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08-19-2016, 09:39 PM   #1
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Greetings from Florida's Space Coast

Hello, fellow Pentaxians! I've had a Super Program since the 1980's, then Optio S4i/S5i units in the early 2000s which I used for underwater photography in the factory dive housing to complement my scuba hobby. Just recently got a K-30 after much consideration, and am just learning it. I'm a rank amateur photographer and don't pretend to be anything else, and am probably more generally suited to point-n-shoots like my beloved S5i, but then there's that occasional shot where I need a little more control and flexibility... like capturing the nighttime rocket launches from Kennedy Space center, just a couple miles from my front door!

08-19-2016, 10:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by FritzCat66 Quote
like capturing the nighttime rocket launches from Kennedy Space center, just a couple miles from my front door!

Hi FritzCat66. Welcome to the Pentax forums. You have been with Pentax a long time !! I would like very much to see some of those rocket launch images soon. Good to have you here.
08-20-2016, 12:05 AM   #3
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Hey :-)

Cool site, with lots of great information
08-20-2016, 12:58 AM   #4
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Hello and welcome to the forums - great to have you with us

The K-30 can act very much like a point-and-shoot in auto mode, but if you persevere with learning all it can do, I think you might get bitten by the DSLR bug Once you start taking control of your photography, you'll be amazed at what can be achieved - and we're here to help if you get stuck

08-20-2016, 06:59 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forums. The rocket launches must be interesting to see and take pictures of.
08-20-2016, 07:33 AM   #6
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Welcome from another in Florida and an east coaster. You might be interested in this thread too.

Florida Pentaxians - PentaxForums.com
08-20-2016, 10:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Hello and welcome to the forums - great to have you with us

The K-30 can act very much like a point-and-shoot in auto mode, but if you persevere with learning all it can do, I think you might get bitten by the DSLR bug Once you start taking control of your photography, you'll be amazed at what can be achieved - and we're here to help if you get stuck
Nah, I definitely do not have any SLR bug. Like I said, I used a Pentax Super Program for nearly 20 years, from 1984 until 2003, so I certainly know my way around manual SLR photography as well. I just generally prefer *not* to worry about all that stuff. To me, it's like driving a manual vs. automatic transmission - yeah sure that manual can be fun and you can get the most performance out of your engine and all, but 99% of the time I just want to get where I'm going and not have to worry about it, so when I buy a car, I get an automatic.

Especially being focussed on dive photography... when drift diving along the Florida East Coast, you're moving at 1-2 knots, your subject is drifting by, you can't even stop & stay still if you want to, you just don't have time to tweak apertures and dig through menus or whatnot to setup fancy slow-sync flash jobs, you've barely got time to set your flash and snap a pic, and then preferably another one with your white card in frame so you have a white balance reference for that particular depth when post-processing. Also, I don't want a hugemungous dive photo rig like the professionals have, where you must have assistance from someone in the boat just to get your multi-zillion-dollar rig in the water, where even a hair across that o-ring seal will mean you've ruined that equipment with a fine saltwater mist!

That's why I loved the Optio S5i - even inside its dive housing, it was overall smaller than just the dry body of most DSLRs like my new K-30. Add a bracket and a single underwater strobe (I use a Sea & Sea with a fiber optic trigger), the whole rig can be bungeed to my chest for water entry/exit, no assistance necessary. Plus, if the S5i does flood (and it has)... oh well, into the trash - there goes another $75 on eBay and I'm back in business! Who cares if I never make the cover of NatGeo with that rig? My pics make my Facebook friends happy and let me share some of the joy of diving with them, that's all I care about.

I won't be using the K-30 underwater, however. While it's water-resistant and all, I don't think it can handle 3-4 atmospheres of pressure all on its own. I know Ikelite makes a housing for some Pentax bodies, but not the K-30. Besides, I'm retiring my beloved Pentax OptioS5i and will be using an Olympus TG-4 for underwater work. It's environmentally-sealed to handle snorkelling depths down to 50'/15m all on its own, similar to the Pentax WG, but unlike the Pentax there are several really good dive housings for the Olympus, like the Nauticam I'll be getting. I wish Pentax would support dive photography a bit more like Olympus is doing, but I understand it's a niche market. I got the K-30 because I can generally use it mostly in automatic mode, but for the occasional night launch, I have the option to take more control. But I guarantee I won't be doing that any more than I absolutely must!

P.S. Luckily, I'm finding that the Olympus TG-4 menus and button layout aren't really much different from my old Pentax Optio S5i. This has made the transition MUCH easier than I anticipated...
08-20-2016, 11:18 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, looking forward to seeing those images once you've cracked it.


Last edited by Kerrowdown; 08-23-2016 at 12:28 PM.
08-23-2016, 01:42 PM   #9
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Welcome!

That sounds fun.
I tried my hand at night images this summer during firefly season, and was amazed at how much the sensor records which the eye can't see. Next year maybe I'll get somewhere really dark with plenty of them to get some better images.
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