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02-12-2018, 04:47 AM   #1
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Is HD video from a K3 normally this awful?


I took video with the K7 that was far, far, better than this. I'm very happy with the K3 as a still camera, but if this is as good as the video gets, I won't bother again. The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 isn't the problem.

02-12-2018, 06:19 AM   #2
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You have to do some messing with your jpeg settings. For a scene with that much contrast you might want to use a flatter jpeg profile and try to "color grade" it later to try and save the highlights (use highlight protection too). There's not much you can do about sharpness I'm afraid. 1080p for the K-3 is generous because the codec uses such a poor bit rate that the mushy videos it produces looks more like 720 upscaled to me.

I've used my K-3 as a b camera for work sometimes and the old Canon Rebel we have just takes much better video. I don't know if Pentax or the manufacturer of the image processor is to blame for the poor video encoder, but the quality is not very good. I think Nikon uses the same image processor in their cameras which would explain why they have pretty poor video too. If the processor is to blame, I wish Pentax could offload the video encoding on to a separate chip, but that won't happen because these are the things Pentax skimps on to make such fairly priced cameras. Their message to you and me is too use a dedicated camera system for video (a huge money pit) or use your smart phone (little versatility). I'm not complaining, that's just the way Pentax thinks since they're focused on getting the best still quality.

Last edited by Dipsoid; 02-12-2018 at 06:38 AM.
02-12-2018, 06:26 AM   #3
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Composition Problems Most of Videos is Still Material very little Video MaterialIMHO e.g. Babling brook should be shown babling ,CPL may help with colour & contrast if scene was composed for video
02-12-2018, 07:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote


I took video with the K7 that was far, far, better than this. I'm very happy with the K3 as a still camera, but if this is as good as the video gets, I won't bother again. The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 isn't the problem.
Not sure why its so bad. I get much better video on my K3 (although its not known for good video quality).
My Settings are
Exposure: AV
Movie Capture Settings: FullHD 24p
Recording Sound Level: Auto
Digital Filter: OFF
Movie SR: OFF

02-12-2018, 11:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote


I took video with the K7 that was far, far, better than this. I'm very happy with the K3 as a still camera, but if this is as good as the video gets, I won't bother again. The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 isn't the problem.
Be sure to disable the shake reduction if you haven't already. Unlike the K-7, the K-3's video stabilization is electronic, and therefore useless.

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02-12-2018, 11:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I'm very happy with the K3 as a still camera, but if this is as good as the video gets, I won't bother again.
If you really want to see what the K3 is capable of with video, I'd suggest changing:

a) Change the Tamron zoom for your DA 35mm macro prime (or any DA or DFA prime).
b) Change your movie capture settings to 1920 x 1080i (Full HD) and at least 30 fps. (50 or 60 fps is even better, but huge files).
c) Use an external mic with headphones. Not using headphones for audio is like recording images without a viewfinder.
d) Turn off Auto White Balance, and set it manually to the color temperature of the scene, such as Daylight.
e) Turn off AF; use MF.

My main issue with most DSLRs is the rolling shutter effect while shooting movement.
02-12-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
b) Change your movie capture settings to 1920 x 1080i (Full HD) and at least 30 fps. (50 or 60 fps is even better, but huge files).
OP should be shooting at 1080p, not 1080i for full resolution as interlacing cuts the vertical resolution in half. The interlacing renders alternating 540 fields.
02-12-2018, 02:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
OP should be shooting at 1080p, not 1080i for full resolution as interlacing cuts the vertical resolution in half. The interlacing renders alternating 540 fields.
Yes, thatʻs correct. Iʻm old school where computer monitors used to all be interlaced and TVs were progressive. 1080p is better than 1080i.

02-12-2018, 02:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote


I took video with the K7 that was far, far, better than this. I'm very happy with the K3 as a still camera, but if this is as good as the video gets, I won't bother again. The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 isn't the problem.
Well, on Vimeo it's 720p, and your focus is off in several of the scenes. The focus could be soft because of the lens. What bit rate did you render this out at?
02-12-2018, 03:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
a) Change the Tamron zoom for your DA 35mm macro prime (or any DA or DFA prime). b) Change your movie capture settings to 1920 x 1080i (Full HD) and at least 30 fps. (50 or 60 fps is even better, but huge files). c) Use an external mic with headphones. Not using headphones for audio is like recording images without a viewfinder. d) Turn off Auto White Balance, and set it manually to the color temperature of the scene, such as Daylight. e) Turn off AF; use MF.
Good tips!
Also, disable SR.
And shutter speed should be 1/(2*fps) to start. If you then select a lower shutter speed (slower shutter, longer exposure) the frames will be more fluid, with motion being blurred. If you select a higher shutter speed, the video will be more "sharp" but also more twitchy. This can cause things like bad SR and jello effect to be more noticeable
Using a tripod and being very careful and deliberate with your movements will have a big effect, as well. All the good movies and films are carefully planned out, scene by scene, each camera movement planned and tested ahead of time

Finally, with most video, you usually want to run it through a video editor later. Pentax is not known for stellar video, so it makes sense to do PP to improve the video compression and play with things like sharpening.

But yes, Pentax video is not perfect. Codecs, digital SR, manual options.. its not teh end of the world, but its far from perfect. If you want to do a lot of video, you should think about Sony or Canon. Some users on this forum posted stunning videos taken with Pentax DSLRs, though. So there is proof that getting good video with these cameras is possible. That said, the OP video is not terrible. And we should keep in mind that video websites often re-encode the video files with different compression, which will lower the overall quality

Last edited by Na Horuk; 02-12-2018 at 04:03 PM.
02-12-2018, 05:09 PM   #11
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Yes, good tips. I use the flat profile for video (havenít got the K-3II in front of me to check the actual name), manual exposure, SR off, HD 1080p 24fps - the higher frame rates interlace and the res drops. Then PP, including de-shaking.
02-12-2018, 05:45 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhmos Quote
Not sure why its so bad. I get much better video on my K3 (although its not known for good video quality).
My Settings are
Exposure: AV
Movie Capture Settings: FullHD 24p
Recording Sound Level: Auto
Digital Filter: OFF
Movie SR: OFF
What they said ^ ^ ^. A still shot of the same scene with the same exposure settings, WB, and JPEG settings might yield a few clues. If the stills are uninspiring, there is no reason for the movie to be better.


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02-12-2018, 10:23 PM   #13
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Thanks folks - I'll try some of the setting suggestions.

There's nothing wrong with the sharpness of the lens. Here's a still image I took with the same lens and body on the same day.


Michelago Station
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02-14-2018, 03:45 AM   #14
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Is the K1 any improvement in terms of video compared to the K3?

I feel that video on the K3 is really being let down by the codec.
02-14-2018, 04:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by antipattern Quote
Is the K1 any improvement in terms of video compared to the K3?
I feel that video on the K3 is really being let down by the codec.
Good question. My impression is that the raw video is much sharper from the K7 than the K3. I'm not impressed with the MOV format on the K3. I may feel different if I was a Mac user, but I'm not.
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