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01-25-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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new to pentax k20D

I am so lost
I am a previous owner of a Nikon D50 (I think)
it was an amazing camera and so easy to use
I took many great pictures with it and miss it dearly
I am now a new owner of the Pentax k20D and as it has been over 2 years since I have used a DSLR plus it is a completely different camera than I am used to I need help
I don't have any specific questions as I don't even know where to start but any help you could offer on how to set up the camera for easy use jut to get used to it and then possibly some more complex stuff after I am used to it would be very helpful
I plan to mostly use this camera to take pictures of my beautiful children (they're quick to move so hard to catch) as well as outdoors/nature
please help me

01-25-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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Welcome! While I understand the difficulty in changing brands and learning a new system, surely you do not expect someone to teach you everything you need to know about Pentax, DSLRs and photography in one short post? Without even knowing your level of experience it is hard to even make a start without either insulting you for being too simplistic or losing you by being too complex.

Please ask specific questions and I think you will find this forum an incredibly helpful and friendly resource.

I would suggest reading through the manual first to familiarize yourself with the camera controls. Then start simple with the camera in Av mode and take some test pictures to understand what is going on. As you learn that mode then try some of the others.

What lenses do you currently have? Do you have a flash? Would love to help, but really have no way to know what you need to know.
01-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #3
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do not worry about insulting me by being too simplistic
anything helps at this point
it is a used camera, i got it from my boyfriends father he was messing with the settings to kind of show me stuff and I have no idea what he did but I always seem to get blurry image
the lens i have is 16 - 45
just the built in flash is all i have and it also has some weird sheild thing on the end of the lens (however that gets in the way of the flash)
01-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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To start go to the pentax website and download the manual. Read it and then as mentioned above when you have specific questions ask here.

01-25-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
To start go to the pentax website and download the manual. Read it and then as mentioned above when you have specific questions ask here.
That will be the best start. Next, find the setting under "Custom" that allows you to reset to the default settings. Now you have a "new" K20D to work with.

After you've read the manual, play around with "P" (hyperprogram) mode and see the effect that changing aperture and shutter speed have. Then ask your questions here as you go.

Your new camera is certainly a step up. While you may not take any better pictures than with the D50, you will be able to make better photographs because of the additional capabilities that the K20D offers.

You also have a great lens, and the "shield" is called a hood, and is designed to prevent lens flare (which happens when a light source reflects across the lens elements). Keep it on whenever possible. You shouldn't need to use flash much at all anyway.

All the best, and keep us informed.

01-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfaust Quote
it is a used camera, i got it from my boyfriends father he was messing with the settings to kind of show me stuff and I have no idea what he did but I always seem to get blurry image
OK, first things first. The advice above is all good. A DSLR is not a simple camera and there is a learning curve. And with all learning curves there is a certain amount of frustration because nothing works because there are too many different things to learn before acceptable results can be achieved. So, take deep breath.

First, as mentioned above, go into the menu and find the setting to reset everything to default, voila! You have a brand new out of the box camera.

Second, the 16-45 is a very good lens. Go outside or a brightly lit room. Put the camera in Av mode (or whatever mode you want to learn) I prefer Av to start as it is fairly easy to learn. Set your aperture to f/8. The camera should adjust the speed to make a good exposure. Point it at something light the speed should go up, point it at something dark and it should go down. Rule of thumb is that the speed should be at least the reciprocal of the lens focal length. So, zoom the lens to 45mm and your speed should be at least 1/45 (probably 1/60 is what the setting on that camera is). Remember it is a rule of thumb not exact science.

Third, take a few pictures, check the speed, is it always at least fast enough?

Fourth, is the camera set to auto-focus? When you press the shutter button half way down, the lens should focus and a green light will come on in the viewfinder indicating a focus lock. Only after you have that green light can you finish, slowly, slowly pressing the shutter all the way down.

Try that and see if you can get a focused image. If so then you can start building on that. If not then ask again and we can try to help. It will help if you can post some images with the EXIF intact so we can see what is going wrong.

Fifth, we need to explain shake reduction on the K20 but lets leave that for now.
01-25-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
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For pictures of the kids your 16-45 lens may be a little too wide but otherwise a decently sharp lens. You'll have to be up close to your kids with the lens to be able to capture them effectively. Secondly, start off with the exposure modes you were used to on your old dSLR. if that was a fully auto mode, you can just stick with the green mode on the K20D for now until you get a grasp on the 'less' automatic modes that help you expose images the way you want more effectively. Focusing is the final most critical aspect of getting sharp images. Be sure the camera has locked on and the subject has not moved between you locking focus and exposing for the shot. There is also camera shake and motion blur to contend with in low light settings without flash. This is a lot to take in but do read some of these fundamental aspects of photography and enjoy the journey. Welcome to Pentax.
01-30-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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If I may butt in, it sounds like you may be in the same boat I am, having to learn advanced photography on top of learning an excellent advanced camera. For now do as was suggested, put everything back to default and then set everything to auto and just have fun with it for a bit. Just get the book to learn what all the external controls are and how to reset to defaults and set everything to auto, don't worry if you don't understand what a button does, it means you don't need it yet.
The K20D is not a training wheels camera like some of the other models I'm told its designed for people who REALLY understand all the fundamentals of photography and like to fiddle with stuff. That said, you will grow into it rather than grow sick of it like many other simple models.

Meanwhile someone much more experienced than me will suggest good learning materials to really understand the basics and then the advanced concepts of photography, no point in learning how to do something if you don't know what it is or WHY you are changing it.

The people on this site are so knowledgeable they somehow forget how to dumb things down to my level.


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