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12-03-2013, 08:54 AM   #1
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Flogging an Old Question: Acceptable Sounds Eminating From Camera

OK, I know I've asked a similar question in the past. Unfortunately there were no clear answers and I'm a bit O/C about the sounds a camera makes (they ain't exactly cheap). It regards the 'click' sound coming from the speaker of a K-30 when it gets swtched on. I have double checked on a store model to be sure that it made the sound too – and it did. But what is a normal level? The noisy environment made for a strictly unscientific comparision, not to mention I was going by memory.
I had a K-30 that was exhibiting bad behaviour: one of the buttons was mushy and kept getting stuck even though I treated it with great care; and the clicking noise it made on power-on was ridiculously loud so as to be deemed unacceptable by another Pentax user. In the end, the store sent me a replacement body on warranty. It still makes the click (as expected) but does seem a lot quieter than the other body. Now I (who has pretty good hearing) can hear the sound (about half a second after power on) in a quiet room when the camera is at waist level and about one foot in front of my body.
If anyone with a quiet space and a minute to spare and wants to put their K-30 (and hearing) to the test I could really use the feedback. Ever since my last experience I feel a bit paranoid about quality issues and would like to finally get some definitive answers. Or maybe I'm just letting one bad experience (we've all had 'em with various products) taint my enjoyment...

12-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #2
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Is it the speaker or is it the normal aperture activation of all recent Pentax DSLR you are hearing?
Hint - does it sound louder or softer with different lenses attached?
If yes it is the aperture arm making the noise.
12-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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This ^ . My 35/2.4 makes a ridiculously loud noise compared to my 18-135 (which is WR to boot).
12-03-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Is it the speaker or is it the normal aperture activation of all recent Pentax DSLR you are hearing?
Hint - does it sound louder or softer with different lenses attached?
If yes it is the aperture arm making the noise.
It doesn't matter what the lens is the sound is the same (DA 18-55mm and SMC-M 50mm have both been tested) – I've also activated the camera without any lens attached with the exact same result.

12-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
It doesn't matter what the lens is the sound is the same (DA 18-55mm and SMC-M 50mm have both been tested) – I've also activated the camera without any lens attached with the exact same result.

Unmount the lens and look at the left side of the mount (towards where the grip is) and turn the camera on. You should see a small part vibrate on a metal tube.
12-03-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Unmount the lens and look at the left side of the mount (towards where the grip is) and turn the camera on. You should see a small part vibrate on a metal tube.
Alright, I just tried that and did not see anything move. I did notice a black plastic tab on a thin vertical metal rod in the general vicinity, but it didn't move at all when the camera was switched on or off. I tried this about five times, looking for anything moving between the lens mount and the mirror. Nothing.
I did percieve the sound as clearly coming from the top of the camera, though. It sounds as though it's coming from the speaker, or at least from around there. It should be audible in a quiet setting with the camera at arm's length from your head – at least it is for me.

Edit: I can confirm that the sound seems dampened when covering the speaker hole with my finger.

Last edited by Schmidt; 12-03-2013 at 10:22 AM.
12-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
Alright, I just tried that and did not see anything move. I did notice a black plastic tab on a thin vertical metal rod in the general vicinity, but it didn't move at all when the camera was switched on or off. I tried this about five times, looking for anything moving between the lens mount and the mirror. Nothing.
I did percieve the sound as clearly coming from the top of the camera, though. It sounds as though it's coming from the speaker, or at least from around there. It should be audible in a quiet setting with the camera at arm's length from your head – at least it is for me.

Edit: I can confirm that the sound seems dampened when covering the speaker hole with my finger.
It might be a behavior by design, As the amplifier is powered on it makes a surge to the speaker. My K30 also makes a "clicky" sound when turned on and also when I enable live view it starts to "hum" like a small fan
12-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #8
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My personal solution to noises coming from the camera speaker is to turn all camera sounds off. I cannot stand beeps and clicks and noises that the camera makes unnecessarily.

12-03-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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@Schmidt my K-5 II vibrates that plastic tab on the metal rod (tube was the only thing that came to mind earlier).

Dammit, maybe MY camera is defective.

@AldaCZ the humming comes from the SR system.
12-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #10
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I made a recording a while back with my K-5 - is it this sound? it is the aperture moving. if not, I don't know.
12-03-2013, 11:39 AM   #11
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Thanks all for your detailed replies. I'll try and answer each one of you in turn:

Canada_Rockies: I should've stated from the get-go that the sound is there regardless of whether sounds are on or off, and no matter what the speaker volume. Sorry about that. But yeah, I too hate all the beeps and noises too, and normally disable all audio queues.

Giklab: The vibrating piece of which you speak may be completely normal on a K-5 ii – I can't tell you cause I don't have one. Just a guess, but could the vibration you're seeing have anything to do with sensor cleaning? I have sensor cleaning turned off.

Crewl1: Wow. That sound you caught came on at exactly the same mine does. But it seems much more distorted. Was that distortion in the audio, or does the K-5 actually sound that way?

AldaCZ: Does that clicking sound come on about half a second (maybe less) after switching on, and can you hear it with the camera at arm's length? That could pretty much answer my question.
12-03-2013, 11:46 AM - 1 Like   #12
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My K-30 makes this noise also. I just tested it with a 35/2.4 on. However it's substantially quieter than a toast crumb being dropped from a height of 4" onto a sheet of A4 so I can't say I'm too fussed to put it mildly. The sound effects volume slider made no difference FWIW.
12-03-2013, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
However it's substantially quieter than a toast crumb being dropped from a height of 4" onto a sheet of A4
And this, my fellow forum dwellers, is history being written before our very eyes.
12-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
Crewl1: Wow. That sound you caught came on at exactly the same mine does. But it seems much more distorted. Was that distortion in the audio, or does the K-5 actually sound that way?
Yes that is the sound pretty much. May not be noticeable but with the lens on camera 2 makes the sound a little less loud than camera 1. If I swap lenses the volume follows.

QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
My K-30 makes this noise also. I just tested it with a 35/2.4 on. However it's substantially quieter than a toast crumb being dropped from a height of 4" onto a sheet of A4 so I can't say I'm too fussed to put it mildly. The sound effects volume slider made no difference FWIW.
Please can we get a video with a high quality microphone to capture the nuances of the sound? I mean of the crumb, not the K-30
12-03-2013, 12:23 PM   #15
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My K-30 does make the sound but the room needs to be quiet for it to be heard. I'm sure it comes from the speaker as placing my finger on the opening of the speaker mutes the sound almost completely.

The K-r makes no sound whatsoever, at least not that I could hear even in a perfectly silent environment.

The K-3 on the other hand makes a very definitive mechanical sound which seems to be coming from the iris actuator motor. It may or may not be making a sound from the speaker as well but will be difficult to discern over the much louder mechanical noise it makes.
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