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03-21-2020, 08:21 AM   #1
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New KP owner - where to start?

I'm a new KP owner. I previously owned the K30 but never got into any customization besides back button focus. I'm overwhelmed with all the possibilities with the KP. I don't even know what the dial with the C1/C2/C3 is used for. I tried reading through the manual, but holy smokes - I think I'd rather read War and Peace! I think I'll use it more as a reference when I have some ideas of what i want to do.

Anybody know of a youtube video or another website that helps somebody get started that isn't well versed in how or why you would customize your camera. Or maybe for me, ignorance is bliss and I just stick with the basics. But at this point, I don't even know what setting to put the top right dial on. I bought it used and it's on C1 at the moment.

I was excited about shooting my daughters' soccer games but those got completely shut down, like everything else, immediately after I bought it. The last person I shook hands with....

03-21-2020, 08:34 AM   #2
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Reading the review here can be very helpful and is a good place to start, especially the 'recommended settings' page:
Pentax KP Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
03-21-2020, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #3
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My advice would be to get familiar with the basics of operation and then add in knowledge of features one at a time.
03-21-2020, 11:21 AM   #4
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Thanks. I've been reading through the review and at least have a basic understanding of the dials now. So maybe someone can give me an example of a customization that they find helpful just to give me an idea how people customize their camera.

03-21-2020, 11:56 AM   #5
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As has been said, after you are familiar with the operations basics (some shooting), you will be able to tell which settings you may like. I myself like to use TAV mode when I am on the go, such as taking shots of birds or other wildlife. As for stills such as portraits, or landscape shots, you may want to resort to Manual which will give you the opportunity to modify your ISO, Shutter Speed, and F stop (Aperture) to the environment you are shooting in. The actual use of the different ISO, Shutter Speed, and F stop (aperture) settings is something that you may want to view video tutorials about, in case you are not well versed in knowing what they pertain to, and how they apply to your shooting. You can take one thing at a time and and learn by experience what actually works for you.

Happy shooting, and I hope you enjoy your camera!
03-21-2020, 11:58 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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From hard-won personal experience over the last year or so, first with my K-70 and now with my KP, do take the time, (probably several evenings!), to read through the manual, camera in hand and notebook to one side, and make notes of which features you find interesting and/or useful, then go back and familiarise yourself with those points.
The depth of functionality in the modern Pentax is totally overwhelming and, if you're anything like me, you'll only absorb a fraction of it in the "first pass". However, if you've made yourself aware of at least some of what the camera is capable of and made notes of where to find it, you'll be able to go back (again and again) until you've started to come to grips with it all
Other users on these forums are extremely helpful and enthusiastic, and there are many in-depth articles available that discuss some of the more esoteric capabilities, but the more concise you can make any query will mean the more helpful any answer is likely to be

As with C Jones reply above, having become aware of the TAv mode, I do utilise it extensively, especially for birds and other wild-life ... if you've not used it, it's rather like a "Super-Manual", where you've got control of both aperture and shutter speeds, but you rarely get a "wrong" exposure ... Clever
Do enjoy your KP ... it's a wonderful camera

Last edited by kypfer; 03-21-2020 at 12:03 PM.
03-21-2020, 12:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by schnur07 Quote
Thanks. I've been reading through the review and at least have a basic understanding of the dials now. So maybe someone can give me an example of a customization that they find helpful just to give me an idea how people customize their camera.
My prefered shooting mode is Av (custom mode 1) - so the thumb wheel changes the aperture. The front whel is set to change exposure compensation, and the top dial changes the iso (set on C2). This works best for me, but depending on the way you shoot, you might find a different setup more suitable.

The best way is to just use you camera and see what you use and what not. After that see if there is a way to switch what you do not use with what you need.

My combo is also a result of an evolution based on my needs, shooting style and subjects. For example people that shoot action, or subjects that require freezing a subject use the TAv mode (i think thats the one) - where you set the needed shutter speed and aperture and the camera adjusts the iso.

My other custom shooting modes basicly use the same button and wheel layout, only the shooting mode being different - one for flash use, one for pixel shit, one bulb, and one for action that i never use.

Hope this helps
03-21-2020, 04:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robiles Quote
My other custom shooting modes basicly use the same button and wheel layout, only the shooting mode being different - one for flash use, one for pixel shit, one bulb, and one for action that i never use.

Hope this helps
Oops

03-21-2020, 05:30 PM   #9
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I second what Robles said, with one small addition, back button focus and exposure comp button on top set to exposure lock. Have a look at the KP video posted to YouTube by Matthias burling
03-22-2020, 12:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by schnur07 Quote
So maybe someone can give me an example of a customization...
No. No one can help you as it is your personal preference. Leave it on the factory settings until you have the experience and need to change them. Shoot raw, of course, but that makes many camera settings irrelevant, anyway.
03-22-2020, 09:28 AM   #11
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I like the idea of keeping a notepad and jot things down as you read through the manual. It's overwhelming to try to remember everything especially if you're not using the camera on a regular basis.

I use TAv quite often in my sports photography so I can set shutter and fstop where I want it and let the ISO do it's thing.

I was trying to figure out if there were any particular customizations people used with the buttons to quickly change settings without needing to use the menu. i've never really looked into that, but plan to do that now with this camera.

It appears to me the function button can be used for these purposes. For example I used the HDR mode last night and learned that the mode dial lets you quickly change which HDR setting to use. Much quicker than fiddling with the menu. So now I need to figure out what i want to do with C1, 2 and 3.

Reading through the manual is painful but best done as a reference and just figuring out how to do on thing at a time.
03-22-2020, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by schnur07 Quote
I was trying to figure out if there were any particular customizations people used with the buttons to quickly change settings without needing to use the menu. i've never really looked into that, but plan to do that now with this camera.

It appears to me the function button can be used for these purposes. For example I used the HDR mode last night and learned that the mode dial lets you quickly change which HDR setting to use. Much quicker than fiddling with the menu. So now I need to figure out what i want to do with C1, 2 and 3.
The only real "custom" setting I use is my "birding" configuration for my Sigma 150-500mm - TAv 1/1500 @ f/8, that's under U5.

Prior to "discovering" the TAv mode I'd almost religiously used Av simply 'cos that's what I'd always used and had never found the time (or inclination) to sit down and learn what the camera was really capable of. Then I took the time to go through several months worth of "favourite" pictures and noted down the exposure settings which had given me these results and the outcome was quite obvious, hence my choice of "custom" settings. The extreme capability of the K-70 (and now the KP) to cope almost seamlessly with low-light situations meant I no longer had to consider "subject movement or depth of field" ... I could now have both Obviously, if time permits and circumstances dictate I can and will deviate from these numbers, but they're an excellent starting point for a long zoom in a "walkabout" situation.

I keep a choice of "AFS or AFC" and "spot or multi-point a/f" in the C1 and C2 positions, but that's not ideal. To be able to shift from "AFS + spot" to "AFC + 5-point a/f" with one flick of the finger whilst keeping my eye to the viewfinder, like I can do on my K-70, would be perfect (for me), but doubtless the configuration of choices on the KP was the result of extensive research
03-24-2020, 06:40 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by schnur07 Quote
Reading through the manual is painful but best done as a reference and just figuring out how to do on thing at a time.
Definitely. You could leaf through the manual for general orientation to learn the functions of various controls, but otherwise learn as you go. As for me, I like the buttons set for their main usual purposes- including the exposure comp set for that, as I use it fairly often and the button is the most convenient access to this function.

Some insist RAW is the only way to shoot. For me, I reserve that for special subject matter and lighting circumstances. To post process any RAW images, I just use the software supplied. I do not subscribe to any other service. For what I do, highest-quality JPEG images are just fine, especially with the KP's exceptionally good in-camera processor. Just be sure to set "Fine Sharpening" in the Custom Image menus, especially in the most often-used "Bright" category.
03-25-2020, 12:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Definitely. You could leaf through the manual for general orientation to learn the functions of various controls, but otherwise learn as you go. As for me, I like the buttons set for their main usual purposes- including the exposure comp set for that, as I use it fairly often and the button is the most convenient access to this function.

Some insist RAW is the only way to shoot. For me, I reserve that for special subject matter and lighting circumstances. To post process any RAW images, I just use the software supplied. I do not subscribe to any other service. For what I do, highest-quality JPEG images are just fine, especially with the KP's exceptionally good in-camera processor. Just be sure to set "Fine Sharpening" in the Custom Image menus, especially in the most often-used "Bright" category.
JPEGs are good, aren’t they? After shooting the K1, I was glad to get a good jpeg camera.
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