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09-08-2015, 07:01 AM   #1
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Pentax K-m horrible quality

Dear Pentaxforums,

I recently purchased a used Pentax K-m camera fairly cheaply. The picture qquality is horrible: there's a lot of noise, the images are extremely blurry, the camera captures very few details and overall the photos look like crap. What could you say that cause of that could be?

09-08-2015, 07:29 AM   #2
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user error
09-08-2015, 07:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
there's a lot of noise,
Your ISO is set too high, or you are pushing the brightness underexposed images up too far

QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
the images are extremely blurry,
You either have your shutter speed set too long, or you are not focused

QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
the camera captures very few details
You might be using a poor quality lens, or it could be a combination of the above noise and blurriness wiping details

QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
and overall the photos look like crap...
Sounds like a combination of all of the above. The camera is certainly capable of taking great images, even with the kit lens. Perhaps posting one of the terrible images on here will help us diagnose the issues rather than just guessing at them based off of clues such as, they look like crap.
09-08-2015, 07:49 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Let me see...there are a number of possibilities...

Defective camera?
Defective/filthy lens?
Inexperienced user?

Do you have a copy of the user manual?

http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-m.pdf


Steve

09-08-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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If you can, post a photo here taken from this camera; I am sure there are many folks on this forum who can help you identifying where the problem lies.
09-08-2015, 07:59 AM   #6
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Please post an Image from that camera on this thread. People will exactly tell you what the issue is. You have to try hard to get a bad image from the K-m unless the camera is defective.
09-08-2015, 08:06 AM   #7
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I've had a K-m for six years. Unless it's defective, you can't blame the camera, just don't push the ISO too high, it has a CCD chip and tends to get noisy fast. If you've got it on full auto, it is likely pushing the shutter speed beyond what you can hand hold, as well as bumping the ISO and causing noise. It may be marketed as a beginner camera, but you'll get much better images shooting manual.
09-08-2015, 08:21 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
Dear Pentaxforums,

I recently purchased a used Pentax K-m camera fairly cheaply. The picture qquality is horrible: there's a lot of noise, the images are extremely blurry, the camera captures very few details and overall the photos look like crap. What could you say that cause of that could be?

You were taking the pictures inside your home, handheld, with only artificial light, on auto, weren't you?
If so, your place is simply too dark. Go outside in the morning and take a few pictures, then see if the problems persist.

09-08-2015, 10:00 AM   #9
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It shoots at ISO 100 in daylight and autofocus. Attaching a picture below. Camera might be defective
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6u-apc8zXe6WEIwN1VCTTZteDA/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6u-apc8zXe6WEIwN1VCTTZteDA/view?usp=sharing
09-08-2015, 10:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
The lens is out of focus and decentered. Try focusing manually and stopping down. But it is most likely an issue with the lens. If it was just out of focus, then it could be AF system, but the decentering suggests its probably a lens.
09-08-2015, 12:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
I took a quick look at the photos you posted. Here is what I think...
-you left the camera in portrait mode (which tells the camera to take the largest aperture as possible), in this case, the largest is f5.6 for the kit lens; at f5.6 it is not possible to get everything in the scene to be in focus
-I couldn't find where the focus point in that scene, quite possible the focus lands on the distant wall (graffiti drawings) which is a small area in the photo; anything else is in front of the focus point; which in this case, nothing appears to be in focus

IMHO, these photos are not indicative of any problems with the camera nor the lens. I also don't think there is any evidence of decentering issue based on these photos (no equivalent distance on either sides). Perhaps if you try using a wider focal length, stopping down the lens and taking the hyperfocal distance advantage of that, your chances of getting a decent and sharp photo would be greatly improved.
09-08-2015, 02:14 PM   #12
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100% agree

EDIT: with the caveat that it appears the focus point is close to the front - see my detailed explanation below.

QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I took a quick look at the photos you posted. Here is what I think...
-you left the camera in portrait mode (which tells the camera to take the largest aperture as possible), in this case, the largest is f5.6 for the kit lens; at f5.6 it is not possible to get everything in the scene to be in focus
-I couldn't find where the focus point in that scene, quite possible the focus lands on the distant wall (graffiti drawings) which is a small area in the photo; anything else is in front of the focus point; which in this case, nothing appears to be in focus

IMHO, these photos are not indicative of any problems with the camera nor the lens. I also don't think there is any evidence of decentering issue based on these photos (no equivalent distance on either sides). Perhaps if you try using a wider focal length, stopping down the lens and taking the hyperfocal distance advantage of that, your chances of getting a decent and sharp photo would be greatly improved.

Last edited by dcshooter; 09-08-2015 at 03:38 PM.
09-08-2015, 02:17 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Hey Mike,

I had a look at your photos and something seems wrong to me. I don't think it is the AF, to my eye the focus point is somewhere in the middle ground. Lens could be decentered - if you look at the line of trees in the back, they seem to get better the more you look to the right (even though they are farther away from the focus point). Do you have the possibility to borrow another lens for comparison? Also the lens will produce better photos at f8 or f11, but f5.6 shouldn't be that bad.
Another possibility is an issue with the Shake Reduction of the camera - try taking some photos with SR disabled (in good light).
Good luck!
And don't be discouraged by claims of "user error"

Alex
09-08-2015, 02:48 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Yes, don't be discouraged by user error claims, but also don't discount the possibility all together. We have all mode those user errors. Recognizing and correcting them is how we get better.

I'd be curious to see how a shot in daylight in Av mode at f/8 looks. It sounds like you may have a lens issue but sometimes those issues only really matter at certain times and with technique adjustments you might be able to avoid them.
09-08-2015, 02:55 PM   #15
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The K-m does not have optical indication of the chosen AF point in the viewfinder, so it's hard to say where the camera picked to focus (assuming auto mode). You may want to go into the menu and set the camera to use the center AF spot point ("Select AF point" in "REC Mode 2" menu). The camera will then always focus at the center of the viewfinder, so you can frame the shot and focus on a specific reference point. Combined with the other suggestions, it may help you to narrow in on the problem.
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