Pentax K-x User Settings

pentax k-x user settings
I want to share the user settings that I have been using and update this post when I find something new with my Pentax K-x. Many of my setting are actually the default settings in JPG with exception on sharpness adjustment and WB.

Great combo of K-x and DA 40mm f/2.8 limited
pentax k-x white and da 40mm f/2.8 limited photo1/125 sec, f/3.2, 40mm, iso 100, 0 Ev

Summary of my settings:

  • use extended iso range from 100 to 12800, adjust iso range subject to scene
  • Auto ISO range in 100 to 400 in daytime outdoor setting. Use fix lower ISO in 200 when image quality and grain is important.
  • For indoor setting, I use auto-iso from 100-1600 for not-so-poor lighting and 100-3200 for darker environment. I used fixed iso for situations that I know I can have a comfortable speed not slower than 1/60 or 1/30 seconds.
  • For extremely dark environment, I use fixed iso in 3200, 5000, 6400, 8000 and 12800. I pay extreme attention to shutter speed in dark environment. When bracing is possible with lamp post, a rail, or knelt down position, I attempt the lowest iso for at least 1/15 second. And I will up iso for non-bracing shot so that shutter speed is at least 1/30 sec. It is all subject to shooting conditions.
  • default NR in medium, default NR starts at iso 800 and above
  • bright image mode
  • Mostly AWB. Adjust as needed especially in indoor shooting
  • Default Matrix Metering
  • customized Ev to 1/3 instead of 1/2, default is already taking 1/3 Ev increments
  • customized ISO to go with Ev increments
  • center focal point in AF-A
  • sharpness adjusted from +1 to +2 and toggle between Fine sharpness and the default -- still experimenting. Use Fine sharpness for daytime shooting and change to regular sharpness setting for indoor and dim setting to avoid noise if desired.
  • Program mode for most cases and adjust Av as needed
  • Use Tv mode for action or when movement is involved
  • Enabled catch-in focus for AF lenses and disable for MF lenses when the feature gets in the way
  • First choice of lens for video is DA with quick shift focus. The next choice is fast MF lenses to avoid noise and better flexibility.
With AWB
color way colder than actual scene
pentax k-x white and da 40mm f/2.8 limited photo
preset Fluorescent White Balance
a bit closer to actual scene but too warm
pentax k-x white and da 40mm f/2.8 limited photo
preset Fluorescent White Balance
pentax k-x white and da 40mm f/2.8 limited photo
preset Fluorescent White Balance
pentax k-x white and da 40mm f/2.8 limited photoAll test shots with Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 limited

Few observations to share:
  • K-x has more tendency in over-exposure than my K20D
  • Occasional hiccup in locking up once a video clip is displayed. This may have to do with my SD card. When that happens, I need to take out battery in order to turn off the camera
  • Unreliable AWB in indoor tungsten and fluorescent lighting, preset tungsten WB> helps a bit but AWB seems way warmer than the actual scene. I should have shot in RAW and adjust in post processing.
  • I can't see the Viewfinder clearly in cloudy outdoor and dark indoor scenes. This may be due to my use of bi-focal glass
  • Image a bit soft in default setting, hence I turn up the default +1 sharpness to +2 sharpness and I am trying between Fine Sharpness vs the default sharpness
  • In general, I prefer my K20D body over K-x when I am shooting manual focus lenses
  • The LCD resolution can't tell a blur picture from a sharp picture.



Unknown said...

very cool info

LaRee said...

Thank you for all of your writing about the k-x. I find myself quite drawn to this offering by Pentax in a way I haven't been since the k10d. I own both the k10d&k20d, but the k-x is definitely tugging on me to buy one.

Hin Man said...

Thank you Frank and LaRee.

Colin said...

Yes, thanks indeed for posting this. I just got my K-x along with some vintage Pentax lenses, and have been wondering what others are doing with the custom settings.

The results of yours look fantastic, and I too had been leaning toward the "bright" image mode. It may just be nostalgia for the color quality from the Canon 350D this replaced. I'll try bumping up sharpness too.

Oh, and I'm relieved - but sorry - to hear you've had the post-video-clip hiccup too. It happened to me for the first time the other day, and I was quite nervous removing the batteries to get the camera to stop whatever process it was stuck in!

Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

What do you guys think about a Sigma Zoom k-II late 70's early 80's lenses? I just got a 70-210 which is a bit difficult to get use to since everything is manual but i think it takes some great shots for a $10 lenses.


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog. Besides the K-X the only other SLR I ever owned was (is) my Pentax Super Program. Yeah I'm one of those old geezers that hate progress. The K-X, has so much to offer and to overwhelm me with....Your tips and tricks are a great help.

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