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07-30-2009, 03:15 AM   #256
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Has anyone experienced this problem with firmware 1.01? I'm asking this because of the fact that the new firmware contains several "hidden" improvements. For instance the tearing problem while reviewing movies on the screen of the K-7 has been solved.

07-30-2009, 03:24 AM   #257
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That's what K-7 in-camera NR is currently doing - the line is still there but less greenish.


Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

EDIT: The first left photo is with NR off, the second was with NR high. Tested with FW 1.0.1. only.

QuoteOriginally posted by RuiC Quote
Aggreed! Software couldn't do that. The only way to turn around the problem is the SW to get the green line and paint it gray!
Rui
Software is the only reason why your computer has a fan!

Last edited by davidt; 07-30-2009 at 03:30 AM.
07-30-2009, 04:28 AM   #258
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I am just noticing this and thought I'd toss this in if it hasn't been mentioned... the K20D LiveView wouldn't run at full resolution. Was this due to the processing required, or to reduce the stress on the sensor? Could it be that this particular sensor just isn't well suited for things that will lead to heating it up: live view, movie, lots of continuous shooting..?
07-30-2009, 04:43 AM   #259
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QuoteOriginally posted by Torphoto Quote
well you don't have a line, but you do have a few hot pixels but that can be expected, a pixel remap will fix that up easy.
I agree.
However, we just learn that we have 42°C inward flow temperature (cf. below).
QuoteOriginally posted by Olivier Quote
It seems that the temperature sensor gives only a general idea of internal camera temperature, not the actual temperature of the component causing the green lines (the sensor itself?).
I was wondering too. There are too heat sources involved:
- sun shining onto the (black) metal body, heat flowing inward
- sensor heating up, heat flowing outward

Depending on where the heat sensor is located, it could report too low or too high temperature. The mainboard sits in between the rear display and the sensor. I suppose this is where heat is measured, too. The line artifact will depend solely on sensor temperature (my guess).

In order to really compare, one would have to report ambient AND exif temperature, discarding reports with exposition to sunshine.

My (pre-production) line was at 27°C ambient, 40°C exif, after 30min of video recording and after 20 min of first appearance of the red warning. Afterwards, LV refused to engage at all ("too hot text message"). But the camera didn't shut down.
QuoteOriginally posted by davidt Quote
I'm not sure if it's just a small firmware mod enabling more efficient processing - I assume it's hard to get the heat out of a wheater sealed body...on the other hand it's a metal body so probably not.
The black metal body actually helps, except in direct sunshine.
I guess it isn't the processing but CMOS getting hot with read-out. Nikon and Canon have the same problems. AFAIK, Panasonic uses NMOS which seems to have less problems.
QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
1. Every K7 is prone to this issue and not everyone sees it due to differences in usage and ambient conditions (ie a design flaw).
2. Random K7s are prone to this issue due to sensor inconsistencies or other parts (ie a parts/manufacturing flaw).
[...]
There are compromises that have to be made. It might be that you can't "go small" without other design changes. Be interesting to see how it shakes out.
My guess is for #1.
This is why I was interested in this 42°C sample. And schmik's case. But schmik's camera simply doesn't get hot. Strange ... But I suppose he simply didn't run the "20min video while temp warning is on" test. He got the temp warning after 15 min which is normal.
QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
So what we know..... video heats it up more than live view. Appears that temp warning comes on at 33deg C.
Good info!

07-30-2009, 04:55 AM   #260
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Possibilities in firmware

I fear the options for a fix in firmware are available but limited.

The most obvious fix is this:
1. Clone the left middle line by the left neighboring line, the right middle line by the right neighboring line (the vertical line artifact is two pixels wide which I called left/right middle line).
2. Do it right after read out, where pixel mapping is done.
3. Only do it at 33° or higher, i.e. when temp warning shows up.

To work reliably, another fix is required:
4. Monitor temperature during movie recording, and keep a history of switch-on temperatures to be used as an ambient temperature guess. Use ambient temperature together with the heat-sensor measurement and minutes into video recording to guess the true sensor temperature. Use the true sensor temperature for the red warning and step #3 above.

The line would be gone and its removal would be hardly visible. Only sharp edges with a near vertical orientation would exhibit a slight jagg when crossing the center, still invisible at 50% magnification.

I would consider this be acceptable because we would know when it does it: while we see the red temp warning (should then appear on the INFO screen as well).


Other possible fixes would hurt more:
- shut off the camera, rather turn the red warning on
- Refuse to take photos at all until cooled down enough
...
07-30-2009, 05:52 AM   #261
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Falk,

First thanks for the earlier answer to my question about Pentax being able to test the current production units for the issue...kinda what I expected but you added some aspects that made it reasonable.

About a firmware fix you mention. I bet a lot of such 'fixes' happen with many mfg's...problem for me in this case is two-fold.

First, I came over to Pentax because I liked they left our RAW files alone to a greater degree than the "Big Two" and others. Adding a processing layer as a 'fix' diminishes that as a motivation to buy or remain with the company. I am not saying it should be a deal breaker but it sort of shoots themselves in the foot to take that direction as it goes against the philosophy used to bring new users into the Pentax camp.

Second, a firmware only solutions worries me about the lifespan of the body if there is a component that is potentially overheating on a consistent basis. Every time that component overheats it's lifespan is reduced from what it would be if it operated within normal tolerances. There is also another side to this coin, if this is not that sensor or image processor causing the problem, that means whatever component is overheating is inducing noise in the whole system. I don't know what effects that might have longer term, but it's still in my mind.

I just thought of an really worrisome possibility. If it is the new image processing chip overheating then even with a firmware fix to sort of search out this problem and fake it's way through the shot, then it will only worsen over time (overheating increases stress on any component.)

A processing workaround will likely increase processing time resulting in longer lag times when the buffer is full and of course longer to write out any images to the disk...even a couple seconds can lose a shot you waited hours to obtain.

Basically, if this is not a logic error executing longer than it should or a case where they overclocked a given component in order to get say the higher frame rate, it has to be a bit of hardware they is inherently wrong for the design. And if Pentax uses a software (for those who are not aware, firmware is just software at the system level) but a software fix just hides the problem behind a curtain, which as I mentioned above could result in a camera that dies a premature death.

One way to make people feel better about whatever fix they put in the body would be to add a 4-yr warranty on the K7 to make up for the flaw. Yeah, it will cost them, but also it will go a long way to remove any doubt in long term viability of the K7 for those of us who expect a camera to give us not years of service but decades of service.

When another company had a large scale problem with a shutter related flaw, that company not only replaced the shutter for ANYONE who bought the body, even if purchased after the production line was changed and gave them a voucher they could use in the future for any repair/service of the gear of their choice, including a lens.

I guess I am putting the cart before the horse in that last bit, but I feel that is also part of fixing the problem
07-30-2009, 06:15 AM   #262
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K-7 has 36 month warranty IF...

all k-7 sold in USA come with 3 year warranty, once you jump though all the hoops:

You Buy K-7 from an authorized Pentax USA dealer then,

K-7 arrives without additional warranty card (((as usual))),

Contact Pentax by phone or email to obtain 2 year additional warranty card with its special code,

Receive warranty card by postal mail which was processed by ONE Pentax employee for all USA sales ;^( ,

Go to pentax website to process your warranty & then separately process your extended warranty too,

all within "30 days" of your K-7 purchase date.

I'd say Pentax is well aware of vertical green line syndrome since for the rule followers they'll give 3 years warranty instead of one year that K-7 has in USA.

But you got to jump thru all their hoops, all within 30 days of your purchase date.

Why Pentax USA make warranty registration so difficult? I'd guess it comes down to money OR someone at Pentax USA likes to run statistics on what percentage of Pentax K-7 buyers will go thru all the ADDED steps to properly register K-7 versus those who do not.

Last edited by Samsungian; 07-30-2009 at 06:33 AM.
07-30-2009, 06:36 AM   #263
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
Why Pentax USA make warranty registration so difficult?
to save money, they hope that less people will be able to use it even when eligible - savings for Hoya...

07-30-2009, 07:00 AM   #264
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote

Why Pentax USA make warranty registration so difficult?
This subject is OT, but I've also wondered why Pentax doesn't simply apply the 3-year warranty routinely and automatically to those products it's willing to cover for that period.

Be that as it may, the process to secure the extra two years is actually pretty bloody easy. When I registered my K20D a few days after Christmas, the initial phone call and subseqent on-line registration each took less than 5 minutes - hardly an onerous execise.

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07-30-2009, 07:03 AM   #265
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It could be that they want to collect customer data and make the extended warranty an incentive in order to do so. The company I work for puts a 90 day automatic warranty on everything we sell, but it gets extended to 12 months if you register the product.
07-30-2009, 07:17 AM   #266
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
This subject is OT, but I've also wondered why Pentax doesn't simply apply the 3-year warranty routinely and automatically to those products it's willing to cover
My impression is that at least part of the reason is to entice people into registering.

Information on the number and location of the final owners could be very useful to Pentax.
07-30-2009, 07:49 AM   #267
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Easy for you cause you knew about the missing card

Lets say you never visited pentax website and you bought a K20D that had no included 2 year warranty extension card. Then how would you know to ask for it???

Over a month ago Pentax USA pulled the bonus ribbon showing 2 year warranty bump from K20D site. If you don't know somethings missing, how do you know to contact Pentax to ask for it ??? The only K20D retailer showing 3 year warranty deal is WalMart.

I don't think its off topic as Pentax USA are deploying same scheme with K-7 warranty. No additional warranty card included with a K-7 purchase & most K-7 buyers have no clue, & get no 2 year bump. This warranty deal is not even posted at Pentax USA K-7 site, again its only posted at WalMart website.

With the sensor problem in K-7 alot of users who didn't know about the 3 year deal will get screwed and have to pay for repair of their factory defective K-7.



QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
This subject is OT, but I've also wondered why Pentax doesn't simply apply the 3-year warranty routinely and automatically to those products it's willing to cover for that period.

Be that as it may, the process to secure the extra two years is actually pretty bloody easy. When I registered my K20D a few days after Christmas, the initial phone call and subseqent on-line registration each took less than 5 minutes - hardly an onerous execise.

Jer
07-30-2009, 01:03 PM   #268
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
Lets say you never visited pentax website and you bought a K20D that had no included 2 year warranty extension card. Then how would you know to ask for it???

Over a month ago Pentax USA pulled the bonus ribbon showing 2 year warranty bump from K20D site. If you don't know somethings missing, how do you know to contact Pentax to ask for it ??? The only K20D retailer showing 3 year warranty deal is WalMart.

I don't think its off topic as Pentax USA are deploying same scheme with K-7 warranty. No additional warranty card included with a K-7 purchase & most K-7 buyers have no clue, & get no 2 year bump. This warranty deal is not even posted at Pentax USA K-7 site, again its only posted at WalMart website.

With the sensor problem in K-7 alot of users who didn't know about the 3 year deal will get screwed and have to pay for repair of their factory defective K-7.
I agree but I am not sure if this is more of a problem of simply not putting the extended warranty card in the boxes for some unknown/logistics issue vs. willful on the part of Pentax. You know a case of production not being aware since they do not have any cards to stick into the boxes so they don't even know about them? Or am I being too much of an apologist in this regard?

I am one of those who had I not read enough here, would have had no idea there was a 3yr warranty offer on the K20D until, I believe today. I emailed Pentax USA TWICE and never received a warranty card even though I included a copy of the Amazon receipt with both emails. I had gone ahead and PAID for a Pentax extended warranty for my K20D because I found Willoughby's had them for $3.99 & free shipping.

And I never read anywhere until these past few comments that there is supposed to be a 3yr warranty on the K7. Then again the K7 site does not work properly for me using FF, IE8, Opera or Chrome. The only tab on the product pages for things on the Pentax site is the main info tab. All others give an error. So, that is an entire other thread. Still is it part of the issue of being aware of the
07-31-2009, 08:16 PM   #269
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An interesting thing about the CameraTemperature reporting - I took several pictures that showed a camera temperature of 41 C that had no lines. This a day after the same camera showed the line at 36 C after using movie mode. The second day I didn't use either movie mode or live view, just spent 3 hours hiking when the temperature was in the 90s F. So I think that those who surmise that the camera temperature sensor is influenced by the sun/air temperatures and doesn't completely reflect the sensor may be right.

I returned the camera and I've used movie mode several times. However, the weather has been a bit cooler and I've only gotten the camera up to 36 C once or twice, and not higher (done before upgrading to newer firmware). Thought I might get up there today as I used movie mode for several clips (more than I had done with the previous camera) but the temp never went above 30 C (this is after upgrade).

One interesting thing is that the first camera said it was produced June 26th and production code was 2.2. However, the second camera was produced July 4 and production code was 2.1. Does anyone know how the production codes work?

I'm quite happy with the camera now.
08-01-2009, 07:15 AM   #270
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal Quote
An interesting thing about the CameraTemperature reporting - I took several pictures that showed a camera temperature of 41 C that had no lines. This a day after the same camera showed the line at 36 C after using movie mode. The second day I didn't use either movie mode or live view, just spent 3 hours hiking when the temperature was in the 90s F. So I think that those who surmise that the camera temperature sensor is influenced by the sun/air temperatures and doesn't completely reflect the sensor may be right.
Interesting. If I understand what you're saying properly (and possibly I don't), it could also mean that another factor, perhaps along with temperature, contributes to degradation of performance of the optical sensor. Anecdotal reports of the kind reported on forums can be very valuable in identifying that an issue exists, but arriving at a definitive cause for the behavior can be difficult, since the number of uncontrolled variables among the various observations is staggering. In my experience with technical problem solving, I've found that product or process failures often aren't due to a single variable but rather to several factors "conspiring" together to produce the unwanted effect.

Anyway, I'm glad your new camera is working well and looking forward to seeing your images in the Post Your Photos section.

Jer
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