Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-05-2021, 09:28 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Stamford, Ct
Photos: Albums
Posts: 101
The ideal DSLR for me

I've been shooting with the MX and ME this week, and really love the light small body compared to my DSLRs. KP, K3 and k-x. What I would love is a digital MX - ie a tiny SLR with 2 basic manual controls (ie like MX - ISO and shutter speed), a viewfinder manual meter, with the lens manually setting the aperture, raw saving, and AF. No need for rear screen and all the DSLR controls and image processing, auto exposure, and flexibility. I prefer to make my own over/under f-stop decisions on the fly through the viewfinder, for which the MX is perfect, rather than lowering the camera, hitting buttons and turning knobs, etc. I suppose bracketing can do some of this, but I like to think about the exposure I want to take and do it on the fly, quickly, instead of missing the shot by fiddling.


03-05-2021, 11:20 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
i_trax's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Perth Western Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,631
Well...... dream on , that's what I can say.
I believe , Nikon was trying to achieve something like that with Silver Df.
03-06-2021, 12:37 AM - 1 Like   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Madaboutpix's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia
Posts: 1,022
Hm. Why not just enjoy the peace of mind and real flexibility that Pentax DSLRs bring to the table when virtually anything is so beautifully and ergonomically laid out? That's a real Pentax strong suit, almost a differentiator, and it helps to make these feature-rich DSLRs buyable for a broader spectrum of users. Understandable as this yearning for "simplicity, simplicity" may be, it would lead to less versatile and arguably less capable cameras, and I don't see Ricoh going down that road.

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 03-06-2021 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Nuance.
03-06-2021, 01:07 AM   #4

Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Jersey C.I.
Photos: Albums
Posts: 943
At 470gm (without batteries) the *istDL2 is in the ball-park weight-wise, but for a real light-weight experience, try the *ist film camera … 335gm

03-06-2021, 01:22 AM - 1 Like   #5
Forum Member

Join Date: Nov 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 79
I think you can always change settings on almost any Pentax DSLR so they behave exactly like the MX or any other full manual camera.

The only thing I really miss from the "MX experience" style of shooting and never could replicate on my DSLRs is manual focusing on a big and bright viewfinder using very precise split image and microprism aids. For me, that was a real pleasure.

Last edited by CarlosU; 03-06-2021 at 01:28 AM.
03-06-2021, 06:57 AM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Stamford, Ct
Photos: Albums
Posts: 101
Original Poster
The Nikon DF looks amazing. It's exactly what I want! Was not aware of it - left the Nikon world in 2000 when I got my first Canon Rebel and switched to digital.

Thank you for pointing this camera out to me.

I like hacking things and might play with incorporating the Raspberry Pi camera into a Pentax film body. I have a K2 that is supposed to be 'non-repairable'. Or will buy a DF for my Adaptamatic and Adaptall lenses or if I decide to go down the Nikkor lens rabbit hole.

I switched back to Pentax in Dec 2020 - I was only using my Canon 7D and various L lenses for taking ebay pictures to sell stuff, and not taking any real photographs - decided I did not like the ergonomics and size. This resulted in switching back to the Pentax world (that I had left in 1988), and I am having a blast and have acquired a LOT of legacy lenses to try out.

I find the Pentax DSLRs to be significantly more aligned with my hand size and the way I think, and enjoy using them a lot, and a lot more than the Canon, but still find them too clunky when compared to the MX. And the M-series prisms and focusing screens are so much nicer.

I've tried customization on the KP using the U buttons - I have a terrible memory after a brain injury, and cannot remember what I set. So I decided instead to have more bodies that are permanently customized.

This is the plan for now: I now have 4 digital bodies - k-x (need to repair battery compartment), K-5 (on the way), K-3 and KP. I like the KP buttons the most, so it will be my primary digital camera with a pocketful of small limited AF primes and light zooms (DA*21, 40XS, DA* 16-50, DA50-300 so far). The K-3 is being used on a DSLR scanning rig with a manual macro lens, but will also be the tripod body and used with heavier longer prime and zoom lenses. The K5 will be my M42 lens body for my Adapt-a-matic long primes and zooms (135/200/300), and the k-x will become the Pentax-M and A body, with both the K5 and K-x getting MX like customization.

So when I shoot manual, I'll also take along the appropriate dslr for the lens set I am carrying.

03-06-2021, 07:13 AM   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Warwickshire, UK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 419
If you went for a KP, you could use the manual mode, have the back wheel for aperture, the front wheel for speed, program C1 to ISO, set AF and metering to your preference, turn the screen off and it will operate pretty much as an MX with everything you need in the viewfinder and all of the controls under your right fingers.

The KP is smaller and lighter than the Nikon Df although they appear to be very similiar (I wonder if Pentax copied Nikon here) although the Df was full frame.

Last edited by stevejo; 03-06-2021 at 07:23 AM.
03-06-2021, 07:26 AM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Stamford, Ct
Photos: Albums
Posts: 101
Original Poster
Thanks. I'll try those settings.

03-08-2021, 09:59 AM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 300
It pains me to say this, but if your KP with the small grip isn't close enough to your ME/MX experience, you may have to look outside the Pentax ecosystem to get what you want.

Fuji's X-T3 / X-T30's are comparable in price and features to the KP, but with a user interface closer to what you're looking for... up to & including adjusting lens aperture on the lens.
03-10-2021, 06:14 AM   #10

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 3,106
Well, the APS-C mirrorless are close enough in size and weight to the KP so that giving up the built-in flash becomes an essential part of the difference. Then not having the OVF will further distance them from the MX and ME experience. I find that the KP remains the closest digital camera to that kind of experience. I also have the K-S2, which is indeed noticeably smaller and lighter even than the KP (though not as shallow as the KP with its smaller grip attached), but it does not have the build quality of the KP nor of the ME Super. The ME Super was my first Pentax body, bought brand new back in the day. I shot with that body exclusively for some 6 years before getting my first AF camera, the SF-1n, then continued with the ME Super as my secondary compact model for several years longer.

It is unfortunate that Pentax is giving up this concept in their quality DSLR lineup, and thus giving up attracting attention from mirrorless ILC shoppers.

Last edited by mikesbike; 03-10-2021 at 06:20 AM.
03-10-2021, 08:06 AM - 1 Like   #11
noblepa's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bay Village, Ohio USA
Posts: 1,131
I sympathize with your desire for the simplicity and small size of the M-series cameras.

However, this strikes me as very much like the discussions we've had in the past about "why can't Pentax make the digital equivalent of a K1000?"

They could, but they won't.

A dslr has a couple of things that a film camera doesn't, which take up a lot of space and add a relatively lot of weight. The battery is a big one, although it is about the same size as a 35mm film cartridge, but it is heavier. The motors for the mirror and the shutter. The circuit boards for the electronics that make everything work.

As for leaving out features, most of the features are implemented in software. Leaving them out saves nothing in manufacturing costs, while scaring modern customers away. A few features that are hardware oriented could be left out, but Pentax learned their lesson with the K110d, which lacked IS. I don't know how many were sold, but it wasn't many. They don't even show up on eBay. That experiment has never been repeated.

They could leave the LCD panel off of the back and top of the camera. That would save weight and manufacturing costs. This, counter-intuitively, would increase software development costs. I'm sure that software code in one camera becomes the basis for the code in the next generation of cameras. That is the way software development is done. The problem is that all of that software is geared around using the LCD for the various settings that are necessary to operate the camera. New software would have to be written to enable the user to control those settings without the LCD. That software would have no use in the rest of the product line, and the development costs would have to be amortized solely in the putative digital M-series.

Lastly, there would be a very, very small market for such a camera. The camera buying public seems to be infatuated with new features that many users don't completely understand.

Don't get me wrong. I have a Spotmatic (two, actually), a K1000 and an Me Super. They are all a delight to look at, a joy to hold and a lot of fun to use.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
controls, dslr, exposure, ie, love, mx, viewfinder
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Article: QUEST FOR AN IDEAL COMPACT FILM SLR jcdoss Pentax Film SLR Discussion 38 12-06-2019 07:15 AM
The Ideal Pentax Mirrorless Camera TLiivo General Photography 69 10-28-2019 01:48 PM
Ideas for the ideal Pentax FF DSLR. impossibro Pentax DSLR Discussion 59 09-11-2019 11:56 PM
LR Publishing to Facebook/Ideal Export settings to Facebook? BruceBanner Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 3 03-24-2019 07:36 PM
My ideal controls on a Pentax DSLR body shawnxji Pentax DSLR Discussion 12 01-14-2010 02:08 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:53 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]