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08-17-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
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What am I doing wrong with new K-30

Hi All, I have had my K-30 about one week now. I am new to digital, but have had film for many years and fully understand, shutter, aperture, iso etc. I have been using the kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200) on Auto or Scene mode. The shots are coming out very dark, with the subject unable to be seen. Today I used TV, AV and SV modes with much better results. Using Auto mode I set the Exposure Compensation to +3. The background was a little washed out, but the subject was okay. I would like to be able to reliably use Auto/Scene Modes without having to change the EV, after all that is what they are for! I have not changed any of the default settings. Any ideas on which settings I should be looking at to change. I have been reading the manual, but have not yet found anything that would apply. Thanks for any input.

08-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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You know the saying " a picture is worth a thousand words" if you post a photo to show what you mean, it will help others to help you.
08-17-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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You will need to post a sample or two with intact exif info.

I'm under the impression EV can not be adjusted in Auto - though I could be wrong as I never use that mode. Try P, which has more adjustability.

Make sure EV is back to zero and set the meter to matrix.
08-17-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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I can't post any tonight, but will post examples tomorrow.

08-17-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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Without looking, my guess is you are using spot metering, and metering somewhere bright. It seems that when this comes up, 9 out of 10 times, that's the problem.

BTW, if you understand exposure, why would you ever let a camera make a decision for you? Green mode isn't a mind reader, and it'll never know your creative intent with regard to shutter speed and aperture. TAv is your friend!
08-17-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
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One of the strengths of the k30 is it's ability to lift shadows to proper exposure in post production without introducing too much noise. I think sometimes the camera wants to protect from overexposing since the areas that are blown out are difficult to recover.

You may want to look at your metering mode. If you are on matrix metering, you may want to try center weighted or even spot. I have sometimes been linking my metering spot to my focus spot and in some cases this works well (more for people photos, not so great for landscape or architecture). If your subjects are in shadow and it's a bright day outside w/ the background being a bright sky, you'll either need to change your metering method or use exposure comp. Post some pics and you'll get more specific advice...

Keep trying - it's a great camera but it takes some time to learn how it works....
08-18-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Until this morning I had not upload any images to my computer. After uploading, the pictures are not as bad as I thought. It seems the preview display is very dark, but the actually photos are not. Many of the images that I took are strongly back-lit, so the subject is not good, but that's to be expected. As for why use "Green Mode" - being new to a dslr I want to experiment to see abilities and limitations of the Auto/Scene modes. Being a casual photographer I don't always want to stop and think about my settings. I also noticed that the ISO was set to 3200. Changing it to auto has helped. Having the ability to change so many options - like ISO, metering mode, etc is very new to me. I will check what metering mode I am set at and continue to experiment! I will also change my display brightness to more accurately reflect what I see on my computer. That should take care of this issue for now, but I am sure there will be others, so thanks again!

08-19-2013, 10:39 AM   #8
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Hi and welcome,
I too am located in NH. That being said, outdoor shots around here (Lakes and mountains) tend to have extreme dynamic ranges in a single exposure. Lite sky and dark vegetation etc.
Having had the same problems with my k20 and k5ii, switching to center weighted metering from spot metering has helped a lot. In other words, what Kozlok said.
08-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #9
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Another thing, rather than relying on how the screen looks you should activate the histogram when reviewing pictures. It is really, wonderfully useful for checking your exposures. I believe it's the same as on the K-5, just a press on the info button while reviewing, and there it is.
08-20-2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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Dusty, You are so right about the extremes! I did change my meter to center weighted and that has helped. I have been mostly taking photos mostly in the 'yard' - 8 acres of field surrounded by forest and mountains! I have been doing a lot of experimenting; changing settings and modes.

Savoche - I have never used the histogram, but will certainly look in to it. The screen view is not very reliable - brightening it enough to see dark areas washes out the light areas.

08-20-2013, 09:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lenorehig Quote
I have never used the histogram, but will certainly look in to it.
The histogram is a good think to use. It takes a little practice because the curve for a dark subject and a bright subject will be different even when properly exposed. I'm not sure if the K-30 has it, but there is review mode that is casually referred to as "blinkies". It shows under- and over-exposure in red and yellow. If you have a lot of one and not much of the other, it is likely a bad exposure.

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