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10-13-2011, 06:37 PM - 4 Likes   #1
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Pentax KX DFS: Success!

Hi,

Hopefully this information is of use. I know many people are wanting the ability to disable DFS for the KX. Not really a hack, but a nice thing to know. Please take caution if you are not familiar with the debug mode. This is not intended to be a tutorial, but a quick update for those looking for how to disable DFS for the KX, who like me, have discovered that DISABLENR does not work.

I was looking through the firmware 1.02 for the Pentax KX and noticed the keywords DISABLE_BULB_ALG. I gave it a try and it worked. I no longer have DFS using this command. I'm not sure how many things are contained in the algorithm that is being disabled, but definitely DFS is one item as the camera is immediately ready to take a picture with long exposures. I tested with a 1 min exposure and a 5 minute exposure. Definite increases in hot pixels and bloom with increased exposure time, but with image stacking and dithering these are easily eliminated in typical astrophotography (my hobby) image processing. I'm not sure if there are any other effects with this command yet. Still need to conduct more tests.

My camera and files are as follows:

Pentax KX (firmware 1.02, the following files in the root directory of the SD card, powering on while holding +/-, debug mode <EN>)

File Name: MODSET.492
File Contents: [OPEN_DEBUG_MENU]

File Name: SYSPARAM.TXT
File Contents: [DISABLE_BULB_ALG] 1@

Thanks

Full Metal Ratchet

Attached Files
File Type: zip Pentax KX DSLR debug.zip (260 Bytes, 297 views)

Last edited by ratchet; 12-08-2011 at 04:11 PM. Reason: Added reference debug files.
10-13-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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Sweet find. It really makes me wonder what else we can find it we muck around the debug firmware.
10-14-2011, 02:27 AM   #3
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hm, I wonder if that'd work on K-7
10-17-2011, 05:15 PM   #4
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DFS for Pentax - debug mode only?

Hi,

Does this setting take effect only in Debug mode or even when the debug mode is off?

10-18-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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looks like you just became a hero for a whole lot of poeple.Excellent work!
10-19-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
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Camera needs to be in debug mode for this to work. It is not a setting added to the additional debug menu, I spent ages trying to find the menu item to turn it on! Now sort out how to put the K5 into debug and allow us to reset the electronic level please!

Last edited by ambienthousewife; 10-19-2011 at 11:05 AM. Reason: politeness
10-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #7
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I might be thick... However... DFS???
10-19-2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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dark frame substitution. Basically it's about the ability to turn off inbuilt noise reduction in bulb (which more or less doubles the time for each pic, so you can take only half as many). On K-5 it can be turned off, on K-x and K-7 it can't.

10-19-2011, 04:32 PM   #9
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It can be turned off in KR as well.For most people it probably woundn't be a factor BUT...to us aspiring astrophotographers its a major problem.Think of it like this.Taking pics thru a telescope might involve either a long exposure ,say 15 minutes.The camera does a dark frame for the same amount of time as the exposure,15 minutes,so you have to wait 15 minutes to make your next shot. Typically we might make a bunch of shorter exposures of 15 to 30 seconds of the same object.Again here we go again with a dark frame for each exposure made.dark frame subtraction is a great tool,so long as it can be switched off as you can make 1 dark frame and use it when you stack the images later using computer software.On my camera it does make a huge difference in image quality on low light shots. I think Pentax is going in the right direction in making their newer cameras with features like customizeable DFS ,built in interval timer,mirror lockup and other features that canon has has for years.Now if they would only give us a Pentax supplied tethering solution that works as well as canon!
10-19-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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Tried this and maybe I have done something wrong, but it did not work. Any exposure over 30 seconds leads to that DFS wait. To clarify, my files are MODSET.492 (as in without a .txt extension) with contents " [OPEN_DEBUG_MENU] " (without the quotes) and SYSPARAM.TXT with contents " [DISABLE_BULB_ALG] 1@ " (again without quotes). I power up the phone holding the "+/-" key, switch DEBUG MODE to <EN>, press OK, go to "M" mode, set the exposure time to Bulb and hold the shutter button for ~35 seconds as a test shot. My firmware is version 102.21.14 and I have no other mods in my the root of my SD card.

It has failed each test shot at varying times over 30 seconds at bypassing the DFS; if I am doing something wrong, please let me know because disabling this feature is something I have wanted to do since I learned about astrophotography. Thanks and sorry for the lengthy, idiot-proof explanation.
10-19-2011, 07:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jabberwocky127 Quote
I power up the phone holding the "+/-" key
There's your problem
10-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #12
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Your method looks good, same as what I used. Did you use a proper text editor or the one in Windoes? I have attached the files I have used if you want to try them. I created them with Notepad++ Notepad++ Home and they work ok for me. Good luck!
Attached Files
File Type: zip Archive.zip (256 Bytes, 184 views)
10-20-2011, 01:02 PM   #13
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That didn't work either, oh well. Hopefully it works for others, thanks for the help!
10-20-2011, 04:18 PM   #14
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It is strange that ambienthousewife's files work for her KX but not for yours. Do you have an EOL character (carriage return...i.e. press <enter>) after [DISABLE_BULB_ALG] 1@? I believe this is required.

The camera should only need to be powered up while holding +/- once to get the debug mode to enable. After that, it will always power on in debug mode until you turn debug mode off. When debug mode is turned off, the next power on cycle will be regular old KX.

Try just powering on normally one cycle after enabling debug mode. Just turn the camera off and back on using the power switch only. Perhaps it will only load SYSPARAM.TXT on initial power on once the camera has been set to debug mode previously. I don't have my camera with me atm to check.
10-20-2011, 04:43 PM   #15
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I tried having nothing after the line, pressing enter after the line, and even two enters in a last ditch effort to make something happen, haha. None of these worked for me and I have power cycled it a few times after enabling Debug mode. Using the exact same files as the OP (presumably that's what she uploaded), I was unable to get the same results; maybe my camera is cursed. A thing to note, the OP's files did not have a carriage return in the SYSPARAM.TXT file after the text block, though I did try it with one after testing it as is first to no avail.
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