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02-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
Look at the Official Styling Poll right in these forums.
You are correct in observing that a number of people like the design (43.7% vote "4" or better).

However, currently, the K-01 only reaches 53.6% likeability overall. I'm saying that's not good enough. Camera design shouldn't be that contentious (unless as a company you can afford it and offer less contentious designs in parallel). There are too many (almost a third) that rate the design to be worse than mediocre.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
From the looks of it, to make your "clear" point, you have grabbed some posts here and there in an attempt to exemplify your point when there's clear objective data (i.e. a simple poll) that points otherwise.
I'm "attempting" nothing. I'm of the opinion that the K-01's design represents a lost opportunity for Pentax and try to argue why this may not be just my personal opinion but may actually be argued using objective criteria.

Maybe, in the future, the K-01 design fans will greatly outnumber the people that feel let down by it. I'm just assuming that many will have the position Adam mentioned, i.e., they won't buy a camera because of its good looks but may not buy one because they think it's ugly. The K-01 sticks its neck out design-wise. I don't like it because I think it does it as a fashion statement (as opposed to serving function only) and because it represents a risk regarding potential buyers.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
As previously mentioned, the snorkel provides the camera an ability to be placed flat on any surface, including upside down.
Not seeing the utility of an upside down placement, but in any event the better solution would have been to avoid the bulge. Without it, you don't need a snorkel either.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
There's also no real "proof" the on-off switch is less ergonomic when the people who have criticised the camera have not actually used it.
I've seen a video where someone operates the on/off switch with the thumb, thus not placing the index finger at the right spot after the operation. Try using the thumb with the regular on/off switch. EDIT: Maybe the on/off switch works well when one holds the K-01 like an F1 steering wheel?

QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
Given it's retro design, you can argue it's long-lasting. In fact there's a few mentions of the K-01 design being timeless.
Opinions will differ on this but AFAIC, the "timeless" comments are just reflexes based on the name of the designer and/or the "out there" design statement the K-01 makes. This is my personal opinion and I could be wrong. Where the K-01 looks like a Rams design, I agree, it has "timeless" qualities. Where it doesn't, it just looks too gimmicky and toyish to have any chance of lasting the test of time. Just my view.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
This point barely makes sense... "Clearly there is a reason" ... and yet "It does not make sense" ... unless the reason is because Marc Newson disregards feedback?
I think you want to read that passage again. It makes sense.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
I agree the exposure compensation button is placed in an unusual place but I honestly don't know where it could have gone to be usable.
The problem is not that the positioning is unusual. On a camera of the size of the K-01 there must be space for an ergonomic placement. A good position is probably near the mode dial. Previous Pentax cameras found a good place for it on the top plate.


Last edited by Class A; 02-06-2012 at 05:34 PM.
02-06-2012, 05:07 PM - 1 Like   #32
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I find your whole post, Class A, really presumptuous. And un-educated.

Stick to discussing technical minutiae and you do alright. But when you venture into this kind of turf you are embarrassing yourself.
02-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #33
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I enjoyed reading Class A's analysis of Ram's design principles and tend to agree with his conclusions. Despite the concessions made to Newman's design, I hope we find that the camera has good egonomics and workmanship. I'll probably purchase the K-01 because even with its design flaws, at least to my eyes, it's a Pentax K-mount body.
02-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
I think the car looks neat. different yet strangely similar. i like it.
I agree with you. I kinda like the basic shape of the body. It's the grille...or "lack of"...that makes it look so odd, I think.

02-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #35
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Hmmm...I wonder how the Fuji X 1 Pro and Oly OM-D fare when evaluated against Dieter Rams design principles?


Is innovative - The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
FAIL. Modern digital cameras masquerading as cameras from the 1960s and 1980s? That's the opposite of innovative

Makes a product useful - A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
FAIL. The retro design flourishes do nothing to add to the usefulness of the cameras.

Is aesthetic - The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
PASS. I'll give them that. They are pretty. Like plastic flowers.

Makes a product understandable - It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user's intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
FAIL. Slavish adherence to the past does little to make the product more understandable. They may trigger happy neurons in the brains of photographers of a certain age, but nearly everyone born after 1980, it's as if Volkswagen started making the original Beetle again, except with a hybrid engine.

Is unobtrusive - Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user's self-expression.
FAIL. These cameras wish to be seen as decorative objects, talismans that users hang around their neck to advertise to the world that they are Henri brought back from the grave, sipping coffee in some European cafe while smoking unfiltered cigarettes and contemplating unprotected coitus while listening to the Starland Vocal Band.

Is honest - It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
FAIL. Slathering vintage aesthetics on top of modern electronics is deceit pure and simple. These cameras do not turn back time. Buying these cameras will not make you the young studly photographer you think you once were.

Is long-lasting - It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today's throwaway society.
FAIL. Retro by definition is a fashion and a trend. Bell bottoms can come back. That doesn't make it right.

Is thorough down to the last detail - Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
PASS. Like an odd fetish.

Is environmentally friendly - Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
FAIL. If owners really wanted to preserve the environment while still looking retro, they'd pull the originals out of their closets and drawers and just shoot film again. Better yet, gut the old cameras and turn them into hood ornaments and belt buckles (recycling!) while shooting with a modern camera.

Is as little design as possible - Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
FAIL. These cameras may in fact be good photographic tools. But they have not been designed, they have been costumed.


If you honestly look at Rams' principles and the design aesthetic of Braun, the one camera that comes closest to meeting them is the NEX 7.
02-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
Good one.

However, I'm not convinced that the mode dial actually touches the ground. Are you sure it helps keeping the camera stable?
02-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The index finger can not comfortably operate the exposure compensation button whether you hold the camera at arm's length or not.
I use my thumb to operate the shutter. Why hold a camera horizontally out in front of you using the same vertical grip as if you were holding it up to your face? Without a VF, there's no need to hold it as if it has a VF.

Holding a camera out is actually easier and steadier if you hold it as if it were a Formula 1 steering wheel with a thumb 'weapons-trigger'. Left hand adding support under the body and lens if you want. Index finger only used for front control dial, if at all. Adds 2 to 3 stops in less shake handheld when pressing the shutter with your thumb instead as if it were a fighter-jet joystick.

The uniform flat K-01 grip is ideal for this four-fingertip grip. And also, no need for a thumbrest on the back - that smooth area is actually for the ball/base of your thumb instead.

Try it.


Edit - I'm not disputing the postion of the button is awkward, just the assumption the index finger needs to be the main operation finger. The button should be further forward of the dial either way, rather than beside it.

Last edited by anthony mazzeri; 02-06-2012 at 05:23 PM.
02-06-2012, 05:29 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Good one.

However, I'm not convinced that the mode dial actually touches the ground. Are you sure it helps keeping the camera stable?
I think you are correct. Look at the photo in johnmflores sig, the mode dial is clearly not as tall as the flash bump

02-06-2012, 05:31 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I find your whole post, Class A, really presumptuous. And un-educated.
Regarding "presumptuous": Maybe you are reading motives into the post that have more to do with you than with me?

Regarding "un-educated": Where do you think my reasoning falls flat? Can you educate me?

QuoteOriginally posted by Jetfin Quote
I enjoyed reading Class A's analysis of Ram's design principles and tend to agree with his conclusions.
Thanks for the nice feedback.

QuoteOriginally posted by anthony mazzeri Quote
I use my thumb to operate the shutter. Why hold a camera horizontally out in front of you using the same vertical grip as if you were holding it up to your face?
You maybe on to something!

If that's the intended way to hold the K-01 then the on/off button design may be just right.

Mark Newson himself seems to hold the K-01 conventionally, i.e., with an opposing thumb at the back, but maybe he changes that grip when he shots with the camera. I doubt, though, that he had your technique in mind as it would make the placement of the exposure compensation button even more awkward unless it is meant to be pressed once prior to using the dial and then pressed again (wouldn't be good, AFAIC).

Thanks for the very interesting remark!

Last edited by Class A; 02-06-2012 at 05:45 PM.
02-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The problem is not that the positioning is unusual. On a camera of the size of the K-01 there must be space for an ergonomic placement. A good position is probably near the mode dial. Previous Pentax cameras found a good place for it on the top plate.
I think a good place for it is a where you would be able to hit that button with your index finger and rotate the dial with your thumb. To do that comfortably, it would need to be closer to the front of the camera, like on the k5/k7. note the k10 has it on the back, and you use the front dial to change the value, so Pentax themselves cannot decide on a good place for it and change it seemingly at random.
02-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnie0674 Quote
I think a good place for it is a where you would be able to hit that button with your index finger and rotate the dial with your thumb.
Exactly.

QuoteOriginally posted by arnie0674 Quote
note the k10 has it on the back, and you use the front dial to change the value, so Pentax themselves cannot decide on a good place for it and change it seemingly at random.
I don't think they changed the placement "at random". As you say, the main thing is that you can press it and turn a wheel at the same time without contortions. Both K10D and K-5 solutions achieve that. I guess that the K-5 solution is an evolutionary change (which is more compatible with other Pentax cameras that don't have a front dial), but the main thing is that neither solution causes a problem like the K-01 does.
02-06-2012, 05:45 PM   #42
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This Latin phrase comes up when I did aesthetics a long time ago

De gustibus non est disputandum

~ tastes are not disputable

opinions about matters of taste are not objectively right or wrong, and hence disagreements about matters of taste cannot be objectively resolved

But seriously, do you think Pentax gives a sh-- about your opinions? The camera has already gone thru countless focus group feedback and consultation before it can make it to production, as anyone even remotely familiar with product design and prototyping would know. It matters not that one anonymous nobody doesn't "get" the design, it matters more that many more people with the means are prepared to buy it.
02-06-2012, 06:12 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It is my understanding that good design will (ultimately) be well received by the majority of people. If only a minority of people say "I like it" then the design has failed.
Well you'd be wrong, and furthermore, the camera hasn't even been released yet, so declaring it "failed" is premature to say the least.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
What function does the chimney/snorkel have?
Surely the mode dial could have been placed in such a way that it would not need a pedestal.

What function does the bulge have?
You may argue that it helps to raise the flash but a flash raising mechanism should take care of that not a part that permanently adds height to the camera.
I told you specifically in my reply. So you're not even reading my reply. Which is why I hesitated to in the first place. Basically this is yet another "I hate the K-01" vanity thread.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
not as functional as previous solutions.
I really shouldn't have to tell you the problem with critiquing ergonomics when the camera isn't even shipping yet.
02-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #44
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I figured out a use for putting the camera upside down.

It was noted that by the Singapore Pentax Users Group that there's no IR remote receiver on the back, meaning the only one is on the front. If the camera has a longer lens that blocks the IR receiver from the position you must take the photo from, then you can put the camera upside down.
02-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
I figured out a use for putting the camera upside down.

It was noted that by the Singapore Pentax Users Group that there's no IR remote receiver on the back, meaning the only one is on the front. If the camera has a longer lens that blocks the IR receiver from the position you must take the photo from, then you can put the camera upside down.
I don't think we really need to over think this. A camera you can set down in multiple orientations is just convenient for placing on a table when you're not using it -- rather than having one flat bottom. A better question is *where* do you put the flash if not in the bulge up top? This camera is quite small for supporting SR and a K mount. Smaller than the Fuji Pro x1 in all but one dimension which doesn't even have image stabilization as far as I'm aware.
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