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02-08-2013, 12:46 PM   #1
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Trouble with motion blur

I have a few questions regarding the K-01. I've been getting a lot of motion blur, which I never had a problem with with any of my cameras. The Pentax I upgraded from was the K100D. Although I have a few lenses, the main lenses I use are the DA 55-300 and the Sigma 8-16. Surprisingly, I get a lot of motion blur with the Sigma (which I found odd since it's a wide angle). I checked the EXIF and it sometimes happens with a shutter speed of 1/40. I did a few tests on a tripod at home, but those came out ok. I'm thinking it's mostly me, but I never had this problem in the past (and I take a lot of photos.)

1. It's really difficult to hold this camera steady when it has no viewfinder. Is it just me? I read some of the threads here where people use the thumb to press the shutter or place it on an elbow. It only made us things worse for me. Is there a really good way to hold it? I thought of getting one of the LCD viewfinder attachments, but they were way too bulky for my travel.
2. This camera seems to default to a very low shutter speed. Is there any way to change the settings so that it can choose a higher shutter speed in Aperture priority mode and Program mode? I know I may lose some quality due to ISO bumping, but I am worried about motion blur.
3. Not related to the above, but the camera strap metal lugs seem placed in an odd place causing the camera to be very uncomfortable with a neck strap. Is there a good solution to this? I thought of a wrist strap, but my main lenses are too bulky. I tried to like the small 40 mm kit lens, but it's not at a focal length that's useful to me.
4. I only use center focus since that's what I'm used to. The camera has a tendency to focus on the background even though the subject is within the center box. I never had this problem with my past cameras. How can I prevent this?

Thanks for all your suggestions.

02-08-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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Can you maybe post a sample photo? Do you have SR turned on?
Btw, I usually avoid shutter speeds under 1/100, even with wide angles. For higher focal lengths I use 1/(2*focal length). The "low default shutter speed" behaviour is also identical to my K-r and I agree with you, but there is nothing we can do atm. You can switch to TAv mode (dial to M mode and set Auto ISO).
The "focusing on background" is something I am experiencing with my K-r as well, and I read posts that the K-5 does this as well, so I assume its a Pentax thing. With the K-01 you can at least enable peaking and then manually adjust the focus.
Oh, and one other thing, your previous camera had a much lower MP count, which would make photos appear "sharper" than on a higher MP sensor. So things like a shallow DoF or camera shaking or misfocusing will be more noticeable.

What I suggest is you switch to selective AF area, then press OK and scroll to make the AF area square as small as possible. And update your firmware. And enable focus peaking. Its a fun camera, but it might take some getting used to.
02-08-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Crust Quote
I have a few questions regarding the K-01. I've been getting a lot of motion blur, which I never had a problem with with any of my cameras. [...]

1. It's really difficult to hold this camera steady when it has no viewfinder. Is it just me? I read some of the threads here where people use the thumb to press the shutter or place it on an elbow. It only made us things worse for me. Is there a really good way to hold it? I thought of getting one of the LCD viewfinder attachments, but they were way too bulky for my travel.
2. This camera seems to default to a very low shutter speed. Is there any way to change the settings so that it can choose a higher shutter speed in Aperture priority mode and Program mode? I know I may lose some quality due to ISO bumping, but I am worried about motion blur.
[...]
To speed up the shutter in aperture priority, you should be able to pick a high iso value. Just hit the iso button, switch from the row with an ISO range to the row with a fixed value, and then pick whatever you want. The K-01 seems to produce very good results up to at least ISO3200. But do make sure SR is turned on, as Na Horuk has suggested.

BTW, in another thread, I've posted images shot at 1/6s and even 1/4s that came out very well. Of course, not *all* my images at those shutter speeds come out well, but that some do has given me a really good opinion of Pentax's SR. I tend to hit the shutter with my index, but also support the camera with my left hand cupping the lens from underneath, with the bottom of the palm supporting the body of the camera (using the left thumb and index to turn either the zoom dial on my 17-70 or the focus dial on my MF primes).

Last edited by Doundounba; 02-08-2013 at 02:08 PM. Reason: trim quote
02-08-2013, 02:12 PM   #4
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I went through everything on your list when I first received my k01. All have been subsequently mitigated by experience, so hang in there! Here are a few points that helped me come to grips with the k01, relating to your list.

1-Use the neckstrap as a third point of contact while holding the camera in both hands. Some light tension will help steady the camera.
2-I shoot in manual and TV when I get concerned about shutter speed. I find TV more useful than AV on this camera.
3-The strap gets more confortable with a bit of wear.
3a-The 40mm is the best kit lens I've ever used. It's a little tight indoors but you'll adapt to it and honestly, having a lens this small opens up a lot of opportunities.
4-Adjust the central focus box to it's smallest size.

02-08-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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One advantage of a viewfinder is that having the camera both against your face as well as closer to your body makes it more stable in the hands. Nevertheless with a refined technique you can steady your hands enough to get good results with SR on. Be gentle with the shutter release and when possible, rest your arms on a steady surface.
02-09-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Thank you for all your input.

1. Unfortunately, I've deleted all the blurry photos, so I can't post a sample.
2. I am using SR
3. Focus peaking is on and, even with it on, it's hard to tell if the background or the subject is in focus.
4. I will use the neckstrap as a third point of contact. Thank you for the suggestion.
5. I think I may have to force myself to use Tv mode. I'm used to shooting in Av mode.
6. How do I adjust the central focus box to the smallest size? I would love to do that!! I tried but couldn't find a way to adjust the size. If anyone could let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.
02-09-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
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Unfortunately there is currently no option to adjust focus point size. But as long as you know your AF points, you'll pick up on how to accurately focus with them on a consistent basis.
02-09-2013, 10:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Crust Quote
3. Focus peaking is on and, even with it on, it's hard to tell if the background or the subject is in focus.
It helps to also magnify the image with the OK button. The e-dial allows you to adjust the amount of magnification.

QuoteQuote:
6. How do I adjust the central focus box to the smallest size? I would love to do that!! I tried but couldn't find a way to adjust the size. If anyone could let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.
It wasn't clear from your post whether you are using the Select or Spot autofocus method. With the former, you can use the OK button to display the autofocus area, then the e-dial to change the size and the 4-way controller to change the location. With the latter, it's always a small spot in the center of view.

I've had a few shots where the focus was on the background, but I think what happened is that I focused by pressing the shutter release half-way, then recomposed the shot before the camera had finished focusing. I can't be sure, since I didn't notice the result until long afterwards, but in each case I was in a hurry, and it hasn't happened since I started being more careful.

02-11-2013, 12:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your input.
02-11-2013, 01:24 PM   #10
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Crust, when you're holding your camera, where are your elbows ? Up and away from your body or tucked tight ? How do you hold your camera ? Sounds like your technique is the issue, I've been shooting at the reverse of the FL (i.e. 1/20 sec for 21mm, 1/40 for 40mm etc.) handheld with no problems at all. Best solution of all.... use a tripod whenever you can.

Last edited by regor; 02-11-2013 at 01:25 PM. Reason: typos
02-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #11
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My elbows are tucked tight. I am very used to the "triangle" method, but the issue is that the top part of the triangle is loose since I'm used to having the camera pressed hard against my face.

I think, sometimes, the focus spot turns green showing that the scene is in focus, but it's really not. Does the camera focus using the largest aperture, or does it focus using the set aperture? I've noticed the focusing perhaps being a bit worse when working in bright spots (plenty of light), but with a smaller aperture. (It could be my imagination.)
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