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05-30-2011, 11:00 AM   #1
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Which camera - a little help, please

I've used Pentax since 1965 and loved them. My last film camera was the ZX-5. We got along just fine. But then I bought a K10 D. It may be just the thing for you experts, but I am constantly going to the manual - and then cannot figure out how to do what I want to do.

Please recommend a used, easy to use option. As only an occasional user, I simply cannot devote all my time to the K10

05-30-2011, 12:05 PM   #2
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The manual is definitely somewhat terse and hard to understand in places. Here is my suggestion:

Set your K10D to fully automatic:

Set all dials with a green symbol to that setting. That would be the exposure mode, autofocus, metering mode, shake reduction, and autofocus point selection.

Go into the Setup menu and select the reset option (in case you bought the camera second hand) so that the various settings are reset to factory defaults.

Set the ISO to Auto in the Fn menu (Fn then right arrow to get to that menu) and select for example 800 ISO with the front wheel as the upper limit.

If you use a lens with an aperture ring make sure that it is at its A setting.

Now everything is automatic and when you get comfortable you can start messing with some settings, for example use P instead of green mode which will allow for EV compensation which you will need if your pictures come out too dark (or too bright).
05-30-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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Well, that is a broad question.

Cameras today come in the following flavors:
Cell phone
Point & shoot
Bridge or super-zoom
Dslr

And there is a wide range of complexity and price within each category

If you just want to take pictures of the family then a good quality point and shoot really is your best value. You won't get fine art quality but you will get reasonable photos in a very wide range of situations.

The next step up would be a super-zoom like the X90 no lens changing and a lot of capability in a small package. I used a similar camera for many years and my wife still uses it. She wants nothing to do with my k-x, she says it has too many buttons.

But if you came from a ZX5 then you are used to SLR sized cameras and changeable lenses, yes? So what are you trying to do that you cannot do on the K10D?

I believe there is a learning curve for any digital camera (including the one in my cell phone which I still have not figured out). The K10D is a capable camera and likely can do whatever you want.

Post some specific questions and you might get a better answer on how to make it work. But there is no getting around reading the manual. My suggestion would be to start slow, pick one type of shot and master that before trying something else. Remember, no film costs here so shoot away!

And like Ole says, set it all to auto and start from there.
05-30-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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I would first like to be able to use the SLR lenses I already have. Next, I would like to be able to have a bit more control than a simple point-and-shoot. I would like to be able to control the metering mode, shutter and apeture settings. But beyond that the K10 has far more capability than I will ever be able to use. Otherwise, I need something really easy, maybe somethng like a used *ist DL. I guess I'm too old a dog to learn many new tricks.

05-30-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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I went from a MZ 5 to the ds, then the k10 (and now the K7

In many ways the ds was simpler, but the k10 is not that differnt from using the mz5 (zx5)
If you reset all custom functions then treat it like a film camera, Set your iso and insert card(ie load film)
Set your lens to the A so you can select aperture from the edial
Set camera to AV mode
Meter set to multi segment.
Focus to AFSC to start (like on the 5) or s where it can be made selectable focus (same as the mz with more points)
Point depress shutter for focus and shoot away
Flipping it around you can set to TV (shutter priority) set your shutter and it will adjust the Aperture.
If it's getting dimmer change the iso (ie put in a higher speed film)
When all else fails put it in green mode and it will make the decisions for you (like the mz5 did)
there are lots of parameters to play with but at it's most basic it's really no different than operating an mz5
Like mentioned there are no film costs involved so shoot lots review and adjust your style based on what went right and wrong (much easier with digital where all the shooting info is with the file rather than waiting for the lab to return your prints and guessing at what you did (don't know many who documented all their film frames with all the exposure shooting info)
05-30-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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A DS (or DL) will be a little simpler for certain (less controls means less to mess up), and if you have old MF lenses actually better with the on board flash than the 10 or newer gear
05-30-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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Thank you for all this. I have bought and sold a good number of shotguns in the past few years and I photograph them. It makes me nuts to have to adjust the brightness and contrast in Photoshop when things aren't right. I should just get with it and learn a few things about my camera.

Again, thanks for bucking me up a bit.
05-30-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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getting the exposure at least close is important, but you can make up for a lt in software. personally for 90+% of stuff I find Photoshop way to time consuming and complex. Lightroom has streamlined and sped up my work flow enormously, dealing with 800-1000 pix (sorted and best moved forward with pp, resized and uploaded takes a couple of hours and a couple of coffees

05-30-2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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I didn't see where you mentioned what older lenses you have, but using older lenses, depending on what generation older lneses you have, is mainly an "enthusiast" thing. It's not something that's particularly practical for a typical person. Unless you have some very serious older lenses, you're better off with the newer generation consumer-grade zooms. If you throw out any issues with lack of autofocus or auto-aperture on older lenses, the K10 should be able to be used just like any film camera. It just has a lot of other capabilities, but you're not obligated to use those capabilities to get good results for typical pictures.

I don't have experience with the K10, but I know my K200 is not the best when it comes to default jpeg output. The results are sometimes not up to the quality of many P&S cameras. I use raw, and yes it's a hassle to have to PP every single image you want to keep/display, but if you want results better or at least equal to a good P&S, that's part of the deal.

Paul
05-30-2011, 01:38 PM   #10
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K200d
05-30-2011, 01:52 PM   #11
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I'm using a Sigma UC 28-70mm 1:2.8-4 and a Sigma UC-II 70-210mm 1:4-5.6.
05-30-2011, 04:55 PM   #12
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The trick to know what to ignore on the K10D. All DSLR's - indeed, almost all cameras, period - offer the exact same basic exposure controls: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Absolutely nothing else matters. Learn how to control these three parameters - and again, most cameras provide the exact same methods of controlling them (Av mode, etc) - and you can forget your camera has any other buttons or menus. It is *exactly* as easy to use as any other camera the moment you stop imagining you need to fiddle with anything else.
05-30-2011, 05:10 PM   #13
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That's right. There is no necessity to change settings unless you want to on a fully or semi-automatic mode on your camera. The K10D is as easy to use as it is a professional workhorse. Once you've set everything on auto, and work one by one changing exposure settings to your liking, you may find the K10D usable without too much hassle.
05-30-2011, 05:22 PM   #14
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Here is my method:

- Set the ISO just like you would decide which film to use (100 - 400 outside) 400 - 800 inside.
- Set the camera to Av mode just like you did on the Z5.
- Use the e-dial to change the aperture to something that works depending on available light / depth of field.
- The camera will select the appropriate shutter speed.
- Take a shot and check on the histogram on the LCD screen.
- Adjust shutter speed to get the exposure you want.

That's pretty much it. Of course the K10D has a bunch of other controls, so what? Ignore them.

ISO, aperture and shutter speed have not changed since the first camera was invented. Get those right and you have it all wrapped up.
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