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10-05-2010, 01:11 PM   #16
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OP, as you can see, there are a lot of excellent images being produced by the very same camera you have. It sounds to me like the auto settings in the camera aren't meeting your expectations - that's OK. The Tamron lens as well as your others should be OK to produce decent results, as mentioned it's most likely your JPEG settings that are letting you down. You'll have a completely transformed camera once you boost exposure and/or the in-camera JPEG settings such as contrast and saturation.

Also consider shooting in RAW and working on developing your post-processing skills as this is the sure-fire way of getting better overall results.

All the best.

10-05-2010, 01:18 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by JamesD Quote
...

In the intervening years I've been generally displeased with the results. I knew beforehand that the designer of this camera had programed in algorithms that would make the images have a more natural, film-like quality and lack that punch that some camera makers opt for.

However, I've reached a place where I'm now considering selling our Pentaxes and going with something else. The images we produce seem too dead, flat, dark. By way of comparison, I picked up a Panasonic Lumix from Costco (DMC-ZS6) and immediately found the images to be far clearer and bright overall.

So, obviously I must be doing something wrong. That's why I've decided to ask here before making my final decision.

What settings do most of you set your cameras at for general photography (scenic, landscape, nature) OR do you leave it at the default settings?

Is the Tamron lens a culprit in my imaging woes? Would I be better advised to spend money on a different lens covering a similar range?

I understand that I will need to do some post processing of my images, but I don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time. My feeling is that the images I shoot should be, more or less, close to what I want to show to others.

For your information: I seldom shoot in RAW, preferring fine JPEG. I'm not very accomplished with post processing techniques (we have Photoshop Elements 8) and would hope that my images in camera would at least be close to acceptable for viewing. Right now... they're dead-looking.
The problem is, that you compare apples and pears. A compact camera is tuned to give over-sharp, over-saturated colours, because many people have been educated by advertising (even back in film times), that this is desirable. This is not limited to photography but to all aspects of consumer products.

A DSLR on the other hand is less of a consumer product. Some basic modells will work an provide results similar to a point-and-shoot camera - but the K10D isn't a basic camera, it is a near-professional tool. And as with any professional tool, you need to know how it works and how to apply it.

You can tweak JPGs a bit by increasing saturation and sharpness, to achieve JPG-results similar to a point-and-shoot camera. But the K10D works much better, if you know, how to use it.

I see, that you don't want to spend much time with post-processing. I symphathize. But if you use one of the more workflow-oriented RAW software packages, like Lightroom, Aperture or Capture One, you will see, that (after the initial learning phase) you can automate or semi-automate most basic enhancements. Thus editing even large numbers of files is quite fast,

Ben
10-05-2010, 01:26 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
So what happens when a picture is best with softer, more natural tones and you have that "punch" P&S camera giving you super saturated? You have the same problem but in reverse and both are fixable with an image editor.
Actually, over saturation can really kill skin tones and make people look kind of odd and unnatural. This is something that is awfully hard to fix if it happens.
10-05-2010, 01:40 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Actually, over saturation can really kill skin tones and make people look kind of odd and unnatural. This is something that is awfully hard to fix if it happens.
hey!! those are just oompa loompa's and they are people too!!

{image and links removed as I have nothing worthy of contributing to PentaxForums}


Last edited by brecklundin; 11-27-2010 at 10:07 PM.
10-05-2010, 06:05 PM   #20
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What a great forum!
Ask a question, and in about three hours you've got enough advice (Good Advice) to make your head spin.
Try a few things, but not everything at once.
When you get it right, you will get great satisfaction. (By 'right' I mean what suits you, meets your expectations, not just what others think is 'right'.)
Persist with your K10 and Elements 8, see how you improve, and then see if you need a new camera or different software. But don't blame the tools you have before you give them a red-hot go.
10-05-2010, 06:06 PM   #21
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Oh yeah, and be encouraged that so many people want to help you.
10-05-2010, 06:18 PM   #22
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I would almost recommend going with a P&S camera if you like shooting JPGs and dislike doing any post-processing. As others have stated here, I think the type of person who buys a DSLR is also most likely the kind of person who wants to learn post-processing and maybe even favor shooting RAW for more control.
10-05-2010, 06:29 PM   #23
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I agree with all of the above. DSLR's are made for adaptability, to be used for a wide range of photography uses, with many different len types. I do mostly macro work (using K200D- alot of post processing there) and play around with my K20D for wildlife, landscape, auto accidents, etc. I avoid studio work (not my area of use), but I know that would take even more PP work. Nothing I take pictures of is used straight out of the camera.

10-05-2010, 06:31 PM   #24
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K10D and DA 18-55

10-05-2010, 07:25 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
K10D and DA 18-55
Nice yellow tones on the rose - Processed from RAW, I presume.

Who else other than me thinks that he K10D really blows out yellows with in-camera JPEGs? Shooting yellow flowers in RAW is mandatory, I think.
10-05-2010, 07:26 PM   #26
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most of these are K10D with either 16-45 or 50-200 kit lens. One or two (out of all the pages) might be the wifes P&S (I didn't go through them all to check). They are all in camera jpgs, most just resized and slightly sharpened (unsharp mask), a few have had exposure issues 'fixed'. Most will have been taken in P mode with possible +/- exp comp if I thought it a good idea at the time. Pretty sure I've always run my K10D in Natural mode with slight bumps to brightness and contrast settings.
10-05-2010, 07:42 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rod_grant Quote
What a great forum!
Ask a question, and in about three hours you've got enough advice (Good Advice) to make your head spin.
Try a few things, but not everything at once.
When you get it right, you will get great satisfaction. (By 'right' I mean what suits you, meets your expectations, not just what others think is 'right'.)
Persist with your K10 and Elements 8, see how you improve, and then see if you need a new camera or different software. But don't blame the tools you have before you give them a red-hot go.
This is not the first time that someone thinks that a P&S (e.g. G10) can do better than K10D. The K10D is not designed for the beginner's (at least in my opinion), it does not have the traditional scene mode (portrait, landscape etc.). But there are many enhanced options and features to get better results than just point and shot. Try to find a decent camera of similar class that comes with multiple exposure feature and you will see what I mean. IMHO, if I can not see beyond the obvious, the only limitation is on myself but not the equipment.
10-05-2010, 07:55 PM   #28
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Original Poster
thank you all, so much

I'm speechless. I just arrived home from work and find nearly two dozen answers to my original post. Your answers are thoughtful, encouraging and challenging.

You've given me so much to think about. One thing that immediately occurs to me is the need to learn a bit more of the science behind what is actually going on in the picture-taking process as well as the philosophy behind the Pentax vision.

I'm going to begin by checking out those books suggested, taking my camera off of fine JPEG and putting it on RAW and spending more time in looking at my images after the fact.

I'm not giving up although I probably gave that impression. Let's call it my unfortunate despondency syndrome. If I had any notion of giving up I would never have come back here and asked for your input.

I can't believe you all would take time and effort to help out someone. In point of fact... right now I'm feeling very encouraged. I'm not about to bound out of here and buy new lenses. I should be able, with some work, to make big improvements in my images "if" I follow the advice given.

So thank you all. I'll be back.
10-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #29
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Good luck, James.
As I said above, this is a great forum.
(Which by definition means that there are a lot of great people inhabit here)
10-05-2010, 11:23 PM   #30
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Naturally, RAW and skilled post-processing with good software can do much of the trick! But if you are JPEG shooter, I do not agree with some others saying that DSLRs are not made for JPEGs. They are wrong! I mostly prefer to shoot JPEG directly, and I have no big problems with the post-processing if something has to be changed. There may be some pictures where RAW would have meant a significant difference, but those are rather few in my experience. Try to take pictures as close to the wanted end result as possible, and then apply some limited brightness/contrast changes and the final sharpening (always needed in digital photography, specifically for every single resolution of a picture). You're done!

My advice for a JPEG shooter with a K10D is: change from the setting Natural to Bright if that is an option left for you! And make use of the possibility to adjust the different parameters, saving them for your User profile. The Tamron 18-250 is rather good optically, but those super zooms are always a compromise and generally do not give results that are especially exciting. Perhaps the new Pentax DA 18-135mm may be somewhat better, remains to test, but otherwise I would recommend avoiding supers if you have high quality demands.

Last edited by Staffan; 10-05-2010 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Had to add some more!
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