Friday, April 03, 2009

Banding Issue of the K20D Fully Studied

The widely reported banding issue(s) of the K20D has been recently fully studied by a K20D user and some solid conclusions are made:-

http://www.dlip.de/?s=banding&submit=Go

The two articles are well written, although maybe somehow a bit more technical for an average reader to understand what are written easily. The testing methods, sampling of different K20D units, analyses made and the rationale behind and finally the conclusions drawn thereafter are well presented, and have been written concisely.

It is told that 11 K20D units were checked at first. It was found that 6 units had no obvious problem, whereas 3 others had "light" issue, and then the remaining 2 had very visible artifact. Well, it looks like a 50/50% bet to me in this case for a "good" sample.

So, the root cause(s) of the issue? Probably an immature sensor (the Samsung one) and/or possibly an immature design of the body so as to use this "tricky" sensor and/or quality control problem out of the Pentax factory or all of the above. But since now that it can rarely be heard about any of similar sensor artifacts and banding issues with the other current Pentax DSLR model K-m, it is likely that the Samsung sensor is the source and preliminary root cause of the issue and the real culprit, as such.

Anyway, since the problem seems to have been resolved with the K-m, I hope the next Pentax model which is "in the same price range of the K20D" will not have similar problems, if hopefully the current version/model of the Samsung sensor is not used again (if there is a new debugged version), or simply Pentax do not use the Samsung sensor anymore, and use back those more mature and well proven Sony CCD or CMOS sensors, i.e., those currently used by those different Nikon current DSLR models.

10 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I switched to Nikon thanks to the banding issue. I sold my K10D and "upgraded" only to be shocked at the results. How many other customers did Pentax lose because of this issue?

Anonymous said...

Long live my K100D...!!!

RiceHigh said...

The K100D was an matured product and I cannot recall many banding cases as reported. Ditto for the K-m so far.

Anonymous said...

My first K20D (and my first Pentax also) was replaced with a new one because of this banding issue. The second (new) one has the same problem.

Now i will try to get (some of) my money back and will switch to Nikon or Canon. I've had enough of Pentax and there denial of this problem. So there's another Pentax customer lost.

Anonymous said...

I am fortunate to have not experienced any banding problems on my k20d and many of the other problems that people are experiencing with their cameras. In fact my agent thought my pictures were taken on a top model nikon. he was totally surprised when i told him of the brand and model.(pentax k20d) in relation to some of the other problematic issues people are experiencing with their digital cameras no matter what the brand, id like to make a suggestion. Firstly read the manual over and over and soak up how the camera actually works. Then keep referring to it in order to become full bottle on what it's capabilities are. Secondly buy some decent lenses. it's no good buying a good body if you aren't financially prepared to invest in some quality lenses to bring out the potential of the camera. I am receiving great responses from my clients and will continue using the pentax k20d.

RiceHigh said...

> Anonymous said...
> I am fortunate.. (Snipped)
> Firstly read the manual over and over and soak up how the camera actually works.

You seem to hint about common user errors for your above second sentence. But IMHO its just a matter of luck or even application related in the end, as you also said in the beginning - Fortune.

Anonymous said...

>"Firstly read the manual over and over and soak up..." -> I began reading it (PDF) even before i owned the K20D. I've read it over and over again, but no matter what settings i use, the vertical stripes keep coming back in low light situations.

>"Secondly buy some decent lenses...". I agree, but i don't see what that has to do with the banding. Even manual lenses are giving me stripes.

Don't get me wrong. The K20D is a perfect camera when there's enough light. Raisorsharp and coulourful. But when i try to shoot a startrail, lightning, a building in the night, etc. every serie of 20 pictures has one with stripes (both K20D's). For that price that's not good enough. I want normal pictures (that is no stripes) in all situations.

grtz,
Ronald

RiceHigh said...

The K20 by no means a night camera, not even it is suitable for lower light shooting purposes indoor, frankly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Friends

I have three K20 bodies. On all of them I often get narrow uniformly-spaced vertical stripes across the entire width of pictures taken in bright sunlight, shuuter speeds 1/800 to 1/2500. I was using extended range, shake-reduction ON, using a monopod most of the time and otherwise resting my elbows on a railing.
The lenses were Tamron XR AF zooms at the longer
( but not maximum ) 200mm or 300mm end.

NEVER a problem in low light or indoors.
Any clues? Is shake reduction a contributor to this problem? Or light spill through the eyepiece?

Does the problem persist in the later K-7 and K-5 models?

Thanks for any/all advice. I am a Pentax user since 1965, and this

RiceHigh said...

Hi, I do not see the same or similar problem with my K-5.

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