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09-25-2007, 09:48 AM   #1
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TO do the Next DSLR right

With all the talk of a new body going on. I have logically come up with a body that would truly be in the smi-Pro cat. Not a K10D replacement, but a body above it. Leave the K10D where it is for now, price etc. is perfect!
Now please read to understand why I chose what I did, and see how logical the choices are to make a body that sells
Remember the all might $$ and numbers sold reighn higher than perfection in image quality to the averge buyer. If image perfection would be #1 than a *ist-D or D100 with some mods to processing and buffer. THese cameras gave great images with tweaks, and for most gave usable prints up to 16x20 (most people do not print larger than letter, remember so even a 11x14 most times is "huge" to the average joe who buys the cameras)
Also remember, though some of us who are pros, we are only a small market who buys. The average Joe with $$ is the one who really brings in the $$ for the camera companies in sales. Joe wants to have the same and look the same as the "guys on TV" so he buys what they have. To deny this factor is to deny sales and will lead to a flop of a top camera.
Also Pentax needs to follow up the K10D with something equally as award winning and marketable

What I want is a good body like the K10D
Weather sealed, tough, good feel and layout, good overall image quality (not talking about extreme high/low ISO's

What they need to make a winner in the "eyes" of the consumer who tends to shop on FPS, MP and ISO: (face the facts people, we as photographers know how to take and make a good image, we understand the limitations of our equipment, but the average consumer talks #'s not real world performance)
All what I said above, plus, 10-12mp (of course the more MP, the higher the sales rating... even though their is little diff. between 10 and 12) 5-8fps, ISO 50/100-6400 and noise kept to current or better than 800 at 1600 and 1600 levels at 3200 (6400 is let go basically) And a price point that is the same as the 40D or less

Now I love what Nikon has done again in the D300, and I have always said they should do the same in DSLR's and they did in Film SLR's, a grip/booster pack that boosts the FPS Fact of life is higher FPS needs higher voltage and longer lasting batt's The only way to keep bodies small but still allow the versatility of even higher fps than what the physical body allows, the addition of a grip with more power is a perfectly logical choice. It allows all to be happy in one camera. Light weight, small body and reasonable FPS specs. Or a more "pro" body that’s heavier but has 2-3FPS more than the body alone.
I am also a fan of the High Speed Crop. Less sensor area, Less MP Less demand on the internal memory and processor of the camera, thus it can do more in less time.

So: Ideally a Pro (smi-pro actually for now) Pentax IMO would have the following (to meet my needs/wants, and to actually sell in high #'s
It would meet/exceed the D300/40D which now has become truly a smi-pro body with all the features of the "top" bodies but less cost, weight and slightly less specs in areas less important to everyone. (Face it you can do almost the same with a D300 as you did with a D3x and the same for a 40D and a 1D MKII (and almost III

Ideal body Specs:

>K10D body Format, with some cluing from the MZ-S slope top (I still love my MZ-S)
>Poly carb shell with Mag/aluminum frame (steal is too heavy)
>Weather sealed like the K10D
>12mp CMOS APS-C (1.5x) or APS-H? (1.3X) (of course the 1.3x would allow larger photosites and hopefully less noise)
>ISO 50-6400 (50 and 6400 are in a custom menu like a L1 and H1 option.) See ISO settings above for noise levels
>In body smart SR (will adjust to lens and format (if 1.3X is chosen, not all lens have same amount of SR capability)
>FPS: Full Sensor 4, Crop (2x) 6
FPS w/ Battery grip (Full function battery grip) Full 6, Crop 8 (Grip would take a new battery [D300ish] and still attach like current models do so the existing Dl-150 that the K10 has would be standard in-body)
Full Sensor 25RAW, 50 jpg
Crop Sensor 35RAW, Unlimited jpg
>Storage Duel card, CF and SD
>Wireless capabilities, Add on external device, but better would be built in with antenna port for extended range
>Live View (Take or leave, it, but it would be a better “spec” to have it)
>3”LCD (high res like the D3 has)
Body Only $1300
Combo with Battery grip $1450 (grip comes with high cap batt and slide for regular battery too [D300ish])
Pro-Pack (Body, Grip, High and Low cap batteries (1/ec) DA*16-50 $2000

Now how does that sound? Remember this is to market to pros and to the guy who wants to look like one. It may not have everything you (the dedicated measurebating pentaxian) personally want, but debate if this would sale good, not that it doesn't have XYZ small feature that "I" want.
We all need something that our or this camera doesn't have, but for now we as a pentax user need something to put our brand on the map to stay alive.

09-25-2007, 10:35 AM   #2
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09-25-2007, 12:27 PM   #3
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I agree that numbers sell cameras for the first time buyers. However, it's specific features which sell the pro/semi-pro on a body - and thats only after they realize the system has what they need to do the work they require.

I'd therefore say skip the next body until the road-map has been realized to a further degree than it has been so far. Get the lenses and accessories into the stores and that will increase sales right there.

For the next body - when it does come, I hope they keep to the same philosophy as they did with the K10D. The K10D is better suited to outdoor photography than any other camera in it's price-range and if they keep that in mind in the next body, I think they're going to continue with good sales figures.

As for my wish-list, I won't bother putting it all down here as it would make for a long list that probably wouldn't suit most shooters, but I think a a few things need to happen in a general sense if they wan't to keep up the momentum:

More fps: It's expected because thats what the competition is doing. 6 would be a good start for that, but no more than that as SD cards only have so much room.

More MP's: Token upgrades will raise interest, but only if they can deliver on better dynamic range, improved noise and maintain a useful range of ISO's (and take it one step further....ISO 25).

Faster AF: It's time. It's well past time for a boost in the AF department - even if it's only for SDM lenses. It's one of the sore points with people looking at Pentax and it's a reason for dismissing them. No matter how fast it might actually be, Pentax is battling perception; simple as that. This would require making/bringing to market a cheap kit lens with SDM so the regulars get a taste for it too.

Make it quieter: Dampen the mirror slap and keep the camera's noise to a minimum.

Ergonomics: You're never going to please everyone, but my MZ-S is king in this department. Even the DS2 was amazing in terms of the grip used. The K10D was a step backwards, AFAIC.

While on the topic of the MZ-S: Lets have that magnesium alloy body back. I've got no doubt that poly-carbonates are strong and durable. I still like metal....and a canted top plate too.

Flash sync: Another point that makes people look away. Up the speed to 1/250. Makes little real-world difference, but it will please the masses to some degree.

Flash sync terminal: Add one!!!

One up the K10D: Along with weather seals, a bit of shock resistance would be a nice boon.

There's a slew of specifics that I could get into, I think those points would be the best places to start.
09-25-2007, 01:17 PM   #4
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And add a quick way to do WB, whether it be with a dedicated button, or with one push of another button.

09-25-2007, 04:38 PM   #5
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I'd be happy with the K10 with 5-6fps and faster AF. Maybe boost to a usable 3200 ISO too.
09-25-2007, 06:08 PM   #6
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To be honest with me, the K10D is good enough for me to make a living off of. I'm really not interested in more, more, more.

I want a bigger viewfinder, fine tune the af, fine tune the sr, and improve build quality.

The K10D already kills the MZ-S, I just sold mine.
09-25-2007, 07:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaulAndAPentax Quote
I'd be happy with the K10 with 5-6fps and faster AF. Maybe boost to a usable 3200 ISO too.
agreed for until mid 2008 getting the lens family out the door should be the priority. the K10 product life can be stretched to 18 months
09-25-2007, 07:25 PM   #8
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looking at d300 and 40d my guess would be very similar to yours. I would like 1.3 crop but dont see it happening. I think it will be 5fps so basically be seen as somewhere between d200 and d300.

I think they should release before christmas rush (probably too late now though), this is something that can coexist with k10 and give them 3 dslrs on the market at same time.

I also agree with JMI, bigger viewfinder, fine tune af (but I would add less noise)

As for looks, I want it to look like that special anniversary edition that they made 1 of, that was cool


Last edited by philmorley; 09-25-2007 at 07:36 PM.
09-25-2007, 07:42 PM   #9
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Just fix the niggling problems and I am happy

I have had my K10D for 10 months now, and it is a truly wonderful camera. Has enormous flexibility and functionality, I have all the lenses and accessories I could wish for, and IMHO only has a few minor flaws that bug me. I have taken over 8,500 shots so far, and a greater percentage of keepers than with any previous camera I have owned.

My niggling issues are these.
  • Low light focusing and the lack of a usable focus assist (the Sony F7x7 holographic laser was the best I have ever used?)
  • The viewfinder needs to be adjustable to protrude at least 6mm further out to stop your face smearing the screen.
  • Shutter is noisier than it has to be, I get comments in ceremonies etc.
  • Auto Focusing is not up to par with the competition, I find it hunts a lot but is not a deal breaker for me, I have developed techniques and manual focus a lot.

Thanks Pentax
09-27-2007, 06:53 PM   #10
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What I would do for next body above K10D.
1. faster af
2. lower and higher iso range
3. higher fps. Don't personally care about this.
4. larger buffer. Can actually live with 3fps if it could shoot in raw
for 20-30 shots. 9 isn't always enough. Sports and give a way shots are the only time camera goes to jpeg.
5. 100% viewfinder. Almost there now, how hard can it be?
6. live view on two screens. Allow toggling between the back lcd and the top lcd. Make the others wish they had never lost that top screen. How much could a small color lcd add vs our B&W one now? Most of the advantages of swivel lcd but much sturdier. We would have waist level viewing.
7. hdr processing. Take one shot in raw and let camera develop two versions. One for highlights one for shadows. Then merge into single shot. Shouldn't be that hard since camera already does multiple exposures. Also enable multiple hdr shots for static subjects.
8. Subject stabilization. It is possible to actually move the sensor to reduce certauin types of subject movement.
9. SR setting for panning.
10. Electronics built in to allow direct hookup to usb portable hard drive storage unit. Also allowing the shots to be seen on the camera lcd. Super Pictbridge!
Sure they have even better things in mind.
09-27-2007, 09:42 PM   #11
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Hi Brendan,
Some interesting thoughts.

It seems people start to understand that MP is the only thing that matters. (But maybe it is just for those doing some research).
Iso 50 would be nice, and then more useable 1600.

I think what Pentax need to continue doing, is not beat the big ones on Specs, but to make an altogether attractive package. The D200 was not fully gasketet and do not have sealed lenses. But K10 was.

I like how CCD maintains texture and detail at the lower Iso, where CMOS is better at higher Iso and speed.
I hope they go for D200 equivalent, with the CCD that they know from the K10, but then 4 channel read-out. This would give up to 5 fps.

High Iso is CMOS range, but at a price. Both monetary and IQ. (They need to go CMOS later, with Iso 3200 and built-in grip, and possibly without incorporated flash).

“Poly carb shell with Mag/aluminum frame (steal is too heavy)”, Agreed.

I think they should just stay with SD cards. Smaller is better, and in line with the compact SLR thought. (SDHC will go 8 GB at some point, and probably more).

I don’t care about Live View.

3”LCD should be possible.

They for sure need to look hard at their target group, and specify the segment, like they did with the K100 and K10.

I don’t know if it is possible to make APC-H, and then just deactivate SR. (Anyway, APC-H is nice in regard to noise at limited light, but this is also where you like SR).

Anyway, down the road when they’ve settled in the DSLR segment; 645D could be a really fine camera. Big sensor for low noise. I might just consider it with one lens, for indoor photography.

I love the ergonomics of K10, BTW.

SR can already be used for panning, though not officially recommended.

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