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12-20-2021, 07:30 AM   #1
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A blue sky idea for APSC DSLRs.

The K3 iii has been with us for a while. I seriously considered getting one, but plumped for a K1 ii instead as it made more sense for my favoured photography. Much was made by Pentax over the K3 iii's new pentaprism and the viewfinder experience. Apparently a good proportion of the cost of the camera relates to this feature. I suggest for, say a KP replacement, that a K1 pentaprism is used rather than an APSC one, with the APSC frame lines permanently shown. It's a bit of a bodge job, as the view of the image taken would still be relatively small, but the added benefit of seeing what is not in one's frame would more than make up for this. Being a great aid to composition and for action shooting. I know its very unlikely to happen. Will we even see another DLSR release let alone an APSC one? But I believe its a very valid thing to have done and one of the missed opportunities of the APSC era. The other lost opportunity I can think of was not changing the aspect ratio to 4:3 when the first sensors came out.

12-20-2021, 07:42 AM   #2
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I find the 4:3 ratio not showing up in my photos so often.... I think the 3:2 is perfectly fine for my taste. But why would it have benefits for say a new KP?
12-20-2021, 08:09 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard0170 Quote
the added benefit of seeing what is not in one's frame
It would only confuse people .
12-20-2021, 08:14 AM   #4
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Some high end Nikon cameras, like the D500, have a 1.3 crop mode. I don't know how this shows in the optical viewfinder, but I'd imagine the goal is to achieve exactly some view outside of the captured area, plus maybe higher frame rate and more reach. Why not frame loosely and crop in "post"? Maybe to save some time for the editor?

12-20-2021, 08:16 AM   #5
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I'm not sure most people would find a more-than-100% (in fact what you are suggesting is a 225% viewfinder) to be useful. I think most people - at least I feel strongly about this - would find it a huge annoyance and a reason not to get such camera. Also, I don't even think it would work...

The 4/3 ratio is another thing I in which I don't see a benefit... I can't see it as a lost opportunity for success when Canon and Nikon seem to have done quite well with 3x2, and even Panasonic now went for that in their full frame offering (probably because that is the sensor that was available).

4x3 format with great quality is available in the 645 digital format...
12-20-2021, 08:25 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The K-3iii viewfinder was a major engineering job to add it in which I am sure added to the cost of the K3iii. I am sure if Pentax ever thought about a KP replacement they would seriously consider the K-3iii viewfinder since spreading the development costs to multiple bodies is how Pentax usually amortizes their engineering investments.
12-20-2021, 08:35 AM   #7
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I think the cost of the K-3 III is high for a number of reasons, and one of them is the cost of developing the new viewfinder. But I'm not so sure if it is prohibitively expensive to manufacture or was just a really tough and long development effort that had to be recouped in the cost of the camera (along with AF and everything else that's new). If the prism is now being successfully manufactured, it may not be reserved for the high end model.

The prism is a component that's made in house. Well, I mean made in Ricoh Imaging's own factory in Vietnam and sent to the Philippines to be integrated into the cameras. It may be beneficial to standardize on one prism for all APS-C models so that they don't have to keep producing multiple components. One thing that makes me think this is past precedent. The K-3 had a new prism that was better than the K-5 cameras. Rather than keep that exclusive to the K-3, it was quickly included in the K-S1 and K-S2 cameras.

Pentax recently said at their anniversary event that they are still going to make a new lower priced APS-C model. When this happens, it might have the same prism as the K-3 III and differentiate itself in other ways such as body material, the AF system, imaging sensor, card slots, battery type. But if I'm right it would have the new prism and of course the new menus and wireless features.

Edit - Posted around the same time as y0chang above, but have the same opinion.

12-20-2021, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard0170 Quote
The K3 iii has been with us for a while. I seriously considered getting one, but plumped for a K1 ii instead as it made more sense for my favoured photography. Much was made by Pentax over the K3 iii's new pentaprism and the viewfinder experience. Apparently a good proportion of the cost of the camera relates to this feature. I suggest for, say a KP replacement, that a K1 pentaprism is used rather than an APSC one, with the APSC frame lines permanently shown. It's a bit of a bodge job, as the view of the image taken would still be relatively small, but the added benefit of seeing what is not in one's frame would more than make up for this. Being a great aid to composition and for action shooting. I know its very unlikely to happen. Will we even see another DLSR release let alone an APSC one? But I believe its a very valid thing to have done and one of the missed opportunities of the APSC era. The other lost opportunity I can think of was not changing the aspect ratio to 4:3 when the first sensors came out.
I can certainly see several benefits to what you are suggesting - and I personally find those benefits appealing - but the penalty of increased size, weight, and cost would be too great, I fear.
12-20-2021, 10:29 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
It would only confuse people .
If you have ever used a sportsfinder on an old fixed lens film camera you would have a much different opinion. Being able to see what is not in the frame is a great benefit. Being able to see what is approaching the frame is one too.

---------- Post added 12-20-21 at 10:33 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I can certainly see several benefits to what you are suggesting - and I personally find those benefits appealing - but the penalty of increased size, weight, and cost would be too great, I fear.
I don't see why there should be much increase in either size nor cost. As far as cost goes, the glass is already there and needs no development. Regarding size, the much bigger and brighter viewfinder of things like the ME Super or MX are much smaller than the pentaprism housing of the KP. You could lose the built in flash if you were concerned about the size of the housing. Of course what I suggest is never going to happen. I was just idly speculating "what if?"

---------- Post added 12-20-21 at 10:44 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Michail_P Quote
I find the 4:3 ratio not showing up in my photos so often.... I think the 3:2 is perfectly fine for my taste. But why would it have benefits for say a new KP?
4:3 better fits common paper sizes. There is a theory in art that it is a more natural perspective. Personally I use 4:3 more than 3:2, and when I had Nikon I liked 5:4, but lately I am using 1:1 even more. 3:2 is a legacy of the original Leica. It was not based on aesthetics but engineering convenience. It became the industry standard in small format, but larger formats have avoided the ratio by and large, though there was a number of 6X9cm folders available before and just after WW2. The benefits for a new KP, or any other APSC sized sensor is that you can use the best part of the lens's image circle for any given angle of view, avoiding relatively poor edge and corner performance.

Last edited by richard0170; 12-20-2021 at 10:46 AM.
12-20-2021, 11:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard0170 Quote
I don't see why there should be much increase in either size nor cost. As far as cost goes, the glass is already there and needs no development. Regarding size, the much bigger and brighter viewfinder of things like the ME Super or MX are much smaller than the pentaprism housing of the KP. You could lose the built in flash if you were concerned about the size of the housing. Of course what I suggest is never going to happen. I was just idly speculating "what if?"
Yeah, I think I misread your original post - I was thinking of a K-1 version of the K-3 III prism, which is not what you stated. You're suggesting the prism of the current K-1 be used in a KP II. That does make more sense to me, and would be a nifty feature... but I do think there would be howls of discontent at the removal of the built-in flash in a "consumer level" DSLR.

From what I understand, the KP was the "mirrorless fighter" so anything that would increase the size and weight would run counter to that mission, but perhaps Pentax will re-think that with the next APS-C DSLR they release.

Maybe you should pass your suggestion on to Pentax, as it is a "photographer-friendly" feature, and that is the image Pentax is cultivating.
12-20-2021, 11:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard0170 Quote
I suggest for, say a KP replacement, that a K1 pentaprism is used rather than an APSC one, with the APSC frame lines permanently shown. It's a bit of a bodge job, as the view of the image taken would still be relatively small, but the added benefit of seeing what is not in one's frame would more than make up for this. Being a great aid to composition and for action shooting. I know its very unlikely to happen. Will we even see another DLSR release let alone an APSC one? But I believe its a very valid thing to have done and one of the missed opportunities of the APSC era. The other lost opportunity I can think of was not changing the aspect ratio to 4:3 when the first sensors came out.
The K-1 pentaprism and viewing system was designed to process the light from a full-sized mirror. With a KP-sized mirror below it, that would give a dim image. You'd lose at least one stop of brightness compared to a K-1 with full-sized mirror. I do get your point about the value of seeing outside the captured part of the frame, because I often use my DA* 50-135 in crop mode on my K-1. And I agree that offering the 4:3 crop option in camera would be a wonderful improvement, because I grew up making 8x10 and 11x4 prints. The squarer aspect ration would extend the useability of DA lenses on the K-1, too.
12-20-2021, 11:59 AM   #12
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A K1 prism would make the APS-C portion of the viewfinder smaller than the original KP prism, so nothing I would want.
A larger/heavier mirror also make a higher risk of vibrations.

I think it would be frustaring to have a FF camera with a APS-C sensor. I would prefer a FF camera where I could choose to also use APS-C crop.
12-20-2021, 08:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
rom what I understand, the KP was the "mirrorless fighter"
hmm, wasn't that the mantle held by the K-01?
12-20-2021, 09:48 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
hmm, wasn't that the mantle held by the K-01?
Not too much fight in the K-01, except when the AF was trying to lock focus.

I kid (sort of)... I never enjoyed a camera more than my K-01, so cheerful and fun.

12-25-2021, 10:54 AM   #15
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What about keeping the eye that is not looking through the viewfinder open to judge what is going on outside of the frame?
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