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02-19-2016, 06:13 AM   #1
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Help me understand: Flexible Tilt-Type LCD monitor - any angle along the optical axis

dpreview describes the K-1's tilt lcd monitor as having "all the elegance of two deck chairs mating" (link).

But Pentax's own marketing justifies the design and describes the lcd monitor tilt mechanism as "aligning the photographer’s line of sight precisely with the camera’s optical axis"... "monitor has reached two difficult goals that conventional monitors have failed to attain: no deviation from the optical axis; and unrestricted tilt in all directions, horizontally or vertically" (link).

Help me understand: why is no deviation from the optical axis important?



02-19-2016, 06:28 AM   #2
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I was wondering that same thing.
02-19-2016, 06:35 AM - 5 Likes   #3
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Being in line with the axis makes it much easier to compose your shot in live view because there is a 1:1 relationship between what you are doing by moving the camera and what you see on the screen. It's for similar reasons off axis tripod mounts are frowned upon. Having used flip out screens and struggled with composing macro shots I believe Ricoh/Pentax deserve praise for this innovation. Hopefully it will get better promoted when people start using the K-1 for real.
02-19-2016, 06:41 AM   #4
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It looks like a very elegant solution, but I too am confused about the problem it seems to solve.

If other screens take you off the optical path, what does it matter? You are viewing a live image, thus, no matter how it tilts or bends or extends, the image viewed should be the image taken. I've seen some talk about parallax, etc ... with other systems, which I don't get, it is a live view.

Although is will be quite some time before I invest in the K1, I welcome a tilt screen as it helps tremendously at low or high angles. It is one of the few things I miss from the mirrorless systems I've used.

02-19-2016, 06:42 AM   #5
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I'd add that this is an example of the photographer-centric mindset at Ricoh/Pentax that appeals to our niche despite not keeping up with the more marketing-friendly metrics of other manufacturers.
02-19-2016, 06:49 AM   #6
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What it means is the LCD hinges out perpendicular to the camera. In the end, does it matter? To me, I would ask whether that apparatus is more durable than the competitors' options. Pentax should be rugged, IMHO.
02-19-2016, 06:50 AM   #7
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They do seem to imply in the images that the screen is somehow precisely aligned with the optical axis, but given how the screen can actually be skewed, that obviously is not the case. So there is a bit of marketing going on here.

But I wholehartedly agree with the earlier comment that it is a better solution than a flip out screen. I have used a flip-out screen on my Panasonic GH4 and it is a pain (quite literally) to support the camera with both hands, but have to cock your neck to the left. Moreover, the GH4 has a touch screen, which Panasonic somehow expects people to operate with their left hand, without supporting the weight of the camera with that same hand. A tilting touch screen would have be much easier to operate with either hand, while supporting the weight of the body with both.

I'm glad that Ricoh didn't go with a silly flip-out screen.
02-19-2016, 06:59 AM   #8
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I like Sinjin's answer above. And I think Pentax wanted to make a flip screen that didn't look like a P&S flip screen. So they added hinges (to assure people it won't break off), made it fit the optical exist (so its not just a toy, but a "pro photography tool").
Its innovation and its better than nothing. For me, this is a big reason why K-1 is tempting; I miss a swivel, tilt LCD on my DSLR and especially K-01 (the mirrorless camera)

02-19-2016, 07:03 AM   #9
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Yes, this is puzzling. The marketing material does seem to imply that the alignment remains however you tilt the screen. It will be interesting to find out.

As to the toughness of the screen one review held the camera and lens out yo-yo style and talked about how stable it was.
02-19-2016, 07:03 AM   #10
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I've shot macros with tethered cameras before with screens that weren't even close to being on the optical axis without issue. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, just wondering if it's that's big a deal. I guess I'll have to wait to try the K-1 and find out, it could be something that I didn't even know I needed!

QuoteOriginally posted by sinjin Quote
I'd add that this is an example of the photographer-centric mindset at Ricoh/Pentax that appeals to our niche despite not keeping up with the more marketing-friendly metrics of other manufacturers.
I do like the thought that has gone into this camera, and I learned something new today....check that off of the to do list!
02-19-2016, 07:08 AM   #11
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I have been skeptical since first viewing of this screen tilt mechanism. Unnecessarily complex, and you lose the turn inward to protect the surface from scratches and nose-smear. However, the keep-aligned feature I think has to do with eye-to-screen perpendicularity. Almost all screens dim or wash out when viewed off-axis. Presumably this screen can be oriented for best possible viewing no matter where your eye is V-A-V the camera = perpendicular to your line-of-sight. I hope this screen mechanism has some meaningful, useful purposes and is not primarily just something different for advertising gimmick, as I suspect was the case with power-zoom.
02-19-2016, 07:08 AM   #12
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If the LCD is the modern viewfinder this is the modern rotating Refconverter.
02-19-2016, 07:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
So there is a bit of marketing going on here.
Perhaps, but "bit" is actually pretty accurate given how many people (reviewers included) seem perplexed about the "why" of this design. Ricoh could have done a better job stating it simply. It wasn't until Mike Johnston mentioned how much better the K-1 screen will be compared to flip-out screens that the penny dropped for me, even though I was often very annoyed trying to compose shots on my flip-out-equipped panasonic M4/3 cameras.

---------- Post added 02-19-16 at 09:24 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Odinz Quote
I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, just wondering if it's that's big a deal.
I'd agree it's not a big deal, just a little one. But to very loosely, perhaps botchingly (new word?), paraphrase a design concept: don't underestimate what a pain in the ass little things are when you have to do them often. I like that Ricoh is thinking about little things like this. It gives me confidence that they are making good decisions and compromises. But, the proof will be in the using of it, which I clearly have not. For all I know I'll hate it for some other reason. Although I suspect not.
02-19-2016, 07:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
If the LCD is the modern viewfinder this is the modern rotating Refconverter.
I have a venerable rotating refconverter for taking low-level macro and for ease of viewing when the camera is on a copy stand or microscope (do all three regularly). Getting low enough to look through the refconverter in the field is becoming more and more "maybe I shouldn't because I won't be able to get back up." The refconverter is scary in the field: what if I bump it? The leverage could tear off the viewfinder (this actually happened to me decades back when the refconverter was mounted on a Ricoh XR-M). Also, annoyingly, the 1X -2X switch on the refconverter is not parfocal. I must adjust the focus if I want to use the magnified view for precision focusing. I expect the K1 screen, using magnified LV and focus peaking, will be far easier to use especially for low-level field macro, and even using a copy stand or microscope. But I'm still skeptical about the need for or benefit of the complex articulation.
02-19-2016, 07:27 AM - 1 Like   #15
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The K-1's LCD contraption is brilliant, regardless of the optical axis. Flip-outs to the left effectively take your left hand off the camera body. That's less stable for slower shutter speeds. The K-1 design allows you to hold the camera with both hands -- down low, up high, and in BOTH landscape and portrait orientations. Sight unseen, but with the experience of many Pentax camera bodies, I am very sure that the LCD mounting mechanism is going to prove surprisingly robust. I have no reservations about this feature at all and can hardly wait to use it.
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