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I need my photos taken with a Pentax K-5 to have an exact timestamp. When setting the time in menu, I can't see the seconds part; is there any way to reset them to zero?

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Have you looked into the O-GPS1 accessory? It looks like, at the very least, it populates a "GPS Time Stamp" EXIF field. I don't know if the same accurate time stamp is used for the regular timestamp, or if it's still the camera's clock. –  coneslayer May 27 '12 at 14:30
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@coneslayer: I don't have the GPS unit O-GPS1, but an "Auto Time Synch." option exists in the GPS submenu. –  DragonLord May 29 '12 at 3:51
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Page 68 of the K-5 Operating Manual states the following:

...

9. Press the four-way controller (▼) to select [Settings complete].

10. Press the OK button.

...

When you press the OK button in Step 10, the seconds value is set to 0. To set the exact time, press the OK button when the time signal (on the TV, radio, etc.) reaches 0 seconds.

In other words, the seconds value is set to 0 when you press OK on the "Settings Complete" button.

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The time of answering is excellently chosen! –  Imre Aug 22 '12 at 22:17
    
FWIW, the same logic also applies to earlier models (tested K200d) - exiting the time setting screen resets the seconds. –  Imre Aug 22 '12 at 22:19
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It seems logical to assume that the seconds reset to 00 when you OK the set time. To test it, grab a stopwatch of some kind, start it as you OK the time, then snap a picture when the stopwatch tells you a minute has passed. Check the timestamp to see if a minute has passed on the camera.

If it doesn't reset the seconds, perhaps a reset to factory settings might do it?

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There's OK'ing for the "Time" setting and "Settings complete" of the whole "Date adjustment" section, so it could be one of them. The test should be carried out twice to make sure that the seconds are actually zeroed, not coincidentally zero. I'll carry out the tests later on. –  Imre May 27 '12 at 6:16
    
A third possibility is that seconds are zeroed when minutes are advanced. Some digital clocks work that way. I don't know which Pentax does, though. –  mattdm May 27 '12 at 14:04
    
One-shot test procedure: set minute exactly at :00 seconds. Press first Okay at 15 seconds and second Okay at 30 seconds. Then, take a photo of your reference clock. Examine the EXIF time and see if it's correct when compared to the time shown in the photo, or off by 15, or off by 30. –  mattdm May 27 '12 at 16:10
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