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09-30-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
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particular feature of K10d/k20d

Hi all.
I wanted to point out a particular, maybe unique feature of pentax dslrs, that maybe many pentax users don't even know.
I am now almost at 104.000 actuations with my k10d and i myself discovered this feature not long ago (maybe around 70.000?).
It's this: when you are shooting in manual mode you can still use the AE-lock button.
By doing this you can change aperture or speed without changing exposure by simply rotating the dials.
Since i found this out it has often come useful.
For example i'm shooting manual at 1/250 f8 and i (very) quickly need/want to have shallow depth of field for a portrait, at widest aperture f2,8: i don't need anymore to calculate what's the corresponding time value for this f number and for the same exposure (or maybe count the clicks on one dial in order to input the same number of clicks to the other!),
i simply press the AE-lock button, turn fast the dial once or twice to reach widest aperture of the lens and the speed value automatically follows.
This feature should be related to the "green button capabilities" of our cameras and i assume it works also with k20d and k7.
I wonder how many know this, since i found it out after so long using the camera, and wanted to share this since i find it a small, "hidden", great feature.

Marco

09-30-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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welcome to hyper manual

it has been around in some form since my PZ-1
09-30-2009, 04:35 PM   #3
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ah great, that's it!
i have mz-s which also works with green button, but working with aperture ring doesn't allow this feature.
that's maybe why i'm so happy i found this out!

i'm wrong: it also works on mz-s. great
09-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marcoz Quote
I wanted to point out a particular, maybe unique feature of pentax dslrs, that maybe many pentax users don't even know. ... It's this: when you are shooting in manual mode you can still use the AE-lock button. By doing this you can change aperture or speed without changing exposure by simply rotating the dials. Since i found this out it has often come useful.

Yep, Hyper-Manual. Very very cool feature of the Pentax DSLRs. Like you, I'd been using my K10D and K20D for a while before I stumbled upon this.

But let me point out something else you might not know: Hyper-Program! This is my preferred shooting mode now, unless I'm using off-camera lights and have to go manual. Hyper-Program is a feature of Program (P) mode on the K10D, K20D and K-7. It is basically a way to slip into aperture OR shutter priority mode without moving the mode dial. You start in P mode, click the green button if you want, then move either the front or rear e-dial. If you move the rear dial, you are automatically in aperture priority mode. You control the aperture directly, and the shutter speed adjusts automatically. Move the front e-dial instead, and you're in shutter priority mode, controlling the shutter speed directly and letting the camera recalc the aperture accordingly. There is really no reason to have Av or Tv mode on these cameras at all, as far as I can tell.

Now, which is better: M or P, considering that M has hyper-manual and P has hyper-program?

It's absolutely a matter of personal choice. I shot M forever. But when I discovered hyper-program I started experimenting with P and eventually I decided it was a GREAT feature and I've stuck with it for almost a year now. Advantages of P with hyper-program:
  1. By adjusting the EC as necessary, I can control the exposure in P as well as I can in M (at least within a four-to-six-stop range). I set the camera to half-stop increments in exposure in order to get +/- 3 stops exposure compensation. In 1/3 increments you get +/- 2 stops.
  2. Using P/hyper-program requires a LOT fewer button presses. For example, say I'm shooting in effective-Av mode in P because I've moved the front e-dial to get an aperture of f/3.4. I can keep that aperture from shot to shot without having to worry about adjusting the shutter: the camera does it for me. Shooting in M, if the subject moves into different light, I have to adjust the shutter speed. And yes, in P, you have to use the +/- button to bias the exposure, but I do that only occasionally, where in M I had to adjust both dials more or less on every shot. Basically in M, I was riding the dials constantly. I did it for years and I know it does become second nature. But in retrospect, it seems kind of crazy to me now. Even if you use hyper-manual in M, you still have to (a) balance the exposure as you like by moving the front and/or rear e-dials or by hitting the green button, and then (b) lock this ratio by hitting the AE-L button. IN hyper-program on the other hand, it's as if the AE-L button were hit for you automatically on every exposure.
  3. Although I was very good shooting in M, it's just a fact that I would completely blow an exposure now and then. Shooting in P, the odds of a complete disaster are MUCH lower - and in fact, I do have fewer pics to delete immediately now.

So I have as much control in P (because of hyper-program) but everything is easier. And less fussing with buttons means that I can think more about the pictures I'm taking.

NOTE: I believe absolutely that the good photographer must be in total control and must at all times know what his camera's settings are. It is physically more difficult to use M because of all that button pressing, but for that reason it's intellectually easier to use M. You move the buttons, so you remind yourself constantly what your settings are. The indirection involved in using P is physically easier (fewer button presses) but intellectually a bit harder. You have to work to keep aware of the settings. But it's doable. And like shooting in M, it becomes second nature eventually.

But we can all use whatever makes us happy. That's what's great about the top-of-the line Pentax cameras.

Will

09-30-2009, 07:07 PM   #5
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Even more revelations
In review, you can use green button and ev comp button to zoom in/out
But, you have to click the wheel at least once to initiate zooming, before using buttons.
10-01-2009, 01:52 AM   #6
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i was already aware of the possibilities you mention in P mode and in the other modes aswell.

but i was particularly impressed in finding out that in M mode:

why would you want to lock exposure in M mode? It IS per definition already locked!!

that's why i never thought about it, and i when i found it out i was amazed!
10-01-2009, 02:15 AM   #7
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furthermore, while other camera manufacturers also can shift time/aperture values

in P mode, i'm not sure but i don't think they can do the trick in M mode
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