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03-14-2013, 09:11 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
It is on. To clarify, it doesn't function in manual focus mode. With an auto focus lens, there is the box in the middle. If focus fails, the box turns red. If focus is achieved, it turns green and beeps.

With an auto focus lens, the second you switch to manual focus, the box disappears and the box is gone. The camera does not beep when it is in focus.
Yes, I was agreeing with you...

03-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by sledger Quote
Yes, I was agreeing with you...
Sorry, just misunderstood.
03-15-2013, 04:33 PM   #63
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I have had some developments with the light issue. First, the light in the room was less than I thought. It was not 2 100w equivalent bulbs, it was 2 60w equivalent bulbs and one was burned out so it was 1 60 watt equivalent bulb. I guess I had just got used to the dim light. Oddly enough the one bulb was giving 4-5 ev (if my ev calculations are correct which I'm not sure they are, as I have just learned to calculate it). Average room light is apparently 5-7 ev.

The indoor low light af accuracy test in the review shows the exact problem I was having (and shows its limitations compared to a dslr). I don't think I fully understood the test when I read it and did not take something into account.

Pentax K-01 Camera Review - Autofocus Performance - PentaxForums.com

I thought area 2 and 3 were darker because they were recessed (maybe partially true, I'm not sure I 100% understand the test but understand it better at least). What I did not gather from the test is that the color of the object drastically changes light. A white piece of paper that is 25 feet away right under the one 60 watt bulb would show 5 ev. The dark brown couch that I was trying to focus on was showing 2.5 ev or so at the same location. Obviously a white item is reflecting more light for the camera to receive than a dark brown item is.

There are some obvious limitations in low light as seen in the test, that were made worse by dim room light (didn't realize how dim it was), and made even worse by trying to focus on a dark subject. I still kind of think the low light focus performance goes down the toilet once you escape the range of the auto focus assist light but its not as bad as I thought. Also, if you have it set to focus on the center point and try to focus on a grey shoe (now with a 75 watt bulb and a 60 watt bulb), it fails but if you change the focus point a couple of inches to the white base of the same shoe it focuses.

It would seem there is going to be a learning curve with this camera but I guess thats to be expected.

On a side note, I never shot film so I never really learned light calculations etc.

Last edited by ripit; 03-15-2013 at 05:34 PM.
03-15-2013, 07:28 PM   #64
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You need enough contrast for the CDAF to work. At longer distances in room light the AF point often doesn't have enough. Try to find an edge in the same focus plane (brown hair to face, dark shirt to light background), hold focus and recompose.

03-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
You need enough contrast for the CDAF to work. At longer distances in room light the AF point often doesn't have enough. Try to find an edge in the same focus plane (brown hair to face, dark shirt to light background), hold focus and recompose.
I have been trying that but its not working as expected (though it might be working). For instance, I tried focusing on a person with brown hair so the contrast between brown hair and white skin was there, but the camera ignored the face hair contrast and reached out behind the person to focus on the white curtain that has less contrast. I have noticed that it likes light subjects. It doesn't like a face with skin/hair contrast, but it likes a white wall. I tried a white wall (with a little texture) and it focused. I tried the ceiling that is much smoother and it focused. I tried a white metal door that was nice and smooth, and it focused. In the same area and same light levels, it had much more difficulty with a face. I was under the impression that a smooth white surface was the worst thing for contrast AF. Fyi I'm using firmware 1.3 now. Perhaps its a matter of the lighter objects having more reflected light so it can lock easier?

Regardless, I guess its a matter of finding what kinds of things it likes focusing on so the same advice you gave would apply as far as focusing, locking and recomposing.

I'm thinking a lot of problems with this camera can be solved by just learning the camera better. Compared to my ist-ds, as well as half a dozen point and shoot cameras I currently have (including a medium size sony that originally cost about $800 so it wasn't just a cheapo or a pocket camera), the camera is just weird. It has very strange behavior. I wonder if it is just something with mine? I do seem to be able to work through some problems just by learning the quirks of the camera.

One side note. I am primarily using a few auto focus zooms. I do occasionally try to 40mm to compare.

Also, the camera doesn't have so many issues at closer distances where the AF assist light has effect. I have been concentrating on longer distances to learn how to work through the problems. At some point I will start learning MF lenses on it but I would like to learn to use both AF and MF lenses. I also have quite a few lenses so it may be a matter of finding the ones it likes.

Last edited by ripit; 03-15-2013 at 08:07 PM.
03-15-2013, 08:08 PM   #66
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03-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #67
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Well mine has never decided to focus on the Ceiling, that's for sure. It just sometimes didn't want to focus on anything with Firmware 1.0.

Are you using Spot AutoFocus?
03-15-2013, 09:52 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Well mine has never decided to focus on the Ceiling, that's for sure. It just sometimes didn't want to focus on anything with Firmware 1.0.

Are you using Spot AutoFocus?
For a short period, I was using whatever the default was. Then I changed to spot autofocus. I just recently figured out how to get multi point (as in dragging the little box out to get a bigger area). That is the only way to do multi point, right?

Most of the problems were probably using spot auto focus. I changed from the default because it was grabbing focus on things way off center. Perhaps I will have a little more luck with multi point but the smallest box?

03-17-2013, 10:36 AM   #69
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My K-01 went back for exchange so I picked up my *ist DS to satisfy my photography addiction for a week or so until I can get a K-01 back. It was like stepping back to the stone ages compared to the K-01. Not that this makes the K-01 infinitely superior to DSLRs, just that technology has come a long way in the last 8 years and the K-01 is a terrific step up on almost every front (other than times you truly need an OVF) compared to the *ist DS.

Unfortunately, I picked the week of Passover to do my exchange so BH won't get to it until Thursday.
03-17-2013, 10:50 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
Pentax K-01 Camera Review - Autofocus Performance - PentaxForums.com
I dont think this review was done with the latest firmware, though.
03-17-2013, 06:48 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rob22315 Quote
My K-01 went back for exchange so I picked up my *ist DS to satisfy my photography addiction for a week or so until I can get a K-01 back. It was like stepping back to the stone ages compared to the K-01. Not that this makes the K-01 infinitely superior to DSLRs, just that technology has come a long way in the last 8 years and the K-01 is a terrific step up on almost every front (other than times you truly need an OVF) compared to the *ist DS.

Unfortunately, I picked the week of Passover to do my exchange so BH won't get to it until Thursday.
As I learn to use the camera, it is working out better for me. While there are many things where the k-01 beats the ds (in some cases it just blows the ds away such as image quality and high iso performance), there are a few ways the ds beats the k-01. Unfortunately one of those ways directly involves my primary reason for upgrading. If the camera just has to jump around focus a little, it seems to focus much faster than the ds. If it has to hunt, it hunts slower but the bigger issue is low light focus which is lacking over the ds (instances where it will not autofocus at all). The ds will auto focus in lowe light than the k-01. I primarily bought it for increased low light performance. The sensor performed excellent in low light but the auto focus is taking a bit of getting used to. For the price and for what it can do it was a steal and worth upgrading, but if it had been regular price, I think I would have gone with a dslr in a heart beat. Since the lens is worth $250, the camera cost $110. That leaves me little room to complain. If I could only had one, I would go with the k-01 over the ds easy but would miss some things on the ds.
03-17-2013, 06:55 PM   #72
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ripit -- Try to use manual focus as much as you can for anything moving. 'Tracking auto-focus' will get confused more often then not; it's useless. Figure out ahead of time where the plane of focus is -- where the action will be -- and then let the moving subject just come into your pre-planned and pre-focused frame. Regular auto-focus is OK for shots where the subject is sitting still... on AF, using the spot focus setting.

Something else that helps. If you want, you can set the AF/AE L button to lock exposure. This helps me a lot, as I also use the spot exposure setting. So I can choose and lock the exposure for a pre-planned picture and it will stay locked until you press the button a second time -- unless the screen display times out and goes black, then you have to lock it again.

New cameras take time! I've had my K-01 for a month and figure it will take another two to get really comfortable with it. But I love the camera -- it feels really good in my hands -- and it's worth putting up with the learning curve to get the super image quality. Hang in there!
03-17-2013, 07:19 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
ripit -- Try to use manual focus as much as you can for anything moving. 'Tracking auto-focus' will get confused more often then not; it's useless. Figure out ahead of time where the plane of focus is -- where the action will be -- and then let the moving subject just come into your pre-planned and pre-focused frame. Regular auto-focus is OK for shots where the subject is sitting still... on AF, using the spot focus setting.

Something else that helps. If you want, you can set the AF/AE L button to lock exposure. This helps me a lot, as I also use the spot exposure setting. So I can choose and lock the exposure for a pre-planned picture and it will stay locked until you press the button a second time -- unless the screen display times out and goes black, then you have to lock it again.

New cameras take time! I've had my K-01 for a month and figure it will take another two to get really comfortable with it. But I love the camera -- it feels really good in my hands -- and it's worth putting up with the learning curve to get the super image quality. Hang in there!
I wasn't too happy with it the first day . Even after a couple of days it is growing on me. I think it will have a bigger than normal learning curve as it behaves much differently than any camera I have used. One thing I can say I don't like is not having a focus conformation. With the ds if there was any issue of focus I could let the camera tell me (which helped with eye site that is just a little out but not enough to wear glasses on a regular basis). Focus peaking was a disaster (everything was out of focus). What I have started doing is letting the camera auto focus to get a mental picture of what the focus peaking looks like when it is in focus. It seems to have helped a little (more of that learning curve). I have a feeling it will work out well once I learn it a little better.

Thanks for the advice on exposure lock. So far I don't even know what all the buttons do (though I know the af/ae button will refocus in video).
03-17-2013, 11:19 PM   #74
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Ripit -- yes, I also wish it would beep when you focus in Manual Focus mode... but it doesn't. It only beeps in AF Auto Focus.

But -- if you have time -- in MF Manual Focus, if you press the OK button, it will magnify the screen. Up to 6X, if you turn the top dial. This can be a great help. But, if you are in a hurry, Auto-Focus!
03-21-2013, 01:08 AM   #75
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IIRC, Pentax gave the K-01 a beefier AF motor to help overcome some of the shortcomings of CDAF. That's based on a translated interview with the design team I posted in another thread.
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