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07-23-2016, 10:54 AM   #1
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Pictures with fast shutter time and in low light

Hi!
This is my first post here at pentaxforums. I have a Pentax K200D. I have had it for some years now, its working great except from when I`m taking pictures inside in the evening. It always gets blurry even though i use a high ISO. What i`m I doing wrong xD? Also I`m going to Peru this fall. Any tips how to take good pictures will be appreciated!

07-23-2016, 11:19 AM   #2
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Nothing wrong... most likely.
I assume blur is not due to your hand-holding the camera. If so, first thing you must do is get a tripod.
This will eliminate bur for any *non-moving* subjects.
If your subjects are moving, then your probably out of luck.

If you have your aperture as wide as possible (smallest number like f2.8) and your ISO is as high as you will find acceptable, yet your shutter speed still cannot get fast enough, then sadly there is not much you can do.

If you get an image that is slightly underexposed while maintaining a sharp image, just use editing software to increase exposure (more noise is likely).

You didn't mention which lens(es) you use. An option that might help is to get a better lens. One that opens to f1.4, 1.8, 2.8, etc...


Otherwise you need to get a better camera. :-) (just kidding -- sort of)
You will have to add light somehow. Flash, spotlights, car headlights, etc...

---------- Post added 07-23-16 at 02:26 PM ----------

One thing to keep in mind... your camera is likely going to try to get the "perfect" exposure if you use any of the automatic modes, P, Av, etc...
If you put the camera in manual mode, or use the exposure compensation [+/-] to decrease your exposure, you might be able to get your shutter speed up to an acceptable level.
Like I mentioned above, this may result in a slightly underexposed image, but editing software can do a pretty good job bringing the image back to life.

I don't now how high you can go on a K200 before the ISO turns sour. The K5 and high do really well (subjectively) up to 12,000+ if you *really* need some sort of image without blur.
07-23-2016, 12:09 PM   #3
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You may already know this but just to make sure:
With less available light, you need to do one or more of the following things:
a) Larger aperture (f/4 not f/11)
b) Slower shutter speed (1/45" not 1/250")
c) Higher ISO (1600 not 100)

With a larger aperture, you also get less depth of field which means being more selective of your focal point and using good focusing technique. Prime lenses like the Pentax 35mm f/2.4 or 50mm f/1.8 will give you larger apertures then zoom lenses. Sometimes there are exceptions and they are very expensive. With a larger aperture, you can have faster shutter speeds and/or lower ISO.

A tripod is one option if there is no movement in your composition, that will then allow you slower (any) shutter speeds without blur. Your camera does have IBIS (in body image stabilization) and the sensor will shift to help compensate for some minor blurring. Make sure this is on ONLY when hand holding in low light. Your built in flash will help freeze anything within its range; consider using it.

The newer cameras with newer sensors will perform better in low light. Generally the higher ISOs on any camera have unacceptable noise. In other words, with your K200D that has a max ISO of 1600, you may find the image quality acceptable up to ISO 400. With a brand new K-S2 that goes up to ISO 51,200, you may find the image quality acceptable up to ISO 3200.

If I were in your shoes and didnʻt want to buy a new camera or a faster lens like a prime, Iʻd opt for an external flash unit that both tilts and swivels. Direct flash can be harsh and artificial creating unwanted shadows and glare. With a flash unit that tilts up and down or swivels left or right, you can bounce the light off a wall or ceiling to create a more natural looking sky light or side window light.

There are at least 12 models that are compatible with Pentax DSLRs that range from $90-$480. The least expensive Iʻd suggest would be the Bolt VS 570P around $130.

Bolt VS-570P Wireless TTL Flash for Pentax/Samsung VS-570P B&H

The Pentax AF360 FGZII at $349 is the least expensive Pentax flash with tilt and swivel and unlike the others, is weather-sealed.

Pentax AF360FGZ II Flash 30438 B&H Photo Video

The top of the line model in terms of power output (flash distance and bounce) is the Metz 64 AF-1 at $480.

Metz mecablitz 64 AF-1 digital Flash for Pentax Cameras MZ

Whatʻs makes sense about getting a faster lens or external flash is that you can use them with your next Pentax when it comes time to replace the K200D.
Please eventually tell us what you end up doing that improves your indoor low light images.....and welcome to the forum. This is an awesome resource with really helpful members.

Last edited by Alex645; 07-23-2016 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Noted: C_Jones correction. Thanks!
07-23-2016, 02:01 PM   #4
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Pentax AF360FGZ or Pentax AF360FGZ II for flash. A tripod will allow you to use slower shutter speeds for still subjects (w/o flash), otherwise a flash is the tool for indoor low light.

I noticed a reference to a Pentax 530FGZII in an earlier post. That flash model does not exist. There is a Pentax AF540FGZII (weather sealed) though, and the Pentax AF540FGZ.


Last edited by C_Jones; 07-23-2016 at 02:07 PM.
07-23-2016, 02:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
I noticed a reference to a Pentax 530FGZII in an earlier post. That flash model does not exist. There is a Pentax AF540FGZII (weather sealed) though, and the Pentax AF540FGZ.
My typo; thanks for the correction.
07-23-2016, 02:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
My typo; thanks for the correction.
You're welcome. I have made typos before also.
07-25-2016, 02:35 AM   #7
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Thank you for all your fast replies! I have been considering buying a new camera soon so maybe I should just go for it! Also I don't own an external flash yet so maybe its time for me to buy some new gear Any tips about which camera I should consider buying?
07-25-2016, 03:28 AM   #8
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Your 10MP K200D was 2008 technology. So you will find a significant improvement with anything from the 16MP K-50, 20MP K-S2, 24MP K3 or K3II, or the soon to be released 24MP K-70. But honestly I have seen great images from 10MP cameras, so my advice would be to save money and get a K-50 or K-S2 and then with what you saved, get a better flash unit and consider a better zoom than the kit lens (like the 16-85mm) or any prime in the focal length that best suits what you like to shoot.

You could also invest in something like Lightroom or Photoshop and shoot in RAW. That alone can greatly improve your results.

07-29-2016, 02:37 PM   #9
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Don't hesitate to get something like a K5-ii also (similar to the K-50) but with a few more features although the K50 will be quite similar to your K200d. I still prefer the route of the K5 and K3 models because they have a bit more features in terms of dials and buttons at the expense of more automatic settings.

Aside from that; I think you might want to get some of the books by Brian Peterson. I would start with Understanding Exposure, and then move on to Understanding Flash Photography if you learned something and feel like you could learn more.

Keep in mind that as a rule of thumb, your shutter speed needs to be faster than 1/(Focal Length). There is some flexibility with Pentax, but it's still a useful rule. Thus if you are shooting with a 300 mm lens, you need to be shooting faster than 1/300 (e.g. 1/500, 1/1000 etc). If you are using a 30 mm lens than you can shoot 1/30, 1/45, 1/60, 1/125 etc. If not, then you need a tripod or a flash to help you out. And... watch for cheap tripods; they don't help all that much as they tend to be a bit flimsy.
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