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12-05-2009, 09:56 PM   #1
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Advice in getting to grips with my K-x

Great site - really nice to have a resource specific to Pentax!

This is my first DSLR but used to spend quite a bit of time with a manual focus SLR years ago(Canon AE1 Program). I have a reasonable understanding of the effects of apperture and shutter speed etc but I'm Still getting to grips with getting good consistent shots with the K-x though.

Quite interested in night and indoor photography. At first I thought I might have bought a bit of a lemon in that I could not get images at higher ISO with anywhere near as little noise as I saw on the various review samples. However now I think it may well be just my inexperience with a DSLR. Its starting to dawn on me that due to sensor characteristics (I guess) the shutter speed and apperture settings have a significant effect on on high ISO image quality (including noise) for a given ISO setting. Sometimes I can now get images nearly as clear of noise as review images (but not quite and not consistently either). Any advice as to how I can improve my technique in this area?

Also I often manage to take shots a little out of focus and under exposed. Worked out I usually need to up exposure between +1/3 to +2/3 (is this normal?).
As far as focus goes I am thinking I might be best spending more time with spot focus. My only experience with autofocus is with P&S cameras and I think they are more forgiving.

Must say the weight and feel of the K-x (after trying various Canon and Nikon cameras) really suits me. Love the ability to take rapid photos of the children too! Really pleased with the 55-300 lense too (sharper than I was expecting for zoom lense).

Jonathan

12-06-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
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Welcome!

QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Quite interested in night and indoor photography. At first I thought I might have bought a bit of a lemon in that I could not get images at higher ISO with anywhere near as little noise as I saw on the various review samples. However now I think it may well be just my inexperience with a DSLR. Its starting to dawn on me that due to sensor characteristics (I guess) the shutter speed and apperture settings have a significant effect on on high ISO image quality (including noise) for a given ISO setting.
It's actually not so much shutter speed or aperture per se that matter, but exposure in general. An underexposed shot will always have more noise than a brighter one. And there will be more noise in the darker areas than the brighter areas of any picture (although the K-x is better than most cameras in this regard). At *very* long shutter speeds - measured in seconds, not fractions of a second - then you do get additional noise from the whole sensor heating up.

Other factors that influence the appearance noise are the contrast and textures in the scene itself, the color of the lighting, and what settings you are using in terms of noise reduction.

QuoteQuote:
Also I often manage to take shots a little out of focus and under exposed. Worked out I usually need to up exposure between +1/3 to +2/3 (is this normal?).
It's normal if the scene is above average brightness, or if it includes something unusually bright - like if you're shooting a person and the sky or a lamp is in the background.

QuoteQuote:
As far as focus goes I am thinking I might be best spending more time with spot focus. My only experience with autofocus is with P&S cameras and I think they are more forgiving.
True, because depth of field is so much greater. With a DSLR, I think it foolish to let the camera decide where to focus. I just leave my camera on center point all the time - focus then recompose - because that's how I learned to focus decades ago and it hasn't stopped working for me yet (except when dealing with *extreme* shallow DOF effects).
12-06-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback Marc!

This is starting to make sense. I guess one of the balances I might have to weigh up for indoor shooting is washed out areas of overexposure versus noise in the darker areas (when I can't influence lighting that is).

Regarding focus - makes sense - only the photographer really knows where he / she wants the focus. Keep the multi-zone focussing stuff for quick snaps.

Thanks again.

Jonathan
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