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Old Oct 21, 2006, 12:56 PM   #1
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How do you think the metering of Pentax DSLRs compare to the other brands. My informal testing made me think that it is 3rd or 4th tier. It seems to underexpose most times making shadow areas unnecessarily dark. Additionally it appears, specifications wise, that the k10d has the same AF and metering system as the K100d. I do think that the image processor will be able to do more with the data though. What do you think?
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 1:13 PM   #2
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 1:42 PM   #3
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hi,

no experience with other brands of dslr, but my dl generally hits the exposure dead on given an average toned scene that does not exceed its dynamic range. when the range is greater thanthe sensorcan accomodate then it seems to overexpose the highlights rather than under expose. this is shooting on evaluative (?) rather than spot metering. i've always assumed that i also need to evaluate the light myself and help the camera using exposure compensation (i use aperture priority mostly) when light levels in a scene vary widely.

my dl will under expose if i set up a shot on the tripod and take my eye away from theviewfinder before tripping the 2 second delay. light apparently gets in through the viewfinder and fools the meter. easy to fix; just cover the viewfinder with a thumb or finger (this is digital photography isn't it?) the camera even came with a little cover for that purpose (but the eyecup has to come off first)

i have really not paid much attention to other brands since deciding on the dl, but i seem to remember that the olympus e-500 had the option of setting the meter for highlights or shadows as well as the normal setting. this appealed to me but didn't tip the scales far enough to make me choose oly. i'd love to see it in a pentax.

this is just my 2 cents worth (with no gst or pst incl.) based on a little over 6000 pictures on only one camera (not many pics compared to a lot of you).

all the best. eric


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Old Oct 21, 2006, 2:01 PM   #4
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Pentax, according to popular opinion, tends to slightly underexpose so as not to loose detail in the highlights; this can be compensated for during post processing
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 3:11 PM   #5
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i just got back from the lake and i was set at Ev-.5 because the highlights were getting blown. i think it depends a lot on what you are shooting. i do think the Dseries does under expose a tad in most situations.

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Old Oct 21, 2006, 3:55 PM   #6
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It looks like the Photozone user survey hasn't been updated since the K100D came out, but they have the *istD, *istDL, and *istDS all rated at 4 stars by users for both flash metering and matrix metering. Only the Nikon D1, D100, D2h and D2X scored better than 4 stars in either.

Raw scores for metering also are higher than Canon 300D, 350D, and 20D; KM 5D and 7D, and Olympus E300, E330, and E500. They are about equal to Nikon D50, D70, and D70s or Canon 30D, with the Nikons doing a bit better in flash metering but not quite as well in matrix metering.

Users also rated the istD and Ds as having a tendency to underexpose by about -.5 Ev.


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Old Oct 21, 2006, 7:29 PM   #7
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jabilson007 wrote:
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How do you think the metering of Pentax DSLRs compare to the other brands. My informal testing made me think that it is 3rd or 4th tier. It seems to underexpose most times making shadow areas unnecessarily dark. Additionally it appears, specifications wise, that the k10d has the same AF and metering system as the K100d. I do think that the image processor will be able to do more with the data though. What do you think?
Well, my K100d is the only Dslr I have ever used. However, it only seems to underexpose when I would expect it to underexpose. We live on a lake and the sun sets across the lake from our house. When the kids are swimming in the late afternoon my pictures seem underexposed but, given the fact they are backlighted, this does not surprise me. What I have found in my little bit of playing with photo software is that I can fix an underexposure fairly easily. An overexposure, though, is lost forever.

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Old Oct 23, 2006, 1:05 AM   #8
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jabilson007 wrote:
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How do you think the metering of Pentax DSLRs compare to the other brands. My informal testing made me think that it is 3rd or 4th tier. It seems to underexpose most times making shadow areas unnecessarily dark. Additionally it appears, specifications wise, that the k10d has the same AF and metering system as the K100d. I do think that the image processor will be able to do more with the data though. What do you think?
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 1:59 AM   #9
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OK, I thougt it was just me and my preference for the advanced modes, but my wife just came back with 500+ shots from Chicago(Marathon) and 90% are underexposed by 1-2 stops. She used autopict mode as I suggested for simplicity. I am getting really frustrated with this. The results echo testing of a K100d from a local store last Friday. Now I am concerned, because I had hoped to upgrade to a k10d but specs match that of the k100d. I will wait for professional reviews before I make my next purchase(soon!), but to me it does not look promising.:shock:

These examples from the Pentax site illustrate my concern:

http://www.pentax.co.uk/images/produ.../Image%209.JPG

http://www.pentax.co.uk/images/produ.../Image%204.JPG

http://www.pentax.co.uk/images/produ.../Image%208.JPG

Detail looks great, but exposure and dynamic range are my concern. Maybe I am overreacting. Tell me what you think.

On a side note, will a lab such as Costco/Walmart make prints with an exposure gain if requested? She likes triple prints and my little home printer cannot handle this load as she wants all pics printed.:?

Thanks.
Jon
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 3:42 AM   #10
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jabilson007 wrote: All three images looks OK to me being well exposed with no dark areas lacking detail.

Image 1. The shot with the sheep is into the light but still brings out the detail in the shadows.

Image 2. The portrait shot of the girl is back lit from the right & looks light there's a bit of 'fill in' either flash or white card reflected with the street suitably out of focus - I'd like the background to be a tad darker.

Image 3. The portrait of the 'old guy' is lit from the right with the face in shadow but also is well exposed.

Perhaps you monitor isn't calibrated. Look at the attached image and you should see 20 different shades from black to white.
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