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12-14-2014, 02:34 PM   #1
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Slow Camera, Shutter Speed or Lens?

Not sure if this is a camera or lens question, but am posting it here. Moderators feel free to move the post if necessary.

Wanted everyone's opinion.

I am a hobby shooter, these days mainly taking photos of my 2 year old (wolfiepup).

Wolfieboy was trying to take photos of wolfiepup and I last night and complained about my camera kit.

He's not used to my manual lenses, so I offered him my k-01 attached with the sigma 17-70/2.8. That is the best body and fastest focal range AF lens I have in my kit. He complained about the lag between pressing the shutter and getting a picture. Photo was taken in artificial lighting at night, ISO at its highest and shutter speed at 1/4000. It was set to auto, so really in my book this was as best as it was going to get....

He asked why I couldn't own a camera that could just take photos the minute you hit the button. And that there are lots of cameras out there that can do that.......

I wanted all your opinions on what my problem is. Is it the lens? Do I just need a faster AF lens? Or is it the body? I'd assume that the k-01 is pretty speedy, but what do I know?

I assumed that a dslr is always going to do better than a point and shoot - but perhaps I am wrong?

I just want to have decent shots of wolfiepup and I that aren't done by selfies, because wolfieboy gets too frustrated to take photos of us because my kit doesn't work for him...

Thoughts?

12-14-2014, 02:45 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
I wanted all your opinions on what my problem is. Is it the lens? Do I just need a faster AF lens? Or is it the body? I'd assume that the k-01 is pretty speedy, but what do I know?
17-70 f/2.8 is fast enough, it's not the lens. However k-01 is not noted for fast AF because it is CDAF, PDAF like on a dslr such as k-50, k-5, k-3 will be faster. Newer sensors appear to be better at it but K-01 is older tech at this point.

You do not say what other gear you have, why not try the Sigma 17-70 on your other camera if it is a dslr?
QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
I assumed that a dslr is always going to do better than a point and shoot - but perhaps I am wrong?
Depends on your definition of 'better'. DSLR can usually do most things better, but are not as simple or easy to use well. In other words they give you the ability to do things well but they do not guarantee it. The skills need to be there as well. With a P&S the skills need not be as extensive to get adequate images. Easy to get 'OK' images but very hard to get great images.

---------- Post added 12-14-14 at 01:47 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
Photo was taken in artificial lighting at night, ISO at its highest and shutter speed at 1/4000
I would have reduced ISO to something reasonable, and used a slower speed. 1/4000 is not needed. 1/1000 might have worked just as well and gained you two stops lower ISO.
12-14-2014, 02:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
17-70 f/2.8 is fast enough, it's not the lens. However k-01 is not noted for fast AF because it is CDAF, PDAF like on a dslr such as k-50, k-5, k-3 will be faster. Newer sensors appear to be better at it but K-01 is older tech at this point.

You do not say what other gear you have, why not try the Sigma 17-70 on your other camera if it is a dslr?
My other two cameras are the k100d and the original Q - which I find struggles inside. But then again, I don't usually use it with flash. So perhaps that would have made a difference?

I had swapped the ISO on and off between shots, and by the end he got a few decent ones, but I'm hearing his frustration, because so often with children, images are spontaneous. You just want to pick up the camera and go. He's not going to have the patience to learn how to use the camera properly, so I'm wondering if there's something else I can get to help alleviate the problem (and possibly fire up my CBA... )

It's that or live with the fact that he will always get lots of photos with her and I won't.
12-14-2014, 03:12 PM   #4
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The K-01 is known to have slow focus. It uses contrast detection, not phase detection for AF. Typically slower, much slower. Suggest you try to pre focus manually and then compose and shoot. Using manual focus may remove the focus delay. But no guarantees, I don't have a K-01 to play with. And again, the K-01 is well known to be slow to focus.

12-14-2014, 03:19 PM   #5
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I don't think there is much shutter lag in the k-01... I've had cameras in the past that struggle with shutter lag. I think of shutter lag as the lag from the half pressed position to the fully pressed position and how long it'll take for the shutter to release. From unpressed to half pressed, that's activating the auto focus. The k-01 is a little slow at auto focusing. If wolfieboy is going from unpressed to full press, it'll autofocus then release, unless you have it on release priority instead of focus priority. You could ask him to autofocus first with half press, keep the button half pressed, frame the shot, get ready for the right moment then press it all the way. The AF illuminator might help if it's hunting, but I don't think using a flash or bumping the iso helps. Pentax AF isn't as good as the competitors, except maybe the K3, but even so, the tracking of subjects still might be as good.
12-14-2014, 03:43 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote

He asked why I couldn't own a camera that could just take photos the minute you hit the button. And that there are lots of cameras out there that can do that.......
Remind Wolfieboy that even a Ferrari will perform poorly in the hands of an inexperienced driver...

I agree with the other posters; slow response is due to AF trying to get a lock before allowing the shutter
to fire. Maybe if he brushed up on his technique he'd be a better driver..... of cameras.
12-14-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
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There are cameras that don't require focus. You could put an Imperial Mark XII in his stocking for Christmas if that's what he wants.
12-14-2014, 04:00 PM   #8
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Not the camera nor the lens, it is the person behind it I guess....

12-14-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
Remind Wolfieboy that even a Ferrari will perform poorly in the hands of an inexperienced driver...


Yes, but that's not going to solve my problem.

How do the Pentax fixed lens p&s compare do you think? Am thinking mx-1?

I guess I'm also wondering if this might be an opportunity to retire my k100d.... although it has sentimental value.... to maybe a weatherproof body. Not that that would necessarily fix my problem either. Just want to make at least one of my bodies as user-friendly as possible.
QuoteQuote:
I agree with the other posters; slow response is due to AF trying to get a lock before allowing the shutter
to fire. Maybe if he brushed up on his technique he'd be a better driver..... of cameras.
*nods* I also agree. I guess I'm just wondering if there's a camera body out there that has a faster AF. Pentax preferably...

ETA: Just had a look at k3s.... they're coming in between 1-2 grand! Was hoping to stay under that.... I know wolfieboy has problems, but I'm not prepared to fix them with a price that high....

Last edited by wolfiegirl; 12-14-2014 at 04:21 PM.
12-14-2014, 04:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
Photo was taken in artificial lighting at night, ISO at its highest and shutter speed at 1/4000. It was set to auto, so really in my book this was as best as it was going to get...
Doesn't answer your question, but even if used wide open in artificial light the shutter speed should be much lower (e.g. 1/125th second with that lens). That would allow much lower ISO, which will give better quality images, and a narrower aperture (for better resolution and more DOF, ulness you are trying to get very very thin DOF). I don't know anything about the K-01, but you need to seize control (from both the camera and wolfieboy!).

As for the K100D, I used to have a K100D Super and loved it. It was fairly idiotproof too. Select the appropriate picture on the dial, or go to Scn and choose Pets or Indoors, and even wolfieboy should be able to cope.

Last edited by Des; 12-14-2014 at 04:40 PM.
12-14-2014, 04:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Doesn't answer your question, but even if used wide open in artificial light the shutter speed should be much lower (e.g. 1/125th second with that lens). That would allow much lower ISO, which will give better quality images, and a narrower aperture (for better resolution and more DOF, ulness you are trying to get very very thin DOF). You need to seize control (from both the camera and wolfieboy!).
*nods*

It was just us sitting on the couch. Wolfieboy thought it'd make a nice picture and grabbed my camera. Then proceeded to spend 10mins trying to get a decent shot while wolfiepup squirmed etc.

My understanding was that if it was set to AF it would be enough for him, and it wasn't like I was even sure what photos he was trying to take by the end....

So I just wondered if there might be an easier p&s option for him.
12-14-2014, 04:38 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Give him a pinhole, then he won't have to focus.
12-14-2014, 04:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
Photo was taken in artificial lighting at night, ISO at its highest and shutter speed at 1/4000
1/4000, That is a very high speed for night.
12-14-2014, 04:50 PM   #14
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First of all look at the firmware inside the K-01. If it is still on firmware 1.00 then upgrade and it will be faster.
12-14-2014, 06:47 PM - 1 Like   #15
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The K-01 is not the fastest focusing camera, especially if you are using an older firmware. Low light and lack of experience with it don't help! Whenever I give the K-01 to someone else, they always miss focus. Always.
Something like a K-5IIs (which you can own btw ) will focus faster.
And it also depends on the lens design. DA 50mm f1.8 should focus pretty fast! Some lenses like DFA 100mm macro will be slower, because they have a much longer focus throw. It just takes the camera longer to spin up to the correct position. Aperture is important, as well. And whether a lens has SDM or DC motor, or if it is in-camera screw drive. So its a whole number of issues. Aperture is important as well - a slightly misfocused photo at f2.8 will make a blurry photo, but a slightly misfocused photo at f8 will have a DoF wide enough to hide most focusing errors. Of course, you need a lot of light to use f8, and in some cases you don't want a wide DoF

But! Here is what it comes down to. Not plenty of cameras actually have fast AF. People expect fast AF because smartphones and P&S tiny cameras have fast focus. The reason they have fast focus is that they have a single, built-in lens, and a very wide DoF. This together means a camera doesn't need fast, nor precise AF. The DoF will be huge anyway, and things will most likely be in focus. But with DSLR cameras, Pentax is not lagging behind. I remember quite a few tests placed the K-5 in the top of crop sensor camera AF speed
The Pentax MX-1 has "fast AF" in the panfocus mode. Its like automatic zone focusing! Not actually "fast", as it doesn't move much, but it still gets things sharp enough
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