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12-25-2011, 06:18 PM   #1
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simple dslr

Do any of you see any chance of Pentax or any other maker coming out with a low cost dslr that foregoes the plethora of menu driven options on a dslr? For example, a simple dslr that allows the user to manipulate aperature, shutter speed, ISO and focusing, plus a simple AE option. Omitting video, white balance, etc.

After fussing with my brother in law's Cannon, I realize I have no desire to fuss with all of options available on his camera. Why have them if I don't need them? I figure if they make it simple I might also save a buck or two to boot!

Played with my MX this past week (first time in 2 decades!) and enjoyed the heck out of it. Soooo simple to use!

12-25-2011, 06:25 PM   #2
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Not a chance. What worked for the SLR market for 40 years simply will not work for the DSLR market. It's all about feature creap and gear envy. That started almost as soon as the first AF SLRs came out in the late 1980s.
12-25-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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Isn't that what most of the mirrorless cameras are supposed to be?
12-25-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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The Leica M9 is pretty much the rangefinder version of the simple dSLR you describe. It does have menu options for WB, ISO, etc - but you can set it once (like loading film set the same parameters) and use it like a film camera with manual aperture, shutter speed, and focus. It has an aperture-preterred auto shutter speed if you want, but purely manual focus and aperture.
Leica has sold twice the number they expected, so there is a market for the concept. However, in Leica terms "simple" doesn't mean cheap - the body only is $7K. Lenses are $1.5K to over $10K.
I use mine much more than my K-5, because I prefer the simple, all manual control. I'd buy a Pentax equivalent easily.

12-25-2011, 07:22 PM   #5
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Probably 90%+ of the settings on a current DSLR could be set once and forgotten, and still produce good photos under a wide variety of conditions. There's really no reason to be intimidated by the number of settings/features on current cameras. You'll find the right balance between what you need, and what can safely be ignored, provided you have (or are willing to absorb) some background on what these things do.

I think it would be a lot worse to have a bare bones camera and realize out in the field "Damn, if it could just do X" while you lose your shot. It's better the settings be there at your disposal, it does NOT mean that you need to continually futz with them between shots.
12-25-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
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That's what green mode is for. If you don't want all the options, don't use them. But why get a DSLR at all if that's the case?
12-25-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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DSLRs do have too many features at first. You need to put many of them on the back burner to gain some familiarity with the camera. But it should be possible to use one sort of like an MX. Models with 2 control dials do this better because you can put aperture on one dial, shutter speed on another. But M mode should work OK even on a Canon or with one dial. Then add in new features gradually.
12-25-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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Every DSLR Pentax has ever made lets you set ISO, aperture, and ahutter speed. The fact that you can *also* make other settings in no complicates or otherwsie interferes with your ability to set those basic exposure parameters. So what the advantage be in a camera that didn't provide those other occasionally necessary settings? Removing them wouldn't make the camera cheaper - it would make it more expensive, becuase they would have to develop all new firmware.

12-25-2011, 08:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Every DSLR Pentax has ever made lets you set ISO, aperture, and ahutter speed.
With my K-x. is basically how I shoot. I set those controls, set camera on MF, set dial on M and shoot away. I get some pretty awesome shots doing it this way. I like things simple.
12-25-2011, 09:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pichur Quote
low cost dslr that foregoes the plethora of menu driven options
I think you are over-simplifying. Yes there are a lot of options in the menus but many of those existed on film cameras as well, just in a different format.
-- ISO: today you can change it on the camera, with film you had to select the film speed appropriate to the scene you were shooting
-- White Balance: today it is either automatic or can be set on the camera, with film they sold a lot of filters for daylight, morning, evening etc to get things to look right

So some of the things that the camera can do now had to be done manually but they still had to be done.

And the majority of the camera settings are just giving you the option to setup or design how you want the camera to work. Set them once and never look at it again. Although I will readily admit the sheer number is overwhelming at first.

But to answer your question, no, no chance at all. Digital requires some of those settings no matter how simple you want the camera (ISO, WB, file format) and stripping out the non-essential stuff would not really save any money.

Compare the k-r and the k-5, far more non-essential rigamarole on the k-r (scene modes, program modes, autopict) than on the k-5 but obviously not less expensive. It really does not cost much to add those things and feature comparisons are what make buying decisions even if those features are never used.
12-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #11
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I'll chime in just to keep the OP from feeling like the Lone Ranger. I also would prefer a vastly "de-featured" DSLR. I'm not silly enough to think we'll ever actually get one....but I would prefer one.

Keep your damned front and rear dials. Keep your damned video recording. Keep your damned multiple modes I never use. Keep your damned autofocus. Keep your damned high fps.

Give me a shutter speed dial. Put aperture rings on my lenses. Give me a nice big bright optical viewfinder with a center-weighted meter and a simple needle and scale. And do it in M42, please.
12-25-2011, 09:43 PM   #12
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I had no clue the extra menu items did not add cost, but without them it would. Just figured less features lower price. The point is, if the stuff is not wanted nor needed, why have it? Obviously, as was posted, the features become a selling point somewhere along the line. Really would like a simpler format. While we're at it, I would also like to see the size reduced some, and add more length on the left side of the body to enhance my grip on the thing. K1000 comes to mind.

I do not understand programming or electronic hardware, but do understand that one less bolt or screw means a penny less in the price.
12-26-2011, 01:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pichur Quote
I had no clue the extra menu items did not add cost, but without them it would. Just figured less features lower price. The point is, if the stuff is not wanted nor needed, why have it? Obviously, as was posted, the features become a selling point somewhere along the line. Really would like a simpler format. While we're at it, I would also like to see the size reduced some, and add more length on the left side of the body to enhance my grip on the thing. K1000 comes to mind.

I do not understand programming or electronic hardware, but do understand that one less bolt or screw means a penny less in the price.
Features are already there, it will actually cost money to take them out so why would you?

Also when you look at the features most of them are about how the camera behave, if you don't want to fiddle with them then leave them alone, it's as simple as that.
I however like to set up my camera a sudden way that suite my style.
12-26-2011, 02:38 AM   #14
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I wonder what would happen if Pentax made a K1000D- basically a K1000 but with a digital sensor

Adam
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12-26-2011, 03:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I wonder what would happen if Pentax made a K1000D- basically a K1000 but with a digital sensor
In the same solid metal body? I'd like to see that. With no SR too?
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