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12-06-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
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Preset options like in Pentax K-30 has ceased to be K-3

Just began playing with my new Pentax K-3 (I'm a beginner at DSLR) - and jumping from my previous Pentax K-30 (just had it for 6-7 months, sold now), I immediately noticed the lack of one of the beginners favorite options on the K-30:

The scene selector (SCN) on the Mode dial (giving access to various automatic exposure modes) has ceased to be - and by that many options for automatic preset modes that was possible once SCN was selected in my precious Pentax camera - is no more. It seems to be bereft of life, gone to meet it's maker(s), it's pushing up the daisies.

Now, the Pentax K-3 has another option marked with a green rectangle. I assume this is meant to replace the SCN option on K-30 - but there is absolutely nothing of interest on the LCD screen when you chose the green rectangle. By that I mean no options for preset photographing are shown on the screen. Not a sausage. Zero.

As a beginner I really liked the presets and I used them quite a bit for experimenting - so my question is if there in K-3 is an option to bring forth presets like the ones in K-30?

12-06-2013, 09:42 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
As a beginner I really liked the presets and I used them quite a bit for experimenting - so my question is if there in K-3 is an option to bring forth presets like the ones in K-30?
Unfortunately the k-3 is not a beginners camera and scene modes are not available. They were not available on the k-5 or k-5II either as these are part of Pentax's higher end line. If you feel you need those modes possibly you would be better off returning the k-3 and looking into the k-50.

I would suggest that if you really want to learn photography then 'scene modes' are not a good idea. They mask what the camera is doing, and as the photographer that is something you should be deciding not the camera. While they may work, they are a crutch that prevents you from really growing as a photographer. When teaching how to use a DSLR the first thing I tell students is they are forbidden to use the scene modes. Just my opinion of course, but in any event there are no scene modes on the k-3.

Try using the existing modes for what they are designed for. When you go to take a picture decide what is the most important thing: shutter speed, aperture size or ISO. Then use the mode that allows you to select that. So for example if you want to freeze the action then set the camera on Tv mode and select an appropriate shutter speed. If you want a certain depth of focus set the camera in Av mode and select an appropriate aperture.

Last edited by jatrax; 12-06-2013 at 10:12 AM.
12-06-2013, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #3
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On the bright side, you have Sv, TAv, and User modes!
So, yeah, that is what a pro camera demands of you. If you shot jpeg scene modes with the K-3, you would probably not notice much of an improvement over the K-30 anyway, just bigger files. The sensor of the K-3 is a little better, but its the features that differentiate it from lower tiers.
But Im sure you will be able to learn and start taking great photos in no time, even without SCN. Just look into raw processing software (lots of threads with lists of these) and User modes (can be really helpful)
12-06-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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I know your answer is a very good answer - and I also know that I will learn how to step up and into this learning process - already have some really nice book on DSLR photographing which I will work with.

However, I just hoped there were there in K-3 too ;-)

But maybe it's the best if they're not ;-)

12-06-2013, 09:56 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The upper tier of cameras - K-5, 7, 20, 10 have never had scene modes.

TAv is my most used mode. The front wheel controls shutter speed, rear wheel controls aperture. Adjust as needed to keep you ISO in a reasonable range. Typically I'll set aperture first - f8 is pretty common, and then adjust the shutter speed.

You'll be amazed at how quickly you DON'T miss the scene modes.

Plus you have user modes - if you know a set of parameters you use all the time, just build those to mimic your scene modes.
A FAST SHOT user mode is a must!
12-06-2013, 10:21 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
But maybe it's the best if they're not ;-)
I think so. it does make really learn what you are doing, and that is sometimes frustrating as there is a lot to learn. I learned a lot from a book called "Understanding Exposure" by Brian Peterson. My edition was older with many examples from film cameras but there is a new edition that address more digital. Maybe you have this book in Denmark or one like it.

I suggest you try one mode at a time and learn what it does. For example put the camera in Tv mode and start with a speed of 1 second. Take a picture of a scene that has something moving in it, like automobiles. Then move the shutter speed up one stop at a time and take another picture. Do this up to maybe 1/2000 second. Look at the pictures on the computer. At some point the blurred motion of the autos will stop and you will have frozen the action. Now you will understand at what speed you need to use for shooting this scene.
12-06-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
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I consider myself a newbie as far as photography goes, and yet I think of the scene modes on my K-50 as superfluous fluff. I have switched the mode dial to SCN twice at most, just to remind me of what the scene selection display looks like. P, Av, and Tav modes have proved easier to use and much more useful, specially Hyper-P.
12-06-2013, 10:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Unfortunately the k-3 is not a beginners camera and scene modes are not available. They were not available on the k-5 or k-5II either as these are part of Pentax's higher end line.
Nor were they available the K-7, K20D, K10D, or *istD.

Those scene selector options are no more than various configurations of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and (in some cases) fill-in flash using the pop-up flash. For example, the Night-scene Portrait option probably consists of metering the background sunset, underexposing by a stop or two to prevent blowing out the parts of the frame not occupied by the bright sun, using a small aperture to ensure that the person and the background are in focus, and fill-in flash. No complicated computer wizardry.


Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 12-06-2013 at 10:57 AM. Reason: omission
12-06-2013, 11:17 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Well now I want to defend the SCN modes! I think some are quite useful. For example, the landscape scene will keep the aperture around f8-f12 and the shutter speed at a reasonable meter. This setting is useful in many situations. And the sunset portrait is a fast shortcut, so you dont have to set up the flash and lock metering while the sun sinks and you miss it! I also kind of like the night scene HDR, even though it is jpeg. Its great for monuments or cityscape photos on travels. I agree that the scene modes can be a crutch, but they have their use, too. I also understand that on the top tier cameras, you have other options and features; and you simply need to take control of the camera to get the most out of it

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-06-2013 at 11:28 AM.
12-06-2013, 01:32 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
Just began playing with my new Pentax K-3 (I'm a beginner at DSLR) - and jumping from my previous Pentax K-30 (just had it for 6-7 months, sold now), I immediately noticed the lack of one of the beginners favorite options on the K-30:

The scene selector (SCN) on the Mode dial (giving access to various automatic exposure modes) has ceased to be - and by that many options for automatic preset modes that was possible once SCN was selected in my precious Pentax camera - is no more. It seems to be bereft of life, gone to meet it's maker(s), it's pushing up the daisies.

Now, the Pentax K-3 has another option marked with a green rectangle. I assume this is meant to replace the SCN option on K-30 - but there is absolutely nothing of interest on the LCD screen when you chose the green rectangle. By that I mean no options for preset photographing are shown on the screen. Not a sausage. Zero.

As a beginner I really liked the presets and I used them quite a bit for experimenting - so my question is if there in K-3 is an option to bring forth presets like the ones in K-30?
Love the Monty Python tribute....

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
On the bright side,
Couldn't decide if this one was intentional or not.
12-06-2013, 01:59 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Many of the scene modes that may have been on the K-30 are available in the software that comes with the K-3 (Pentax Digital Camera Utility 5), under the Laboratory > Custom Image tab.

Night Scene, Candlelight, Sunset, Pet, Museum, Food etc are all there. Naturally, this is all processing after the event, so they don't help much at the time of shooting, which is where scene modes can be most useful.

Plus a large set of digital filters are still available in-camera (extract colour, watercolour, star-burst etc).
12-07-2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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@Ztrejfer
If you like I will swop you my spare body k30 for your k3 , it has the scenes mode you liked and I will pay the carriage charges both ways
12-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Many of the scene modes that may have been on the K-30 are available in the software that comes with the K-3 (Pentax Digital Camera Utility 5), under the Laboratory > Custom Image tab.

Night Scene, Candlelight, Sunset, Pet, Museum, Food etc are all there. Naturally, this is all processing after the event, so they don't help much at the time of shooting, which is where scene modes can be most useful.

Plus a large set of digital filters are still available in-camera (extract colour, watercolour, star-burst etc).
Thank you - and yes, I have realized this by watching this very thoughrough review of K-3:

It also shows us how to access these functions.

Very nice! I'm a happy man!
12-08-2013, 03:46 AM   #14
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Jpeg presets do exist on the K20. Not on the top dial but buried in there.
Press the fn button then the ok button then you have a choice under the left right button. The choices include bright natural portrait monochrome etc. Can be useful but can be easily replicated. I use the monochrome a lot.
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