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10-25-2009, 03:58 PM   #1
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Working without the top LCD screen?

I was planning to buy the K7 as a second body to my K20, but because of cost reasons and the convenient small size, I starting to lean toward the Kx a little more. I love it's small compact size and simple layout, but find it somewhat odd to not have the small upper LCD screen.
Every Pentax DSLR I have ever owned (5 so far) had the small top LCD screen, so I am really used to them.

I wonder who here made a switch to a camera one without the LCD, and did you miss it when working with the camera? Isn't it awkward not to have one?

Thanks.

10-25-2009, 04:01 PM   #2
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I don't think top LCD is really necessary. You take your eye out of the viewfinder and look at the top of the LCD to see the settings, but at the same time it's rather more easy to take your eye off the viewfinder to look directly at the LCD where the settings already show also. The K-x seems to be very simple in their layout, my old K2000 was pretty simple too and it's really easy to just take a quick glimpse to see what settings you are at and then go back to look at the viewfinder.

I think the K-x would be better for the second body for you because it produces way better high ISO noise IQ, and the K20D produces the equivilant high ISO IQ as to the K-7.
10-25-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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I'm wondering how things work with only one dial?

I mostly always shoot in AV mode, and let the camera choose the shutter speed while i control the dof and noise.

Is it setup so that you can press a button while turning the dial to get to the second option?
10-25-2009, 04:22 PM   #4
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I started with a K2000 so I never got used to using the top-LCD, but I used a K10D for a couple weeks and didn't feel the need to. Although I felt the K2000's back LCD screen was much more informative and intuitive.

As for dials, I believe you can set the e-dial to do something else when you push the EV comp button, like ISO.

10-25-2009, 04:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response. So basically all the info shows on the back LCD. When does that screen come on? I am used to this screen only coming on when I turn the camera on or after taking a picture etc, but not when I am composing. Does this screen come on every time you change something on the wheel ? How long does it stay on? Does it go black when you half press the shutter button?
10-25-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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I'm almost sure it is the very first screen that displays, it is the main display screen when you first turn on your camera and leave it there. It displays on there long enough if you want it to up to like a minute. I'm not quite so sure since this was on my K2000 and I've never touched a K-x but I'm sure the K-x will allow it too since these two cameras are similar and the K-x is even newer. On my old K2000, I could set it to turn it on manually myself whenever I want and turn it off whenever I want, or I could set it to display for 10 seconds, 30 seconds or even 60 seconds before it fades off until I press any button. I set it so that I manually turn it on by pressing the INFO button because if the LCD stays lit all the time, it will get in the way when I try to shoot at night since it's so bright and so close to the viewfinder; I simply press the INFO button again to turn it off. It's pretty basic.
10-25-2009, 05:04 PM   #7
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I wouldn't trade in the top LCD screen. The problem I have with the back LCD is that it is very bright and hence quite disturbing when photographing in low light or at night. The top LCD on the other hand, when illuminated, is much dimmer.

I have turned the back LCD off on my K-7 for this very reason.

With that said, I find it quite challenging to switch back and forth betweem my K10D and the K-7 due to the different placement of the EV and green buttons. I seem to stop dead in my tracks whenever I want to change the EV compensation until I figure out what camera I'm holding. When I had the K10D paired with the K20D, it was econd nature to adjust the EV! I may end up buying a second K-7 as backup for my K-7 (!), and retire the K10D.
10-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by HogRider Quote
...I wonder who here made a switch to a camera one without the LCD, and did you miss it when working with the camera? Isn't it awkward not to have one?
The omission of a top LCD in my Kx doesn't make use of the camera more noticeably awkward than the K200D. It would be great if the K-x had it, for sure, but I don't miss it much.

10-25-2009, 05:15 PM   #9
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From my memory (without a camera right now, waiting on K-x), it changes every time you change something, turns off when you half press the shutter but turns on when you let go of the shutter (Last one I'm not 100% positive). Length it is on is customizable.

I don't have a problem with it being bright but I turn my LCD to the lowest light setting for battery life.
10-25-2009, 05:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
I'm wondering how things work with only one dial?
I don't know if the K-x is different from other single dial cameras, but the usual method is that in Av mode, the dial controls aperture, dial plus +/- button controls exposure compensation, ISO is set using either the Fn button or ISO button on cameras that have one. Same in Tv mode except the dial controls shutter speed, of course. In M mode, the dial controls shutter speed, dial plus +/- button controls aperture.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 10-25-2009 at 08:00 PM.
10-25-2009, 05:45 PM   #11
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Also, from what i was told (though I may be misinterpreting), +/- + edial in Av/Tv mode can be set to directly control ISO
10-25-2009, 05:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
I wouldn't trade in the top LCD screen. The problem I have with the back LCD is that it is very bright and hence quite disturbing when photographing in low light or at night. The top LCD on the other hand, when illuminated, is much dimmer.
Thanks! That is my main concern. I do a lot of low light photography and a constantly lit back LCD would drive me nuts. I can't stand it when my screen comes on after taking a picture in the dark. On my D/DS/DL etc I always had it at the 10 second setting.
10-25-2009, 06:05 PM   #13
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You can set it so it only turns on when you select the INFO button
10-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by HogRider Quote
Thanks! That is my main concern. I do a lot of low light photography and a constantly lit back LCD would drive me nuts. I can't stand it when my screen comes on after taking a picture in the dark. On my D/DS/DL etc I always had it at the 10 second setting.
I hate all this too, but it took me a while to figure out how to turn everything off on the K-x's display so stuff wasn't always flashing me in the face.

When I now start the K-x up, I get a blank screen at the back by default. When I shoot an image, no annoying instant review image comes up, nor anything else either. The power on LED on top of the camera is also off all the time, and there is also nothing displayed when I change mode dial settings.

To turn off the back display status screen under capture mode, press the INFO button until you get a blank screen. It will stay blank until you turn the camera off or press another button.

To have the camera start up with a blank status screen, make the screen blank by pressing the INFO button until the screen is blank, then go into the Menu, page 4, and under 'Memory', go to p2 and make sure the 'Shooting Info Display' item is ticked. Then exit the Menu and restart the camera. You will then always start up to a blank status screen.

To turn off the Instant Review, goto Menu, p3 and turn off 'Instant Review'.

To turn off the top LED, go to the Custom Menu, Item 20, and set the 'Power lamp' to off.

To turn off the Mode Dial guide display as you change shooting modes, go into Menu > Settings > Guide Display, and set it to Off.

It took me a while to figure this all out, but now the camera is completely dark until I want it to show something.
10-25-2009, 09:22 PM   #15
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I think you'll do fine. It may be a little different at first but after some tweaking/customizing and practice, it'll turn to second nature.

I think these cheaper cameras are great as a backup body. While we'd love to have the same camera as a backup/2nd body, not everyone can really do so with the reality of budget constraints, especially if you aren't really doing photography for a living.
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