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12-20-2009, 03:38 PM   #46
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Excellent examples.

12-20-2009, 04:39 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by chrisdm Quote
I have discovered this using the K-7 now for one real estate job and 1 pre-dawn landscape hike that sometimes "normal" mode works best and sometimes "strong" mode works best. Strong generall works better if there is a real extreme range, like in the real estate examples I posted above. But if there isn't this extreme range to begin with, then the strong mode appears washed out, lacking contrast. It does punch up in post well though...

Here's one from that landscape outing, another one with extreme range. This really shows the capabilities of this remarkable camera, as it was actually nearly dark outside, as evidenced by the city lights you can see below. But the camera exposed evertthing from the sky beginning to be filled with sunlight to the dark, dark foreground. Once again just remarkable:



Chris Miller
Imagine Imagery, Photography by Chris Miller
Hey Chris,
Very nice capture man, and I just want to say thank you for your initial post on this feature at FM. It helped renew my interest in the K7 as well as keep me from taking that last step away from Pentax totally. I'll be hanging onto the K-mount and adding a K7 to my kit.

JayT
12-20-2009, 05:05 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by chrisdm Quote
I shoot a lot of high end real estate, and most of them have exterior views, so the possibility of in-camera HDR was HUGE for me.
Your HDR shots are way better advertising for this feature than any I've seen.

But given your other pro-equipment, why don't you just do bracketing and combine the shots later in PP? Is it to cut down on PP time? Can one not setup up a one click action in photoshop or setup some batch processing?

Is it about how the images are combined, i.e., do you prefer the K-7's way to the typical HDR tone mapping? Wouldn't something like "Enfuse" work as well or better?

Same holds true for lens correction.

Is the AF speed your only worry with the K-7? High ISO performance is good enough, is it?

I'm a great fan of the K-7, just wondering.

QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
If the in camera HDR can work for formal portraits, then I will get the K7. Heck, I'll probably get the K7 anyway.
Yes, get the K-7 anyway.

But I wouldn't base the decision on some in-camera feature that can be replaced by equal or better post-processing. Note that the K-7 won't correct for camera movement during shots. So not only are moving subjects out of the question but a tripod (or equivalent) is mandatory as well. There is PP software which can combine hand-held shots for an HDR image due to automatic image alignment.
12-20-2009, 06:02 PM   #49
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thank you so much for the post chrisdm, very impressive feature that have been overlooked by most pixel peepers. The in camera HDR in the landscape shot is just amazing, the mode of the day was maintained and at the same time the contrast to the sky and the city lights is there. Thanks for sharing.

cheers,

Rene

12-20-2009, 06:39 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
I still think these HDR's out of the camera are looking washed out, flat and generally off.

You could do far more with a set of bracketed RAWs.

I feel somewhat in agreement with your statement. However, when shooting real estate I come back with 150-300 images to process. The HDR feature dramatically reduces my processing times (and I still shoot many raw as well for backup). When I am out on my own, I always shoot raw for the additional latitude it allows. I have tried the HDR for landscapes and then tweaked it with curves, contrast and hue/saturation adjustments for the reasons you stated. While it is not a total solution to better images, it is nice to have.
12-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Your HDR shots are way better advertising for this feature than any I've seen.

But given your other pro-equipment, why don't you just do bracketing and combine the shots later in PP? Is it to cut down on PP time? Can one not setup up a one click action in photoshop or setup some batch processing?

Is it about how the images are combined, i.e., do you prefer the K-7's way to the typical HDR tone mapping? Wouldn't something like "Enfuse" work as well or better?

Same holds true for lens correction.

Is the AF speed your only worry with the K-7? High ISO performance is good enough, is it?

I'm a great fan of the K-7, just wondering.
Thanks so much for the kind comments. To answer your first question, no, there is not a one click photoshop action to produce HDRs. The "old fashioned" way of doing it is a fairly meticulous method of combining multiple exposures, which not only requires significant CPU processing time on the files, but also requires about a dozen variables/sliders etc to be set to get the resultant file to look right. Are better results possible doing it manually? Yes, in some cases. But what is most remarkable is how nice Pentax's in-camera results are. Most just need a touch of levels/contrast, and they are ready to deliver. It is incredibly timesaving.

And that answers your second question. My professional real estate/architecture photography runs the gamut from providing 30 to 40 photos of a single property for a real estate agent for $350, to an architect paying me up to $1800 for one photo of a commercial project. So if someone is going to pay me $1800 to take one photograph, I'm going to shoot it with a 5D2, tilt/shift lenses, I will bracket the hell out of it and spend an afternoon processing/blending/editing etc... But for the realtor that needs 40 photos for a web listing in one afternoon, the K-7 allows me the ability to deliver images that taken with my "regular" Canon cameras cost/time prohibitive based on their relatively smaller budgets.

Regarding high ISO performance, it is what it is. There are a lot of pixels on that little sensor, and I don't expect miracles. If I need to shoot moving subjects at 3200 I'm not going to use the K-7. There are much better options out there for that type of work (but not for $1100!)...

Thanks again for the kind words,

Chris Miller
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12-21-2009, 05:38 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by chrisdm Quote
Thanks so much for the kind comments.
Well deserved!

Pentax should pay you to use your images and sell the idea of the K-7 as an real estate sales camera. The combination of in-camera HDR & lens correction is just ideal for this application.

Thanks for the additional information you provided in response to my questions.
12-22-2009, 02:42 AM   #53
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Nice examples! I think the in-camera HDR did a decent a job.
By the way, is it a requirement that the windows can't be blown out? I mean do your clients require outdoors to be visible in the pictures, hence you have to use HDR / bracketing? I thought only the interior of the house / rooms matter on indoor pictures, but of course I don't know much about real estate business

12-22-2009, 05:21 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by chrisdm Quote
Holy $h!t!! is exactly what I said after seeing the first image that came out of my brand new Pentax K-7 last night. I shoot a lot of high end real estate, and most of them have exterior views, so the possibility of in-camera HDR was HUGE for me. But I was skeptical, knowing from experience how difficult and time consuming it is to get a natural looking yet effective HDR the "old fashioned" way. But I'll be damned, it actually works! And on top of that this camera will also correct for lens distortion in camera (I tested this too, it also works as advertised), and finally in-camera horizon and tilt indicators!!! Simply the dream camera for photographing interiors. My job just got a WHOLE lot easier, thank you Pentax! Now if you could only figure out how to make a camera autofocus like the competition, I would have about $30k worth of Canon gear to put on eBay!!

2 examples from my job last night:






Chris Miller
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This is extremely impressive. Way more than I thought was possible.
Not a gimmick feature at all.
12-22-2009, 06:55 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
This is extremely impressive. Way more than I thought was possible.
Not a gimmick feature at all.
I just did a quick and nasty test with my FA50 at f5.6 using the strong mode.
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12-22-2009, 07:25 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
Nice examples! I think the in-camera HDR did a decent a job.
By the way, is it a requirement that the windows can't be blown out? I mean do your clients require outdoors to be visible in the pictures, hence you have to use HDR / bracketing? I thought only the interior of the house / rooms matter on indoor pictures, but of course I don't know much about real estate business
Most of the homes I shoot are multimillion dollar properties with mountain views, and it is those views that get them their premium. So it is obviously a primary requirement in the photography, even with minor views (like being able to see the mountaintops out of the kitchen windows).

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12-22-2009, 07:45 AM   #57
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Great examples and a great thread, Chris!

Lots of fellow panographers who shoot for high-end real estate use HDR for the same reasons (the view is half the sales pitch), but those need to be hand processed no matter how you slice it.
12-22-2009, 10:02 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by chrisdm Quote
You may need to look into monitor calibration, you've clipped the blacks pretty heavily on the cactus and the rock in the center.
you may need to look into a new monitor, there is very little clipping there.


unless you consider that a lot... but i only had a jpg to work with.

Be interesting to see if you can get these scenes within reasonable range just a single raw from a Kx and its better dynamic range. (but i doubt it the interiors would play nice)

however i've been totally amazing by how much information is in the Kx's raw files vs the K20d's raw files.
12-22-2009, 10:28 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
you may need to look into a new monitor, there is very little clipping there.
I think the point is made, if you take a JPG and edit it down to where the blacks are clipped, and you think it is "better", then its no surprise you consider the K-7 HDR files "flat".

Chris Miller
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