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07-25-2010, 08:18 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Muse Quote
Does the camera come with a printed manual? If not, I'll download it and print it today! Thanks for the ideas and encouragement!
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07-26-2010, 05:39 AM   #17
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read the manual.
be with your manual for a day.

it works wonders for me
I even read it during when the time duty calls for the toilet.
makes a good bathroom book
07-26-2010, 06:20 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
A tidbit:

I shoot 95% at ISO 100, because it's usually real sunny where I live. So if you plan on not using auto ISO (I don't), and you ever want to get that low, keep this in mind:

1) You have to turn Expanded Sensitivity on.

2) You have to turn Highlight Correction off.

Otherwise, the lowest is 200.
Last picture I took with an SLR was with my Nikon F 35mm, believe it or not. ISO 100 I believe is equivalent to Kodak Plus X film, "ASA 100." I shot that, also Tri-X, ASA 400. That's as high as you could go without trying some super high ASA film with very grainy results. I think I'm going to love the K-x's high ISO performance!
07-26-2010, 06:21 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by redeleon Quote
read the manual.
be with your manual for a day.

it works wonders for me
I even read it during when the time duty calls for the toilet.
makes a good bathroom book
I downloaded it yesterday. OMG, 324 pages!!!

07-26-2010, 06:24 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Muse Quote
I downloaded it yesterday. OMG, 324 pages!!!
I think you'll find the hard copy more useful.
07-26-2010, 06:28 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I think you'll find the hard copy more useful.
Undoubtedly, however the digital version may at times be convenient in it's digital search-ability. Control+Shift+F.
07-26-2010, 07:16 AM   #22
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well if you have a PDA or a phone that can read PDF files
then its much more convinient
07-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
While doing number 1, number 2 will inevitably happen...
Hmmmm....I have had the opposite happen more frequently.....

07-26-2010, 11:27 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Muse Quote
I downloaded it yesterday. OMG, 324 pages!!!
There are so many pictures, diagrams, ect. that 1 "page" is only a few lines of text in reality. I got through the printed manual in a day and I am a horrible reader. I did however spend the first day just messing around since I was already familiar with manual exposure so I was able to breeze through the most most most basic parts without critically reading them
07-26-2010, 03:15 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by redeleon Quote
well if you have a PDA or a phone that can read PDF files
then its much more convinient
There's nothing convenient about reading DSLR instructions on a 3-inch screen.
07-26-2010, 06:08 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Muse Quote
This will be my first DSLR, have shot a digital P&S for 6.5 years (Samsung Digimax V3, 3.2mp with viewfinder and LCD, an OK camera but minimum 9 seconds between shots!). I ordered the 2 kit lens package, including the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses. Ordered a few accessories to start:

3rd party hoods, Op/Tech Pro strap
2 sets of Eneloop AA's
Already have an OK tripod, lens cleaning kits
Thinking about eventually getting the Tamron 28-75MM F2.8 XR Di Lens
Need to get a bag of some sort to carry it around (suggestions appreciated)

What's the logical progression in:

1. Getting to know the equipment

2. Testing to make sure everything's OK
I hope the hoods you got were the bayonet mount ones for Pentax lenses and not the screw-on ones. Both will work, but the bayonet ones (even 3rd party ones) are easier to install and remove and you can reverse them on the lens for easy storage. I was able to get one for my 18-55mm kit lens on eBay for like $15. I had to spend a little more on the 55-300mm hood because it was a genuine Pentax hood for the 55mm lens, but I do not regret the decision.

I love my Op/Tech Pro Loop strap. It's very convenient the way you can take off the padded part and the two short ends join together to be a sort-of hand strap. I've used this strap on all of my last three camera systems (Olympus DSLR, Panasonic FZ50, and now the Pentax KX) and would have a hard time using anything else. With the angled design, the strap works well as either a shoulder or neck strap, and I've yet to feel any fatigue from it hanging either place even on all-day outings.

Can't go wrong with Eneloops. If you have a little bit of money to burn, I'd recommend getting a better charger than the one that typically comes with the batteries, but it's not a requirement. I got the La Crosse Technology BC-700 on the recommendation of numerous members of this forum, and it's been great. It's been very effective at reviving some older NiMH batteries that were no longer holding a charge.

Just FYI, I replaced my shorter kit zoom with a Sigma 18-50mm EX f/2.8 (used from Adorama) and love it. The f/2.8 throughout the whole zoom range really lets the already awesome low light ability of the KX shine. My 18-55mm kit zoom was a little too soft for my liking, and what's weird is I've never been the type of person to notice when a lens is "soft", so I guess my sample must have been pretty bad! You'll love the 55-300mm -- that's just a very nice lens, especially considering it's a kit lens.

I'm a bag man (like a "bag lady") -- I love camera bags. My wife says I buy and change camera bags more often than she does purses, but that's recently calmed down a bit, and she's sarcastically exaggerating (at least a little). All of my bags are Lowepro and I currently have:

LowePro Slingshot 200AW
I don't use the Slingshot anymore -- I bought it for the design/access to the gear, but could never really get used to or like the single strap. I took this on European cruise/tour a couple of years ago, and it wasn't very comfortable for all day use. I think few single-strap/sling bags would be, but that might just be me.

LowePro Stealth Reporter D200AW
This is medium sized shoulder bag with a built-in all weather cover. It can easily hold everything you have in your kit and maybe a little more. When I feel like using a shoulder bag, this is the one I always grab.

LowePro Stealth Reporter D400AW
This is a large shoulder bag with a built-in all weather cover. It an easily hold two DSLR systems, so I use this when I'm going on a longer trip and need to bring some extra electronics with me (for me or the family). It's big, but not too bulky. It's not too bad carrying it half-empty either.

LowePro FastPack 200
This is a two-strap backpack but similar design/access as the Slingshot. The upper compartment is significantly bigger. You can also get a version that has a slot for storing a notebook PC. This is my combination camera bag/man purse, and is my current bag that I take everywhere with me. It doesn't really scream "CAMERA BACKPACK!", and you can get it in a pretty good variety of colors. I like it much better than the Slingshot.

I'd also recommend getting a Giottos Rocket Air Blower for cleaning the lenses, camera body, and even the sensor when needed. Don't cheap-out and just get the 75-cent blower with a brush glued on it -- the Giottos model has a filter on it so you're not just blowing more dust on the lens, sensor, etc., and it really blows a lot of air. I recommend getting it from B&H or Adorama (make sure you click on the links for either one of those at the PentaxForums site so it helps this forum -- see HERE).

I would also get two medium to large microfiber cloths for generally cleaning the camera and lens casing, LCD, and even the lens. You'll want one that's dedicated to just cleaning the lens (you could also use that one for the LCD). Opinions will always vary, but I only clean lens glass with my breath and a dedicated microfiber cloth and only after I've blown any debris away with the rocket blower. I've never ended up with scratched lens, cleaning marks, etc. I've never subscribed to using cleaning fluids, lens pens , etc., but again -- opinions vary.

By the numbers from your message:

#1: These are digital cameras -- not film, so shoot away! Definitely read the manual or at least have it handy for a while to refer to it when you encounter a feature on the camera that you don't completely understand, but you're going to learn the most by actually using the camera. Like others mentioned, I did copy the PDF version to my smartphone for quick reference on the go.

I know this is your first DSLR, but don't be intimidated. The main differences between it and your previous camera is that it's a much better camera and you can switch lenses. Other than that, it's just a new device that you need to become familiar with over time. I'm willing to bet you'll love it.

#2: One test you could do is check your autofocus accuracy (just point it at a sign or something with a lot of detail) and try it both with and without LiveView since it uses two different focus methods. Then just look at the images on a big screen to see what your success rate is. Some people have reported needing to calibrate the autofocus (search the forums). Thankfully, I did not (so far) and you more than likely will not need to either. Just try all the features, put it through a good testing, and you'll also learn about the camera along the way.

Have fun! Come back to this forum with any questions -- this is a great group! And don't forget that while you're buying new gear and use Adorama or B&H, always go to their websites through the links on this one (click HERE for more info) so it helps the forum! Also, don't forget to routinely browse the Marketplace section here for typically great deals on used items.

-- Chris
07-27-2010, 04:47 AM   #27
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My K-x finally arrived last night via UPS (7:00 PM!). I looked things over, haven't attached a lens yet. Saw a thread here about sensor cleaning problems and figure I should find out what I'm doing before opening up the camera or taking the end caps off the lenses.

There's a lens manual, however there's no separate manual with the 55-300mm DA L lens. I thought I saw something that said the long zoom had its own manual. Can someone confirm this one way or the other?

Is there a way to find out what firmware is on the camera? Is it certainly 1.0? I have seen posts suggesting that there was more than one firmware upgrade. What's available and which version should I download and install? I am going to using Eneloop's most of the time. A search of the digital form of the K-x manual on "firmware" comes up empty. I presume there are instructions somewhere (online, I suppose!)
07-27-2010, 05:32 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Internetpilot Quote
I hope the hoods you got were the bayonet mount ones for Pentax lenses and not the screw-on ones. Both will work, but the bayonet ones (even 3rd party ones) are easier to install and remove and you can reverse them on the lens for easy storage. I was able to get one for my 18-55mm kit lens on eBay for like $15. I had to spend a little more on the 55-300mm hood because it was a genuine Pentax hood for the 55mm lens, but I do not regret the decision.
I don't know but I think they're likely bayonet mount. I should have the 18-55mm one very soon, today or tomorrow. I bought from fotodiox_gear off ebay and was told they do 3 day delivery.

QuoteQuote:
I love my Op/Tech Pro Loop strap. It's very convenient the way you can take off the padded part and the two short ends join together to be a sort-of hand strap. I've used this strap on all of my last three camera systems (Olympus DSLR, Panasonic FZ50, and now the Pentax KX) and would have a hard time using anything else. With the angled design, the strap works well as either a shoulder or neck strap, and I've yet to feel any fatigue from it hanging either place even on all-day outings.
I looked carefully (online) at that strap and decided to get the one without the loops. I ordered it from Adorama a few days ago. It got much higher customer satisfaction ratings at Amazon, almost perfect, and was cheaper by ~$3 than the loop version. Here's the one I ordered (this is from Kellards at Amazon, but the one I ordered was the same but from Adorama. It was actually a few cents cheaper than this from Kellards):

http://www.amazon.com/Op-Tech-Pro-Camera-Strap/dp/B00092KD9C/ref=sr_1_1?s=el...0260362&sr=1-1

QuoteQuote:
Can't go wrong with Eneloops. If you have a little bit of money to burn, I'd recommend getting a better charger than the one that typically comes with the batteries, but it's not a requirement. I got the La Crosse Technology BC-700 on the recommendation of numerous members of this forum, and it's been great. It's been very effective at reviving some older NiMH batteries that were no longer holding a charge.
I have 2 sets of Eneloop AA's now. My Samsung P&S uses AA's, so I had a set for them (it uses 2 AA's), which I bought only a month ago when I determined that the Powerex 2400 mah AA's I bought ~6 years ago were just not doing the job anymore. So, I think I'm pretty set for batteries now. I bought a La Crosse BC-900 charger a few years ago and it's the only charger I use except for those occasional times when a battery shows "Null" on it and I need to use one of my handful of other chargers to nudge a cell or two to where the La Crosse will deal with it.

QuoteQuote:
Just FYI, I replaced my shorter kit zoom with a Sigma 18-50mm EX f/2.8 (used from Adorama) and love it. The f/2.8 throughout the whole zoom range really lets the already awesome low light ability of the KX shine. My 18-55mm kit zoom was a little too soft for my liking, and what's weird is I've never been the type of person to notice when a lens is "soft", so I guess my sample must have been pretty bad! You'll love the 55-300mm -- that's just a very nice lens, especially considering it's a kit lens.
Don't know for sure, but presently I'm eyeing the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. Man, that's sharp! Have a close look at this:

https://oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/user/ealucas/Filemanager_Public_Files..._sharpness.jpg

I just think it would be a great all around lens to have. I'll see, I could change my mind, especially if I see a good deal on something else.

QuoteQuote:
I'm a bag man (like a "bag lady") -- I love camera bags. My wife says I buy and change camera bags more often than she does purses, but that's recently calmed down a bit, and she's sarcastically exaggerating (at least a little). All of my bags are Lowepro and I currently have:

LowePro Slingshot 200AW
I don't use the Slingshot anymore -- I bought it for the design/access to the gear, but could never really get used to or like the single strap. I took this on European cruise/tour a couple of years ago, and it wasn't very comfortable for all day use. I think few single-strap/sling bags would be, but that might just be me.

LowePro Stealth Reporter D200AW
This is medium sized shoulder bag with a built-in all weather cover. It can easily hold everything you have in your kit and maybe a little more. When I feel like using a shoulder bag, this is the one I always grab.

LowePro Stealth Reporter D400AW
This is a large shoulder bag with a built-in all weather cover. It an easily hold two DSLR systems, so I use this when I'm going on a longer trip and need to bring some extra electronics with me (for me or the family). It's big, but not too bulky. It's not too bad carrying it half-empty either.

LowePro FastPack 200
This is a two-strap backpack but similar design/access as the Slingshot. The upper compartment is significantly bigger. You can also get a version that has a slot for storing a notebook PC. This is my combination camera bag/man purse, and is my current bag that I take everywhere with me. It doesn't really scream "CAMERA BACKPACK!", and you can get it in a pretty good variety of colors. I like it much better than the Slingshot.
Thanks for elaborating on your experiences with bags, that's terrific! I was looking at the LowePro bags, and was considering the Adventura 170. I think now it's pretty small for me. I went to my local flea market a couple of days ago and found one and only one camera bag. Cheap, maybe too cheap in terms of construction. Big enough, I'm pretty sure! I live in a major metropolitan area (close to San Francisco), so I should be able to find a lot of camera bags. I hope to hold off on getting one until I do. I do have a bag for my minidv camcorder, which I seldom use, and I'll see if it will work for the K-x + lenses, etc. in the mean time.

QuoteQuote:
I'd also recommend getting a Giottos Rocket Air Blower for cleaning the lenses, camera body, and even the sensor when needed. Don't cheap-out and just get the 75-cent blower with a brush glued on it -- the Giottos model has a filter on it so you're not just blowing more dust on the lens, sensor, etc., and it really blows a lot of air. I recommend getting it from B&H or Adorama (make sure you click on the links for either one of those at the PentaxForums site so it helps this forum -- see HERE).
Thanks so much for going into the details about a blower. I was looking at this one, having no idea what the ins and outs of a blower are:

NEW Rocket Air Dust Blower Camera Lens Filter Cleaner - eBay (item 200499473861 end time Jul-29-10 09:22:57 PDT)

I don't know that I've ever used one. One thing I've tended to do with lenses is use a very fine camel hair brush to dislodge dust from the lens. As long as the brush is clean, I don't think it does any damage. I could be wrong there and I haven't been seeing any mention of brushes here. I only really discovered this forum a few days ago, but I have been a sometime regular at Anandtech Forums, and they have a dedicated camera/camcorder forum and many very experienced photographers, many of them professionals who post there regularly.

I've seen the Giottos Rocket Air Blower, and wondered what it had going for it. Looks like it might be a lot better idea than the one I was looking at.

QuoteQuote:
I would also get two medium to large microfiber cloths for generally cleaning the camera and lens casing, LCD, and even the lens. You'll want one that's dedicated to just cleaning the lens (you could also use that one for the LCD). Opinions will always vary, but I only clean lens glass with my breath and a dedicated microfiber cloth and only after I've blown any debris away with the rocket blower. I've never ended up with scratched lens, cleaning marks, etc. I've never subscribed to using cleaning fluids, lens pens , etc., but again -- opinions vary.
I've had quality film cameras since the mid 1960's, and occasionally used lens cleaning fluids and papers. I dislike using them, however.

QuoteQuote:
By the numbers from your message:

#1: These are digital cameras -- not film, so shoot away! Definitely read the manual or at least have it handy for a while to refer to it when you encounter a feature on the camera that you don't completely understand, but you're going to learn the most by actually using the camera. Like others mentioned, I did copy the PDF version to my smartphone for quick reference on the go.
I'm going to have the PDF version of the manual open for reference for a while! You can click on a page number reference and it goes right to the page. Great stuff!

QuoteQuote:
I know this is your first DSLR, but don't be intimidated. The main differences between it and your previous camera is that it's a much better camera and you can switch lenses. Other than that, it's just a new device that you need to become familiar with over time. I'm willing to bet you'll love it.

#2: One test you could do is check your autofocus accuracy (just point it at a sign or something with a lot of detail) and try it both with and without LiveView since it uses two different focus methods. Then just look at the images on a big screen to see what your success rate is. Some people have reported needing to calibrate the autofocus (search the forums). Thankfully, I did not (so far) and you more than likely will not need to either. Just try all the features, put it through a good testing, and you'll also learn about the camera along the way.

Have fun! Come back to this forum with any questions -- this is a great group! And don't forget that while you're buying new gear and use Adorama or B&H, always go to their websites through the links on this one (click HERE for more info) so it helps the forum! Also, don't forget to routinely browse the Marketplace section here for typically great deals on used items.

-- Chris
Thanks so much!

Last edited by Muse; 07-27-2010 at 12:54 PM.
07-27-2010, 07:16 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Muse Quote
My K-x finally arrived last night via UPS (7:00 PM!). I looked things over, haven't attached a lens yet. Saw a thread here about sensor cleaning problems and figure I should find out what I'm doing before opening up the camera or taking the end caps off the lenses.

There's a lens manual, however there's no separate manual with the 55-300mm DA L lens. I thought I saw something that said the long zoom had its own manual. Can someone confirm this one way or the other?

Is there a way to find out what firmware is on the camera? Is it certainly 1.0? I have seen posts suggesting that there was more than one firmware upgrade. What's available and which version should I download and install? I am going to using Eneloop's most of the time. A search of the digital form of the K-x manual on "firmware" comes up empty. I presume there are instructions somewhere (online, I suppose!)
Don't worry about dust on the sensor just yet. Just accept that it's going to happen, if it hasn't already, and it's something you'll have to deal with. It's a fact of DSLR life. There are hundreds of threads here describing various materials, tools, and methods of cleaning the sensor.

You check your firmware version by holding the Menu button while turning the camera on. I don't remember ever seeing the install procedure in the manual (any manual) for firmware. You can download the latest here...

Software Downloads : Support & Service : PENTAX

Be sure to follow the included instructions EXACTLY. You definitely want to update it as it corrects a problem with the battery meter among other things.

Pentax doesn't publish different manuals for different lenses so you probably have the only one available.

Enjoy your new camera and welcome to the club!

07-27-2010, 01:05 PM   #30
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I just turned the K-x on for the first time, holding down the Menu button. It says version 1.00. The link only shows version 1.01 available for the K-x. I know I've seen posts saying that there's a version 1.02 and I think maybe even 1.03. Is it possible or advisable for me to find and use one of those post-1.01 versions?

Edit: Well, I downloaded and installed Ver. 1.01. Are there newer versions somewhere?

Last edited by Muse; 07-27-2010 at 01:52 PM.
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