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04-29-2021, 06:22 PM   #1
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I would love to eventually see Pentax produce a monochrome version of K-1/K-3/K-70

Pentax has a fairly limited footprint in the digital camera market (compared to Canon, Nikon, etc), and doesn't have any mirrorless models. That is fine by me, as my K-50 with Pentax prime lenses is a light weight package anyway. The new K-3iii just introduced looks like a really nice camera. If Pentax could do a monochrome (B & W sensor) version of it, the K-1ii, or even f the K-70, I bet that would generate some extra sales. I know I would be all over it. Just a thought...

04-29-2021, 07:39 PM - 1 Like   #2
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It will never happen,
04-30-2021, 01:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendra59 Quote
Pentax has a fairly limited footprint in the digital camera market (compared to Canon, Nikon, etc), and doesn't have any mirrorless models. That is fine by me, as my K-50 with Pentax prime lenses is a light weight package anyway. The new K-3iii just introduced looks like a really nice camera. If Pentax could do a monochrome (B & W sensor) version of it, the K-1ii, or even f the K-70, I bet that would generate some extra sales. I know I would be all over it. Just a thought...
They already do make that possible. Each Pentax DSLR has the capability to do just that, with only a few adjustments in the menus. Open the menu, go to the custom image setting and choose the BW setting. You will take only monochrome photos, until you change it to a different setting.
04-30-2021, 02:50 PM   #4
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I suspect that only someone like Leica could get away with that. And as mentioned above, all Pentax cameras already have that ability.

04-30-2021, 07:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photos-by-Chas Quote
They already do make that possible. Each Pentax DSLR has the capability to do just that, with only a few adjustments in the menus. Open the menu, go to the custom image setting and choose the BW setting. You will take only monochrome photos, until you change it to a different setting.
I am aware of how to get the camera to produce a B & W jpeg image. I was musing about a possible Pentax camera with a digital sensor that could capture B & W in RAW mode. Does Pentax’s DSLR cameras do that?

Sony apparently released a special version of the A6000 that could do this, and while it was expensive compared to the “standard” version, it wasn’t 3x the price. Phase One made (still makes?) a medium format digital camera that captures B & W in RAW, but it was very expensive. Anyway, it would probably never happen because of the limited potential buyer pool vs cost to manufacture…
05-01-2021, 05:46 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendra59 Quote
I am aware of how to get the camera to produce a B & W jpeg image. I was musing about a possible Pentax camera with a digital sensor that could capture B & W in RAW mode. Does Pentax’s DSLR cameras do that?

Sony apparently released a special version of the A6000 that could do this, and while it was expensive compared to the “standard” version, it wasn’t 3x the price. Phase One made (still makes?) a medium format digital camera that captures B & W in RAW, but it was very expensive. Anyway, it would probably never happen because of the limited potential buyer pool vs cost to manufacture…
Technically, Sony has to have a monochrome version of the IMX094 sensor without the RGGB Bayer Matrix. I don't believe they produced that version, so it's not possible.
05-01-2021, 06:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Technically, Sony has to have a monochrome version of the IMX094 sensor without the RGGB Bayer Matrix. I don't believe they produced that version, so it's not possible.
I did a bit of looking on the internet, and it turns out you are right (and I was not). SONY didn't make a monochrome version, but there is a company that sells a converted version:
Sony Monochrome

I am not plugging this company; I am just saying monochrome digital camera bodies in a full frame or APS-C format camera bodies have some appeal, and it would be a great "what if Pentax did THIS project."
05-01-2021, 08:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendra59 Quote
I am aware of how to get the camera to produce a B & W jpeg image. I was musing about a possible Pentax camera with a digital sensor that could capture B & W in RAW mode. Does Pentax’s DSLR cameras do that?

Sony apparently released a special version of the A6000 that could do this, and while it was expensive compared to the “standard” version, it wasn’t 3x the price. Phase One made (still makes?) a medium format digital camera that captures B & W in RAW, but it was very expensive. Anyway, it would probably never happen because of the limited potential buyer pool vs cost to manufacture…
I have two Pentax K-x and a K70, all of which I can set to take B/W photos in Raw files. One does not need a sensor solely for monochrome photos, simply set your camera to BW images and RAW files. it will do it for you. Setting to B/W images will not preclude RAW files being taken.

Why purchase a second camera to take only B/W photos when your current camera is fully able to take photos as B/W, even if the second camera would not cost as much as the camera you now own, which can take RAW B/W photos.


Last edited by Photos-by-Chas; 05-01-2021 at 08:12 AM. Reason: additional comment
05-01-2021, 10:01 AM   #9
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It's not likely going to happen. Either use the monochrome mode, set it up as a user mode for faster access, or, if you have time and the subject allows, use pixel shift and then do a monochrome conversion in post. This does work very, very well and can also be set up as a user mode.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 05-01-2021 at 10:06 AM.
05-01-2021, 10:14 AM   #10
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There are some advantages in having a monochrome sensor without the Bayer filter array. Better noise for a given ISO, better resolution, maybe some others.


But I think that for a large majority of photographers, in a large majority of use cases, the difference between a monochrome camera and converting a color image to B&W is small. For many or maybe even most viewing situations perhaps even impossible to discern.

So a monochrome camera is necessarily a small niche. And Pentax itself is already a small niche. I'd guess sales of a monochrome K-3 III would be a few hundred cameras at $3000, $4000, $5000 each. Hard to make the business case unless my guess is very far off.
05-01-2021, 10:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendra59 Quote
I would love to eventually see Pentax produce a monochrome version of K-1/K-3/K-70
..........
I am aware of how to get the camera to produce a B & W jpeg image. I was musing about a possible Pentax camera with a digital sensor that could capture B & W in RAW mode. Does Pentax’s DSLR cameras do that?
I have just checked my K-1 and found that it can take B&W pictures in RAW mode, and Photos-by-Chas said the same about the K-x and K-70. Perhaps you should have checked what is already available. If you want Pentax to use a sensor that can only see B&W, they will need to find a supplier first, and for a very limited production run. Few people would pay probably a lot more for a camera that is restricted in its use, while cameras that can do that and more are available for less money.
05-01-2021, 11:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ThorSanchez Quote
There are some advantages in having a monochrome sensor without the Bayer filter array. Better noise for a given ISO, better resolution, maybe some others.
.
Hence using, if possible, the pixel shift mode as it negates the Bayer filter.
05-01-2021, 03:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ThorSanchez Quote
So a monochrome camera is necessarily a small niche. And Pentax itself is already a small niche. I'd guess sales of a monochrome K-3 III would be a few hundred cameras at $3000, $4000, $5000 each. Hard to make the business case unless my guess is very far off.
I can't imagine that they would even sell that many given that, as others have said, any Pentax camera can take a B & W shot with its current sensor anyway.
05-02-2021, 04:24 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ThorSanchez Quote
There are some advantages in having a monochrome sensor without the Bayer filter array. Better noise for a given ISO, better resolution, maybe some others.
Leaving the business feasibility aside, and for only semi-technically-minded non-engineers: what (why/how) are the differences/ benefits of B&W sensors over just changing the settings in-camera? (a link to some good info would be enough)
05-02-2021, 05:41 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by chriswill Quote
Leaving the business feasibility aside, and for only semi-technically-minded non-engineers: what (why/how) are the differences/ benefits of B&W sensors over just changing the settings in-camera? (a link to some good info would be enough)
Simply put, monochrome sensors = you get 4x the resolution, and the full quantum efficiency of every pixel.
In the colour version - RGGB filters take 4 pixels to give a colour pixel. So a 36megapixel colour sensor is effectively a 9megapixel colour image.
In a mono camera, since there is no coloured filter array, all the light gets through - so better low light performance.
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