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04-09-2007, 06:06 AM   #1
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rampant (realistic?) speculation

I've convinced myself that waiting till this fall to make my dSLR purchase makes the most sense, with updated models from Pentax and very certainly a Canon 40D as another option. (I have a friend with a 10D and several "L" lenses which he very generously lets me borrow quite often.) But of course, the waiting is so hard. So, in lieu of any actual news, I figured, hey, how about some pointless armchair prognosticating?

First, here's what I'd like to see within the realm of realistic. (There's some "dream" wishlist items like switching to the Fuji sensor or the Java API I was talking about in the other thread, but I want to constrain this to what's actually reasonable to hope for.)

For the "K111D":
  • Switch to a custom lithium battery to make even smaller. That should be the focus here.
  • Maybe ditch the on-camera flash? Or make smaller and lamer so it's there as a feature-checklist item.
  • Drop the price to $300 body-only.
  • Slightly in the realm of fantasy: kit lens is new cheap 30mm prime. (Fits with point #1.)
  • Work on getting the auto white balance spot-on for incandescent and other indoor lighting.

For the "K101D":
  • Again, switch to custom lithium batteries. Better performance, less need to worry about out-of-spec power, and smaller. Sure there's downsides, but overall, there's a reason everyone else does this.
  • Add a second control wheel -- another easy way to be uniquely powerful at this price niche.
  • Make work with the new ultrasonic ring motors.
  • Again with the auto-WB.

For the "K11D", really, if the K101D would actually match the above, I'd probably get that. Failing that, I'd like to see improvements in the jpeg processing engine (including, yes, the white balance). I like to take pictures rather than fuss around with RAW, and except for exceptional cases, in-camera processing ought to be as good as off-camera. And of course improvements in high ISO image quality are always welcome.

So, while I think the above things are possible, my expectations are a bit lower. I think in reality, we'll see:

K110D completely dropped. There's just not enough to differentiate this from the K100D, and although the ultra-small idea above would make me happy, make a great second body, and blow the Nikon D40 out of the water, I have doubts it'd really happen.

K100D "upgraded" to more megapixels, because doing that seems to be mandatory. Not sure what else is realistic to expect. Better dust removal? Thoughts?

K10D: I'm actually optimistic about the image processing improvements. I expect more megapixels, for better or worse. Anything else?

04-09-2007, 06:27 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
For the "K111D":
  • Switch to a custom lithium battery to make even smaller. That should be the focus here.
  • Maybe ditch the on-camera flash? Or make smaller and lamer so it's there as a feature-checklist item.
  • Drop the price to $300 body-only.
  • Slightly in the realm of fantasy: kit lens is new cheap 30mm prime. (Fits with point #1.)
  • Work on getting the auto white balance spot-on for incandescent and other indoor lighting.
Other than than the custom battery (man, I love using NiMH AA's), I'm totally with you here. But add in a pentaprism!!!

Basically I want an MX for the digital era.
04-09-2007, 07:39 AM   #3
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Personally, I would hate for the camera to get any smaller. For a woman, I have pretty big hands and right now the K100D is as small as I'd like to get. I'd love to have a battery grip for it to give it a little more substance!

Carol
04-09-2007, 08:39 AM   #4
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I wanna be able to use my Energizer Lithiums in all my cameras. They fricken last forever!

04-09-2007, 10:09 AM   #5
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It's hard to guess where they'll go with the batteries. On the one hand, it's so much easier to engineer for specialized lithium rechargeables, and I find them a lot less hassle than keeping track of sets of rechargeable AAs. But on the other, so many people really prefer double-As that I wouldn't at all be surprised to find that this helps sell K100Ds over the competition.

For the proposed super-small model, I'm mostly concerned about the space taken up by 4 AAs or 2 CRV3s. I wonder if the power draw could be reasonably reduced to the point where 2 AAs / 1 CRV3 would work and give acceptable life.
04-09-2007, 11:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
It's hard to guess where they'll go with the batteries. On the one hand, it's so much easier to engineer for specialized lithium rechargeables, and I find them a lot less hassle than keeping track of sets of rechargeable AAs. But on the other, so many people really prefer double-As that I wouldn't at all be surprised to find that this helps sell K100Ds over the competition.
When I bought the K100D, the fact that it used AAs was indeed a strong point for me. When I moved from the K100D to the K10D, I was nervous about having to rely on a special battery. Now, it turns out not to be such a big deal. But I don't personally see any advantages to the proprietary battery; and I think it's absolutely necessary to have TWO of them. When I leave with the camera, it's hard to know if I'll have enough battery power for the day or not, so I always like to have a spare.

Will
04-09-2007, 01:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
For the "K101D":
Again, switch to custom lithium batteries. Better performance, less need to worry about out-of-spec power, and smaller. Sure there's downsides, but overall, there's a reason everyone else does this.
Sure, and there's a rational reason everyone and their dog is doubling megapixels like mad too? If it ain't broken, don't fix it. I've been in situation where I absolutely needed to get the cam working and I could borrow AA-sticks and save the day. I'd very much would like to keep that option open for a while. They can stick portable nuclear warhead in pro equipment for all I care, but let's just keep commonly available batteries in consumer cam for a little longer.
04-09-2007, 01:01 PM   #8
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Maybe it's just be but I think the next camera (other than the 645D) they'll announce will be the K1D. They have an open slot on the cameras page:

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04-09-2007, 01:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperJared Quote
Maybe it's just be but I think the next camera (other than the 645D) they'll announce will be the K1D.
Maybe a new camera series, but not K1D. At PMA, they have not even decided on the feature set of the high end model, let alone having a prototype or market ready product soon.
04-09-2007, 02:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
K10D: I'm actually optimistic about the image processing improvements.
Well, K10D performs exactly as how Pentax engineers designed it to be. So I am not sure what "improvement" you are looking for.

What you want is a change in Pentax design philosophy and direction. And I am not sure if it is a good thing or bad. K10D is designed for people who wants to do their own PP, and not having the camera doing it for them.

People who demands an improvement basically is asking for a Nkon or Canon simulation mode to simulate their type of output. It's not a problem for Pentax, they did it for K100D. But that's why K10D is different, and why Pentax is different.

I don't want a Canon or Nikon clone. And I don't want them to change their design philosophy.
04-09-2007, 02:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aabram Quote
Sure, and there's a rational reason everyone and their dog is doubling megapixels like mad too? If it ain't broken, don't fix it. I've been in situation where I absolutely needed to get the cam working and I could borrow AA-sticks and save the day. I'd very much would like to keep that option open for a while. They can stick portable nuclear warhead in pro equipment for all I care, but let's just keep commonly available batteries in consumer cam for a little longer.
There's a rational reason for that too ("it sells cameras"), but that's a marketing one.

With batteries, it's an engineering reason. I'm not making this up based on my own wishes -- read it from Pentax engineers.
04-09-2007, 02:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Well, K10D performs exactly as how Pentax engineers designed it to be. So I am not sure what "improvement" you are looking for.
I think this line in the review at dpreview sums it up: "Pentax may well have been aiming for a smooth film-like appearance but I at least feel that the inability to tweak this out by increasing sharpness is a mistake." (As many reviewers have noted, increasing the sharpness setting doesn't actually help here.)

QuoteQuote:
What you want is a change in Pentax design philosophy and direction. And I am not sure if it is a good thing or bad. K10D is designed for people who wants to do their own PP, and not having the camera doing it for them.
I think this argument starts with a false premise. The camera contains a computer which runs, essentially, RAW-to-JPEG conversion software. The distinction between whether you do this conversion in the camera or sitting at a desktop is essentially a small one.

You have more processing power at the desktop, of course, but the camera has plenty for basic operations. And obviously you have more ability to see what operations work best on a per-step, per-image basis at a computer workstation with a bigger-than-two-inch monitor, but there's no reason the camera itself shouldn't be able to do batch-mode operations to whatever defaults I choose -- not what Pentax (or Canon or Nikon or whoever) chose at the factory.
04-09-2007, 03:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Other than than the custom battery (man, I love using NiMH AA's), I'm totally with you here. But add in a pentaprism!!!

Basically I want an MX for the digital era.
The digital MX has already come and gone, IMHO. It was the *ist DS.

Cheers,
-Asad
04-09-2007, 03:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I think this argument starts with a false premise.
This whole thread is a false premise. Without actually even owning any equipment, all you're doing is a write up based on wanting *more* already.

This is, unfortunately, a throw-away age. There will always be more, and just around the corner. You have to make a decision at some point. When these new "improved" cameras come out (that will, sad to say, be no better at *actually* taking photographs than cameras today), all I can see is another thread saying.. "well, maybe if I wait for the .."

There will always be more, and there will always be "better". I'm just confused as to what you want to be.. a photographer, or an equipment junkie.
04-09-2007, 03:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I think this line in the review at dpreview sums it up: "Pentax may well have been aiming for a smooth film-like appearance but I at least feel that the inability to tweak this out by increasing sharpness is a mistake." (As many reviewers have noted, increasing the sharpness setting doesn't actually help here.)



I think this argument starts with a false premise. The camera contains a computer which runs, essentially, RAW-to-JPEG conversion software. The distinction between whether you do this conversion in the camera or sitting at a desktop is essentially a small one.

You have more processing power at the desktop, of course, but the camera has plenty for basic operations. And obviously you have more ability to see what operations work best on a per-step, per-image basis at a computer workstation with a bigger-than-two-inch monitor, but there's no reason the camera itself shouldn't be able to do batch-mode operations to whatever defaults I choose -- not what Pentax (or Canon or Nikon or whoever) chose at the factory.
DP Review missed the point because they had not taken the time to learn how to use the K10D correctly. Another reviwer who did take the time found that by using the bright setting for jpeg and playing with the contrast and sharpness controls, the Pentax jpegs were much closer to its RAW output. DP Review's rating appears to be based on jpeg quality "out of the box", which seems a little naive to me.

Keep in mind that DP Review also decided the K10D was only "just" highly recommended despite scoring higher than the Canon 400D and Nikon D40 (both of which were "highly recommended" by DP Review without a murmer).
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