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07-11-2016, 12:05 PM - 1 Like   #91
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There's probably an issue of scale.

I think it would require a new FF AF sensor with many more points and more f/2.8 points, all the related communication protocols with the lenses, new focusing screen LCD overlay (all just for K-FF), then reusable new or greatly extended predictive algorithm, etc. Repeat for APSc. All without violating CaNikon patents.

I don't think Ricoh sells enough cameras to earn back the investment at any price, and that's a problem.


Last edited by monochrome; 07-11-2016 at 12:12 PM.
07-11-2016, 12:09 PM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
I don't think some are listening....it's not what Ricoh can do, they can do anything. It is what they can do at a price their base customers can .....and will...afford.
I've read "Chasseur d'images" AF tests, and I've spent a couple of hours again shooting bikes with various AF settings. Min keeper rate is around 70%, 200mm f2.8. That's pretty good for a camera that is not designed for sport photographers, the sport photography segment being mostly occupied by Canon and Nikon. What I understood is that the K1 AF is slow to update focus once in tracking mode (the lens AF is fast enough... but the camera only check focus once in a while... we can see it in the viewfinder...), similar to what Canon 6D and Nikon D610 do (according to tests), that's in line with the 4.4 FPS of the K1. Want more keepers? That's possible ! Method: focus until confirmation from camera AFC focus prio, then trigger shutter for short burst of 3 to 5 shots, release the shutter button, refocus until confirmation blink, trigger shutter 3 to 5 shots, and so on: keeper rate = up to 100%. That for f2.8 (wide open). When stopping down to f4 or f5.6, the amount of photos in focus is higher (can't exceed 100% anyway). BTW... I used focus prio setting for AFC after focus acquisition but it happens that FPS priority is not necessarily bad. Anyway, in real situation, I may have miss focused shots among many shots in focus, I'd just delete the miss-focused ones and be happy with the good photos. We're not on film anymore, deleting costs nothing but a bit of time.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-11-2016 at 12:15 PM.
07-11-2016, 12:10 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
No law say you can't, in particular for technology related products, it is quite common for a brand that was well respected and seen as top of the line to fade in profit of the underdog that manage to do better for far less.

I don't think Pentax is badly positionned, they managed to produce a quite interresting product. This doesn't mean it is perfect and better for everything...
I think Pentax has done better.....does the Nikon you may lust after have SR or pixel shift? There is a ton to love about the K1....just as there is on a KIA.
Once again.....most anything you want comes at a price...we just can't deny that fact of life. Once you understand that, it gets really simple.

Certainly not wanting to go political in any sense...but if it helps with my point...you don't really believe Donald's model wife married him for his good looks...do you?

Regards!
07-11-2016, 12:12 PM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
if I was in the market, I would easily trade the astrotracer, video improvements, and possibly GPS for better autofocus

Randy
I won't loose gps and astrotracer.

The GPS-Module is perfect for may way of photography. Why should i give that up for an autofocus, "which i don't need" because the one implemented is good enough for my needs.

You see, there a lot of different photographers and therefore must be different cameras.

I'm shure Pentax made a market survey, an put its effort on the fields where they could win. Therefore we got an excellent camera with a dynamic Autofocus really not top of the notch.

07-11-2016, 12:35 PM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quark Quote
Under the test conditions in the referenced post, the Pentax K-1 performs highly accurate continuous autofocus of moving targets (bicycle rider) in the APS-C crop mode but less so in Full Frame. Being uninformed about the engineering design details of the K-1, I can only speculate as to the cause of this result. It appears that the sensor hardware including the autofocus phase detection system and the “Pentax Real Time Scene Analysis System with 86,000 pixel RGB light metering sensor” is fully capable of providing accurate autofocus of moving subjects. Problems seem to arise when capturing and storing full-frame image sensor data in rapid bursts (say 1 or 2 frames per second). Apparently the digital computer logic becomes a bit overwhelmed with the data rate and gives priority to the image sensor data.
As a practical matter, if there are problems autofocusing on moving targets with the K-1, one alternative is to switch to APS-C crop mode and work with the smaller field-of-view.
If Pentax wishes to improve the continuous autofocusing performance of the K-1 in full frame, they could split the digital data processing functions into two CPUs, one handling exposure and autofocus sensor data while the other handles image sensor data. Perhaps this already is the architecture and the control CPU just needs to be faster. Powerful ARM processors, used for example in smart phones, cost under $10.
In summary, I believe the Pentax K-1 autofocus related hardware is fully capable of DSLR state-of-the-art performance and just needs faster control data processing to reach full potential.
Hi. Thanks for the excellent test analysis.

If the camera's computer is being overloaded, I wonder if switching to PEF format in FF mode would help since PEF features more data compression and should reduce CPU and bus load? In the same vein switching to JPG should reduce loading even more in FF mode. Also turning off all forms of background processing while using JPG output might help as well.
07-11-2016, 01:07 PM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
if I was in the market, I would easily trade the astrotracer, video improvements, and possibly GPS for better autofocus
Except it's not an this-or-that choice, when developing a camera like the K-1.
Astrotracer is a known quantity - introduced years ago, all it needs is a GPS module and the SR.
Video improvements... the K-1 has at most some tweaks, I think. So there's nothing to trade, really.
GPS is also a known quantity, being first experimented with the external module, then included with the K-3 II.

OTOH, a better autofocus - the question is how much better, but one can easily conclude that it likely means:
- new AF sensor
- larger AF module (maybe...) which means a larger camera body
- dedicated AF processor
- revised algorithms
A quite significant effort, in the end you get a more expensive camera and later to the market.

The thing is, Ricoh Imaging planned a production volume of only 7,000 units per month. Such low volumes can hardly absorb significant R&D expenses.

Last edited by Kunzite; 07-11-2016 at 01:14 PM.
07-11-2016, 01:24 PM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by duncan1 Quote
Hi. Thanks for the excellent test analysis.

If the camera's computer is being overloaded, I wonder if switching to PEF format in FF mode would help since PEF features more data compression and should reduce CPU and bus load? In the same vein switching to JPG should reduce loading even more in FF mode. Also turning off all forms of background processing while using JPG output might help as well.
Hi,

Thanks for the comment. I agree that if you want to maximize continuous mode shooting (Forum comments indicate that many do not want to do this), turning off all background processing should help. I have not done comparison tests, but I suspect turning on the JPEG engine would increase the CPU load. Tony Randolph and probably DPR stored both JPEG and DNG in their tests which would put by far the most demand on the processor.

Biz-Engineer makes good suggestions for practical shooting a few comments earlier.

I believe that existing Pentax users will live quite happily with the existing K-1 autofocus. If Pentax wants to attract new customers who require faster continuous autofocus (and possibly faster frame rates) in full frame, I think they would get the most "bang for the buck" with dual processors.
07-11-2016, 01:25 PM - 1 Like   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Except it's not an this-or-that choice, when developing a camera like the K-1.
Astrotracer is a known quantity - introduced years ago, all it needs is a GPS module and the SR.
Video improvements... the K-1 has at most some tweaks, I think. So there's nothing to trade, really.
GPS is also a known quantity, being first experimented with the external module, then included with the K-3 II.

OTOH, a better autofocus - the question is how much better, but one can easily conclude that it likely means:
- new AF sensor
- larger AF module (maybe...) which means a larger camera body
- dedicated AF processor
- revised algorithms
A quite significant effort, in the end you get a more expensive camera and later to the market.

The thing is, Ricoh Imaging planned a production volume of only 7,000 units per month. Such low volumes can hardly absorb significant R&D expenses.
Yeah, once you done the R&D this kind of stuff is almost free, you can milk it on all models. The old 11 point AF is still present in K-70...

But making everything work is a big investement. The good think about it, is that they are late to the game so the other have done the hard work of pionnering the technology. You can likely hire a guy or 2 with the right CV, invest and likely the successor to K1 will have a shiny new AF module with better algorithms. It is almost sure we will get that in due time.

07-11-2016, 02:22 PM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by duncan1 Quote
Hi. Thanks for the excellent test analysis.

If the camera's computer is being overloaded, I wonder if switching to PEF format in FF mode would help since PEF features more data compression and should reduce CPU and bus load? In the same vein switching to JPG should reduce loading even more in FF mode. Also turning off all forms of background processing while using JPG output might help as well.
Do you have actual information about how/where these tasks are performed?
Your suggestions would reduce ultimate data flow, but ...

compression requires work done by someone; unless they have a devoted unit to perform compression, changing compression method could actually increase load on CPU.

creating JPG is sometimes called "developing"; it is a data transformation performed by someone; unless they have a devoted unit to perform developing, creating JPEG might actually increase load on CPU. Lowest load might be DNG only.
07-11-2016, 03:47 PM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
The good think about it, is that they are late to the game so the other have done the hard work of pionnering the technology. You can likely hire a guy or 2 with the right CV, invest and likely the successor to K1 will have a shiny new AF module with better algorithms.
It's never that easy. Not even close.

Hire a guy or 2 with the right CV, and you will have a guy or 2 with the right CV. Nothing less, nothing more.
07-11-2016, 03:52 PM   #101
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And for anyone who thinks Canon AF point coverage is any better, here it is for their workhorse 5D MkIII.

Again, just like the Nikon and Pentax, you let your target fall outside that small area, you're out of focus.

Beginners in P mode with Autofocus need to be taught that when taking a photo of anything other than a flower in their yard or their cup of coffee, technique must change.

Watch a wildlife or sports shooter at an event and see them panning on their tripod or monopod, their correct framing doesn't come by accident.



Picture credit is to Andrew Gibson's good blog post on Canon autofocus.

http://www.andrewsgibson.com/blog/2013/03/understanding-eos-autofocus-the-eo...-and-eos-1d-x/

Last edited by clackers; 07-11-2016 at 08:38 PM.
07-11-2016, 03:56 PM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Do you have actual information about how/where these tasks are performed?
Your suggestions would reduce ultimate data flow, but ...

compression requires work done by someone; unless they have a devoted unit to perform compression, changing compression method could actually increase load on CPU.

creating JPG is sometimes called "developing"; it is a data transformation performed by someone; unless they have a devoted unit to perform developing, creating JPEG might actually increase load on CPU. Lowest load might be DNG only.
Way back in time, I tested data throughput (acquisition->processing->storage) on PCs and found that compressing the data in the processing stage ultimately increased data throughput to storage. The reduced load on the bus (which must be managed by the CPU) more than compensated for the increased CPU load to compress the data. Less expensive digital cameras like to omit RAW file output because creating a RAW file significantly increases CPU load and reduces throughput (in terms of frames per time unit).

Last edited by duncan1; 07-11-2016 at 04:09 PM. Reason: CPU bus management
07-11-2016, 07:51 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by duncan1 Quote
Way back in time, I tested data throughput (acquisition->processing->storage) on PCs and found that compressing the data in the processing stage ultimately increased data throughput to storage. The reduced load on the bus (which must be managed by the CPU) more than compensated for the increased CPU load to compress the data. Less expensive digital cameras like to omit RAW file output because creating a RAW file significantly increases CPU load and reduces throughput (in terms of frames per time unit).
Yes, I partly agree. However, due to advances in technology, it is now possible to have hardware-based compression and RAW file creation instead of software-based processing. Theoretically it is possible to have sufficient on-board storage on the CPU itself to avoid any memory transfers for processing then to RAW format during burst mode. However, I am not sure how Ricoh/Pentax has implemented this.
07-12-2016, 10:53 PM   #104
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When you know the DFA70-200 on K1 focusing from 50m to 3 meters takes less than 1 second, that's about 50m/s (112 miles/hour) of lens AF speed. Some people over here still considering Pentax AF with the SDM reference in mind;
07-13-2016, 02:56 AM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
if I was in the market, I would easily trade the astrotracer, video improvements, and possibly GPS for better autofocus

Randy
Well, those are things that help Pentax stand out in the market. If Pentax left those items off and introduced a K-1 with auto focus that, say, matched a D750 it would be a pretty forgettable camera. At the same time, it is clear that Pentax engineers are working on auto focus and have brought real changes and improvements over time, beginning with the K3 (up till then, all cameras, even the 645D had the same 11 point auto focus system). The changes are evolutionary but, I would expect them to continue.

The K-1 at this point is good enough for most things, except sports, where even if it had better auto focus, it would still lag in frame rates and buffer size. Few people use a D810 for sports and it doesn't have much to do with auto focus.
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