camera settings


Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 11:20
Hi all i recently joined here with the purpose of finding out more about my kit and how to use it and also show off some of my pics,i only got my camera in june of this year so as you see i am not doing too bad but i think i am not using my camera to its best abilty so would like some advice i have read if you use it in av mode then that takes care of the depth of field and if you use it in tv mode then that takes care of the shutter speed thing is when youre taking shots of birds or butterflies they tend to move which is why i use auto which is the lazy way out so some advice would be much apreciated ,by the way i do look at the manual but find it very overwelming at times thanks .brian


Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 11:41
Hi Brian. So much depends on the camera. With the K5 there is TAV mode. In this you set the shutter speed and the aperture and let the ISO take care of itself.

Looking at your previous post, it seems you have the Kx which does not have that mode. Most of my wildlife shots are with the Sigma 150-500. On my Kx I tried Av mode, stepping the aperture down 1 stop, hoping for slightly better quality than using the aperture wide open. However if the shutter speed dropped too low which depends on the shot, then I'd change to Tv, setting the appropriate shutter speed and let the aperture and ISO take care of themselves. The aperture would then be wide open most of the time.

As I say the required shutter speed depends on the circumstances. A kingfisher at rest could be 1/60. An owl in flight I struggle below 1/320. A spuggy in flight, 1/2500

All this is of course just my view, and for instance you might want a more artistic pic of a spuggy with loads of blurr and use a much lower shutter speed. Its a starting point anyway

Just experiment



Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 11:42
There are only three variables that control the amount of light that hits the sensor.

Aperture and shutter speed are directly connected, so increase one and the other has to decrease to compensate.

ISO controls the sensitivity of the sensor (similar to the speed of the fim) and if increased means smaller apertures can be used whilst still keeping a hand-holdable shutter speed.

If you use Av, then in dark condition you'll need to open up the aperture to get the shutter speed up. If you use Tv under the same conditions then making the shutter speed right will adjust the aperture accordingly. So it really doesn't matter which way round you do it.

Personally I use Av to define the depth of field and if the shutter speed falls too low then I increase the ISO or use a tripod.
Best regards, John



Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 13:02

I'm a fan of AV mode on the same basis as John.

I think a lot depends on the what and where. Speed matters at say a motor race or a bird in flight but too shallow a depth of field and you struggle to find the balance especially when the light is poor. The high ISO capability we have now helps a lot! A painting in a gallery doesn't have many depth of field issues, a landscape can be the opposite.

The delight of a DSLR is you have many options and potential results. The human task is to think before you click away or if hurried learn from what you find when you get home!


Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 21:26
Hi all thanks for all the answers i will try them all and see what happens ,dont think im trying to run before i can walk but i do find some of the things said in the manual very contradictory,in the eghties i was using a pentax me super which i still have but needs some work doing to it as it hasnt been used for years so if anyone needs one let me know thanks again .brian


Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 23:15
Hi Brian, don't be afraid of trying a few in fully manual mode! I know it's a bit old-fashioned but it's my favourite for wildlife shots as it gives you all the control. Personally, I will often increase the ISO in order to keep the aperture around f8 or so and still have a reasonably high shutter speed. The K-x is brilliant at ISO's up to 1600 and perfectly usable even higher. Of course it depends on the light, but at this time of year it's at a premium!


Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs



Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 23:25
Hi Brian

AV is aperture priority, this means you set the depth of field & from that the camera works out the shutter speed for correct exposure.

The aperture (f/ number) depends on what you want to shoot, so for landscapes where you want everything in focus use a small aperture (larger number) say f/11, for a portrait where you want the subject only in focus use a wider aperture f/2.8 for example. It's called a wider aperture as the aperture is open more & lets more light through.

A small aperture causes a slower shutter speed hence the need for a tripod when doing landscape work, otherwise camera shake comes into play. Where as when using wide open aperture f/2.8 lots of light is getting to the sensor so a faster shutter speed will be calculated & hand held is a possibility.

If despite using a wide aperture the shutter sped is still to slow to prevent camera shake then increase your ISO speed, the numbers 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (this increases the light sensitivity of the sensor) until you get a shutter speed preferably over 1/50 if using the kit lens, as a rule of thumb your shutter speed should be at least as much as the length of lens to avoid camera shake, so 50mm requires 1/50 100mm 1/100 etc..

A high ISO will introduce noise into your image, the k-x does handle noise well though.

Good luck & experiment...
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released


Link Posted 15/11/2011 - 23:57
Please don't just repeat posts as quotes unless you are passing a comment on them...thanks.


Link Posted 16/11/2011 - 11:53
hi john thanks for that as you know im new on here so i am still finding my way around so next time i will try to do it properly .brian


Link Posted 16/11/2011 - 12:01
No problem Brian, the use of quotes is usually used to show what part of a reply we are answering - it avoids confusion.
Best regards, John
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.