Pentax K-r - Test Shots: ISO Performance

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”’The following were all shot as maximum resolution, Fine quality JPEGs under available natural light, with automatic white balance and the Pentax’s ‘Natural’ custom image mode deployed to ensure a level playing field.”’


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At the Pentax K-r’s lowest expanded ISO setting of ISO100 we’re free of any grainy appearance which is as to be expected.


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The same clear result is achieved at ISO200 – not exactly a stretch for an camera – with no discernible difference in appearance.


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We’re at ISO400, usually the point at which some subtle image noise is creeping in, but if there is any here it’s very fine indeed.


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At ISO800 the image from the K-r is slightly more ‘sandy’ in appearance but only under very close scrutiny.


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We’re at ISO1600, and detail is beginning to take on a slight more gritty appearance, with shadow detail breaking up a little.


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And similarly noise isn’t much ‘worse’ across the entire frame at the higher ISO3200 option. We’d certainly be happy continuing to shoot at this setting.


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At ISO6400, even without enlarging any portion of the image grain is visible across it as a whole. But again, a usable option at a push, certainly.


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We’re at ISO12800 and the setting has prompted our toy cars to take on what can be described as a felt-like appearance – the result of both image noise and an overall softening of detail. Whilst the image cannot be described therefore as crisp, the textured effect is not altogether unpleasant however.


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As expected at ISO25600 noise levels at are at their most visually intrusive. One to reach for if it comes down to a straight choice between getting the shot or not, but certainly not one you’d be reaching for on a daily basis.


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