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12-29-2007, 09:40 PM   #1
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First day out with the new K10D

So, I learned that I have a lot to learn. I'll post a few of the better pix, but some problems I had today lead to a few questions.

First, while most pix of stationary subjects were relatively clear most (all) pix of moving subjects were blurry. I was shooting with the high speed program line purposely to shoot action, so I thought maybe I was having autofocus issues. Then, I looked at the detailed info on my shots and found shutter speed was rarely over 1/180. Then, I noticed the Auto ISO was mostly picking ISO 100-200 even though my auto ISO range is 100-1300. What sort of logic does the camera use to set the auto ISO? Why wasn't it going up to my set max of ISO1300 to give me fast shutter speeds?

I now suspect that I should have been using the shutter and aperature mode, setting wide open aperature and shutter speed of at least 1/500 to freeze the action and let the camera adjust the ISO to make the exposure.

Am I correct?

12-29-2007, 10:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Workingdog Quote
So, I learned that I have a lot to learn. I'll post a few of the better pix, but some problems I had today lead to a few questions.

First, while most pix of stationary subjects were relatively clear most (all) pix of moving subjects were blurry. I was shooting with the high speed program line purposely to shoot action, so I thought maybe I was having autofocus issues. Then, I looked at the detailed info on my shots and found shutter speed was rarely over 1/180. Then, I noticed the Auto ISO was mostly picking ISO 100-200 even though my auto ISO range is 100-1300. What sort of logic does the camera use to set the auto ISO? Why wasn't it going up to my set max of ISO1300 to give me fast shutter speeds?

I now suspect that I should have been using the shutter and aperature mode, setting wide open aperature and shutter speed of at least 1/500 to freeze the action and let the camera adjust the ISO to make the exposure.

Am I correct?
I would use the [OK] button and the front edial to set a higher ISO on the k10d. This is not in the menus, and if it doesn't work, you have to download and install firmware update 1.30 from the Pentax site.

I have my USER mode set to auto from 100-400, but I set my program line to MTF (best stop on the lens, available only with Pentax lenses A or later). To get decent shutter speeds in available dark, I crank up the ISO some. I've even taken it to 1600 ISO with decent results for what I was doing. Although noisy, it looked more like film grain than some other dSLR noise. Quite acceptable. You probably would be happier with 400 or 800, to something in between.

Also note that with Pentax, when in a program mode, you can do a program shift. Change the shutter speed and the aperture will change to give the equivalent exposure.
12-30-2007, 02:26 AM   #3
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Try getting used to Manual Mode and RAW. When effective you will get better results as well as having complete control of your image capture.

It's worth the effort.

David
12-30-2007, 03:24 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Workingdog Quote
I now suspect that I should have been using the shutter and aperature mode, setting wide open aperature and shutter speed of at least 1/500 to freeze the action and let the camera adjust the ISO to make the exposure.
There are a few things you can try. Try using the Tv mode and select a faster shutter speed. Be careful with wide open aperture, as the depth of focus would be shallow and harder to get a sharp picture. I would increase the ISO first. Or go to custom menu and change the program line to "Hi Speed"; this would be equivalent to sports mode in those camera with scene modes.

12-30-2007, 10:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. I had a chance to play with the camera a little more today; no pictures , just playing with settings and seeing how other things change.

Program Mode- Even with the high speed line, it only gets you about 1 stop faster than Normal. Program shift may get you more, with limitations. The camera WILL NOT give you more shutter speed at the expense of ISO even if you allow the full range of 100-1600 in Auto ISO (I've allowed 100-1000 and have 1000-1600 set up in USER mode for desparate situations with a little overexposure on the EV comp to reduce noise)

Sv - Not bad. I can move the ISO and watch the shutter speed/fstop combinations change until I get all 3 parameters where I want them. Stuck with the ISO I choose.

Tv- All about shutter speed at the expense of everything else. Watch out for high ISO and wide open aperature (small DOF)

Av - Not to be used if high shutter speed in sub-optimal light is the goal

TAv - Nice. I can set an fstop I'm willing to live with for DOF then set shutter speed while watching ISO to get where I want to be. ISO is the variable within my preset 100-1000 range.

I'm interested to hear your comments about my comments.
12-30-2007, 01:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Workingdog Quote
I'm interested to hear your comments about my comments.
I think your comments are spot on. You just need to find a mode you are comfortable with, and find your priorities.
12-30-2007, 09:56 PM   #7
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I use TAv the most. I absolutely love that mode. I notice you are not shooting 'close'; with the dog and [ahem] 'victim' (from your other thread) are both pretty far away. You'll get reasonable DOF even @ f/2.8 or f/4 with your subjects that far, to allow you to go to 1/250 or 1/500 for the shutter speed w/o needing to maximize ISO. However, realize if you shoot high ISO, you want to look at the histogram. You want to balance it to the right of center, without blown highlights, for best high ISO results (else you're likely to see banding, depending on how far to the left of center your histogram may be). Use EV compensation to push the camera's metering to the right (I chnaged my camera to use 1/3 steps instead of 1/2 EV comp steps, and 1/3 stop ISO steps instead of full stop for more working room). It works great.
12-31-2007, 06:08 AM   #8
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Remember, you are the photographer, not the camera. Just because you have set auto ISO (which I would not use, by the way), and program with the action program line, does not mean the camera will return exposure values to your liking. You do have exposure info in the view finder. You need to watch what the camera is setting. All the Action program line does is give priority to shutter speed, but if the camera determines you need a longer shutter time, you are going to get it.

The K10D gives you a great option that no other brand has. It is called Hyper program. In program mode, let the camera determine exposure. Watch the numbers in your view finder. If you don't like the settings the camera picks, all you do is change either shutter speed, or aperture, and the camera will change the other to keep the proper exposure. So if you are unhappy with the shutter speed, raise it. I also have the camera set to change ISO by using the OK button and an e dial . Very convenient. FYI, you can see the ISO in the view finder by pressing the OK button.

Hope this helps. Keep shooting, nothing helps more than experimenting, and experience.

12-31-2007, 10:00 AM   #9
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Thanks for all of the great advice. As I said, I have a lot to learn. One thing I've learned through this thread is that Program "P" mode is probably not the best to use when there is a specific shooting situation or goal in mind. As for which of the other modes is best; that will come with experience.
01-13-2008, 09:46 PM   #10
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Hi 'Dog. I am in relatively the same boat, having bought my k10d several days ago. I liked your breakdown of the programs. Here is what I have found works for me so far:

a) If I have at least 30 seconds or more to "think" I really like going manual. The people here have convinced me of that and they are right. Just watch the EV meter, and based on your priorities, get the "needle" near the center.

b) If I need a quick shot, I have been going Tv or Av.

c) Ok here is where I need even more education: If the scene requires a flash, I have been using Tv or Av as well. I am not sure about this though since I don't find using the flash as intuitive. I'm not sure what light the camera is going to "see".

One thing I refuse to do though is turn the knob to that "Green Box"
01-13-2008, 11:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Workingdog Quote
Program Mode- Even with the high speed line, it only gets you about 1 stop faster than Normal. Program shift may get you more, with limitations. The camera WILL NOT give you more shutter speed at the expense of ISO even if you allow the full range of 100-1600 in Auto ISO (I've allowed 100-1000 and have 1000-1600 set up in USER mode for desparate situations with a little overexposure on the EV comp to reduce noise)
Congratulations you have just found one of K10D firmware bugs Auto ISO won't increase ISO in P mode when you're increasing shutter speed.
Unfortunately Pentax didn't bother to fix it in firmware updates (there were a few of them).
01-14-2008, 06:05 AM   #12
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Thank you Edvinas. I couldn't figure out why Shutter Priority did not mean SHUTTER PRIORITY!
It's a shame they didn't fix it, seems so obvious.
01-14-2008, 06:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I have my USER mode set to auto from 100-400, but I set my program line to MTF (best stop on the lens, available only with Pentax lenses A or later).
MTF data is available electronically on the lens only in FA and later series lenses.
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