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03-30-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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Newb K-5 Questions... Observations.

I broke down and bought a K-5 (with the kit 18-55 WR), and so far like it, though it has some Idiosyncrasies I'm going to have to get used to. The 18-55 is still a bit pants, it feels real soft, but then again I only managed to shoot for an hour or two before the light died, so I'm going to play with it a bit more today. The built-in flash is much brighter than the one on the Kx, which makes me want to underexpose things a bit. Having the green button being function specific has thrown me off a couple times (I used it for optical preview on the Kx), as has the front wheel ("why won't it turn off?!"), as does having the gallery button where the pop-up flash button was on the Kx. Minor nit-pics, all, and on the whole I love it, especially the bigger size (I have monkey fingers), and the two wheels (makes shooting M less of a pain, and makes P actually useful). The level is also nice, since generally all my photos look like they were shot from the deck of the Titanic.

It also makes me feel very "serious". "Watch out, that guy lying on his belly cussing at bugs and flowers means serious business, his camera proves it!"

That said, I have some quick questions. What do people generally set the ISO compensation to? I'm not sure how much I trust auto, and don't know enough about it to really figure how much low/medium/high affects IQ. It seems a feature than I might even keep off, since I can always denoise things in PP, with more control. Does it do something that Lightroom or Photoshop can't do, or do it better than?

Also, and I was curious about this on the Kx, how does the highlight and shadow correction actually work? Do they actually expand the dynamic range, or are they just software tricks? When I occasioned to play with them on the Kx, it just seemed to wash things out a bit, but this was some limited tests since I seemed to find the settings I liked and never bothered touching them again.

Is there a reason to NOT turn on the expanded ISO settings? If not, then why is it locked away at default?

I'm sure I have some more questions... But this will do (ominous voice for now. I do know, though, that I'm going to be taking some very confused walks for a bit, and shooting some pretty terrible photos for awhile.

03-30-2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your purchase!
The kit lens on any camera system is never a very sharp lens, you'll have to step up to better and faster glass. Having said that, I found that my 18-55 was sharper than Canon and Nikon's kit 18-55. Still, it kinda sucks, the only reason I kept mine for a while is because it did not produce a hotspot in the center when shooting IR images.

Having more buttons and features always has a learning curve attached, but once you get through that initial confusion you'll wonder how you lived without the extra buttons and dials.

I'm not sure what you mean with ISO compensation, are you reffering to noise reduction?
If so, I just leave it at default, I always shoot with the lowest ISO I can, and besides, I shoot RAW, so it's all being done in lightroom anyways. Lightroom and Photoshop will do a better job of everything, The high ISO NR is there mainly for those who shoot JPG and want usable results straight out of camera.

Highlight and shadow correction usually involve underexposing the image and then pushing the shadow areas. It works great due to the K-5 impressively low noise sensor. But again, it will only have an impact if you are shooting JPG, otherwise it won't do anything and you can underexpose and then push, pull and fill the RAW to your heart's content in LR or PS (and get much better results to boot).

The only reason I can think of for not using the expanded settings is because on the high end it's noisy, very noisy, not a recommended setting at all, so it comes disabled by default. Not sure why the low 80 ISO setting is also disabled by default though...
03-30-2012, 10:29 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Omestes Quote
Having the green button being function specific has thrown me off a couple times (I used it for optical preview on the Kx), as has the front wheel ("why won't it turn off?!"), as does having the gallery button where the pop-up flash button was on the Kx. Minor nit-pics
You can change the button lay out and function in the custom menu so set the camera up like you want it to

Noise reduction is set to off or as low as it can, i do everything in post.

About the highlight and shadow correction there are many threads about that.
Basically it compress the dynamic range and it's only really useful for JPG.
- Shadow correction simply pull up the exposure of the highlights, this done in post processing in the camera.
- Highlight correction work by letting the camera shoot at a lower ISO then you've set and the camera then in post processing up the exposure of the shadows and mid tones but they leave the highlights the same.

And just turn the exnteded ISO on, ISO80 can be quite useful but don't use the higher ISO's though...
03-30-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jase036 Quote
Not sure why the low 80 ISO setting is also disabled by default though...
Most likely because it's not supported by the sensor.
The strange things is the K5 is at his best at that number so it's a bit strange... it should be just as good as ISO100 but that isn't the case.

03-30-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies! I apologize for being lazy, the second after I posted this I searched for the highlight/shadows settings and got some good answers. Don't blame me, blame the fact that I only had a single cup of coffee when I posted this.

I had the same issue with the ISO on the K-x, why would they lock ISO 100 away? My Kx takes some beautiful shots at 100, and the perfectionist in me starts to get annoyed anywhere over that.

I got better glass than the stock lens, but I just wanted to see how different it was than the kit that came with my Kx. That might be some of my issue, the kit doesn't come close to my A 50 1.7 or FA 100 2.8 Macro, or even the 35 2.4. I haven't use the kit on my Kx in a long time, I only really dusted it off for vacations (it is my most versatile, still, sadly). I did notice that it seems to be able to focus much closer than the one that came with the Kx, which is odd since it should have the same optics (ALII).



Again, though, thanks for all the help.
03-30-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Omestes Quote
I had the same issue with the ISO on the K-x, why would they lock ISO 100 away? My Kx takes some beautiful shots at 100, and the perfectionist in me starts to get annoyed anywhere over that.
Already wrote that down above your comment.
The sensor does not support those values by default.
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