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12-26-2006, 10:43 PM   #1
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Just One More K10D Question.

Hello, my friends ~

I was just visiting the Dpreview website, and happened to peruse a few of the posts at that website's Pentax SLR forum. In all the previous researchings that I had done, on the K10D, there was (quite apparently) something that I had overlooked - and, which, was brought to the forefront by a member whose name was Leo. The following, is a portion of his responding quote to another member (who thought he'd made a mistake buying the K10D):

You didn't make a mistake! Not only does the K10D feel fantastic it is a fantastic photographic tool. It takes time to learn all the features of any camera but this camera is one meant for those who understand light and shadow and don't need programmes to shoot Portraits, or Landscapes and so on.

Now (as I had mentioned before) I am no more than a fledgling - in this SLR arena - which, I have no doubt, will translate into some very sizable challenges for me. But I really do love photography, and will do whatever is deemed necessary to effectuate my growth within it. What kind of knocked a little of the wind out of my sails, though, is "who" the above responder mentioned the K10D was being aimed at; and that (mentioned in his quote) is the user who understands lighting & shadowing techniques, and who doesn't need the program settings by which to effectively shoot Portraits, Landscapes, etc.

My question (long in coming, I know ) would be to a K10D user who navigated directly from a P&S, or from another DSLR which offered program choices. Just how difficult did you find the transition?

I don't mind the work/study to be put into this endeavor, but neither do I want a few seasons to come and go before I am finally taking some decent pictures. I also realize that what has worked for another (or how it may have worked for him/her) may not follow the same pattern for me. But I just wanted to get some idea, some kind of feedback on what I have queried.

Advanced thanks.

12-27-2006, 12:30 AM   #2

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Don't worry. When I was a teenager, I've got camera with one mode: manual. A couple of months earlier I was able to take correctly exposed pictures.

In fact I think that the best way to learn photography techniques is to use manual mode. This will give you much more understanding than letting for camera to do everything And you'll learn very quickly Of course you need some book (or internet resource) about fundamentals of picture taking (aperture, shutter speed, sensitivity).
12-27-2006, 03:42 AM   #3
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Dont be worried at all if you are willing to learn. I think this answer was to fellow who had used only those flower-modes with his Nikon D50 and hadnt never bothered to study how it really works.

Learning with DSLR is very very much easyer than it was with film. You can immediately see what happens if you change this or that value. We didnt have this possibility with film.

First you should just clarify to yourself how each adjustment (aperture, time and ISO) should affect to your picture in theory and what it actually do (aperture setting really adjusts the diameter of... etc.) . There is many good handbooks made since inventing the camera. These basics have not changed at all in introduction of the digital world.

Then just start experimenting. You do not have to take any "real" pictures yet, just such ones where the adjustments you made should be visible. Change one value at time to see how it behaves.

If you leave all this to automatic flower modes, you never learn what camera actually do in particular situation and why.

Camera automatics have their restrictions and they cannot handle all situations. And if you rely on automatics your pictures do not maybe have the athmosphere you was experiencing in the situation. Automatics are averaging the values and many times mood is destroyed. Dark dusk is brightened and bright high key misty landscape is darkened, averaged using automatic middle gray equations.
12-27-2006, 05:16 AM   #4
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From one newbie to another

When I decided to get serious about photography, I looked at what it would take to be proficient. Composition, capture, and post processing are, IMO, the 3 elements that need to be learned. There is no automatic setting that can do more than an adequate job of the last two so you must learn them all. Even a little knowledge of each will give you better results than preset modes regardless of what camera you use.

You may find that post processing is as much fun as taking the pictures. My suggestion is regardless of what camera you buy shot in RAW because it will give you a chance to learn about white balance and exposure. It's a lot easier than it sounds.

If you follow this advice it doesn't matter which DSLR you buy, they will all give you good results. Of course the K10D and the K100D are the the only ones that will give you SR, weather sealing( only K10D), and the ability to use inexpensive old lenses all in one package.

I can't stress the advantage of old fixed focal lenses enough. They are inexpensive and as good as very expensive new ones. They force you into paying attention to metering and composition because you have to zoom with your feet.

Last but not least. Find a forum you feel comfortable with and post pictures explaining you are looking for advise. I have learned a great deal from the people on this site by doing just that. Don't be shy, everybody is more than happy to help.


12-27-2006, 05:55 AM   #5
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Hi Nathan,
The K10D is aimed at the advanced photo hobbiest, but that does not mean you can't learn photography with it.

To start with the K10, you can put in green mode, and the camera will work in full auto mode. You won't understand why some of your shots aren't coming out until you learn more about photography, but it will get you going, and most of your shots will be fine.

Picture modes are nice to transition from a P&S to the SLR world, but they can also become a crutch if you never learn the basics of exposure, lighting, and composition. All this takes is an interest in learning (which you have), a source of education, and time to learn. Books, the internet, local camera club, or an Adult education course are all excellent sources of education.

Hope this helps.
12-27-2006, 07:26 AM   #6
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My wife owns a K100 (which has all the program modes) and I own a K10.
I can tell you one thing.... the K100 is much easier to use.
BUT... the K10 will take outstanding photos while you learn how to use it!
If you understand (or will soon learn) what shutter priority is, or apeture priority etc is, then you should not have to much of a problem.
Once you set one of these, the camera will set the others automatically.
Don't expect to learn the K10 overnight, I have had it since before chritmas and still have lots of questions. But like I said, the camera has enough automatic features that it will take great photos as you are learning!

Bottom line..... If you like the K10, then go for it! I had mine on full automatic until I had time to sit down and check it out further.... and it took great pics!

good luck,

12-27-2006, 07:44 AM   #7
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I'm currently moving off my P&S Fuji to the K100D. I've used DSLR's that my buddies have (Canon D-Rebel, Nikon D50, D70; Fuji S2/S3) on and off over the past 3 years.

With any new camera, I found it useful to use Auto and/or Program mode for the first few shots with and without flash wherever I am shooting, check the exif data (most dslr's can show it by pressing info a couple times) to see the camera's preferred settings for a "proper" exposure. After learning that, I flip over to Manual mode and go crazy. I still do that whenever I am unsure about a certain area, and I still bring my Fuji as a backup since I know most of the quirks with my Fuji.

I'm shooting a lot of misfires with the K100D due to me learning a ton and having fun too.

Hope this helps.
12-27-2006, 07:54 AM   #8
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I learned to take pictures using a K1000 - totally manual. When I got my DL, I played with the various modes, sort of a test to see if I remembered how to use an SLR (it'd been a while). It wasn't long before I decided I was, in fact, smarter than my camera, and gave up on the modes. So relax, you don't need them - as everyone else has said, read up on the very basics of photography and the wonder of digital is that you'll probably learn faster because you can see immediately what happens when you tweak a setting. Whichever camera you get, have fun with it!


12-27-2006, 08:04 AM   #9
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the k10 and k100 make pretty good point and shoots if u want them to be.. useing the camera is as difficult as u want to make it..

i use alvins idea.. let the camer have a go.. see what settings it uses and tweak it from there if u want to..

one day when i actually find out what the scene modes on my k100 do.. i might use them.. but as of yet they are far to complicated for me.. he he

put camera on fully automatic.. point at subject press shutter and nine times out of ten a nice picture will pop out the other end..

with the odd one that dosnt and when u think u are cleverer than the camera do it your own way.. just because u can do it your own way dosnt mean u always have to..

12-27-2006, 09:42 AM   #10
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Wow...such thoughtfulness & consideration, from each one of you, to take the time to help a very inquisitive mind out. And I can't say enough about my appreciation.

Yes, you are all absolutely right. It is all about applying one's self to the job, task or interest at hand - and the time factor to be involved (in learning DSLR operations/settings) will be determined by the measure of that individual's efforts. So, you have all done much to raise lighter feelings in me, over this matter.

This may sound silly, but one thing that had concerned me was the 'Shutter Button's' life. I had read (somewhere) that certain cameras were rated with a 100,000 shutter button life expectancy, while some others were rated at half that. I know myself, which is to say that I know how shutter-button-pushing-crazy I will be . I don't know what the K10D's respective life expectancy is, but am reasonably sure that I will reach that figure even quicker than I presently think. This concern isn't really a mountainous one, because I'd probably be of professional status by then ( ), and ready for another body.

One last thing: Ken mentioned my finding a forum that I felt comfortable with, and his suggestion was, indeed, an important one. But I can honestly state that I already feel at home, here, and that I am so happy for finding this place.

Again - a huge thanks to all.
12-27-2006, 09:58 AM   #11
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Most, if not all, good courses in photography used to require the student to use a fully manual camera so that they would come to learn the basics. I just read a posting on one of these forums to the effect that the poster could not find an old K1000 for sale (fully manual film camera) because the local art school required students to shoot film for the first year.
You should start the learning process by shooting with aperture and shutter priority settings until you understand the effects of each, what depth of field is, what ISO is, etc. You can always use the auto mode to "get the shot" if you feel uncertain.
If you get to the point where you exceed the useful life of the shutter, you'll probably have another camera anyway.
12-27-2006, 10:29 AM   #12
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The first thing to remember is all light meters try to make the metered area a middle gray tone. If your subject has about the same tonal range, then metering in "auto" or a "scene" mode will be perfectly acceptable and probably as close as, or better than, you'd get get fiddling with it in manual.

In the case of the K100D, using the "fast action" mode not only changes the shutter speed up a bit, it also changes the AF to continuous, saving about 6 button pushes. Put the fisheye on it and go to "landscape" mode to increase the f-stop for greater depth of field (actually, I think in "auto", that happen...automatically :-).

If you are doing a series of shots with the same background but different subjects, say upper-body people shots, where in one shot it is a white T shirt and another is a black T shirt, then this would be a good time to determine the average exposure and go manual so the meter is not fooled and you will get consistent exposures.

If you don't know what the "average" exposure is, this is a technique I used in the old days. Meter the dark blue sky facing away from the sun. That is the same as middle gray. Or, meter the palm of your hand an open the aperture one stop. Or best, keep a Kodak gray card in your bag. It is also used to set the custom white balance.
12-27-2006, 11:08 AM   #13
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just for interest i spent a couple of hours the other day trying to work out what "bright" mode actually does.. or "natural" come to that..

i have a rough idea but i couldnt quite exactly reproduce bright mode by useing other methods.. i know one thing.. what u think the camera does isnt quite as simple as what it really does..

take a simple e/v alteration.. when in flash mode it alters flash power.. but there is also a setting for altering flash power.. when not in flash mode it alters something else.. it could alter three different things from where i see it..

trying to find out exactly what gets altered by what is not that easy.. and there does seem several diffent ways of achieving the same result.. and how one thing plays of against another isnt easy to fathom out..

bright mode is similar to natural mode with a plus one on the saturation and a plus one on the sharpness.. and what seems like about a plus half (not possible to get) on the contrast..

or natural mode seems like bright with a minus one on the saturation and a minus one on the sharpness..

and if u are gonna shoot raw the whole million varitaions on a theme become even more pointless..

and a simple lens swop alters the whole gamit.. he he he

selling points is what its all about i think.. what can be messed with but in truth is best left alone.. he he he

12-27-2006, 02:41 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The first thing to remember is all light meters try to make the metered area a middle gray tone. If your subject has about the same tonal range, then metering in "auto" or a "scene" mode will be perfectly acceptable and probably as close as, or better than, you'd get get fiddling with it in manual.
This is not entirely true anymore. In the “olden days” the camera had one metering mode. This was center weighted. This would do as you say and meter for 18% gray. This would be used as any average of the whole frame with the center being more important.

More modern cameras like the K100D or the K10D usually give you more options. You have the center weighted like above. You have a center spot that will meter just a relatively small spot for 18% gray. On some cameras you can move that spot to one of the other metering points that the camera has. That way you can make the determination as to what is the important part of the photo. Only you can determine where that is.

The last metering option is multi point. The K100D and the K10D give you 16 points that will meter from. Now this can be a good thing or a bad thing. The good thing is the will look at the 16 points picking the points it things are the most relevant to represent the dark and light parts of the photo. Meter them for 18% gray to try and weigh the exposer so you get the light and the darks with out blowing the highlights or look flat.

This is where the 18% is not entirely true. Even though the camera is metering the points at 18% it may not give them all the same weight. The camera is not trying to make the photo 18% average. This can usually give a better overall exposer. The bad part is this. If the camera gets it wrong the whole photo can be too light or dark. After the photo is taken you don’t know what points the camera was using so for a beginner it can be confusing as to what they did wrong.

When you are taking the photo and you press down half way on the shutter release the camera will set the metering for the exposer. When you do that the camera will flash the metering (and focus) points so you can see what the camera is using but you have to look at that time not after the shutter release.


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