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12-01-2009, 09:56 AM   #1
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K20D Underexposing

Hi Guys,

Have just got a K20D and have noticed that in pretty much every mode the pictures seem underexposed.

In green mode you should be able to use this camera pretty much as a point and shoot and get fairly decent images?

Have been looking around and this seems to possibly be an issue with the camera.

QuoteQuote:
Exposure


I don't typically talk a lot about exposure in my digital SLR camera guides, since most modern digital SLRs are quite accurate about their automatic exposure settings.

One issue I have with the K20D is the fact that its default exposure setting universally under-exposes the image.

This is especially evident when taking photos in overcast or shaded light.

If you just allow the camera to do what it wants, you're going to wind up with photos that look too dark and might not have the color brightness that you were hoping for from a camera of this caliber.

The solution is an easy one: you just have to change the exposure compensation setting so that the camera thinks the image is over-exposed (when this really just balances things out).
I am wondering is there a way to change the default program of the camera to get this happening automatically?

Shooting in green mode the is no option to change the exposure compensation is there?

12-01-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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Firstly, welcome to the forum.

QuoteOriginally posted by michael110 Quote
Hi Guys,

Have just got a K20D and have noticed that in pretty much every mode the pictures seem underexposed.

In green mode you should be able to use this camera pretty much as a point and shoot and get fairly decent images?
Not necessarily so.
Pointing and shooting a camera is not how a decent image is obtained.
One thing Pentax users must be aware of is each camera's innate avoidance of blowing out highlights, which tends to cause what many users say "underexposed" images.

The green mode is simply no guarantee that shots will turn out alright, but it does try to retain all highlight detail...
QuoteQuote:
Have been looking around and this seems to possibly be an issue with the camera.



I am wondering is there a way to change the default program of the camera to get this happening automatically?

Shooting in green mode the is no option to change the exposure compensation is there?
Green mode means fully auto. Completely. No adjustments allowed.
That's why there is P mode, so at least there is the ability to adjust EV and fix other parameters not allowed on the green mode.

Some lenses have been known to require an added boost to EV globally, but for some like my DA* 16-50, it needs no EV compensation at all to get exposure right on any of the modes.
12-01-2009, 07:42 PM   #3
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You will learn to live with it, dial in +0.3 to +0.7 Ev comp as a starting point before deciding if the image you are about to shoot requires positive or negative Ev. So if I feel an image need -0.3ev comp I set Ev comp to 0 ... simple.

A whole bunch of egg heads will get on this thread saying that it's really the correct exposure and we don't know what we're talking about blah blah blah .... just dial in positive Ev
12-01-2009, 08:03 PM   #4
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I made a mistake one day of just setting it on +1 EV. I suffered with blow highlights in the sun. It's better to leave as is for the most part and adjust from RAW. That way, the details are preserved. Bear in mind, this is the complete opposite of what Scott Kelby (photo how to author) tells you. He says overexposure is better since you can avoid noise. I'd rather have noise than blown details any day so I disagree with him and agree with most folks here.

12-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #5
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I advised my brother-in-law not to buy a K20D because I knew he would only use Green mode and never learn anything about exposure. A K20D is a great dslr but a lousy p&s; the photographer needs to control the output. Personally I don't find a need to use +Ev that often, but then I also use AE-L, Spot meter and Center-Weighted metering.

I agree with others, use Program mode or User mode on Program, never Green mode.
12-02-2009, 01:28 AM   #6
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Dont know why anyone who wont venture past green mode would buy a camera like a k20d

A super zoom id suggest with a 18-250mm lens fixed to it is the way to go for such people.
12-02-2009, 05:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
Dont know why anyone who wont venture past green mode would buy a camera like a k20d

A super zoom id suggest with a 18-250mm lens fixed to it is the way to go for such people.
My brother-in-law ended up buying a 50D with 18-200 IS. I believe the fact that it has 15mp and my K20D only has 14.6 played a major role in his selection, as did the higher price tag. He uses Green mode only and has no interest in lens changes. He wants a grip though, mostly because it looks impressive. He delights in telling me that it shoots 6fps.

Has anyone tried the Auto-Compensation feature on a K20D? I don't use it because I want consistent behaviour from the camera. I have a pretty good idea of how it will expose a scene, and an auto mode will mess with that. But maybe auto-comp woud give the OP the exposure that he expects?
12-02-2009, 05:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Firstly, welcome to the forum.



Not necessarily so.
Pointing and shooting a camera is not how a decent image is obtained.
One thing Pentax users must be aware of is each camera's innate avoidance of blowing out highlights, which tends to cause what many users say "underexposed" images.

The green mode is simply no guarantee that shots will turn out alright, but it does try to retain all highlight detail...


Green mode means fully auto. Completely. No adjustments allowed.
That's why there is P mode, so at least there is the ability to adjust EV and fix other parameters not allowed on the green mode.

Some lenses have been known to require an added boost to EV globally, but for some like my DA* 16-50, it needs no EV compensation at all to get exposure right on any of the modes.

Thanks, good explanation


QuoteOriginally posted by laissezfaire Quote
I made a mistake one day of just setting it on +1 EV. I suffered with blow highlights in the sun. It's better to leave as is for the most part and adjust from RAW. That way, the details are preserved. Bear in mind, this is the complete opposite of what Scott Kelby (photo how to author) tells you. He says overexposure is better since you can avoid noise. I'd rather have noise than blown details any day so I disagree with him and agree with most folks here.
Good point, personally I dislike the tendency digital has to blow highlights. I hope the next thing that DSLR companies will focus on, is way better DR.



There have been some complains that the K7 has more of a risk regarding overexposure. So I guess for some, it might be a better choice

12-02-2009, 06:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by laissezfaire Quote
I made a mistake one day of just setting it on +1 EV. I suffered with blow highlights in the sun. It's better to leave as is for the most part and adjust from RAW. That way, the details are preserved. Bear in mind, this is the complete opposite of what Scott Kelby (photo how to author) tells you. He says overexposure is better since you can avoid noise. I'd rather have noise than blown details any day so I disagree with him and agree with most folks here.
+1 is going too far and what exactly is the definition of highlights? If you are not pping and willing to lift the mid tones then you need to sacrafice some highlights to get some life intot he mid tones.
12-02-2009, 10:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Green mode means fully auto. Completely. No adjustments allowed.
That's why there is P mode, so at least there is the ability to adjust EV and fix other parameters not allowed on the green mode.
Right. P mode is still fully automatic - you don't *have* to touch anything but the shutter to get a picture - but if you *want* to override some settings, you can. I can't imagine why anyone would use Green mode when P mode is far more flexible. The sort of decisions that Green mode tries to make for you that P mode might make differently are of little or not importance most of the time, and it's as likely as not that in any given picture the decision P mode would have made might be better.

Anyhow, google "exposure iso aperture shutter speed" for everything you ever wanted to know about how exposure works and why and when you might sometimes need to override what the camera suggests. But pictures in which your subject is dominated by a bright sky are *classic* examples where you will generally need to dial in positive compensation.
12-02-2009, 09:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
+1 is going too far and what exactly is the definition of highlights?

I agree the +1 was too much. It was necessary for one shot but then I forgot to change it. I've never had an issue with underexposure like I said, only with overexposure and blown out facial features.

On the other hand, here's a legit counterpoint to expose to the right. In my opinion, it's risky unless you have a lot of time and can take multiple exposures, perhaps bracketing them.

Expose Right
12-05-2009, 10:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
Dont know why anyone who wont venture past green mode would buy a camera like a k20d

A super zoom id suggest with a 18-250mm lens fixed to it is the way to go for such people.
A large portion of DSLR sales are by people who never take them out of full auto mode. They want to be able to change lenses and also have the idea that the DSLR is a "pro" camera and they should get "pro" results just by shooting away in green mode. That is why camera reviewers test cameras with the default JPEG settings. To many, they think that having to change settings is unacceptable. I have a friend who uses an Olympus and he was upset that all his shots were blue. His kid had used it and changed the white balance. That camera is his third DSLR. There are also people who buy full dress Harley or Gold Wing touring bikes and only take a 10 mile trip once a week to the diner to have breakfast.
12-05-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
A large portion of DSLR sales are by people who never take them out of full auto mode. They want to be able to change lenses and also have the idea that the DSLR is a "pro" camera and they should get "pro" results just by shooting away in green mode. That is why camera reviewers test cameras with the default JPEG settings. To many, they think that having to change settings is unacceptable. I have a friend who uses an Olympus and he was upset that all his shots were blue. His kid had used it and changed the white balance. That camera is his third DSLR. There are also people who buy full dress Harley or Gold Wing touring bikes and only take a 10 mile trip once a week to the diner to have breakfast.
but what a sad reality - people willing to spend the money but not the time to learn how to use what their money has bought them.

Oh well, I guess that's OK too - as long as they're happy.
A Lamborghini babied around the roads at designated city speed limits is still nice to drive despite not ever having its capacity exploited on the road. Speed's no good in peak hour traffic, but there'd be lots of glances...
12-05-2009, 11:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I have a friend who uses an Olympus and he was upset that all his shots were blue. His kid had used it and changed the white balance. That camera is his third DSLR.
I tried to explain Auto White Balance to my BIL with the 50D, and why he should use Tungsten setting. He wouldn't even let me finish. Not interested.
12-05-2009, 11:44 AM   #15
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I feel sorry for camera companies that have to keep focusing their technology on making dSLRs the best bloody P&S cameras available just to appease the masses. But I guess it has to happen... customer-driven demand.

What that means to the more discerning photographer is that there is less effort devoted to improving technology that really makes a difference to results - AF speed and reliability (yeah, the old SDM broken record again), longer new tele lenses, better flash performance...
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