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06-08-2009, 02:09 PM   #16
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For those that have tested out the K7 in-person with the early firmware, did anyone take shots at 800, 1600, or 3200 ISO? If so, how did they look in regard to noise?

06-08-2009, 02:23 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by MidwestMax Quote
For those that have tested out the K7 in-person with the early firmware, did anyone take shots at 800, 1600, or 3200 ISO? If so, how did they look in regard to noise?
High iso's are probably THE MOST dependent on firmware function... why even bother. I have yet, in 5 years, seen a pre-production release (I could have missed one or 2 though) that totally matches the reality of final firmware. Why torture ourselves needlessly....
Cheap plug against Sony............
Sony issues firmware update for Alpha A700 DSLR - Portable Devices
Improvements and solved issues

* The choice to select auto exposure bracketing (single & continuous) with 3 shots in 2 EV steps has been added.
* The choice to turn [Off] the High ISO NR feature has been added.
* Improvement of the image quality in high ISO setting.
* Improvement of the auto white balance and D-Range Optimizer performance.
* Improvement of reliability for communication between camera body and vertical grip.
* Application Software
06-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I agree with you in general. Although "The first camera brand to allow users to create and share camera apps will sweep the market." is demonstrably wrong — otherwise, we'd all be shooting with Kodak.

Maybe it'll work for the second brand to do so.
maby some one that is REALLY smart and TRUST worthy can do this for us i would pay if it was worth it LOL
06-08-2009, 06:13 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I agree with you in general. Although "The first camera brand to allow users to create and share camera apps will sweep the market." is demonstrably wrong — otherwise, we'd all be shooting with Kodak.

Maybe it'll work for the second brand to do so.
Interesting! Maybe now that a 1.56 MP camera is no longer state of the art we'll have better luck if somebody tries to do the same "Timing" is half the battle.

06-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
This is the first I have heard of such a thing. Even JohnCPentax did not mention it, so I doubt it is true.
The beta versions of the K-7 has went through some revisions. I have not seen JohnCPentax to openly speak about how the development was done, how many beta cameras they did and the difference between the hardware in the different beta versions. And I don't think that he is allowed to speak about it.

Really, it doesn't matter what the beta cameras was and wasn't - because none of us are going to buy one of them. (or?).

I say - wait for the production version, and then we can talk about image quality and judge if it has been an improvement or not.

The beta samples shows a mixed picture, and they should - beacuse the beta samples are different. We have already seen Mr Rice High waving between happiness and sadness because of the sampels from beta cameras, because some of the samples has been great and some others has been poor, and he has made different conclusions about this. And all is meaningless, beacuse none of this matters when we see the actual image quality from the production versions.

Thank you.
06-16-2009, 01:32 AM   #21
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mattdm: i agree with misere, timing is essential. now is the time, the big difference is that dslrs are now mainstream, the first one to do that, now, and to stand by it consistently, will have a clear advantage. look at CHDK Wiki to get an idea of what the open source community can do, even without vendor support, imagine what can be achieved _with_ the support. if still not convinced, look at Rockbox - Open Source Jukebox Firmware too, and, ofcourse, linux (just get a current ubuntu livecd and boot it, if you are not familiar with linux, you will most probably be surprised by what the oss community managed to achieve in just a few years).

as i have explained elsewhere, nobody is selling firmware anymore, nobody is even trying, look at the evolution of pentax cameras lately, or even canon or nikon, does it strike you that the added features tend to be "real" and usually hardware based (sensor, buffer, etc), rather than just firmware features? of course, everybody has firmware features added with each new camera, but nobody is ever buying the camera for those features, they are just nice additions, and it would only be in everybodys interest if camera makers could concentrate on the important stuff only _they_ can do: designing and building the best hardware they possibly can, at the best prices (efficiently), and thus making as much money as possible. the competition at this level is way too fierce for anybody to dare sell just firmware features in a new camera (except maybe sony, on occasions, as i've heard (?), but surely not even them in most cases, and, besides -- no offense -- i doubt if they really count as "having a clue" ). in this "landscape", open source firmware (or some subset of that idea) is just an advantage, and there's nothing to be lost on it, only gained, the only thing holding them all back is inertia and stupid, misplaced corporate greed (smart corporate greed would determine them to do it _tomorrow_)

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06-16-2009, 01:43 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
mattdm: i agree with misere, timing is essential. now is the time, the big difference is that dslrs are now mainstream, the first one to do that, now, and to stand by it consistently, will have a clear advantage. look at CHDK Wiki to get an idea of what the open source community can do, even without vendor support, imagine what can be achieved _with_ the support. if still not convinced, look at Rockbox - Open Source Jukebox Firmware too, and, ofcourse, linux (just get a current ubuntu livecd and boot it, if you are not familiar with linux, you will most probably be surprised by what the oss community managed to achieve in just a few years).

as i have explained elsewhere, nobody is selling firmware anymore, nobody is even trying, look at the evolution of pentax cameras lately, or even canon or nikon, does it strike you that the added features tend to be "real" and usually hardware based (sensor, buffer, etc), rather than just firmware features? of course, everybody has firmware features added with each new camera, but nobody is ever buying the camera for those features, they are just nice additions, and it would only be in everybodys interest if camera makers could concentrate on the important stuff only _they_ can do: designing and building the best hardware they possibly can, at the best prices (efficiently), and thus making as much money as possible. the competition at this level is way too fierce for anybody to dare sell just firmware features in a new camera (except maybe sony, on occasions, as i've heard (?), but surely not even them in most cases, and, besides -- no offense -- i doubt if they really count as "having a clue" ). in this "landscape", open source firmware (or some subset of that idea) is just an advantage, and there's nothing to be lost on it, only gained, the only thing holding them all back is inertia and stupid, misplaced corporate greed (smart corporate greed would determine them to do it _tomorrow_)

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I mainly agree but nonetheless think you're living in a world we are not in (yet?).
OpenSource firmware would be great but expecting it is unrealistic.

No main manufacturers like Pentax are any other will do it. Probably because they are not ready yet (in their mind I mean).
Linksys did it with a couple products and it is great. But the photo industry isn't yet, unfortunately.
06-16-2009, 01:57 AM   #23
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Open source firmware in a camera?
Well, problem is that there is no *standard* for how to communicate with the hardware - so there has to be written a general operating system for the hardware, and then one can run a desktop environment with special features in this operating system.
But I do see it as a bit unrealistic at this stage.
Camera makers are working har do to make things different than others, to be in the frontline, to come up with new technology -and for this also new firmware.
Open source firmware seems way too complicated at this stage, with special drivers for each special hardware that the manufacturers uses. You see, different sensors, different image processors, different AF systems, different metering, different image processing...
And we will get a situation like Linux - complicated and with tons of special drivers for each component in the computer.
I just want a camera to grap and go, not having to install new operating system and firmware that takes 1-2 hours to complete before I can take images...

06-16-2009, 02:59 AM   #24
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your fear is misplaced, unsurprisingly, many people have been fooled into thinking what you expressed.

i will not comment on your thoughts about linux though, it's really not my "duty" to convince you, i believe linux has come a long way, there is no need to convince anyone anymore (including for desktop usage), you can easily try it yourself and make your own mind up, so i will leave it to that. i will just point out that your beliefs are mostly not founded on fact, only FUD advertisement (most probably). you don't knwo what you're missing.

now about firmware: what you explained would be ideal, i am not so foolish as to think this will be done any time soon (a point where anybody can write firmware from the ground up for a new camera, as it is based on standard hardware/architecture, as we now almost have with x86 computer hardware), what i was talkign about was, at least to begin with, a closed or partly closed "core" firmware, and a documented interfacing layer, so that anything else can be written on top of that, without having direct access to, or knowledge of what lies underneath, this is easy to do, much easier than writing your entire firmware from the ground up every time you release a new camera (in this case, you would only need to write that core, everything else already available for your other cameras will be available imediately and compatible with the new one, with no effort from you), talking about kernel and desktop environment and so on on a dslr is a bit far-fetched, and, to me, a bit scary (i hope it doesn't get to that kind of crap). if you check the links i gave, you will see what i mean: it is not impossible, not as complicated, and it has already been done. i was not talking about oss firmware portable across both cameras and vendors, that would be a great day, but it would be a long way to get there, i was talking about the first step only: pentax leading the way, for pentax cameras (others might follow, in time).

also, this would change in no way your experience with the camera, as it will be exactly the same for you, if you don't want to "join the fun" (your camera comes with firmware, fully working, and you can go on shooting and never worry about the rest), so i don't see the problem there. 1-2 hours for what? you lost me there.

thibs: it might be that i am, however not through delusion, but through choice. my world is open, and it works. it's your choice what world you live in, from this particular point of view, and it has been a (viable) choice available to anyone for a long time now. my point is that making it sound as if i am some sort of drunken/high "prophet" who lives in an improbable, utopic, and uncertain future is simply wrong: i am just a normal person, and my experience is very ordinary, and available to anyone today. you are giving me too much credit. there were such "prophets", some years ago, when the idea was indeed quite daring, but they are now just leaders, doing an excellent job of keeping their initial vision alive, and making it accessible to everyone (and i am certainly not one of them). they are no prophets anymore, because their "insane" and "far-fetched" visions have been proven viable and perfectly functional, and are functioning as we speak (that's what you get for being a "fake prophet", and having your prophecies fulfilled: you get downgraded to a mere leader ).

i am unsure if they will do it or not (i tend to believe it is unavoidable, sooner or later, but one can never know), and i also don't know if they are ready, or when they will be. i am unsure if you have more clear information about this, first hand, or just state your impressions (your statements sound very deffinitive). in any case, i guess we will just have to see. maybe that's why the final firmware for the k-7 is being delayed (have to wade through the code, make sure there are no nasty words left in the comments by the coders ). i may dream, may i not?

to put things into perspective: pentax has been known to do stranger things than that: full weather sealing in a camera at the pricepoint of the k200d, or even the k10d/k20d/k-7, for that matter, is not something anybody would have expected, that was for "the big toys" (and the big two boys), but now many of us would not dream being without that feature (and keep in mind it is much more expensive per production unit than oss firmware, actually, it adds cost instead of reducing it).
06-16-2009, 03:00 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
I hope to see, one day soon, a camera company brave enough to keep a camera model in production for over a year and offer firmware upgrades (even at a price) to its owners.
You mean you want to see more camera companies selling non-feature complete cameras? Ack, no thanks. I've already had to upgrade the firmware on my...television. This whole incomplete products and fix the software later crap needs to stop.

QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
I mainly agree but nonetheless think you're living in a world we are not in (yet?).
OpenSource firmware would be great but expecting it is unrealistic.

No main manufacturers like Pentax are any other will do it. Probably because they are not ready yet (in their mind I mean).
Linksys did it with a couple products and it is great. But the photo industry isn't yet, unfortunately.
Many of Linksys' devices are in fact mostly built on open source stuff, they have no choice, they have to provide it.

Conversely, what we'll never know is how many parts of various manufacturer's firmware are actually IP licensed from third parties - e.g. things the company can't realistically open anyway. I suspect this is a serious barrier.
06-16-2009, 03:14 AM   #26
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third party proprietary code (and third party hardware specs, too) are, indeed, the main barrier, this is why i say an interfacing layer, abstracting (and hiding) the stuff that needs to be proprietary away from the eyes of the oss comunity would be the easiest, and most probable way to go, at least at the beginning.
06-16-2009, 10:14 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
My understanding is that early beta K7 bodies were equipped with K20 sensors, so I suspect it's kind of a crap shoot as to what sensor we've seen results from so far. From what I've read, the K7 sensor is not just a tweaked k20 sensor, it is a brand new design from the ground up. The only think it shares in common with the K20 sensor is the pixel count.
I really don't think on can tell very much about these things from pre-production cameras, since everything is subject to change until they actually are released to the public.
I also read in one of the many K7 messages, this same account that they started off with the K20 sensor and then shifted to the new sensor when it was ready. I don't remember whether it was on dpreview or this board, but i remember the same message that Wheatfield refers to.

This makes a lot of sense. I'm a mechanical engineer and once had a job offer from a company that make electrical test equipment such as oscilloscopes. They employed a few top electrical engineers to design all the circuits, but then employed many mechanical engineers to design the physical elements of the boxes, buttons, connections, manufacturing process, etc. Since the K7 was a reduction in dslr size, i'm sure there were challenges to doing this

Since the K20 sensor was probably acceptable in size and many other features, using it early on would help the camera body and other equipment to be physcially designed and laid out in parallel while the new sensor was being designed. This parallel design work would seem essential to bringing a new complex product to market on time.

This could explain a lot of differences in IQ quality between different beta cameras, probably some with the old K20 sensor and some with the new K7 sensor.
06-16-2009, 12:07 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
This could explain a lot of differences in IQ quality between different beta cameras, probably some with the old K20 sensor and some with the new K7 sensor.
so you state that some beta cameras were not able to do 5 fps ? because 14mp version 1 can't get 5FPS out w/ its 2 channel readout... and if all beta cameras can make 5FPS that means they were with 14mp version 2 with 4 channel read out.
06-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMabo Quote
Open source firmware in a camera?
sometimes you do not need to replace firmware completely :

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