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07-20-2011, 09:01 AM   #1
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Pentax K-x settings

Hello. I am not happy with my Pentax K-x camera, so I was wondering what settings you guys use the camera to take pictures of people? And what settings you use when you take macro shots, and what settings you use when you take pictures as the sunset?
I would be very happy if you could answer me, even if this post is trash.

07-20-2011, 09:31 AM   #2
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What exactly are you not happy with your K-x? What lens are you using? IMHO, the optimal setting to get the best possible picture is whatever the situation requires and what effect you desire for your particular subject or scenery. With enough practice choosing these settings should become second nature. Could you post some sample images?
07-20-2011, 09:33 AM   #3
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K-x Settings

Without some sample photos it will be difficult to assess the issues. If you can post one or two we might be able to help.

Some users will champion manual settings, but I always start with a shot or two in automatic or "P", which is sort of automatic with benefits. Return your camera to default settings if you have made radical adjustments. The A or P setting will probably give you acceptable, if maybe not perfect, results. A or P will at least give you a baseline to begin looking for more perfect results.

There are "scene" settings for most conditions, including portraits, moving subjects, macro etc. "Scene" settings will make multiple changes with one twist of the dial. Try these before going manual.

If you want to learn to shoot manually, use the data from the A or P photo as a starting point and make small adustments.
07-20-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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It depends on the situation...it is not the same taking a picture of a person at the beach or in a dark kitchen, macro normally requires flash, etc.
What lens do you use?. can you post some of the pictures you don't like? People will give you more specific details and suggestions

07-20-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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I use the original lens because I just bought Pentax K-x. Before I bought the Pentax K-x I used the Canon EOS 7D with 70-200mm 1:2.8 (IF) Macro lens (TAMRON). I know that the first camera i had was a little more professional than the Pentax, tho.
07-20-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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well...I have no idea about canon, but I don't think you can compare the results of a kit lens and a kx to the other equipment you mention.

PS- I have a K-x and I love it
07-20-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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The camera is less the issue for the Macro than the lens. The Tamron that you had with the Canon was made to do Macro, there is no lens bundled with the Pentax K-x that is specialized for Macro like your old lens. I'll just pass on the slam about professional cameras.
07-20-2011, 08:33 PM   #8
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For people and sunsets, I really prefer to have control over white balance. I do this by shooting in RAW. If you like JPG, for people you can use a card, filter or even paper to set the white balance, or one of the presets if there's one for the type of lighting you're under. Sometimes you can get it right later with software, but don't count on it. For sunsets, the flexibility of adjusting white balance in processing is great. It's also harder to set an appropriate WB beforehand. I might just set the camera to flash WB, 5500K, and hope.

For people, Focus must be on the person. Exposure usually has to be correct on the person, everywhere else falls wherever, unless you're aiming for an effect like silhouette. In advance, look for ways the meter might be fooled, then be prepared to adjust exposure to get it right. Depth of field should usually include the whole person; adjust Av to get that right. Adjust shutter speed to be fast enough to capture the person naturally. Maybe adjust ISO to suit the other values, or let the camera handle that. Use whatever mode you like to make the adjustments.

For sunsets, I would focus manually. If you're worried about focusing with the sun in the viewfinder, focus with live view or just back off a bit from infinity. Then turn off AF. The camera might have trouble with AF at the best moment. The sun will fool the meter somehow if it's in the frame. A test shot will help figure out how the meter is wrong. With the kit lens, I'd stick with f8 to f11, any shutter speed you can handhold, the lowest possible ISO. I might take several shots at different exposures and select the perfect one later. The sun moves fast; be ready.

Macro with the kit lens is only 1:3 magnification, but still, shutter speed needs to be higher than typical to freeze motion. Aperture needs to be small (high f number) to maximize depth of field. I'd start at f11, 1/180 and see if that's enough for the light I had.

That Canon setup is what, only $2000 more?

07-20-2011, 08:45 PM   #9
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Hi Hideyokids (that's a worrying name...)

How are you metering? OR... Which metering mode are you using?

You said you used a 7D but how extensive is you DSLR usage?

The K-x is nowhere near the spec (or price) of the 7D but a very capable camera nonetheless...

As wsteffey and K57XR pointed out without sample images and specific complaints there's really no way to help you...
07-21-2011, 06:50 AM   #10
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I like the Kx so much that I bought a second one. The key is to read the manual. I compared thoroughly to the Nikon D90 before I bought it. The Kx won by a long shot. Its small anf fits everywwhere. Wheather protection is the only thing I miss sometimes.

Last edited by Pepe Guitarra; 07-21-2011 at 10:07 AM.
07-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #11
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different settings for different situations. What are you not liking about your photos? There are so many apsects that can affect it: composition, color, exposure, lighting, etc.

how long have you been shooting for? do you know the basics of photography (the items i mentioned above?) Tell us more so we can help you.
08-01-2011, 12:53 AM   #12
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Problems with speed and light

I have Pentax k110 D; I loved my camera until recent when my husband's motorbike races are now at night, the problem lies herein. I can use the fast moving object but then I can't use the nighttime setting and vice versa. How can I get both settings. There's plenty of lite in stadium but the pics just don't turn out with any quality. Daytime photos...not a better camera in the world for me, but night time is turning into a terror. help? Do I need to go back to my 35 mm for racing at night?
08-01-2011, 08:42 AM   #13
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There is nothing magic about the moving object or night time setting. All they do is try to choose ap propriae ISO, apertures, and shutter speeds for you. Visit your loal library or bookstore or spend some time with Google and you can learn all you need about exposure to control these settings yourself. And I don't mean you have to use manual mode; I mean, you can learn how to us automatic modes like Av to get the results you want. Although you'll also learn along the way why shooting moving objects in low light is a recipe for blur no matter what.
08-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #14
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You can't get both settings but you can try to find your own combination. It is going to be a little tricky because it only looks bright to you, not to your camera. Then you want to capture speed, normally requiring a fast shutter speed, which doesn't allow much time for the camera to gather light.

I suggest setting the camera to Auto ISO, page 117 of the manual. That allows the camera to choose how sensitive the sensor is to light. Then turn the mode dial to Tv, page 136 in the manual. That will allow you to set a particular shutter speed with the e-dial, and the camera will try to adjust aperture to use that shutter speed and still get a correct exposure.

With these settings, you'll have to do some test-shooting.

1. You want to set a fast shutter speed, like 1/250 or 1/500 and take some shots. Check to see if the meter is blinking at you. That means it's too dark to use the speed you've set, so go slower.

2. If you were using the kit lens that came with the camera, try the same tests, except at a different zoom setting. Say you were shooting at the 55mm end; try 18mm or 24mm instead.

3. Also try panning - follow the motorcycle with the camera and take the shot then. Use a shutter speed around 1/60 or so. If you can use a tripod with a panning head or monopod for this, it might be better. Panning takes a little practice but can look great.

Look at three elements of the image. Is the main subject frozen in place and reasonably sharp? Is the focus on the correct subject or somewhere else? And is there too much noise (color blobs, especially in shadows and dark objects)? You can also look at your existing bad shots for the same information.

That should narrow down the problem to a point where the fix is obvious.
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