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10-08-2014, 05:18 AM   #1
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Pentax K-50 - Grrrrr.

I love my K-50 but there are some things about it that make me just go "Grrrrrr".

1) In less then ideal light, the numbers on the status screen and viewfinder constantly blink. This to me is very distracting and irritating. Even with a proper exposure they still continue to blink. Grrrrr.
In some cases they will blink "red" and never turn to white or stop blinking even when a proper exposure has been set... Double Grrrrr.

2) Default flash at either 1/25 or 1/30 - I think every camera in the world defaults to at least 1/60. Isn't part of the idea of a flash, is so that you can use faster shutter speeds in dim light. I have always felt that 1 with 1/60 and slower shutter speeds it is time to seriously think about a tripod. That is kind of a general rule that I keep in the back of my head. A general setting to be in the "ball park" for flash photography is 1/60 shutter speed, f4.0, ISO - 400... Now why can't Pentax do that? Grrrrr.

3) Fastest shutter speed with flash is 1/180. What good is that on moving objects in dim light? Heck I have several point and shoot and several bridge cameras (costing a lot less) that can shoot with a flash at 1/4000. 1/180 is totally irritating. Why does Pentax limit us - let us choose - it is only a number in the source code. Grrrrr.

It also makes you wonder if the engineers who develop the firmware code ever use cameras...

The above quirks can be resolved in the firmware source code. I am sure that the hardware of the K-50 is capable of the task. If a $100 point and shoot can do it then why can't the K-50. I think it is time that Pentax change some numbers in the source code and stop irritating us with neon flashing numbers and more appropriate default flash settings.

I would also like to see an exposure meter on every screen, no matter what mode you are using. It would also be nice to see a histogram on the status screen instead of having to switch to live view to see one.

Also, the thin black lines in the viewfinder just don't cut it. In less then ideal light you have no idea where the center of the view is.

What Pentax could consider, is that, what sells Cameras isn't always advertisements, but a solid, loyal customer base and word of mouth. How many Corvettes do you think would sell if they put a governor on the engine to limit the car to 70mph? Even though there may be no need to go any faster and the speed limit is 70mph. I don't believe one single Corvette with a governor would sell. Pentax are you listening. If the K-50 is able to do then turn that feature on in the firmware. There are many people that instead of moving up in level of camera would switch brands to one that doesn't have the governors...

Anyway, that is my rant for the day.

10-08-2014, 06:28 AM   #2
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Flash = shutter type. Leaf shutter can sync virtually any speed, plane can't
10-08-2014, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I hope you feel better now.... what? Didn't research the camera before you bought it? Can you still send it back.? I hate to see someone so unhappy.
10-08-2014, 06:33 AM   #4
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Regarding the constant flashing, the only time my K-50 ever does that is when I forget that I left the cap on, so I don't know if that's a bigger problem with your camera, or what. I don't play much with the flash, but I remember reading the 1/180th sync speed in the specs before I bought it, so I at least knew. Hasn't been an issue for what I use the camera for. I personally have no issues with the thin lines on the focusing screen, but maybe an aftermarket one will be better for you. I actually purchased the matte screen with no lines on it, but I usually crop/compose my shots (I shoot a lot of macro flowers. and only want parts of the flower).

I'm sure some other folks will chime in about your feelings on the flash/sync speed. Lots of opinions around here.

EDIT: LOL -- I was the first responder, but look at all of the responses you got while I was typing. Also, considering your take on advertising, when was the last time you saw a TV spot for Pentax?! I've went through entire camera magazines seeing only the 645z referenced. I think the opinion, at least in this forum, is that the main reason Pentax doesn't have bigger market share, more new goodies, etc. -- is because they have an invisible presence outside of Asia.


Last edited by esrandall; 10-08-2014 at 06:42 AM.
10-08-2014, 06:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buckaroo50 Quote
3) Fastest shutter speed with flash is 1/180. What good is that on moving objects in dim light? Heck I have several point and shoot and several bridge cameras (costing a lot less) that can shoot with a flash at 1/4000. 1/180 is totally irritating. Why does Pentax limit us - let us choose - it is only a number in the source code. Grrrrr.
It is my understanding that this is *not* just a matter of source code, it is a limitation of the physical shutter mechanism (and one that's common to the whole current Pentax lineup). You'd need a flash unit capable of high-speed sync via P-TTL if you wanted to go faster.
Even e.g. the brand-new Canon 7Dii doesn't do standard flash sync faster than 1/250".

Edit: wow, beaten to it x3. But also, I have to laugh at "what sells cameras isn't always advertisements" considering how little advertisement the Pentax line already gets here in the US...
10-08-2014, 07:08 AM   #6
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As others have already said, you should have done a better job at researching what a DSLR can and can't do.

1. Have not idea why that happens but as long as photos come out ok ...

2. When shooting flash it is the flash that dictates (up to a point) subject freezing. You don't need very fast shutter speeds as the flash will stop motion. For very fast moving subjects or very low shutter speeds you'll get trailing. The reason the camera chooses 1/30 is to gather more ambient light so photos taken with a flash don't look as if they were shot in a coal mine. The DSLR gives you a lot of control so start shooting in M when using flash. Set shutter speed, aperture and ISO and flash will take care of proper exposure (up to a point). If you choose max sync speed though you might get properly exposed subjects but completely dark surrounding.

3. Point and shoot cameras don't have a shutter (mechanical one). If you want to use higher shutter speeds and flash you should start thinking on investing in a flash with HSS capabilities..

Most important though is to learn your camera and photography in general. If you don't take small steps at a time and learn your camera you'll be very frustrated.
10-08-2014, 07:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buckaroo50 Quote
I love my K-50 but there are some things about it that make me just go "Grrrrrr".

1) In less then ideal light, the numbers on the status screen and viewfinder constantly blink. This to me is very distracting and irritating. Even with a proper exposure they still continue to blink. Grrrrr.
In some cases they will blink "red" and never turn to white or stop blinking even when a proper exposure has been set... Double Grrrrr.

2) Default flash at either 1/25 or 1/30 - I think every camera in the world defaults to at least 1/60. Isn't part of the idea of a flash, is so that you can use faster shutter speeds in dim light. I have always felt that 1 with 1/60 and slower shutter speeds it is time to seriously think about a tripod. That is kind of a general rule that I keep in the back of my head. A general setting to be in the "ball park" for flash photography is 1/60 shutter speed, f4.0, ISO - 400... Now why can't Pentax do that? Grrrrr.

3) Fastest shutter speed with flash is 1/180. What good is that on moving objects in dim light? Heck I have several point and shoot and several bridge cameras (costing a lot less) that can shoot with a flash at 1/4000. 1/180 is totally irritating. Why does Pentax limit us - let us choose - it is only a number in the source code. Grrrrr.

It also makes you wonder if the engineers who develop the firmware code ever use cameras...

The above quirks can be resolved in the firmware source code. I am sure that the hardware of the K-50 is capable of the task. If a $100 point and shoot can do it then why can't the K-50. I think it is time that Pentax change some numbers in the source code and stop irritating us with neon flashing numbers and more appropriate default flash settings.

I would also like to see an exposure meter on every screen, no matter what mode you are using. It would also be nice to see a histogram on the status screen instead of having to switch to live view to see one.

Also, the thin black lines in the viewfinder just don't cut it. In less then ideal light you have no idea where the center of the view is.

What Pentax could consider, is that, what sells Cameras isn't always advertisements, but a solid, loyal customer base and word of mouth. How many Corvettes do you think would sell if they put a governor on the engine to limit the car to 70mph? Even though there may be no need to go any faster and the speed limit is 70mph. I don't believe one single Corvette with a governor would sell. Pentax are you listening. If the K-50 is able to do then turn that feature on in the firmware. There are many people that instead of moving up in level of camera would switch brands to one that doesn't have the governors...

Anyway, that is my rant for the day.
I won't bore you by covering the same ground as others but here's some more info on flash sync speed. The camera is designed to treat flash photos as "fill flash" if it can. This is why the shutter speed migrates to the slowest feasible in most cases. If you want to force it to the highest sync speed to eliminate as much ambient light as possible, switch to Tv mode and set your shutter speed appropriately. So... consider the default behavior of the camera as a benefit, not a bug.
10-08-2014, 08:01 AM   #8
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I won't bore you either, but I would suggest...

Show us some images you've taken with your P&S that you'd like to emulate.
Show us your K-50 attempts so we can see what problem you're having.

Given an actual problem to work on, the forum can be very helpful and direct. The flash sync is only really a problem for a very few individuals.
So we need to understand what your skill set is, and what you're trying to achieve.. without that, people are just guessing.

10-08-2014, 09:00 AM   #9
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1) Only time I see this is when I forget to remove the cap on the lens. Which exposure mode to you use ?

2) If you’re not happy with how the flash auto mode works, simply turn it off and use it in manual mode. If you want to use the flash at 1/60, just push the flash button when you see this speed. I really don’t see why it is such a big issue to you.

3) I think you mix up sync speed with shutter speed. With a flash, the speed of the camera simply need to be synchronized with the flash, ie the sutter must be fully open when the flash goes off. What determine exposure and movement freeze is the flash burst itself and how long it is, not the shutter speed set on the camera. Or, if you prefer, the exposure speed depends on the flash, not on the camera. If you need 1/4000, just buy a flash providing 1/4000s burst. That said, the 1/180 of the K-50 is quite standard for a DSLR. Comparable D3200 and T3i have 1/200, which is not significantly faster.
10-08-2014, 09:23 AM   #10
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I don't agree wtih most of the original post, but I do agree that item #1 is irritating to me and yes my K50 does it often. Last night I took this photo of the moon. Great exposure but Live View constantly flashed red and with Live View off, the display in the viewfinder was flashing constantly even though there was no problem with the exposure. I figure there must be some reason for this but have not tried to find out and mostly ignore it now once I have confirmed the exposure using the histogram of a test shot. But I love my K50, The more I learn about it the more I'm amazed at the pictures I am able to take. This one got picked up off my twitter account and used on the local news this morning.

10-08-2014, 10:01 AM   #11
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I don't do much flash when it shoots iso6400 so nicely - so cannot help you there. The only thing I find challenging is the lack of an external AE switch, I've blown a few shots by spot-metering when a wider meter would do better. That's what comes from stepping diagonally 'down' from the K-5.

Great image, though the flashing screen must have been a distraction... which one's Uranus? I need to process a few shots & find out.
10-08-2014, 10:32 AM - 1 Like   #12
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The blinking settings signal that your camera cant adjust these further to get the correct exposure. Where the correct exposure is determined by the camera and there are a lot of situations where you need to guide it to your take on the correct exposure. It can be easily misguided as well by metering the light from a window while shooting indoors for example.
On the flash sync speed: The high shutter speeds from the point and shoots are possible, because they use an electronic shutter.

QuoteOriginally posted by TedW Quote
I don't agree wtih most of the original post, but I do agree that item #1 is irritating to me and yes my K50 does it often. Last night I took this photo of the moon. Great exposure but Live View constantly flashed red and with Live View off, the display in the viewfinder was flashing constantly even though there was no problem with the exposure. I figure there must be some reason for this but have not tried to find out and mostly ignore it now once I have confirmed the exposure using the histogram of a test shot.
It is a aid for choosing the exposure. You can see it in liveview and also when reviewing pictures. Both can be disabled, but I find them quite helpful most of the time.
Blinking red = underexposed areas
Blinking yellow = overexposed areas
In your case it would probably be impossible to fit a well exposed nightsky in the same shot as the bright moon.
10-08-2014, 10:36 AM - 1 Like   #13
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When you put your camera into AUTO (green) mode, your camera will default to attempting fill-flash .... that is balancing the flash with ambient light. Indoors especially, this often results in slow shutter speeds. If you hit the flash on the 4-way and move the selector over to just the lightning bolt (without the added 'A') your shutter speed will switch to 1/160 or 1/180 depending on whether you are metering in thrid-stops or half-stops.

But the above poster is correct. If the ambient light is low enough, your flash speed becomes your effective shutter speed which can be upwards of 1/20,000 of a second if you are close to the subject.
10-08-2014, 11:36 PM   #14
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Op clearly has no idea about cameras given some of the comments about flashing and sync speeds.
10-09-2014, 03:07 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
Op clearly has no idea about cameras given some of the comments about flashing and sync speeds.
But your message does nothing to help. Please try to give something that advances knowledge or skill when posting.
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