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04-24-2018, 02:17 PM - 1 Like   #271
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Thanks, and no problem - we all make mistakes (me especially, but don't tell anyone - I think I've gotten away with it these last few years )...
Thanx Mike ;-) I was a careless, pretty embarrassing mistake...

04-24-2018, 03:19 PM   #272
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This thread posted by pihe I thought had some reasonably controlled comparison images between K-1 and K-1 Mkii.

From these images right from ISO 100 the K-1 Mkii seems to have a better 3D quality happening over the K-1.
04-24-2018, 10:18 PM   #273
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There are now K-1 vs K-1 Mk II comparisons available from pentaxever.com.

EDIT: They don't seem to be very helpful, though...

Last edited by Class A; 04-24-2018 at 10:35 PM.
04-24-2018, 10:30 PM - 1 Like   #274
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Indeed there are, though as we can see from the diagram for the Sony sensor, there's a whole bunch of noise reduction already going on before the data even gets to the image processor, which does even more to it. Whichever way you look at it, RAW ain't "raw" in pure terms.
I agree with the overall premiss that one will be hard pressed to find any RAW output that hasn't been processed to look better, however, let's not lose sight of the difference between non-contentious processing and information-destroying NR.

Of course a sensor will have internal stages, some of them concerned with reducing noise. Most of these are completely fine, however, as they reliably only remove noise that would otherwise be added by the chip. For instance, there are schemes to ensure that it doesn't matter whether any residual electrons are left in sensels before they are exposed again, or schemes that help to avoid differences in amplification whenever parallel conversion is involved. All these NR measures are completely fine and no one in their right mind would dispute them.

In contrast, we have schemes like the "accelerator chip" or some "BIONZ processing" that take the data from the sensor chip and then try to make it look better, according to some notion of "better". These are the NR stages that amount to "cooking" and should be purely optional. Unlike the sensor chip internal stages, these "afterburners" have no access to sensor-internal data/properties, i.e., they could be just as well performed outside the camera. That's why they should be available in-camera for those who are happy with what they are doing, but it should be possible to disable them for those who feel they want to run a different/better processing, potentially in the future with methods that aren't available yet.

04-24-2018, 11:58 PM   #275
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
but it should be possible to disable them for those who feel they want to run a different/better processing, potentially in the future with methods that aren't available yet.
+1,

I agree.
04-25-2018, 12:02 AM   #276
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We don't know what the accelerator is doing. Many sources of noise are outside the sensor... maybe it tries to compensate for that. Maybe it does some "cooking" only from a certain ISO. Maybe it does whatever the PRIME was doing in the K-1, only better.
I'm also curious about this part from the IR interview: "and then an accessory unit does a kind of signal processing which cannot be obtained by just software processing mechanism without degrading the resolving performance of the sensor". They're talking about it separately from the accelerator.

We still have to see comparisons with the K-1, and people will have to try to replicate its effects in software.
04-25-2018, 01:34 AM   #277
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
We don't know what the accelerator is doing.
We don't know for sure what it does, but it is almost certain that the accelerator operates on digital data delivered by the sensor. Standard Sony sensors are complete packages which spit out RAW data ready to be processed. Nikon has had collaborations with sensor manufacturers where Nikon provided their own A/D conversion but nowadays this is the rare exception rather than the rule.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Many sources of noise are outside the sensor...
Which ones are you thinking of?
Digital data is not subject to any sources of noise.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Maybe it does whatever the PRIME was doing in the K-1, only better.
People will debate whether "better" applies, but it is practically certain that Accelerator+PRIME = DIFFERENT-PRIME. We know that PRIME has been doing some cooking for years already (depending on the model, a bit more or a bit less) and the name of the chip -- "accelerator" -- gives away that its function is to speed up computation, as opposed to having a hardware-level function that cannot be emulated in software.

I'm very confident that the image processing functions of the accelerator could be performed on regular hardware. However, processing speed would be an issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I'm also curious about this part from the IR interview: "and then an accessory unit does a kind of signal processing which cannot be obtained by just software processing mechanism without degrading the resolving performance of the sensor". They're talking about it separately from the accelerator.
What makes you think they are not referring to the "accelerator" when they mention "accessory unit"?

First and foremost, however, one has to take any kind of such non-technical statements with a huge grain of salt, in particular, if it is meant to serve marketing purposes. The statement is entirely compatible with my understanding of the accelerator unit, if you assume that it works on non-demosaiced data and with "just software processing" they mean tweaking an image that comes out of a RAW converter. In this way, the statement could be truthful but not rule out the possibility that the accelerator could indeed by replaced by processing outside the camera (of a kind which is not available right now from off-the-shelf RAW converters).

Furthermore note that sometimes translations errors can even produce statements that are not truthful anymore. For instance, the K100D was originally said to have a three-axis shake reduction system (including sensor rotation). Subsequently, when the K-7 was introduced it was said, for the first time, to rotate the sensor in addition to shifting it. When asked why this was announced as a novelty, Pentax responded that none of the earlier models performed sensor rotation and that the misinformation had been due to a translation error.

In my view Pentax engineers are fantastic and Ricoh deserves a lot of credit. I'm not complaining about the K-1 II at all. However, no one should accept some translated marketing talk as gospel on what happens under the hood.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
We still have to see comparisons with the K-1, and people will have to try to replicate its effects in software.
Sure.

Please also note that when I state that there should be an option to get original RAW data, I'm talking about a matter of principle. I think this should be true for all manufacturers. As all manufacturers appear to be doing some level of "beautification", I'm not pointing at Pentax specifically. However, Pentax has always struck me as a brand that wants to get things right as opposed to appealing to the masses and in that sense my expectations towards Pentax are a bit higher.

Even if future comparisons reveal that everything the accelerator does is fine, where would be the harm to allow disabling it for those who think that they'll be able to beat it in the future?
04-25-2018, 01:35 AM   #278
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I agree with the overall premiss that one will be hard pressed to find any RAW output that hasn't been processed to look better, however, let's not lose sight of the difference between non-contentious processing and information-destroying NR.
For sure - I agree, there's a big difference - at least so far as the end result is concerned

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Of course a sensor will have internal stages, some of them concerned with reducing noise. Most of these are completely fine, however, as they reliably only remove noise that would otherwise be added by the chip. For instance, there are schemes to ensure that it doesn't matter whether any residual electrons are left in sensels before they are exposed again, or schemes that help to avoid differences in amplification whenever parallel conversion is involved. All these NR measures are completely fine and no one in their right mind would dispute them.
Agreed again. These are the NR functions performed within the sensor module itself, so far as I'm aware.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
In contrast, we have schemes like the "accelerator chip" or some "BIONZ processing" that take the data from the sensor chip and then try to make it look better, according to some notion of "better". These are the NR stages that amount to "cooking" and should be purely optional. Unlike the sensor chip internal stages, these "afterburners" have no access to sensor-internal data/properties, i.e., they could be just as well performed outside the camera. That's why they should be available in-camera for those who are happy with what they are doing, but it should be possible to disable them for those who feel they want to run a different/better processing, potentially in the future with methods that aren't available yet.
This is where we diverge (just a little). My understanding is that Sony's BIONZ engine is broadly equivalent to Pentax's PRIME engine, albeit to Sony's processing specifications. Both carry out some degree of noise reduction, plus an undoubtedly large amount of other processing on the data received from the sensor module. See Pentax's own text re PRIME IV on the K-1:

"The K-1 features a newly designed PRIME IV imaging engine. Compared with the previous PRIME III version, it is fine-tuned to process higher-resolution images, while boosting the operating frequency by nearly 50 percent. Its noise-processing algorithm has also been upgraded to capture beautiful, fine-gradation images at higher sensitivities. A combination of an advanced scene analysis system and new image-processing functions helps improve the accuracy and reliability of image reproduction."

My understanding is that the new image accelerator sits between the sensor module and the PRIME engine. No doubt it's doing further noise reduction, and some of us might subsequently (and quite validly) decide that it's going too far, whilst others will like it. But my point is, this is merely an additional step in an existing process of RAW "cooking" - and hence my assertion that RAW isn't exactly "raw". Maybe we could call it "par-boiled"

04-25-2018, 02:32 AM   #279
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I agree with the overall premiss that one will be hard pressed to find any RAW output that hasn't been processed to look better, however, let's not lose sight of the difference between non-contentious processing and information-destroying NR.

Of course a sensor will have internal stages, some of them concerned with reducing noise. Most of these are completely fine, however, as they reliably only remove noise that would otherwise be added by the chip. For instance, there are schemes to ensure that it doesn't matter whether any residual electrons are left in sensels before they are exposed again, or schemes that help to avoid differences in amplification whenever parallel conversion is involved. All these NR measures are completely fine and no one in their right mind would dispute them.

In contrast, we have schemes like the "accelerator chip" or some "BIONZ processing" that take the data from the sensor chip and then try to make it look better, according to some notion of "better". These are the NR stages that amount to "cooking" and should be purely optional. Unlike the sensor chip internal stages, these "afterburners" have no access to sensor-internal data/properties, i.e., they could be just as well performed outside the camera. That's why they should be available in-camera for those who are happy with what they are doing, but it should be possible to disable them for those who feel they want to run a different/better processing, potentially in the future with methods that aren't available yet.
Then buy an original K1. It has no accelerator chip, so nothing to disable. I suppose its raw files are more "pure." The whole point of the K-1 II is the accelerator chip. Maybe they added hand held pixel shift and there has been a slight tweak in auto focus, but the main reason to buy a K1 II is for the accelerator chip and what it does and if you don't like it, the original K-1 is only 1696 versus 1996 for the K-1 II -- you've save 300 dollars (and achieved pure raw file nirvana to boot)!
04-25-2018, 02:57 AM   #280
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
We don't know for sure what it does, but it is almost certain that the accelerator operates on digital data delivered by the sensor. Standard Sony sensors are complete packages which spit out RAW data ready to be processed. Nikon has had collaborations with sensor manufacturers where Nikon provided their own A/D conversion but nowadays this is the rare exception rather than the rule.
Standard Sony sensors are not invulnerable to external noise sources. OTOH standard Sony sensors are oblivious to external noise sources.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Which ones are you thinking of?
Digital data is not subject to any sources of noise.
Digital data already contains noise.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
People will debate whether "better" applies, but it is practically certain that Accelerator+PRIME = DIFFERENT-PRIME. We know that PRIME has been doing some cooking for years already (depending on the model, a bit more or a bit less) and the name of the chip -- "accelerator" -- gives away that its function is to speed up computation, as opposed to having a hardware-level function that cannot be emulated in software.
I know that whatever the PRIME IV from the K-1 is doing, there's no issue with that. I'll use it as a baseline.
If the K-1 II is as good or better, I'll have no reason to complain. Others will surely debate about "cooking" regardless of the actual results.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I'm very confident that the image processing functions of the accelerator could be performed on regular hardware. However, processing speed would be an issue.
What makes you so confident? Even algorithms cannot be replicated if you don't have the same data to work on.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
What makes you think they are not referring to the "accelerator" when they mention "accessory unit"?
I read the interview That doesn't mean the accessory unit is not integrated into the accelerator unit. Or maybe it's in the PRIME.
But the point is, they're talking about a kind of processing which cannot replicate in software, after the fact (without detail loss). It's not the only kind of processing they're applying, but it should give certain people pause, when they automatically think "processing = cooking".

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
First and foremost, however, one has to take any kind of such non-technical statements with a huge grain of salt, in particular, if it is meant to serve marketing purposes. The statement is entirely compatible with my understanding of the accelerator unit, if you assume that it works on non-demosaiced data and with "just software processing" they mean tweaking an image that comes out of a RAW converter. In this way, the statement could be truthful but not rule out the possibility that the accelerator could indeed by replaced by processing outside the camera (of a kind which is not available right now from off-the-shelf RAW converters).
This is just an assumption; basically you're assuming you are right and interpret whatever they said in this light
RAW converters also work with non-demosaiced data (until they apply demosaicing). I assume the meaning is, such processing cannot be replicated with the data from a RAW file.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
In my view Pentax engineers are fantastic and Ricoh deserves a lot of credit. I'm not complaining about the K-1 II at all. However, no one should accept some translated marketing talk as gospel on what happens under the hood.
Who's doing that?
Ricoh Imaging is by far the best source of information we have on this subject though.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Please also note that when I state that there should be an option to get original RAW data, I'm talking about a matter of principle. I think this should be true for all manufacturers. As all manufacturers appear to be doing some level of "beautification", I'm not pointing at Pentax specifically. However, Pentax has always struck me as a brand that wants to get things right as opposed to appealing to the masses and in that sense my expectations towards Pentax are a bit higher.
There is no such thing as an original RAW data. The sensor outputs an already processed data; and if you somehow manage to disable all noise reduction methods you'd probably get something ugly. Noise suppression starts with hardware.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Even if future comparisons reveal that everything the accelerator does is fine, where would be the harm to allow disabling it for those who think that they'll be able to beat it in the future?
I don't think it is possible, by hardware design.
If it was possible, the harm would be people complaining how the RAWs are "cooked", because, you see, there's this option which you could disable and get worse but "uncooked" results...
And if the results are as good or better, there's no point to ever disable it (except for the above).
04-25-2018, 03:18 AM   #281
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The K5 which was prized by many people in the past and still is used by plenty had some smoothing over iso 1600. I never saw examples of it causing a problem and I shot with one for many years. But I suppose it is more the concept of thing than anything else. "Give me my unadulterated raw file and let me decide what to do with it!"
04-25-2018, 03:18 AM   #282
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@Mike:
Everyone is using NR. The only problem is, can they accurately distinguish noise from detail?

@Rondec:
I bet those people would be the firsts to complain, "what is this? Noise? Banding? Wrong colors?".
04-25-2018, 04:39 AM   #283
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
can they accurately distinguish noise from detail?
Note that Ricoh say the accelerator chip improves detail ( ie resolution), colour rendition AND reduces noise:

QuoteQuote:
[K1 II] incorporates an original accelerator unit, which efficiently processes image signals output by the image sensor before sending them to the imaging engine. This process upgrades both image resolution and color reproduction in a high-sensitivity range, while drastically reducing noise compared to the PENTAX K-1. .
High-resolution design | PENTAX K-1 Mark II | RICOH IMAGING

All of those improvements in colour and resolution might simply be a by-product of efficient noise reduction, but it might also be a hint that more than just NR may be going on inside the Accelerator chip.
04-25-2018, 06:04 AM   #284
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
However, no one should accept some translated marketing talk as gospel on what happens under the hood.
And translated from another language, and one that is very different than the English everyone is using here. Japanese is an especially difficult case for translation, back and forth, from the major western languages. Furthermore, although ubiquitous, English language instruction in Japan is fairly poor. One of the best English speakers I encountered in Japan was a lovely young woman working in a shop who learned her English watching music videos and listening to rock and roll and pop! We've all seen this problem in camera manuals....
04-25-2018, 06:59 AM   #285
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Then buy an original K1. It has no accelerator chip, so nothing to disable.
What would I do with a second one?

The point is that the accelerator chip may become a mandatory part of every future Pentax DSLR and I can see that some won't like that. The jury is still out whether it has any detrimental effects, but if it does then it should be optional.
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