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03-20-2016, 04:25 PM   #1
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I'm clueless. Please help.


I have the pentax k50 with kit lens, the 18-55mm.
I want to take photos of my baby but obviously she wriggles around quite a bit and even the shots where she is sleeping the image quality is not sharp at all in low light. Bedroom is not dark but the light isn't bright and all of the photos are coming out soft looking and lacking detail. Her skin tone is also quite ruddy looking in them.

My android phone takes sharper pictures.

I'm aware it's obviously down to my lack of skill and know-how.

Please can you give me some tips and pointers?

Thank you so much

03-20-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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You should upload a typical photo, straight from the camera/SD card.
03-20-2016, 04:53 PM   #3
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I would strongly recommend that you read about the basics of exposure; this article should help guide you through the most fundamental aspects of the settings on your camera:
The Fundamentals of Exposure - Introduction - In-Depth Articles

This will enable you to diagnose the problem if you continue getting bad results.

As for the issue at hand, I would start by putting the camera in green mode using the mode dial, so that everything is automatic. Make sure the ISO is set to auto (if not- press the UP button on the 4-way pad, select the auto setting, and make sure the numbers are between 100 and 3200 or 6400). The higher the top number, the less likely you'll be to get blurry photos due to camera shake.

Hope this helps!

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03-20-2016, 05:05 PM   #4
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Since you mentioned skin tone, white balance also might be an issue. I haven't used k50, but on my old k100 shooting indoors with lights on produced very yellow photos. You might want to try using one of the white balance settings for artificial lights, or correct for it later.

03-20-2016, 05:54 PM   #5
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The 18-55 produces nice, sharp images when given plenty of light so that it can stop down to f/8 and allow the camera to use ISO 100-400. You should at least try using the built-in flash to add more light to the scene, although that might not be practical when taking pictures of a sleeping baby.
03-20-2016, 06:03 PM   #6

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The shutter speed is probably set too low for the scene. But that is likely to be because the light is too low in the room to be set any higher given your aperture and ISO settings for the camera to provide a proper exposure.

Most of the pretty portraiture involve either sunlight (possibly using with reflectors) or (more commonly) an off camera flash or LED light source with some kind of diffuser (umbrella being very common) aimed towards the subject. But you could even use a table lamp for lighting if bright enough to raise the shutter speed.

If you have your camera set to AUTO mode, you're at the mercy of the camera to determine a proper exposure. I'd set it to Tv mode, raise the shutter speed with the dial to 1/250s (just to test) and let the camera figure out the rest. Then add more light to your setting as your ISO is probably going to be sky high (and thus introduce more noise to the images; lower ISO the better once properly exposed).
03-20-2016, 06:28 PM   #7
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Likewise, I can almost guarantee you are using too slow a shutter for the low amount of light in the room. Consider using the on camera flash or crank up your ISO a bit. It's tricky at first but in time you will totally get the hang of it. Good luck
03-20-2016, 06:56 PM   #8
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03-20-2016, 09:04 PM   #9
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Holding down the half-press shutter button long enough for Shake-Reduction to kick in before snapping the picture will help reduce some of the blurry photos too.
03-20-2016, 09:12 PM   #10
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Just guesses with no sample image :-(
03-21-2016, 05:09 AM   #11
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maybe a silly answer


This might be a silly answer, and I have a K30 not a K50 but I thought that hey were basically the same.

Does your mode dial on the top of the camera have a SCN option

If so when you select it then you can choose a preset photo style - there is one for Kids (on a K30)

Of course if you do not have auto ISO set then it will bugger with the settings a bit as the camera tries to make the most of the ISO you have set - I think.

I would start there, if you let the camera sleep just turn the mode dial away and back to SCN or else got to

menu -> camera tab (1)

and the first option on the menu is Scene mode

Maybe you could try this and post a photo


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