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Old Jan 2, 2011, 8:27 PM   #1
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Default Oh no, big problem? Big white spots in my pictures!

So yesterday I was out taking pictures in the yard. All went very well, the K5 and DA*200 make an awesome combination:



The problem started this morning. My other half suggested we go to Denny's for breakfast, and on the way home, I took a picture through the windshield that had some some really strange-looking small white spots in the dark areas of the picture:



By the time I got home, it had gotten much worse:



Pretty soon they became streaks:



One of my neighbors came by, thought I might ask him what might be causing the problem:



But I really thought he was a bit crazy.



It's too late. My car is completely covered with white spots.



The interstate is closed, a friend of mine said there's white spots in Santa Clarita (foothills of L.A.) and we have more than 6 inches of white stuff on the ground. It's looking like I won't be able to get to work tomorrow.

At one point today it warmed up enough to either rain or melt some of the snow. I wanted to post this picture because it was taken using ISO 16,000 (no I didn't add an extra zero). It's the full frame shot and I used DeNoise twice - once for the rain drops on the car and a second time for the oof background. I masked off the car on that version because it smoothed out the detail more than I wanted. I think that 16,000 is certainly useable with some processing. I still can't get over that - I wouldn't go above 2000 on any of my previous cameras.



P.S. The weather sealing on the K5 and DA*50-135 works very well...

Last edited by mtngal; Jan 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM.
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 8:51 PM   #2
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Great series, Harriet!
this particular malady is what's known as WPS (white spot syndrome) Fortunately. its temporary, and doesn't prevent you from using your camera!
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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I have seen this phenomenon before, it usually clears up without any need for servicing (other than snow tires and an anti-freeze check... on a K5?!?)

Yes the motor cycle tow vehicle does seem somewhat inappropriate for the season.
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Old Jan 2, 2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Hi Harriet, we had a bit over 18" of that white stuff a week ago, then two days later another 6", but then on the weekend we played a NFL game in an outdoor stadium.

At least your white spot problem will be gone in a few days, ours is normally here from November to March without a break.

The guy on the motorcycle looks like he is having fun, but the last time I tried that I found that stopping was the real issue. I found that my dirt bike has far more traction that I thought, but stopping in any kind of emergency was completely out of the question while keeping the bike upright!

I am still on the fence with the K5, but it looks like yours is working great.

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Old Jan 2, 2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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Ha ha - nice series. Impressed with your posts on the high ISO usage.
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Old Jan 3, 2011, 6:46 AM   #6
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Have seen a lot of these same white spots through my K-M lately - maybe it's a nation-wide sensor problem??

Great photos, and great examples of what your new camera can do! Hope your neighbors survived the bike trip!!
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Old Jan 3, 2011, 9:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for the compliments - it continued snowing after these pictures were taken. Can't wait to get outside and take some more, it's really beautiful with a lot of snow on the trees. The I-5 is still closed and so we didn't even try going in, while I heard our subdivision's plow out about 1:30 this morning, don't know if CalTrans has been able to do anything about the county road that connects us to the rest of the world, or what it might be lower down, where they don't get snow.

Tom - you know me, I can't resist new cameras, no matter how hard I try. The K5 does solve some of my frustrations with the K7 (high ISO noise). I haven't read all the way through the various threads other places about the low light problems, but it's real with my camera (though its got to be really low light). I'll wait for the dust to settle about it before deciding anything - I so rarely use it in that low light that it's not a big frustration (but you can believe I'm following the discussions closely). And Scott is right that the CD AF is more accurate and it's easy to see the focus when manually in live view, though I discovered that short-throw lenses can be an issue. I think I should play around with one of my old manual lenses and live view more - I haven't done that. But first, it's going to be more snow pictures!
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Old Jan 3, 2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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LOL - You do have a noise problem!. Harriet, you are brilliant! I never thought of it that way before - what you are demonstrating with your white spots is a something like a type of White Noise*, so under these conditions, the k-5 isn't really noiseless! You get enough snow falling and you can't see through it. We haven't gotten any of that here (a couple of thousand feet below you), but we have had plenty of rain, and you get enough raindrops falling and you can't see much through them either! How about that?

(*White Noise is the combination of multiple sound frequencies that cancels out other sounds. - you can buy a white noise generator to help you sleep if you are kept awake by noisy neighbors or other ambient sounds.)
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Old Jan 3, 2011, 6:55 PM   #9
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Harriet this seems like a very serious problem with your sensor, and I have read that Pentax will not cover this problem under warranty. But don't despair -- there is no need to toss the K5 into a nearby canyon. I will be happy to take it off your hands for a very modest fee!
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Old Jan 3, 2011, 9:21 PM   #10
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LOL! All of you are too much! But I'm glad some of you got a giggle out of my snow pictures.

Penolta - I'd far rather have our beautiful snow than your rain. It's much prettier and gave me an unexpected day off today. I took so many pictures that I haven't had a chance to go through them yet.

mtnman - I'm sure you'd be delighted to take this "defective" camera off my hands. However, I've decided that I'll just have to figure out a work-around. Perhaps getting an apartment at the beach might work?
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