K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)

Started Oct 12, 2013 | Discussions
yursturly
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K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
Oct 12, 2013

It's nice to be back after years hiatus. I've been happy with my K10D and just sort of took photos. Have been thinking about a new camera, and wondered how Pentax has been doing... my timing was sure good! Ordered my K-3 a couple of days ago, and am back reading the many fine posts and learning - just like old times.

This combination of USB 3.0 and the "FLU card" is interesting, and not a small part of the K-3's tech upgrade. A 24 mp camera that can concurrently take HD video and a still photo calls upon some massive processing power! I've been using USB 3.0 for a few years in my PC and laptop and have a couple of observations, to get the ball rolling.

First, it's FAST. If you have been uploading photos via a USB 2.0 connection, you will have a grin on your face the first time you connect and click. However... The cord used with USB 3.0 is not like the former USB's - there's only one that I know of, and it's very stiff and pretty good sized caliber. That would be okay, but it's connected by a funny shaped thingamabob to the K-3 (or any other USB 3 device, like external HDD, etc).

pretty universal USB 3.0 cord and connector

That connector has been problematic for me. With my external HDD that I use for backups, etc., it has to be inserted "just so" and any movement or pressure on the cord can interrupt the data flow. This is the most problematic connector related to USB, from all of the standard, midi, mini, or micro connectors I have used these past many years. I've gotten around it on my external HDD by coiling the cord and resting the HDD very carefully some distance from my computer. Me thinks just taking out the SD card and inserting might be a better idea, but transfer rates (so far as I know) with standard sdhc slots are generally USB 2.0 (10 times slower). A few of the newer computers are using USB 3.0 busses for their card reading slots, but not many.

Sooo... I was very excited to read about the FLU card. Being able to transfer photos wirelessly AND use a smart phone for live view, remote shutter release , and receiving shots for those who wish to send them off via various methods like SMS, facebook, & so forth could be a lot of fun. I have been reading about it on the Pentax forum, and they have gathered a bunch of info. It is a proprietary development with Pentax/Ricoh, and will permit lots of actions not available on the normal FLU card. This could be better than good - it could be wonderful - but there will be a helluva bunch of firmware updates, and I suspect the maturation of this technology will await future camera models.

The ability to tether wirelessly to a pc and upload shots would really be nice, but this FLU card is a class 6 card (old and slow). A 24 mp camera has some LARGE files to be uploaded - after being written from the camera to the card. I know the relatively low price of this K-3 and its massive innovation is incredible, but using the old, outdated, slow class 6 cards are defeating the technology, IMO. This camera needs a class 10 SDXC card in each slot, not just the "other" one. Shooting HD video and taking a 24 mp shot while recording absolutely requires a class 10 card to accomplish such a task.

For now, I think having an up-to-date computer with a card reader that can handle class 10 cards will be the ticket for the K-3. And shoot your video and photos to the class 10 slot. Turn down the megapixels when you're shooting for fun with the plan to upload to social media & so forth. This camera is the most innovative marvel since sony introduced my first digital camera, my DSC-F828.

My, how things change. What a camera!! Let the fun begin (I think it already has)!!

Like I said, it's nice to be back.

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Pentax K-3
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Barry Pearson
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to yursturly, Oct 12, 2013

yursturly wrote:

For now, I think having an up-to-date computer with a card reader that can handle class 10 cards will be the ticket for the K-3. And shoot your video and photos to the class 10 slot. Turn down the megapixels when you're shooting for fun with the plan to upload to social media & so forth. This camera is the most innovative marvel since sony introduced my first digital camera, my DSC-F828.

I typically use a number of cards during an airshow or motor sports. I don't put cards back into my camera and use it as a card reader.

Is there any other use for the USB port on the K-3?

When normal cards are used in both slots, are both slots the same speed?

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Rosember
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Cable issue
In reply to yursturly, Oct 12, 2013

Just a guess: is your hdd a Toshiba? Their USB 3 cables are absolute cr@p. Get a replacement cable with good user reports on amazon and everything will be fine. At least that's what I did. Now I could play lasso with my external hdds without loosing connection.

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joergensmi
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to yursturly, Oct 12, 2013

It is a special Flu-Card wirh 16 GB and Class 10, labled with pentax.

Have a look here in the middle of that page

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yursturly
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Re: Cable issue
In reply to Rosember, Oct 12, 2013

Good morning,

It's actually a very high end Western Digital HDD, but the enclosure containing it is an "I don't know" (made in China) (Silverstone model SST-TS04B). My third enclosure.

My experience with USB cables has been universal. They are all very stiff, large caliber, and appear to be composed of one usb micro connector and a second, even smaller usb connector. IMO, the problem with the connector is in lining both of them up into their female receptacles - each one has to be fully inserted, and even slight sideways movement can disconnect one or the other.

Truth be, I don't think anyone uses a wired dongle to connect their camera anyway. Most folks take out the sdhc card and stick it into a computer to read their photos.

This USB 3 connection, however, will be FAR FASTER than nearly every sdhc bus in nearly everyone's computers. Photo transfers thru the camera via the usb 3 cable will clip along generally 10X faster than the USB 2 bus behind your sdhc slot in your computer.

Thanks for reading my post. No more long ones, I promise.

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fototim
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to yursturly, Oct 12, 2013

yursturly wrote:

Sooo... I was very excited to read about the FLU card. Being able to transfer photos wirelessly AND use a smart phone for live view, remote shutter release , and receiving shots for those who wish to send them off via various methods like SMS, facebook, & so forth could be a lot of fun.

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You cannot fake sincerity

I have been using a EyeFi card with my K-5 for some time.

Transfering 16 gb rawfiles via WiFi is not someting I'd like to do on regular basis. So what I do is to use the camera ability to shoot RAW+ (making raw AND jpg files at the same time). So what I do is to create small jpg files, and transfer them. I don't need WiFi for the large raw files.

So what I plan to do, is to use the FLU card in a similar application. I'l store the raw files at a speedy card, and smaller jpg files at the FLU card. With the smaller files size I think the slow write speed of the FLU card will be an issue.

English is my second language. I hope my description makes sense to you
I'm pretty confident this application will do the trick for me. YMMV off cource.

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yursturly
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to Barry Pearson, Oct 12, 2013

Good morning and thanks for your comments.

IR did a technical update to their hands-on preview that is absolutely superlative. The most detailed description I have read to date, and it left me simply blown away by the technology in this camera. IMO, the update (by Mike Tompkins) was more informative than the previous entire article.

However, no mention of whether both sd card slots are the same speed. I suspect they are, and will both be class 10 or better, because of the data load required to be written before being able to receive more from the next frame, and because of the options I note below.

There appears to be multiple choice on how to use the slots. You can fill one card with shots, then overflow to the second, you can write jpg's to one card and raw to the other, and you can make two identical copies. These guys are serious about the design of the K-3!

For now, I am dismissing the cable issue, as I don't see a likelihood of using it for anything. Like you, I generally take my sd card out and stick it into my computer to read it - and mine has a usb 3.0 bus connecting the card, so my photos load 10X faster than usb 2.0.

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awaldram
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to yursturly, Oct 12, 2013

yursturly wrote:

but this FLU card is a class 6 card (old and slow). A 24 mp camera has some LARGE files to be uploaded - after being written from the camera to the card. I know the relatively low price of this K-3 and its massive innovation is incredible, but using the old, outdated, slow class 6 cards are defeating the technology, IMO. This camera needs a class 10 SDXC card in each slot, not just the "other" one. Shooting HD video and taking a 24 mp shot while recording absolutely requires a class 10 card to accomplish such a task.

For now, I think having an up-to-date computer with a card reader that can handle class 10 cards will be the ticket for the K-3. And shoot your video and photos to the class 10 slot. Turn down the megapixels when you're shooting for fun with the plan to upload to social media & so forth. This camera is the most innovative marvel since sony introduced my first digital camera, my DSC-F828.

My, how things change. What a camera!! Let the fun begin (I think it already has)!!

Like I said, it's nice to be back.

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erm that little 10 tells me something !!!

In reality your rant is out of date current cutting edge is uhs-1 capable of considerably higher speeds than class 10, though currently low take up and only UHS-1 standardized at the same minimum performance as class10

The K-3 provides dual SD card slots with support for high-speed UHS-1 so time to upgrade your SD readers to something that can cope.!!

SDXC is nothing but an extended (2TB) sdhc and offers no gain in performance.

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Peter Budd
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to awaldram, Oct 12, 2013

Just bought a USB 3 hub and a USB 3 card reader. ( I have two USB 3 ports on my ASUS mother board ) I flies with file transfer compared to USB 2

The USB 3 cable on my card reader is very thin and very flexable.

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Cideway
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Re: Cable issue
In reply to yursturly, Oct 12, 2013

I think it is an issue with the enclosure man, I have a few USB 3.0 devices and have no issues what so ever with cords or dodgey connections.

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Tan68
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to yursturly, Oct 12, 2013

I hadn't heard the camera will grab a full resolution image during video record.

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Tan68
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Re: K-3, USB 3.0, FLU Card, and how it will all interact... (long post)
In reply to fototim, Oct 12, 2013

It made sense. Sounds like a good plan as well.

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