriginally posted by agsy Quote
I think you do awesome work. I remember seeing your photos before I purchased my Kx about a year ago and one of the factors choosing my camera was the excellent low light performance that you presented. Reading your post processing, I assume you don't shoot RAW, are you?
Thank you very much for your kind words Andras/agsy.

Your guess is right - the forum here tolerates me - as I shoot JPG.

Not only that I reduce the size to 10Mp as I rarely need to print really big and the slight reduction I believe reduces the noise slightly.....
and if that's not adding insult to injury -
I actually only shoot ** two star (better) quality JPG.

I don't do this out of any obstinance - in fact I hardly ever mention this,
and it almost embarrasses me to confess it now.

However I shoot old fashioned, like I was shooting color slide film - in other words, I try to get the shot right in camera - this is beneficial to me two fold - one, I am getting the optimal exposure/balance - and two, I have to do much less processing to correct faults.

Don't get me wrong I more than appreciate the flexibility of digital and am very grateful for the ability to correct my mistakes when I screw up (which I do often).

I did quite extensive testing to find my limits of tolerance in HighISO - that's why I have max set for ISO5000 on my AutoISO. Checked and double checked the JPG quality levels - one star was not tolerable even for me - two star was acceptable - I won't say I couldn't tell the difference with three star (but most of the time I could not) - so 2 stars was good enough.

So there's my confession -
I expect to get my notification asking me resign from Pentax Forums in the next post.....

Last edited by UnknownVT; 08-06-2011 at 06:19 PM.
08-06-2011, 06:41 PM   #187
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
distortion correction ...or even if my simple editors have that feature
Pentax Digital Camera Utility has it and it knows the properties of all the Pentax lenses so can fix up lens distortions, CA etc quite well. Of course the K-x also has its built-in options to fix up distortion in-camera for JPGs. If Elements 7 is the same as 8, you can also do it, but the corrections are manual only and the procedure is clunky.

I use the lens correction options in post-processing mainly for shots where I need good detail and a nice optically correct image, especially for wide angle shots and cleaning up vignetting. I don't use it all the time, only if I think an image would benefit from it.

QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
NR - once in a while - but it is pretty rare
Yeah, same here.

I use Lightroom (mostly) for my RAWs and the fine-grained way it renders high-ISO makes NR unnecessary a lot of the time, especially when you are sizing images for web.

I also have a pretty high-tolerance for the K-x's very decent noise rendering for most subjects - eg street scenes, live music - so will happily go to 6400ISO or even higher often without bothering about post-processing, even though I can see the dynamic range visibly draining away in the images from about 1600 ISO onwards.

But for other more demanding subjects - eg birds, where you want a lot of detail and good colour and contrast, and may have to also deal with some heavy cropping - I will only go to 5000 ISO maximum, and I will usually then do NR, a bit of USM and other colour, contrast and illumination PPing.
08-06-2011, 06:43 PM   #188
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Your guess is right - the forum here tolerates me - as I shoot JPG. Not only that I reduce the size to 10Mp as I rarely need to print really big and the slight reduction I believe reduces the noise slightly..... and if that's not adding insult to injury - I actually only shoot ** two star (better) quality JPG.
Well, there is nothing wrong with shooting two star jpegs, it definitely saves HDD space and it works for you. We all have different uses for our photos. I've been shooting jpegs all this time and it's great to save time on PP (good old Picasa); however my interest in RAW came recently, since soon I'll have the opportunity to shoot some awesome landscapes in Yellowstone&Glacier parks and I want the maximum flexibility .
It's great to know that the K-x is showing good reliability still at 32332 shutter count (way to go still though).

QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
So there's my confession - I expect to get my notification asking me resign from Pentax Forums in the next post.....
Lol I'm sure you are safe. We love your work. Thanks for sharing.

08-06-2011, 06:48 PM   #189
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
So there's my confession -
While there are lots of JPG shooters on these forums, to confess to 2 star JPG's AND only shooting 10MP is pretty shocking. I'm sure a lynch mob will be on its way soon.

I shoot 12MP RAW+ with DNG + 3 star full-resolution JPGs. I'd feel I was throwing away perfectly good data otherwise.
08-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #190
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Pentax Digital Camera Utility has it and it knows the properties of all the Pentax lenses so can fix up lens distortions, CA etc quite well. Of course the K-x also has its built-in options to fix up distortion in-camera for JPGs.
Yeah, I realized after I replied that the Pentax DCU, of course, can correct post-processing.

I did put in corrections in-camera once - and found that really slowed the image saving and review - so I turned it off.

PDCU is really good in that it can almost simulate any of the K-x camera settings.

Thanks for the input and reminder - if I see any shot that I would go ooh, that looks distorted - I would use PDCU to correct them - perhaps it's just my tolerance and subject matter that I haven't pursued corrections.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
But for other more demanding subjects - eg birds, where you want a lot of detail and good colour and contrast, and may have to also deal with some heavy cropping - I will only go to 5000 ISO maximum, and I will usually then do NR, a bit of USM and other colour, contrast and illumination PPing.
Agreed my processing "workflow" is not set in stone and fully appreciate that I actually have some very powerful tools to make adjustments/correction - but most of my common everyday type shots don't require NR - like I say there are always strange exceptions......
and one has to accept I am strange.....
08-06-2011, 07:00 PM   #191
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QuoteOriginally posted by agsy Quote
however my interest in RAW came recently, since soon I'll have the opportunity to shoot some awesome landscapes in Yellowstone&Glacier parks and I want the maximum flexibility .
It's great to know that the K-x is showing good reliability still at 32332 shutter count (way to go still though).
I am not that intransigent - if I had to shoot landscape I would shoot RAW/DNG+3 star JPG(at full 12Mp) - and hope the 12Mp 3 star JPG was going to be good enough - if not then I have the RAW/DNG to fall back on. -
and if I did landscapes more often/seriously I may look for a wide angle prime too.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
While there are lots of JPG shooters on these forums, to confess to 2 star JPG's AND only shooting 10MP is pretty shocking. I'm sure a lynch mob will be on its way soon.

hide me?
08-06-2011, 07:06 PM   #192
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I shoot 12MP RAW+ with DNG + 3 star full-resolution JPGs. I'd feel I was throwing away perfectly good data otherwise.
You must have quite a collection of SD cards .
08-06-2011, 07:17 PM   #193
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QuoteOriginally posted by agsy Quote
You must have quite a collection of SD cards .
A 16Gb SDHC class 10 is as low as US$24 these days. - that would need 4 DVD-R to backup.....

There are at least two schools of thought on this
RAW+full JPG means never missing any quality - ie: getting the full potential quality out the one's pics.

Whereas I look at it from the other way - what is good enough for me - visually - and I was surprised how good the JPGs were from the K-x - having owned the K-x for nearly 2 years I have not really found it wanting in IQ, even when shooting humble 10Mp 2 star JPG - I know it sounds shocking -

But I like the pictures I take, and although there is always room for improvement -
it's not in the technical IQ department that could do with improvement -
but my shooting, composition, reaction, pp etc that need far more work than pure IQ.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 08-07-2011 at 11:05 AM.
08-06-2011, 07:28 PM   #194
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
RAW+full JPG means never missing any quality - ie: getting the full potential quality out the one's pics.
You've got me thinking of switching to RAW + jpeg where IQ is utmost important.

I agree with you, the jpeg output is remarkable on the K-x. I have mine set to vibrant color output and I love the results.
08-06-2011, 11:03 PM   #195
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QuoteOriginally posted by agsy Quote
You must have quite a collection of SD cards
Nah, I just know when to use the 'Delete' key. I do it a lot.

I like shooting RAW+ and full resolution and top quality JPG for three reasons, I guess:

- RAW it gives me the most image data to work with if I ever need to do any PP;

- RAW convertors are getting better all the time. There is the real potential for old DNG's I took a while ago to suddenly look a whole lot better when run through a newer version of your favorite RAW processor. I've seen this happen already with various versions of Lightroom and DxO Optics Pro, particularly in the high-ISO dept;

- having JPG's recorded alongside the RAW's also gives me a handy '2nd opinion' on whatever may come out of Lightroom or whatever I use. The JPG's are additionally handy if I just want to grab a file quickly for posting somewhere without having to export from Lightroom etc. And JPG is a good format for archive purposes.

So while it might seem extravagant to shoot RAW+, it has its advantages.
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