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06-16-2010, 10:36 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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The Guide To Manually Controlling Video Exposure on The K-7

Disclaimer:

1. I can only verify this works on the K-7 with firmware 1.03
2. This is not my own discovery, it's been based on findings of other forum members and my own experiments.
3. I have tested this on my camera only, others results may vary.


Even though Pentax has not allowed full manual control on the K-7 they have given us control of aperture and apparently so through either programming oversight or on purpose have left a back door to allow manual control.


I. How to get manual control?

1. Go into USER mode
2. Set the exposure program to Av (I have tested M, Tv, Sv, P and none of them work, it would align with my theory that the movie mode utilises its own perverted form of Aperture priority program.

II. Setting the exposure.

1. Once the upon is done, activate Liveview, preferably with the live histogram enabled, I also like to use the dark/light overlay to.
2. Dial in the desired aperture.
3. Dial in the desired ISO. (I believe based on my testing that 100-1600 is the most usable range, however someone else could further test this.
4. Setting the shutter setting is rather trickier, it involves aiming the camera at or away at a light source till you see the shutter speed at your desired value, ie 30, 60, etc and then hit the AE-L button.
5. Turn the dial to video mode and hit the shutter button, you will immediately see the AE-L symbol is still on the screen and your exposure is locked as said above this only appears to work in Av mode in USER and no others.

III. Observations & unanswered questions.

1. You can see a clear difference in noise between locking ISO 100 & 1600, this is quite dramatically apparent when you have the dark/light setting enabled in liveview and you have the lens cap on.
2. I am still unsure of the limits of the shutter speed, ie how fast and slow can you lock it or does the camera automatically set the upper and lower limits of this. Further experimentation would have to be conducted.
3. Has anyone been able to pull EXIF data off K-7 videos yet?

IV. Email & Harass Pentax & Their Official Distributors For Proper Full Manual Control.


Last edited by Christopher M.W.T; 06-16-2010 at 10:42 AM.
06-16-2010, 12:07 PM   #2
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Can we also get a sticky on this to please.
06-16-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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Sweet post! Now I MIGHT get a K-7... instead of waiting for the next model...
06-16-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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Thanks. I tested it and it works.

06-16-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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Cool good to know.

I'd really like someone with some better knowledge help investigate the shutter speed matter.

I've confirmed again tonight the shutter setting positively DOES work

Shutter settings 50 and above seem to introduce flicker from normal house lights whilst below do not

I've set the shutter speeds around 1/6 and even lower, the image becomes very bright, I've managed to go up to 6000 and the image goes dark and flickers.

So not quite sure where the shutter speeds bottom and top out in video.

Last edited by Christopher M.W.T; 06-16-2010 at 03:00 PM.
06-16-2010, 07:38 PM   #6
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Thread moved to video forum and made sticky
06-17-2010, 02:52 AM   #7
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Cheers thanks for that
06-17-2010, 07:59 AM   #8
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anyway this would work for the Kx?

06-17-2010, 08:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheoSixx Quote
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
It's a MIRACLE!

You've found the long way around to AEL for video capture.

Though, I might point out- the camera is only capable of recording 30 frames per second.
No amount of adjustment of 'shutter speed' is going to change that.
All you get is, as you pointed out so eloquently, lighter or darker results.
Cool.


[When I got my camera it came with this really neat book in the box- FREE- it's called "OPERATION MANUAL". I like how you've titled your thread here; "THE GUIDE...."]

"Hey look, I can make my video lighter or darker just by doing these thirteen different moves in USER MODE..."

But, you saved the coups de grass for last:
"IV. Email & Harass Pentax & Their Official Distributors For Proper Full Manual Control."
Nice way to put it. Classy.
Not sure if your been genuine or sarcastic (I suspect the later) I'm guessing you know a better way to manually control set the ISO & shutter speed? It's pretty clear exposure can be far far better controlled using my methodology, the manual doesn't say anything about been able to control, the ISO or shutter either, it just mentions AE-L.

Unless you have something productive to add it's best you don't write.

QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
anyway this would work for the Kx?
Apparently people have had luck with using a similar method in Av I think then engaging AE-L & VERY VERY quickly flicking to movie mode, but never used a K-x so can't comment.

Last edited by Christopher M.W.T; 06-17-2010 at 08:26 AM.
06-17-2010, 08:27 AM   #10
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You don't even get full manual control in a devoted video camera let alone interchangeable lenses at the price point of a K-7 body which is first and foremost a still camera. They want you to buck-up for that feature.
06-17-2010, 03:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
You don't even get full manual control in a devoted video camera let alone interchangeable lenses at the price point of a K-7 body which is first and foremost a still camera. They want you to buck-up for that feature.
True but amateur film makers love DSLRs nonetheless as it provides them tools that were previously only available at much higher prices, Canon has given manual controls on the 7D, 550D and provided it for the 5Dk2.
06-17-2010, 03:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by C.W Tsorotes Quote
True but amateur film makers love DSLRs nonetheless as it provides them tools that were previously only available at much higher prices, Canon has given manual controls on the 7D, 550D and provided it for the 5Dk2.
That's a step in the right direction. Do those cameras have the ability to turn off auto white balance and auto gain while shooting video?
06-17-2010, 06:07 PM   #13
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I have a K-x, and am not aware of it having a "User Mode". Where is that set on a K-7?

Edit: well I tried all the settings I could think of ... no, it doesn't seem to work on a K-x.

Last edited by Coby; 06-17-2010 at 07:16 PM.
06-18-2010, 12:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coby Quote
I have a K-x, and am not aware of it having a "User Mode". Where is that set on a K-7?

Edit: well I tried all the settings I could think of ... no, it doesn't seem to work on a K-x.

As stated this is for the K7 I cant comment on the k x.

The USER mode is on the dial on the K7.
06-18-2010, 12:39 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
That's a step in the right direction. Do those cameras have the ability to turn off auto white balance and auto gain while shooting video?
Not sure.

Although you can turn off auto white balance on the K7 prior to shooting the video and id imagine it would be the same for the others.
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