Friday, October 12, 2012

Pentax K-30 Images, Part 3: Autumn In California

Part 1 Part 2

Today I finished capturing photographs for my upcoming review of the Pentax K-30 DSLR. There were a couple of things that I wanted to try. It was also a good excuse to photograph some autumn colors.
Two Bulls - Tehachapi, California
Property of Autumn - Tehachapi, California
Changing Colors - Tehachapi, California
Autumn Fence - Tehachapi, California
Wet Flower - Tehachapi, California
Old Wood - Tehachapi, California
Collapsed Barn #1 - Tehachapi, California 
Collapsed Barn #2 - Tehachapi, California
Ranch Shed - Tehachapi, California
This photograph was to test the HDR (high dynamic range) capabilities of the K-30. I'm not a fan of HDR photography. There are some photographers who do it right. They typically use three different computer software programs, and spend significant time making each completed image. In the end they have a beautiful photograph that doesn't look like it is HDR.
Most people who do HDR photography don't put in the time and effort to make it look good. Most HDR photographs look flat, lack sharpness, are noisy, have halos in higher contrast areas, look cartoonish, and have unrealistic colors.
Many cameras, including the K-30, can now make HDR images right in the camera. Typically you need special software to mix multiple images together to make one HDR photo. Not anymore. It should be noted that if you want to do it right, you should not rely on your camera's HDR capabilities.
The K-30 does a good job of combining and aligning the images (I didn't use a tripod). You can see a lack of sharpness in the image, but much of that is due to depth-of-field and the wind blowing the tree leaves. The image is a little tonally flat, but not as bad as a lot of bad HDR is. It doesn't look cartoonish, there are no halos, and the image isn't noisy. So HDR on the K-30 definitively works, but if you want really good looking HDR you still must put in the time and effort on a home computer.
Another note about the above image is that there is some moire pattern distortion on the shed. This is due to the weak anti-aliasing filter that Pentax put in the K-30. This might bother some people, but I personally don't mind a little moire pattern distortion here and there in exchange for increased sharpness in every photograph.

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