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02-21-2018, 11:02 PM   #1
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K-1 Mark II: Accelerator unit frees up processing power for autofocus?

An interesting idea came up while I was thinking about the changes in the K-1 Mark II.

The press release states that the noise reduction is handled by the accelerator unit first seen in the K-70. This enables a significant improvement in noise handling under extreme low-light conditions. It also states that the K-1 Mark II has updated AF algorithms.

However, most of the hardware is exactly the same. The continuous shooting speed is still only 4.4 fps in full-frame mode, which AFAICT is limited by the image sensor's readout speed and not the processor. But why can't the old K-1 get the same AF improvements?

It dawned upon me that by offloading image processing, including noise reduction, to the accelerator unit, more processing power is available for the autofocus system. This enables the use of more complex predictive tracking algorithms, which would result in enhanced AF performance.

Any official word on this?

Draco

02-22-2018, 12:05 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
An interesting idea came up while I was thinking about the changes in the K-1 Mark II.

The press release states that the noise reduction is handled by the accelerator unit first seen in the K-70. This enables a significant improvement in noise handling under extreme low-light conditions. It also states that the K-1 Mark II has updated AF algorithms.

However, most of the hardware is exactly the same. The continuous shooting speed is still only 4.4 fps in full-frame mode, which AFAICT is limited by the image sensor's readout speed and not the processor. But why can't the old K-1 get the same AF improvements?

It dawned upon me that by offloading image processing, including noise reduction, to the accelerator unit, more processing power is available for the autofocus system. This enables the use of more complex predictive tracking algorithms, which would result in enhanced AF performance.

Any official word on this?

Draco
Well, considering that the image accelerator came out with the K-70 and also was used in the KP, it sounds to me like it's a dedicated processing unit for images. Wouldn't improve the shortcomings in other areas.

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02-22-2018, 12:33 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Well, considering that the image accelerator came out with the K-70 and also was used in the KP, it sounds to me like it's a dedicated processing unit for images. Wouldn't improve the shortcomings in other areas.
What he said ^ ^ ^

The camera is not a computer with a shared address space and multi-threaded processor. Its control architecture is a collection of loosely bound, task-specific processors. Data buss tasks (buffer clearing and IO) are independent of AF and both are separate from the image processing.


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02-22-2018, 01:04 AM   #4
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if we agree with Adam and Stevebrot, then the AF changes on the K1/II are software only, and *could* be rolled out for the original K1 via firmware, unless there is some kind of technical reason not to?

Will be interesting to see what happens, because presumably there will be a new FW for the new DFA primes.

02-22-2018, 01:26 AM   #5
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The idea I had in mind was the image processing requires a certain amount of processor resources. For predictable performance, specific amounts of processing power are reserved for this purpose. Because this is now done by a separate accelerator unit, fewer resources can be reserved for image processing and noise reduction, which means that the AF system can use more of the processor than before. Is this technically possible?

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02-22-2018, 01:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
The idea I had in mind was the image processing requires a certain amount of processor resources. For predictable performance, specific amounts of processing power are reserved for this purpose. Because this is now done by a separate accelerator unit, fewer resources can be reserved for image processing and noise reduction, which means that the AF system can use more of the processor than before. Is this technically possible?

Draco
Never had the impression that the accelerator unit powered the Prime image processor instead of the CPU, Brian, just that it did some kind of additional boosting of some high ISO tasks.

If it was a commodity chip, like a Dolby reduction one or whatever, you could work out exactly what it did but it's apparently one unique to Ricoh.
02-22-2018, 02:06 AM   #7
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AF means photog is in a hurry and that means something went wrong. Lenses would be cheaper and optically consistent without AF. It should be removed fully from high IQ tripod cameras which K-1 is.
02-22-2018, 02:59 AM   #8
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@MJKoski, this isn't medium format we're talking about. Although it's best for landscape and studio photography, the K-1 Mark II is meant to be a multipurpose camera that can handle a bit of action as well.

Draco

---------- Post added 02-22-18 at 05:08 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Never had the impression that the accelerator unit powered the Prime image processor instead of the CPU, Brian, just that it did some kind of additional boosting of some high ISO tasks.

If it was a commodity chip, like a Dolby reduction one or whatever, you could work out exactly what it did but it's apparently one unique to Ricoh.
Per Ricoh Imaging, the accelerator unit performs image processing before the data gets to the main PRIME IV engine:
QuoteQuote:
the PENTAX K-1 Mark II newly incorporates an original accelerator unit, which efficiently processes image signals output by the image sensor before sending them to the imaging engine.
Draco

02-22-2018, 03:25 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Ouch...that means (heavy) processing before "RAW" file output.
02-22-2018, 03:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote

Per Ricoh Imaging, the accelerator unit performs image processing before the data gets to the main PRIME IV engine:

Draco
So I was right!

As MJKoski says, it's the 'B' word.

Baking the RAW file!
02-22-2018, 03:28 AM   #11
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Do these processes affect RAW files, or is it for JPEG only?
02-22-2018, 04:26 AM   #12
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How come they could get so high ISO values out of the old workhorse 36MP sensor is beyond my comprehension. Without messing too much with RAW output that is. D800(E) had usable high ISO of 3200 or so and that has not changed so far with any model using the same sensor. D810A upped base ISO to 200 and it has about 1EV better ISO quality on the other end of the scale.
02-22-2018, 05:22 AM - 4 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Baking the RAW file!
It's not a bake - it's a sous vide confit. I thought we discussed this.

(currently on my second glass of pinot noir)
02-22-2018, 09:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
if we agree with Adam and Stevebrot, then the AF changes on the K1/II are software only, and *could* be rolled out for the original K1 via firmware, unless there is some kind of technical reason not to?
Ummm...No. I don't believe I said that, though I did infer quite the opposite. Firmware is not an operating system.


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02-22-2018, 09:29 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dericali Quote
if we agree with Adam and Stevebrot, then the AF changes on the K1/II are software only, and *could* be rolled out for the original K1 via firmware, unless there is some kind of technical reason not to?

Will be interesting to see what happens, because presumably there will be a new FW for the new DFA primes.
I'm guessing you'd definitely get this if you went with the upgrade service? Not sure about firmware but my guess would be they'll put in the same fixes too.

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