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06-19-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
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K-r's Best AUTO setting for non-photographers

This may be a question no one has encountered. But I will try it here anyway.

My daughter wants to use my K-r to take some pictures. She doesn't want to use P&S camera but doesn't has time to learn the settings.

Which automatic settings I should preset and give her the best possible picture quality?

06-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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Everything I've learned about exposure settings, I have learned be ause I was never happy with the "decisions" the Kr made in auto modes. That said, when I let my 9 year old shoot the Kr, I tend to put it in Program mode (P) and set the auto ISO to go from 100-3200. He mostly photographs posed people, cars and the occasional flower bouquet so it works for us. If he's shooting sports or something, I set him up in shutter priority mode.

The reality is that in my hands, I can usually get better snapshots with a point and shoot. When using a DSLR, I feel it's important to set the camera up exactly how I want to create the image I want. Neither my Kr nor my K30 have been very good at reading my mind.
06-19-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
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Most problems will be photos out of focus and poor composition.

I would tell her to keep an eye on the red dot indicating what is the focus point.
Also, tell her to keep an eye on composition, so that people's heads aren't in the middle of the frame, and so on.

Learning exposure can wait until these are done well.
06-19-2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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Agree. The best for complete novices is probably "P." The camera does almost everything. The one negative is that it will NOT pop up the flash if needed. If she has to shoot indoors or in low light, remind her to pop it up manually.

For a novice, I would suggest at least spending a few minutes showing her the proper way to hold, aim and shoot - "cradle support" with off hand, snug camera to cheek while composing, slow and soft shutter release - that sort of thing.

06-20-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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Just turn everything to the green marks. The camera will work just like a P&S. There is a green square on the mode dial, a green mark at AF.S, a green mark at SR on, ......
06-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Just turn everything to the green marks. The camera will work just like a P&S. There is a green square on the mode dial, a green mark at AF.S, a green mark at SR on, ......
+1

Okay, so you just turned your camera into an advanced P&S. So what? Now OP's daughter can learn composition and camera handling. Even if all her early attempts are "snapshots", again, who cares? She will be delighted with the level of success and you can move from there into exposure control.

Heck, I've been shooting for close to 40 years and used fully manual cameras with separate exposure meters for a fair chunk of them. Depending on the subject and intended use, I have no problem going green on my K-30 and letting Pentax's programmers deal with exposure. The camera is just a tool, and not every image is fine art.

Why, I even use cruise control in my car on open stretches of road!
06-20-2013, 12:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Why, I even use cruise control in my car on open stretches of road!
Probably have one of those new-fangled automatic transmissions too! It must be me because I find those frustrating too because they're never in the gear I want them to be in. LOL
06-20-2013, 10:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by HockeyDad Quote
Everything I've learned about exposure settings, I have learned be ause I was never happy with the "decisions" the Kr made in auto modes. That said, when I let my 9 year old shoot the Kr, I tend to put it in Program mode (P) and set the auto ISO to go from 100-3200.
Agree with this: especially that the Kr is pretty hopeless in auto mode. It's much worse than any P&S I've owned in this regard. If the light will be OK a possible alternative is Av with F8 selected, and auto ISO, although I prefer to top out at 1600. And tell her not to touch any buttons or dials except the shutter and play button.

06-20-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmnf Quote
My daughter wants to use my K-r to take some pictures. She doesn't want to use P&S camera but doesn't has time to learn the settings
Huh?
No settings = point & shoot.
06-21-2013, 04:46 AM   #10
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A few might disagree with me, but in terms of the amount of light that reaches the sensor, if you pick anything other than manual and don't touch exposure compensation to override, the camera is going to provide the same EV in every semi-automatic and automatic setting.

So unless this photographer is ready to study depth of field (Av mode), or shutter time for intentional levels of blur (Tv mode), why bother? And the chief difference between P(rogram) and AutoPict has more to do with how the camera adjusts jpeg parameters; it won't make much difference at all if the output is RAW.

If the daughter doesn't want to learn the mechanics of proper exposure at the front, M(anual) is out, and given the above thoughts, why not use AutoPict? If/when the daughter wants to get more out of her photos, THEN introduce her to other modes.
06-21-2013, 06:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Huh?
No settings = point & shoot.
Actually No setting > point and shoot. My daughter made me buy here a cheap monopod because holding a P&S at arms length to compose the shot caused movement on many of her shots. When she uses my old DS in Tv or Av (mostly Tv for the 1/1.5 lens length rule), she gets quite a few more keepers without using a monopod.

Tim
06-21-2013, 09:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
the camera is going to provide the same EV in every semi-automatic and automatic setting.
Yep. ...and you're right, I bet if I were shooting RAW I would have seen less variation in what the camera was choosing to do. But then, as a complete newbie, learning all the nuances of RAW processing is quite intimidating and time consuming. I realize that once you know what you like and have figured out how to achieve it, most RAW processing programs just use your defaults as a starting point but it still takes time, effort and learning to get to the point where your RAW processing is automated.

I guess what I didn't like about true green AUTO on the Kr was that in a given scene, it would choose Portrait one second, Macro another and other scene modes at will. I guess I felt like P gave me consistent results that I could count on even though all the modes would yield a similar EV, they can arrive at that EV in very different ways. That's also why I will set the Kr in TV for my son when he's likely to be shooting action, so that the camera can handle exposure but won't slow the shutter speed down to do it.

I guess at the end of the day, the best advice for the OP is to start with [Auto Pict] but perhaps limit the ISO so that it doesn't wander too high and go from there. If they're happy with the results, job's done. If not, explore the other scene modes and things.
06-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by atupdate Quote
Actually No setting > point and shoot...
Actually, no setting >>>>> p&s due to the far larger and more capable sensor in your KR as opposed to all but the most high end point and shoots.
06-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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I got it. Will set it to AutoPict and Auto ISO but ceiling it to 1600 or 3200.
Thanks.
06-25-2013, 11:22 AM   #15
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One trick that might help is to shoot in Raw and set an exposure compensation of -1.5 or -2.0. This allows some extra latitude for over exposure, which I find happens quite often with the K-r. In raw you can easily compensate for under exposure (but not over exposure) so the combination of underexposing and using raw will give you a very forgiving combination if you really have to use auto but still get most photos right.
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