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10-25-2011, 04:53 PM   #571
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SR is a marketing item that wouldn't be left out along with some other stuff that the minimalists don't want. If Pentax releases a FF camera it will be fully featured and priced a solid step above the K-5. I'm kind of on the fence about whether or not I would ever get a FF. A lot would depend on personal finances. But t would be a 2nd body combined with a mirrorless compact (probably APSC) with a few pancakes (like the Samsung lineup).

I could see GPS as unnecessary for most but I would like it since I'm currently working on a project where I plan on mapping locations. For now I'll have to make do with a handheld unit.

How fast are wifi transfer speeds compared to USB? I know they are slower but if it's significant I can't see the appeal. I would like to not make a physical connection to my PC but a 20+MP raw image is going to be huge. Or am I missing the point of wifi? Is it for downloading a single photo to your iPhone (which has a camera)? But I would still expect the camera to have wifi since it's a marketing item and it will only add a couple of dollars (WAG) or less to the product.

10-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #572
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QuoteOriginally posted by markac Quote
You could actually fit all that stuff in a battery grip. Perhaps an FF camera could have 2 battery grips available. One with the added thrills and one that's just plain.

I'd just go for the plain one myself!
I'd pay extra to have them removed from my copy, heh. But I doubt Pentax now has any intent of putting a GPS in their cameras since they can make money selling the shoe mounted module to folks who want that feature. The only camera that has it built in is the WG-1 GPS and that's because it doesn't have a hotshoe.

Actually I think the combination of GPS and sensor based shake reduction to account for the Earth's rotation is nothing short of genius for astrophotography. The pictures I've seen so far tell me that Pentax has captured another niche market. It's something that Canon and Nikon can't do, but it's not an area of photography that I pursue, so I wouldn't be thrilled about having to pay for it. Cool to see what others have done with it of course.
10-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #573
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I hear or read I guess, a lot of talk about a full frame camera being a "professional" camera and requiring a professional support network and so on. But I wonder if this is really true anymore. I agree a professional would like to have better support, but just because the camera is full frame does that automatically mean a professional support network is required?

I think there is a market for a higher end Pentax camera situated between the K-5 and the 645D. Pricing at $2,000 - $2,500. And it probably should have a bigger sensor, and probably that should be "full frame" although other possibilities exist. I think there are enough enthusiasts out there that would buy it just because it is the top of the line. And I think a lot of those consumers would not know what "full frame" meant. They just want the best camera.

What is important is that it truly be the flagship of the line. More features, better quality build, better IQ, and a whole list of other things, many of which you might usually find on a "professional" camera. I think it would sell in sufficient quantity to be profitable but far more important is that it gives the mid-tier product (right now that would be the K-5) a sense of perspective price wise. Many people look at a line of products and select the one that has the best value, which is usually not the flagship but rather the model just under that. By having the flagship priced higher the main line model looks to be a better value and is more easily justified in the consumer's mind.

That is simply marketing 101 and everyone does it from toasters to automobiles. Show the flagship for ohhs and awws but then sell the mid-tier product where the best margins are. Pentax is lacking this with their two model line and I think it has hurt them in positioning the line against the competition. I know the 645D is there but I doubt the average consumer has even heard of it or really would compare it when making a purchase decision, it is a different market.
10-25-2011, 07:44 PM   #574
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QuoteOriginally posted by markac Quote
What's wrong with having SR in a K20D sized body instead? It would still be the smallest FF camera unless Sony does a smaller SLT FF model.
I'd rather have a body that size than forsake shake reduction. Besides that, having to buy new FF lenses with shake reduction would make them even more expensive.
FF DSLR has to be larger than the current APS-C design. One reason why the K-5 is smaller than the competition is due to a less advanced AF system, something Petanxians note and complain about (read: less PDAF sensors).

FF Sony A900: 156 x 117 x 82 mm w/battery 895 g

APS Sony SLT A-77: 143 x 104 x 81 mm w/battery 732g

APS Pentax K20D: 142 x 101 x 70 mm w/battery 800 g

APS Pentax K-5: 131 x 97 x 73 mm w/battery 750 g

FF Nikon D700: 147 x 123 x 77 mm w/battery 995 g

APS Nikon D300: 147 x 114 x 74 mm w/battery 903 g

APS Canon EOS 600D/T3i: 133.1 x 99.5 x 79.7 mm w/battery 570 g

FF Canon EOS 5D Mk II 152 x 114 x 75 mm w/battery 850 g

Sony and Pentax have in-body SR; Nikon and Canon in-lens.

FF DSLR's are taller, almost exclusive because of the prism size. Look at a pre-AF camera from the 1970's (Pentax ME Super) and compare to any model of the AF era and you see that almost all cameras get taller precisely because the AF modules needed space. And almost all brands post-1985 are about the same height across product categories (consumer, pro). Really, not much has changed except the top-end of a DSLR is larger in part because most high-end models slam in 2 control wheels and a top LCD. We like our controls and are willing to endure a larger camera to get them.

FF DSLR's are deeper (thicker) usually because there is added circuitry necessary (bigger sensor = modestly larger SR mechanism; high FPS chips) as well as structural interweaving to support the much larger lenses FF bodies handle. In the FF price range, pretty much all the long glass is fast and heavy.

Note how all almost all have near-dentical depths, closely related to the flange distance determined by the mount. Hardly any difference between brands. You see the A-mount having it the worst.

Sensors are NOT film (duh!). Film was virtually weightless and pressed through tension against the plate. Holding it still for a shot was the least of problems technically. Sensors are a whole other beast. They require substantial physical support to dampen any shake and secure the electronics. Those who think camera makers are not trying hard enough to miniaturize DSLR's and that Pentax can sprinkle fairy dust on cameras to make them smaller than the competition, should take a hammer to a DSLR and see exactly what's inside. Or be willing to give up substantial features to "shoehorn", but pay the same price as the competition's model.

The D700 and D300 are interesting in that they are very similar physically despite being different sensors. The D700 previewed at MSRP $2,999 and the D300 came in MSRP at $1,200 less. Twelve months after intro both lost about 25% off MSRP for street pricing. Nikkor FX glass is about a 50-150% premium over DX.


Last edited by Aristophanes; 10-26-2011 at 03:36 AM.
10-25-2011, 08:21 PM   #575
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Those who think camera makers are not trying hard enough to miniaturize DSLR's and that Pentax can sprinkle fairy dust on cameras to make them smaller than the competition, should take a hammer to a DSLR and see exactly what's inside.
See Nikon D5100 Teardown - iFixit.

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10-25-2011, 09:30 PM   #576
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
FF DSLR has to be larger than the current APS-C design. One reason why the K-5 is smaller than the competition is due to a less advanced for AF (read: less PDAF sensors).

FF Sony A900: 156 x 117 x 82 mm w/battery 895 g

APS Sony SLT A-77: 143 x 104 x 81 mm w/battery 732g

APS Pentax K20D: 142 x 101 x 70 mm w/battery 800 g

APS Pentax K-5: 131 x 97 x 73 mm w/battery 750 g

FF Nikon D700: 147 x 123 x 77 mm w/battery 995 g

APS Nikon D300: 147 x 114 x 74 mm w/battery 903 g

APS Canon EOS 600D/T3i: 133.1 x 99.5 x 79.7 mm w/battery 570 g

FF Canon EOS 5D Mk II 152 x 114 x 75 mm w/battery 850 g

Sony and Pentax have in-body SR; Nikon and Canon in-lens.

FF DSLR's are taller, almost exclusive because of the prism size. Look at a pre-AF camera from the 1970's (Pentax ME Super) and compare to any model of the AF era and you see that almost all cameras get taller precisely because the AF modules needed space. And almost all brands post-1985 are about the same height across product categories (consumer, pro). Really, not much has changed except the top-end of a DSLR is larger in part because most high-end models slam in 2 control wheels and a top LCD. We like our controls and are willing to endure a larger camera to get them.

FF DSLR's are deeper (thicker) usually because there is added circuitry necessary (bigger sensor = modestly larger SR mechanism; high FPS chips) as well as structural interweaving to support the much larger lenses FF bodies handle. In the FF price range, pretty much all the long glass is fast and heavy.

Note how all almost all have near-dentical depths, closely related to the flange distance determined by the mount. Hardly any difference between brands. You see the A-mount having it the worst.

Sensors are NOT film (duh!). Film was virtually weightless and pressed through tension against the plate. Holding it still for a shot was the least of problems technically. Sensors are a whole other beast. They require substantial physical support to dampen any shake and secure the electronics. Those who think camera makers are not trying hard enough to miniaturize DSLR's and that Pentax can sprinkle fairy dust on cameras to make them smaller than the competition, should take a hammer to a DSLR and see exactly what's inside. Or be willing to give up substantial features to "shoehorn", but pay the same price as the competition's model.

The D700 and D300 are interesting in that they are very similar physically despite being different sensors. The D700 previewed at MSRP $2,999 and the D300 came in MSRP at $1,200 less. Twelve months after intro both lost about 25% off MSRP for street pricing. Nikkor FX glass is about a 50-150% premium over DX.
You left out the D7000, the camera that shares the same sensor as the K-5. It's weight is nearly identical.

The D300 is Nikons DX pro body, hence the added heft. DX being NIKON code for crop sensor, of course.
10-26-2011, 12:40 AM   #577
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
See Nikon D5100 Teardown - iFixit.
Awesome. There is so much crammed into the small body of a D5100. How the whole thing doesn't melt down from the heat generated by all the electronics in that tight, airless space is beyond me.

BTW, anyone who wants a close look at the same sensor that's in the K5 might want to have a peek at steps 12 and 13 of the iFixit teardown:

Nikon D5100 Teardown - Page 2 - iFixit
10-26-2011, 02:53 AM   #578
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Kunzite, you misread what I said: I wanted a *istDS with a 14MP sensor and the other parts of the spec honed - i.e. revised/updated/re-engineered as necessary. It means I want a simple high-performance photographic tool. Using "obsolete and underperforming components" is your idea not mine.


As it happens I do know my own mind and don't need your help. And no, I definitely don't want another K-7 stuffed full of techy fluff I never use. I already have one and, fine piece of kit though it is, it's way over-the-top for my purpose and spends most of its time on aperture priority with me doing the rest. Those who like to cuddle their cameras and take them to bed no doubt long for the day when Pentax trumps even the K-5 with more gadgetry.


As for those who prefer getting out there "taking pictures with decades old equipment", as you put it, you're talking about decades old lenses, right? Something wrong with that? They still deliver the goods, in some cases far better than the nasty plastic offerings pushed down our throats today, in spite of their "obsolete components". And these are Pentax's core customers. They may have a bunch of legacy lenses but that doesn't stop them buying new glass to fill the gaps. This year I've added a 70mm Limited. Last year it was a 12~24. And of course we buy new bodies from time to time. Because of the legacy glass it's had to be Pentax - so far.


By the way, Fuji's mirrorless APSC X100 is selling here in the UK for less than 900. A perfect no-nonsense feature set for someone like me, and I'm sorely tempted. That, I would have thought, is the way to go to extend Pentax's appeal to the enthusiast without venturing into full-frame. I'd certainly buy one especially if it came with K-mount interchangeability although the hybrid viewfinder might restrict choice. The pancake primes are just made for such a body. If relying on a fixed prime I'd prefer a 40/45mm equivalent, not the 35 chosen by Fuji. But that's a subject for another big discussion.


The keenest amateurs only worry whether their images are good enough to print up to exhibition size - usually 16x12 inches, or 20x16 at most. I believe APSC is now capable of taking care of that. If you submit images to picture libraries they usually want huge files so FF is probably essential. Much as many of us might like the idea of FF, is it really worth it?

10-26-2011, 02:54 AM   #579
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
Thanks for that. Interesting.
10-26-2011, 04:32 AM   #580
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QuoteOriginally posted by unfocused Quote
Kunzite, you misread what I said: I wanted a *istDS with a 14MP sensor and the other parts of the spec honed - i.e. revised/updated/re-engineered as necessary. It means I want a simple high-performance photographic tool. Using "obsolete and underperforming components" is your idea not mine.
You said: "All I want from Pentax is the *istDS with a 14MP sensor and the other parts of the spec honed a bit."; but the issue is everything would have to be changed by scrapping the old design and start from scratch, in order to release a competitive camera. My response was, of course, referring to a "honed a bit" 14MP *istDS - and I was right, you don't actually want one
The *istDS wasn't a "high performance photographic tool"; it's simplicity and ease of use was wondrous, though.

QuoteOriginally posted by unfocused Quote
As it happens I do know my own mind and don't need your help. And no, I definitely don't want another K-7 stuffed full of techy fluff I never use. I already have one and, fine piece of kit though it is, it's way over-the-top for my purpose and spends most of its time on aperture priority with me doing the rest. Those who like to cuddle their cameras and take them to bed no doubt long for the day when Pentax trumps even the K-5 with more gadgetry.
And I'd bet you would love to have some K-5-like features:
- fast PRIME-II (or newer) and a decent buffer, for responsiveness
- quiet but much faster mirror (shorter VF blackout)
Maybe even:
- higher build quality (not necessarily the same body), weather sealed
- dual wheel control
- SR
- much faster AF

QuoteOriginally posted by unfocused Quote
As for those who prefer getting out there "taking pictures with decades old equipment", as you put it, you're talking about decades old lenses, right? Something wrong with that? They still deliver the goods, in some cases far better than the nasty plastic offerings pushed down our throats today, in spite of their "obsolete components". And these are Pentax's core customers. They may have a bunch of legacy lenses but that doesn't stop them buying new glass to fill the gaps. This year I've added a 70mm Limited. Last year it was a 12~24. And of course we buy new bodies from time to time. Because of the legacy glass it's had to be Pentax - so far.
Sorry for pulling your leg - I was simply returning a favour, when you called me a techno-freak. If I have such an obsession then you must hate everything new

QuoteOriginally posted by unfocused Quote
By the way, Fuji's mirrorless APSC X100 is selling here in the UK for less than 900. A perfect no-nonsense feature set for someone like me, and I'm sorely tempted. That, I would have thought, is the way to go to extend Pentax's appeal to the enthusiast without venturing into full-frame. I'd certainly buy one especially if it came with K-mount interchangeability although the hybrid viewfinder might restrict choice. The pancake primes are just made for such a body. If relying on a fixed prime I'd prefer a 40/45mm equivalent, not the 35 chosen by Fuji. But that's a subject for another big discussion.
It doesn't make much sense to combine the X100 hybrid viewfinder with the SLR registration distance.

QuoteOriginally posted by unfocused Quote
The keenest amateurs only worry whether their images are good enough to print up to exhibition size - usually 16x12 inches, or 20x16 at most. I believe APSC is now capable of taking care of that. If you submit images to picture libraries they usually want huge files so FF is probably essential. Much as many of us might like the idea of FF, is it really worth it?
Well, I'd like a FF camera just for the bigger viewfinder (no need for a higher IQ, already have too many features). I believe it's worth it if, on the field, we find ourselves enjoy using the camera
OTOH many (most?) customers would worry about features, review scores and pixel peeping and less about real-world usage. We can also care about their wishes and compromise (as in: having more features than we actually need) or pay much more for our custom-made camera
10-26-2011, 04:45 AM   #581
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QuoteOriginally posted by unfocused Quote
By the way, Fuji's mirrorless APSC X100 is selling here in the UK for less than 900. A perfect no-nonsense feature set for someone like me, and I'm sorely tempted. That, I would have thought, is the way to go to extend Pentax's appeal to the enthusiast without venturing into full-frame. I'd certainly buy one especially if it came with K-mount interchangeability although the hybrid viewfinder might restrict choice. The pancake primes are just made for such a body. If relying on a fixed prime I'd prefer a 40/45mm equivalent, not the 35 chosen by Fuji. But that's a subject for another big discussion.
I'm not sure what it is with these MILCs that they are now costing so much. For less than that you can have a K5 (it's now down to 750 from my usual dealer over here) and forget about size ... when the pricing is that close then it's no contest.
10-26-2011, 07:06 AM   #582
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I'm not sure what it is with these MILCs that they are now costing so much. For less than that you can have a K5 (it's now down to 750 from my usual dealer over here) and forget about size ... when the pricing is that close then it's no contest.
Perhaps R&D costs? The DSLR has a fairly mature design, but there's still much to be done for compact system cameras.

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10-26-2011, 08:19 AM   #583
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To get back to the FF-cam-size-discussion, yet there lies the challance for Pentax to come up with an unprecedented compact FF-DSLR.
I think (as a designer), the extent of 'compactness' of a SLR is especially related to the width of that device. If it becomes less wide, but higher and/or deeper with volume remained constant, it already 'feels' more compact.

One could also think of an update of the MZ-D prototype, that had the vertical grip integrated and still had the typical Pentax-compactness and look and feel


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10-26-2011, 09:39 AM   #584
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jan-61 Quote
To get back to the FF-cam-size-discussion, yet there lies the challance for Pentax to come up with an unprecedented compact FF-DSLR.
I think (as a designer), the extent of 'compactness' of a SLR is especially related to the width of that device. If it becomes less wide, but higher and/or deeper with volume remained constant, it already 'feels' more compact.

One could also think of an update of the MZ-D prototype, that had the vertical grip integrated and still had the typical Pentax-compactness and look and feel
Why?

The history and current sales demonstrate that such cameras actually have not sold all that well relative to the competition. Features utterly trump marginal compactness.

And none of this will make a difference to the real size issue: lenses. Many FF zooms are much larger than the camera body itself.

Furthermore, a lot of design input is likely beyond Pentax/Ricoh's control, particularly with regards to costs. Circuits and chips and batteries are sourced from common stock bins for affordability. Power and processing are the major additions to digital camera interior dimensions with no known substitutes that can come from optical companies primarily.

The designed volume difference between FF and APS-C is maybe 15% of which you *might* be able to shave a tiny bit off and still keep it an OVF DSLR.

You have to think about what to lose to get much smaller: SR, video, higher FPS, OVF, dual control dials, WR, tripod socket, top LCD. Or what not to include, like the oft-requested tilt/swivel rear LCD.

At the most we'd get marginal compact differences between brands at the loss of usable features to the broader market.

It is unlikely people will abandon Pentax if they bring out a D700 clone. It is guaranteed people will walk from the brand if a marginal decrease in size comes at the expense of a weak feature set at the same price point as the competition.

Realistically, to get smaller with any system one needs to reduce the lens mount size, flange distance, etc., so again we bounce back to mirrorless as that is where most of the design elasticity lies. That means bye-bye k-mount except via a kludge adapter. Pentax's on-detailed response to Adam gave no hint of any intention either way.
10-26-2011, 10:34 AM   #585
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Well, if they'll make one and I'll be able to afford it (as in: easily buy the camera and the required lenses) I hope it won't be as big as the D700 behemoth; but OTOH, if it means a better (bigger, brighter, higher eyepoint) optical viewfinder - please, Pentax, make it as large as you have to!
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