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04-10-2011, 12:18 PM   #1
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K-r underexposure vs. k-7/k-5

I have a new K-r with a (I think) underexposure problem, the same as Adam Scorey mentions in his review of the K-r in Digital SLR User Magazine, March 2011. My question is this: does the K-7 and/or the K-5 have the same tendencies for underexposure as my K-r, or not? So, would it solve my problem to get the more expensive body, or am I on may way to something else? A typical cross section of photo's taken with this K-r is here p - a set on Flickr


kind regards

04-10-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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Unless your k-r is defective, it seems to me that upgrading your camera is a rather drastic step on trying to fixing a underexposure problem. What file format and exposure modes do you use? What steps have you taken to adjust for proper exposure?
04-10-2011, 03:50 PM   #3
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The K-7 and K-5 have a 77-segment metering system that is theoretically more capable. I have found I can trust it more than the 16 segment metering from my DS, but I don't think the DS shares much with the K-r.

I looked at some of the flickr set and they looked OK to overexposed to me. Then I looked at the EXIF and they were all +0.7 Ev.
04-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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thanks for the info - i think the metering system (centre-weighted) could maybe be part of the problem? i'll fix that, and see how it goes. most of the pictures (jpg) were taken in program mode on a "bright" setting, hence the +0.7.

04-11-2011, 06:39 AM   #5
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Pentax had been generally know to underexpose. I find my DS does that often.

That said later Pentax cameras as some reviews mentioned 'tend to clip highlights'. My K-r exposes brighter than my DS. But I like the exposure and white balance better on the K-r.

I just find that if the photos look underexposed in K-r LCD's (especially outdoors on a bright day), it's actually not. Adjusting for a brighter exposure usually results in overexposure.

But then again, exposure is to a degree, subjective.
04-12-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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Does KR have a histogram display option?. If so, that could prove useful in tweaking the exposure.
04-12-2011, 05:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Does KR have a histogram display option?. If so, that could prove useful in tweaking the exposure.
It has. I actually use it quite often, as with the DS. Maybe I'm just used to the output of the DS (darker), but I find the K-r better. In terms that I don't have to push often during PP .
04-14-2011, 01:09 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that, with the K-r, it's better to underexpose than overexpose, particularly if you shoot in RAW. You can easily bump the exposure up a stop or two in post-processing without hurting image quality. I know that would be annoying to do all of the time, but now and then isn't too bad. I tend to take any automatic exposure readings as a suggestion only, anyway.

Edit: I just looked at your photos, and they don't really look underexposed to me. A lot of the photos are high-contrast situations, in which you have to prioritize the dark or light areas. Personally, I would prioritize the light areas and bring the dark up in PP. Again, using RAW. There is a huge advantage to shooting in RAW when it comes to dealing with exposure, color, and sharpness.


Last edited by Designosophy; 04-14-2011 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Additional information
04-15-2011, 08:43 AM   #9
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i agree intuitively with the better-to-underexpose, but read the other day in the excellent 'the art of photography' by bruce barnbaum to bias the histogram to the right, that is, to lean towards overexposure. he has a whole explanation for this going, which on a whole makes good sense. probably one of the reasons i thought my K-r underexposes. but i'm giving raw a go.
04-16-2011, 08:07 AM   #10
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I'll have to check out Barnbaum's explanation. I like to try every credible technique I encounter, and I think it varies from camera to camera (and sometimes from lens to lens). For example, with my K-x, I had great success preserving highlights and getting contrast by underexposing slightly and then pushing the exposure in PP. However, with my K-7, I generally find that it's better to overexpose slightly, then bring down the exposure in PP. This helps to reduce noise a little, and the K-7 seems to do a little better recovering detail from highlights.
04-16-2011, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #11
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If you would like to try some in camera jpg setting to give them more 'pop', try the ones listed below. I mostly shoot raw but started playing around with the different jpg setting after complaints from a family member who on retuning my K-x said her pictures were lacking color and she had no interest in pp.

Image tone - Bright
Hue - 0
Saturation - 2
High/Low Key - 2
Contrast - 2
Sharpness - 3

Before


After

Last edited by DanWeso; 04-16-2011 at 08:48 AM. Reason: no pics
04-16-2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanWeso Quote
If you would like to try some in camera jpg setting to give them more 'pop', try the ones listed below. I mostly shoot raw but started playing around with the different jpg setting after complaints from a family member who on retuning my K-x said her pictures were lacking color and she had no interest in pp.

Image tone - Bright
Hue - 0
Saturation - 2
High/Low Key - 2
Contrast - 2
Sharpness - 3
Generally shooting Raw+, giving these settings a whirl, certainly impression of brightness is significantly enhanced.
04-16-2011, 10:51 AM   #13
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brilliant: i'l try it. thank you much
05-16-2011, 07:57 AM   #14
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maybe it was the lens (now a 1.4 50mm sigma) .....?
pr2 - a set on Flickr
05-16-2011, 11:41 AM   #15
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I'm sorry Dan, but if you're suggesting that the second shot is an improvement over the first then I'd have to disagree. I think in the zeal to make colors "pop" one can go overboard and make them look unnatural. Yes, the second shot is more vivid, but the highlights are blown. The sky, the white trim, and most especially the reflection of the clouds in the window are prime indicators of this. Also, look at the rails of the fence above the surf shop. You can't even see them in the second shot.

Perhaps a happy medium would suffice.....otherwise, if just choosing between the two, the first shot looks natural and is properly exposed. I would suggest rather than in camera adjustments, you try to convince your family member to do some minor tweaking in pp for high contrast scenes. But that's just my opinion.....I could be wrong.

Last edited by ccd333; 05-16-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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