So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?

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Qwntm
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So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
7 months ago

This is at ISO 200. The top image is High ISO Noise Reduction set to High, the second image is High ISO Noise Reduction set to OFF, and the third image the whole scene.

Took 30 seconds to demonstrate the problem.

And I also realized I need to test my 17-50 vs. my 16-50 for purple fringing issues. The 16-50 is not looking that good here.

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Qwntm
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And here's the logic behind it.
In reply to Qwntm, 7 months ago

It's easy to test and I just did so in less than 30 seconds.

Shoot something with high iso noise reduction set to HIGH, then shoot it again with High iso noise reduction set to OFF. View at 100% and the detail on the high shot will be obliterated.

THUS, logically we can conclude that if HIGH is a possibility for the AUTO mode to choose, and we have our camera set to AUTO, then some of our shots could experience random obliteration of the detail.

It's not a "flaw" in the camera, it's the way it was designed to function. And it's just something users need to be aware of.

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audiobomber
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Qwntm, 7 months ago

Ugly, but I doubt that Auto NR would choose NR High at ISO 200. Surely some thought has gone into the Auto algorithm.

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Dan

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to audiobomber, 7 months ago

audiobomber wrote:

Ugly, but I doubt that Auto NR would choose NR High at ISO 200. Surely some thought has gone into the Auto algorithm.

I have asked it elsewhere, but I can ask it again. Any ideas what the thoughtful Pentax designers have used for kind of algorithm for doing the choice?

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ozdean
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Qwntm, 7 months ago

Never thought it would be that bad at iso 200 Ed imagine what it is doing at 1600!

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waynes
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to ozdean, 7 months ago

If it is true, the problem is soft, not hard, and should be easily fixable by firmware.

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Voikkari
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Re: And here's the logic behind it.
In reply to Qwntm, 7 months ago

And we all wait for the next firmware release.

I agree, this is a problem, but it can be fixed.

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Joseph Tainter
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Qwntm, 7 months ago

Thanks for the additional demo.

Joe

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Joseph Tainter
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, 7 months ago

Roland Karlsson wrote:

audiobomber wrote:

Ugly, but I doubt that Auto NR would choose NR High at ISO 200. Surely some thought has gone into the Auto algorithm.

I have asked it elsewhere, but I can ask it again. Any ideas what the thoughtful Pentax designers have used for kind of algorithm for doing the choice?

I don't know about algorithms, but never underestimate Pentax's ability to shoot themselves in the foot.

We saw K-3 images taken a day or two ago at ISO 200. The noise was very bad. This sensor is a problem.

Joe

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Joseph Tainter
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Joseph Tainter, 7 months ago

Joseph Tainter wrote:

We saw K-3 images taken a day or two ago at ISO 200. The noise was very bad. This sensor is a problem.

Joe

Expand these images to 100% and see how noisy the sensor is at ISO 200. I would guess that this is why Pentax applies such heavy noise reduction.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52672441

And note the moire in the second image.

Joe

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Holger Bargen
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Re: And here's the logic behind it.
In reply to Voikkari, 7 months ago

I think that the setting of the strength of noise correction (noise is the main problem of high ISO) is some kind of philosophy.

I remember back a couple of years: The Panasonic FZ30 was a great camera everybody liked a lot (also at dpreview). The expectations for the follow up model wer high. The FZ50 was designed - more MP - and due to the advertisments: a big step forward with respect to noise (they showed some graphs with measured values that were impressive). But next we all here at dpreview were pixel-peeping - and we were disappointed: They simply solved the problem of higher noise by smearing the pixels to a soup that looked more like a water color painting than like a photograph! 100% crops were horrible - but pictures that were printed at standard formats the customers usually would select looked great.

It seems to be the way of Pentax now: They were not able to fix the problem of noise at high ISO - thus, they tried to hide it.

I do not like this way of solving the problem. For most users of the K3 it would be better to keep as muc information in the JPG file so the user has all opportunities for post-processing.

Best regards

Holger

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Qwntm
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Re: And here's the logic behind it.
In reply to Voikkari, 7 months ago

Voikkari wrote:

And we all wait for the next firmware release.

I agree, this is a problem, but it can be fixed.

I don't think it's a "problem" I think it's a "feature."

I think the camera is working perfectly to design specifications, I just think a lot of people don't like the design of this small feature. Nobody would really know it existed if the "AUTO" setting didn't go there sometimes.

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Qwntm
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to audiobomber, 7 months ago

audiobomber wrote:

Ugly, but I doubt that Auto NR would choose NR High at ISO 200. Surely some thought has gone into the Auto algorithm.

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Dan

I have had "AUTO" obliterate detail at ISO 400, so best to just set a custom ISO NR or turn it off and deal with it in post or shoot RAW.

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Col K10d
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Qwntm, 7 months ago

I was interested to see when selecting custom nr it showed nr being applied down to iso100 do you think this matches the auto settings?

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Jim in Hudson
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Re: And here's the logic behind it.
In reply to Holger Bargen, 7 months ago

Holger Bargen wrote:

I think that the setting of the strength of noise correction (noise is the main problem of high ISO) is some kind of philosophy.

I remember back a couple of years: The Panasonic FZ30 was a great camera everybody liked a lot (also at dpreview). The expectations for the follow up model wer high. The FZ50 was designed - more MP - and due to the advertisments: a big step forward with respect to noise (they showed some graphs with measured values that were impressive). But next we all here at dpreview were pixel-peeping - and we were disappointed: They simply solved the problem of higher noise by smearing the pixels to a soup that looked more like a water color painting than like a photograph! 100% crops were horrible - but pictures that were printed at standard formats the customers usually would select looked great.

It seems to be the way of Pentax now: They were not able to fix the problem of noise at high ISO - thus, they tried to hide it.

I do not like this way of solving the problem. For most users of the K3 it would be better to keep as muc information in the JPG file so the user has all opportunities for post-processing.

Best regards

Holger

I guess I don't understand.  Isn't the whole point of using OOC JPEGs is to not do any post processing?  Otherwise, why not do the PP on the RAW files instead?

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James O'Neill
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Joseph Tainter, 7 months ago

Joseph Tainter wrote:

Joseph Tainter wrote:

We saw K-3 images taken a day or two ago at ISO 200. The noise was very bad. This sensor is a problem.

Joe

Expand these images to 100% and see how noisy the sensor is at ISO 200. I would guess that this is why Pentax applies such heavy noise reduction.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52672441

And note the moire in the second image.

Joe

I notice that the image I downloaded seems to have been re-written by DPR (poster ID is written to the IPTC data, maker notes are stripped. etc). I'd like to see the out-of-camera shots before concluding too much

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Qwntm
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Re: So just how destructive is High ISO Noise Reduction?
In reply to Col K10d, 7 months ago

Col K10d wrote:

I was interested to see when selecting custom nr it showed nr being applied down to iso100 do you think this matches the auto settings?

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Colin
If a picture's worth a 1000 words, why have I run out of shelves?

I think only the designers know what AUTO is set to do, so best leave it OFF and set a custom setting. I like the idea of 100-1600 OFF and 3200 LOW etc.

Easily solved if your worried about detail at 100% in your images.

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Qwntm
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"Problem Sensor?"
In reply to Joseph Tainter, 7 months ago

Joseph Tainter wrote:

Joseph Tainter wrote:

We saw K-3 images taken a day or two ago at ISO 200. The noise was very bad. This sensor is a problem.

Joe

Expand these images to 100% and see how noisy the sensor is at ISO 200. I would guess that this is why Pentax applies such heavy noise reduction.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52672441

And note the moire in the second image.

Joe

I don't think a "Problem Sensor" can be declared or identified by 2 web images...

Unless I AM SPECIFICALLY TRYING to make a BAD IMAGE, my K-3 and it's sensor is the BEST DSLR I'VE USED SO FAR. (Up against Canon 5DM3 and others. And of course my opinion.)

I shoot mostly landscapes at ISO 100 in RAW on a tripod and the occasional wedding, sporting event and portrait.

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Joseph Tainter
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Re: "Problem Sensor?"
In reply to Qwntm, 7 months ago

Qwntm wrote:

Joseph Tainter wrote:

Joseph Tainter wrote:

We saw K-3 images taken a day or two ago at ISO 200. The noise was very bad. This sensor is a problem.

Joe

Expand these images to 100% and see how noisy the sensor is at ISO 200. I would guess that this is why Pentax applies such heavy noise reduction.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52672441

And note the moire in the second image.

Joe

I don't think a "Problem Sensor" can be declared or identified by 2 web images...

Unless I AM SPECIFICALLY TRYING to make a BAD IMAGE, my K-3 and it's sensor is the BEST DSLR I'VE USED SO FAR. (Up against Canon 5DM3 and others. And of course my opinion.)

I shoot mostly landscapes at ISO 100 in RAW on a tripod and the occasional wedding, sporting event and portrait.

That's fine. I shoot landscapes too. But I shoot a lot handheld indoors at high ISO settings, and just love the clean images I get from the K-5 series sensor.

For the images that I post the link to, this much noise at ISO 1600 would be okay. For ISO 200, I was quite surprised at the noise when I enlarged the images.

Joe

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sfa1966
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Re: "Problem Sensor?"
In reply to Joseph Tainter, 7 months ago

Joseph Tainter wrote:

Qwntm wrote:

Joseph Tainter wrote:

Joseph Tainter wrote:

We saw K-3 images taken a day or two ago at ISO 200. The noise was very bad. This sensor is a problem.

Joe

Expand these images to 100% and see how noisy the sensor is at ISO 200. I would guess that this is why Pentax applies such heavy noise reduction.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52672441

And note the moire in the second image.

Joe

I don't think a "Problem Sensor" can be declared or identified by 2 web images...

Unless I AM SPECIFICALLY TRYING to make a BAD IMAGE, my K-3 and it's sensor is the BEST DSLR I'VE USED SO FAR. (Up against Canon 5DM3 and others. And of course my opinion.)

I shoot mostly landscapes at ISO 100 in RAW on a tripod and the occasional wedding, sporting event and portrait.

That's fine. I shoot landscapes too. But I shoot a lot handheld indoors at high ISO settings, and just love the clean images I get from the K-5 series sensor.

For the images that I post the link to, this much noise at ISO 1600 would be okay. For ISO 200, I was quite surprised at the noise when I enlarged the images.

Joe

Full disclosure: I did push the shadows a couple of stops on the first of those images. The only point of posting them was to show that my DA*16-50 was not de-centred (because in some of my blurred shots that I'd shown earlier, the left side of my images looks appreciably worse than the centre).

However, on the other hand, I have noticed noise at 100% even in ISO100 shots taken in very good light. It's definitely not as 'clean' to work with as the K-5 sensor.

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