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02-18-2010, 11:03 PM   #1
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The K7 99 images intervalometer issue - very offensive

Hi guys.

I own a K7 and for the most part, love it.

It has a few issues (both major and minor), which are discussed in detail here and elsewhere.

By far the most aggravating - and offensive - issue for me is the intervalometer feature, which only records up to 99 images.

It's offensive because this IS something that can be resolved with a few lines of code (or a few characters of code) in the next firmware release, and it's offensive that Pentax think they can deliver a half-assed feature like this in their pro camera.

So - my proposal is some kind of email campaign and/or petition. I just need names and/or email addresses for Pentax Japan, and a few willing helpers

This issue is such a minor thing, but a colossal aggravation. I don't want to muck around speculating whether it will be sorted in the next firmware release.. I want assurance that it will be!

- Jeremy

02-18-2010, 11:35 PM   #2
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There are third party wire releases that support as many images as you want. They're cheap too.

Check eBay. I bought a Yongnuo, and it had the same build quality as the one from Pentax, but unlike the Pentax one, it had, in addition to one button and the ability to lock it, an LCD screen and an intervalometer.
02-18-2010, 11:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by netrex Quote
There are third party wire releases that support as many images as you want. They're cheap too.

Check eBay. I bought a Yongnuo, and it had the same build quality as the one from Pentax, but unlike the Pentax one, it had, in addition to one button and the ability to lock it, an LCD screen and an intervalometer.
Sorry to be blunt, but that's really missing the point!
I don't want to have to carry around (and buy!) a third party accessory. I feel like Pentax has crippled this feature (to sell intervalometers..?) and I'm getting a bit pissed about it.

I appreciate your help though.
02-18-2010, 11:59 PM   #4
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It's not just Pentax. Pretty much all DSLRs have that limit (if they even have a built-in intervalometer).

I have a theory regarding this; it's not like they're skimping on features (after all, with Pentax, they have nothing to gain, as they don't sell a separate intervalometer equipped remote, like Nikon does). I think it just has to do with covering their ass regarding shutter actuation hazards. I mean, 200,000 actuations (or whatever it is) sound's like a lot––until you start shooting timelapse sequences @ 1s intervals. That's 3,600 actuations per 1 hour session, which will give you about 120s of footage @ 30fps. 2 minutes. If you want 1hr worth of footage, you need 30 such sessions. That's already over 100K actuations.

I think these 99 frame limits are the manufacturers way of saying "If you want to do extensive timelapse photography/cinematography, please use a 3rd party accessory and make sure you understand the risks you are taking".

02-19-2010, 07:03 AM   #5
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As much as I'd like my K20d to shoot up to 1000 time lapse shots (my little Ricoh GX100 does 999, as does my ancient Kodak DC260) and for Pentax to issue a firmware update to do so, I knew the camera's limits when I bought it and accepted them as such. I haven't used the K20d for extensive time lapse, but if I needed to I would not hesitate to purchase the effective third-party solution. Expecting benevolance or contrition from Pentax may be cathartic, but not very productive.
02-19-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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I'm sick and tired of petitions. It looks like every tom,dick and harry wants to start a petition about something that they don't like. My goodness, do your research and if you don't like the feature (or the lack of it), don't buy the camera or learn to live with it.

I don't know your camera but it might be that there is (somewhere) only place for 2 digits. Or the earlier mentioned number of shutter activations to prevent people from blowing their camera within a month after purchase.

As a software developer I think it is a trivial change to increment it to 255, but if there is only 2 digits allocated at this state in a display, there will be more involved. Higher might be a problem depending on data and code memory available.

Oh yeah, my petitions:
1) K10D firmware update to allow the user to calibrate the camera/lens combination; ditto for every other camera that does not have it at this moment.
2) Production of split prisms by Pentax including firmware updates for all cameras to compensate for possible spot/center-weight inaccuracies/differences.
02-19-2010, 08:23 AM   #7
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Another one who didn't do his homework, bought a product that doesn't do what he wants and comes in here to bitch about it.
Next time, do your homework and make sure what you are buying will do what you want.
You've been given a fix (post #2), use it.

BTW, no one on this forum can give you any assurance about anything that Pentax (or any other camera manufacturer) is going to do.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 02-19-2010 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Bad attitude.
02-19-2010, 05:25 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Oh yeah, my petitions:
1) K10D firmware update to allow the user to calibrate the camera/lens combination; ditto for every other camera that does not have it at this moment.
2) Production of split prisms by Pentax including firmware updates for all cameras to compensate for possible spot/center-weight inaccuracies/differences.
I bought a split prism for my K10D, and it was made by Pentax. Sold it with my K10D though.

03-30-2010, 11:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
It's not just Pentax. Pretty much all DSLRs have that limit (if they even have a built-in intervalometer).
[...]
I think these 99 frame limits are the manufacturers way of saying "If you want to do extensive timelapse photography/cinematography, please use a 3rd party accessory and make sure you understand the risks you are taking".
Seems like a sensible explanation and one that I guess I can accept, thanks.

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I'm sick and tired of petitions. It looks like every tom,dick and harry wants to start a petition about something that they don't like. My goodness, do your research and if you don't like the feature (or the lack of it), don't buy the camera or learn to live with it.

I don't know your camera but it might be that there is (somewhere) only place for 2 digits. Or the earlier mentioned number of shutter activations to prevent people from blowing their camera within a month after purchase.

As a software developer I think it is a trivial change to increment it to 255, but if there is only 2 digits allocated at this state in a display, there will be more involved. Higher might be a problem depending on data and code memory available.
Out of all the likes/dislikes of the K7, I found this one the oddest because - like you say - it appears to be a trivial engineering problem. As is my understanding, 99 is a 7-bit binary value, and 255 is an 8-bit binary value. Anyway, as you say - it seems most likely that it is to stop the shutter from falling out of the camera from exhaustion..

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Another one who didn't do his homework, bought a product that doesn't do what he wants and comes in here to bitch about it.
Next time, do your homework and make sure what you are buying will do what you want.
You've been given a fix (post #2), use it.

BTW, no one on this forum can give you any assurance about anything that Pentax (or any other camera manufacturer) is going to do.
Er, I think you've managed to grossly misinterpret my original post. I didn't come to bitch or whinge, I wanted to contact pentax directly to get it resolved. By 'assurance', I mean that I don't want to engage pentaxforums.com users in a discussion about it, I want to ensure that the issue is brought to Pentax' attention.

Anyway, I've decided to suck it in. Thanks for all responses.
03-31-2010, 02:16 AM   #10
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Jeremy, just FYI, if this is a really important feature for you, you could try this cheap and effective intervalometer, which works via IR and works on the K-x and should work with the K-7.

I got one today, sent all the way from Scotland to AU, for $50, postage included. Some more details here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/94158-pentax-k-x-i...tml#post975409
03-31-2010, 04:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
I think these 99 frame limits are the manufacturers way of saying "If you want to do extensive timelapse photography/cinematography, please use a 3rd party accessory and make sure you understand the risks you are taking".
That's a very convoluted way of "saying" what could be more easily expressed by writing something like "If you want to do extensive timelapse photography/cinematography, make sure you understand the risks you are taking" in the manual.
03-31-2010, 05:30 AM   #12
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aside from what people think they want, what about the limits of the camera. this potentially consists of taking images over many days and could cause the camera battery to fail long before it is finished.

99 is a practical limit, for those who are not doing a prolonged study.

A prolonged study (mopre images) will also require a huge memory card, and an external power supply.

Given both these issues, then an external intervalmeter seems reasonable as well to go beyond 99 images.
03-31-2010, 05:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeremyhall Quote
Out of all the likes/dislikes of the K7, I found this one the oddest because - like you say - it appears to be a trivial engineering problem. As is my understanding, 99 is a 7-bit binary value, and 255 is an 8-bit binary value. Anyway, as you say - it seems most likely that it is to stop the shutter from falling out of the camera from exhaustion..
not quite, a 7 bit binary value wouold be 127 (assuming starting with 0)
QuoteQuote:
Er, I think you've managed to grossly misinterpret my original post. I didn't come to bitch or whinge, I wanted to contact pentax directly to get it resolved. By 'assurance', I mean that I don't want to engage pentaxforums.com users in a discussion about it, I want to ensure that the issue is brought to Pentax' attention.
I have contacted pentas many times with requests for changes, / enhancements.

My experience to date is that they listen, acknowledge the issue (occasionally) as interesting, but the changes only rarely wind up in my camera, They show up in later releases, as an example, customizable file names, I asked for it when I got my K10, I think it is in the K20 and it certainly is in the K7.
03-31-2010, 06:24 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
aside from what people think they want, what about the limits of the camera. this potentially consists of taking images over many days and could cause the camera battery to fail long before it is finished.

99 is a practical limit, for those who are not doing a prolonged study.

A prolonged study (mopre images) will also require a huge memory card, and an external power supply.

Given both these issues, then an external intervalmeter seems reasonable as well to go beyond 99 images.
But there is no reason why they couldn't implement it. Obviously anyone who is about to take more than 99 shots in sequence knows that it is a rather esoteric endeavour, and that they will require a power supply and memory card suited to the task. That's not a camera limitation, it's a realization that for certain applications, you need to buy certain peripherals for your camera. External intervalometer? That's like saying "oh yeah, this camera goes up to ISO 12800, but you should know, it's pretty noisy by then so we're going to require you to buy this external 'PENTAX IE-2 SENSITIVITY EXTENDER' box to make sure you really know what you're getting yourself into. Just $59.99."

I'm going to completely side with the OP; software should never pretend to know better than I do, should never hold my hand or artificially limit me in any way. I know what I want to achieve with my photography far better than eight megabytes of Pentax firmware ever could.
03-31-2010, 07:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
I think these 99 frame limits are the manufacturers way of saying "If you want to do extensive timelapse photography/cinematography, please use a 3rd party accessory and make sure you understand the risks you are taking".
This sounds pretty plausible to me.

Built-in features like this are pretty clearly designed for light use, and it's reasonable for the manufacturer to expect photographers to use accessories for more serious use. You might as well complain about the low guide number of the built-in flash.

Will
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