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It's a little difficult to do the following while under the iunfluence of flu but ....

:yippee: :yippee: :yippee: :yippee: :yippee: :yippee:

My Pentax K20D, Flash gun and tripod all arrived today!!!!

I've had a brief play. It's amazing. The quality rocks!!

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smeggypants wrote:It's a little difficult to do the following while under the iunfluence of flu but ....

:yippee: :yippee: :yippee: :yippee: :yippee: :yippee:

My Pentax K20D, Flash gun and tripod all arrived today!!!!

I've had a brief play. It's amazing. The quality rocks!!


Brilliant!

I'll be down your way in a couple of weeks, hopefully we can hook up for a photography session!


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That's a rather nice camera there, Smeggy. DPreview give it a glowing report:
In short, the K20D is a great stab at making a photographers' camera - a camera for people who love taking images, are happy to invest in lenses (perhaps the primes that can make the most of those 14.6 million pixels), but aren't going to be recouping the cost of their equipment through regularly selling images. It offers a very pleasant, near pro-level, photographic experience at a reasonable cost and in a body that feels solid, well built and as if it was designed by someone who used one themselves.

Because the K20D offers so much that the enthusiast photographer would enjoy, it would be churlish to let the sensor-based flaws, which have little impact in real-world shooting, prevent us giving the camera our highest award. This isn't to say it's a faultless camera or one that's suited to everybody but one with only minor drawbacks that should only dissuade a small number of potential buyers.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PentaxK20D/

Hope you've got lots of money left for the lenses though! The break into full DSLR isn't cheap!


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Essence of wok wrote:That's a rather nice camera there, Smeggy. DPreview give it a glowing report:
In short, the K20D is a great stab at making a photographers' camera - a camera for people who love taking images, are happy to invest in lenses (perhaps the primes that can make the most of those 14.6 million pixels), but aren't going to be recouping the cost of their equipment through regularly selling images. It offers a very pleasant, near pro-level, photographic experience at a reasonable cost and in a body that feels solid, well built and as if it was designed by someone who used one themselves.

Because the K20D offers so much that the enthusiast photographer would enjoy, it would be churlish to let the sensor-based flaws, which have little impact in real-world shooting, prevent us giving the camera our highest award. This isn't to say it's a faultless camera or one that's suited to everybody but one with only minor drawbacks that should only dissuade a small number of potential buyers.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PentaxK20D/

Hope you've got lots of money left for the lenses though! The break into full DSLR isn't cheap!


The Camera is top notch. The only real flaw I've found is the Noise reduction system that is employed ot reduce the njoise from the CCD sensor. This involves taking a Dark Frame, which is essentially a picture withthe shutter closed at the same shutter speed as the one used to take the pic. the noise from the dark frame is then used to remove noise from the original pic. This is great but when taking night shots it cane be a real pain. For example I took a night shot on the tripod with an exposure time of 20 minutes. the camera then spends another 20 minutes on the dark frame and you can't sue the camera until it's finsihed. i've taken shots using 3 hour exposures in the past. It would be a PITA with this camera.

You ain't kidding about the lenses either. They ain't cheap these days. Some of them are approaching £1,000. however the good news is that my old Pentax K mount lenses from the 1980s work on it. And they are just as good if not better quality than the modern ones. My old Vivitar Series 1 28-90 F2.8 is lush and although it's manual focus and manual f-stop It still works a treat. Some great quality old lensesto be had off e-bay for asong.

About 1/2 hour ago the postie woman knocked on the door and delivered my battery grip, and now looks exactly like the pic here ...

Image


The camera is now the real macho fat bastard!!! A lot heavier though, but less camera shake!!

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You do realise that I am going to have to kill you now, right?


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Essence of wok wrote:You do realise that I am going to have to kill you now, right?


hehe :)

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Mind you, that noise reduction thing would seriously piss me off. There's no way I could live with that.

Can you not turn the NR off? Surely at 12+mp the noise would be easily removed manually, or may even not be an issue once you're at print-size?


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Essence of wok wrote:Mind you, that noise reduction thing would seriously piss me off. There's no way I could live with that.

Can you not turn the NR off? Surely at 12+mp the noise would be easily removed manually, or may even not be an issue once you're at print-size?


No you can't turn it off. You can in the previous model, the K10D, but my model and the even newer model the K-7 won't let ya. it's a PITA. I have to admit the results of the NR is stunning though. People who have K10s and have it turned of are reporting the results ain't pretty. 35mm film doesn't suffer from the build up of noise from long exposures. i'ev still got my old Pentax SF1 ( SF1) film camera, but waiting for filmd developing is much longer than waiting for the NR systme to work.

My old film model from the ancient 1980s
Image

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I couldn't live with that sort of noise-reduction system. It'd be a purchase-killer for me.

You've said you're basing the lack of NR's unprettyness on the reports of others - that's massively subjective. I strongly recommend you do your own testing on the noise levels and how they impact the level and style of photography you do.

For example, if you never print at above 24x16", use photoshop to reduce the image size to those dimensions and then look at the impact of noise. You may find it's not as bad as you'd heard.

My Lumix suffers from noise in matte areas (such as blue skies) something chronic, but this is next-to-unnoticeable at print-sizes.

From the full-size test images over here it doesn't seem too bad for "dark noise" in comparison with the other cameras listed, most notably the Olympus E3 which it outperforms quite substantially in dark-noise testing. It seems to be light-noise that it suffers from the most (ie, noise in light conditions).


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Essence of wok wrote:I couldn't live with that sort of noise-reduction system. It'd be a purchase-killer for me.


It is a PITA. i'm glad I din't know about it before I bought the camera though. Reason being I'm not sure what other Camera I would buy.

You've said you're basing the lack of NR's unprettyness on the reports of others - that's massively subjective. I strongly recommend you do your own testing on the noise levels and how they impact the level and style of photography you do.

For example, if you never print at above 24x16", use photoshop to reduce the image size to those dimensions and then look at the impact of noise. You may find it's not as bad as you'd heard.

My Lumix suffers from noise in matte areas (such as blue skies) something chronic, but this is next-to-unnoticeable at print-sizes.

From the full-size test images over here it doesn't seem too bad for "dark noise" in comparison with the other cameras listed, most notably the Olympus E3 which it outperforms quite substantially in dark-noise testing. It seems to be light-noise that it suffers from the most (ie, noise in light conditions).


I can't test it without the NR as I can't turn it off.

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smeggypants wrote:I can't test it without the NR as I can't turn it off.

There's gotta be a way... firmware update?


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Essence of wok wrote:
smeggypants wrote:I can't test it without the NR as I can't turn it off.

There's gotta be a way... firmware update?


Nope. A few people have complained though. The new K-7 has the same problem. It's only a pain on the really long exposures though. When I get some more cash I'm thinking of buying an older model pentax K-10 just for really long exposures, as on that model you can turn it off.

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Just had a look, there was a new official firmware released in April. Have you tried it? Apparently you can also use the Samsung GX-20 firmware for that camera, though you lose support for the Pentax RAW (.PEF).


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Essence of wok wrote:Just had a look, there was a new official firmware released in April. Have you tried it? Apparently you can also use the Samsung GX-20 firmware for that camera, though you lose support for the Pentax RAW (.PEF).


Yeah I installed the new firmware 1.03 - it improves the shake reduction apparently.

btw - do shoot RAW files. If so any benefits to doing this? I'm wondering if it's only worth reserving for the important shots as each one is 20Mb :eek:

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RAW makes post-production and adjusting various settings much easier. You can do most of the same in photoshop, but RAW makes it much, much, easier.


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Essence of wok wrote:RAW makes post-production and adjusting various settings much easier. You can do most of the same in photoshop, but RAW makes it much, much, easier.


is there anything you can't do outside the RAW format.



btw - My film scanner saves dng raw files too. I just tried and the file was 500Mb :eek: and a negative ( which makes sense really ). not much use really as the film scanner decodes the RAW itself, applies the neg to positve conversion and colour correction to remove the orange cast suited to the type of film.

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From Wiki:
Benefits

Nearly all digital cameras can process the image from the sensor into a JPEG file using settings for white balance, color saturation, contrast, and sharpness that are either selected automatically or entered by the photographer before taking the picture. Cameras that produce raw files save these settings in the file, but defer the processing. This results in an extra step for the photographer, so raw is normally only used when additional computer processing is intended. However, raw has numerous advantages over JPEG such as:

* Higher image quality. Because all the calculations (such as applying the gamma curve, demosaicing, white balance, brightness, contrast, etc...) used to generate pixel values (in RGB format for most images) are performed in one step on the base data, the resultant pixel values will be more accurate and exhibit less posterization.
* Bypassing of undesired steps in the camera's processing, including sharpening and noise reduction
* JPEG images are typically saved using a lossy compression format (though a lossless JPEG compression is now available). Raw formats are typically either uncompressed or use lossless compression, so the maximum amount of image detail is always kept within the raw file.
* Finer control. Raw conversion software allows users to manipulate more parameters (such as lightness, white balance, hue, saturation, etc...) and do so with greater variability. For example, the white point can be set to any value, not just discrete preset values like "daylight" or "incandescent".
* Camera raw files have 12 or 14 bits of intensity information, not the gamma-compressed 8 bits stored in JPEG files (and typically stored in processed TIFF files); since the data is not yet rendered and clipped to a color space gamut, more precision may be available in highlights, shadows, and saturated colors.
* The color space can be set to whatever is desired.
* Different demosaicing algorithms can be used, not just the one coded into the camera.
* The contents of raw files include more information, and potentially higher quality, than the converted results, in which the rendering parameters are fixed, the color gamut is clipped, and there may be quantization and compression artifacts.
* Large transformations of the data, such as increasing the exposure of a dramatically under-exposed photo, result in less visible artifacts when done from raw data than when done from already rendered image files. Raw data leave more scope for both corrections and artistic manipulations, without resulting in images with visible flaws such as posterization.

[edit] Drawbacks

* Camera raw files are typically 2–6 times larger than JPEG files.[13] While use of raw formats avoids the compression artifacts inherent in JPEG, fewer images can fit on a given memory card. However, software like Rawzor can do lossless compression of camera raw images, reducing the disk space needed to store them without losing any quality or meta-information.[14]
* It takes longer for the camera to write raw image files to the card, since they are larger, so fewer pictures can be taken in quick succession (affecting the ability to shoot, for example, a sports sequence).
* Most raw formats do not use compression or implement light lossless data compression to reduce the size of the files without affecting image quality. But some others use lossy data compression where quantization and filtering is performed on the image data.[15][16] Many recent cameras let photographers choose between no compression, lossless compression or lossy compression for their raw images.
* The standard raw image format (ISO 12234-2, TIFF/EP) is not widely accepted. DNG, the potential candidate for a new standard format, has not been adopted by many major camera companies. (See "Standardization" section). Numerous different raw formats are currently in use and new raw formats keep appearing, while others are abandoned.[17]
* Because of the lack of widespread adoption of a standard raw format, more specialized software may be required to open raw files than for standardized formats like JPEG or TIFF. Software developers have to frequently update their products to support the raw formats of the latest cameras but open source implementations like dcraw make it easier.
* The time taken in the image workflow is an important factor when choosing between raw and ready-to-use image formats. With modern photo editing software the additional time needed to process raw images has been greatly reduced but it still requires an extra step in workflow.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format

So shooting in RAW could solve your annoying-noise-reduction woes.


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Essence of wok wrote:From Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format


Cheers. interesting

So shooting in RAW could solve your annoying-noise-reduction woes.


Sadly this Dark Frame noise reduction system works before the RAW file is written.

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smeggypants wrote:Sadly this Dark Frame noise reduction system works before the RAW file is written.

That's odd, because the point of RAW is that it's... well... raw, unprocessed, not fucked with.

My lumix does something similar to the dark-frame for longer exposures, but it's less noticable as the maximum exposure is a minute.


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I guess we'll have to wait for bigger advances in sensor technology. <sigh>

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