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05-02-2011, 11:27 AM   #1
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It has to be better, right?

I have never used a dslr. My current camera is a sony cyber-shot 3.3 megapixel which I've had for 11 years. My question is, am I going to be able to get decent pictures out of the k-x auto mode while I'm learning how to use it. My thought is that going from a point and shoot 3.3 mp to a k-x even the bad pictures should look better. I just don't want to have a chunk of my children's lives where all they have is blurred pictures because I couldn't use the camera right.

I have looked at alot of pictures on this forum that were took using the k-x and kit lens and they look good. However, it seems like most of those were took by people who know what they're doing and have numerous cameras and lenses in their signatures.


m2mny

05-02-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mom2mny Quote
going from a point and shoot 3.3 mp to a k-x even the bad pictures should look better.
Actually, just the opposite is true. The more a system relies on the operator's understanding, decision making, and input; the worse the results are likely to be if the person holding on to it doesn't do their part.
I would suggest posting some of the photos, with EXIF intact, that you feel should have looked better and you will have plenty of suggestions/opinions as to what, if anything, could be done to improve the quality of future pics.
05-02-2011, 11:51 AM   #3
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P&S cameras have some inherent advantages. They have a lot more depth of field, so they can miss the focus and you won't notice. They boost color and contrast in the camera to make the photo look better. They can be a better package, where all the parts work with each other and know each others limits. And the designers focus on complete automation. It can be hard to compete with a current generation P&S, which will also make an 11-year-old camera look bad. The difference will be mostly up to you.
05-02-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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As another newbie and recent owner of a K-x, I can tell you that the "better pictures" will depend on you. The auto mode with auto focus will work fine in most of the cases, but I've had more fun learning how to use the full potential of the camera.

I've been using Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure book, and the camera manual (and some Google), to learn my way around manual and priority modes. The forums are very useful and I've learned a lot just by reading the posts.

I try to practice as much as I can with the equipment I have, to develop "muscle" memory . It doesn't take much of my day, and it's a fun way to spend my free time.

Going back to your original question, use your new camera as an excuse to take more pictures of your children (portraits, action, etc.) Some of the pictures will be ok, others not. But when the important events come, you'll know what works and what doesn't.

Good luck.

05-02-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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Autopict on the K-X will in general do a good job even in dim light. The flash in Autopict, not so much. Pentax picked very poor flash settings for Autopict. The low light capabilities of the K-X are very good, so flash is not needed as often as with the Sony you have now.
05-02-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mom2mny Quote
My question is, am I going to be able to get decent pictures out of the k-x auto mode
m2mny
A dslr in auto-mode is essentially a point and shoot...albeit a good one! I don't think you will get a blurred photos using auto mode (maybe in action scenes) but you may not get the "leap" in image quality as you may expect. The first time I compared my K-x in auto mode against my wife's Canon SX120 I was terribly disappointed...the Canon produced equal and sometimes better pictures! As mentioned by Just1MoreDave above, P&S were designed for complete automation and ease of use...SLR/dSLR were not. IMHO about the only advantage a dSLR (in automode) has against a point and shoot is the large picture file it will produce good for large printing. I've had my K-x for over a year now and still in the learning curve. My pictures got better and better as I learned how to use the right settings for the right occasions (ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Etc.).

I suggest learn your dSLR and its features. Th K-x is rated for at least 100,000 shutter actuation so don't be afraid to experiment with ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, White balance, Composition, etc. Shoot RAW or RAW+ and practice post processing. I still use automode myself but on rare occasions only. The more you stay away from automode the more you will learn. The K-x is a very very capable camera and so as the kit lens. Once you learn all the basics you will see significant improvements in your photography overtime. When I compare my K-x shots now against the SX120, I sometimes think there maybe something wrong with the Canon....images doesn't compare with my K-x

Most important of all, enjoy photography!

Last edited by K57XR; 05-02-2011 at 12:26 PM.
05-02-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone! I do plan to "play" (practice) with my k-x to learn how to use the manual modes, etc. I am just hoping that while I'm learning I'll have auto mode as a back up in case I'm just not "gettng it" yet. We have 7 kids and we live out in the country. So, I think that I'll have plenty of opportunities for practice. I've been spending all my free time on this forum trying to learn as much as I can before my camera comes. A lot of the things that I read about though seem like they'll be easier to understand once I get the camera in my hands.
05-02-2011, 01:17 PM   #8
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You might want to check Yvon Borque's manual for assistance.
His explaining of every topic connected with the camera is very clear and easy to follow.

Pentax e-books

05-02-2011, 01:54 PM   #9
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The other thing to note is the "P" mode on the K-x is very good. I pretty quickly went to it and still mostly use it for quick photos (like of the kids). It will automatically judge the exposure (which sometimes you might need a bit of compensation with) and still allows you full shutter / aperture control. It really is quite easy to use.

The other things that helped me improve initially was moving from multipoint focus to centre point focus (focus and recompose method) and also changing exposure mode to centre weighted.
It seems to me that the less the camera is "guessing" what you want the better the desired outcome is.
05-02-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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Just switching to a dslr doesnt mean you will take awesome photos all of a sudden it is a common misconception and people should not buy a dslr thinking at it be a changer. I know a lot of people jump onto that bandwagon. I have friends that have done this thinking I'm going to get awesome pictures of my kids now. The camera will give the ability to take beautiful photos but all it takes is one bad setting and your picture that was a once in a lifetime moment to turn into garbage. First learn then decide. Photography isnt about the equipment but the use of the equipment.
05-02-2011, 07:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
The other thing to note is the "P" mode on the K-x is very good. I pretty quickly went to it and still mostly use it for quick photos (like of the kids). It will automatically judge the exposure (which sometimes you might need a bit of compensation with) and still allows you full shutter / aperture control. It really is quite easy to use.

The other things that helped me improve initially was moving from multipoint focus to centre point focus (focus and recompose method) and also changing exposure mode to centre weighted.
It seems to me that the less the camera is "guessing" what you want the better the desired outcome is.
Good advice there. I agree completely.
05-02-2011, 10:28 PM   #12
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I learned how to take pictures on a very simple SLR. Although, I'm very much an amateur photographer and only recently picked up the hobby again. I suggest you try to shoot in the manual mode when you have the oppurtunity to experiment. It may be initially frustrating, but you'll figure out the basics of balancing shutter speed, apeture and DOF pretty quickly. Its much more rewarding using a DSLR when you know how it is actually working.
05-02-2011, 11:51 PM   #13
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This thread may prove of some use to you.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/141538-metering-av-tv-mode.html

The goal of my responses in that thread is to help in understanding exposure and how to manipulate your camera to get the most out of it in a given situation.

05-03-2011, 12:58 AM   #14
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With seven children, it must be hard to get enough time to devote to learning about photography, let alone shoot.

Starting out, there's nothing wrong with using those 'green' auto modes according to your shooting situation - the K-x makes it easy by being able to flip to a portrait, or sports, or landscape mode to simplify your choices. Then later on as you get more savvy with your creativity, you can get into the less automated modes and get the results you visualise in your head before you take the shot. All that comes with time and practice.

In the meantime, just enjoy the hobby.
05-03-2011, 12:20 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
With seven children, it must be hard to get enough time to devote to learning about photography, let alone shoot.
[ ... snip ... ]
the K-x makes it easy by being able to flip to a portrait, or sports, or landscape mode to simplify your choices.
The K-x even has a "kids" scene mode!

Regards,
--Anders.
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