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11-17-2011, 08:08 PM   #16
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I have a K-x too and yes they're right its default settings are pretty conservative in terms of pumping sat/con/hue. Before I bought the K-x I've been eyeing the D5000 and D90 for a long time but gave the latter choices up when I got my first hands-on tweaking of Pentax jpeg output settings. I guess Pentax makes it that way so you can dig more detail with the shot than blow some stuff out like highlights and some colors...

11-17-2011, 08:24 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
Apologies if my suggestion to the OP offended you.




You seem to make an assumption similar to mine. Shooting raw offers (even) more control. (After all, most (advanced) point and shoots offer manual controls.) Certainly, there are pros and very talented amateurs who shoot jpg. They possess the mastery that allows them to take advantage of their dslr's capabilities while shooting jpg. Someone buys a dslr, I suppose, to get a certain IQ out of his or her camera. Sure, that IQ is not dependent on raw, but shooting jpg to get dslr-like IQ is more demanding IMO. Raw offers more flexibility and room for fixing a picture. That's why I use it. I'm not that masterly.

In the end, I think, it's a matter of weighing "dslr" IQ vs "point and shoot" simplicity. If someone finds it hard to mess with manual functions and with raw, then maybe a good point and shoot is a better option for him. It's a possibility. I know many who have come to this conclusion after agonizing over the *complexity* of using a dslr. And I know many more who lug around a heavy dslr, which they use in P or Auto to take pictures that look much worse than those taken by their wives with light, neat point and shoots.
I think I've misinterpreted how your post was to be intended. While I agree raw gives you the most control, the last thing I want is new photgraphers to think they need it to do well. My apologies for a harsh response. I believe we share the same opinions.
11-18-2011, 08:39 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by atupdate Quote
Pentax's software will try to set the white wall in the background as neutral gray. This is done to prevent blowing out the highlights.
This is exactly what I don't like! Does anyone know if this is a specific default setting I can change?

I have found that changing the High/Low Key Adj (I think this may be what I change for above problem?) makes a huge difference, but I can't change this for the auto setting. In fact I don't seem to be able to change any of the settings (contrast, saturation etc) for auto

I just wanted to add that I got a DSLR because I do want to learn and do more using manual. I mainly want to photograph birds and use it for timelapse. For these things I'm happy to spend hours (I'll need it!) setting up and fiddling and learning and improving to get what I want. So I really don't intend to always use auto. But I also use this camera for ebay listings and quick snaps when my pets or family are doing things I want to capture. I'm more interested in speed of use and ok pics for this, hense the auto use. I just don't feel I can move on to the more interesting and creative stuff when i can't get to grips with auto!!! I am learning all the time though and your comments are hugely helpful for my present incapabilities and for what I am progressing too.


The light is rubbish this afternoon but I'll be going through all the advice given here in detail and fiddling anyway
11-18-2011, 09:56 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
And to go hand in hand with that since you seem to have limited experience you really should do some reading on Exposure

best beginner book for this IMO is
Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) (9780817463007): Bryan Peterson: Books

that will go a long way towards helping you achieve your goal
Just ordered it, thanks for the suggestion

I've run out of daylight but feel i've been getting somewhere now! I've changed to Shutter priority instead of Auto pict which means I can adjust the contrast, saturation etc settings, and bumped the exposure compensation 1 stop. Much happier with the results so far. I'll try it all out again tomorrow when the light is back, but think I'm on the right track now. Thanks everyone

I want to stick with jpegs for my 'snaps'. However
I think it might be time to get the photoshop book out! I've got the software but no idea how to use it. Can't use RAW on the software I normaly use. And it looks like that's the direction I'll need to go for the proper photo's I eventually want to take


Last edited by 2cay2; 11-18-2011 at 10:03 AM.
11-18-2011, 01:50 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2cay2 Quote
Just ordered it, thanks for the suggestion

I've run out of daylight but feel i've been getting somewhere now! I've changed to Shutter priority instead of Auto pict which means I can adjust the contrast, saturation etc settings, and bumped the exposure compensation 1 stop. Much happier with the results so far. I'll try it all out again tomorrow when the light is back, but think I'm on the right track now. Thanks everyone

I want to stick with jpegs for my 'snaps'. However
I think it might be time to get the photoshop book out! I've got the software but no idea how to use it. Can't use RAW on the software I normaly use. And it looks like that's the direction I'll need to go for the proper photo's I eventually want to take

Shutter Priority is suitable for action shots, when the need to control the shutter speed prevails over other requirements. For every day shots, Aperture Priority is usually better--you want to keep ISO as low as possible to minimize the amount of noise in your pics.
There's free software for developing RAW--for instance, the one that came with your camera. Also, Raw Therapee.
If you shoot raw, it's better to compensate negatively (-0.7 or -1) to preserve highlights, since K-x's very good ISO performance allows you to brighten pictures in post-processing. (Unless your K-x tends to underexpose... Mine tends to clip highlights in 75% of situations.)
You might also want to check out this PF section: Photography Articles - PentaxForums.com
11-18-2011, 02:10 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2cay2 Quote
Just ordered it, thanks for the suggestion

I've run out of daylight but feel i've been getting somewhere now! I've changed to Shutter priority instead of Auto pict which means I can adjust the contrast, saturation etc settings, and bumped the exposure compensation 1 stop. Much happier with the results so far. I'll try it all out again tomorrow when the light is back, but think I'm on the right track now. Thanks everyone

I want to stick with jpegs for my 'snaps'. However
I think it might be time to get the photoshop book out! I've got the software but no idea how to use it. Can't use RAW on the software I normaly use. And it looks like that's the direction I'll need to go for the proper photo's I eventually want to take
Bear in mind that I believe even Picassa (free) can read the DNG/raw files and convert them to jpeg if you want a quick solution, and it's also very easy to do in Lightroom, or the Pentax software. Unless you literally take all pictures out of the camera and post them uncropped/untouched (even for ebay shots, I always find myself cropping jpegs), it's not really additional work, a few button clicks only.

When I bought my K5, I was shooting RAW+JPG for a while, but dropped it almost immediately to shoot only RAW, as it's that easy; my wife did the same.
11-18-2011, 02:26 PM   #22
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The OP's photos are sharp and in-focus. I think he needs to pay more attention to the metering function of his camera.
11-20-2011, 07:46 PM   #23
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You don't need to shoot RAW to get good or even great pictures. That's rubbish. You just need to take the camera off Auto, and learn to take control of the exposure process.

11-21-2011, 12:40 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by zekewhipper Quote
You don't need to shoot RAW to get good or even great pictures. That's rubbish. You just need to take the camera off Auto, and learn to take control of the exposure process.
Truth. But, as others have said, shooting raw will let you recover a lot more usable images during that learning process.
11-21-2011, 03:13 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2cay2 Quote
This is exactly what I don't like! Does anyone know if this is a specific default setting I can change?

I have found that changing the High/Low Key Adj (I think this may be what I change for above problem?) makes a huge difference, but I can't change this for the auto setting. In fact I don't seem to be able to change any of the settings (contrast, saturation etc) for auto
If, by Auto setting you mean the green square on the mode dial, that is true. A lot of the settings are turned off for the green mode. Move your mode dial one slot over to P and see if things clear up for you.
11-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #26
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2cay2: this is not specific to Pentax, all cameras do this. And Auto is what it says, auto. Best guess, not necessarily what you are looking for.
I use P or TAV on my K5.

You will need to do some reading and learning: This thread is a start: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/165640-using-gray-card.html

I would highly recommend getting the book listed earlier, perhaps your local library has one?
11-21-2011, 05:05 PM   #27
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The OP brought up a comment we hear mostly from beginners as the criteria for 'good' camera is that one can produce 'vivid' pictures automatically. When I first bought my k100d which was my first DSLR, the first thing that strikes me was the 'vivid' color in the default jpeg mode. I quickly learned not to judge picture by just 'vividness', in fact, I soon changed the default to 'natural' setting for jpeg setting as I rather want to capture the true 'moment' as I see it. This jpeg setting 'vivid' or 'natural' applies to all shooting modes, whether you shoot in P, Av, Sv or Tv mode (sorry, no TAv mode in k100d) and M mode. Another thing to understand is that the lens also play a role in the outcome as well. Such as, I learn that different lens brand produces different color tone/shade as the lens coating are different. I prefer Pentax lens (even the older MF lenses, M, K or A lens) with SMC coating as it tends to provide a warm tone than lens from other brands such as Vivitar, Chinon, Ricoh, Sigma or Tamron. It is part of the learning process which is to understand the equipment well and knowing what to make the best of it to your own liking.
11-22-2011, 02:36 AM   #28
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Thanks for the continuing replies
I'm slowly learning, trying things out, fiddling and learning a little more. It seems when I change one thing something else changes too. I'm grainy pics at the mo.... I'll keep fiddling!

The recommended book has arrived so I am looking forward to going through that


QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
The OP brought up a comment we hear mostly from beginners as the criteria for 'good' camera is that one can produce 'vivid' pictures automatically. When I first bought my k100d which was my first DSLR, the first thing that strikes me was the 'vivid' color in the default jpeg mode. I quickly learned not to judge picture by just 'vividness', in fact, I soon changed the default to 'natural' setting for jpeg setting as I rather want to capture the true 'moment' as I see it. This jpeg setting 'vivid' or 'natural' applies to all shooting modes, whether you shoot in P, Av, Sv or Tv mode (sorry, no TAv mode in k100d) and M mode. Another thing to understand is that the lens also play a role in the outcome as well. Such as, I learn that different lens brand produces different color tone/shade as the lens coating are different. I prefer Pentax lens (even the older MF lenses, M, K or A lens) with SMC coating as it tends to provide a warm tone than lens from other brands such as Vivitar, Chinon, Ricoh, Sigma or Tamron. It is part of the learning process which is to understand the equipment well and knowing what to make the best of it to your own liking.
I really just want my pics to look true to life. The opening pics were taken on a beautiful bright sunny day, hopefully you can see this from the strong shadows, yet the pics didn't reflect this (looking dull). However the video setting did.
I think in trying to correct this I am over compensating at the moment and doing exactly what you said - trying to make the images to vivid - but that's not my aim. I just want them to show what I see.
It's a big learning curve but hopefully I'll get there in the end!
11-24-2011, 06:52 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2cay2 Quote
It's a big learning curve but hopefully I'll get there in the end!
You will

I've been lucky, in that a friend of mine is a pro, and loves to help. It's surprising how much of a difference a few pointers can make.

P.S. Me and my wife are struggling with our K-x's down in South Wales, so you're not alone!
11-25-2011, 01:54 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tippon Quote
You will

I've been lucky, in that a friend of mine is a pro, and loves to help. It's surprising how much of a difference a few pointers can make.

P.S. Me and my wife are struggling with our K-x's down in South Wales, so you're not alone!
Does he ever come to North Wales by any chance?!

Thanks for letting me know I'm not on my own struggling with the K-x!
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