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12-08-2006, 10:35 AM   #1
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Optical vs. digital preview on K10D

I've seen people mention that they find these previews very helpful.

I read the manual last night, and I'm confused as to what they are. Is it the line of information
that appears at the bottom of the viewfinder?

What's the difference between the 'optical' and the 'digital' previews?

Thanks!

12-08-2006, 11:04 AM   #2
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I don't own a camera with the digital preview, but my understanding is as follows -

Optical preview basically just stops the lens down to the aperature selected so you can see what it would look like in the viewfinder.

Digital actually takes a shot to show on the LCD, but doesn't store it to the card. I find this a bit odd as all it saves is a delete image from the card, but I guess some people use it.
12-08-2006, 11:34 AM   #3
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I use optical preview on my K100D, but I could see some value in using the digital preview with older lenses without an "A" position on the aperature ring to check exposure.
12-08-2006, 11:44 AM   #4
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For quite a while I thought digital and optical preview were merely superfluous "features".

I now find that I use digital preview not infrequently. Not primarily for depth of field, but rather to detect highlight clipping, and to a lesser extent, the effect of WB adjustments. Rather that fill up a card with test images (and hours later who remembers which was the test and which was the true shot), in difficult situations I use this mode (when so inclined and time permits) to zero in on the settings I'll be using for a shot or several shots.

So I have come to find digital preview to be quite handy.

On the other hand, the utility of optical preview still escapes me.

Larry

12-08-2006, 02:29 PM   #5
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The sole purpose of optical preview is to check depth of field at the shooting aperture. I.e. verify that those objects you want sharp actually are sharp.
It is, however, very difficult to judge the effect and the useability is limited.
12-08-2006, 03:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
The sole purpose of optical preview is to check depth of field at the shooting aperture. I.e. verify that those objects you want sharp actually are sharp.
It is, however, very difficult to judge the effect and the useability is limited.
yeah even on a film slr, I've found it to me a bit more of an interpretation than a tool telling you yeah or nay. Most of the time I've just ended up feeling like I wasted my time with it. However with digital if it is important to actually check I'd just as soon shoot a shot and check it, even if it writes to the card. I guess I'll have to open up my 10d box soon and start playing I got it 3 days ago but have been too busy to open it and do it justice. I have been debating about wrapping it and putting it under the tree, even though most of the savings used came from birthday money, and I pre-ordered round about my birthday.
12-08-2006, 08:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LarryDeBx Quote
For quite a while I thought digital and optical preview were merely superfluous "features".

I now find that I use digital preview not infrequently. Not primarily for depth of field, but rather to detect highlight clipping, and to a lesser extent, the effect of WB adjustments. Rather that fill up a card with test images (and hours later who remembers which was the test and which was the true shot), in difficult situations I use this mode (when so inclined and time permits) to zero in on the settings I'll be using for a shot or several shots.

So I have come to find digital preview to be quite handy.

On the other hand, the utility of optical preview still escapes me.

Larry

x2...use it the same way...in a nutshell
12-11-2006, 06:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses! I did get a chance to play around with the optical and digital previews this
weekend.

I'm new to the DSLR world, and my biggest challenge right now seems to be DOF. I took a lovely picture of
the kids hanging ornaments on the tree with my FA50mm set at f1.4. Well, one kid and a couple
ornaments was in focus!

I think I'll leave it on the optical preview. I'll try to remember to use it before taking a shot while
I am in the DOF learning stage.

12-11-2006, 06:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by spillway Quote
Thanks for the responses! I did get a chance to play around with the optical and digital previews this
weekend.

I'm new to the DSLR world, and my biggest challenge right now seems to be DOF. I took a lovely picture of
the kids hanging ornaments on the tree with my FA50mm set at f1.4. Well, one kid and a couple
ornaments was in focus!

I think I'll leave it on the optical preview. I'll try to remember to use it before taking a shot while
I am in the DOF learning stage.
To get a pretty good idea what your DOF will be, you can also take a look at the DOF table at the site listed below. You can plug in any focal length; choosing any Pentax DSLR (or other DSLR) should give you equivalent results.

Depth of Field Table

Larry

Last edited by LarryDeBx; 12-11-2006 at 11:49 AM.
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