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02-23-2010, 12:48 AM   #1
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Firmware 1.03

I'm curious if any improvements have been smuggled into this firmware update... anything at all?

P.S I'm still on 1.02 (the smuggled update with better SR). Wondering if I should upgrade, I have nothing specific I benefit from on this release..


Last edited by K7er; 02-23-2010 at 10:09 AM.
02-23-2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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Firmware updates improve your camera and other way around. Yes go ahead upgrade and stop worrying too much.

Last edited by Alex00; 02-23-2010 at 11:35 AM.
02-23-2010, 01:04 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by K7er Quote
P.S I'm still on 1.02. Wondering if I should upgrade, I have nothing specific I benefit from on this release...
Which 1.02? The original one or the silently updated one that came a month later? For me, the silent update made a very noticeable improvement in Shake Reduction performance. So if you're still using the old 1.02, then the 1.03 update will probably include that as well.

I've been using 1.03 smoothly for days now, no problems whatsoever.
02-23-2010, 10:08 AM   #4
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New K-7 firmware 1.03. Anybody noticed? - Photo.net Pentax Forum

Claims of better noise performance at ISO 800... any smoke?

02-23-2010, 05:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K7er Quote
New K-7 firmware 1.03. Anybody noticed? - Photo.net Pentax Forum

Claims of better noise performance at ISO 800... any smoke?
I will bet that this is wishful thinking. And, sorry GoremanX, I kinda think that's the case with the SR thing too. If they made improvements that significant, they'd say so.

I think the fixes are: a) the little things they mention and b) possibly even more obscure things which rarely come up, but I kinda doubt that even.

If they can't be bothered to fix the issue with shutter priority in hyperprogram, they're not going to slip in an update to SR without crowing about it.
02-23-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I will bet that this is wishful thinking. And, sorry GoremanX, I kinda think that's the case with the SR thing too. If they made improvements that significant, they'd say so.
That's what I used to think too. I dismissed all those idiots who claimed their SR was working better. Only doing the upgrade for myself (and not actually expecting any improvement) made me a believer. And I'm not talking a tiny improvement either, I can now take sharp pictures at 50mm and 1/6 shutter speed handheld where 1/40 used to be a challenge. Even newer reviews of the K-7 that use the latest firmware seem to get better SR performance. Where DP Review barely got a 2 stop improvement, the new reviews are now claiming a 4 stop improvement (which is what Pentax claimed all along).

QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I think the fixes are: a) the little things they mention and b) possibly even more obscure things which rarely come up, but I kinda doubt that even.
There have been lots of silent updates in the past for many other Pentax cameras. They often fix stupid things like improper spelling in the menus, or options that got implemented backwards. But sometimes, something big gets changed and they never mention it anywhere.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
If they can't be bothered to fix the issue with shutter priority in hyperprogram, they're not going to slip in an update to SR without crowing about it.
erm... what? I'm not aware of this issue, please elaborate.
02-23-2010, 07:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
That's what I used to think too. I dismissed all those idiots who claimed their SR was working better. Only doing the upgrade for myself (and not actually expecting any improvement) made me a believer. And I'm not talking a tiny improvement either, I can now take sharp pictures at 50mm and 1/6 shutter speed handheld where 1/40 used to be a challenge. Even newer reviews of the K-7 that use the latest firmware seem to get better SR performance. Where DP Review barely got a 2 stop improvement, the new reviews are now claiming a 4 stop improvement (which is what Pentax claimed all along).



There have been lots of silent updates in the past for many other Pentax cameras. They often fix stupid things like improper spelling in the menus, or options that got implemented backwards. But sometimes, something big gets changed and they never mention it anywhere.



erm... what? I'm not aware of this issue, please elaborate.
Look here.. Some say that Auto ISO Tv in HyperProgram is broken. Some disagree. Apparently, Pentax disagrees.
02-23-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
That's what I used to think too. I dismissed all those idiots who claimed their SR was working better. Only doing the upgrade for myself (and not actually expecting any improvement) made me a believer. And I'm not talking a tiny improvement either, I can now take sharp pictures at 50mm and 1/6 shutter speed handheld where 1/40 used to be a challenge. Even newer reviews of the K-7 that use the latest firmware seem to get better SR performance. Where DP Review barely got a 2 stop improvement, the new reviews are now claiming a 4 stop improvement (which is what Pentax claimed all along).
I dunno, man. Let's see some science here.



QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
There have been lots of silent updates in the past for many other Pentax cameras. They often fix stupid things like improper spelling in the menus, or options that got implemented backwards. But sometimes, something big gets changed and they never mention it anywhere.
Sure, spelling fixes I'll buy.

QuoteQuote:
erm... what? I'm not aware of this issue, please elaborate.
Regardless of program-line setting, the "hyper Tv" mode works differently from the Tv setting on the dial with AutoISO enabled.

To wit: once it gets to f/2.8 (the fastest lens I have; dunno about past that), it really, really, really does not want to stop down again. If you go to a fast shutter speed and then back off, it will keep the aperture wide and decrease ISO till it hits 100, at which point it will not let you lengthen the shutter speed anymore even though correct exposure could still be obtained by stopping down. (It'll go maybe half a stop to f/3.5, but oddly stops there.)

This isn't a headliner bug or anything, but it does seem easy enough to fix there's a mistake in the logic somewhere that just needs straightening out.

02-23-2010, 07:39 PM   #9
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P-Shift, by the way, has the opposite irritation with fast shutter speeds: if you go to the small-aperture direction, the camera raises ISO to compensate. But if you go towards faster shutter speeds, it keeps ISO low and prevents faster shutter speeds (in this case, to a greater or lesser degree depending on the program line setting.)
02-23-2010, 09:18 PM   #10
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Interesting, I never noticed that behaviour before because I never use auto-ISO for anything. It more or less behaves the same with my F2.8 lens, which is annoying. But I can't imagine any situation where I'd use my camera that way. Still, it would be nice to see this behaviour fixed.
02-24-2010, 12:12 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by K7er Quote
Claims of better noise performance at ISO 800... any smoke?
It seemed that the SR was better but I was really thinking that my higher ISO pictures were looking noisier after 1.03
02-24-2010, 12:56 AM   #12
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(disclaimer : this is not a scientific study)

Regarding SR, I played with my new knock-off grip last night, and, to my surprise, I was able to shoot reasonnably sharp pictures at 1/6 (!!!) with my tamron 70-200 set to 200mm (not the lightest of lenses, you will agree)...

Cannot say if I could do this before the v1.03...
02-24-2010, 01:22 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlacouture Quote
(disclaimer : this is not a scientific study)

Regarding SR, I played with my new knock-off grip last night, and, to my surprise, I was able to shoot reasonnably sharp pictures at 1/6 (!!!) with my tamron 70-200 set to 200mm (not the lightest of lenses, you will agree)...

Cannot say if I could do this before the v1.03...
Yeah, I'm just happy with the results, I don't care enough to actually downgrade to the 1.00 firmware just to find out.

The longest zoom I have is my DA* 50-135mm. This shot was taken at 135mm, ISO 250, F2.8 and shutter speed of 1/6 with the camera handheld:

View Picture EXIF
Name:  GORE5196.JPG
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And this is a 100% crop of that image:

Name:  GORE5196-100.JPG
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Size:  97.2 KB

Any way you look at it, that's a pretty sharp result for 1/6. I wasn't even bracing my arms or anything, just sitting here and taking a snapshot.

edit: there was no post-processing done to those images of any kind. The first was just the camera's JPG resized to 800 wide (no sharpening) and the second is just a crop of that same JPG before i shrunk it (again, no sharpening).
02-24-2010, 01:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Yeah, I'm just happy with the results, I don't care enough to actually downgrade to the 1.00 firmware just to find out.
Famous last words

I can't actually downgrade to 1.00 since there's no such firmware download (the camera was shipped with 1.00). But I did download 1.01 and downgrade to that, then tried the above shot again under the exact same conditions.

I was trying REALLY HARD to be steady for this shot. I even tried bracing my right elbow on the desk so the camera would have less chance of moving when I press the shutter button. This is the best I was able to get:

View Picture EXIF
Name:  GORE5201.JPG
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Size:  87.6 KB

and here's a 100% crop of the same area as in my previous post:

Name:  GORE5201-100.JPG
Views: 783
Size:  56.0 KB

Once again, the one I took with firmware 1.03 for a direct comparison:



I wasn't even trying for that one. I can get that result repeatedly with 1.03 on a whim. With 1.01, it took me 5 tries to get that blurry result, and that was the best I could manage. The other 4 attempts were all worse.

This may not be scientific, but it makes it conclusive to me. That silent 1.02 firmware update improved shake reduction performance noticeably, and I'm real happy with the results.

edit: I did not check noise reduction performance. I hate the 1.01 firmware and wanted to switch back to 1.03 as quickly as possible. I'm not comfortable constantly switching firmware versions back and forth. Besides, I don't really care about noise reduction performance. If anyone else wants to test out that aspect of it, you can get the old firmware files here:

http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/firmware/k7_e102w.EXE (this is the silently updated one, not the original one)
http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/firmware/k7_e101w.EXE

Last edited by GoremanX; 02-24-2010 at 01:54 AM.
02-24-2010, 02:00 AM   #15
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Impressive results there GoremanX
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