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View Poll Results: Tell the OP and the Originals at Pentax:
The AE-L button is fine like it is I enjoy it every day. 2055.56%
What's the fuss? Do you get twisted just by touching a 7D? 513.89%
The AE-L should lock the exposure, period. 1130.56%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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02-23-2008, 10:59 AM   #1
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Pentax vs Minolta round 2

This is based on experiences made with KM:s 5D and 7D and, lately, the Pentax K10D.
The K10D is what I've been working (literally) with for some six weeks now. There's hardly any going back to the KM 7D, but I still think the Minolta design had/has some really good features. The best thing about them is that they cost just about nothing to implement, they can be picked up by Pentax at will and introduced across the line just by new software (firmware).
The one most annoying feature of Pentax is the inability of the camera to pick and reliably keep an EV reading as a basis for exposure. The AE-L button is supposed to do this but doesn't.
With the Mi-Sony you can set the AEL button to toggle exposure lock on and off. If you use this, the exposure will adapt to this reading when you take a picture, change the speed or aperture or even the sensitivity, or you flip the flash on or off. It will stay put even if you swith modes from A to S or P, even M - until you press AEL again.
This is very useful if you have to take a spot reading of a difficult scene and keep it throughout a sequence of exposures where you use fill flash. Actually, I don't see what point there is in having a spot metering mode if you cannot do this.
Apparently someone at Pentax does. The K10D keeps the "locked" exposure for just one frame - then you have to lock it again. What's even worse is that the asterisk indicating AE-L stays on in the viewfinder after the lock has been released, which is plainly misleading.
Yes I know about the green button - handy but it doesn't solve this problem.
The Minolta design includes activating slow flash sync into the AEL-button which makes it handier still.
Sadly enough the K20D seems to work in the same erratic way. The only comforting fact is that this shortcoming can be remedied through a firmware update, even allowing those who prefer to have everything as it has been to choose just that.
There are some issues with the logics of how AF-assist light is used in low light but on this the KM 7D was no winner either.
The noticable K10D advantage compared to the older 7D is the focusing - both speed and accuracy. What more, I don't think even the A700 is very much better, my brief aquaintance with it suggested that it's focus heavily favors the center. This is more of a hardware issue, and harder to overlook.

Mathias

02-23-2008, 03:53 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
Actually, I don't see what point there is in having a spot metering mode if you cannot do this.
Mathias
Useful for M mode I guess.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
Apparently someone at Pentax does. The K10D keeps the "locked" exposure for just one frame - then you have to lock it again. What's even worse is that the asterisk indicating AE-L stays on in the viewfinder after the lock has been released, which is plainly misleading.
Mathias
I just tried that with my DS and you are actually half correct. What I mean is that the AE-L remains on for as long as the viewfinder display remains on (also mean the metering). The problem is that after each exposure and file write, it turns itself off. It is this last action that turns off the AE-L too. Even if you set the camera not to turn off the metering, it still does that. But if you keep your finger on the release button, the metering and viewfinder display will remain on after the file write, so is the AE-L. Why did they programmed it like that? I don't know.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
There are some issues with the logics of how AF-assist light is used in low light but on this the KM 7D was no winner either.
Mathias
AF-assist doesn't work with AF-C, but AF-S only, at least for the DS.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
The noticable K10D advantage compared to the older 7D is the focusing - both speed and accuracy. What more, I don't think even the A700 is very much better, my brief aquaintance with it suggested that it's focus heavily favors the center. This is more of a hardware issue, and harder to overlook.
Mathias
My DS too, kind of annoying. I much prefer it favours the closest subject.
02-23-2008, 04:27 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
Pentax vs Minolta round 2 (snip)...

Well, the issue should be more clearly (and more simply) explained, so let me try. On the K10D/K20D, if one presses the AE-L button to lock exposure and than changes anything afterwards which might impact exposure (mode, flash, etc), the exposure lock disengages and the button has to be pressed again to relock exposure. The exposure lock also disengages after each shutter activation (each image).

According to you, this is different than the behavior of your older Konica-Minolta cameras (5D & 7D) where the exposure reading remained locked throughout any later changes until the user disengages it by pressing the button again.

You're now asking whether the Pentax way is better ("the AE-L button is fine like it is") or whether the button should be changed to mimic the behavior of your Konica-Minolta cameras ("the AE-L should lock the exposure, period").

Personally, I don't think exposure lock should remain throughout any changes. If I compose an image (locking the exposure in the process) and then decide on different course of action (different mode, different flash usage, etc), it could just as easily include different metering as well. If not, it's a simple matter of pressing the AE-L button again. Therefore, I voted for the first option - "the AE-L button is fine like it is."

stewart


-

Last edited by stewart_photo; 02-23-2008 at 04:33 PM.
02-23-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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I voted it's fine like it is because it is. Although I only use it for stop down metering in manual mode...

Thanks

02-23-2008, 06:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
This is based on experiences made with KM:s 5D and 7D and, lately, the Pentax K10D.
The K10D is what I've been working (literally) with for some six weeks now. There's hardly any going back to the KM 7D, but I still think the Minolta design had/has some really good features. The best thing about them is that they cost just about nothing to implement, they can be picked up by Pentax at will and introduced across the line just by new software (firmware).
The one most annoying feature of Pentax is the inability of the camera to pick and reliably keep an EV reading as a basis for exposure. The AE-L button is supposed to do this but doesn't.
With the Mi-Sony you can set the AEL button to toggle exposure lock on and off. If you use this, the exposure will adapt to this reading when you take a picture, change the speed or aperture or even the sensitivity, or you flip the flash on or off. It will stay put even if you swith modes from A to S or P, even M - until you press AEL again.
This is very useful if you have to take a spot reading of a difficult scene and keep it throughout a sequence of exposures where you use fill flash. Actually, I don't see what point there is in having a spot metering mode if you cannot do this.
Apparently someone at Pentax does. The K10D keeps the "locked" exposure for just one frame - then you have to lock it again. What's even worse is that the asterisk indicating AE-L stays on in the viewfinder after the lock has been released, which is plainly misleading.
Yes I know about the green button - handy but it doesn't solve this problem.
The Minolta design includes activating slow flash sync into the AEL-button which makes it handier still.
Sadly enough the K20D seems to work in the same erratic way. The only comforting fact is that this shortcoming can be remedied through a firmware update, even allowing those who prefer to have everything as it has been to choose just that.
There are some issues with the logics of how AF-assist light is used in low light but on this the KM 7D was no winner either.
The noticable K10D advantage compared to the older 7D is the focusing - both speed and accuracy. What more, I don't think even the A700 is very much better, my brief aquaintance with it suggested that it's focus heavily favors the center. This is more of a hardware issue, and harder to overlook.

Mathias
You know, there is a funny mode on the camera called M and no it does not stand for magic. Now what do you suppose that mode is really is for. Meter once and keep the same settings for a lot of shots? Maybe? Could be? Don't ya think?

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 02-23-2008 at 06:33 PM.
02-23-2008, 06:29 PM   #6
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Could leave exposure lock off my K10D. Wouldn't even notice (kinda like raw button and jpeg). Rather they make the multiple exposure control more "sticky".
thanks
barondla
02-23-2008, 08:48 PM   #7
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The proposal is a good because it has applications.
I agree too that manual mode does most of it.
Keeping AEL forever won't be for a majority.

So, let me make this proposal (a forth option ):
If mode (from the mode dial) is changed while AEL is set (EV locked), the settings are kept and AEL is cleared.

By switching to M (or pressing AEL again) one can therefore keep the metering, spped, aperture and ISO settings as long as one stays in M. May become a torture for the mode dial but adds a functionality w/o the risk.
02-23-2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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Having spent a while shooting a Maxxum 7 recently, I prefer the Minolta/Nikon location for AE lock & metering. The lack of the ability to hold AE lock for more than a single shot is mildly annoying, but I just shoot in manual when I want that anyways. Thankfully the EV lock function in Manual is shared across both systems.

The biggest advantage of the Pentax AE Lock is the fact that Pentax wisely makes Slow Sync a flash mode option rather than the extremely silly re-purposing of the AE lock to slow sync when using TTL flash in an AE mode. THat's one of the biggest UI goofs of the 7, and it's shared with all subsequent bodies.

02-24-2008, 05:16 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You know, there is a funny mode on the camera called M and no it does not stand for magic. Now what do you suppose that mode is really is for. Meter once and keep the same settings for a lot of shots? Maybe? Could be? Don't ya think?
Gee, I know! My Minoltas had it too! And A for Automatic and S for Safe. Pentax doesn't seem to have those.


QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The proposal is a good because it has applications.
I agree too that manual mode does most of it.
Keeping AEL forever won't be for a majority.

So, let me make this proposal (a forth option ):
If mode (from the mode dial) is changed while AEL is set (EV locked), the settings are kept and AEL is cleared.

By switching to M (or pressing AEL again) one can therefore keep the metering, spped, aperture and ISO settings as long as one stays in M. May become a torture for the mode dial but adds a functionality w/o the risk.
QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Personally, I don't think exposure lock should remain throughout any changes. If I compose an image (locking the exposure in the process) and then decide on different course of action (different mode, different flash usage, etc), it could just as easily include different metering as well.

-
What I'm critical of is the attempt by the camera (no, the engineers at Pentax) to second-guess what I'm doing. AE-L is by its nature an override of all automatic corrections, and it would be more straightforward to let it work that way all the way. If you don't want to override, don't press the button.

I'm not surprised that the esteemed members of the Forum prefer to have everything as it is we have made a free choice of brand.
But I think the next great advances in DSLR evolution will be in the improvement of the UI that will look very different in a few years. I will return to that in another thread.
As soon as the K10D has convinced me to stay. I think there's one more round to go.

Mathias
02-24-2008, 05:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
(snip) What I'm critical of is the attempt by the camera (no, the engineers at Pentax) to second-guess what I'm doing. AE-L is by its nature an override of all automatic corrections, and it would be more straightforward to let it work that way all the way. If you don't want to override, don't press the button.

I'm not surprised that the esteemed members of the Forum prefer to have everything as it is we have made a free choice of brand. (snip)

Either way would be an attempt to second guess what the user is doing. In your opinion, AE-L is an override of all automatic settings throughout all. In my opinion, AE-L is an override of all automatic setting for the image I'm taking at the moment with the settings I've chosen at the moment. If one makes changes and wants to override again, then simply press the button again. In other words, it's all really just a matter of opinion, with yours or mine no better than anyone elses.

By the way, if you look at my profile, you'll see I was also a Minolta user (now all sold, so profile will change shortly). Anyway, I did not find the Minolta method any more intuitive than the Pentax method.

stewart
02-24-2008, 06:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You know, there is a funny mode on the camera called M and no it does not stand for magic. Now what do you suppose that mode is really is for. Meter once and keep the same settings for a lot of shots? Maybe? Could be? Don't ya think?


- Bert
02-24-2008, 08:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
What I'm critical of is the attempt by the camera (no, the engineers at Pentax) to second-guess what I'm doing. AE-L is by its nature an override of all automatic corrections, and it would be more straightforward to let it work that way all the way. If you don't want to override, don't press the button.

I'm not surprised that the esteemed members of the Forum prefer to have everything as it is we have made a free choice of brand.
But I think the next great advances in DSLR evolution will be in the improvement of the UI that will look very different in a few years. I will return to that in another thread.
As soon as the K10D has convinced me to stay. I think there's one more round to go.

Mathias
that is why the K10 has less modes than the K100 It expects the photographer to know what he wants. Second guessing is dangerous. It wastes shots.

You will find that most serious photographers actually don't use auto modes at all, because they think about what they are shooting before hand, and place the lighting exactly where they want it.

Auto modes are good for continually changing scenes where no two shopts are illuminated the same.

AE lock is good if you recognize a single shot that you want to compose differently. that is why it resets after each shot. it is meant to be a single shot override. Manual is for when you want to force settings for multiple shots.

It is not a question of engineers imposing their way to shoot, any more than you trying to force something that permitted you to be lazy onto the pentax camera controls.

You have to remember, the K10 was meant to be for a serious photographer, if you want all the P&S functions that you migh expect for a camera meant for the uninformed, buy an entry level model not a serious camera.
02-24-2008, 08:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You have to remember, the K10 was meant to be for a serious photographer, if you want all the P&S functions that you migh expect for a camera meant for the uninformed, buy an entry level model not a serious camera.
I must admit that there is some mysterious attraction in Pentax and the K10D that appealed to me from the beginning, although I didn't identify it at once.

Now I do. It has to do with my German ancestry:
Warum es einfach machen wenn es auch so wunderbar kompliziert geht?
02-24-2008, 10:24 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
I must admit that there is some mysterious attraction in Pentax and the K10D that appealed to me from the beginning, although I didn't identify it at once.

Now I do. It has to do with my German ancestry:
Warum es einfach machen wenn es auch so wunderbar kompliziert geht?
If I understand this correctly, I thnk it means Why make something simple (pentax) when you can make it wonderfully complex (Olympus etc as you reference)?

I always thought this was more french than german but any way

In all honesty, I think the error is expecting any two manufacturers to provide functions in the same way.

Having been a lifetime pentax user, and owning a PZ-1. *istD and K10D, I fing the controls are remarkabnly similar over almost a 20 year span.

I don't question them because a) I like them and b) since they are always the same, I have no trouble moving from camera to camera. Performance is remarkably consistant and good among all 3 examples of highly automated cameras I own.

Although I can't speak from experience on the other manufacturer's, I would imagine it is the same. The issue is only to those who switch

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 02-24-2008 at 10:32 AM.
02-24-2008, 02:28 PM   #15
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