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07-25-2019, 02:12 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MotoMind Quote
Since then I have realized the LCD is best off, but still grumpy about lack of shoulder/top display. I was working on a trail in mixed shadow and light and didn't like being tied to the viewfinder to adjust exposure as I moved along.
I'm pleased you've mentioned this. We occasionally discuss in these forums whether top panel LCD displays serve a useful purpose any more. I have cameras with them and without them, and whilst I enjoy shooting them all, I really do prefer to have the top panel LCD for both adjusting and confirming exposure-related settings without the camera to my eye, and without having to view the rear main LCD panel or look through the viewfinder. I can work with either configuration, but prefer using the top panel display.

Regarding the K-3 - and, of course, K-3II... Fantastic cameras in every sense. They are my main, "modern" cameras when I can't get away with using my favourite old Samsung GX-10 (K10D). Image quality is excellent, but you'll see a bit more colour and luminance noise than with the KP as ISO creeps up, especially noticeable at higher ISOs. That said, if you shoot raw and process in Lightroom, Darktable, RawTherapee or any one of a number of better raw development tools, you can achieve similar results at all but the highest of the K-3's ISO settings. The convenience with the KP is that higher ISO raw files are in a slightly better state before you even begin processing them...

07-25-2019, 04:31 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by MotoMind Quote
Ultimately though, I need to acknowledge that the KP is designed with a mirrorless/compact camera kind of user in mind, someone who wants to spend time with an LCD.
Its controls and displays are based upon those on the FF flagship K-1, where the top LCD is, ummmmm, somewhat limited to the point where some reviewers have simply stated, "why bother". I believe the design intent of both cameras was to provide a comprehensive optical viewfinder display as primary reference while shooting. In regards to exposure reference, the KP viewfinder provides full information (including mode) for all exposure modes supported by and settable by the camera, including metered manual, with and without exposure compensation.

As commented above, I leave the rear LCD turned off on my K-3 to save battery power. I sometimes refer to the top LCD, but there is little need. Much depends on whether the camera is at my waist or at my eye. If at my eye, the viewfinder (essentially similar to the KP) suffers little by comparison to either LCD and is my preference. If at my waist, the top LCD is my choice, though the rear LCD would be as handy were it turned on. It is for that case that I would miss the top LCD, though lack of such would not be a deal breaker should I need to replace my K-3 tomorrow with either a KP or K-70. In either case, I adjust shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation by memory and counting clicks if I am walking down a trail...all the better to see where I am going.

As for the KP being midrange, that has been a topic of considerable discussion on this site, particularly given its premium price point, build, and upscale feature set. Most owners consider theirs to be just short of flagship status. I'm sorry yours isn't working out for you. I would offer to take it off your hands, but I suffer from outsized hands and have to curl two fingers under the K-3 to allow access to my thumb and forefinger to the controls. The KP is not a good match for me...for that and a few other reasons.


Steve

(...previous camera was a K10D...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-25-2019 at 04:37 PM.
07-25-2019, 06:59 PM   #18
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Excellent response @stevebtot I recommend purchase of an additional battery. Using the grip is a complex, major ergonomic modification to solve a simple problem - thus an inefficient solution. A spare battery is a simple solution.
07-26-2019, 01:49 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
In regards to exposure reference, the KP viewfinder provides full information (including mode) for all exposure modes supported by and settable by the camera, including metered manual, with and without exposure compensation.

... In either case, I adjust shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation by memory and counting clicks if I am walking down a trail...all the better to see where I am going.

... I would offer to take it off your hands, but I suffer from outsized hands and have to curl two fingers under the K-3 to allow access to my thumb and forefinger to the controls.
Three interesting points.

I agree the viewfinder is great. However, having info in the viewfinder depends on the meter operating (set with meter operating time in C-menu), which uses power and has a perceptible wake time. I don't have my K10D with me so not sure if that is a universal feature of viewfinder overlays, that they are tied to metering. A shoulder LCD uses negligible power and can be always on.

Memorizing clicks is a good idea, I like solutions that emphasize operator skill. I am not sure I can rip from f3.5 to f11 quickly that way but definitely willing to try, I can probably approximately count swipes of the wheel and get close.

The ergonomics are a factor for me too. I can manage to hold it okay but with a tele lens it is harder to handle one handed than the K10D. Someone wrote that the KP is best paired with the 20-40 limited lens and I think that is right, or a pancake prime.

I have three batteries with me but foolishly did not bring a charger thinking I could get a week of sporadic shooting out of them like I would with the K10D. Lack of in body charging definitely punished that decision.

Just gotta see how it plays out over the next few weeks when I can risk more power usage and try out occasional LCD use and keeping metering on.



07-26-2019, 02:09 AM   #20
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All exposure info is in the kp finder. I have learnt to use settings this way somehow stream lining photography by shifting attention on light metre centre weighted and stop shutter speed. In most cases iso is locked to 100 but when light dwindles a quick turn on the settings dial jumps it up. Green button is handy too, can reach all these without taking eye off subject. Try changing program settings.
07-26-2019, 03:11 AM   #21
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Having gone from a Super A to a K50 to a KP (via some digital compacts and bridge camera, which we wont talk about) I can't say I've ever been bothered by lack of a top LCD. There is plenty of info in the viewfinder and you can tweak settings quite easily once you know your way around the camera. Perhaps its more a case of getting used to using the KP? It took me a little time to adjust from the K50 to the KP, but i don't really have to think about it too much now.
The thing that I found most useful was changing to back button focus (decoupling the shutter button so that it didn't do the focusing), rather than relying on the shutter button to focus and set the exposure at the same time.
08-01-2019, 04:35 AM   #22
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Thanks again for the replies everyone. They were genuinely helpful, both in terms of concrete feedback on solutions and also general validation and perspective.

I've had a few more days to play with the K10D and the KP side by side. I think the comparison is giving me a more objective picture of the KP. Now that I can focus on some specific points, a few revisions/clarifications are needed.


1. I withdraw my comments about the KP meter wake-up time being materially different. Once the meter goes to sleep (no more overlay visible in viewfinder), it might be that the KP takes 200ms while the K10D takes 100ms to wake. But I can only really perceive that by adjusting the controls and observing the time it takes for the viewfinder overlay to appear. But the real functional duration of time it takes from mashing the shutter button to actuation is basically the same, especially if you factor in AF time.

2. As a corollary of 1, the shutter speed and aperture settings are visible on the LCD even when the meter/overlay goes to sleep. In Av the aperture updated in realtime on the LCD, just like a shoulder display. Being able to toggle the LCD on using the function dial is great.

3. The startup time of the KP is definitely slow in comparison. Turning it off when looking to fire off shots on the go is not a good idea. It needs to hang out in standby. How that compares to the battery life of the K10D in an equivalent shooting scenario, where I can turn the camera off, I don't yet know. Theoretically, sleep with meter off should be very low power.

4. Additional time with the cameras has really highlighted some ergonomic differences. The KP is really hard to shoot single-handed with big hands, unless you're comfortable with a finger position and grip force you'd only otherwise use for a 5.12 grade climb. I removed the L grip and replaced it with the S and it feels way better, less sharp angles. However, I need to depend on my palm and second hand to really stabilize it. With a tele like the 18-135 the weight is so far forward that two hands are necessary. It sucks that there is only a bit of soft grip on the left side-front to grab with my left hand, versus the nice curved edge on the K10D.*


I really wish companies published their product manager's design brief with their products, because it would be illuminating. The big LCD is clearly the center of the design here. It dominates the back of the camera, starting with a massive bezel all the way to the left edge. It stretches across the camera to the far right, where it leaves little room for the condensed button pad and even less for the vestigial rear grip.


This use of space comes down to two things. One is that the LCD itself is bigger than the K10D LCD. The second, more important factor, is that it is articulating, which necessitates a robust bezel. A fixed LCD could get away with small bezels.


Why does it have such an LCD? Certainly it allows for a somewhat improved review experience, given the size and ability to review results from a fixed and pre-configured shooting position below eye-level. It also supports live view shooting, which is obviously the point here. If I had to envision a design goal that summarizes the KP for me, it is offering the benefits of a mirrorless camera in the smallest DSLR form factor possible. No need to live view and you basically don't need an articulating LCD, which wins back a lot of camera real estate. In my limited experience, I've found the live view slower than my Lumix LX10 compact camera at focusing, and the lack of touch screen to be a significant drawback in the LCD-centric workflow.


On the right shoulder one finds two additional dials, one used for controlling various functions (AE, HDR, etc) and the other for controlling the settings of those functions, or for controlling exposure settings when a special function is not engaged. On the top front, instead of a horizontal dial like on the K10D you find an equivalent larger vertical dial (parallel to surface of the camera).


These additional dials exclude the possibility of a shoulder LCD in the design, and the front dial in particular is positioned in a way that prevents the existence of a larger grip (or, conversely, allows a thinner grip).


Despite all these changes that could make the camera more compact, the center thickness behind the lens mount is about the same as the K10D, so the thinness seems theoretical at best, and messes with the weight balance of the camera. A forward, thick grip offers an inherent balance point in-hand against the weight of the camera body and lens combined.


I guess what I am realizing now, is that the KP probably exists because some photographers really do like live view for static subjects in good light. Studios, landscape, architecture, etc. Additionally, it is a technological bridge forward for Pentax in evolving the use of the LCD as part of the shooting experience (versus merely the review of results).


I am not yet convinced that is what I need. I like the K10D for its simplicity, directness, and clarity of purpose, I just wish it had a better sensor.


But I don't see a good alternative to the KP right now in the Pentax world. A K3 looks closest to the K10D in terms of size and ergonomics, and if that is what I had bought, I wouldn't be posting here right now. But I feel it's too much of a downgrade in terms of AF and low light performance to rationalize a downgrade. I got a new camera for new camera performance. A K1 is way too much.


So I guess that puts me in line with the rest of everyone looking for a K3 successor. The KP is not that, it is a different kind of camera. I wish I had understood that beforehand, but I nonetheless look forward to exploring its capabilities and adapting. Change is always hard and technical innovation often looks like waste and inconvenience at first...




08-02-2019, 02:00 AM   #23
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You raise some good points. Lecia has down played the roll of the LCD and on one camera the rear screen has been removed completely.

I like the settings screen on the kp. The layout works well for me. If Pentax replaced the colour LCD for a kindle paper white display I would be happy. Clear viewing in bright sunlight, clear histogram, direct setting control from configuration buttons, and, massive savings on battery life.

Rear screen in color is sometimes dead weight, but, it would kill live view and video and in camera jpeg processing, something I like. It would also remove the kp from the position of intermediate pro and put off potential buyers.

When the K3 replacement comes it will be a serious contender in apsc market, which, even in todays world of ff and mirrorless, it will attract attention.

At the working end though, the kp is responsive and a joy to use. I the images I have produced with this tool inspire me on to take more photographs.

I hope you find your way with the kp as I have.

08-02-2019, 06:36 AM   #24
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I can't see them ever releasing a camera without a rear screen. One of the most usefult things about a DSLR is the ability to have a look at your pictures and jedge whether you are happy with them. Very useful if checking for exposure and whether correction is required.
I'm hoping the OP just uses his KP more and finds that once they become more familiar with the camera that the preceived downsides start to disappear.
08-02-2019, 07:23 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by MotoMind Quote
Thanks again for the replies everyone. They were genuinely helpful, both in terms of concrete feedback on solutions and also general validation and perspective.

I've had a few more days to play with the K10D and the KP side by side. I think the comparison is giving me a more objective picture of the KP. Now that I can focus on some specific points, a few revisions/clarifications are needed.

...

I guess what I am realizing now, is that the KP probably exists because some photographers really do like live view for static subjects in good light. Studios, landscape, architecture, etc. Additionally, it is a technological bridge forward for Pentax in evolving the use of the LCD as part of the shooting experience (versus merely the review of results).

I am not yet convinced that is what I need. I like the K10D for its simplicity, directness, and clarity of purpose, I just wish it had a better sensor.

But I don't see a good alternative to the KP right now in the Pentax world. A K3 looks closest to the K10D in terms of size and ergonomics, and if that is what I had bought, I wouldn't be posting here right now. But I feel it's too much of a downgrade in terms of AF and low light performance to rationalize a downgrade. I got a new camera for new camera performance. A K1 is way too much.


So I guess that puts me in line with the rest of everyone looking for a K3 successor. The KP is not that, it is a different kind of camera. I wish I had understood that beforehand, but I nonetheless look forward to exploring its capabilities and adapting. Change is always hard and technical innovation often looks like waste and inconvenience at first...
A few years ago I bought a Hasselblad HV (Sony A99 in better clothes ). It has the worst menus and user interface I've ever used - dreadful compared to the well organised and relatively simple Pentax interface. And the button for magnifying live view for manual focusing is in just about the most inconvenient place you could imagine. In fact, there are numerous design aspects to it that I simply didn't like to begin with. Actually, I still don't "like" them, exactly - but after a good deal of time using the camera, overall I really enjoy it. It just took some time for me to adapt. I suspect the same will be true for you with the KP... At first, you'll be a little frustrated by certain aspects, then as time passes they'll become irrelevant and all you'll be interested in is the incredible image quality
08-08-2019, 05:20 AM   #26
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Thank you for this long feedback which perfectly reflects that all pentax users dont have the same needs.

I know K10 well as I bought it to my Dad when it came to market and I shot with it quite a few times. I found it too bulky and sensor was clearly weak.
When k-x out in 2009 I jumped on it and was very happy with its form factor. In KP I own for a few months, I see an under steroid version of my died k-x. Compact with better than average image quality, autonomy being weakest point which is easy to solve with D-BG7 grip or additional batteries. For the moment I went for the latter as I was not able to test the grip+body combo and how easy to use it is.
08-08-2019, 11:54 AM - 2 Likes   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by fsge Quote
I know K10 well as I bought it to my Dad when it came to market and I shot with it quite a few times. I found it too bulky and sensor was clearly weak.
I agree that the K10D / GX10 is bulky, though that works well for my bigger hands. But the sensor... that's its best feature, IMHO ... not for higher ISO shots, admittedly; but at ISO 400 and below, so long as the 10MP resolution is enough (and it generally is for my use cases), I'd take the K10D - or, in my case, Samsung GX10 - over my K-3 and K-3II any day of the week.
08-08-2019, 12:30 PM - 2 Likes   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I agree that the K10D / GX10 is bulky, though that works well for my bigger hands. But the sensor... that's its best feature, IMHO ... not for higher ISO shots, admittedly; but at ISO 400 and below, so long as the 10MP resolution is enough (and it generally is for my use cases), I'd take the K10D - or, in my case, Samsung GX10 - over my K-3 and K-3II any day of the week.
+1 to that. In a specifications comparison contest against any present day sensor, the K10D will lose every time. But as an instrument for real-world photography at lower ISO settings, I'll take the K10D/GX-10 over pretty much anything else out there.
08-08-2019, 12:39 PM   #29
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I have to come back and sort of agree, again, that the K10D is just a great tool for the job. I feel terrible but I am still using the KP mostly at home, not much on my quick outings or day trips. Despite better power management I somehow keep draining the battery, not sure if it has a hungry sleep mode or if the LCD or meter is turning on while its resting against my shoulder. But not being able to take photos because it is empty sort of sucks. If I figure it out I will share, there has to be a reason. In the meantime I don't remember when I last charged the K10D. The feel in hand is a big factor for me, I can very easily grab and maneuver the K10D. It also balances out a telephoto just fine. I am trying to score a cheap 40mm pancake and hopefully the KP clicks for me that way.

08-08-2019, 02:27 PM   #30
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Motomind, you really should consider the KP grip then, you will have better handling and much longer battery life...
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