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11-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #1
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Mode Dial

Is the PSAM dial a vestigial control of the film era?

Given that current Pentax DSLRs have 2 command dials and there are only 3 exposure controls needed, it seems a good idea to to simplify the UI and add control at the same time without effecting component cost.

the PSAM dial seems better suited to be another command dial that would see more use. I spend most of my time in one mode (99% hyper program, a huge Pentax asset) I think I'd rather it be a dedicated dial for or iso with a button press for PSAM-esqe modes if needed, or perhaps move to three (or even 4) dials (ISO, Aperture,shutter,maybe ) with auto (green "A") positions. When you move to "A," the back screen might allow for "A" behavior mode change (auto-iso setting, MTF Aperture, shutter prefs) or continue with last setting.

Is there something I'm missing, or is this something you'd like to see as well?

11-01-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickler Quote
Is there something I'm missing, or is this something you'd like to see as well?
Shooting one-handed comes to mind. Combine that with accommodating different shooting styles and preferences. I think it's common to spend most of your time in one or two modes, but everyone has a different idea of which modes are useful.
11-01-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickler Quote
Is there something I'm missing, or is this something you'd like to see as well?
If you only use one mode I guess I can see why the mode dial seems a waste. But for those of us who actually use the different modes depending on the needs of the shoot, I think we should leave the dial alone.
11-01-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
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Don't touch my mode dial! I use different settings all the time depending on what I want to accomplish. if depth of field is the important thing set it to Av, if shutterspeed is the important factor set it to Tv etc. It is simply a limiter that is great when you only want to only have one or two variables changing.

11-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Don't touch my mode dial! I use different settings all the time depending on what I want to accomplish. if depth of field is the important thing set it to Av, if shutterspeed is the important factor set it to Tv etc. It is simply a limiter that is great when you only want to only have one or two variables changing.
I totally agree with you regarding such control, but if the mode dial was a 3rd dial, you have instant access to each important control, want shutter set, set it, if auto controlled, put shutter dial on "A" same for aperture and/or sensitivity (ISO).
11-01-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Shooting one-handed comes to mind. Combine that with accommodating different shooting styles and preferences. I think it's common to spend most of your time in one or two modes, but everyone has a different idea of which modes are useful.
Yes ergonomics would be important and the third dial would need to be in the right spot. If most people shoot in only 1-2 modes, why do we need a physical control for it, vs access (and related customization) after a button press? Direct control (incl set to auto) for all 3 exposure controls would make the mode dial superfluous.
11-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickler Quote
but if the mode dial was a 3rd dial, you have instant access to each important control, want shutter set, set it, if auto controlled, put shutter dial on "A" same for aperture and/or sensitivity (ISO).
Maybe I'm old fashioned but I don't see the point. You already have a wheel for two controls, and Av, Tv, and Sv all lock the third.

And how is replacing the mode dial with a third wheel going to work? In order to use it you have to take the camera away from your eye and change your grip. Much faster to hit the ISO button with index finger and use thumb wheel.

I'm not against change, and I've read your post several times trying to see how that would work any better and I just don't see it. Maybe on a k-01 style camera with a two hand grip, but not on a classic DSLR form.
11-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
If you only use one mode I guess I can see why the mode dial seems a waste. But for those of us who actually use the different modes depending on the needs of the shoot, I think we should leave the dial alone.
jatrax,
How do you use the dial that 3 dedicated control dials wouldn't make obsolete? Not trying to be difficult, I can't see a use case that involves frequent mode dial switches, necessitating a manual dial, understanding that usage might allow me to make better use of it in my current cameras.

11-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
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You would still need controls to lock settings, like if I want to control ISO and aperture and have the shutter auto or wanting to set different shutter speeds with only the ISO changing. The three dial thing only takes in account if you want control one setting at a time unless you creat locks for each setting. Like when I shoot sport and don't want one setting to change (horrible if it did) I would probably end up with loads of accidentally set settings.
11-01-2013, 10:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Maybe I'm old fashioned but I don't see the point. You already have a wheel for two controls, and Av, Tv, and Sv all lock the third.

And how is replacing the mode dial with a third wheel going to work? In order to use it you have to take the camera away from your eye and change your grip. Much faster to hit the ISO button with index finger and use thumb wheel.

I'm not against change, and I've read your post several times trying to see how that would work any better and I just don't see it. Maybe on a k-01 style camera with a two hand grip, but not on a classic DSLR form.
Here's the idea camera exposure control in my head:
-Control ring around mount controls aperture (push/pull) one position is auto aperture, other is maunual aperture control.
-Shutter control dial on top marked for manual setting and "A" position
-ISO control dial on top with markings and "A" position
11-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickler Quote
Here's the idea camera exposure control in my head: -Control ring around mount controls aperture (push/pull) one position is auto aperture, other is maunual aperture control. -Shutter control dial on top marked for manual setting and "A" position -ISO control dial on top with markings and "A" position
Hope you get that. Seriously, I'm all for choice and getting what you want.

But put the camera to your eye, and make the changes you want without taking it away. I don't see how you do that with your system. But like I said I'm old fashioned and have a lot of muscle memory developed so I don't need to look at the controls.

I get everything you are asking for with index finger wheel on front and thumb wheel on back. In Av mode the front wheel controls ISO and the back the aperture. In Tv mode the front wheel controls ISO and the back the shutter speed. Camera controls the other variable.

I'm not arguing that the mode dial is indispensable, there are other ways to do it. I am saying replacing it with a third wheel in that position does you no good because you cannot reach it while the camera is in a normal braced grip. And it is not necessary as you already have all the controls you need. The only situation where controlling all three variables at the same time makes any sense is in manual mode and as I noted before all you need to do is press the ISO button once with index finger and scroll the rear wheel.

So, again, I wish you well, I hope you get the controls you want but the system you have described would NOT work any better for me than the one already implemented and indeed would slow me down and give me less control over the camera as I would now have to go into a menu to change a mode that can now be changed quickly with a simple mode dial.
11-01-2013, 12:03 PM   #12
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I'm just chatting & speculating here, both my K-5 and K10D work perfectly fine, this is the engineer in me looking to improve things that other people make

I guess it depends on where the PSAM dial is (LH/RH) regarding control, and I guess I should not have said that the PSAM dial as is on a current camera becomes a new control. My thought was that in a 3 dial camera (in ergonomic positions) that the PSAM dial isn't doing anything any more, much like a full manual camera only with "A" settings. The PSAM dial is a control that controls the controls, not a direct control. So if you already have 2 dials and a 3rd PSAM dial, it's simpler and more direct to just set each parameter directly using 3 independent control dials.

All the modes are available by directly setting
P = Av dial (A), Tv dial (A), ISO dial (A)
Sv = Av dial (A), Tv dial (A), ISO dial (Manually set)
Tv = Av dial (A), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (A)
Av = Av dial (Manually set), Tv dial (A), ISO dial (A)
Tv = Av dial (A), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (A)
TAv = Av dial (Manually set), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (A)
M =Av dial (Manually set), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (Manually set)
B =Av dial (A), Tv dial (B), ISO dial (A)
X =Av dial (A), Tv dial (180 X), ISO dial (A)
Movie = push the red button (with controls as set above)

Last edited by Stickler; 11-01-2013 at 12:21 PM. Reason: typo missing a "not" that changes the meaning
11-01-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
You would still need controls to lock settings, like if I want to control ISO and aperture and have the shutter auto or wanting to set different shutter speeds with only the ISO changing. The three dial thing only takes in account if you want control one setting at a time unless you creat locks for each setting. Like when I shoot sport and don't want one setting to change (horrible if it did) I would probably end up with loads of accidentally set settings.
Locking into "A" mode is a good point (I like the new mode lock on the K-3) but how do you make sure no setting is changed now? Only the mode is locked, any mode selected would allow inadvertent changes from the control dials.
11-01-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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I can't see why I need Live View, Info, Menu or Movie buttons on the right side. They aren't buttons I need with the camera up to my eye. Moving those to the left somewhere should give you room for a third e-dial. I can see exposure compensation as a rocker switch or an up/down button pair.
11-01-2013, 11:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickler Quote
I'm just chatting & speculating here, both my K-5 and K10D work perfectly fine, this is the engineer in me looking to improve things that other people make

I guess it depends on where the PSAM dial is (LH/RH) regarding control, and I guess I should not have said that the PSAM dial as is on a current camera becomes a new control. My thought was that in a 3 dial camera (in ergonomic positions) that the PSAM dial isn't doing anything any more, much like a full manual camera only with "A" settings. The PSAM dial is a control that controls the controls, not a direct control. So if you already have 2 dials and a 3rd PSAM dial, it's simpler and more direct to just set each parameter directly using 3 independent control dials.

All the modes are available by directly setting
P = Av dial (A), Tv dial (A), ISO dial (A)
Sv = Av dial (A), Tv dial (A), ISO dial (Manually set)
Tv = Av dial (A), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (A)
Av = Av dial (Manually set), Tv dial (A), ISO dial (A)
Tv = Av dial (A), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (A)
TAv = Av dial (Manually set), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (A)
M =Av dial (Manually set), Tv dial (Manually set), ISO dial (Manually set)
B =Av dial (A), Tv dial (B), ISO dial (A)
X =Av dial (A), Tv dial (180 X), ISO dial (A)
Movie = push the red button (with controls as set above)
Are you saying that you want "retro" controls with fixed exposure settings on each dial + "A" setting? How will the "A" setting be set on each dial?
IMO this probably makes it more complicated to change mode by shifting to "A" positions on three dials that using one mode dial. And many of the best functions on Pentax caneras might be lost.

How to implement Hyper-Program or Hyper-Manual with "A" setting on the dials?
How to implement green button to reset exposure?
How to shift exposure in P-mode?
Will it be possible to implement "memory settings", that FI reset ISO to auto when camera is switched off?
Will a fourth dial be needed for exposure compensation?
Can you easily tell what mode is in use without switching the camera on?
Can the three dials be used for other things or are they dedicated for exposure controls?
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