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03-10-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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Green Mode for Irish-Americans (and pros)?

Getting close to St. Patrick's Day, and noticed that the Green Mode on my new K-5 IIs takes very good pictures. And, since my ancestral stereotype is that I'd rather sit than stand, then go to sleep rather than sit -- well, you can understand how appealing this Green Mode is to me. No more worry about apertures or shutter speeds or EV or ISO settings!

In fact, it hit me that the computer inside this little camera is FAR more powerful than the one that went on Apollo 11 to the moon, back then. And probably more powerful than a 2-years-old laptop. Which means that a LOT of very serious programming code is working very, very quickly to produce an image that is optimized for just about any situation you can run into.

And that image, processed by this powerful computer and in-camera software from the RAW data, is output as a JPG. Small file size, no Lightroom needed, ready to send to others without further delay. A JPG that is the result of the best possible photographic programming. In-camera adjustment for highlights, shadows, depth-of-field, color -- all the stuff we can agonize over for hours if we shoot RAW... just to end up with a JPG anyway that quite likely won't be better, and often may be worse, than the Green Mode output. Which leads to these two questions --

1. Is the Pentax Green Mode program equal to or better than similar auto-exposure programs on competing brands?

2. Given that Green Mode will come up with a perfect exposure at least 95% of the time, are any professionals using it these days -- to be able to concentrate on capturing the moment, on composition, without having to think about anything else? This isn't meant to be a joke, or to be insulting -- as a pro, you certainly know about RAW, etc. But time is money -- and is the Green Mode a pro's secret competitive advantage?

03-10-2014, 12:22 PM   #2
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1. Yes I would like to believe so. (My pictures barely require any post production).

2. Not really, it is the photographers ego, which doesn't let them use the Green button. But it is also the 5% of the time they don't want to miss the shot makes them not use the green mode.

Love Green mode.

Long live Pentax and long live Guiness.

Love from the Celtic part of France (Brittany).

Cheers!
03-10-2014, 12:31 PM   #3
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Having been a Mic my entire life, I can say no.

For me it's all about TAv and RAW.
03-10-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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I use P mode, which is pretty much the Green mode but with the option to override what the camera picks... Like if it figures that you want a "portrait" because it detects a person, the camera will opt for a shallower DoF but let's say the person is standing in front of a beautiful landscape, just a few flick of the back wheel and you're in Av mode, increasing aperture to f/11 or f/16.

I cannot say if Pentax has an edge over the competition with either mode. Getting the exposure right is very easy, everyone got it figured out 20-30 years ago.

The only downside of any auto mode is that the camera cannot yet read your mind. It will try it's best to interpret what it sees, exposing for what it believes is important which may not be what you think is important.

Let's make St-Patrick's Day a green mode only day.

03-10-2014, 12:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgaudet Quote
Let's make St-Patrick's Day a green mode only day.
aye, by st patricks eve, green mode is about the only thing i'm capable of, even remembering back button focus is tough :-)
03-10-2014, 02:04 PM   #6
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I shoot in manual a lot of the time and use the green button as a starting point. I tend to press it when using the flash and then move the front & rear dials 4 clicks (2 stops) to the right (any combination, eg, 2 front / 2 back or 3 front / 1 back, etc) depending on what I need - changing the shutter speed or aperture to best suit the situation.

It works fine most of the time, but I sometimes need to override it in tricky lighting (but that's when your experience & camera knowledge comes into play!).

Oh, and I'm Welsh. So I'd prefer the button to be 'Red Mode' :-)
03-10-2014, 02:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by link81 Quote
aye, by st patricks eve, green mode is about the only thing i'm capable of, even remembering back button focus is tough :-)
Maybe then a GoPro might be a better (safer) choice for you
03-10-2014, 07:46 PM   #8
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Green Mode for St.Patrick's Day!

And come tell me, Sean O'Farrell, what the exposure is to be
At the old spot by the river, quite well known to you and me
Left on Green Mode as we whistle, proudly now the marchin' tune
With your Pentax on your shoulder, at the rising of the moon!


Now guys -- this is about Green Mode, not Green Button. As is well known, Green Button is a photographer's equivalent of dialing 9-1-1. But Green Mode shooters never need that Green Button... ever. In fact, Pentax is so proud of their auto-exposure programming that when in Green Mode, the Green Button does... nothing!

03-10-2014, 10:50 PM   #9
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Gave Green Mode a spin today, lovely sunny day in southern California. It worked perfectly on your mid-day generic landscape. But, standing about 50 feet from the train tracks, it chose different shutter speed-aperture combinations on successive shots of the train going by. Here, I would have set 1/1000... it chose a range from 1/125 (the slightly blurry engine), 1/320 (the sharp boxcar) and 1/100 (the fuzzy boxcar at the end of the train).

As for exposure. The engine picture is probably as good as any you'll get without compositing (like the second engine image). But blurry, at the too-slow 1/125 shyutter speed. Green Mode did well getting the land, sky, sea, and part of the engine... but had to leave the side of it in shadow, couldn't lighten the side without overly lightening the sea, sky, and land.

So -- for St. Patrick's Day -- hoist one for Pentax, use that Green Mode, and don't take pictures of anything moving close by!
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03-11-2014, 03:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
As for exposure. The engine picture is probably as good as any you'll get without compositing
Or just shoot RAW
03-11-2014, 10:04 PM   #11
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Green mode is okay for chasing the cats around the house, which is probably what I will be doing on St. Patty's day anyway.
Do the sticky ISO settings apply to green mode, or is that only in P mode? Since I really only use M and occasionally X, this is a bit of a learning curve for me.
03-11-2014, 10:52 PM   #12
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Green mode also changes vibrance, saturation, sharpness in addition to exposure. I think green mode produces over processed shots. P mode, on the other hand, changes only exposure values and can be over-ridden. I use P mode if I give my camera to others to use.
03-11-2014, 10:55 PM   #13
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AquaDome -- Green Mode is 180º different from your M Mode, as far away from it as possible, just like on the mode dial. 180º away, technically and philosophically. Green Mode users surrender all illusions of creative control to their Pentax cameras, which set all the parameters for each picture without any regard for what was set for the last picture, or, indeed, for any settings you might want.

This has great value on occasions like St. Patrick's Day, where many of us may find it hard to remember what the 'M' in the M mode stands for. So many possibilities, so little time. But that green mark -- that emerald green, like the lush green grass of Killarney -- what a wonderful thing, to just leave it there and then push the little button for a perfect picture!
03-12-2014, 03:52 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Timd Quote
Green mode also changes vibrance, saturation, sharpness in addition to exposure. I think green mode produces over processed shots. P mode, on the other hand, changes only exposure values and can be over-ridden. I use P mode if I give my camera to others to use.
That's why green mode is good for chasing cats around the house. Its as unpredictable as they are. Maybe its ISO 8000. Maybe the flash goes off. Maybe green mode is actually coordinating with the cats, and that's why its so unpredictable?

I like my ISO to stay right where I put it. Unless its partly cloudy or I run out of shutter options.

Be safe and don't let the green mode drive.
03-12-2014, 07:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
In fact, it hit me that the computer inside this little camera is FAR more powerful than the one that went on Apollo 11 to the moon, back then. And probably more powerful than a 2-years-old laptop. Which means that a LOT of very serious programming code is working very, very quickly to produce an image that is optimized for just about any situation you can run into.
A Casio wristwatch has more computing power than the computers used on the Apollo rockets.

QuoteOriginally posted by The Kellyboy Quote
Oh, and I'm Welsh. So I'd prefer the button to be 'Red Mode' :-)
Well I'm mostly Scottish, so I need a "Plaid Mode" button.
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