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03-02-2016, 11:18 AM   #1
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Pentax SLR Digital Camera K-x

I have a Pentax SLR Digital Camera K-x and like to take pictures of the outdoors and would like to know what is the best settings? I have tried auto, landscape, Portrait , they all seem to come out sort of fuzzy, what I mean is they don't seem very crisp/clear , what is the best all around settings for this camera.

03-02-2016, 11:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wise Owl Quote
I have a Pentax SLR Digital Camera K-x and like to take pictures of the outdoors and would like to know what is the best settings? I have tried auto, landscape, Portrait , they all seem to come out sort of fuzzy, what I mean is they don't seem very crisp/clear , what is the best all around settings for this camera.
There is no "best" setting since all locations, times, and current lighting conditions are always different. You can try ISO 100, F/8 and whatever focal length lens you have. Fuzzy images could mean a number of things, and without an example of said fuzziness, there is no way for us to know what is going on. Its likely user error. However, its possible that the focus needs calibrating, or the lens is decentered, or you are just hitting the limits of resolution for a certain lens.
03-02-2016, 11:27 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Post some examples. I had trouble at first, too. You are best served learning to shoot in Av or Tv. To learn more, try reading "Understanding Exposure" by Peterson. It will help tremendously.
03-02-2016, 11:38 AM - 1 Like   #4
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You may not want to hear this part but: read the manual. There are no 'settings' that are best. You will be better served by learning how the camera works and then selecting the settings that will produce the image you want.

A good start would be f/8 and using Av mode but it might not be the settings, are you focusing correctly? Are you using a fast enough shutter speed? Post examples and you might get some better information.

You might also want to read up on DSLR photography. A good starter book is Understanding Exposure by Brian Peterson.

03-02-2016, 05:35 PM - 1 Like   #5
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All good answers so far, and true.

When I was shooting with the K-x I usually set it to no digital filters, and the Custom Image section (press the Info button) to Bright. That won't affect fuzziness at all, but will get the colors and saturation pretty close to a good picture, and you can also customize any of the Custom Image settings to suit you.Same for the K30 I'm using now, settings are almost identical. For the unusual occasion I shoot a few landscapes, the settings already posted are my starting point...ISO100 or 200, f8 and whatever shutter speed I need for a good exposure. If I have enough light, I'll go to f11 any time possible, to get more sharp area and less bokeh. If not, f8 works well. With a 50mm lens, f4 or smaller should do ok, but I prefer more depth of field for landscapes, so I'l almost always try for at least f8, smaller if I can get it.

Fuzzy images can be from not focusing well, or on the wrong spot, camera motion, or changing the zoom range while shooting, if using a zoom lens. Follow the above advice, ISO 100 or 200, start at f8, make sure the shutter speed is faster than the focal length, and a lot of people recommend using a tripod for landscapes. So if the focal length is 50mm, you want the shutter speed above 1/50. The K-x will do well at 1/60, there is no 1/50. If possible, try for faster, 1/180 if you can get it will work great for a lens in the 50mm range, or the 18-55 kit lens on 55mm. When I was shootingt sunsets with mine, I only got below 1/180 in the last few minutes before dark, when the shutter speed had to come down. I always shoot in Manual mode, but I've been doing this with film for 30 years, so the learning curve wasn't very wide...I was shooting manual before digital cameras existed...

If you don't know it already, you might want to do a bit of searching around and learn a little about how the aperture, shutter speed and ISO all affect each other. A tripod or monopod might be helpful, I almost never used one, but many people swear by tripods for landscapes.

Read the manual, let us know what lens you're using, and if you can, post an example or three so we can see what's going on.
03-03-2016, 07:05 AM   #6
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I will post a few picture later, one thing is when I use AF it really eats up my batteries ((this normal?). Thanks for your responds guys/gals(?) I hope I do not become a pain in the --- I have read the manual but have trouble understanding

Last edited by Wise Owl; 03-03-2016 at 07:34 AM.
03-03-2016, 08:52 AM - 1 Like   #7
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There are some books out there, not specific to your Kx but the Magic Lantern series has great information on how to use a DSLR. I had one with my K10 and it really helped in the early days. The first half of the book is non-camera-specific. It will reference controls specific to Pentax, which is convenient.
They stopped making them with the K7, it seems. That one would probably work for you, though the Kx won't have some of the control options.

The settings dials sets your camera up with recommended settings for certain tasks. You can do the same yourself in any of the modes, though you'll need to do what the settings accomplish.

If all your images are soft, there may well be a problem with your lens or your diopter if you're using manual focus and relying on how the image looks in the viewfinder.
03-03-2016, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #8
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It would help if you would specify what lens you are using.

Also, regarding the batteries, I have a K-x and I've gotten the best results with Panasonic eneloop pro AA batteries (2500mAh); second with Energizer Lithium AAs. There's also a Menu option for battery type - I've found that the 'Auto-Detect' is NOT that good... Specify Lithium or NiMh. IMHO Alkalines are NO GO.

03-03-2016, 09:01 AM   #9
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I have two lens PENTAX 55-300 and PENTAX 18-55
03-03-2016, 09:25 AM   #10
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Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" will be very helpful. Also, use Eneloop AA batteries in your K-x, as Sandbasser mentioned. Is Shake Reduction enabled on your camera? Posting some examples will help us help you.
03-03-2016, 10:28 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wise Owl Quote
I have two lens PENTAX 55-300 and PENTAX 18-55
I have both of those lenses...No problems at all with the DA 55-300; but I stopped using the DA 18-55 because it was a plastic mount version that I was told had focus problems (but, that 'info' came from a camera store guy who was trying to sell me a 'better' lens, so you can take it with a grain of salt).

As others have said...sample pictures might help others with assisting you.
03-03-2016, 03:05 PM   #12
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Ok I hope this works.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-x  Photo 
03-03-2016, 03:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wise Owl Quote
Ok I hope this works.
definitely shouldn't be using ISO 6400 outside.
03-03-2016, 03:19 PM - 1 Like   #14
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ok, I see a couple things wrong from your exif data - ISO was set to 6400, which is way too high. For an outdoor shot like this in decent light, you should use 200 or 400 ISO. This will reduce some of the noise. Your aperture was f/13, which is quite high, even for the 18-55 kit lens. Diffraction will blur your shot, so try f/8. I've never gone past f/11 with my copy of the kit lens. Your shot is a bit underexposed as well.

Try these settings next time for a shot like this: Set ISO to 200 or 400, or you can try auto-iso with the max set to around 800. Put the camera in Av mode, f/8 and check your results.
03-03-2016, 04:01 PM   #15
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If I were to set the camera to Auto would it make the correct choices? The reason I ask is (and please remember I am new to this) if the correct choice is made I could look at setting and learn, (do I need to change all these setting for each picture.
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