Where to I complain about my Pentax?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jim Garner, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Jim Garner

    Jim Garner Guest

    I giot this Pentax Optio 330 GS as a birthday present -- my first digital
    camera -- and I'm thoroughly annoyed with it.

    Mind you, I have a lot of respect for Pentax, having used their 35mm
    cameras a fair bit, and this digi is well made and functions as designed.
    The problem for me is that the design is poorly thought out and I'd like
    to let Pentax know it.

    Just one example of many: The camera comes with 108 pages of fairly
    technical instructions. Also everything you can think of is automated
    (without any real manual override).

    So the designers are working on the two assumptions: 1) that the users
    are too dumb to understand such matters as shutter speed, aperture, ISO
    numbers and focussing and 2) that said users are at the same time smart
    enough to understand 108 pages of technical instructions (poorly written
    in type so small I literaly have to use a magnifying glass to read them).
    Don't add up, do it?

    There would be no point in calling the company's customer relations
    department -- all I'd get would be some amiable young woman whose job it
    is to sooth down my annoyance. Nothing would happen.

    What I'd really like to do is write personally to the guy at Pentax
    (probably in Japan) who is responsible for putting this absurd design on
    the market. Or maybe the president.

    He OUGHT to be glad to recieve what OUGHT to be valuable input. Doubt
    that'll happen though.

    Anybody got any names or addresses I could use?
    Jim Garner, Nov 10, 2003
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  2. So the designers are working on the two assumptions:

    1) that the users are too dumb to understand such matters as shutter speed,
    aperture, ISO numbers and focussing .

    The majority of the public want a camera that goes into 'p' mode & stays
    there. When I worked in a major 35mm printing shop 99% of the printed public
    photography was crap. Every possible photographic cock up was covered, and
    some even wanted enlargements of their crap. Given this hit rate Pentax are
    onto a winner.

    2) that said users are at the same time smart
    enough to understand 108 pages of technical instructions

    Nope - 99% of the users don't read the instructions past page 1 - 'quick set
    up' - put into 'p' mode.

    (poorly written
    in type so small I literally have to use a magnifying glass to read them).
    You need some glasses.

    Don't add up, do it?

    yep- its consumer, it is in the hands of photographic gorillas, who scratch
    their heads when the OOF & distant flash pic they took of London bridge
    didn't light up the whole Thames also, as they thought it should.....

    Buy a DSLR if you want a proper digi

    betty swallocks, Nov 10, 2003
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  3. Jim Garner

    111 Guest

    Just one example of many: The camera comes with 108 pages of fairly
    I wish all manuals that came with a camera were as in-depth as that.
    Sounds great to me.
    Pentax (like all other manufacturers) have simple point-and-shoot
    cameras, and more fancy ones where you can override all the manual
    settings. It's the camera you chose to buy.

    I'm not sure what you are complaining about.
    What's so absurd about the design? You bought a point-and-shoot camera
    and that's what you got.
    111, Nov 10, 2003
  4. Jim Garner

    Bryce Guest

    I agree. You bought a cheap ass camera. What do you expect?
    Bryce, Nov 10, 2003
  5. Jim Garner

    jriegle Guest

    If you asked for this camera for your birthday, you should have researched
    its capabilities first. I am not familiar with Pentax's digital camera line,
    but there may be a higher model with the control you desire. I think the GS
    model was lower end.
    Go to Pentax's Web site. You should find a email address there. I sent them
    email once asking about lenses and got a response. But why should you? Other
    companies sell basic cameras with limited manual control. That is not a

    I have Fuji 6800z. It has many features, but limited manual control (no
    direct shutter or aperture control) and the manual is rather long and small
    in size (small text).

    Sheesh. I hope you aren't one of those chronic complainers. Who needs them.
    jriegle, Nov 11, 2003
  6. Jim Garner

    Seymore Guest

    What a whinney little "kid". Just be happy you got a digi-cam, and learn how to use it. You'll be better off! Yours was FREE... I
    had to pay for mine!
    Seymore, Nov 11, 2003
  7. Jim Garner

    Chuck Gadd Guest

    A great photography pioneer, Edward Steichen, once said "No
    photographer is as good as the simplest camera."

    Chuck Gadd
    Chuck Gadd, Nov 11, 2003
  8. Jim Garner

    Mark M Guest

    Anybody got any names or addresses I could use?

    1 (800) W-A-A-A-A-A-A
    Mark M, Nov 11, 2003
  9. Jim Garner

    yep Guest

    What a whinney little "kid". Just be happy you got a digi-cam, and learn how to use it. You'll be better off! Yours was FREE... I
    I suppose if someone gave him a small GM base model compact car he'd
    be writing to the head of GM that it doesn't go 200kph, no leather
    seats, no AC,,, etc! What a crappy design! LOL!

    This is the funniest thing I've seen al day. It must be a joke and
    this guy is pulling our legs!
    yep, Nov 11, 2003
  10. Jim Garner

    Tore Lund Guest

    Please bring on the other examples - I don't believe anyone has yet
    understood what you are complaining about.
    Everything on that camera is NOT automated - that's why there is a 108
    page manual.

    I have not used this camera, but it seems to be a fairly intelligently
    made P&S. For instance, it is exceedingly rare to find a camera - in
    any category - where you can bracket exposure, white balance,
    saturation, contrast and sharpening. Too bad some users don't
    appreciate this flexibility...
    And your valuable input is WHAT, exactly...?
    Tore Lund, Nov 11, 2003
  11. Jim Garner

    Guest Guest

    Surprising. I'd expect the drugstores would get the p&s crowd. had to be
    disappointing for employees that hoped to be working with pic enthusiast
    customers. I expect the ads attract "commoner" customers. yet the shop needs
    customers to exist financially.
    a lot of ppl aren't trying to create art, they want pics of their kid
    flipping into the pool.
    ironic since I think it's easier to use a camera manually.

    expensive. maybe just get a digi p&s and keep the film SLR for the 'good'
    pics. I like the non-motorized slr's for a real feel of everything. but I
    like the light meter and the visual focusing aids.
    actually *I* don't understand that ev stuff and tend to forget the f stop
    and f lens stuff, but I do qualitatively understand the interactions between
    speed (blur), aperture ( dof & light), film sensitivity, and some of the
    other physical/scientific reality. I may not use the terminology correctly,
    but the basics makes sense.

    you have a valid pov, but betty's correct, you bought a cam that Pentax
    sells for the 'automatic everything & cross my fingers' crowd. I think the
    a70 or a80 have manual controls. however I think you have to adjust things
    via the electronics and motor(s). so not completely manual.
    Guest, Nov 11, 2003
  12. Jim Garner

    Chris Hoopes Guest

    I have had the Pentax 330GS for quite some time now and have been happy
    with it. It is definitely a Point&Shoot camera with some added features. I
    found that manually adjusting the ISO and white balance make the camera work
    better, although I do agree that having manual control of aperture and
    shutter speed would be a wonderful feature. The camera was made for basic
    camera users rather than photographers. I also have found the setting the
    image size settings to the largest image/file size make better images as
    well. Some of the features are a little cheesy (3D mode and the flip-out LCD
    screen) which I don't use much - fun to play with when learning the camera,
    though. I would also suggest turning off the LCD to make the batteries last
    longer, unless you are using the histogram function to adjust exposure.

    I rarely shoot with the 330GS anymore since I moved up to a D-100. I do
    carry it with me when carrying the D-100 would be too cumbersome - I never
    like being without a camera of some sort.

    Pentax has already replaced the 330GS with the 33L (and 33WR) - both are
    still P&S cameras with no manual shutter/aperture controls. From what I have
    seen in the Pentax product line, only the Optio 440, 550, and 555 have
    aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes without stepping all the way up
    to the "*ist D" DSLR.

    From what I have seen, with a little manual tweaking, the 330GS can be a
    good-working camera that can produce some wonderful images. Fully automatic
    does not give the best results and understanding the camera's limits helps
    out quite a bit. Set the ISO to automatic unless it doesn't give you the
    results you want, set the white balance to suit the current situation (I
    never used automatic with this camera) and shoot away (don't forget about
    the shutter lag: push button, hold still, "beep"). I wouldn't expect this
    camera would replace any good film or higher-end digital camera, but it is
    nice to have something to take good pictures that fits into your pocket and
    is available quickly.
    Chris Hoopes, Nov 11, 2003
  13. Jim Garner

    Jim Garner Guest

    Thanks anyway for this useful advice.

    I got pretty well panned for my observations, but I'd like to point out
    to various responders that my complaint was only one of several. I didn't
    want to go to great lengths as what I was after was an address to complain to.

    However, in response to various observation

    This camera is pretty expensive for a point-and-shoot. I can get a P&S
    for one-fifth the price in film or half the price in digi.

    I've used Graphics, Rolleis, a Leica, Pentax, Konica, Yashica, a box
    Brownie and a 6 x 9 Voightlander. I think I know how to use a camera,
    developer and enlarger.

    Maybe I should have researched with care every available digi before
    accepting for the camera I did get. Clearly I should have taken the
    thing back to the shop and bought something for half the price and learned
    a bit more about digital photography, then bought something with genuine
    creative control over the whole process.

    I already own glasses that give me good eyesight for normal reading. I
    still have to use a magnifying glass to read the Pentax instructions.
    And, as a professional editor, I know when something is well or badly
    written. Don't you think that that point alone would be useful input to
    the Pentax people? A product is not much use if the user doesn't know how
    to use it, and how can you know this without clear readable instructions?

    I would also point out to them that on the one hand they claim an
    advantage of digital is that we don't have to buy film, but on the other
    hand the cost of a replacement battery (when you can find it) equals that
    of four or five rolls of 35mm film.

    (True, I can buy a recharger -- my camcorder comes with an excellent power
    pack worth 30 mins use and a combined recharger and AC adapter. It'd be
    nice to have something like that for the Pentax.)

    I'd use less battery power if the focus and zoom were manually operated.

    I might point out that the electronic controls are complicated and it
    would be more user-friendly to have simple dials that are easily seen in
    daylight and easier to manipulate with clumsy fingers. Then I wouldn't
    have to carry around my instruction booklet, plus reading glasses and
    magnifying glass.

    These little pictures (icons) they use on the controls don't help much. The
    Chinese have been using picture-writing for millenia and they are moving
    toward letter-writing. I don't think Pentax should be asking us to
    learn a new alphabet, especially when the pictograms are so tiny.

    Let me repeat -- I'm not arguing that Pentax isn't a fine camera maker.
    I've used their stuff before and have great respect for it. But I just
    can't agree with their design approach in this respect. And if that means I'm
    criticising the design approach of other digi manufacturers, so be it.

    Just you watch -- in 10 years we'll b seeing the kind of camera I'm
    talking about now.

    You read it here first.

    Jim Garner, Nov 11, 2003
  14. Jim Garner

    Bryce Guest

    It's already here.
    Bryce, Nov 11, 2003
  15. Maybe I should have researched with care every available digi before
    accepting for the camera I did get.

    Maybe you should, then you would not have to come whining here. Just
    because Pentax once made reasonable manual cameras several generations ago,
    it does not mean they are going to produce reasonable digital ones now. The
    R&D, engineering & technical skills required to produce such cameras is
    entirely different. Pentax have a fraction of the digital market, you should
    ask yourself why ???
    betty swallocks, Nov 11, 2003
  16. Jim Garner

    111 Guest

    Just you watch -- in 10 years we'll b seeing the kind of camera I'm
    They're already out there. You just haven't done any research to find
    them (as you made a point of admitting). Let me guess, next week you
    going to invent the question mark - and try to take the credit for
    that too!
    111, Nov 12, 2003
  17. Jim Garner

    Charlie Self Guest

    Jim Garner notes:
    Yeah, well...just be glad tehe Japanese didn't develop the typewriter, or the
    damned keyboard would fit in a matchbook and you'd have to type with a pencil
    point. Control miniaturization has been carried past the point of silly, then
    to asinine and it is reaching totally ridiculous.

    Charlie Self

    "Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same
    function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of
    things." Sir Winston Churchill
    Charlie Self, Nov 12, 2003
  18. Jim Garner

    Samuel Paik Guest

    How much did you pay for it? According to DPReview, it's only $325,
    which makes it a medium-low end digital camera.
    According to Internet sources, the Pentax Optio 330GS uses 2 AA cells
    or one CR-V3 battery. Clearly 2 AA NiMH (rechargable) cells will be
    less expensive for normal use, you should use a CR-V3 for backup.
    Get 2 NiMH AAs and a recharger.
    You're in the wrong class of cameras for manually operated focus and
    No, you are criticizing this class of camera--very compact digital
    cameras. They are primarily intended to be used in fully automatic
    mode, in which case you shouldn't need to mess with menus and such
    very often.

    If you want to be able to have specific focus and zoom rings and
    dials for aperture and shutter speed, you will need to consider a
    different class of cameras, digital SLRs, like the Nikon D-100 or
    Canon EOS 10D.

    Samuel Paik, Nov 12, 2003
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