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04-17-2018, 01:09 AM - 9 Likes   #1
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Imaging Resource's CP+2018 interview with Ricoh Imaging

Here it is: Ricoh @ CP+: Rewarding K-1 fans with a major upgrade, plus what comes next after the K-3 II?

Speaking about the accelerator unit, autofocus improvements, a new APS-C flagship (no details, just that it will come "one day" and it will be more than an updated K-3), Theta and how they'll continue (shock, horror!) with the DSLRs.

IMO it's completing nicely this site's own interview.

04-17-2018, 02:14 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
IMO it's completing nicely this site's own interview.
Yes,thanks for posting this,most interesting.
04-17-2018, 02:16 AM   #3
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That's a good interview, and very positive. I like that they transcribed it thoroughly and didn't edit it down much (if at all)... You get a better feel for the question vs. response dynamics
04-17-2018, 02:17 AM   #4
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Very interesting reading.

Still with the pentaprism? No problem but then I want at least a 0,95x viewfinder magnification! :P

04-17-2018, 02:21 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by interview:
Those functions - it sounds like those are not things that would depend on new hardware, so are those algorithm changes for autofocus something that could come to the original K-1 with firmware, do you think?

TA: Sorry I cannot, I have to check about that. [Ed. note: We've asked Ricoh to follow up on this, and will update with their answer once it arrives.]

Ricoh should really provide this as a firmware update. It's just algorithms. Nothing hardware specific.
04-17-2018, 02:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Ricoh should really provide this as a firmware update. It's just algorithms. Nothing hardware specific.
It would be nice if they did (assuming there is no hardware dependency), but I'd understand if they chose not to. Bug fixes in firmware should always be free, but this is improved functionality that required development effort, and that needs to be paid for. It also helps to sell the new camera (and upgrade service) through differentiation.
04-17-2018, 02:41 AM - 1 Like   #7
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It pays to be nice. it creates longer term loyalty.
04-17-2018, 03:09 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
It pays to be nice. it creates longer term loyalty.
It can, I agree... but the problem is, Ricoh has no way of knowing if and when that loyalty will be converted into revenue (more importantly, profit). Sales of new cameras and upgrades affect the bottom line right away.

Don't get me wrong, if Ricoh is able and decides to offer an AF upgrade via firmware update for free, I'll quickly and loudly applaud them (even though I don't own a K-1). But, bug fixes aside, I've never expected to get more than I bought and paid for. The KAF4 upgrade for my legacy model K-3 was a pleasant bonus, but I wouldn't have thought any less of Ricoh if they'd limited it to the then-current K-3II, or decided to charge for the update to legacy models (I would have paid for the KAF4 upgrade to my K-3 if it was sensibly priced).

It's a personal and subjective thing, I realise

04-17-2018, 03:17 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Ricoh should really provide this as a firmware update. It's just algorithms. Nothing hardware specific.
Algorithms run on hardware. If the hardware is not powerful enough, it might not be able to complete the algorithm in time, especially since focusing has to be calculated in real-time. Notice that the K-1ii has shorter battery life, which hints that the hardware is more powerful.

Also, at least in the field of general computing, “accelerator” means that some specific algorithms are implemented in hardware itself. For example, in most music players, MP3 decoding is done in a dedicated decoder chip. If focusing algorithms are implemented in a specialized circuitry, upgrading algorithm means upgrading hardware.

On a personal note, if they released the source code to their firmware, maybe someone from community could improve the focusing, but I doubt they could improve it by much.

Disclaimer: I have NO programming experience with computing accelerators, but I have read some literature on it and can testify form personal experience, that encoding H.264 video on CPU without accelerators is painfully slow. I have no idea how Pentax focusing is actually implemented.
04-17-2018, 03:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tranzistors Quote
Algorithms run on hardware. If the hardware is not powerful enough, it might not be able to complete the algorithm in time, especially since focusing has to be calculated in real-time. Notice that the K-1ii has shorter battery life, which hints that the hardware is more powerful.

Also, at least in the field of general computing, “accelerator” means that some specific algorithms are implemented in hardware itself. For example, in most music players, MP3 decoding is done in a dedicated decoder chip. If focusing algorithms are implemented in a specialized circuitry, upgrading algorithm means upgrading hardware.

On a personal note, if they released the source code to their firmware, maybe someone from community could improve the focusing, but I doubt they could improve it by much.

Disclaimer: I have NO programming experience with computing accelerators, but I have read some literature on it and can testify form personal experience, that encoding H.264 video on CPU without accelerators is painfully slow. I have no idea how Pentax focusing is actually implemented.
Unlikely to involve that chip, Tranzistors, since it's a component between the sensor and the PRIME imaging engine.
04-17-2018, 03:35 AM   #11
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The AU frees computing time on the prime IV. It is understandable that without the AU the K1 has not enough processing power for the improvement, even if it's only prime IV code
04-17-2018, 03:51 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Ricoh should really provide this as a firmware update. It's just algorithms. Nothing hardware specific.
Why? Should software be free just because it isn’t a physical thing? Ricoh have probably spent thousands of man-hours programming, testing and making these new features work. I think they are justified in not giving it away.

Also, how would paid upgraders feel if some of the upgrades they thought they were paying for were extended for free to those didn’t upgrade? Somewhere on the Ricoh website, they specifically say this won’t happen, but they do say firmware updates will continue for other things.
04-17-2018, 04:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by joergens.mi Quote
The AU frees computing time on the prime IV. It is understandable that without the AU the K1 has not enough processing power for the improvement, even if it's only prime IV code
Yeah, but PRIME wouldn't do focusing, either, Joergens.

It's an image processing engine.
04-17-2018, 04:19 AM   #14
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Simply said the K-1 II also uses the focussing distance when tracking and the color of the tracked subject. So it is less likely to focus on something that is not the subject while tracking. This is relatively simple math. Not something that requires new hardware. The Prime IV is the same processor as in the K-1 anyway. I bet this improvement was in the cancelled firmware update from december.

---------- Post added 17-04-18 at 13:24 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Why? Should software be free just because it isn’t a physical thing? Ricoh have probably spent thousands of man-hours programming, testing and making these new features work. I think they are justified in not giving it away.
Because it should have been in the K-1 in the first place. Maybe it wouldn't have failed so miserably then in dpreviews swerving bike test. Fujifilm understands this well and gives its users real improvements through Firmware updates.
04-17-2018, 04:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by joergens.mi Quote
The AU frees computing time on the prime IV. It is understandable that without the AU the K1 has not enough processing power for the improvement, even if it's only prime IV code
This^^ - it's not known (by us), but it's plausible.
Performance is a tricky thing in the software world, you cannot guess it, it behaves in completely non-intuitive ways. You know when you measure it.

We don't know if it's possible or not. We don't know if it's feasible or not. We don't know if they will do it or not.
But it would be nice if they'll release this information.
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