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02-12-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
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Reproducible (albeit contrived) firmware crash in Live View

I found a situation which, although exceedingly unlikely to occur under normal use, can cause the camera to crash.

In Live View, if you hold the lens release button with a screwdrive AF lens attached (which disengages the AF shaft from the lens) and attempt to autofocus, the camera's AF motor will spin freely as expected, but it'll slow down after several seconds. If the AF motor is allowed to run freely for about 20 more seconds, the camera will crash altogether, shutting down abruptly and restarting (resetting the mirror in the process).

Although this is not really an issue in practice, it is nonetheless a crash of the camera firmware and merits discussion. Your thoughts?

02-12-2016, 07:42 PM   #2
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i think we should discuss how you came to the conclusion that this merits discussion.... lol
02-12-2016, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up, I'll be careful ... oh wait, ..... i don't even have a k3
02-12-2016, 07:57 PM   #4
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It's not a malfunction.
It is protecting itself from user stupidity.
That's called "PIBCAK" --> "Problem Is Between Chair and Keyboard", or I guess between chair and Camera in this case. Ala PIBCAC?

(just kidding )

02-12-2016, 09:53 PM   #5
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Well, I kinda think the right thing for the camera to do is to stop and indicate that it cannot focus (e.g. the focus box turns red). That the camera would crash altogether in this situation should be considered a bug, even if it happens in a contrived and unrealistic situation.
02-13-2016, 04:03 AM   #6
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Didn't one of the firmware updates to combat the mirror flapping problem have an auto-reset on certain error conditions? Probably what you are seeing going on here.
02-13-2016, 04:44 AM   #7
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If I put my car in Neutral and put a brick on the gas pedal, eventually the engine will freeze up and the car will break.

Contrived, sure, but nonetheless a bug, right?
02-13-2016, 06:01 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wibbly Quote
i think we should discuss how you came to the conclusion that this merits discussion.... lol
Or how you discovered this bug.

02-13-2016, 07:18 AM   #9
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It's not clear to me why you would depress the lens release button then attempt to autofocus (in live view or not). Can you explain why you would do that?
02-13-2016, 07:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
It's not clear to me why you would depress the lens release button then attempt to autofocus (in live view or not). Can you explain why you would do that?
I assume bwDraco is either; a software/hardware quality assurance engineer, or a sadist. Not that there is much difference.

Still although I was joking a bit in my earlier post, my guess is it might actually be a protection mechanism.
I could imagine the actual damage being done should the focus mechanism not time out. If the camera was active this could occur over and over again, so instead the camera shuts down.

I would love to hear Pentax's reaction to the problem report.
02-13-2016, 08:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
Well, I kinda think the right thing for the camera to do is to stop and indicate that it cannot focus (e.g. the focus box turns red). That the camera would crash altogether in this situation should be considered a bug, even if it happens in a contrived and unrealistic situation.
It is not a crash or a bug since the camera continues to operate, probably as designed. What you want does not seem to have any value and could risk permanent damage to the camera. Monochrome's car example is on point.
02-13-2016, 08:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
It is not a crash or a bug since the camera continues to operate, probably as designed. What you want does not seem to have any value and could risk permanent damage to the camera. Monochrome's car example is on point.
Hmmm. Never thought of that. I just assumed that if the AF screw was disengaged from the lens, no damage could occur. But what if something was in fact faulty (e.g. damaged AF gearing in the lens, AF screw not fully seated in lens AF coupler) and it kept running? That makes sense now.
02-13-2016, 08:37 AM   #13
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Agree, doesn't sound like a bug, but a self-shutdown for protection.
02-13-2016, 11:45 AM   #14
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No, that is a bug.
If the camera suddenly restarts then something has happened that the camera couldn't handle. The restart is part of the design so in that sense the watchdog function worked as designed but the fact that it had to act to regain control over the camera is a failure. It is not a nice a behavior.
But being such a constructed problem I don't care at all.
02-13-2016, 01:54 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
No, that is a bug.
If the camera suddenly restarts then something has happened that the camera couldn't handle. The restart is part of the design so in that sense the watchdog function worked as designed but the fact that it had to act to regain control over the camera is a failure. It is not a nice a behavior.
But being such a constructed problem I don't care at all.
If it worked as intended (for an extreme case), that's not a bug. You may think it should handle it differently, but it is not a bug. A bug being by definition the camera failing to do what the intended behavior (by the developers) was, or doing something else. In any case, whether it was intentional or not, it seems like sensible behavior (runaway motor, shut it down). That's handling the problem. Saying it should never shutdown, never restart, no matter whatever dumb thing you do to it seems extreme. Of course I'm assuming that if in truth it does have a shutdown timer or overheating sensor or whatever that the scenarios they are trying to protect against are the failure of one system in the camera from frying the whole thing or having it burst into flames. (For instance if a faulty switch caused the AF motor to go crazy without user interaction.)

But if someone is going to purposely do potentially damaging things to it and even if it then just breaks, the bug is in the user behavior, not the camera...
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