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03-26-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
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K10D in low light??

Hello all!

This is my first post and I am just wondering if anyone else has trouble shooting decent shots with their K10D in low light. Even on auto, with the flash the photos are dark and color off? I borrowed a Canon Rebel XSI from a friend and the difference in low light is night and day! Is this a problem with the model in general, the stock lenses (18-55mm, 50-200mm), or something really obvious that I am missing? When I compare stats for an auto indoor shot with flash, the Pentax chooses the highest possible ISo 1600 while the Canon is shooting at 400.. What gives?

I am not a super newbie, have been shooting for 15+ years with both manual film SLR's and have had the Pentax for 5-6 years. I still have a lot to learn, but shooting indoors shouldn't be this hard..

03-26-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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While the K10D's high-iso performance may not be the best, you should still be able to get some usable shots indoors. Can you post some samples?

Adam
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03-26-2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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I shot a lot of low light shots.

The first thing I would do is set everything to more or less default go out into daylight and take pic.
Then look at the Hgram and see if the camera is more or less putting it in the middle of the graph.
If the pic is normal to the eye and the graph is normal you should be good to go.
In other words rule out faulty metering to start with.
03-26-2013, 09:40 AM   #4
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The Guide Number on the built-in flash in meters is 11 at ISO 100 and 44 at ISO 1600. If you are using kit lenses they aren't the fastest lenses on the block. Is it possible your subject is outside the maximum flash distance or the aperture is set too small for the distance?

As far as color goes what is your white balance set to? Do you have the option to set WB to flash when the flash is turned on?

03-26-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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Thank you for all the tips! I took some shots last night with settings from both cameras and i will post tonight. The differences are pretty amazing, especially with no flash. I do have a number of different lenses for the Pentax, but my stock ones are the most versatile, so I use them most often. I posted this on another site too and was told to learn how to use my camera. This is much more helpful!
03-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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If you have shots from the Canon and Pentax in similar conditions with similar subjects, you could compare the aperture and shutter speed for the shots. The Canon is two stops less sensitive at ISO 400, To have a brighter image, it must be three stops better in something else. It could be slow shutter speed, lens aperture or flash power. You could simply copy the Canon's settings on the Pentax in M mode and see if the photos are similar.

The on-camera flashes on both cameras should be pretty close in maximum power so the difference is probably not flash. Simply adding more direct flash usually makes a shot look worse anyway. Raising the ISO like the Pentax did is usually a good idea. That allows the camera to be more sensitive to ambient light, reducing dark shadows and harsh lighting. This may introduce color problems, because the flash color can be a lot different than ambient lighting color. You can get faces that are half one color and half another. It loks great when it's in a movie, weird if it's family.

The Canon is very likely to be better in an Auto mode, because it was built to be used that way sometimes. The K10D has Green mode and P mode which sometimes are Auto enough to bail you out, but not under all conditions - they expected you to mess up the settings on your own.
03-26-2013, 02:45 PM   #7
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I own a K10D and agree with Not a Number - the onboard flash is not very powerful and the sensor to subject distance matters, as it does with any flash. Try getting closer to your subjects and it will help a great deal. Physics is a bear sometimes.
03-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jenni0482 Quote
K10D in low light
While maybe nowadays it's not the first choice for low light stuff, in it's day it served me well, faster lenses and more work in PP maybe the answer.

04-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
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I actually had good experiences with the K10d in low light, but it took a lot of practice to get there. Success also meant not using the on-camera flash and, in-fact using an external flash (an old vivitar and a new Metax) both in manual mode. The K10d did not do a great job with the auto modes of my flashes, but as long as I took control of the flash, it did quite well.

I also tended to focus on using a nice wide aperture lens when shooting in tough situations, and I wasn't afraid to take advantage of the higher ISO settings despite the reputation (mostly deservedly) of its 800+ ISO settings.

It's all a matter of practice, practice, and more practice. Reading up info is great, and it will get you in the right direction, but it still takes practice to take what works for others to make it work for you. With the K10d, I recommend browsing back a few years in the forums when that camera was more current. I learned a lot about the camera from many users here. I even kept that camera because I liked it so much.
04-05-2013, 12:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the great replies! I have been so busy this week, but I have taken the shots and just need to find a half an hour to post them! I am hoping I will have some time to play this weekend I ended up buying my friends Canon Rebel to help me in the short term with my indoor shots (we needed a second body anyways since hubby is always stealing mine ). I absolutely love my Pentax though and need to make time to practice and play with it better indoors. My passion is shooting wildlife, and I have 0 qualms with the camera in that department! I inherited a couple of faster, manual prime lenses from father in law, and they are making a big difference already.
04-05-2013, 02:45 AM   #11
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Don't forget to post some images of your endeavours, it'll good to see how your getting on.
04-05-2013, 04:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jenni0482 Quote
Hello all!

This is my first post and I am just wondering if anyone else has trouble shooting decent shots with their K10D in low light. Even on auto, with the flash the photos are dark and color off? I borrowed a Canon Rebel XSI from a friend and the difference in low light is night and day! Is this a problem with the model in general, the stock lenses (18-55mm, 50-200mm), or something really obvious that I am missing? When I compare stats for an auto indoor shot with flash, the Pentax chooses the highest possible ISo 1600 while the Canon is shooting at 400.. What gives?

I am not a super newbie, have been shooting for 15+ years with both manual film SLR's and have had the Pentax for 5-6 years. I still have a lot to learn, but shooting indoors shouldn't be this hard..
One thing to note is that in auto mode, with flash Pentax programs the camera to do a couple of things. First of all, it will attempt to meet the exposure requirements without flash. This results in shutter speed going to the hand held minimum of 1/FL sin with flash shake reduction is off, and also bumping ISO up to maximum,and aperture wide open, so that the flash is only fill. Rule number 1 never use flash in full auto. Take control of the camera, don't they it take control of you.

Second thing is that on board flash is not all that powerful, GN 13(I think) this means 13 meters at F1 and ISO 100, so it does not have a lot of reach.

Lastly you need to look at the metering mode, you need to decide if you want whole scene illumination, or just the subject, so select either matrix metering or spot to get what you want. Note with spot metering, the background will fall off to black, since light falls off at the square of the distance.
04-05-2013, 04:33 AM   #13
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I bought the Sigma 30 mm f 1.4, and now I just take pictures in the dark without a flash! The K-7 works better in the dark than the K-10, however.
04-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #14
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The K10 was a pretty good camera but low light shooting was just not one of its strengths. Over the four years I used it I seldom shot over ISO 400. I just wasn't willing to spend the time and effort in PP to try and get better results. For me the answer was buying a K5.

Tom G
04-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #15
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Thank you everyone for all the help! I did a few test shots tonight. I used the Canon Rebel xsi with 50mm 1.8 and the Pentax K10D with 50-200mm 3.5-5.6. On aperture priority (6.3) and no flash, the shots are very similar! The first shot is the Canon and the second is the Pentax.
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