Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

Started Apr 12, 2011 | Discussions
Terry k Regular Member • Posts: 102
Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

Is anyone else very dissappointed and/or angry with Pentax for the lack of a firmware update to address the obvious K-r tungsten lighting front focus issue? I have contacted Pentax about this several times over many months, and after my camera was sent for service to address this issue (which, in fact, did nothing to address this issue), I sent Pentax CRIS service examples of front focus under various types of indoor lighting (resulting in varying degrees of front focus, being worst with tungsten lighting). I sent these examples to CRIS on 1/31/2011, and was told they were forwarded to Pentax Japan the next day. I don't buy using the tsunami as an excuse for lack of a firmware update, since Pentax was well aware of the problem months before this tragic event.

coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

I'm feeling a bit burnt by this as well. I don't use AF anymore with my K-r as it's just all over the place. I've sent it in to get checked, and they said it was all normal according to factory specifications. I've been happily using various Pentax dSLRs for over six years. This new AF system needs refinement. Also I don't use P mode with the DA 40/2.8 Limited because it always defaults to choosing f/2.8 as soon as light levels go down. It's about time Pentax give us the MTF priority option, and speed or depth priority options for Program line which have always been offered on their more expensive cameras. There is no reason for them to cripple the smaller cameras with such firmware omissions. This is the sort of thing that made me leave Canon in the beginning of my dSLR journey. I guess they think it will make people want to upgrade within the product line, but that won't work unless they can at least keep their cameras contemporarily competitive. Autofocus was considered an innovation many years ago, and now Pentax is taking it away? It sure feels like it. I'm just disappointed they didn't get it right first off with the K-r. The issues C & N users have with their gear are starting to look rather attractive now. I'm considering switching brands if Pentax does nothing about this with their more modest K-r model which is not so modest considering I paid $800 for the camera body only when it first came out. I am not brand loyal, but I do hope Pentax can stay on top of things because I've enjoyed their loyalty towards customers until now.
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Dale108
Dale108 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,479
Re: K-r focus good 95% of time

Yes my Kr has FF in very low tungsten light but I rarely shoot under those conditions so is not an immediate issue.

Dale
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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,271
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

coleviolin wrote:

I'm feeling a bit burnt by this as well. I don't use AF anymore with my K-r as it's just all over the place. I've sent it in to get checked, and they said it was all normal according to factory specifications. I've been happily using various Pentax dSLRs for over six years. This new AF system needs refinement. Also I don't use P mode with the DA 40/2.8 Limited because it always defaults to choosing f/2.8 as soon as light levels go down. It's about time Pentax give us the MTF priority option, and speed or depth priority options for Program line which have always been offered on their more expensive cameras.

two points
1 the 40 limited is often at its best wide open (strange but true(.

2 if Pentax put everything in the baby bodies they would cost the same as the k5.

it not the cost of omission but he cost of support.

There is no reason for them to cripple the smaller cameras with such firmware omissions. This is the sort of thing that made me leave Canon in the beginning of my dSLR journey. I guess they think it will make people want to upgrade within the product line, but that won't work unless they can at least keep their cameras contemporarily competitive. Autofocus was considered an innovation many years ago, and now Pentax is taking it away? It sure feels like it. I'm just disappointed they didn't get it right first off with the K-r. The issues C & N users have with their gear are starting to look rather attractive now. I'm considering switching brands if Pentax does nothing about this with their more modest K-r model which is not so modest considering I paid $800 for the camera body only when it first came out. I am not brand loyal, but I do hope Pentax can stay on top of things because I've enjoyed their loyalty towards customers until now.

Its a shame people are having issues, But I've still not seen anything I would consider concrete that Pentax is working on a fix.

Platitudes from first level service techs count for nought.

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Lee Beasley Senior Member • Posts: 2,471
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

The first two camera bodies themselves had a few issues unrelated to focus right out of the box, and that was a little offputting, I'll admit, but since we don't have any tungsten lightbulbs, I honestly don't know if it's an issue on my particular body. I don't have any problems indoors with the focus. When the energy-efficient fluorescent coil lightbulbs first came out years ago, my husband insisted on switching over to them. I hated them (i.e., no more three-way bulbs, no more "soft white" bulbs, they're ugly looking and tend to stick out in light fixtures, etc.), but all things considered, maybe they're not so bad after all.

I'm not holding my breath on a firmware update for this particular issue because I think that, what with the hue and cry about it practically since the beginning, if it were fixable, it would have been released already. And, really, I'm an adult. Nobody twisted my arm to keep the camera, so that was my decision. I could have bought a K-x for less, but I opted for the K-r.

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narddogg81 Senior Member • Posts: 1,029
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

I dont think they can fix the kr FF ala the k5 1.03 update because the kr does not have a separate light color sensor like the k5, so it has no way to determine the light color prior to the shot and adjust accordingly
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coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

awaldram wrote:

two points
1 the 40 limited is often at its best wide open (strange but true(.

I don't think that's true at all, but I'd rather the camera default closer to the sweet spot of the lens (f/5.6) because especially with tricky focus, f/2.8 often doesn't make any sense. F/2.8 is excellent on the DA 40. On my K10 it would most often choose f/4 or so rather than f/2.8 thanks to the MTF option in custom menu. The K10 was a smarter camera, though I prefer the K-r for it's low light and JPG filter abilities. That's about it. I'm not sure it was worth $800 as I was hoping.

2 if Pentax put everything in the baby bodies they would cost the same as the k5.

I'm only talking about one or two options in firmware which would be totally easy to add, mainly because they've already been included in older models since the *ist D, and which would really help the photographer. I don't mean weather sealing, magnesium alloy, extra physical buttons and dials, etc... etc... "Only" very basic photography innovations.

Despite all that, I'm very happy with my K-r. It's just that now because of these little things like this, I'm not as likely to consider Pentax for my next camera whenever that time comes. I'll adapt to my K-r and just be more of a manual focus guy from now on. Plus I can't really recommend it as an entry level camera either, because the competing options out there are really stronger at this level.

Anyway, on with the photography.
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coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

narddogg81 wrote:

I dont think they can fix the kr FF ala the k5 1.03 update because the kr does not have a separate light color sensor like the k5, so it has no way to determine the light color prior to the shot and adjust accordingly

The Canon T2i doesn't have that extra sensor either, but it can detect different color and apply that to autofocus for accuracy. The K-r is a newer camera than the T2i.

Regards,

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Lipo

Russell Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 12,617
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

coleviolin wrote:

The Canon T2i doesn't have that extra sensor either, but it can detect different color and apply that to autofocus for accuracy. The K-r is a newer camera than the T2i.

You don't really need the camera to detect anything. If I set WB to tungsten then it should be possible for that setting to adjust AF for that setting as well. Better yet, simply have another menu item to apply an AF offset for tungsten and to be able to turn it off. It seems a stupid issue not to have been corrected this way as this was a problem in all the bodies without the extra sensor. What are the marketing people are thinking? That people won't notice? That people that will notice, will upgrade? How about the people that do notice take back their purchase and buy something else? That seems more likely.

Thank you
Russell

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,271
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

coleviolin wrote:

awaldram wrote:

two points
1 the 40 limited is often at its best wide open (strange but true(.

I don't think that's true at all, but I'd rather the camera default closer to the sweet spot of the lens (f/5.6) because especially with tricky focus,

From Slr Gear test......

Set to apertures less than ƒ 8, some corner softness is visible, surprisingly most at ƒ 5.6, where the right side of the frame approaches three blur units, but the center stays sharp as sharp as we can detect at one unit. The lens performs better at ƒ 2.8 and ƒ 4, where is corner softness is visible, but less significant

And the facts
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/zproducts/pentax40f28/tloader.htm

f/2.8 often doesn't make any sense. F/2.8 is excellent on the DA 40. On my K10 it would most often choose f/4 or so rather than f/2.8 thanks to the MTF option in custom menu. The K10 was a smarter camera, though I prefer the K-r for it's low light and JPG filter abilities. That's about it. I'm not sure it was worth $800 as I was hoping.

The MTF of the lens is set at F4 so not reallly a smart camera, for the baby bodies flick to Av set f4 and off you go , saved $500 over the k5 and got the same as 'Mtf' Program for your lens.

MTF program is only and advantage for zooms where the sweet spot varies with focal length else thers not gain over av and setting the sweet spot.

2 if Pentax put everything in the baby bodies they would cost the same as the k5.

I'm only talking about one or two options in firmware which would be totally easy to add, mainly because they've already been included in older models since the *ist D, and which would really help the photographer. I don't mean weather sealing, magnesium alloy, extra physical buttons and dials, etc... etc... "Only" very basic photography innovations.

Your asking for the features 'you want' but what about others who only want their cherry picked options.?

Despite all that, I'm very happy with my K-r. It's just that now because of these little things like this, I'm not as likely to consider Pentax for my next camera whenever that time comes. I'll adapt to my K-r and just be more of a manual focus guy from now on. Plus I can't really recommend it as an entry level camera either, because the competing options out there are really stronger at this level.

That is what drives market forces consumer decisions, though as Pentax has produced two of the best entry level cameras for the last 2 generations you choices might be limited elsewhere.

I think your biddest dissapointment is you went from a semi pro body to an entry level and expected it to be better ???

I don't think that Pentaxes fault.

In reality you went for a cheap solution to get the advantage of better sensor technology but threw the baby out with the bath water.

Anyway, on with the photography.
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coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

Sir. I am not so disappointed in the K-r or Pentax. I was just expecting a more finished product. But I'm not here to argue with you. My point is that if Pentax think outside the box a little (not only make different color cameras) and of course pay attention to people like you and me, especially ones who've experienced using their products, then maybe they will make some more significant innovations, and really give people more reason to choose Pentax. The green button has been with Pentax since the film days. It's great now that it can be customized, for example. Please work together, not against each other.

Regards,
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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,271
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

Sorry Lipo

Didn't mean it to come across as condecending as it does reading back.

The Bottom line is Pentax would be more likley to listen, if we didn't like the feature set didn't buy.

But then again Penatx has been on the recieving end of that for many years (slow AF no tracking capability clunky and poot firmware) yet took a long time the learn.
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stepalex Forum Member • Posts: 94
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

I consider the present situation with K-r completely unacceptable. I am not just disappointed, but rather really p*ssed by Pentax even refusing to ackowledge the issue, let alone fix it - 6 months after the launch!!! If a fix does not come out in 2-3 weeks, I am taking K-r back to store. And it just might be the situation that pushes me over the edge and makes me ger rid of all my Pentax gear for that matter...

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Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,708
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

I dont think they can fix the kr FF ala the k5 1.03 update because the kr does not have a separate light color sensor like the k5, so it has no way to determine the light color prior to the shot and adjust accordingly

Perhaps, but my K200D focuses accurately (although slower than the K-r) in tungsten lighting, and does not have a separate light color sensor either. So I would conclude that Safox IX needs some work.

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coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

stepalex wrote:

I consider the present situation with K-r completely unacceptable. I am not just disappointed, but rather really p*ssed by Pentax even refusing to ackowledge the issue, let alone fix it - 6 months after the launch!!! If a fix does not come out in 2-3 weeks, I am taking K-r back to store. And it just might be the situation that pushes me over the edge and makes me ger rid of all my Pentax gear for that matter...

Perhaps "entry level" ought to be taken more seriously, as this is where new customers "enter" into a camera system. It doesn't only mean "beginner" and "inexperienced". The more positive the initial experience is, the more likely people are to stick with an upgrade within the brand. Cheers,

PS: I admit. I have been researching lenses by other companies lately...
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Raphael Mabo Senior Member • Posts: 1,164
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

It is a complicated matter to design software and to be a "bug buster" and cure software problems. Before a software can be officially released, it needs to be tested.

The K-r firmware update was going through the last testing phases when the tragical accident in Japan happened. And now Pentax - as many other Japanese companies - has been forced to delay certain operations.

The tsunami and the still on-going problems with the japanese power plants and the reduction of available electricity for the industry - is not Pentax fault and Pentax should not be blamed for them.

In times of crisis, I believe it is important to be patient and to show compassion rather than being impatient.
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waxwaine
waxwaine Contributing Member • Posts: 997
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

Come on. Show me a more complete camera on this level, and I´ll clap. You have what you pay. Pentax K-r is almost perfect for my needs. If I want more, should have to look even further than Nikon D7000(not on my posibilities) and for sure you can find faults on it too.
Now I´m having fun with a manual 50mm f1.7 on my cam. Just nice.

PentaxRicoh New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

So, are you saying that Pentax shipped (dumped) the defective and untested K-r because the flood waters were getting into their factory and waited for the customers to complaint???

PentaxRicoh New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

This is crap - why did Pentax sent the untested camera to the market in the first case???

Raphael Mabo wrote:

It is a complicated matter to design software and to be a "bug buster" and cure software problems. Before a software can be officially released, it needs to be tested.

The K-r firmware update was going through the last testing phases when the tragical accident in Japan happened. And now Pentax - as many other Japanese companies - has been forced to delay certain operations.

The tsunami and the still on-going problems with the japanese power plants and the reduction of available electricity for the industry - is not Pentax fault and Pentax should not be blamed for them.

In times of crisis, I believe it is important to be patient and to show compassion rather than being impatient.
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PentaxRicoh New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Angry with Pentax for no K-r front focus firmware update?

Just absolutely a bad and not thought-thru design. I will put the blame on the dumb engineers who never thought that people still do have tungsten lights. Come on, Pentax, own up to your mistakes and offer a free upgrade to the next (and hopefully tested) camera model.

coleviolin wrote:

narddogg81 wrote:

I dont think they can fix the kr FF ala the k5 1.03 update because the kr does not have a separate light color sensor like the k5, so it has no way to determine the light color prior to the shot and adjust accordingly

The Canon T2i doesn't have that extra sensor either, but it can detect different color and apply that to autofocus for accuracy. The K-r is a newer camera than the T2i.

Regards,

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