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04-14-2012, 05:02 PM - 1 Like   #1
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What picture settings do you prefer on the K-5 ?

Good day sirs,

I know this looks like a newbie question but since I am coming from Nikon D90, I wanted to fire it in order to get general user ideas.

In the D90 I'd generally use the Neutral picture control, Thom Hogan style, adding in any color vibrance, contrast and whatever in the PP. Since I am a little sharpness-enthusiast, I pumped the in-camera sharpness to 7 and sometimes all the way up to 9, over 10. This way the jpeg embedded to the NEF file looked good to me many times. I never preferred JPEG as the D90's jpegs always felt "fragile" in the PP to me.

Now in the K-5 I find the "Natural" setting best for my taste. But being a little of a control freak I digged into the detailed settings such as the High Key, Low Key and the other hidden "Contrast Highlights" and etc. Frankly some terms I was new to. But naturally it got a little confusing after testing out the different settings in different scenes for a while and I just decided to leave all in their defaults and to just add in a bit of sharpness in the settings. Hell I even decided to shoot JPEG for most of my shots, since I also like the jpegs of the K-5 and I have much more headroom with them in the PS than those of the D90. An honest confession The size and record time of the DNG files are also the factors for this decision. Anyways I still shoot raw for critical situations.

The "Bright" setting was a little too bright for me so much contrast and saturation, just a little too intense for me. I think of myself as a favourer of sharpness and texture detail rather than color vibrance.

I realized that the "High/Low Key" setting looks good to me in -1 or -2 in the Natural, of that I am sure. That might provide some more clue of my taste. I also set 0 saturation and -1 contrast in the Natural.

So I'd like to know in what situations you use what image control/preset/detail setting on the K-5. Of course I am aware that I can always edit the photos in PP But I just want to get to know my camera better and hopefully get some tips, clues etc. as to how to exploit the camera better, learn its habits and humors.


Last edited by Crosshair; 04-14-2012 at 05:26 PM. Reason: addition
04-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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Keeping in mind that this setting is for the jpeg viewed on the LCD screen and embeded into the RAW file, if you shot in RAW this setting is meaningless to the final image. However, if you shoot jpeg only, this setting is quite important to the look of the final image of of the camera. All that said, I tend to have mine set to either bright or vibrant unless I want it in mono to judge the potential of the image in b&w or natural when I want to see it well, unstimulated. The K5 has a lot of settings there and coming from my old K10d the bright setting just was (and still is) more pleasing to the eye for my chimping in the field.

This really comes down to a matter of personal taste. I believe that my Pentax's LCD images just typically tend to look better with the bright setting but I'll bet there are dozens of opinions on this.
04-14-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
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I've recently played around with the custom image settings. There are just so many different combinations I about drove myself nuts - back to the default Bright setting with all the settings under it at default.

I shoot raw+ - when I upload to my computer all the raw files get stored in a separate folder - if I don't like how a jpeg looks, or I've actually captured that "once in a lifetime" shot, I have the raw file to work with.
04-14-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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I use the Portrait setting on my K-5, and then slightly tweaked it to taste. I probably haven't touched it in over a year now.

For the RAW files it helps to have a PP application with good camera profiles. Capture one is especially good. Lightroom is finally getting reasonably good Pentax profiles now (actually, I think it was poor for all brands until recently). And while some people laugh at the Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4, it also has good profiles and can closely match the camera's JPEG settings. It now has quite a few impressive (for a free utility) features too.

04-14-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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I use the default bright profile, with extra fine sharpness pushed up one step from default. I find this to produce very nice OOC JPEG's, although I shoot RAW+ so I have the raw file should I want to do some PP (which I usually do for good images).

Honestly, I have not tried any of the other modes since the bright profile looks good to me. I don't find it has too much punch or contrast. To my eyes, with a calibrated display, it produces pretty natural color.
04-15-2012, 01:51 AM   #6
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Thank you, so I see no one posting here uses the Natural. And I see I am right to leave much to the camera and not mingling with the detailed settings.

Along with the fact that I am waiting for more ideas on this subject, what do you think about this High/Low Key setting?
04-15-2012, 01:56 AM   #7
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I only shoot RAW. DNG set to Adobe colourspace. Don't really see the point of shooting JPG.
04-15-2012, 01:58 AM   #8
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@selar personally I too like the Adobe colorspace but I grew tired of the color rendering inconsistency in different softwares, and therefore dull rendered colors. Do you find this a problem?

04-15-2012, 02:25 AM   #9
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I use Adobe colourspace because I use Adobe Photoshop to post process. If using any other software vendor, it would be advisable to use RGB colourspace as its more compatible.
04-15-2012, 02:53 AM   #10
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If you're using Lightroom the problem should go away if you select sRGB as the export colour-space, at least if your concern was viewing in a browser.
04-15-2012, 07:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Keeping in mind that this setting is for the jpeg viewed on the LCD screen and embeded into the RAW file, if you shot in RAW this setting is meaningless to the final image.
so if I convert the raw photo to jpg photo directly (without additional processing), will the setting is applied to jpg one?
04-15-2012, 07:52 PM   #12
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Only if you use Pentax DCU4
04-15-2012, 08:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by crosshair Quote
what picture settings do you prefer on the k-5 ?
raw!
04-15-2012, 09:36 PM   #14
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My settings for JPEGs (no PP)

- Bright with fine sharpness +1
- AWB with A2 correction for a slightly warmer cast

I take more JPEGs with the K5 than with older DSLRs.
By exception (2 to 5%), i save RAW file (AE-L) then PP with Silkypix Professionnal V5.
04-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #15
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I have been giving the Bright mode a try now.
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