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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-24-2008, 03:35 PM  
Rechargeables for my K200D
Posted By JN99
Replies: 45
Views: 7,116
To spin this thread in a slightly different direction, what are people's preference for emergency backup batteries? Do you just carry a couple sets of regular alkalines, a set of long-life alkalines (like the Duracell Ultras - are they really any better than standard alkalines?)

I picked up a couple sets of Eneloops with a charger at Costco based on all the positive review I've read and will use those once the lithiums are done but I also want something for backup to keep in the case should I need them.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 07-23-2008, 06:06 PM  
Inexpensive (or free) photo retouching software ??
Posted By JN99
Replies: 19
Views: 7,918
I recently downloaded and have done a little experimentation with PSP X2 and Elements 6. While at first I preferred the look and feel of PSP's UI, Elements has proven time and again to produce superior results in editing, especially some of the quick fix options.

On the other hand, PSP is less expensive and has HDR functionality that actually worked pretty well when I tried it, though I've read some reviews where folks weren't thrilled with the results. If you have any desire to do much HDR, that might be a big factor in your decision.

Both retail for right around $100 though I think PSP is available for less, for example recently advertised at a big box retailer here int he U.S. for $49.99. Also, as someone else already pointed out, it is true there aren't many books written for PSP, while there are quite a few for Elements.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-23-2008, 03:25 PM  
Dynamic range of k200d
Posted By JN99
Replies: 11
Views: 3,445
What it appears to do is allow Pentax another feature to list on their website. Seriously, I have not been able to detect a difference in a few sample shots either.

Maybe I just haven't taken them in the right situation for it to really be evident in the results. It wasn't one of the features that I considered in purchasing thankfully, but I had hoped it would do something, anything at least so that I might find it a useful feature from time to time.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-22-2008, 09:42 PM  
Why did you choose the k200 over the competition (e.g., Canon XSI)??
Posted By JN99
Replies: 49
Views: 10,720
I did a lot of comparisons, research, etc. etc. before purchasing my K200D a couple weeks ago. While I have struggled to get it to produce accurate colors (finally there) and you can see examples in my thread elsewhere on this forum, I'm still pleased with my choice.

I also considered the Xsi and even used one for a few comparison shots but it really feels like a toy, especially next to the K200D. It also mis-focused on occasion and to me simply was not as sharp with kit lens.

Other factors (kind of in order):
Fit/finish and ergonomics
Price: K200D kit cost me $569 with rebate (ends Saturday 7/26)
In body IS
Ability to use older Pentax lenses
AA batteries
Top LCD panel
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-22-2008, 11:59 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
Yep, and I am posting requests for information by trying as best I can to both describe and show the problem, neither of which is easy for the resons you mention.

I think it's safe to say the best examnple I can show is with the 3 tower shots. My only concern at this point, as I have the camera dialed in to produce much more accurate results, is is this normal? Should the camera be producing the results it does at default settings? I'm perfectly happy to adjust the camera if that's what is needed but only if it is normal and I am not compensating for or otherwise masking some sort of defect.

Thanks to everyone for all the comments, replies, feedback, etc. I really do like the camera and I definately want to keep it - I just want to be sure I don't have a defective one.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-22-2008, 11:09 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
It is difficult when you cannot see the original subject matter to be sure. But my last posts of the tower shots, whether they appear washed out or not are *remarkably* accurate in the grass color. The mustard-yellow color of the first shot was a big concern because the scene simply looks nothing like that.

Imagine a shot of a nice sandy beach turning out yellow, that certainly would not look natural and that's a pretty close comparison because the grass is really a sandy biege color, not yellow at all.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-22-2008, 10:12 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
It's not so much about which I prefer as much as it is about accuracy. Before running into apparent problems I prefered, and thus purchased the K200D. I'm, still surprised how few comments there have been with regards to the color innaccuracy that is plainly evident in the first shots, and is clearly demonstrated in the utility tower shots above. That just doesn't seem to me to be normal for the dfault settings of any camera.

To me, that just looks like a camera that is flawed/defective - it has to be tweaked away from default settings to avoid terrible results (and they really are terrible). I just don't think that is, or should be normal, but trying to determne that is why I began this thread in the first place.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-21-2008, 05:28 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
sewebster - I use PhotoMe to see the extended EXIF data, and there is a ton of it. The actual WB setting selected is shown in there under Manufacturer Notes - White Balance Mode.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-21-2008, 05:20 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
One final update to my saga...

I still wasn't completely happy with the color out of the K200D so I kept on digging, tweaking, and taking LOTS of shots to see if I could get to a point where I was completely happy. I think I can now say I am there. Purple notwithstanding (the camera still struggles and renders it too blue in most conditions) I have taken a couple hundered shots tweaking settings and comparing along the way, including comparing with the Rebel Xsi, and have arrived at settings that yield accurate and pleasing results (to me anyway).

In the end I have, for the moment anyway, settled on the camera set at neutral, saturation and hue both at -1, and WB fine tuning at magenta +2 and amber +2.

I'm still a bit concerned at the consistency of the camera and it's yet to be seen if results with these settings will yield consistent colors. It also seems to me like an awful lot of work to get the camera to take a decent photo and it's puzzling the default settings are so far off. As the shots above clearly show, default out of the box color is horrendous - that grass looks mustard yellow!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-20-2008, 07:47 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
It's pretty obvious on the K200 I have now as well as the first one that the bright setting isn't going to be useable - those colors are horrible, it's a completely unusable setting in my camera.



I agree about perception, but when colors are accurate, they will appear accurate to everyone; we'll both see them as we do in person. Regardless of how you percieve or see blue and how I do, if it's accurate in a photo it will appear as we both expect it should.

The reshoot is actually pretty accurate, I stood there looking at the camera's, albeit verty small, LCD screen and at the landscape, back and forth. The grass is what I was really focused on since that's where the color's so far off in the first shot and it's very true in these reshot examples. I tend to dislike over saturated colors, and as an A/V enthusiast as well I see it all the time in TVs - settings that are "over amped". The color pops sure enough but it's far from life-like, and any set I own or watch I immediately roll off brightness and color to get a more accurate picture. I like the same thing in photos, realistic, life-like color and this is getting much closer to that goal. But there's something still not right with the sky to me.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-20-2008, 06:14 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
Update:

A little more time with the first K200D and I could have saved myself some headache (and a few dollars) butI had to return it as my 14 day window was at day 14. Upon further comparison with camera #2 I have found the results to be virtually identical, which is to say, terribly innacurate but read on.

This time I dug a little deeper and found that, out of the box with default settings (bright) the K200D just takes horribly innaccrate, overly yellow/green photos. Those of you insisting things looked okay on your calibrated monitors, need to see these new results that show just how bad the dafault settings are for the K200D. To me, this is unacceptable, you shouldn't be ABLE to get results this bad much less have them be the result of a default setting.

To get the results I did today I had the K200D set to neutral with both saturation and hue bumped down 2 notches. The shot looks MUCH better, the grass now looks pretty much as it should and the trees look much more natural as well.

K200D #1, Aperture Priority, AWB (daylight), default (Bright) setting


K200D #2, Aperture Priority, AWB (Daylight), tweaked settings


Rebel Xsi, Aperture Priority, AWB, Neutral setting


There's no doubt these changes yielded much improved results, though in some regards I still think the Rebel is slightly more accurate if perhaps not quite as pleasing to the eye. In a couple of other comparisons between K200D and Rebel Xsi, I found the K200 yielded richer, deeper color with better exposure; the Rebel overexposed a lot of shots and also seems to have less dynamic range.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-18-2008, 03:54 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
I might resign myself to some similar form of tweaking as well, but it seems to me you should be able to get more accurate results without doing so.

Look at the shots in this link and compare the Canon 40D shots to the K200D. There is an obvious green/blue cast to the K200 shot of the B&W billboard, and the image just below is much more orange in the K200 example than the red shown from the 40D. Now I have no idea what those are supposed to look like, but it certainly shows a tendency of the K200D to push too much yellow and green to my eyes.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-18-2008, 03:44 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
It's in the EXIF data
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-18-2008, 03:26 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
I have the replacement camera in hand and a few shots have shown improved results but I am waiting for the clouds to lift so I can shoot in the same sunny conditions.

A post above about the AWB setting got me to wondering about the camera's AWB behavior and it seems odd to say the least. I noticed that the chosen setting is almost always coming up with some form of flourescent (most often opting for white fluorescent). This is true of both the first camera and the replacement. Even though lighting is quite different (sunny vs. cloudy), the camera still selects white fluorescent.

The results this morning however, even with the same white fluorescent AWB selection seem pretty accurate, much more so than with the first camera. However, as I mentioned, the conditions are quite different as it is very cloudy today.

All that said, the auto selection of the white fluorescent WB mode outdoors in both sunny and cloudy conditions is puzzling. And this morning when I manually set WB to cloudy to match the actual conditions, the results were again terribly inaccurate with a strong yellow cast. Perhaps it wasn't cloudy or dark enough for that setting?

Lastly, does the AWB in the K200D simply meter and set WB to one of the pre-set settings as opposed to setting a specific color temp? I thought AWB in most cameras set an actual temp as opposed to simply selecting a pre-set WB mode.

I see a little blue sky, more later...
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-17-2008, 08:02 AM  
[K200D newbie] Sparklies in LCD Playback rendering
Posted By JN99
Replies: 4
Views: 1,811
I noticed something similar but to me it looks like the image is displayed in a very soft, uprocessed form first, and then processing is performed and the difference in the look is the added sharpness.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-16-2008, 08:55 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
Interesting, I had not noticed that. If nothing else, that would speak to some dodgy AWB behavior. Still, the daylight setting should have worked for the powerline shot, and the dry grass should be a nice golden brown color.

Contrast and sharpness were at factory default settings for all shots. I also noticed that saturation is over-the-top. On a couple shots where the colors looked better, i.e. not so yellow, I had to roll off saturation in Elements by 40% to get the colors to be lifelike to my eye.

The shots I took yesterday with manual WB definitely yielded different results but not necessarily more accurate. I will try a few more today before boxing the camera up.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-16-2008, 08:46 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
Well the camera is going back today and a new one is on its way to me. I will post some shots with the new camera once it arrives, which will probably be early next week.

I agree on the yellow comment, at first I thought it was a green problem but the more I look at shots the more it seems like looking through a yellow filter. And, as I mentioned, my wife walked up took one look and said "that looks all yellowy-green" so for her to notice something is definitely amiss.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-16-2008, 08:24 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
No, unfortunately they do not. I tried this yesterday and while the results were different the colors are still inaccurate.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-16-2008, 08:23 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
bowdish67 - thanks for your reply. My research led me to your flickr thread and I have seen the photos there and was looking closely for any hint of a similar problem.

My problem actually started with a quick glance at a shot on the K200 LCD - a beehive in a forest of trees. It was gray but in the shot come out completely green. Later when I transferred the remainder of the images to my laptop, I noticed a green cast to many of the photos (such as the stump posted above in this thread) and the yollow tinge to many of the greens.

That lead me to take the photos around the house yesterday and no matter what I changed, (I tried several wb settings including a few with manual) I could not get rid of the yellow cast. My neighbor's house is a burgundy color and shots of her house actually look almost orange, again the color just isn't even close.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-16-2008, 08:00 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
Neither is completely accurate but on my monitor at least the FZ5 is pretty close while the K200 is way off, which may not be apparent unless you know how they should look. There is a definite yellow/green tinge to almost all my K200 photos and it is apparent more in some shots than others but I don't want to flood the board with more pictures of the problem. Thanks for the replies.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-15-2008, 08:01 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
All I've done is linked from Picassa and they were all displaying fine this morning, and display fine if you type the URL in directly so I don't know why they won't as links here. All images are already downsized; I think the max here is about 600 pixels wide

Edit: I reposted linking the worst examples only from photobucket instead.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-15-2008, 05:59 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
No, I don't believe it can be normal, the color is just too off to be acceptable to anyone. Even my wife noticed it and it's the kind of thing that would have to be pretty dramatic for that to happen.

I'd love to hear some more folks weigh in and hopefully you can see the images above but several are not displaying now for me for some reason.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-15-2008, 04:59 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
I'm not sure what's going on with the photos in this thread now; they were all displaying fine before.

I played around some more with the settings, esp. white balance but am still unable to get a satisfactory result out of the camera. No matter what I do it will not capture colors nearly as accurately as my FZ5, which to me just points to something being defective with my K200D.

I have only today and tomorrow to request an RMA, which unfortunately I think I'm going to have to do but the question is return or exchange? If this is normal for the camera I definitely don't want another... I cannot see this being normal though as the inaccurate color is there in almost every shot and it's quite obvious even with out the comparison shots from another camera.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-15-2008, 03:19 PM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
Here are a couple more I took today for comparison with my old P&S (Panasonic FZ5). Both cameras were set to use aperture priority and auto WB. It is alarming to say the least just how bad the K200D is - the color is way off while the FZ5 is remarkably accurate. Am I missing something here? This just seems such a poor result from the K200D that I wonder if it isn't defective. It actually looks like it's a yellow cast not a green cast.

First up, a shot of the siding from my house

K200D:


FZ5:


And the siding with trim (which is kind of a dark olive green to begin)

K200D:


FZ5:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-15-2008, 10:51 AM  
New K200D - terrible color
Posted By JN99
Replies: 61
Views: 10,297
I just recently purchased a K200D for my first DSLR and got a chance to take a few shots this weekend. I found that anything with green in the photo ends up affecting the entire color spectrum, resulting in a green cast across the entire image.

Several of the shots were taken in a wooded area and the color is absolutely horrible - everything looks green and the greens look too yellow and very unatural. My P&S did a far better job and I'm not sure why the K200D is pushing green like this.

Is this the result of the in-camera processing (all shots in jpeg)? Is there something I need to or can do to correct this? I have not noticed it in other photos with the camera that don't have green in them, or have very little; they seem to reproduce color pretty faithfully.

Sorry, I don't have anywhere to post a sample but know that it would help. I'm just hoping this is typical and easily compensated for somehow.

Here are a few sample images:




I don't recall the settings for each, but AUTO WB was used for all. I was using Auto, Av, and scene modes just experimenting. In any case, note the greenish cast on the tree stump of the first shot, and the grass of the second- not how they should look.
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