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03-12-2016, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Size & Weight

Just doing a little pondering of where the K-1 fits into the modern scene, and what role it might possibly fill for me. . .

I was just looking at a K-1 preview video on YouTube, with Simon from Clifton Cameras. Seeing him holding and handling the camera really brought home how big this beast is. At the beginning there's a shot of him holding the camera one-handed. . . and I can see it shaking as he strains to support it. Then he brings out his old ME Super, and it's a teeny tiny thing by comparison. I've been grumping for a while about the size of APSC DSLRs and how they're porked up in comparison with our old 35mm film SLRs. Then Pentax gives us the K-1 as if issuing a challenge: "Oh yeah? Well, let's see you carry this!"

And then I realized that these are really medium format cameras in all but name. They perform like medium format cameras, they're built like medium format cameras, and they pack around like medium format cameras. And if you're into that, and a medium format camera is what your photography calls for, then it's great. You'll have a choice of 135 or 645.

For me, though, an APSC DSLR with some of the more compact lenses (like the limiteds) is right about the maximum that I'd really want to casually wander about with and do mostly handheld shooting. Actually the mirrorless systems like the Olympus OM-D and the Fujifilm X-T1 are the closest thing in form factor right now to our classic 135 format SLR cameras. (And let us not forget, 135 film was successful because of its portability, not from great image quality.)

I might still get a K-1. I have a tripod, I do some landscapes. I have a SUV to haul the thing around! A very cheap entry into what is effectively MF territory. . . yeah, I might have a use for that. Just imagine getting some of those cheap-but-sharp Samyang lenses and flogging the pixel-shift. . . The cost would be a tiny fraction of shelling out for a 645Z and lenses. But that's it, that's the role that it seems best suited to, from where I sit.

Am I wrong?

03-12-2016, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #2
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It's small compared to other FF DSLRs...
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03-12-2016, 07:44 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
It's small compared to other FF DSLRs...
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Holy F!

Did they choose to make them bigger than necessary? Is it part of a "bigger is better" marketing strategy?
03-12-2016, 07:44 AM   #4
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K-1 + dfa 28-105 is 94gm heavier than k-3 + 16-85. Not that much considering.

03-12-2016, 07:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
Did they choose to make them bigger than necessary? Is it part of a "bigger is better" marketing strategy?
Digital needs a lot more components than film cameras.

Added also the 'small' Canikon FF. K-1 is still smaller
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03-12-2016, 08:09 AM   #6
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The thing about modern cameras is that they are mini computers that happen to take pictures. The frame rates, the processing ability, the video capabilities are things that folks wouldn't have dreamed of in the film era.

I just don't think I would really want 6 megapixel camera that could only take 36 exposures, had 1/1000 second shutter speed max, 1.5 frames per second frame rate, even if it was the size of a Pentax ME. I like having a rear LCD that I can review images on. I like being able to shoot 4.5 or 6 fps and all the other things modern cameras bring to the table.

The easiest ways to make cameras smaller is to decrease their sensor size. The easiest way to make lenses smaller is to make them slower.
03-12-2016, 08:37 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The thing about modern cameras is that they are mini computers that happen to take pictures. The frame rates, the processing ability, the video capabilities are things that folks wouldn't have dreamed of in the film era.

I just don't think I would really want 6 megapixel camera that could only take 36 exposures, had 1/1000 second shutter speed max, 1.5 frames per second frame rate, even if it was the size of a Pentax ME. I like having a rear LCD that I can review images on. I like being able to shoot 4.5 or 6 fps and all the other things modern cameras bring to the table.
Not sure I see your point here. Nobody suggested reducing any modern digital camera's performance specs to that of 35mm film. Why would we do that? Even my Pentax Q7 handily outperforms film.


QuoteQuote:
The easiest ways to make cameras smaller is to decrease their sensor size. The easiest way to make lenses smaller is to make them slower.
Actually, it seems like the easiest way to make cameras smaller is to throw out the OVF. An Olympus OM-D or a Fuji X-T1 is about the size of a 35mm SLR (or even a bit smaller) and performs up to modern standards. The OM-D is highly responsive; it's like driving a sports car. So the idea that you need a "mini computer" the size of a brick just doesn't add up.
03-12-2016, 08:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
Not sure I see your point here. Nobody suggested reducing any modern digital camera's performance specs to that of 35mm film. Why would we do that? Even my Pentax Q7 handily outperforms film.




Actually, it seems like the easiest way to make cameras smaller is to throw out the OVF. An Olympus OM-D or a Fuji X-T1 is about the size of a 35mm SLR (or even a bit smaller) and performs up to modern standards. The OM-D is highly responsive; it's like driving a sports car. So the idea that you need a "mini computer" the size of a brick just doesn't add up.
You are choosing to compare small sensor cameras with relatively slow lenses. I am not a huge fan of equivalence, but if you are going to compare an OM-D with a f2 zoom, you will need to find a f4 zoom to compare it to on your K-1. Decreasing registration distance improves lens size close to the registration distance. So, 20-ish mm lenses are smaller, while telephoto lenses are a little bigger. Zooms are the same size.

As to how much size benefit there is going with an EVF, there is some, but it isn't as amazing as some seem to think. A K-S1 is actually pretty close in size to a K-01, for what its worth. Stick an EVF on the K-01 and they are really close.

03-12-2016, 09:15 AM   #9
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If you're shooting something like the K-1 one handed you're doing it wrong. My *istDL with the 40mm Limited Pancake was a one handed camera, my K-5 somewhat less so. I have long since resigned myself to the fact that a K-1 simply will not be a single handed camera except in the direst situation where I MUST point the camera and get that shot right now while doing something with the other hand.

It would do us all well to remember that SLR cameras have historically NOT been one-handed affairs - for much of the film era, that second hand was needed on the lens to work focus and aperture, and in the Spotmatic era to use the meter switch.

Would I buy the shell of an MX that had been gutted to fit a minimum set of tech needed to support a full-frame sensor, just to have the feel of the MX (with all its limitations)? Yes, as a matter of fact I would. And the same goes for the Spotmatic. Ditch the AF, shake reduction, rear screen, 90% of the operating modes (the old version of white balance was called "filters"), and look at your photos after they're taken by putting the (probably micro) SD card in your phone, tablet or laptop. The place where you put the card (probably where the motor drive or battery cap is now) would have a switch for RAW or high-quality JPEG, and that would be it.

In another five or six years, we may get to the point where an independent entrepreneur or small company can develop a drop-in digital substitute for film that works smoothly, and then the used film camera market will go wild. When that happens I will buy one. Until then, my next digital camera will be a K-1 and I have no problem with the size. They busted a gut getting it as small as it was - unless you want it made of plastic, it's not getting any smaller and it's not getting any lighter. Deal with it.
03-12-2016, 09:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
Just doing a little pondering of where the K-1 fits into the modern scene, and what role it might possibly fill for me. . .

I was just looking at a K-1 preview video on YouTube, with Simon from Clifton Cameras. Seeing him holding and handling the camera really brought home how big this beast is. At the beginning there's a shot of him holding the camera one-handed. . . and I can see it shaking as he strains to support it. Then he brings out his old ME Super, and it's a teeny tiny thing by comparison. I've been grumping for a while about the size of APSC DSLRs and how they're porked up in comparison with our old 35mm film SLRs. Then Pentax gives us the K-1 as if issuing a challenge: "Oh yeah? Well, let's see you carry this!"

And then I realized that these are really medium format cameras in all but name. They perform like medium format cameras, they're built like medium format cameras, and they pack around like medium format cameras. And if you're into that, and a medium format camera is what your photography calls for, then it's great. You'll have a choice of 135 or 645.

For me, though, an APSC DSLR with some of the more compact lenses (like the limiteds) is right about the maximum that I'd really want to casually wander about with and do mostly handheld shooting. Actually the mirrorless systems like the Olympus OM-D and the Fujifilm X-T1 are the closest thing in form factor right now to our classic 135 format SLR cameras. (And let us not forget, 135 film was successful because of its portability, not from great image quality.)

I might still get a K-1. I have a tripod, I do some landscapes. I have a SUV to haul the thing around! A very cheap entry into what is effectively MF territory. . . yeah, I might have a use for that. Just imagine getting some of those cheap-but-sharp Samyang lenses and flogging the pixel-shift. . . The cost would be a tiny fraction of shelling out for a 645Z and lenses. But that's it, that's the role that it seems best suited to, from where I sit.

Am I wrong?
Good grief what are you talking about? Yes you are wrong on all accounts.
03-12-2016, 10:16 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Good grief what are you talking about? Yes you are wrong on all accounts.
uhh. . . Care to elaborate on that?
03-12-2016, 10:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Good grief what are you talking about? Yes you are wrong on all accounts.
Afraid I must concur. The K-1 is small and robust compared to the current industry equivalents. Don't see the issue...at all.
03-12-2016, 10:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
uhh. . . Care to elaborate on that?
Tony you should invest in the Q system. It is infinitely better than a film camera at half the size.
03-12-2016, 10:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
If you're shooting something like the K-1 one handed you're doing it wrong. My *istDL with the 40mm Limited Pancake was a one handed camera, my K-5 somewhat less so. I have long since resigned myself to the fact that a K-1 simply will not be a single handed camera except in the direst situation where I MUST point the camera and get that shot right now while doing something with the other hand.
I never said I wanted to shoot it one-handed or that it was a good idea to do so. I merely observed that Simon was holding it with one hand, and his hand was shaking -- thus making it apparent that this is a large and hefty camera.


QuoteQuote:
In another five or six years, we may get to the point where an independent entrepreneur or small company can develop a drop-in digital substitute for film that works smoothly, and then the used film camera market will go wild. When that happens I will buy one. Until then, my next digital camera will be a K-1 and I have no problem with the size. They busted a gut getting it as small as it was - unless you want it made of plastic, it's not getting any smaller and it's not getting any lighter. Deal with it.
Apparently "it's not getting any smaller and it's not getting any lighter" unless it's made by Fuji or Olympus, who don't seem to have any problem turning out cameras with 35mm SLR form factor today. The Fuji even has a control scheme that mimics a Pentax ZX-5n. We don't have to wait for some future technological breakthrough to enable cameras of this type.

---------- Post added 03-12-16 at 11:36 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Davidparis Quote
Afraid I must concur. The K-1 is small and robust compared to the current industry equivalents. Don't see the issue...at all.
I don't see the issue either. I never raised any "issue" or made any complaint. I never said the K-1 is too big for what you get or for what it does. I just said it is, in fact, big. It's big like medium format film cameras used to be big. It delivers the image definition (more or less) of a 6X9 film camera and ISO performance way beyond film. It's great. But easy portability is not its strength, and it doesn't fit into the same category as the classic 35mm SLRs that were all about portability.
03-12-2016, 11:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
I might still get a K-1. I have a tripod, I do some landscapes.
QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
Actually the mirrorless systems like the Olympus OM-D and the Fujifilm X-T1
For landscapes, DSLR isn't the best choice, even the smaller FF DSLR K-1 isn't the best choice, you'd get even better image quality and smaller size out of a A7RII. Consider this as unbiased, as I'm not working for Sony.
People doing exclusively landcapes may still get a K-1 when they already have lenses to mount on it , or because they are used to their favorite camera brand, otherwise dslr aren't anymore the best choice for wide to portrait type of use.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-12-2016 at 11:39 AM.
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