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09-12-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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Planning my first K-3 Shoot; Settings Review

Just received my new K-3. I'm going to test drive it tomorrow shooting a college soccer game in the daylight. I'll be standing only 12 feet from the edge of the field as I walk around the field.

This is my third Pentax body (ie. K100D, K-x, K-7), and I've been shooting soccer games for years, so I'm not new to this.

But I thought I'd list my settings for the game and see if anyone had any suggestions for improvements.

I'm going to use a Sigma 70-200mm 1:2.8 Macros HSM lens.

Because it's a day game, and because I'd like to freeze the action as much as possible, here are my settings:

* ISO 100-800
* Shutter 1/500 to 1/2000 depending on the brightness
* Aperture f/7.1
* White Balance automatic
* shooting jpg not raw
* set camera on TAV
* AF.C
* AF Active Area: spot
* Shake Reduction: on
* Continuous Shooting: high
* center-weighted metering

All other settings are pretty much standard factory settings.

Am I missing anything or got anything wrong?

Thanks.

09-12-2014, 08:36 PM   #2
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Only thing I'd say, and that's new to the K-3 over previous models:

Go to Screen 3 of the "C" Menu. Review how you want the AF tracking to behave. Menu items 16-18.
16. Do you want the AF.C to start continuous shooting when you press the shutter release or when the camera has a confirmed focus point?
17. What's your priority- Maintaining focus or maintaining framerate
18. Degree to Which you want the camera to keep the original focus point to remain in focus, from none to high.

Now I don't do a lot of sport shooting so I'm not the best person to tell you what to do there. However, I do know you want to check that out before you get into the moment. The focus tracking can be tricky to get the hang of exactly how you want it.

Oh, and I'd shoot raw.
09-12-2014, 08:44 PM   #3
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Do you know how evenly lit the field will be? Will there be shadows?

If the lighting conditions are reasonably even throughout the field, you might as well expose for the field and set it to M mode, and then adjust the ISO to match (the sun changes position pretty slowly). This way the metering system won't get confused by dark or light uniforms or random dark spots.
09-12-2014, 08:44 PM   #4
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Don't forget the gospel according to "Wired" regarding back button focusing. It just works

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Last edited by ak_kiwi; 09-12-2014 at 08:55 PM.
09-12-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bonobo Quote
Only thing I'd say, and that's new to the K-3 over previous models:

Go to Screen 3 of the "C" Menu. Review how you want the AF tracking to behave. Menu items 16-18.
16. Do you want the AF.C to start continuous shooting when you press the shutter release or when the camera has a confirmed focus point?
17. What's your priority- Maintaining focus or maintaining framerate
18. Degree to Which you want the camera to keep the original focus point to remain in focus, from none to high.

Now I don't do a lot of sport shooting so I'm not the best person to tell you what to do there. However, I do know you want to check that out before you get into the moment. The focus tracking can be tricky to get the hang of exactly how you want it.

Oh, and I'd shoot raw.
I was under the impression that RAW slows down your continuous shooting, and that you can only get 8 fps by shooting jpg. Correct?
09-12-2014, 08:48 PM   #6
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I use similar with K-7 and Sigma 70-200mm 1:2.8 Macros HSM for Australian Rules Football. I do open the aperture to f4 or even f2.8 as i like to try to isolate the action. (Sample below) I often also use a monopod as this lens does tend to get a bit heavy after a while.


09-12-2014, 08:49 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by charlestm Quote
I was under the impression that RAW slows down your continuous shooting, and that you can only get 8 fps by shooting jpg. Correct?
No, you can get 8FPS in RAW. Just the number of shots in a row you can achieve before it slows down is less (23 vs 60 or something like that).
09-12-2014, 09:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Do you know how evenly lit the field will be? Will there be shadows?

If the lighting conditions are reasonably even throughout the field, you might as well expose for the field and set it to M mode, and then adjust the ISO to match (the sun changes position pretty slowly). This way the metering system won't get confused by dark or light uniforms or random dark spots.
I'm expecting tomorrow to be a bit overcast, so I don't think the sun will play a big role with shadows. I think the field will be rather evenly lit. I would probably prefer to lock the ISO at maybe 200. Just can't predict until I get there.

09-12-2014, 09:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
No, you can get 8FPS in RAW. Just the number of shots in a row you can achieve before it slows down is less (23 vs 60 or something like that).
Yeah. What he said. Because the RAW are uncompressed they take longer to write all the data, so you can fit less in the buffer (I think that's how it works? I may be playing loose with the exact terminology). Basically, the shutter moves at a set speed and is a mechanical process, it's the digital end of processing afterward that can get bogged down......right?

In any case, I like the flexibility of RAW for post processing. If in the heat of the moment you don't have time to set the exact exposure, say some incredible play or swing in the the momentum of the game, you can just shoot knowing you have more leeway after the fact to adjust it.

Last edited by Bonobo; 09-12-2014 at 09:14 PM.
09-12-2014, 10:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by charlestm Quote
* ISO 100-800
* AF Active Area: spot
* center-weighted metering
For a soccer game, I'd start off selecting AF Active Area: Auto 27, just to see if it works OK. If it does, stick with it. Centre 'Spot' AF is often too small to be useful when there is a lot of action in a scene, unless you plan on selecting an initial single focus point out of the 27, and then using one of the 'Expanded Area AF' options to dynamically track focus around that spot.

With my K-5/K-x/K200D I would have also selected 'centre-weighted' metering for that lens, but for the K-3 I'd select 'Multi-segment' metering. The K-3 is pretty smart at figuring out metering. Results are good.

If it lets you hold a faster shutter, I'd also let the auto ISO range to at least 1600. Better to get a sharp shot with a bit of noise than a blurry one.
09-22-2014, 08:57 AM   #11
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I just wanted to close the loop on this thread. Thanks to all for the advice. I found these settings worked best for me for a daylight soccer game:

* multi-segment metering
* switched to AF.S (from AF.C originally)
* AF active area of Auto 27 AF Points
* TAV mode (with ISO range of 100-3200)
* JPG
* #15 AF.S Setting = 1
* #18 AF Status = 3 (medium)
* SR = on
* AF Button - AF1 Enable (meaning not using the AF back button)
* Shutter 1/800
* Aperature 5.0

If you want to see the shots from the latest game, go here: Womens PSU GA vs Point Park - original photography by data blueprints

Thanks again for all the advice.
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