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06-05-2017, 03:59 AM - 1 Like   #721
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
"Which sensor?" is going to be the least of their worries if market changes oblige them to start down a serious mirrorless road.
A more sensible strategy may be to stay clear of the fight until the mirrorless players are done killing each other, and then reassess. Sony owns that field right now, and Ricoh would do well to watch what happens when Canon steps into the ring.

After the K-01, any Pentax mirrorless APS-C or FF camera that comes out will need an EVF. That is just the nature of the beast. For most people, a camera of this sort is still primarily something you hold up to your eye, notwithstanding both the long history of waist-level viewfinders and the usefulness of flip-screens with live-view. It will almost certainly share batteries with the flagship cameras (K-1, 3, 5, etc). It will probably have K-1 guts with KP controls (i.e. more customizable spots on the menu dial) and high-ISO improvements. It will take PLM lenses from the start. It may or may not have a flash. If Ricoh have foresight, they will give it a short mount and ship it with a KAF4 and screwdrive pass-through collar to maintain register for K mount lenses.

The alternative - and it will be harsh - will be to also give it a wider throat (as Canon did), develop a new lens line, and have that K-mount adapter collar pass AF data for SDM and DC lenses only, with some sort of contrivance to handle aperture. While this would probably shut out all screwdrive AF forever (though I can see ways around that too), there are enough SDM and DC lenses out there to provide a start-up ecosystem for new users, and it might provide growth potential to adapt to medium format (the GFX-50 is ridiculously small for a medium-format camera, and I can see full-frame and medium-format mirrorless body sizes overlapping; so potentially say hello to full 645 compatibility - with the appropriate collar - for Pentax K mount users).

But for now they should circle and wait for the opposition to carve each other up. Money Canikon spends on mirrorless is money they can't spend on DSLR, and there's a market waiting to be tapped there. Not perhaps to topple the Big Two, but certainly to gain a larger market and bigger survival advantage while Ricoh waits for the long term future of photography to declare itself.

06-05-2017, 04:39 AM   #722
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
A more sensible strategy may be to stay clear of the fight until the mirrorless players are done killing each other, and then reassess. Sony owns that field right now, and Ricoh would do well to watch what happens when Canon steps into the ring.

After the K-01, any Pentax mirrorless APS-C or FF camera that comes out will need an EVF. That is just the nature of the beast. For most people, a camera of this sort is still primarily something you hold up to your eye, notwithstanding both the long history of waist-level viewfinders and the usefulness of flip-screens with live-view. It will almost certainly share batteries with the flagship cameras (K-1, 3, 5, etc). It will probably have K-1 guts with KP controls (i.e. more customizable spots on the menu dial) and high-ISO improvements. It will take PLM lenses from the start. It may or may not have a flash. If Ricoh have foresight, they will give it a short mount and ship it with a KAF4 and screwdrive pass-through collar to maintain register for K mount lenses.

The alternative - and it will be harsh - will be to also give it a wider throat (as Canon did), develop a new lens line, and have that K-mount adapter collar pass AF data for SDM and DC lenses only, with some sort of contrivance to handle aperture. While this would probably shut out all screwdrive AF forever (though I can see ways around that too), there are enough SDM and DC lenses out there to provide a start-up ecosystem for new users, and it might provide growth potential to adapt to medium format (the GFX-50 is ridiculously small for a medium-format camera, and I can see full-frame and medium-format mirrorless body sizes overlapping; so potentially say hello to full 645 compatibility - with the appropriate collar - for Pentax K mount users).

But for now they should circle and wait for the opposition to carve each other up. Money Canikon spends on mirrorless is money they can't spend on DSLR, and there's a market waiting to be tapped there. Not perhaps to topple the Big Two, but certainly to gain a larger market and bigger survival advantage while Ricoh waits for the long term future of photography to declare itself.
It's a really difficult one, imho. I am sure you are right but the tricky question is how to keep the money coming in while the big boys duke it out. Revenue requires new bodies every now and then, and refreshed lenses too. But lenses have a shelf life of years, so whatever is produced now is going to have to stick around for quite a few years or it is funding down the drain. No easy answer. I've no idea what will happen but my money would be on Canon if they really decide to duke it out with Sony and Nikon. Canon offer so many things Sony do not and probably never will. You make a good point about 645. The Fuji MF body isn't big though from a look at it all in a shop the lenses are pretty hefty.
06-05-2017, 06:03 AM - 1 Like   #723
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
If you look at the recent fails like the 42 Mpx or the low res one used in the A9 (not even mentioning epic fails like the thingy used in the D5), they all suck big time on image quality if you have high standards.
They are hardly "fails" There is very little difference in the IQ between the 42MP and the 36MP and for printing and professional use the D5 is very good.

QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
30-36 Mpx to me is the sweet spot.

12MP was the "sweet spot" 10 years ago. The 24MP was the sweet spot just 5 years ago. Maybe 36MP is the sweet spot today. Tomorrow? Who knows.

QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
So: Stick with about 36 Mpx resolving power and work hard on improving maximum dynamic range at ISO 100 or 200. That is where the good stuff is. And that is where there was no significant improvement for a looong time in Sony sensor land.
There have been a lot of improvements in the sensors overall. DR is just one aspect and the 36MP can already capture almost 2x the DR that you can print with a professional inkjet. Stacking images and technologies like pixel shift are expanding that even farther. Sony has been working on BSI and speed. I think they will stay focused on speed for a few more years because that is what they need to improve mirrorless sales and get to 8K video.

Maybe Samsung steps back into the arena and delivers some FF sensors. They also have the technology to compete with Sony. Sony needs competition.

---------- Post added 06-05-17 at 08:34 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
It is looking increasingly as if both Nikon and Canon will have FF or at least large-sensor mirrorless cameras out there by the end of 2018. In addition, most of the companies are ramping up for the spotlight at the Tokyo Olympics with increasingly outlandish specs promised or rumoured. TBH, much of Ricoh's energy may be taken up with working out how to stay afloat at a time of great change and great demands on investment. "Which sensor?" is going to be the least of their worries if market changes oblige them to start down a serious mirrorless road. "Where is the money going to come from?" may be the more pressing question. They will use the best of whatever is around at the time - which will be fine, because that's what everyone else will have to use as well.
Canon and Nikon don't have a lot of choice. Sony's marketing was probably accidental given how inept they have been over the years, but it worked. Sony found that is A7 line was being picked up by professionals as a small back-up camera that could shoot good video. Small, light weight and with adapters any lens would work. This was especially true for Nikon users who found Nikon video functionality to be lacking. Sony had their foot in the door (the bag). Sony is building on that and is taking up more and more space in the bag. Canon is already a major player in the professional video market. Mirrorless technology and video quality and performance are linked so you can't develop one without also developing the other. Canon has everything they need to develop a competitive mirrorless system. Canon's sensor technology is behind Sony's and that is going to hurt them as mirrorless cameras are much more dependent on the speed of the sensor to perform many other tasks like AF and Color metering. DSLRs are made up of a bunch of independent systems. Mirrorless cameras are much more integrated.

Sony will surpass Nikon in a few years if Nikon continues to ignore the importance of high quality video and mirrorless. Ricoh is like Nikon only smaller.
06-05-2017, 07:07 AM - 1 Like   #724
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
12MP was the "sweet spot" 10 years ago. The 24MP was the sweet spot just 5 years ago. Maybe 36MP is the sweet spot today. Tomorrow? Who knows.
Of course it's nothing to do with the number of pixels on a sensor of a given size and everything to do with the nature and construction of those sensors (down to the pixel level) and the digital signal processing units which back them up. The trouble is, nobody's going to build a 36MP CCD sensor to test that theory and anyone who has a 10MP CMOS sensor to put up against a 10MP CCD sensor of the same size likely doesn't have the same DSP behind it, either in hardware or firmware terms. On top of that, for very obvious reasons nobody is going to let on what their future directions in either sensor construction or DSP implementation are.

The history of the rise of the megapixel count is the history of the sensor peripherals which enabled it all, but it won't be until well after the fact, when corporate secrets can be let slip on what by then will be deskweights and museum pieces, that we will know exactly what happened in DSP land to make 48MP the new sweet spot in 2021. If you want pixel density in a given sensor size to rise, much of the work will be enabling the cameras to deliver better results from a given signal-to-noise ratio, and that will be mostly a software/firmware issue. The reductio ad absurdum would seem to be a point where (for example) a 200MP APS-C sensor is developed... but the data crunching required to get an acceptably clean image out of it DEMANDS post-processing on an external platform. If that situation eventuates, we will for all intents and purposes be back in the film era.

06-06-2017, 01:09 AM   #725
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
They are hardly "fails" There is very little difference in the IQ between the 42MP and the 36MP and for printing and professional use the D5 is very good.
I already agreed that 42 MPx is no use versus 36 MPx. I just said that I consider those sensors failed as they do not provide any relevant step forward. The D5 sensor is just an inferior piece technology IMHO.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
There have been a lot of improvements in the sensors overall.
I don't care about DR improvement other than the maximum dynamic range at ISO 100-200. The rest is a worthless gimmick for me. Neither do I want to go down the route of the K-5 again where the maximum was only available at too low ISO settings requiring long shutter times, nor do I have a use for very large DR in poor light, as I have never run into any limits there. I'd rather have a different body color.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
DR is just one aspect and the 36MP can already capture almost 2x the DR that you can print with a professional inkjet.
When talking input maximum dynamic range the output dynamic range is not relevant. The K-7 sensor already captured more input DR than you see on any print.
I want to be able to correct lens errors such as the strong vignetting on fast glass mentioned above without noise impact. This is other words for actually lowering the output DR by lifting vignetting shadows.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Maybe Samsung steps back into the arena and delivers some FF sensors. They also have the technology to compete with Sony. Sony needs competition.
Samsung already said they will step up the game in camera sensors for phones.

Let's not forget it's a Samsung phone which had a (Sony manufactured) dual pixel focussing sensor. Most people associate this with Canon, but it's not exclusive obviously.
06-06-2017, 03:38 AM   #726
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
They are hardly "fails" There is very little difference in the IQ between the 42MP and the 36MP and for printing and professional use the D5 is very good.




12MP was the "sweet spot" 10 years ago. The 24MP was the sweet spot just 5 years ago. Maybe 36MP is the sweet spot today. Tomorrow? Who knows.


There have been a lot of improvements in the sensors overall. DR is just one aspect and the 36MP can already capture almost 2x the DR that you can print with a professional inkjet. Stacking images and technologies like pixel shift are expanding that even farther. Sony has been working on BSI and speed. I think they will stay focused on speed for a few more years because that is what they need to improve mirrorless sales and get to 8K video.

Maybe Samsung steps back into the arena and delivers some FF sensors. They also have the technology to compete with Sony. Sony needs competition.

---------- Post added 06-05-17 at 08:34 AM ----------



Canon and Nikon don't have a lot of choice. Sony's marketing was probably accidental given how inept they have been over the years, but it worked. Sony found that is A7 line was being picked up by professionals as a small back-up camera that could shoot good video. Small, light weight and with adapters any lens would work. This was especially true for Nikon users who found Nikon video functionality to be lacking. Sony had their foot in the door (the bag). Sony is building on that and is taking up more and more space in the bag. Canon is already a major player in the professional video market. Mirrorless technology and video quality and performance are linked so you can't develop one without also developing the other. Canon has everything they need to develop a competitive mirrorless system. Canon's sensor technology is behind Sony's and that is going to hurt them as mirrorless cameras are much more dependent on the speed of the sensor to perform many other tasks like AF and Color metering. DSLRs are made up of a bunch of independent systems. Mirrorless cameras are much more integrated.

Sony will surpass Nikon in a few years if Nikon continues to ignore the importance of high quality video and mirrorless. Ricoh is like Nikon only smaller.
It is kind of tough if you aren't interested in video or high frame rates to say that there has been a lot of progress in sensor development. The A7r II does a little better with regard to dynamic range than the K-1 with iso settings over 3200, but you are only talking about 0.5 EV difference once you factor in Sony's iso inflation. Certainly nothing that will make a big difference in a final image and I can't imagine someone shooting a relatively high dynamic range image at iso 6400 as well.

The dynamic range is useful in the editing phase when you are bumping up shadows or pulling back highlights. Obviously if you don't edit, you won't see the detail, but it is still there. If you are shooting straight out of camera jpegs, then it probably doesn't matter at all.
06-06-2017, 04:04 AM - 1 Like   #727
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It is kind of tough if you aren't interested in video or high frame rates to say that there has been a lot of progress in sensor development. The A7r II does a little better with regard to dynamic range than the K-1 with iso settings over 3200, but you are only talking about 0.5 EV difference once you factor in Sony's iso inflation. Certainly nothing that will make a big difference in a final image and I can't imagine someone shooting a relatively high dynamic range image at iso 6400 as well.

The dynamic range is useful in the editing phase when you are bumping up shadows or pulling back highlights. Obviously if you don't edit, you won't see the detail, but it is still there. If you are shooting straight out of camera jpegs, then it probably doesn't matter at all.
For several years there were big improvements in color, DR, resolution, & noise and very little improvement to speed. I think for the next couple of years were are going to see speed improvements and only modest improvements to DR, color, & noise. The cost to benefit ratio is not there yet. BSI only gives a slight bonus relative to the cost. We will see the 70MP(+/-) sensor from Sony and due to the way image processors work we will see an increase in DR with higher MPs.

HDR video is on the way and that will benefit the still shooter with improved DR. Imagine if you could use pixel shift at 30fps and stack 8 images (Olympus style). You would have very little motion artifact from leaves or water. Maybe it stacks and brackets 12 images into one file with each pixel getting exposed a -2, -1, & 0. Or one advantage of electronic shutter that is coming is zone or pixel level exposure so that the camera adjusts the exposure for the shadows and highlights independently. Eliminating the need for bracketing.

There are a lot of advantages that faster sensors are going to bring.
06-06-2017, 05:17 AM   #728
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
For several years there were big improvements in color, DR, resolution, & noise and very little improvement to speed. I think for the next couple of years were are going to see speed improvements and only modest improvements to DR, color, & noise. The cost to benefit ratio is not there yet. BSI only gives a slight bonus relative to the cost. We will see the 70MP(+/-) sensor from Sony and due to the way image processors work we will see an increase in DR with higher MPs.

HDR video is on the way and that will benefit the still shooter with improved DR. Imagine if you could use pixel shift at 30fps and stack 8 images (Olympus style). You would have very little motion artifact from leaves or water. Maybe it stacks and brackets 12 images into one file with each pixel getting exposed a -2, -1, & 0. Or one advantage of electronic shutter that is coming is zone or pixel level exposure so that the camera adjusts the exposure for the shadows and highlights independently. Eliminating the need for bracketing.

There are a lot of advantages that faster sensors are going to bring.
I guess. I'd rather see better dynamic range at base iso. Multiple exposures take more time than you seem to take account for. Pixel shift with any wind does much less to improve an image as motion correction algorithms throw out any parts where there is motion. And that's just four exposures. 30 frames per second is only helpful if you are shooting in good light. If your shutter speed is 1/4 second, as is common in many situations, then you have no benefit over a K-1 as your eight exposures will take the same 2 seconds.

Be that as it may, I have a feeling that we are close to the max possible without software gimmicks and such. Combining images is a kludge in many situations. For that matter, a digital graduated neutral density filter would probably help more than all of this stuff.

06-06-2017, 12:42 PM - 2 Likes   #729
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The reality is though that that things are pretty good right now. Sensor tech hasn't jumped ahead like it did in the early days.

Improvements now are coming from other areas, such as tracking AF, eye AF, video and electronic shutter areas.

I've been pretty happy with pentax stills capabilities for a while now. I'd love to see them progress in these supporting areas myself. Video would improve dramatically with a few simple tweaks and re additions (being mechanical stabilisation back please?!).

Pixel shift was a more useful development than the simulated AA filter for example. I quite like the Olympus live view real time preview when in bulb mode. We often hear the request to use lire view contrast AF to calibrate the phase focus system. There are many areas to progress beyond sensor tech.

Whilst some are banging on about lack of Dynamic Range, others are out there shooting. Not everyone is a static landscape photographer.
06-06-2017, 01:46 PM   #730
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
The reality is though that that things are pretty good right now. Sensor tech hasn't jumped ahead like it did in the early days.

Improvements now are coming from other areas, such as tracking AF, eye AF, video and electronic shutter areas.

I've been pretty happy with pentax stills capabilities for a while now. I'd love to see them progress in these supporting areas myself. Video would improve dramatically with a few simple tweaks and re additions (being mechanical stabilisation back please?!).

Pixel shift was a more useful development than the simulated AA filter for example. I quite like the Olympus live view real time preview when in bulb mode. We often hear the request to use lire view contrast AF to calibrate the phase focus system. There are many areas to progress beyond sensor tech.

Whilst some are banging on about lack of Dynamic Range, others are out there shooting. Not everyone is a static landscape photographer.
True, although the number of sports shooters is actually less than you might guess based on the hoop la that surrounds cameras like the D5 and A9.

For shooting weddings, family photos, portraits, a K-1 is more than adequate from an auto focus standpoint.
06-06-2017, 02:44 PM   #731
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
For shooting weddings, family photos, portraits, a K-1 is more than adequate from an auto focus standpoint.


As above, image wise there is no doubting Pentax's abilities. It really is that good, and has been for quite some time.
What's missing now, especially as others up their image quality game too, is the addon bits.
The AF, the video, the smarts around tracking and live view composites, touchscreens for image review and focus point selection, smart phone/tablet/laptop tethering and apps, support for direct uploads to social media sites, all that sort of stuff.

There's a pretty nice post about this, from a real world perspective:
Pentax K-1 as a wedding camera! - PentaxForums.com


"It's a good thing I had two cameras. The K-1s proved to be subpar in their buffer size and frame rate - to the point of sheer frustration"
"In conclusion, (and also before you rip me a new one ) I'm dubious to recommend the K-1 for real wedding work."
06-06-2017, 05:17 PM   #732
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
"It's a good thing I had two cameras. The K-1s proved to be subpar in their buffer size and frame rate - to the point of sheer frustration"
"In conclusion, (and also before you rip me a new one ) I'm dubious to recommend the K-1 for real wedding work."
When folks are pushing ropes through the needle's eyes; I mean, would a competent photographer be a person who knows how to read specs? Because the specs already say the truth.

K-1 is designed to be nothing more than an enthusiast landscape camera, with a portrait or two taken in between.

For a more serious or specialised use, even with current framerate, it must have deep buffer and fast card support, and then this, and that. But it doesn't. So that's it. How difficult is it to accept the fact that Pentax does not cater for professionals? That Pentax cameras always come with an impediment or two that separate them from professional grounds?

It's the company's philosophy. Their cameras are carefully designed not to exceed expectations in anything else but in pure image quality. A person has a sudden idea Pentax cameras could be used professionally?? If a persons thinks he can do it, he does it on personal risk. If we learn to respect their design philosophy, and not expect too much, Pentax cameras will be awesome.

Last edited by Uluru; 06-06-2017 at 05:45 PM.
06-06-2017, 05:33 PM   #733
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
When people are pushing ropes through the needle's eyes; I mean, would a competent photographer be a person who knows how to read specs? Not in today's age, no.

K-1 is good for landscapes, and for everything else it suffers because it is crippled by design. It is designed to be nothing more than an enthusiast landscape camera, with a portrait or two taken in between.

For a more serious or specialised use, even with current framerate, it must have deeper buffer and faster card support, and this and that. But it doesn't. So that's it. How difficult is it to accept the fact that Pentax does not cater for professionals, and that Pentax cameras always come with an impediment or two that separate them from professional grounds?

It's the company's philosophy, let's learn to live with that, and not expect too much.
I turns out that the OP in that thread was writing to both memory cards at the same time, hence his problem with buffer. Now, in that situation, clearly, a bigger buffer or faster buffer clearing would be good, but it's a bit unfair to conclude from that that the K-1 "is designed to be nothing more than an enthusiast landscape camera, with a portrait or two taken in between."
06-06-2017, 06:13 PM   #734
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The K-1 can be a great camera for weddings. I use it. The image quality is simply excellent. For the slower part of the wedding where you can be methodical the K-1 is perfect. For the faster parts of the wedding (crunch time) the camera is still too slow be the main workhorse. I can deal with 5fps, but I need the buffer to be 4x bigger than it is and the card write speed to be 4x faster. Low-light AF-C continues to be a problem. Mid-day wedding in the Florida Keys? No problem at all. Wedding gets moved inside a small poorly lit room due to heavy ran and the AF-C drops way off.

Ricoh needs a much larger AF array with tighter points. Its needs to have smarter tracking. Ricoh needs to find away to bring features like eye detection focus to the OVF. I'm more than happy with 36MP. 24MP is perfectly fine to me. I think we will see a 33MP in the near future since that is native 8K.
06-06-2017, 07:45 PM   #735
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Funny to see the buffer situation as this is my pet peeve with the K-S1. The fps is fine, but the buffer fills up so quickly it's infuriating having to wait and miss shots whilst it's thinking and storing catches up.
Easy fix for the K-1 ii there



QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
If we learn to respect their design philosophy, and not expect too much, Pentax cameras will be awesome.
That's some total brand brainwashing right there. Pentax cameras are awesome, but there are areas in which they can improve.


As above, the IQ has always been good, but others are catching up to this, and there are significant areas in which Pentax now does need to address to stay competitive, even just in terms of natural evolution to stay within 2 - 3 years of the competition.


Pentax is competitive and can be used professionally. It's silly to think otherwise, but at the same time, there are industry areas in which it's just simply not suited.
Pentax has a range of cameras from the q sized sensor (well they did) or action cam, through to semi pro level APS-C cameras, FF and MF with the 645Z. There must be something in there for nearly everyone?
None have eye AF, particularly impressive AF tracking, high (now industry standard) bit rate, focus peaking or mechanical stabilisation during video capture (even before mentioning 4K). There's definitely room for Pentax to develop further, to make that awesome IQ available to other market segments.
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