A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
emem
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A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
9 months ago

I need to do a great deal more experimentation and testing of this BUT - I'm extremely pleased to say, and admit, that my problems with loss of detail in whites when shooting in shade have indeed been with the settings in my camera. In the Custom Image setting, I have my camera set to "Bright". Within that setting are sub-settings for High/Low Key Adjust and Contrast Highlight Adjust and Shadow Adjust. These fine adjustments are not always visible but have to be "dialled up" - somehow they were all wrong. Whether I've inadvertently moved these settings around or some of the various people who have "played" with the camera since I got it have fiddled with them, I honestly don't know. But it seems to be the answer I've been looking for. Some of you have been patient with my rants, some less so. I do recall someone suggesting I check the Custom Image setting - or at least change it. Andrew Waldram was the one who set a little bell ringing when he mentioned my image(s) of the cockatoo feathers appeared to have the highlights clipped. Thank you Andrew. That sent me searching through the menus and adjustments, looking for anything that might "unclip" the highlights. David T was also helpful with suggestions and posting his very nice rabbit shot.

So here are two images - the proof of the pudding you might say .... you can all start kicking me now.

I've resized these images because you really don't need to see the original to appreciate the detail retention.

OOC Image (I still have to underexpose by a good stop or more to retain the detail)

Original (resized)

Processed image - to retain detail.

PP'd in ACDsee Pro 6 (as always)

There you have it. I still have a lot of testing ahead of me until I gat a complete handle on this. For instance, after taking a few images of the cat like this, a shot of general scenery, trees etc was decidedy dark and dull, so I need  to find the balance with this. Maybe I can utilise one of the user settings for light or white subjects in shade. But I certainly see a light at the end of my K-3 tunnel.

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KL Matt
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Also: if you're looking for a weakness of the K3, this may nonetheless still be where you'll find it. With less dynamic range, you're going to have a more difficult time preserving fine highlight detail like white feathers in mixed light without underexposing more than you would need to with a k5. Then again, the finer and purportedly better metering may take care of you better in this case than a k5, safely giving you consistently better results.

I'm sure YRMV.

Matt

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emem
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to KL Matt, 9 months ago

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

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KL Matt
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

emem wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

???

I hear you can adjust the contrast of those screens too, Mike...

???

M

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Jim in Hudson
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

emem wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

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Mike McEnaney. (emem)
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The bigger problem with the Natural JPEG preset is the way it displays Caucasian skin tones.  Too pink-ish or maybe lacking in yellow (I'm not a color expert).  Could this be why Pentax has chosen Bright as the default for Western countries while leaving Natural as the default for Asian countries?

Regardless, you can desaturate Bright in-camera to get an improvement for overall shooting if JPEG is what you're after.

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Bill Robb
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to KL Matt, 9 months ago

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Also: if you're looking for a weakness of the K3, this may nonetheless still be where you'll find it. With less dynamic range, you're going to have a more difficult time preserving fine highlight detail like white feathers in mixed light without underexposing more than you would need to with a k5. Then again, the finer and purportedly better metering may take care of you better in this case than a k5, safely giving you consistently better results.

I'm sure YRMV.

Reality actually will vary. The K5II has .7 stops more DR than the K3, and both are well over the DR that one is likely to run into in any scene that isn't artificially set up to induce a DR failure. The odds of seeing any effective difference in DR between these two cameras is so slight as to be a non existent issue.

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britcam
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

emem wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

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Mike McEnaney. (emem)
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It does surprise me that your setting was on bright.  When I first had my K5 and then K-01 and later K5IIs, I always experimented with the various modes and decided very early on that Bright Mode was to produce punchy pics more suited to give impact rather than a natural image look. So my screens are always set on Natural, with any final adjustments being made in post (RAW as a rule as its so quick ...)

I have the LCD set on increased contrast, say +3, while brightness is adjusted very regularly according to the ambient lighting conditions.

I also chimp a fair bit, but mainly to make sure that settings are generally there or thereabouts. Once I'm happy with that I use the cam pretty much as I would a film SLR, ie not worrying about anything except for composition, lighting et al ..  Having the rear screen set on brightness to help see the output is not doing any favours IMHO ...

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KL Matt
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to Bill Robb, 9 months ago

Reality actually will vary.The K5II has .7 stops more DR than the K3,

Yes, in other words very nearly double the dynamic range of the K3. That is *very* significant in my opnion.

and both are well over the DR that one is likely to run into in any scene that isn't artificially set up to induce a DR failure.

I have frequently run up against DR limits with every digital camera I've ever shot including my k5, although much less often with that camera than previous models.

The odds of seeing any effective difference in DR between these two cameras is so slight as to be a non existent issue.

If you can measure it, and it's more than a 50% difference, I guarantee you can see it. Very easy to demonstrate. Someone with both cams should.

Matt

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Chris Mak
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to KL Matt, 9 months ago

KL Matt wrote:

Reality actually will vary.The K5II has .7 stops more DR than the K3,

Yes, in other words very nearly double the dynamic range of the K3. That is *very* significant in my opnion.

and both are well over the DR that one is likely to run into in any scene that isn't artificially set up to induce a DR failure.

I have frequently run up against DR limits with every digital camera I've ever shot including my k5, although much less often with that camera than previous models.

The odds of seeing any effective difference in DR between these two cameras is so slight as to be a non existent issue.

If you can measure it, and it's more than a 50% difference, I guarantee you can see it. Very easy to demonstrate. Someone with both cams should.

I would add that what is so great about the K5IIs, is the ability to work on the Raw files.

I always shoot raw (in CO1), and can easily manipulate the tonal curve to give exactly the right amount of shadow detail, brightness in the highlights/midtones. Once you get the hang of it, it's quick, easy and gives great natural looking results with the K5IIs. I would not want to sacrifice the ability to develop the Raws to my own liking without any drawbacks anymore. Is the K3 just as well suited to allow for that I would like to know, especially since there's less DR to start with. As you say (and which is an eternal weak spot in digital photography opposed top film) even with the capabilities of the K5, you still run into the limits of the DR quite easily, blowing highlights or ending up with clipped blacks to start with. The K5IIs is still amazing in its ability to bring back clipped shadows detail.

Chris

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Bill Robb
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to KL Matt, 9 months ago

KL Matt wrote:

Reality actually will vary.The K5II has .7 stops more DR than the K3,

Yes, in other words very nearly double the dynamic range of the K3. That is *very* significant in my opnion.

and both are well over the DR that one is likely to run into in any scene that isn't artificially set up to induce a DR failure.

I have frequently run up against DR limits with every digital camera I've ever shot including my k5, although much less often with that camera than previous models.

I'm sure for the purpose of "being right" in an internet forum, you have.

The odds of seeing any effective difference in DR between these two cameras is so slight as to be a non existent issue.

If you can measure it, and it's more than a 50% difference, I guarantee you can see it. Very easy to demonstrate. Someone with both cams should.

What some people should do is go outside and measure the DR of most of the scenes they photograph, and then see how silly it is to talk about a .7 stop difference in DR as being some sort of mega advantage.

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dwm2020
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Don't forget about the three USER modes...
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

Don't fotrget you can set up the user modes to pretty much what ever you like, so maybe have a 'whites' setting and 'average', or 'normal' setting for other stuff; I have mine set to continuous shotting modes and a night mode. But soooo handy to have three to set up.

Definitely go through all the colour profile settings, as I find it's amazing how much difference it can make tweaking them yourself.

I'm still working on getting mine right too, it doesn't help I don't have a decent monitor that represents the colours correctly.

Glad you've found that your k-3 is a good one, good luck with setting it up. Looking forward to seeing some of your shots after you're happy with your set up.

Dave.

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david tittermary
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

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Mike McEnaney. (emem)
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Mike use natural give sat a plus one or 2 depending on taste, sharpening a -1 (sharpen in post) and turn all nr off ( do it post) contrast a plus 1, turn highlight protection on, shadow off add in 1/3 of a stop +ev. Let me know what you think
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emem
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to KL Matt, 9 months ago

KL Matt wrote:

emem wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

???

I hear you can adjust the contrast of those screens too, Mike...

Yes you can, I know. The challenge with these adjustments, at least for me, is to have something to look at "in the field" that will be accurately reflected by what I see on my computer screen. If you have the camera monitor too bright, you can end up with images that are underexposed when viewed on "the big screen".. Perhaps I need to use it in conjunction with the histogram or something.

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emem
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to britcam, 9 months ago

britcam wrote:

emem wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

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Mike McEnaney. (emem)
www.veritasmea.com

It does surprise me that your setting was on bright. When I first had my K5 and then K-01 and later K5IIs, I always experimented with the various modes and decided very early on that Bright Mode was to produce punchy pics more suited to give impact rather than a natural image look. So my screens are always set on Natural, with any final adjustments being made in post (RAW as a rule as its so quick ...)

Well, Bright is the default mode, and I thought for good reason. When I compared the output from the K-3, set on Natural, to the K-5, set on Natural, they produced vastly different images. I recall fiddling with various settings under Natural but couldn't quite get it to match the OOC shots I was getting from the K-5 - and I mean when finally viewed on the computer. They were coming out flat and dull. So I tried Bright and found that setting matched the look I was getting from the K-5. I figured Pentax had changed these Custom Image settings and that's why the Bright setting was the default - I believe the K-5 default was Natural.

I have the LCD set on increased contrast, say +3, while brightness is adjusted very regularly according to the ambient lighting conditions.

That's something I have problems with - ambient light. In sunlight I tend to just find some shade in which to chimp my shots or shade the camera with my body.

I also chimp a fair bit, but mainly to make sure that settings are generally there or thereabouts. Once I'm happy with that I use the cam pretty much as I would a film SLR, ie not worrying about anything except for composition, lighting et al .. Having the rear screen set on brightness to help see the output is not doing any favours IMHO ...

Well as I've said - I try to get the rear screen to replicate what I see on my computer screen - I do that by adjusting the camera while holding it beside the computer screen while both are displaying the same image. I do that in the brightest daylight I get in my office, which is still much darker than sunlight outdoors, but it works for me.

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emem
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to david tittermary, 9 months ago

david tittermary wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Well, Bright Mode is the default setting for the K-3. I did try the Natural setting briefly but found it way too dull. Perhaps to a RAW shooter, Natural may be ok. But when I chimp after taking a shot, I prefer seeing something on the rear screen that looks kind of like the real thing, not some desaturated version of it.

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Mike McEnaney. (emem)
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Mike use natural give sat a plus one or 2 depending on taste, sharpening a -1 (sharpen in post) and turn all nr off ( do it post) contrast a plus 1, turn highlight protection on, shadow off add in 1/3 of a stop +ev. Let me know what you think

Thanks David, I'll try those settings.

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emem
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to Bill Robb, 9 months ago

Bill Robb wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Also: if you're looking for a weakness of the K3, this may nonetheless still be where you'll find it. With less dynamic range, you're going to have a more difficult time preserving fine highlight detail like white feathers in mixed light without underexposing more than you would need to with a k5. Then again, the finer and purportedly better metering may take care of you better in this case than a k5, safely giving you consistently better results.

I'm sure YRMV.

Reality actually will vary. The K5II has .7 stops more DR than the K3, and both are well over the DR that one is likely to run into in any scene that isn't artificially set up to induce a DR failure.

Don't know where you are Bill, but here in Australia the DR challenge is a major one at times. Shooting in Australian sunshine can be a bummer. The difference here between bright sunshine and shade is generally greater than any digital camera will handle easily. And shooting water - as in breaking waves, particularly, or snow scenes in sunshine can really stretch it. I was back in Scotland a couple of years ago, then using the K20D, and I found the light to be so easy to shoot with after Aussie conditions.

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KL Matt
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to Bill Robb, 9 months ago

Bill Robb wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Reality actually will vary.The K5II has .7 stops more DR than the K3,

Yes, in other words very nearly double the dynamic range of the K3. That is *very* significant in my opnion.

and both are well over the DR that one is likely to run into in any scene that isn't artificially set up to induce a DR failure.

I have frequently run up against DR limits with every digital camera I've ever shot including my k5, although much less often with that camera than previous models.

I'm sure for the purpose of "being right" in an internet forum, you have.

The odds of seeing any effective difference in DR between these two cameras is so slight as to be a non existent issue.

If you can measure it, and it's more than a 50% difference, I guarantee you can see it. Very easy to demonstrate. Someone with both cams should.

What some people should do is go outside and measure the DR of most of the scenes they photograph, and then see how silly it is to talk about a .7 stop difference in DR as being some sort of mega advantage.

You're now the second person after Pentax Prime I've blocked in many years on this forum, congratulations! It's a very exclusive club.

Matt

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david tittermary
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

Bill Robb wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

Bright Mode!!!! The killer of image quality rears its ugly head.

Also: if you're looking for a weakness of the K3, this may nonetheless still be where you'll find it. With less dynamic range, you're going to have a more difficult time preserving fine highlight detail like white feathers in mixed light without underexposing more than you would need to with a k5. Then again, the finer and purportedly better metering may take care of you better in this case than a k5, safely giving you consistently better results.

I'm sure YRMV.

Reality actually will vary. The K5II has .7 stops more DR than the K3, and both are well over the DR that one is likely to run into in any scene that isn't artificially set up to induce a DR failure.

Don't know where you are Bill, but here in Australia the DR challenge is a major one at times. Shooting in Australian sunshine can be a bummer. The difference here between bright sunshine and shade is generally greater than any digital camera will handle easily. And shooting water - as in breaking waves, particularly, or snow scenes in sunshine can really stretch it. I was back in Scotland a couple of years ago, then using the K20D, and I found the light to be so easy to shoot with after Aussie conditions.

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Mike McEnaney. (emem)
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.7 dr difference should be a non issue for you mike, dr is so misunderstood on this forum, I typically don't bother to say anything but anyway try the highlight protection on and dial in 1/3 of a stop ev and I swear you will be fine. Now take note your ISO will default to lowest of 200, don't sweat it, try if it doesn't work let me know
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Qwntm
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to emem, 9 months ago

When you were one of the only people having a problem, people were not too thrilled about claims that the K-3 was a bad camera... That was really the only problem.

I would do a complete factory reset and start over. Turn the HIgh ISO noise Reduction off and turn the AFA to AF-s and see where your at.

I bet your photos improve dramatically.

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emem
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Re: A breakthrough in K-3 images in shade ......
In reply to Qwntm, 9 months ago

Qwntm wrote:

When you were one of the only people having a problem, people were not too thrilled about claims that the K-3 was a bad camera... That was really the only problem.

I would do a complete factory reset and start over. Turn the HIgh ISO noise Reduction off and turn the AFA to AF-s and see where your at.

I bet your photos improve dramatically.

No Ed - they won't. You were so sure your problem was my problem, or vice versa, that you never really looked at my problem. I'll bet you money that if I put my camera to the default noise settings, my images will still be ok. I'll try it later. My problem was smudging generally and clipping of whites when shooting in shade. It's to do with MY camera's highlight/shadow settings. I'm well on my way to fixing it. I also have a suspicion that shade is affecting the focus accuracy. Whether that's the camera or lens, I'll have to see. But it's not all as simple as you make out.

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