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05-20-2012, 09:59 PM   #1
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Will the Pentax K-30's AF rival that of Canikon?

According to Pentax, the new AF system in the K-30 addresses many of the shortcomings of previous Pentax DSLRs. Do you think Pentax will finally be closer to the competition with the launch of this camera?

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The K-30 features the state-of-the-art SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation by incorporating a diffraction lens to minimize chromatic aberration in accordance to the characteristics of each individual lens. It also factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations. Nine of its 11 sensor points have cross-type sensors to capture all kinds of subjects in sharp focus, while its spotbeam projector assists the AF system at poorly lit locations. The K-30’s AF algorithm has also been upgraded in all areas. A new select-area expansion function allows the sensor module to continue to track a moving subject, even when it moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors. The accuracy and speed of detecting moving subjects during autofocus shooting, and autofocusing performance when using a telephoto lens, have been greatly improved as well.



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05-20-2012, 10:43 PM   #2
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I think that the improvements are much along the same lines as every other camera manufacturer has made. Slight adjustments here and there...that being said, maybe something new is in the works?

So...Possibly? Honestly, I've never noticed these horribly slow AF Speeds that so many complain about. I find the screw driven lenses to blaze past most of the lower end micro motors, and even keeps up with mid-grade HSM lenses from Canon.(Albeit a lot noisier) - Honestly, if a lens desperately needs a faster motor, I'd blame the lens maker for not including one.

Though that's for another time - I'd assume they're upgrading screw driven AF speeds and accuracy. Doesn't seem like it'd be too complicated if they simply put a more powerful, more precisely tuned motor.(Though that usually means more prone to sudden catastrophic failure)
05-21-2012, 12:57 AM   #3
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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...
05-21-2012, 01:17 AM   #4
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Overall, the K-30 looks pretty much on-par with the K-5. Focus peaking (presumably) and improved A/F are welcome additions in my mind.

It's not a camera for me, I already have a K-5. But it's a heck of an upgrade from a k-r and of course is required because of the improvements from the D3200, etc.

05-21-2012, 02:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Will the Pentax K-30's AF rival that of Canikon?
Thats the funniest thing Ive heard all week!
05-21-2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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I think the major problem would be upgrading the lens focus motors if they are to get more speed. I loved the DA300mm, but it sure wasn't fast when it was searching for focus.
05-21-2012, 04:43 AM   #7
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That's an interesting question. While there's no real technical reason why Pentax can't match the performance of rival manufacturers, their past lack of emphasis on this area leads to the dismissive attitude we see sometimes in these forums.

From what others say, big strides have been made recently, but on all accounts, there's still some way to go. A better question therefore might be: why hasn't Pentax placed greater importance on its auto-focus performance gap? I suspect the answer might be that their market didn't regard it as sufficiently important to warrant spending more resources on improving it. We can all make our own judgments about the truth or relevance of that.

As for the K-30, there's no alternative to waiting to see.
05-21-2012, 05:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
DONT APPROVE UNTIL K-30 homepage announcement is visible

According to Pentax, the new AF system in the K-30 addresses many of the shortcomings of previous Pentax DSLRs. Do you think Pentax will finally be closer to the competition with the launch of this camera?
Time will answer.

05-21-2012, 05:53 AM   #9
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It sounds like more refinement to the existing system. IMO, throw DC motor in more lenses would make user experience way better; at least, on new lenses...
05-21-2012, 06:26 AM   #10
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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...
Errr... K-01 has only CDAF, which cannot hope to match any tracking PDAF autofocus, at least in theory.

Also I don't agree with this being a "minor improvement". If Pentax manages to implement a fast tracking AF in the K-30, I'm looking forward to this technology very much. Should make capturing flying birds much easier. But I also think they have no choice, seeing that Nikon now offers a tracking AF in their D5100.

Still, I'm not sure about the AF still only using 11 points. Sure, for static AF, that's more than enough. But I'd imagine a tracking AF would benefit from another dozen points or so.
05-21-2012, 06:31 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
The K-30 features the state-of-the-art SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation by incorporating a diffraction lens to minimize chromatic aberration in accordance to the characteristics of each individual lens.
Translation: Better AF accuracy and more consistent performance across all lenses.

QuoteQuote:
The K-30’s AF algorithm has also been upgraded in all areas. A new select-area expansion function allows the sensor module to continue to track a moving subject, even when it moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors.
AF point expansion, a feature that Canon and Nikon have had for a while, is completely new to Pentax and will certainly enable better AF tracking. This requires some degree of predictive AF capability to implement.

QuoteQuote:
The accuracy and speed of detecting moving subjects during autofocus shooting, and autofocusing performance when using a telephoto lens, have been greatly improved as well.
It sure looks like Pentax has finally implemented a full-fledged predictive tracking AF system. We'll see how much better this is when the first tests are published...

For now, I'll say this: Action shooters, rejoice!

--DragonLord
05-21-2012, 06:40 AM   #12
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Nothing but good news as far as I can see. Im hoping they will go a step further with the K5 replacement and reduce the size of the focus sensors and hopefuly add more points too. Its certainly a step in the right direction though.
05-21-2012, 06:52 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I don't need FASTER autofocus - but I do want more ACCURATE autofocus. Also:

QuoteQuote:
It also factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations.
No more tungsten front focus issues?? I hope so!
05-21-2012, 07:07 AM   #14
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I'm quite excited about this camera! Definitely would be a big upgrade from the K-r, at least going by the specs and this purported AF improvement. Looking very forward to early reviews and tests!!
05-21-2012, 07:22 AM   #15
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I think a tracking AF is the only area in which Pentax trails behind Nikon and Canon (APS-C wise). If they can match them, or better, break expectations and jump ahead of those two in a midrange body, then that would be awesome.
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