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07-29-2018, 11:25 PM - 7 Likes   #1
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Pentax KP Rejuvenated My Love for Daily Photography

I am a college student studying graphic design, and photography has become a major hobby and passion of mine in the recent years.

Although my family had a small Canon point-and-shoot that we primarily used to take individual and group portraits during parties and events, my personal journey as an amateur photographer really began to take off in 2010 with the iPhone 4. It was my first smartphone with a camera; not only that, it was the first one with a (relatively) decent camera that I could have with me at all times. Looking back, I think I was very fortunate to not have any social media accounts to share photos. Whatever I captured would be impulsive. Whenever I came across wide sweeping landscape, I would have an irresistible urge to photograph what I saw, to capture the moment as I felt it so I could eventually share it to someone down the line. I wanted to capture the feeling of being at a certain place and time with a certain point of view. Landscapes defined my first foray into photography. It was all about light ("lighting"), and the mood and atmosphere that a scene had. While biking, driving, walking; if someone was next to me I would point out the scene to them before capturing it.

By 2013, I was feeling limited by the capabilities of smartphones and wanted more. Because I was quite young and an amateur who never used a DSLR, I did painstaking research over many months to find a good entry-level camera that had good image quality and low-light performance, in case I ever had the chance to do astrophotography (space was and still is a major passion of mine). I finally bought the D3100 with the standard two kit lenses (18-55, 55-200). Though I did enjoy the drastic increase in image quality and resolution, I wasnít satisfied in the long run by kit lenses. Additionally, I wasnít so keen on the subtle stress of having all those focal lengths and lenses to juggle. In 2014, I bought my first prime lens, the 35mm, and I used it exclusively with camera since. Eventually, I even outgrew the technical controls and capabilities of the camera body itself; the lack of bracketing especially seemed a real hindrance in my photography. And in retrospect, the added weight of a battery grip led me to take my camera out less and less.

When 2018 rolled around, I was a lot more clear about what I wanted: a lightweight, small, and technically capable camera that wasnít too expensive. And it was then that I came upon the Pentax brand, and especially the KP. This was the camera that fit all my needs and requirements while still being relatively affordable. The fact that it was weather sealed was the icing on top. Since getting it and the 21mm Ltd in February, photography has become so much more fun for me again. Thereís just something about the KPís controls and ergonomics: it makes the process of photography, of adjusting the dials and pressing the shutter, incredibly satisfying and enjoyable. Itís almost the polar opposite to my experience using the D3100. The KPís build quality is such that I want to keep using it at every opportunity, and thatís partly why I take the camera with me wherever I go, besides the small form factor and stellar images it makes. I take photos to and from campus, in between classes, and every time I see something that looks aesthetically interesting in my day to day routine. In fact, daily photography has become such an integral part of my lifestyle over the past few months, that I sometimes feel irritated if I canít go out with my gear at all that day. Iím so grateful for having discovered Pentax and the KP camera and what theyíve done to inspire my habits as a hobbyist. And Iím also grateful for the encouraging and helping community here on Pentax Forums!

07-30-2018, 12:04 AM   #2
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Glad you are having fun, I definitely agree with you about the Pentax ergonomics. I don't have a KP myself but when I don't want to carry my K3ii I find the K50 is super light and simple to use. I've been toying with getting the 21 Limited as a walk around (walk to work) lens, what do you like about it? Any drawbacks?
07-30-2018, 06:23 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hypermodern Quote
Glad you are having fun, I definitely agree with you about the Pentax ergonomics. I don't have a KP myself but when I don't want to carry my K3ii I find the K50 is super light and simple to use. I've been toying with getting the 21 Limited as a walk around (walk to work) lens, what do you like about it? Any drawbacks?
Glad to see your enjoying this wonderful hobby. I have a KP and it is a great camera. Enjoy!!!
07-30-2018, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #4
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The KP is definitely unique. I am glad you are enjoying it so much, and yes there's no other DSLR quite like it!

If you shoot JPEG images as I often do, I've found the KP's in-camera processing to be exceptional. Just be sure to set up "Fine Sharpening" in the Custom Image menus, especially in the standard "Bright" and "Natural" categories. In addition, I even bumped up the sharpening level by one notch in "Natural" to match that of the "Bright" which is up +1 by default. Putting the camera back to "Bright" afterwards is generally the best for most shooting, which is the reason it is the camera's default setting. I've done this for years with my other Pentax DSLR models as well, and in some lab tests of both the KP and the K-70, they found implementing "Fine Sharpening" to be very beneficial for fine detail in images.

07-30-2018, 11:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hypermodern Quote
Glad you are having fun, I definitely agree with you about the Pentax ergonomics. I don't have a KP myself but when I don't want to carry my K3ii I find the K50 is super light and simple to use. I've been toying with getting the 21 Limited as a walk around (walk to work) lens, what do you like about it? Any drawbacks?
I love this lens for many reasons: it's great image quality but in a small, compact form. This makes it ideal for walk-around, street or documentary type photography. With the KP, the combo looks like a mirrorless type of camera, giving a relatively low profile for shooting in public outdoors.


For me, the only drawback is the f/3.2; I sometimes wish I could open the lens up more to create a shallower depth of field. But that's not too often in my shooting. I used to be obsessed about bokeh when I got my first prime, but now I'm enjoying focusing on composition and lighting.
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