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Old Jan 5, 2007, 5:12 PM   #1
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HI all

Since I am very new to this dslr game, I really want to stick with mastering the various controls before I wander off into raw territory. Therefore, I was wondering what kind of settings those of you who are happy with your jpeg images are using? Of course I bought my cam before the firestorm over at dpreview on alleged jpeg low quality. I don't know how true any of that is, it somewhat reeks of pixel-peeping, but nonetheless, my pic's to date have been less than stunning, but I have been mostly shooting indoors or outside at twilight where I have to use Iso 1600 and low shutter speeds to make up for the lack of light. Haven't had a good chance to go out in sunlight and do anything interesting.

Any ideas on how to set up for best possible jpegs would be very much appreciated.

Also, any ideas if a 50 mm f1.7 would be decent for indoor basketball (we sit right on the sidelines, small gyms). My kit lens and the 50-200 are just too darn slow. Have to use iso 1600 and about 1/60 shutter speed, so either get dark photos or motion blur. Would I be better off getting a flash next, or the 50 mm?

Thanks

Peggy
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Old Jan 5, 2007, 6:00 PM   #2
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Some people at dpreview would shoot their entire holiday in raw because they think - or should i say "read" - the jpegs on Pentax were too soft. Which is just well...what's a nice word for stupid?

Truth is the quality of your jpegs will be fine. What could happen, is that you get the impression that they're less sharp, it will be because Pentax applies less in-camera digital sharpening to give the pics a more "film-like" look, instead of digitalized.

If you do wish them sharper, there are numerous tools like Photoshop, Irfanview, paint shop etc. to give them some extra sharpening. And while you're at it, you can make the good ones look even better by correcting the light levels. This is called post-processing. You even need to do it after processing RAWs with the sharpest Nikon camera...


Shooting in RAW all the time (like some people claim they do) is something no practical photographer will ever do. RAW is great for those situations where you need to be able to correct the exposure after taking the shot (difficult conditions) or macro or studio work.
All the rest is JPEG with post processing where appropriate.

When you're on a holiday you can stack 170 images on a small 512kb card, why would you want to fill it up with only 47 RAWs then?


The color settings (natural/bright) is something of personal preference. Try some shots with both and play with the saturation/sharpness settings. You'll find the one you like best quickly.

I have mine on bright, but with the saturation 1 turned back and sharpness 1 up on my *ist DL.

As for your lens question, a fast lens will definitly improve your indoor shots drasticly.
I have the SMC-A f1.7 50mm and I love it. It's so sharp my JPEGs dont even need extra sharpening
For sports I could recommend one of the AF versions, the 1.7 or 1.4. Optically just as great (or better) and you get AF for your action shots. Numerous people on this forum have the FA f1.4 and have posted some great results with it. A couple of them of indoor basketball I think, I'm sure they'll be able to provide you with more detailed info about it.
I'd keep an eye out for an older fast tele (135mm) too. Manual focus, but they go for really cheap prices (sometimes as low as 10-20$)
You could get great closeups of games with those.


So in short, don't worry too much about the image quality of your camera. No manufacturer would sell you a piece of equipment that expensive that doesn't work correctly.


Welcome to the forum btw

Tom

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Old Jan 5, 2007, 6:52 PM   #3
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Got to disagree with you on one point there. I shoot RAW all the time. I have only once shot in jpg since I have owned the camera. I have 5 1Gb cards which covers a days shooting, although I will be getting another 5 before I go away again.
At the end of a days shooting I transfer all RAW files to a laptop, view the files and delete the ones I don't like.

Repeat for the rest of the week.

Although it takes time to process the RAW files, it is nice to be able to have all the info available if a pic needs rescuing. If pushed, I can easily PP 250 RAW files in an evening, although I usually spend a few days doing it.



Darren
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Old Jan 5, 2007, 11:04 PM   #4
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I really don't see the point in shooting RAW all the time since the jpg files out of the Pentax DSLR's are extremely good right out of the camera and require little PP.

RAW on the other hand requires major PP and seems like a waste of time unless you are shooting in a hard to read WB situation. Don't be afraid of RAW, but it is not a requirement for good photographs.

Tom
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Old Jan 6, 2007, 1:15 AM   #5
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As one who is still to try my K10D on RAW I find this current discussion fascinating.

My particular interest is birds in flight and as this sometimes requires continuous shooting and up to around 650 shots in a day I have a reluctance to move to a media (RAW) where the limit on a 4 gig card is around 300 shots.

Having said this I do appreciate the idea that RAW retains the original quality thro' edits.This was brought home to me yesterday when I noticed that highly cropped bird shots taken with my K10D @ 400 ISO caused major "noise" problems.Most noticeable on white birds like terns and spoonbills.

Consequently I resolved for "On patrol" bird shots to be @ 200 ISO with AV @ F11.

Would be most interested in any comments from others who have this as a priority subject.

Cheers:Ian Mc
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Old Jan 6, 2007, 1:21 AM   #6
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Just for fun here is one of the shots which gave me "That's OK" feeling from yesterday's shoot.

Ian Mc
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Old Jan 6, 2007, 3:40 AM   #7
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Dal1970 wrote:
Quote:
Got to disagree with you on one point there. I shoot RAW all the time. I have only once shot in jpg since I have owned the camera. I have 5 1Gb cards which covers a days shooting, although I will be getting another 5 before I go away again.
At the end of a days shooting I transfer all RAW files to a laptop, view the files and delete the ones I don't like.

Repeat for the rest of the week.

Although it takes time to process the RAW files, it is nice to be able to have all the info available if a pic needs rescuing. If pushed, I can easily PP 250 RAW files in an evening, although I usually spend a few days doing it.



Darren
Ok with 5 GB of cards I can understand perhaps...I only have 3 512mb cards.

But still. I filled those 3 up with about 500 shots during my trip to Turkey last year, and I got to say, I did not feel like postprocessing 500 RAW images, or even storing 500x10mb on my pc. It already took me long enough to select and PP the JPEGs :s
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Old Jan 6, 2007, 6:14 AM   #8
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Hi Peggy,

On my istD my settings are "0". On your K10D the same settings would be natural. If you prefer a more P&S result use the Bright setting on your camera. I hope that helps.

A 50mm 1.7 would work for indoor basketball games. You might want a longer reach lens though, But it should work. You may have to sit closer to the players with the 50mm.

Rudy

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Old Jan 6, 2007, 6:27 AM   #9
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I handle it this way:

I always shoot RAW. I've got a very handy little portable external drive, 40GB, that also reads memory cards in the field. It cost about twice as much as the 1GB cards cost when I bought it. With that and one 1GB card I have never run out of space, noteven on holiday trips.

When at home, I first delete all pictures that are no good (out of focus, shake blur,bad composition, whatever). About 50% goes already then. Then I start taking away as many "second best shots" I can bear. After that I convert a few for whatever purpose, ie posting here. During the weeks thereafter I take a look now and then and delete more "second bests", it easier with some distance in time from shooting.

I think I save about 10% of my shots. Of course that varies from situation to situation. A birding excursion might leave me with two shots that survive the selection process, whilst the family holiday trip gets a 90% survival.

I'd never ccnvert 250 shots from one occasion. Not even my wife would like to look at all of them, even if our children are on every single one.:-)

Kjell
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Old Jan 6, 2007, 7:27 AM   #10
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That'a basicly what I do Kjell.

Went to the zoo, took around 250 shots, kept around 140.

When on holiday last year I took my laptop, and I suppose I took about 1500/2000 shots during the week. Every evening I would transfer them to the laptop, view them and then delete the crap. Worked well. Got back home with maybe 1000 shots to process, took about 1 week.

The thing is, people these days want instant gratification from their camera. Point, compose, click. Run home and put onto computer and print. I am not knocking this approach, but it is not for me. I started seriously in photography at school when I was 13. Then it was black and white only, bulk film spools, hand developing every print, or occasionly using colour slide film and sending it off to a lab. During this time I learnt a lot of patience. For instance I once spent 2-3 hours on one print, which had to be as near perfect as I could get.

Just my viewpoint of course. Each person finds what suit him/her and sticks with it.



Darren
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