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05-28-2009, 02:10 PM   #1
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Is Pentax Future after K7 APS-C version of Panasonic GH1

Pentax seems to be smartly avoiding a model for model competition with Nikon and Canon looking more for a unique niche and looking ahead to the future (something they did not do well when digital came in). Maybe this is the influence of Hoya management.

Now we have the K7 which is similar to D300 but with enough differences to compete. I believe the K7 is more of a transition model for the future. Great camera, but maybe the last true flagship DSLR for Pentax.

I keep reading snippets of future directions about advanced contrast detect AF, redesigning lenses for this, etc.

Panasonic is already getting ready to offer this: Panasonic | Lumix DMC-GH1 Digital Camera (Black) with | DMC-GH1K

I would guess Pentax is looking to go this direction - models with no mirror and the most advanced and fastest contrast detect AF and hi rez EVF they can come up with. They will add their personality with weather sealed bodies, great line of primes, and many years of experience in making cameras and lenses. This is part of the reason they did not invest in a completely new shutter and AF system for the K7.

Super quiet, very little vibration, AF in video mode, and much lighter without the mirror box and glass prism, consistent focus with all lenses. I really see Pentax going this direction for the advanced prosumer market with a new line of lenses to work with this system (of course this will drive new lens sales for Hoya). Maybe Fall 2010 or Spring 2011. When the price of FF sensors comes down low enough, they can easily add a larger sensor (although SR may be a challenge) if the market demands this. Of course the digital 645 model will still be available for studio pros.

The future looks exciting to me.

CAN SOMEONE EDIT THE POST TITLE TO PANASONIC GH1?


Last edited by Photomy; 05-28-2009 at 06:18 PM.
05-28-2009, 02:22 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photomy Quote
I would guess Pentax is looking to go this direction - models with no mirror and the most advanced and fastest contrast detect AF and hi rez EVF they can come up with. .
No. Because EVF is answer to a question no one asked. If the world had been up-side-down; we had EVF and no optical viewfinder, the invention of the latter would be a huge breakthrough - finally see exactly whats there with no interventions, with unsurpassed quality.
Optical binoculars are there because they are the best solution to a problem. We have glass windows in our houses instead of LCD screen displaying what the windows otherwise would have shown, because it is the obvious and logical way to do the job.

LCD screens in digital camera have their uses. EVF however, is cost saving measure and optical viewfinder will always be the high-end solution.
05-28-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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We call it EVIL

This type of camera is also known as EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens) or Hybrid.

The key is whether Hoya wants to team up with Samsung for its NX system (or if Samsung wants any partner in the first place). If Pentax goes for it, it can have a system ready pretty soon. Otherwise, I think their resource is stretched pretty thin right now to get a brand new system ready any time soon.

I too think EVIL will take over the entry level market in the future. But perhaps not quite ready yet within a year or two, not until Canon and Nikon decide to join the game. So Pentax still have some time to decide.
05-28-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
No. Because EVF is answer to a question no one asked
I disagree. EVF is an answer to consumers' demand.
This is particularly true to those graduating from P&S. Many new comers grew up without ever used optical viewfinder before. This is the main reason why you see Live View in most new DSLRs, and why the Sony's entry level DSLR took over 3rd place from Pentax.

QuoteQuote:
EVF however, is cost saving measure and optical viewfinder will always be the high-end solution.
Very true, that's why I predict EVIL will completely take over the entry level market in the future. Optical DSLR certainly would continue to exsit, but in mid and high end market.

05-28-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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GH1 is on my short want list

Then again K-7 is also on the same list. Oh & double the admission price & 5D Mark II rounds out the 3 HD Camera want list.

I'm not big fan on the trend towards tiny cameras but has anyone noticed just how small GH1 is ???


Dimensions 3.29 x 4.88 x 1.78" (83.57 x 123.95 x 45.21mm) body only


Weight 13.6 oz (385g) body only


I hedged my bet & dropped $410 a couple days ago on numerous mount glass to micro 4/3 mount adapters. I own alot of old various mount lenses I should have sold off a 2 to 4 years ago. As I didn't cash out its now appealing to be able to use them soon or decide against them & sell them, & be done with it.

K-7 is real appealing. But so is GH1, and really so is 5D Mark II for $100 more than 2x the money K-7 will launch at & likely stay at for 6 months. K20D didn't shed issue price as quickly as K10D. Theres such a buzz about K-7 it could take longer than 6 months for any meaningful price drops.

The GH1 is $200 more than K-7 body but GH1 comes with 14-140mm HD designed, image stabilized lens too. I could see being happy with the lens thats included. Covering a range similar to 28mm-280mm and having autofocus while filming HD is pretty appealing to me. So I am leaning towards GH1 on short term. Its due in June in USA. Likely early June as its already been available in Asia for a week now. And the 7-14mm f4 images I've seen are pretty nice too. The lens seems similar to Oly 4/3 7-14mm f4, but its not, Its truely micro 4/3 thus its much smaller than Oly version.

Then again I got all my eos lens ducks in a row. One 5D Mark II is all I'd need to buy with all the glass inhand I already own.

I look foward to the K-7 & GH1 reviews. Previews for both have been very interesting.






QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
No. Because EVF is answer to a question no one asked. If the world had been up-side-down; we had EVF and no optical viewfinder, the invention of the latter would be a huge breakthrough - finally see exactly whats there with no interventions, with unsurpassed quality.
Optical binoculars are there because they are the best solution to a problem. We have glass windows in our houses instead of LCD screen displaying what the windows otherwise would have shown, because it is the obvious and logical way to do the job.

LCD screens in digital camera have their uses. EVF however, is cost saving measure and optical viewfinder will always be the high-end solution.
05-28-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Very true, that's why I predict EVIL will completely take over the entry level market in the future. Optical DSLR certainly would continue to exsit, but in mid and high end market.
In the not-so-distant future, electronic viewfinders will have effectively no lag, imperceptibly high framerates, and more resolution than can be perceived by the human eye. The high end market will change too.

But it's not happening this year. Or next year. Or in five years.
05-28-2009, 03:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
In the not-so-distant future, electronic viewfinders will have effectively no lag, imperceptibly high framerates, and more resolution than can be perceived by the human eye. The high end market will change too.
.

But optical viewfinder already got all this without using electricity. What exact problem are you solving with an electronic viewfinder except for slightly smaller size?

In addition you got the large LCD screen on your camera where you can do all the fancy stuff.

Last edited by Pål Jensen; 05-28-2009 at 03:58 PM.
05-28-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
But optical viewfinder already got all this without using electricity. What exact problem are you solving with an electronic viewfinder except for slightly smaller size?

In addition you got the large LCD screen on your camera where you can do all the fancy stuff.
your missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. It will make the cameras much cheaper to build and service. Therefore the powers that be will make you believe it will be better even if it is only equal to (this equal to point is the tipping point btw. Once we are there it may be out of our hands, literally). APS-C and full EVIL is what Samsung is shooting for. Hopefully someone, like Pentax, will hold out for awhile.

05-28-2009, 04:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
But optical viewfinder already got all this without using electricity. What exact problem are you solving with an electronic viewfinder except for slightly smaller size?
Simpler mechanical construction, no vibration from the mirror, and even more instantaneous response because there's no mirror to flip out of the way.

And smaller size isn't the only benefit. How about 100% view with 2× magnification? With the option of going to "spot" view with 10× magnification. Live histogram overlays. Focus points indicated exactly. See what your image would look like in black and white. Or infrared. There's a lot of possibilities!
05-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
But optical viewfinder already got all this without using electricity. What exact problem are you solving with an electronic viewfinder except for slightly smaller size?

In addition you got the large LCD screen on your camera where you can do all the fancy stuff.
I am not an engineer but even an engineer would be guessing. Similar to speculating how much data can be put on future versions of DVDs or compact memory cards. There is a clear trend, but how far and how fast will it go?

However, I personally believe that advanced EVF combined with an advanced contrast detect AF system will offer within 1.5 to 3 years (less than 5) the following advantages:

1) probably lower cost once technology is developed. so you can spend more on the sensor

2) more reliable and consistent AF with any brand of lens (no custom AF adjustments needed)

3) virtually unlimited AF point selection

4) lower weight because of no prism glass or mirror assembly (although may need larger battery)

5) slightly smaller size if that is desired

5) AF with video (this seems to be attractive to some)

6) better manual focus with hi rez + magnification

7) low light focus eventually will match phase detect - not sure if it can exceed

8) much quieter with low, low vibration

9) option of smaller lens registration distance IF this is an advantage - not sure it really is

10) 100% viewfinder at lower cost and any magnification


DOWN SIDE

1) actual resolution of EVF will never be as good as a top of the line OVF
the best it can be is sort of, almost as good, but the above is a big list of positives

I want the best total system that will deliver the best photos I can get. I do not really need to spend extra $ to ooh and aah in my OVF. I will do that later.
05-28-2009, 04:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
And smaller size isn't the only benefit. How about 100% view with 2× magnification? With the option of going to "spot" view with 10× magnification. Live histogram overlays. Focus points indicated exactly. See what your image would look like in black and white. Or infrared. There's a lot of possibilities!
But this already there on the LCD screen of the camera, or will be. Not everything is a plus to have in the finder while shooting. DSLR's gives you the best of both worlds.
EVIL cameras are competitors for P&S primarily. Not DSLR's.
05-28-2009, 05:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
No. Because EVF is answer to a question no one asked. If the world had been up-side-down; we had EVF and no optical viewfinder, the invention of the latter would be a huge breakthrough - finally see exactly whats there with no interventions, with unsurpassed quality.
Optical binoculars are there because they are the best solution to a problem. We have glass windows in our houses instead of LCD screen displaying what the windows otherwise would have shown, because it is the obvious and logical way to do the job.

LCD screens in digital camera have their uses. EVF however, is cost saving measure and optical viewfinder will always be the high-end solution.

If they can make the whole package as small as LX3/DP1 (i.e. smaller than Leica rangefinders), then I don't really care about the viewfinder. They can offer hotshoe OVF as the only option I still want one.
05-28-2009, 05:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
But this already there on the LCD screen of the camera, or will be. Not everything is a plus to have in the finder while shooting. DSLR's gives you the best of both worlds.
EVIL cameras are competitors for P&S primarily. Not DSLR's.
EVIL cameras are the future IMHO as well. The whole purpose of of the Single Reflex system was to get closer to WYSIWYG over the Double Reflex cameras they superseded.

High resolution internal monitors will really bring that goal to fruition. You'll look into the viewfinder and see exactly the picture you will get, right down to exposure, framing, and color.


Just because past developments are very poor compared to a single lens reflex of today, doesn't mean the future won't be much brighter, as it were.

Also consider, all technology reaches it's pinnacle just before it becomes obsolete.

Consider film. Film has HUGE advantages over digital when it comes to dynaimc range. But who would trade dynamic range for the the mired of benefits that digital photography gives the user? The answer is practically no one.

Shortly, that will also be true of the EVIL camera. Sure, a pentaprism will always have more resolution and dynamic range, but will a well designed EVIL of the future that truly is WYSIWYG never top it?


Some say no. Which has been said about many things. Buggy whips included.

Last edited by konraDarnok; 05-28-2009 at 05:22 PM.
05-28-2009, 05:19 PM   #14
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Here's one of the 4/3, micro 4/3 forums I've been lurking on

You can find Nikon, Canon and dare I say it, Pentax owners who've cashed out most all their prior gears after adding G-1. Alot of anticipation for GH1 there, though the K-7 BUZZ is louder here:


4/3rds Cameras - The GetDPI Workshop Forums


One of the Ex Pentax users shoots with G1 and his remainder Limited Pentax glass. He was a K10D owner and featured in Pentax USA print ad campaigns a couple years ago. I'm guessing G1 is more than a point and shoot to him since he preferred it to K10D?



QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
But this already there on the LCD screen of the camera, or will be. Not everything is a plus to have in the finder while shooting. DSLR's gives you the best of both worlds.
EVIL cameras are competitors for P&S primarily. Not DSLR's.
05-28-2009, 05:30 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
You can find Nikon, Canon and dare I say it, Pentax owners who've cashed out most all their prior gears after adding G-1. Alot of anticipation for GH1 there, though the K-7 BUZZ is louder here:


4/3rds Cameras - The GetDPI Workshop Forums


One of the Ex Pentax users shoots with G1 and his remainder Limited Pentax glass. He was a K10D owner and featured in Pentax USA print ad campaigns a couple years ago. I'm guessing G1 is more than a point and shoot to him since he preferred it to K10D?
I'm personally waiting to see when someone brings out a body stabilized Micro 4/3 -- or similar EVIL.


The G1 is unattractive to me for that reason.


And I've mentioned this before. I want an EVIL that not only has body stabilization, but also forward and backward sensor based focusing for old manual lenses.


Someday, someone will make one, when the technology becomes ridiculously cheap and ubiquitous the way all semiconductor technology does.
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