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11-25-2011, 11:02 AM   #31
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It does not matter what camera you have, it is always a struggle to get the most out of it, believe me. It takes practice, practice, practice and more practice. If you have someone to pass on pointers, it speeds things up immensely. I've had my K10 since November of 2007, and I am still learning the ins and outs of the digital world.

11-25-2011, 11:54 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2cay2 Quote
I just want them to show what I see.
That is probably an easier part when you do that without flash. When you start using flash, it is a whole new ball game as you will have to learn to balance between flash and ambient light so it looks more natural.

Also, on a side note, have you ever heard people quoting: "this lens is nice, it is contrasty and nice color rendition...". so the lens is also a contributing factor to the overall IQ as well.
11-25-2011, 12:50 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by dragonfly Quote
The OP's photos are sharp and in-focus. I think he needs to pay more attention to the metering function of his camera.
I agree, this is a metering issue. People are talking about Vivid settings, which is nothing to do with what the OP is showing in the sample photos.

2cay2, this is common problem for people switching from a point & shoot camera. P&S cameras often can't expose the whole scene without losing detail in the bright or/or dark spots, so they don't try. The camera concentrates on exposing what it thinks you want to take a photo of. This may or may not be what you are actually wanting to photograph.

A Pentax DSLR works correctly: it reads the amount of light in the scene, and then sets an exposure that results in an overall average intensity of 18% gray. This preserves the detail best in dark and light areas. If the scene is mostly a white wall, then the wall will end up looking gray, because the camera wants to see the average exposure as middle gray. That is correct exposure, but probably won't be very appealing.

There are a number of ways to alter the exposure, the easiest being with the exposure compensation button on the camera, but this requires you to learn what exposure compensation is, and when it's needed. It is also common to correct exposures in post-processing, especially if you shoot in raw. The best thing to do is experiment and read and experiment some more. Forget Green mode, it's useless and won't allow you to learn. P-mode is a good starting point for learning.

This tutorial will get you started on correct metering. The Cambridge tutorials are an excellent source of knowledge.

Understanding Camera Metering and Exposure

Last edited by audiobomber; 11-25-2011 at 12:56 PM.
11-25-2011, 01:02 PM   #34
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i had exactly the same issue when i first bought my K-7 - id gone from my IST which i was reasonably happy with the photos to the k-7 where they were just dull......adjusting the colur settings made a world of difference to me. (moving originally to vibrant)

11-27-2011, 10:56 AM   #35
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@audiobomber, I completely agree. The talk about vivid is from the last line in the first paragraph talking about dull images. The camera out of the box is very neutral and lacks the pop that most people think occurs just by using a dslr.

However, the exposure issue is definitely a metering problem.
11-28-2011, 02:24 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I agree, this is a metering issue. People are talking about Vivid settings, which is nothing to do with what the OP is showing in the sample photos.

2cay2, this is common problem for people switching from a point & shoot camera. P&S cameras often can't expose the whole scene without losing detail in the bright or/or dark spots, so they don't try. The camera concentrates on exposing what it thinks you want to take a photo of. This may or may not be what you are actually wanting to photograph.

A Pentax DSLR works correctly: it reads the amount of light in the scene, and then sets an exposure that results in an overall average intensity of 18% gray. This preserves the detail best in dark and light areas. If the scene is mostly a white wall, then the wall will end up looking gray, because the camera wants to see the average exposure as middle gray. That is correct exposure, but probably won't be very appealing.

There are a number of ways to alter the exposure, the easiest being with the exposure compensation button on the camera, but this requires you to learn what exposure compensation is, and when it's needed. It is also common to correct exposures in post-processing, especially if you shoot in raw. The best thing to do is experiment and read and experiment some more. Forget Green mode, it's useless and won't allow you to learn. P-mode is a good starting point for learning.

This tutorial will get you started on correct metering. The Cambridge tutorials are an excellent source of knowledge.

Understanding Camera Metering and Exposure
Thank you for the explination of why my whites appear grey. This is what I find most frustrating.
I'll try to get my head around the metering. I read the article, but I seem to have a blank spot when it comes to understanding cameras


I was taking pics for ebay on Saturday and used the oportunity to practise. I ended up with one image I remained reasonabley happy with. The rest..... well I'll keep trying! I lost some detail so I could have done with a deeper depth of field (?), but the light and colour is what I was concentrating on. Not sure how I did it though, doh! I'm sure you guys can find many more faults than me! I've added the pic so you can see what i've been upto with your help. (No post processing btw )
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-x  Photo 
11-28-2011, 03:07 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
It does not matter what camera you have, it is always a struggle to get the most out of it, believe me. It takes practice, practice, practice and more practice. If you have someone to pass on pointers, it speeds things up immensely. I've had my K10 since November of 2007, and I am still learning the ins and outs of the digital world.
Quite so. I started shooting film over 1/2 century ago, digital over a decade back, and got the K20D just 3.5 years ago -- and I'm still learning.

Here are some exposure tricks:

* BRACKET BRACKET BRACKET! (A form of spray-n-pray.)
* PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! Learn metering modes.

* Spot-meter to get an exact subject reading. And...
* Simplified zone system: Spot-meter the brightest and darkest points in a scene, and expose midway between those readings.

* Look at the subject. Look for something nearby of similar brightness. Read off that nearby item, then shoot the subject.

* Read the light, not the subject. Meter off a gray card -- this is almost as good as using an incident light meter.

* Cheat: Don't be afraid to use fill flash and reflectors.
11-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2cay2 Quote
I lost some detail so I could have done with a deeper depth of field (?), but the light and colour is what I was concentrating on. Not sure how I did it though, doh! I'm sure you guys can find many more faults than me! I've added the pic so you can see what i've been upto with your help. (No post processing btw )
It looks a little soft and the colour and contrast seem a little dull. Please post the exif info (ISO, aperture, shutter speed). What focus method did you use? What image tone? You're shooting jpegs, correct?

11-28-2011, 11:39 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
It looks a little soft and the colour and contrast seem a little dull. Please post the exif info (ISO, aperture, shutter speed). What focus method did you use? What image tone? You're shooting jpegs, correct?
Exif link is supplied just above the photo.
11-28-2011, 12:45 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by humbr Quote
Exif link is supplied just above the photo.
Thanks, I hadn't noticed. Everything seems fine with the exif. It's hard to tell if it's soft or not at this reduced resolution. It may just need some punching up in contrast and sharpness levels.
11-28-2011, 06:33 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2cay2 Quote
Thank you for the explination of why my whites appear grey. This is what I find most frustrating.
I'll try to get my head around the metering. I read the article, but I seem to have a blank spot when it comes to understanding cameras

....
I've looked at your EXIF and Histogram of those first pictures you uploaded and found out that beside the Auto picture mode, you were also using Multi Segments Metering mode. Your pictures are still a bit underexposed to me. Having using K-x for a preriod time before, I found out that K-x tends to underexpose by about 0.7Ev which make the pictures seem to be a bit mute. By apply +0.7 Ev in Ev compesation, you might have better result. By apply +0.7Ev compensation, it is easy to get blow hightlight therefore, I also usually turn Hightlight correction on. As many people mentioned above, doing metering to have a correct exposure is one of the key things to get pleasure looks pictures.

I rarely shoot RAW (as well as rarely do Post Processing) and rarely use Vibrant settings cause I found out that it push too much Yellow into the picture which tend to make skintone looks unnatural. Personally, when people is main object: I use Portrait and when landscape is main object: I use Vibrant mode. I think Bright mode (my default settings) is quite balance between Portrait and Vibrant.

Here are some pictures when I still using K-x (my first DSLR) for your reference (most of my pictures are just simply resized from the direct out of camera JPEG). I'm just a newbie in photography therefore, don't look at the content or composition of my pictures but the exposure and WB only for your reference. You can see their EXIF in my Flickr.


#1.



#2.



#3.

11-28-2011, 06:46 PM   #42
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Chipvn's comments and photos (very nice examples!!) remind us that it is important to get to know our camera of its capabilities as well as limitations, Also another reasons for the comment we often hear: "its not the camera, it is the person behind it".

I am a RAW shooter, almost 100%, but now, I am leaning towards shifting over to JPEG (may be 20%) at least for the k-7.
11-28-2011, 08:21 PM - 1 Like   #43
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I added some contrast and sharpening. I hope you don't mind. This looks better to me, what do you think?

11-28-2011, 08:45 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by chipvn Quote
I found out that K-x tends to underexpose by about 0.7Ev which make the pictures seem to be a bit mute. By apply +0.7 Ev in Ev compesation, you might have better result. By apply +0.7Ev compensation, it is easy to get blow hightlight therefore, I also usually turn Hightlight correction on. As many people mentioned above, doing metering to have a correct exposure is one of the key things to get pleasure looks pictures.
I don't agree with this. Blanket statements like "always apply +.7Ev" or "always use Highlight correction" are not helpful. Explaining why gets very involved and requires a full explanation of metering and exposure. You can shoot this way if you like, but this is not good advice for others. Better to learn how metering works and use Ev correctly when appropriate.
11-28-2011, 09:23 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I don't agree with this. Blanket statements like "always apply +.7Ev" or "always use Highlight correction" are not helpful. Explaining why gets very involved and requires a full explanation of metering and exposure. You can shoot this way if you like, but this is not good advice for others. Better to learn how metering works and use Ev correctly when appropriate.
Yes! Totally agree! The mettering and exposure are vary depend on subjects and scene to be shot. My sugestion is just to mention about the basic one it means that rather than stick on 0Ev as Pentax do as based line, he could shift it to let say +0.7Ev as based line! When be come more advance, he can do compensate for specific (let say dark or bright, high contrast or large or small amount size,.....) subjects with +/- some Ev from the based line above. Also want to note that I'm still using Multi-Segments Mettering (as he is using) more often and just sometime switch to Spot mettering for some specific shooting condition.

Shooting RAW is like playing with knife. If one knows exactly what he do, he could get the best result in PP. However, if one just thinks that he can just shoot with correct focus and then correct everything else (WB, Exposure,...) later, I'm afraid that it will make amatuers get lost and don't pay attention to do the thing right at first! It also means that he could not learn fast enough.

PS: I learn a lot by reviewing the histogram of pictures I took beside learning the metering and exposure rule.

Last edited by chipvn; 11-29-2011 at 03:03 AM.
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