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12-30-2009, 09:39 AM   #1
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K7 high iso noise comparison

Yes I know this is a topic discussed over and over already. It's only because of the holidays, I have some free time so I decided to do a thorough test of my week old k7 comparing JPG straight out of camera and RAW with CS4 noise reduction. The RAW was shot with 2/3 stop over exposure then pulled back in PP. There are also crops to show noise details.

Honestly, there are way more important things to a camera than just high iso performance. I'm no pixel peeper. But even examined closely, IMHO, k7 is perfectly capable of producing excellent results with proper technique and PP. Considering its weather sealing (my poor hands gave out in frigid weather faster than the battery), excellent handling and numerous customization, it is a great camera that boosts confidence and I'm sure will bring many years of joy.

ISO 1600 and crop



ISO 3200 and crop



ISO 6400 and crop



12-30-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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Those jpgs look good to me. Maybe I'm in the minority, but noise doesn't bother me nearly as much as blurred out detail from noise reduction.
12-30-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Tokeo Quote
Those jpgs look good to me. Maybe I'm in the minority, but noise doesn't bother me nearly as much as blurred out detail from noise reduction.
I agree to some extent.

the question is, what jpeg settings i the camera? the native pentax ones or custom. was high ISO NR turned on and to what level?

someone else made a comment about JPEGs vs raw earlier and the issue really is up to individual tastes.
12-30-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I agree to some extent.

the question is, what jpeg settings i the camera? the native pentax ones or custom. was high ISO NR turned on and to what level?

someone else made a comment about JPEGs vs raw earlier and the issue really is up to individual tastes.
The JPG is the with Fine setting 2, lanscape color setting with NR medium. In Raw CS4, NR setting really depends on iso. At iso 1600, luminance was 30, color was 25. As the iso goes up, both settings also needs to be increased (at iso 6400, both were at highest).

12-30-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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ISO 6400 is a software based expanded ISO range. so the noise aren't as pleasant compared to that of the 1600 and 3200.
12-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
ISO 6400 is a software based expanded ISO range. so the noise aren't as pleasant compared to that of the 1600 and 3200.
I agree. It was really difficult to get rid of the blue blotches from iso6400. I would not use that unless absolutely necessary. Noise in 1600 and 3200 is actually pretty fine and pleasant.
12-30-2009, 02:19 PM   #7
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I don't see why someone wouldn't take a photo and push it on their own. I never use iso 6400 on the K20, but I would push either 1600 or 3200 a stop or two without problem and get better results than 6400. This is of course, using RAW.
12-30-2009, 03:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Tokeo Quote
Those jpgs look good to me. Maybe I'm in the minority, but noise doesn't bother me nearly as much as blurred out detail from noise reduction.
I agree, up to 3200 on these pictures I prefer the original jpeg. The resized pictures are sharper and have better colors.
I don't understand the fuss about K-7 high iso. The K-x may be outstanding, but the K-7 is still pretty good.

12-30-2009, 03:20 PM   #9
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I am glad to see more K7 high ISO pics.
Those from Cyy are great, considering all of the bashing done regarding this issue as of late.
The K7 hold its own, in a very satisfying way, under those settings.
Good job done!

JP
12-30-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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PhilippeG and JP, honestly the bashing is only done by a small minority. the k-x have it's own fanboys as well. and to them, the k-x is the god of all dslrs, which is of course plain ridiculous.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 12-30-2009 at 05:09 PM.
12-30-2009, 04:54 PM   #11
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Kx is probably better at high ISO for about stop, but K-7 is no slouch at all. I keep mine at Auto ISO 100-1600 and I am confident that K-7 will deliver good photo. And if you know what are situations in which you can use 3200, K-7 will deal with noise very well indeed.
12-30-2009, 05:45 PM   #12
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I think over exposing the image wasn't a good idea. Almost any dslr will get good pictures at high iso if overexposed or when the scene is light properly.

The problem with high iso is when taking normal or underexposed shots in poor light.
12-30-2009, 06:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
PhilippeG and JP, honestly the bashing is only done by a small minority. the k-x have it's own fanboys as well. and to them, the k-x is the god of all dslrs, which is of course plain ridiculous.
Agreed!

JP
12-31-2009, 03:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyy47 Quote
The JPG is the with Fine setting 2, lanscape color setting with NR medium. In Raw CS4, NR setting really depends on iso. At iso 1600, luminance was 30, color was 25. As the iso goes up, both settings also needs to be increased (at iso 6400, both were at highest).
In my opinion, the Fine Sharpness 2 setting tends to sharpen noise as well as details.

Here's an example with a 100% crop taken with my K7. The following shot was taken at ISO 3200, shutter speed 1/10, F5, 18mm with my 18-55mm kit lens. Noise reduction turned off completely. No post-processing enabled, this is the jpeg straight from the camera. Custom Image was set to "Portrait" with the Sharpness slider set to its default of 0, just like all the other sliders. This is actually the same shot taken at RAW, but one was turned into a jpeg (by the camera) with Fine Sharpness disabled, and the other with Fine Sharpness 2 enabled.

The image on the left has Fine Sharpness disabled, the one on the right has Fine Sharpness 2 turned on:


Notice how Fine Sharpness 2 has really brought out the noise.
12-31-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
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And for those interested, this is the picture that the above crops were taken from (with Fine Sharpness disabled). I just shot it real quick on my desk as an example, it's not meant to be photographic art.

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