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09-07-2011, 02:31 PM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I checked the the image ratings on the D3x and the K5. The entire difference is in low light performance for sport.
I would love a sensor that is noicefree up to iso3200 and still has some of the advantages that APS-C brings in the sence of having smaller lenses. But then again we are back with a kind of APS-H and still running 16 megapixel.

I do make sportsp[ictures and lately in soccerstadium at eveninggames. There the light isn't very bright. I don't want to carry a 400mm/f2.8 lens. So I'm not the biggest fan for going full frame for this purpose. Iso-performance of K-5 is limiting here.

09-07-2011, 05:37 PM - 1 Like   #152
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DxO only provides a sensor reference

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I checked the the image ratings on the D3x and the K5. The entire difference is in low light performance for sport.

The Color depth is 24.7 to 23.7 a slight win for the D3x, the Dynamic Range is 14.1 to 13.7 for the K5. Pretty much a saw off if you don't shoot Low Light. Looking at teh price difference I wonder how many photographers would pay 4 or 5 times as much for an extra 800 ISO, when the trade off is less Dynamic Range.

Simple fact is.. the D3X doesn't really stand out over the K5 in 2 of 3 categories and is behind in one.

22mm 35 and 44mm sensors... my take is that 35 is the odd man out. People who want lighter lenses and more convenience will go APS-C. Those who want the highest number of MP and most control of DoF will go 44. 35mm sensors will be the red haired orphan. The D3X doesn't compete with the 645 at what it's good at,or the K5 at what it's good at. What's left is an excellent high ISO performance. That's one of the three rated areas on DXO and not the most important one to many photographers, it's a niche camera... not a thrilling endorsement of it's future.
.


Norm, spend the day shooting with each, and part of the evening reviewing the images, and you'll appreciate the differences more fully.

The D3x is due for replacement this year, but it's still a truly remarkable camera. The D3s is better if you're interested in that low-light score - 3253 vs, D3x's 1992 vs. K-5's 1162. Even the D700 makes more sense than the D3x if you're mainly after low-light (2303.)

But the Dx0 scores measure sensor performance only - daily usage shows you other things you get for your money, like lightning-fast AF lock in low light, sci-fi tracking, better flash systems, and the 1.3 stops more DOF control for equivalent FOVs.

Personally the d3x and d3s are both too large and too expensive to make them attractive to me, even though I do appreciate what they bring. Something like the $2300 D700 (or the upcoming D800) makes more sense to the greater number of folks.

The k-5 and D7000 and even the Sony equivs are fantastic tools, though. More camera there than 99% of us need. But of course, it's also only really about need for probably 1% of us, the rest of us shoot a DSLR in the first place because of want.



.

Last edited by jsherman999; 09-07-2011 at 05:43 PM.
09-08-2011, 03:47 AM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Funny part of your last statement is that the awardwinning 645D is nothing more then a K-7 with a larger sensor in a new housing. Proving that it can be done! On the other hand I would like to have on several levels to have a more advanced K-1 then 645D ever was till today.
Actually, I have a theory about that.

Pentax designed the K-7, then decided that wouldn't it be great to release an MF camera using basically the same electronics and AF mechanism. Resurrect the legacy glass, leapfrog the competition by offering an extremely good value MF body (basically by leveraging the R&D for the K-7).

But Pentax decided to further improve the AF as part of the design, and then decided they could back-port the improved AF onto the K-series with a brand new sensor.

Hence, the K-5 that we all know and love.

There's nothing to stop Pentax doing the same again and release a full frame version of the K-5. However, just changing the sensor isn't enough, in my opinion. So the real question is - what else can Pentax offer besides a FF sensor?

Articulating screen? AVCHD video? Fairly obvious, but that could all be done on an APS-C body.

The main downside of a full frame sensor is the higher bandwidth required to process larger images, which translate to slower processing times, slower fps, bigger image buffer, ... And a FF body won't be able to use DA glasses, which will be a big negative to a lot of their existing customer base.

I'm still struggling to understand why that would be viable/attractive. And I suspect Pentax has done the same thinking and has come to the same conclusion.

I suspect the most likely next enthusiast camera body from Pentax will be a mirrorless K-mount (APS-C). They have kind of hinted they are working on it, so it's only a matter of time, and they will probably try and use the same sensor as on the NEX7. Depending on how well Pentax can design this baby, it could be attractive. Articulating screen, good movie mode, fast fps, acceptable AF, and depending on how small Pentax can make the body, it could be a worthwhile second body alongside the K-5. I hope they will do away with an EVF to make the body smaller, and do away with in built flash to make the body smaller still. I've discovered that with a really bright LCD screen (such as that on the Sony HX series - they are usable in broad daylight) an EVF is not really necessary.

An FF mirrorless would be less attractive - since it won't be able to support DA glass.
09-08-2011, 04:58 AM   #154
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They would have to improve again, and thoroughly (number of points, speed, algorythms...) the dating SAFOX auto-focus, with 3D follow-up like their 3 others would-be competitors in FF 24x36... (even if it is different with Sony's translucents like A77, future FF will have such an high-end AF)


Last edited by Zygonyx; 09-08-2011 at 05:03 AM.
09-08-2011, 05:27 AM - 1 Like   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
So there is A-LOT of chatter about when, if, Pentax is going to go full frame. [...] I hope Mr. Bunnell is reading, and sending these observations to Japan. I'm excited about the future of Pentax with Ricoh. Thanks for reading.
Thanks for your thoughts which I appreciate.

I exressed my own thoughts in Falk Lumo: Photokina 2010, Pentax and the full frame mystery and I won't repeat myself here. Let's say I basically agree.

I'm adding how my impression changed though (influenced too by an insider article about the turn-around of Leica which was published by Financial Times Germany ( Gelungene Wende: Comeback der Legende Leica | FTD.de ):

IMHO the problem is that Pentax cannot do anymore what they would like to do. Not enough cash. They are mostly driven by emerging opportunity rather than strategy. I hope Ricoh learns the Andreas Kaufmann lesson (Andreas basically was a Leica enthusiast customer -- a rich one; and he decided to give key people like Leica's Stefan Daniel the money they needed to make what they thought should be done, read, he invested (he owns Leica now); and one investment was the S2 - a larger format camera for a market easier to compete in). The lesson is that it all turned out impressively positive for Andreas - he already got his investment back (Hoya shareholders will pale to gray )!

Without an investment strategy, Pentax will have to continue to play opportunity player -- they may even do a FF camera if Sony gives them their new 36MP FF chip early on (the chip seems out, Sony however is still finalizing market decisions like if their FF will become SLT or SLR; the Sony FF is due 2012). So, 2012 is the year of APSC mirrorless + FF SLx (A99, D4, D800, 5DmkIII). No enthusiast market for APSC SLR in 2012. Pentax may or may not participate if they just continue to play their opportunist game. Sony's decision may more be based on a consideration if Pentaxians would migrate to Nikon or to Sony. As soon as they think it is Sony they may decide to let Pentax die (stop sensor supply). They could always enforce this preference by making a good AF (SDM+screw) NEX-K adapter (Sony LA-KA2) ...

It doesn't matter really.

Pentax has to stop playing their opportunity game and start investing again, that is, Ricoh must.

And if they do, there aren't many new fields left for Pentax to invest. It'll be FF SLx, FF mirrorless, hybrid viewfinder OLED/optical APSC SLR. The first may be Pentax' safest bet. Esp. as they haven't done an EVF yet (even the Q lacks an EVF option which even an LX5 has).

Like others said, an FF SLR should be high enough MP to support APSC glass, i.e., 30MP+. And it should use Sony's offer because Sony APSC now outperforms FF from other sources. Sony's sensor business is another example where investing pays off.


Side note:
This thread mentions Moore's law or its inapplicability for sensors. Well, Moore's law is broken anyway. However, what counts more in the context of sensors is the evolution of defect rates over technological progress. If low enough, an FF sensor is just twice the cost of an APSC sensor. According to my own analysis, we are already at about three times the cost, if reticle cost/stitching and volume are ignored. So, IMHO, cost already today is more a marketing rather than a technological question.



Addendum...
There recently is a lot of fuzz about Sony asking customers about which road to follow for FF. Interestingly, AFAIS, many would prefer an FF version of the http://products.sel.sony.com/r1/index.shtml . For many, this still is Sony's best APSC camera, despite the A77. Interesting...

Last edited by falconeye; 09-08-2011 at 05:59 AM.
09-08-2011, 06:04 AM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
I don't think it's "better" in terms of IQ, but I do think it has a recognizable look that I like very much.
I agree.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
Despite all the "experts" in the A77 thread, I do think Sony designed a great 24mp sensor, and if the K-3 is a 24mp sensor with modest improvements over the K-5, then I'll be happy to purchase it to augment my K-5 as a new main body.
Same here. I'm not convinced that the new 24MP sensor is bad. I also believe that 24MP would be sufficient for the first FF Pentax.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
...(the chip seems out, Sony however is still finalizing market decisions like if their FF will become SLT or SLR; the Sony FF is due 2012)....
According to sonyalpharumours the 2012 Sony FF cameras will be SLT. I'll have to try an EVF for myself but I cannot imagine current technology to be satisfactory for my expectations. The most modern solutions (e.g., in the A77) are supposed to be really good now as to not get in the way much, but there are some remaining problems (e.g., display brightness adaptation).

I agree with your points, Falk, but I'd like to add that Rico could do loads for Pentax by improving QC. There are many people who wouldn't by an SDM zoom lens and the K-5 had a bit too many QC issues associated with it recently.
09-08-2011, 06:57 AM   #157
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I concur with Falk, and add that investment takes years and as of today, Ricoh is not Pentax's owner.

For Pentax to go FF they really need FF sensors and supporting tech to drop in price. For Pentax as a value brand it all boils down to what the consumer is capable of paying. This applies to lenses and bodies with tech at or near what Nikon, Canon, and Sony offer for the FF experience. that means SDM f/2.8 zooms, probably from 14-200mm in the "pro" category, and f/4 zooms in the value category.

I also think the SLT experience for Sony is going to define the future of the SLR format.

Ricoh has to stabilize Pentax before investing, and at this point in the market with so many disruptive technologies, patience may be better than haste. for those who "invest" in lenses, this is critical. One of the major criticisms of Sony's approach is the whole E vs. A mount choice. This has likely vexed Canon and Nikon as well, which is why no mirrorless has been forthcoming from them (yet).

Sensor size is less of an issue for future sales than the future of the mirror and the OVF.
09-08-2011, 07:06 AM   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
There's nothing to stop Pentax doing the same again and release a full frame version of the K-5. However, just changing the sensor isn't enough, in my opinion.
Really? What else do you really need? fps? it's still much faster than the 5D mk. II. The question is more how much bigger than a K-5 it has to be to accommodate a FF sensor.

09-08-2011, 07:33 AM   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
According to sonyalpharumours the 2012 Sony FF cameras will be SLT.
Funny. The exact link you cite says that the decision is pending. If you read the original BJoP text, it sounds to me like:
"We (Sony) would like to use SLT but customers recently pointed out we may over-spec and not pay enough attention to IQ and user experience -- so we haven't decided yet and are still listening which road to go for FF"

IMHO, SLT kills the A mount. But that may be Sony's exact intention: Migrate the Alpha user base over to NEX.

Between a NEX-7+LA-EA2 and a A77, what are an A77's advantages?

While the NEX-7+LA-EA2 ($1200+400) is 15% more expensive than the A77 ($1400) on paper, I think street prices will match. And while the A77 has SR and a wheather-resist body, the NEX7 has an additional E mount with OSS lenses and better wide angle primes, incl. Leica M. And the option to remove the translucent mirror for better IQ. Heck, somebody could actually build a Leica-style LA-EA3 adapter with optical VF...

I think, Sony killed Alpha already. And on purpose. After all, Sony is an electronics company, not a fine precision engineering company. SLR with all its calibration must be alien to Sony. The only concern Sony seems to have is that they may loose the A900 user base (and potential full frame converters) in the process.

Sony bets on the E mount and it makes perfect sense. Look at the FS100 and VG20 cameras. I am considering the E mount myself (for going mirrorless) while maintaining Pentax as my SLR (read, optical viewfinder camera). If I were Ricoh, I'll join the E mount licensees and make Pentax mirrorless E mount and in return are allowed to offer E mount Pentax lenses.


On another note, EVFs:

I once had 3 requirements for an EVF to replace an OVF:
  1. A 2-3MP resolution (A77: done; 2.4MP)
  2. A ~10EV true contrast (A77: possibly done; OLED)
  3. A <25ms delay between the real and EVF image (A77: probably not done; haven't seen measures yet, but demo videos of the rear screen's LV looked visibly delayed)
W/o #3, the EVF will not provide the immersing an OVF provides. It may be ok for the NEX7 with contrast AF and 3 fps. But it certainly is an issue for the A77 with 12 fps and phase AF. Doesn't make sense if the AF is faster than I can see the image to trigger at... Another reason why I think the A77 only makes sense as part of a migration strategy. Esp. as they leave no option to their users (skip a possible A770 SLR and make no hybrid VF with optical overlay Sony could actually have done).

Last edited by falconeye; 09-08-2011 at 07:38 AM.
09-08-2011, 08:48 AM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
...

Without an investment strategy, Pentax will have to continue to play opportunity player -- they may even do a FF camera if Sony gives them their new 36MP FF chip early on (the chip seems out, Sony however is still finalizing market decisions like if their FF will become SLT or SLR; the Sony FF is due 2012). So, 2012 is the year of APSC mirrorless + FF SLx (A99, D4, D800, 5DmkIII).

Fully agreed. I've been saying this for over a year now. 18-month 'opportunity' strategy vs. longer-term strategy - the former makes sense to a Hoya, who's looking for a buyer, the latter makes sense to a Ricoh, who's looking for established revenue for decades and can invest for the longer term.

Ricoh/Pentax's decision should be between SLR FF vs SLT FF. A lens strategy in support of that should begin immediately.


QuoteQuote:
Pentax has to stop playing their opportunity game and start investing again, that is, Ricoh must.
++

QuoteQuote:
And if they do, there aren't many new fields left for Pentax to invest. It'll be FF SLx, FF mirrorless, hybrid viewfinder OLED/optical APSC SLR. The first may be Pentax' safest bet. Esp. as they haven't done an EVF yet (even the Q lacks an EVF option which even an LX5 has).

Like others said, an FF SLR should be high enough MP to support APSC glass, i.e., 30MP+. And it should use Sony's offer because Sony APSC now outperforms FF from other sources. Sony's sensor business is another example where investing pays off.

SLT seems to bump down the light gathering enough to actually make a difference. That will probably be offset by the fantastic capability of the new sensors, but part of me still wants that extra light-gathering gear of the SLR, max out that sensor's capability...


QuoteQuote:
Side note:
This thread mentions Moore's law or its inapplicability for sensors. Well, Moore's law is broken anyway. However, what counts more in the context of sensors is the evolution of defect rates over technological progress. If low enough, an FF sensor is just twice the cost of an APSC sensor. According to my own analysis, we are already at about three times the cost, if reticle cost/stitching and volume are ignored. So, IMHO, cost already today is more a marketing rather than a technological question.

I don't think that's really been an actual barrier for the past two years. There is no requirement for a $8000 Pentax D3x, with all the bells and whistles and unnecessary bulk. The sensor + new AF module + new VF housing = relatively affordable.


QuoteQuote:
Addendum...
There recently is a lot of fuzz about Sony asking customers about which road to follow for FF. Interestingly, AFAIS, many would prefer an FF version of the Sony Cybershot DSC-R1 . For many, this still is Sony's best APSC camera, despite the A77. Interesting...

I'd say... weird-if-true. maybe interesting, let me think about it.






.
09-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
IMHO, SLT kills the A mount. But that may be Sony's exact intention: Migrate the Alpha user base over to NEX.
I'm not seeing this with the Sony lens announcements. No company is pouring more effort into SLR mount lenses more than Sony lately. Sony is still releasing non-SLT Alpha-mount cameras.

I think Sony has measured the market and sees a long-term fracture between traditional SLR form factor "real" cameras for which there is legacy demand, and mirrorless in all its flavours from NEX to M43 to the Fuji X100, or even Leica.

I do not see it as one or the other. I think Canikon are of the same mindset which is why their mirrorless options are not yet visible to the market.

Sony's inflection point for FF is clearly the OVF vs. EVF and where SLT takes them.

For Canikon and Pentax the appeal of traditional DSLR is that the SLR tech is low investment, high return, sunk cost items that still sell in very large numbers. Even a shrinking market share by 50% to mirrorless/pellicle would still keep the SLR form profitable from multiple suppliers.

The problem for Pentax investing in the future is how to fracture their internal demand with only 5% market share mindful that the bulk of gross sales will come from APS-C for quite some time to come regardless of the mirror/OVF dilemma. Why? Price. I don't see FF in Pentax's future until sensor and support prices fall by at least 1/3, and I do not see Sony cutting its FF premiums to drive market share away from APS-C. Not until APS-C caps out on IQ.
09-08-2011, 10:09 AM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I'm not seeing this with the Sony lens announcements.
I am not convinced.

SLRs: They launched their 16MP sensor as A580, SLT55, SLT35. But the 24MP as SLT77 and SLT65. I see a message here... (no more SLRs except maybe FF)

Lenses: 3 primes in 2010 and only the 16-50/2.8 in 2011 (vs. 7 E lenses). Thinking the 16-50/2.8 is overdue in a serious APSC lineup, that's just enough to keep SLT rolling.

IMHO, Sony is on a clear road towards the E mount. But they are clever enough to move no faster than their customers will follow.
09-08-2011, 10:17 AM   #163
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Great thread! I wonder how much cash Ricoh is willing to further invest in the Pentax line to make any of these things happen.
09-08-2011, 10:46 AM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I am not convinced.

SLRs: They launched their 16MP sensor as A580, SLT55, SLT35. But the 24MP as SLT77 and SLT65. I see a message here... (no more SLRs except maybe FF)
Still A-mount. which was your main point. Sony has a good system. I would not be surprised to see Sony release a couple more APS-C DSLR's in the next 2 years. It's a price point thing. They are cheap to get out the door comparatively and ares till selling well.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
IMHO, Sony is on a clear road towards the E mount. But they are clever enough to move no faster than their customers will follow.
That I am not seeing and if so, we're talking a decade or more to unfold. Their Zeiss line is a long-term investment, patent, and marketing effort. Sony has all the pieces to let the market go where it will for however long it takes. I do not see their efforts at driving consumers towards a predetermined endgame. I think the costs to support multiple mounts are not prohibitive anymore, at least not so much as they used to be.
09-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I am not convinced.

SLRs: They launched their 16MP sensor as A580, SLT55, SLT35. But the 24MP as SLT77 and SLT65. I see a message here... (no more SLRs except maybe FF)

Lenses: 3 primes in 2010 and only the 16-50/2.8 in 2011 (vs. 7 E lenses). Thinking the 16-50/2.8 is overdue in a serious APSC lineup, that's just enough to keep SLT rolling.

IMHO, Sony is on a clear road towards the E mount. But they are clever enough to move no faster than their customers will follow.
If that is the case, Pentax is heading towards the Q mount since they haven't released a k-mount lens in 2 years. The last 6 have been Q lenses and no hint of a new dSLR other than a retracted french pdf. :Hysterical:



(just so some people realize I am joking >) :sarcasm:
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