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10-25-2009, 11:26 AM   #1
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A long winded introduction

Hi! I've been lurking this forum for quite a while, learning many useful things, and thought it was time to introduce myself to you all, since I'd like to contribute what little I can... ok, and also ask some questions of my own, of course!

I have to say that I am first and foremost a hiker and mountaineer, but my interest in photography has been steadily growing in the past few years, narrowing the gap between both passions. It all started after a traverse in Greenland, where I took a point&shoot (which wasn't even mine), and I realized how amazing my pictures could have been with the right equipment and of course the knowledge on how to use it!

I started doing research trying to find a camera that would be small, light, and have awesome capabilities. Of course I realized that I had to compromise one way or another. Since I have for years been trying to shed weight from my pack, I decided I couldn't afford to lug >1kg of photographic equipment, so I opted for a bridge camera. I bought an Oly SP560UZ. Now, I know that most serious photographers don't even think about weight, they lug whatever they have to in order to get the best picture. But, in what I do, weight is of utmost importance, it is even related to safety. There's a mountaineering saying: "Speed equals safety". Lightness is also joy in the mountains, nothing kills the enjoyment like a 25 kg pack over a 12 hour hike in rugged terrain. The reason I say all this is because in most of my decisions when it comes to things I take on a trek, weight plays a star role, and photography is not an exception.

So, after 2 years of shooting with my Oly 560, I started noticing that it was getting in the way of my photography. I'm not going to claim that I had mastered it, but I was longing for a more capable camera. I knew then that the only way up was to take the hit in bulk and weight and go for an SLR system. I spent months researching, initially I was attracted to the GH1 but it wasn't rugged enough. The K20D was on the list with its weather resistance but it was huge, and no video (I always do some video during my treks, mostly interviews with my trekking companions). So when the K7 was announced I knew it could be my camera. It still is heavier than I'd like, but it ticks all the boxes regarding the features that I think I need. At this point, regularly reading this and the dpreview forums was a great help, especially in counteracting the negative feedback that seemed to arise everywhere; so many people look at you kind of funny when you look beyond Canon . The opinions of users who had tried it before it was for sale here in Barcelona were very reassuring, and I'm thankful for that.

So, one July day, I went to one of the few shops in the city that deal with Pentax, and they had just received the K7. That very same day! So I can say that I was one of the first barcelonians (if that is a word) to own a K7 I am aware of the prevailing thought that the K7 is not a camera for beginners. I would dare challenge that point. I know I'm not squeezing all the goodness that this camera holds, and I'm very far from mastering it, but at the same time I don't feel that it is imposing any barriers on my learning process. I've found it very easy to get used to the controls, and when I botch a shot it is simply because I don't know enough about photograpy, or I know but didn't remember at the time of shooting. After a few months and 3000 shots with it I am making my best pictures ever, however far they are from being good from a real photographer's point of view. I know I have a loooong way to go, but the good thing is that I'm looking forward to walk that walk, and I haven't had second thoughts about my choice at any time.

Thanks for bearing with me, I have many questions crowding my mind, that I shall put forward once they are somewhat structured. Also congratulations to all active users for this wonderful community of photographers, and I hope to one day be able to contribute as well

Greetings from Barcelona, from a 3 month-old pentaxian!!

10-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

I'm looking forward to seeing your mountain pictures taken with your new K7.
10-25-2009, 11:43 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, glad to have you aboard.
10-26-2009, 05:28 AM   #4
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Welcome gfonso!

I am also looking forward to your photos, can't get tired of mountain shots.
If you would like some feedback, you might want to post a couple in the photo critique section

10-26-2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for the warm welcome, guys. I too am looking forward to post some photos for C&C, I will as soon as I get familiar with how to do it, and especially find a way to settle into a post-processing workflow. I haven't managed to develop my RAW images to my liking yet.

To be honest I'm finding the post-processing learning curve much steeper than that of learning exposure!
10-26-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, IMHO you also live in one of the most photogenic cities in Europe

Enjoy the new camera.
10-26-2009, 03:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Welcome to the forum, IMHO you also live in one of the most photogenic cities in Europe
It is indeed. Your place (whichever it is by Loch Ness ) must be great too. I've been to the Highlands a couple of times and absolutely loved it. Great landscapes, great people, a hiker's paradise!
10-27-2009, 11:27 PM   #8
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Welcome gfonso, and hope you enjoy your time on the forum.
You've shown that the most advanced camera Pentax has to offer is a tool even a rookie can use!
Look forward to your contributions here.

10-28-2009, 07:13 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum. Have you found a good system to carry your camera gear while hiking long distances?
10-28-2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Welcome gfonso, and hope you enjoy your time on the forum.
You've shown that the most advanced camera Pentax has to offer is a tool even a rookie can use!
Look forward to your contributions here.
well, technically, I still haven't shown it , but I sure hope to in the near future
Anyway thanks a lot for your comment Ash!

QuoteOriginally posted by Bactman Quote
Welcome to the forum. Have you found a good system to carry your camera gear while hiking long distances?
To be honest, I haven't. I use a Lowepro Toploader Zoom that I attach to the hipbelt of my hiking backpack, in which my camera with lens and lens hood on fits well. The toploader's front pocket holds caps and filters. I also clip a Lowepro Lens Case LC 1N with my other lens to the hipbelt. This way I have quick access to everything without unloading my backpack. While this system worked great with my old (and smaller) camera, it is a bit less convenient with the larger Toploader Zoom. In steep ascents it bumps in my legs sometimes. It is far from perfect but I've yet to find a better alternative. Maybe some experienced hiker/photographer will share a hint or two?
10-30-2009, 08:46 PM   #11
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Welcome gfonso,

your story reminded me of another thread about climbing cameras.

Don't fall!
Georg
11-01-2009, 12:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gfonso Quote
To be honest I'm finding the post-processing learning curve much steeper than that of learning exposure!
You're not alone. Like you, lots of film guys have difficulty making the adjustment to digital enhancement. We like our pictures from the camera as untouched as possible. PP is still somewhat taboo for me...

Welcome, and feel free to share your experiences with the post processing software. I'd like to get a better feel for the powerful yet user friendly software.
11-01-2009, 02:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
Welcome gfonso,

your story reminded me of another thread about climbing cameras.

Don't fall!
Georg
Interesting topic. Rock climbing brings a whole new dimension to the problem of phtography gear. I used to do rock climbing and I never took a camera on somewhat serious climbs...

QuoteOriginally posted by TourDeForce Quote
You're not alone. Like you, lots of film guys have difficulty making the adjustment to digital enhancement. We like our pictures from the camera as untouched as possible. PP is still somewhat taboo for me...

Welcome, and feel free to share your experiences with the post processing software. I'd like to get a better feel for the powerful yet user friendly software.
Thanks. I have a huge backlog of photos to be processed from my last few trips since I bought the K7. The Pentax software is painfully slow to use and Lightroom is doing funny things with my colors. It really is quite time-consuming, I hope it will be less so as I grow more experienced...
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