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09-21-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
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What happened to Pentax's hybrid viewfinder?

I recall a Pentax patent from a couple of years ago, that described a hybrid optical-digital viewfinder. (Kind of like the viewfinder in the Fuji X100, but for SLRs.)

What ever happened to this viewfinder? It seems like a brilliant idea, and one that Pentax could use in SLRs or in the Q system. Let me suggest some uses:
  • Optical SLR viewfinder with superimposed level display (instead of on the back of the camera like now.)
  • Optical SLR viewfinder with superimposed metering information (showing the light levels at all of the matrix meter locations around the frame)
  • Optical SLR viewfinder with instantaneous image review IN THE VIEWFINDER. Chimp without ever lowering the camera or missing a shot.
  • Optical SLR viewfinder with instantaneous electronic live-view and contrast-detect AF IN THE VIEWFINDER. I like using live-view and like the accuracy of focussing on the actual sensor image, but I don't always want to hold the camera away from my face.
  • Optical viewfinder for the Q with digitally superimposed frame lines, allowing for use with zooms, different focal length primes, and for parallax correction.
  • Optical viewfinder for the Q with simultaneous histogram overlay.
  • Customizable viewfinder overlays for optical SLR or Q finders, allowing for grids, crop marks for different photo or movie aspect ratios
  • Customizable viewfinder masks for SLR or Q -- say you want to shoot in square format, you could set the camera to capture that aspect ratio, and the digital overlay would black out (mask) the sides of the optical viewfinder to show the correct aspect ratio.


09-21-2011, 10:20 PM   #2
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Early on I had info that Pentax were putting this into the K-5 at some point in the development it was dropped.

Who knows why? one Pentax rep told me that it probably had to do with re-using the K-7 body and that the K-5 replacement would be more likely to feature this as long as a new body.
09-22-2011, 10:00 AM   #3
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I'd like to see an interchangeable finder like the LX had on a digital body. I'm a little surprised they didn't offer that on the 645D; it would be HOT! An OVF for bright sunny days, and a massive waist level finder for in the studio.
09-23-2011, 06:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christopher M.W.T Quote
Early on I had info that Pentax were putting this into the K-5 at some point in the development it was dropped.

Who knows why? one Pentax rep told me that it probably had to do with re-using the K-7 body and that the K-5 replacement would be more likely to feature this as long as a new body.

Saving it for a new flagship model above the K-5 with a larger body to hold the extra electronics. Hopefully it will be seeing in a future camera.

Dave

09-23-2011, 07:32 AM   #5
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I haven't looked through the new EVF on the A65/77/NEX, but if it looks anything as good as a typical FF VF, I'd be damn tempted (big and clear). I think you will see the EVF develop quite rapidly over the next 12-18 months and will be one of the top 5 touted features on a good handful of DSLRs, ILC's and MILF's (Micro Interchangeable Lens Format).

Jason
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