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12-21-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
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K-x with soft images

I recently purchased a k-x and the images appear soft at lower iso's especially when compared to a canon xsi I once owned. I really want to like this camera but this bugs the heck out of me and I'm about to just jump ship and get a k7 instead. I posted on this topic yesterday however I was interested to see how the k7 would compare at higher iso's with a raw file processed with some noise reduction software and started the thread "k7 noise versus the rest".

Is anyone else running into a problem like this? If anyone has a few examples of some sharp images taken with the kit lens could you please post?

I have varied shutter speed, aperature, shot with/without a filter, at various levels of zoom, etc, etc and still have the same results...indoors, outdoors, nature, buildings, animals...and tried through increased sharpening settings in the camera jpegs but yet also through RAW processing as well.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks to all.

12-21-2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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You might want to try and post some of your own images so we can see.
12-21-2009, 08:19 PM   #3
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Images with an exif are needed, otherwise we're poking in the dark with a 1 inch rod.

I have to ask, why did you change brands?
12-21-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Hm, maybe you have problems with front- or back-focusing? Try shooting a paper or something, from a ~45 degree above - so that it's clear where the lens actually focuses. (with kit lens, I'd say at 35mm at f/4, and camera using center point. Then when you zoom in on picture, there should be a sort of horizontal row of sharp letters)
Another issue I've had with K-x is that images appear kinda soft in-camera - probably because preview images in the camera are downsized. Most of them look much better on computer. Canon's entry-levels seem to behave another way around - their 3-inch screens look majestic, but some people I know that have T1i's, complained about pictures looking not as good on the computer. Oh well, can't say much since I don't have any personal experience with those.

I don't really have a kit lens, and the closest to it I've got is 16-45/4. It produces pretty sharp results. Like this:
K-x, ISO200, f/8, 1/125, 28m with DA 16-45/4, old Sunpak manual flash bounced from the ceiling, no sharpening applied

Crop:


Hope it helps!


Last edited by pbo; 12-21-2009 at 08:34 PM.
12-21-2009, 08:51 PM   #5
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Wow PBO, that chicken looks so good. Drools... You made it yourself?
12-21-2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
Wow PBO, that chicken looks so good. Drools... You made it yourself?
Obviously, no, I did not. I took sharp, pretty pictures haha
And it was thanksgiving turkey...
12-21-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
...otherwise we're poking in the dark with a 1 inch rod.
some of us have practice though!
12-21-2009, 11:10 PM   #8
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I will post a few examples as soon as I figure out how to reduce the picture size as I'm assuming there is a limit on here. My experience overall is limited and I suspect I may be doing something wrong despite attempting to educate myself on technique and other variables involved in getting a sharp pic and good composition. On the other hand, I didn't have as much trouble with the k20d.

Any opinions on a reasonable freeware program that can reduce the filesize?

btw, the turkey shot looks excellent to me, especially the crop compaired to what I think I would end up with. Was that with the kit lens?

As for the brand switch, despite the marketshare of the big two...I feel like they take customers a bit for granted with cameras lacking the ingenuity and attention to detail that Pentax has.

It's the small things really....for example I was in best buy and noticed a nikon d5000 with a flash that would not remained in the closed position. I noticed the "hook" that locks it down was snapped off and that it was plastic (also in the t1i) in comparison to the k-x which is considerably cheaper but yet had a metal hook that could probably only fail if you grabbed the thing with a pair of pliers and twisted it out. Some simple thing like this stands out in my mind, and thats just one example not to mention the fact featurewise canon/nikon just can't match in the same price ranges. You just get much more for the $$.

I'll try to throw up some pics after work tomorrow for review.

12-21-2009, 11:12 PM   #9
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Just saw that the turkey shot was not with the kit lens, but its nice to know it has the capability there to capture high detail
12-21-2009, 11:18 PM   #10
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All problems cause of jpeg. In RAW fotos looks very sharp.
12-21-2009, 11:23 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
Just saw that the turkey shot was not with the kit lens, but its nice to know it has the capability there to capture high detail
Yes, it's not kit lens - but it's the only one close to kit lens that I have. Pentax kit lens is supposed to be pretty good - so I doubt it will be less sharp at f/8 if focused properly.
12-22-2009, 12:57 AM   #12
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This topic has been discussed several times around the forums. I also own a K-x and also noticed the difference how the pictures look like at low iso compared to the pictures taken with my K200D (which has the same sensor as the K10D which is widely accepted as a great low iso camera).
As Jaleel pointed out pictures look much sharper in RAW and all the dullness comes after the conversion to jpeg-no matter how much sharpness you add. I also noticed this and have no idea

What you can do:
First of all default in-Jpeg settings lack sharpness-add +3. Also you can increase the contrast a little bit- or shoot RAW and do the same in PP.

I've just found this on an other forum-might be slightly scientific:

Re: K-x Full Size ISO 200 Shot: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

this is also about the same topic:

Wow! K-x ISO 3200 & 4500 photos.: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review


This is athread in this forum with my initial impressions of the K-x-with pictures:

www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/83468-you-married-your-new-k-x-today.html

This is my sharpest so far at iso 200-this looks very good, taken with the FA50 1.4 which is a pretty sharp lens. However pictures with this lens on the K200D look even sharper




For me the K-x will never replace my k200D for outdoor good light shooting. I looked around the net before I bought it and decided for the price it will be a perfect high iso back up camera. Surely it is

iso 5000 shots:






Andras

Last edited by planedriver; 12-22-2009 at 01:30 AM.
12-22-2009, 06:37 AM   #13
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I don't buy that it's a jPG engine issue at all, i'm almost guaranteeing it's a shutter speed/motion blur/shake problem.
12-22-2009, 06:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbo Quote
I don't really have a kit lens, and the closest to it I've got is 16-45/4. It produces pretty sharp results. Like this:
K-x, ISO200, f/8, 1/125, 28m with DA 16-45/4, old Sunpak manual flash bounced from the ceiling, no sharpening applied

Crop:
This picture has the the same softness we are talking about-I always have the impression that these pictures looks like the ones which lost their quality due to compression. Moreover I also have the 16-45 lens and I always had the impression that it is the sharpest at around f8-f9. So from my point of view it should look like much sharper.


QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I don't buy that it's a jPG engine issue at all, i'm almost guaranteeing it's a shutter speed/motion blur/shake problem.
That was my first thought but after trying out several settings I have to say it's not.

Intersting this camera seems to come alive at higher isos.

Andras
12-22-2009, 07:15 AM   #15
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My K-x appears to be as sharp as my K10D when shooting in RAW format (converted in LR 2.6). My K10D died before I got the K-x, but I had a couple of K10D shots of a world map that I could replicate with the K-x and my Pentax 18-250 mm lens. The shots of the map from the two cameras were virtually identical with respect to sharpness (and color). In addition, I have now taken about 300 shots with the K-x, most with the kit lens, most at low ISO and outdoors, and IMHO the IQ, including sharpness, is comparable to the K10D. Dynamic range seems greater with the K-x - less lost detail in highlights and shadows for high contrast, outdoor shots. The snow/surf scene mode works well to get the WB right, too - have had lots of opportunity for that this week (the snow part).
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