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04-17-2011, 07:51 PM   #1
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X90 Movie Mode

Hello

When I tried the movie mode indoors, with my new Pentax X90 it produces an underexposed orangy/yellow movie image.

Can anyone advise how I can improve the indoor recorded movie quality under:-

1. Normal room electrical lighting conditions.

2. How do I go about improving indoor lighting conditions (without breaking the bank) to provide more successfully recorded video with respect to lighting conditions.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

04-17-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums! Try changing the white balance to correct the color problems. Described on pages 124-125 in your manual.

Last edited by HEEGZ; 04-20-2011 at 06:34 PM.
04-18-2011, 06:46 AM   #3
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X90 Movie Mode

Hello HEEGZ

Thanks for the welcome and pointing me in the right direction.

White balance.... I should have known that!

Initially I tried the preset Tungsten setting although it improved it was still marginally out with a bias still to orangy / yellow.

Then I tried the manual setting using a sheet of white A4 paper.

What a difference.... great.... this will be my preferred choice for setting white balance indoors.

Further Advice
If you don't mind me asking..... are there any nice feature on the X90 that you would consider worth me investigating?

Thanks Again and in advance.
04-18-2011, 05:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
Hello HEEGZ

Thanks for the welcome and pointing me in the right direction.

White balance.... I should have known that!

Initially I tried the preset Tungsten setting although it improved it was still marginally out with a bias still to orangy / yellow.

Then I tried the manual setting using a sheet of white A4 paper.

What a difference.... great.... this will be my preferred choice for setting white balance indoors.
I'm glad the manual white balance worked out. Make sure to reset your manual setting when you are in a new indoors shooting location.

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
Further Advice
If you don't mind me asking..... are there any nice feature on the X90 that you would consider worth me investigating?

Thanks Again and in advance.
Hmm, nothing really comes to mind as far as recommendations. I recently got rid of my Canon camera that is in the same category as your X90 (a SX10 IS), and one thing I found it did a nice job of is macro shots. It is spring so you might go out and shoot some images of flowers or insects. When I did this on a whim last spring it sort of renewed my interest in art photography (read: non-snapshots) and culminated in my purchase of a K-7. Here's two of the macros I took that ended up being interesting to me, that I normally didn't attempt or even think about:





04-19-2011, 08:40 AM   #5
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They are great Macro shots.
I can understand your interest in this type of photograph, it captures my interest too!
Excuse the pun

It was the 1cm macro feature that attracted me to the X90.

It's the clarity of detail that's amazing, I like your photographs>
Were these images taken on the K-7 or Canon?

When moving from a bridge camera to Digital SLR. The K7 looks like a great camera...... but there's a big price difference between the K-7 and X90.

My problem when considering a Digital SLR is what do I get for the price difference that makes a difference?
04-19-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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I like your macro shots, it's the clarity of detail that's impressive?
Did you take them on the K-7 or Canon?

I wouldn't know where to start when going from Bridge Camera to Digital SLR.
What did the K7 offer for you, apart from the the ability to change lenses to improve picture quality, that was the deciding factor for you to go for the K-7?
04-19-2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
They are great Macro shots.
I can understand your interest in this type of photograph, it captures my interest too!
Excuse the pun

It was the 1cm macro feature that attracted me to the X90.

It's the clarity of detail that's amazing, I like your photographs>
Were these images taken on the K-7 or Canon?

When moving from a bridge camera to Digital SLR. The K7 looks like a great camera...... but there's a big price difference between the K-7 and X90.

My problem when considering a Digital SLR is what do I get for the price difference that makes a difference?
Thank you for the compliments. Both macros were taken with my Canon SX10 IS before I purchased the K-7. The summer before (2009) I had just purchased the bridge camera as an upgrade from a cheaper point and shoot Canon. It took me about a year to get really comfortable with it. For snapshots and family events a bridge camera works great. I found that I could be a lot more creative with Photoshop than I could with the in-camera options, so I started to feel the need for better control of my images.

The main problem with a bridge camera is that you cannot manually control them as easily as a SLR, and the image quality will never be as good as you can achieve with a SLR. My brother started teaching me the basics of photography, and as soon as I understood the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO then I decided to finally upgrade to a DSLR. To specifically answer your last question, for the price difference you get more convenient, faster, and better manual control over images that are of a higher quality. There are some others but those are the big ones in my opinion. These are only worth the price (IMO) if you are willing to learn how to actually take photos, not use Auto mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxExpression Quote
I wouldn't know where to start when going from Bridge Camera to Digital SLR.
What did the K7 offer for you, apart from the the ability to change lenses to improve picture quality, that was the deciding factor for you to go for the K-7?
My brother owns a K10 and a few months ago bought a K-5 so he talked me into buying Pentax. This was before the K-5 and K-r were announced last fall so I mostly considered the K-x and K-7. The deciding factors for me were the weather sealed and strongly constructed body of the K-7, as well as the second e-dial on the front of the K-7. Another factor is price, the K-7 currently gives you the best quality construction, features, and performance of any DSLR on the market. It's only negative aspect is that it is not good at ISO above 1600-2200, but only the most recent cameras are anyways.

It sounds to me like you are considering a Pentax DSLR but don't want to spend a lot of money. The best way to get the most quality for the price is to buy a K-x with the 18-55 kit lens and either a 50-200 or 55-300 lens. These combinations can be found online for around $500-700 and even less if you get them used. I was in the position of not knowing which focal lengths I would shoot at the most and so I bought these cheaper kit zooms to help me figure out what lengths I shoot at the most. With the exception of the occasional long shot, I normally shoot at wide angle. So for me, I really need lenses in the 8-35mm range and my only lens below 35mm is the kit zoom. In retrospect I would have been better served by the 12-24mm zoom, but I didn't know that at the time. Also, it is very hard or impossible to get great wide-angle performance from a bridge camera.

Depending on your comprehension of photography, it is a good idea to stick with a bridge camera for as long as possible until your grasp of photographic technique surpasses the abilities of your camera. At that point you should progress to a SLR and continue learning with the new options that are open to you. The wrinkle in this advice is that there are new camera technologies out there such as the 4/3rds cameras that offer yet another option. Personally I absolutely love DSLR image capturing and wouldn't trade it for anything. Also, I recently bought a thin Canon point and shoot (A1200) as a take with me everywhere camera to fill in all of those occasions when I don't lug a DSLR around with me. Hope my experience helps.
04-20-2011, 01:45 PM   #8
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Hello HEEGZ

Thanks for sharing your learing experience with me.

Yes you have it.... I am at this point reluctant to go Digital SLR due to the price.

You Wrote:
QuoteQuote:
As soon as I understood the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO
I had a very old film SLR years ago, so your jogging some old grey matter!
Well that's a great starting point for me too, thanks.
I'll look at these aspects first.

You Wrote:
QuoteQuote:
It is a good idea to stick with a bridge camera for as long as possible until your grasp of photographic technique surpasses the abilities of your camera.
I would agree with that. It's best I get familiar with the X90 first, well I just got it , then I'll be able to work out what restrictions / limitations I have and be able to make an educated descision later.

Thanks again for sharing.



04-20-2011, 06:34 PM   #9
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You're welcome. Set a goal, perhaps this Christmas, and see if you can figure out how to take images manually, or semi-manually with your X90. Try out the macros, and the different kind of images that you want. You may find at the end of the year that you are completely happy with your X90 and have no need for another camera. On the other hand, you may realize that you would be better off with a nicer camera that you can get more creative with. For me, the answer was a mid-range DSLR and a point and shoot to carry every day.
10-27-2011, 01:34 AM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
I would agree with that. It's best I get familiar with the X90 first, well I just got it , then I'll be able to work out what restrictions / limitations I have and be able to make an educated descision later.
Hi PentaxExpression, and welcome to you and your great X90. I am sure you will get a lot of good pictures out of it - its a fine camera and its a lot easier to carry around than a DSLR

Like all digital cameras with small sensors it has certain characteristics (DSLR Users call them weaknesses).
  • Low light shots using a high ISO setting will show a lot of noise. Set your auto ISO to 800 max or even 400 max.
  • Its difficult to get a small depth of field to blur backgrounds. Set zoom to 5 (or more), use Av and set the aperture to f/4 (or widest) and ensure there is a large distance behind the subject to the background.
Remember that really great photographs come from the person behind the camera. Its all about getting the right lighting, choosing the subject, composing the image, and capturing the mood. Yes, the final image quality from the X90 is not bad at all if you have good lighting and work within the characteristics of the camera, but bear in mind that you will get different results to a DSLR with a larger sensor, even at the same focal length lens settings. I really seriously recommend reading the manual over and over until you really understand each section, and experiment a lot. Get your images onto your PC and look at them critically, asking yourself what would make them better? Then try the same shot again and see how that comes out. The more time you spend shooting with your camera, the better you will get to know it and its characteristics.

Try to move to "P" (Program Mode) settings - and away from AUTO - as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. P mode gives you more flexibility. Also, learn to spot very high contrast subjects with bright white areas as well as dark shadowed or black areas. The whites will blow out and show no detail and the dark areas similarly will lose definition. If you just have to take shots like that you may want to go into the menu system to D-Range Settings and switch Shadow Correction ON. Don't be tempted to switch Highlight Correction ON as this automatically sets the minimum ISO to 160. Its better to control the Highlights by setting the Exposure Compensation (the little +/- button behind the shutter) to a negative (-) value. For most highlights -1.0 to -1.3 works quite well. Make sure you press the DISP button to show the histogram in the shooting display so over-exposed highlights flash red and under-exposed shadows flash yellow. Then adjust the exposure compensation to minimize the flashing red.

Its also really worthwhile getting yourself a good post processing program for your PC. Mostly you will want to modify the white balance, correct small exposure errors, reduce noise and sharpen images as well as cropping the final result. Its worthwhile also being able to re-size the images if you use them on a website or email them to friends and family. Its also useful to check what your images would look like in black and white and so on, all easy with software. There are some pretty good free programs around but ultimately Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop are probably the most powerful and versatile.

I would also seriously recommend that you visit the "Compact Digital & Film Cameras" section of these forums and read what other members have to say, and you would definitely benefit from looking through the Point and Shoot Contests (you will find the latest competition at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-compact-digital-film-cameras/16105...aposition.html ). The advantage is that you will see the sort of results people are getting from similar cameras to the X90 (and I shoot with an X90 in the competitions). Even if you choose not to enter until you feel more confident, try taking some shots that match the competition theme each month, and then compare your images with those of the entrants. Be self-critical. How do you think your photographs compare?

You may want to look back over several past competitions as well. Look at the winning entries and you will see that they are not always the pictures with the best image quality, but rather the pictures with the best composition, the most interesting subject, and/or the most eye-catching colors. While many people on this forum don't think much of him, I like the way Ken Rockwell teaches composition. Just don't take his comments and acronyms too seriously. His webpage on Composition is well worth the read as are many of his other pages.

Lastly, keep in mind that every camera has its own limitations. Next time your X90 is laughed at in the late afternoon, or in dim light, by someone lugging a DSLR with a long lens, just show them an image with a fairly close-up subject and a distant background, all in sharp focus, and ask them to do the same. Then smile as they bluster about not having the right lens with them, and the light is not bright enough. Just as it is difficult for a small sensor camera to get a very narrow depth of field, so it is difficult for a DSLR to achieve a very wide depth of field without a wide angle lens set to a small aperture which forces a slow shutter speed in dim light... There is a very good reason that DSLR users often carry a small compact camera with them as well. Sometimes it is the best way to get the shot - maybe the ONLY way!

The very best photographs are taken with the camera you have with you at the time. Use your X90 properly and it will reward you with some excellent images. Good luck.
10-28-2011, 01:58 AM   #11
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Hello Anton

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

It's been a while since I was on the forum.
I have been working through the user manual and am pleased with the results I get.
With respect to the movie mode the ISO would appear to be fixed.
I have accepted that in movie mode under indoor lighting the best results are by setting AWB manually.
There's not anything can be done about the graininess without additional indoor lighting in movie mode but then really it's a stills camera. For movie mode I have started investigating movie cameras that work well in poor lighting conditions.... it's a mean task!
The Finepix S1500 I had, may have had a better movie mode but did not produce the quality of still images especially macro mode images of the X90.

I am just enjoying the X90 now and not rushing.
Everytime I refer to the manual I learn something new.

The most important lesson I learnt when purchasing a new camera is don't sell your current one in a hurry. You may be selling a feature that works especially well in certain circumstances that even a camera of the same model, may not produce the same results.
Possibly a unique tolerance thing!

When I choose to purchase again, I won't be selling my X90 in a hurry, that's for sure!

Thanks for the links and reminder about the monthly competition.
I was making an effort to enter the monthly competion because it takes me out of my comfort zone but have been distracted .......
also ............

It's fun

Last edited by PentaxExpression; 10-28-2011 at 02:05 AM.
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