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05-25-2015, 09:48 PM   #1
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k5ii viewfinder and exposure

K5II newbie here and need some help with a couple of problems with my camera. The first has to do with focus points in the viewfinder. I can barely seem them light up in the viewfinder when it's bright and sunny outside. Is there a viewfinder brightness control option that I'm unaware of or am I the only one having this problem? Focus points on the far left and right of the frame are the most hard to see in bright conditions.

Secondly, I'm having trouble with exposure control. I can't get the fill flash to get rid of harsh shadows in outdoor conditions. Tried moving closer to the subject and also adjusting flash compensation. Matrix metering results in both blown highlights and underexposed areas. Spot metering tends to help but I find I miss many shots when taking the time to spot meter. What's the most consistent exposure mode on the K5II? I've heard some people having good results with TAv. I just want to be able to nail my exposures without having to fuss over each shot.

Finally, I notice when previewing shots and zooming to check for focus that the picture looks pixelated when zoomed in. I'm shooting at full 16M resolution so this seemed very surprising. Even pinch zooming the images copied to my phone have this behavior so it's not a playback/LCD issue on my camera.

05-25-2015, 11:42 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pereiraw Quote
K5II newbie here and need some help with a couple of problems with my camera. The first has to do with focus points in the viewfinder. I can barely seem them light up in the viewfinder when it's bright and sunny outside. Is there a viewfinder brightness control option that I'm unaware of or am I the only one having this problem? Focus points on the far left and right of the frame are the most hard to see in bright conditions.
There's no brightness option, but the LEDs should be fairly prominent. Could be a defect that would be covered under warranty. Pentax's viewfinder display is projected rather than overlaid, so it's not quite as good as other viewfinders but it should still get the job done.

QuoteOriginally posted by pereiraw Quote
Secondly, I'm having trouble with exposure control. I can't get the fill flash to get rid of harsh shadows in outdoor conditions. Tried moving closer to the subject and also adjusting flash compensation. Matrix metering results in both blown highlights and underexposed areas. Spot metering tends to help but I find I miss many shots when taking the time to spot meter. What's the most consistent exposure mode on the K5II? I've heard some people having good results with TAv. I just want to be able to nail my exposures without having to fuss over each shot.
Can you post a sample photo illustrating the issue? Matrix metering is generally the way to go, with occasional need for exposure compensation in challenging scenarios. The shooting mode shouldn't really matter.

Make sure you're shooting in RAW for the best possible shadow/highlight recovery. It's always better to underexpose a bit and to lift the shadows than to overexpose and risk blowing highlights.

QuoteOriginally posted by pereiraw Quote
Finally, I notice when previewing shots and zooming to check for focus that the picture looks pixelated when zoomed in. I'm shooting at full 16M resolution so this seemed very surprising. Even pinch zooming the images copied to my phone have this behavior so it's not a playback/LCD issue on my camera.
Zooming in all the way with the e-dial actually results in overzoom, so what you're describing is normal. I don't remember what zoom factor results in a 100% crop, but I think it's around 8x.

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05-26-2015, 03:44 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Zooming in all the way with the e-dial actually results in overzoom, so what you're describing is normal. I don't remember what zoom factor results in a 100% crop, but I think it's around 8x.
On the K-3, it's the 8.3x zoom that equates one pixel on the image file to one pixel on the rear LCD (ie 100% zoom ratio). As you say Adam, I think it's a similar ratio for other cameras (other cameras while having lower res sensors also have lower res rear LCDs.
05-26-2015, 04:14 PM   #4
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Regarding display brightness, I can't comment on the focus points, because I just use the center focus point. For other viewfinder data display, my only comparison is my old Canon A-1, and I believe it has LEDs that auto-adjust for brightness. Despite being designed in the 1970s, data visibility - though much more limited - is a lot better than on my K5. I find the K5 viewfinder data display very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to read in bright light.

05-27-2015, 07:12 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
There's no brightness option, but the LEDs should be fairly prominent. Could be a defect that would be covered under warranty. Pentax's viewfinder display is projected rather than overlaid, so it's not quite as good as other viewfinders but it should still get the job done.



Can you post a sample photo illustrating the issue? Matrix metering is generally the way to go, with occasional need for exposure compensation in challenging scenarios. The shooting mode shouldn't really matter.

Make sure you're shooting in RAW for the best possible shadow/highlight recovery. It's always better to underexpose a bit and to lift the shadows than to overexpose and risk blowing highlights.



Zooming in all the way with the e-dial actually results in overzoom, so what you're describing is normal. I don't remember what zoom factor results in a 100% crop, but I think it's around 8x.
Thanks for your response Adam. I have a Sony RX100 that I shoot at 10M resolution (not the full 20M that it is capable of). Transferred photographs from both the Sony and Pentax to my phone. Pinch zoom on the Sony picture is scary sharp. Not quite so with the Pentax. Just to illustrate with an example, I can see every single hair on a person's eyelid on the Sony picture but the Pentax version is just a blurry set of lines. My wife pointed that out to me as she likes to pinch zoom on photographs and commented that the Sony retained more detail when zoomed in compared to the Pentax K5II.
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