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01-15-2010, 10:41 AM   #1
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pre-purchase questions about K-x user interface

Since I can't find one locally, I have some questions to ask about the K-x before I consider purchasing it.

1. How easy is the camera to use from the perspective of coming from a Canon P&S with full manual controls? (Not an SLR, but still has aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual modes).

2. How easy is it to quickly change the aperture shutter speed and ISO in full manual mode?

3. Are settings saved for each click on the mode dial, or are they universal to the camera? Meaning, if I switch to aperture priority and set the resolution to 4 megapixel, vivid color, no flash, and then change to shutter priority and set it to 12 megapixel neutral color and flash with red eye reduction, when i go back to aperture priority do I have to set it up all over again, or does the camera remember? Likewise, I want specific settings for the scene modes. Landscapes vivid, portraits normal, etc.

Canon remembers. Sony does not, and that drove me crazy (especially since functions are hidden in extremely deep and hard to navigate menus)

4. How deep and annoying are the menus to change common functions?

5. Are there a bunch of things you want to do that the camera won't let you? For instance, my Sony doesn't allow me to turn on the flash or select spot metering when I'm in continuous shooting mode, and when I have face detection on, I'm unable to change the focusing mode from multi-point to center-point. I have to navigate the confusing menu system to turn face detection off first. (Which is shitty, because what if I'm shooting landscapes AND friends, like on a camping trip?)

6. Basically, when shooting conditions and subjects change, are you constantly going to the menu and struggling to set the camera up to do what you want, missing good shots?

Thanks.

Charles.

01-15-2010, 10:48 AM   #2
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Oh a few more questions:

7. If I put the K-x on a tripod, set it to continuous shooting, AND turn on the self-timer, what happens when I press the shutter button?

The Sony DSC-H50 waits 10 seconds and then takes one shot.

My Canon P&S waits 10 seconds and then takes continuous photos until its buffer is full, or I press the shutter button again.

8. If I set the K-x with a 10-second self-timer, then take a photo, will it remain in self-timer mode? After taking a self-timer shot with the Sony, the self-timer is then turned off. If the shot didn't come out I have to turn it back on before taking another. Really annoying when I'm taking low-light photos with longer exposure times, hand-held or pressed up against a pole or something for stability, and I have to constantly keep setting the self-timer back to 2 seconds between every shot.

I may come up with more, but this is what I can think of now. Thanks.

Charles.
01-15-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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the GUI is very very very easy to navigate. did I say easy? nothing to worry about.

you can't do continuous 4.7 FPS shooting and self timer at the same time. What you'd want to do is, get a 3 dollar remote on ebay like a lot of us did, put your camera on tripod in continuous mode, then use the remote to fire away.

self timer stays on until you change the settings.
01-15-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
3. Are settings saved for each click on the mode dial, or are they universal to the camera? Meaning, if I switch to aperture priority and set the resolution to 4 megapixel, vivid color, no flash, and then change to shutter priority and set it to 12 megapixel neutral color and flash with red eye reduction, when i go back to aperture priority do I have to set it up all over again, or does the camera remember? Likewise, I want specific settings for the scene modes. Landscapes vivid, portraits normal, etc.

Canon remembers.
You mean if you change to a different resolution, then switch exposure modes, your Canon changes the resolution to what it was last time you were in that mode? That strikes me as insane. Who wants a camera changing their resolution or any other JPEG settings when all you did was change exposure modes? A camera would normally be expected to change the things *relevant to that mode* when changing modes, and leave all else constant. If all you are doing is change exposure modes, then exposure should be the only thing to change.

On the other hand, if you've tweaked your JPEG settings for the various "scene" modes (portrait, etc), those are indeed mode-specific - that's the whole point of those modes. Although the first bit of advice you're going to get from virtually everyone on this forum is, abandon the scene modes and stop worrying about tweaking JPEG settings for every shot like that.

QuoteQuote:
6. Basically, when shooting conditions and subjects change, are you constantly going to the menu and struggling to set the camera up to do what you want, missing good shots?
My camera is the K200D, which is slightly different but overall quite similar. Changing conditions don't faze me a bit, because I don't constantly change the kinds of settings you are referring to. I leave my camera in M mode all the time, center focus mode, center weighted metering. All I ever do is change aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Simplifies life immensely over what you are describing. But if you can't imagine not wanting to change JPEG settings shot by shot, then you may be frustrated.

01-15-2010, 11:41 PM   #5
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You ought to be able to download the manual from here:

Manuals and Literature - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

That's the best I can do for specific answers, since I don't have a K-x.
01-16-2010, 03:47 AM   #6
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I think it's a very good photographer's interface.

A feature unique (mostly) to Pentax is the Green button. See the sticky Green button thread in this forum for everything that the GB can do.

Pentax Control Panel really simplifies common adjustments. The Info button brings up a quick menu called the Control Panel which is a single screen that gives you easy access to 15 common controls. When you select one of the controls, e.g. Shake Reduction, you can toggle it by rolling the rear dial. Half press the shutter and you are back to shooting. The selection remains on the last control used.

ISO has a dedicated button that takes you to an excellent I/F. You can select Auto ISO or fixed, and adjust the Auto Iso upper limit or manual ISO value by rolling the rear dial.

There are similar dedicated buttons for flash, white balance, auto focus mode and drive mode (single shot, continuous, timer, remote, bracket)
01-17-2010, 12:02 AM   #7
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Mode-specific resolutions makes sense to me. If I'm shooting sports and want a faster continuous shooting I drop the resolution.

Remote isn't really useful, trying to photograph myself doing wheelies on my motorcycle in a parking lot. If I have to conscript a friend, not a big deal, but I've used that canon feature several times for different weird-ass situations.

Sounds to me like this camera will work for me... what's the cheapest place I get get one with both lenses? Thanks.

Charles.
01-17-2010, 01:27 AM   #8
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Charles, the K-x is a breeze to use and I don't think you will find another DSLR any more simple to learn and enjoy. Now, go and buy one and let the fun begin.

Jason

01-17-2010, 03:24 AM   #9
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If you press the "Info"-button in regular shooting mode, you shift directly in to a menu where you can change all manual settings with the wheel...it's a real easy and clever setup...
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