KP for a Mirrorless User?

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sprocket-docket Forum Member • Posts: 69
KP for a Mirrorless User?
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Hey folks, I'm pivoting from the system camera I currently use, the Panasonic GX9, as it just doesn't inspire me to use it. It's nearly all the fault of the EVF, to be honest, with camera ergonomics thrown in. I can get decent IQ from the 20MP MFT sensor and I like the L. Monochrome D JPEG profile a lot. But I don't enjoy using the camera. I could get another MFT camera, one with a better EVF, but I'm also drawn to the KP for a few reasons, and I'm currently trying one out.

Here's what drew me to the KP: I am a Ricoh GR III user, that's the always on me camera that I do a majority of my (digital) shooting with. I love that camera, including its RAW images. I have seen the GR III sensor equated with the KP's sensor often, and that, combined with the fact that Pentax includes DNG support, drew me in for image quality reasons (I use LR 6, not the subscription version). I think it's fantastic that Pentax offers two RAW file types in-camera. IQ is certainly better than MFT, plus my GX9 RAW files couldn't be opened with LR6.

The KP style really appeals to me, it's got a really retro vibe, but in a practical way, not overly beholden to looks like Olympus. I like the hard angles and the very positive dials. The viewfinder is super, although I will admit it's taking me a little while to adjust to the comparatively dimmer finder (I use film rangefinders as well, so while I used to own a Nikon D40 - with a viewfinder that's definitely never been called good - I've been spoiled with bright viewfinders lately). Lens options look to be awesome with the small limited lenses.

However, here's the thing: I am having trouble re-adapting to a digital camera without real-time feedback on my exposure, AKA an EVF! I'd already decided I don't really like EVFs, but they are convenient. It's like a catch-22 for me at the moment. If the KP had highlight-weighted metering, I think I'd be sold for sure. I have that with the GR III, plus with MFT I've always used blinkies to keep an eye on my highlights. I'm just finding the KP difficult to nail exposure where I want it to be, and I'm not sure whether it's just a matter of getting comfortable with an exposure value or EV comp value, say -1 or so when the scene has a wide range of values, or if I'm just not happy with the way the KP meters. I like deep shadows with the GR III, metering for highlights effortlessly with the highlight-weighted metering, but it seems like the only way I can really do that with the KP is spot metering and locking in a value.

The TL;DR I suppose is, this DSLR is making me feel like a newb again. It's also larger than I'm used to, but I can accommodate that reasonably easily. It's getting exposures to my liking that I'm having trouble with - I could use live view, but that seems like admitting defeat, it's hardly what a DSLR was designed for. So, for someone who sees the appeal of the KP for a variety of reasons, what would you suggest for someone who's feeling their time away from a DSLR and having to fight mirrorless habits, so to speak?

 sprocket-docket's gear list:sprocket-docket's gear list
Ricoh GR III Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7 Pentax KP +2 more
Nikon D40 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Pentax KP Ricoh GR III
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