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01-20-2011, 03:19 PM - 1 Like   #1
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The best feature you didn't know your camera had, until...

It seems like every modern consumer product I own, I end up participating in (or starting) one of these threads. Last one was for my car, when I suddenly discovered the sunroof slider switch also pressed in like a button, tilting the sunroof -- a feature I'd believed my car not to have, in several years of ownership.

Today, my Pentax K-7 surprised me in exactly the same way. Well, other than in having a tilting sunroof. Doesn't have one of those. ;-) What it does have, though, is an alternate method of controlling playback zoom, which I never knew existed.

It won't work for the initial step of zoom -- you have to first zoom in at least one step with the rear dial. Once you've reached that point, though, you can use the exposure compensation button to zoom in, and the green button to zoom out, saving RSI that you'd otherwise cause spinning the rear dial back and forth. You can also press the OK button to return a full-image view, which I knew, but it never occurred to me to try these other buttons when zoomed in. (From playing with a K-5, I also discovered that it lets you return to a full image view with a press of the AE-L button, which does nothing in playback mode on my K-7.)

So, there you go. I'm sure it's in the manual somewhere, and many of you may already know of this -- I must've missed it myself. Hopefully this is helpful news to some of you though, and it brings me back to the main question of my thread... What's the best feature on your camera that you didn't initially realize it had? Seems to me that quite often threads like these help us find (and use) more features of our own cameras -- not to mention feel less dumb for failing to find features that might otherwise seem obvious. ;-)

01-20-2011, 03:28 PM   #2
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Now I know that this site is just wonderful and information can easily get lost or go unread by me and others as well. I just noticed two things about the K-7 today. I posted them in perhaps their more proper and respected topics but your thread forces me to repeat myself. Stop me if you have heard this one before.

When the Electronic Level feature is on, push the INFO button twice and you get a display in the large, back LCD. This is without having the camera in Live View and the display is a circle the size of a quarter with a line through it.
Like many others I do not find the level feature all that useful but some may appreciate this Easter Egg. The display is red when the camera is drastically off center of axis, then turns amber until level and then green. The display will remain on until the shutter button is at least half pressed.

I don't consider these best unknown features but...

Last edited by Nowhere Matt; 01-24-2011 at 02:39 PM.
01-20-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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I guess this is where it helps to read the manual. Still havent looked at mine for my K-r or my

With the K-r, while zoomed into a photo during playback the delete button makes the image full screen again. Press it again and it asks to deletes the image. Its handy!
01-20-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
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Just jumped on the K-7 bandwagon (apparently in time to see it discontinued in Japan), so I'm barely out of the crawl b4 walking stage. But I'm sooo pleased to see that it approves of The Decemberists.

Keep these tidbits coming folks!

And I see I have to update my sig...

01-20-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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I really need to find time to read the manual.
01-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #6
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Wireless slave control with the pop up flash on my *istD
01-22-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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After taking some images, I often zoom in to check the details, and there are no other buttons on the K-x, so as I was diving through the menus, under the play back menu, if you enter "Playback Display Method" you can activate Quick zoom, which basically means when you rotate the wheel once, it'll zoom in to the designated zoom level you set, so you don't have to use the wheel a thousand times to get to the zoom level you want.

01-22-2011, 08:17 PM   #8
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I don't know if the K7 has this feature (I'll have to get it out and check !) ... or the 20D or 10D, but on the K5 at least you can compare two images side by side, zooming in on both at the same time (or move them around at the same time) to check the detail. Pretty cool function that I use at least once every couple of days or so.
01-22-2011, 08:25 PM   #9
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Apparently it's activated when the hand shows up.
01-22-2011, 09:08 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I don't know if the K7 has this feature (I'll have to get it out and check !) ... or the 20D or 10D, but on the K5 at least you can compare two images side by side, zooming in on both at the same time (or move them around at the same time) to check the detail. Pretty cool function that I use at least once every couple of days or so.
K-x & K-r support that, and K-r goes steps further incl. allowing you to play a challenge game of 1 image against another over IR.

01-22-2011, 09:50 PM   #11
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Putting exposure comp on the front dial of the K10d was a nice find for use with screw mount lenses. I believe that the feature was added in one of the firmware updates.
01-22-2011, 11:48 PM   #12
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The AE-L Button on *istDL & K100d's

I just discovered the joy of the AE-L button on the cameras above, geez what a help with manual lenses. Had read the manual, but never given the button much thought till I was doing some reading on the net.
Put the camera in M mode, switch to manual focus, adjust your apeture, set focus, press the shutter button half down and while the meter is on, hit the AE-L button.
It stops down the lens, takes a light reading and holds the setting till the shutter button is pushed .. great results nearly every time ...fantastic !
Beats mucking about taking 101 shots trying to get the right shutter speeds etc.
I love it, had every manual lens out that I have today and results are excellent....
01-23-2011, 09:47 AM   #13
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I just discovered that my K20D will display Live View images on my PC screen if I have the USB cable connected. Pretty cool!
01-23-2011, 10:04 AM   #14
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How is that? With which software in use etc. ?
Thanks in advance, JR
01-23-2011, 10:12 AM   #15
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I studied the K20D's manual like a monk with a Bible, but still discovered neat features often for the first comple of years. It's not all in the manual, and it's not all clear. I'm pretty well set for things that fit my shooting style now, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to discover something else after about 100,000 shots.
The thought that goes into programing modern digital cameras amaze me, and I suspect only the programmers at Pentax realize all their cameras can do.

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