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07-30-2018, 05:19 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Just speculations on mirrorless and Pentax

This is only my opinion, no one has to agree with it, but trust me I am an engineer.

I think the future is mirrorless, it just has better properties then the DSLRs, we just can't use them all now with current tech.
The mirrorless has at least these advantages:
  • No need for separate AF and AE sensors, the main sensor can do all of this.
  • No need for AF adjustment, the main sensor always can check it with contrast detection.
  • It's lighter, the prism is big and heavy.
  • Shorter flange distances are possible, so more tech can be added in place of the mirror or thinner body can be created.
  • Shutter lag can be totally eliminated. If the (future) sensor captures continuously, then the camera can save the image taken when you pushed the button or even before you pushed the shutter button.
  • Any custom overlay can be added to the viewfinder image. Focus peaking, histogram, under/overexposure warnings...
  • Exposeur can be simulated. (I like it when I half press the shutter button)
  • Low light manual focus is easier with "correct exposure" viewfinder image

Thanks to the VR madness small high quality, low latency, HDR monitors are advancing very quickly, so the viewfinders gets better while the research costs goes to other segments, because these are mandatory for VR headsets. I think EVFs will catch up in the next few years.

While I'am a Pentax shooter and I really like my KP and the OVF, I think the future is the mirrorless with EVF, we are only waiting for faster readout speeds and lower power consumption. (Lower consumption is also mandatory for the sensor cooling, we need a continuously running FF sensor for these!)

So where is the mirrorless future proof Pentax camera (or at least development)? I think there are some technologies they are trying: The K-70 has on sensor PDAF, so we seen the first version and I think the LiveView is good in the KP.
Altough Pentax does not have their own sensor development like Canon and Nikon has according to the fresh news, they really depending on Sony and we don't know how many alternatives are there. Sony may be prohibiting for Pentax to make mirorrless in change for the access to the relative new sensors. I trust in the engineers at Ricoh, they have a much more information about the market and the opportunities, so I hope they choose the right tactics.
Maybe we will see some tech in the GRIII which confirmed to be coming.

Of course there is another factor: the K mount which keeps many of us at Pentax. A mirrorless needs a new mount, with new technology. While there is the option to make "designed for mirrorless" KAF4 lenses, I think we would loose too much by keeping the mount. Although getting to a new mount would split the not so fast lens development team too, so I think they currently does not have the resources for a mirrorless system.

07-30-2018, 05:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
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07-30-2018, 06:11 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I think the advantages of mirrorless in some use cases are very well known and have been for some time. One can't get away from three irrefutable facts, though... (1) not everyone enjoys shooting with an EVF - some actually find it troublesome, (2) Ricoh Imaging has very limited resources and is clearly concentrating on its DSLR offerings where it has an established and growing user base, and (3) Sony and others (soon to include Nikon too) are already well ahead in the mirrorless market, so anyone else coming into that space will have to deliver some differentiation either in technology or pricing to woo existing and future mirrorless users.

Of those three points, (2) is perhaps the most significant, and it's why I'd be extremely surprised if we see a Pentax mirrorless body any time soon...
07-30-2018, 06:22 AM   #4
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IMHO, it is just a matter of time; both C&N are also heading in that direction and I would Pentax to do so but not necessarily in the same timeline.

07-30-2018, 06:23 AM - 4 Likes   #5
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Those are all good points. And yet biology and physics give EVFs some serious disadvantages, too:

1. Some percentage of the humanity gets eyestrain headaches, and nausea from EVFs.
2. A hot sensor is a noisy sensor -- noise doubles with each 8-10C -- and EVFs require the sensor to run continuously.
3. The faster the frame-rate for the EVF, the greater the power consumption and hotter in the sensor.
4. On-sensor PDAF introduces artifacts in the image under some conditions.

There are also aesthetic/artistic disadvantages of the EVF that cause some photographers to prefer OVFs.

Finally, some photographers seen no downside in the larger size of a DSLR and may even prefer a "big camera" to a small one.

No doubt, many will buy mirrorless cameras but many will also continue to buy DSLRs for the advantages they bring.
07-30-2018, 06:23 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Ever have that feeling of deja vu?

Rebuilding the mirrorless - PentaxForums.com
07-30-2018, 06:28 AM   #7
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This seems to be a popular topic recently, Rebuilding the mirrorless - PentaxForums.com, or are we just adding to the post count?

To reiterate my point made in the other thread, I dont think well see another APS-C or a 35FF Pentax mirrorless body until theres a substantial range of KAF4 lenses that can be easily adapted to suit a shorter registration distance.
07-30-2018, 07:03 AM   #8
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Whatever Pentax does I hope they keep their compatible mount and don't worry about the small decrease in size that a mirrorless camera with a big sensor (APSC or full-frame) The main advantage to mirrorless system is ultimately a small size package and in my opinion this is best accomplished in the micro 4/3 ecosystem. The design allows for small bodies and small lenses.

07-30-2018, 07:29 AM   #9
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I'm at a stage in my life where age and body are telling me to go "lighter", and am looking at M4/3 with adapter as my next purchase, not that I'll get rid of my K5iis, but as a next step....

Unfortunately I can't wait for Pentax to decide if and when they will go mirror-less. I've loved my Pentax system since 1981, and am still using my K1000 occasionally, but life moves on and Pentax don't control mine.

I must agree that it seems as if DSLR future might be less rosy than many believe, not that it'll ever completely die, it'll probably just have a reduced market as time goes by.

With the new generation of photographers, growing up with smartphone cameras as their first experience in the field of photography, it will probably be much easier for them to progress to

mirror-less systems in future, which is also probably the reason for the continued growth as seen in mirror-less cameras currently.

MILC's will probably continue it's path the same way as computers did, including with lower prices in future, as more and more users adopt it.

What is more important for me, is not if and when the means to capture images changes, but the length of time on this world God grants me to enjoy the moments I have to do it.
07-30-2018, 07:39 AM   #10
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I don't see any reason for Pentax to leave the K-mount. A MILC the size of my film-era Super Program will be just fine for most people.
07-30-2018, 08:02 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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I'll have to disagree. A month or so ago, someone posted a graph showing DSLR vs MILC sales. DSLR sales were declining where MILC sales were staying steady. If there was a steady increase of MILC I might believe they were taking over the market but the numbers don't show that.
I think the decline of DSLR sales has more to do with a saturated market and increasing prices than MILC taking over. Camera companies can't keep releasing new models yearly and expect sales to keep increasing. It don't work that way.
07-30-2018, 08:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
No need for separate AF and AE sensors, the main sensor can do all of this.
It's not the problem of the photographer as long as the camera does the job.

QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
No need for AF adjustment, the main sensor always can check it with contrast detection.
With the K1 I own, I did not need to fine adjust AF for any of the 5 DFA lenses I use. And I find PDAF to be more accurate than CDAF. Again, not a problem.

QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
It's lighter, the prism is big and heavy.
How much contribution to total size and weight on top a the weight/size of evf electronics and optics: +50gr, so that's 2.5% of camera and standard lens. And eventually the G master 2470 is 886gr and Pentax DFA24-70 is 787gr. Feel free to do maths since you are an engineer.


QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
Shorter flange distances are possible, so more tech can be added in place of the mirror or thinner body can be created.
Advantage for wide angle lens designs , disadvantage standard and tele lenses. If the camera body is thin and the lens is long, how much smaller if the camera bag needed for mirrorless: same size.

QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
Shutter lag can be totally eliminated. If the (future) sensor captures continuously, then the camera can save the image taken when you pushed the button or even before you pushed the shutter button.
Ah yeah, except with mirrorless shutter has to close, open, close and open again. While with DSLR the shutter just open and closes once. That's typically half the shutter longevity for mirrorless.

QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
Any custom overlay can be added to the viewfinder image. Focus peaking, histogram, under/overexposure warnings...
You already have under/over exposure indicator in the viewfinder of your KP (at least that's what I can see in the OVF of my K1). You have the EVF in the viewfinder, but that doesn't solve the problem that the photographer has to decide how to adjust exposure depending on his goal, currently no camera can read minds of photographers.

QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
Exposeur can be simulated. (I like it when I half press the shutter button)
So is with 86K RGB sensor, my experience from 77 segments to 86K metering is that 86K did not provide exposure metering a lot better than with 77 segments, in most cases 86K provides the same exposure metering. From 86K to 24Mpixel , will itself give negligible improvement of exposure metering and anyway, the lowest exposure step is 0.3ev even on mirrorless cameras, more accurate exposure metering translates into zero practical advantage for the photographer.

QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
Low light manual focus is easier with "correct exposure" viewfinder image
In low ligtht, my experience with Fuji XT2 and Sony A7 III is a lot of flickr due to frame rate slowing down in order to maintain brightness in the EVF, that meant discomfort with EVF and I did not experience that issue with OVF. Also, the EVF intensity did not adapt to ambiant light, resulting in blindness with removing the eye from the EVF.
07-30-2018, 09:38 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by altopiet Quote
I'm at a stage in my life where age and body are telling me to go "lighter", and am looking at M4/3 with adapter as my next purchase, not that I'll get rid of my K5iis, but as a next step....

Unfortunately I can't wait for Pentax to decide if and when they will go mirror-less. I've loved my Pentax system since 1981, and am still using my K1000 occasionally, but life moves on and Pentax don't control mine.

I must agree that it seems as if DSLR future might be less rosy than many believe, not that it'll ever completely die, it'll probably just have a reduced market as time goes by.

With the new generation of photographers, growing up with smartphone cameras as their first experience in the field of photography, it will probably be much easier for them to progress to

mirror-less systems in future, which is also probably the reason for the continued growth as seen in mirror-less cameras currently.

MILC's will probably continue it's path the same way as computers did, including with lower prices in future, as more and more users adopt it.

What is more important for me, is not if and when the means to capture images changes, but the length of time on this world God grants me to enjoy the moments I have to do it.
Honestly I think you're right about ''light" and it's a big drawcard for me.

I think also that the generation who grew up with cell phone cameras have a very different expectation about what a camera can do for them... basically do a kind of HDR so that they can get massive DR in a single shot with the processing done by the camera.

And all sorts of AI add-ons that will basically compose the shot for them, produce video and other motion effects.

I suspect it's going to be new entrants and new-thinking companies that will be the innovators in this space.

Whether a camera has a mirror or is mirrorless won't matter a jot to anyone born after 2000. They'll be looking at other things.
07-30-2018, 11:01 AM   #14
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I expect all cameras, except a tiny niche, to evolve to mirrorless.

No need for AF adjustment, the main sensor always can check it with contrast detection.
That's a big feature for mirrorless. Resolution is a combination of focus accuracy, lens sharpness, sensor pixel count, and stability (tripod or shake reduction); images are only as sharp as the weakest link. Mirrorless removes the variable of AF fine tuning.

It's lighter, the prism is big and heavy.
Film cameras had a prism and flapping mirror yet managed to remain compact and light. DSLRs are big and heavy because of many things that weren't needed in the film era: large battery, shake reduction, rear LCD, GPS, wifi, multiple circuit boards, etc. Individual components are light but when you add them all up it becomes heavy.

I think we would loose[sic] too much by keeping the mount.
A good adapter is important if a new mount is developed. IMO a Pentax mirrorless mount with no adapter would lose many Pentaxians, yet not draw many new customers; it could be the death of Pentax. I am not claiming DOOM, because I see no sign that Pentax is killing k-mount.

Conjecture on one possible full frame future: In 10 years the whole world has gone mirrorless. Cell phones continue to eat into camera sales. Nikon's mirrorless doesn't take off, killing Nikon. Pentax decides not to risk mirrorless. Canon, after several tries, develops a good mirrorless system, leaving Canon and Sony as the main full frame competitors. Pentax regroups to become a 3rd party lens manufacturer, with great autofocusing adapters that work with the Canon and Sony mirrorless systems.
07-30-2018, 11:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
In low ligtht, my experience with Fuji XT2 and Sony A7 III is a lot of flickr due to frame rate slowing down in order to maintain brightness in the EVF, that meant discomfort with EVF and I did not experience that issue with OVF. Also, the EVF intensity did not adapt to ambiant light, resulting in blindness with removing the eye from the EVF.
I never said the Sony A7III or the Fuji or any current mirrorless is better than a DSLR. I think the mirrorless has more potential and will get in place of the DSLRs as the DSLRs got in place of the film SLRs. (Film SLRs are here with us, the Nikon F6 is even in production!) I hope Pentax don't miss the train again and catces up in the weak areas.

Also on mirrorrless you don't need any shutter if that electornic shutter works well. The Sony A9 has only electronic shutter, not perfect but good for a proof of concept.
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