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10-06-2012, 08:54 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
I was just thinking this earlier. Pentax could differentiate themselves by making the platform open.

First think I'd do is integrate the stop down metering, i.e., a menu setting that allows the stop-down metering to automatically fire when an M- or K- mount lens is installed.

Or maybe enable full-time focus peaking during video.
At first thought it might sound good but opening up firmware also opens the door to problems. A virus was mentioned but even ruling that out, the ability to alter the firmware would most likely cause bugs and crashes that might not be able to be undone. They can't make even the original firmware bug free and almost every camera made gets firmware updates to correct problems. I can't imagine a company willing to continue to warranty a product that could be altered easily. Perhaps in the future, someone will build a camera that can accept different firmware. They build the hardware and you have a choice of compatible firmware to run it but I doubt that will happen. Camera companies are in the business of selling cameras and the upgradable camera won't make them much money in the long term. If we ever see such an animal, it will come from an upstart electronics company. I'll also add that the open source world isn't too interested in photography or video right now. Just look at the very limited choices for photo and video editing with Linux. I love Ubuntu and have a computer running it but I keep a Windows box because Gimp and the few other choices just don't cut it yet.

10-06-2012, 09:12 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
When Fuji developed the Fuji X E1 it easily outperformed the Xpro 1. Except fuji used the new alterations to fix the Xpro 1s problems simply by downloading the new firmware developed for the X E1. Now I see very much the same thing in the Pentax camp with the K5 and K5 2 !
With luck, Pentax will take a leaf from the Fuji camp and maybe see a good update in the firmware for the K5. Fingers crossed
Fuji has a modern mount that allows them to flash the chips in the lens while the lens in on the body with firmware. Pentax does not have this ability.

Sigma is adopting a USB dock to allow for the same thing in new lenses.

Without this ability Pentax is limited in what they can do relative to Fuji.
10-06-2012, 09:36 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Fuji has a modern mount that allows them to flash the chips in the lens while the lens in on the body with firmware. Pentax does not have this ability.

Sigma is adopting a USB dock to allow for the same thing in new lenses.

Without this ability Pentax is limited in what they can do relative to Fuji.
I think you will find that has more to do with programing the lenses for the X pro 1 parralell shifting frames etc for the OVF. It has nothing to do with the body programming.
Its just that in there case the lenses also need to be programed for the extra information. I have no doubts that Pentax can make massive improvements to the K5 with a simple new firmware they have gleamed from producing the K5 2. Not everything would be possable of course but improvements to the focus and a fix for the flash exposure should be easily obtainable. If it does not happen it is simply because Pentax could not give a hoot. They have had our money already and now they are to attempt to get us spend another huge amount for the same camera with most of the faults fixed and a few extra improvements.
10-06-2012, 10:04 AM   #19
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Wasn't it Sony who updated their older Nex cameras with some compatible features from the 5N or something. I have been "looking" at some of t he mirrorless models out currently. The companies that appeal to me are going to be the ones doing firmware updates, because i'm now aware of how nice that is for the camera owner. For the companies who don't have a record of doing updates on their older cameras - i'm going to care about them a lot less.

10-06-2012, 06:18 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
word of mouth is some of the best advertising one can get.
Word of mouth is the only advertising that Pentax gets.
10-06-2012, 07:12 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by GabrielFFontes Quote
I don't think Pentax is going to do that.
They should open the firmware for developers...it would be amazing
I couldn't agree more with your comment. being a fan of open-source CMS projects such as wordpress and drupal, seeing how the very strong communities can help keep the core and plugin project's quality up height, and a lot of name and money being made by both companies behind the core project and third party plugin's developer.

Pentax could just develop only the firmware but open its for easier third party plugin/module developing. that way Pentax can have its warranty cover only the core firmware. focus more time and its limited resource on the core code, get bug report, bug fix submission and the fix test via its community. third party developers can develop free or paid plugin (with warranty on the paid version..etc). and again user community will do the quality control. user can just select installing plugins that work for them, and won't be forced to install a big chunky firmware update with a lot of tool and options that will possibly never be used by some people. (but take time to develop for in-house Pentax developers.)
the plugin will be added up as a plus for any possible new user when look in to Pentax system. It is a win win situation for everyone.
it's actuary not a new idea at all,
but the idea of (anything) open-source can be unthinkable for many Japanese companies.

Last edited by pakinjapan; 10-06-2012 at 08:32 PM.
10-07-2012, 09:11 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by conradj Quote
One of the things i really like abt the CHDK firmware for Canon P&S cams is that it lets you specify how the auto ISO should work. i wish Pentax would do something like that, more than just setting a max value for ISO. i shoot enough in indoor low light situations that it'd be a boon. Taverns, cafes, pubs, restos, night time indoor and outdoor fairs, big variations in light in all those places and i end up having to shoot full manual to handle the range of lighting conditions, it slows me down enough i miss a lot of shots or get the shutter speed or ISO wrong.
If you have either the K-5 or the K-7, you can specify the auto iso parameters as "slow", green line, or "fast". If you are in a low light environment with a risk of subject movement, simply set your desired auto high ISO, set it to the "fast" setting, and the priority will hold the highest possible shutter speed, with a limit of about 1/500th before it drops down to the next ISO.
I wish (as did DpReview) that it was documented better, as frankly AFAIK no other brand out there offers this functionality natively. Don't get me wrong, I love CHDK, but it is not like Canon have made it official...getting any configurable auto ISO range from Canon (or Sony) products would be very useful indeed.
10-14-2012, 02:25 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by GabrielFFontes Quote
They should open the firmware for developers...it would be amazing
QuoteOriginally posted by pakinjapan Quote
[...] open-source [...]It is a win win situation for everyone.
I'm afraid things are not so simple.

First and foremost, the big question: what is the porpose? Exactly what problem are we trying to solve?
Adding features? I think we can only hope for either small tweaks, or for auxiliary applications. I doubt e.g. a high quality H264 engine would be added to the K-5, or that the focus will be made to work on cameras with a broken color sensor, or other things Pentax couldn't do. The best would be something like Magic Lantern, which actually works even if Canon's firmware is not open source.
Reduced development costs (for Pentax)? Nope: Pentax will still have to offer a fully functional, fully-featured camera so they will make at least as much effort as before. And I'm saying at least, because making a proprietary software open source is an effort.
Less bugs? Nope. Don't tell me open source developers, of various skills, have QA departments testing their work.

How can be done, that's also very important question. Making the current firmware (with all its secrets) open source is out of the question, I hope we all agree on that (it would also limit the number of programmers willing to work on it).

Opening the firmware to user applications, that's another thing and perfectly do-able. In theory.
In practice, it should be impossible with the current firmware, running under Softune OS, on specialized Fujitsu processors - I doubt Softune supports user-mode applications. But all is well if they'll go with another OS, right?
Wrong. Developing a brand "new" OS is out of the question, so they will have to use an existing one. And... a name immediately comes to my mind: Android. Available, widely supported, tons of applications, open for developers, it's already used in some "cameras". Great; do we have a solution?
Well, not really. Can Android be ported to Fujitsu Milbeaut? (I'd really like to see who would take up such a task!) Replacing the PRIME with a generic, Android-enabled ARM platform means all the heavy image processing operations will have to be made by software, much slower (user applications are Java, by the way - which means slower++). The well-working Pentax interface will be destroyed, so one can play Angry Birds. The battery will last no longer than a smartphone's (think 2-4h under use); and if you replace it, you'll have to wait for the camera to boot up. All of these "achievements" will take a great development effort from Pentax.
But, indeed, you will be able to download apps from Google Play.

I'd say the price is too high, both for us and Pentax, just for the hope that someone, somewhere, will make an useful application for our camera. Though, a Magic Lantern for Pentax would be nice.

10-14-2012, 03:02 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Wasn't it Sony who updated their older Nex cameras with some compatible features from the 5N or something.
Yes. Sony updated the NEX-5 firmware and added focus peaking, extra button customization, and a few other tweaks that were originally seen in the 5N. Not a huge deal, but some of that stuff made my NEX-5 a touch more usable.
10-14-2012, 01:52 PM   #25
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Just to clarify... What firmware is the K5 on?

It's just that the Pentax UK site only has firmware downloadable for K5 limited silver v1.03... Downloads - PENTAX Photo

Mine (bought used) is on V1.13
10-14-2012, 02:32 PM   #26
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I can see a minor update for front focus on a particular lens or some menu tweaks or glitches fixed, but nothing drastic like adding focus peaking at all for the K5.
10-14-2012, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Just to clarify... What firmware is the K5 on?
I always go back to the Mother Ship to check for firmware updates:

Software Downloads : Support & Service | PENTAX RICOH IMAGING

And yes, v 1.13 is the latest for the K-5.
10-16-2012, 03:59 AM   #28
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Well, I gave up on my K-5 (the wife switched earlier to OM-D E-M5), so it is now owned by somebody else ;-)!

But I would have loved an open source treatment of the firmware, similar to that of the GH2's, which happened against Panasonic's will, but has turned that camera into a technological marvel!

After much teeth gnashing, I switched recently to Nikon D600, which as yet have been a huge update in performance over the K-5, not least when it comes to low light focusing. Price-wise (I bought my first K-5 when they came out, very costly), and weight-wise, they are close to twins, the D600 naturally being slightly bigger!

I'm keeping my K-x, the DA40 and the DA55-300 (actually my wife's!), as a very durable and efficient setup! I also got a full-format, film, Pentax, the SFX, which makes a noise that can scare even the dead away!
10-20-2012, 04:09 AM   #29
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Fix automatic focus option in videomode
10-20-2012, 05:44 AM   #30
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The ability to focus in artificial lighting would make the world of differance for me
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