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03-30-2010, 05:00 AM   #226
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It should also be turned off for panning shots.
I also turn it off when I use flash. There is anecdotal evidence that SR can interfere with shutter speeds near the flash sync speed (causing funny double exposures).

As Arpe mentioned, even on a tripod you may not be able to afford the delay caused by a timer (e.g., when birding).
Think SR is a pain -- ever tried to use multiple exposure? This requires that you menu dive for each and every shot! And once activated you must be careful to change no other setting or it reverts. I want a multiple exposure button!

If you need to do a whole sequence of panning shots and must go into the menu once to turn off SR -- how hard is that? If you are birding likewise. It is certainly easier and quicker than setting up the camera on the tripod in the first place. (And if you are setting up on a tripod to do a single panning shot... well, I cannot even image how infrequent that situation must be.)

But regardless, my comment was made in context of the suggestion that Pentax bodies need soft buttons and configurable menus since no two photographers have the same needs. Without acknowledging that fact, this argument just goes around and around.

So sure, you can have an SR button and I can have a multiple exposure button.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I think removing the SR button was a bad idea for the above reasons but also regarding alerting potential customers to the difference between in-body and in-lens image stabilisation.
There's a big SR label on the front of the camera if what matters is marketing.

QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
The K7 is still huge as compared to older 35mm film bodies...
Bingo. While I wouldn't call for it to be much smaller, I can see it being easier to operate, especially when wearing gloves. I think top panels are a fossil. Remove it and articulate the back LCD instead. This would allow the existing buttons to be spaced out more in the available area. Put the green button back on top, please. And move LV away from the other controls. The back panel would then be much cleaner.

03-30-2010, 06:26 AM   #227
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I suggested:

QuoteQuote:
I would like a camera with only four user modes: M, P (hyperprogram), B and USER. Hyperprogram makes Av and Tv unnecessary. Add auto-ISO in M and get rid of TAv.
And Kunzite responded:

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Why unnecessarily cripple a camera? Those are not expensive features. Auto ISO in M is no longer a M(anual) mode; you'll no longer know what exposure is set. In other words, a camera with no Manual mode... not a good idea, IMHO.
Getting rid of Av and Tv, when you've got P (hyperprogram), doesn't cripple the camera at all. No functionality is lost. All you do is clean up the mode dial a little.

As for auto-ISO in M mode, there's nothing wrong with this, either. I'm not suggesting that you get RID of fixed ISO in M mode! I'm simply suggesting that TAv mode be replaced by allowing M to use auto-ISO as an option. I used to think TAv was a special mode found only on Pentax cameras. Then I discovered that others (Nikon, I think) simply allow you in M mode to use auto-ISO as an option. Same thing.

Will
03-30-2010, 06:39 AM   #228
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I'm using mostly Av, thus I disagree. I want that setting, and I see absolutely no reason to remove it (also for Tv). Besides, Av is not 100% identical to HyperProgram in aperture priority mode.
There is something wrong with auto-ISO in M mode: if set, the camera will not have a manual mode until you dig into the menus and disable it. Moving a direct setting (with more or less the same effect) into the menus, probably somewhere inside Custom Functions, can IMHO be called 'crippling'.
03-30-2010, 08:00 AM   #229
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I'm using mostly Av, thus I disagree.
Non sequitur. If you can use P (hyperprogram) to get into effective Av mode—which you can—then you can continue to use Av mode, even if there's no Av mode letters on the mode dial.

QuoteQuote:
I want that setting, and I see absolutely no reason to remove it (also for Tv).
I want the setting, too. The reason to omit the letters "Av" from the dial would be (a) it isn't necessary, since HyperProgram gives you the same functionality and (b) removing it would clear the mode dial and make it easier to use.



QuoteQuote:
Besides, Av is not 100% identical to HyperProgram in aperture priority mode.
If you are right, this would be important. But how is effective Av (achieved in HyperProgram by moving the aperture dial) different from normal Av (achieved by moving the mode dial to Av)? I can't find any info about this in the K20D user manual. And I've never seen any practical difference between the two. If I use P to control the aperture, the EXIF in my pictures states that the picture was taken in Av mode.



QuoteQuote:
There is something wrong with auto-ISO in M mode: if set, the camera will not have a manual mode until you dig into the menus and disable it.
Sorry, I don't follow you here at all. M mode would still let you control everything. If you didn't want to use auto-ISO in M, you simply wouldn't use it; you'd set the ISO to a fixed number, as you do now. What's difficult about that? As it is now, you can use auto-ISO in P mode, or Tv or Av mode, but you don't have to. Do you object to having auto-ISO on the camera at all?

Setting the mode dial to M and setting ISO to Auto (via the Fn button, by the way, not via Menu) simply puts the camera into TAv mode. What you have to do now, is go up to the mode dial and switch from M to TAv (and then Fn > right-controller and set the auto-ISO range). All I'm doing is getting rid of the need to switch the mode dial. You would still control the shutter and aperture completely, and the camera would calculate the ISO. And we get rid of a marking on the mode dial, which to me is a benefit. As I said, I thought that Pentax had a unique idea here. Then I realized Nikon cameras do it, too, and I think the Nikon approach may actually be more elegant.


QuoteQuote:
Moving a direct setting (with more or less the same effect) into the menus, probably somewhere inside Custom Functions, can IMHO be called 'crippling'.
You lose me here completely. What are "custom functions"? Are you talking about the Custom Settings accessed via the Menu button? I don't see how they get involved here at all. And if you are talking about the Fn button, as the way to control ISO, I'm not suggesting that anything be changed there at all. Right now, in P, Av and Tv modes, if I want to switch from, say, ISO 200 to auto-ISO, I have to click Fn > right controller dial and then move the controller dial up/down to get to auto-ISO and then define the range. I'm not suggesting that be changed. So I don't see how I'm crippling anything. My suggestion makes the camera SIMPLER. Not more difficult.

*

Look, this is academic: It ain't gonna happen. I don't think Pentax has the nerve to remove Av and Tv from the mode dial.

Nevertheless I think it would be a great idea. P (Hyperprogram) is a brilliant feature of the Pentax cameras. But I had used my K10D for a year before I realized it was there. I think removing Av and Tv and forcing people to discover that they don't need 'em, would be a bold move that would get Pentax some good press. Access Tv and Av through P + the front or rear e-dial respective, rather than fiddling with the mode dial. You can switch from Tv to Av without moving your eyeball from the viewfinder! I can guarantee that it would get some comment from the press.

*

There are two basic schools of interface design: I sometimes describe them as the Less is More school, and the More is More school. The More is More school is on display in computer programs (like, say, Microsoft Word) where you get a menu of 47 different date/time formats in a long list, and you can pick the one you want directly. People who like the More is More approach say, "You can pick your date with one click of the mouse!" That's true, but you have to wade through a list of 47 options to find what you want.

The Less is More approach (which I favor, obviously) says, let's give people all 47 date options, but instead of presenting them to the user all at once in a big ugly list, let's present those options in a simpler way that gives users all the options they had before, but doesn't force them to LOOK at all those options all the time. In some cases this will mean they must make two or three clicks to get something done but the overall effect is one of streamlining the LOOK of the program, and there's a benefit in that.

My suggestion—get rid of Tv, Av and TAv on the mode dial—makes the mode dial simpler, cleaner. And somewhat remarkably, it doesn't make it any harder to use. It's a win-win. The only reason Pentax won't do it is that, well, some people probably would not buy a camera that didn't have the letters Av stamped on the mode dial. Sigh.

Will

03-30-2010, 08:39 AM   #230
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Would the camera (in P/hyper program) remember I want to use Av, even if I turn it off? Will it remember the aperture I set last time?
On my camera in Av one wheel will set the aperture, the other, ISO. Can't do that in P.

You are right, no Custom Setting have to be involved; sorry. In fact ISO+Green button could set Auto ISO, ISO+wheel could set the camera out of Auto ISO.
Now, combining M and TAv doesn't look that bad... it's clearer, though, to have separate settings, i.e. you will know at a glance that the camera is in a pure manual mode. But it's down to personal preference. Not that I ever used TAv.
I'm not bothered at all by all this "complexity"; in fact I like more modes but with clearer defined behavior, instead of less "uber"-modes. YMMV.
03-30-2010, 09:32 AM   #231
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Would the camera (in P/hyper program) remember I want to use Av, even if I turn it off? Will it remember the aperture I set last time?
These are good ideas. My suggestion wasn't meant to preclude other improvements to the system. I thought for example of a "mode lock" button that would allow you to lock yourself into effective-Av and prevent you from getting out of it accidentally by moving the front dial. But perhaps that's not necessary. I mean, this doesn't happen to me very often, and in any case, if I'm sloppy with my fingers, I'm as likely to move the rear e-dial as the front one. In other words, I just have to be careful when using the camera.

But I do wish that the camera remembered EXACTLY the way I had it configured last time. Right now, on my K20D (and I presume on the K-7 as well), turning the camera off has the effect of hitting the green button—that is, it resets P to (auto) Program mode, and doesn't remember the aperture I'd had it set to when I turned it off. But I am sure this could be fixed in the firmware. Right now, in Menu > Rec Mode > Memory, I have the camera configured to remember other things, like EV Compensation and ISO. I don't see any reason it could not remember my last aperture as well, if I shut off the camera while in effective-Av mode.

QuoteQuote:
On my camera in Av one wheel will set the aperture, the other, ISO. Can't do that in P.
Well, first of all, you certainly CAN change the ISO while using P in effective-Av mode, using the front e-dial. You just have to hold down the OK key while moving the e-dial. I personally think that's good enough.

But if you wanted to switch these functions, I don't see any reason why the firmware couldn't permit you to do that. In other words, if you are pretty much an Av 99% of the time kind of photographer, you could swap the current function of the front e-dial and the front e-dial + OK, so that front e-dial alone changes ISO, and front e-dial + OK changes shutter speed. Seems crazy to me, personally, but so do most of the e-dial customization options, and that's fine.


QuoteQuote:
Now, combining M and TAv doesn't look that bad... it's clearer, though, to have separate settings, i.e. you will know at a glance that the camera is in a pure manual mode. But it's down to personal preference. Not that I ever used TAv.
I'm not bothered at all by all this "complexity"; in fact I like more modes but with clearer defined behavior, instead of less "uber"-modes. YMMV.
I've used TAv a lot. When I was shooting lots of school sports, I lived in TAv. For a while it was one of the things I liked most about my Pentax cameras. Then I finally got curious and asked if other cameras had the same thing, and learned that, yes, they do. They just don't have the letters TAv on the mode dial. Kind of burst my balloon.

I agree that it's very important to know what your settings are, at all times. I've spent most of my life in full manual mode, and in the old film days, there was never such a thing as auto-ISO.

But I don't see how adding auto-ISO to the capability of M mode would hurt. I mean, it's quite possible in M mode now to forget what your settings are. It happens to me more often than I wish. I would not object to a tiny icon being added to the top LED or to the settings display in the finder that would indicate auto-ISO. Actually I wish that the ISO could be displayed by default, instead of making me touch the OK key to see it. And touching OK doesn't tell me that it's in auto-ISO, it only tells me what the current calculated ISO is. If you're in auto-ISO, and you hit the OK button, I think instead of saying (for example) ISO 560, it should say A-ISO 560, so you know the ISO could change if you just point the camera in a different direction. I wish the cameras did that now.

I am a big user of the Info button, to get a quick overview of all my settings. I hit that button all the time when I'm working and I've gotten pretty good at glancing at the screen and noticing when something is wrong without having to look hard at the screen. When you hit Info, the screen does show you that you're in Auto-ISO. It will say something like ISO AUTO 200-560.

*

What ways are cameras going to change in the future? Here are a few areas that I can think of.
  1. Existing features can be improved: faster/more accurate auto-focus, better high-ISO/low-light performance, etc. A number of camera manufacturers, but especially Nikon and Canon, have been working in this area. Pentax's efforts here have been solid but unexciting.
  2. New functions: cameras can be asked to do things they didn't do in the past, like video, or looking further into the future, perhaps like adding cell phone capabilities to high-end phones.
  3. Form factor: Cameras can be made smaller, or bigger, or a different shape. The 4/3 camera makers have been working in this area.
  4. Ergonomics: High-end cameras can be made easier to use without being made less powerful.

I think the last area is one where Pentax really ought to try to distinguish itself. One of the things that I have always loved most about the K10D/K20D (and I understand the K-7 is pretty much the same) is the ergonomics. I think this is an area where Pentax could make some real improvements that would catch people's attention. I want full control but I also want the camera to be as easy to use as possible. I think simplifying the mode dial in the way I have suggested would accomplish that.

If Pentax dared to do something like this, it could become the Apple Computer of the camera world. It wouldn't challenge Nikon or Camera for market share, but it will never do that. But it could become a distinctive player. People who want smaller interchangeable lens cameras would buy Olympus micro-4/3 bodies. People who want full frame would buy Nikon or Canon or perhaps Sony. People who want the best ergonomics in the world would buy Pentax.

But in order to be distinctive in this area, Pentax would have to take the risk of being different, really and truly different. I don't see anything from Pentax that suggests they are willing to do that.

Right now, I don't see ANYTHING truly distinctive about Pentax, except for price. I stick with Pentax because that there isn't much about Canon or Nikon that makes me want to switch. But I don't kid myself that Pentax is very special. That's Pentax's niche right now: really good (but not great) cameras, at a lower price than Nikon or Canon's really good (but not great) cameras.

Will
03-30-2010, 01:02 PM   #232
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Well, first of all, you certainly CAN change the ISO while using P in effective-Av mode, using the front e-dial. You just have to hold down the OK key while moving the e-dial. I personally think that's good enough.
But not good enough for me. I do not want to have to use two controls to accomplish something one should. A two-finger manoeuvre is a lot more difficult to do when focusing on the shot. And when wearing gloves.

The firmware options are deficient. I cannot set the dials in manual mode to be the same as I have them in Av mode. This sucks big time. (Talking about the K20D but I don't think it's fixed on the new cameras.)
03-30-2010, 01:11 PM   #233
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
But not good enough for me. I do not want to have to use two controls to accomplish something one should. A two-finger manoeuvre is a lot more difficult to do when focusing on the shot. And when wearing gloves.
Well, there just aren't enough dials on the camera for everything to be done easily. I really wish that it were possible to adjust EC without having to hold down the +/- button while turning an e-dial. But I live with it. (Actually, this is one of the advantages of shooting in M mode most of the time. Then I don't mess with the +/- button at all.)

I am frankly intrigued to discover that some people are manually adjusting the ISO all the time, often enough, at any rate, to find holding down the OK key an unbearable inconvenience. Me, I tend to put it at ISO whatever and leave it there for a week at a time. Maybe if they put an ISO e-dial on the right side of the camera I'd play with it. :-)

Will

03-30-2010, 01:23 PM   #234
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I'm someone who uses the ISO on the front finger wheel continuously.

Occasionally shoot on TAv, but 90% of the time it's aperture priority, with aperture on the rear wheel and ISO on the front.
03-30-2010, 02:10 PM   #235
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Well, there just aren't enough dials on the camera for everything to be done easily. I really wish that it were possible to adjust EC without having to hold down the +/- button while turning an e-dial. But I live with it. (Actually, this is one of the advantages of shooting in M mode most of the time. Then I don't mess with the +/- button at all.)
Actually, you don't have to hold the +/- button. Just press is once to activate the function and then rotate the rear dial to make adjustments. The more that I use it, the more I am impressed by the ergonomics of the K-7.

Rob
03-30-2010, 02:49 PM   #236
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Actually, you don't have to hold the +/- button. Just press is once to activate the function and then rotate the rear dial to make adjustments. The more that I use it, the more I am impressed by the ergonomics of the K-7.
Rob,

I wish this were so, but I can't make it work this way. Do you perhaps have your dials configured in some non-default fashion? If I press +/-, then let go, then move the rear e-dial, it simply changes the aperture, not the EC.

Will
03-30-2010, 03:25 PM   #237
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
If you need to do a whole sequence of panning shots and must go into the menu once to turn off SR -- how hard is that?
If you are at the beach and want to capture both seagulls in flight and your kid (in the shade of a big rock) simultaneously (depending on where the action is) and can flick the SR switch with your thumb without even taking the eye off the viewfinder, how easy is that?

I'm a fan of soft buttons too, but please no one take away the SR button without replacing it with a soft button.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
There's a big SR label on the front of the camera if what matters is marketing.
This label will be ignored like all the zillions of labels everywhere. If there is a button, though, you'll want to know what it is for in particular if you don't know it from other cameras.
03-30-2010, 08:39 PM   #238
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I am frankly intrigued to discover that some people are manually adjusting the ISO all the time, often enough, at any rate, to find holding down the OK key an unbearable inconvenience.
One of the big advantages of digital is that one can tweak ISO on the fly. Every different location or subject might call for a different ISO depending on light. I change this a lot.
03-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #239
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
One of the big advantages of digital is that one can tweak ISO on the fly.
Right. I follow this.


QuoteQuote:
Every different location or subject might call for a different ISO depending on light. I change this a lot.
This is where you lose me. The fact that you CAN do it, does mean that it really makes sense to be switching ISO from shot to shot.

Will
03-30-2010, 10:51 PM   #240
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Rob,

I wish this were so, but I can't make it work this way. Do you perhaps have your dials configured in some non-default fashion? If I press +/-, then let go, then move the rear e-dial, it simply changes the aperture, not the EC.
Will,

As far as I know, this is the default setting. If I changed something with my initial camera set-up, I did it unknowingly.

Rob
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