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08-31-2011, 10:17 AM   #1

Join Date: Jan 2011
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Camera shake bug when wireless remote shutter and intervalometer are both enabled?

Not sure whether to post this here or under the K-r section. Trying here in case other camera models might do something similar.

Last night I was taking astrophotographs mounted on a telescope. I was using wireless remote shutter for single long-exposure bulb shots, and the K-r intervalometer for stacks of shorter exposures. My intent was to compare the results of one long-exposure to a post-processed stack.

At one point during the night, I set the intervalometer to take 10 photos separated by 40 seconds. (I was shooting in manual mode with a 30 second shutter speed, ISO 1600, SR was off). I started the interval and pressed the shutter button on the camera to confirm. The camera started vibrating/buzzing as soon as I pressed the shutter button.

I waited around 5 seconds while the buzzing continued, then turned off the camera. I turned power back on, confirmed settings, and tried the intervalometer again. Vibrating/buzzing repeated. I cycled power.

I reviewed my photos and confirmed that my last 2 photos (the ones I turned off power during) were saved on my memory card. As expected, the photos were blurred from extreme shaking. It was almost as if the sensor cleaning was active while the photo was being exposed. A double-check confirmed that SR was off, so it wasn't a SR+tripod problem. I then tried 1 single exposure and it came out okay so my camera wasn't hopelessly broken.

I reviewed all my camera settings. The only thing I noticed was that my shutter mode was set for 3 sec wireless remote. I was using that earlier for bulb mode. I changed the shutter mode back to 2 sec delay (non-remote) and retried the intervalometer. This time it worked fine. I took another 20 photos and some video with no further issues.

Has anyone experienced anything similar to this? I haven't tried to replicate it again, fearing camera damage. I am using a K-r with the original firmware.

08-31-2011, 11:28 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Since SR shuts itself off when you're in self-timer mode, maybe it was actually on and just showing up as off? Try making a new user mode without SR and see if it still turns on. If it does, then perhaps you've found a bug that needs fixing!

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09-01-2011, 07:20 PM   #3

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Location: New York
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Great suggestion, Adam. I tested and it looks like the intervalometer reverts to the true SR setting, rather than using the always-off SR override of remote shutter mode. I'd report this to Pentax USA but I've never had a good response from them regarding software. All they say is "Japan hasn't told us about this. Send your camera to us for repair." If you have direct contacts at Pentax maybe you can report this higher up the support chain. I don't think a firmware fix is called for because it's such a rare problem, but maybe it will help future camera models or save someone from mailing in a camera that seems broken.

I'm surprised the shaking only happened on 2 out of 10 interval sets that night. Both times it happened, the camera was pointed at the same angle, and the 8 good sets were taken at other angles. Maybe SR is more prone to oscillation at specific angles.

My original post mentioned I was using a telescope as my lens. It's a 2000mm scope, so I set the camera focal length manually at the max 800mm. That extreme focal length might amplify SR and help explain why this problem is so rare.

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