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02-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #1
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K-7 best settings

Hi to everyone,
I have a K-7 and I'm usued to shoot volley matches indoor (my daughter plays in a team).
It's necessary at least 1/250 sec and my lenses allow a max aperture of 4 or 4.5: the ISO goes from 1600 to 6400.
So, have anyone a "recipe" for setting the camera to obtaining the best image quality? highlights correction and/or dark shadows correction? noise reduction? other parameters in the image settings?
I usually take photos in RAW format and then Lightroom (no Ps).

Any help is welcome.


Thank you

02-27-2014, 04:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by robyct96 Quote
Hi to everyone,
I have a K-7 and I'm usued to shoot volley matches indoor (my daughter plays in a team).
It's necessary at least 1/250 sec and my lenses allow a max aperture of 4 or 4.5: the ISO goes from 1600 to 6400.
So, have anyone a "recipe" for setting the camera to obtaining the best image quality? highlights correction and/or dark shadows correction? noise reduction? other parameters in the image settings?
I usually take photos in RAW format and then Lightroom (no Ps).

Any help is welcome.


Thank you
RAW is the way to go. I would try to keep the ISO no higher than 1600 if possible, as then you should be able to reduce the noise effectively. You'd be able to crank it up a bit more if you had a K-5

Back when I shot with the K-7, the following settings helped me get noise-free files out-of-camera:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html

Adam
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02-27-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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Turn off highlight correction when shooting indoors / low light. It will introduce extra noise. It does have it's uses though: it helps in bright sunlight with white subjects or objects in the scene.

Don't use shadow correction on people either, as it's a bit unflattering. Best left for architectural photos.
Obviously, turn off distortion and CA correction as these slow the camera down.
02-27-2014, 09:54 PM   #4
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At higher ISOs, the K-7 starts to lose dynamic range. There is less difference between the brightest tones the sensor can record and the darkest tones. It starts to be a problem at 1600. A shot at 6400 will have very low dynamic range, on top of the noise. I try to shoot so my main subject has nearly perfect exposure, because changing it later in Lightroom simply highlights the low dynamic range. You might have overexposed ceiling lights or reflections, with blinking highlights on the preview screen, but if those aren't your main subject, don't worry. If you can frame your shots to avoid deep shadows, do that too. I think you are better off shooting wide open and at 1600 than trying to get higher lens quality shooting at f8, but ISO 6400. The only good reason to stop down the lens in those conditions is to increase depth of field.

I use Lightroom 4.4, so all my advice is for that. I like the Camera Standard profile better than the Adobe one. That's under Camera Calibration in the Develop module, you might miss it. Then choose a white balance. Try not to adjust the Basic, Tone Curve, HSL or Split Toning sliders at all for these high ISO shots. If you are using a lens with a profile, the lens corrections module works well enough for me. You might not let LR correct vignetting because it does that by brightening corners, which introduces noise where your shadows probably are. The CA and fringe corrections are good once you figure out the tools.

For noise reduction, I turn sharpening down to zero at higher ISOs. The K-7 sensor has more color noise than other Pentax sensors, so I start by choosing a 1:1 view, color detail at 50, then raise the color noise slider until the color splotches disappear from things that shouldn't be splotchy. I usually end up at 30 to 50 at ISO 1600, higher for other ISOs. Then I do Luminance the same way. I start at half the color number, so if color is 60, I start at 30, probably moving up a bit from there.

You might have similar enough shots (e.g., always in the same gym) to set up LR to do noise reduction on import. I think you can create custom presets for different ISOs. I can't resist fiddling with each shot.

The 16 Mp Sony sensor is better under these conditions. Upgrading to maybe a K-30 would be cheaper than a better lens.

02-27-2014, 10:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by robyct96 Quote
I have a K-7 and I'm usued to shoot volley matches indoor (my daughter plays in a team).
You already received a lot of good advice.

I have a K-7 and I shoot VB also.

My recipe is simple: (a) use a fast lens (f1.4), (b) set Hi continuous shooting, (c) use MF and use the focal range as a guide, and (d) remove/switch-off all in-camera corrections/processing.

I have bee most successfull with a Zeiss 85 mm f1.4 and Voigtlander Nokton 58 mm f1.4, both MF lenses. I stay around the court (eg 2-3 m front the court line), and I guess the distance from the shooter to the shooting spot. Since the court is 9m by 9m, it is easy to set the right distance.

Practically I set ISO 400 (never above), and I try to used 1/100s or faster depending upon the indoor lighting.

A few examples follow. The last photo was one of the worst lighting conditions in which I shot, Atrocious lighting....

Hope that the advice will help


Last edited by hcc; 02-28-2014 at 05:07 AM.
03-06-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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Thank you for the useful infos.
After many tests I think to buy a fast lens like the DA 50-135/2.8 to keep ISO at 800 - 1000 and shoot in raw.
Jpeg ok only with huge amount of light: ISO 100 + aperture f8 = very good jpeg.

Ciao!
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