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06-13-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
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Pentax's Metering System

Is Pentax's Metering System the most stupid on SLR Camera's?
Because i see that it only has 16 segment metering while Canon has 40 or Nikon has hundreds of segments...

is that the main reason for under or over exposure caused by Pentax Cameras?
or burned out details around the subject?

06-13-2008, 05:10 PM   #2
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No that is not the reason

Vlad

I can see from your other posts that you are very new to DSLR photography. Getting the correct exposure in a photograph is a skill that has to be learned. Every camera will expose slightly differently for a given scene. Also, no two scenes are the same. Extreme variation in dynamic range will make it almost impossible for a camera to expose correctly for both the highlights and the shadows. Having a million segments wont affect that one jot.

You are the photographer , not the camera, and it is up to you to understand how exposure works and to use your given camera accordingly.

When i first took up photography my camera didnt have a meter. If i over or underexposed I only had one thing to blame...myself.

I suggest you buy a good book on photography or search the web...there are some great resources out there. Once you have read up a bit...set your camera on manual and go and take some photographs of differently lit scenes....without using the meter ! You will soon discover there is nothing mystical about ev values. The range of all of your photographs you will ever take outdoors will probably fall within 6 of them.

That is the quickest way to learn how a scene should be exposed, and will teach you when you cannot rely on a multi-billion segment metering system.

I am afraid you have fallen for the classic trap of a bad workman blaming his tools.
06-13-2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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Oh come on Peter!
The question is not about being amateur or pro, it is just relevant. Why does Pentax' Savox have so few AF-points compared to the other DSLR brands? I would like to know, too...
06-13-2008, 05:46 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vlad Quote
Is Pentax's Metering System the most stupid on SLR Camera's?
Because i see that it only has 16 segment metering while Canon has 40 or Nikon has hundreds of segments...

is that the main reason for under or over exposure caused by Pentax Cameras?
or burned out details around the subject?

The only thing you gain from multiple segments are presumably more accurate exposures, assuming the photographer knows what he/she's doing in the first place. So, instead of clicking Exposure three times in Lightroom (pentax), I would click it two times (Canon). Hypothetical situation.

I can't imagine a 40-segment being hugely more accurate than a 16-segment, unless you're talking about a completely new photographer -- perhaps the 40 segments helps do the thinking.

-----

Personally, I've never felt limited by "only " 16 segments -- If I screw up the exposure, it's my own fault. Learn to expose properly, or no amount of segments are going to help.


QuoteQuote:
Why does Pentax' Savox have so few AF-points compared to the other DSLR brands? I would like to know, too
Oh, you mean like Canon's Rebel line having only 9 or Nikon's D60 having three? Give me a break.



It looks like both of you are seriously getting caught up in the numbers game. If that's the case, I'll trade you my 12MP point-and-shoot for your 10MP DSLR.

06-13-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vlad Quote
Is Pentax's Metering System the most stupid on SLR Camera's?
Because i see that it only has 16 segment metering while Canon has 40 or Nikon has hundreds of segments...

is that the main reason for under or over exposure caused by Pentax Cameras?
or burned out details around the subject?
How dumb is it to use the other metering mode where it is only "one" segment, or spot-metering which use one tiny portion of the image.

It's not the camera.
06-13-2008, 07:34 PM   #6
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After finally having some more time using my K20D, i must say i am pleased with the consistent exposures. As ex Canon user i am pleased to see i can now shoot M and Av for flash photography, not only M. Also multi segment is usable on this camera.
MEtering is tip top and as long as you aware of lighting conditions that will throw of ANY Camera, and compensate those times, you will have nothing to complain about.

Of course i am only talking about auto lenses, not manual lenses. But i'll get used to the different stop down metering eventually.
06-13-2008, 08:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vlad Quote
Is Pentax's Metering System the most stupid on SLR Camera's?
Because i see that it only has 16 segment metering while Canon has 40 or Nikon has hundreds of segments...

is that the main reason for under or over exposure caused by Pentax Cameras?
or burned out details around the subject?
Back in the bad old days, we used cameras with single segment metering, and that seemed to work just fine. I really don't think the number of metering segments is as important as knowing at what point you are putting the technology in your hand into a situation it can't function in, and interceding on it's behalf.
I think we call it either exposure compensation or manual metering. From my perspective, Pentax metering is as good as anyone else's in it's price class' metering.
The exception to this is with older manual aperture lenses, where the new cameras seem a bit odd.
06-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vlad Quote
Is Pentax's Metering System the most stupid on SLR Camera's?
Because i see that it only has 16 segment metering while Canon has 40 or Nikon has hundreds of segments...

is that the main reason for under or over exposure caused by Pentax Cameras?
or burned out details around the subject?
I prefer the term "basic" to stupid. Pentax never threw a lot of money or research into the "Matrix" system. At least not in comparison to Nikon and it's 1009 "segment" meter and 10,000 scene LUT... BUT it never pretended to be any more than it was.
As to over/under exposure, one of the things that bothered me about the Canon system was the plethora of blown out images. Some of that was not fatal and for the primary subjects they looked good but, as I used to shoot slides, they would be unacceptable to me personally. To add to that "research" I went into some of the photo galleries and read the EXIF on dozens of images that I thought were better than average. Turns out w/ the Canon systems of that time many outdoor shots (birding in particular) had negative EV's dialed in. So my choices seemed to be between increasing EV as needed or decreasing. Few scenes are "perfect" at 0 EV though many are acceptable.
Matrix metering is still evolving and I suppose Pentax's basic-ness is a bit unexciting to the modern whiz bang world.. but they seemed to want to make cameras for photographers not tech heads that want the CPU to do all the thinking.
The other thing about Pentax exposure was much of it was not really "underexposed" but just had the dynamic range compressed. Stretch the white point and black point to spread out the histogram (basic contrast adj) and they looked 10's of times better without really increasing exposure. this is a function of contrast curve application on the RAW file and not really exposure per se. Again, Pentax took a basic approach to this and left it up to the "developer" to choose.
Of course all this is more personal observation and belief than anything concrete but decide for yourself.

06-13-2008, 10:40 PM   #9
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I use to have a canon 30d and got to try the nikon d200 a few times and I really dont find much difference.
06-14-2008, 12:33 AM   #10
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True.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vlad Quote
Is Pentax's Metering System the most stupid on SLR Camera's?
Because i see that it only has 16 segment metering while Canon has 40 or Nikon has hundreds of segments...

is that the main reason for under or over exposure caused by Pentax Cameras?
or burned out details around the subject?
I think it is a design problem plus some QC issues.

If you mount Pentax film lenses (on Pentax DSLRs), say, the FA ones, especially for those made in Japan, the exposure would be more accurate and underexposure will not be so common.

My MZ-30 aand MZ-S with slide films in them exposes far more accurately and brighter than any Pentax DSLRs I've used. Noted that the exposure latitude of slides are indeed even narrower than that of digital DSLRs, and highlights are even easier to burn.

Many latest Pentax digital lenses tend to give dark pictures and underexpose, it has been once verified for the DA 17-70 samples posted by Ned Burnnell:-

NED BUNNELL: DA 17-70 Sample Photos

He applied +0.5 to +1 EV for *most* of the shots he took with his K20D.

Of course, you are right that if you let the camera decides, this 16-segment system is actually not something having a high enough IQ, or, use your word, stupid, also IMHO. I could say Nikon and Canon's multi-segment meters are far more intelligent and both can cater and handle for more different (difficult or not) with better results and a higher hit rate.

To know more about how light metering works and the engineering mathematics beneath, see my homepage:-

RiceHigh's (Pentax) DSLR and Lens Measurbation Page on Exposure Accuracy and More..

My final comment is that it must be true that we should learn how to use our tools, but I'm afraid that the arguments of learning how to compensate the errors of a tool is actually something not very practical, especially when the errors come up rather randomly, unpredictable and are actually dependent on many factors, e.g. lens mounted and the weather conditions (try to shoot in an overcast day, I believe we shall get more underexposure shots - which I have never seen with my Canon) etc. and etc.

If we have to trace, adapt and compensate to those errors we have no clue, what's the base of such compensations and what should we learn actually?? (as there is no standards and logics to follow)

Engineering is a science, and is surely not by luck and chance. If an equipment or a tool (here we call) is not accurate and reliable enough, then the engineers who made the stuff should re-think how they should and could improve the design and/or the manufacturing process.
06-14-2008, 02:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
I think it is a design problem plus some QC issues.

If you mount Pentax film lenses (on Pentax DSLRs), say, the FA ones, especially for those made in Japan, the exposure would be more accurate and underexposure will not be so common.

My MZ-30 aand MZ-S with slide films in them exposes far more accurately and brighter than any Pentax DSLRs I've used. Noted that the exposure latitude of slides are indeed even narrower than that of digital DSLRs, and highlights are even easier to burn.

Many latest Pentax digital lenses tend to give dark pictures and underexpose, it has been once verified for the DA 17-70 samples posted by Ned Burnnell:-

NED BUNNELL: DA 17-70 Sample Photos

He applied +0.5 to +1 EV for *most* of the shots he took with his K20D.

Of course, you are right that if you let the camera decides, this 16-segment system is actually not something having a high enough IQ, or, use your word, stupid, also IMHO. I could say Nikon and Canon's multi-segment meters are far more intelligent and both can cater and handle for more different (difficult or not) with better results and a higher hit rate.

To know more about how light metering works and the engineering mathematics beneath, see my homepage:-

RiceHigh's (Pentax) DSLR and Lens Measurbation Page on Exposure Accuracy and More..

My final comment is that it must be true that we should learn how to use our tools, but I'm afraid that the arguments of learning how to compensate the errors of a tool is actually something not very practical, especially when the errors come up rather randomly, unpredictable and are actually dependent on many factors, e.g. lens mounted and the weather conditions (try to shoot in an overcast day, I believe we shall get more underexposure shots - which I have never seen with my Canon) etc. and etc.

If we have to trace, adapt and compensate to those errors we have no clue, what's the base of such compensations and what should we learn actually?? (as there is no standards and logics to follow)

Engineering is a science, and is surely not by luck and chance. If an equipment or a tool (here we call) is not accurate and reliable enough, then the engineers who made the stuff should re-think how they should and could improve the design and/or the manufacturing process.
Then you must have a very special Canon, because I have seen many a messed up shot taken with a Canon, and yes Michael, it was your fabulous (& now obselete) 5D. Which only proves that the operator has a hell of a lot to do with the final result, more so than the tool (read camera).

Cheers.
06-14-2008, 03:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Then you must have a very special Canon, because I have seen many a messed up shot taken with a Canon,
So, what Canon did you "see"?

QuoteQuote:
and yes Michael, it was your fabulous (& now obselete) 5D.
From time to time, I used different popular DSLRs of the C and N brands of my friends and colleagues. I did even measurebate a 300D to verify if it exposed better, after *always* felt that it was better. Here are the results:-

Canon 300D + EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 @35mm (Diffused Natural Daylight)

Canon 300D + EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 @35mm

It can be seen that at the time of testing, no any combination of Pentax DSLRs and lenses have the accuracy of the 300D, no matter what lens is used and especially the Centre Weighted Average and Spot modes of the Pentaxes underexposed much. More underexposure was always found under tungsten lightings, too. (Actually, when under cloudy days, it have yet been reported by K20/200 users that their cameras underexpose, still)

QuoteQuote:
Which only proves that the operator has a hell of a lot to do with the final result, more so than the tool (read camera).
What the operators could do for those metering and exposure inaccuracy, except trying to compensate in a trial-n-error way? Anyone actually favour those trial and error?? and has the confidence to enter a proper compensation value under different scenarios???

p.s. As for the "obselete" DSLR model you've mentioned, it is still more popular and more easily found in the streets for camera shops to sell them than the current Pentax K20D and K200D. Just to let you know.
06-14-2008, 03:46 AM   #13
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Point and shoot cameras have full-frame metering, i.e. each pixel is metered. So much for Nikon's measly 1000 pixel RGB sensor. 8 megapixel sensor is more like it.

So... switch to a P&S.
06-14-2008, 03:55 AM   #14
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More factors to consider..

QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
Point and shoot cameras have full-frame metering, i.e. each pixel is metered. So much for Nikon's measly 1000 pixel RGB sensor. 8 megapixel sensor is more like it.

So... switch to a P&S.
More metering segments could improve metering IQ and accuracy, but provided that a matching intelligent enough algorithm to process the raw data to yield good results.

Pentax MZ film SLRs have mostly 6 segments for their multi-pattern metering, but I must say they are still more accurate.

Of course, Nikon used a 1,000+ segment to improve the accuracy, most Canon DSLRs have only 40 segment but they still do the job. MZ models have 6 segments only but still do the job better. Now, the Pentax DSLRs have 16 but the end results are not so satisfactory (and so do the fixed pattern modes). So, there must be something wrong either with the software algorithm, hardware and/or the new lenses made (as I have pointed out).
06-14-2008, 04:09 AM   #15
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I know you wont like it or believe it Michael, but I have seen under exposed shots from the Canon 5d, which as I said, is probably more of a reflection on the operator than the camera. But at the same time I also note that the 5d is a $5000 camera here in Australia, some 3 1/2 times the price of the K20D so any comparison lacks credibility from the canon viewpoint.

Also if you took the time to actually read a few posts here and other places you would find contributions from people that own Pentax and Canon or Nikon and report exposure & AF issues with the other brands.

The point: no one brand is perfect, each has it foibles, so move on please.

The Canon 5d was released in Aug of 2005.....who was it that said the K10D was obselete after 12 months?????....please remind me.
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