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12-23-2016, 09:42 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Pentax FF next generation fantasy - change of camera paradigm

This thread is inspired by repeating discussions about APSC vs. FF. I’d like to share my maybe unprofessional thoughts about this topic. They lead to another than the current camera paradigm. To support this paradigm camera designs have to be changed in some manner.

For most people 15 MP are sufficient for on screen viewing and printing - if you consider distance of view. Of course you get more resolution with an 24 MP APSC sensor or more. But most people don’t need it - I think. What you get extra with an APS C 24 MP sensor is more room for cropping. But apart from that I’d say the K-5 IIs seems to be a nearly unbeatable package.

Why is a K-1 with 36 MP FF sensor a good thing?

The 36 MP FF sensor of K-1 gives us freedom. We don’t need this resolution for every image. But we have the opportunity to crop between 36 and 15 MP as we like and get sufficient image size and a great range of angle of view with moderate focal lengths.

We can use APS-C lenses that give us great square crops on FF sensor that are not possible with an APS-C camera / sensor! I showed some examples with the DA15 on the forums. You can’t realize this (angle of view!) with an APS-C camera. And DA15 and any other lens doesn’t cost any more if you use it with the K-1.

In general with 36 MP FF sensors and upwards I think we should change our technic based camera paradigm. I try to explain this.

Image circle size is the basic distinction of lenses at same focal length for a given type of mount. The image circle qualifies in being fully FF compatible or „only“ being APS-C.

As written above 15 MP that the K-1 offers in APS-C mode are enough for most use cases. So why not get away from image sensor size centric (what a word ) firmware design (FF and APS-C) to a flexible crop design based on at least 36 MP FF sensor with flexible crop and flexible image ratio (1:1, 3:2, 3:4, ...) in the range of 15 to 36 MP.

This kind of change should also have impact on camera hardware.

I think of
  • overlays in the viewfinder that have to support crop flexibility (ratio and crop sizes) for composition and / or go the mirrorless camera route.
  • flexible image sensor readout to generate raw files that exactly represent these crops.
  • the image circle defines the crop boundaries. Lenses should know their image circle/s and inform the camera about it/them. The camera should take the value’s and compute the maximum crop for the lens based on the users preference (ratio, size). In case of lenses that can’t deliver their image circle the user should be able to define it through the user interface. Angle of view and pixel crop size should be shown on display.
  • ...

Change in camera paradigm like this would give us photographers a lot more freedom in our photographic work - especially composition. And the way we talk about lenses and their abilities would change. No more discussion about FF vs. APS-C. Based on image circle knowledge and computation every lens could be used to it’s maximum possibilities!

Enough of my fantasies. What do you think about it? Would you be interested in a camera offering such flexibility?

Regards, acoufap



P.s.
- I’m not a camera designer or specialist. These thoughts may be a little bit naive.
- K-1 "plattform" could be a strong starting point for the change! I already use many APS-C lenses in FF and square crop mode and crop in post according to the lenses image circle(s). IMO the K-1 successor should offer such flexible functionality to go a step in this direction.

12-23-2016, 10:26 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I like it.

Moreover, many lenses offer a varying image circle that grows larger under some conditions such as APS-C zooms at their telephoto ends and APS-C macro lens at their high-magnification ends.

And if you want to get fancy, how about circular crops that use the entire circle?
12-23-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
I like it.

Moreover, many lenses offer a varying image circle that grows larger under some conditions such as APS-C zooms at their telephoto ends and APS-C macro lens at their high-magnification ends.

And if you want to get fancy, how about circular crops that use the entire circle?
Clearly I'm sharing this experience. I'm describing only a small starting point. I'm sure these challenges can be solved in software development. Much more complicated things are done in software development today.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
And if you want to get fancy, how about circular crops that use the entire circle?
This would be possible also. But we have to consider that computing circle areas costs more computer power than computing based on rectangles. I don't know any computer graphical user interface (MS Windows, Mac OSX, Linux) that supports circle windows. Although it'd be possible. I can't imagine that such a demand would be a general photographer demand.

In case of starting a serious camera paradigm change project I surely wouldn't put this on the top of the prioritiy list. Budget and capacities have to be concentrated on the core fields hardware and software functions. The list within my initial post covers such points.
12-23-2016, 11:09 AM   #4
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My wish would be to have a 12-16 meg FF body with outstanding high ISO performance (ala Sony A7s) with all of the astro photography features of the K1, as well as pixel shift, plus state of the art UHD and Cinema 4K video capability, with high bit rates, RAW video output for external recording as well as onboard recording, The sensor is available, I'm sure, from SONY. If Pentax built such a body I would buy it in an instant.

12-23-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
My wish would be to have a 12-16 meg FF body with outstanding high ISO performance (ala Sony A7s) with all of the astro photography features of the K1, as well as pixel shift, plus state of the art UHD and Cinema 4K video capability, with high bit rates, RAW video output for external recording as well as onboard recording, The sensor is available, I'm sure, from SONY. If Pentax built such a body I would buy it in an instant.
I doubt it will have that high end of video recording, Pentax seems to have added video just to have it in there.

---------- Post added 12-23-16 at 11:50 AM ----------

I'd like to see it have 16-bit Raw
12-23-2016, 12:13 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by disconnekt Quote
I doubt it will have that high end of video recording
K1 mk ii, has to have UHD video.....if not more....2019 at the earliest, judging by the replacement cycle of most top end offerings.


The present K1 is just the enrty model to convert as many pentaxians into FF users and as the primes emerge, there will be defectors from CaNikony who see the unique quality and value.
12-23-2016, 01:26 PM   #7
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@CDW, disconnekt, surfar - of course I do understand your wishes. Professionals taking images of sports events, videographers and so on always focus on other points. There are other threads for this kind of demands. In this thread I intended to go beyond such points.

Its about the photographers tool that could be more efficient than analog film cameras in some ways. Some are covered by digital today. But digital makes more possible. Using a 36 MP FF sensor we have a good starting point. If we think in old paradigm boundaries we hardly get a more flexible tool for us photographers. The new paradigm could give us:
  • Advanced flexible abilities for composition (variable crops and crop ratios) at photo session
  • Optimized raw / jpeg file sizes according to the image crop. So no waste of hard disk space and computer power. That saves money significantly. Especially if you use SSDs, also on your backup devices space is saved. Working out raw images in post is accellerated, time saved.
  • Optimized usage of K-mount lenses based on maximum image circle(s). Use lenses according to your needs (lightweight vs. heavy, angle of view, crop preferences) with perfect camera support.

Id like to see the discussion covering more of this kind of artistic and efficiency aspects.
12-23-2016, 02:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by acoufap Quote
artistic and efficiency aspects.
Live the dream!

12-24-2016, 03:35 AM   #9
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The next generation will have a new generation sensor and processor, assisted by a lsi to speed up front end AF performance and one to de noise and correct lens faults at the back end. Clearly the industry is moving towards more integrative electronics. Price will hike accordingly. 4k is a given for the new sensor and processor, so it will be there. More speed, better AF. Better power management. Some further ibis improvements a touch screen, fluent connectivity. We will see some of it already in the k-3 II replacement next year.
12-24-2016, 12:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by disconnekt Quote
I doubt it will have that high end of video recording, Pentax seems to have added video just to have it in there.

---------- Post added 12-23-16 at 11:50 AM ----------

I'd like to see it have 16-bit Raw
What's the point of 16-bit raw?
12-24-2016, 12:22 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
What's the point of 16-bit raw?
A greater bit depth offers greater dynamic range (if the sensor is good enough), better color resolution, less chance of banding in subtle gradients, less chance of artifacts during complex PP.

Obviously it makes the files a little bigger which adds cost in storage and time spent moving files around.
12-24-2016, 03:36 PM   #12
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I'd expect to see 16-bit RAW on the next MF body and not the FF if it shows up anywhere.
12-24-2016, 03:58 PM   #13
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I think we need a whole new generation of sensors to make any sense to having 16-bit raw.
12-25-2016, 02:48 AM   #14
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And we will have it when it makes sense.

About the issue of not saving "extra" data in crop mode, I'd say this, if implemented, should be configurable. Right now the K-1 supports both modes - discard (for APS-C crop) and keep (for 1:1 crop) the "extra" data. APS-C crop gives us a higher frame rate (reason for discarding, or rather not reading the data from the sensor), but the effect would be significantly less for 1:1 crops and variants (e.g. 4:3).
Note that too many crop ratios would clutter the UI; I'd rather have a few.
12-27-2016, 08:48 PM - 1 Like   #15
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+1, Pentax has never been focused on video and I hope it will stay that way, I don't want to spend big money on something I never use, at least not 4K video ! IMO those asked for that should look elsewhere, Pentax already too busy improving the AF performance that quite lag behind others.

.
QuoteOriginally posted by disconnekt Quote
I doubt it will have that high end of video recording, Pentax seems to have added video just to have it in there.

---------- Post added 12-23-16 at 11:50 AM ----------

I'd like to see it have 16-bit Raw
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