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03-22-2020, 11:25 AM   #1
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New-to-me KP

Well, my travel plans to Newfoundland have been cancelled, so I took some of the money set aside and grabbed a KP in the Marketplace. Yay! I've got the owner's manual and Yvon Borque's e-book, but I'm looking for advice from other KP owners. What are your favorite settings, hidden features/capabilities, pitfalls to watch for, tips, tricks, etc. How can I best achieve the KP's full IQ potential. I couldn't find a KP users group here on PF; perhaps I didn't use the right search terms? Apologies if this request has already been asked and answered; point me in the right direction for the discussion.

[edit] Just saw this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/203-pentax-kp/404602-new-kp-owner-where-start.html

03-22-2020, 02:10 PM   #2
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The thread you added may help you. But you are in the KP user group on this forum. Read through the older posts for a wealth of information.
03-22-2020, 03:43 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
What are your favorite settings, hidden features/capabilities, pitfalls to watch for, tips, tricks, etc.

[edit] Just saw this thread: New KP owner - where to start? - PentaxForums.com
In addition to what I've already written on the other thread, the one "pitfall" I've found is the unfortunate ability to be able to grab a thumb-full of buttons/controls, thereby changing settings unintentionally, if I pick up the camera in a hurry, especially with a long/heavy lens fitted.

Fortunately the KP, unlike the K-70, has the ability to "Lock" most of these controls, see "Disabling Operation Controls", p51 in the manual, for details.

I find this feature very useful, especially when wearing gloves I've got it allocated to the FX2 button and consider it far less of an issue to have to "unlock" the controls if I want to rather than have to sort out what settings have changed when I didn't mean to ... and probably lost the shot in the bargain


Another annoyance is the delay in "waking up" if the camera has gone into power-down (power-save) mode. I've circumvented this, to a degree, by not having the camera ever powering down, so it's always "ready to go", however I do ensure the rear "Info" screen is off. Unfortunately a spare battery or two rather becomes a necessity if you spend more than three-four hours in this "ready-to-go" status

Last edited by kypfer; 03-22-2020 at 03:51 PM. Reason: afterthought
03-22-2020, 05:04 PM   #4
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There are some thing that I do differently with this camera that I could not with the K-50 I used previously, a lot of them due to the low light capabilities. I use Tv a lot when I am shooting with the DA 300 or 55-300 handheld, with the K-50 that would have been TAv unless it was very good light, both of those lenses do fine wide open. In camera HDR is very good with this camera, in the K-50 not so much. I have a user mode set for HDR in case I want to use it, I think that may be a default, but of course you can set them up to what you want, mine is Manual exposure, ISO 100, Multi Auto exposure, and 2 second delay, because i would only shoot HDR on a tripod. One negative there, no built in IR remote port. I have gotten use to using the delayed shutter, my tripos are sturdy. But I still may buy one of the inexpensive JJC wireless releases at some point. When using a shorter lens handheld like the 15 or 20-40, I may use Av or Tv, or occasionally M, and the ISO is set to 100-8000 right now. 3200 was about as high as I wanted to go on the K-50, sometimes 6400. When I am shooting on the tripod I will always use Live View, a delayed shutter, usually ISO 100, always Manual exposure, and often manual focus. Manual focus because the magnification and focus peaking are so good, they were good on the K-50 too, but the screen is much better, and because it tilts you never have to contend with glare or laying on the ground.

I have the rear dial set to aperture and the front to shutter speed, i've done that with every Pentax camera I've had, it serves me well.

These are some of the easier things that are possible. I haven't begun to scratch the surface, I doubt I will ever know everything on the camera.

03-22-2020, 05:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
But you are in the KP user group on this forum. Read through the older posts for a wealth of information.
I was looking in the wrong place (Social Groups) for KP users. I don't think I'd ever run across the DSLR-specific Forums area before. Thanks.

Thanks kypfer for your comments.

---------- Post added 03-22-20 at 08:38 PM ----------

Thanks for your comments ramseybuckeye. I tried in-camera HDR on my K-5IIs and got nice results; no doubt the KP is better. I'm looking forward to trying my DA* 60-250mm handheld on the KP. It did pretty well on the K-5IIs in good light, but the high ISO of the KP allows higher shutter speeds. When I bought the K-5IIs used it came with an IR remote, supposedly the right one, but I could never get it to work even after checking its battery voltage and related camera settings. It also came with a Vello wired remote, and I'm wondering if it will work on the KP. Not sure I want to try without doing research first. I've set up auto-ISO to top out at 6400 for now. I found Live-View difficult to use on the K-5; looking forward to trying it on the KP with focus peaking.
03-23-2020, 04:53 AM   #6
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Post Your Best KP Shots - PentaxForums.com
03-23-2020, 07:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
When I bought the K-5IIs used it came with an IR remote, supposedly the right one, but I could never get it to work even after checking its battery voltage and related camera settings. It also came with a Vello wired remote, and I'm wondering if it will work on the KP. Not sure I want to try without doing research first. I've set up auto-ISO to top out at 6400 for now. I found Live-View difficult to use on the K-5; looking forward to trying it on the KP with focus peaking.
My "aftermarket" i/r remote never was totally reliable. It's recently taken to not operating any of my cameras. I have checked it and it is generating an i/r signal of some sort, I can see it flickering, but the cameras don't understand it At least the KP can't take advantage of it, though I only discovered this some while after I'd bought the camera!

The socket for the wired remote on the KP is a different size to that on my K-5 and earlier cameras. A source of instant frustration for me when I tried to use the device in the field with my K-70 and found it wouldn't fit

Apparently one can buy a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor lead to use one on the other, but I only found this out after I'd purchased a new suitable control

I never took to LiveView on my K-5 ... only ever good as a compositional aid with an auto-focus lens, in my opinion. However, the tilting screens with focus-peaking on the newer cameras are a whole different ball-game

Enjoy!
03-23-2020, 08:39 AM   #8
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Good choice on the KP ! Sorry about your trip getting cancelled as mine did also to the Galapagos on the 6th.,,,,,'siggghhhhh'

03-23-2020, 02:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
The socket for the wired remote on the KP is a different size to that on my K-5 and earlier cameras. A source of instant frustration for me when I tried to use the device in the field with my K-70 and found it wouldn't fit.Apparently one can buy a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor lead to use one on the other, but I only found this out after I'd purchased a new suitable control
I knew the KP didn't have an IR port before I bought it, but I didn't realize it had a 3.5mm cable socket instead of my K-5IIs's 2.5mm socket. How odd. Maybe Pentax figured the bigger socket is more robust? Instead of buying an adapter, I just now bought a JJC version of the Pentax CS-310 for $8. It had five 5-star ratings. Amazon wanted $50 for the Pentax OEM version. I am a loyal Pentaxian, but....

QuoteOriginally posted by Ronald Oakes Quote
Sorry about your trip getting cancelled as mine did also to the Galapagos
A photo op around every corner in both locations. I'm sure the conservationists don't want to expose the unique wildlife in the Galapagos to any strange germs just in case it could affect them. (The Komodo Dragons are so germy and scary though that the corona virus may want to avoid them!) Hopefully you and I can re-plan our trips in the not-too-distant future.
03-24-2020, 08:41 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
I knew the KP didn't have an IR port before I bought it, but I didn't realize it had a 3.5mm cable socket instead of my K-5IIs's 2.5mm socket. How odd. Maybe Pentax figured the bigger socket is more robust? Instead of buying an adapter, I just now bought a JJC version of the Pentax CS-310 for $8. It had five 5-star ratings. ...
Since I've got a K-1 as well, I bought an adapter for two dollars and fifty cents or thereabouts, so I can use the same release doogit and extension cable for both cameras.
03-24-2020, 09:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
Maybe Pentax figured the bigger socket is more robust?
No...they did it so as to allow both microphone and wired remote on the same fitting.


Steve
03-24-2020, 03:16 PM   #12
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Ah, yes, that makes sense. I almost never shoot video so hadn't considered that.
03-30-2020, 12:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
Well, my travel plans to Newfoundland have been cancelled, so I took some of the money set aside and grabbed a KP in the Marketplace. Yay! I've got the owner's manual and Yvon Borque's e-book, but I'm looking for advice from other KP owners. What are your favorite settings, hidden features/capabilities, pitfalls to watch for, tips, tricks, etc. How can I best achieve the KP's full IQ potential. I couldn't find a KP users group here on PF; perhaps I didn't use the right search terms? Apologies if this request has already been asked and answered; point me in the right direction for the discussion.

[edit] Just saw this thread: New KP owner - where to start? - PentaxForums.com
Congrats on the purchase! The KP is a superb camera and in my admittedly subjective and prejudiced opinion, the best Pentax I have ever used or shot with during quite a few decades (ever since the analog dark ages) of being a Pentaxian.

My only comment with regards to settings is simply that the KP generates superb and rich RAW files - and depending on how you like or prefer to do your digital post-processing, KP RAW photos lend themselves to all kinds of both subtle and superb visual manipulations.

Also, as many KP users have already (doubtless) pointed out, the KP seems to naturally pair with quite a few of the smaller DA Limited prime lenses; my current favorites are the DA 21 and the DA 40, though I suspect the DA 70 will need to be added to the list soon
03-30-2020, 06:31 PM   #14
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I've dabbled with RAW files a little, and had downloaded darktable and RawTherapee a couple years back. Took both for a test drive. Seemed almost equally hard to get a handle on (my fault, not the software). I decided to concentrate on darktable. The few times I've loaded and edited dng files I haven't been able to successfully export them as jpegs or tiffs. I tell darktable to export to jpeg (or tiff), show it where to put the file (location already exists) and give it a unique filename, but keep getting the message 'unable to export' or words to that effect. I'm going to give RawTherapee another go.

After having bought a DA*60-250mm and KP within a couple months of each other, there's no money left for another lens. I got very good deals on the used lens and used camera, but still spent more than I would normally spend in 10 years. I'd love to try one of the Limiteds, but they ain't in the exhausted budget. My closest substitute in the small prime category is my Pentax-M 50/1.7, a respectable lens.

For the foreseeable future I'll be concentrating on improving my skills rather than acquiring gear.
03-30-2020, 08:02 PM   #15
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As I mentioned in that other thread, the KP is also exceptional for out-of-camera JPEG images as well as exceptional RAW images. Its processor does a remarkable job. Just be sure to set up "Fine Sharpening" in the Custom Image menus, especially for the most often-used "Bright" category.

Other than the very fine DA* 60-250mm f/4, what other lenses do you normally use? And of course, adding lenses over time will also provide adequate opportunity to learn what your real needs are and which choices would best address those needs.

And congratulations on your acquiring this very fine and unique camera!
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