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12-16-2008, 12:55 PM   #1
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New K200D - Please help. Slow picture release

Hello. It's been years since using a SLR camera -- a Pentax K1000. Recently I decided to upgrade from point and shoot to a K200D. I have some lenses from the K1000 and read great reviews on the K1000.

When I tried a Canon EOS 450 in the store, pressing the button to take the picture resulted in an immediate picture. With my K200D I feel like I am back with the P&S response.

Is this the way the K200D is expected to react or am I maybe doing something wrong. One reason I wanted to go the DSLR route was to get immediate response when taking a picture so I wouldn't "lose" pictures that have some action or small movement.

Thanks.
Sue


Last edited by sue; 12-16-2008 at 02:44 PM.
12-16-2008, 02:55 PM   #2
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You might want to describe your concern some more, but I will try to help. My K200D takes a photo right away once I turn it on, I don't have to wait for it to "warm" up or anything. The Shutter does make some noise when released (it's not the quietest sound either), and the longer the exposure the longer it takes for it to return to take another picture. Now, using manual lenses, I have to tell it what focal length the lens is if I use shake reduction, before I can take a decent picture, but it will still take a picture right away. At least that's how my camera responds.
12-16-2008, 03:03 PM   #3
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Without more details it could be anything.

Do you have the camera set for a 2second delay?

Do you have it on AF-S and it is not locking in?

There is no reason it shouldn't be immediate unless a setting is worng.


Need more info.
12-16-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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The "shutter lag" you describe should not be very pronounced, but you may find like others have found that Canon and Nikon have faster autofocus. This has been discussed many times.

You should tell us first of all what lens you are using, as that could have an impact. But the bottom line is, with one of the faster autofocusing lenses, and in good light, the K200 should have little shutter lag. Some lenses will hunt in low light for focus, eliminating the "instant" press and shoot that you are looking for. The flip side of this, is that many people find the autofocus to be more accurate on the Pentax compared to Canon and Nikon.

12-16-2008, 06:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for your time. Here is some more clarification.

1. The lens, a kit lens, is smc Pentax DA 18-55 II.

2. I think Jeffrey's term, "shutter lag," is what I am trying to describe.

3. The card is a Kodak SDHC 60x 4GB card.

4. All my pictures so far have just been indoors due to the weather. There have been plenty of lights on.

5. All settings are the default shipped from the factory. Here are the AF settings:

a. AF Mode is AF.S (and is greyed out)
b. Select AF point is set to AUTO
c. File Format is JPEG (2M, *** Quality)

6. Shake reduction is OFF.

Now, I think that I expected when I pressed the shutter release button that there would be little or no lag. I was used to that in P&S but didn't expect it here since the Canon I mentioned was very quick in taking the picture (as was my K1000 but of course no AF).

Also, I noticed that a number of my pictures were out of focus. I didn't expect that with AF on. Still pondering that issue.

I am slowly going through the manual. I can see I have a lot to learn.
12-16-2008, 06:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sue Quote
Thanks for your time. Here is some more clarification.

1. The lens, a kit lens, is smc Pentax DA 18-55 II.

2. I think Jeffrey's term, "shutter lag," is what I am trying to describe.

3. The card is a Kodak SDHC 60x 4GB card.

4. All my pictures so far have just been indoors due to the weather. There have been plenty of lights on.

5. All settings are the default shipped from the factory. Here are the AF settings:

a. AF Mode is AF.S (and is greyed out)
b. Select AF point is set to AUTO
c. File Format is JPEG (2M, *** Quality)

Just to put your mind at rest regarding whether the camera is ok at least, change the setting to manual focus (on the front of the camera) and try a couple of shots, there should be no delay.

6. Shake reduction is OFF.

Now, I think that I expected when I pressed the shutter release button that there would be little or no lag. I was used to that in P&S but didn't expect it here since the Canon I mentioned was very quick in taking the picture (as was my K1000 but of course no AF).

Also, I noticed that a number of my pictures were out of focus. I didn't expect that with AF on. Still pondering that issue.

I am slowly going through the manual. I can see I have a lot to learn.
Just to put your mind at rest that the camera is ok, change to manual focus (switch on front of camera) and try a couple of shots, there should be no delay.
12-16-2008, 07:00 PM   #7
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I believe gary provides the most probable solution to your problem. When the camera is on AF-S (Single af) mode, it will not release the shutter until it confirms focus. I am assuming the time between the shutter button press and the shutter actually going off, is when the camera is focusing. If the camera is on AF-C (continuous af) or MF mode then the shutter will go off right when you press the shutter button.

Also, when shooting in AF-S mode, I suggest half-pressing the shutter button and holding it there to focus on your subject before taking your picture. When your ready to actually capture the picture, press the shutter button down all the way. Since focus has already been locked, the shutter lag shouldn't really be noticable.
12-16-2008, 09:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Just to put your mind at rest that the camera is ok, change to manual focus (switch on front of camera) and try a couple of shots, there should be no delay.
Yes, this is actually a good idea.

For me, indoors is a bit slow with the automatic function, especially in incandescent lighting. Also, multi-shots are terribly slow for me but I have yet to experiment more.

Other than that, I LOVE this camera. Especially using my old school manual lenses, which is the reason why I went with Pentax.

12-17-2008, 09:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sue Quote
4. All my pictures so far have just been indoors due to the weather. There have been plenty of lights on.
But almost certainly, not nearly as well lit as the camera store. So no surprise that the camera in the store would focus faster. But indeed, Pentax is generally considered to have slower AF in low light than Canon. But still should be much better than what you are accustomed to, especially once you get the hang of good technique (eg, half pressing to pre-focus, using center point or user-selectable focus point rather than letting the camera decide what to focus on, etc).

QuoteQuote:
Also, I noticed that a number of my pictures were out of focus. I didn't expect that with AF on. Still pondering that issue.
That would mostly be on account of the camera choosing to focus on a subject other than the one you intended, which is another reason why I recommend getting the camera out of the Auto Select mode.
12-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sue Quote
When I tried a Canon EOS 450 in the store, pressing the button to take the picture resulted in an immediate picture. With my K200D I feel like I am back with the P&S response.
The problem with any Auto Focus is that it still takes a finite amount of time - no matter how "fast" it is still not instantaneous.

Popular Photography is one of the very few places where they actually test the AF speed
(they don't have the chart for the K200D - but here are the K20D and K100D which kind of spans the range for Pentax dSLR AF) -




Note: the scale on the horizontal (light level) axis on the K20D graph is misaligned - it should be the same as the other graphs.

However having said that - almost any AF (unless it can't focus, hunting) is WAY faster than we can focus manually -
so how did anyone managed to take fast action shots with manual focus lenses?

as Marc said
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
(eg, half pressing to pre-focus, using center point or user-selectable focus point rather than letting the camera decide what to focus on, etc).
The key is to Pre-Focus on the spot where the action is likely to occur and trip the shutter when one sees the shot - then the lag is <0.1sec which is faster than most human reaction time and any AF.
12-17-2008, 07:42 PM   #11
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One other thing... do you know what the setting of the camera were when you were trying to take your pictures indoors? In other words, what was the shutter speed, iso, and f-stop #? I have a feeling iso will probably be 100, f-stop will be around f4 so your shutter speed would be around 1/20th or slower unless there are a lot of windows in the room and it is very bright outside. .

If you're zoomed in with your lens so it's magnifying as much as the lens can, you're probably going to have some shaking going on which will make your picture blurry. You really should have shake reduction on unless you're taking pictures with a tripod!!!

But I think the biggest thing to make your camera take pictures faster is to prefocus:
-- locate your target,
-- point your camera at the target,
-- in your viewfinder put an area of high contrast in the middle of the picture (like the edge of a dark picture frame on a white wall, the hairline on a person, or something in the area that you will be shooting - it may help to put your cam in spot focus mode so that when you put the high contrast in the center, that is where your camera is looking to focus on),
-- half press the shutter button (you'll hear the lens turn, and then a beep when the cam confirms focus)
-- look at your settings to make sure the available light will result in a fast enough shutter speed (if not, adjust iso, f-stop # or raise the flash)

-- then, take the pic or have the camera at the ready to take the pic when something interesting happens (I like to keep the camera at my eye to make sure I get the expressions I'm after so I keep the shutter half pressed the whole time til I take the pics).

I'm finding using these techniques, the amount of good pictures I'm getting at family gatherings has gone up a lot! All these steps maybe sounds like a lot, but it will become second nature quite quickly as you practice. Really, now prefocusing takes me less than a second before I check all the settings and I'm ready to start shooting. Of course I'm still making mistakes here and there, but I'm doing all I can to learn what the mistakes are so I can learn to avoid them in the future.

Really, you have a great cam w/ great potential. The learning curve will be steep and you'll need lots of patience. But as you get better, the rewards in beautiful pictures and memories made concrete by your photos will make learning and overcoming your frustrations completely worthwhile. You're lucky that you had experience w/ the k1000... I'm sure many of the concepts are familiar to you already. Good luck and keep practicing!
12-20-2008, 10:11 PM   #12
sue
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Thanks for all the great comments! They helped point me in the right direction and, of course, going through the manual is helping a lot.

I got brave and pulled out my old lenses -- a Takumar f/2.5-22 135mm and a smc Pentax-M f/2-22 50mm lens and letting the histograms help in getting good pictures, indoors and out. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the Vivitar 2x teleconverter works great with it as well.

I am very pleased with this camera. Now, much to learn.


Last edited by sue; 12-20-2008 at 10:21 PM.
12-21-2008, 05:41 AM   #13
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off topic, but why do you have 10mpx DSLR set to to 2M jpg??? set like that, the pice may as well resemble P&S pics... with 4GB card you don't have to worry about space...
as for the OP. Hard to say, but there are some good suggestions above..
BR
12-21-2008, 06:34 PM   #14
sue
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
off topic, but why do you have 10mpx DSLR set to to 2M jpg??? set like that, the pice may as well resemble P&S pics...
Yes, I noticed that after going through the manual a bit and changed it to 10mpx. It sure is a difference having had the Pentax K-1000 and a P&S for my last two cameras. The more I use the K200D the more I like it. Thanks.
12-21-2008, 08:04 PM   #15
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Good point about going from a K1000 to a DSLR. With my SLR (I only had one) I attached a lens, set exposure and aperture, and simply took pictures. When I moved up to a K100D with the same manual lenses there were a dozen or more options I had to think about before the camera worked as expected. I still have a problem remembering to set those options I use back to "normal" at the end of a session. If I don't, the next time out I lose a bunch of shots before discovering why the displayed photos don't look right.

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