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03-15-2010, 08:39 AM   #31
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My K200 is set the same as your camera. And I get the same results. I rarely get 5mp files.

03-15-2010, 08:40 AM   #32
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Why are cross-country events typically on crap days?
It's been quite a while since competing myself (~15 years), but the premise of getting wet and/or cold still seems to hold true.

As noted by all, pushing the exposure seems to be causing at least some of the softness. Having had the *IST DS and the K200D, there is a lot more shadow detail available to pull from the K200D (same sensor as K10D), Albeit with a bit of noise. So don't be too afraid to underexpose a little. centre-weight the metering.

The contrast will also be poor generally due to the flat light coming down above the rider.

Technique

Shooting horses presents different challenges, since unlike racing (except monster trucks etc), the action is not all on one plane. With horses, there is a lot of side-side, up-down, slow down-speed up!

In terms of focusing on the action, I have had better luck pre- focussing on the spot (and it looks like you have chosen good vantages to make the jumps look colossal - down the hill!). Leave the AF in manual, focus to point above jump (about where the riders head will be for good facials) , turn on catch-in focus, and leave your finger on the button (motor drive) for when the rider appears in frame.

The other option I have used is telephoto, to cover a bit more of the DOF, coupled with being ahead and slightly higher than the jump (if the gallop lanes will allow), you can get some nice rider head/horses ears forward shots as they go over the jump.

Tools

If your copy of PS won't handle DNG's, consider playing with the beta of Lightroom 3 (Free at present!), and see what sorts of differences you can generate by shooting DNG.

No clue about the file sizes, sorry. I do shoot RAW however.

I haven't done this sort of shooting since having digital - it might be good for a change - at least one of the forum members here is local and shoots horse events. Good luck, the tool you have is excellent, as you say, just getting to know it.
03-15-2010, 09:03 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
Why are cross-country events typically on crap days?
It's been quite a while since competing myself (~15 years), but the premise of getting wet and/or cold still seems to hold true.

As noted by all, pushing the exposure seems to be causing at least some of the softness. Having had the *IST DS and the K200D, there is a lot more shadow detail available to pull from the K200D (same sensor as K10D), Albeit with a bit of noise. So don't be too afraid to underexpose a little. centre-weight the metering.

The contrast will also be poor generally due to the flat light coming down above the rider.

Technique

Shooting horses presents different challenges, since unlike racing (except monster trucks etc), the action is not all on one plane. With horses, there is a lot of side-side, up-down, slow down-speed up!

In terms of focusing on the action, I have had better luck pre- focussing on the spot (and it looks like you have chosen good vantages to make the jumps look colossal - down the hill!). Leave the AF in manual, focus to point above jump (about where the riders head will be for good facials) , turn on catch-in focus, and leave your finger on the button (motor drive) for when the rider appears in frame.

The other option I have used is telephoto, to cover a bit more of the DOF, coupled with being ahead and slightly higher than the jump (if the gallop lanes will allow), you can get some nice rider head/horses ears forward shots as they go over the jump.

Tools

If your copy of PS won't handle DNG's, consider playing with the beta of Lightroom 3 (Free at present!), and see what sorts of differences you can generate by shooting DNG.

No clue about the file sizes, sorry. I do shoot RAW however.

I haven't done this sort of shooting since having digital - it might be good for a change - at least one of the forum members here is local and shoots horse events. Good luck, the tool you have is excellent, as you say, just getting to know it.
A lot of sense there and pre-focussing is indeed a method I have employed many times before, not on this day though because I relied upon the AF and didn't check that it was working by magnifying the image. My mistake entirely.

I think basically I may have been asking/expecting too much of it and have taken some shots since where I modified my technique and produced some better shots altogether. Opportunistic/grabbed shots will alas be subject to the will of lady luck as to whether they are in focus or not I fear.

The trouble with standing below the brow of the hill is that you can't see what's coming until it arrives in the viewfinder although when it works it works well as you say. Having to use a wide aperture was no help either.
03-15-2010, 09:08 AM   #34
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Just curious. Are you seeing the SR hand before you take the photo? SR takes up to a second to lock in at times.

03-15-2010, 09:29 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by justinr Quote
A lot of sense there and pre-focussing is indeed a method I have employed many times before, not on this day though because I relied upon the AF and didn't check that it was working by magnifying the image. My mistake entirely.

I think basically I may have been asking/expecting too much of it and have taken some shots since where I modified my technique and produced some better shots altogether. Opportunistic/grabbed shots will alas be subject to the will of lady luck as to whether they are in focus or not I fear.

The trouble with standing below the brow of the hill is that you can't see what's coming until it arrives in the viewfinder although when it works it works well as you say. Having to use a wide aperture was no help either.
No mistakes - just a "curses, I wish that had come out better".
Was just thinking about AF too - can someone confirm that only a single "check" is done in continuous mode (rather than the two that Pentax gear does normally)? - curious since I don't usually shoot this way.

And yes, below the hill doesn't give you much time, especially when two riders appear at once as in one of your shots! As you say, the light means that you have to shoot large apertures - not much room for focusing error. The length of the horse in the frame makes getting all in focus unlikely.

Happy (lucky) shooting.
03-15-2010, 09:58 AM   #36
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Justin, you've at various times described the camera as a K10D or a K20D - which is it? I'm assuming K10D since you refer to 10MP (the K20D is 14MP).

Also, it seems like there is confusion between MP (approx. a million *pixels*) and MB (approx. a million *bytes*) on this thread. The K10D, like the K200D, always shoots 10MP when set that way, whether you shoot RAW or JPEG. But the file sizes may well be less than 10MB. At least a couple of posts here have confused the two.

I seldom shoot JPEG on my K200D, so I can't say if 2-3MB is too small or not for a file size, but as I said before, I think you need to focus on that. Sure, once in a blue moon due to some corner case of blown highlights, out of focus images, or just a big flat expanse devoid of detail, a 10MP file might turn out smaller than a 6MP file at the same JPEG quality setting, but it shouldn't be the case on average. So definitely, take one these suspiciously small images into Photoshop to see for yourself if you're getting a 6MP image (about 2000x3000 pixels) or a 10MP image (about 2600x3900 pixels).

I still say, until you've tested using the same scene, same lens, same exposure, and then viewing at the same size (not blowing up the 10MP image almost twice as large by viewing at "100%"), then you are just spinning in circle. There is really no point in much further speculation iuntil you've a) checked the file sizes and the resolutions across the board to see if you're *really* getting 10MP files that are smaller on average than your 6MP files, and b) performed a controlled test as I suggested above.
03-15-2010, 10:20 AM   #37
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I believe Justin is referring to what you see in Windows when you hoover the cursor over the saved photo. The size is always given in MB.
03-15-2010, 10:38 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Justin, you've at various times described the camera as a K10D or a K20D - which is it? I'm assuming K10D since you refer to 10MP (the K20D is 14MP).

Also, it seems like there is confusion between MP (approx. a million *pixels*) and MB (approx. a million *bytes*) on this thread. The K10D, like the K200D, always shoots 10MP when set that way, whether you shoot RAW or JPEG. But the file sizes may well be less than 10MB. At least a couple of posts here have confused the two.

I seldom shoot JPEG on my K200D, so I can't say if 2-3MB is too small or not for a file size, but as I said before, I think you need to focus on that. Sure, once in a blue moon due to some corner case of blown highlights, out of focus images, or just a big flat expanse devoid of detail, a 10MP file might turn out smaller than a 6MP file at the same JPEG quality setting, but it shouldn't be the case on average. So definitely, take one these suspiciously small images into Photoshop to see for yourself if you're getting a 6MP image (about 2000x3000 pixels) or a 10MP image (about 2600x3900 pixels).

I still say, until you've tested using the same scene, same lens, same exposure, and then viewing at the same size (not blowing up the 10MP image almost twice as large by viewing at "100%"), then you are just spinning in circle. There is really no point in much further speculation iuntil you've a) checked the file sizes and the resolutions across the board to see if you're *really* getting 10MP files that are smaller on average than your 6MP files, and b) performed a controlled test as I suggested above.
Marc

My apologies, it is the K10. I was set upon a K20 but for reasons I've already mentioned I got the lesser of the two, but my head has not yet caught up!

With regard to file sizes I look at the manual which tells me that at 10 million top quality pixels I should get 202 jpegs per 1gb card or 5mb per image (approx). I am getting around a 3mb file per picture which is the same as the ist, which is a 6million pixel camera. However, the display on the camera counts down from 202 pictures so it assumes that I am getting the full sized jpeg, which I am not.

I have been out testing again and found that on a tripod the AF is better than my manual focussing (slightly) and that with some alteration to technique I can obtain sharper pictures of jumping horses. Hopefully both still and action shots should be sharper still if the camera was recording from the full 10 million pixels.

Justin.

03-15-2010, 10:45 AM   #39
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Look at the recorded pixels by hoovering over the photo. Are the numbers 2592 X 3872? If so, then it recorded 10,036,224 pixels of info.
03-15-2010, 11:02 AM   #40
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As an example. I have a photo that is 2592 X 3872. It displays as a 3.92 MB file. Open in photoshop and save that same file untouched as a tiff. The process adds nothing to the photo. It just saves it in it's true uncompressed form. In my case, it gave me a 28.4 MB file.
03-15-2010, 11:27 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildlifephotog Quote
As an example. I have a photo that is 2592 X 3872. It displays as a 3.92 MB file. Open in photoshop and save that same file untouched as a tiff. The process adds nothing to the photo. It just saves it in it's true uncompressed form. In my case, it gave me a 28.4 MB file.
Well yes and no.

It may have recorded the information from pixels within a frame of 2592 X 3872 but that doesn't mean to say that it recorded the information from all 10,000,000 pixels, that's what RAW does and the Pentax RAW files are 10.9 mb each.

Now you have a file that is nearly 4mb, I have nothing approaching that size despite shooting complex scenes.
03-15-2010, 11:32 AM   #42
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Shooting jpeg is like trying to stuff 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag. Only in this case, you are letting the camera software decide which portions to leave out. It will only display the compressed jpeg, at 72dpi. It is not giving you all the pixel info.
And the card shot count is only an estimate by the camera. There have been times when I got less or more than it said I would.
03-15-2010, 11:43 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildlifephotog Quote
Shooting jpeg is like trying to stuff 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag. Only in this case, you are letting the camera software decide which portions to leave out. It will only display the compressed jpeg, at 72dpi. It is not giving you all the pixel info.
And the card shot count is only an estimate by the camera. There have been times when I got less or more than it said I would.
I think we are chasing each other in circles here.

Yes indeed jpegs are movable feasts to a certain degree but their approximate size can be decided upon by setting limits within the compression algorithms which is what we are doing when choosing the jpeg quality level.
03-15-2010, 12:17 PM   #44
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Setting the camera to 10mp and 3 stars does not guarantee a certain size file. I've had files from 2.4 to 4.92 MB. The compression is not constant. The software math is different for every photo. It depends on amount of similiar pixels in a scene.
03-15-2010, 03:01 PM   #45
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No, I won't become a RAW snob.
Shooting JPEG has served me well in that it helped me learn exposure a lot better than if I had gone straight into RAW.
Seeing as I have to shoot RAW for class, it's pointless for me to shoot JPEG for other stuff so I am, by definition, a RAW shooter now.

As for the sRGB/AdobeRGB discussion, I asked my tutor's opinion on it. His reasons for not advising use of the sRGB setting in the camera is :- Because sRGB is a smaller colorspace than AdobeRGB, if you set it to that, there's no changing the colorspace if you want to for editing purposes. There should be no noticeable difference in an uploaded to Web image originally shot in AdobeRGB as long as it is set to sRGB before being uploaded.






QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Oh no, this course you're taking is turning you into one of those RAW snobs!

Next you'll be bashing all JPG shooters as amateurs who don't know any better!
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