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05-19-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
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I need help!

Greetings,

I'm new to this forum, and this will probably seem really, really basic...but I'm new to digital photography. I also skipped a couple generations of camera gear. My K100D is my first camera with AE and AF. I am really a film guy. However, I've got a big deal coming up in a couple weeks...in China. I've been drafted as the guy to document the trip. I don't travel out of the country much, but the last time my rolls of film caused problems. So...I figured I'd get a K100D on close-out, and ease into the 21st Century. I did not anticipate my roll in this China thing...and I'm not ready!

So here I am. I'll be taking a lot of group shots, this is a family reunion sort of thing. I have two kids in college, so the kit lens will be it - 18-55mm F3.5-5.6. I anticipate lots of shots of the cities, group activities, and perhaps some landscapes. In spite of the fact this is a wide-angle zoom, I've had problems with DOF. Now that I wear bifocals, I sort of like AF...but I'd like to have more control over it, and still get decent exposures...er, captures. I can get one...or the other; not both. So far, the best piece of information I've gotten out of the manual is p. 179; resetting to factory defaults.

I'd like to keep this as simple as possible. I've discovered with the K100...I can get complicated very, very fast. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thank you!

05-19-2008, 10:04 PM   #2
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OFG

Not sure exactly what your problem is? focussing or exposure?

If you are familiar with film cameras then this is nothing different. The principles of photogrpahy have not changed simply because there is a sensor capturing the image and not film.

If you are having exposure problems try centre weighted or spot metering. I use spot focusing as well.

Set your control to green mode, all of them and the camera will generally look after the shots very well.

PK
05-19-2008, 11:04 PM   #3
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G'day Old Film Guy,
The best advice I can give you is get out and shoot away at every opportunity to test the yourself and the camera. It sounds like you have made the good book (owners manual) your best friend, so you are off to a good start.

The mode settings (some laugh at them) are very useful in that they are a pre-determined exposure settings, it doesn't hurt to use them as a guide to what the camera thinks it should be doing and then cross reference to your own experience/desire.

The P setting I have used a lot in the early days.

Your biggest challenges will come in dodgy light situations, ie) low light, indoors, bright background etc....practice these scenarios to work out what the camera can do and what the limitations are.

Other factors you may not be familiar with in digital are storage and power. SD
cards are cheap, you can not have too many and smaller capacity cards (say 1 gig) are a great safe guard against loss and damage. Batteries can cause problems and I reccommend Sanyo Eneloops or Eveready Lithiums for travel.

Hope that is some use, but in the short term I think the best you can do is shoot as much as you can and experiment to find the limits, settle on a good compromise and have a great trip.
Regards,
Grant
05-19-2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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For the most part I have to say listen to Grant here.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
G'day Old Film Guy,
The best advice I can give you is get out and shoot away at every opportunity to test the yourself and the camera. It sounds like you have made the good book (owners manual) your best friend, so you are off to a good start.

The mode settings (some laugh at them) are very useful in that they are a pre-determined exposure settings, it doesn't hurt to use them as a guide to what the camera thinks it should be doing and then cross reference to your own experience/desire.

The P setting I have used a lot in the early days.

Your biggest challenges will come in dodgy light situations, ie) low light, indoors, bright background etc....practice these scenarios to work out what the camera can do and what the limitations are.

Other factors you may not be familiar with in digital are storage and power. SD
cards are cheap, you can not have too many and smaller capacity cards (say 1 gig) are a great safe guard against loss and damage. Batteries can cause problems and I reccommend Sanyo Eneloops or Eveready Lithiums for travel.

Hope that is some use, but in the short term I think the best you can do is shoot as much as you can and experiment to find the limits, settle on a good compromise and have a great trip.
Regards,
Grant
I used those modes in the beginning, and got some great photographs with them.

I should point out that most memory cards on E-bay are fake, so avoid them at all costs. Buy them from a local trusted store.

I haven't had any problems with my K100D eating batteries, so I won't comment on what batteries to use.

I don't have a chance to look at every thread, however I help people out with their K100D problems whenever possible.
With that in mind, if you don't get the information you need please feel free to send me a Private Message asking for some advice.

Have fun with it. I wish I could go along on that trip.

05-20-2008, 09:32 AM   #5
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Thank you!

I truly appreciate the quick responses. And I definitely want to get a "green" setting to do most of the work. I'll have a ton of things on my plate, so I'd prefer that the camera do as much work as possible. I'll get "artsy" with it...later. Ebay has NOT been a good place for me. I prefer to stay away from it. I did buy several 2Gig SD cards from Tiger Direct. They were on special at $10 apiece, and have worked fine. I've taken most of my shots using the AUTO PICT mode. Several shots, bright sunshine, landscapes...seemed to lack adequate DOF. The overall image was not what we used to call "tack sharp." I shoot everything with Shake Reduction on. That was viewing the shot on my computer screen. Standard 4x6 prints were fine. I'm shooting at the 3 stars compression level. I assume that the photo processor runs the JPEGs through their own software? Perhaps some sort of auto sharpening?

Again, I'm grateful for the suggestions. I like having manual zooms (if I have to use zooms), since that really eases the burden on batteries. Hey, I am a boomer on the cusp of geezerhood. Back when I worked in a camera shop (long gone now), I actually sold a model called the Honeywell Pentax SP 500, with the infamous screw mount lenses. Great little camera, and exceptional value.

I've rambled too much. I'll be firing away this PM. Take care!
05-20-2008, 10:08 AM   #6
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The "full auto" mode works fine in just general circumstances, but it basically turns the camera in to a point-and-shoot...great for when you want just that, but you can't expect much more in that mode. Also, the kit lens is pretty darn good for general purpose, but I wouldn't call it "tack sharp", although I have a couple of 8x10 prints with it that are pretty exceptional.

Take an extra set of batteries (at least one), I use the CRV3 (energizer lithium photo) and they last quite a while if not using the flash...but I always keep a new set just in case.

When you have time, try out the manual modes, you might get more use out of them than full auto...and double check your white balance if you're just shooting jpgs...RAW files are pretty easy to fix, JPG's are a pain, and the WB isn't always that accurate, at least that's been my experience.
05-20-2008, 10:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Grant
Hi Grant, why'd you change your name?
-George
05-20-2008, 10:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Old Film Guy Quote
Several shots, bright sunshine, landscapes...seemed to lack adequate DOF. The overall image was not what we used to call "tack sharp." I shoot everything with Shake Reduction on. That was viewing the shot on my computer screen.
I'll tell you what settings I have my camera set to. And I usually achieve nice sharp images even using the kit lens when I'm shooting in JPG.

hit menu, and go to Saturation. It's right in the middle.

Sharpness is +1. If the images still aren't up to your standards try +2

Contrast is +1.

Try these settings and you might be a little more pleased with your image quality

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