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12-31-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
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How good is metering and WB in KX?

Hello,
How good is the metering and the auto white balance in the KX? I'm thinking of buying one but the DP review lists this as not a strength. Since I am a beginner this is important to me. Is highlight clipping a problem? My alternative is to spend more and get a Canon T2i. Thank you for your comments and advice.

12-31-2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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Well, compared to the K20D, I've found the K-x to have much better AWB in artificial lighting. I can set it on AWB and it just works.

Metering is also fairly accurate with the K-x, but I believe as with all Pentax cameras, there is a tendency to underexpose a bit to reduce the chance of clipping highlights. However, if you shoot with some knowledge of the Zone system, you can avoid most cases of the camera underexposing. So I wouldn't worry about it.
12-31-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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From personal experience (only with the Kx) I find the WB to be very good. Most of the time I only change the WB a tiny bit in PP and that is because I am very particular about those kinds of things. If you were to do no PP the WB would still be very good (with the occasional mishap).

I find that I normally shoot at or around +0.3. I agree with the previous poster that Pentax does tend to under-expose a bit. It doesn't bother me though. I don't even think about it anymore, my natural reaction is to shoot when I see the meter go just above the even.
01-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RayJayR Quote
Hello,
How good is the metering and the auto white balance in the KX? I'm thinking of buying one but the DP review lists this as not a strength. Since I am a beginner this is important to me. Is highlight clipping a problem? My alternative is to spend more and get a Canon T2i. Thank you for your comments and advice.
I think in the real world, you can't just accept full-auto for either of these, no matter what camera you use. For WB, the review for the Canon T2i sounds a bit more positive than the K-x:

"The EOS 550D doesn't do a great job here in our test environment, and none of these images is accurate, all being rather too warm."

"The K-x's white balance performance under artificial light is a bit of a double-edged sword. The presets do a very decent job (out of the fluorescent options warm white worked best for our lighting) but Auto White Balance only produces very average results."


It sounds to me like either camera's Auto WB setting is not reliable enough to pick one or the other. They go on to praise presets in the K-x, which helps skip a step, while the cure for T2i inaccuracies is a custom WB, a bit more trouble.

I didn't find comments on metering, but IMO, you still have to pay attention and override the meter if necessary. Metering isn't perfect for all scenes, and it never asks what you want the scene to look like. I don't think any system is smart enough to know automatically when I deliberately want to overexpose one part of the scene.

01-01-2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
<snip>
I don't think any system is smart enough to know automatically when I deliberately want to overexpose one part of the scene.
Neither am I - unless you are doing high-key why would you want to overexpose parts of the image when logically that would lead to blown highlights?
01-01-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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Blown highlights might be in a part of the scene that I don't care about, or reflections from a flash that can't be avoided.

This is not a great example, but the best I can find now. (If I can find a better one I'll put it up.) If I reduce exposure so the sun is "properly" exposed, the rest of the photo just about vanishes.



I take the opposite of that photo all the time, when I try to get a moon photo. In that case, I want the moon to be properly exposed and I'm less concerned with the sky. The meter ignores the moon unless I use a really long lens (1000mm) to make it large in the scene. So I have to underexpose to get a typical moon photo.

Another example (bad photo, good example) is an indoor shot under natural daylight, with a window in the frame. My *ist DS chose to meter this scene to preserve some window detail:



You sort of have to pretend there's an important subject here to make this a valid example. But if there was, it would be better to properly expose the subject than the window view. I overexposed here, blew out the windows and got betteer exposure of the room.
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