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05-22-2012, 12:22 PM   #31
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When I read it has the same 11 AF points my guess is there's no leap ahead here, this is a software upgrade not new AF hardware.
Now you're just talking through your hat. But thanks for that. Hopefully I get a look at one this weekend. When it has been specifically announced that the new system has different optical components than the old one, how could you even post something like that? What's wrong with you? Or is it that in your vast technical experience, it's the number of focus points that makes one system superior than others, and that the only way to make faster tracking or locking system is to add more focus points. I'm not aware of this being theoretically true, or even current empirical fact.

05-22-2012, 12:28 PM - 2 Likes   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by james458 Quote
On paper, K30 does not look that exciting, compared to the recent K-01, or the much awaited replacement of K5. Not when the 650D is on its way...
LEts see it has better af than the k-ow dual wheel controls, WR construction, Pentaprism finder.... nope nothing exciting there *(really 100% Pentaprism in a mid level camera show me a canikon with that feature sub $1000 - certainly no rebel model nor the D3100/3200/5100), as for the 650D being more exciting, maybe if they decide to buy a sensor that is equivalent, currently Canon lags badly on sensors.
05-22-2012, 12:54 PM   #33
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I hope the AF takes a step forward. The difference in IQ among cameras is pretty small. The difference becomes the support technologies like AF and SR.
05-22-2012, 01:22 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
I hope the AF takes a step forward. The difference in IQ among cameras is pretty small. The difference becomes the support technologies like AF and SR.
I hope the AF makes a leap as well (particularly in the K3), SR could make some moves upward, though I'd be happy to see those improvements launch in the K3 and up and fileter next gen to K-30 level

from the sound of it the feature set of the k-30 is market competitive (Canon 650 D for instance is 9 crops point AF as well, with a higher MP but likely lesser performing 1.6 crop sensor - though it adds touch screen and wifi - gimmicks IMO but gimmicks do sell )

05-22-2012, 01:47 PM   #35
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I think we can't actually draw conclusions until the first AF test results are published, but this is nonetheless a significant development. The addition of a diffractive optical element to the AF lens array and redesigned AF algorithms are certainly promising, and we hope the improvements make the K-30 a serious competitor in subject tracking performance against C&N.

--DragonLord
05-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Now you're just talking through your hat. But thanks for that. Hopefully I get a look at one this weekend. When it has been specifically announced that the new system has different optical components than the old one, how could you even post something like that? What's wrong with you? Or is it that in your vast technical experience, it's the number of focus points that makes one system superior than others, and that the only way to make faster tracking or locking system is to add more focus points. I'm not aware of this being theoretically true, or even current empirical fact.
You selectively quoted my post and left out my edit where I admitted I was wrong and there actually was a h/w change. Of course I'm talking through my hat, 99.9% of internet posts are exactly that. I've never held myself up as any sort of expert let alone someone "With vast technical experience". So yeah, no need to get so personal with rebutals.

In my experience the Safox upgrade between the 11 point AF in the K-x to the 11 point AF in the K-5 was minimal. In fact my MZ-S is not far behind my K-x and that was many Safox generations ago and only 6 sensors with no cross type. Now we have another 11 point AF camera with a Safox upgrade, so I'm not expecting anything different to history, a very small improvement.
05-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
I think we can't actually draw conclusions until the first AF test results are published, but this is nonetheless a significant development. The addition of a diffractive optical element to the AF lens array and redesigned AF algorithms are certainly promising, and we hope the improvements make the K-30 a serious competitor in subject tracking performance against C&N.

--DragonLord
My biggest problem with the K-5 (other than low-light AF) was the the center AF point is the size of a golf ball and grabs anything close to the center. It does not sound like they have introduced smaller more accurate AF points. That is really what I am looking for.

The Sony A99 will have 101 AF points (very small, very accurate) this is very important to me. I'm not sold on SLT, but the AF speed and accuracy is very appealing. IQ is damn good with any current camera even M4/3 is pretty strong.
05-22-2012, 09:02 PM   #38
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I only tested the K-30 prototype w/ 1855WR kit lens, AF speed is about the same as K5, which is pretty fast already. But I only tested AF-S, never really used AF-C much on a Pentax anyway... I can do some AF accuracy test under tungsten light when time comes, but the K-30 I have is just a protype w/ a beta firmware (v0.2)...

05-23-2012, 02:45 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I only tested the K-30 prototype w/ 1855WR kit lens, AF speed is about the same as K5, which is pretty fast already. But I only tested AF-S, never really used AF-C much on a Pentax anyway... I can do some AF accuracy test under tungsten light when time comes, but the K-30 I have is just a protype w/ a beta firmware (v0.2)...
I'm all ears for updates!
05-23-2012, 02:58 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
My biggest problem with the K-5 (other than low-light AF) was the the center AF point is the size of a golf ball and grabs anything close to the center. It does not sound like they have introduced smaller more accurate AF points. That is really what I am looking for.

The Sony A99 will have 101 AF points (very small, very accurate) this is very important to me. I'm not sold on SLT, but the AF speed and accuracy is very appealing. IQ is damn good with any current camera even M4/3 is pretty strong.
This is what Im always on about
I think the focus itself is fast and its sensativity is not bad at all when it has enough light. By far the biggest problem is indeed the size of the sensors. It often makes accurate focusing impossable. If they were to introduce more focus points the chances are they would have to make them smaller just to fit them in.
Hopefully the changes they have already made may take them a little closer to the rest of the pack.
Its well possable the new K5 could be far better yet.
Fingers crossed
05-23-2012, 03:17 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
When I read it has the same 11 AF points my guess is there's no leap ahead here, this is a software upgrade not new AF hardware. It's the same AF system warmed over just like it was for the K-5. I expect a small improvement, maybe, but no where near Canikon levels.

I hope the K-5 sucessor has a real upgrade in AF. We need smaller points for a start and I think that's a function more of hardware than software.

EDIT: accually there is some new h/w, a new lens over the AF system. I seriously doubt it alone will close the gap much.
I totaly agree with that
Although they have added to the sytem, rather more so than just tweaks. Im hoping and I think its probable it will bring it in line with canikon in all but quantity and size of the senors. Im in the same head department as you.... A perfect K5 I think it just might too.
I cant wait to see if they have fixed the flash exposure problems too. These two things alone would be a vast improvement. Without more and smaller focus points with emphasis on smaller they are always going be behind though. Im sure they are more than aware of this themselves though.
05-23-2012, 04:53 AM - 1 Like   #42
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From having used a D700 extensively, and a D300s and D7000 for shorter periods of time, there is a very large AF.C gap for pentax to close. It is not just the focus motors either. For shooting erraticly moving action like children for example, the D700 with a slower focusing lens will acquire focus quicker and more accurately than the K-5 with a fast focusing lens. This is even with the additional handicap of reduced DOF that the D700 sometimes faces. I hope the gap can be closed, but it will likely take more effort than has been put into the K30's AF.

As an aside, I have sometimes wondered if Nikon and Canon "got there first" with some AF related patents, and have claimed some of the easier ways to improve AF performance. This is pure conjecture.
05-23-2012, 06:29 AM   #43
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I have to tell you, all this actually makes me want to take a serious look at the competition. I mean, it's good that Pentax improves its AF once again. But them actually closing the gap makes me wonder about something. I've come to realize I don't really care about whether my camera has "Pentax", "Canon", "Nikon" or whatever written on the front side. Maybe some people do, but I don't, not really. It's what I want to do with the camera that counts. So if I'm not really a Pentax fanboy (or a Canikon fanboy for that matter), hearing people say Pentax is/was behind in AF, and having recently experienced the awesome speed of a D700 + Nikkor 24-70 (ok that's fullframe, but this concerns AF, not sensor size) makes me wonder. Some people say it is of no consequence when you are actually shooting, but at the same time these people seem to be all over new Pentax bodies when they come out, and I can't believe that's just because of how they look. I don't have any old (MF) lenses and rely on AF for pretty much everything. I never had a Canon or Nikon body. But maybe I should. I know I'll lose SR, and I'd rather not do that, but then I almost always stay below 1/(FL * 1.5) anyway, just because I've learned that otherwise I might not get sharp results.

Maybe the new AF is as fast as the big 2, but then SDM is still slow. Sure I could wait another 2 years or so and they may catch up, just as they have with framerate and now maybe with AF-C. But my point is that I don't have to wait.

I recently came across this article: Pentax vs Canon AF Performance « robertsdonovan.com. Now it's a bit old, but after handling that D700 combo for a minute I'm thinking it still applies. And the guy who wrote it seems sincere.
05-23-2012, 06:42 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I have to tell you, all this actually makes me want to take a serious look at the competition. I mean, it's good that Pentax improves its AF once again. But them actually closing the gap makes me wonder about something. I've come to realize I don't really care about whether my camera has "Pentax", "Canon", "Nikon" or whatever written on the front side. Maybe some people do, but I don't, not really. It's what I want to do with the camera that counts. So if I'm not really a Pentax fanboy (or a Canikon fanboy for that matter), hearing people say Pentax is/was behind in AF, and having recently experienced the awesome speed of a D700 + Nikkor 24-70 (ok that's fullframe, but this concerns AF, not sensor size) makes me wonder. Some people say it is of no consequence when you are actually shooting, but at the same time these people seem to be all over new Pentax bodies when they come out, and I can't believe that's just because of how they look. I don't have any old (MF) lenses and rely on AF for pretty much everything. I never had a Canon or Nikon body. But maybe I should. I know I'll lose SR, and I'd rather not do that, but then I almost always stay below 1/(FL * 1.5) anyway, just because I've learned that otherwise I might not get sharp results.

Maybe the new AF is as fast as the big 2, but then SDM is still slow. Sure I could wait another 2 years or so and they may catch up, just as they have with framerate and now maybe with AF-C. But my point is that I don't have to wait.

I recently came across this article: Pentax vs Canon AF Performance robertsdonovan.com. Now it's a bit old, but after handling that D700 combo for a minute I'm thinking it still applies. And the guy who wrote it seems sincere.
Speed is not the only parameter to be concerned with, so is accuracy. In a test last year the Pentax K5 was more accurate with a higher keepr rate than the D700 or the 7D (can't find the link but it was a thread here - a european magazine test)
that being said Nikon is very fast to focus and lock, but for me since i don't shoot fast sports accuracy is equally as important. I'm not saying Pentax' AF is the best because it's not, but it has improved dramatically in the last few years, I just need to use my K10 or ds to see that.
I'm not sure they will ever match the speed of Nikon because they aren't currently anyway developing cameras for the pro sports shooters which is where those advances are developed for.
BTW AF if generally faster on FF cameras so the real comparison is D7000 or D300 versus a K5 not a D700

I'm with you in that it doesn;t really matter to me what brand is on my system (I've owned most brands at one point or another and still shoot film with several brands but Digital I'm vested in Pentax so switching is an expensive proposition)

BTW that article is useless in modern terms, the K10 is painfully slow compared to my K7 and my K7 is slower than a K5
05-23-2012, 06:45 AM   #45
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Canon and Nikon will be ahead in terms of AF all the time. I've not run into a situation where the K-5's AF has stopped me getting a shot yet though, so I'm happy enough. A camera is a camera. If I really wanted better AF, lens selection, third party support, flash system, speed, resolution and a boat load of other things, I'd go with Canon. But I don't really, I'm very happy shooting with my K-5 as it is. I think my K-x is good enough for most situations, it's just a little harder to control.

It's nice to read up on new developments, and to voice ideas on what you'd like to see in a new camera.
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