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Pentax ist DS: manual white balance buggy?

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June 13, 2005 7:39:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Hi,
I today chanced upon the first misbehaviour of my (otherwise
immaculate) DS: Trying to get to adjust manual (aka custom)
white-balance, I followed the instructions (p.115-116 in the
user-manual):

1. pressed Fn button (On the LCD screen, Fn Menu appeared).
2. pressed left arrow on the 4 way controller (WB Menu appeared).
3. Using the down arrow, moved all the way down to select 'Manual'. (an
'Adjust' option appeared to the right of the word 'Manual').
4. pressed the right arrow on the 4 way controller to get to the above
mentioned 'adjust' option.

Here, according to the manual, a screen was supposed to show saying
"Point camera at subject; Press the shutter release button".
Instead, the LCD screen turns off (goes black). According to the
user-manual the interaction with the user was supposed to continue
until an 'OK' or 'NG' are displayed on the LCD. However, as I
mentioned, the LCD goes out.

The subsequent press on the shutter release does sound and feel
different than an ordinary shot (e.g. no auto-focus action as far as I
can tell), suggesting that the adjustment is taking place after all.
But then the resulting shots are quite poor colour-wise. It looks as
though the camera made no colour adjustments, or perhaps bad ones.
(Then again I can't be 100% sure about that).

Could kind DS owners check whether their camera behaves the same way?
Do you get LCD messages through to the 'OK' or 'NG' message step?

I updated the firmware to 1.02, - with no change in behaviour.
My RAM is a 1 gb Kingston unit.

Thanks very much in advance for any help.

Ben
June 13, 2005 12:12:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

John, Pete, thanks for taking the time to check your DS and reply.

> Mine is working fine, did you arrow right once you select the manual setting
> and get the screen that says click the shutter? You should then take a
> focussed shot and come up with the OK in the middle of the screen.

Yes, I did arrow right at the point you mention, and it is exactly at
that point and in reaction to that arrow right button press that the
LCD turns off.

Since my initial posting I also tried the reset to factory settings, to
no avail.

:-( :-( :-( !!!

Sounds like the techies at Pentax can prepare their hammers and
chiesles...
June 13, 2005 12:54:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Correction: The relevant pages in the manual are 113-114 (not 115-116
as in my initial posting).

B.
Related resources
June 13, 2005 1:02:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Checked the batteries?
All these DSLRs do flakey things on low batts.

Collin
June 13, 2005 2:43:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

At least it's not dropping images, per the recent Canon situation.
Yet in that light we must realize first and foremost that these are
computer with lenses.
They should be treated as computers -- bugs and all.

My fear is when M$ starts writing the OS for these things.
We'll be rebooting daily, necessary or not.

Collin
June 13, 2005 3:59:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

240 days for NT. Must be a record.
I'd like to see a memory and load analysis of those systems.
Too many shops HAVE to reboot them monthly, on schedule.
Memory leaks are a major concern.
You're not running Domino, are you?

Collin
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:09:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On 13 Jun 2005 03:39:03 -0700, "Ben"
<benmillernews@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Here, according to the manual, a screen was supposed to show saying
>"Point camera at subject; Press the shutter release button".
>Instead, the LCD screen turns off (goes black). According to the
>user-manual the interaction with the user was supposed to continue
>until an 'OK' or 'NG' are displayed on the LCD. However, as I
>mentioned, the LCD goes out.

Sounds like a fault. The LCD does go blank after pressing
the right arrow, but only for a second or so before the
screen mentioned in the manual comes up.

--
Regards

John Bean
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:09:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"John Bean" <waterfoot@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:24qqa11sf2ethodo62snh36fggj73fspnf@4ax.com...
> On 13 Jun 2005 03:39:03 -0700, "Ben"
> <benmillernews@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>Here, according to the manual, a screen was supposed to show saying
>>"Point camera at subject; Press the shutter release button".
>>Instead, the LCD screen turns off (goes black). According to the
>>user-manual the interaction with the user was supposed to continue
>>until an 'OK' or 'NG' are displayed on the LCD. However, as I
>>mentioned, the LCD goes out.
>
> Sounds like a fault. The LCD does go blank after pressing
> the right arrow, but only for a second or so before the
> screen mentioned in the manual comes up.

Mine is working fine, did you arrow right once you select the manual setting
and get the screen that says click the shutter? You should then take a
focussed shot and come up with the OK in the middle of the screen.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:21:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

> Could kind DS owners check whether their camera behaves the same way?

I hadn't had this problem, but I had a hunch, checked it, and it turned
out to be right:

My camera can be induced to misbehave in this fashion if I try to set
manual white balance while in a "picture" mode. It seems to work only
in the "exposure" modes - the ones identified with letters on the mode
dial. So I'd suggest using P mode if you want automatic exposuure,
which is what I do most of the time. In the cases where I want to
control something, I find Av mode is virtually always sufficient. It is
especially useful for the most common such scenario - light is low, and
you want to force the fastest shutter speed you can get while still
having enough light to take the picture without resorting to flash.
With Av mode, you don't have to guess - just open the aperture as wide
as you can, and the camera chooses the appropriate shutter speed. I'm
not sure why P mode doesn't default to doing this in low light
situations, but I assume it is optimizing something else.

BTW, I'm not sure what would happen if you tried *setting* the manual
white balance in P mode then switching to a picture mode before actually
shooting. Maybe it would work, maybe not?

--------------
Marc Sabatella
marc@outsideshore.com

The Outside Shore
Music, art, & educational materials:
http://www.outsideshore.com/
June 13, 2005 5:08:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Little CPU load" is the key.

Collin
June 13, 2005 5:11:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Right on!!!! Thanks a lot!
Works for me in P mode as meant to. I suppose this is a weak spot in
the DS's human interface (it's not polite to just turn LCDs off on
users even if they're in the wrong mode) and in the documentation -
can't see where this is mentioned in the user manual.

What's great is that having now tried out a couple of shots with the
manual WB, I see the DS doing it extremely well.

Great!! Thanks again.
Hope this thread saves other DS users an unwarranted worry.

Ben
June 13, 2005 8:15:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Hmmm... things are taking an interesting twist here...
Following Helen's account of her manual explicitly directing the user
to set the mode dial to P/Tv/Av...etc, I turned again to my manual and
read p. 113-114 throughout, then inside out, upside down, back to front
and ...(well you get the idea...). No mention of modes!!
Now since I bought my DS in Germany, I got a manual in German. Since my
German is pretty basic, I downloaded from Pentax's U.S. site the
English manual in pdf, and had it printed off.
A quick comparison between p.113's in the German and English manuals
had the beans gushing out spilling...

In the German manual step 1 reads "set the mode button to P/Tv/Av/M/B".
step 2 is "Press the Fn button".
In the English manual, step 1 reads "Press the Fn button"...
The rest of the steps are identical!!
Bingo!!! My English manual leaves out that important first step.

(If interested to check it out by yourself: -
http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/istDS_web.pdf.)

I'm wondering whether the pdf version of the manual on Pentax's U.S.
site is different from the printed manuals packed with the cameras sold
in English speaking countries (in which case one would actually expect
the pdf files to be better proofread and more up-to date!!!).
Or perhaps Helen's manual is a Pentax UK/Australia/NZ version?

As to "The above adjustment is not reflected in Picture mode" in P.112
(that text does appear in my English manual too), - This has to be one
of the most ambiguous phrases in the manual. I NOW understand that it
means "the above settings" where it said "the above adjustment", and
"have no effect" where it said "is not reflected".

What's more, if you run a search throug the manual pdf file for
"Picture Mode", you'll see that the term is not defined anywhere, and
is actually used incoherently throughout the manual. Only in p.132 a
distinction is made between 'exposure modes' (P/Tv/Av/M/B) and 'picture
modes' (those with icons). (But then in the appendix in p. 189 that
distinction is confounded by 'picture mode' being listed as one of the
'exposure modes' ..etc. etc.)

Fortunately, the DS's interface is otherwise so intuitive and well
designed, that one does not depend very heavily on the manual...

Ben
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 10:17:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Cheesehead wrote:
[]
> My fear is when M$ starts writing the OS for these things.
> We'll be rebooting daily, necessary or not.

My Windows NT4 system here has been up for 240 days so far - since our
last power outage. One Windows 2000 system has been up for 104 days (the
others have been down for hardware upgrades and dust removal!).

David
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 11:11:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Cheesehead wrote:
> 240 days for NT. Must be a record.
> I'd like to see a memory and load analysis of those systems.
> Too many shops HAVE to reboot them monthly, on schedule.
> Memory leaks are a major concern.
> You're not running Domino, are you?
>
> Collin

I don't think of it as a record at all. That particular system runs a
real-time satellite data acquisition facility - no Domino. 64MB physical
typically 48MB used, little CPU load. The Windows 2000 system which had
been up for 104 days is stable, and runs a 2Mb/s satellite-based data
acquisition system. 512MB physical about 200MB used, little CPU load. I
can't recall why that was last rebooted, possibly after a failing hard
disk was replaced. I now expect my Windows systems to run 24 x 7 without
fail, and they usually achieve that. Security updates are the most
frequent reasons for a reboot.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 12:44:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 12:21:45 -0600, "Marc Sabatella"
<marc@outsideshore.com> wrote:
>BTW, I'm not sure what would happen if you tried *setting* the manual
>white balance in P mode then switching to a picture mode before actually
>shooting. Maybe it would work, maybe not?

Picture modes force AWB - they don't use *any* manual WB
mode, not just custom.

I never use picture modes so I assumed nobody else did ;-)

--
Regards

John Bean
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 12:59:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <11arjt1499rkq4f@corp.supernews.com>, Marc Sabatella
<marc@outsideshore.com> writes
>> Could kind DS owners check whether their camera behaves the same way?
>
>I hadn't had this problem, but I had a hunch, checked it, and it turned
>out to be right:
>
>My camera can be induced to misbehave in this fashion if I try to set
>manual white balance while in a "picture" mode. It seems to work only
>in the "exposure" modes - the ones identified with letters on the mode
>dial. So I'd suggest using P mode if you want automatic exposuure,
>which is what I do most of the time. In the cases where I want to
>control something, I find Av mode is virtually always sufficient. It is
>especially useful for the most common such scenario - light is low, and
>you want to force the fastest shutter speed you can get while still
>having enough light to take the picture without resorting to flash.
>With Av mode, you don't have to guess - just open the aperture as wide
>as you can, and the camera chooses the appropriate shutter speed. I'm
>not sure why P mode doesn't default to doing this in low light
>situations, but I assume it is optimizing something else.
>
>BTW, I'm not sure what would happen if you tried *setting* the manual
>white balance in P mode then switching to a picture mode before actually
>shooting. Maybe it would work, maybe not?
>
>--------------
>Marc Sabatella

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Marc!

p112 of my manual says: "The above adjustment is not reflected in
Picture mode" when referring to manually setting the white balance, and
on p113 it specifically directs you to set the mode button to P, Tv, Av,
M or B when setting a manual white balance.

The only other point I have to add to this discussion is that when I've
set a manual white balance using a white card, I've had to switch to
manual focus or the AF just hunts and the white balance sampling
exposure doesn't happen.

Helen

Helen Edith Stephenson <helen at baronmoss dot demon dot co dot uk>
--
(I'm sure you can figure out what I mean!)
http://www.baronmoss.demon.co.uk
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 12:59:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

> The only other point I have to add to this discussion is that when
I've
> set a manual white balance using a white card, I've had to switch to
> manual focus or the AF just hunts and the white balance sampling
> exposure doesn't happen.

Yes, I was going to mention this too forgot in the excitement of
figuring out the mode issue :-).

--------------
Marc Sabatella
marc@outsideshore.com

The Outside Shore
Music, art, & educational materials:
http://www.outsideshore.com/
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 2:48:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <fdora1lr83a2v7uv4on5btplva35n8jcgd@4ax.com>, John Bean
<waterfoot@gmail.com> writes
>On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 12:21:45 -0600, "Marc Sabatella"
><marc@outsideshore.com> wrote:
>>BTW, I'm not sure what would happen if you tried *setting* the manual
>>white balance in P mode then switching to a picture mode before actually
>>shooting. Maybe it would work, maybe not?
>
>Picture modes force AWB - they don't use *any* manual WB
>mode, not just custom.
>
>I never use picture modes so I assumed nobody else did ;-)
>
:-)

I don't use them either. I'd have to read the manual to work out what to
do with them. Idiot-proof functions generally trip me up.

Helen

Helen Edith Stephenson <helen at baronmoss dot demon dot co dot uk>
--
(I'm sure you can figure out what I mean!)
http://www.baronmoss.demon.co.uk
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 5:06:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Ben" <benmillernews@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Fortunately, the DS's interface is otherwise so intuitive and well
> designed, that one does not depend very heavily on the manual...

Despite taking photographs for half a century while working as an expert
translator in various languages, I found the DS's English manual was mind-
numbing in its obscurity. No downright GRAMMATICAL errors, but as you
discovered the SENSE was often very confused.

To anyone in the language business, the DS manual clearly smells like a
poor translation. I'd bet the nameless "native English speaker" (probably
some bored housewife or migrant backpacker) hired to finalize the Japanese-
translated English version knew very little about cameras or the common
terminology we photographers use.

--
Anti-Spam address: my last name at his dot com
Charles Gillen -- Reston, Virginia, USA
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 12:31:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Helen Edith Stephenson" <helen@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:lBfx4oAd8frCFweR@baronmoss.demon.co.uk...
> In article <fdora1lr83a2v7uv4on5btplva35n8jcgd@4ax.com>, John Bean
> <waterfoot@gmail.com> writes
>>On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 12:21:45 -0600, "Marc Sabatella"
>><marc@outsideshore.com> wrote:
>>>BTW, I'm not sure what would happen if you tried *setting* the manual
>>>white balance in P mode then switching to a picture mode before actually
>>>shooting. Maybe it would work, maybe not?
>>
>>Picture modes force AWB - they don't use *any* manual WB
>>mode, not just custom.
>>
>>I never use picture modes so I assumed nobody else did ;-)
>>
> :-)
>
> I don't use them either. I'd have to read the manual to work out what to
> do with them. Idiot-proof functions generally trip me up.

So if you want continuous focusing what do you do? The sports mode is not
bad for the intended purpose.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 3:11:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 08:31:43 GMT, "Pete D" <no@email.com>
wrote:

>
>"Helen Edith Stephenson" <helen@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:lBfx4oAd8frCFweR@baronmoss.demon.co.uk...
>> In article <fdora1lr83a2v7uv4on5btplva35n8jcgd@4ax.com>, John Bean
>> <waterfoot@gmail.com> writes
>>>I never use picture modes so I assumed nobody else did ;-)
>>
>> I don't use them either. I'd have to read the manual to work out what to
>> do with them. Idiot-proof functions generally trip me up.
>
>So if you want continuous focusing what do you do? The sports mode is not
>bad for the intended purpose.

Nothing wrong with using picture modes if they do something
useful for you, but I have only one AF lens so most of the
time I don't use AF at all...

So far I've never needed continuous AF but it depends on the
kind of photography you do of course. So you'll have guessed
I don't do sports ;-)


--
Regards

John Bean
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 3:13:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Charles Gillen" <see-my-sig@below.com> wrote:

> Despite taking photographs for half a century while working as an
expert
> translator in various languages, I found the DS's English manual was
mind-
> numbing in its obscurity. No downright GRAMMATICAL errors, but as you
> discovered the SENSE was often very confused.
>
> To anyone in the language business, the DS manual clearly smells like
a
> poor translation. I'd bet the nameless "native English speaker"
(probably
> some bored housewife or migrant backpacker) hired to finalize the
Japanese-
> translated English version knew very little about cameras or the
common
> terminology we photographers use.

I think it's worse than that - the manual just isn't particularly well
designed in the first place. Information is quite often not where you
want it, with way to many places where a feature is *mentioned* in a
logical place but *explained* somewhere else entirely. Luckily, it is
well cross-referenced - when mentioning a feature not explained on that
page, there is virtually always a pointer to the page you need. But far
too many page turns are necessary to figure out how to accomplish most
tasks. Sitting down and really familiarizing yourself with the manual
ahead of time - both so you don't need to consult it much later, and so
you have a feel for where to find what you want when you need to - helps
a lot. Luckily, again, most functions you need regularly are obvious
enough you don't need the manual even once.

--------------
Marc Sabatella
marc@outsideshore.com

The Outside Shore
Music, art, & educational materials:
http://www.outsideshore.com/
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 4:16:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"John Bean" <waterfoot@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:ktata11a8hqc3qs40uh4p8ilhkl4u83865@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 08:31:43 GMT, "Pete D" <no@email.com>
> wrote:
>
>>
>>"Helen Edith Stephenson" <helen@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>>news:lBfx4oAd8frCFweR@baronmoss.demon.co.uk...
>>> In article <fdora1lr83a2v7uv4on5btplva35n8jcgd@4ax.com>, John Bean
>>> <waterfoot@gmail.com> writes
>>>>I never use picture modes so I assumed nobody else did ;-)
>>>
>>> I don't use them either. I'd have to read the manual to work out what to
>>> do with them. Idiot-proof functions generally trip me up.
>>
>>So if you want continuous focusing what do you do? The sports mode is not
>>bad for the intended purpose.
>
> Nothing wrong with using picture modes if they do something
> useful for you, but I have only one AF lens so most of the
> time I don't use AF at all...
>
> So far I've never needed continuous AF but it depends on the
> kind of photography you do of course. So you'll have guessed
> I don't do sports ;-)

I don't do much but it tracks the kids at the soccer okay.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 11:44:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <PBwre.16256$F7.9894@news-server.bigpond.net.au>, Pete D
<no@email.com> writes
>
>"Helen Edith Stephenson" <helen@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:lBfx4oAd8frCFweR@baronmoss.demon.co.uk...
>> In article <fdora1lr83a2v7uv4on5btplva35n8jcgd@4ax.com>, John Bean
>> <waterfoot@gmail.com> writes
>>>On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 12:21:45 -0600, "Marc Sabatella"
>>><marc@outsideshore.com> wrote:
>>>>BTW, I'm not sure what would happen if you tried *setting* the manual
>>>>white balance in P mode then switching to a picture mode before actually
>>>>shooting. Maybe it would work, maybe not?
>>>
>>>Picture modes force AWB - they don't use *any* manual WB
>>>mode, not just custom.
>>>
>>>I never use picture modes so I assumed nobody else did ;-)
>>>
>> :-)
>>
>> I don't use them either. I'd have to read the manual to work out what to
>> do with them. Idiot-proof functions generally trip me up.
>
>So if you want continuous focusing what do you do? The sports mode is not
>bad for the intended purpose.

I haven't tried continuous focussing yet. The standard lens with the DS
is my first experience of autofocus. I suspect that I should have used
continuous focussing last Saturday when I was photographing parading
tractors and steam engines. I think I actually had the autofocus lens on
the camera at the time:-)

Helen

Helen Edith Stephenson <helen at baronmoss dot demon dot co dot uk>
--
(I'm sure you can figure out what I mean!)
http://www.baronmoss.demon.co.uk
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 11:59:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <1118704551.082510.183140@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>, Ben
<benmillernews@hotmail.com> writes
>Hmmm... things are taking an interesting twist here...
>Following Helen's account of her manual explicitly directing the user
>to set the mode dial to P/Tv/Av...etc, I turned again to my manual and
>read p. 113-114 throughout, then inside out, upside down, back to front
>and ...(well you get the idea...). No mention of modes!!
>Now since I bought my DS in Germany, I got a manual in German. Since my
>German is pretty basic, I downloaded from Pentax's U.S. site the
>English manual in pdf, and had it printed off.
>A quick comparison between p.113's in the German and English manuals
>had the beans gushing out spilling...
>
>In the German manual step 1 reads "set the mode button to P/Tv/Av/M/B".
>step 2 is "Press the Fn button".
>In the English manual, step 1 reads "Press the Fn button"...
>The rest of the steps are identical!!
>Bingo!!! My English manual leaves out that important first step.
>
>(If interested to check it out by yourself: -
>http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/istDS_web.pdf.)
>
>I'm wondering whether the pdf version of the manual on Pentax's U.S.
>site is different from the printed manuals packed with the cameras sold
>in English speaking countries (in which case one would actually expect
>the pdf files to be better proofread and more up-to date!!!).
>Or perhaps Helen's manual is a Pentax UK/Australia/NZ version?

Try this one:

http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/istDS_repl_06...

I got to it from the Pentax UK site by following a download link for
manuals. It looks to me like somebody's recently done a quick editing
job on the manual, as this one includes the missing step.

My paper manual, btw, was printed in Belgium!

[snip]
>Fortunately, the DS's interface is otherwise so intuitive and well
>designed, that one does not depend very heavily on the manual...
>
>Ben

You're right: I mostly leave my manual home. That did mean that when I
popped up the flash last weekend that I also put the camera into 'P'
mode, as I don't know the first thing about using a pop-up flash.

I've read the manual since, and think I might need to carry the couple
of pages with the guide numbers around with me if I want to use the pop-
up flash, or I'll never figure out how to set the aperture on my legacy
lenses!

Helen

Helen Edith Stephenson <helen at baronmoss dot demon dot co dot uk>
--
(I'm sure you can figure out what I mean!)
http://www.baronmoss.demon.co.uk
!