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07-28-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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Help...2 different cameras, same lens, 2 different results. Photos attached.

Hi. I posted a month of so ago because I was struggling with people pictures on my first DSLR a K-x. Still not getting good results, but having purchased a K100D because it had a lens I was interested in (got both for less than the lens was worth), I turned the K100D over to my 10 year old son so he could join me and he was getting better pictures. Thinking it was the lens he was using (I bought it for portraits) I attached that lens on my K-x and took some photos. Still not great. So I finally grabbed the K100D and attached the lens back on it and my pictures were significantly better.

So I took some pictures....same lens, same subject, same settings and got drastically different results. Now I'm starting to think it isn't just me.... I wondering if something is wrong with my K-x. I did buy it used. Can you guys take a peak at these photos and tell me what "might" be wrong....

All of these photos are taken with the same lens, different camera, auto wb, flash f5.6 in AV mode. Same spot AF same spot metering, I'm the same distance away but it looks like I zoomed a little closer on the K100D than the K-x but....also with the Auto WB on the K-x it was way over exposed the first time so I had to manually set the ISO to 200 to get these pictures to compare. These were all taken indoors with the flash on so same light, same subject etc.

So photo 1 is K100D AV mode, 5.6, auto wb which the camera set to 200.
Photo 2 is the K-x, AV mode, 5.6, manual 200 wb with flash on
Photo 3 is the K-x, AV mode, 5.6 auto wb with flash - way over I did manually set the 200 ISO since that's what the K100D set it as....

I'm so stressed right now as I spent a lot of money for the K-x....sigh....

What could be "wrong" with the K-x?

Attached Images
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PENTAX K100D  Photo 
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PENTAX K-x  Photo 
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PENTAX K-x  Photo 
07-28-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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Looking at the EXIF data the two shots from the K-x are showing an exposure bias (compensation) of +1.3. The K100D shows it as 0. Check the exposure compensation settings.
07-28-2013, 09:51 PM   #3
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I would take some daylight shots without flash to eliminate that variable first. If they look good in natural light, then check for EV compensation or flash compensation settings.
07-28-2013, 10:08 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Took another and adjusted EV comp...

Since I can't go outside tonight, I took another one indoors and set the EV compensation to 0.... better, but still not like the first one.... how can I get it to look like the first shot?

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PENTAX K-x  Photo 
07-28-2013, 10:56 PM   #5
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Your K-x has shadow correction turned on. Turn this off, it's nasty. (Unless shooting backlight architecture, IMHO)

I would just reset the camera.
07-28-2013, 11:50 PM   #6
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We need day light shots please and identical settings as you know then we can look ansd see what's going on
07-29-2013, 06:30 AM   #7
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I assume you are shooting in JPEG. If so, you need to look at the contrast, sharpness, and saturation setting in the camera. Each camera has a little different sweat spot depending on what "look" you like the best. If you shoot in Raw, you don't have to worry about the in camera settings, as you will control those in post processing.

All I remember about my DS is that the default settings were not the best for JPEGs.

07-29-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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As others have said, you need to post some well-lit outdoor shots w/identical settings. If you're going to take indoor photos with the popup flash, you'll probably get better results setting to white balance to "flash", instead of auto. I'm not sure about the K-x, but indoor-lighting white balance is a problem for the older-gen Pentax DSLRs.

07-29-2013, 10:50 AM   #9
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Step one, reset the camera to factory settings. The manual will tell you how to do this. It won't be perfect, but will give you a common starting place to set the camera up for you and the way you shoot. It looks like whoever had that camera before had it set very strangely.

Step two is to set "enable aperture ring", but only if you have manual lenses. The rest of the settings are based on your tastes and style. Look at each menu setting and have at least a basic understanding of the pros/cons of each. This takes time to learn, but remember that each setting has pluses and minuses. If it were always better, there wouldn't be choices!

In your example photo, It looks to me like the color saturation is turned too low. I always set my saturation to "natural" as I prefer that look, but the default setting is a bit more colorful, and you may prefer that. If you reset the camera, this will go back to something reasonable at least.

One final comment, on camera flashes are just terrible. Look at the Strobist101 blog for an understanding of all things flash related.
07-29-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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Original Poster I played around a ton about 40 pictures worth on the K-x and finally got some really close to the first photo that I liked. (I'm going to try to go out today or tomorrow and do some outdoor shots as suggested.) In the's some answers to comments above....

The K100D is set to jpeg because it would be easier for my young son to post his pictures on facebook on the photo challenge blog that he joined. So the photo I like the best was shot in jpeg. The K-x photos are taken in pef format. I was just hoping to get a "better" picture overall before I edited every picture after the fact.

I did try some of the pictures with the K-x set with the WB flash function, but didn't like those either. I'd post one, but I already deleted it. The actual white balance auto looked better which surprised me. I also tried the indoor tungsten setting and the auto WB was better than that photo also so I switched it back to auto WB. I thought it was interesting that the K100D set the auto WB at 200 using the flash and after taking more photos with the K-x and getting some really close to the above one, the K-x set the Auto WB at 800. Just thought that was interesting although I don't care that they are different, just that the overall picture is acceptable.

Today after reading everyone's comments, I have reset the camera settings back to factory settings even the custom ones. I have then reset for AF.S spot focusing, AE spot metering, aperture ring to permitted, PEF format, and sharpness to high as per the recommendations previously on focusing issues. :-)

Just out of curiosity and I know this questions is subjective to "likes" but what setting is your favorite under custom image for people or portraits and do you change if for every photo setting? ne person mentioned they liked natural....under natural do you leave it at default or is your "favorite" a little sharper and the saturation higher/lower etc. For foliage, the vivid setting would probably be nice for bright rich colors and I have liked the results on a few that I have done. I would think bright or natural would be good for overall...apparently the default is bright because that's what it's set to now. Do you change them every time you take photos? Does it become second nature or do you have one that does well for a lot of everyday shots and then change for specific ones when you are doing something specific? Just wondering "what" you like and why and do you change the saturation, hue etc every time you use one of this settings? Or do you change them under the main heading and leave them that way for the majority of shots under landscape for instance.... and mostly, what are you favorite settings for portraits under all the options? At this point that's my main interest in getting it right. Just wondering what you liked so I could try your settings for people that you already have played with and see what I like.

Thanks everyone. I've learned so much already in the last couple of months and have really appreciated the tips and tricks that have helped me overall with my camera including reading materials. I sure like it when I find out my troubles are operator error and not equipment issues as operator error I can learn to fix while equipment issues.....not so much! I'll try to get outside today and take some more photos with the lens now and see what happens and post those now that I have reset everything to default. Here's to hoping! :-)
07-30-2013, 08:31 AM   #11
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I played around with vibrant setting and some other jpeg mods, but found the K5 favored purples far too much in that setup and flowers just looked wrong. I set back to natural colors. I also don't use much in-camera processing - I will use the lens correction except in my fast shot mode which is no in-camera processing at all, just record RAW+ as fast as possible.

I use RAW+ for most of my shooting. If I can use a jpg for a smallish web posting, fine. Otherwise most of my photos get a little tweaking in Lightroom - exposure, highlight, maybe contrast adjustment. Rarely do I need to do any major adjustments.
08-01-2013, 04:50 AM   #12
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If you are now shooting PEF, how your pictures look on the computer will depend on the software you use. I believe that the Pentax software starts with the camera setting for jpeg and let you change things to your liking. Some software doesn't do that so the image will look a little dull when you open up the file.


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