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11-20-2010, 04:53 PM   #1
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Firmware idea, must have been thought of before?

An idea that came to me, wadya think?

I've got a K20D and a range of old manual lenses some of which I tweak the focus confirmation on.

On a newer DSLR I think there should be a quick way to enter the details when the lens is not recent enough to be recognised.

Lens profiles set up by the user (the details are set up for each lens, on power up instead of confirming the shake reduction length the user selects one of their own profiles)
Prefix is irrelavant - could be like "M = Manual" Or "L = Lens" etc.

Example list partly populated
M1 = 50mm (for shake reduction) + 5 Focus Adjustment
M2 = 85mm (for shake reduction) - 5 Focus
M3 =
M4 = 70-210mm (Share reduction in steps from wheel) +3 Focus Adjustment

Once in the M4 (manual zoom) profile one of the control wheels could be used to change the shake reduction in defined steps only in the range of the lens.

Has this been requested before?

11-20-2010, 10:37 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.

If you are talking about a drop down menu of some sort, where you've saved your settings for particular manual lenses, it's an interesting idea. Not one that I think will ever be Implemented but interesting none the less. I would envision it replacing the SR focal length input on power up (is that what you are talking about?).

11-21-2010, 02:07 AM   #3
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Cheers for the welcome Jeff, yes replacing the SR prompt on power on.
Basically if the camera can have two distinct settings for the same manual lens it makes more sense to combine them under one reference.

Say if I were using the lens defined as M1 and decided that +3 was actually more accurate than +5 call up current profile, change to the Focus Adjustment and save.

The user is not forced to use the profiles but for people with a few manual lenses from different brands and ages being able to set (and clear) both focus adjustment (by definition the setting "for all") and focal length to "prompt" there is less chance of using the wrong settings with the next manual lens.
11-22-2010, 10:58 AM   #4
elg
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I can give some input from the software engineer perspective.

It is really nice idea, however it cannot be properly implemented.

Data entered should be saved somewhere.

1. Lets say it is camera memory. In order to implement this, the given camera must have some additional memory (more than it currently has). So we have a hardware issue here.

2. Lets say it is an SD card. If card changes, settings are gone. Therefore firmware cannot ensure that they will be always available. This may generate dis-satisfaction of the less knowledgeable users, and as a result of this - damage Pentax reputation.

So, for 1. - it is impossible, for the 2. - It does not make much sense for Pentax to implement such feature in existing cameras.

It would be different situation if cameras had some foreseen additional reserved memory for firmware updates like the suggested one.

Cheers,
elg (Erika)

11-22-2010, 11:05 AM   #5
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So you're suggesting that the camera's memory is currently 100% used. The last time I looked at a firmware dump, there seemed to be a lot of empty space in there. Don't know what it looks like now though. I wouldn't mind seeing an open source firmware so I could do away with the digital filters, and a couple other things and try something a little more useful (to me). Even being able to Name the lenses that we've set adjustments for (in the cameras that allow it) could be useful. If names exist, then use that menu rather than just a focal length input menu.

11-22-2010, 11:25 AM   #6
elg
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
So you're suggesting that the camera's memory is currently 100% used.
No. I just do not know. If there is a bit of free flash memory, this may be intended for some other things.

Cheers,
elg (Erika)
11-22-2010, 12:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by elg Quote
No. I just do not know. If there is a bit of free flash memory, this may be intended for some other things.

Cheers,
elg (Erika)
QuoteQuote:
So, for 1. - it is impossible
Your words. not mine.

11-22-2010, 07:11 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I have also done software engineering, and I don't think that this is at all impossible. As a former assembler/machine language programmer, I think it would simply be a matter of allocating, say, a half dozen twenty byte fields for storage. Its no different than the focus adjustment offsets that are already available to end-users to correct for front/back focus issues.

Then, there would need to be code to allow the user to enter, display and update those twenty byte strings. No biggy, here.

This is perfectly normal programming, and I don't even think it would be too difficult for an experienced programmer. I'm sure that, when they write the firmware, the programmers have to keep close track of how much memory is available and be very judicious about adding things. But, that's true of every feature they program in. They can't just go out and add a 1GB memory stick to the camera, the way we can with a PC. But memory is cheap and it wouldn't be a huge engineering change to use a bigger onboard memory chip.

Now, the question is, how badly does marketing want such a feature? If they were right on the edge of being able to fit into the available memory, it might be a problem. If that were the case, however, they might want to use a bigger chip on the motherboard, because there may be other features that they really, really want/need to add.

In a manufacturing environment like Hoya/Pentax, programmers don't add whatever they like. They have product planners and designers who make those decisions. There are lots of things that they could do in firmware. The designers have to make the tradeoffs as to which go in and which don't.

Also speaking from my experience as a programmer, I have to say that every feature you add, no matter how trivial, creates a chance for a bug. There's a certain risk/benefit analysis that must be done. Then there's the question of how many customers would use it. I think that's why tethering is not available in current Pentax cameras. The designers, rightly or wrongly, have decided that very few users actually need/want it.

11-23-2010, 10:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback, was beginning to wonder if the forum was a bit negative to ideas from new posters.

I work in engineering if not firmware programming I have blown a few bits into chips over the years so had taken some account of the cost/benefit by suggesting the profile use mainly existing parameters and the profile name to be one character and a number.

I could have said the profile needs to be 10 characters long and support 12 langauges, all I suggested was a single character (with relevance) and a number, pretty light in memory terms.

If it were possible to hide focal lengths in the SR range that would make it quicker for those with only a couple of lenses.

It's (mostly) already in the firmware what I'm looking for is some filtering or grouping by one extra field.
11-23-2010, 05:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by powernumpty Quote
Thanks for the feedback, was beginning to wonder if the forum was a bit negative to ideas from new posters.

I work in engineering if not firmware programming I have blown a few bits into chips over the years so had taken some account of the cost/benefit by suggesting the profile use mainly existing parameters and the profile name to be one character and a number.

I could have said the profile needs to be 10 characters long and support 12 langauges, all I suggested was a single character (with relevance) and a number, pretty light in memory terms.

If it were possible to hide focal lengths in the SR range that would make it quicker for those with only a couple of lenses.

It's (mostly) already in the firmware what I'm looking for is some filtering or grouping by one extra field.
Not really.. Some are going to reject the idea, some will slap you across the knuckles with a wooden ruler for daring to suggest something but, for the most part, it's pretty friendly around here. You just have to put on a thicker skin sometimes and take it for the free flow that it is. Somehow I doubt this is your first forum experience ever so I'm not telling you anything new.

Enjoy your time here..

11-23-2010, 10:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Not really.. Some are going to reject the idea, some will slap you across the knuckles with a wooden ruler for daring to suggest something but, for the most part, it's pretty friendly around here. You just have to put on a thicker skin sometimes and take it for the free flow that it is. Somehow I doubt this is your first forum experience ever so I'm not telling you anything new.

Enjoy your time here..

it is the burning passion of the pentaxians around here!

But yea I thought it was like that around here too when I had questions
11-24-2010, 11:05 AM   #12
elg
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Your words. not mine.
If all camera flash memory is used for various functions and features, then this is a fact that any additional feature requiring more flash memory is impossible to implement (unless larger parts of firmware are re-written and optimized to reduce that memory usage... which is expensive) in the given camera, as it is hardware issue then.
11-24-2010, 01:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by elg Quote
If all camera flash memory is used for various functions and features, then this is a fact that any additional feature requiring more flash memory is impossible to implement (unless larger parts of firmware are re-written and optimized to reduce that memory usage... which is expensive) in the given camera, as it is hardware issue then.
This is, of course, true. However, it is based on the assumption that every last byte of flash memory is allocated already.

I've been in IT since 1972 and I've done software developement for both general purpose computers and embedded systems. I have yet to see a system in which every single byte of memory is being used.

In my experience, the hardware guys tell the software guys how much memory they're going to have to work with. If the software guys start getting close to running out of memory, they go back to the hardware guys and product planners and tell them to increase the memory or decide which features to omit. This is especially true today, when memory is relatively cheap.

Besides, we're probably talking about a future camera, not a firmware upgrade to any current or past model. So, the memory size of such a putative future camera hasn't been decided, yet.

We're all discussing something we really know nothing about. We don't know how much flash memory is in the K-5, for instance. Nor do we know if the memory size on a future camera could be increased by simply substituting a physically identical chip, with more capacity (easy) or if additional memory chips would be needed on the motherboard (hard).

Getting back to the OP's original suggestion, I think it is a good idea. However, it is an idea that won't sell very many cameras, so it will not be given a high-priority by the product planners at Pentax.

Another good idea that I think will never happen: display actual shutter count on the back LCD. We get a thread about once a week, from some newbie, asking how to display the shutter count. The camera already has the count stored in flash memory. We're not asking for the ability to change the shutter count. Displaying it would be trivial. But, it ain't gonna happen.
11-24-2010, 03:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
I have yet to see a system in which every single byte of memory is being used.
True, but in this instance a bit more than a few bits will be needed.

QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Besides, we're probably talking about a future camera, not a firmware upgrade to any current or past model.
That's the whole point. For future camera this discussion (what is possible and what is not) simply does not make much sense, as for the future camera they can slot in more memory, or add/omit some features. I thought that we are talking about the firmware update for the already existing camera model.

QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Getting back to the OP's original suggestion, I think it is a good idea.
I agree too that it is a good idea. For future camera and in general.

Why not to send this idea to Pentax?

I remember suggesting a few new features for one image processing software application. I wrote a letter to them. Two versions later these features were implemented.

Cheers,
elg (Erika)
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