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Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 03-11-2011, 03:29 AM  
k5 16:9 aspect ratio stills
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 17
Views: 10,967
Most NLE's give you an option to 'scale to fit' or something similar which will basically expand the image (withouth stretching or changing the aspect ratio) until it fills the frame completely. Yes, this will result in cropping if the image used doesn't match your project settings, but the exact same cropping would occur if the K-5 were to have a 16:9 mode.

So you don't even need to process photos in lightroom or photoshop first (though it's a good idea to anyway, to re-scale them properly which will decrease the workload for your NLE and prevent aliasing in the final video)
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 03-11-2011, 03:01 AM  
Movie Aperture Control - what is it!?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 2
Views: 2,390
Switch it to fixed and it will stay at whatever aperture setting you tell it to.

The ISO and shutterspeed are still on auto though, so you need to use AE lock to stop if from adjusting those parameters. You have to make sure the AF/AE button is set to AE lock first.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-19-2011, 07:07 PM  
How to take action dart shots in a dim bar?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 50
Views: 6,623
What is the maximum sync speed with the Metz?

If you want to really freeze and isolate the subject and the dart, you'll need a fast shutter speed - this will both freeze the action and lower the ambient light.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-17-2011, 10:36 PM  
Thinking about a Sigma EF530DG flash
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 9
Views: 1,983
In manual mode the EF-530DG ST can only be set to high or low, not 7 different steps like the DG Super.

There are some bargains out there right now for the DG ST as it's on its way out for the new model.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-15-2011, 05:24 AM  
Questioned by the police?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 44
Views: 8,150
This is one of the reasons DSLR's have become so popular with videographers - for whom I can say this is often a major problem. DSLR's are much more common than professional video cameras, as well as being smaller, so draw less attention. If you are out and about just shooting stuff for a doco, the sight of a larger camera with tripod, shotgun mic etc draws attention. You immediately flag yourself to be hassled - "Do you have a permit, blah, blah, blah." They see the bigger camera and their thought process must go something like this - "big camera = big production = big liability = needs to have a permit."

I can understand a Police officer being inquisitive, I can even understand if they are shady on the laws (ever had a look at your full legislation (including all levels of government from National down to your local council? Thats a hell of a lot of sub-sections for them to memorise!). But it is important to assert your rights. This need not be done in a confrontational way at all - simply reference the applicable legislation (even better carry a copy of it) and tell him you'll be done shortly, and that he's welcome to observe if he feels there is any suspiscous behaviour (so long as he does not interfere with your work).

Having said that, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the legislation that applies in your locality. Also be aware that should the particular Police Officer take a dislike to you (ie if you tell him to piss off and that he's completely wrong), he can easily have you charged with something like "public nuisance" or "obstructing a public pathway", which can easily lead to "resisting arrest" if you don't do as he says.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-05-2011, 09:43 PM  
Do I need a new lens
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 35
Views: 5,614
The Sigma 28-80 is not a terribly sharp lens (I've got one myself which came with an old SLR kit I purchased for some other included lenses), but stopping down to f8 should help it perform it's best.

What you may be seeing though, is lack of contrast. Contrast can have a big effect on percieved sharpness, and in the three photos you've posted above, the one you percieve to be sharpest is also the one with the most contrast. I've found the 28-80 to have very little contrast and an almost milky haze at times. Try increasing the contrast in photoshop and see what effect that has.

One other piece of advice I would offer is to turn on Centre-point AF & AF-S (auto focus single) which are both located in the second page of the manual. Then focus by placing the key focal point ( subjects face/eyes) inside the centre circle of the K-X's viewfinder. Once AF locks on, reframe your shot. Doing it any other way (particularly with the K-X which does not give you a red dot to confirm the selected focus point as manu other cameras do) can result in another part of the photo becoming the primary focal point (eg hands or chest), and this can result in the face falling outside of the depth of field.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-05-2011, 03:50 PM  
Newbie Question jpeg vs raw
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 38
Views: 6,039
I used to use only jpeg as I am still only getting my feet wet with digital photography, but after the first time I used RAW, I will never go back. I was blown away by how much more room you have to play around in post.

The only time I still use jpeg is when shooting sequences.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-05-2011, 06:35 AM  
Show Us Your Best K-X shots
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 1,231
Views: 243,426
I was scrolling through all these photos quickly and as soon as I saw this had to check your location - Lismore! My suspicions were right! I grew up on a farm at Tregeagle but am now based on the Gold Coast. After all the recent rain, I think this view would be very different right now.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-05-2011, 06:17 AM  
rechargable batteries in the KX
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 9
Views: 2,287
Make sure your camera has the newest firmware. (1.01) This update, which can be downloaded from the pentax website, included improved accuracy for the battery meter. To check the firmware on your camera, hold down the menu button and turn the power on.

When I first started using rechargeables with my K-X they would only last 30-50 shots, until I updated the firmware. Now a set of rechargeables will easily last a whole day of shooting.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-03-2011, 09:31 PM  
Pentax K-7, a pro camera at an amateur price?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 4
Views: 2,941
I don't know if it is used by many National Geographic photographers, but it is a favorite with many landscape/outdoors photographers. It's small size and weather sealing make it the perfect camera to travel with.

It's definitely got some pro level features and is priced extremely competatively. Pro camera for an amatuer price? Maybe. Great value, advanced camera at an amazing price? Definitely.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-02-2011, 04:01 PM  
Why do you need a new camera?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 73
Views: 10,933
I think it's usually about want more than need.

For me the one thing really making me want to upgrade right now is burst rate. Those extra 1-1.5 frames the K-R has over the K-X might not seem like much but for surfing sequences it will really help. I've seen 6fps from the 50D and it just seems to compress more action into the same number of shots but over a shorter/faster burst period.

I've never worn out a DSLR, as the K-X is my first one, but I've had a few DV cameras die on me because they've just had too many tapes run through them.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-01-2011, 05:42 AM  
Crop factor
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 9
Views: 2,585
If you're looking to compare your old camera's zoom lens to DSLR lenses, the best thing to do would be to look up the "35mm equivelant" of your superzoom's lens, then use the 1.5x crop to figure out what equivelant lenses you'll need on the K-x.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-01-2011, 04:55 AM  
I bought an external flash - Need suggestions on resources
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 14
Views: 2,361
It doesn't matter what brand the books/articles are written for, it's still the same information. Fill light, bouncing, diffusing, indoor flash, outdoor flash, off-camera flash etc uses exactly the same techniques for any camera. The only information you'll need which will specifically relate to your camera model is located in your manual.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-01-2011, 03:08 AM  
Do kit lenses suck?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 36
Views: 6,822
The current kit lenses are great for general photography. The only thing is they do not truly excel at any particular type of photography. The 18-55 and 55-200 combo is like a jack of all trades but master of none. For the price it is truly amazing, but you can't expect to get every single photography you can imagine using just those lenses. And that's where those manual lenses come in!
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-30-2010, 06:24 PM  
RAW - Is it just me, or did I mis something along the way?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 140
Views: 14,520
But at the same time as camera files are getting bigger, computers are getting faster and hard drives bigger. You obviously have a better understanding of computers and compression schemes than me, but all I need to know is "does it work?" And for me, RAW is no harder or slower to edit (in regards to PC power) than Jpegs.

I agree with you about the monitors but really that doesn't matter; you'll face the same fidelity/calibration issues no matter what digital format you shoot and edit in.

For me it comes down to whether or not I see a difference in the images, and for me, the answer is yes. I've only just recently started using RAW and I was blown away by how much more detail was captured or could be rescued in the highlights and shadows, even with perfect exposures. I'm not going to become lazy or change how I shoot, or think "I can fix it in PP," but I'm not going to go back to jpeg either. I will, however, take more shots in difficult lighting knowing I won't be losing highlights or shadows to the jpeg, and I'll be much less likely to reach for the "delete" button when I do misjudge the exposure (which is a lot!).
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-28-2010, 09:29 AM  
The Appeal of EVIL Cameras
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 51
Views: 8,482
Haha, this is exactly what I meant when I said "stubborn rejection."

What is better in your opinion is very subjective. To me, a professional videographer, the familiarity of an EVF when taking photographs, with all the benefits such as live histogram, focus assist and shutter/DOF preview, is a big advantage and much easier to work with.

For many people new to photography, they will fail to see any advantages to an OVF, even when comparing them side by side.
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-27-2010, 07:41 PM  
Your vision of a shot...
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 14
Views: 2,479
It does come down to what you are shooting. A landscape photographer or portrait photographer has the ability to manipulate his subject before he/she photographs it, in order to better realise their imagination. They also have the luxery of time and freedom of space/location. Sports or wildlife photographers on the other hand, have to go with the flow and spot moments and opportunites as they arise.

Having said that, it still pays to know what you want in advance. To take my own personal experiences, the thing that seperates the best surf photos from the others is not always the action itself. The best photographers might approach a session knowing that they want to shoot more pulled back action shots with - for example - a pier in the background, or perhaps they will shoot from a very low angle - lying on the ground, even - in order to get more foreground and depth into the composition. They still need to deal with the variables of the surfer and the waves, but they have a solid, pre-formed idea of how the overall shot will look if it it all comes together.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-26-2010, 06:12 PM  
Sigma EF-530 DG ST
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 19
Views: 7,839
I didn't want to paste a link as I'm not sure of the forum rules regarding that, but that is indeed the dealer I was refering to.

They're now actually giving the EF-530 DG ST away for free with every K-r kit purchased (while stocks last).
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-26-2010, 06:09 PM  
Your vision of a shot...
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 14
Views: 2,479
Haha Ira, there is an exception to every rule.

"If at first you don't succeed, ditch film and go digital."
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-26-2010, 05:58 PM  
The Appeal of EVIL Cameras
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 51
Views: 8,482
As others have said, debating the future of EVIL cameras while referring to current models is useless. As an idea, EVIL cameras are poised to make massive leaps and gains on the rest of the market.

Looking outside of what is currently offered, there's still a range of ground to be explored with these mirrorless cameras:

1. Almost silent cameras (with DSLR quality)
2. No mirror block - once you put a pro level processor and shutter in there, you could potentially have much faster fps without the bulky mirror in the way.
3. "What you see is what you get" - not only with framing, and focus, but exposure as well. Not to mention live histograms, zebras, peaking or any other manual assist functions.

I'm sure there is a wealth of possibilities out there, and given the stubborn rejection of EVIL cameras by many people on this board and other "enthusiast" photo communites it's no wonder that the companies decided to enter these cameras into the lower end of the market where people are more open minded. Believe me, the massive profits from these current offerings are driving R & D into pro-level EVIL cameras.

I see a future where EVIL cameras are the dominant force at all ends of the market because they have the ability to take the best features of point and shoot cameras, video cameras and DSLR's and roll them up in to one package.

Have you used the optical viewfinder on the GH1? Using that thing in conjunction with the focus assist lets me get much more accurate focus than any DSLR viewfinder ever will. Sharp as a scalpal too, with the ability to set it up in quite a few different ways.

You only say that because every mirrorless camera so far has been designed similarly to a point and shoot. What's to say a pro-level m4/3 camera is not on the way already, with a larger body and flawless EVF?
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-23-2010, 10:52 PM  
Your vision of a shot...
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 14
Views: 2,479
I think it really is part of the film vs digital divide. With film, you had to know what you were going to end up with, because you couldn't review it straight away and reshoot. You also couldn't shoot 1000 frames a day and pick out the best ones due to the costs of film and processing. People who grew up with film probably have a better understanding of how a shot might turn out, even with a digital camera, but they might also have a less trigger-happy style and therefore miss certain sudden oportunites. So it's a matter of individual style.

I shoot surfing and with film, there is no way I would want to waste an entire roll or several trying to do speed blurs and not even knowing If I was getting close. With digital, I can keep trying until I nail it.

Having said that, it doesn't mean many digital-age photographers don't know what they'll end up with beforehand. It's just that these days they get instant feedback to gratify their expectations.
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-23-2010, 08:50 PM  
New year photo projects?
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 21
Views: 3,858
365 days... haha. A few years ago I had a bet with friends that I couldn't surf every single day for a year (whilst working 2 jobs and going to uni full time). During that period I went to ridiculous lenghts to get in the water daily - I once surfed at 2am in the morning becasue I was flying overseas at 6am and crossing the date line, then paddled out at 10pm at the new destination, but on the next calendar day. I surfed in cyclones, thunderstorms, gail force winds, floods, big waves, small waves, perfect waves, terrible waves, sharky waves, before sunrise and after sunset, all over a bet for a case of beers. I got to day 348 and stepped on a broken glass bottle (at the beach, ironically) and required stitches which put a halt to my epic journey.

I might not have been successfull, but looking back I had so much fun, and went to extreme lengths just to do the thing I truly love. I wish now that I had better documented my experiences with a daily photo - perhaps 2011 is the year I'll complete a 365 surfing challenge, documented with a 365 photo challenge!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-21-2010, 04:08 PM  
Help! Agreed to be a wedding photographer and know nothing about it!
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 44
Views: 7,999
Weddings are no easy task, but given the situation I can understand them asking you and you saying yes. The answers I'll give to your questions are not really great advice, just safe ideas that will get you through the day. If you were asking about starting up a wedding photogrpahy business on the side then the answers I would give would be completely different.

1) Most weddings photographers I've worked with (I'm a professional wedding videographer) use a 24-70 & a 70-200 f/2.8 on a full frame camera. If you're able to rent it, the 16-50 as mentioned before is a good choice. You're going to need something a bit longer than the kit lens during the ceremony, as you won't want to be right in their faces the whole time.

2) Get a flash. Something like the Sigma EF-530 DG ST which is cheap and versatile. It will let you bounce off ceilings indoors and fill in shadows outdoors for good (though not amazing, when used on camera) portraits and group shots. A flash will give you more chances to get photos because you'll be able to shoot from any direction regardless of where the sun is. And it will let you set up group shots with the subjects backlit and the flash filling in to get nice, quick, results without too much fuss.

3) It's a bit late at this stage for books, but try the internet.

4) I find there's not a lot of wedding photography/videopgrahy tips or tutorials on the internet, mainly because most people don't want to give away their secrets for free. However, you'll have good results if you type in a google search for something like "photo portait tips" or "indoor photo tips" and then apply those to your situation. Look for tutorials or tips that use minimal equipment.

5) Other tips - shoot in AV mode - let the camera do some of the decision making for you so you can focus more on what is happening around you. Shoot RAW so you can recover some of your exposure mistakes later on. Try to visit the locations in advance so you know what you're dealing with. Bring lots of batteries and cards. Stick to the basics - rule of thirds, leading diagonals, etc. Print out a good posing guide to carry with you so you are never short of ideas. this one here has some good ones for males, females and couples - Lynn Herrick Photography - Posing Guide - I suggest you cut out the ones you like and paste them onto a single A4 page to carry with you. Be friendly with all the guests - smile, joke, compliment them - and they will be more relaxed in front of the camera. Make sure you can carry everything in one bag - you're going to need to move quickly and can't stop to pick things up or shuffle gear around. When indoors, (unless the roof is super high such as in a church) bounce flash off the ceiling and when outside, shoot towards the sun and use fill flash - these techniques are a quick way of putting more depth in your photos and will noticiably seperate your work from the billions of standard 'facebook snaps' people take at these sorts of events.

Also have a chat with the bride/groom/family beforehand and let them know that you will do your best but you can't promise you'll deliver professional results. You have limited equipment, experience and time to prepare, so make sure they understand that so you don't end up with any dissapointment or tension later on. Then they'll be pleasntly surprised later on when you deliver some really nice shots!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-20-2010, 11:40 PM  
used K-7 or new K-r
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 20
Views: 3,583
Personally I'd go for the K-7 - at the moment I have a K-x and I told myself the next DSLR I get will be one that has a water housing available. A grip would be nice too in a lot of situations.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 12-20-2010, 09:25 PM  
I heard a Rumor....Firmware update
Posted By deltoidjohn
Replies: 53
Views: 13,954
I agree with manual video controls! I know people will shout all that jazz about it being a photo camera so you don't need manual video control, but if you compare it to the competition it is one glaringly obvious advantage the Nikon D7000 and Canon 7D have - and right now, one of the very few things the K-5 doesn't beat or rival them with.
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