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09-21-2013, 04:32 AM   #1
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Pentax FW video hack K5

Hi all,

I was wondering about (not) coming FW video hack for K5. I went through the forums to find out, if lot of people would be actually wiling to go with custom FW - which I have impression yes. So I came up with the idea to I personally write to engineer - one of the famous ones with question, that if community would actually support the project (make a donation) if he would be actually interested to create custom FW. I got no answer which put me off a little, but after reconsidering I am here to ask whether I am naive or actually its an idea to search for engineer and inspire some community action.

My question in this thread is: Do you think
a/ its naive and will never work!
b/ you want to support such a project and you are interested!

Outline is:
custom FW for K5, K5 II, K5IIs and hopefully also for K30, K50

Find - contact reliable engineer - which essentially should be creators either Pan or Can - Nik FW for creating custom FW which would allow M exposure control over video and audio in video mode and seeing audio values on screen, control frame, bit rate. Any other improvements are just welcome.

Support - donate with 5 -10 bugs or more. My mathematics are - if there is cca 1000 people from all over the world spending on average 7,5 bugs - means outcome is 7500, which should be worth enough to focus time with modding cameras.

So what do you think?


Last edited by em-tx; 09-22-2013 at 03:41 AM. Reason: adding to description
09-21-2013, 05:12 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Pentax DSLR camera firmware goes all the way back to HP and some software called DigitaOS.
A few months ago, I tried to track down who owns the software and the company - Flashpoint.
I followed the Rabbit to a patent holding company tied to the original female developer of DigitaOS.

http://mesh.brown.edu/en193s08-2003/refs/digita.html

http://lisas.de/digita/

The patent company seems to be doing pretty well, so I have my suspicions that Ricoh/Pentax still pays royalties to the DigitaOS folks.

Dead end.

I would love to know if anyone can make more progress than I was able to.

09-21-2013, 08:08 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The hack would need more than manual control to get me interested. It would need:

Higher data rates
Alternative frame rates (24, 30, 60, 120)
Longer recording times

Things like 4:2:2 color sampling and focus peaking would be icing on the cake but I'm not holding my breath.

Good luck!
09-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
The hack would need more than manual control to get me interested. It would need:

Higher data rates
Alternative frame rates (24, 30, 60, 120)
Longer recording times

Things like 4:2:2 color sampling and focus peaking would be icing on the cake but I'm not holding my breath.

Good luck!
Yep. I agree... My question is if the cameras are capable of it and if there are enough folks who would be willing to back it up, so eventually engineers would not have feeling that its waist of time for some off brand.


So shall we say that new FW needs following atributes:
M control video
Higher bit rates
Frame rates 24 - 120
Longer recording times (60 minutes to Full HD?)
4:2:2 color sampling
focus peaking

- would you be interested to support such a project?

Cheers

09-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Pentax DSLR camera firmware goes all the way back to HP and some software called DigitaOS.
A few months ago, I tried to track down who owns the software and the company - Flashpoint.
I followed the Rabbit to a patent holding company tied to the original female developer of DigitaOS.

DIGITA OS

DigitaOS memorial page

The patent company seems to be doing pretty well, so I have my suspicions that Ricoh/Pentax still pays royalties to the DigitaOS folks.

Dead end.

I would love to know if anyone can make more progress than I was able to.

OK. Thanks. Do you know if actually any of the files on DigitaOS would actually correspond with some parts of Pentax camera FW?
09-21-2013, 10:58 AM - 1 Like   #6
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How sure are we that Pentax cameras run Digita? I mean - screw video, I want Pac-Man!
09-21-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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I have suggest in the pass that, for PENTAX camera to be 'unique' compare to other camera and to gain an edge, PENTAX may want to allow user to gain access to the firmware through API.
Open up many possibility and endless customization.

SONY is doing it now, albeit a small way.
Sony releases API to allow control of Wi-Fi-equipped digital cameras from smartphones: Connect
09-21-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by em-tx Quote
OK. Thanks. Do you know if actually any of the files on DigitaOS would actually correspond with some parts of Pentax camera FW?
QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
How sure are we that Pentax cameras run Digita? I mean - screw video, I want Pac-Man!
I doubt there is any of the DigitaOS in current Pentax cameras.

However, I doubt it matters to the patent holders if they are still being paid royalties.
The Pentax firmware you see now *does* resemble the original DigitaOS, but technically probably has little to do with it.

What is funny is that Flashpoint does maintain that they have some irons in the fire when it comes to cameras.

Bottom line - I think the trail is cold on the DigitaOS angle, unless someone knows better.

09-22-2013, 03:38 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I have suggest in the pass that, for PENTAX camera to be 'unique' compare to other camera and to gain an edge, PENTAX may want to allow user to gain access to the firmware through API.
Open up many possibility and endless customization.

SONY is doing it now, albeit a small way.
Sony releases API to allow control of Wi-Fi-equipped digital cameras from smartphones: Connect
Well yes. But that''s suggestion I even wrote to Pentax and turned out silence. However, I would say here goal is to inspire engineer to look at and do something with it!

So straight forward question - if condition above are maintained would you shed the bug for development?

I do not really understand technicalities - alas no education for it, but I understand what I need from camera and also that there are people organised around Panasonic Micro 4/3 and Canikon doing that.
09-22-2013, 03:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I doubt there is any of the DigitaOS in current Pentax cameras.

However, I doubt it matters to the patent holders if they are still being paid royalties.
The Pentax firmware you see now *does* resemble the original DigitaOS, but technically probably has little to do with it.

What is funny is that Flashpoint does maintain that they have some irons in the fire when it comes to cameras.

Bottom line - I think the trail is cold on the DigitaOS angle, unless someone knows better.
Do you know where it would be possible to search more? Where could be a trail?
09-22-2013, 05:18 AM   #11
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Have you looked at Vitaly's Personal-View.com. There are probably some older discussions there.
09-22-2013, 06:38 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by em-tx Quote
Do you know where it would be possible to search more? Where could be a trail?
FlashPoint - FlashPoint | The Future of Connected Content and FlashPoint | Corporate Info | History | FlashPoint is defining the convergence of Internet and digital content, such as images, video, and music.

"In 1998, FlashPoint introduced Digita®, a solution combining an in-camera intelligence platform with wireless technology and the Internet. Today, Digita® is the intelligence behind award-winning products from Pentax, Hewlett-Packard, Eastman Kodak, Minolta, Epson, and others. "

Since I own all the early Digital cameras from Pentax - including the EI-3000 prototype - and the co-produced HP cameras, I can confirm that Digita is in those cameras.

Since I also own the *ist-D, which came out in 2003, it's likely that Pentax used a hybrid of the DigitaOS in the camera, and since then, all Pentax DSLR firmwares have the "look and feel" of the original digital firmware.

As for Flashpoint current locations?

Corporate Headquarters
20 Depot Street, Suite 2A
Peterborough, NH 03458

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=20+depot+street+suite+2a+peterborough+new+ham...78.28,,0,11.19

Research & Technology Group
4011 WestChase Blvd, Suite 110
Raleigh, NC 27607

The founders of Flashpoint are Stanley B. Fry and Patty Scardino.

It appears that Patty was the brains of the operation. Her resume is pretty awesome.

"Mrs. Scardino is a founding employee of FlashPoint Technology. She has over 15 years of experience in hardware and software engineering. Mrs. Scardino managed the core technology development group responsible for developing Digita, FlashPoint's Imaging Appliance Operating System. Prior to FlashPoint, she worked in the Imaging Division at Apple Computer, and in the Mainframe Development Group at Amdahl Corporation. She has patents in the area of digital imaging software, and patents pending in the areas of Internet imaging. Mrs. Scardino holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois."

So in the timeframes we are talking about, Mrs. Scardino probably had a hand in the Apple Quicktake early digital camera amongst others.

A LinkedIn search on Patty Scardino, leads us to the "Raleigh-Durham" area of North Carolina, which is coincidently the same place as Flashpoint's "Research and Technology" group and she is named as "Chief of IP Operations at FlashPoint".

Her position is "current" at Flashpoint.

Also - Flashpoint Technology

"Flashpoint Technology, a former subsidiary of Apple Incorporated, was founded by Stanley B. Fry, Patty Scardino, and Eric Anderson. The company's headquarters is located in Petersburg, New Hampshire, while an additional office is located at Raleigh, North Carolina. The company develops technological solutions and relevant intellectual property that define the convergence of digital content and the Internet.
Top executives of Flashpoint Technology are listed as Stanley B. Fry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Jens H. Hillen, President and Chief Operating Officer; Patty Scardino, Chief of IP Operations; and Leo Smith, Chief Financial Officer. Directors are listed as Edward D. Herrick, Cyrus Gregg, and Ross Bott.
In 1998, the company introduced Digita to the market, a built-in intelligence platform solution which combines wireless technology with the Internet. It is the industry's pioneer imaging OS (operating system) for cameras and printers . Digita allows camera programming using a scripting language dubbed Digita script. Most of the camera's features are controlled using the said script, including focus adjustment, exposure, lens and flash position, and picture processing.
In 2001, the company released the DigitaX, a follow-up of the Digita software imaging platform. The faster and simpler development and integration is a result of the improvement of its modular architecture and the usage of simpler development tools. Digita is licensed to Epson, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Konica, Minolta, and Sharp.
Flashpoint Technology has also developed a hybrid peer-to-peer (P2P) technology called KinectUs. The integration of digital content providers' solutions with Kinectus' modular structure makes possible the economics and speed of P2P with the availability and control of a centrally-hosted solution. The platform is comprised of two components: the KinectUs client, which is integrated invisibly into the application of the content provider installed in the user's computer; and the KinectUs server, the one responsible for managing all connections between the user's computer and visitors attempting to access content.
Flashpoint Technology as of late holds 17 patents, with 80 patents pending in the United States and 42 more in other countries. Among those are U.S. Patent No. 6,020,920, called "Method and System for Speculative Decompression of Compressed Image Data in an Image Capture Unit", and U.S. Design Patent D0418,826, named "Image for Display Screen of a Digital Camera". The said patents were issued on February 1 and January 11, 2000, respectively."
09-22-2013, 06:41 AM   #13
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So in summation, I doubt that anyone will be able to get at Pentax firmware as I have a suspicion it's still paying someone's bills.
Since the company seems to be managing their Intellectual Property (IP) very tightly, and with plenty of lawyers, it's a dead end as far as I'm concerned.

I also like this line from above - "In 1998, FlashPoint introduced Digita®, a solution combining an in-camera intelligence platform with wireless technology and the Internet. Today, Digita® is the intelligence behind award-winning products from Pentax, Hewlett-Packard, Eastman Kodak, Minolta, Epson, and others. "

Only Pentax is still in the digital camera business.
09-22-2013, 10:41 AM   #14
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k5 II with 24 and 30 fps would be enough for me to buy the body ...
09-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Have you looked at Vitaly's Personal-View.com. There are probably some older discussions there.
I did. I was also asking him, if there is a move, if him or anybody close to him would be willing to spend time on custom FW. I did not get answer and l understood after bit of search, that probably Pentax community needs to get more present, so to say - so its clear there are benefits to invest time to build up.
I am not programmer, so its hard to judge for me technical values of info, but there are some.
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