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06-05-2010, 03:36 PM   #1
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Frustration with Pentax

Okay, I admit. This is probably a very over-discussed topic, but still, it bothers me way too much, not to talk about it again, and again. I was and still am a Pentax addict photo- and cinematographer, so when the news came with the new K-7 and it's video feature, I couldn't resist to upgrade my gear. I've had some bad feelings about the lack of manual controls while in movie recording mode, but I've thought that following Canon's lead, Pentax will also release a manual mode firmware soon. But they haven't. Pentax haven't done that favor for us photo- and videographers yet, and I am close to believing, that they will never. The last firmware update was in February, and Pentax haven't issued any news, statements, anything about upcoming firmware releases, also the possibility of a manual movie mode. So, I - while still have some belief in Pentax - start to believe, that Pentax will release a new camera this year, with updated movie recording. I know, that people are capable of producing nice results with auto ISO and auto shutter, but I just came from a client, where I spent most time tinkering with the AE-L to get rid of the flickering or the impossible amount of noise. I hope that I am wrong from the beginning to the end, and hope that Pentax will communicate more about their current status on the K-x and K-7 firmwares.

06-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #2
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Most likely they won't. Ever. They rarely change any features at all in firmware updates. Most often just fix something. You put your down money for the features written in spec. sheet, when you bought the camera. Thats what they deliver.

There are a bunch of features i'd like to see in my camera too. Some i wanted in my previous one. Still, no one else depends on them (like client). What i'm more concerned about, that IMHO there are numerous things being done wrong in new products. The ones you, me and some others might not put their money down for. Especially after numerous requests and expectations over several years. Minuscule number of them are remedied with conditional improvements.

Practically, Pentax is a quite small company. They can barely manufacture few lenses at the same time. Same goes for bodies. They have only enough resources to develop new cameras and do critical updates to previous ones. There simply isn't anyone who could do it.

As for "following Canon's lead" ... i hope they don't. This means you pay several times more for unstabilized, unsealed big and heavy body without flash. And for a quality lens you will have to carry something dumbbell sized along with you.
06-05-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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Sell your Pentax and get a Canon. Seeya!
06-05-2010, 04:03 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dande Quote
Okay, I admit. This is probably a very over-discussed topic, but still, it bothers me way too much, not to talk about it again, and again. I was and still am a Pentax addict photo- and cinematographer, so when the news came with the new K-7 and it's video feature, I couldn't resist to upgrade my gear. I've had some bad feelings about the lack of manual controls while in movie recording mode, but I've thought that following Canon's lead, Pentax will also release a manual mode firmware soon. But they haven't. Pentax haven't done that favor for us photo- and videographers yet, and I am close to believing, that they will never. The last firmware update was in February, and Pentax haven't issued any news, statements, anything about upcoming firmware releases, also the possibility of a manual movie mode. So, I - while still have some belief in Pentax - start to believe, that Pentax will release a new camera this year, with updated movie recording. I know, that people are capable of producing nice results with auto ISO and auto shutter, but I just came from a client, where I spent most time tinkering with the AE-L to get rid of the flickering or the impossible amount of noise. I hope that I am wrong from the beginning to the end, and hope that Pentax will communicate more about their current status on the K-x and K-7 firmwares.
This is all just my opinion, but I think that Pentax cameras will have manual control with video eventually, but it is more likely that this will be done through a new body rather than with a firmware upgrade. I say this primarily because if Pentax really wanted to do it through firmware, they likely would have done this already.

Another thing to consider is that Pentax isn't a video-centric company. Again it is likely their future products will have better video implementation, but I would expect that their technology will lag behind companies like Canon, Panasonic and now Sony-- all companies, incidentally, that also make camcorders. Actually, I think Pentax and Nikon are similar in this regard, and in many ways Pentax did a better job with its first stab at implementing video than Nikon did (Nikon has done better with recent models).

06-05-2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dande Quote
...
but I've thought that following Canon's lead, Pentax will also release a manual mode firmware soon
....
Wrong thoughts. I fully agree with what ytterbium said (quoted below). You buy the camera as is. If it does not provide the functionality that you need, don't buy it. There might be a number of reasons why they did not release a firmware with what you wanted. Manpower might be one, hardware restrictions (e.g. size of the program to incorporate new functionalities) might be another one.

QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
...
You put your down money for the features written in spec. sheet, when you bought the camera. Thats what they deliver.
...
06-05-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
This is all just my opinion, but I think that Pentax cameras will have manual control with video eventually, but it is more likely that this will be done through a new body rather than with a firmware upgrade. I say this primarily because if Pentax really wanted to do it through firmware, they likely would have done this already.

Another thing to consider is that Pentax isn't a video-centric company. Again it is likely their future products will have better video implementation, but I would expect that their technology will lag behind companies like Canon, Panasonic and now Sony-- all companies, incidentally, that also make camcorders. Actually, I think Pentax and Nikon are similar in this regard, and in many ways Pentax did a better job with its first stab at implementing video than Nikon did (Nikon has done better with recent models).
Excellent take, I completely agree. Pentax is a small company with a strong following. If you've been around with their digital SLR history, you'll typically find a firmware release within several months of production addressing bugs (some communicated, others addressed silently), and that is all. They definitely don't have a history of major software changes via firmware, so adding the features you'd hoped for is a long shot at best.

With that said, I definitely see it in the next high end body. Along with that you can also expect huge bang for your buck in a feature rich, aggressively priced offering. That is what I have found to be the norm for Pentax, and I am more than happy with that.

Another note, since I believe you are referring the the 5d MkII (possibly other models?) - Canon does not release new high end bodies with a frequency anywhere near their lower end market. The original 5d came out in 2005, and the MkII in 2008 - with that kind of release schedule firmware updates (especially when video pretty much burst onto the dslr scene just last year) do become a necessity. Pentax on the other hand generally adhere to an 18 month release schedule, meaning the K7 replacement should be here by year's end, and will likely have what you are looking for in more video control.
06-06-2010, 12:14 AM   #7
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Are there other models from any other manufacturer out there which would suit your needs better? If so, why aren't you pursuing that instead of complaining about a poor purchasing decision?

Jason
06-06-2010, 12:30 AM   #8
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Ok let me get this right .. you are complaining about a lack of a video feature in again ... a photographic camera .

Not only a feature that you knew wasn't in the camera but also something that pentax ever gave any indication they were ever gonna add. This is a camera when taking even i can produce a professing DOF that makes the video look like it was shot on a camera costing several grand

06-06-2010, 01:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for chiming in guys. You probably saved me from a ton of trouble by replying to these points in a much calmer tone than today's mood would have allowed me.
06-06-2010, 03:57 AM   #10
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I think that most of what you desire (and probably more) will be present in the sequel of the K7. I do think it is important to remember that the 5D has (so far) been on a 3 year up date schedule. If the K7 were on a similar schedule, then I think that Pentax would be more likely to give more firmware updates.

historically, Pentax has used firmware up dates to fix bugs. Things like the green line issue, SR problems and the kx battery problems were dealt with in this fashion. The only time that I remember firmware adding features was when the K10 was updated to add ability to use SDM.
06-06-2010, 04:06 AM   #11
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I have to say sorry, I did not want to upset anyone. Just to set everything straight: I've bought a Pentax, because I love Pentax, I've loved the K1000, the K100D, etc... All you guys who've spent your time to reply to my initial post, thank you. I understand what you write, and agree with you. I have to say, that I love my K-7, that's why I want the manual controls so much. I didn't want to buy a Canon, I don't like Canon cameras. But I really like how they approached the firmware upgrades for the MkII.
Also, one more thing, even though the K-7 is a photographic camera, I believe that taking HD videos is somewhat the future for these cameras, I know most photographers don't need or let's say don't want video shooting capabilities.
But please understand me on one point. Coming from a software engineering background, I find it hard to believe that including manual controls or just writing out the current settings (like in any other LV modes) is impossible.
06-06-2010, 04:44 AM   #12
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I dont think it's the future for cameras. More likely for the sensors. Have you seen how much additional stuff they attach to 5D in odd ways to make it really suitable for professional video. Its made for photography. Video is nice, just like in P&S camera, but belongs elsewhere.

Talking about the software engineering. In hardware it's a bit different. In huge number of cases, when you need to squeeze out maximum performance you have to hardcode or even hardwire a lot of behaviour and functionality.
06-06-2010, 05:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
I dont think it's the future for cameras. More likely for the sensors. Have you seen how much additional stuff they attach to 5D in odd ways to make it really suitable for professional video. Its made for photography. Video is nice, just like in P&S camera, but belongs elsewhere.

Talking about the software engineering. In hardware it's a bit different. In huge number of cases, when you need to squeeze out maximum performance you have to hardcode or even hardwire a lot of behaviour and functionality.
Which additional stuff you think of? You mean, the follow focus, monitor and etc? I don't really see anything unusual you have to attach on the 5D which you don't have to attach on a let's say Red One. Also, bigger and bigger productions start using HD-DSLR-s (think about the House finale). I think it is a very nice process. A lot of amateur filmmakers get opportunity to make outstanding shorts and features. I think it shouldn't be mixed with P&S videos or customer level camcorders. It is something very different. I don't know why it should belong somewhere else. Why can't photography and videography merge into one camera?
About software engineering: I know, I agree, I've had the opportunity in the past to be a part of a digital cinema camera team, so I know a bit about them, and I would be very surprised if the K-7 cannot have manual controls in movie mode, or at least displaying the current shutter and ISO on the screen. The reason I have written these posts, is because I am very afraid, that while the K-7 might have the capabilities to be a much better camera in the videography field, Pentax won't update the firmware just to drive the sales of their upcoming cameras.

Update: Also, I can easily believe, that K-7 cannot have 1080p and 24p modes, these could be easily restrained by limited hardware.
06-07-2010, 06:32 AM   #14
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Update: Also, I can easily believe, that K-7 cannot have 1080p and 24p modes, these could be easily restrained by limited hardware.

actually what do you expect from DSLR kamera ? you want to take a picture or take a video ... or both ?

because all the equipment are created to fullfil any specific purpose, you want to have a good movie ..then perhaps you should buy SONNY .. and if you want to have a DSLR with ekstra ordinary result ..you can get LEICA ...

and if you want to have booth .perhaps you should look for Samsung or Panasonic ... i dunno for sure ..

but the important thing is all that gear was made for the special purpose, thats why we use it DSLR only for photographic and so with the others gear...
06-07-2010, 07:26 AM   #15
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I think what you're seeing is V1 of Pentax's attempt at Video in a DSLR. Much like Nikon/Canon's first attempts (28fps mode was in Canon's first I think because they didn't have enough bandwidth), things are missing.
They had manual control in the beta firmware but took it out for some reason which I assume was a big issue they found...that's how engineering happens sometimes.
Wait to see what the next K7 does and make a decision or switch if you need it now...even a lowly Canon XSi might do what you want since I think it's their 3rd generation of video...
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