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11-02-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
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Anyone update their Q firmware yet?

Has anyone updated to the newly released V 1.01 firmwares for the Q body and 01 and 02 lenses?

Q body firmware
Improved the resolution when set ting Fine Sharpness.
Improved stability for general performance.

Q lens firmware
Improved stability for general performance.

11-02-2011, 10:46 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Has anyone updated to the newly released V 1.01 firmwares for the Q body and 01 and 02 lenses?

Q body firmware
Improved the resolution when set ting Fine Sharpness.
Improved stability for general performance.

Q lens firmware
Improved stability for general performance.
I will as soon as I get home tonight. Although the firmware updates don't give a lot of explanation on what exactly they are fixing other then stability issues and improving the Fine Sharpness. I'll probably check the Video Sync, flash issue as well.

Has anyone else noticed that the Q in Auto mode doesn't macro focus very well? It's hard to get it to macro focus without manual focusing or setting it in the Scene mode. It works generally but everynow and then it fails to re-adjust.
11-02-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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I am going to update the camera and 01 lens as soon as the battery is charged. I've also noticed the issue with the 01 lens with macro focusing, mine never locks on, I have to let it autofocus where it wants then adjust it with quickshift.
I'm hoping that is fixed most of all.

The built-in flash doesn't always fire when I'm using a non-lens-shutter lens (flash set to forced on, flash popped up, menu setting to fire in both positions), maybe the "general stability" improvements to the camera will address that.

Last edited by Mock; 11-02-2011 at 11:07 AM.
11-02-2011, 11:41 AM   #4
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Hi devorama,

Thanks for the heads up. It hadn't even occurred to me to look for FW updates. . .

I just installed them all without a hitch. The body FW took @ 20 sec and each of the lens FW took @ 5 sec, if even that.

Interesting that this is now done through a menu choice -- I hadn't really noticed that

I'm not one to compare before and after systematically so take this for what it's worth. . . and realize that firmware updates always seem to spawn urban legends about improved performance, . .but there seem to be some noticeable differences:

The AF seems to be a lot faster -- very quick for both lenses in good light. At this point, I'd be willing to say that the Q is now probably the fastest AF camera in Pentax's digital line (including the K-5) in good light. At Ev 4-5 indoors, the prime is still very quick. The zoom is improved at this light level, but not nearly as noticeably, probably due to the max aperture differences between the two lenses. You know how the AF system used to always run the focus from lock to lock and then return to the point of focus? This was noticeable even when you were taking a second shot of the same subject without moving the camera. I can't see this now -- the AF system seems to just jump to in focus. This is outstanding AF performance IMO.

AF seems to be more accurate -- this is just an impression from what I've seen on the LCD, so not very reliable. MF mode seems to be noisier on the LCD -- actually maybe a good thing -- even with the noise, it seems easier to see when you get the image in focus using manual focus.

Continuous High shutter mode now takes 6 shots in a quick burst instead of 5, and it seems that after camera hits the buffer wall, it takes subsequent shots as soon as there's some space cleared in the buffer, so the shots come at random timings. I'm hoping that they've supplied more buffer space, and it's just a matter of freeing it up as it was in the K-5. This isn't that important to me, as I rarely use burst mode, and shoot the Q in single shot mode as I get too many doubles and triples in Continuous High.

External flash is still a bit flakey, and you still need to turn the flash off in the menu to fire a non-P-TTL flash. Something that I noticed, unrelated to firmware, is that the Metz 20 C-2 holds enough juice in the capacitor to fire at least 2-3 flashes in Continuous High shutter mode.

These are the only things I've noticed so far, just playing around. . . but for me they're substantial. I think that professional reviewers that have already posted might want to take another look at the Q after the update. . .

Scott

11-02-2011, 11:45 AM   #5
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Sounds like good news.
As soon as I get mine updated I can compare AF speed to the un-updated Q we have in the store to see how dramatic the improvement is. Side-by-side comparison.
11-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #6
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Just updated mine too, only snapped a few random shots at garbage with the prime. AF is on steroids now.
11-02-2011, 01:14 PM   #7
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Okay, I've compared the two firmwares with regard to AF speed using admittedly unreliable methods. I just put the cameras side-by-side and did my best to have them AF at the same time (with 01 lens) on the same subject. I switched hands for the cameras so there wasn't any "dominant hand" bias at play.
Overall, I found that AF with the new firmware is more confident, and does lock on faster about 75% of the time, but it is a difference of tenths of a second. Not significant in my opinion. The store is fairly well lit, mix of fluorescent and diffuse indirect sunlight (overcast today), I don't know the EV value, but it's what I consider well-lit. I never considered the AF speed slow to begin with, but it is improved.

Unfortunately, close-focus AF is not fixed.

Will test my built-in flash problem later.

Last edited by Mock; 11-02-2011 at 01:21 PM.
11-02-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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Two things I noticed so far:

1 AF is definitely faster. Close up Macro focusing still needs a fix

2. Startup times much faster as well now. At 2.5 seconds or less. Really appreciate this as I've missed a shot turning the camera on and taking to long to boot up.

3. AF Accuracy is better. Combined with the AF speed and accuracy of picking the correct focus, I can now use spot focus ( my favorite focus method ) on the camera. Before I had to expand the AF window or shoot in manaual because the small spot focus AF window wouldn't lock on as well with that tight of a range. Now spot focusing is quick and it can actual find the correct focus. Very happy with that.

4. The AF/MF tweak that I mentioned in my video review of the camera has been changed! Before, if you had AF mode on and focused on something and wanted to use the MF ring to adjust, you could let your finger release the shutter button and then come back on it holding halfway and then fire the photo. This basically let you autofocus, fine-tune, take finger off shutter ( by accident ), and then come back on the shutter to take the photo. Instead, now it works more like you would think in that you autofocus, fine tune using the ring, and must keep your finger on the shutter halfway the whole time before you fire a shot. Also, if you used the MF assit, before the x4 zoom would stay showing on the screen when you took your finger off. Now, if it detects you're finger is no longer moving the ring, it will zoom back out to normal view after a second or two. Otherwise, you'd have to press ok before to get it to zoom out or release and hit the shutter button holding down.

5. I found the Fine sharpening to make pictures less sharp? Though I never use this feature before and I understand it's for fine subjects like cloth, or other materials. Will have to test more.

6. Video sync issue still not fixed but seems to have a little bit less of a delay. Guess we'll wait for another update.

11-02-2011, 04:47 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Hi Mock,

It's easy to get fooled by indoor light levels because our eyes adjust so easily to vastly different levels. This is why I specified "in good light"

I copied a couple of sections from the Exposure Value article in the Wikipedia. Note that differences in Ev values are equal to differences in f-stops

"Exposure values (ISO 100 speed) for various lighting conditions[3]Lighting Condition EV100

Daylight

Light sand or snow in full or slightly hazy sunlight (distinct shadows)a 16
Typical scene in full or slightly hazy sunlight (distinct shadows)a, b 15
Typical scene in hazy sunlight (soft shadows) 14
Typical scene, cloudy bright (no shadows) 13
Typical scene, heavy overcast 12
Areas in open shade, clear sunlight 12

Outdoor, Natural light
Rainbows

Clear sky background 15
Cloudy sky background 14
Sunsets and skylines
Just before sunset 1214
At sunset 12
Just after sunset 911

Indoor, Artificial Light

Galleries 811
Sports events, stage shows, and the like 89
Circuses, floodlit 8
Ice shows, floodlit 9
Offices and work areas 78
Home interiors 57
Christmas tree lights 45"


Notice that the heavy overcast outdoors is still at least a stop brighter than the brightest indoor lighting. I would guess typical store lighting in a big box store to be on the order of sports events at EV 8-9, so outdoors will be anywhere between 3 and 7 stops brighter -- a really big difference. I used to be a part owner of a minor league hockey team, and though it seemed very bright on the ice, I had to use fast lenses and high ISOs to shoot anything worthwhile. I've know this for years, and it's still hard for me to get a handle on relative light levels just judging by eye.

I'm pretty confident that if you try it outdoors during the day, you'll be a bit surprised at how fast the Q's AF has become.

Scott
11-02-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi Mock,

It's easy to get fooled by indoor light levels because our eyes adjust so easily to vastly different levels. This is why I specified "in good light"

I copied a couple of sections from the Exposure Value article in the Wikipedia. Note that differences in Ev values are equal to differences in f-stops

"Exposure values (ISO 100 speed) for various lighting conditions[3]Lighting Condition EV100

Daylight

Light sand or snow in full or slightly hazy sunlight (distinct shadows)a 16
Typical scene in full or slightly hazy sunlight (distinct shadows)a, b 15
Typical scene in hazy sunlight (soft shadows) 14
Typical scene, cloudy bright (no shadows) 13
Typical scene, heavy overcast 12
Areas in open shade, clear sunlight 12

Outdoor, Natural light
Rainbows

Clear sky background 15
Cloudy sky background 14
Sunsets and skylines
Just before sunset 1214
At sunset 12
Just after sunset 911

Indoor, Artificial Light

Galleries 811
Sports events, stage shows, and the like 89
Circuses, floodlit 8
Ice shows, floodlit 9
Offices and work areas 78
Home interiors 57
Christmas tree lights 45"


Notice that the heavy overcast outdoors is still at least a stop brighter than the brightest indoor lighting. I would guess typical store lighting in a big box store to be on the order of sports events at EV 8-9, so outdoors will be anywhere between 3 and 7 stops brighter -- a really big difference. I used to be a part owner of a minor league hockey team, and though it seemed very bright on the ice, I had to use fast lenses and high ISOs to shoot anything worthwhile. I've know this for years, and it's still hard for me to get a handle on relative light levels just judging by eye.

I'm pretty confident that if you try it outdoors during the day, you'll be a bit surprised at how fast the Q's AF has become.

Scott
I agree with Scott. I just tested the AF outdoors with the update and it's much faster then before. And this was in dimming sunset. Indoors was quicker but can still miss-focus. Overall good firmware update. Just a bit annoyed that we have to guess what changes have been made by trial and error.
11-02-2011, 07:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by knightzerox Quote
Just a bit annoyed that we have to guess what changes have been made by trial and error.
I think their philosophy is that if they have actually added something, they'll tell us, but if they have just improved on something already there, they won't.
11-02-2011, 10:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi Mock,

It's easy to get fooled by indoor light levels because our eyes adjust so easily to vastly different levels. This is why I specified "in good light"

I copied a couple of sections from the Exposure Value article in the Wikipedia. Note that differences in Ev values are equal to differences in f-stops

<snip>

Notice that the heavy overcast outdoors is still at least a stop brighter than the brightest indoor lighting. I would guess typical store lighting in a big box store to be on the order of sports events at EV 8-9, so outdoors will be anywhere between 3 and 7 stops brighter -- a really big difference. I used to be a part owner of a minor league hockey team, and though it seemed very bright on the ice, I had to use fast lenses and high ISOs to shoot anything worthwhile. I've know this for years, and it's still hard for me to get a handle on relative light levels just judging by eye.

I'm pretty confident that if you try it outdoors during the day, you'll be a bit surprised at how fast the Q's AF has become.

Scott
Oh believe me, I know this. To simply explain what "low-light" means to a non-photographer is often a struggle, people don't appreciate what their eyes (or their cameras) are doing.
I should have clarified, I meant "well-lit" in the realm of artificial lighting, probably around 8 EV on this guide here...where I'm shooting ISO 400 at work it is 1600+ at home - relatively, much brighter. A garden on a sunny summer day is not lit, it is simply bright.

When it's sunny here again, I'll give daylight AF a go. Thanks for clarifying.

Last edited by Mock; 11-02-2011 at 10:34 PM.
11-02-2011, 11:03 PM   #13
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I can confirm that my Q is noticeably faster to lock focus. This is at somewhat low interior light levels of 5 to 7 EV of tungsten light. I didn't think the Q was that slow before, but it's pretty zippy now.
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