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10-22-2013, 12:10 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Having years of lost development time under Hoya to contend with, I assume they prioritized needs, doing First Thnigs first and leaving Second Things for later. I wonder whether Ricoh decided the custom Flu Card is a way to:
  1. Hold down the final price of the camera while allowing those who want the feature(s) to pay for them as an accessory
  2. Reduce engineering cost of Wi-Fi and the other features by licensing some of the tech and co-developing with Flu engineers the Pentax content.
  3. Get a half-step into the current camera right now while working on in-camera technology for a later release.
All that could have been done for an internal board (using a third party to build it). The only advantage I can see to having it on the Flu card is that you can replace it easily. I also wonder why access the camera through the SD card slot rather than USB? The latter would leave both slots to be used by the fastest and largest capacity cards, though it might affect weather resistance.

10-22-2013, 12:50 PM - 2 Likes   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
All that could have been done for an internal board (using a third party to build it).
People usually misunderstand how things work in electronic world (yes, I am engineer working with NAND related products, working for big player company that builds products in storage segment)
Who would you get to provide the board? To keep it simple, lets say Ricoh would have paid FLU card people to embed their WIFI tech or FLU circuitry in Pentax's main board... Piece of cake, electronic manufacturers do this ALL THE TIME... However, here's the catch:

1- FLU, or any other company for that matter, will not sell their tech for pennies. Just consider the theoretical amount of money they make on their SD cards... cost of SD card: lets say $15 to keep it simple, Value of their Intellectual Property : $60 Total price of the FLU SD card: $75 (or whatever the MSRP of this card is). If they were to sell this to Ricoh, they are not going to sell the IP (right to use the wifi board) for much much less than that.

2- yes you can go to any other wifi card designer/supplier and buy a board from them, but that generates another problem: Do they have the infrastructure that FLU/eyefi have? do they have the apps for you ready to use? do they have phone apps, pc apps that are clearly focused for photography use? most likely NOT!.

So these leaves Ricoh with a few options to chose from:

a) Pay Flu/Eyefi/etc a steep royalty to embed the wifi board in our camera, boosting the cost of the product in the order of tens of dollars (yes this is significant for a BOM even for a $1300 product) and most likely not hitting the projected cost targets for this product

b) Pay cheaper price for another 3rd party to embed a generic wifi board, which is cheaper, would allow them to hit the BOM cost, but at the expense of them(ricoch), having to build all the infrastructure, mobile apps, drivers, pc apps, software, you name it. which will heavily delay the release of the feature and, on top of that, is something that them (ricoh/pentax) don't necessarily have experience with

c) they promote this feature with a already tested solution, with no significant changes to the FW, BOM, PCB. They most likely have to pay way way way less in royalties as FLU will keep making money on the SD cards just like they have been, they hit BOM targets, they hit time table targets, the product hits the market on time, etc etc etc.

winning option: C. And that is what they have here today.

So, long story short, the fact that you see a wifi board in the market for 30 cents, does not mean that ricoh can attach one to a camera with duct tape and everything will be fine. There are many other factors..

I personally think is way better idea to rely on solid/proven infrastructures (in this case FLU) than ricoh trying to design their own and make a mediocre/bad job at it and give yet another reason for people to laugh at.


Sorry for long post
10-22-2013, 02:48 PM   #33
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Pentax please add "Striped" to storage options, to save odd images on card #1 and even images to card #2 to double writing speed during burst shooting :-)
10-22-2013, 03:33 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrcastillo Quote
I personally think is way better idea to rely on solid/proven infrastructures (in this case FLU) than ricoh trying to design their own and make a mediocre/bad job at it and give yet another reason for people to laugh at.

Sorry for long post
I hear what you are saying, but this function is very different from anything FLU offers, and I've never been blown away by the WiFi performance on these SD cards, so I'm not sure this is building too much on a really proven infrastructure. I guess we'll see.

10-23-2013, 09:34 AM   #35
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I would like to have some more controll over the interval movie recording.

- Why is there no option for a 1 second interval (where there is on the K-01)?
- Making the interval selectable with a dial would be great. So not just the presets off 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds and on, but really selectable, it is just a timer. With steps off one second, we could also choose 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 20, 25.... and so on intervals in seconds between every shot.

Maybe an update to the K-01/K-30/K-50 to give them the 4k interval movie.
10-23-2013, 11:53 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
So maybe a little early, but with the specs out, maybe we miss something. When the camera is in our hands, I know for sure we want some changes. So this is for wishes that can be implementaded in the camera, so no hardware wishes.
For me it is absolutely vital that I can change the camera body colour via the firmware at least every two or three hours. For me to get the most out of this camera, it will have to match my mood, and that changes from hour to hour. It is important to remember just how dramatically colour changes the way we take and perceive our pictures. No colour means black and white and I am not a black and white guy.

So Pentax/Ricoh, you have been warned. No guarantee for this important must have, and my money goes on as many coloured cheap point and shoot cameras as 1000.00 will buy. Think of the bulk buy discount I will get !

Richard, - tongue in cheek.
10-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #37
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Here's my list to keep the Pentax/Ricoh engineers busy through Christmas:

Focus bracketing for focus stacking. (in camera stacking would be nice also but not strictly necessary) The number and extent of focus steps would be automatically set according to the initial focus distance, the aperture and focal length, as well as a user selectable overlap. I need this mainly for macro, but there are other situations where it would also be useful. Funnily enough Pentax have implemented the opposite of this in the Q, the so called blur control which is used to reduce depth of field. I more often find the need to increase depth of field rather than reduce it. It is possible to do focus stacking manually (and in fact I do it) but it can be really tedious and time consuming. The only difficulty I see is the fact that the K-mount does not provide focus distance information so one would either have to forego the automatic calculation of focus steps or else use some workaround (I have some ideas for such a workaround)

Ultra low light CDAF - I often shoot time exposures where I cannot even see what I am shooting. I currently have one of three options:
1. Marking the infinity point on the distance scale of the lens I will use - but it is not accurate enough and on many lenses it is not even possible
2. If I am lucky there may be some sufficiently lit target in the distance which would be enough for the PDAF to lock onto. Too often though I do not have such a target.
3. By successive approximation. Shoot blindly, view the picture at maximum magnification, change focus slightly and start over, until eventually the right focus is found.
I believe option 3 should be almost trivial to implement. It would use the exact same algorithm that live view CDAF uses except that it would shoot in full resolution with very slow shutter speeds (it could use higher ISO as noise does not affect CDAF that much) rather than running the sensor in video mode. It might take a long time to find the focus but it would certainly be faster than doing it manually and at least you can just wait for it rather than actually doing it yourself.

Mirror and Iris lock in multi exposure In operations requiring multiple shots, such as bracketing, HDR capture, what I described above and maybe timelapse to prevent the mirror from going down and the auto iris opening between shots. With the K-3 this finally appears to be possible from the mechanical point of view as the shutter, mirror and iris have been fully decoupled, each having its own separately controllable actuator. This would idealy be user selectable. It might also make sense to offer the option of doing it for high speed shooting. It might also increase the burst speed. The idea of this is mainly to reduce wear, battery consumption and noise as in many (but certainly not all) cases the multiple mirror and iris actuations serve no useful purpose at all.

Preset infinity focus - in the old days of film with most lenses you could just take the focus ring to its end stop and be more or less guaranteed infinity focus. This seems to be very rare today. Actually I don't know of any current lens that will do it. There are of course good reasons why this is so but it is nevertheless a loss (a great one for me). This could however be done in software, and I think quite easily unless I am missing something. It would however need an initial calibration by the user for each lens. This calibration would be quite easy and not very different from what we already do to calibrate AF. The whole purpose of this is for time exposures where AF does not work and also for situations where you will be shooting only at infinity, such as planes in flight at some distance. With film camera I used to do just that although in part it was because I didn't have autofocus. However even with AF it is sometimes difficult to keep the lens focused as even if prefocused it is easy to inadvertently knock it out of focus. What I do currently is from time to time focus on a distant but stationary object to ensure the lens stays in focus. A mechanical focus lock would of course also be a solution in such situations but that is of course not solvable by firmware.

Panorama assist mode - I know many will think of this as a cheap P&S feature but it is actually very useful especially in situations where you cannot use a tripod.

An option to exclude from the menus all the scene modes, digital filters and such. I'm sure these are useful for many but for those like me who only shoot raw and do everthing in PP they just clutter up the menus making it harder to find what I need.

Fully implement mirror lockup (not sure maybe it is already even in K-5). On K-r and K-30 the only way to do mirror lockup is with the 2 second timer. This is satisfactory for most but not all situations. Mechanically this is also possible on the K-30 and k-r but there may be some electrical issues

Release an API for the tethering rather than just a prepackged application.(Who knows, maybe they already plan to do that.
10-23-2013, 01:06 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I would like to have some more controll over the interval movie recording.

- Why is there no option for a 1 second interval (where there is on the K-01)?
- Making the interval selectable with a dial would be great. So not just the presets off 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds and on, but really selectable, it is just a timer. With steps off one second, we could also choose 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 20, 25.... and so on intervals in seconds between every shot.

Maybe an update to the K-01/K-30/K-50 to give them the 4k interval movie.
With the K-r it was (is) even better - you can set arbitrary intervals in hours/minutes/seconds, so for instance you can decide to have an interval of 2 hours 23 minutes and 17 seconds.

Probably what they had in mind for the later models is what they believe makes it easier to use. Sort of it spares you the huge effort of dialling in six whole digits.

10-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Col Quote
I'm hoping the AA type 0,1,2 may be bracketed automatically. Tend not to be able to tell if any moire issue has happened until review of image on the PC so it would be nice to have the alternatives safely in reserve.
As more functionality is moved of a physical switch (meter & AF pattern) I trust these also came become part of a "User" mode definition.
I can't see (from the manual) that Extended Bracketing exists any more.
10-23-2013, 04:40 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Col Quote
I can't see (from the manual) that Extended Bracketing exists any more.
True. I can find lots of regular bracketing info, but nothing about Extended Bracketing anymore. K-5II seems to be the last model to have that feature. Unless the K-3 manual editors simply missed that bit.
10-24-2013, 07:19 AM   #41
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I'd like for them to bring back the simple navigation I had in my K5. I may have been the only person to use it, but it was awesome when I did. It was an amazing feature where I could put in a GPS coordinate, walk to the location, and get the image at the exact pre-determined spot.
10-24-2013, 07:42 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
All that could have been done for an internal board (using a third party to build it). The only advantage I can see to having it on the Flu card is that you can replace it easily.
In such a small camera perhaps there just isn't room inside for another board.
QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I also wonder why access the camera through the SD card slot rather than USB? The latter would leave both slots to be used by the fastest and largest capacity cards, though it might affect weather resistance.
Maybe it is actually faster. We can only speculate.

IMHO USB connection would allow direct computer tethering rather than mere Wi-Fi remote operation. Perhaps Ricoh/Pentax market surveys show this need farther down the list.

I still contend in a marginal decision economy they must prioritize these fixes and do the best they can with limited capital, engineer salaries and time. No matter how much capital and time they have there is always a margin - a limit beyond which they cannot go. The last feature chosen to fund always displaces the next one that might have been funded, and there is always some customer who laments the lack of that marginal feature.

My best bet is the last 2013 camera body will be roughly a K3 with a very large sensor.

My best bet is the next several releases after that will be lenses and accessories.

My best bet is the next dSLR camera body (note that any K500/50/5II updates won't be in a new body) will have a significantly improved shutter, 1/250 flash sync speed, internal Wi-Fi, cabled tethering and evolutionary improvements on the other stuff. And it will have a larger-than-DX sensor.

Last edited by monochrome; 10-24-2013 at 09:24 AM.
10-24-2013, 09:02 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
And it will have a larger-than-DX sensor.
Countdown to RonHendriks in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
10-24-2013, 09:27 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
Countdown to RonHendriks in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
APShhhhh. Don't tell him. Also Don't tell the FX list.

And in 6 . . . . .4 . . . . . 5 . . . . . Oh Wait.
10-24-2013, 11:44 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
In such a small camera perhaps there just isn't room inside for another board. Maybe it is actually faster. We can only speculate.
The space required is minimal, since the SD memory and plastic case would not be required. Not much in there after those elements are removed.

As to the speed of the card, whatever the current speed of the FLU card, by putting the tethering on the SD card, Pentax effectively froze the speed and size of the card at the capabilities which FLU puts on the card in 2013-2014, and no WiFi card I have ever seen was the largest or fastest available even at the time. Even if it were, it would likely be surpassed quickly by new offerings. Tying two unrelated functions is usually a problem.
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