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Old Apr 15, 2007, 12:26 AM   #1
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This questionis addressed to those actually using a K10D. Has any of the recent firmware updates significantly improved image quality (sharpness, noise at various ISO settings, color accuracy, etc)? In other words, are you seeing a real difference? If so, please attempt to describe that difference.

I have ordered a K10D and, sight unseen, have mild concerns about theimage quality after reading several online reviews - one or two have mentioned what appears to be relatively minor issues. I say "what appears to be relatively minor issues" because I haven't seen any of those issues in the pictures posted by K10D usersthroughoutthis forum.

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Old Apr 15, 2007, 12:45 AM   #2
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Just my opinion:

1. Sharpness - haven't seen any difference. Don't want to see any difference as I prefer to add my own sharpening myself, depending on the particular picture. I shoot raw anyway.

2. Noise - The first few pictures I took using ISO 1600 looked like there was a banding issue, though it seemed to depend on what monitor I was using. When I printed one of the pictures, I didn't see any banding at all. Now that I've done the various firmware updates, I don't see any banding. You can check out my horse show pictures that were posted last week - many of them were taken at ISO 1600 and most were pushed besides. I even posted one that had not been run through Neat Image and I was really pleased with it - 1600 is quite useable now.

3. Color accuracy - For the most part I have always preferred the white balance on the K10 to the K100. If it looks off, I can always set it to fit the situation (either shoot raw or set a custom white balance on the camera, or both).

I think at least one (or both) of the firmware packages addressed the noise problem, and the first and third ones are non-issues to me.
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 1:03 AM   #3
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mtngal wrote:
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Just my opinion:
2. Noise - The first few pictures I took using ISO 1600 looked like there was a banding issue, though it seemed to depend on what monitor I was using. When I printed one of the pictures, I didn't see any banding at all.


3. Color accuracy - For the most part I have always preferred the white balance on the K10 to the K100. If it looks off, I can always set it to fit the situation (either shoot raw or set a custom white balance on the camera, or both).
2. Now there is likely a matter of scan rate HARMONICS (banding) , more than actual artifacts

3. Plus not only that... but not only do you have 3 (like many cameras custom WB presets) BUT YOU CAN ALSO... modify any of the FACTORY PRESET WB's setting to your taste. And in visual last shot real time.

I have modified my TUNGSTEN setting.... Lab/Manufacturer set usually to theater or studio 5600K lighting..... dim normal lighting will still come out yellow.

And again the K10D ability besides custom allow you to alter the any of the factory presets in visual real time... is a great asset, most others do not offer.

Just as an example this shot from a TOTALLY PINK DIM spot/flood lit bar room.... but beyond color temp custom in fac tmuch customized from min 2400K setting.... I came up with for shooting under PINK street lights.... coincidentally pretty darn close considering total pink/red lighting. And just on the WB menu... didn'y have to again custom create it.... Typical pink ceilig spot lights seem to be darn close to pink streetlights.
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 1:13 AM   #4
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lol, she's a big girl! What did she sound like?

scan rate harmonics....... you an electrical engineer?
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 1:22 AM   #5
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mongrelchild wrote:
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lol, she's a big girl! What did she sound like?

scan rate harmonics....... you an electrical engineer?
A) You every come to Key West (winter only)... about to leave back north, you must go see Sallie Foster.

B) Yeah actually started to do that in college... but got to be WAY too much CALCULUS, HIGH LEVEL PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY and OTHER intricsate stuff for my tastes... but YES the basic understadings when i SEE THINGS HAPPENING uniquely.

ANd have seen it myself in these low light situations.... but not universally.... just VERY specific exposure (particularly shutter) situations, and backgrounds that might also add to the effect of adding light freq harmonics to the situation. (Ever seen the phsycadilia that occurs when someone wears a herringbone suit on SD TV?

OH and to answer the OP question yes I do thin the firmware upgrades (prticularly second) have made some improvement in the exposure area for these conditions.

But again a lot depends on very specific situations (exposure and even distance), not generalities.

Also not spectacular improvement , but since second update I do see differences in low light situations particularly.... if nothing else a bit less noisy... and banding complaints seem to have gone down some too.

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Old Apr 17, 2007, 4:50 PM   #6
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mtngal wrote:
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Just my opinion:

1. Sharpness - haven't seen any difference. Don't want to see any difference as I prefer to add my own sharpening myself, depending on the particular picture. I shoot raw anyway.

2. Noise - The first few pictures I took using ISO 1600 looked like there was a banding issue, though it seemed to depend on what monitor I was using. When I printed one of the pictures, I didn't see any banding at all. Now that I've done the various firmware updates, I don't see any banding. You can check out my horse show pictures that were posted last week - many of them were taken at ISO 1600 and most were pushed besides. I even posted one that had not been run through Neat Image and I was really pleased with it - 1600 is quite useable now.

3. Color accuracy - For the most part I have always preferred the white balance on the K10 to the K100. If it looks off, I can always set it to fit the situation (either shoot raw or set a custom white balance on the camera, or both).

I think at least one (or both) of the firmware packages addressed the noise problem, and the first and third ones are non-issues to me.
Wow, good response. More than I expected. Sorry for not respondingquicker,but couldn't get into the forum last night (strange error message). Anyway, on to what you said.

As I understand it, mosteverything can be addressed using the custom settings for saturation, sharpness, contrast, and perhaps even the image tone setting. Much appears to be preference anyway, with some saying the sharpness, for example, is just fine while others say it is not enough (see why I'm a little confused).

However, I'm glad to see your comments about the higher ISO settings. Living in northern Europe, where it is somewhat less than sunny for a good part of the year, I'm very interested in the performance at these settings. Therefore, I will indeed look for those horse show pictures.

Anyway, my new camera arrives tomorrow. After that, I will be able to see and judge much ofthis for myself. If the camera lives up to the positive things said about it, tomorrow is going to be a really good day.

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Old Apr 17, 2007, 4:59 PM   #7
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Hayward wrote:
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3. Plus not only that... but not only do you have 3 (like many cameras custom WB presets) BUT YOU CAN ALSO... modify any of the FACTORY PRESET WB's setting to your taste. And in visual last shot real time.

I have modified my TUNGSTEN setting.... Lab/Manufacturer set usually to theater or studio 5600K lighting..... dim normal lighting will still come out yellow.


That isinteresting. Didn't have a clue that was even possible before reading your message, and it will almost certainly prove useful. Thanks.

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Old Apr 17, 2007, 9:52 PM   #8
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I had to respond to this as on other forums I have been a total ass about this (sorry for the langauge but that is the only word that fits, sometimes you have to go with what works). I too ordered my K10D sight unseen and with very little real information at hand and then after getting and then starting to read the reviews I started to panic. "My god I just spent $1000 plus on a pile of junk, what was I thinking!" kind f stuff.

Here are some of the things I have since learned...

1) I am not at all happy with the type of sharpening the K10D does in camera. I don't care what anyone says it is very unsatisfactory. For those that like to do a lot of post processing the current sharpening is fine. However, Pentax could have done the right sharpening and besides offering a way to turn it up or down could have added an option to turn it off. The problem is that it does "detail" sharpening and not "edge" sharpening. Most cameras and most sharpening filters for programs like Photoshop do edge sharpening and that is what most people know, like and look for. So until Pentax addresses this I will never be fully happy with the camera. There are several ways to handle this and not cause problems for those that don't care, but would make it better for those that do.

2) Because of the sharpening issue JPG output is totally worthless to me. I see no reason why I should have to post process every image I shoot just to get the JPGs to look half way useful. If it wasn't for this sharpening issue, JPG would be fine for my use and would save me a great deal of time. So right now I am shooting RAW only and I am shooting DNG and not PEF. I use Adobe's DNG Converter to compress the DNG files as the K10D only compresses the PEF files and by compressing the DNG files I can cut their size in half and not loose any image information as the compression is lossless.

3) DO NOT skimp on the lenses. I made the mistake of buying a Sigma 28-300 because I wanted a lot of zoom and I didn't want to change lenses. Big mistake. I have since then decided to only buy Pentax brand lenses and I pay until bloody for the good ones. If you are going to cheap out of the lenses for this thing you will not be very happy with the images you get. They will be evern softer, with many more optical abberations. If you are just starting out with Pentax go for good lenses and build them up slowly.

4) The RAW images are just fantastic. I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to process them and because of Lightroom it doesn't take me much longer to deal with my images than it would if they were JPG. However, for me anyways Lightroom is the only program out that cuts the handling and processing times of RAW images down to something that is acceptable. I have tried just about everything else and they just don't cut it. This at least the software part is a very personal thing. You can decide for yourself what you use. I doubt you will like what comes with the camera. So count on getting something to handle your images. Just to put things in to proper perspective when I go on a day trip I have yet to come home with fewer than 700 images, most times way more than that. So you can see how important handling and processing is. Shoot raw you will love it.

5) The add-on grip is a must have. Even if you don't need it make the camera larger for large hands having two batteries is just wonderful. I can shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot and still the battery level never drops. The grip is a must in my book. It makes for a nice size, nice weight camera and the battery life is awesome.

6) To go with 5 above. I use the battery that came with the camera and a generic one I got off eBay. Both have worked perfectly and I have no complaints. The generic one was less than $10 (not counting shipping).

7) Since you can tell the camera in the menu what things it should remember when you turn it off and then back on. I strongly suggest you tell it to not remember the ISO setting. I often I have found made the mistake of forgetting about this. The time before my last day trip was to an art museum and one that was very poorly lit so I had to use ISO 800 and 1600 to get shots (they don't allow flash either). Well as usual I forget to change it back to auto. So when I went on my last trip (the the Marin Headlands, San Francisco) I spent the day shooting 945 shots at ISO 1600. While many come out ok, some were totally blown out and all of them had the 1600 noise. I wasn't happy. So I strongly suggest that you consider things like this as the camera does allow you to tell it what settings to remember and what to forget when you turn it on and off.

8) After getting good lenses and biting the bullet and shooting only DNG RAW I am much happier with the camera. Happy enough that I will not be boxing it up and letting sit on a shelf while I got back to using my Panasonic FZ30. However, as I said in one above I wish Pentax would deal with the in camera sharpening. BTW some say if you change the mode from natural (the default) to bright that it does edge sharpening. Personally I think it is bull as even with sharpening to the max I see no difference in sharpening, just in the brightness of the image and color saturation.

9) Now I am sure others are going to disagree so I am telling you now, this is just my opinion. I have had digital cameras since the early 1990's and so far Pentax has been the only company I have seen to almost totally shine on their customers, the problems with their products and providing fixes for problems. There were delays in shipping the K10D and Pentax said nothing allowing a lot of very nasty rumors to float around. When asked about indoor white balance issues and sharpening issues the responses I get are "We are aware of the problem, but have no plans to fix the issues at this time". I have found Pentax to be one the worst companies to deal with and do business with. So much so that when the life of my K10D comes to and end in 5 to 10 years I will be junking all of my Pentax gear and going with another brand. This is the first and last time I will ever deal with Pentax. This kind of attitude for a $1000 plus purchase is totally unacceptable. They didn't even bother to offer suggestions on how one might go about improving things. Just "We are aware of the problem, but have no plans to fix the issues at this time".

10) Shake Reduction and Sensor Cleaning. Shake Reduction on the K10D is weak at best. It gets weaker the longer the zoom range of the lens you use with it. Pentax marked the K10D as having an improved shake reduction over the K100D and promised a 4 stop improvement with SR. Bull droppings. It isn't even close. I have found anything above 200mm (don't figure the crop factor. If you buy for example a 50-200mm that is a 75-300 with the 1.5 crop factor, you only worry about the 50-200 for the shake reduction) the sake reduction just sucks. Others say otherwise, having come from a 12X optical zoom Panasonic FZ30 with image stablization I can tell you that in comparison the SR in the Pentax is like an old Hoover, it sucks and blows. At below 200mm it helps, but not as much as Pentax hyped. The same for the sensor cleaning. It shakes the sensors and helps a bit, but I find I still have to do manual cleanings. To be fair it seems all dSLRs with sensor cleaning have this problem.

Well there you have all of my perals of wisdom. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being sucks dog droppings and 10 being god should allow it to assend to heaven. I give the K10D a solid 5. With an important note. Many of the problems with the K10D that I have could be fixed or improved a great deal via firmware. However, I have little hope that Pentax will do so.

My suggestion is that you give it a try and if you don't like it return it. BTW the 18-55 kit lens is pretty darn good for a the price. I used it for over half of my museum shots and it did very well. So if that is what you got you have a lens to test the camera with. Lets us know your thoughts. Also, please keep in mind that the above are my opinions. They may not jive with others and some may even be threatened by my opinions.

BTW if you would like to take a look at my K10D shots so far. You can view them at:

http://robertbarnettphotography.smug.../Pentax%20K10D

All of the galleries in this section are shots from the K10D.

Robert
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Old Apr 17, 2007, 10:17 PM   #9
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Robert, this is not to argue with you or even disagree with your conclusions. I don't have the K10 and I am still fairly novice to photography, but I have to question the wisdom of keeping a camera that you are clearly unhappy with. Considering that the value of the K10s is still pretty high, I would think that you could recoup most of your investment and find a different camera that suits you better.

I have been very happy with my k100 and my next camera will probably be a k10. But I have found that I like photography enough that, if I were dissatisfied with my camera, I would already be shopping for its replacement, not waiting for the end of its service life.

Just my $.02, and again, not meant in any way to argue or slam your post as I felt it was honest and well meant.

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Old Apr 18, 2007, 1:26 AM   #10
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Robert Barnett wrote:
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I had to respond to this as on other forums "My god I just spent $1000 plus on a pile of junk, what was I thinking!" kind f stuff.

Here are some of the things I have since learned...

3) DO NOT skimp on the lenses. I made the mistake of buying a Sigma 28-300 because I wanted a lot of zoom and I didn't want to change lenses. Big mistake. I have since then decided to only buy Pentax brand lenses and I pay until bloody for the good ones.

5) The add-on grip is a must have. Even if you don't need it make the camera larger for large hands having two batteries is just wonderful. I can shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot and still the battery level never drops. The grip is a must in my book. It makes for a nice size, nice weight camera and the battery life is awesome.


7) Since you can tell the camera in the menu what things it should remember when you turn it off and then back on. I strongly suggest you tell it to not remember the ISO setting.


9) Now I am sure others are going to disagree so I am telling you now, this is just my opinion. I have had digital cameras since the early 1990's and so far Pentax has been the only company I have seen to almost totally shine on their customers, the problems with their products and providing fixes for problems.

10) Shake Reduction and Sensor Cleaning. Shake Reduction on the K10D is weak at best. It gets weaker the longer the zoom range of the lens you use with it. Pentax marked the K10D as having an improved shake reduction over the K100D and promised a 4 stop improvement with SR. Bull droppings. It isn't even close. I have found anything above 200mm (don't figure the crop factor. If you buy for example a 50-200mm that is a 75-300 with the 1.5 crop factor, you only worry about the 50-200 for the shake reduction) the sake reduction just sucks. Others say otherwise, having come from a 12X optical zoom Panasonic FZ30 with image stablization I can tell you that in comparison the SR in the Pentax is like an old Hoover, it sucks and blows.

Robert
OK.....

1 Why on EARTH did you spend over $1000 on a K10D.... I have had two (first stolen) And niether was over mid $800's

3 There I will agre with you and if you ASKED before leaping I or several other told you don GO NEAR a 28-300mm ..... The are a MAJOR compromise especially at the long end.
The kit (or similar) and 70-300mm is a MUCH better sollution.

5 Now there I will disagree... not sure why have such problems hloding a camera vertically and still GENTLY hitting the shutter. Battery thing sort of BS to unless you just shoot everything in sight non stop. I shot far more than most and one battery ussualy lasts two days at least and I always carry a spare take s all of about 20 sec to change it IFI do wait for it to expire vs night before knowing it aboutdone and swap them and cahrege the used one. Sort of needless expense and weight IMHO.

7. Depends on how you opperate I wil turn off the camera for periods if I do not expecxt a shoot for many to 10 min or more. But I would like it to start up the way I left it. And yes occassionally first shot the next day will surprise me but so OBVIOUSLY in 8 bor 1600... that not really a big deal.... nor so bad if a one time shot, it is useless and honestly just sighting that it is a 2000th sec exposure is a DEAD GIVE AWAY without even shooting.

9. OK I will disagree again.... how many cameras do you know of that have come out with a MAJOR firmware update just 2 months after realease, not only correcting unique problems BUT ADDING MANY new features/options. And then another a month later for some other rather unique situation fixes.

One from the added feastures of the first I use constantly.... is allowing P mode to be one dial P Aperture priority and the other Exposure compensation.... A VERY fleaxable, quick and powerful combination.

Shake reduction and DR... well again I am pretty happy with that... BUT if you are going to compare Apple and ORANGE P&S and SLR's now maybe there is the problem...

The FZ30 is a MUCH smaller sensor so FAR less "work" for the SR mechanism to do.... and then again it really depends greatly on how good (steady) a shooter you are to begin with. Now I will grant you the 4 Stop claim is way over... but I pretty much always get at least 2.5 stops consistantly.

I will also disgree on Long..... I find my K10Dactually does BETTER on long lenses than short ones.... though part of that may be I won't take a long lens near as low as a short lens.

But 90/th sec or a bit under on effective 600mm lens or 1/3 sec or less on a 28mm is not bad at all.

Try turning it off some time and see how much worse the same situation would be. (Often how I notice I have accidentally bumped the SR switch off)

DR is effective I have yet to have to physically clean mine. Then again (though not the every start up setting, routinely shake it anything noticed or not.

Maybe why not effective for some.... you wait until the exposure is hight F# to really notice it... probably been on the sensore to have bonded to it.... but do it every day or two needed or not... well so far no problem to me.


And finally yes though a subjective (not technically measured) opinion, I think the second firmware update did make some improvement in certain JPG recording aspects.


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