Friday, July 31, 2009

K-7 Automatic Level Correction Defect and Bug

First, this user reported that the Auto Level Correction (ALC) of one of his defective K-7 units received, whenever turned on, would tilt the images by 0.5 to 1 Degree! Yes, it shows the system and function does work, but NOT correctly!

And then how the ALC could defect the AF (one of the AF points) when it is turned on, as reported by another new K-7 user (who is a very experienced Pentaxian)!

Any defect could be understood somehow and it's about poor quality control of the factory. But the above bug found seems to be true and it is needed to be fixed.

Well, I think Pentax/Hoya should serious think about how their (proven to be ineffective) beta testing programme(s) should be conducted and more competent persons should be found to do the test for them! E.g., like the above two users, one Pro and one very experienced Pentaxian without blind brand loyalty than those whom would *always* say everything from Pentax is good and perfect - asking those fanboys or merchants or just anyone without good enough technical knowledge (and more importantly to honestly report problems) to do any test (beta or not) is just a waste of time and resources! And, the manufacturer needs to bear all the serious consequences as a result, like what have been happening around the K-7 now.


Anonymous said...

"ALC could defect the AF": The recent firmware update fixes this bug.

Anonymous said...

As you´ve read my dpreview thread: i had six K-7 and the first five had ALC working and it is a great feature!

I´m staying with Pentax - please don´t quote my thread, without mentioning that.


RiceHigh said...

> "ALC could defect the AF": The recent firmware update fixes this bug.

Who said that?

> As you´ve read my dpreview thread: i had six K-7 and the first five had ALC working and it is a great feature!
> I´m staying with Pentax - please don´t quote my thread, without mentioning that.

I wrote, "this user reported that the Auto Level Correction (ALC) of ONE of his defective K-7 units received.."

And, I have quoted your original post, I believe people should have been able to read both!

Anonymous said...

michael... you are a small and sad little man.... don't you have any other hobbies than to disparage pentax, an historically respected brand.. when you work for canon??
have a cocktail, self reflect, and come to the realization that only psychotherapy will cure you of your substantial and overwhelming mania...
or better yet... go out and buy that lousy k-7, and some vintage pentax glass, and a few da* series lenses.. and leave the dark side and do come into the light.......

Peter Fang said...

Firmware 1.01 fixed this outer AF point bug already and this is listed in the Pentax Japan relase notes.

Peter Fang said...

I asked the question about why the changelog on Pentax USA site does not mention the bug but of course nobody from Pentax USA answered. :)

Anonymous said...

Always check what Roland Mabo has to say:

"Pentax designed the K-7 around the Samsung sensor, and they worked close with Samsung to make the sensor as good as possible.

But the issue is not about beta nor not beta version of the sensor.

The issue is the quality control at Samsung sensor manufacturing. Are really Pentax to blame that Samsung has a lage portion of sample variation in their production?

It is not Pentax that produces the sensor, it is Samsung. It is not Pentax that tests the quality control at Samsung factory, it is Samsung!

There are K-7 bodies that work great and has no sensor issue, then there are K-7 bodies that has sensor issues. You blame Pentax, but I say - it is Samsung that manufacturer's the sensor and it is the responsibility of Samsung to lower the sample variation so that as many as possible delivers the same performance. Today, there are too many samples of the sensor that are underperforming and that has issues.

But if you believe it is the responsibilty of Pentax when Samsung produces some good and some bad sensors, then you are right and I am wrong. When Sony produces some bad and some good sensors the bad ones are also the responsibility of Penax etc etc.

Silly discussion!


This time, I partly disagree with Roland; and here's why:

Pentax directly contracted with Samsung for the sensor - in fact, they are partners in every sense; not just supplier/customer. Pentax had a problem prior to K-7's release that they acknowledged, and reviews were held back. Roland himself earlier said that the sensor's firmware was AMONG the problems fixed - NOT the ONLY problem (or why say "AMONG"?)

Just shoving it back on Samsung at this late date, after using their sensors in the K20D, won't wash with me. This is an approved Vendor relationship, and it's Samsung's job to check sensor performance - they should also have some K-7 bodies to test on.

Pentax should be performing quality checks as well when the sensors are received.

In the end, since there are multiple problems appearing relating to AF points, ALC, high ISO, and the rest. Pentax has to stand up and take responsibility. If THEY want to publicly blame Samsung, that's their choice - but IMO it would be idiotic, as Pentax accepted the sensors, and was part of the design team.

I think, at this point, that Pentax cannot provide the necessary level of QC for a product of this price; and the dealers have to be highly pissed about the exchanges and refunds.

Worst of all, there's apparently no fix for what's known; and only the end users will find the problems on their $1300 cameras and get angry at Pentax (not Samsung).

I think that cost constraints were part of it, as that can impact both manufacturing and QC. If the sensor just met the needs of the K20D (remember the 2 hot-pixel issues?), asking that same sensor to handle a more hostile environment in terms of heat, performance, etc. may have just been a lousy decision on the part of Pentax.

If someone wants to play craps with $1300, they go to a casino. At least they get free drinks.

Anonymous said...

Ignorant fan-bots (the Pentax Borg) beat up on original poster:


Anonymous said...

The original poster says he is still happy with Pentax.
So am I.
If you are so unhappy with Pentax, why do you stay with it, Ricehigh?

Anonymous said...

"this user reported that the Auto Level Correction (ALC) of ONE of his defective K-7 units received.."

Reading this I thought that all his K-7 were DEFECTIVE and ONE of them had a defective ALC. Fortunately the original Dpreview poster corrected this assertion.
Ricehigh I'm not one of your usual readers so please could you explain to me what's the point in trying by any way to distort the truth and paint things the darkest way... I don't really understand what is your goal.

Anonymous said...

"Who said that?"
The firmware update description.
Second bullet.

The focus point problems had to do with the ALC.

You are a Pentax expert?

Wesbo said...

Why the assumption that the beta testers didn't report this bug? I'm sure every mass-produced item goes to market with known bugs/defects. I'm not defending the fact that Pentax didn't fix the bug, but isn't it unfair to assume that the beta testers were all fanboys?

Anonymous said...

The manner in which you *selectively* quoted the person with the ACL issue insinuated that the problem was a major issue, when in fact, the person did not consider it to be so. At least not to the degree that it would dissuade his/her purchase decision.

It seems clear this was quite intentional on your part, and you've now been called out by the original poster. Be a man about it Ricehigh. Just agree not to misuse his/her content any further.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for ONE Pentax owner on this forum to stand up like an adult and admit that Pentax did a lousy job. Probably cowed by the chorus of brown-nosers.

My feeling is that those who understand the problem have already been lost to the competition, and what's left is represented here by a bunch of sore losers, with too many lenses.

Here's the DPREVIEW review of the new 55mm f/1.4 - I have never seen such a lousy review of a prime of this focal length. Check the tests on Pages 3 and 4 - this is the conclusion.

Relatively slow autofocus

Inaccurate focusing unless using camera's AF adjust, varying in behavior across camera models

Very expensive for its class

(This test defines the fact that SDM is FAR slower than the earlier lens; and to make it worse, focusing is all over the place.)

"So providing a final recommendation to this review becomes very difficult. When this lens works properly, it's one of the best portrait lenses that Pentax users can currently buy. But getting it to work properly has been the source of much frustration, and we consider that, especially given the price, it really should work better out of the box. If you can afford the asking price and get the lens functioning properly, you will certainly be delighted; but for most users we can't help but feel that the Sigma, or even the older FA 50mm F1.4, will be a better (and safer) option."

Value 7.0 - Recommended; with reservations.

"Sadly, the moment we started testing this lens we ran into problems with autofocus accuracy and consistency. We tested three samples of the lens, and quite simply none could focus accurately enough to use at F1.4 without applying AF adjustment (using test bodies which had no such problem with the smc FA 50mm F1.4). On our K20D the lens back-focused considerably, and required the maximum correction of +10 to function properly. On the K2000 the lens front-focused, and due to the lack of AF adjustment we were unable to achieve consistently accurate focus by any means. We got the best results on Pentax's latest model, the K-7, but the lens still front-focused slightly and, while many pictures turned out acceptably, it needed an adjustment of -3 for best results."

Anonymous said...

This thread contains replies within the forum from the reviewer, Andy Westlake. He was on there for hours.


I see the construction issues as the outcome of moving lens production from Japan, where high standards are easier met, to the Philippines and Vietnam. They are accepting variations in quality in order to reduce costs and rejects. Six Sigma, today's standard of excellence in manufacturing, is 3.4 failures in a million units. Something as complex as a camera with electronics is one thing, but this is a damned LENS, something that Pentax was actually good at.

Pentax seems intent on lowering quality and cheapening products - fewer rejects would require them to produce more units in the first place, as the reject percentage is too high.

Today's Pentax has nothing whatever to do with the original company in terms of products; and I consider it due no loyalty for the accomplishments of the original.

You can blame the guy at Sparx who forced the sale to Hoya for personal gain.

Abe's firm (Shuhei Abe, president and founder of Sparx Group Co.)played a role as an active investor in bringing camera maker Pentax Corp. under the control of Hoya Corp. in 2007. Sparx backed selected board members who favored the merger because they believed it would increase corporate value.

(The old BOD got destroyed in the process)

Try responding with facts rather than the usual invective, and anecdotes about how "yours" works.

One idiot on DPREVIEW said that "his works; and I don't give a damn about anyone elses".

The few dealers left will rebel at the returns and exchanges - they have plenty of brands to carry. I figure that part of the reason for the Pentax lens price hikes to provide more margin to the dealers to offset K-7 related returns and service.

Anonymous said...

Too much angst.

I just held a K7 today at the local dealer.
It's not much different in size to the little Km.
I don't know about problems, but it sure feels great to hold.

Hope any problems are sorted out soon. It would be a shame for it not to succeed.

Anonymous said...

RE: It would be a shame for it not to succeed.

Yes, it would. But if you really read the DPREVIEW comments, there are too many problems to work through - IMO the design problems with heat and a well-sealed body are foremost. They have no mementum going outside the legacy owners - no press coverage, no ads, no budget, expenses to cover returns and exchanges, and Canon and Nikon battling each other with new and creative models at a fraction of the pricem hitting every niche from P&s'er to pro. Sony is getting some press for new models, but I don't see them meeting sales goals, as usual. I have no idea of whom their target audience is outside their own legacy base, and they tend to review poorly. Asking consumer-electronics makers to compete with Canon and Nikon I consider extreme; but Panasonic found a great niche, created a new form factor, and did their homework. The economic growth is overseas, not the U.S. - so they're marketing over there.

Last I looked, each U.S. K-7 seller had the identical price - what's that about? Isn't price-fixing illegal?

Just look at the OP's points on each.


Anonymous said...

RE: "It would be a shame for it not to succeed.

Yes, it would. But..."

So much work to prove a point. But what point? The one that Pentax will not succeed?

As Mark Twain said: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
Or laboured.

Anonymous said...

RE: "But what point? The one that Pentax will not succeed?"

I don't have to prove that they'll exist - YOU do.

Try not to let your subjective opinions as to what you happen to own get into it - the buying public spending the money does not care.

Tell me WHY Pentax is going to remain in business.

Tell me HOW they can exist with a 6 percent market share, and legacy buyers who can no longer afford their LBA habits; and prefer the K20D to the K-7.

If you look carefully, the K-7D internals are really a high-percentage match to the K20D, aside from the new Imaging Engine needed for video. SAFOX got a bump and a new illuminator for tungsten; but the base SAFOX dates to 2003.

Here you go - find the other hardware differences (not the firmware changes) - those would be LCD size (a purchased part), movie mode, and higher FPS thanks to the imaging engine. FPS is not a "hardware change" - it's a benefit on account of one.

What has Pentax really provided in terms of internals that's different from K20D?

Tell me HOW they can afford to advance their technology, since from the start Hoya has refused to fund the camera business outside of what it can itself earn.

Anonymous said...

This blog is a joke, Rice High lost all credibility with his previous postings, especially the "Split Screen" one. Why does he keep attacking Hoya/Pentax/Samsung? It seems like poorly executed Viral Marketing from the competition.

Rice High please commit Hari Kari (Sepuku) you have done nothing but shame yourself.

Anonymous said...

RE: "But what point? The one that Pentax will not succeed?"

I don't have to prove that they'll exist - YOU do"

Why do I have to prove a point involving an accurate prediction of the future? And why to you or any other stranger? Is this a scientific or judicial forum now, where, heaven forbid, guilt is assumed and innocence has to be proved: ie Pentax is doomed, prove it ain't.
I say, Pentax is alive: prove it has a terminal illness, and if so. its life expectancy doctor Canikon. I come from a different judicial domain, possibly.

In fact I have got more than one brand of DSLR, including from the Canikon set.
They're good. I also think highly of Pentax, and own two of their DSLS. At my age, money is no longer a problem, but that's a different matter.

Your tone seems to be more like someone conducting a smear campaign in the human domain.

I think you should recall President Bush's ill-timed victory in Iraq announcement before you enter the stock market of precarious predictions.

And why do you you have a testy vested interest in the demise of Pentax?
After all all Canon and Nikon slr designs are simply clones of the original 1950's Pentax innovations. Must be annoyying to the copycats.
Pentax derives its name from pentaprism, pal. It first developed eye-level viewing and the instant-return mirror, and unlike Canikon developed 35 mm cameras from its own technology, rather than copying German technology.

So there, nasty-to-Penatx commentator.

Wesbo said...

As someone pointed out on another forum... Pentax is part of the largest optics company in the world, and is partnered with the second-largest semiconductor maker in the world. Yes, they will survive in some form or fashion, though perhaps not as we remember them from the K1000/MX/LX days. And as a (non-anonymous) pentax owner, let me be the first to say that they have made errors with the K7 launch, as well as with a great many products, especially over the last three years.

Anonymous said...

RE: "that they have made errors with the K7 launch, as well as with a great many products, especially over the last three years."

Just reviewing some photos taken at iso 1600 and 3200 on my K100D compared to my Nikon dslr at 1600 iso.
The Pentax colour saturation and detail are better. I still like my Nikon; don't get me wrong.

Can't find any marketing errors anywhere.

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