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10-14-2019, 12:27 AM - 1 Like   #1
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All There is to Know About Pentax & LV Electronic Shutter

Hi, I wanted to create one forum thread that includes all accurate information about Electronic Shutter Mode on Pentax DSLRS.

The spec sheets online only say 'Electronic Shutter: Yes" for K-1 (via FW upgrade), K-1 II, and KP, while they don't seem to share exactly the same capabilities. On the other hand, comments, etc. on places like DPreview and here seem to be muddled with too many speculations to be a reliable source for information. The manuals are not that helpful either -- they basically say the same thing across all three models, while the evidence I find online seems to suggest that KP works a bit differently from the other 2. (In the manuals, the only difference I can find is that ES is enabled with Continuous Shooting only in KP and not in K-1/K-1II)

Please, if you own any one of the following devices and are willing to actually test the operation and confirm, could you help me complete a list of Electronic Shutter related capabilities on Pentax DSLRs?

From what I have read and watched so far, it seems that KP is the only one that can actually complete a full exposure without actuating the mechanical shutter as well (except in Pixel Shift Resolution). And, I've only confirmed this in one situation: when KP is taking a burst of shots in Continuous Shooting mode, there is no sound of the mechanical shutter actuating between the individual exposures. (see: PENTAX KP ??????????????? - YouTube)

Here is a list of questions. Please advise if you have a definite answer for any of these. Also feel free to add other questions if you like.

1) Can each of these cameras complete a full exposure in single shooting mode from the LV standby screen without ever moving the mechanical shutter?
KP: Yes
K-1 (post FW upgrade): No
K-1 II: No

2) Can each of these cameras complete multiple exposures (in continuous shooting mode) from the LV standby screen without ever moving the mechanical shutter?
KP: Yes
K-1 (post FW upgrade): No
K-1 II: No

3) Can each of these cameras complete multiple exposures (in multiple-exposure / continuous shooting mode) from the LV standby screen without ever moving the mechanical shutter?
KP: Yes
K-1 (post FW upgrade): No
K-1 II: No

4) Can each of these cameras complete a single, full exposure (in multiple-exposure / single/remote/timer) from the LV standby screen without ever moving the mechanical shutter?
KP:
K-1 (post FW upgrade): No
K-1 II: No

5) Can each of these cameras complete all shots of a bracketing sequence from the LV standby screen without ever moving the mechanical shutter?
KP: Yes
K-1 (post FW upgrade): No
K-1 II: No

6) Time required for scanning the entire sensor in ES mode (rolling shutter):
KP:
K-1 (post FW upgrade): 210 ms
K-1 II:

So far, it seems that the ES modes in the mentioned cameras can be summarized as:
KP: for silent shooting (except for the mirror/mechanical actuation when entering/exiting LV), for shutter-shake reduction, for preserving mechanical-shutter life
K1 (post FW upgrade): for shutter-shake reduction
K1 II: for shutter-shake reduction

Thank you for the input: biz-engineer, parinya-ekparinya, clackers; and for raising interesting questions: Ole


Last edited by PentaMiCL; 10-14-2019 at 04:47 PM.
10-14-2019, 12:40 AM - 1 Like   #2
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For the K1 and K1 II, the answer is No for all questions from 1) to 5).
10-14-2019, 02:20 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
For the K1 and K1 II, the answer is No for all questions from 1) to 5).
Thank you for the input. I've updated the OP.

So, would you say the ES mode on K1 / K1 II is good only for (1) shooting at higher shutter speeds than the mechanical shutter allows, and (2) reducing camera shake due to shutter actuation, and not at all useful for (a) shooting more quietly, nor (b) preserving the lifespan of the mechanical shutter?

Is there any other way that you see ES on K1 / K1 II useful?
10-14-2019, 02:37 AM - 1 Like   #4
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It would also be of interest to know the time it takes for the full exposure to be captured (i.e. time needed to record all pixels). It is thought to be in the order of 1/15 s or so even when the shutter time Tv is set to a faster value. Which again makes handheld use of ES subject to distortion from camera movement and moving objects at all shutter speeds.

10-14-2019, 03:30 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaMiCL Quote
So, would you say the ES mode on K1 / K1 II is good only for (1) shooting at higher shutter speeds than the mechanical shutter allows
ES on the K1 can't shoot at higher shutter speed than 1/8000th, and anyway I don't see cases where I'd need faster than 1/8000th with ES having a scan time as long as 120ms to 250ms.


QuoteOriginally posted by PentaMiCL Quote
and (2) reducing camera shake due to shutter actuatio
That's useful at shutter speed values between 1/4th and 1'/200th, outside of that range ES is, IMO, of not benefit.

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaMiCL Quote
(b) preserving the lifespan of the mechanical shutter?
Pure ES would preserve the life span of mechanical shutter when taking a lot of photographs in LV mode or a lot of multiexposures in LV mode. But personnaly I've never come to the end of life of a shutter in any of the Pentax flag ship cameras for the last 20 years.

---------- Post added 14-10-19 at 13:07 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
It is thought to be in the order of 1/15 s or so even when the shutter time Tv is set to a faster value.
On the K1, it takes 21 periods of an incandescent light bulb (50Hz x 2 -> 100Hz) to complete the ES exposure of one frame, that's 210ms, and the line scan speed is the same in crop mode. Now it's understandable why ES on the K1 gets disabled in bust mode and also disabled if SR is enabled. => To avoid any risk a distorsion in a frame, ES should be used with the camera on a tripod and with nothing moving in the frame. I guess on the Kp the ES scan time is half as much as on the K1, someone having a KP could figure it out taking a photo of a white background illuminated by an incandescent light bulb.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 10-14-2019 at 05:27 AM.
10-14-2019, 01:02 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Thanks for sharing, interesting data! I did not known the K-1 can't do silent ES in LV.
10-14-2019, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I have tried with my KP.
Yes for 1), 2) and 3). No for 5). I haven't yet tried 4).
10-14-2019, 03:27 PM - 3 Likes   #8
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The ES in the K-1 is an anti-shuttershake measure, since the shutter is bigger and heavier than an APS-C one. The mechanical second curtain does cause shaking but the exposure is over by then.

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