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01-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #1
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Why "Scene Modes" Upset Some On The K200D?

Hey All,
It seems like a lot of k10 and k20 owners talk about the k100 and k200 and their scene modes as if it's a dumb thing to the point where it's makes them "not professional" models and strictly entry level. I disagree, sure it helps someone who is new to the DSLR world but nobody is holding a gun to your head saying you have to use them. If you don't use the scene modes on a K200d and don't use ISOs above 1600, aren't you using a K10 with another name? Could someone explain?


01-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #2
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I have both the K200 and the K20 and while I don't use the scene modes on the K200 very often, I'm definitely not insulted by them. Even as an experienced photographer, they could come in handy for me when I'm in a situation where I'm doing more p&s-type photography, as opposed to more serious-type photography. I look at the different scene modes simply as more tools at my disposal in the toolbag.

01-07-2009, 08:22 PM   #3
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It is mostly elitism. I don't use scene modes but I don't mind if they are there.
01-07-2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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I wouldn't call it elitism.

It's the same way those of us that drive standard (manual) transmission feel about automatic. For cars, basically some engineers got together and decided when shifting was going to take place, at how many RPMs, how much fuel/oxygen, etc, programmed it into the onboard computer, and there you go. Sometimes it works, sometimes it rides like a Pinto.

At Pentax, some engineers, QA people, perhaps marketing and some regular joes and janes, made choices as to what everyone out there would like to see in portrait mode, night mode, action mode, etc. What if you shoot a portrait in action mode? Or an action shot in night mode? Who knows!

Heck, my Samsung Omnia has smiley mode - aim the camera at someone and when they smile, it takes the photo... too bad it can't tell when there's a big gob of spinach in between their teeth.

01-07-2009, 11:49 PM   #5
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It all has to do with who the camera is aimed at. I like my K200D, and found that it suited my needs in a digital camera, but it was the entry-level Pentax until the K-m came out, and even so, it's still in the consumer/budget class DSLR market. As such, if they don't integrate some simplified features into the camera to make previous P&S owners feel at home, the camera loses market appeal. Most entry-level buyers are not shooting in full manual mode all the time.

Just because a camera comes with scene modes doesn't mean it's less capable than one without them. The K200D is pretty much a K10D with a smaller user interface, and performance is even slightly better on the K200D in some applications. Likewise, just because the Nikon D300 has no scene modes OR mode dial (the camera operates in a Hyper-Program like atmosphere) doesn't mean the camera will take great pictures.

Everyone has their camera preferences, and it makes for some interesting arguments, on the forums and off. However, I can't stand elitism. I've found that I prefer working with film as my medium, but to go about telling everyone with a digital camera that they couldn't possibly turn out great pictures without film would be stupid. The same goes for the opposite.
01-08-2009, 01:58 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by shutterpuppy Quote
If you don't use the scene modes on a K200d and don't use ISOs above 1600, aren't you using a K10 with another name?
There are more differences between a K10 and a K200 Higher frame rates, continuous AF, more comprehensive bracketing, ???

I think that that is what makes a K10/K20 more "professional". So those that state that "scene modes" make a camera "not professional" don't know what they're talking about (my not so humble opinion).

But do you need those 'professional' options? Some do and some don't.

One should not forget that, at the end of the day, the only thing that counts is the picture, not the way it is achieved.

There is only one reason why I prefer a K10 over a K200 (and why I bought the K10 instead of the K200) and that's the dual dial which make life easier in manual mode.
01-08-2009, 04:33 AM   #7
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I tend to be turned off of the K200D as opposed to the K20D not because of the scene modes (they're on my E-330 and I never feel compelled to use them) but because their presence takes up the space that otherwise might include x-sync, bulb, sensitivity priority, shutter+aperture priority, and USER preset. All of which sound extremely useful to me, in particular the TAv. If the K20D also had a couple scene modes or maybe just a "scene" setting on the mode dial that allowed the user to pick through a menu of different scene modes, I really wouldn't care that much. I wouldn't use it, but I wouldn't be bothered by it either.
01-08-2009, 05:00 AM   #8
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^ ^ ^

What they said...

It's basically elitism, or that "holier than thou" attitude.

Me personally, I wouldn't mind scene modes on my K20D - heck, it might even HELP me to learn how to properly set up the camera for a particular scene!

Picture the Pentax vs Nikon vs Canon "wars," and it's basically the same struggle, just a different fight !


01-08-2009, 06:50 AM   #9
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Pet mode is pretty good. Seriously.
01-08-2009, 07:11 AM   #10
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IMHO, having scene modes available = no problem; but setting the camera to Auto for the camera to automatically select one of the scene modes for me = bad. The latter, using Auto mode on the Pentax DSLR's, just seems like a bizarre implementation of an automatic setting. I'd just as soon have them remove Auto and leave P as the automatic mode.

That said, I frankly have not used a scene mode once on my K200D or previous K100D Super. But heck, if I am outside on a dark night and I need to try to get a photograph of someone, then sure I might try the night portrait mode or something like that.
01-08-2009, 09:24 AM   #11
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I don't think I've exactly complained about the scene modes - but I have said here, many times, that one of the things that I really like about the K10D/K20D is the LACK of scene modes on the dial. I'd be even happier if there were no green mode - as I've never used it.

Now I don't actually change modes a lot: I keep the dial generally on M. So in one sense, the presence of absence of additional modes on the dial doesn't make a huge practical difference to me. But I want the camera to have all the complexities I use and none of the complexities I don't use. More unused modes on the dial, like more unused buttons on the body, contribute to a sort of clutter that ultimately makes things more difficult for me, not less.

Now, does that mean that I think scene modes are a bad thing absolutely? I don't like 'em, but there are at least two basic types of camera users: those who just want to take pictures, and those who want to take pictures but also want to be in control of the process. If people who just want to take pictures use the scene modes and get good photos, that's great. So I recognize that they're there for a purpose and that some people - probably many people - find them useful.

On the other hand, if you want to learn about photography, you should skip the scene modes and learn how to assess the scene in front of the camera for yourself.

But I would go further and add that, even for folks who don't care about the process, the scene modes aren't all that helpful. I mean, you have to figure out which scene mode to use, but there are more than five or six exposure challenges in the visible world. So you have to ask yourself, is this a "normal" scene or one of those specialized scenes where I might be helped by using one of the scene modes? Ordinary users who really just want to point and shoot would probably be better served by using their camera's auto-exposure mode (say, P on the K200D) and leaving it at that. If you have to think at all, you're going to be better off in the long run learning to think about what you're looking at, instead of thinking about which of the handful of options on the mode dial will save you the trouble of having to think. I mean, what do you do if you're taking a portrait, with mountains in the background? Or you're shooting a horse race from the grandstand with a long lens and you'd like to have a little motion blur in the shot?

01-08-2009, 09:35 AM   #12
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i dont use scene modes

if my camera has a scene mode that means i'm paying extra for it

why pay extra for something you wont use

like a Canon 5D, it does not have a built in flash, and for good reason, and is thus cheaper than if it did.
01-08-2009, 09:55 AM   #13
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By the way, I agree with frogroast that a distaste for the scene modes is not (at least not necessarily) elitism or snobbery or something. Frankly, I think that's a silly charge and perhaps indicative of a sort of reverse snobbery. It's the attitude of people who don't care about something themselves and think that anybody who does claim to care about it must be an insincere elitist.

What's wrong with the idea of having different cameras that are actually, um, different? Why do all cameras have to have the same features? I don't personally want to buy a digital camera that captures only black and white, but I know photographers that I respect who have said they'd love to have such a camera. If such a camera existed, I wouldn't call them snobs if they bought it. I don't want to pay for video on my camera - it's the one thing I don't like about the Nikon D90. But if someone wants it, more power to them. I've had cameras that took video and I've used it.

The K20D has 10 options on its mode dial. If Pentax's next high-end camera were to have only five modes (P, M, TAv, B and USER) I'd not only buy it, I'd be delighted. To be honest, I only use 3 modes: M, TAv and P (in that order). But I don't object to the presence in the marketplace of other cameras with other options. More choice is good.

Now I do assume that folks who are on these forums are at least a little more serious than the majority of camera owners. My recommendation to anybody who wants to "get into" photography more deeply is to learn how to take control of the camera. Photography becomes more fun. You will take even greater pride in the results you get. And if you pay attention to what you're doing, you'll soon start thinking of ways to improve your shots that the camera didn't think of.

If you don't want to take control of the camera, I don't look down at you. There are lots of different ways to use a camera, and we all care about different things. I'm not into video, or Photoshop, or HDR, but it doesn't bother me that other people ARE into those things. I own and use a few primes, but I generally use zoom lenses. I don't feel this makes me an inferior photographer. And by the same token, I don't assume that anybody who uses primes exclusively is a snob.

Different people want different things. And different photographers need different tools. Choice is good.

01-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #14
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I use the "sports" mode on my Canon G9 P&S because allows for quicker, multiple shots without the delay of screen preview, etc. I could probably set it up the same way using one of the custom modes but it's just as easy to use the "SCN" then select "Sports".

Likewise, I could see it being handy on the K10D/K20D if you were going to hand it off to somebody to take a few pics on your behalf without having them feel overly intimidated by the "manual" feel to the camera.
01-08-2009, 11:02 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by legacyb4 Quote
Likewise, I could see it being handy on the K10D/K20D if you were going to hand it off to somebody to take a few pics on your behalf without having them feel overly intimidated by the "manual" feel to the camera.
or maybe you can keep it in manual so that all those friends of yours that keep complimenting how nice your camera is realize that you're not just out there mashing the shutter button.

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