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05-10-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
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K10D program line bad choices... HELP

OK, I coach my son's soccer team so my wife takes pictures during the games. I set the camera up for her and she just frames and shoots. Almost all of the shots are too slow shutter speed. Settings are:

Kit lens or DA 50-200 depending on our field location
Camera set to P
Program line set to Hi-Speed (important point here)
Lock AE to focus point
ISO set to auto 100-400
Single shot mode
AF.S
Firmware 1.00 never touched it out of the box
Full auto focus points
Spot meter today due to heavy overcast sky and low horizon
Sometimes center weight exposure if clear skies

The camera is making absurd choices. Nearly all of the shots my wife took today were ISO 100 and 1/160 shutter speed, f/8.0 or f/7.1. Way too slow. Blurry blurry blurry, huge DOF, they look like point and shoot pics. Shouldn't Hi-Speed program line choose settings closer to ISO 400 and maybe 1/2000 and f/3.5-f/5.6? You know, HI SPEED settings to freeze action? I can't wrap my brain around why the camera is choosing the settings such a way.

Exposure is good, a bit underexposed but that's fine, I can get them spot on but I have to use center point focus and lock AE to focus point, half press, then recompose each time. Too much for wifey to keep up with but the other settings the camera should know better.

Every year I prepare a photo CD for the parents and I'm embarrassed to hand these shots out lest any of them are photogs. HELP!!!!

05-10-2008, 10:41 AM   #2
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How far zoomed out are the shots? I'm not terribly surprised if it chose to stop down 2/3rds of one stop (f/5.6 to f/7.1) in P mode even in high-speed shutter mode. But I am surprised that it didn't opt to up the ISO, because I agree that 1/160th doesn't match my idea of what it should be doing in that mode. Maybe next time choose a fixed ISO of 640 or 800 and see what it gives you? And if that's no good, try Tv mode.

And if that doesn't work, how adverse is your wife to learning some of the basics so she can make good decisions on her own?


I'd also suggest updating the firmware there's nothing specific in the changelog relevant to this, but it can't hurt.
05-10-2008, 10:53 AM   #3
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Thanks Matt, I have a theory but maybe you can see if it holds water...

I think she may have inadvertently moved the dials because she sometimes zooms in on a shot in playback mode so she's moving the rear dial at times. If she moved them after clearing the preview ii may have gone into a hyperprogram setting fixing the shutter speed or aperture (I can't remember which is rear dial). This would also explain the 100 ISO since isn't that a known issue with auto ISO and hyperprogram?

The green button may be in need of pressing Sound like a good explanation to you?
05-10-2008, 11:11 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
And if that doesn't work, how adverse is your wife to learning some of the basics so she can make good decisions on her own?
Cha ching
QuoteOriginally posted by Steve-O Quote
I think she may have inadvertently moved the dials because she sometimes zooms in on a shot in playback mode so she's moving the rear dial at times. If she moved them after clearing the preview ii may have gone into a hyperprogram setting fixing the shutter speed or aperture (I can't remember which is rear dial). This would also explain the 100 ISO since isn't that a known issue with auto ISO and hyperprogram?

The green button may be in need of pressing Sound like a good explanation to you?
Green button = win

If you look through the pics on the camera, and hit the Info button the program mode will come up on the left side. I've never ever used P, so I don't know if the dials override the settings. Although I'm guessing...the camera makes the decision right before taking the picture even if the dials are moved. But that's just a guess.

05-10-2008, 11:34 AM   #5
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I'd propose that you set the ISO at 400 (or 800) as a first step, don't use auto ISO.

Next, set Green mode (not P). In green mode she can't accidentally knock the camera off the program line since the e-dials are disabled.
05-10-2008, 12:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve-O Quote
OK, I coach my son's soccer team so my wife takes pictures during the games. I set the camera up for her and she just frames and shoots. Almost all of the shots are too slow shutter speed. Settings are:

Kit lens or DA 50-200 depending on our field location
Camera set to P
Program line set to Hi-Speed (important point here)
Lock AE to focus point
ISO set to auto 100-400
Single shot mode
AF.S
Firmware 1.00 never touched it out of the box
Full auto focus points
Spot meter today due to heavy overcast sky and low horizon
Sometimes center weight exposure if clear skies

The camera is making absurd choices. Nearly all of the shots my wife took today were ISO 100 and 1/160 shutter speed, f/8.0 or f/7.1. Way too slow. Blurry blurry blurry, huge DOF, they look like point and shoot pics. Shouldn't Hi-Speed program line choose settings closer to ISO 400 and maybe 1/2000 and f/3.5-f/5.6? You know, HI SPEED settings to freeze action? I can't wrap my brain around why the camera is choosing the settings such a way.

Exposure is good, a bit underexposed but that's fine, I can get them spot on but I have to use center point focus and lock AE to focus point, half press, then recompose each time. Too much for wifey to keep up with but the other settings the camera should know better.

Every year I prepare a photo CD for the parents and I'm embarrassed to hand these shots out lest any of them are photogs. HELP!!!!
I would change quite a bit here.

Set the shutter speed to 1/350 or more, to insure you freeze the action,

Set ISO to 400 (maybe 800) and run TV mode for the exposure mode. This will insure that you have the best shutter speed, and all the depth of field possible, because this can eliminate any focusing errors.

Also set focusing to spot. because you'll never know for sure when the camera decides to pick something different. you have set way too many auto functions. the camera does not have a mindread.exe function to understand what your wife is looking at.
05-10-2008, 01:42 PM   #7
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Steve,

I don't believe your wife moved any dials or pressed any wrong buttons. Sadly, your initial statement is correct; the camera is making absurd choices. My first time out with the new camera I was taking some pics at my Schutzhund club; dogs running, jumping hurdles, etc. and I assumed as you did that the camera would choose the combination of settings resulting in the FASTEST SHUTTER SPEED when on Hi-speed program line. WRONG!!! The result was blurry pics. So I did a little experiment and found that using the Hi-speed program line generally resulted in a shutter speed only ONE STOP faster than the Normal program line; so Normal= 1/80 sec and Hi speed= 1/160 sec. The camera tried to keep the ISO as low as possible (mostly ISO 100) even though I allowed ISO 100-800.

Since then I've been using Tv or TAv mode when I need fast shutter speed but I think your results would have been better if you had ISO set to manual and picked the highest ISO you could live with relative to noise. Then the camera would have less variables to choose from.

I think the programmers goofed with the Hi speed program line. It should be attempting to obtain a shutter speed of at least 1/500 sec; my opinion.
05-10-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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teach your wife some easy moves with the camera

why dont you do some Tv mode at iso 400?

05-10-2008, 02:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve-O Quote
OK, I coach my son's soccer team so my wife takes pictures during the games. I set the camera up for her and she just frames and shoots. Almost all of the shots are too slow shutter speed. Settings are:

Kit lens or DA 50-200 depending on our field location
Camera set to P
Program line set to Hi-Speed (important point here)
Lock AE to focus point
ISO set to auto 100-400
Single shot mode
AF.S
Firmware 1.00 never touched it out of the box
Full auto focus points
Spot meter today due to heavy overcast sky and low horizon
Sometimes center weight exposure if clear skies

The camera is making absurd choices. Nearly all of the shots my wife took today were ISO 100 and 1/160 shutter speed, f/8.0 or f/7.1. Way too slow. Blurry blurry blurry, huge DOF, they look like point and shoot pics. Shouldn't Hi-Speed program line choose settings closer to ISO 400 and maybe 1/2000 and f/3.5-f/5.6? You know, HI SPEED settings to freeze action? I can't wrap my brain around why the camera is choosing the settings such a way.

Exposure is good, a bit underexposed but that's fine, I can get them spot on but I have to use center point focus and lock AE to focus point, half press, then recompose each time. Too much for wifey to keep up with but the other settings the camera should know better.

Every year I prepare a photo CD for the parents and I'm embarrassed to hand these shots out lest any of them are photogs. HELP!!!!
Are you using a K10D? If so, set the USER mode to the settings you need for the action shots, including the ISO setting, and tell your wife to use USER, and to turn the camera off when waiting for a period of time. When the camera is turned on USER reverts to the memorized settings. I have found this helpful to me, because of my habits of twiddling dials and forgetting to put them back. My doctor blames it on the "A" word - three letters, begins with "age".
05-10-2008, 05:30 PM   #10
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Turn the SR off, use iso 400 or 800, TV mode at 320, AFC, shooting on jpeg, bright mode, sharp +1, contrast +1.
05-10-2008, 07:31 PM   #11
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Thanks for the help all, I think in the future I'll try her on Tv at 1/500. If that doesn't give good results I'll have to set my own user program or just buy a bridge camera for her.

Not to be a jerk to my wife (I love her to death, honest) but having her learn the bells and whistles of my camera is not going to happen. She NEEDS to have autofocus-point since she won't focus/meter/recompose any shots, and she will not bother to mave any dials to get the best shots. That's not to say she can't learn, she just wont take any pictures with it if the thing is too complicated. She normally won't fool with the camera at all, but if I tell her "Its on full auto, just point and shoot" then she'll actually take pictures

I think its a bit of a mis-nomer to call it Hi-Speed if that really only means a stop of shutter... that's not hi speed in my book. Shrug. I want shots with high shutter speed and narrow DOF, so if there was a mode that honored my auto ISO bounds and could let me set some bounds on aperture that would be great. Does Sv honor the auto ISO bounds?

True, I got the camera for me to take candid portraits not sports, but I'd like to think that with a bit of tweaking she could get good results if I set it up like the dreaded "Man jumping hurdle" mode on so many Canikons out there.
05-10-2008, 09:28 PM   #12
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Steve-O, I take lots of action shots of our kids indoors and out. The most challenging is basketball (because it is indoors, and fast), so soccer should not be an issue. 1/250 is plenty fast to stop even high-school basketball which is pretty aggressive and fast action. If you don't believe me then here:
Flickr Photo Download: IMGP0364

Keep it simple and this will work: I recommend simply setting the camera to Tv mode at 1/250. Go ahead and allow auto-iso. Also, unless you have reassigned the back wheel, it won't be affected by your wife inadvertently spinning it when she is chimping the LCD. By default, it is disabled in Tv mode.

I also strongly agree with Lowel about setting the focus dial to Spot. For the life of me, I still can't figure out why anyone would use anything else. How is the camera supposed to know what we want to focus on in the entire field of view?

Good luck!

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-10-2008 at 09:40 PM.
05-10-2008, 11:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Workingdog Quote
Steve,

I don't believe your wife moved any dials or pressed any wrong buttons.
My wife did the same thing, so yes it is a distinct possibility if she zooms in playback mode :ugh:

Rusty
05-11-2008, 08:20 AM   #14
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just a thouoght but have youo told your wife to wait for the AF to lock in

My wife has the tendancy to push all the way down on the shutter
05-11-2008, 09:29 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
just a thouoght but have youo told your wife to wait for the AF to lock in

My wife has the tendancy to push all the way down on the shutter
This was part of it!

I gave her the quick tip on "waiting for the beep" and she seemed to do great with that. My next effort will be to use spot focus and get her to point at what she wants to be in focus, then press the button. After that we can work on recomposing while half pressed to get a good shot.

Thanks for the tips!!!
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