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01-22-2015, 06:30 AM   #1
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New to my K-30...

Hello Pentaxians!

I just received my K-30 from a member here!
I'm reading all sorts of threads regarding to "Only shoot RAW!", and "AUTO Mode will DOOM YOU!"...

I know there are no "optimal" settings for shooting since every shot in every scene will require different settings... But I'm asking for your advice in general terms of setting up my camera to better my abilities to learn EVERYTHING it has to offer.

I'm currently shooting RAW+ as default, so I'm guessing there is no reason to have the RAW/fx button to do anything for formatting since I'm already there?
Are there suggestions for what function to give that button?

Also, what's a good mode to shoot if not in AUTO?
I've been shooting in TAv, just trying to get a feel for things with green button set to Pline...

I'm also trying to get shake reduction to turn on but it's greyed out. I've read about timers and remote control enabled but all that stuff is off... Shake Reduction works for my U1 and U2 settings, but none of the other ones.
BTW lens being used for all above: DA 18-135mm WR

I just wanna make sure I'm not digging myself a deep hole with incorrect modes or settings from the beginning!
Thanks for all the help!

01-22-2015, 06:39 AM   #2
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I do like TAv mode, it seems the quickest setting for my use. But however you like to work is good. I'm still shooting RAW+ myself, but rarely use those JPG images.
01-22-2015, 07:05 AM   #3
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Hi, I have a k50 that is 99% the same of k30, here you will find a lot of useful advices : Review: Pentax K-50 - Recommended Settings | PentaxForums.com Reviews
01-22-2015, 07:09 AM   #4
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P is better than Auto at first because it allows one the freedom to select other settings while one is learning their camera. Down the road you may consider these; The Raw/fx button can conveniently be programmed for Optical/Digital preview. The AF/Ael button can be programmed for back button focusing. E-dial programming allows one to customize what the dials and green buttons do in various modes. The P-line settings, for the modes that use it, when set accordingly gives quick bias exposure settings used for various types of subject matter such as portrait, landscapes etc. If your going to use manual lenses then you want to turn the E-dial programming M mode to TV Shift coupled with having use aperture On in your custom menu.

I suggest sitting down with the manual and the camera and see what the different settings actually do and what the differences are, that is of course along with enjoying using it and making mistakes along the way as we all have. Take the time to read or watch videos, learn about exposure and the exposure triangle, Depth of field and hyperfocal distance, compositions, the effects of different lens types etc. There is a wealth of information out there for one you may try starting here
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeu1p5jL9GOPjGt7Ker8FMNCTyEynb3ds
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeu1p5jL9GOP03BfkI80Pl2rt3TQ050lj
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeu1p5jL9GOMp6eXmAcXIASb8UE98_kO4
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeu1p5jL9GONyuUf92ngOvRN41TxrQsQ-
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeu1p5jL9GOPOGNiJPcLHjTGo-x8abhF3
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeu1p5jL9GOPXoWmEtDgR_P_o_CsXx96B



If you do not have any of the standard settings that disable SR on then try doing a reset in the menu and see if it comes on.


Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 01-22-2015 at 07:26 AM.
01-22-2015, 07:21 AM   #5
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Regarding the modes... Anyone that claims auto mode is rubbish is in my opinion an a**hole, you need to start somewhere and auto mode is brilliant, however you will not always get the best possible picture when using auto, but you will atleast get a picture! And the difference between a decent picture and no picture at all is kinda big, right?

With that said I am usually having my camera in av for day to day shooting, having aperture control on one dial and iso on the other. This gives me the best amount of control for the least amount of time spent. I am able to control depth of view, which is what normally matters for my style of shooting.

Av I might use to photo kids, sports or other scenarios where speed is the main concern.

Tav I only use in one scenario, that is the combination of bad light and movement without any flash.

M is useful with fill flash and with old lenses without aperture link (step down metering). Also for panorama shots and all kind of special shots

I shoot raw+, always nice to have the jpg aswell.
01-22-2015, 07:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
Anyone that claims auto mode is rubbish is in my opinion an a**hole, you need to start somewhere and auto mode is brilliant,
Really? As I mention, P mode will give virtually the same auto output but allow the freedom to make setting changes if one so chooses, much better IMO. The last thing I and many suggest is giving ones dslr complete control.
QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
Av I might use to photo kids, sports or other scenarios where speed is the main concern.
Huh? everything I have ever learned AV is better suited for controlling ones aperture for depth of field and is not well suited for the use of controlling the shutter speed needed to control motion. To use it for this type of shooting would be hit or miss with mainly more miss, TV or M would seem more suited for this IMO.
QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
M is useful with fill flash and with old lenses without aperture link (step down metering). Also for panorama shots and all kind of special shots
Perhaps you may want to revisit learning the useful purposes of Manual shooting.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 01-22-2015 at 08:21 AM.
01-22-2015, 08:04 AM   #7
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I started with AV. Now mostly M. But goes back to AV when just needing a snapshot or when too lazy to be bothered.

Start with AV, but you'll accelerate your progress and learn more about your camera, and proper exposure once you venture into M. Don't skimp on the shutter count. Enjoy!
01-22-2015, 08:51 AM   #8
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I would suggest avoiding "Auto" with the various scene settings. They work fine except that it is easy to forget which scene you are set to and the camera may behave other than you might expect. For snapshots, "P" mode is much easier to manage and has the advantage of "Hyper-Program", meaning that you can easily tweak both aperture and shutter speed away from the program line if you wish.


Steve

01-22-2015, 09:50 AM   #9
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I am a rebellious old curmudgeon. I think that for sports, when you need high shutter speeds, particularly under mixed lighting, that Av is a better choice than Tv or TAv.

The logic is this:
1. I can set the max ISO that I want by setting the ISO. That lets me avoid excessive noise reduction requirements in post.
2. I can set just enough depth of field that most of the shots will be in focus with the aperture.
3. Now the camera will set the shutter speed to the absolute maximum that meets the two criteria I have set.
01-22-2015, 10:43 AM   #10
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Shoot how you want, when you want and what you want, no need to listen to advice that doesn't fit you.

The thing is that in full auto you will most likely neglect the technical side of photography and therefore not learn how to get the results you have in your head. It's mainly a minor hedge you need to jump over to go from "I have no idea what the numbers mean" to "I know exactly how I want this to look and how to set the camera up for it". Once you get there you will know when to use what mode, even auto, and every photographer will develop their own style of shooting.

Regarding the SR, are you sure that you have checked the correct menu? Drive mode is in the right directional button and stuff like remote mode, bracketing, mirror lockup and delay may block out SR since they are meant to be used on tripods..
01-22-2015, 02:29 PM   #11
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The modes are designed to fit a use, so one is not better than another, until you know the use. I also want to know what the camera is deciding, why, and how to control its choices. In particular, the exposure compensation button changes different things in different modes.

For example, Av is aperture priority mode. I set the aperture, the camera sets the shutter speed. I like to fix the ISO as low as possible. Aperture affects the look of a photo by controlling depth of field, along with sharpness and other lens qualities. The depth of field is most important to me. If I take a portrait, I want the person in focus but maybe not the background. I probably want a lot of depth of field in a landscape. I might use a lens which has flaws wide open but not at f8. After I set my aperture, I usually want the shutter speed to be high enough to eliminate motion blur. It's no good to choose f11 for image quality at 200mm, but try to shoot handheld at 1/15. The shot would be likely to have motion blur. So I'll raise ISO to get a decent shutter speed. The camera's meter reading sets the shutter speed. If I think I am smarter than the meter, I can use exposure compensation to force the camera - tell it to make a scene brighter or darker. If I set exposure compensation to +1, the camera responds by cutting the shutter speed in half.

That's a lot of information at first. It may not be easy to get it all in one chunk, or become an expert in all modes at once. Just think about the shots you want, which parameters are most important to those shots, and how to control those parameters.

The manual says (on page 114) that SR is not available with either 2 sec. or 12 sec. self timers, wireless remote, B mode, during Composition Adjustment, when HDR Capture and AutoAlign are used, or in Night Scene mode.
01-22-2015, 02:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Really? As I mention, P mode will give virtually the same auto output but allow the freedom to make setting changes if one so chooses, much better IMO. The last thing I and many suggest is giving ones dslr complete control.
Sure, I don't disagree with you per say. I never said you cant use P, I just said that people that say that auto is rubbish are a**holes, auto is brilliant, I've held beginner photo courses for a few years now and I never tell my students not to use auto. But I make sure to teach them the other modes and explain certain situations that might benefit from using another mode.

In our beginner classes we setup practical labs where we let our students try different modes on a number of different scenarios, that I mention below:

We have a number of fast fifties for most of the popular brands that we let our students use for these tests.

we have a colored light that shines on tin foil behind a vase, toy or something similar. the point here is to set your aperture wide open to isolate the subject from the background and get a nice bokeh. In auto the camera often chooses a smaller aperture and the picture does not look as good.

We have an electric toy car going around a course and the students get to shoot it with the flash disabled, this means that they need to get the shutter speed up high enough to get the car frozen. when they use auto here the car is normally blurred, either because the camera chooses a too low ISO or too small aperture.

QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Huh? everything I have ever learned AV is better suited for controlling ones aperture for depth of field and is not well suited for the use of controlling the shutter speed needed to control motion. To use it for this type of shooting would be hit or miss with mainly more miss, TV or M would seem more suited for this IMO.
I know alot of people use shutter priority when shooting sports etc. but I start in the other end, by making sure that I have the depth of view needed to make the picture work, and then adjust with iso to get a picture that works in regards to shutter speed.

Example:

I am setup 40m behind the goal in fotball, there is a pentaly kick and I want to capture the ball in mid flight, and I want the ball, the goaltender and the one making the penalty kick in focus. In other words I have one chance to get this picture.
If I were to use shutter priority this would be a hit and miss game. with aperture priority I could set a focus point between the penalty point and the goal before the game even starts, take shots to make sure that I have the in focus distance that I want, and when there is a penalty shot I can just set these values, find my focus point and change the ISO depending on current light conditions in order to get the shutter speed needed. to freeze the image.

You can use the same principle for anything. A kid jumping of a swing, kids playing with a ball etc.

I could go on and on about why I don't use shutter priority most of the time when I need fast shutter speeds, but I will stop here.


QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Perhaps you may want to revisit learning the useful purposes of Manual shooting.
Perhaps I should, I've listed my different scenarios below, Where was my information wrong?

Fill flash: shooting against the sun, maybe 1/6000 second to avoid burning out the sky. subject will be completely dark. ramp up the flash, and all of a sudden you might have a usable photo.
old manual lenses: I have no idea what might be wrong here
Panorama shots: when stiching photos together you really need to have the same values regarding shutter speed, white balance and aperture or it will be hell in post processing
special shots: long exposures, macro, light painting, when you have largre contrasts between light and dark areas. When you want to burn or under expose certain areas, when shooting towards the sun... I can go on forever here.
01-23-2015, 07:14 AM   #13
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First off, it sounds like you are off to a very good start, and have figured out a bunch of stuff on your own. You've also received some excellent advice from the other posters.

Here's my two cents:

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
I just received my K-30 from a member here!
I'm reading all sorts of threads regarding to "Only shoot RAW!", and "AUTO Mode will DOOM YOU!"...
I've got the K30 myself. Under most conditions, I've found that it produces really good JPGs right out of the camera. I've tried hard with multiple converters to produce "better" results, and often, I prefer the result I get from making a minor adjustment to the JPG over what I get from laborious adjustments on the various converters.

But when you have a 'problem' photo, there's only so much you can do with the JPG. If you shoot only JPG, you will probably end up with a certain percentage of shots that cannot be 'saved'. If you shoot RAW only, then you have maximum flexibility. Years after the fact, you can pull up one of your old photos and develop it in a whole different way to get a different result. But it can be a pain to have to fire up a RAW converter if you just want a quick JPG version of your image. In a pinch, you might be able to use the low res JPG that's embedded in your DNG file ( some browsers like FastStone allow you to look at and save this JPG ).

As you've discovered, RAW+ is a good compromise. You have a ready made JPG available that in many circumstances will be perfectly acceptable, and you have the RAW file available if you need to fix something, or if you just want to play around and see if you can get better results than the camera did. The down side is that it does fill up your memory cards and hard drives.

There may be occasions where you know in advance that you only want JPGs, or you only want RAW, and you can reduce your storage requirements by switching modes. Or maybe someday you'll get proficient at RAW conversion and decide to not bother with JPGs at all.

Most of the time, you will probably want to shoot RAW or RAW+ because you never know when that once in a lifetime opportunity is going to come up. If you didn't save the RAW file, and you decide that you wish you had, there's no going back.

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
so I'm guessing there is no reason to have the RAW/fx button to do anything for formatting since I'm already there?
Like you, I make my file format selection before I shoot, so I have my RAW/fx button configured for Optical DOF preview. Since I do a lot of closeup/macro shooting, this should be something I use a lot, but I find that reaching around to find the RAW/fx
button is awkward. Half the time I end up popping up the flash. I used to use DOF preview a lot more when I used a K200D, where DOF preview is a third position on the on/off switch.

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Also, what's a good mode to shoot if not in AUTO?
I've been shooting in TAv, just trying to get a feel for things with green button set to Pline...
I use TAv a lot - it's very handy for the kind of shooting I do most of the time. Manual is useful for learning what each setting will do for you. When I shot film I used manual mode exclusively, so I never really got the hang of P mode. I use Av mode from time to time, but once I have to start messing with Exposure compensation, I figure if I have to second guess the meter reading, I may as well just shoot manual. I'm weird that way.

AUTO mode can be handy - let's say you're absorbed in a certain shooting situation and you have your camera configured for it. Suddenly you need to shoot something else - NOW - and you don't have time to dive into the menus. It's easy to get flustered as you juggle lenses and hit buttons and flip switches to try to get your camera back to your "normal" configuration. Just switch to AUTO and get _a_ shot. Then take a deep breath, and if the opportunity is still there, take the shot again by setting up your camera "properly". Another option is to set up your preferred "normal" configuration as one of the USER modes. That way, if you need to get back to "normal" quickly, you just flip to the appropriate USER mode and you're good to go.

Let's say you've got a tricky shooting condition and you can't seem to get your exposure right ( snow scene, night scene, whatever ). Try one of the scene modes and if the camera gives you the results you want, LOOK at the settings the camera chose and compare them to what you were using. Figure out why the camera settings worked and your settings didn't. Then riff on the camera settings. Now you know how to handle those shooting conditions and you won't have to use that scene mode ever again.

AUTO modes don't have to be a crutch.

Last edited by arkav; 01-23-2015 at 09:44 AM.
01-23-2015, 09:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
I just said that people that say that auto is rubbish are a**holes, auto is brilliant, I've held beginner photo courses for a few years now and I never tell my students not to use auto. But I make sure to teach them the other modes and explain certain situations that might benefit from using another mode.
QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
In auto the camera often chooses a smaller aperture and the picture does not look as good.
QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
when they use auto here the car is normally blurred, either because the camera chooses a too low ISO or too small aperture.
Sorry, for these reasons I don't consider Auto mode brilliant. How you teach and what you teach is your business, I come from starting and studying photography in the late 50's where there was no auto anything except for light meters so what I think is important to teach may be vastly different as I still believe, use and calculate the basics. My ire with this is your calling anyone A**holes in this forum.

QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
I know alot of people use shutter priority when shooting sports etc. but I start in the other end, by making sure that I have the depth of view needed to make the picture work, and then adjust with iso to get a picture that works in regards to shutter speed.
There is more than one mode that can be used to achieve something with the starting point a matter of preference. The correct exposure triangle for effect is what it is and what camera mode one starts in to create their effect is of no consequence. Like you I could give you scenario examples showing why I would use TV, TAV or Manual mode for the same situation.
QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
Where was my information wrong?
Nothing was wrong with your information but you are responding to a new user, giving situations for using M which is fine but why not explain why it is used.

QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
Fill flash: shooting against the sun, maybe 1/6000 second to avoid burning out the sky. subject will be completely dark. ramp up the flash, and all of a sudden you might have a usable photo.
Fill flash; 1/6000 ? Perhaps you may want to rethink or clarify this example so the OP might understand this. Only way I know of fill flash being remotely possible at 1/6000 is with using an external flash or flash combination in HSS mode. Now could one drop their ambient light settings and possibly use their on camera flash or use an external flash exposure within the 1/180 parameter limit and as you put it ramp up their flash to fill with adequate results, sure.
QuoteOriginally posted by discharged Quote
Panorama shots: when stiching photos together you really need to have the same values regarding shutter speed, white balance and aperture or it will be hell in post processing
I certainly don't disagree the settings should be the same but feel the need to mention other key elements that even with the best exposure settings do factor into panoramic stitching, which can render hell in post processing, like lens distortion or parallax error.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 01-23-2015 at 09:23 AM.
01-23-2015, 10:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Sorry, for these reasons I don't consider Auto mode brilliant. How you teach and what you teach is your business, I come from starting and studying photography in the late 50's where there was no auto anything except for light meters so what I think is important to teach may be vastly different as I still believe, use and calculate the basics. My ire with this is your calling anyone A**holes in this forum.
Okay maybe a**holes was a bit harsh, so let me try to explain why I said it. I will always claim that auto is brilliant, because what it does is allow you to just point and shoot, not give a damn about exposure triangles etc. It might not always take the best photos, but you will atleast have something to show! When you started your career in the fifties there was nothing called auto, you had to actually learn what you were doing nowadays most people come from either a smartphone, or a compact camera where you could just point and click. On these cameras you usually can't even use shutter or aperture priority. maybe there is a sports mode, maybe not.

When I've had my beginner courses I've met alot of people that does not even use their DSLR because "there are just too many settings" One could debate if these people should have bought a DSLR in the first place or not but that is besides the point. The problem is that they read on the internet, talk to friends etc. that all claim that auto is rubbish. So they start using another mode, but does not know how to and all of a sudden it starts collecting dust while they use their compact camera or smartphone instead.

My crusade is to make people use their fancy DSLR cameras. And from that point of view you have to start somewhere. And Auto is the place to start.

Then, to really understand how and why, you do need to step away from the comfort zone, but this might take some time and it must be allowed to take that time aswell. Becuase if you say to someone that you should never use Auto, you should use aperture priority instead for instance, True the pictures might be better, but there is a risc that the person never climbs that obstacle.
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