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Old May 28, 2006, 9:49 PM   #1
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What's all this about lots of noise at high ISOs on the *ists?

I read the Nikon D70 uses the same sensor -- so I'm guessing it has the same problem.

Is it always noisy, or just less tolerant of improper exposure? I've seen some people have taken with DS's at 1600 that look pretty good. Is it the 3200 where you really start seeing it?

Are there examples on the forum of shots taken at 3200 ISO in different lighting situations?

-P
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Old May 29, 2006, 5:03 AM   #2
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There are conflicting reports as to whether the Pentax uses the Sony chip or a Phillips part. All of that aside however, the Pentax (and the Nikon as well) will display noise at ISO 3200, but as you imply, it is far more pronounced if the exposure is not right on the mark. ISO 3200 is still a stretch for current sensors which may be why other manufacturers (read Canon) do not offer the higher ISO unless you choose a "boost" mode (I guess then they can leave that out when they make claims about low noise at high ISO).

I don't have a problem with noise at 3200 with my DL because I realize that some noise is unavoidable at this level. I have seen results from the D70 and they are not significantly different from my Pentax. I have seen ISO 3200 (boost mode) shots from a Canon 20D and there was a little more detail but that may be due to the slightly higher resolution as much as anything. The Olympus E500 looks about the same at ISO 1600 as my Pentax does at ISO 3200.

Many people try to push their cameras beyond their limits and end up underexposing at high ISO in order to capture action with a slow zoom lens in low light, result - tremendous amounts of noise. (Tv mode in low light is usually asking for trouble, Av mode allows the camera to select long exposures, but Tv mode is limited by the maximum aperture of the lens).

Ira
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Old May 29, 2006, 5:48 AM   #3
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I've only had the *ist DL for a week, but so far I'm very pleased with the results I've seen. Below are a few testpictures I did to test the camera at high ISOs and to test the AWB under mixed lighting. For comparison I also included a picture taken with my Kodak P850. The lighting came from two lights, a compact flourescent and a standard tungstun bulb, across the room. Both cameras were set for Auto White Balance and program mode. Both cameras would have allowed me to set a custom white balance, by shooting a grey cardwhich would have corrected the color cast, but as I said I wanted to test the AWB. Here are the results of the test. As you'll see both cameras had a problem with mixed lighting.

This first shot is from the Kodak P850 at ISO 400.



The following pictures are from thePentax*ist DL.

ISO 400



ISO 800



ISO 1600



ISO 3200



As you can see, even at ISO 3200, the picture looks better than the Kodak P850 at ISO 400.


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Old May 29, 2006, 7:59 AM   #4
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I have no problem at all with the noise level at high ISO. I'm amazed at how good my DS2 (and any other current DSLR) really is. Ever shot 1600 speed film? Ever pushed Tri-X that high? We have it good, actually!

This is my son playing basketball three months ago, shot at 3200 with my SMCP-M 75-250 f4.0 manual focus zoom in Av mode, wide open aperture. No other way to get the shot. It's resized for the web, of course, but heavily cropped (about 1/3 of the frame) and with no noise reduction. I actually made the noise worse by sharpening, but the results are terrific for my purposes. This one was only used for web display and a 4x6" print for my wife's scrapbook.

Dan
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Old May 29, 2006, 8:02 AM   #5
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Um, that was a typo...my lens is a 75-150, not 75-250...wishful thinking, I suppose...

Dan
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Old May 29, 2006, 8:04 AM   #6
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looks a lot better than the kodak.
ran the 3200 thru noise ninja and did a white levels pick.

i think i may have over did the noise reduction tho.
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Old May 29, 2006, 8:07 AM   #7
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dan,
the 75-150 is an outstanding lens. i'd have got one before but i have the range so well covered with the 70-210 and the 80-200.. how heavy is it??

roy
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Old May 29, 2006, 8:41 AM   #8
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My DS has far less noise than a friends D70s at ISO 400 and up, so I am not sure where this high ISO noise with Pentax info came from. It is even better than his D200 at ISO 800.

Tom
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Old May 29, 2006, 9:49 AM   #9
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my view; noise tolerance in the photographer is relative. i shot a little with my s602 at 400 and was not pleased (i think i was also pushing the exposure). my dl at 800 makes good pix. i'll definitely be trying 1600 and maybe 3200 when it's needed. yeah i can see noise on the computer screen if i zoom way in, but at normal magnification and print sizes it sure doesn't bother me. same with auto focus speed and shutter lag. someone recently on another post mentioned the dl's shutter lag (i think they just mentioned that it existed) and i've seen mentions of slow focussing. i've got shots of a harvester cutting off a piece of wood caught in mid air and that's good enough for me.

i'd guess that the 16 mp canon whatever it's called has a lot less noise. when i get to be a world famous pro photographer i might have one.

several recent posts including this one have mentioned the need for high ISO shots to be bang on for exposure, something i hadn't really thought of but it sure makes sense. always appreciate learn'n sump'n new.

eric
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Old May 29, 2006, 1:21 PM   #10
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Reviewers have previously commented on how good the *istDS is up to 1600 & fairly usable at 3200; obviously, at these ISO speeds, it will not be as good as 200.

This bluebell (almost the last onestill in bloom ina copse) was taken in dull conditions at ISO400.

It's a true BRITISH bluebell characterised by it's arched drooping bloom.

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