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06-16-2010, 10:54 PM   #1
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New Pentax k-x so overwhelmed!!!

I just got my Pentax k-x to day. I have a 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses. I was trying to take pictures in my house today which has fairly low light. I feel so frustrated when the shots don't come out. I feel like I have wasted my money and am never gunna figure this stuff out.

Can some one please give me some suggestions for indoor shots. Please be as in depth as possible I am so confused!!

Some other dumb questions:
How do you set exposure? I saw something on another post about af-s? where do I find this? and How do you change aperture?

I am going to finish reading the manual tonight.

06-16-2010, 11:34 PM   #2
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QuoteQuote:
I am going to finish reading the manual tonight.
You'd better

For the money, K-x has the best low light capabilities one can find on the market today. Anything matching it would be at least 2-3 times more expensive. Anyaway, since the kit glass is fairly slow, maybe you'd want to get a fast 50mm lens (the full manual M f1.7 runs for 20-30 USD, the automated aperture A f2 around 50 USD). If you want low light AND autofocus, set aside 200USD for a Pentax SMC F f1.7.
06-17-2010, 01:13 AM   #3
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If you have not yet read the manual, put the camera in the Green mode (dial mode). This is the safest way to start. Alternately you may consider the P. mode.

Make sure that the lens is in auto-focus mode.

When you press the shutter button, remember to half-press first and wait 1 s for the image stabilisation to be ready.

Beyond this, do read the manual.

When I got my K-7, I was shocked by my first shots that were not better than a P&S. But after a couple of weeks, and after reading the instruction manual, the shots were much, much better, and way better than any P&S.

Happy shooting.
06-17-2010, 01:41 AM   #4
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Check to see what the camera is doing in terms of ISO. It might be increasing ISO automatically to compensate for the low light. Or maybe you can increase it manually. (This behaviour depends partially on what mode you are shooting in.)

I recommend you stick with one mode and learn how the camera settings work in that mode. Otherwise things will get way too confusing.

06-17-2010, 02:45 AM   #5
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You remembered to take the lens cap off, correct?
06-17-2010, 04:16 AM   #6
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I am also a new K-x owner so I can't offer you the advice that you asked for but I can say I had the same sort of experience when I came home with my camera. Snap snap snap and arrrggg what . i started wondering if I should have spent my money on a good P&S.
Over the last 2 weeks or so I have got to know the camera a little better and have got some better shots. What has helped me is a good book about photography basics and digital jargon so I can make sense of the manual, then I just keep going back to the manual. I'm shooting in Auto( green button) or other Auto mode when when I need to get a photo I don't want to miss and choose one of the other semi manual settings to play aound with when it doesn't matter if I get a decent shot or not. A couple of weeks has made a big difference to how I feel about my choice to buy a K-x, I'm very happy I did even though I still have a LOT to learn to make the most of it. I've realised that what Kytra said about faster lenses is true for me too, so while I'm learning to use what I've got I'm saving for a faster lens.
Hope that helps some.
06-17-2010, 04:39 AM   #7
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I think that I would start off using P mode (program). This will let camera set the exposure for you. I usually use auto iso (Ira hates it) with parameters from 100 to 1600. At this point, things should be pretty automatic. You will tend to run into problems in darker places because even with fast iso, your shutter speed will still be pretty slow. There are two solutions to that: you can buy a faster lens (that is one with a larger aperture) or, you can use flash. I personally like a good external flash that you can bounce (don't really like on camera flash).

Anyway, start shooting. The beauty of digital is that your settings are saved along with your photo in something called the Exif. If you right click on your photos in windows and look under properties, it should tell you what settings you were using (there are other programs that tell you more, like Photo ME). This is nice because if your photo turned out well, you can see what worked and if it didn't, it will also tell you what worked.

Finally, post some photos and get input. There are lots of friendly folks here who will help you get accustomed to your new camera!
06-17-2010, 05:21 AM   #8
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I've had my K-X about 10 days now. I am constantly referring to the manual and also taking lots of practice shots. Yesterday, I wanted to see about stopping action, so I sat on the back porch and took pictures of the ceiling fan while it was on-manual in hand. Another thing I do-when I see forum threads with shooting tips I know I will use-I write it down in the back of the manual.

06-17-2010, 05:26 AM   #9
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Read "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, and your camera's manual.
06-17-2010, 05:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think that I would start off using P mode (program). This will let camera set the exposure for you. I usually use auto iso (Ira hates it)
You remembered!!!

But for a beginner, you're totally correct that it's best.
06-17-2010, 07:14 AM   #11
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Thankyou everyone for the replies!!! I have another question when in live view in P-mode well my camera starts flashing red the ISO and aperture. Does this mean it is telling me to change it should change it??
06-17-2010, 07:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by matsui255 Quote
Thankyou everyone for the replies!!! I have another question when in live view in P-mode well my camera starts flashing red the ISO and aperture. Does this mean it is telling me to change it should change it??
it means that in current conditions the photo will be underexposed. if you are in P mode it means either auto iso is off (or limited), so you can adjust the iso manually to higher sensitivity, or you are in a room so pitch dark that there is no posible way to get a photograph even with iso 12800
06-17-2010, 08:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
it means that in current conditions the photo will be underexposed. if you are in P mode it means either auto iso is off (or limited), so you can adjust the iso manually to higher sensitivity, or you are in a room so pitch dark that there is no posible way to get a photograph even with iso 12800

Thanks! Is it possible to change the Shutter speed in Pmode or can this only be done in SV mode??
06-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by matsui255 Quote
Thanks! Is it possible to change the Shutter speed in Pmode or can this only be done in SV mode??
Sv mode means you select the sensitivity (ISO) of the sensor, the camera will adjust shutter speed and aperture for proper exposure. If you're in a dark room and choose 100, there won't be enough light, so you would have to choose 800, 1600, etc.

I suggest you do the following:

Turn auto ISO off. Set ISO to 400. Go outside. Set to Av mode (aperture priority mode). Set aperture to 5.6.

Camera will now ONLY adjust your shutter speed for proper exposure. Look at the shutter speed the camera picked for you as you aim at a scene or subject, and notice how it changes when you point to different things of varying darkness/lightness.

Now, set your aperture to 8.

See the difference?

Keeping your ISO FIXED to start (not auto) and playing in Av mode will better teach you how the various elements affect proper exposure. When you run into a shot you can't do at 400ISO, you'll know to increase its speed.

So I take back what I said above. I still hate auto ISO.
06-17-2010, 10:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Sv mode means you select the sensitivity (ISO) of the sensor, the camera will adjust shutter speed and aperture for proper exposure. If you're in a dark room and choose 100, there won't be enough light, so you would have to choose 800, 1600, etc.

I suggest you do the following:

Turn auto ISO off. Set ISO to 400. Go outside. Set to Av mode (aperture priority mode). Set aperture to 5.6.

Camera will now ONLY adjust your shutter speed for proper exposure. Look at the shutter speed the camera picked for you as you aim at a scene or subject, and notice how it changes when you point to different things of varying darkness/lightness.

Now, set your aperture to 8.

See the difference?

Keeping your ISO FIXED to start (not auto) and playing in Av mode will better teach you how the various elements affect proper exposure. When you run into a shot you can't do at 400ISO, you'll know to increase its speed.

So I take back what I said above. I still hate auto ISO.

Thanks I went outside and took some pics of flowers and see how it changes in different lights. I nwas able to get the exposure to 0(is that what the little meter is from -3 to 3?) while outside. But while in my living room I can not get it off of -3.


I am trying to post some photos to show you guys but they are not showing upon photobucket? Can you not upload RAW photos to photobucket?
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