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03-02-2011, 07:25 AM   #241
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
@ClassA wrote: "You are suggesting that Pentax is listening/responding to users. Past history shows next to no evidence for that. "

Oh, really. Then how do you account for the numerous features that were included in the K-5 which seem to be a direct response to people moaning about what was lacking in the K-7? Seems to me there is a direct conduit from this forum to Pentax/Hoya.
I've avoided this thread for 200+ posts (I think) but feel the urge to jump in.

Hoya/Pentax product planning and development are informed by a variety of sources including industry analysis (including competitors' offerings and plans), technology analysis, trusted retailers, user forums, etc. And we may note that this is hardly the only such forum.

How much weight is given to any particular publications' review/reviewer, forum, thread, poster, post, survey, etc. is another story entirely. Probably varies by who in Japan is doing the weighing.

I'll submit, and ask for correction if my data is too limited, that Japanese consumer products companies are not known for listening attentively to the shouts coming from the mob (random consumers - us). They might well pay attention to their own rigorous (and perhaps narrow) market research but they still seem to depend a great deal on their own judgment based on personal experience and attitudes as well their as place in the hierarchy.

Their business-to-business companies seem better at that but too many products consumer companies have foundered by misreading (or ignoring) the consumers' tea leaves.

03-02-2011, 07:48 AM   #242
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Please, let's not go this route again.

I am very confident Christine tries to shed some light onto all of this as everybody else does. I appreciate her comments. We all can make mistakes and I prefer a critical voice any time

I think, we made quite some progress now since the initial reports and do understand where the problem comes from. This implies that we now understand how some see the problem while others don't -- under seemingly similiar conditions. It wasn't so easy to figure out after all...
I'm disappointed you don't prefer my critical voice at this time...

I've not read anywhere (and I may, but don't believe I have missed it) where Christine stated or implied anything like; Wow, I really could benefit from a fix to the focusing system. If she said something like that, it would then be more clear to potential new buyers what is going on with the focusing system and what they're getting if they purchase the K-5 now and a fix doesn't come. As it is, new and potential owners are not sure what to believe and may make a poor choice in deciding whether or not to buy/keep the K-5.

As an example; (From thread: What is this %$&#?* (No. 1)? - post #36)
QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I'm not sure what to think at this stage. There are posts in various threads that indicate that this problem is not unique to the K5, and has existed in earlier models, including the K20D. At the same time, I understand that the K7s do not have this problem. In particular, since apparently not all K5s suffer from this problem, it's impossible to reach a conclusion. Software (firmware) is all the same, and one would assume that the hardware is all the same, so how is it that some units have a problem and others do not? Difficult to understand. A camera that performs well at high ISO but cannot focus in low light, can be viewed as a cruel joke. I'm not going to assume the worst, but I am concerned. Let's wait and see what, if anything, Pentax comes up with as a solution.
This owner, amid the confusion is taking a wait and see approach. This coupled with the valid possibility of no fix happening, is in my opinion, probably the wrong choice for him. Yet, this is what he is now choosing to do. My only point is to provide as clear as possible information to anyone wanting information. As it is now, the information could use some clearing up.

If the focusing system is truly fixed with a firmware update, then clarity with the issue is resolved and all buyers and owners can obviously set this issue aside in their decision making process. But the hour is getting later and the owners/buyers are still waiting...

Last edited by betaPhoto; 03-02-2011 at 10:05 AM.
03-02-2011, 09:42 AM   #243
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
WRT K-7: AFAIK, the K-7 as every Pentax w/o the 77-zone meter does NOT sport the SAFOX+ colorimetric sensor.
The K-7 have both SAFOX VIII+ and a 77 zone metering system.
03-02-2011, 09:52 AM   #244
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
The K-7 have both SAFOX VIII+ and a 77 zone metering system.
I believe what is meant is only the K-5 has the "colorimetric sensor", and the K-7 even with the new 77 zone meter does not have the "colorimetric sensor".

K-7 with SAFOX VIII+ (no colorimetric sensor?) and 77 zone metering.
K-5 with SAFOX IX+ (with colorimetric sensor?) and 77 zone metering.


Last edited by betaPhoto; 03-02-2011 at 10:00 AM.
03-02-2011, 10:09 AM   #245
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Pentax said the K-7's SAFOX VIII+ is capable of detecting the type of light, i.e. it has the colorimetric sensor.
03-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #246
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
The K-7 have both SAFOX VIII+ and a 77 zone metering system.
My bad. I need more sleep.

QuoteOriginally posted by betaPhoto Quote
I believe what is meant is only the K-5 has the "colorimetric sensor", and the K-7 even with the new 77 zone meter does not have the "colorimetric sensor".

K-7 with SAFOX VIII+ (no colorimetric sensor?) and 77 zone metering.
K-5 with SAFOX IX+ (with colorimetric sensor?) and 77 zone metering.
I stand corrected (cf. above and a very valid question then).

I think the K-7 has no widely observable problem because its less light-sensitive AF module gives up (in the vast majority of cases) before the colorimetric sensor does.

Which reversed for the K-5 (colorimetric sensor gives up first) and Pentax engineers "forgot" to take this into account: After all, only the AF module changed. So why test the colorimetric sensor again?

It's exactly the same problem why Ariane 5 exploded: A well tested component failed when used outside the already tested operating range.

That's the most plausible explaination to me) and even not only explains what exactly gows wrong. But oalso why it skipped Pentax QC.

Not bad for a bunch of people having no inside material
03-02-2011, 10:24 AM   #247
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote

Not bad for a bunch of people having no inside material
But then again, we don't know if this theory is right.
03-02-2011, 10:41 AM   #248
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
...

You are suggesting that Pentax is listening/responding to users. Past history shows next to no evidence for that. Or where is the firmware update that fixes the "Auto ISO" bug for my K100D?
.

There is evidence that Pentax does monitor the forums. I think that in this day and age, it would be silly and backward-thinking not to. More and more, people are making purchase decisions based on online reviews, and searches for these reviews also turn up forum discussion around a product.

Also, we have this little bit of insight that Lance posted way back in 2008:


QuoteQuote:
...I also posted this on DPR:

A friend of mine in California, named Ned, has been corresponding with me via email and he talked about a camera company that he works for and it's future. I was surprised because it has many similarities to Pentax. Fancy that!

Here is an excerpt from his email to me:

"It looks like saner minds are prevailing due in part to "timo" and your posts. It appears that many folks on the forum have as much problem reading a financial statement as they do a focus chart.

Hoya is re-tooling the operations, changing our organization including the attitude and culture. We're focusing on dramatically improving our planning, time to market, and overall efficiencies.

As you know, Pentax was a very conservative, slow to change, risk averse organization. This will be a thing of the past, and was truly needed if Pentax is going to succeed long term.

Having worked at Canon, Polaroid, Adobe, all of these actions make perfect sense to me.

And, despite our having an expected loss in OP due to restructuring costs and weak demand for certain models, we were not alone in struggling with severe changes in the market and economy. In this same quarter, Canon's profit was -10%, and Nikon's was -23%.

Personally, I'm really enjoying working with the new execs that Hoya has put in place to turn us around. They're very sharp, understand the market, and are making everyone accountable for their actions.

Hope this helps give you a perspective that might not be evident from all the FUD that's being promoted on the forums.


Best Regards,
Ned"
.


So, Ned Bunnell was monitoring threads, knew how various posters were making their arguments (he mentions Timo specifically ), and generally was aware of everything that was going on in that series of threads.

Should we suppose that the marketing departments in the US, Europe and Japan are less connected to what's going on than Ned? Or, that the engineering teams resonsible for the bodies have no interest (or time) to peruse findings like Falks, and counter-arguments to it, or to just generally see how the internet community is receiving the fruits of their long labor?

I know that if I built a consumer product, I'd be very interested in monitoring it's reputation and possible faults.

Ned feels the same way, apparently.


.

03-02-2011, 12:08 PM   #249
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
It's exactly the same problem why Ariane 5 exploded: A well tested component failed when used outside the already tested operating range.
Oh crap! I better wear goggles when I use a K-5!
03-02-2011, 12:21 PM   #250
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Please note that engineering staff take direction from product management/development staff. They don't go off on their own deciding which customers to please (listen to). And they don't take direction from marketers - it's the other way around (if any real communication exists).

I'm not an engineer but I'm not unfamiliar with the process. Let's not beat up engineers and marketers for decisions made elsewhere. It's the "elsewhere" people that are sometimes hard to get to and hard to influence. Marketers and sales operations staff, like Ned, are much easier to talk to but don't make decisions.

Do we even have any idea of who at Pentax/Hoya is making decisions, or at least recommendations, regarding product development and other uses of engineering time?
03-02-2011, 01:17 PM   #251
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Then how do you account for the numerous features that were included in the K-5 which seem to be a direct response to people moaning about what was lacking in the K-7?
They "seem" to be a direct response because some of the changes are bound to coincide with what customers have been wishing for. Clearly the list of unanswered prayers is much longer.

If Pentax listened to customers, why is it not possible to use screw drive AF on SDM lenses that have both mechanisms? Pentax could dress up the firmware update by stating that this is intended for users that want to use their SDM lenses with teleconverters that are not SDM capable. No admission of high SDM failures necessary.

Tethering? All Pentax DSLRs have the capability (as demonstrated by PK_Tether) we'd only need a slightly updated Remote Assistant or a published API.

Why was the hyper-program bug for the K20D never fixed? They managed to remove (some of) it in the K-7 but K20D owners lost out.

How many times have we read someone asking for manual control in video? Did it happen?

Why is it not possible to control the top LCD illumination with the exposure compensation button?

Some of these things would cost next to nothing.

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
There is evidence that Pentax does monitor the forums.
We even had JCPentax posting here a while ago.
But Pentax USA (including Ned) reading forums and Pentax Japan responding to some customer desires are two entirely different things.

It has been established more than once that there is no good communication between Pentax USA and Pentax Japan. Pentax USA often cannot get technical details from Pentax Japan and I highly doubt that Pentax Japan gives a lot of consideration to input by Pentax USA.

I do believe that Pentax engineers are looking at Falk's studies and are trying to respond, but in this case we are talking about major camera problems as opposed to "what the customer wants".

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
I know that if I built a consumer product, I'd be very interested in monitoring it's reputation and possible faults.
Same here, but I fail to come up with an explanation as to why some of the customer demands are not met, if Pentax felt the same. Do we really believe that they are too snowed under to fix the "top LCD illumination" issue and/or think that customers are wrong about their wish?

If anyone wants to dive deeper into this discussion I suggest they open a new thread and link to it from here. We shouldn't derail this thread with this off-topic discussion.
03-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #252
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
So, besides dlacouture's test ( a light source pointing towards the camera beneath the feature in focus was another variant ), I imagined that pointing an LED flashlight from behind into the eyepiece when focussing may be another interesting test. Just in case a +sensor is combined into the 77 zone metering. I realized that the +feature is always combined with the 77zone meter feature: There are 3 cameras with the AF+ feature (k5 k7 645d) and they all use 77 zone metering. And no camera with 77 zone metering but without the AF+ feature exists...
Done both tests with a white LED light...
In both cases, the metering "saw" the light (went all the way to 80 iso, ambiant was metered at 1600-2500 iso).
In both cases, FF was still present.
So, I'm thinking that (at least in my test case), the AF module needs the input from the colorimetric module to properly focus under tungsten (as a white light will still result in FF).

I'll have to test again with a tungsten flashlight instead.

If FF is still present with a tungsten light, then I'll be at a loss... This would go against the theory that the colorimetric sensor is the culprit...

I'll be back in 5 minutes!
03-02-2011, 01:35 PM   #253
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I think the K-7 has no widely observable problem because its less light-sensitive AF module gives up (in the vast majority of cases) before the colorimetric sensor does.
But if this were the case than the K-5 would only front-focus in cases were the K-7 doesn't focus anymore. From user reports (I don't own either camera ) I understand that the K-7 is able to obtain good focus in situations where the K-5 heavily front-focuses.

Something else might be going on, otherwise the K-5 would be at least as good as the K-7. Maybe the AF correction table lookup goes wrong and/or the table is not as complete as it should be. If the lookup is not only guided by input from the colorimetric sensor but also from the AF sensor then this could explain why there is a difference between K-5 and K-7 in favour of the K-7.

The need to alter/extend the lookup table could explain why it is taking so long for the fix to appear (calibration effort for many lenses and light scenarios?). If it were just a matter of ignoring input from the colorimetric sensor below a certain threshold we should have had the fix already, no? Also, this particular solution would make the K-5 front focus as badly as the K20D in yellowish, very low light.

P.S.: Regarding QC, I would have thought that in the case of a camera, it should be possible to test it against its specifications in all aspects, independently of whether or not one thinks that features from an older model should still work. Given that they replaced the AF module, it seems reasonable that they test it well under all lighting conditions.

Last edited by Class A; 03-02-2011 at 02:00 PM.
03-02-2011, 01:41 PM - 2 Likes   #254
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BINGO!!!!

Using a tungsten flashlight into the viewfinder, my camera focused properly!!!

Test case:
- find a target/light level where you get consistent FF
- M mode, 400 iso, flash on (to be able to better judge focus)
- do one pic without the flashlight, one pic with it...

I've even found another test, faster and more "obvious"...

"Dynamic" test:
- AF-C (the behavior will be obvious!!!)
- while half-pressing the shutter, intermittently shine the flashlight into the viewfinder.
=> you'll see the camera adjust the focus for tungsten light...

So, under a given light level threshold, the camera will revert to "daylight focus"...

I guess the reports of misfocuses in "low daylight" situations are actually based upon the false assumption that when the sun just went down, the WB is still "daylight", whereas in reality there is an heavy shift toward blue...

Last edited by dlacouture; 03-02-2011 at 01:56 PM.
03-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #255
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I think the K-7 has no widely observable problem because its less light-sensitive AF module gives up (in the vast majority of cases) before the colorimetric sensor does.
Are we sure the K-7 does not have a problem? I thought I've seen a few posts from users saying they have noticed front focusing on the K-7 as well?

Perhaps the K-7 has a milder version of the problem?

I quite like your theory (even though I would still call it a hypothesis) - it does seem to fit observed behaviour reasonably well.

My own limited testing indicates my camera performs similar to yours. I am using different lenses, which may account for me getting slightly better results than you (I start to get a focus shift around EV1). I don't think that's significantly different.

However, my results are not consistent, which is why I was interested to know whether your results are also inconsistent.

In exactly the same conditions, over a sequence of shots - sometimes the camera will correctly focus, and sometimes it will not. It may depend on the starting focus position of the lens - focusing from the front tends to create front focus, focusing from the back sometimes create a correctly focused picture.

I don't know whether you have noticed this as well?

The other thing that remains an issue for me is the wide variance in the reported severity of the problem.

That's why I asked you for an interpretation of your chart. It seems from the chart that you have not been able to observe any focus shift above EV2 - in your testing conditions.

That seems very reasonable to me, and completely consistent with your theory.

However, the degree of focus shift you are reporting, as well as the conditions (below EV2) will mean the problem should not be noticeable under "normal" shooting conditions.

But we seem to have reports of users who claim quite severe focusing problems at fairly bright conditions.

You have hypothesised that the problem can occur at high EVs - I accept that, but I am not certain it explains the issues that are being reported.

It is a possibility that some of these reports are "user error", but unlikely that every single report can be dismissed like that. Therefore there is the possibility that the problem appears to be different in intensity across cameras.

Do you agree? If so, how does your theory account for the apparent differences in magnitude? Does that mean that each camera needs to be individually calibrated?

I am only asking because it seems to me that if Pentax issues a fix that's based on recalibrating the AF correction based on the sensor reading, then it may not work on all units?

I am also wondering (if the units are individually calibrated) that AF fine adjustment may throw the correction off. This may explain the post on dpreview that claims resetting the camera back to factory settings reduces the front focusing.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. I enjoy talking to you, and you have a good analytical mind.
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