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10-17-2011, 01:54 AM   #1
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Another Pentax DSLR newbie!

My wife and I have just moved up from the 'point and shoot' brigade using mostly the Canon Ixus. We have been aiming to move to a DSLR and get far more control over our efforts for some time but had neither the money nor the courage to do it. Then, oddly, we were both made redundant and with both time and some redundancy money we thought we might justify the purchase partly to help us re-establish ourselves.

So now we are proud K5 owners and realising from the manual we have jumped in deep! There are some things we're not sure about right from the start like which RAW format to go for and how do Pentax users import their photos. Do most just use the card directly or is there some benefit to using the Pentax Camera Utility software.

I felt I must just also comment on our actual purchase. We went to a big local town convinced that we would be Canon or Nikon. We knew we wanted to hold the cameras and that this was one purchase that we couldn't make on the Internet. We were heading for a large high street photographic chain but stumbled on a branch of the London Camera Exchange. We spent an hour or so handling the various cameras and learning a lot! There was no pressure to buy but we quickly realised that the Pentax K5 suited our needs perfectly and was a relative bargain. I had rather fallen in love with the idea of either a Canon 7D or Nikon D7000 but the K5 won me over. I wonder how many people miss out on Pentax cameras simply because of the high profile of Canon and Nikon?

I hope to learn a lot here. It's great to find such a friendly forum with so many fine examples of what can be done with our new camera. I feel inspired!

10-17-2011, 03:37 AM   #2
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Hello symphony1010,

welcome on board with the Pentax flagship. Please don't mind that a newbie withous any DSLR answers your question.

The 'right' or 'correct' RAW-format does simply not exist for itsself. Being digital, it all depends on the workflow and hence on the software used. So the question is 'does the software I use support XY-RAW?' and becomes obsolete if you decide to shoot only JPEGs.

The import should be quite easy, even without fiddling with the memory card: simply connect your K5 with the USB-Cable to your computer. All rather modern Operating Systems should detect the card in your K5 as an external drive and present you the folders containing your image data. But caution: since this 'drive' needs power (which it gets from your K5 switched on), be sure to have your accus loaded, or use a power-adapter. The rest depends on the software used.

Hope this helped a little.

Regards
Horst
10-17-2011, 04:04 AM   #3
jac
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Welcome!
10-17-2011, 04:21 AM   #4
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Thanks!

Thanks for your friendly welcome Horst and Jac. With the help of your comments I have decided to go with .dng and use the RAW editor in Photoshop CS5. At least I am reasonably familiar with this route and I think it's maybe more important to get really familiar with the camera rather than have to learn a new programme!
I have connected the K5 to a PC initially and Adobe Bridge happily opened. My wife intends to work with Aperture on a Mac. I'm sure it will be recognised similarly.

Looking forward to browsing all the posts here and thanks again for helping with my first queries.

Regards

Walter Brewster

10-17-2011, 05:28 AM   #5
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Hi Walter,

I'm glad my answer helped, and I hope the second route also walks well. For me, i decided not to spend money for software and go with freeware OS & tools, so my route will be Linux, UFRAW & GIMP.

Besides spending money for my first DSLR I definitely will go into color calibration, at least for my display(s). A little journey here or on a search engine will give you the reasons why, and cost of approx. 100€ will be made affordable. Otherwise the choices of white balance (which is some sort of calibration) would be useless. But from the technical point of image processing I am kind of perfectionist.

Good efforts
Horst
10-17-2011, 06:40 AM   #6
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Welcome

Welcome aboard ! I too was lured by the advertizing. Thankfully, I went with PENTAX. I have 2 bodies and several lens now. I love the idea the lens are backward compatible. Nikon and Canon to my understanding are not. The older PENTAX lens are plentiful for a low price and awesome. Look for a 50mm 1.4f or 1.7f. Don't buy cheap accessories, you may like to regret them.
Back up your hard drive frequently. This you will thankful for in the future.

Happy shooting !
Dave
10-17-2011, 07:29 AM   #7
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Enjoy your camera

Welcome to the Pentax community. Don't be afraid to buy a manual focus lens, especially one with an A setting on the aperture dial. I own 7 of them and use them regularly along with my modern DA lenses. Many of the old Pentax lenses are among the best lenses ever made. Take a look at the Lens Reviews here on Pentax Forums. They are a great help in deciding if a potential purchase is a bargin or overpriced.
Take your time learning all the great functions on your new camera. I especially like the built in image filters. I no longer need to carry my set of black and white filters when shooting digital.

Most of all, have fun.
10-17-2011, 02:28 PM   #8
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welcome welcome!

10-17-2011, 11:56 PM   #9
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Thanks jeverettfine. I shall look out for the older lenses, especially as my next question with the camera would have been what to go for next in terms of lenses. When we bought the camera last weekend we went for the DA 16-45 zoom as it was on special offer. With no experience of DSLR cameras I have little idea as to how good it is or whether it will suit our needs for general use. It seems to be an older lense with quite good reviews though. A friend thought we would have a few issues with flash creating shadows.

Thanks again for the big friendly welcome. Fascinated to see jac's response from Cape Dorset in Canada as we live in Dorset, England! Didn't know there was a Cape Dorset so will now have to learn more!
10-18-2011, 01:16 AM   #10
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Welcome from the uppity mountains of central California! Ah, so you want lens advice? This is the right place! Let me tell you how I've accumulated ~225 lenses -- and sold off 110 more, to help pay for the keepers. How? I deal lenses on eBay. Buy real cheap, sell for not quite so cheap, to buy yet more stuff. It's easy! But I digress.

I see rational lens accumulation as coming in 3 stages:

1) Coverage. My Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, and Sigma 170-500 certainly cover the focal-length range. With help from a F35-70.
2) Speed. The FA50/1.4 is my gotta-get-the-shot lens. And I have fairly cheap fast f/2 manual primes at 24-28-35-58-85mm.
3) Character and specialties. Fisheyes, macro lenses, an enlarger zoom, and various slower lenses just make different images.
4) Mania. OK, I cheated. I like really cheap enlarger-copy-projector-process-Xray-scavenged lenses giving unique results.

A good way to manage lens purchases is to ask yourself: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? The answers may lead you to ultrawides and fisheyes, or long telephotos, or macros, or very high-speed lenses (wide maximum aperture), or lenses deemed excellent for portraits, etc. Budget may drive you to used lenses. Here are some tips: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/59245-pawnshop-lense...ers-guide.html

But the best way to start is just to GET OUT AND SHOOT! Use what you have, use it constantly, learn its strengths and weaknesses. And learn what focal lengths you like best -- and where you feel limited by the 16-45's reach.

Here's an exercise in seeing: Every week, scotch-tape your 16-45 to one focal length: 20mm, 25mm, 30mm, 35mm. Shoot at only that focal length for a week. Each focal length (and each lens!) is its own window on the world. Become accustomed to each window. I've spent months shooting with only a 28mm or 55mm lens. Working that way makes me concentrate on angles and distances.

Most of all: Have fun!
10-18-2011, 07:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by symphony1010 Quote
Thanks jeverettfine. I shall look out for the older lenses, especially as my next question with the camera would have been what to go for next in terms of lenses. When we bought the camera last weekend we went for the DA 16-45 zoom as it was on special offer. With no experience of DSLR cameras I have little idea as to how good it is or whether it will suit our needs for general use. It seems to be an older lense with quite good reviews though. A friend thought we would have a few issues with flash creating shadows.

Thanks again for the big friendly welcome. Fascinated to see jac's response from Cape Dorset in Canada as we live in Dorset, England! Didn't know there was a Cape Dorset so will now have to learn more!
The 16-45 is a very good choice, I own one and enjoy it very much. The only thing better in that focal length range would be the 17-50 f/2.8 and that is mainly because it is faster. You might look for a fast prime, such as a Pentax-A (or FA if you want autofocus) 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7. It is nice to have a large aperture lens for low light. Otherwise, your next purchase might be a zoom in the telephoto range. There are several options depending on your budget. The new weather resistant DA 50-200 F/4.5-5.6 WR is a good value and performs nicely. If you have the money, the DA 60-250 F/4.0 is hard to beat. The DA 50-300 f/4-5.8 is also quite nice at an in-between price. There are also some superb lenses made by Sigma and Tamron you might consider. Again, look through the lens database here on Pentax Forum to learn more.
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