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11-10-2008, 12:41 PM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
First, you can be pretty sure that full frame 35mm form factor cameras are being bought by amateurs as well as pro photographers.
Truth be to tell, the pros don't have the money that amateurs have to buy stuff.
At some point, cropped sensor cameras will hit a technological wall. In many respects, the K20 is already at that wall, since sensor resolution is at or higher than lens resolution with the K20 sensor with many lenses, and bigger sensors will tend to have lower noise, given an equal megapixel count.

Most of the complaints that I've read on this forum really just relate to the cameras not having quite high enough performance levels. This is a situation easily resolved, though Pentax does have to do their part.

A full frame camera with better AF will focus better. The same goes for a cropped sensor camera. Pentax AF is just about the least effective on the market at the moment.
I won't speak to auto exposure, since I have learned not to trust it.

I suspect that shortly the market is going to be levered into full frame as being the norm for advanced cameras, with cropped sensor cameras being relegated to the Barbie Cams.
It will be interesting to see which way Pentax decides to go. They will have the choice of staying the course they are on now, watching their market base slowly self eroding, and fewer new users coming on stream, and eventually just ceasing to exist, or to at least attempt to compete in the market that is evolving above beginner cams.
Will they try and possibly fail, or will they not try, and definitely fail?
Interesting post but I have a few issues:
1. There is no 'technology wall' for APS-C, just as with CPUs, memory chips, storage or any other modern technology. Although Canon seems to have dropped the ball slightly with the 50D, we have yet to see the best quality possible from APS-C. And that camera still can yield superb enlarged prints, as I have seen myself, with more resolution than the 40D. 100% pixel view reviews are becoming more and more irrelevant, IMO. Also Samsumg has publically stated that they think they can get better quality from APS-C.
2. I'm tired of hearing APS-C described as a 'cropped' sensor. It's only cropped if you're using legacy 35mm glass. Since Pentax has a pretty damn good lineup of DA lenses now (and getting better), the APS-C sensor in Pentax DSLRs is not cropped at all, and is perfectly matched to the lenses being offered for their system.
3. I have yet to see that FF cameras are more than a niche market. Yes, it's a valuable niche, since advanced users have a *percieved* upgrade path. But Pentax is already a niche player, so what do you have when you make a niche from a niche? A tiny market, that's what. How many $3k bodies do you think they can sell outside of this forum?
4. As has been pointed out *too many times*, Pentax does not have a current FF lens lineup. Given how long it's taken just to roll out the DA60-250, why does anyone think they're capable of launching another entire lens lineup to go alongside the DAs?


Last edited by GaryM; 11-10-2008 at 04:28 PM.
11-10-2008, 04:33 PM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryM Quote
Interesting post but I have a few issues:
1. There is not 'technology wall' for APS-C, just as with CPUs, memory chips, storage or any other modern technology. Although Canon seems to have dropped the ball slightly with the 50D, we have yet to see the best quality from APS-C. And that camera still can yield superb enlarged prints, as I have seen myself, with more resolution than the 40D. 100% pixel view reviews are becoming more and more irrelevant, IMO. Also Samsumg has publically stated that they think they can get better quality from APS-C.
Unfortunately, there is. Lens resolution possibilities are finite, and the sensor in the K20 is very close to surpassing lens resolution for all but the very best lenses.
When that point is reached, then the improvement path available is bigger sensors to allow a larger image circle lens.
Signal to noise ratios in sensors will always favour larger sensor sites over smaller ones, and as sensor sites get smaller, potential noise levels increase exponentially.
Noise reduction can only take you so far before it is discerning fine detail as noise and removing it.
I'm certain that there are improvements to be made in sensor technology, the question is, will the improvements be small evolutionary ones or larger, revolutionary ones.
If the improvements are evolutionary, then I would put forward the idea that a performance wall is fairly close.
If nothing else, there is little to be gained from increasing pixel counts beyond what they are in the Pentax DSLR format.

QuoteQuote:
2. I'm tired of hearing APS-C described as a 'cropped' sensor. It's only cropped if you're using legacy 35mm glass. Since Pentax has a pretty damn good lineup of DA lenses now (and getting better), the APS-C sensor in Pentax DSLRs is not cropped at all, and is perfectly matched to the lenses being offered in their system.
Think of it as a terminology shortcut in the same league as "multiplication factor", which is a term that irks me to no end.


QuoteQuote:
3. I have yet to see that FF cameras are more than a niche market. Yes, it's a valuable niche, since advanced users have a *percieved* upgrade path. But Pentax is already a niche player, so what do you have when you make a niche from a niche? A tiny market, that's what. How many $3k bodies do you think they can sell outside of this forum?
Pentax WAS a niche player. They are now just another midrange to low end quality camera maker.
If they want to be a niche market player, then they need to develop a niche market, not just keep making increasingly cheaper cameras to compete with the increasingly cheaper cameras coming out from the other manufacturers. Remember that they are competing with a couple of Goliaths in the camera market, companies that could potentially undercut the pricing of anything Pentax makes without batting an eye or annoying a single shareholder.
As an example, it doesn't matter how good the K-m turns out to be for it's price if Canon drops the price of a Rebel to a hundred bucks cheaper.

I've worked for companies that have tried to be the Davids in the marketplace, and at some point, Goliath notices you and squashes you like a bug.
The cheap DSLR market is not a niche, it's corporate suicide for a small player.
The 3k camera you mentioned would put them solidly in a niche market though. If they want to be a niche player, then that is the market they need to pursue, not the bottom feeder market.
A 3K camera would be a great quality complement to the very excellent Limited lenses.
It's too competitive at the bottom for a niche player to survive.

QuoteQuote:
4. As has been pointed out *too many times*, Pentax does not have a current FF lens lineup. Given how long it's taken just to roll out the DA60-250, why does anyone think they're capable of launching another entire lens lineup to go alongside the DAs?
Personally, I don't think they are capable of launching a FF lens line-up (BTW, FF is as meaningless a term as "cropped sensor", but if you are going to use one, then you should probably accept the other).

This does concern me, because one way or another, the trend in DSLR cameras is heading towards FF sensors, and companies that don't want to play in that sandbox are going to find that there aren't a lot of other sandboxes to play in.
11-11-2008, 03:37 AM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Unfortunately, there is. Lens resolution possibilities are finite, and the sensor in the K20 is very close to surpassing lens resolution for all but the very best lenses.
Actually, there still is a lot of headroom for primes. I measured myself that my 50mm Zeiss would resolve 1.5Ám at f/4 which is at least 3x better than what needed by a K20D. However, your statement holds true for zoom lenses.
Or put it this way: There may be a day where lenses with a given total resolution are more expensive for APS-C that for FF such that the combined price of FF+lens is actually lower than for APS-C. We already start to see this for the FourThirds system.
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Think of it as a terminology shortcut in the same league as "multiplication factor", which is a term that irks me to no end.
"Crop" pretty much is the correct term here. The term is applied to a camera body, not a lens. A camery body with a bayonet mount and mirror box for a 43mm image circle and a sensor covering only half of its surface does indeed do a crop. Note that FourThirds cameras do not crop.
11-11-2008, 08:14 AM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Actually, there still is a lot of headroom for primes. I measured myself that my 50mm Zeiss would resolve 1.5Ám at f/4 which is at least 3x better than what needed by a K20D. However, your statement holds true for zoom lenses.
What were your testing methods and test parameters (TOC)?

11-11-2008, 08:31 AM   #125
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how much can a printer resolve?

how much can a human eye resolve?

do we need more resolution beyond what the human eye can see on an 8X12 print?
11-11-2008, 09:12 AM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
how much can a printer resolve?

how much can a human eye resolve?

do we need more resolution beyond what the human eye can see on an 8X12 print?
I kinda like making 16x20s.......
My K20 gives me an uninterpolated 8x12 with a small amount of cropping room off my Epson 4800 at it's native resolution. Anything bigger than that, I am either dropping the resolution (not good) or upsizing the image via interpolation (not as bad as dropping resolution).
Temper this with real world resolution figures for lenses in the 50 LPPM range, and we have pretty much reached a resolution limit for cropped sensor cameras.
I am discounting Falconeye's post as to get numbers like he is talking about, you would have to be using a 1000:1 TOC, which is not real world results, though I await his clarification.
11-11-2008, 09:16 AM   #127
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sorry i think i'm not fully understanding your answer.

let me rephrase my question

Falconeye states that the Ziess 50 can resolve a bigger sensor than the pentax one,

assuming that is in fact true

would we actually see that difference with our eyes printing at 16X20?
11-11-2008, 09:29 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
sorry i think i'm not fully understanding your answer.

let me rephrase my question

Falconeye states that the Ziess 50 can resolve a bigger sensor than the pentax one,

assuming that is in fact true

would we actually see that difference with our eyes printing at 16X20?
Any pre DA lens can resolve a bigger sensor than the Pentax one. I interpreted his response as the Zeiss lens being able to out resolve the Pentax sensor by a factor of 3.
I debate this point, and await his clarification regarding his testing procedure.
If he has fired a tight spectrum laser though the lens, for example, then I debate the validity of the test, since it doesn't meet real world requirements of a 1.6:1 TOC for validity.

Given that a very good lens will hit 60LPPM of resolution in real world picture taking, and given that the Pentax K20 sensor is already very close to that point, then the only real way to improve print resolution is to go with larger sensors with similar pixel density to the K20 sensor and very high quality lenses.
The K20 has excellent resolution for prints up to 8x12, but needs improvements in the noise base. Banding and VPN is a problem with the K20, as are hot pixels and wandering hot pixels (apparently fixed with the firmware update)
We don't see the hot pixels because of internal pixel mapping of the camera and because raw converters now routinely mask them.

I suspect we are, to a degree, talking in circles here.


Last edited by Wheatfield; 11-11-2008 at 09:34 AM.
11-11-2008, 11:26 AM   #129
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The camera mfgrs. are going solve this discussion themselves. The concern I have at this time is do I purchase lenses that are made for digital cameras only (Pentax DA, etc.) or lenses that will work on both. An example is that i'm considering a new long lens, possibly the Pentax 55-300 or DA 300* which are for cropped sensors only or buy a Sigma or Tamron that will work with either. I'm not completely happy with the cheap Sigma 70-300 I use now. I just don't want to buy something I won't be able to use 5 years from now if bodies go to FF. I sure many people have these concerns, including lots of Canon and Nikon users also. Its a good arguement for playing it safe and buying a better quality lens that will work on both or stick with what I have for now or look for something used. Nobody wants to buy anything that will become obsolete shortly. I believe this will be answered in the next few months as which Canon/Nikon cameras take off in sales, the new aps sesnsor models or the FF. I guess my concern is I don't want to get burned again. I am one of the "suckers" who bought into the aps film cameras and now have a collection of paperweights.
11-11-2008, 11:41 AM   #130
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
<snip> An example is that i'm considering a new long lens, possibly the Pentax 55-300 or DA 300* which are for cropped sensors only <snip>
Check out this post from Yvon Bourque. I think your statement about all DA lenses not working on FF sensors is incorrect:

Pentax DSLRs: You thought you couldn't use any DA/DA* lenses on future full frame DSLRs from Pentax? Well...think again. (See Update) By: Yvon Bourque

I know that my DA*300 works fine on a 35mm film camera.
11-11-2008, 11:43 AM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Check out this post from Yvon Bourque. I think your statement about all DA lenses not working on FF sensors is incorrect:

Pentax DSLRs: You thought you couldn't use any DA/DA* lenses on future full frame DSLRs from Pentax? Well...think again. (See Update) By: Yvon Bourque

I know that my DA*300 works fine on a 35mm film camera.
that is only a happy side effect of having a telephoto lens with a (relativly) small aperture.

the DA*16-50 vignettes heavily through out its entire focal range.
11-11-2008, 12:30 PM   #132
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I didn't bother to read the whole thread but three things come to my mind:

1. Most of the (used) lenses are designed for FF. The only way to get best out of them is to buy FF body.

2. Generally better image quality because no need to enlarge the picture as much. Even a cheap lens can make better looking pics than a top lens on APS-C sensor.

3. Better viewfinder. This is much more important than most people think!
11-11-2008, 12:32 PM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tokina Quote
I didn't bother to read the whole thread but three things come to my mind:

1. Most of the (used) lenses are designed for FF. The only way to get best out of them is to buy FF body.

2. Generally better image quality because no need to enlarge the picture as much. Even a cheap lens can make better looking pics than a top lens on APS-C sensor.

3. Better viewfinder. This is much more important than most people think!
you're way off target on the first two points, if you would have read the thread, you would have known that.
11-11-2008, 12:47 PM   #134
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Ditto Gooshin, especially the first point. My two telephoto zooms (and my 85mm prime) are designed for full frame and I'd be danged if I'm not getting the best out of them. So some of the image circle gets tossed, so what? What's left is nothing short of remarkable.
11-11-2008, 12:57 PM   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Ditto Gooshin, especially the first point. My two telephoto zooms (and my 85mm prime) are designed for full frame and I'd be danged if I'm not getting the best out of them. So some of the image circle gets tossed, so what? What's left is nothing short of remarkable.
Does it ever occur to you when watching your pics that "would be nice to have a little more in the frame (wider view)"?
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