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06-22-2009, 03:44 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMabo Quote

And we all can see that the forums are filled with in-depth analysis of photos from the beta units.

Actually, I find this rather funny. So much work done by the analysers and without any use. So much work for nothing. Because the final image quality, from the production units will be different. Because hardware was beta too, not just the firmware.


Beta is beta, and beta means a product under development. An unfinished product and it is not the same as the production units.

It simply amazes me that this is so completely impossible to understand.
Take it easy! These Beta testers are not claiming it to be a production version. They are beta testing and posting the results. They are photography nuts and would be spending the time playing with cameras and photos anyway so your comment about all this work for nothing is silly. This is not paid work for them, this is a hobby.

The forum is the perfect place to discuss this kind of stuff. Largely it is a fan/enthusiast website where people do go a bit hysterical. It is silly not to take the fanboys with a grain of salt.

I appreciate the efforts of the testers and it gives me something to read and a whole lot of info about their experience with the new camera. Sure, the final image quality will not be 100% the same but we know that and see past it.

mike

06-22-2009, 04:04 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Ah the memories...

Even better when you are taking your "working" unit to a trade show to show off your newest widget and you use nail polish that is the same hue as the PCB to hide some of your more creative wiring bypasses...
LOL!!! You are making me feel all nostalgic!
06-22-2009, 05:00 PM   #33
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Since I don't know how Pentax handles alpha and beta cameras, I'll go by Falk's explanation given to him by Pentax Germany (link provided earlier by lol101). The draw of the K-7 for me are the other upgraded and new features (AF assist lamp, faster AF, more FPS, 1/8000 shutter, basic HDR, HD video), anyway, and I'm happy at the K20D's image quality as it is.

Of course, improved image quality (1 stop or more of improvement) is very much welcome, though, but not necessarily a deal-breaker for me.
06-22-2009, 05:11 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr. The Guy Quote
My guess is that it is unlikely they manufactured a few beta sensors and in all likelihood, the pre-production sensors are just modified K210D sensors.
I can see hand-wiring and modifying boards and firmware, but making a few sensors by hand? I'm no manufacturing engineer, but it seems highly unlikely. I expect totally different performance from a new sensor, with a firmware upgrade in weeks, if not even days.
Its very possible some early "mules" had a K20D sensor and existed just to test the early body and ergonomic prototypes. They may even have had their output limited to low resolution JPEG to achieve 5 fps so they could test the shutter and mirror. But they could never have done RAW at 5fps without the 4 channel readout.

The development process would have started 18 months ago or longer so I suspect all test cameras have alpha or beta versions of the new sensor.

Now perhaps if they were using a "customer" sensor (like a Sony) they would just have to take it "as is" and build a camera around its shortcomings. However, with Samsung, I suspect as their sole customer Pentax have a lot of say in the actual design and can make changes right up to the last minute.

This is not as drastic as it seems. Of course you would NOT build a whole chip plant just to make 100 sensors. But if you already HAVE one its possible to make limited volumes, test them, and then make small changes.

Simplistically you are just making minor changes to the masks which is more of a CAD problem than anything else and wasting a bit of high purity silicon. You will also have to "schedule" your next run because the line may be busy in the meantime making something else.

Unlikely you would make large changes though. The major design decisions would have been made and tested at stage 1 and it would be very costly to change them late in the cycle because you would need to tweak everything else attached to it. What they may do however is to change their initial decisions about noise/detail compromises and so on.

06-22-2009, 09:37 PM   #35
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I think what this means is that Pentax decided to sneak in a full frame sensor under everybody's noses, even Ricehigh's.
06-23-2009, 06:02 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Probably, actually. Consumers shopping for a digital camera have it hard enough without poring through detailed IQ analysis and articles about subjective impressions of *what isn't even what they'd be buying.*

Having pre-production samples out there gives reviewers a chance to spend some time with the handling and functionality and shootability... there's no sense putting the things on the testing bench till they are the actual product you'd buy.
Fair point.
06-23-2009, 07:03 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vaikis_ Quote
all tested, believe me Pentax don't make production units without tests. With pre-production K-7 Pentax interested more people, made some Intrigue
The notion that Pentax would ship cameras that had not been thoroughly tested is absurd. They are not amateurs.

Rob
06-23-2009, 09:43 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
finally, a more credible and ethically responsible camera review site.
I think that by issuing this statement, Amateur Photographer may actually be slamming What Digital Camera, for publishing a review of the K-7 as though they were testing a final production camera. All we know is that WDC supposedly had firmware 1.0, but the rest of the camera was almost certainly not the final version. The review itself was sloppy and amateurish. AP will undoubtedly do a better job, and they want people to be aware of that fact.


Last edited by robgo2; 06-23-2009 at 10:33 AM.
06-23-2009, 05:22 PM   #39
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Thanks for the info
06-23-2009, 09:47 PM   #40
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In high volume electronics, in some companies, differences between "beta" units and production units are automation assembly details. Whether actual assembly lines, jigs, fixtures, software load and test, or combinations thereof.

Many companies no longer use this alpha-beta-production model as being too slow and expensive.

Also, some companies "beta" is their own in house assembly automation of final design. Production units are from that same automation line after it has been reassembled in offshore EMS box build factory.
06-23-2009, 10:19 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anavasi Quote
Just a confirmation of what RMabo wrote.

Some days ago, I was given from the greek rep a K-7 ver. 0.20. The unit suffered from several malfunctions and of course no image quality could be estimated. All I get was an idea of the buttons, the balance and some menus.

On July 6th Pentax Greece and my company we will organize a presentation of the new body. Pentax Japan promised to deliver the very first 3 units on 1st. I hope they will have firmware 1.0, so Icould post some valid impressions.

To the first week of July!

Anavasi
That is really nice!
Greek rep. has invited me to the presentation of K-7 on 6th of July. They asked me to speak to the visitors about my 22 years of experience with Pentax gear. I will also present some of my nature photographs.

I hope the 3 units will be in Athens on time and that we'll have the chance to test the final product.
See you there!
06-24-2009, 02:32 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gio645 Quote
That is really nice!
Greek rep. has invited me to the presentation of K-7 on 6th of July. They asked me to speak to the visitors about my 22 years of experience with Pentax gear. I will also present some of my nature photographs.

I hope the 3 units will be in Athens on time and that we'll have the chance to test the final product.
See you there!
Hey Gio., that's really cool

Got words from our local agent, the K-7 will be shipped as scheduled (won't be delayed as what they said last week), we'd see the new camera here in Singapore next week
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