A simpler digital camera

Started Nov 1, 2007 | Discussions thread
Steve_ Senior Member • Posts: 2,869
the real problem

Exposure metering and white balance. Above all, non-technical shooters want to be able to push a button and get a great picture--in nearly direct relationship. This requires an essentially ideal auto-exposure system and competent auto-WB, something my K100D's are far from. I've had several Nikon andl Panasonic fixed-lens designs, and they nail the exposure with the meter reading 0EV about 90% of the time. I autobracket with them, but use the meter shot for 90%. Except for the Coolpix 990, where there was no real reason to autobracket as you could count on the exposure being right in essentially any conditions. And they get the WB right under all conditions but incandescant without flash--in itself un inexcusable failing. Apparently the incandescant light in Japan either does not exist or is other-worldly.

With the K100D, there is more impetus to bracket. It's 0EV choice is only good for about 60% of the time, with the remaining needing the +1/3EV shot because of the mild underexposure the meter is zeroed to. And I can't really say my K100D's meter and auto-WB performance is the equal of my Panasonics' under difficult lighting conditions, either. Auto-WB is of course useless indoors off the flash, but also misses outdoors in good light at times. There's no excuse for that.

I think that if the exposure was as generally accurate on the K100D as is the AF and you could count on the WB being right, it would be an ideal starter cam. But it's still cheaper to bracket than to make a truly masterful metering system, and I wish Pentax would realize this is the compromise they've struck and not disable the (stupid it may be) auto-ISO when you turn the bracket on. If the exposure accuracy and auto-WB performance matched either my Coolpix 990 or Panasonic FZ5's, even the most inexperience or non-techincal of users could just leave it in P mode and push the button for a quality picture--leaving it desireable to all users even though it may also contain complex control modes.

It's not that the camera is too sophisticated, it's that it's not that sophisticated where it really matters. I have heard a lot of apologies made for the unaided program-mode performance of various DSLR's, and it's just simple unrefinement. When sub-$200 dollar P&S's can have better decision-making programed into them, there's no reason even a $400 DSLR like the K100D cannot.
Pentax K100D w/DA18-55 & 50-200, FA50-1.4, and Tamron 70-300Di; Panny LZ3

 Steve_'s gear list:Steve_'s gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +13 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow