K-3 high-ISO test shots — FANTASTIC!

Started Mar 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
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candgpics Forum Member • Posts: 99
Re: K-3 high-ISO test shots — FANTASTIC!


These high ISOs are excellent, even when viewed on a decent size monitor at 100% (or 100% of the uploaded DPREVIEW image).

I briefly had the K3. I purchased it new and it arrived clearly having been used. The white lens/camera cap was missing and the camera’s settings had been adjusted and the plastic appeared to have been handled a bit. I was a bit taken aback that the white cap was missing, but I tried the camera and thought about keeping t. I took a bit less than 100 pictures and still have them. All shot RAW. Ultimately, I returned the K3.

I have a K5 and two K5II bodies, plus several good lenses (all FA Lmtds and a few DA*).

I found the K3 to be superior (or at least sharper) at ISO 100 and 200, but at 400 noise started to creep in, though, image quality was still arguably bit better than my other Pentax bodies. By ISO 800 the image quality was about even given real world viewing/printing.

Above ISO 800 the K5/K5ii image quality was better and cleaner, had more depth to the shadows, and I preferred the rendering (the K3 I found to be a bit on the cool/blue side—but that was correctable in post).

I use Photoshop CS6 and have a copy of DXO 9.1. I used the Prime NR on a K3 image and compared it to the same image run through ACR and I preferred the ACR. Admittedly, my sampling of DXO with the K3 was limited, though, I still have the K3 images and may experiment a bit more with DXO.

In any event, though I was concerned that the K3 I received might have been returned due to poor image quality, I found overall image quality and the mid and upper level ISOs to be consistent with most of the reports I have seen online. I also found there to be more color noise in the K3 images than with the K5/K5ii. And, the better shadow detail in the K5/K5ii was noticeable, especially as the ISO went up.

Mid and upper level ISOs are important to me since I regularly shoot in these ranges (500-3200) shooting indoor sporting events and of musicians playing locally and print up to 16x20 on a regular basis (occasionally larger). I tend to post process a lot so a bit of noise does not bother me and often adds to the look I use for my images, but the K3 seemed noisier than I had hoped.

I have seen, however, a few notable individuals post very impressive high ISO images that have retained significant detail despite the high ISO and noise reduction.

Of course, the high ISO images might have been the best of the bunch, perfectly exposed, under low but even lighting, and the subject of the picture may have been just perfect. Nonetheless, I have seen several high ISO images that appear to exceed what the general consensus had seemed to be (overall improvements in handling, speed, ergonomics, and improved sharpness at lower ISOs, but inferior high ISO images and some noticeable loss of shadow detail).

Am I missing something?

Thank you in advance for your comments.

 candgpics's gear list:candgpics's gear list
Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-3 Pentax K-1 Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM +7 more
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