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04-19-2009, 02:20 PM   #1
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firmware updates: somewhere I wish Pentax would follow Nikon

The Nikon D40 was announced November 2006, shortly after the Pentax K10D. It's still getting firmware updates making concrete improvements. If I were to buy a Nikon camera now (which I'm not about to just sayin'), it would have a higher value to me because I could be reasonably sure that two and a half years later Nikon would still care about it.

04-19-2009, 02:22 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
The Nikon D40 was announced November 2006, shortly after the Pentax K10D. It's still getting firmware updates making concrete improvements. If I were to buy a Nikon camera now (which I'm not about to just sayin'), it would have a higher value to me because I could be reasonably sure that two and a half years later Nikon would still care about it.
Mmm sure but D40 is still on the market, the K10D isn't.
Simple as that.
04-19-2009, 02:35 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Mmm sure but D40 is still on the market, the K10D isn't.
Simple as that.
Sure, and that's a nice thing to know if you buy Nikon. That and five year lens warranties.
04-19-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Sure, and that's a nice thing to know if you buy Nikon. That and five year lens warranties.
I agree with your sentiment - if I ever were to change I would use Nikon (ain't gonna happen, though).

Warranties cost money. I wonder how Pentax would fare vs. Nikon if the price and warranty period were closer?

04-19-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Mmm sure but D40 is still on the market, the K10D isn't.
Simple as that.
The K10D isn't, but the K200 is..
Why they don't have any firmware updates for it? technical limitations?
I believe the K200 could really use the latest improvements in the AF mechanism (that are "hidden" in the so called "SR improvements" of the 1.03 firmware).
04-19-2009, 05:39 PM   #6
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One reason I stuck with Pentax was the awesome firmware updates they did for istDs. Yet they won't even fix obvious error for hyper-P mode on K20D.
04-19-2009, 05:43 PM   #7
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Gee, that's funny, Nikon's D50 never got a firmware update to be able to use SDHC cards, but the Pentax *ist DL from the same era did (two, in fact). Sucks for all the D50 owners who can't take advantage of today's dirt-cheap big cards.

That alone tips the scales towards Pentax IMHO.
04-19-2009, 05:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Groucho Quote
Gee, that's funny, Nikon's D50 never got a firmware update to be able to use SDHC cards, but the Pentax *ist DL from the same era did (two, in fact). Sucks for all the D50 owners who can't take advantage of today's dirt-cheap big cards.

That alone tips the scales towards Pentax IMHO.
I'm not saying Nikon's perfect or that Pentax hasn't been better in the past. But I'm not really interested in an absolute all-time score... it's the behavior right now that matters.

04-19-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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Yeah, but you said that you could be reasonably sure that in 2.5 years, you'd be getting better support. 2.5 years ago, Pentax was better. 2.5 years who now - who knows?

And where's the D40's firmware update to support autofocus with screw-drive lenses?
04-19-2009, 06:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Groucho Quote
Yeah, but you said that you could be reasonably sure that in 2.5 years, you'd be getting better support. 2.5 years ago, Pentax was better. 2.5 years who now - who knows?
Okay, fair enough. I guess what I'd really like to see is a commitment to a longer lifecycle of support. Doesn't need to be forever, but 2⁄₂ years seems reasonable enough. I understand that it's an economically tough choice to make, and it's more instantly rewarding to chase the new stuff, but if the plan is to build and maintain a loyal niche base rather than going head-to-head with the top two in the big-box stores, then this is exactly the kind of thing we need.

QuoteOriginally posted by Groucho Quote
And where's the D40's firmware update to support autofocus with screw-drive lenses?
That'd be right here:

AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G from Nikon

04-19-2009, 07:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Er, that "firmware update" doesn't allow for screw-drive AF lenses to AF with the D40/40x/60/5000 cameras, still. And it costs money.
04-19-2009, 09:13 PM   #12
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Actually, out of curiousity, I checked to see what this new firmware did - to see if it really did offer some "concrete improvements". (Sorry Matt, not trying to be snide, I'm legitimately curious if they're actually making real improvements.)

It looks like their released two new D40 firmwares in short succession this month: 1.12, which fixes a bug with one type of their battery not lasting as long as it should, and 1.11: "Shooting times were not always accurately recorded in image data for images captured in bursts of continuous shooting."

The last firmware update? Over two years ago, back in January 2007. It too was mostly bug fixes, with a couple minor tweaks in in-camera behavior (nothing that would make a serious difference in camera performance, like better AF or cleaner noise.) So, it took them over two years to fix the problem with times not being recorded correctly.

Meanwhile, my Nikon Coolscan IV's software continues to be amazingly primitive and it's only thanks to VueScan that it will work in Vista at all.

Hey, if I had to switch brands, I'd probably move to Nikon, too - but frankly I'm not all that impressed, I see nothing in these new firmware updates that is helpful (unless you're using the one type of battery, and even then, that's a bugfix, not an improvement.)
04-19-2009, 09:36 PM   #13
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Interesting conversation. Considering the K10 is no longer on the market, I wonder how many people would be prepared to pay for firmware updates. That IMO would be the best of both worlds, updates would be available and the effect to sales of newer models (K20, K30?) would be less impacted. In fact, I'm sure more customers would be lured to Pentax if backward support were available. Of course that would mean that Pentax would be under more pressure to make solid improvements to new models but again this would
benefit the consumer.

Last edited by Damn Brit; 04-20-2009 at 06:51 PM.
04-20-2009, 07:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
The Nikon D40 was announced November 2006, shortly after the Pentax K10D. It's still getting firmware updates making concrete improvements. If I were to buy a Nikon camera now (which I'm not about to just sayin'), it would have a higher value to me because I could be reasonably sure that two and a half years later Nikon would still care about it.
The D40 was discontinued last week, the K10D in January 2008. Pentax is actually better than Nikon for updating discontinued bodies (See the DS v2 update and the SDHC updates for the DS/DL bodies)
04-20-2009, 08:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Interesting conversation. Considering the K10 is no longer on the market, I wonder how many people would be prepared to pay for firmware updates. That IMO would be the best of both worlds, updates would be available and the effect to sales of newer models (k20, K30?) would be less impacted. In fact, I'm sure more customers would be lured to Pentax if backward support were available. Of course that would mean that Pentax would be under more pressure to make solid improvements to new models but again this would
benefit the consumer.
And people will moan because they have to pay for firmware, Pentax will be seen as gready. No firmware is better (from a market perspective of course).
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