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04-27-2007, 11:52 AM   #1
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Auto ISO, K100D

Hello all,

Apologies in advance for making my first post here a request for help!

As has been discussed here and elsewhere the Auto ISO feature of the K100D (and I assume the K110D) does not work as described in the user manual. That is, if you are in Av or Tv mode, Auto ISO will work fine UNTIL you dial in any +/- exposure compensation (EV). Once you dial in +/- EV, the camera will tell you is it still using Auto ISO, but park itself on ISO 200 and not budge until you go back to EV 0.

I'm aware that some K100D owners don't care that this feature doesn't work as advertised because their shooting style doesn't require it. Others, like myself, specifically bought this camera for features like Auto ISO. Either way, don't you want your camera to do what it is supposed to do?!

I called the North American toll-free number (1-800-877-0155) and spoke with a support person. He confirmed that his K100D behaved exactly as mine did. He said the only course of action he has is to send a "comment" to Pentax Japan that the camera is working as described above, and that a user believes it is wrong. I can't imagine this will amount to much.

However, with a few more calls and requests to Pentax Japan, maybe they'll take notice and issue a firmware update to uncripple our cameras. Please consider taking a moment to dial the above toll-free number and lodge a request to correct the Auto ISO feature on these cameras.

Many thanks,
Mark

04-27-2007, 04:49 PM   #2
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So that's what it is!

I'm a new K100D owner too, and I've been going crazy with the Auto ISO not working, and I've checked, and its when I've got my EV set to + 1/3, which where I tend to like it.

It's especially annoying because you don't notice it until you get in a low light situation and you hear that clunk...clunk of a second or half-second exposure. In ordinary daylight, being stuck on ISO 200 isn't a big deal, because there's a good chance the Auto's going to pick 200. But when you want 1600 or 3200 -- and I do shoot quite a bit at 3200 -- those four stops make a big difference.

I agree -- they should fix this in a firmware update.
04-27-2007, 06:06 PM   #3
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Pentax knew the issue long ago since the *ist D days and Pentax users did and do report the issue over and over again for years!

Frankly, I was the very first one to report it, I think more than 3 years ago!

Well, Pentax finally picked out the bug for the K10D. But for the rest of Pentax DSLRs, don't imagine any firmware update will be released to resolve the issue. If Pentax were willing to do it, at least the K100D firmware had been updated months ago.

BTW, have anyone ever seen any K100D firmware update for debugs and revised features?

QuoteOriginally posted by sinjin Quote
Hello all,

Apologies in advance for making my first post here a request for help!

As has been discussed here and elsewhere the Auto ISO feature of the K100D (and I assume the K110D) does not work as described in the user manual. That is, if you are in Av or Tv mode, Auto ISO will work fine UNTIL you dial in any +/- exposure compensation (EV). Once you dial in +/- EV, the camera will tell you is it still using Auto ISO, but park itself on ISO 200 and not budge until you go back to EV 0.

I'm aware that some K100D owners don't care that this feature doesn't work as advertised because their shooting style doesn't require it. Others, like myself, specifically bought this camera for features like Auto ISO. Either way, don't you want your camera to do what it is supposed to do?!

I called the North American toll-free number (1-800-877-0155) and spoke with a support person. He confirmed that his K100D behaved exactly as mine did. He said the only course of action he has is to send a "comment" to Pentax Japan that the camera is working as described above, and that a user believes it is wrong. I can't imagine this will amount to much.

However, with a few more calls and requests to Pentax Japan, maybe they'll take notice and issue a firmware update to uncripple our cameras. Please consider taking a moment to dial the above toll-free number and lodge a request to correct the Auto ISO feature on these cameras.

Many thanks,
Mark
04-27-2007, 07:51 PM   #4
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I rarely use the auto ISO feature of my K100D. I keep mine set at ISO200 just about all of the time and occassionally use 400 and 800. My gripe with the K100 is that it doesn't have ISO100.

I think it's just a feature that's been incorporated to allow the use of the slower zoom lens that prevelant these days.

04-27-2007, 08:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
P

Well, Pentax finally picked out the bug for the K10D. But for the rest of Pentax DSLRs, don't imagine any firmware update will be released to resolve the issue. If Pentax were willing to do it, at least the K100D firmware had been updated months ago.
"If Pentax were willing to do it"

I think that should read ABLE to do it. As I posted to another thread, Pentax has a much better record of firmware updates than any other camera manufacturer. Since this "bug" has existed in all Pentax cameras prior to the K10D, I believe they would have revised the firmware by now IF it is a firmware issue. Alternatively, fixing this may cause other issues that we are not aware of.
04-27-2007, 09:39 PM   #6
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@fnarf
Glad to shed some light. I was banging my head against the wall with this one, too.

@EddyinGA
I believe the main reason for manufacturers including an Auto ISO feature in their cameras is that digital cameras can change their sensitivity shot-to-shot, unlike film cameras which get stuck on an ISO for an entire roll. So the evolution of the tool allows 3 variables for capturing light (shutter, aperture, sensitivity) where we previously only had 2. It is a seemingly obvious thing in hindsight yet it is surprising to see how rare this feature is implemented by manufacturers.

@RiceHigh, Roscot
Whether a case of willingness or able-ness this is truly disappointing to read! I hate to say it in this forum, but I probably would have bought the Nikon D40 if I had understood the K100D's Auto ISO "feature" didn't really work. Yes, the K100D still offers more bang-for-buck than the D40, but I was so looking forward to being liberated with Auto ISO that I would have overlooked other things. Sigh.

Is there any use in asking the big reviewers (e.g. dpreview, dcresource, steve's...) to add a little addendum to their reviews informing potential buyers that Auto ISO doesn't actually work? I would have appreciated knowing this before buying.
04-28-2007, 01:28 AM   #7
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I found auto ISO a problem too with my K100D until I traded in my el-cheapo Sigma 18-50 DC for the Pentax DA 18-55. With the Sigma lens, auto ISO ALWAYS only gave me 200. But since fitting the DA 18-55, the auto ISO worked fine, utilising the full range of ISO settings permitted by me. Perhaps its a lens compatibility issue, but I'm sure Pentax COULD come up with a firmware update to make this feature more functional for more lenses.

@sinjin
I too looked at the D40 whilst shopping for a dSLR. LOTS of people tried to sway me towards the Canons and Nikons, because "they're the best and always will be". Foowey! I'd compared each model down to almost every feature, and for the money K100D wins over the D40 and EOS 350 (at the time).

The D40 was a high contender for me until I saw its shutter lag stats. I was not impressed - Nikon should be ashamed of itself! 0.4 seconds for an SLR?!?

I also queried the K100D's lowest ISO setting, but am relatively pleased that the image quality at ISO 200 is excellent. If I ever need to take shots on a bright sunny day in Antarctica, I'll just have to stop down a little more than other cameras...
04-28-2007, 12:22 PM   #8
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It does work as advertized

sinjin,
I checked my owners manual and it says on page 122 that auto iso is not adjusted if ev compensation is adjusted , manual mode , bulb mode and or if auto bracket is set.
Although I agree with you, in that i think it should auto iso if ev comp is used. I will also as you requested, call pentax and request a firmware update to fix this problem. Thanks for the heads up

Woody,

04-29-2007, 01:59 AM   #9
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I think that's why they'll never fix it, it's in the manual. Fix it and the manual will be wrong.
04-29-2007, 02:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
I think that's why they'll never fix it, it's in the manual. Fix it and the manual will be wrong.
Oh, that's the best reason I have ever heard about this never-resolved problem!
04-30-2007, 07:01 AM   #11
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Thanks for the correction, woodyga. I should have found that, having searched for it several times. Oh well, guess the chances of getting this stupid behaviour fixed is even less than previously imagined (which was already a snowball's chance in hell).

SteveB, RiceHigh Thanks, for the laugh!

Ash, it sounds as though you and I did similar research. The K100D had the D40 trumped in a lot of categories, so I may have still bought Pentax. It's hard to say because for the way I shoot now I'd give up Shake Reduction for Auto ISO (awaits gasps of shock ). Either way, learning later that "Highly Desired Feature X" in my purchase is essentially useless compared to the same feature in my second choice really burns!

Guess I'll have to shell out for a flash sooner then planned, and give up on my hopes for quick, candid, indoor shots of the toddler!

Last edited by sinjin; 04-30-2007 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typo
05-25-2007, 05:16 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the information in this thread. I searched quite a bit before finding this answer to my question ("Why am I stuck on ISO 200 all the time?"). I agree that this should be fixed, but probably won't. At least I got my best laugh of the day from the proposal that it won't be fixed because then the manual would be wrong. The same thought had entered my head about one second before reading that!
05-26-2007, 07:14 AM   #13
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I stopped using Auto ISO long ago, but for a different reason. Mine seemed to favor high ISO's, so when I had auto set from 200-3200, it would routinely give me shots at 3200 in broad daylight. I say just take the 1 second it takes to adjust the ISO using the fn button, and all will be well.
05-26-2007, 10:43 AM   #14
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Interesting. I tried several test shots with the ISO set in Auto and adjusting the EV. It switched between 200 and 400 with no problem. A while back I installed the newest software patch so I'm wondering if that fixed the problem.
05-26-2007, 07:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDP Quote
Interesting. I tried several test shots with the ISO set in Auto and adjusting the EV. It switched between 200 and 400 with no problem. A while back I installed the newest software patch so I'm wondering if that fixed the problem.
Which "software patch"?
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