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02-24-2014, 12:01 PM   #46
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Yeah, even though it's unnecessary, most devices get firmware hacked. Because of how open source works, I'm sure a few programmers could make it work just fine. Given constraints, would likely me Manual only, but that would be fine. Pull some old metering cells and have stop down metering... I would be OK with that, actually. Pull out the cameras AF, mirror, focusing screen, rear lcd, etc. Replace with a real mirror and screen, a regular TTL match needle, then wire up knobs to the board that control ISO and exposure comp, and shutter speed. Even if I could shoot in RAW only, that'd be OK. Depending on space freed up, 3d print or make new bofy components to take up the space that has been freed up.

Now before everyone jumps down my throat saying useless it would be, I'm not saying that it's marketable, or even something for everyone. For me, it would do away with everything I didn't use, keeping the things I did. If we could reduce the weight by a couple hundred grams, make it smaller, and get it to be more efficient (1k shots on fresh batteries unreasonable?). Wire up an onboard circuit to trickle charge the battery from a USB source, and I could plug it in to a flexible solar panel on my backpack.

If I could get something modified like that, even for a nice chunk of change, I might go for it. Planning long backpacking trips (weeks and months), it would be nice to have a rugged, lightweight, no-nonsense DSLR that I could carry with.

In all likliehood I'll probably take my MX, or just take a long a GA645zi and find a way to recharge those batteries..

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Explain why this would be a loss?

I have photographed moving objects since the late 1960s and managed to do a pretty good job without CIF. Since 2007, I have owned a camera capable of CIF and have never used the feature for a serious shot. Why? Because it doesn't work that great except perhaps for insect macro and even then it tends to focus behind the actual area of interest.


Steve

---------- Post added 02-24-14 at 10:37 AM ----------



Oh! I get it! While you are doing it, replace the mirror with a real one


Steve


02-24-2014, 12:02 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Explain why this would be a loss?
Well it is a loss by definition, but I'm sure lots of photographers can live without it, sure. And true, if the camera had a split prism or other special focus screen.. Just saying, lots of Pentaxians like to use CiF with older glass
02-24-2014, 12:04 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
Like a lot of people here I have a lot of old manual focus lenses. In fact, I use them on my K5 and K5-IIs all the time. I was wonder if there would be a market for a K5II/K3 type camera without the added auto focus capability?. The cost savings would be pretty good, the software would be much simplified and even the weight of the camera would be reduced. No need to calibrate your auto focus either.

I know that this may not appeal to some photographers, but for others of us, manual focus second nature. Any thoughts on this? I would buy one.
The very minimal feature most people desire in a digital camera is AF. Just set you focus mode of your camera to MF and be happy
02-24-2014, 01:14 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
If I could get something modified like that, even for a nice chunk of change, I might go for it.
So how much are we talking here?

You can give me a nice chunk of change, and I wold happily hook you up!

QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Planning long backpacking trips (weeks and months), it would be nice to have a rugged, lightweight, no-nonsense DSLR that I could carry with.
My K10 has bounced around in the cab of my truck, over 500,000 miles. Also been packed along on many hikes around the local mountains. It has been within reach since I bought it new, everywhere I have gone, there it was.

It will continue to find a place alongside my recently acquired K5IIs, which I expect should stand up to the same rough conditions.

Pentax makes great gear, always up to whatever task I have needed it for.

02-24-2014, 05:59 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
How is the microprism screen going to trigger the camera to shoot at the opportune moment?

It doesn't. It triggers your eye to tell your brain when your desired subject is in focus to your liking and ready for you to press the button, when you're ready to capture the subject. That's the point of having the manual controls and manual input for when the image is captured. Otherwise, get an autofocus video camera from which you can pull stills and you have everything you desire if you want the camera picking your focus point and when the image is captured.

QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
The very minimal feature most people desire in a digital camera is AF. Just set you focus mode of your camera to MF and be happy

You're missing the point of having a camera that doesn't have the extra weight or tax on batteries of all the unnecessary stuff. Look at the size of the batteries from 35mm film cameras from the 70s and 80s prior to autofocus, even information only LCD screens, built in flash, auto focus assist lights, built in motor drives, etc. It was barely bigger than the eraser of a good old #2 wooden pencil and it lasted for what seems like forever. Now you're lucky if the batteries are smaller than a Zippo lighter and last more than a few days of frequent shooting.


There is no way today's DSLRs could function the way cameras were used to capture images from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. Most people don't have those kinds of needs, but the ability to shoot for weeks or months without having to recharge is not possible on today's cameras.
02-24-2014, 06:22 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
There is no way today's DSLRs could function the way cameras were used to capture images from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. Most people don't have those kinds of needs, but the ability to shoot for weeks or months without having to recharge is not possible on today's cameras.
So far I only need to charge the batteries for my K10 a couple times a year.

Time will tell with the K5IIs.
02-24-2014, 06:34 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
So far I only need to charge the batteries for my K10 a couple times a year.

Time will tell with the K5IIs.

How many shots/year are you taking on the K10? And I think you've mentioned you do a lot of manual focus with that camera, right? I run my K-5 and now K-5IIs with a grip and with two batteries, it can go for quite a while, but I have under 5,000 shutter actuations on the K-5 in the 18 months I've owned that camera and the batteries have been charged more than a few times. I'm also shooting mostly autofocus with it and use it for video from time to time. If I turned off the autofocus and LCD screen, backlighting on the top screen, etc. it would last a long time with two batteries. Then we're getting into significantly larger size, bulk, and weight over a 35mm from the 70s or 80s.
02-24-2014, 07:07 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
How many shots/year are you taking on the K10?
Shutter count is about 10,000.

So around 1,400 shots a year.

Never would have shot that much film consistently year after year.

02-27-2014, 10:58 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote


This is new to me. It was my understanding that the focus tracking technology was in the mirror box and independent of the viewfinder screen. Do you have a reference?*


* Honestly...I have been considering a K-3 purchase in the near future, based in part on its focus tracking performance, but if a split-image screen kills that feature, it would be a deal-breaker for me.[COLOR="Silver"]

....


I have never really understood the practicality of CIF. Basically you are asking the camera to determine both the point of focus and the time of capture. Never mind that CIF uses the AF system with all its failings and there is a real nice time lag between focus acquisition and shutter release.


Steve

It was in all models prior to the K-3. The K-3 takes advantage of the 86K RGB sensor using it as an imaging device and uses some algorithms to determine what is moving, what is stationary and so on, much like focus tracking would work on a mirrorless, except that it has the advantage of using the phase detection system to do the actual focusing while the image processing (of the 86K image) is used to determine which focus point needs to be in focus.

The split screen focus screen will mess it up because the 86K RGB sensor 'looks at' the focusing screen and sees just what you do (except that it gets less light than you do) With the split focus / microprism it will now have quite an obstruction in the middle distorting its view and making it harder if not impossible to properly evaluate the scene and the motions within. For the same reasons it impacts the evaluative exposure algorithms to some extent and throws off completely spot metering.

It was described in some detail in the pre-release marketing of the K-3 a few weeks before launch. I can't find that one but here it is mentioned just briefly in passing:
Product page of Pentax K-3 - RICOH IMAGING UK LTD.
"Since the AF module takes data from RGB light sensors into calculation to optimize AF operation, the K-3 also provides such advanced functions as high-accuracy auto-focusing during the shooting of fast-moving subjects, and the zone-select AF mode to automatically select the best possible in-focus point within a designated nine-sensor zone."
(I think there is actually a typo as that should be 25 or possibly 27 sensor zone)


In theory I think they could even implement face detect AF with the OVF if they wanted to. The RGB sensor could figure out where the faces are and then select the PDAF focus point accordingly. My guess is that they will do this in some firmware udate.


With regards to CiF it is not an ideal solution but unless you have the patience of Job it makes some otherwise impossible shots doable - the sort of things you might have to wait for hours to catch, such as a small animal coming out of a hiding hole and stuff like that.

It is by no means the best way of achieving it - one could use external equipment such as IR motion detectors, photocells and whatnot. I also have a small Casio which can do the job in a very different way, quite similar to the motion detection used by security cameras. What's great about it is that it can catch a subject not only as it comes into view (within a user defined action-frame) but also as it moves out. Would be great if I had that in my SLR for catching birds that sit forever on a twig and then fly off just as I get tired and take my eyes off it. What's not so great about it is that it is just a tiny P&S camera,

---------- Post added 02-27-14 at 07:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
It doesn't. It triggers your eye to tell your brain when your desired subject is in focus to your liking and ready for you to press the button, when you're ready to capture the subject. That's the point of having the manual controls and manual input for when the image is captured. Otherwise, get an autofocus video camera from which you can pull stills and you have everything you desire if you want the camera picking your focus point and when the image is captured.

.....
.
See my post just before this one regarding CiF and why it cannot be replaced by anything manual.
03-03-2014, 07:53 AM   #55
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It's not Pentax and it's certainly not cheap, but a lot of the "features" (lack thereof), perhaps characteristics is the better term, exist in the Leica lineup. With several cameras topping out in the $7,000-$8,000 range, it's way out of my league.
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