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07-15-2009, 04:07 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
In reply to nostatic's comment:



With the greatest respect, I find this type of sweeping generalisation thoroughly patronising and am happy to exclude myself from the *herd mentality ! If you'd ever taken your DSLR out to take night-shots of cityscapes or fireworks displays, then you'd clearly appreciate the crux of the problem !!
No offense taken. But I am not trying to be patronizing, just adding perspective and a reality check. The fact of the matter is if an issue happens to *you* it is a huge problem. If it happens to someone else it is a minor thing.

I would be willing to bet that less than 1% of Pentax users even know this issue exists. That isn't meant to marginalize those who are affected, and often the minority should be heard and given a response. But one also shouldn't be surprised if their pleas fall on deaf ears. And we're back to my comment about buying a system that does what you need.

07-15-2009, 05:43 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I would be willing to bet that less than 1% of Pentax users even know this issue exists
I find that number hard to believe as well. Anyone who has tried low light sunrise/sunset/night pictures in the seconds range will have noticed. It probably doesn't bother most people enough to complain though. Then again, I've noticed a lot of Pentax users don't seem to have a tripod
07-15-2009, 06:33 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
I find that number hard to believe as well. Anyone who has tried low light sunrise/sunset/night pictures in the seconds range will have noticed. It probably doesn't bother most people enough to complain though. Then again, I've noticed a lot of Pentax users don't seem to have a tripod
The vast majority of photographs are taken handheld. You can also see that in the much more vocal pressure for High-ISO performance - which is all about shooting in moderately dim light at hand-held shutter speeds.

For those taken on a tripod, the majority would be on "Manual" mode - "low light" would be, say, 5- 20 secs. range. Sunrise, sunset, night city scapes would fit into this. The NR Off setting works on the K-7 up to 29 secs. in Manual mode.
On top of that, Manual mode still gives you some help with metering, while you are totally on your own in Bulb mode.

I shoot in Bulb mode maybe once a month. I bring a flask of hot coffee, and enjoy the night view and the coffee while the NR does its work.......its only the mosquitoes which really irritate me.

I know being able to switch off NR in Bulb mode is very important in some situations....what can I say....I think another poster has given very good advice on the alternatives....both Pentax and other brands...
07-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
The vast majority of photographs are taken handheld. You can also see that in the much more vocal pressure for High-ISO performance - which is all about shooting in moderately dim light at hand-held shutter speeds.

For those taken on a tripod, the majority would be on "Manual" mode - "low light" would be, say, 5- 20 secs. range. Sunrise, sunset, night city scapes would fit into this. The NR Off setting works on the K-7 up to 29 secs. in Manual mode.
On top of that, Manual mode still gives you some help with metering, while you are totally on your own in Bulb mode.

I shoot in Bulb mode maybe once a month. I bring a flask of hot coffee, and enjoy the night view and the coffee while the NR does its work.......its only the mosquitoes which really irritate me.

I know being able to switch off NR in Bulb mode is very important in some situations....what can I say....I think another poster has given very good advice on the alternatives....both Pentax and other brands...
It's interesting but the only time I have shot in Bulb mode on a digiral camera was this week with my K7. that includes 8000 shots with my 2 P&S, and 25000 shots with my K10 and *istD.

I think I shot in Bulb mode ONLY ONCE in 25 years and 20,000 frames of film, and that was to do some shots with selective flash to illuminate separate parts of the frame, against an otherwise totally dark image.

edit note, I would have to admit the film shots have less noise. I think if i were to do more of this type of thing, I would teach myself the technique with digital but do the final shot on film.

07-15-2009, 10:40 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I understand your point. But if you want people to "band together" then start a thread to that effect and march on, soldier.
Uh... I think that is essentially what I've done by starting this thread.

QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
But bringing it up on a variety of threads with, "Canikon does it right..." will eventually lead people to the response of, "well buy Canikon then."
Truthfully, since 1999 and my Pentax MZ-S camera purchases, I have invested over $3500 in lenses and accessories. I roughly estimate that it would cost me nearly $2500 more than what I would get back on the sale of my Pentax lenses to replace each lens. That is the only reason I don't jump ship. As you can see, I have a vested interest in convincing Pentax to fix this problem on either the K20D or the K7! Preferably both cameras!
07-15-2009, 11:53 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
It's interesting but the only time I have shot in Bulb mode on a digiral camera was this week with my K7. that includes 8000 shots with my 2 P&S, and 25000 shots with my K10 and *istD.

I think I shot in Bulb mode ONLY ONCE in 25 years and 20,000 frames of film, and that was to do some shots with selective flash to illuminate separate parts of the frame, against an otherwise totally dark image.

edit note, I would have to admit the film shots have less noise. I think if i were to do more of this type of thing, I would teach myself the technique with digital but do the final shot on film.
Lowell, you are lucky to live in an area with awesome lightning storms. Since moving to Vancouver, I really miss this sort of weather. In stark contrast, Vancouver next to never experiences a thunder storm.

I attached a photo of the last major thunder storm I experienced in Ottawa. BTW, I would have most likely missed an exposure like this with the K20D. Tick, tick... twiddling my thumbs while I wait for the DFS to complete! %$%&% I MISSED ANOTHER COOL SHOT!! Yes, perhaps some of you are correct, I should stop complaining and go buy a [better camera] Canon! Do you realize how ridiculous and self-deprecating such a comment is???? What you should be saying is, "It may not affect me but Pentax should step up their game and fix this embarrassing limitation!"
Attached Images
 

Last edited by pentaxmz; 07-18-2009 at 02:00 PM.
07-15-2009, 11:57 PM   #52
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The reason I purchased the K7 for my astrophography was that JCPENTAX insisted that ICNR could be turned off and when I whet to the launch of the K7 I played around with long exposure in Bulb mode up to 20sec and found no ICNR present and so capture some shots to my SD card to take away.

Just looking at them now and I find that the firmware is Ver 0.38. Could there have been a stuff up upgrading it to Ver 1.0 for the release.
I do about 50/50 straight P&S and lone exposure times so it frustrates me no end
waiting for things to happen.

If ICNR can be off in M mode up to 30 sec. then in B mode it should be ditto as the manual states.

Simply saying it's too noisey just doesn't cut it in my book.

The effort that has gone into developing the K7 has been amazing with all the new features that other manufactures can only dream about.

I love the K7 but wish I could love it more and be able to recommend it to all my freinds with confidence.
07-18-2009, 10:27 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
It depends how often you need to fire shots off. E.g., shooting fireworks, if you could only take half the frames you wanted to because of DFS..

MHO is that for dark scenes, get an older CCD sensor camera. You'll have lower noise even w/o DFS. E.g., I used to be able to pixel peep ISO100 images and see no grain...w/ the K20D, I see grain when I pixel peep now. Same thing w/ a friend who went from a D80 to D90.

I'm actually a bit surprised the K7 has this limitation. The K20D's issue was the random hot pixels w/ longer exposures so the need for DFS varied between frames. The K7 seems to have fixed this (or at least no one has noticed yet)...
Kenyee,

I appreciate your attempt to help me, but I really don't understand what the problem is. In fact, I have no background with Pentax cameras at all. What is this long exposure problem. Can you be a bit more specific about it? Also, how does one deal with the long exposure problem?

07-18-2009, 02:14 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by lsquare Quote
Kenyee,

I appreciate your attempt to help me, but I really don't understand what the problem is. In fact, I have no background with Pentax cameras at all. What is this long exposure problem. Can you be a bit more specific about it? Also, how does one deal with the long exposure problem?
I'll step in, since I am the biggest instigator of this issue, lately.

The problem is that the K20D and the latest K7 share a serious limitation when taking long exposures in Bulb mode. Every exposure taken will effectively double in length. It's not really a serious problem for shorter (measured in seconds) exposures, however, 1 minute, 5 minutes, and longer exposures will surely ruin your enjoyment with these cameras.

The reason why the exposures time is doubled is because these cameras have a mandatory noise reduction (more specifically known as DFS or Dark Frame Subtraction). Every exposure is followed by a dark frame of equal length, any hot pixels found on the dark frame are algorithmically removed from the actual exposure. This ensures a relatively noise-free exposure. Every other DSLR allows the DFS algorithm to be switched off because either the photographer is not concerned about additional noise, or the photographer will apply their own DFS at a later time.

In my previous posting, I attached a photograph of lightning. This was taken with a Canon camera. In order to get this type of photo, the camera is opened in Bulb mode (aperture slightly stopped down) and exposed until lightning is captured. Sometimes, the exposures are more than 2 minutes long.

Imagine waiting an additional two minutes, while you wait for the $%*# Pentax to complete its DFS?
Tick, tick...

%$^*@!!! I MISSED ANOTHER COOL SHOT!!

Yes, perhaps some of you are correct, I should stop complaining and go buy a [better camera] Canon! Do you realize how ridiculous and self-deprecating such a comment is????

What you should be saying is, "It may not affect me but Pentax should step up their game and fix this embarrassing limitation!"
07-18-2009, 06:48 PM   #55
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Hi pentaxmz

Re your sentiments + 1 !

QuoteQuote:
What you should be saying is, "Pentax should step up their game and fix this embarrassing limitation!"
Enough with this stupid "2 steps forward, 1 step backwards" approach.....too bl**dy right they should fix it and pronto too. I mean, it's not exactly flippin' rocket science, but a basic photographic requirement imho. I'd never owned Pentax gear prior to purchasing the K10D so I have no historic vested interest as such, but to be brutally honest, I'm starting to get pretty tired of hearing the lame excuses emanating from the typical apologist fanboy types ! Much as l'd like to upgrade to the K-7, I won't be doing so unless this DFS issue can be properly addressed, which sadly means yet another potential lost sale for Pentax. Let's hope their marketing dept are listening, but if past experience is anything to go by, somehow I seriously begin to doubt it...lol !

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 07-18-2009 at 06:58 PM.
07-18-2009, 08:51 PM   #56
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What would solving this problem entail from Pentax?

If it is just a simple adjustment to a firmware option, involving the switch point for the application of DFS and a menu option change, it's not likely to be too complex to implement, one would have thought, since it just involves disabling a feature, not adding a new one into the system. It would probably take one of their software engineers one day to code, or less.

Gee, wouldn't it be good if Pentax open-sourced their firmware. That would certainly set them apart, and help sell a lot more K7's too, I think. Let 10000 flowers bloom, etc.
07-18-2009, 09:14 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Gee, wouldn't it be good if Pentax open-sourced their firmware.
no way - too many skeletons in that closet
07-18-2009, 10:35 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Then buy a different camera.

The vast majority of users find this a non-issue and Pentax has chosen not to address it. If it is that important you should move along and stop trying to tell Pentax how to design their cameras. Hint - they apparently don't care. When I find a company that doesn't care I do business with another one. And I don't necessarily feel it is my place to repeatedly announce to the world how right I am and how wrong they are.
Are you honestly expecting discussions on topics substantially different from "I'm right, Pentax is wrong" a subforum that talks about camera bodies instead of lens or photography in general?

They apparently tried to address it (the K-7 is less restrictive than the K20), but it takes less effort to remove the restriction altogether, so why not do it and make everyone happy.

For this and some other usability nuisances that are on the K-7 but not on the K10/K20, I suspect that Pentax hired a Microsoft usability expert during firmware development of K-7.

By the way, I remembered someone discussed patching firmwares for the K10/K20. Anyone with the tool to disassemble the K-7 firmware? With a disassembly such blatant limitation can probably be overcome easily.

Last edited by wolfier; 07-18-2009 at 10:45 PM.
07-18-2009, 11:33 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
In reply to nostatic's comment:

With the greatest respect, I find this type of sweeping generalisation thoroughly patronising and am happy to exclude myself from the *herd mentality ! If you'd ever taken your DSLR out to take night-shots of cityscapes or fireworks displays, then you'd clearly appreciate the crux of the problem !!
I think it fair to say that every camera brand has it's fair share of strengths and weaknesses, but IMHO this faux-pas on the part of the Pentax K7 design engineers is simply unforgivable, particularly given the negative feedback they must have received about the dark-frame subtraction shortcomings of the K20D. This was an entirely preventable issue and I am extremely disappointed that Pentax have failed to address it satisfactorily with the new model.

Best regards
Richard
I think Pentaxians (myself included) can sometimes get defensive because of the number of people that seem to spend a good portion of their time telling everyone why they should buy Canon/Nikon gear. Maybe someone that hangs out on the Canon forums can provide perspective - Do people frequently show up in the Canon forums and tell all the Canon users to switch to Pentax? Do people spend a lot of time telling Canon users how Pentax users get SR with their awesome prime lenses? I suspect - although I do not know since I don't belong - that this doesn't happen very often.

Not an excuse, I know. If you have issues with the way Pentax operates their cameras, by all means, air your complaints; you have every right, IMO. I think when you start talking about Canon or Nikon "doing it right", you gotta expect some knee jerk... Of course, nostatic also has the right to *say* "If you don't like it, go buy a Canon", as you have the right to not do so.

Now - I seem to remember, long ago, way back in the mists of time, dealing with reciprocity failure at long ( more than five seconds or so ) exposures. I seem to remember that at sixty seconds or more, it was a full stop on Ektachrome 100.

Not that I think you *shouldn't* be able to disable DFS; it *is* just a firmware setting, although one might discover that the Pentax engineers knew what they were doing because the resulting images might be useless.

I'm curious, though, how a software package can do DFS, since it can't create a dark frame exposure post-hoc.
07-19-2009, 12:19 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote

Gee, wouldn't it be good if Pentax open-sourced their firmware. That would certainly set them apart, and help sell a lot more K7's too, I think. Let 10000 flowers bloom, etc.
Oh, good grief that would be awesome. But, if they did that, they'd have to release the byte code/machine code/compiler toolchain/something for their processor setup. But Pentax would *own* the *nix Geek Contingent, eh!?
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