Extending the Capability of the Pentax K-1 with the Promote Control (v 3.29)

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The Promote Control can now be used to extend the capabilities of the Pentax K-1, offering Time-Lapse with in-camera Pixel Shift, Bulb Ramping, HDR and more. Firmware version 3.29 can be downloaded here.

  • Single Shot Mode can be used as a simple release for any in-camera drive mode or Special Function exposure sequence including video.
  • Manual Shutter can be used to control exposure in Bulb Mode (1).
  • Time-Lapse Mode can be used with Pixel Shift Resolution or internal bracketing to create Pixel Shift or HDR Time-Lapse video. (1)
  • Simple Bulb Ramping allows creation of smooth day to night time-lapse videos. (2)
  • Bulb HDR can be used to create exposure brackets beyond the 6 exposure limit of the internal bracketing. (2)
  • HDR Mode (3) and Advanced Bulb Ramping (4) are limited by the K-1 buffer capacity to a maximum 100 images or ~900 MB of data.
  • Focus Stacking Mode is not supported.

Required cables:

  1. Promote Control Shutter Cable CN2
  2. Promote Control Shutter Cable CN2Promote Control Bulb Ramping and Bulb HDR Assistant Kit
  3. Pentax micro-USB cable, Promote Control OTG Adapter
  4. Pentax micro-USB cable, Promote Control Shutter Cable CN2, Promote Control Bulb Ramping and Bulb HDR Assistant Kit, Promote Control OTG Adapter

Configuration Tips

  • Pentax K-1 version 1.30 firmware required.
  • Enable shutter cable in camera.
  • Disable Instant Review in camera settings.
  • Set ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed to 1/3 stop resolution.
  • Set the USB connection Mode to PTP.

Release Notes

  • In-camera Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO steps must be set to 1/3 EV steps.
  • Use PTP mode for USB connection instead of Mass Storage (MSC).
  • Compatible modes:
    • One Shot
    • HDR
    • Bulb HDR
    • Manual Shutter
    • Basic and Advanced Bulb Ramping
    • Time-Lapse with built-in camera modes (Pixel Shift, Bracketing, HDR)
    • Time-Lapse with Promote Control options
  • Mirror Lock-Up and Long Exposure Noise Reduction functions are compatible with the Promote Control. MLU requires a Shutter Cable.
  • Video start/stop is possible by using a Shutter Cable as a simple remote while K-1 is in Live View. Promote Control’s built-in video mode is not compatible.
  • The K-1’s shutter close delay is about 60ms. Each camera must be calibrated using the Calibration function in the Promote Control setup menu. Accordingly, the shortest exposure in Bulb modes is 1/13 with the safety margin in setup options set to Normal.
  • Bulb Ramping requires the accessory cable found in the Bulb Ramping and Bulb HDR Assistant Kit to be connected to the K-1’s PC sync port. Alternatively, the accessory cable can be connected to the hot shoe adapter included in the Kit.
  • Basic Bulb Ramping sequences of any length can be performed without a USB cable, however, ISO will not be automatically adjusted.
  • Advanced Bulb Ramping (ABR) sequences are limited by the K-1’s reliance on its buffer during active USB sessions. Reducing JPEG size and using longer intervals may help with ABR.
  • The mirror cannot be locked up when taking multiple images in Live View.
  • The K-1 will eventually time out and power down when not in active sequence with the Promote Control. The Promote Control will then be unable to connect until the camera is awaken by half pressing the shutter button. Adjust the Meter Operating Time in the camera as needed.
  • We recommend using the Shutter Cable alone for Time-Lapses.
  • Exposure delay timings have been carefully tested. If any shots are missing from a HDR or TL sequence or if the shutter speed is incorrect, increase the USB and/or Shutter Speed frame delay.
  • Pixel Shift Resolution is compatible with sequences controlled by the Shutter Cable alone.  If a USB cable is used, the Pixel Shift frame lingers in RAM, blocking further image acquisition until the USB session is ended (which is when it is written to the card). The Promote Control will show an error message to disable Pixel Shift if detected.

Promote Control firmware version 3.29

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