Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-19-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
Junior Member

Join Date: Mar 2013
Photos: Albums
Posts: 34
Tips for First Time DSLR Owner

Hi everyone,

We've just got the K30 + a 18-55 WR lens as our first DSLR.
Any tips for a newbie or any settings/tips with the K30 we should know about?

We are so excited to snap pictures everywhere!

03-19-2013, 09:16 PM   #2
gjtoth's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Posts: 1,962
Read the manual and familiarize yourself with that beauty. That's not a P&S you're shooting anymore.

03-19-2013, 09:30 PM   #3

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,427
Create! Digital is fantastic. Make an image. Look at it. Think about how it might look more interesting. Make another image. Look at it. Compare. You can learn so much this way. Consider it exploration. Do not expect to get just what you want, but work toward it.

Read the manual as well.
03-19-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
bigted's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Jessica Lake, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,337
Take lots of pictures and when you've done that do it again and again and again...

One of the best things I did was share my shots. I take part in a challenge where I post a shot daily. I've learned a lot about my own photography and from what others in the group have done too.

I also took a course that allowed me to understand the manual better and to comfortably get out of auto mode. As a result of the course I joined a local photography club that has informal walks and talks were we can learn form each other.

Enjoy your new camera!

03-19-2013, 10:23 PM   #5
Veteran Member
hks_kansei's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 828
Take it off the full auto mode, shoot in Aperture and Shutter priority to learn more about how settings affect the image.

More to the point, read up on Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO/ASA, and how the 3 relate to each other.

They're the 3 main items of importance in getting the shot to look how you imagined (light is the 4th one, but assuming you're using natural light(no flash), and aren't some kind of omnipotent being with control of the sun, it's pretty much unchangable)
03-19-2013, 11:33 PM   #6
Kiwi Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter
NZ_Ross's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Timaru
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,679
Sell everything now and run before LBA gets a hold of you
03-19-2013, 11:45 PM   #7
Veteran Member

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 536
Read, read, the Manual, and if you know nothing about exposure then get the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson to build your basic foundation . Yes, watch out for the LBA disease .
03-19-2013, 11:48 PM   #8
Veteran Member
drypenn's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 963
QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
Sell everything now and run before LBA gets a hold of you

Best advice!

03-20-2013, 02:49 AM   #9
Senior Member

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Middle of England
Photos: Albums
Posts: 295
QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
get the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson to build your basic foundation
+1 for this advice. I fumbled around not having a clue what I was doing for a while (yes, I am still talking about photography) and then saw a recommendation for that book on here. I bought it and have learned so much from it. In fact I plan to read it again soon to refresh things.
03-20-2013, 03:25 AM   #10
gazonk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Oslo area, Norway
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,644
QuoteOriginally posted by mx23 Quote
Hi everyone,

We've just got the K30 + a 18-55 WR lens as our first DSLR.
Any tips for a newbie or any settings/tips with the K30 we should know about?

We are so excited to snap pictures everywhere!
I second trying out Aperture priority (Av) mode to get a better understanding of how different apertures gives you different pictures, and Tv mode to understand the impact of shutter speed. Also you may want to try AF select mode, which gives you the opportunity to move the focus point around to the main subject of your photo.

A good exercise for understanding aperture, is to take close portraits with the zoom set to 55mm. Set the camera to Av mode and snap pictures at f/5.6, f/8 and f/11. You should see a clear difference in the background, which should be soft and out of focus when set to f/5.6. This shallow depth of field is excellent for portraits, but may cause beginners some headaches, for instance when trying to portrait two people at once you should make sure that they're at approximately equal distances to the camera.
03-20-2013, 07:07 AM   #11
Senior Member

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Watertown, NY
Posts: 267
QuoteOriginally posted by mx23 Quote
Hi everyone,

We've just got the K30 + a 18-55 WR lens as our first DSLR.
Any tips for a newbie or any settings/tips with the K30 we should know about?

We are so excited to snap pictures everywhere!
Congratulations and welcome to the Pentax Forums.

I too just got my K30 (yesterday) but I'm not new to digital photography or Pentax.
So my learning curve is very low I just have to get use to some changes in how things
are done from my previous Pentax cameras.

Once you've made the initial adjustments like date, time, location and your battery is charged
you are ready to shoot.

If I remember correctly from my set-up last night

ISO is set for auto, for now leave it there.

Your dial is on Program, leave it there.

With these two setting you should be able to begin shooting.

The important point to remember in photography is we all begin at the beginning.
What I mean is by that is; the majority of your photographs will not be stunning in fact you
will throw away more than you keep. There will be various reasons but I can tell you from
my experience they are mostly caused by the user. Don't get frustrated by this,
the more you shoot the better the photographs will get better.

READ THE MANUAL so that you understand your tool (camera) this is very important.

Learn the basics about photography, ISO, Aperture, Depth of field, focal distance,
etc, and how they all tie in together to produce stunning photographs.

In order to help you here are a couple of links to make your learning experience fun, quicker, and easier.

Camera simulator link - here you can make adjustments to a cameras setting's and see the results real time. Camera-Simulator


This guy is a great teacher his videos are short and to the point they will be of great assistance to you. Mike Browne.

Start with the Exposure play-list first. Then move on to other playlists as needed. Bookmark this page.

Just have fun and know that the K30 is a camera that offers you all that you will need as you progress the photography experience.

Anything I can help you with just leave a message using this board.
03-20-2013, 07:16 AM   #12
PEG Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Hielands o' Scootlund
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 50,819
QuoteOriginally posted by mx23 Quote
Tips for First Time DSLR Owner
There will be all sorts of good words of wisdom offered to you here on this thread.

The best I can come up with is, enjoy your photography.

IMHO that's what it's all about.
03-20-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
Junior Member
pippin65's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Spring Hill, Fl
Photos: Albums
Posts: 25
stick with that kit lens for a bit, whilst you learn. Take tons of pictures ( no more film developing costs) and play around with image editing software -- that's like another hobby in itself! And for outdoor photography, I find dawn/dusk magical times.
03-20-2013, 05:25 PM   #14

Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 390
Hold the camera properly, with your left hand cupping the lens / bottom plate of camera (firmly, but no death grip required), this allows you to support the camera and also twist the zoom ring. Also, press lightly on the shutter release, as opposed to jamming your finger onto it. These two simple steps will help reduce blurred pics due to camera movement. Adding to the advice of "shoot a lot", pick a subject and move around, shoot at different angles, move in, out, up down and around. Pay attention to how a subject looks depending on lighting angles. Fill the frame with your subject. For "rules" of composition, simply study photos you like, also pay attention to how movies and TV are framed, after all, they're shot with cameras as well. Most of all, HAVE FUN!!
03-20-2013, 05:40 PM   #15
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Syracuse, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,479
You shouldn't give up all hope until you start buying film cameras and shooting B&W...

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
dslr, k-30, k-50, k30, pentax k30, pentax k50, tips
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First time owner of DSLR - K30 zerokewl Welcomes and Introductions 6 12-23-2012 02:59 PM
Greetings from a first time DSLR owner Avilion Welcomes and Introductions 3 05-01-2010 08:16 PM
K2000 For First time DSLR owner? idahomemories Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 05-15-2009 09:07 PM
GREAT Beginner DSLR owner tips kiamon Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 06-03-2008 03:42 PM
First time DSLR Owner K10d REDEYE Welcomes and Introductions 3 07-08-2007 06:00 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:33 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]