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10-04-2018, 05:15 AM   #1
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K-1 II Autofocus Update Ceiling

I wonder if the K-1 II's all-new autofocus algorithms, combined with the accelerator unit, could potentially raise the ceiling for future firmware updates to autofocus compared to K-1? Or maybe this isn't even possible with firmware updates, or has nothing to do with the accelerator unit. I don't know. Does anyone know? I'm just lookin' for answers.

10-04-2018, 06:04 AM   #2
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I believe the accelerator unit is key to the improved AF in the K-1 II. As to whether there would be any further improvements is I think anyone's guess.
10-04-2018, 09:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by boblivious Quote
Does anyone know? I'm just lookin' for answers.
Anything is possible, but if past experience is any guide, AF improvements (aside from bug fixes) from firmware alone are conspicuously rare in Pentaxland. My suspicions are that core tuning is hard-baked into the processor chips and that significant improvements might require substantial hardware (detector and processor) changes from what we have now. It is unlikely that the accelerator chip has anything to do with the AF improvements on the K-1ii. There were changes to the main board as well.


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10-04-2018, 09:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There were changes to the main board as well.
My knowledge is thin in this area, but it is my understanding that the lack of a dedicated AF processor board is the point of departure for Pentax as compared to, say, Nikon.


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10-04-2018, 12:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
My knowledge is thin in this area, but it is my understanding that the lack of a dedicated AF processor board is the point of departure for Pentax as compared to, say, Nikon.


Steve
The D4/D5 have dedicated AF processors, IIRC, but most Nikons have the same one processor doing everything.

Of course you pay and pay big for the extra chip.
10-04-2018, 01:04 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by boblivious Quote
I wonder if the K-1 II's all-new autofocus algorithms, combined with the accelerator unit, could potentially raise the ceiling for future firmware updates to autofocus compared to K-1? Or maybe this isn't even possible with firmware updates, or has nothing to do with the accelerator unit. I don't know. Does anyone know? I'm just lookin' for answers.
The latest K1 update changed the autofocus algorithms and in my experience got rid of the imprecision that I would run into sometimes, but the processing horsepower wasn't available. It is quite noticeable with the Mark II that the processing keeps up with subject movement. With the K1 I would have a subject in focus in the viewfinder but by the time the exposure happened the subject moved out of focus. That doesn't happen with the Mark II. Likely the additional processing power available from the additional processing unit is used.
10-04-2018, 01:26 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The D4/D5 have dedicated AF processors, IIRC, but most Nikons have the same one processor doing everything.

Of course you pay and pay big for the extra chip.
It was my understanding that the D500 and D8xx series also are in that special group.

Addendum: Confirmed that is the case for the D500, D810, and D850 from Nikon documentation.
10-05-2018, 05:54 AM   #8
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Now I"m totally confused. I thought I had read the accelerator unit was part of what allowed them to do the extra number crunching to improve the AF performance. Am I just nuts on this/it was conjecture I read someplace? Do we have any definitive answers from Ricoh or just everyone guessing? Part of why I think I might have gone down this rabbit hole is because the original K-1 can't get the updated AF improvements, and I thought that had been attributed to the accelerator chip.

10-05-2018, 08:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
I thought I had read the accelerator unit was part of what allowed them to do the extra number crunching to improve the AF performance.
You are not alone in that speculation. Whether the accelerator is a general purpose floating-point co-processor is not known. What is known is that it is being utilized for image processing, post-exposure, and would be quite busy in a burst scenario.


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10-05-2018, 09:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You are not alone in that speculation. Whether the accelerator is a general purpose floating-point co-processor is not known. What is known is that it is being utilized for image processing, post-exposure, and would be quite busy in a burst scenario.


Steve
Thanks for the sanity check. I really try to be accurate with this type of stuff and not feed the missinformation monster. Dug around a bit last night and couldn't find anything to confirm or deny, but that would tie back to Ricoh being very tight lipped on what is exactly going on, which makes sense. Never a good idea to give the opposition (every other camera maker) too much info.

Thanks
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