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01-21-2018, 05:22 PM   #1
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New to Pentax KP - help with color settings

Hello everyone! I just joined Pentax Forums after receiving my new Pentax KP. I've used a K-30 since my sophomore year of high school, but it recently died on me and I decided to upgrade. Though I've done a lot of photography for many years, I think I'm still a n00b, since I've previously relied heavily on the K-30's multitude of Scene Modes. I mostly do landscape and wildlife photography and these modes have worked very well for me as a "snapshooter."

Since the KP doesn't have scene modes, I'd like to learn how to recreate the contrast, sharpness, and color vibrancy on my new KP. I've especially liked the Forest, Landscape, Moving Object, Sunset, and Surf & Snow settings.

I'm wondering if someone else who has made the switch from a beginner camera to the KP has any advice for how to recreate these settings on a more advanced camera. Particularly, after some experimentation, I have not been able to achieve the vibrant greens that I used to get on the Forest scene mode.

A little more information, if it helps: I have some basic knowledge of how aperture, ISO, and shutter speed work. I most often use a 18-270mm telephoto lens, but I also own an 18-35mm and a 10-17mm fisheye. I almost always shoot in JPEG, and have no experience with Lightroom - I prefer in-camera settings, since I have very little time to edit photos later.

Thank you for your help!

01-21-2018, 07:01 PM   #2
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
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Your best option is to choose P mode and then press Info and change the jpeg settings. There are some for Landscape and Portrait. I quite like Film reversal. It works well for most types of photos. And you can edit these modes (depending on the jpeg mode/style).
P mode on the dial gives you some more control than Auto, but it is still really easy to use. Once you learn about aperture and depth of field, you will probably use P and Av for most of your photos.
Then you just learn about White balance and you should be able to do everything scene modes do automatically, but with more precision and control over the resulting image.
I don't have a KP and am surprised to find it is missing Scene mode. Seems like an amazing camera, though. Enjoy it
01-21-2018, 08:30 PM   #3
Kozlok's Avatar

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A better approach in my mind is to shoot in RAW and learn to PP the way you like. All of those modes are repeatable, but you'll find you have your own preference. Also, read the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen to learn how to better control your exposure.
01-21-2018, 11:05 PM   #4

Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Otago, New Zealand
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if you hit info you get the colour modes at the top right of that screen.

You can save settings with regards to colour and stuff in the user modes.

Shallow depth of field, high iso & high shutter speed it the normal 'sports mode' in most cameras, deep depth of field, low iso, and slow shutter for landscape - in between these extremes use your own judgement.

I tend to leave mine on aperture priority, with the rear dial for aperture, the front for ISO and the 2nd rear/top dial for EV compensation.

01-22-2018, 03:48 AM - 1 Like   #5

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,658
The KP, along with the K-3,and K-5 series, as well as the larger, full-frame sensor K-1, is designed primarily for advanced photographers, such as professional and experienced enthusiasts, who want in the KP, a highly portable, compact model with an advanced control set and durable construction. Many of us have never used scene modes. I have the KP, K-5 IIs, and also the little K-S2, which does have scene modes, which I never bother to use. I suppose one or 2 of them could be handy for a quick fix, but most of what those modes do is a matter of altering exposure to fit a certain circumstance involving tricky lighting, or selecting the appropriate aperture to control depth-of-field (DOF), or the shutter speed to deal with motion.

So if you learn what is needed to address such issues, you won't need a scene mode. For instance, a "landscape mode" will bias your Program line to still have your camera selecting both your shutter speed and your aperture, but the bias will favor smaller apertures (larger numbers) to increase your DOF so that most of your scene will be within good focus and therefore sharp. OTOH, wildlife or sports photography will involve an increased bias for greater shutter speed to freeze action to prevent blur from movement. This might also necessitate an increase in ISO sensitivity to deliver such while dealing with less than bright daylight. These are all things you can do on your own. Another hint, since it is winter- for snowy scenes,your subjects are backlit from the bright snow behind, so you usually need to increase exposure by +1 to 2 EV (or stops) so your subjects are not too dark and also your snow turns out gray. It is a case among many where your camera's meter can be fooled. You can shoot in Manual mode, or if still in Program, you can use your +/_ exposure compensation button (which with the KP is programable to other functions).

I'd say go ahead and shoot JPEGs for a time, while you learn about lighting, metering and how it works, and adjusting your equipment to address what is needed, and familiarizing yourself with your new camera. Also, go to the Custom Image menus- access via the info button to open the quick links screen. It is the first section. Hit ok to open all categories. The default category is "Bright". Hit info again to open it for adjustment. Use the down button of the 4 around the ok button (these are normally used for other functions) and scroll down to the "S" (Sharpening), which is up by +1 by default. Using your thumb dial, set "F" by the "S" for Fine Sharpening. This will improve fine detail in your images. Then hit ok again to go back to all categories, and use your right button to move to the next "Natural" category, open it with info and set up sharpening to be the same as with "Bright". Hit ok, then use your left button to put your camera back to "Bright". Then shut off your camera, which will exit the quick links screen.

Get back to us about specifics in using your camera's meter to read lighting, etc. after using your camera for a while and running into any difficulty when dealing with situations. Do some shooting in Manual mode also, where you are having to make your own choices regarding aperture and shutter speed. And welcome to Pentax Forums!

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-22-2018 at 01:33 PM.
01-25-2018, 09:41 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your help! I've had some really good luck with adjusting the hue, saturation, sharpness, etc. and have saved a bunch of settings to my user modes. I've also done some experimenting with bracketing, which has been helpful for learning what aperture and shutter speed to use in different situations. I've got a lot of learning to do, but so far I'm really enjoying the camera. Thanks!

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