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12-24-2010, 07:57 AM   #1
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Am I doing something wrong? Pentax K-r trouble.

Hi,

I just got my Pentax K-r twin lens kit. I was really excited to try out my first DSLR and start taking great pics...but no.

I know that for some of you, these questions may seem banal and unwarranted, but I though best to check with the community before returning my camera or giving up.

First of all, it makes CONSTANT rattling noise while in operation. And I do not mean the sensor moving - it's something inside the camera churning away all the time. What is it? Why is it doing it?

Then, the pictures come out all blury. When I press down the shutter button, it makes TWO click sounds, like it's taking two pictures. It only takes one, and unless the camera's down on a hard surface, the pictures are blurry.

Also, it zooms in and then out to confirm the focus point - can this be disabled?

The autofocus is very slow, and sometimes it will not let me take a picture unless it's been able to focus - which it often can not. It can not focus at all on things that are close by. Do I need a different lens for that?

To zoom in - you have to manually turn the ring on the lens - is this correct? There is no button for that on the camera?

I had none of these problems with my fantastic, silent, ultra-light, 4 times cheaper Panasonic compact. It can also focus on objects that are right in front of the lens.

Maybe I have no idea what I'm doing. Maybe it's supposed to be complicated to deter amateurs from taking good photos?

Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks so much!




Last edited by lisali; 12-24-2010 at 08:23 AM.
12-24-2010, 08:26 AM   #2
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Yeah, odds are you are doing something wrong. Mind posting a picture or two so we can help determine what it is?
The noise is the sensor positioner. The sensor is held in position by the same mechanism that controls shake reduction, and it does make a bit of noise, though I'm surprised it is audible enough.
If the camera is making a sort of grinding buzzing noise, I would have to wonder what your exposure times are, since this generally only happens after fairly long exposures and is a normal operating sound.
If you are hearing two distinct clicks, you are hearing the shutter open and then close. If you can hear it doing that, then the shutter is open far to long to get a sharp picture handheld.
The autofocus does what it does. How dark a room are you trying to shoot in? The AF is optical and needs light to work.
Yes, you will probably need a macro lens to take close up pictures. Your lens will have a minumum focus distance.

You are moving from a camera that does everthing for you to a camera that requires some input from the photographer.
The trade off is that the SLR will give better pictures once you have taken the time to educate yourself about how to use it.
SLR cameras are called advanced cameras for a reason. If you want to put a bit of effort into it, you will be rewarded with better pictures than your Panasonic will give back, though if all you do is post pictures on Facebook and that sort of thing, the SLR is a waste, since it is way more camera than is needed.

Again, post a couple of pictures that are fails please.
12-24-2010, 08:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by lisali Quote
First of all, it makes CONSTANT rattling noise while in operation. And I do not mean the sensor moving - it's something inside the camera churning away all the time. What is it? Why is it doing it?
That's shake reduction doing it's thing during live view. My recommendation- look through the viewfinder, it's there for a reason!

QuoteOriginally posted by lisali Quote
Then, the pictures come out all blury. When I press down the shutter button, it makes TWO click sounds, like it's taking two pictures. It only takes one, and unless the camera's down on a hard surface, the pictures are blurry.
Shooting in live view isn't as refined as doing it the old way. Again, I recommend not using live view unless you have a good reason for it (i.e. you're on a tripod and can't look through the VF because it's obstructed)

The reason you hear two sounds is that the shutter first has to close, open at the set shutter speed, close, then open again to go back into live view.

The bottom line: don't use LV off a tripod unless you've got a good reason for it.

QuoteOriginally posted by lisali Quote
Also, it zooms in and then out to confirm the focus point - can this be disabled?
It's not actually zooming, but rather just magnifying the image so you can see if it's really in focus. I'm not sure if this can be disabled, but maybe there's a setting for it.

QuoteOriginally posted by lisali Quote
The autofocus is very slow, and sometimes it will not let me take a picture unless it's been able to focus - which it often can not. It can not focus at all on things that are close by. Do I need a different lens for that?
Don't use live view, the AF in live view still sucks compared to the regular AF (see our K-5 review videos)

QuoteOriginally posted by lisali Quote
To zoom in - you have to manually turn the ring on the lens - is this correct? There is no button for that on the camera?
Correct. The K-r isn't a P&S camera! While this doesn't apply to any lenses you'll likely be using, there are some older lenses with feature "power zoom" which can save you the effort.

QuoteOriginally posted by lisali Quote
I had none of these problems with my fantastic, silent, ultra-light, 4 times cheaper Panasonic compact. It can also focus on objects that are right in front of the lens. Maybe I have no idea what I'm doing. Maybe it's supposed to be complicated to deter amateurs from taking good photos?
It sounds to me like you'd be happier with a sub-SLR like the Pentax X90, which can do everything with one lens and is designed to be used with the screen on (what us DSLR users call "Live View").

Your K-r's kit lens isn't a macro lens, and while it can focus on things fairly close by, it doesn't have nearly enough magnification for flower close-ups, etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by lisali Quote
The autofocus is very slow, and sometimes it will not let me take a picture unless it's been able to focus
Use AF.C if you'd like to lift that restriction, but again as I mentioned earlier, I think all your problems will go away if you just start using the viewfinder. Hope this helps!

Adam
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12-24-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
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Ah. Wow. What a huge difference turning off LiveView meant! Things are focusing FAST now, without the silly "zoom in then out" trick. Pics are in focus. Even relatively close-up things. For indoors shots, flash has to be turned on though.

Again - wow! How could such a small thing make such an enormous difference? Coming from a compact, I was used to always looking at the screen, so I just did not even think to turn LiveView off.

I have lots and lots to learn now!

Thanks SO so much to Adam and Wheatfield for your help & advice!
Happy holidays to all!

12-24-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
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Using the screen is also a great way to get camera shake, compared to proping the camera against your face and your elbows against your sides.
12-24-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
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Ferget everything I said, it hadn't occurred to me that you had LiveView turned on.
12-24-2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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I was just about to ask about disabling the silly live view focus box magnification area... anyone now how to turn that off? It freaks me out enough, but handing the camera to a noob makes them almost drop the thing. "whoa, what did I do!?!?" Thus no good photos of me and my wife at the holiday party. :-( (and no, no one there could use the viewfinder... bah-humbug!)
12-24-2010, 04:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Using the screen is also a great way to get camera shake, compared to proping the camera against your face and your elbows against your sides.
i shot in LV just fine, I wear glasses, so glass on glass is never good for me... I think the OP is in some manual mode that's making his picture blurry.

Do this OP, turn the dial to AV mode, set the set the aperature around 5-8, take a shot and see what happen.

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