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03-29-2008, 09:36 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by saladin Quote
i went and splashed out on a new camera yesterday. My first ever digital SLR is a K10D. i've been tooing and froing for ages about whether to buy a DSLR, and if so, which one. But i finally decided when the runout deals on the K10 meant i could get a new body and two lenses ( the DA 18-55 Al, and the FA J 75-300) for AU$ 1295 ( US$ 1390).
Good lenses to start with, will keep you happy for a while--or forever. But if you can find the budget, consider replacing the kit lens with something like the Pentax 16-45 f/4 in the future. You know, the compact fixed-lens cameras these days can take VERY good pictures. So a very large part of the point of digital SLRs as an alternative is being able to get even better lenses. Most of the time you have to pay for real quality, but the 16-45 f/4 is one of the best bargains around. Not for now, just something to keep in mind for the future.


QuoteQuote:
initial impressions are fantastic in terms of features and ergonomics - it FEELS like a camera, if nothing else.
It does, doesn't it? But this isn't just a personal touch thing. Once you get familiar with the camera, those ergonomics will help you take photos, and that's their point. This is especially true if, like me, you're shooting events where you really need to be able to react quickly. But perhaps I say that only because that's my experience. I think even portrait photographers benefit from the ergonomics. The more the camera becomes an invisible extension of your eye, the better any kind of photography will be.


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however, i do have a few early issues. firstly, the shutter release feels very foreign. "depress shutter half way for autofocus". half way!?? rubbish, more like breath on the button to focus, barely touch it to shoot! but i'm getting used to it.
You'll get used to it. I still shoot film a little every month just to keep my fingers in it and the feel of my old Nikon N65's shutter is quite different from the shutters on my Pentax digital SLRs. And even the Pentaxes feel different from one another.

Keep in mind that you can, if you like, decouple auto-focus and the shutter button. You then use the AF button to focus. Some folks here seem to like to work this way. Me personally, I find the AF button's location one of the only awkward aspects of the K10D's design, so I keep AF tied to the shutter (or shoot manual focus, which I do more now at least with my K10D since I have a Katz Eye focusing screen).


QuoteQuote:
less solvable at this stage is the intricacies of the metering. the k10 review over on the review page suggests that the K10 slightly over exposes. so far, mine seems to be a long way in the other direction.
My experience has been that the K10D (and the K20D, although somewhat less) tends to underexpose. Someone else noted that it underexposed about 1/3 stop for them and that's my experience.

Remember, while it depends on the picture, generally speaking, you want to expose the histogram as far to the right as possible without blowing the highlights. Be sure to set the camera up so that it shows you the histogram and blinking blown highlights when you review the shot. Actually, I think the blinking blown highlights feature is more important than the histogram.


I used to shoot full manual (M or "hypermanual" as the, um, manual calls it) but a month or two ago I finally realized how brilliant the K10D/K20D's P ("hyperprogram") mode is, and I've been using it more lately. I tend to shoot with center-weighted metering and adjust the meter +1/3 EV, but even so, whenever possible, I actually look at the scene and take a couple of readings. I use AE lock quite a bit. The other day for example I was shooting a kitchen with bright light coming in through the windows. Because the shot was obviously a complex exposure, I switched to full matrix metering. When I framed the shot and let the meter figure everything out, the windows looked pretty good but the shadows in the counters and shelves were too dark. Metering deliberately on the counters and shelves blew out the windows completely. The correct exposure was obtained by pointing at a off-white wall away from the windows, locking the exposure, then reframing and shooting. In other words, a very typical compromise.

Anyway, experiment!

Don't forget the green button, by the way. It's spectacularly easy to shoot M mode with the K10D/K20D, because you can just hit the green button and get what the camera thinks is a "correct" exposure, and then you can adjust if you like.


QuoteQuote:
the white balance catches m out a bit too. im now using the presets, but not confident to start manually adjusting. AWB is useless under tungsten lighting, so i change to the tungsten preset, which is ok. but i then forgot to change back when shooting outside and had lots of blueish landscapes for a while - took me some time to work out what was happening.
The K20D's raw file sizes are causing me to reconsider, but for the last year and more I've shot almost exclusively raw, and I have shot exclusively with AWB. My experience anyway is that it works very well, in any light including tungsten, but if a shot is off a bit, and the file is raw, I can fix better in post processing than in the camera. And this is one less thing I have to think about while shooting, which is really important.

Actually, that's why I've gotten so fond lately of hyperprogram mode. I've shot manual most of my life. I'm very comfortable with it and I can adjust my exposure pretty quickly. But as I said, I shoot events, and exposures change quite fast. In my haste to get a shot, I have occasionally failed to adjust when I should have--and the result was a messed up photo. Before I shot raw + AWB, I had the same problem with white balance: I'd get it right for a dozen shots, then it would change suddenly and I would not notice, and the effects on the shots would be hard to fix. Shooting raw + AWB, I keep all my options open. I simply don't worry about white balance at all. As for hyperprogram, sadly, I encounter really BAD lighting more than I'd like, but except for when the lighting is really bad, I can get hyperprogram to do what I want as quickly as hypermanual, and while I'm in hyperprogram, I'm less likely to completely spoil the shot with a bad exposure. So I feel I have just as much control but that hyperprogram is SAFER. Plus, I can concentrate on getting good shots and that's a help, too.

Anyway, you'll like the K10D. Have fun.

Will

03-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #17
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K10D is my first dslr, but i have experience of canon 350D & nikon d70/d40.
none of the above camera or any other in its range can create skin tones similar to k10d.

Support for older lenses is a plus. I can use M42 lenses & the camera does the metering for me, may be some adjustment is required but I can use them easily.

Metering K10D is little bit tricky you have to inteligently use the Multisegment, center & spot metering based on the situation.
But still its realy flexible.

AF issues are present on most of the cameras in low light.

I normaly use my A lenses they work quite fine.
03-29-2008, 12:39 PM   #18
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I've had my K10D since Thanksgiving weekend and it is my first DSLR although I had film SLR's for years. Mine too seems to underexpose the shots slightly at times but it is easily correctable with software. I have also noticed major differences in the "brightness" or exposure on the 3 different computers I use. The Gateway running Windows XP shows brighter looking pictures than the Ubuntu Linux box. I have found through some swapping components that the onboard graphics on the linux box produces darker images. Adding a decent graphics card makes a huge difference. The same pics on my daughters Core2 Duo laptop with the ATI graphics don't even look like they came from the same camera they are so nice looking. I guess my point is that computer displays, graphics cards and drivers all influence what our pictures look like. I'm tweaking the fill light on the 6 year old desktops much more than on the new laptop. And some of those "slightly underexposed" shots have come out very nice on my printer. I built the linux box for $167 for the processor, motherboard and memory and it wasn't the cheapest stuff either. I'm not suggesting anyones computer is bad but please don't judge the camera on digital images viewed on one computer or monitor. They are not all the same.
03-29-2008, 01:05 PM   #19
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ATI rulez, hehe

03-29-2008, 02:33 PM   #20
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K10D's feature packed and very customisable.
Then combined with the ease of changing settings at your fingertips and you have a body that's able to handle most photographic challenges.

Yes, no doubt K20D's better, but the K10D has still enabled a lot of people on this forum to capture some great shots. It does require some getting used to, though.

I've found myself dumping some of my photos on the K10D due to poor exposure, but I blame myself more than the camera for the bad results.

Knowing the camera does all it can to preserve highlight detail, I tend to turn up EV by +0.3 or 0.7 and lock AE with AF point to expose for my subject. Then I'm able to get most of my pictures well exposed. If it's more challenging, then I zoom in and spot meter. Challenging still, I go manual (especially for stars and IR).

In the end, once you get to know your camera, it will give you much more consistent results with any lens you put on it.
03-29-2008, 04:55 PM   #21
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many many thanks to all who have posted. especially to will - i really appreciate the effort your post would have entailed. like all camera's, the trickiest situations seem to be inside.

i haven't worked out the characteristics of the on-board flash (sometimes it will illuminate the whole frame, other times barely the centre subject - i think it's linked to focal length, since the shutter speed doesn't change when apperture is changed), and the lens(es) i have are not fast enough to get away with no flash most of the time.

which leads me to the next issue - a fast 50mm prime. there are a couple of A50mm 1.7's and M50mm 2.0's available on ebay at the moment for next to nothing. worth getting? i figure for around Aus$35, i can't really go wrong, and manual focus doesn't phase me too much. the camera controlled aperture of the A's would probably lead me in that direction if all other things are equal.

there is also a guy selling a (supposedly) brand new SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 for Aus$300.

or do i just start saving for a Da 50mm limited!!?

for what it's worth, i'm surprised how good the FA j 75-300 is outdoors. i was expecting fair to middling results only, but it's pretty clear all the way out to 300mm in good daylight, and the rumoured "slow" pentax autofocus hasn't bothered me yet.

here is a sample of what i've done so far- one of my daughters at he playground:


Last edited by saladin; 03-29-2008 at 06:38 PM.
03-29-2008, 07:41 PM   #22
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That looks like a fairly bright photo, what settings/PP were used?

And yeah..most of the problems are probably going to be indoors with flash as far as underexposing. Outdoors shots are less likely to underexpose, or are just easier to fix in post usually. The only other problem Ive had with outdoors shots is getting weird changes to the color of the sky when taking a bunch of pictures at once following a bird or something..same settings and all but sky ranges from deep blue to grey.
03-29-2008, 08:04 PM   #23
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did you use the flash on that?

I only use flash when a gun is held to my head, but I'm usually going for a different look. Plus I don't know what I'm doing with a flash

Also realize that not every shot is going to be a keeper. The beauty of digital (and curse) is that you can snap away without much worry. Well, until you have 2 or 3 terrabytes of raw files...

03-29-2008, 10:23 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
after seeing the exact same shots from a sony a700, I'm convinced the K10 is a very basic camera, to put it lightly.
Seriously, was the A700 using a manual lens as you are doing with the K10D?

Please only compare if you are using an A lens which the K10D is optimized to work with. Unfortunately, your manual lenses will never meter as well as an auto lens; as the metering system are not designed for stopped down metering. But all is not lost as K10D's histogram with digital preview would work as well as any metering system in the world.

Do qualify your criticism of the K10D with the fact that you are using manual lens. As K10D's metering is very accurate and consistent with modern lenses.
03-29-2008, 10:25 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
And yeah..most of the problems are probably going to be indoors with flash as far as underexposing.
Not really, I have had no problem with flash exposure. You just need to know that the metering would bias towards the highlighted area to prevent blown highlights. Setting the custom settings to "Link AE to AF" and use matrix metering would help (but not your manual lenses though).
03-30-2008, 12:57 AM   #26
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No, I'm only talking about using a new AF sigma lens with nothing but the A setting available to it. Everyone seems to think Im talking about having problems with an M lens..its the opposite.
03-30-2008, 01:28 AM   #27
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Oceanic,
All camera brands have different settings, you have to learn them and how to use them. Also, you can't really compare a camera thats twice as expensive and alot newer then the other.

If so, you might aswell compare the A700 with the H3D-39 II and then say "A700 is at best a medicore camera. After trying the H3D-39 II, I would not touch a A700 ever again.".

Atleast compare it to the K20D, which has roughly the same technology and is in roughly the same pricerange and new aswell.
03-30-2008, 02:29 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
Well I agree with that, hence I purchased it. For instance it would kill me to get a camera without weather seals now. Turns out they neglected to mention a feature was insanely dark pictures using any form of the cameras own metering. That or I got a faulty unit..one of the two.
I think I agree with the other posters in that you might have a defective K10D. "Insanely" dark pictures is a rather strong condemnation. I usually apply a +0.3 EV compensation either in camera or in PP, but that's small enough to almost be a matter of taste.

Last edited by twinda1; 03-30-2008 at 02:40 AM.
03-30-2008, 04:17 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
That looks like a fairly bright photo, what settings/PP were used?
No PP. settings were: DA 18-55 at 33mm. 1/60 sec at F 4.5, iso 200, centre weighted metering, WB set to shade, best quality JPEG, fill flash. oh, and image tone set to bright, +1 contrast.

as soon as a camera comes out, my daughter enters modelling-pose mode, so it's tough to get a natural shot. i need to improve my stealth technique
03-30-2008, 02:04 PM   #30
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I agree, my 'insane' might be totally ridiculous to you or someone else. And youre absolutely right to say that +.3 EV is a matter of taste...this is exactly my point. Tools like EV comp and such are there to be either creative tools to get a certain picture or a desired effect..but the standards should be just that, a decent baseline with which to start, I shouldnt have to bump everything up just to get to what I think should be a standard.

I've tried every setting the camera is capable of as far as I know. And in my opinion, a new camera and one 3 years old SHOULD have some differences, but they are still both cameras designed to do the same thing are they not? I know its not fair to compare it on every level to the Sony, but I just don't think there should be that big a difference in the baseline quality of the photos. I would definitely like to compare it to a K20 though.
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