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03-03-2012, 01:55 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
RE: battery power & more than 1000 shots ... Pentax does offer an AC adapter. Cheaper to buy a Chinese AA battery adapter and a regulated 6vdc supply and make your own, but none the less, the option is available.

I am however confident that Pentax's marketing group doesn't want the K-r software to be too close in features to the K-5's software. It would hurt K-5 sales.

Here is a photo industry marketing example... A couple decades back Kodak introduced a new consumer color negative film. It came with ASA/ISO ratings of 100, 200, and 400. Each faster film was a bump up in sales price. No surprise there. However a truth came out, there were not 3 new film chemistry, but only 2. The film was that much better that 200 was the slowest speed. So here is the plan hatched by the marketing folks.... Because an expectation existed that 100 speed film was finer grained, Kodak added a neutral density layer to the 200 film. They sold the 100 film at a profit, but because the market would pay a higher price for 200, even though it cost Kodak less to make than the 100 film, they charged more and made a really nice profit. And the 400 film was in fact a jazzed up chemistry, so they made a normal profit there. Many people bought the 200 film because they got the extra speed but the pictures were as sharp as the 100 film - duh!

It would likely cost Pentax nothing to very little to add many of the K-5's features to the K-r wherever the hardware is compatible. But folks, it isn't likely to happen and it makes no sense to whine about it.
The problem is that even the K-5's is firmware crippled.. and it's there "Flagship" model unless your throwing down $10,000 on a 645D.. so if the K-5 is their top of the line and it has many easy to fix firmware issues, and other features easily added via firmware, and they are simply not there.. that IMHO is just poor support. Does Pentax themselves even SELL an intervalometer for time laps shooting? Not that I know of.. so it's not like it would be limiting sales of one of their accessories either, they also do not show any signs of tethering support.. they want someone else to do the work for them... The K-r and even the K-x are fantastic APS-C camera's (ESPECIALLY in their given price ranges!). Imagine if Pentax had quality firmware for their product with full feature sets.. people hold on to old Rebel XS DSLR's BECAUSE of Magic Lantern firmware.. would it stop someone who wanted better IQ from upgrading from a K20/K-x etc.. to a K-5 not if that person tried the K-5 it wouldn't.. What it WOULD do is make that person think twice about selling their old one.. because it is still full featured enough to be able to keep as a solid second body.

03-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #17
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Well at least Pentax doesn't intentionally cripple some bodies so they cannot use all lenses like *ahm* some other companies do. The thing is, we really don't know how the camera works so maybe they could have added all sorts of wonderful things, but maybe the hardware is already pushed to the limit and cannot allow such things. It would really be a hoot if Pentax made a firmware update that pushed the K-r up to the K-5, but this probably isn't in their interest as long as they have K-5s to sell.
03-03-2012, 03:29 PM   #18
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As I stated.. feature-wise they may have lost a few sales.. but people (myself included) bought the K-5 for it's IQ being best in class (APS-C) and it's weather sealing.. those being different hardware (sensor and body) than the K-r is something that no matter the firmware and feature set available, cannot be replicated on the K-r. I think having a full feature set entry level camera is something Ricoh should consider doing to the Pentax brand, if they indeed want to gain market share.
03-03-2012, 04:17 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
I think having a full feature set entry level camera is something Ricoh should consider doing to the Pentax brand
I think you either aren't really clear on what the K-r features are, or are being too hard on it. For its price point it's extremely full featured, and there aren't that many differences between it and the K-5, when it comes to firmware controlled features. There are some, but that is expected.

QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
Simple things like adding interval shooting to the K-r (and upping the amount by 1 digit to it's in the thousands and not hundreds like on the K-5).
The K-r does have interval shooting, just as the K-5 has.

QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
it has bracketed shooting (does the K-r?)
Yes, the K-r does bracketing, although it has less options than the K-5. It can do 3 exposure bracketing.

QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
Sure there are probably some small fixes that are unannounced... but why wouldn't they announce it?
They fix issues silently when they want to fix something that they won't publicly acknowledge is a problem. This limits their liability to service cameras under warranty for the issue in question (or to avoid potential calls for a recall). It's not the most ethical thing, but I'd rather silent fixes than none.


Last edited by Philoslothical; 03-03-2012 at 04:41 PM.
03-03-2012, 11:44 PM   #20
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I was actually considering picking up a K-r for the Mrs. (and as a 2nd body) this past fall.. it is a very solid offering at it's price point. I'm just saying that they SHOULD have all the features enables as possible.. people should be paying for the differences in hardware.. not what someone has left out purposefully in the software side of things. Things that are hardware limited are Sensor IQ and ISO noise, FPS burst rate and buffer size/speed, video resolution and FPS, Flash Synch Speed, max shutter speed, AF capabilities, weather sealing, number of SD card slots.. differences between models and their prices should be based on those, not on firmware limitations.

I wonder if someone cracked open the K-5's firmware and tried to port some to the new K-01 to add some of the features that were blatantly stripped out of it.. I don't think there are many Pentax users (around this forum at least) who know much about messing with firmware. Makes me want to learn.. Yet the D800 I'll probably end up upgrading to this spring pretty much IS full featured.
03-09-2012, 08:39 AM   #21
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I really dont see the issue. I did quite a bit of research before purchasing and on paper, this camera has more features for the money than anything out there (which you seem to acknowledge). Why would they produce a firmware that than has it competing with their own products. It makes absolutely zero business sense to do so. This is an entry level dSLR; seems some of us are forgetting this fact because we've become spoiled with what the K-r actually has to offer. Now go take some pictures!
03-09-2012, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
The problem is that even the K-5's is firmware crippled.. and it's there "Flagship" model unless your throwing down $10,000 on a 645D.. so if the K-5 is their top of the line and it has many easy to fix firmware issues, and other features easily added via firmware, and they are simply not there.. that IMHO is just poor support. Does Pentax themselves even SELL an intervalometer for time laps shooting? Not that I know of.. so it's not like it would be limiting sales of one of their accessories either, they also do not show any signs of tethering support.. they want someone else to do the work for them... The K-r and even the K-x are fantastic APS-C camera's (ESPECIALLY in their given price ranges!). Imagine if Pentax had quality firmware for their product with full feature sets.. people hold on to old Rebel XS DSLR's BECAUSE of Magic Lantern firmware.. would it stop someone who wanted better IQ from upgrading from a K20/K-x etc.. to a K-5 not if that person tried the K-5 it wouldn't.. What it WOULD do is make that person think twice about selling their old one.. because it is still full featured enough to be able to keep as a solid second body.
If they are so easy to fix, why don't you go ahead and fix them?
03-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #23
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If I knew how to program firmware I wouldn't be in these forums, I would be the one avoiding them because of people's wants like mine...
But I would put up a youtube video followed with a link to purchase my firmware.. hmm come to think of it, maybe I should start tracking down a few people I know who deal with firmware for other devices.

My statement of being EASY to fix/add via firmware simply means by those whom programmed the firmware in the first place.. Tell me one good reason WHY the Pentax Interval shooting ends and 999 shots instead of 9999? With SDXC 64GB cards you can FAR surpass 999 pics even in RAW format, throw on a battery grip and your well over 999 pics... throw on an AC adapter and power is no a factor at all... throw an Eye-Fi card in it and file size is an absolute non-issue.. so why is there only 999? Where's Pentax's after market intervalometer then to make up for the short comings? Is this something that should be an easy fix.. yes.. can I think of any reason it can't be set to 9999 instead.. none.

03-11-2012, 04:49 AM   #24
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If the 999 vs. 9999 thing is the biggest source of grief about that camera, then good! And its probably simply because the integer they used to define the variable "# of shots" only has three digits and not four Maybe its a memory thing.
What bothers me with the k-r is that you cannot set up both timer and bracketing. I would also like some features from the K-5, but I think most of this is restricted by hardware. Any software/firmware change requires a lot of testing to make sure it doesn't malfunction, introduce bugs, come into conflict with other functions, and so on. Its not as simple as copy-pasting a block of code.
03-11-2012, 05:24 AM - 2 Likes   #25
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If the 999 limitation is that important to you, I'm sure you can create a workaround without editing firmware.
  • Step 1. Create an IR remote based on this tutorial.
  • Step 2. Modify the sound file that sends the pulses. Set it so that it sends out a single pulse.
  • Step 3. Set mp3 player to repeat the file. You now have an "autofire" intervalometer.
  • Step 4. Check the EXIF times of a short series of images taken with it. This will give you the approximate lead time caused by both the "dead air" in the mp3 file, and the time it takes the mp3 player itself to repeat the file.
  • Step 5. Edit the mp3 file to trim (or add to) the lead time, so that when set on repeat you get the interval you want.
  • Step 5.5. If you require an interval shorter than the mp3 player is capable of on repeat, then the alternative is to create a BIG mp3 file with the shorter interval you want. You should be able to get many hours worth of short interval shooting out of any modest sized mp3 player available today. If necessary, set that large mp3 file on repeat, and although not perfect, you would only lose a frame or two out of every few thousand.

As long as both camera and remote have power, it should keep shooting til you run out of card space.

Of course none of this may be necessary, I think there are programmable IR devices out there that will trigger Pentax cameras. I've seen it mentioned before, but never needed one.

Still, with a little ingenuity and a little less complaining, one can generally find a way to do something beyond what the firmware writers intended. The question is, do you really want to do it, even if it takes a bit of effort, or do you just want to rant about being limited by firmware? I suspect that it probably wasn't worth my time writing all this out.
03-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #26
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+1

QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I suspect that it probably wasn't worth my time writing all this out.
Maybe you should bill the OP for not only the time it took you to write it, but also the time it took you to think it up. (Can't insert an emoticon, so I'll just type, "haha.")

As I wrote before, there are probably very few manufacturers of anything that will provide a way (let alone encourage someone) to use their product such that one procedure will expend 1/10 of the product's stated lifespan. After all, the warranty is for a time frame of ownership, not a shutter count. Think about it.

Last edited by lammie200; 03-11-2012 at 03:21 PM.
03-11-2012, 01:03 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
If I knew how to program firmware I wouldn't be in these forums, I would be the one avoiding them because of people's wants like mine...
But I would put up a youtube video followed with a link to purchase my firmware.. hmm come to think of it, maybe I should start tracking down a few people I know who deal with firmware for other devices.

My statement of being EASY to fix/add via firmware simply means by those whom programmed the firmware in the first place.. Tell me one good reason WHY the Pentax Interval shooting ends and 999 shots instead of 9999? With SDXC 64GB cards you can FAR surpass 999 pics even in RAW format, throw on a battery grip and your well over 999 pics... throw on an AC adapter and power is no a factor at all... throw an Eye-Fi card in it and file size is an absolute non-issue.. so why is there only 999? Where's Pentax's after market intervalometer then to make up for the short comings? Is this something that should be an easy fix.. yes.. can I think of any reason it can't be set to 9999 instead.. none.
I have no experience with writing firmware but I have worked with several programmers at Compuware and EDS. Sometimes changing one innocuous item can cause problems elsewhere, either in the software itself, or the equipment running it. There are a lot of Pentax users out there, and surely among them are some people with the skills to delve into the firmware. Perhaps because they haven't tells something?
03-11-2012, 09:54 PM   #28
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Why then, is there so much available for Canon and Nikon counterparts.. maybe they simply have smarter followers and that editing their firmware helps more people than the meager marketshare pentax has?
Regardless I'm not overly worried about it since it's looking like a near future shift to FF Nikon is in the plans. But it is dissapointing as I did enjoy the K-5.. if the wife wasn't leaving me with the camera I'd be more upset.. I know at least I'll miss the K-5/FA 43Ltd combo for sure.
03-13-2012, 06:18 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
Why then, is there so much available for Canon and Nikon counterparts.. maybe they simply have smarter followers and that editing their firmware helps more people than the meager marketshare pentax has?
Regardless I'm not overly worried about it since it's looking like a near future shift to FF Nikon is in the plans. But it is dissapointing as I did enjoy the K-5.. if the wife wasn't leaving me with the camera I'd be more upset.. I know at least I'll miss the K-5/FA 43Ltd combo for sure.
Could it be that since there are thousands (maybe even millions?) more users that some of them do possess the skills to make changes to the firmware? Or perhaps the increased profits allow these firms to spend more on firmware development.
03-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #30
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Get someone at Pentax to leak some source code, or convince Pentax to be firmware modder friendly and release an SDK (like Canon does), and you would see a lot happen very fast. Pentax has been notoriously tight lipped about their firmware; they actively discourage modding and alternative firmwares. It is very, very hard to reverse engineer this stuff from the binary release, which is why we don't have any functional alternatives.
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