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06-27-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Favorite exposure modes?

Hello fellow Pentaxians!

I just got a K-7 this weekend and started trying it out. While I'm not new to DSLR's, I am new to Pentax and their vary unique exposure modes.

I find that the two modes that seem to work best for me (with my hair-breadth of experience) are TAv and USER (also set in TAv mode) for normal shooting. The primer I use for capturing moving targets (my 1 yr old daughter running around the back yard), and the latter for artistic shots.

The only difference I set between the two modes was the behavior of the green button. In TAv, the green button readjusts the aperture while locking the shutter speed. This allows me to keep my shutter speed at around 1/100 - 1/200 to capture my hyper kid, but I can quickly adjust back the aperture if I see a cool shot that needs shallow/deep DOF.

In USER I have it set exactly the same as TAv, but the green button adjusts the shutter speed while the aperture stays fixed. This seems like a better approach when I'm just taking landscape/still life shots.

The only problem with this is that I need to push the green button anytime I see my ISO creep up or blink at 100. I haven't done enough shooting with it yet to tell if this is going to be an issue or not. Otherwise I can just go back to using Tv and Av as on my previous DSLRs.

So what do you guys usually shoot on for walk around and running kid shots? How about the Program mode, is it useful or just a novelty? And what ISO range do you guys use? So far I've left mine on 100-6400 and "slow" ascension; I figure it's more important to get the shot than have it be underexposed, but then again I may be naive.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to exchange my K-7 at B&H tomorrow due to some bad pixels on the LCD display, but at least now I've tried it and can think about how I'm going to use it while it's being replaced.

06-27-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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You are the second person making a note of bad pixels on LCD in last couple days, what is going on?, what do you do, take a black picture and magnify to max and scan the whole display, fill me in.
Big difference between bad LCD pixels and stuck sensor pixels. Sensor is an easy fix with pixel mapping, it is right in the menu.
I know I need reading glasses but to detect one or two or dozen messed up pixels out ot 900k+ is something else.
06-27-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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in my case it was a pixel that was stuck blue. zooming wouldn't help since after all the problem is the monitor not the sensor. I'm also shocked at how strongly it stood out, but it definitely was annoying in dark pictures. I just hope B&H can get me the exchange in a reasonable time frame!
06-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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I use the P mode (hyper-program). Although it is pretty basic, you can set your preferences (compared to the Green mode). You can always use the front and rear dials for manual controls, and pushing the Green button would reset the defaults.

There has been some discussion on shooting kids in relation to the Auto Focus (AF). The thrust of the forum threads suggests that AF-S together AF-center are the best settings for "fast" AF.

While I have had no pb outdoor, I found that a fast lens (large aperture) works better simply indoor to shoot kids, because there is more light in the sensor.

For a walk-around lens, my preference is the 18-250mm.

For ISO, I set the 100-3400 range. To date, I have no need for higher ISO. In low light, I use a fast prime lens for the best results.

Hope that the comments will assist...

06-27-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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I use nothng but M.
06-28-2010, 01:07 AM   #6
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Hi Jeff,

I shoot birds primarily, usually in widely varying lighting conditions. On the K20 and K-7, I use Av priority, with the rear dial set to adjust Av, the front dial to change Ev compensation, and the Info screen with the Auto ISO range selected, so it's just a button push and spin the rear dial to change ISO. All these can be done on the fly while I'm watching the shutter speed through the viewfinder. The Program line is set to bias towards higher shutter speeds, so adjusting the ISO upper limit is pretty much the same as adjusting ISO, but Auto ISO allows the camera to automatically lower the setting if I encounter significantly brighter light levels. There are other combinations that achieve the same kind of control over settings, but this tends to coincide with how my brain seems to work. . .

06-28-2010, 02:17 AM   #7
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- M (total control - no af either)
- TAv (occasionally: light conditions changing rapidly outside, needing fixed speed&dof)
- Av (being lazy)
- GREEN (talking constantly with friends/family - handing my camera to them to use it)

06-28-2010, 03:05 AM   #8
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Since I purchased my K20D I have been shooting mostly P and Av modes. Recently I am shooting more and more M with spot metering, which is slower, but seems to be giving me more control over exposure and I have noticed, that my exposures are better. When shooting in dynamic environment, will choose P.
Also, lately I have been looking into TAv.
06-28-2010, 03:15 AM   #9
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As I use Takumar lenses almost exclusively, practically everything I shoot is in Av mode. In some special circumstances I use M mode. Everything else is a mystery and baffles the hell out of me.
06-28-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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When I am being lazy or I'm chasing the kids and don't have time to really think about what I'm doing, I use P mode. If I'm doing something else, I'm usually in M mode.
06-28-2010, 05:59 PM   #11
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I use one of 3 modes depending on the situation

1) M mode if I’m using an external flash unit (with the flash in p-TTL mode). That gives me control in balancing flash and ambient light while the camera manages via the flash “correct overall exposure”.
2) Tv mode if shooting my kids playing sport, usually at 1/500 or 1/800.
3) Av mode for everything else
06-28-2010, 11:53 PM   #12
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mostly Av mode, M mode with manual lenses.
06-29-2010, 01:41 AM   #13
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My k100d hasn't been off the manual dial since I've had it.
06-29-2010, 08:55 AM   #14
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There's a reason they call it MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
06-29-2010, 09:20 AM   #15
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almost always 'P' mode (so easy to switch b/n Av and Tv modes), occasionally M.

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