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11-22-2014, 07:53 AM   #1
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Please be gentle

Hi
I am not here to Bash Pentax gear. I own a K-x and a K-5. I started with bridge cameras, but was unable to get those WOW pictures. So I bought a K-x on reading the stellar reviews, I have not had much luck with getting sharp photos with this camera either.Then when the K-r came out, i read how bad the K-x really was. So I purchased a K-5 because the price came down to affordable level. Now that the K-3 has been out for awhile, and the bashing of the k-5 and how bad it is has started. I am starting to believe that all the wow photo's of these cameras has more to do with processing software than the actual camera.
Is this true? I think my own problems with my k-5 has been missed focus. I have posted images in the past and had a lot of comments about the photos being soft. I don't know if I have to adjust for all my lenses or what I need to do. I am looking at the K-3 but I don't really believe the faster AF and more Focus points will really help me. I am not sure the increase in megapixels is good or bad. Of course the posted pictures from K-3 look like Wow pictures to me again, Don't get me wrong I believe my skills are more of the problem than the gear. But I have to believe that as gear evolves it should be getting easier to use just like any other tool. I usually shoot in jpeg, I would like to use photo's out of the camera versus spending so much time processing images. Is this possible?
Again please do not be to hard on me. I have not had any photographic training

Thanks in advanced for your advise.
Mark

11-22-2014, 08:08 AM   #2
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You (your mind) may see something one way but the camera (image sensor) sees the same thing in a completely unbiased way and process it as such. Which often times is different than how you saw it. You can custom set how the camera processes your images and through trial and error develop a profile that produces close to what your mind sees. But with so many variants of lighting, especially mixed lighting, the camera will try and pick what it thinks is the best way to correct for it. In tricky or mixed lighting, it may pick wrong, and thus your image looks off (too much green tint for example). It's asking a lot to get a camera, any camera for that matter, to process a perfect image every time. If if the camera gets close to your expectation, it may require minor tweaks, to make your image really pop, thus what you often see posted on here.
11-22-2014, 08:13 AM   #3
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A better camera isn't going to make a better photographer.
Only your own applied effort will move you forward. Moving forward is work.
If you feel your skills are lacking, try a photography course or join a camera club.
11-22-2014, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
*snip*
I am starting to believe that all the wow photo's of these cameras has more to do with processing software than the actual camera.
Mmmh... I believe that's wrong, you can make some wonderful straight out of camera shots with them.

QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
Don't get me wrong I believe my skills are more of the problem than the gear. But I have to believe that as gear evolves it should be getting easier to use just like any other tool. I usually shoot in jpeg, I would like to use photo's out of the camera versus spending so much time processing images. Is this possible?
That's probably correct... but it doesn't mean "post processing skills".
I can't say for sure because I haven't seen any photo of yours, but it looks like a case of lack of the basics of photography.
Softness can be caused by a vieriety of factor: bad focus, wrong aperture setting (too open, too closed), motion blur, subject movement hence wrong shutter speed...

No amount of progress can change how an individual takes pictures, nor it can do the work of the photographer for him, no matter the amount of automation involved, and I believe that's a good thing.
I'd suggest you get a good book on photography and start working you way from there.
You have very capable cameras in your hands, use them well.

This is not meant to be a harsh criticism, rather a general pointer that you may follow or not.
If you're not interested in studying, understanding etc. you'd be better off with a smartphone camera, and that's not a derogatory remark.
They are different tools, aimed at different audience with different capabilities.

Best of luck with your photographic endeavors!

11-22-2014, 08:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
Don't get me wrong I believe my skills are more of the problem than the gear. But I have to believe that as gear evolves it should be getting easier to use just like any other tool.
Cameras HAVE gotten vastly easier to use, but there will never be a setting for "great photos". The camera can only do so much. You mentioned that some of your pics were soft, but I get the impression that you don't know why that is and are wanting to blame the equipment. It very well MAY be the equipment, but it takes a level of knowledge to make that determination.
11-22-2014, 09:08 AM   #6
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<p>Regarding the softness, please post some examples</p>
<p>If you know what you are doing, you could even get wow pictures out of your k-x. Or at least good pictures from any camera.</p>
<p>There are some very basic things that can improve your photography right away. The main one is learning to work with your camera's AF system. My wife doesnt want to do this so most of the time she will be taking photos of our kids but letting the camera focus on something other than them. My boss bought a Nikon DSLR and a nice 2.8 zoom and until I taught him how to make sure he and not the camera chose the focus point, he thought the camera was crap. And he's a very bright guy - so dont feel bad if we tell you to learn the basics. We all have to and in my case, still am...</p>
<p>Also, learning to find out if the lens you are using needs focus adjustment can make a big difference.</p>
<p>I would start with that.</p>
11-22-2014, 09:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
I am starting to believe that all the wow photo's of these cameras has more to do with processing software than the actual camera.
There's another factor relative to wow vs blah photos. The most significant factor of all. The skill of the person who holds the camera, and operates the computer that the software is installed on.
I'm pretty sure that If I bought the same brushes, paints, and canvas that Van Gogh used my paintings would not be mistaken for his.
QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
I have not had any photographic training
Spending some money on that at this point would likely improve your pictures far more than any equipment or software that you could buy.
11-22-2014, 10:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
I think my own problems with my k-5 has been missed focus.
If you focus manually, your focussing screen needs to be properly shimmed. If it's not, what appears to be in focus in the viewfinder will be out of focus in the final image.

If you auto-focus, your AF fine adjustment needs to be accurate, otherwise your shots will be out of focus.

I have owned two Pentax DSLRs, and neither of them gave me sharp images until I 'tuned' the focussing system. Now they are both reliably accurate.

See the image below-- L1, L2 and L3 distances must all be equal. Manufacturing tolerances can often cause this to be not the case.



11-22-2014, 10:13 AM   #9
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As a long time Pentax user ( K100, K10, Kx, K5II ) I can say if you want to just press the shutter and get a great JPG pic then Pentax is not for you.
I can get good pics but it takes more work than other brands. The metering system is antiquated and the flash is worse, if you don't
have later Pentax lenses then good luck !
I also have Panasonic ( G3 ) and an old Nikon D200 and if I just leave in P mode will beat the K5II any Day. Just point and shoot.
Probably the best for you would be the Panasonic, has a viewfinder and movable lcd screen. Flash , no flash whatever always a great pic, ( just dont use RAW )
Works with all my Pentax lenses with a $30.00 adapter and fantastic for video. Paid $150.00 for it.
Pentax is like a race car very good if you take the time to learn it and be annoying at times, if I just want to wander around and snap shot the old cruiser is better.
11-22-2014, 10:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobpur Quote
snip... The metering system is antiquated and the flash is worse, if you don't
have later Pentax lenses then good luck !
I also have Panasonic ( G3 ) and an old Nikon D200 and if I just leave in P mode will beat the K5II any Day. Just point and shoot.
snip...
If you don't know how.... how can you say it is worse?
What later Pentax lenses do I need to have to make it better?
G3 and D200 beats k-5II if you leave all in P mode.. do you have samples to show?
I am interested to know...
11-22-2014, 12:16 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
So I bought a K-x on reading the stellar reviews, I have not had much luck with getting sharp photos with this camera either.Then when the K-r came out, i read how bad the K-x really was.
I do hope you are joking? I have many images taken with the k-x that sell regularly. It is *still* an excellent camera and in some ways I like the color rendition from the k-x sensor better than the k-5 or k-3. My son still uses my old k-x and is quite happy with it.
QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
Now that the K-3 has been out for awhile, and the bashing of the k-5 and how bad it is has started. I am starting to believe that all the wow photo's of these cameras has more to do with processing software than the actual camera. Is this true?
Again I do hope you are joking? The k-5 had it's share of issues but image quality is not one of them. There are threads active right now arguing whether the IQ of the k-5IIs is better than the IQ of the k-3. And while image processing is important it is only one part of the chain: Photographer's concept and skill-->lens-->camera / sensor-->image processing-->printing. The image is only going to be as good as the weakest part of that chain.
QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
I think my own problems with my k-5 has been missed focus. I have posted images in the past and had a lot of comments about the photos being soft. I don't know if I have to adjust for all my lenses or what I need to do. I am looking at the K-3 but I don't really believe the faster AF and more Focus points will really help me.
Let me give an example: Joe homeowner goes to the store and buys a power saw because he wants to cut up some wood. He does not sharpen the blade, does not test and adjust the alignment of the guides, does not read the manual to learn how to use the saw, does not bother to learn anything about carpentry so has no idea he should be using a rip blade instead of the cheap crosscut blade that came with the saw. The wood cuts are not square, they are splintered and rough, the blade is burnt and the saw cuts slowly and poorly. So Joe homeowner takes the saw back to the store and demands a 'better' saw because obviously the one he bought was 'bad'. Sound familiar?
QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
Don't get me wrong I believe my skills are more of the problem than the gear. But I have to believe that as gear evolves it should be getting easier to use just like any other tool. I usually shoot in jpeg, I would like to use photo's out of the camera versus spending so much time processing images. Is this possible?
Not really. New gear gives the potential to do new things or do them faster but fundamentally a camera is a light tight box with a sensitive media in it. That has not changed since they used glass plates. I take much better images with the k-3 than I did with the k-x. But that is ME not the camera. I took (IMHO) quite good images with the k-x and good enough to sell. But if my skill was the same as it was when I was using the k-x then the k-3 images would be no better. I think you are falling into the trap that many of us have, believing that just buying a new 'better' camera will somehow improve your skills. New expensive gear gives you the POTENTIAL to make better images but without the skills to go with it things can actually get worse. Unless you can drive a minivan I would not suggest you try driving a Ferrari.
QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
Again please do not be to hard on me. I have not had any photographic training
And there you have your answer. I hope you do not take my comments as harsh, they were not intended that way. But I have been in your situation and truely do understand. I started in film then left photography for years. When I came back it was with a series of super-zoom bridge type cameras which I replaced every few years because there was always a 'better' model coming out. Then I bought a k-x and the quality of my photography DROPPED dramatically. How can this be I said? This is a BETTER camera!! I nearly returned it and went back to my super-zoom. Fortunately I stuck with it, read some books, took a class, researched everything I could find on the internet. But all of that had nothing to do with the camera, it was me that had to be upgraded not the camera.

May I suggest a couple of books to begin: "Understanding Exposure" by Brian Peterson to teach the fundamentals of exposure, And "Learning to See Creatively" again by Brian Peterson. I have read both numerous times.

Just like any other skill you will not get better without lots of practice and learning. And in photography that means learning both photography itself and how to select, tune and adjust your gear properly.

---------- Post added 11-22-14 at 11:18 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
Invest in learning. It is the difference between camera owners and photographers. There are no short cuts.
We posted at the same time. But you said in two sentences what I spent a whole page on. Brief, concise and precisely on target. +1
11-22-2014, 01:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by popellis Quote
I started with bridge cameras, but was unable to get those WOW pictures.
How do you define "WOW"? One photographer's wow photo might be another photographer's garbage. It's a matter of differing tastes. Once we know what you are aiming for we can help you get it. Are you interested in landscapes, portraiture, architecture, or other subjects? Point us to some examples of photos you would like to achieve.

QuoteQuote:
I have not had much luck with getting sharp photos
Possible causes of blur include autofocus calibration (there's a camera menu and many threads on PentaxForums for that), diopter adjustment (for manual focus), photographer error (shaky hands, etc.). Each of these causes are correctable with camera adjustments and practice. Try using a tripod for some test shots and focus using liveview; that should correct for all of the above causes and confirm that your camera and lenses are capable of sharp photos.

QuoteQuote:
I usually shoot in jpeg, I would like to use photo's out of the camera versus spending so much time processing images.
Yes, it is possible to get good jpeg images, but it depends on what sort of look you prefer. If you think your photos lack color, maybe you want to adjust the in-camera jpeg settings. I prefer "natural" but some people like "vivid" or other settings. A lot depends on the subject and lighting conditions.

I almost always process raw images because a little processing sometimes turns a good image into a great image.
11-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #13
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K5II and Nikon D200 pics, using a 50mm reversed on an extension for macros. P mode no adjustments and onboard flash used.

Last edited by bobpur; 11-23-2014 at 07:37 AM.
11-22-2014, 04:05 PM   #14
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And that proves what, relevant to to OP's post?
11-22-2014, 04:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Not really. New gear gives the potential to do new things or do them faster but fundamentally a camera is a light tight box with a sensitive media in it. That has not changed since they used glass plates. I take much better images with the k-3 than I did with the k-x. But that is ME not the camera. I took (IMHO) quite good images with the k-x and good enough to sell. But if my skill was the same as it was when I was using the k-x then the k-3 images would be no better. I think you are falling into the trap that many of us have, believing that just buying a new 'better' camera will somehow improve your skills. New expensive gear gives you the POTENTIAL to make better images but without the skills to go with it things can actually get worse. Unless you can drive a minivan I would not suggest you try driving a Ferrari.
Good point jatrax (actually right on the money), I started with my first dslr, was a k-x. My first out of camera images I'm thinking this isn't much better that my premium point & shoot before it. My mistake, I tried using it as a P&S, along with the fact that I was immature and inexperienced with a camera of this caliber (yes, I'm referring to the k-x). After hours and hours (and more hours) of research and experimentation, which continues to this day, I realize that all that hard work has paid off. I go back and look at the Christmas photos I took with my flashy new dslr several years ago and I get nauseous, they are just awful. They were probably great at the time (for me), but now it makes me realize how far I have progressed. I also realize that there is infinite room to grow, and there are always going to be awful images, but the good ones will continue to keep getting better.
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