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11-10-2014, 09:15 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Why the AVERSION to video?

This may sound like a rant, so please be prepared to forgive me if you're planning to read further. If you just want the final point, skip down to the bottom of my post.

I don't get the negativity toward video in Pentax land.

Before going further, let me be the first to admit I'm a faithful "fan" of Pentax. I have been with Pentax for about 15 years. Pentax was my first film SLR, my first digital P&S, my first DSLR, my first mirrorless (Q). (K1000, MX, MZ-50, 3 or 4 from the Optio S series, *istD, K10D, K-x, K-5, K-30, K-5iis, Q7)

I would love to say that Pentax could have been my first Full Frame as well, but I've already ventured there without Pentax's help. Which (whether you agree with me or not) keeps me in the "fan" category, but not quite the blind "fanboi". (borrowed or owned Nikon D7000, Canon Rebels, 60D, 7D, 5Dii, Panasonic GH3, GH4, Sony A55, A7s..... some of which I rather enjoyed)

Ok, back to the video rant... I'm first and foremost into photography more than videography. I get that many Pentax users started with film or pre-K-7 digital models (with CCD sensors) and didn't give a rip about video or didn't have it as an option. However, I think it's misleading when threads are started like "who here never, ever used video" so that people who don't can respond "I don't".
Quite a few people have said things like "take video out altogether because I'll never use it", or "if I wanted to do video i'd use a dedicated video camera".

While I can respect that different people have different needs/desires in their DSLR's and equipment, I don't quite get the aversion or misunderstanding with regard to having video capability on a Pentax camera (whether current APSC or future FF or mirrorless). Even though video isn't a component of photography, it IS a standard component of cameras and has been for a few years. I think it's similar to someone saying "I never use on camera flash. Please, Pentax, don't include it in future models". Or, "I can't think of a reason to shoot TAv, I didn't even know it was on the dial, I wish Pentax wouldn't waste resources on this".

What's my point?

1.- having video capabilities (albeit poorly implemented) hasn't degraded photographic capabilities on Pentax cameras so far

2.-with the exception of the dedicated video switch on the K-3, having video doesn't involve hardware differences. As far as I understand it is mostly about what the chip is capable of. Cutting video out completely won't have any significant hardware cost reduction. i.e.- you won't save money on your cameras if they cut video capabilities (one exception..see third point below)

3.- there MAY be R&D costs saved (but if you've ever used Pentax video so far you will agree they obviously haven't spent much money or manpower on video features)

4.- If Pentax wants to ever be competitive or profitable they need to include current and popular marketing gimmick features. It doesn't matter if those features are considered useless by many people... there are still many more people looking into their first "real camera" walking into WalMart, BestBuy, or dedicated camera stores and the employee will tout video as part of the feature set. We can't just market to old users like me or you. DPReview, CNet, and other sites also dock points from Pentax camera reviews consistently because of poor or lacking video features. Doesn't matter whether you or I respect those reviews, the noobs are being influenced by them.


Rant over... Thanks Pentax (Ricoh, Hoya, etc...) for making great cameras with fantastic features and outstanding photographic image quality. Please do a little better at video in the future, whether it's in APSC or mirrorless or full frame or medium format.

11-10-2014, 09:44 PM   #2
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I'm one who has never used video on my dslrs other than a test shot or two.

However, I would not ask Pentax to remove video for the reasons mentioned - particularly three concern over keeping the camera relevant and competitive.
11-10-2014, 10:11 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I have a multi-tool, a 'Leatherman', which is convenient when packing light, but I would never
purchase a multi-tool as replacement for individual, quality pliers, knives and screwdrivers.

I can purchase a refrigerator with a television embedded in the door, though I honestly have
never understood this pairing, (no, I don't own one, but someone, somewhere thought it
was a needed option.).

I can purchase a 4x4 with 19" wheels and street tires. See refrigerator comment above.

I do own a smartphone, a wondrous device that can make telephone calls, access the internet,
take still photographs, take videos, serves as a GPS and with a host of optional apps can give
me functions like flashlight and simulated spirit level. However, I have BETTER tools for
many of those functions, for while it is convenient to have this wonder-tool, it ultimately IS NOT
the best tool for all those needs. My Mac Book is a better computer than my phone, my
MagLite is a better flashlight and my Pentax is a better camera.

My AVERSION if any, is that I don't want my chosen specialty still photography tool, my
Pentax, to be a multi-tool. For casual video usage, I have my smartphone. If I ever seriously get
into video, I will seek out a specifically designed tool for the job, not a multi-tool.
11-10-2014, 10:16 PM   #4
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Video is a "most have" in todays cameras.. is not that everybody will use it, but as you said to keep competitive in the market every camera should have good video features, and the thing is that Ricoh kind of know that because if you compare the K3 video features with earlier models you can see that K3 did kind of a good jump. In my case i dont do videos.. actually i just used the K3 video once.. BUT.. thats in my case.. there are other bunch of people that use videos in daily basis and i think that until now Pentax/Ricoh is giving importance to that.

11-10-2014, 10:32 PM   #5
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You weren't really very specific about what the problem is with video on Pentax. The only key features missing from the video implementation on Pentax DSLRs that I'm aware of are live AF and the ability to write to a card until it's full. I've experimented a bit with video on my K7 and K5iis but the lack of live AF means it's not really practical for the sort of video I generally shoot, which is just off-the-cuff travel video. So I bought a Panasonic camcorder for video. If I was more serious about video, I'd buy a more serious video camera, not a DSLR.
So while I respect your suggestion, I wouldn't want to improve video at the cost of still image functionality. You'd probably need a full set of SDM lenses to really overcome the focussing problem, because live AF on anything other than a lens with the motor built into it would just be too slow and noisy.
11-10-2014, 10:37 PM   #6
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Video has become one of those consumer 'checklist' items for cameras, so Pentax certainly needs to offer something useful there to fulfil buyer expectations.

Pentax video support (like Nikon's) is to a degree hobbled by their use of Fujitsu image processors, which do not ofer all the video features offered by competitors (yet). So I think it's not a Pentax aversion to video, just that rich video support to an extent depends on other tech their cameras rely on.

A problem is that video expectations seem to be constantly evolving. Video can't just be HD, now it has to be 4K. Stabilization, high bitrates, clean full-res HDMI output, different video codecs, all sorts of other features. Every video feature in Canon (even all the Magic Lantern features), or Panasonic, has to become available in Pentax, otherwise 'Pentax fails at video'.
11-10-2014, 10:44 PM - 1 Like   #7
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This is in no way meant to be sarcastic, but why the fascination in video?

I honestly don't get why DSLRs must incorporate videos in their "must-haves". But then again, I don't have a clue as to why people do these "selfies." It must be my age.
11-10-2014, 10:50 PM   #8
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I don't plan on using it much, but I did test out the video controls/settings on the Canon 70D this weekend at the park. It has a rotating/touch-screen LCD which makes it pretty convenient, though mostly useless in bright sun...

11-10-2014, 11:04 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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I would echo the sentiment expressed by drypenn, and expand just a weary bit.

I enjoy shooting video. And, cinematography, or videography if you prefer, is not still frame photography. It requires a different form factor & ergonomic set to do it properly. This is why you see elaborate shoulder mounts and other accoutrements to facilitate stable well composed video with dSLRs. And frankly, for the price of the camera, lenses and all the necessary gear I would rather buy a cinematic camera that is already a complete package designed from the ground up to capture video.

Plus, even today, dSLR sensors stuggle (sometimes brilliantly) to satisfy the brutal photonic onslaught of capturing quality video. Somebody, somewhere, sometime in the last five years convinced someone of influence that sensors and image processors had to be able to do everything. That person should be shot.

Have you ever driven screws with a hammer? Sure, it "works", but in order to get that screw set tightly you still have to twist it with a screwdriver and even then it won't be as secure as if you had properly drilled and countersunk a pilot hole before sinking it to the proper torque with a screw driver.

For many of us, it's a matter of being artisanal versus "good enough". Pick one thing, and do that thing the very best you can.
11-10-2014, 11:07 PM   #10
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I wouldn't pay extra for it, but I honestly couldn't care less that its there.
Maybe if I encounter Bigfoot or a UFO, video would come in handy, but isn't that what my iPhone is for?
11-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by drypenn Quote
This is in no way meant to be sarcastic, but why the fascination in video?
It's often the best video camera anyone has on them (to play on the 'the best camera is the one you have on you' sentiment), particularly in groups. There's a lens that zooms and can be focused manually, aperture can be adjusted, etc. My main use for it has been a class project so far: I wasn't going to take pictures of an homage to a video.

QuoteOriginally posted by drypenn Quote
I honestly don't get why DSLRs must incorporate videos in their "must-haves". But then again, I don't have a clue as to why people do these "selfies." It must be my age.
When many consumers buy their first camera (myself included), there are so many to choose from and it isn't always clear where to look for reviews. In the end, it's so much easier to just look at a checklist and pick the camera that checks off the most items for the lowest price. That doesn't mean it's the right choice, but buying a camera is pretty overwhelming in my experience when you have no idea what you're looking at: 'Megapixels don't matter, sure. What does then?'

Also, the first known 'selfie' was taken in 1839 and even people like Bill Nye and former South Korean presidents are taking them. It's not your age, it must be a culture thing. Honestly, I don't get it either. Although if I was going to take a selfie, it would be a space selfie.
11-10-2014, 11:21 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
When many consumers buy their first camera (myself included), there are so many to choose from and it isn't always clear where to look for reviews. In the end, it's so much easier to just look at a checklist and pick the camera that checks off the most items for the lowest price. That doesn't mean it's the right choice, but buying a camera is pretty overwhelming in my experience when you have no idea what you're looking at: 'Megapixels don't matter, sure. What does then?'
Yup, I agree. I was perusing the display at the camera store a few days ago, and the sales guy kept badgering me to get a Sony. According to him, CaNikon is way, way behind Sony's technology when it comes to video. I retorted, I'm not looking fo a Canon or Nikon, I'm here for the Pentax, and the surprise in his eyes was definitely worth a picture. My point: sales guys (Well, most of them) will not probably be able to explain aperture, sensor, FOV, etc., if their lives depend on it, but it sounds easier to say "this ones takes a good video."


QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
It's not your age, it must be a culture thing. Honestly, I don't get it either. Although if I was going to take a selfie, it would be a space selfie.
Trust me, I'm in the Philippines. People here take photos (and post it to facebook/instagram) from sun up to sun down (including toilet time). They take pictures of their breakfast, lunch, coffee, cups, mugs, handkerchiefs, pens, keyboards, paper clips, door knobs, even condoms, anything and everything. It's driving me crazy!
11-11-2014, 01:14 AM   #13
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I'd like to echo Venturi's sentiment; still photography and video are two very different activities that (unfortunately) share (some) underlying technology.
So it's not only about the effort wasted on incorporating video features, it's about the compromises made in order to support both, in a way that gives a suboptimal stills camera and a suboptimal video camera.
I see how that's attractive for someone who wants both in the same package; I (and apparently many others) don't. I want no-compromises stills camera. If I was into video, I'd want the same from my video camera.
11-11-2014, 02:53 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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People on forums seems to scream about "it takes the focus away from the stills and I won't pay for it" while completely ignoring the synergetic effects the different tech developments bring.

Some things that video tech most likely improved in still cameras:
1. Faster overall processing. Video is heavier on the processing capabilities on the cameras and therefore leads to some extra overshooting speed for stills shooting.
2. Heat-management. Video is heavy on heat so the circuits and parts need to be optimized in a way that probably just stills wouldn't have brought. Astro-, low-light, timelapse and long exposure photographers should be thankful.
3. Better liveview capabilities. Higher framerates, less lag, tiltable screens etc, all of them useful for stills too.
4. More sales due to selling to two markets, leading to increased volumes of products and a lower pricing.
5. Bigger buffers in consumer products.
6. On sensor AF capabilities improved.
etc..

And all other points not mentioned. The increased sales alone most likely pushes down the price more than the cost of the tech increases it, hence why the "won't pay for it" is a pure moot point. It's not a coincidence that non video capable cameras are more expensive than the ones with it, they only cover one market hence the lower sales figures.
11-11-2014, 03:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
People on forums seems to scream about "it takes the focus away from the stills and I won't pay for it" while completely ignoring the synergetic effects the different tech developments bring.

Some things that video tech most likely improved in still cameras:
1. Faster overall processing. Video is heavier on the processing capabilities on the cameras and therefore leads to some extra overshooting speed for stills shooting.
2. Heat-management. Video is heavy on heat so the circuits and parts need to be optimized in a way that probably just stills wouldn't have brought. Astro-, low-light, timelapse and long exposure photographers should be thankful.
3. Better liveview capabilities. Higher framerates, less lag, tiltable screens etc, all of them useful for stills too.
4. More sales due to selling to two markets, leading to increased volumes of products and a lower pricing.
5. Bigger buffers in consumer products.
6. On sensor AF capabilities improved.
etc..

And all other points not mentioned. The increased sales alone most likely pushes down the price more than the cost of the tech increases it, hence why the "won't pay for it" is a pure moot point. It's not a coincidence that non video capable cameras are more expensive than the ones with it, they only cover one market hence the lower sales figures.
Good points...the "invisible" benefits of having video in a DSLR. I need to remember them if I ever "graduate" from my K-5II to a K-3 and feel that video/stills switch that I'll never use under my thumb where the AF button/switch should be.
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