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12-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
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K30 Optimal Settings for Beginner

My first SLR, my beautiful K30. The menu is overwhelming. Toying with it, but wondered if anyone has advice on optimal menu/camera settings for a beginner on the K30? Thanks in advance, Deb in BC

12-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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Congrats on your new camera! There is really no "optimal" setting to cover all the different shooting situations. You could try Green Mode Auto setting, and you might get decent shots, but you probably won't learn much. I would suggest reading thru your manual bit by bit, and picking up a copy of "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. He does a great job of explaining the different aspects of beginner photography. Doing some reading, and a lot of shooting will show you what works and what doesn't. Most of all, have fun
12-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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There's always the manual Deb. Boring I know.

Good book to have for ANY camera is Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (9780817439392): Bryan Peterson: Books

Edit: haha Paul beat me to it.
12-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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if you like to process a bit picture on the computer shoot RAW (or "RAW +" meaning save file as RAW and JPEG).

For the JPEG setting (press the "info" button), try bright with +1 at saturation. Neutral is very dull when it comes to color. but try differents settings to find what kind of JPEG you like.

set by default the pop up flash with -1 ev, to prevent the most exposed part of what you shoot to be slightly burned.

and read the f*cking manual , it seems anoying, but it will really helps you to set the parameter the way that suit you best.

12-08-2012, 05:04 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Heres how I would set the camera up to be mildly challenging to a newcomer and promote some hands on learning. 1.) Shoot in Av (aperture priority) 2.) Auto white balance. 3.) center weighted metering. 4.) set ISO at 400 and try to leave it there. 5.) set your kit lens at 35 or 50mm and leave it there. use it like a prime lens. 6.) go out and take 1,000,000 pictures manipulating your shutter speed by changing the aperture 90% of the time. Only changing the ISO if you absolutely have to. Try to keep your shutter speed at/faster than the focal length (35 or 50) for subjects that are still. try to keep it much faster for moving things.

You will learn the correlation of the settings and their effects on the image without being overwhelmed by all the settings at once.
12-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #6
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Are you familiar with aperture, speed an exposure in photography?
12-08-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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First dslr can be overwhelming, too many things to learn and dozens of settings that you don't know much or anything about.

Good advice so far, +1 on "Understanding Exposure". +1 on read the manual, sorry but you have to. Unless you understand or at least are familiar with the terminology all the advice in the world won't help.

One thing you need to think about is: do you want to be a photographer or just take pictures? If just take pictures then set it on green mode and worry about composition and have fun. If you want to really learn how it is done, this is a great place for advice but there is a learning curve and you have to be willing to put the time in.

Everyone has their camera set up differently to suit how they shoot, so asking what settings to use might get you more confused than you were before because what I use someone else might hate.

QuoteQuote:
Heres how I would set the camera up to be mildly challenging to a newcomer and promote some hands on learning. 1.) Shoot in Av (aperture priority) 2.) Auto white balance. 3.) center weighted metering. 4.) set ISO at 400 and try to leave it there. 5.) set your kit lens at 35 or 50mm and leave it there. use it like a prime lens. 6.) go out and take 1,000,000 pictures manipulating your shutter speed by changing the aperture 90% of the time. Only changing the ISO if you absolutely have to. Try to keep your shutter speed at/faster than the focal length (35 or 50) for subjects that are still. try to keep it much faster for moving things.
This is pretty good for a starter and will let you learn the camera without getting too many bad shots. The most important thing is to LEARN. Take a shot, then analyze it, did it come out the way you envisioned? What should you have done different.

I gave my wife my k-x a year ago when I got the k-5, she insisted she only wanted to take pictures and had no desire to learn anything. OK, green mode works just fine. But in a year she has gotten more interested in photography mostly because she shoots for her cooking blog: fresh from oregon | Experience fresh food from Oregon and she has been learning more and more. She mostly uses Av mode now and is learning about depth of focus to get the look she wants. But it has taken her a long time to get comfortable enough to make the change.
12-09-2012, 06:39 AM   #8
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I do mostly nature shots, I'm running in Bright mode, full manual and manual ISO, usually 100 or 200. I kept everything to default settings, and use either sunlight white balance or cloudy, depending on conditions. Auto white balance seems to give things a blue tint, I quit that pretty quick. Without going through the menu I don't think I changed much at all, except to allow the aperture ring, since I shoot all manual lenses.

Try it first before you go changing settings. See what the pictures look like, then figure out what needs to be changed according to your usage. Once you see a few days of pictures, you may need to increase or reduce contrast, saturation, or whatever, the only way to tell is to try it and see what your results are. The one thing I do recommend is setting the ISO to one setting, never let it shoot auto ISO.

The first thing I did was set it for center spot metering and focus. Using multiple points for focus is iffy at best, but the upside is the K 30 shows you where it wants to focus. With the K-x I had to tweak contrast and saturation, but wiht the K 30 both seem to be doing well at default settings. That may change but right now it seems to be ok. I'll have to use it a bit more to be sure, I've only had it about a week.

12-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #9
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Corto-PA Quote
There's always the manual Deb. Boring I know.

Good book to have for ANY camera is Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (9780817439392): Bryan Peterson: Books

Edit: haha Paul beat me to it.
Thanks, I will take a look at Petersons books
12-09-2012, 04:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
if you like to process a bit picture on the computer shoot RAW (or "RAW +" meaning save file as RAW and JPEG).

For the JPEG setting (press the "info" button), try bright with +1 at saturation. Neutral is very dull when it comes to color. but try differents settings to find what kind of JPEG you like.

set by default the pop up flash with -1 ev, to prevent the most exposed part of what you shoot to be slightly burned.

and read the f*cking manual , it seems anoying, but it will really helps you to set the parameter the way that suit you best.
Thanks for the tips, yes, reading the manual is helping out.
12-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by thebigcat Quote
Heres how I would set the camera up to be mildly challenging to a newcomer and promote some hands on learning. 1.) Shoot in Av (aperture priority) 2.) Auto white balance. 3.) center weighted metering. 4.) set ISO at 400 and try to leave it there. 5.) set your kit lens at 35 or 50mm and leave it there. use it like a prime lens. 6.) go out and take 1,000,000 pictures manipulating your shutter speed by changing the aperture 90% of the time. Only changing the ISO if you absolutely have to. Try to keep your shutter speed at/faster than the focal length (35 or 50) for subjects that are still. try to keep it much faster for moving things.

You will learn the correlation of the settings and their effects on the image without being overwhelmed by all the settings at once.
Great help, thanks for the details, I'm now playing with your recommendations.
12-09-2012, 04:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boker Quote
Are you familiar with aperture, speed an exposure in photography?
Getting there, just finished watching a free workshop from London Drugs that came with my K30. We found it good and will rewatch a few times.
12-09-2012, 04:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
First dslr can be overwhelming, too many things to learn and dozens of settings that you don't know much or anything about.

Good advice so far, +1 on "Understanding Exposure". +1 on read the manual, sorry but you have to. Unless you understand or at least are familiar with the terminology all the advice in the world won't help.

One thing you need to think about is: do you want to be a photographer or just take pictures? If just take pictures then set it on green mode and worry about composition and have fun. If you want to really learn how it is done, this is a great place for advice but there is a learning curve and you have to be willing to put the time in.

Everyone has their camera set up differently to suit how they shoot, so asking what settings to use might get you more confused than you were before because what I use someone else might hate.

This is pretty good for a starter and will let you learn the camera without getting too many bad shots. The most important thing is to LEARN. Take a shot, then analyze it, did it come out the way you envisioned? What should you have done different.

I gave my wife my k-x a year ago when I got the k-5, she insisted she only wanted to take pictures and had no desire to learn anything. OK, green mode works just fine. But in a year she has gotten more interested in photography mostly because she shoots for her cooking blog: fresh from oregon | Experience fresh food from Oregon and she has been learning more and more. She mostly uses Av mode now and is learning about depth of focus to get the look she wants. But it has taken her a long time to get comfortable enough to make the change.
Thanks, you guys sound like a neat couple. Both hubby and I are getting more interested in photography as we go. Great advice and I really appreciate the time you put into answering me. It's beginning to clear the fog.
12-09-2012, 04:42 PM   #14
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
I do mostly nature shots, I'm running in Bright mode, full manual and manual ISO, usually 100 or 200. I kept everything to default settings, and use either sunlight white balance or cloudy, depending on conditions. Auto white balance seems to give things a blue tint, I quit that pretty quick. Without going through the menu I don't think I changed much at all, except to allow the aperture ring, since I shoot all manual lenses.

Try it first before you go changing settings. See what the pictures look like, then figure out what needs to be changed according to your usage. Once you see a few days of pictures, you may need to increase or reduce contrast, saturation, or whatever, the only way to tell is to try it and see what your results are. The one thing I do recommend is setting the ISO to one setting, never let it shoot auto ISO.

The first thing I did was set it for center spot metering and focus. Using multiple points for focus is iffy at best, but the upside is the K 30 shows you where it wants to focus. With the K-x I had to tweak contrast and saturation, but wiht the K 30 both seem to be doing well at default settings. That may change but right now it seems to be ok. I'll have to use it a bit more to be sure, I've only had it about a week.
Hi there, I live on a ranch and do many landscape, nature and cattle shots, so your settings are a good place for me to practice. Yesterday I tried several shots a different settings, the same composition, but honestly, didn't make much sense yet.
12-10-2012, 01:14 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I would suggest you go into the "memory settings" and disable memory for sensitivity, white balance and EV compensation.
By disabling memory on these settings the camera will always start with auto-ISO, auto-WB and zero EV compensation, which is usually better than to risk any of these settings being way off by mistake.
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