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01-22-2010, 09:12 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by tarsus Quote
Music clubs are possibly the toughest shoot around with the myriad of lights coming from all directions. That you got those shots with the kit lenses is a tribute to your skills and the Kx.
I completely agree with this statement!

01-25-2010, 06:26 PM   #17
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Those are some pretty amazing club shots at high ISO. One thing I've found in my short time with the K-x is that is the first DSLR I have tried that had a good AWB feature indoors. The comparison is more pointed because the feel of the camera reminds me of the K100d, which had one of the worst AWB.
01-25-2010, 07:27 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Those are some pretty amazing club shots at high ISO. One thing I've found in my short time with the K-x is that is the first DSLR I have tried that had a good AWB feature indoors. The comparison is more pointed because the feel of the camera reminds me of the K100d, which had one of the worst AWB.
Thank you so much for the kind words.

That's really funny!
- because that's the way I felt about the K-x AWB coming from a K100D.......

However I don't think the K100D is that bad - well OK it may have been "poor" as I often have to set it to Tungsten balance - but more recently with the advent of LED lighting - I have found that AWB on the K100D worked better.

I think it has something to do with the LEDs having very "pure" colors or narrow wavelength range. Whereas previously we were dealing with filtered tungsten light - where even a blue filter still would have quite a lot of near infra-Red and yellow components in it.

Anyway that's by the by - indeed that is one of the things I found with the K-x - its AWB works really well - most of the time I have it set to strong (tungsten) correction - but occasionally like in the jazz club gigs I found the subtle (tungsten) correction gave more pleasing results.
02-07-2010, 01:42 PM   #19
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any opportunity to use the K-x.....

from last night (Sat Feb/6/2010) -

I shoot mainly in "P"rogram mode with AWB (last night was on subtle tungsten correction) and AutoISO - notice how the K-x adjusted the ISO to suit the lighting which can vary from almost pitch black to dazzlingly bright.


ISO1000, f/4.5, 1/125


(EXIF should be attached - but PhotoBucket can mysteriously lose metadata)
ISO800, f/4, 1/100


EXIF attached (PhotoBucket caveat)
ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/20 (Noiseware Community Edition default processing)


ISO1250, f/3.5, 1/50


ISO2000, f/5.6, 1/100


ISO200, f/3.5, 1/50
- this was actually quite a bit underexposed -
possibly fooled by the very strong back-lights -
I liked the shot enough to bring up the brightness/contrast.


ISO200, f/4.5, 1/100 - not fooled by strong back lights this time ... ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/50 - blue/red mix to get megenta - really difficult for any digital camera


ISO200, f/3.5, 1/125 - underexposed due to strong back lights - brought up brightness/contrast.

Link to first pic in series/album


Last edited by UnknownVT; 05-30-2010 at 08:47 AM.
02-18-2010, 12:36 PM   #20
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Back to that difficult venue again, last night, to the CD release of a fabulous new band Scribblin' Jones - fantastic 3 part close harmonies


ISO5000, f/4, 1/30
EXIF re-attached (but PhotoBucket can mysteriously lose metadata)


ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/30 (EXIF re-attached)

21 pics - Link to first pic - navigate forwards from there, or play slideshow. link to album
02-19-2010, 06:45 PM   #21
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Back to the dark jazz club last night......
Remember the difficulties I was having taking a shot of the pianist in the dark part of the stage? (see post #8 and #14)

It was very difficult for the AF as the subject moves, and the light level is low.

I tried manual focusing -
but the light level was so low so the view in the viewfinder was too dark to ascertain correct focus......

I came up with two solutions:

1) get focus with AF - then switch the camera to manual focusing -
so basically it locks/fixes the focus.

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4 -
now no frustration with trying to focus, no out of focus shots last night, any problems was merely due to subject movement - which can't be helped as the shutter speed was 1/4 sec** (more on that later).

2) other solution -

ISO250, f/2.8, 1 sec!!!
slow-sync flash with -1 2/3 stop flash compensation.
don't use the K-x!
This was taken with my compact a Canon G10 set at "P"rogram and slow-sync flash with compensation of -1 2/3 stop - the camera sets the max ISO250 for flash - that's why the shutter speed was 1 sec! Handheld! But this also shows that the Image Stabilization is pretty effective on the Canon G10.

Back to normal business -
well OK.... normal for me anyway.

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4
musicians playing off stage (in the dark)

The bass player moved to the other dark corner of the stage -

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/15 - 88mm (=132mm equiv) so this was with my 50-200 kit zoom.

Link to first pic in series of 17 (the 18th shot was on the Canon G10 compact)
Link to album all on the K-x - except first 20 shots and the very last shot (Canon G10 compact)

** handheld limit for me with SR -
As one can see with the Canon G10 p&s I managed to get a pretty respectable shot handheld at 1 sec(!) of course I had one arm slightly supported - but still it is 1 sec even with the flash freezing part of the action one can see the subject movement blur - but there is no camera motion blur for stationary objects..... so 1 sec can be done with the 'IS' of the Canon G10 (I have many shots to show this)

However with the Pentax K-x I can only manage about 1/4 sec max -
this is nothing to do with the Pentax SR being any less effective than the Canon IS.

This comes down to the viewfinder blackout on any SLR -
so I cannot "follow-through" by keeping my eye on the subject.
Whereas the Canon G10 has a simple optical viewfinder that allows me to do just that..... so 2 stops difference - although to be honest 1 sec is pretty hit or miss - but I do have plenty of successful shots. Note: Pentax dSLR SR shots are also pretty hit or miss at 1/4 sec.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-22-2010 at 10:07 AM. Reason: links
02-20-2010, 08:06 AM   #22
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More great shots!

Sounds like the arguments for a Leica, back in the day. I wonder if the pentamirror on the K-x leads to finder black-out sooner than some of the other DSLRs.

I would be a bit frustrated with a camera that made me shoot at ISO 250 with a flash. Higher ISO is often the only way to make built-in flash useful to me.
02-20-2010, 09:28 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
More great shots!
Sounds like the arguments for a Leica, back in the day. I wonder if the pentamirror on the K-x leads to finder black-out sooner than some of the other DSLRs.
Thanks for the kind words Gene.

Real rangefinder Leicas are way out of my budget.....
But the Canon p&s with real optical viewfinders do well and they have AF.

QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I would be a bit frustrated with a camera that made me shoot at ISO 250 with a flash. Higher ISO is often the only way to make built-in flash useful to me.
No, actually it's only because I was on auto ISO that the camera auto selected ISO250.
I can set the ISO manually -
BUT you have to remember this is a compact with a tiny sensor even ISO800 is barely acceptable - so the max at ISO250 for flash is actually reasonably well chosen - I guess I could have stretched it to ISO400 - but it probably would not have affected the outcome much and the noise quality would have been worse - so I stick to the auto select at ISO250.

I have that setting as a "C"ustom using "P"rogram and flash at -1 2/3 compensation - it is somewhat like the Night Scene/Portrait - somewhat imitates a shot without flash merely using a very weak flash to fill-in the shadows - look at the shot from the K-x without flash and the G10 shot they are obviously not exactly the same, but not that different in feel (I don't think it is an obvious "flash shot") - if anything, to me, the Canon G10 shot is "more realistic" as it shows better movement - but the face is nice and sharp...... so perhaps "better than real"?

compare with the (more obvious) flash shot with the K-x from Post #14 -


left: Canon G10 flash, ISO250, f/2.8, 1 sec! ................................... Pentax K-x flash - ISO250, f/3.5, 1/6 (-0.7 flash compensation)

The reason the G10 shot was easier is because it has a focus assist lamp.

02-20-2010, 11:38 AM   #24
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more... from last night at the same venue as the OP for the Derek Truck Band -

This is the North Mississippi Allstars -


ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/100; 80mm (Noiseware Community Edition)


ISO400, f/4.5, 1/80; 40mm
(notice how the K-x adjusted the ISO to suit the lighting)


ISO3200, f/4.5, 1/125; 73mm


ISO500, f/4, 1/60; 31mm
(I kind of like this lighting - but red/blue can make retention of internal definition difficult - esp if saved to JPG)

Link to first pic of 22
Link to album - the other pics are actually using the Pentax K100D
02-21-2010, 01:15 PM   #25
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How does the K-x perform outdoors in good light -
admirably!

But like anything it was not quite as straight forward as that -

from yesterday afternoon -

ISO200, f/8, 1/180; 18mm
obviously good light -
but sun was strong and 3/4 way behind the stage.......
gives good rim lighting - which I obviously tried to take advantage of -

ISO200, f/5.6, 1/125; 55mm

but the strong back light can fool the metering and put subject in silhouette -
with some shots I had to fill-in with flash.

ISO200, f/4.5, 1/125; 38mm; Flash fired (-0.7 flash compensation)

But I also played around with the strong backlight -

ISO200, f/4.5, 1/200; 43mm
like this shot for the rim lighting -

but moved slightly and got this -

ISO200, f/6.3, 1/250; 38mm
yes, deliberate lens flare - which to me makes the shot even more dramatic.....
(I had to increase contrast pp)

Link to first pic in series of 14.
Link to album - other earlier shots were on Canon S80 (090403) and Canon G10 (090627) compacts.

Here are my battery life as in shot count in then K-x using eneloops and/or "DuraLoops" (Duracell Pre-Charged with white top and made in Japan - these are confirmed re-badged eneloops - hence the unofficial nickname)

620 - first time usage so lots of review, playing around etc.
1,295
1,252 (after upgrade to firmware 1.01.00.05)
1,102
1,074 (after upgrade to firmware 1.01.00.07)
1,303

So on average (discounting the first usage playing around count) I get more than 1,100 shots per charge with eneloops.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-21-2010 at 01:25 PM.
04-07-2010, 09:34 PM   #26
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I don't spend all my time in dark night clubs

Spring has sprung -
but this year, in the last few days, it leaped to near record high temperatures - so it's almost been Summer-like.

This has actually played havoc with the blossoms -


details from a cherry blossom tree - looks like the peak - which came very quickly - seems like the tree bloomed only two days before -
if I had waited just one day to take the photos, I would have missed these - the leaves popped out overnight and most of the petals fell.

Similarly the dogwood flowers - some were already passed their peak yet others were hardly out - these were from my neighbor's trees - they were very disappointed with this years blooms - but by shooting only close ups I managed to get some very pleasing shots.





for the more observant - these are actually the same shot - the second/vertical shot is merely a crop of the above - I'm kind of in two minds about which crop I prefer - I like the leaf to the lower left on the first crop - but also consider it somewhat distracting - hence the second vertical crop.



This was a more difficult shot because of the uneven lighting -
yet I really like this shot for precisely that reason - this made my more evenly lit shots look sort of listless.

Finally this blossom/tree has always intrigued me - the blossom buds sprouts on the bark - almost as if it were not of the tree like a parasite - yet it is definitely the tree's own buds....


ha-ha the magenta of the buds has caused some loss of definition in the buds due to the JPG compression from my usual editor (PhotoImpact 8 - shot on Left)
see: Modern LED Stage Lighting & photography problems
so I had to do my editing in PhotoShop Elements 7.0 to preserve some of the definition (shot on Right)
04-07-2010, 09:40 PM   #27
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For shooting stage performance, it's best to have a good, fast lens (or two) and the key is to move on your feet. Get different perspectives and angles from which you can creatively use the light, assuming no flash photography is allowed.
04-07-2010, 09:56 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by systemA Quote
For shooting stage performance, it's best to have a good, fast lens (or two) and the key is to move on your feet. Get different perspectives and angles from which you can creatively use the light, assuming no flash photography is allowed.
Many thanks for the advice.

Fast lenses normally means primes - which are normally optically superior too being simpler designs than zooms - especially cheaper zooms like the kit zooms.

Yet I only have the two kit zoom lenses 18-55mm (mk 1) and 50-200mm.

I value zoom flexibility of being able to compose/frame the shot - what I may give away in max aperture - I make up for by the K-x's sterling high ISO performance.

The whole reason I started this thread was to show how pleased I was/am with the K-x.

If you care to look at some of the foregoing posted pics many are at ISO5000 in very dark situations - yet I "get away" with kit zooms.

Yes, no doubt I could do with faster lenses - but I shoot a lot at 18mm - so even on the kit zoom that is f/3.5 - I am not too sure if there is a faster lens at that focal length and at a reasonable earthbound price?

Many still pooh-pooh the kit zooms - please look at Post #11
04-07-2010, 09:56 PM   #29
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i am using a kx too. it is a pretty good camera. i got after the new year. very good quality and quite cheap and excellent high iso performance
04-07-2010, 09:56 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Back to the dark jazz club last night......
Remember the difficulties I was having taking a shot of the pianist in the dark part of the stage? (see post #8 and #14)

It was very difficult for the AF as the subject moves, and the light level is low.

I tried manual focusing -
but the light level was so low so the view in the viewfinder was too dark to ascertain correct focus......

I came up with two solutions:

1) get focus with AF - then switch the camera to manual focusing -
so basically it locks/fixes the focus.

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4 -
now no frustration with trying to focus, no out of focus shots last night, any problems was merely due to subject movement - which can't be helped as the shutter speed was 1/4 sec** (more on that later).

2) other solution -

ISO250, f/2.8, 1 sec!!!
slow-sync flash with -1 2/3 stop flash compensation.
don't use the K-x!
This was taken with my compact a Canon G10 set at "P"rogram and slow-sync flash with compensation of -1 2/3 stop - the camera sets the max ISO250 for flash - that's why the shutter speed was 1 sec! Handheld! But this also shows that the Image Stabilization is pretty effective on the Canon G10.
...

** handheld limit for me with SR -
As one can see with the Canon G10 p&s I managed to get a pretty respectable shot handheld at 1 sec(!) of course I had one arm slightly supported - but still it is 1 sec even with the flash freezing part of the action one can see the subject movement blur - but there is no camera motion blur for stationary objects..... so 1 sec can be done with the 'IS' of the Canon G10 (I have many shots to show this)

However with the Pentax K-x I can only manage about 1/4 sec max -
this is nothing to do with the Pentax SR being any less effective than the Canon IS.

This comes down to the viewfinder blackout on any SLR -
so I cannot "follow-through" by keeping my eye on the subject.
Whereas the Canon G10 has a simple optical viewfinder that allows me to do just that..... so 2 stops difference - although to be honest 1 sec is pretty hit or miss - but I do have plenty of successful shots. Note: Pentax dSLR SR shots are also pretty hit or miss at 1/4 sec.
Some nice shots here! But I'm not sure that I would come to the same conclusions about SR and viewfinder that you did when comparing the Canon G10 vs. the K-x. The G10 shot of the piano player is nice and crisp because you essentially dragged the shutter. Within the one second in which the shutter was open, you captured some ambient light and then when the flash went off you froze the piano player and captured him crisply with the exception of the fast moving hands. My friend explained it to me best - with flash you are basically taking two photographs. The first is based on the shutter speed, the second is based on the flash power. The fact that you can see through the G10 viewfinder during the 1 second exposure has little bearing on the outcome - I'd be surprised if anyone had the fine motor skills to keep an object from blurring.

Next time try dragging the shutter with the K-x and you'll get similar results. You can do it this way:

1 - set the camera to Manual mode and set TAV values based on available light. Don't worry about the 1/Focal length rule - it doesn't apply here. As with the Canon, let the shutter speed go as high as 1 second if necessary.

2 - Pop up the flash. Make sure it's in P-TTL

3 - Pre-focus. The flash should strobe and help you out in dark spaces.

4 - Take the shot.

I you do it right, you should see a slightly blurred background - a side effect of a long exposure - with a sharp foreground subject - because the flash is powered for shut a short period of time.

You should also look for a pleasing balance between ambient light and flash light. Too much ambient and the subject starts to get some blur from the ambient light before the flash triggers. Too much flash and you get the single light source deer in the headlights typical flash shot.

Hope this helps...
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