K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

Started May 17, 2011 | Discussions
james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

Hi, I've been trying to find any reference to the 'general operational improvements' that FW 1.02 brings to the K-x, over and above the increase in card size and an unspecified improvement to the battery meter.

A few people whose comments I found stated that they thought the infamous blurring problem had been solved. I tend to think that that problem is mechanical in origin so FW changes will not affect it. But who knows, and that is my question de jour, who knows what improvements are made by this FW version? Anyone?

Thanks
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jamesza

labnut Senior Member • Posts: 1,016
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

james laubscher wrote:

Hi, I've been trying to find any reference to the 'general operational improvements' that FW 1.02 brings to the K-x, over and above the increase in card size and an unspecified improvement to the battery meter.

A few people whose comments I found stated that they thought the infamous blurring problem had been solved. I tend to think that that problem is mechanical in origin so FW changes will not affect it. But who knows, and that is my question de jour, who knows what improvements are made by this FW version? Anyone?

I think it is always a good idea to upgrade to the latest firmware revision.

coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

I almost had a heart attack when I read your title "K-R firmware". I hope they can improve tungsten light focus with firmware in the K-r.
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Lipo

chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

coleviolin wrote:

I almost had a heart attack when I read your title "K-R firmware". I hope they can improve tungsten light focus with firmware in the K-r.
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Lipo

I know, every day I pop buy to see if there's any news, and there never is. It's starting to get depressing.

Terry k Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

I guess after many months waiting for a firmware update to adress the artificial lighting front focus problem on the K-r, I have given up all hope that it will ever happen. However, I did really enjoy having the camera and the Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens for taking outdoor pictures on my recent trip to Puerto Rico.

OP james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

My apologies for the misleading title to this thread - I was referring to the K-X model, as indicated in the first line of my post but since the subject of the K-R has come up, my impression is that this model was released without proper testing.

I see that the latest Canon 600d has had a firmware 'update', which looks like a bug fix as well. The speed with which this update came out suggests that that camera was released with the knowldege that it was an incomplete product.

Is this now the new business stratgey for 'quality' camera manaufacturers - rush products onto the market place, inadequately tested or in the knowledge that FW fixes will sort out the kinks in less than perfect products?

It seems like the Microsoft syndrome has struck the Jap camera makers.

Just lately Pentax has had a number of major quality glitches - the K-X with the blurring problem and the K-R and K5 with the FF in tungsten light problem - I exclude the stained sensor problem as that was fixable.

One of the weaknesses of DSLRs over their film counterparts is the limited clarity of the viewfinder for focusing. Therefore the AF mechanism is vital for both speed and accuracy - where that is compromised, the camera immediatley becomes less than reliable.

I don't understand why a Katz Eye type viewfinder is not installed in DSLRs - it seems to make a big difference for manual focusing. I tried a manual 50mm lens recently and could not reliably manually focus on a small object about three meters away at a large aperture- without AF and the DOF of a small aperture, the dim and small VF was inadequate for accurate manual focus.

Someone is bound to say that one should use Liveview under those circumstances but I depend on pressing the camera to my face to steady it, which of course introduces the problem of smearing sweat onto the viewing screen - one just can't win!
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jamesza

coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

Thanks for the apt summary of circumstances. Or at least I enjoyed the read. It just seems to me that the smaller dSLRs are not really designed to work ideally with any lens faster than f/3.5 and f/4, depending on the lens. However that's kind of odd with Pentax since they make such great pancakes which would logically go well with the smaller camera. But they don't really due to their wider apertures and lack of accuracy in "entry level" model bodies.

Live view is useful, but not a solution because it is still too slow. One of the key features of dSLR photography is speed, or rather "direct response". This also means good ergonomics, simple controls, and intuitive menus. I know it seems like a lot to ask, but it's mostly already there. The cameras seem to just need a small tweak for accuracy or something. The user manual could just as well be electronic only, and we could all be just as happy without the Digital Camera software. I can not even look at it (I can't stand the complexity of most software, but this?)

Well, I guess they have to sell something... and they are smart to understand or at least support the idea that most people don't and shouldn't buy a new camera every year. I skipped three generations of Pentax dSLR before "upgrading" and that just barely feels right, honestly.

I still love Pentax for now at least, even though there are better cameras growing on golden trees by other companies with all sorts of flavorful formats. In fact I'm sure those other cameras are absolutely perfect as we and everything should be... Not really. Cheers.
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Lipo

labnut Senior Member • Posts: 1,016
software development

james laubscher wrote:

Is this now the new business stratgey for 'quality' camera manaufacturers - rush products onto the market place, inadequately tested or in the knowledge that FW fixes will sort out the kinks in less than perfect products?

It seems like the Microsoft syndrome has struck the Jap camera makers.

Hi James,

As a long term software developer of large projects (software engineer is the preferred term ) I must rise to the bait, though I know this is tangential to your post.

Reliably developing large software systems is probably one of the most challenging problems today. The normal dabbler who has written smallish programs can't even begin to appreciate the magnitude of the problems encountered when developing large systems with hundreds of programmers. Every methodology imaginable has been tried out using the very best programmers available, but still we fail to deliver completely reliable, bug-free products. And it is not for want of trying.

I understand your frustration and you have the right to expect more but it is a difficult problem.

The paradox is that a loose network of open source programmers, working without the normal hierarchical management structures, have produced GNU/Linux. They have produced something larger and more complex than MS Windows. They have done this more efficiently, with fewer time delays and much greater reliability.

My greatest hope is that Pentax would open source their firmware development. You would see an explosion in innovation and a much more reliable product. Fat chance, but I can dream.

Raphael Mabo Senior Member • Posts: 1,164
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

My K-x does not have the "blur issue". A few was affected yes, but there are many K-x out there without issues that are working just fine like mine does.

Canon and Nikon, especially Canon, are famous for firmware upgrades. They have done it for years to solve problems in their cameras. This has proven to be a successfull strategy for them, since they can bring out cameras faster.

Pentax firmware upgrades has more been about enhancing features and operability, more seldom bug fixes.
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Take care
Raphael
http://www.flickr.com/photos/raphaelmabo/

wll Veteran Member • Posts: 4,821
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

Raphael Mabo wrote:

My K-x does not have the "blur issue". A few was affected yes, but there are many K-x out there without issues that are working just fine like mine does.

Canon and Nikon, especially Canon, are famous for firmware upgrades. They have done it for years to solve problems in their cameras. This has proven to be a successfull strategy for them, since they can bring out cameras faster.

Pentax firmware upgrades has more been about enhancing features and operability, more seldom bug fixes.

Raphael:

Do you see any firmware upgrades in the future for the Kx, Kr, or K-5 ?

wll

steephill Veteran Member • Posts: 9,861
Re: software development

labnut wrote:

The paradox is that a loose network of open source programmers, working without the normal hierarchical management structures, have produced GNU/Linux. They have produced something larger and more complex than MS Windows. They have done this more efficiently, with fewer time delays and much greater reliability.

Well GNU/Linux does have a very large loose network of programmers, many thousands of them. And the project had the well established UNIX entity to build on of course. Whether this was more efficient is impossible to measure however, maybe it would be better described as more effective. None of these comments is intended to denigrate the project though, it is a major achievement.

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gaddigad Senior Member • Posts: 1,906
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

Are you saying all K-Rs suffer from focusing issues in tungsten/artificial light? If that is true then it's a massively critical issue for the company. I find it hard to believe that kind of fault is not being dealt with (?)

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Ask not what your camera can do for you, but what you can do for your camera
http://www.fluidr.com/photos/gs-photos

OP james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

I'm not saying that but it is a definite problem - how many people take pix in Tungsten light anyway and how many critically examine the resultant images for focus accuracy is also an open question but your incredulity at Pentax's attitude is well founded and regrettably destined to deal a blow to your faith in Pentax - one other user somewhere else posted a reply from Pentax in which it was indicated that the problem cannot be fixed.

The K5 has the same well documented problem and according to Falk Lumo, whose tests appear to be sound, the latest FW 'fix' for the K5 has failed to correct the problem.

One can draw one's own conclusions about quality control during the design and application stage of these two cameras.

gaddigad wrote:

Are you saying all K-Rs suffer from focusing issues in tungsten/artificial light? If that is true then it's a massively critical issue for the company. I find it hard to believe that kind of fault is not being dealt with (?)

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jamesza

Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

wll wrote:

Raphael Mabo wrote:

My K-x does not have the "blur issue". A few was affected yes, but there are many K-x out there without issues that are working just fine like mine does.

Canon and Nikon, especially Canon, are famous for firmware upgrades. They have done it for years to solve problems in their cameras. This has proven to be a successfull strategy for them, since they can bring out cameras faster.

Pentax firmware upgrades has more been about enhancing features and operability, more seldom bug fixes.

Raphael:

Do you see any firmware upgrades in the future for the Kx, Kr, or K-5 ?

wll

Prob not the K-x I updated the FW and I can't see any difference bar the SDXC support which does not apply to me as my biggest cards are 8Gb.

There might be some differences tucked away but I have not seen any

On the K-r I keep hearing about FF/BF issues which is going to put some buyers off. I'd get one later on in the year to add to the K-x but I won't unless they address the problem.

Not had any notable AF problems on the K-x so I don't fancy any on any other model!

coleviolin Veteran Member • Posts: 5,993
Re: K-R FW 1.02 - what is the hidden benefit

You said it well. It is open for interpretation. Yet regardles of whether all K-r's and K-5's have the issue, some people feel burned by this. It remains generally felt that Pentax "has quality issues" which is a bigger problem than it is for Canon, Nikon or Sony. That doesn't mean they don't have quality issues, just that they are perhaps more immune to them. This remains an obstacle, is all I'm saying.
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Lipo

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