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06-14-2012, 10:34 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
These numbers are mainly about the sensorperformance, in this case identical, namely 6 fps output on sensor and onboard A/D conversion and the dept of the buffer.
Yes and no, what i'm talking about is the balances between those numbers and thats defined by how fast the file types are processed.
Or is the buffer greater for RAW then for JPEG with the Kr?

ps. don't come up with RAW+jpeg we are talking about them separately.
Also lens correction needs to be set off because we don't know which part of the processor that gets processed by.
Sure the Prime-M processor is faster with RAW+jpeg with lens correction on but what about just RAW without any correction?

The reason why we need to look at them separately is because the Prime-II processor at least uses a different core for JPEG then for RAW so there clearly are two different performances.




Last edited by Anvh; 06-14-2012 at 10:40 AM.
06-14-2012, 11:24 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Who said the processor is a stepbackwards, it might cost half of the money the prime-II cost so getting roughly the same RAW preformance and far better jpeg for half the price is a stepforwards if you ask me.
You are changing the subject now. We were not talking about performance per dollar but simply about performance.
Price is not a property of the processor and should not enter into a technical comparison.
06-14-2012, 12:03 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Yes and no, what i'm talking about is the balances between those numbers and thats defined by how fast the file types are processed.
Or is the buffer greater for RAW then for JPEG with the Kr?

ps. don't come up with RAW+jpeg we are talking about them separately.
Also lens correction needs to be set off because we don't know which part of the processor that gets processed by.
Sure the Prime-M processor is faster with RAW+jpeg with lens correction on but what about just RAW without any correction?

The reason why we need to look at them separately is because the Prime-II processor at least uses a different core for JPEG then for RAW so there clearly are two different performances.
The dept on the buffer does differ with K-5 on various types of data. Like when you take a picture, the camera can make a RAW and a jpg out of it, but still the buffer is the smallest when you want to take RAW+jpg.

For RAW only the survey ends here at this time!
- K-5 in RAW is limited by the speed of writing data to the card.
- K-01 is limited in RAW to 1 fps.
- K-30 is not yet on the market.
06-14-2012, 12:07 PM   #49
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Anvh, I think you're discounting the involvement of the buffer in the overall performance of the image processor. I also think you're misunderstanding the block diagram you posted. In that block diagram, each block does not represent a "core" or a "chip" or a "processor", it represents a function and the block diagram is meant to show the flow of data and transformation.

We know some architecture changes have taken place in the Prime processor, as that block diagram is from an M-4, Prime II uses a M-5, and Prime M must use an M-6, because it is the first to include a hardware h.264 processor.

In that diagram, a JPEG gets processed this way:
1. It comes from the sensor into the large blue block on the top-left. It gets converted from analog signals to digital bits.
2. Any of the functions (AE, AWB, etc) are performed on the RAW data
3. It goes into the Image Data transfer block, where it might get shuffled back in to be rescaled, like if you select a 6mp output file, etc
4. It goes into the JPEG processing block where it gets processed according to the settings in the menu.
5. It goes back into the Image Data Transfer block, and from there to the screen, and to the SDRAM Controller
6. It goes into the buffer, and gets written out to the disk.

All these blocks are partially hardware, partially software paths through the same sets of chips.

Did you notice the arrow that goes directly from the Sensor, and goes directly to the Image Data Transfer block? That's the path that RAW takes. It goes back into the big blue block if you have RAW compression on, resizing, etc, and then it goes into the RAM buffer. If you have all transformations to the RAW turned off, it's a much faster path.

So the question is, what is the bottleneck? This M-4 you posted is running at 132MHz. Even in this 2007-era chip, the system had 750MB/s speed access to the SDRAM controller.

Now look at the M-6. It runs at double the clock speed, uses a faster ram controller (DDR3 vs probably DDR2 in the Prime II-equipped cameras), and has a dedicated hardware processor to handle h.264 and video. There's no quoted speed between the Analog-digital converter and the RAM controller, but we can assume it's much faster than 750MB/s.

Now let's consider a maximum-speed, maximum number of frames burst from each camera:

Prime II - K-r (~16MB RAW file): 2 Sec @ 6fps = 12*16MB = 192MB of data, 96MB/s
Prime II - K-5 (~26MB RAW file): 2 Sec @ 7fps = 14*28 = 392MB of data, 196MB/s
Prime II - K-5 After FW Upgrade: 3.5 Sec @ 7fps = 24 * 28 = 672MB of data, 196MB/s << Updated with info from other thread
Prime M - K-30 (~22MB RAW file): 1.66 Sec @ 6fps = 10*22 = 220MB of data, 132MB/s
(10 shots at 6fps is 1.66 sec)

Clearly there are either some artificial limits in place, or the amount and speed of the RAM being used in the camera's buffer varies and is the limiting factor, especially when you consider the disparity between the K-r and the K-5, which use ostensibly the same processor.

The other thing to remember is that Pentax takes a Milbeaut chip, designs firmware that uses it, and that constitutes the Prime engine. What that software does with the chip, and how efficiently it uses its resources, will determine speed for everything - disk writes, buffer writes, UI interaction, etc. Features like Focus peaking, Saving the last RAW when shooting JPG, etc all take cpu cycles and RAM, sometimes even when you're not using them.

When they design a system like that, they don't set out to make the RAW processing better or worse. There's no spec document at Pentax HQ with these bullets:
Prime M
- Much faster JPEG performance
- h.264
- Worse RAW performance
- Worse battery life

Instead, they take the hardware design and resources that have been decided on (chip being used, available ROM, available RAM, buffer size, sensor interface speed, shutter recycle time, mirror and other mechanical capabilities), and they design a system that will use these resources as efficiently as they can. When they're finished, they tune it for more speed, and when it's competely polished, the results are what they are. You can set targets when you start a project like this, but there's always the pull between features, reliability, and speed.

The software designers who write the firmware receive their specs and mandates from a number of sources:

The product design committee wants lots of new features
The finance department wants to use less and cheaper ram
The hardware engineers want to underclock the processor for more battery life
The execs want to have at least as fast burst as the last generation

Next it's a balancing act to make all those sources are reasonably satisfied, while delivering a good experience to the user. That's why we programmers get paid big bucks! (I wish)

Bottom line is we need to wait and see. I don't do a lot of burst shooting, but I'd rather go with a camera whose hardware is better, enhancements for which can be done via firmware update over time. It wouldn't surprise me if they bumped up the number of shots to 12 or more before the release, because those software engineers are working triple shifts right now, to be sure. Edit: As shown above, note that after a firmware update, Pentax was able to increase the number of RAW images taken, but not the FPS. It had the same data rate, but was able to sustain it for longer, likely by supporting faster transfers to the SD card based on availability of faster cards.

I get the 14-bit vs 12-bit thing, too. But honestly, if you have to apply a +100 brightness to see the difference, that's okay with me - I don't tend to need those kinds of extreme adjustments in my shots.


Last edited by Ryan Trevisol; 06-14-2012 at 12:25 PM.
06-14-2012, 01:51 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
The dept on the buffer does differ with K-5 on various types of data. Like when you take a picture, the camera can make a RAW and a jpg out of it, but still the buffer is the smallest when you want to take RAW+jpg.

For RAW only the survey ends here at this time!
- K-5 in RAW is limited by the speed of writing data to the card.
- K-01 is limited in RAW to 1 fps.
- K-30 is not yet on the market.
So for example you have 256MB buffer with RAW but if you shoot RAW+JPEG your buffer gets smaller you so so it would be for example 128MB?
Don't think it works like that....
06-14-2012, 01:53 PM   #51
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The buffer stays the same in terms of MB, but in terms of number of shots held, it goes up and down. Buffer ram is a fixed resource. If you have 256 MB of buffer, that's huge for JPG's only, but if you're putting RAW and JPEG images in there at the same time, it's significantly "smaller" in the fact that you can fit many fewer shots in it. At least, I think that's what he means.
06-14-2012, 02:08 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
You are changing the subject now. We were not talking about performance per dollar but simply about performance.
Price is not a property of the processor and should not enter into a technical comparison.
Yes it would from a manufacture stand point.
Besides to make a comparison, the top end processor from 4 years ago that cost $1000 are still faster then todays $100 processors.
The prime-II was fast enough for the K5 so why wouldn't the same performance be fast enough for a camera a tier lower today?
06-14-2012, 03:01 PM   #53
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Good point about the Prime II being good enough for the K-5. That's true - it was. However the K-30 adds a few processor intensive features, like 60fps live view and focus peaking (which are VERY cpu intensive, setting aside questions of quality of h.264 and mJPG). It also does 1080p at 30, 25, or 24 fps, vs the K-5's 25 only.

Still, I would suggest that the Prime M is nothing more than a spec bump - it's the M-6 over the M-5, with a dedicated h.264 chip, slightly higher clock speed and faster ram architecture. And I'm still optimistic that firmware will improve its performance.

06-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Yes it would from a manufacture stand point.The prime-II was fast enough for the K5 so why wouldn't the same performance be fast enough for a camera a tier lower today?
Well that processor wasn't fast enough for K-7 since they could only do 1536x1024 HD movie with 30 fps and where not able to put in FullHD at 30fps. A video-format that could not be loaded up to youtube directly, so that was simply to say useless. The processor wasn't able to do video compression like PRIME M.

I think that Hoya didn't want to spend money on a non photograpic future like a faster processor when K-5 came out. The new sensor could also deliver FullHD 1080p with 25fps and that was supported by the PRIME II processor, but no 30fps.
06-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Yes it would from a manufacture stand point.
If you were saying "Prime II is produced on x nm process" vs "Prime M is produced on y nm process", I might agree with you, but that would have physical implications about the chip itself.

Just saying "Prime M costs less than Prime II" to produce doesn't really tell you anything about the chip. You have no idea why the cost is different. Maybe currency rates are more favorable now, or labor rates went down in the Philippines or in Vietnam, or wherever the chip is made. The manufacturing cost really doesn't imply that much about the chip itself.
06-14-2012, 06:16 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Trevisol Quote
long comment
But this doesn't explain the "balance" difference in the bugger size between RAW and jpeg between the camera's

If what pentax says holds true for the K30 then i can only concluded that the Prime-M processor is more optimized to process jpeg then it is for RAW, compared to how the balance was with the Prime-II.
06-14-2012, 06:23 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Trevisol Quote
Good point about the Prime II being good enough for the K-5. That's true - it was. However the K-30 adds a few processor intensive features, like 60fps live view and focus peaking (which are VERY cpu intensive, setting aside questions of quality of h.264 and mJPG). It also does 1080p at 30, 25, or 24 fps, vs the K-5's 25 only.

Still, I would suggest that the Prime M is nothing more than a spec bump - it's the M-6 over the M-5, with a dedicated h.264 chip, slightly higher clock speed and faster ram architecture. And I'm still optimistic that firmware will improve its performance.
You sure it's the M-6
Just look at the M-6 specs it says it can do 112 MP each seconds, so it shouldnt even fill the buffer with 6 fps off the K30

Milbeaut Imaging Processors : Fujitsu Global
06-14-2012, 06:26 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well that processor wasn't fast enough for K-7 since they could only do 1536x1024 HD movie with 30 fps and where not able to put in FullHD at 30fps. A video-format that could not be loaded up to youtube directly, so that was simply to say useless. The processor wasn't able to do video compression like PRIME M.

I think that Hoya didn't want to spend money on a non photograpic future like a faster processor when K-5 came out. The new sensor could also deliver FullHD 1080p with 25fps and that was supported by the PRIME II processor, but no 30fps.
The milbeaut m-5 in the prime-II was never designed to do video to begin with, so it had no hardware encoding inside for video.
The Prime-M can do hardware encoding making this task a lot simplere.
06-14-2012, 06:28 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
If you were saying "Prime II is produced on x nm process" vs "Prime M is produced on y nm process", I might agree with you, but that would have physical implications about the chip itself.

Just saying "Prime M costs less than Prime II" to produce doesn't really tell you anything about the chip. You have no idea why the cost is different. Maybe currency rates are more favorable now, or labor rates went down in the Philippines or in Vietnam, or wherever the chip is made. The manufacturing cost really doesn't imply that much about the chip itself.
It could very well be smaller but also look at processor today.

Look at what a I7 920 cost at the time of launch and now look at what a comparable processor cost today, time doesnt stand still.
06-14-2012, 07:29 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
It could very well be smaller but also look at processor today.

Look at what a I7 920 cost at the time of launch and now look at what a comparable processor cost today, time doesnt stand still.
I'm not denying that, but just looking at manufacturing price alone doesn't really tell you anything significant technically about the chip.

Many CPUs cost exactly the same to manufacture, but are somehow artificially locked (clock speed, multiplier, etc) and sold at different price points, for example. I think it makes little sense to talk about CPUs here. One does not go out and buy an imaging chip separately and swap the one in their camera anyway, like can be done with a PC.

Did you just buy a K-5 and feel the need to justify that purchase over the K-30 ? Just curious.
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