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Old Jan 6, 2011, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default New Firmware updates for K-5 and Kr

Hi All,

New V1.02 firmware updates have been posted for the K-5 and Kr on the Japanese site:


V1.02 for both models:

1. Allows compatibility with SDXC cards, but not with the UHS speed class, so you can take advantage of the very large memory cards.

SDHC cards have a limit of 32 GB in size. SDXC cards can hold up to 2TB. The UHS speed class would allow up to 104 MB/sec, up from a max 25MB/sec from previous SDHC and SDXC standards. Again, the firmware update allows access to the larger cards, but not to faster transfer rates.

2. Allows use of all ISO sensitivities in Bulb mode.

3. "Improved functional sequence for Contrast AF and improved total speed until in focus."

As always, all previous firmware updates are included in the new version.
Instructions are included in the download. The download files are executable files for either Mac or PC, and need to be opened in the computer before it can be used. When opened, there will be a .bin file and a text file with instructions. The .bin file is the file that needs to be copied to the root directory of a newly formatted SD card. The text file contains the instructions, which must be followed to the letter.

Firmware updates are a bit scary since mistakes can cause the camera to become inoperable. This can be recovered, but you'd need to send the camera to Pentax to accomplish this. Personally, I've done about 6 updates on different cameras without any problems, and it seems that 99.9% of users have had the same experience, so it's reliable if you follow the instructions -- but you must follow all the instructions faithfully, especially about using fully charged batteries and not turning the camera off during the installation.

In this firmware update (V 1.02 for the K-5) there was a significant lag at about the 95% point of the first sequence and another at about 20% into the second. These caused a bit of anxiety, but patience won out and the update was completed in about 2 minutes.

After "Completed" showed at the lower left of the LCD, my orange "busy" light continued to flash. I reread the instructions before doing anything, and since they said that the process is finished when "Complete" showed on the LCD, but did not mention the "busy" light, I went ahead and turned the camera off, and the update was indeed successful.

Hope this might help quell some anxiety if you choose to update your firmware. . .

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Old Jan 7, 2011, 10:22 PM   #2
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I've been playing a bit with the updated software. I had a moment of panic as I was doing the update, but I noticed the time they said it would take - in the past they usually said it would take around 90 seconds, but this time they said something over 100 seconds. So I was patient, figured it was going to take longer than updates on previous cameras.

The interesting thing is that the first couple of shots I took were indoors in low light and almost died when I saw quite a bit of front focusing with the 77. I have since played around with different lenses and found that some of my lenses focused without problems (DA*50-135) while others didn't. Someone on another board mentioned that they tried changing the WB to tungsten rather than AWB, and it made a difference with the focus point. Tried it tonight and bingo - it does. Where I had some front focus with the DA 35 and 77 when the camera was set to AWB, both were fine when the WB was switched to tungsten. It doesn't make sense to me, but it worked.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 11:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Where I had some front focus with the DA 35 and 77 when the camera was set to AWB, both were fine when the WB was switched to tungsten. It doesn't make sense to me, but it worked.
Hi Harriet,

The way I understand this is that with AWB, the processor is correcting color, but this only relates to setting some bits in the image processor -- this is why you can set it warmer or cooler. This happens after the exposure. The AF module has to finish its work before the exposure, so it works on a separate system. I don't quite know how they would differentiate between say a flower that is seen by the AF sensor as close to 2850K in color in a daylight scene and the general 2850K cast that tungsten light casts -- so it has to be pretty complicated or reddish yellow content in daylight would make most lenses back focus.

Anyway, with the camera set to a fixed WB, the AF sensor can be told to bias the focus for a specific frequency, and dial in a specific focus correction for that light. Now this begs the question of why they didn't just do this in the first place (assign specific focus adjustments for manually set WB and tell us for best AF accuracy we needed to manually set WB) instead of the (+) color sensor in the AF module . . .

Naw. . . I guess I really don't understand all of this. . .

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