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08-03-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
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Manual Audio settings!

I recently filmed a concert with my K-5, using an external microphone. Beautiful videos. But the sound was less than ideal because I could not adjust the audío level manually. The next time, I thought, I will plug my external mike into an audio recorder (which I still need to buy) and splice the sound track into the videos afterwards,

But now I have just read this:http://www./2012/06/28/canon-7d-firmware-upgrade-due-in-august-bigger-raw-buffer-gps-adapter-compatibility-and-manual-audio-levels/?awt_l=M28gm&awt_m=JsCM9Ju57v62xu

"Another big feature for the 7D will be the addition of manual audio level adjustment, which is something 7D HDSLR shooters have been wanting ever since the camera was released."


If Canon can make such an update with manual audio controls, why not Pentax?

I have just written a letter I will put in the mail to Pentax in Japan with this text. Don't you agree that this would be a great additional feature for anyone doing video where audio really matters? After all, the K-5 offers an external micorphone input. IMO, with this should come the ability for manual audio settings. Otherwise music always sounds equally loud - and can get distorted in the really loud sections, in spite of the automatic balance level. Do you folks out there agree?

Detlef Hardorp

(a faithful Pentax user since the early 1980s - started with a an LX, which I still have.)


08-04-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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We can only hope that their next high-end model will have features like this. I doubt they'd bother updating the aging k-5 at this point, unfortunately.
08-04-2012, 06:01 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
We can only hope that their next high-end model will have features like this. I doubt they'd bother updating the aging k-5 at this point, unfortunately.
And that is a bummer, since it shouldn't be that big a deal to upgrade the firmware to include it. Lack of a manual level control is a BIG oversight in a camera with external mic input, in my opinion.

hardorp: You know, there might be a cheap solution for you if you're slightly handy with a soldering iron. you could go to Radio Shack (or some other electronics parts place) and pick up the following:

1) small project case
2) female jack that matches the one on your mic
3) small length of cable
4) plug to fit the mic jack on your K-5
5) a potentiometer. I'd try a low value one first. You might have to experiment with a couple to find the one that works best. If it's a stereo mic jack (I suspect it is) you'd need a dual-ganged stereo pot.

Build a little box with the pot wired to the positive side between the mic & camera. Then you should be able to turn the mic level down to prevent overload. You could maybe make a little attachment to fasten to the tripod socket or clip to the tripod or something. Not the most elegant solution, but it might work.

A more expensive solution would be something like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/674344-REG/Beachtek_DXA_SLR_DXA_SLR_Ac...o_Adapter.html

or this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?is=REG&Q=&A=details&O=productlist&sku=674341

Good luck,
Bobbo :-)

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 08-04-2012 at 06:19 AM.
08-04-2012, 06:31 AM   #4
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Hello, thanks for the reply.

I don't think resistors would help much, due to the AGC (automatic gain control) Pentax has in the K-5 - and which you cannot turn off. AGC is a nice feature to have, - but not always. Not when recording concerts, particularly of classical music, where loud and soft passages occur. AGC makes them sound all alike, except that background noise is more audible in the soft passages.

Mike Rode mike has a -10 dB setting, BTW. That is like a resistor for really loud stuff.

It would need a tweak in the software that allows a manual VU setting, a setting now made by the AGC. The hardware is fine; the software running it would need to be reconfigured a bit. Shouldn't be a big deal.

And Pentax did add in a star tracking capacity, based on GPS and sensor shake control movement - just by an update. Now that was certainly an added feature, a lot more sophisticated than bypassing AGC!

And it would fit a camera that doesn't just have a green automatic setting when taking pictures. At the moment, with audio it's all automatic. It would just take a manual audio mode. Canon just did this. So why fall behind?

hardorp

08-04-2012, 06:43 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hardorp Quote
I don't think resistors would help much, due to the AGC (automatic gain control) Pentax has in the K-5 - and which you cannot turn off. AGC is a nice feature to have, - but not always. Not when recording concerts, particularly of classical music, where loud and soft passages occur. AGC makes them sound all alike, except that background noise is more audible in the soft passages.
You're correct in that the AGC would flatten out the dynamics. I thought what you were looking for is a just way to prevent clipping. Guess I should have read your post a little more thoroughly.

Another option that wouldn't cost a fortune is picking up a handheld Zoom or Tascam audio recorder for around $100 & syncing the audio & video up on the computer in post. It's a pain, but it's another option.

I agree that having a non-bypassable AGC with no manual level controls on a DSLR with an external mic input is just plain stupid. They should have put that feature in to begin with, and it wouldn't have added much, if anything to the cost of producing the camera.
08-05-2012, 03:35 AM   #6
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>We can only hope that their next high-end model will have features like this. I doubt they'd bother updating the aging k-5 at this point, unfortunately.

They certainly should include this feature in their next high-end model. But I live in the present and don't experience the K-5 in the least as aging. It remains a top of the line camera. And a manual audio setting feature is not a reason many people would buy a new camera. Thus sales would not plummet if the feature were available in the new AND in the old camera! That would be the way to go.
10-05-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Quote hadorp. to me is the same. They could make the improve with a minimal effort obtaining a great improve on the audio quality.
This will give a sense to the external mic input.

Canon, with the recently updated 7D, have give a demonstration of what a serious producer should do.
02-03-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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Pentax should def. provide an update with manual audio controls.
Can't say the K-5 is old considering they just released a 2 new ones with only slight differences.
I'm sure I'm the same as a lot of other people who have purchased a K-5, that now I've got the top of the line camera I intend to stick with that and get the full benefits of learning all of its features and using it until it's totally worn out.
I for one, intend to use the video facility quite a lot. Trying to sync video to a separate sound source is a difficult thing to do, so I don't want to have to do that.
Shame on you Pentax to give us beautiful HD video with no sound control. What the .. were you thinking ?

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