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02-26-2016, 04:44 AM   #1
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New K-3 - Need help

Hello guys,

I love my newly acquired K-3 + 18-135 that replaced a K-x. The auto-focus efficiency, increased resolution, low noise and overall build quality are what motivated me to upgrade.

There are many new parameters compared to the K-x and I remember reading misc discussions about some default ones not being optimal. I shoot full manual 90% of the time, RAW, and am looking for the best possible picture quality. What should my settings look like: focus area, AE metering, AF mode, ISO auto settings, etc?

How can I make best use of my 50mm F1.4, often used at F1.4 or F1.8, especially with regards to focus? Should I use auto-focus, or manual focus and use built-in functions to validate the focus point?

Does EV compensation work well, or if I should leave it at zero and do all the work in Lightroom?

Any other useful tip?

Thanks

02-26-2016, 05:08 AM   #2
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some info. here Pentax K-3 Review - Recommended Settings | PentaxForums.com Reviews
02-26-2016, 06:00 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xcessiv Quote
Does EV compensation work well, or if I should leave it at zero and do all the work in Lightroom?

Erm, EV Compensation sure works neatly, as I assume it did with your K-x. For finer adjustments, I configured mine to progress in 1/3 EV steps, rather than the default 1/2 EV steps.

A particularly useful related feature that you will likely love in your K-3 is the Exposure Bracketing (Operating Manual p. 51) , which can be conveniently used with a remote control. I usually do so in Live View, while the mirror is up, to eliminate mirror bounce. Pretty cool setup for tripod work.

Remarkable as the K-3's dynamic range is, allowing for considerable opening-up of shadows (whereas blown-out highlights can be beyond fixing), I still like my exposure reasonably in the ballpark, so that fairly little work needs to be done in post.
02-26-2016, 06:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xcessiv Quote
Hello guys,

I love my newly acquired K-3 + 18-135 that replaced a K-x. The auto-focus efficiency, increased resolution, low noise and overall build quality are what motivated me to upgrade.

Any other useful tip?

Thanks
http://us.ricoh-imaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/K3-OPM-EN.pdf

02-26-2016, 06:55 AM   #5
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Really it depends on what you want to do. Most of the time I shoot in TAv. Flow is like this:
Center-weighted metering.
Center focus point (fits my style better but can backfire)
AF.C unless the subject is fairly static
Continuous shooting mode
Set aperture to a good range for DOF based on light - f8 is pretty common.
Adjust shutter speed to keep ISO in a comfortable range.

Those last two are where TAv allows very quick adjustment to keep ISO in range, it's a trade-off. Sometimes you want to let the ISO rise to keep shutter speed high.
02-26-2016, 01:18 PM   #6
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It is challenging given the wide array of options. The complexity of options have increased, but the AF is quite a bit better, as well.

One of the most important aspects is the menu settings indicating the extent of focus priority and holding focus (#s 15-18). My preference is to have everything set to highest focus priority, and it doesn't seem to slow down the shooting speed significantly. Many seem to agree with that. As for the AF selections, I tend to use spot select for most things - but that is something you might want to play with to see how it performs for you. The B.I.F. folks have listed their favorites on a few threads - and some seem to like the 9-point or 27-point selections (pink area). The Auto settings (grey) doesn't seem to have many supporters.

When doing manual focusing of relatively static objects, especially with fast lenses and in low light, you will quickly find that Live View with focus peaking and at least some screen magnification will be far more precise than OVF - even if you have replaced the focusing screen or used a magnifying adapter. Many Pentaxians will say Live View is useless, but they generally haven't bothered to learn its full use.
02-29-2016, 06:26 AM   #7
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Thanks guys!

I had time to configure and play with the K-3 over the weekend, following your advices.

Everything is so much better than my K-x, except the weight lol.

There are some cons, for example the viewfinder focus points being pretty much useless (way off) and the Live View draining the battery pretty fast, but still minor compared to the pros.
02-29-2016, 12:11 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Battery might get somewhat stronger after a few recharges.

The most important focus points are those three at the center (middle, and directly above and below), as they should be most accurate. Test with more than one lens, as sometimes 1-2 lenses can be off. Of course, the body does have manual adjustments available for each lens, but it can be tricky when calibrating zoom lenses.

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