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08-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #1
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Anyone Had a K-7 For a while?

Looking for a good list of setting changes if any need to be made to get the most out of this camera. Should I be using the Highlight Correction in camera or is it best to just take care of it in PP? Any other setting changes you've found to get improved IQ from the K7?

I know all of this is a matter of personal preference but I'm looking for opinions as I'm so new to photography I havent had a chance to really form any. So of any of you could offer up what you find works I can go from there.

Thanks,
Mike

08-27-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
hcc
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I have had my K-7 for nearly 9 months. I am an amateur and happy to share my limited experience within its context.

I use mostly the P mode, centre focus, AF-S (or MF) and JPEG-6Mp (sometimes RAW+).

I switch off all on-board corrections and I prefer to rely upon PP on computer. I do the PP with PDCU for basic PP, PTLens for lens distortion correction, Noiseware for noise reduction (at ISO 3200 & 1600), and Autostich for panorama.

I do a lot of Hi continuous shooting and I need to shoot long sequences: over 10-15 s typically. As a result I switch off all on-board corrections to get the longest sequences of Hi-continuous shooting (typically > 60 shots per sequence). I foudn further that the PP on computer gives me some much better control of the final images: the computer screen is much larger than the camera screen and you have more control with PDCU and other softwares.

Overall I am very happy with the IQ of the K-7 although I do no on-board correction of any kind. Note that the selection of the lenses is most important than any form of on-board processing, and I am glad that I invested into some good quality prime lenses. (The Nokton 58mm is a beauty!)

Hope that the experience will help...

Last edited by hcc; 08-27-2010 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Typos
08-27-2010, 03:11 PM - 1 Like   #3
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bcc, out of curiosity, why do you shoot 6mp JPEG?
08-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
bcc, out of curiosity, why do you shoot 6mp JPEG?
I would assume its because he likes to get the most shots per sequence when shooting burst mode.

08-27-2010, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
bcc, out of curiosity, why do you shoot 6mp JPEG?
Yes, Mikro is right. It is related to my needs for long sequence of Hi continuous shoots. I have a Sandisk Extreme III card (class 10) and a transfer rate of 5.2 fps implies that the JEPG must be 6 Mp or less. This is critical for long sequences (> 10 s). For short bursts (5-10 shots), you can shoot RAW off course, but the shooting rate drops as soon as the buffer memory is full.

I do a lot of dynamic shooting includings waves, bores, fountains, and Hi continuous shooting allow you get some nice details.

Last edited by hcc; 08-27-2010 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Typos
08-27-2010, 05:16 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I find the highlight and shadow corrections totally useless. It extends the processing and write times to the card, for almost no discernible difference.

Just shoot in RAW and post-process. Or if you prefer JPEG, you likely won't notice much difference with the features turned on.
If you choose your scenes carefully you will see the difference, but it is far too slight to warrant the processing time.

I do find the lens correction to work quite well, but again the processing time does not outweigh the gain by leaving it off. Of course I post-process very few images for lens corrections. If you find you need to correct most every photo, this may be helpful.
08-27-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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I have most things turned off except for lens correction or zero'd. I shoot RAW+ (PEF), max JPG quality. Spot Meter, center point AF. WB is chosen according to conditions. All of my shown JPGs are processed from RAW in ACR. Typically, I'll use Aperture priority, ISO 100 (auto ISO turned off).

08-27-2010, 05:44 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikro Quote
Looking for a good list of setting changes if any need to be made to get the most out of this camera. Should I be using the Highlight Correction in camera or is it best to just take care of it in PP? Any other setting changes you've found to get improved IQ from the K7?
I've had one for over a year. It's a great camera.

Highlight correct is decent when you need it, but it does come at the expense of added noise and a little bit of color-flatness. I never use shadow correction if there will be people in the scene, because it seems to do weird stuff to skin tones for fixing that, it's all about pp.

Use the "natural" mode rather than "bright", especially if there's any bright reds or oranges in the scene bright tends to blow that channel. And it's also a bad choice to use indoors, where artificial lighting makes it do weird things to blue pigments. Natural really is the way. It's a little more subtle than what people are used to seeing with in digital camera output, but that's not a bad thing. (I turn the saturation down a notch further, and usually increase contrast one step. But that's my own personal preference.)

The auto white balance is excellent. I almost never switch from that.

I leave the distortion and chromatic aberration correction on almost all of the time, even when shooting with nice lenses. But if you want a fast burst rate, turn it off. (And if you like to chimp, it'll be super annoying.)

And, now that I can't get memory cards smaller than 4GB easily, I shoot RAW+. I generally use the JPEGs, but shooting the RAW files too gives me the option.

08-27-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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This is great info! I have been worrying myself to death about all the options in the camera and whether or not I should leave them at default or fine tune them. I have LR3 so theres not much in the way of Lens corrections it cant do. If I stick to shooting Raw I wont have to worry about the WB or Shadow corrections or sharpening. I guess I knew the answers to this all along, but just didnt know if any of you experienced folks had any luck or found any use for any of the in camera corrections.

Anyone else who would like to add any difference of opinion or just reinforce what I'm already getting here please do so.

Also, JeffJS about the spot meter/center point AF...do you find that that set up takes care of just about any shooting situation? Say for instance I want to shoot a landscape or sunset/sunrise scene wouldn't I want to meter for the entire frame? Or should I spot meter on the center? I get that when shooting people or objects you want to spot meter, but just curious if that works just as well with a broader scene.
08-28-2010, 03:17 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikro Quote
Also, JeffJS about the spot meter/center point AF...do you find that that set up takes care of just about any shooting situation? Say for instance I want to shoot a landscape or sunset/sunrise scene wouldn't I want to meter for the entire frame? Or should I spot meter on the center? I get that when shooting people or objects you want to spot meter, but just curious if that works just as well with a broader scene.

Mikro, Do whatever works for you. I use center point AF exclusively because I see no point in either letting the camera choose or having some point in the side of the frame be the focus point. I'll never remember to check it anyway. Focus and reframe works fine for me.

I don't actually do a lot of landscapes or sunsets. However, when I have a scene when I want details in everything (no blown out sky, etc), I'll pick a near gray object somewhere within the scene and meter that. If I'm using an Auto exposure such as Av (or Tv), and the scene is particularly difficult, then I'll go to M, meter my chosen spot, and set the exposure accordingly. When I look at somebody's photo of a landscape, I visualize how I may have taken the shot. If the sky is partly cloudy for instance, I would expose for a gray spot in the clouds. Matrix or Center spot may work equally well or even better in some situations. My first meter however was a Pentax spot meter and that's how I learned to use one so I stick with it.

08-28-2010, 04:17 AM   #11
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That about settles it. I think thats the easiest way. If you are spot metering, and focusing on the center and you know that then you should always have your subject metered correctly and in focus. I like that idea and I think I'll try it for a while, and probably stick with it as well.

Thanks again.
08-28-2010, 04:28 AM   #12
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Be careful with that.. In most situations I find that it works fine but there are some where some thought and adjustment is required. Remember what your meter is actually telling you. The good news is that you can determine right away if you have it proper or at least close. I'd suggest reading the following and learning how to apply it to your metering if you're going to use Spot.

Zone System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It would really be slick (I think so anyway) if Pentax's spot metering was like that on my Olympus OM4. I can spot meter several points as well as tell the meter what is black, and what is white, and it will make the best calculated exposure based on the information collected.

08-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikro Quote
That about settles it. I think thats the easiest way. If you are spot metering, and focusing on the center and you know that then you should always have your subject metered correctly and in focus. I like that idea and I think I'll try it for a while, and probably stick with it as well.
The 77-zone matrix metering in the K-7 is quite good. Spot metering is really mostly applicable for special cases, and you should expect to use it in combination with EV compensation (or manual exposure settings).

Experiment and see what works for you, of course.
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