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05-22-2015, 07:34 AM   #706
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Not so much info on pixel shift operation. Basically turn it on put camera on tripod and use timer/mirror up/ remote.



05-22-2015, 07:38 AM   #707
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Pentax concurrently released the AF201G, a very small, light external flash which it appears would serve in place of the OBF for a point-light source; so the switch is which class of user must carry a small external accessory - flash users or GPS users. It is simply an exchange of utility, not a reduction of utility.

Unfortunately the AF201G does not offer P-TTL Slave control functions to control remote flash (it would need to be an AF201FGZ), an omission which irks a smaller class of posters.

I suppose the question boils down to whether the number of those who use OBF for remote slave flash control is larger than the number of those who will use on-board GPS and Compass for position and direction logging + those who will use AstroTracking.

And that of course begs the question whether this camera is a one-off or whether Ricoh intends to make this change permanent for flagship cameras.
Agree, it's an exchange of utility but if it were my decision to make, I don't think I would have gone this direction to optimize the outcome. Why?

Most important, use of GPS is predictable or at least more predicable than use of flash. If you go out on a hike or vacation, you know you want to use the GPS and will likely use it for all of your shots. No one needs a GPS to shoot in their house or back yard. By contrast, a flash is much more of a sporadic tool. We often don't use but you still need to carry one around just in case. That's most easily accomplished with OBF (for whatever they're worth).

IMHO, Ricoh made the bold decision to go with GPS over OBF. What they didn't do, however, is do what some other manufacturers did and develop the optimal flash substitute for OBF... the non-powered dedicated flash. As opposed to Ricoh forcing you to sometimes if not often carry their 201 flash around (which has very little functionality), the non-powered ones out there really are portable to the point that it's conceivable you could lose them. If I had to carry one around to cover the 5% chance I'll need some fill flash, this is the option that makes sense. Neither a 201 or a small non-powered flash can replace a 540FGZ or 360FGZ, so why not carry a truly small one around as opposed to a 201?
05-22-2015, 08:01 AM   #708
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Agree, it's an exchange of utility but if it were my decision to make, I don't think I would have gone this direction to optimize the outcome. Why?

Most important, use of GPS is predictable or at least more predicable than use of flash. If you go out on a hike or vacation, you know you want to use the GPS and will likely use it for all of your shots. No one needs a GPS to shoot in their house or back yard. By contrast, a flash is much more of a sporadic tool. We often don't use but you still need to carry one around just in case. That's most easily accomplished with OBF (for whatever they're worth).

IMHO, Ricoh made the bold decision to go with GPS over OBF. What they didn't do, however, is do what some other manufacturers did and develop the optimal flash substitute for OBF... the non-powered dedicated flash. As opposed to Ricoh forcing you to sometimes if not often carry their 201 flash around (which has very little functionality), the non-powered ones out there really are portable to the point that it's conceivable you could lose them. If I had to carry one around to cover the 5% chance I'll need some fill flash, this is the option that makes sense. Neither a 201 or a small non-powered flash can replace a 540FGZ or 360FGZ, so why not carry a truly small one around as opposed to a 201?
I think we need to look at the K3 II as a specialized camera specifically designed to maximize press time and garner good reviews. By all accounts the K3 original will still be available, so as has been mentioned earlier, if you think on board flash is key to your shooting enjoyment, then pass up the K3 II and get a K3 for a three hundred dollars cheaper and you will have saved money as well as making yourself happy.

On the other hand, I have never seen a camera dinged in a review for not having an on board flash. There are plenty of cameras out there that lack them, including the 7D and several Sony models. It just seems to be a non-factor in reviews -- you don't extra points by including it and you don't lose any by leaving it off. At the same time, the GPS unit is the sort of feature that will generate several paragraphs in every review and will (hopefully) get review sites to review this camera quicker.

In the end, I think the K3 II will be a decent seller, because I don't think there are that many people who just can't live without a pop up flash and it seems very reasonably priced for what it is. The bigger thing I hope is that it increases buzz about Pentax as a brand leading up to the full frame camera (which likely won't have a pop up flash either).
05-22-2015, 08:21 AM   #709
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think we need to look at the K3 II as a specialized camera specifically designed to maximize press time and garner good reviews. By all accounts the K3 original will still be available, so as has been mentioned earlier, if you think on board flash is key to your shooting enjoyment, then pass up the K3 II and get a K3 for a three hundred dollars cheaper and you will have saved money as well as making yourself happy.

On the other hand, I have never seen a camera dinged in a review for not having an on board flash. There are plenty of cameras out there that lack them, including the 7D and several Sony models. It just seems to be a non-factor in reviews -- you don't extra points by including it and you don't lose any by leaving it off. At the same time, the GPS unit is the sort of feature that will generate several paragraphs in every review and will (hopefully) get review sites to review this camera quicker.

In the end, I think the K3 II will be a decent seller, because I don't think there are that many people who just can't live without a pop up flash and it seems very reasonably priced for what it is. The bigger thing I hope is that it increases buzz about Pentax as a brand leading up to the full frame camera (which likely won't have a pop up flash either).
A well thought out post, as usual. One point... an OBF is not a "key to my shooting pleasure". Far from it, in fact. I rarely need it or use it but there were some instances when it did save the day. Does anyone really want to lug around a self-powered flash for the rare time they have to have some strobe lighting? I sure don't bring my 360BFZ with me much as it's a waste of space. OTOH, it would be a simple matter to carry a non-powered clip-on flash like Olympus developed. Heck, I hear Oly's clip-on even rotates. Come on Ricoh. If this is the future (not saying I know) then get with it and produce and throw in this accessory.

Lastly, are we all presuming the K-3 will carry on? The price looks too low to me to just assume this camera is going to co-exist with the II going forward.

05-22-2015, 08:24 AM   #710
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Agree, it's an exchange of utility but if it were my decision to make, I don't think I would have gone this direction to optimize the outcome. Why?

Most important, use of GPS is predictable or at least more predicable than use of flash. If you go out on a hike or vacation, you know you want to use the GPS and will likely use it for all of your shots. No one needs a GPS to shoot in their house or back yard. By contrast, a flash is much more of a sporadic tool. We often don't use but you still need to carry one around just in case. That's most easily accomplished with OBF (for whatever they're worth).

IMHO, Ricoh made the bold decision to go with GPS over OBF. What they didn't do, however, is do what some other manufacturers did and develop the optimal flash substitute for OBF... the non-powered dedicated flash. As opposed to Ricoh forcing you to sometimes if not often carry their 201 flash around (which has very little functionality), the non-powered ones out there really are portable to the point that it's conceivable you could lose them. If I had to carry one around to cover the 5% chance I'll need some fill flash, this is the option that makes sense. Neither a 201 or a small non-powered flash can replace a 540FGZ or 360FGZ, so why not carry a truly small one around as opposed to a 201?
QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think we need to look at the K3 II as a specialized camera specifically designed to maximize press time and garner good reviews. By all accounts the K3 original will still be available, so as has been mentioned earlier, if you think on board flash is key to your shooting enjoyment, then pass up the K3 II and get a K3 for a three hundred dollars cheaper and you will have saved money as well as making yourself happy.

On the other hand, I have never seen a camera dinged in a review for not having an on board flash. There are plenty of cameras out there that lack them, including the 7D and several Sony models. It just seems to be a non-factor in reviews -- you don't extra points by including it and you don't lose any by leaving it off. At the same time, the GPS unit is the sort of feature that will generate several paragraphs in every review and will (hopefully) get review sites to review this camera quicker.

In the end, I think the K3 II will be a decent seller, because I don't think there are that many people who just can't live without a pop up flash and it seems very reasonably priced for what it is. The bigger thing I hope is that it increases buzz about Pentax as a brand leading up to the full frame camera (which likely won't have a pop up flash either).
I sense reasonable people coalescing around the idea that - if there was an error - it was not developing a reasonable substitute for the OBF rather then the decision to replace it with GPS.

It was, therefore, an error of omission rather than an error of commission - one that, did they think about making an external substitute, they chose not to allocate scarce time and resources. Not a surprise given the scope of work necessary for the FF.

I wonder, though, how much all this angst really matters.
  • how many people who really would have bought a K-3II WON'T because it lacks OBF
  • how many people who hadn't contemplated buying a flagship APSc camera WILL because it has GPS.
  • how many people were waiting to buy the flagship APSc and will without any flashy reservations

Last edited by monochrome; 05-22-2015 at 08:34 AM.
05-22-2015, 08:35 AM   #711
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
A well thought out post, as usual. One point... an OBF is not a "key to my shooting pleasure". Far from it, in fact. I rarely need it or use it but there were some instances when it did save the day. Does anyone really want to lug around a self-powered flash for the rare time they have to have some strobe lighting? I sure don't bring my 360BFZ with me much as it's a waste of space. OTOH, it would be a simple matter to carry a non-powered clip-on flash like Olympus developed. Heck, I hear Oly's clip-on even rotates. Come on Ricoh. If this is the future (not saying I know) then get with it and produce and throw in this accessory.

Lastly, are we all presuming the K-3 will carry on? The price looks too low to me to just assume this camera is going to co-exist with the II going forward.
How long did the K5 II continue to be sold after the K3 was launched? I think Ricoh is cognizant of the negative vibe around the lack of a pop up flash and will keep the K3 in stores for the time being.

As Monochrome says, they probably need a tiny flash that is usable as a controller -- I don't imagine it would be that hard to make one. A better option in my opinion, would be to build radio triggers into the cameras. I would prefer that significantly to the optical trigger thing, which is not that reliable.
05-22-2015, 08:47 AM   #712
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
How long did the K5 II continue to be sold after the K3 was launched? I think Ricoh is cognizant of the negative vibe around the lack of a pop up flash and will keep the K3 in stores for the time being.

As Monochrome says, they probably need a tiny flash that is usable as a controller -- I don't imagine it would be that hard to make one. A better option in my opinion, would be to build radio triggers into the cameras. I would prefer that significantly to the optical trigger thing, which is not that reliable.
Built in radio triggers is a good idea and hopefully Ricoh are considering it for the FF body. My hunch is they wouldn't go that route for anything below the FF in their lineup but obviously I don't know that. OTOH, Ricoh might not like the idea because they don't have an existing flash which can be radio-controlled (natively).
05-22-2015, 09:03 AM   #713
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Built in radio triggers is a good idea and hopefully Ricoh are considering it for the FF body. My hunch is they wouldn't go that route for anything below the FF in their lineup but obviously I don't know that. OTOH, Ricoh might not like the idea because they don't have an existing flash which can be radio-controlled (natively).
Thats probably the critical point. I remember someone asked a Pentax rep if they were going to make the Sigma 8-16 mm lens read something other than zero mm under 10 mm. They said, "why would we do that? We don't make a lens under 10mm." You can only ask for so much support for 3rd party options.

05-22-2015, 09:05 AM   #714
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Built in radio triggers is a good idea and hopefully Ricoh are considering it for the FF body. My hunch is they wouldn't go that route for anything below the FF in their lineup but obviously I don't know that. OTOH, Ricoh might not like the idea because they don't have an existing flash which can be radio-controlled (natively).
I think they could build the radio transmitter into the camera and then sell receivers for 50 bucks and maybe offer a top end flash with one built in. Seems like that could work and still make them money.
05-22-2015, 11:49 AM   #715
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Most important, use of GPS is predictable or at least more predicable than use of flash. If you go out on a hike or vacation, you know you want to use the GPS and will likely use it for all of your shots. No one needs a GPS to shoot in their house or back yard. By contrast, a flash is much more of a sporadic tool. We often don't use but you still need to carry one around just in case. That's most easily accomplished with OBF (for whatever they're worth).
This is a good point. But from my perspective the situation is reversed. I always want the GPS. It has nothing to do with "hiking" or "vacation" it has to do with embedding GPS in images, no matter where I am at, which is almost a requirement for me. When I need a flash, I know I will I need a flash so I pack it.
This is accomplished (for me) by having a built in GPS, that I will use for almost every shot, and an external flash that I will mount and use occasionally if the need arises.

I wish everyone would consider that camera GPS is not about "hiking" or "wilderness". If that is the only time you need GPS, then a hand held Garmin will serve as well, maybe better. Camera GPS is about gathering information along with the image to be used at a later date.

---------- Post added 05-22-15 at 11:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think they could build the radio transmitter into the camera and then sell receivers for 50 bucks and maybe offer a top end flash with one built in. Seems like that could work and still make them money.
This^^^ It would really move Pentax up in the eyes of many who use flash on a regular basis. Especially flash in uncontrolled environments. The technology is there to do this, they just need to commit to doing it. Maybe in the FF.
05-22-2015, 11:51 AM   #716
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@IchabodCrane - Never say Never. Onboard GPS would help me document bumblebee locations in the EXIF to bumblebee.org, including in my back yard.
05-22-2015, 11:57 AM - 1 Like   #717
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Agree, it's an exchange of utility but if it were my decision to make, I don't think I would have gone this direction to optimize the outcome. Why?

Most important, use of GPS is predictable or at least more predicable than use of flash. If you go out on a hike or vacation, you know you want to use the GPS and will likely use it for all of your shots. No one needs a GPS to shoot in their house or back yard. By contrast, a flash is much more of a sporadic tool. We often don't use but you still need to carry one around just in case. That's most easily accomplished with OBF (for whatever they're worth).

IMHO, Ricoh made the bold decision to go with GPS over OBF. What they didn't do, however, is do what some other manufacturers did and develop the optimal flash substitute for OBF... the non-powered dedicated flash. As opposed to Ricoh forcing you to sometimes if not often carry their 201 flash around (which has very little functionality), the non-powered ones out there really are portable to the point that it's conceivable you could lose them. If I had to carry one around to cover the 5% chance I'll need some fill flash, this is the option that makes sense. Neither a 201 or a small non-powered flash can replace a 540FGZ or 360FGZ, so why not carry a truly small one around as opposed to a 201?
I tend to disagree, at least with this kind of generalisation. Try to think outside of a single hobbyists perspective. Think of a photo agency, a school, an university department, contractors, surveyors, geologists, archaeologists, whatever, any group that is in the need of documenting things on different locations, in the field. This is a target group for a camera, labelled "field camera" by the manufacturer in the press release. High quality, rugged and still affordable in larger quantities... certainly attributes Ricoh can cover with this camera. And the beauty of geotagging the entire image collection with this tool automatically will be evident as soon as you can query the image archive by location: show me all images from school area, all from the football field, all from field trips to this or that loction. Having consistent tagging from different photographers over years in an image archive is extremely time consuming if you do it as an postimagetaking process, you can trust me in this.
05-22-2015, 12:56 PM   #718
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
It would really move Pentax up in the eyes of many who use flash on a regular basis. Especially flash in uncontrolled environments. The technology is there to do this, they just need to commit to doing it. Maybe in the FF.
Ricoh should buy a company like Paul C. Buff (who just passed away), or Photogenic (which also lost it owner/founder recently) and integrate the wireless control technology into the body. They also need to add 3 leaf shutter lenses to the line up and improve flash sync speeds. I would also like to see them get into the photo printing side of the business and compete with Canon and Epson.
05-22-2015, 01:23 PM   #719
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
@IchabodCrane - Never say Never. Onboard GPS would help me document bumblebee locations in the EXIF to bumblebee.org, including in my back yard.
May I ask what percentage of all your shots are of bumblebees?

---------- Post added 05-22-15 at 04:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
This is a good point. But from my perspective the situation is reversed. I always want the GPS. It has nothing to do with "hiking" or "vacation" it has to do with embedding GPS in images, no matter where I am at, which is almost a requirement for me. When I need a flash, I know I will I need a flash so I pack it.
This is accomplished (for me) by having a built in GPS, that I will use for almost every shot, and an external flash that I will mount and use occasionally if the need arises.

I wish everyone would consider that camera GPS is not about "hiking" or "wilderness". If that is the only time you need GPS, then a hand held Garmin will serve as well, maybe better. Camera GPS is about gathering information along with the image to be used at a later date.

...
.
Yes, I can see that if you want GPS info on every shot then the K-3 II is ideal. Are you using the O-GPS1 as a permanent fixture on your camera today?
05-22-2015, 01:35 PM   #720
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
. I would also like to see them get into the photo printing side of the business and compete with Canon and Epson.
Copiers, Printers, Multifunctional Color Copiers, Color Printers, Production Printing Products | Ricoh USA
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