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02-22-2012, 05:31 AM   #1
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Ideas on how Pentax could make a FF unique (I'll start)

I hope I'm posting in the right section. Most of you will have seen the interview in which he said Pentax do want to make a FF dSLR but if they do it would have to be unique in some way, something that isn't already on the market. Since it's not news, or even really rumours, I'm posting my idea on how they might happen here, feel free to follow.

Ok here is mine. Now, don't get me wrong - this will never happen in a million years, because too many idiots out the would see this camera as inferior based on numbers that don't mean anything, so it wouldn't sell, and it would also involve Pentax making their own sensor or having Nikon make one for them to their own specs, but here's what I'd love to see:
Presently, we know the Nikon D3s and it's bothers with the same 12MP sensor to be the best noise handling cameras out there. Nikon is probably looking to do the same again with the D4 at a humble 16MP. Now, any one who have ever printed really big, knows that even a tiny 12MP photo is ok to print absolutely huge, as longs the image is sharp. In fact it's been shown that 5mp will do the job in most situations, even really large prints because we stand further back from them. So I reckon it'd be awesome, if they could make an 8mp FF camera that absolutely dominated noise due to the huge pixels it offered, more than 4 times the size of the pixels on that ridiculous contraption, the D800. I don't know sensor science well enough to know what would be possible here, but I have an inkling that if someone had th guts to do this, we'd see a camera that produced totally useable images at ISO 102,000, since the K5 has much smaller pixels than my concept thing here but still produces good results at 12800.

PS. I don't want to hear cropping scenarios, seriously, how much are you going to crop an image of you're printing it A1 sized.

02-22-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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I don't think your equation of pixel size to ISO quality stands up, unfortunately! Plus if Pentax asked for a bespoke sensor, the cost would be huge. You could stick a 16MP sensor in there and downsample the image to 8MP if you wanted... a lot of compact cameras so something similar in their highest ISO settings to reduce noise.

I would imagine that if you downsampled the images from the D800 to 8MP, the resulting files would be really clean and any noise which may have been visible in the original files at 1:1 would all but disappear.
02-22-2012, 07:11 AM   #3
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Small pixel sensors do not have worse performance - Canon Digital Photography Forums
Nice post summing lot's of info and arguments to definitely stomp the misconceived idea that larger pixels perform so much better than smaller ones...That "ridiculous contraption" has the same pixelpitch and sensor tech that our beloved K5...so performance will probably be similar when viewed/printed at the same size. And i can really see how some people are exited about a 36MP camera with a nice performance (and the killer features it has like the professional AF compared to the average Af system in pentax cameras).
The problem isn't so much at the sensor level but at the lenses wich edge sharpness may be quite challenged when paired with a 36Mp camera and when that resolution is used to print huge prints.
02-22-2012, 07:44 AM   #4
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If it has a K-mount it will be unique...
Furthermore they can simply upgrade and reissue F/FA series primes, with a little modernisation, they're then set for a range of FF primes without having to spend too much on R&D...

I think the real issue is a fear of failure against the big two and that getting it wrong could jeopardize the whole shebang!!

02-22-2012, 07:49 AM   #5
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A unique FF DSLR:

- With AF that front focuses severily in tungsten light,
- with a stain-decorated artistic sensor and
- with a removable lens release button.

I don't think that's been done yet.
02-22-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
Small pixel sensors do not have worse performance - Canon Digital Photography Forums
Nice post summing lot's of info and arguments to definitely stomp the misconceived idea that larger pixels perform so much better than smaller ones...That "ridiculous contraption" has the same pixelpitch and sensor tech that our beloved K5...so performance will probably be similar when viewed/printed at the same size. And i can really see how some people are exited about a 36MP camera with a nice performance (and the killer features it has like the professional AF compared to the average Af system in pentax cameras).
The problem isn't so much at the sensor level but at the lenses wich edge sharpness may be quite challenged when paired with a 36Mp camera and when that resolution is used to print huge prints.
I have trouble with articles that spend so much time on what's wrong with what everyone else says, and so little time on what's actually true. They are usually written by no nothing blow hards. If you know something, presenting your case can be done efficiently, without shooting down what everyone else has done. If you don't know anything just tear down avery straw man you can put up there. Most of us already completely understand that. I only pay attention to pixel peeping comparisons. I don't listen to anyone's pointless theories. Especially this guys. He has no original research. And if I've learned one thing over the years it's, if you didn't do the research, you probably don't know what it means.
02-22-2012, 08:10 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
A unique FF DSLR:

- With AF that front focuses severily in tungsten light,
- with a stain-decorated artistic sensor and
- with a removable lens release button.

I don't think that's been done yet.
If you are so unhappy with Pentax, why do you stay? Move on. Find happiness. Life is short.
02-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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A FF camera that is more affordable then any of the competition would be unique and would sell VERY well. With APSC there's entry-level and high-end level too. Pentax could test the waters with an entry level FF. Only to bring out the fully featured version later on.

Or, something modular, would be unique too. A body, selectable mount, mirrored or not, OVF or EVF, etc... I think though that that would required manifold more developement and funding then the above budget-FF idea.

02-22-2012, 08:27 AM   #9
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...mmm you may be right normhead...BUT i like how he sums up some of the arguments in a clear manner.
I'm probably on the "not capable of understanding" side when some of the technical issues are discussed because i ain't got the knowledge necessary, what i do understand are the flaws of the reasonings of some to prove their point.
Although you're right, to see the actual results and capabilities we'll have to wait till the production models get out and we start seeing serious comparisons and tests to determine the camera capabilities. What i like is that he points why some of the theories used to demonstrate why a 36Mp is "ridicoulous" are as you say "pointless"...and you do not need to have your own research to be able to do that.
02-22-2012, 08:29 AM   #10
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I want to see a square sensor, 35x35mm, so that the whole image circle is recorded. DA lenses could also be used. The design of the camera could be handled by Marc Newson or similar, and could be made 'square' - breaking the mould of conventional DSLRs.

The square format is coming back in again, and the posibility of capturing an actual circle from DA lenses is intriguing.
02-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
A FF camera that is more affordable then any of the competition would be unique and would sell VERY well. With APSC there's entry-level and high-end level too. Pentax could test the waters with an entry level FF. Only to bring out the fully featured version later on.

Or, something modular, would be unique too. A body, selectable mount, mirrored or not, OVF or EVF, etc... I think though that that would required manifold more developement and funding then the above budget-FF idea.
Many here refer to a digital LX. Asahiflex pointed out that 2013 is the LXth (60th) anniversary of the Asahiflex camera.


All other variables being competitive, a modular viewfinder system such as was on the LX would certainly be unique.
  • Large Optical viewfinder(s) with multiple, Pentax-made focusing screens
    • articulating version as FB-1/FC-1
    • magnifying
    • waist-level
    • no flash shoe
  • Small Electronic viewfinder with zoom-focus, etc.
  • Blank viewfinder plug to make the camera LCD only as is the K-01
    • with articulating LCD
We can dream.
02-22-2012, 08:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
If you are so unhappy with Pentax, why do you stay? Move on. Find happiness. Life is short.
Man, what happened to your sense of humor?




But seriously, I just might get rid of all my Pentax gear and start over with something else just for change - if selling stuff wasn't such a major pain in the ass. With all the haggling, packaging, shipping etc. involved, I'd probably rather just dump them.
02-22-2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeztastic Quote
I want to see a square sensor, 35x35mm, so that the whole image circle is recorded. DA lenses could also be used. The design of the camera could be handled by Marc Newson or similar, and could be made 'square' - breaking the mould of conventional DSLRs.

The square format is coming back in again, and the posibility of capturing an actual circle from DA lenses is intriguing.
That DOES sound very interesting. I didn't realize a square FF sensor would allow the usage of more DA's. It would solve the low FF-lens issue too. Leave out the part about "design my Barf Newson" and it would be a winner.

Last edited by Clavius; 02-22-2012 at 09:57 AM.
02-22-2012, 08:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Or, something modular, would be unique too. A body, selectable mount, mirrored or not, OVF or EVF, etc... I think though that that would required manifold more developement and funding then the above budget-FF idea.
That would be indeed great!! i'm sure they didn't go modular with the 645d to avoid competing with phaseone, sinar and mamiya backs...they could go modular in a format where there ain't anything like it...A studio camera with decent electronics and sensors you could change depending on the needs in resolution, high iso, speed etc.
Although i doubt it's feasable for a company like pentax at a reasonable cost...and they would depend and open a direct competion venue to sensor makers.
Nice idea but pretty much impossible.
02-22-2012, 08:54 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Furthermore they can simply upgrade and reissue F/FA series primes, with a little modernisation, they're then set for a range of FF primes without having to spend too much on R&D...
Lots of modernization.
The old FA series weren't great at the edges on FF film bodies. Back then, it didn't matter because it offered a sort of "vignette" effect to focus your eyes.
In today's digital world where everyone expects them to be sharp to the edges, they'd have to be bigger to get the extra edge sharpness...look at Nikon's recent primes/zooms for an example of what people expect and how much more expensive they'd be

I like the modular viewfinder, but don't see it's practical because the viewfinder has to be positioned accurately which is a lot harder to do when it's modular (like digital MF backs).

The square FF concept would be pretty cool. Still doesn't solve the edge sharpness issue w/ FA lenses...

I'd add USB 3.0 or 802.11ac wireless tethering but Pentax has never been big on tethering...if they just provided a well designed public API, people would be able to write something for them

And sorry, IMHO 36MP FF is here to stay. Sony/Nikon opened that genie and there's no getting it back...especially since Nikon took out the AA filter as the workaround (and it looks viable from the samples I've seen) for lens sharpness. Most amateurs would whine about having to deal w/ moire so it should be amusing to monitor Nikon threads when the D800e finally ships
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