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Pentax K-30: Anyone Shot With It?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by HaViet, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. HaViet

    HaViet Mu-43 Veteran

    311
    Mar 20, 2014
    Hartford, CT
    I just switched from EPM2 to Pentax K-30 looking for better AF tracking a low light performance, but I am a little disappointed.

    All the pics come out a little dull, dark, and not very sharp. I am not sure if this is its limitations or I am not shooting it correctly. Perhaps I don't have the settings right?

    Even in broad sunny daylight, the pics come out dark and under exposed. My EPM2 always put out bright, lively, and sharp images.

    Here are a few samples. RAW plus minor LR5.

    I welcomed any feedbacks/suggestions.

    Thanks

    [​IMG][/url]IMGP0338-1 by Ha_Viet, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [​IMG][/url]IMGP0315-1 by Ha_Viet, on Flickr[/IMG]

    IMGP0287-1 by Ha_Viet, on Flickr
     
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Since you are using Lightroom and RAW files the final result is a matter of processing : the camera is not producing anything but the starting point for your processing. Lightroom is starting with a few assumptions which may not be ideal for your camera or your taste.

    Process them right, get brighter sharper pictures.
     
  3. MichaelShea

    MichaelShea Mu-43 Regular

    108
    Jan 27, 2011
    Algarve, Portugal
    I can't comment directly on the K-30, but do own a K-5, which I bought in early 2012 with the full intention of gradually migrating from MFT to K-mount. First off, the kit lens provided with both cameras is mediocre and raw files are on the soft side, which makes all images appear unsharp without more processing than you would be accustomed to.

    Secondly, the focussing accuracy with Pentax lenses and cameras is the worst of any camera system I've ever used. There are cheap prime lenses offered by Pentax as an alternative to the zoom, but the results from them is a hit and miss affair. I refer specifically to the 35mm f2.4 and 50mm f1.8 plastic lenses. If you read Pentax user forums, there are many stories of how individual lenses need camera adjustments for back-focussing issues and such like. This is regarded as normal, but frankly I've never needed to do it with my Panasonic, Olympus or Fuji equipment.

    Thirdly, and worst of all, Pentax quality control is abysmal. My K-5 arrived with oil drops on the sensor and the image stabilsation system built into the camera proved to be worse than useless. And as I say, at least two of the prime lenses were rubbish, mechanically speaking. When they focus properly, they look really good. But that simply isn't often enough. I still own the 21mm f3.2 lens, which is OK and so perhaps the 'Limited' lenses are better. I've thrown lots of good money after bad already and so won't ever find out for sure.

    My advice would be to take lots of pictures to get fully accustomed to your camera. Don't blame yourself for any initial disappointments. And bear in mind that you are using a larger sensor and viewing bigger images with it. Unfortunately this will show up any flaws in your lenses or shortcomings in technique. I genuinely wish you more luck with Pentax than I got. Whatever you do, don't spend money on far more expensive lenses until you are happy with the performance of the camera.
     
  4. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    This autofocus adjustment was .my only gripe with any dslr..my understanding is that it's not needed on fuji/olympus/panasonic is due to contrast detection...as for pentax ..sorry i gotta say my k7 and k5iis i owned with FA lenses were the sharpest and nicest lenses i owned any system and k5 are usually bullet proof (best built cams i ever owned) only moved to M4/3 due to smaller size and easier stowing of cam and lenses and for my usage it hits my sweet spot of expectation.
    I heard the higher end dslr's ..ie nikon D300 / PENTAX K 5/ CANON 7D all output poor jpegs and expect user to do some kind of RAW tweaking to maximise quality of print.
    Funny my wife said last night GAS stands for (guillible and stupid) due to our constant scrutiny of gear and lust for something we dont have/need.
     
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  5. MichaelShea

    MichaelShea Mu-43 Regular

    108
    Jan 27, 2011
    Algarve, Portugal
    Scott's wife has certainly got a point there. In terms of outward build quality and ergonomics, Pentax looks hard to beat but it's results that count. In the interests of balance, it is fair to say that Pentax has many satisfied customers but as you'll gather, I'm not one of them.
     
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  6. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Ouch. OTOH, men do that with toys, whereas women keep hoping the men will get better.:wink:

    I used Pentax for many years, although my last one was the K7. AF was never their strong point, which I realized after I started using cameras with CD AF.
     
  7. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    Boys and our toys eh!
    For me you hit the nail in the head...I too was frustrated with my nikon D7000...never got any lens that hit focus bang on...always behind or slightly in front. every second pic of people was slightly soft or blurry and i got fed up messing around trying to calibrate lenses to suit.(i dont have the luxury of testing lenses first as ebay buyers ..buy /try /sell on)
    On recent visit to florida with family and freinds...i had E M10 my brother my old nikon d5100 and mate had d7100 ..i can tell you when we pooled the pics to see which we all could use...the oly faired far more keepers than the nikon...you know the best bit..mine slung round neck on strap ,spare lens in cargo shorts + battery versus large camera bag and awkward big body with superzoom lens walking round JAMPACKED disney 95 degrees...I win!
    This is where the smart money is!
     
  8. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    I would check your settings. WIthout knowing how your camera is set up, there is no way for us to figure out why these seem a little dark. One option (and there are several) is that you are set on spot metering and in a very bright scene, if the spot happens to be on a highlight or very bright area, the camera will base the exposure on that). Here's a few I took with my K30 a couple years back. I feel like getting one again.
    8581199096_8f858c77a4_b. "The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul." - Ralph Waldo Emerson by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

    8544995252_9ac2d4a4ed_b. "Gardening at Night" by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

    8577161391_537c159d7a_b. he's not known for his smile by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

    7550320742_dcf3cf595e_b. prepare for landing by Luke Lavin, on Flickr
     
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  9. HaViet

    HaViet Mu-43 Veteran

    311
    Mar 20, 2014
    Hartford, CT
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I've been shooting with this camera a few weekends now. I got the K-30, because for the price it seems to pack lots of features and technologies behind it.

    I still couldn't get pass the dull images. The Oly PM2 was sharper and punchier. The K-30 images is just dull and dark. I am still trying to play around with the settings to learn a bit more about this camera.

    One thing that really bothers me is dark faces on a bright sunny day. I was taking pics of my kids riding bike in the park in an 85 degree, bright, sunny day. Yet all the images comes out with dark/under exposed faces while everything else (backgrounds, trees, bikes, pavements, etc) were bright. I was shooting with Pattern/Multi metering. I guess I should have switched over to Spot metering and see if there was a different.
     
  10. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    K30s have atrocious jpeg output and base raws. Get DXO and use one of the other body profiles for output with pop. Their default processing aims to preserve too many highlights and the sharpening is very low. Take a picture of some pink colors for a crazy color shift as well.

    Even though I LOVED shooting mine I hated the output. It took way too much work to get what I wanted in post. And the autofocus performance was not in the same league as the big two, especially in C-AF mode.

    I still think about picking up another because it was so fun to shoot.
     
  11. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    couple of my pentax k5 with cheapo lenses

     
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  12. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Pentax is quite conservative with regards to exposure, saturation, and sharpening, preserving highlights (as you've noticed), and shooting comparatively flat and soft. But the K-30 has a trick up it's sleeve - the magical 16 megapickle Sony sensor.

    The sensor in the K-30 can recover highlights with the best of them, but when pushed too far you end up with unsightly chunks of color. Dialing down the LR highlight slider will reveal detail in lighter areas that were previously hard to see. I'll often dial down the highlights and then boost overall exposure and end up with an image with more detail.

    The sensor is also quite good at lifting shadows, so even if the camera is conservative in underexposing, you can lift a lot of detail and not worry about noise.

    AF isn't the greatest, although the K-3 is a big leap forward, but I've managed to catch a number of published action shots with Pentax cameras and never really had FF/BF issues. Lucky I guess.

    Here's some shots with the same Sony sensor in a K-5:

    8365304041_da2454bef3_c. Flags by john m flores, on Flickr

    8366379844_ff464d79cb_c. Struttin' by john m flores, on Flickr

    8365303851_deb99e6549_c. Confused by john m flores, on Flickr

    In that last shot, look at how both the white satins and black and grey hoodies have plenty of detail in them. That's the beauty of how the Sony sensor and how Pentax implemented it. You can probably play with the color profiles in camera if you want more pop, and bump exposure compensation up a third stop, but if you like twiddling knobs in Lightroom, the K-30 is a good starting point.
     
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  13. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    895
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    [QUOTE..........Thirdly, and worst of all, Pentax quality control is abysmal. My K-5 arrived with oil drops on the sensor and the image stabilsation system built into the camera proved to be worse than useless. And as I say, at least two of the prime lenses were rubbish, mechanically speaking. When they focus properly, they look really good. But that simply isn't often enough. I still own the 21mm f3.2 lens, which is OK and so perhaps the 'Limited' lenses are better. I've thrown lots of good money after bad already and so won't ever find out for sure..[/QUOTE]

    HI
    To be fair on the 2nd point re the oil spots on the sensor - there was a very well known batch of faulty Sony sensors distributed to several manufacturers including Nikon and Pentax whereby there were oil spots on the sensors due to a poor manufacturing process at Sony's factory
    K5s were definitely subject to the problems (and the K30 sensor is based upon the same sensor I believe) it may be fair to assume that this was a sensor manufacturing fault at Sony rather than a fault on the part of Pentax ?
    Regards
    Rob
     
  14. MichaelShea

    MichaelShea Mu-43 Regular

    108
    Jan 27, 2011
    Algarve, Portugal
    I don't want to labour the point Rob, because it's probably of very little general interest on this particular forum, but a reputable UK Pentax dealer reliably informed me that the small pattern of oil spots I reported was entirely different to that typically associated with the Sony issue, which only applied to an earlier batch of Nikon & Pentax cameras. Mine was a fairly late copy and in any case, I would have expected a camera manufacturer to have checked this out properly before I got lumbered with it. Especially when it was, as you correctly point out, a known quality control issue.
     
  15. HaViet

    HaViet Mu-43 Veteran

    311
    Mar 20, 2014
    Hartford, CT

    Thanks for posting this.

    It is exactly what I had to do with everything single RAW files that I had processed in LR. I find myself boosting exposure and shadow, while dialing down on highlights and white. On every single image.

    I'll have to create a preset to apply to all my imported RAWs from Pentax.
     
  16. yorik

    yorik Mu-43 Veteran

    457
    Dec 23, 2013
    Scotts Valley, CA
    Yonatan
    I also have a K5 and typically I use spot (or center-weighted) metering. I often protect against blown highlights in the surrounding areas by applying a bit of negative (usually no more than -1/3 or -2/3 stop) exposure compensation when taking the picture. As John pointed out above, the Sony sensor does a great job of capturing shadow detail (in the raw files) and you can bring this up either selectively or globally in LR as you see fit. (But I like playing around with LR)

    As for the autofocus, the only `problem' that I have encountered is that some of my lenses don't focus blazingly fast. On the other hand, they all focus fast enough (for me), and they all focus accurately.
     
  17. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    As mentioned, Pentax was far too conservative with jpeg processing, and you really had to shoot raw to see the good stuff. Having stopped at the K7, I never did get to see the that Sony sensor in the K5, which was great by all accounts.
     
  18. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    Having had both K7 and K5 i can tell you difference was night and day...more so than panny/oly 12M SENSOR JUMP TO 16M
     
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  19. HaViet

    HaViet Mu-43 Veteran

    311
    Mar 20, 2014
    Hartford, CT


    Can you provide more details?

    What is DXO?

    And which body profiles do you refer to?

    Thanks
     
  20. HaViet

    HaViet Mu-43 Veteran

    311
    Mar 20, 2014
    Hartford, CT



    I love this pic. I too took some pics of my little girl on the swing. Quite some moments.
     
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