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06-02-2010, 12:01 AM   #1
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K20D - Images overexposed & saturated

New to digital cameras and there is much to learn, the part that really can get one frustrated are many of the photographs almost consistently appear blown out as well as over saturated. They appear to lean too much towards green at times ( makes since when that color is predominant I guess ). I am using a older Sigma 28-105mm zoom ( AF type ) and the K20D is setup for RAW (DNG). The attached image was shot at 1/30 at ISO 1600 and F13. the Metering Mode was P and metering was Multi Segment. It was mostly cloudy with sun as well. I am wondering what is happening or if this is typical at times. I plan on trying a different lens, a manual focus Pentax 50mm 1:7 prime to see what the results will be. I have been studying the manual and searching this Forum to better understand the camera and photography in general, but I have to say my Canon S5 ultra zoom is much more accurate at this point! I know it takes time and practice, but I think the DA 16-45mm zoom lens might be an improvement, and it is an excuse to get a wider angle lens as I enjoy using them. Hopefully some of you out there who are much more experienced might have some ideas I can implement. I somewhat suspect the lens at this point.




The next two where taken in bright sunlight. Shutter 1/180, ISO 800. F5.6




Shutter 1/500, ISO 800, F6.7





Last edited by Johnny5; 06-02-2010 at 12:20 AM.
06-02-2010, 12:17 AM   #2
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I don't see a white balance setting in the EXIF? Also, what are you using to convert your images from RAW to JPEG?
06-02-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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I downloaded FastStone just to try a program initially, and I admit to not knowing very much! I did play around with some of the downloaded images and they eventually looked more balanced. I realize that RAW images are not processed but is this normal? I should mention I have the lens locked in A on the aperture ring and white balance is on AWB. Some shots look passable but not many. Here is one before and after.







Last edited by Johnny5; 06-02-2010 at 12:36 AM.
06-02-2010, 12:41 AM   #4
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Must be the software.
Maybe shoot with RAW + jpeg setting so you can compare your raw processing with the camera's jpeg.
I just use the bundled pentax software - I find it produces good results for my needs, plus it's free.

06-02-2010, 12:58 AM   #5
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Can you post the remaining EXIF info for this image (or upload it to our gallery/albums on this site, which automatically retrieves EXIF)? Chances are you might have been using EV compensation. Are all your image adjustment (contrast, saturation, sharpness) settings centered? Why were you shooting at ISO 1600 outdoors?

1/30s at ISO 1600, even at F13, is a lot of light in broad daylight. I'm not surprised that this image is overexposed.

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06-02-2010, 01:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnny5 Quote
I downloaded FastStone just to try a program initially, and I admit to not knowing very much! I did play around with some of the downloaded images and they eventually looked more balanced. I realize that RAW images are not processed but is this normal? I should mention I have the lens locked in A on the aperture ring and white balance is on AWB. Some shots look passable but not many. Here is one before and after.
Shooting RAW requires processing. If you want life to be hassle-free (but somewhat less controllable), use JPEG only, or at RAW+JPEG if you want the best of both worlds as the cost of disk space.

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06-02-2010, 01:25 AM   #7
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Adam - I have no idea on how to post the EXIF information, but I did see in the side bar information for the image that the listed Exposure Bias was 0 EV, does that give you any clues? Regarding the shutter speed, I must not have been paying attention to the setting initially, I did change it though. Hopefully, one day, I can think back on how little I knew!

Last edited by Johnny5; 06-02-2010 at 01:30 AM.
06-02-2010, 08:17 AM   #8
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I would try reset the camera back to factory defaults .

06-02-2010, 08:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Must be the software.
I'm inclined to agree. Try looking these shots with "real" raw processing software. Faststone is more of of browser/viewer that just happens to be able to do something with raw files. With "real" raw processing software (programs intended for that purpose that actually make an effort to do a good job), even the default conversions should look good. Actually, for that matter, just shoot JPEG for a while and see if the reuslts arne't more to your liking. If so, then it's *definitely* a software problem.

BTW, for the record, without having seen the actual scenes, the car scene looks fine to me. The others look like you have saturation turned all the way up and contrast turned all the way down. Unfortunately, it appears most of the EXIF info is being stripped out of your images. I would blame your software for that, too, unless it's your photo hosting service that is doing that.
06-02-2010, 08:53 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I think its likely the software you are using to proccess. What I would do is shoot jpeg until you are comfortable with the camera.

I originally came to this thread because it was ironic (most complaints about pentax exposure is that it under exposes).

There are a few things definantly wrong here.

ISO 1600 is way too sensitive for daylight. Seeing as your in program mode it should have brought the shutter speed way down. Sometimes when I get strange results, I press the green button and magically its fixed. For me, the cause is i've often bumped one of the wheels which switches you into a different mode. For me, i've got it setup to switch to either Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority.

Anyway, if you're just starting out with this camera (i own a k20d and it was my first DSLR too, coming from a canon s2is) i would shoot jpeg in program mode. Set ISO to auto and give it a range of 200-800 (i use expanded DR so 200 is my lowest). Also make sure your review mode shows the histogram. This is much more important than seeing the photo in full view. The histogram will show you the frequency of a brightness value for all three colors of the chip. What does this mean for you? The world! A well exposed picture will generally have a bell curve with all three colors about the same (it'll never be perfect). What you need to look for is the shape of the histogram, if its leaning left (towards dark) the picture might be under exposed (this is where you need to look at the picture as you may just have a lot of dark areas). If its leaning to the right, its likely over exposed (unless of course you just have a lot of bright things). The solution is that exposure compensation wheel. If its under exposed, bump up the exposure compensation. If its over exposed, go the other way. This is the beauty of program mode! Also, if you just get too far out of range or the scene changes or you go somewhere else, just move it back to 0. You can view exposure compensation in the top LCD.

Additionally, it'll help you check white balance. If one color is dominant over the others, that generally tells me something is off in my white balance. Also, if you just don't get a lot of stuff showing up on the histogram, that indicates a white balance issue.

Hope you are enjoying the new camera. For what its worth, I keep my exposure compensation dialed up to +1.0 all the time. Something else to consider, RAW requires proccessing. If you don't do anything with a RAW it looks awful and might look over exposed. For me, nothing beats adobe lightroom. 3 was just released but if you can find 2 for cheap its more than sufficient. Most of my best photos look awful when coming straight from the camera because RAW doesn't start with many adjustments. Often time bumping up the black just a little bit will bring a picture to life.

Good luck! My final advice is to read the manual, if my post doesn't make sense, i'd read the manual and then try again. If it still doesn't make sense well, thats because i'm a worse writer than I am a photographer
06-02-2010, 11:06 AM   #11
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Not sure what all is going on, but the P mode program line seems to be set for "Depth" (I think it is called), which uses a small aperture/long shutter bias - such as the stated 1/30 at f13. The "normal" program line would be more like 1/90 at f8. Even so, those exposure values are more like ISO 100, not ISO 800 or 1600.

I think the images are just very overexposed and therefore can only be "fixed" so much.

Never used FastStone for processing but I do use it on the netbook while traveling.
06-02-2010, 11:22 AM   #12
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jmbradd, and everyone else - your advice is very much appreciated! Not having had the K20D for more than a week one should not be surprised that something like this is inevitable. What you described has definitely helped me rethink where to look regarding the camera functions. The fun part is grasping all of it and putting it into practice. I imagine it has been a familiar situation of buying a good DSLR and expecting great looking photographs,only to be disappointed. I like the creative possibilities that shooting Raw presents but using jpeg until I can become more accomplished makes sense. I think between reading the manual and going into the menu and playing around trying to understand everything it is no wonder the camera was not able to meter properly most of the time, a lot of hit and miss. Looking over the Histogram for the colors, the results were not very good overall when compared to the ideal you described. The white balance was good at times though. The person I bought the camera from sold it because there were too many functions - I gather she preferred a P&S. The good part is it is basically brand new and managed to save a few dollars.

Regarding the software, from what I have read I knew that when using RAW files good results would not come with free software! The downside is a restrictive budget at the moment but if I can find Adobe Lighthouse ( which was on my short list ) reasonably priced then the tools necessary for a good image will be there. Time to put on the thinking cap and keep learning.

Last edited by Johnny5; 06-02-2010 at 11:41 AM.
06-02-2010, 01:06 PM   #13
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I process the RAW files with CS4 or LR. I don't shoot in Program mode. I use Manual, but I've got one of the older Sigma 28-105mm zoom's. I've noticed that when using it, I have to set the exposure meter 1/2 a stop to a full stop (depending on the amount of sunlight) underexposed to get a proper exposure. Try underexposing just a little with this lens and see how it works for you.

I used this lens on my girlfriends K2000 and got the same results. Could it be something with the lens?

It doesn't happen with my 18-250, 18-55, or M 135.

Do you have another lens you can try?
06-02-2010, 01:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnny5 Quote
Regarding the software, from what I have read I knew that when using RAW files good results would not come with free software! The downside is a restrictive budget at the moment but if I can find Adobe Lighthouse ( which was on my short list ) reasonably priced then the tools necessary for a good image will be there. Time to put on the thinking cap and keep learning.
I use FastStone--mostly as a viewer but sometimes as a converter (if I'm pressed for time and don't need an ultra-polished image.) I think it's pretty good but pay attention to the settings.
06-02-2010, 02:06 PM   #15
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Regarding FastStone I should have said it is a good basic program, but I can see that if i want to get creative, something like Lightroom is the way to go. I plan on trying an older 50mm 1.7 lens I have lying around just to find out if the Sigma zoom is adding to the problem, beyond my inexperience.
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