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01-04-2015, 11:16 AM   #1
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Does Pentax UI "look dated" to you? Think Ricoh should change it?

First thought of starting this as a satire thread. As it concerns a matter that is very likely of little consequence to real-world shooting.

It's just that I keep coming across gripes about Pentax's supposedly "dated-looking" user interface and/or menus in professional reviews of Pentax cameras like the K-50, K-3, and 645Z.

Here are two recent examples from UK-based techradar.com:

"Comparing the K-50's user interface with the Nikon and Canon equivalents leaves it looking a little dated." (K-50 review)

"The menu also looks very dated." (645Z)

Personally, I have taken to Pentax's UI design since I unboxed my K-7 back in 2009 - for its straightforwardness, readability, lack of pretension, tool-likeness, and (possibly) slight idiosyncrasy - and that hasn't changed one iota with the K-3.

But there may be other opinions. Is there any need for a revamp? Does it still do its job? Is it likely to put off possible Pentax buyers?


Last edited by Madaboutpix; 01-04-2015 at 11:16 AM. Reason: typo corrected
01-04-2015, 11:23 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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No need for a revision. Still one of the most user friendly and useful menus around. I think reviewers would serve the community better to focus on function of the menus over their apparent superficial focus on form.
01-04-2015, 11:36 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Yeah I was wondering what those comments mean. I have since looked at menus on Canon and Nikon cameras to try and work it out. If anything I would say that Pentax has a more "logical / functional" oriented layout than the others which are more focussed on looking good (over logical layout). Not sure why why this makes Pentax dated because it IMO it suits the task better.
01-04-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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Don't give them ideas! UI is perfect as is. Let true innovators like Sony and Fuji mess with UI.

01-04-2015, 11:44 AM   #5
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"Dated" is a nonsense term. It's used by reviewers who want everything changed every five minutes just for the sake of doing so.

As I've yet to see anything which could improve upon the Pentax UI it's best left alone. The fact that I was able to pick up my K-m and use it without reading the manual (having previously never owned anything more advanced than a P30t) suggests that it's doing a good job! The K-5, K-01 and Q10 have also been just as easy thanks to keeping the same setup.

Too right I'm resistant to change! I'm not, however, resistant to improvement...
01-04-2015, 11:49 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I think it's because they have to write something "bad" so they stick to the only thing they can find. Reminds me a story of a teacher who had his lesson supervised. The head could not say/write anything bad about it so he wrote "The flowers in the classroom were too dry. [;
01-04-2015, 11:57 AM   #7
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its because everyone is used to touchscreens nowadays. I prefer the pentax ui and wheels. there's less to go kaput!
01-04-2015, 11:58 AM   #8
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Maybe the reviewers want a new font for Pentax UI. If Pentax change the UI for change's sake, I think it will be a disaster.
I like the new font being used in Pentax's new cameras though. They are cleaner and old UI have fonts that are utilitarian (at least for me) but either way, I hope the UI will not be changed.

Off topic, I hate the Live View button and Trash button combination in Pentax's recent cameras.

01-04-2015, 11:59 AM   #9
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Nikon I think does a graphic showing the aperture getting wider or more closed. Make of that what you will.
01-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Nikon I think does a graphic showing the aperture getting wider or more closed. Make of that what you will.
That's used on their entry-level cameras (D3x/5x00). It's a pretty nice way of visualizing what's happening. Those cameras also include a helpful guide, and an explanation of what a setting does.

Now, re: outdated interface
There are certain UI elements which could be made "prettier", like the square highlights of selected settings in menus, aliasing on some rounded items and so on. The interface structure doesn't need changing, just the visuals.
01-04-2015, 12:11 PM   #11
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The UI includes the displays (e.g., top LCD; rear display; menus, etc) and actuators (knobs, switches, buttons, and wheels).

I think the actuators are quite fine - they work well; they're responsive; they're tactile; and they can be used generally without taking one's eye away from the viewfinder.

I find that the displays on my K-5 ii are good. The top LCD is simple enough yet provides essential information. The various 'pages' of the rear display are not cluttered. they are legible and easily read.

My only gripe would be occasionally I am not sure of what menu page I need to go to. However, a few clicks of the front or rear control wheel brings me quickly to where I need to be.

The comments about being "dated" reminds me of the recent experience my wife and I went through to research and shop for a new car. Geez, the instrumentation in some models is, in my opinion, garish and gaudy - multiple screens, unnecessary flashy elements on the main dash panel, crazy colours, etc. I read one reviewer complaining about the "dated" LCD clock in the Toyota Corolla. Well, the clock is always there, it's small and unobtrusive, and the relatively simple blue LCD technology means it will still be working in 10-15 years. Sometimes, simple and proven is best.

- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 01-04-2015 at 12:18 PM. Reason: typo...
01-04-2015, 12:16 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
No need for a revision. Still one of the most user friendly and useful menus around. I think reviewers would serve the community better to focus on function of the menus over their apparent superficial focus on form.
Nikon's interface used to drive me batty.
01-04-2015, 12:23 PM   #13
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At Stockholm Photo Fair last year I talked to the agent for Ricoh/Pentax. One of the representatives started talking about the UI due to them getting criticism from stores that "the UI looks ugly and dated" so they they weren't really interested in trying to sell the cameras. Isn't that sad and weird?

Apparently I'm one of the "enthusiasts" that they really want to keep and listen to due to my shooting and equipment (I feel like a pro every year when they say that to me ) so she asked me about my opinion. I probably physically turned into a question mark as I didn't even understand the "dated" comment and told her that I find it informative, quick and sleek. She told me that they think the same about the UI and that they like the minimalist feel about it.

So when the stores says they don't want the cameras because they think the UI looks "ugly and dated" do they really mean it or is it just an excuse to not sell the brand? Though I like the UI, I even like the older K-5 one better than the new, I can see a huge problem in stores not picking the brand up due to the UI and a more "modern" looking one might be a real benefit to Pentax in the long run.
01-04-2015, 12:23 PM   #14
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The UI is one of the reasons I love Pentax cameras. Pentax has the best, followed by Canon, and then Nikon is dead last. It's damn near impossible to find what I'm looking for on a Nikon. Pentax cameras have the most logical layout of all the features. The layout is the same from the entry level point-and-shoot to the top end DSLRs. That is what is refreshing. You don't need to relearn everything with each new release.


obin
01-04-2015, 12:34 PM   #15
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The problem is that even if we like the look of it Pentax won't sell any cameras if the stores won't carry the brand due to the look of the UI, even if it's illogical.
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