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09-27-2013, 01:39 AM   #1
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Second thoughts....

Got my new K5-ii today (upgrade from K-r) and starting to have second thoughts. Took it for a test run this arvo (at the stupid time of sunset) and absolutely struggling to get decent photos.

The majority of the time I used the K-r on auto until the last few months when I started learning how to manually adjust aperture/shutter etc.

Bought the K5-ii as I wanted the weather proofing and chose it over the K-50/K-30 as I didn't want to feel the need to upgrade again in 12-18 months time.

Now I'm absolutely terrified that I've just spent $1600 on a camera that I can't get decent shots out of.

Is this learning curve struggle/second thoughts common with people when they upgrade to the higher end models?

09-27-2013, 01:47 AM   #2
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Yes it is a known problem in the first few days or weeks of shooting. Exactly how are your shots not right? The K-5II kills the K-r in basically everything, so it's more than likely that you're making one or several mistakes. For starters make sure the controls are customised to your liking (front and rear dial etc) and that you understand the focus and metering systems.
09-27-2013, 01:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quazimoto Quote
Yes it is a known problem in the first few days or weeks of shooting. Exactly how are your shots not right? The K-5II kills the K-r in basically everything, so it's more than likely that you're making one or several mistakes. For starters make sure the controls are customised to your liking (front and rear dial etc) and that you understand the focus and metering systems.
Thanks for the quick reply!!

Was having a lot of exposure problems, but then was also shooting straight into the setting sun which I think was half the problem.

Perhaps need to do another test run in daylight hours and see if that improves anything.

In regards to the focus/metering systems is that something I can learn from the manual or do I need to look elsewhere.

Not entirely sure I want to have to adjust settings everytime I take a photo, my main reason for having a good camera is for travelling when I won't have all the time in the world.

Not sure whether to contact the store whilst it's still brand new and swap it for the K-50 or see how I go for the next few months and then try to sell it second hand if it's too high-tech for me....
09-27-2013, 02:25 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcupp95 Quote
Thanks for the quick reply!!

Was having a lot of exposure problems, but then was also shooting straight into the setting sun which I think was half the problem.

Perhaps need to do another test run in daylight hours and see if that improves anything.

In regards to the focus/metering systems is that something I can learn from the manual or do I need to look elsewhere.

Not entirely sure I want to have to adjust settings everytime I take a photo, my main reason for having a good camera is for travelling when I won't have all the time in the world.

Not sure whether to contact the store whilst it's still brand new and swap it for the K-50 or see how I go for the next few months and then try to sell it second hand if it's too high-tech for me....
To be honest, i find it highly amusing that you seem to be the only one around here who's worried that the camera is too high tech for you to handle when word is abound that everything seems to be lacking something.. Hats off to you!

But anyway, my advice to you would be to familiarize yourself to 1 mode: TAv.
Especially so the TAv mode. It'll set one of the dial to control shutter speed and another to control aperture.
All you would have to adjust is which dials controlling each factor would be to your preference.

Once that is done, set to Auto-ISO up to 6,400.. You can blast away now... LOL!

Why is that very useful? It'll take just a flick of a finger to alter either the shutter speed or aperture accordingly to what you wish to capture while travelling.

With this mode, just read up a bit on the uses and effects of aperture and shutter speed. You'll soon understand why this mode is the new "Professional" mode.

09-27-2013, 03:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcupp95 Quote
Thanks for the quick reply!!

Was having a lot of exposure problems, but then was also shooting straight into the setting sun which I think was half the problem.

-----snip------------------

Not entirely sure I want to have to adjust settings everytime I take a photo, my main reason for having a good camera is for travelling when I won't have all the time in the world.
I will just say it bluntly, if you just want to take good looking photo without having to do any manual adjustment then DSLR is not the way to go, K-5(II/IIs) class cameras aim more at people wanted to take control of the output of photos they take , note the lack of scene mode(where camera decide what is best setting depending on the scene) and dual wheel control/shoulder LCD/generally more external button for direct access to controls. If you are deadpan on a DSLR, get a K-30/K-50 class camera and put it in AUTO or scene mode and fire away, if you want smaller size but still interchangeable lens systems, Sony NEX or Olympus OM-D or other Micro 4/3 cameras, or if you want to travel light, get a decent superzoom or high end compact camera and be happy.

Not trying to be rude but that's how it is....

Alternatively, turn to P mode on the K-5IIs and see if the camera's decision is to your liking
09-27-2013, 03:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
I will just say it bluntly, if you just want to take good looking photo without having to do any manual adjustment then DSLR is not the way to go, K-5(II/IIs) class cameras aim more at people wanted to take control of the output of photos they take , note the lack of scene mode(where camera decide what is best setting depending on the scene) and dual wheel control/shoulder LCD/generally more external button for direct access to controls. If you are deadpan on a DSLR, get a K-30/K-50 class camera and put it in AUTO or scene mode and fire away, if you want smaller size but still interchangeable lens systems, Sony NEX or Olympus OM-D or other Micro 4/3 cameras, or if you want to travel light, get a decent superzoom or high end compact camera and be happy.

Not trying to be rude but that's how it is....

Alternatively, turn to P mode on the K-5IIs and see if the camera's decision is to your liking
No worries, have realised that I should have gone for the K-50. Did love the K-r and have a few lenses (fish eye, wide angle, telephoto) already for the K-mount. Really only upgraded for the weather proofing.

I'm going to try and exchange at the camera store I bought it from but they have a no refunds for change of mind policy posted on their website so I doubt I'm going to have any luck but worth a try.

Next question is what's a reasonable price (in AUD) for a K5-ii body that has been used once and taken about 60 photos. They retail (at absolute cheapest) for $1099 here.....
09-27-2013, 04:15 AM   #7
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Don't give up on the camera. I was pretty good with my film cameras. Been using SLR's for over 40 years. in fact I still think film is miles better than digital, but that's another story.

I got my K5 a year and a half ago and felt like I knew nothing about taking photographs. I pretty much sucked (or assert Aussie alternative here if needed). I even managed to take some awful photographs at Yellowstone Nation Park of all places. Kept reading posts here and started getting better at it. The biggest problem I have with auto everything cameras is that they speed me up. Just because you can take a photograph quickly doesn't mean you should. Like driving, the faster you go the easier it is to screw it up and he more spectacular to wreck looks.

Going to TAv mode is a very good idea. Learn one mode and expand from there. I only have 1 autofocus lens in my collection. My favorite lens is my SMC Takumar 55mm f 1.8 screw mount lens. It's like someone at Pentax saw the K5 family of digital cameras coming 45 years before they actually hit the streets.

Slow down, think your way through your shots and practice, practice, practice. The one area that digital does shine over film is how easy it is to access the image. I have spent a lot of time sitting in my back yard trying out various things on the camera. Learning which lenses work best with it etc. The subject matter is pitiful, but being able to take the little card, insert it into my laptop and get quick access to my images using the software included with the camera is a great learning tool.

I found that I even had to learn which of my manual focus lenses worked best with the camera. Some that were pretty good with film are real dogs on the K5. BTW, License plates on cars in the neighbor's driveway are great resolution tools.

Stick with it. You could take a hit on your current camera, or get yourself another lens with them money you save!
09-27-2013, 04:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcupp95 Quote
Next question is what's a reasonable price (in AUD) for a K5-ii body that has been used once and taken about 60 photos. They retail (at absolute cheapest) for $1099 here.....
The answer to that question might change in the next week if rumours are to be believed, and a new flagship camera is announced

QuoteOriginally posted by SyncGuy Quote
But anyway, my advice to you would be to familiarize yourself to 1 mode: TAv.
Especially so the TAv mode. It'll set one of the dial to control shutter speed and another to control aperture.
All you would have to adjust is which dials controlling each factor would be to your preference.
I absolutely agree with this advice - I have a K5, and it lives on Tav mode - unless I want full manual for an old lens or special shot

If you can't exchange, then bear with it - it is a really good camera

09-27-2013, 04:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote

Stick with it.
Thanks. Just did another quick practice round the house under the lights, and felt a lot better. I think sunset was a terrible time to go out hehe.

Will take it hiking with me tomorrow and hopefully will have something good to post up when I come back!

Last time I climbed this mountain, the mirror on my k-r locked up on me and I had to resort to iPhone for photographic proof that I'd climbed a 922m mountain (3000 feet for the americans) so am excited to have an actual camera this time!
09-27-2013, 05:14 AM   #10
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If you try Green or A, you can hardly go wrong.
I keep my camera in central weighted metering unless in extreme light.

In terms of interface ease to navigate, K5II is way ahead of Nikon or Canon....

After a few thousand shots, you will know how to overcome the shortcomings of your gear...
09-27-2013, 05:15 AM   #11
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Well, user-wise neither the K-r nor the K-50 are less advanced of a camera than the K-5, they are all built around the same philosophy and that's the beauty of Pentax land. The only thing really different when it comes to basic settings is the lack of scene modes and the wonderful addition of a second control wheel and some other buttons on the K-5 II compared to the K-r.

I think you (maybe subconsciously) suddenly went out with the anticipation that the a newer model would be "smarter" than an older one when the camera is just as dumb as usual when it comes to read the photographers mind.
09-27-2013, 05:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcupp95 Quote

Was having a lot of exposure problems, but then was also shooting straight into the setting sun which I think was half the problem.
You cannot get a good exposure at sunset shooting straight into the sun. This is true whether your name is Bubba Jones or Ansell Adams. To get a good sunset exposure, set your camera on Av mode, point your camera away from the sun, and take a meter reading of the dusky blue sky (avoiding any clouds). If the resulting exposure is still a little too overexposed for your tastes, underexpose your metered exposure by 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop.


QuoteQuote:
Not entirely sure I want to have to adjust settings everytime I take a photo, my main reason for having a good camera is for travelling when I won't have all the time in the world.
There's no need to adjust your settings everytime you take a photo. Set your camera in Av mode and follow the "sunny f16" rule: On a nice sunny day set your aperture to f8. You should get a shutter speed of around 1/250. Unless your scene is overly bright or overly dark you should get a good exposure. If your scene is not overly bright or overly dark and your meter reads something other than 1/250 adjust the shutter speed to 1/250 using the front e-dial.

Assuming the camera isn't defective, it isn't the camera that takes good or bad photographs, it's the photographer. The light meter in your camera is a reflective light meter, and reflective light meters lie. (It's not their fault, they can't help it. Unlike incident light meters which measure the light falling on a subject, reflective light meters meter the light that is reflecting off the subject, and since not all subjects reflect light the same, reflective meters are easily fooled). You have to know when your camera's meter is lying to you, and adjust settings accordingly.

If you haven't done so already, I strongly suggest you get your hands on a copy of Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure and read it cover to cover at least twice.

This website will also help you out a lot: Ultimate Exposure Computer
09-27-2013, 05:51 AM   #13
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People always think cloud and sunset pictures are easy. They aren't. Metering will kill you if you're not careful. You'll need to learn what you're metering on. For sunrays I like to meter on open sky away from the sun, lock it, then focus on the clouds.

If you want to keep the K5 you'll have to do some learning - and that's going to make you a much better photographer. It's a powerful little DSLR, solid as a rock and IMHO a real pleasure to use. TAv mode is your friend, as mentioned above.
09-27-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcupp95 Quote
Not entirely sure I want to have to adjust settings everytime I take a photo, my main reason for having a good camera is for travelling when I won't have all the time in the world
Adjusting for the current scene vs letting the camera make all of the decisions is the difference between photography and taking pictures; or, to put it another way, the difference between photographs and snap-shots.
09-27-2013, 09:39 AM   #15
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I had a similar experience when I got my K5ii. What it really came down to was that a lot of the ways I had learned to use my old camera, that I thought were me learning how to be a better photographer, were actually me learning how to use that specific camera better. A few weeks with the K5ii and I had started to learn how to use it and the quality of my results increased significantly.

The biggest hurdle for me was learning how the auto focus works on the new camera. I was coming from a Nikon D3100 that has tiny focus dots that show the exact location where autofocus is pointed. The K5ii has these enormous bracketed areas and I was getting completely random results at first as a result. I spent a few evenings sitting on my back porch shooting pictures of my K-01 and really paying attention to where the autofocus was happening vs where I was expecting it to happen.

After that I started having much more reliable results. It's been a few months now and I am nearly as comfortable with the K5ii as I was with my old camera and my ability to use the camera is about equal as well. Of course, the K5ii gives me much better results so the frustration and retraining was worth it.
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