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06-24-2007, 10:28 PM   #1
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Concerns with new K10D

Well, I finally got my K10D and I've been taking alot of pictures lately. Mostly on the green mode as I have no real experiance with cameras but slowly experimenting with the other modes. All of the following is with the Kit 18-55 Lens.

What concerns me is that my pictures don't seem to be giving me the quality I had hoped for.

The first problem I see is that I took a few pics at ISO 800 and some seem to turn out horribly and others are alright.
Alright example ... Horrible Example (has some brightening in lightroom) In the horrible example, you can clearly see that on the right side there is a bunch of banding and that there is also a high amount of noise throughout the photo. I figured that I would get noise at ISO 1600 but I shouldn't be getting this kind of noise at ISO 800 should I?

The other thing is that my picture seem not to be very sharp when I view the @ 100%. There are a few other pics I've uploaded on the flickr page. They seem to be fine when not viewed full size and its kinda hard to tell on flickr but on my computer I can clearly see that they aren't very sharp when viewed full size. Would this be me, the camera, the lens, or something else?

The third thing that mildly concerned me, although not to do with picture quality is that when I look through the viewfinder I can see these 3 specs of dust. It was like this fresh out of the packaging. They are always in focus, even when I zoom in/out and change the focus. Does this give any indication of where they could be? Sensor, Viewfinder, Lens?

I just spent a lot of money (for me) and I'm mildly dissapointed. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Vyx

Edit: Forgot to mentions, all of the photos are taken in raw and then converted with lightroom to .jpg


Last edited by vyx313; 06-24-2007 at 10:40 PM.
06-24-2007, 10:49 PM   #2
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Just try changing some settings by default :

Sharpness : maximum,
Contrast + 1,
Image Tone : vivid.

This should get you the right results.

On the onther hand, the Jpeg conversion is not perfict with the K10D, so you should compare with shooting in RAW mode and then converting on your PC. This will defenately give you much sharper pictures.
06-24-2007, 11:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by vyx313 Quote
Well, I finally got my K10D and I've been taking alot of pictures lately. Mostly on the green mode as I have no real experiance with cameras but slowly experimenting with the other modes. All of the following is with the Kit 18-55 Lens.
I'd recommend that once you are more familiar with the camera and it's controls you move to the "P" mode (Hyper Program) Much more versatile and for me, the most often used behind Tav (great setting BTW). I'd also suggest you change the program (under "Custom setting" in the menu) line to: MTF. in green mode (and other modes) this will make the camera set the lens (FA and DA lenses) aperture to the preprogrammed best aperture (in the given lighting) as determined by Pentax and programed into the lens's ROM chip.

"What concerns me is that my pictures don't seem to be giving me the quality I had hoped for. The first problem I see is that I took a few pics at ISO 800 and some seem to turn out horribly and others are alright. (has some brightening in lightroom) In the horrible example, you can clearly see that on the right side there is a bunch of banding and that there is also a high amount of noise."


well it seems a little high to me and I wonder if the PP brightening is causing some of the issue. It would be interesting to see the RAW image with no PP to better determine the shot.

The other thing is that my picture seem not to be very sharp when I view the @ 100%. There are a few other pics I've uploaded on the flickr page. They seem to be fine when not viewed full size and its kinda hard to tell on flickr but on my computer I can clearly see that they aren't very sharp when viewed full size. Would this be me, the camera, the lens, or something else?

A few things. 1) the Kit lens is a 'consumer grade lens" and not the best lens to evaluate the camera with. It does a fairly good job in most situations but isn't as good as most of the other lenses in the lineup. 2) the image in question (car) is in fairly poor light and there may be reflections caused from the window glass slightly tricking the AF sensors. 3) Do you have the SR on? If not you may be seeing some shake in the picture from a slow shutter speed. 4) due to the poor lighting the DOF is going to be very small and thus only a small part of the image will be in sharpest focus. 5) most importantly 100% is a 100% crop not 100% size. the image that first comes up on the screen is the true size of the actual image as it would be if you printed it no matter what the print size would be. I'm not entirely positive but I think a 100% crop is roughly a 4x multiplier. Imagine this, what you are doing when you hit 100% is taking the part of the image on the screen and fitting that part to fill the screen. This 100% crop is not the entire final image but only one part of the image. Useful for editing and so on but not regular viewing.

A true test would be to take the camera and use a tripod and take some similar pictures as well as other pictures in brighter light conditions of still life objects. If it is still soft in brighter light then you will know if there is a problem.

The third thing that mildly concerned me, although not to do with picture quality is that when I look through the viewfinder I can see these 3 specs of dust. It was like this fresh out of the packaging. They are always in focus, even when I zoom in/out and change the focus. Does this give any indication of where they could be? Sensor, Viewfinder, Lens?

OK Viewfinder - take the lens off are they still there? - did you remove these dust specs from the pictures posted or are they not showing up in the images? - when the lens is off the camera can you look through and see any dust etc inside the lens? - also have a look at the mirror inside the camera, clean? Dust is just a fact of life with any type of SLR but in some ways a little more particular to DSLR's. Once you determine where it is then re post and some suggestions can be offered.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 06-24-2007 at 11:48 PM.
06-25-2007, 12:15 AM   #4
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Hi Vyx,
I understand your concern, and Peter, you've helped me out with those points.

I too suffer a little with noise in poor lighting conditions. I'd taken quite a few shots with the 18-55 in RAW & NR with flash at ISO 800 and 1600 with varying results ranging from very poor (lots of noise) to quite acceptable. And the variation even happened when my flash was set at the same intensity, and Tv and Av were very similar in the same conditions.

It's hard for me to explain also - but I know adequate exposure is most of the story. My shots turned out very well when I fit the FA50/1.4 on and used apertures of 2.0-2.8

But I'm still hoping to find some consistency with regards to noise 'cause I'd hate to have a great shot seen on the screen with an OK histogram profile turn out noisy when I view it on computer screen...

Anyone comment?

06-25-2007, 12:29 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
well it seems a little high to me and I wonder if the PP brightening is causing some of the issue. It would be interesting to see the RAW image with no PP to better determine the shot.
I've uploaded two more images. One the same image without any pp, just jpg conversion and another taken at the same time. Although not as apparent, it still seems like there is banding to me.

QuoteQuote:
OK Viewfinder - take the lens off are they still there? - did you remove these dust specs from the pictures posted or are they not showing up in the images? - when the lens is off the camera can you look through and see any dust etc inside the lens? - also have a look at the mirror inside the camera, clean? Dust is just a fact of life with any type of SLR but in some ways a little more particular to DSLR's. Once you determine where it is then re post and some suggestions can be offered.
When I take off the lens I still see the specs when looking through the viewfinder. I've looked on the mirror (this is the part thats down when you take off the lens right) and it seems that there are a few small specs on there, I suppose that could be where the problem lies.

QuoteQuote:
A few things. 1) the Kit lens is a 'consumer grade lens" and not the best lens to evaluate the camera with. It does a fairly good job in most situations but isn't as good as most of the other lenses in the lineup. 2) the image in question (car) is in fairly poor light and there may be reflections caused from the window glass slightly tricking the AF sensors. 3) Do you have the SR on? If not you may be seeing some shake in the picture from a slow shutter speed. 4) due to the poor lighting the DOF is going to be very small and thus only a small part of the image will be in sharpest focus. 5) most importantly 100% is a 100% crop not 100% size. the image that first comes up on the screen is the true size of the actual image as it would be if you printed it no matter what the print size would be. I'm not entirely positive but I think a 100% crop is roughly a 4x multiplier. Imagine this, what you are doing when you hit 100% is taking the part of the image on the screen and fitting that part to fill the screen. This 100% crop is not the entire final image but only one part of the image. Useful for editing and so on but not regular viewing.
I agree with your first four points and that is probably where the problems are coming from although, I do have SR on. As to the 5th point, I guess my question is this: Before I bought my camera, I looked at many reviews. Many of them would take a still life photo of a bunch of stuff. They would then crop out a portion of the image and blow it up yet everything still looked sharp. ie. This page on dpreview. Also, when I stated that my images at full size are not very sharp, I mean like this. On that page, the image is the full 10mpix resolution so that I have to scroll up/down and right/left on my screen. When I open up a raw -> jpg conversion on my computer I have to scroll the same ammount, hence the two images are the same size yet mine are nowhere near as sharp as the example. I purport that this could be caused by me. I don't have a tripod, but I'll try taking some tomorrow with the camera braced and see what I can come up with.

Thanks again,
Vyx
06-25-2007, 01:16 AM   #6
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The dust would appear to be either in the viewfinder or the mirror. Use a soft lens brush and blower bulb to remove it. Try to avoid lens solution and tissue if possible. The images you are comparing are not apples to apples. They don't post the ISO setting but I am positive it's at ISO 100 or 200 and they are in balanced bright light. That can't be compared to a car shot hand held at dusk. That's what I meant earlier about doing some test shots in bright conditions with a tripod where the lighting is controlled and everything is steady. Set up the same type of shot in your kitchen with 3 lights that are the same temperature. Or lots of sunlight from more than one window. Then see what the camera does.
06-25-2007, 07:44 AM   #7
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Several of the images on your Flickr page are very underexposed, which will bring out noise even in low ISO and on any camera. Therefore the real solution to the noise problem in these images is to find out why the camera underexposed them. Can you shed some light on what settings you are using, especially which metering pattern?

I agree that the K10D is a bit noisy at high ISO. The bane of a 10mp APS-C chip is you will have either high noise or low sharpness at high ISO. Pentax chose to maintain sharpness and leave noise reduction to the user. In my shots as long as exposure is good the noise is not very distracting, looking much like film grain. Lets fix that exposure issue and see if that helps the noise issue.
06-25-2007, 06:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
That's what I meant earlier about doing some test shots in bright conditions with a tripod where the lighting is controlled and everything is steady. Set up the same type of shot in your kitchen with 3 lights that are the same temperature. Or lots of sunlight from more than one window. Then see what the camera does.
I made a little setup in my living room to do this. Although not the best lighting conditions I think it illustrated the point you were trying to get across. I took shots through the iso range and the results were much closer to what I had expected. ISO 1600 yeilded noise but for that ISO, I think it was acceptable. I have an ISO 800 and 1600 shot up on the flickr page.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jeda:
Just try changing some settings by default
Thanks for the advise jeda, after I bumped the sharpness up in camera that helped the pictures a bunch. Although, I think that the kit lens is still limiting in how sharp I can get the pictures.

QuoteOriginally posted by davemdsn:
Can you shed some light on what settings you are using, especially which metering pattern?
Currently I'm using multi-segment metering.


I think that most of my problems stem from inexperience. I just started freaking out when my camera didn't do exactly what I thought it would out of the box. Since this was a huge purchase for me I started to think there might be a problem with the camera but well...I think its just operator error. But as always, any advise is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Vyx

06-25-2007, 07:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by davemdsn Quote
Several of the images on your Flickr page are very underexposed, which will bring out noise even in low ISO and on any camera. Therefore the real solution to the noise problem in these images is to find out why the camera underexposed them. Can you shed some light on what settings you are using, especially which metering pattern?

I agree that the K10D is a bit noisy at high ISO. The bane of a 10mp APS-C chip is you will have either high noise or low sharpness at high ISO. Pentax chose to maintain sharpness and leave noise reduction to the user. In my shots as long as exposure is good the noise is not very distracting, looking much like film grain. Lets fix that exposure issue and see if that helps the noise issue.
I agree - the "horrible" example was WAY underexposed if that was brightened in PP.

As "horrible" as it is, it blows away my Panasonic DMC-LX1 P&S at even 200.
06-25-2007, 08:54 PM   #10
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Well, thats reassuring.

Also, on a side note, if others with the K10D wouldn't mind looking at the 2 examples (ISO 800 and 1600) and telling me if these seem about on par with what your getting I would appreciate it.

Vyx
06-25-2007, 09:06 PM   #11
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Heavily underexposed, then brightened in Lightroom. You can hit this level of poor quality with absolutely any camera at any ISO. Get a 39 megapixel Hasselblad H3D for $32,000 (count zeros carefully!) and underexpose at ISO 100 by 5 stops and then correct (boost) exposure in Lightroom and you'll get poor result as well! No exceptions, just laws of physics in action.

So the question is: why are your photographs underexposed? There must be some setting or something that caused this. Could you provide EXIF with your photographs and describe real conditions (time of day, available light, etc) so we can analyze the problem?
06-25-2007, 09:24 PM   #12
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This is probably a stupid question but is EXIF all the iso, shutter speed...etc info?
06-25-2007, 09:35 PM   #13
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Your two living room examples don't look that bad. I've gotten similar results. I do agree that pushing the exposure will get you lots of noise - I took some pictures at ISO 200 that were very underexposed (manual lens, forgot to meter) and adjusted them in Lightroom because I liked the scene. The noise created by pushing them that much made them unuseable (too much for Neat Image to handle). It does seem like your camera is underexposing way more than mine does.
06-25-2007, 11:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vyx313 Quote
This is probably a stupid question but is EXIF all the iso, shutter speed...etc info?
That is correct. Make sure to uncheck "Minimize Embedded Metadata" in the Lightroom "Export" dialog and your EXIF (which is in fact one standardized metadata set) will be preserved.
06-26-2007, 05:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan Glisin:
That is correct. Make sure to uncheck "Minimize Embedded Metadata" in the Lightroom "Export" dialog and your EXIF (which is in fact one standardized metadata set) will be preserved.
When I checked the export dialog in lightroom, the minimize embedded metadata was not checked so I just copy and pasted the info from the properties link on the right side of the flickr page into the comment boxes. I think this is what you are looking for. If not, please let me know.

QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal:
Your two living room examples don't look that bad. I've gotten similar results. I do agree that pushing the exposure will get you lots of noise - I took some pictures at ISO 200 that were very underexposed (manual lens, forgot to meter) and adjusted them in Lightroom because I liked the scene. The noise created by pushing them that much made them unuseable (too much for Neat Image to handle). It does seem like your camera is underexposing way more than mine does.
Just when I was beginning to think that my camera was fine you start to get me worried again

Would there be a way to test the camera to see if it had an underexposing problem and if so, how would I fix this? Is there some setting in the camera that I can change or would this be something that I would have to send the camera into pentax to repair?

Thanks again for everyone's help,
Vyx
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