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07-07-2007, 07:38 PM   #1
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For Benjikan- will Pentax give us more dynamic range?

Hey Ben,

As I presume that you're in the know, can you tell us (without crossing the confidentiality line) if the next generation of Pentax offerings will provide sensors with improved DR? I've been doing a fair amount of night photography in the city lately, and this would make things quite a bit simpler.

Thanks,
John

07-07-2007, 09:34 PM   #2
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At this point?

QuoteOriginally posted by button Quote
Hey Ben,

As I presume that you're in the know, can you tell us (without crossing the confidentiality line) if the next generation of Pentax offerings will provide sensors with improved DR? I've been doing a fair amount of night photography in the city lately, and this would make things quite a bit simpler.

Thanks,
John
Hello John;

We will have to wait a bit before I can share any info regarding DR. However, I am aware of the fact that Pentax have given priority to this area and understand the importance of it.

Ben
07-07-2007, 09:44 PM   #3
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And please Ben, will they incorporate a spot beam or better still a spread green laser to get auto focus assist in low light situation rather than the sizzling on board flash?

Cheers,

Rene R
07-08-2007, 08:10 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by OPTMEKX& Quote
get auto focus assist in low light situation rather than the sizzling on board flash?
LOL. I was just going to complain about this. No one seems to like this autofocus assist lamp when I've used it on them. Even the cat which normally doesn't care gets really annoyed and turns away :-)

07-08-2007, 08:27 AM   #5
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Yea Ive been wondering how come they dont add an AF assist light. THey have it on their flashes and it doesnt seem like a big thing to add to the body, many very smal digicams have got this feature and I belive it would boost low light performance. I remember my first digicam the prosumer sony v1, nice camera. It had the excellent sony hologram af assist that projected a red pattern to help the af, that was the best assist system during that time and had the added "feature" that if you were out partying and shooting without really aiming, you could aim with the pattern
07-08-2007, 10:25 AM   #6
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I don't think there's anything too lacking in DR with the 6MP sensor going by my experiments with HDR images tweaked from one PEF at different exposure settings in the RAW converter and combined with Photomatix. What's mainly lacking is the in-camera processing to make the most of the sensor when squirting out a jpg!
07-08-2007, 12:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by OPTMEKX& Quote
And please Ben, will they incorporate a spot beam or better still a spread green laser to get auto focus assist in low light situation rather than the sizzling on board flash?
This feature already exists. You can use a Pentax hot shoe flash (such as the AF-360FGZ) and set it to focus assist "spot beam" only (set Mode to "SB"). Then the flash will project a red pattern for AF assist when needed, but the flash will not fire when the shutter is released.
07-08-2007, 03:37 PM   #8
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Focus Assist - but does it work?

QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
This feature already exists. You can use a Pentax hot shoe flash (such as the AF-360FGZ) and set it to focus assist "spot beam" only (set Mode to "SB"). Then the flash will project a red pattern for AF assist when needed, but the flash will not fire when the shutter is released.
Yes, you can do this... but who wants to put on a flash of that size that has at best a 2 meter (6 feet) range of assist with the dim red led output. The Sony holographic assist was the best around, and Pentax needs to do something other than blinding the subject with a buzz flash assist which really does not work well, or like others a pencil beam that blinds... it is a tough call, but there are options.

A small push button LED pencil flashlight or torch works in some cases to get focus lock, and on one shot I wanted of 4 birds in a tree at night huddled together I used a high end bicycle light to get the focus, then the AF540 fired for a perfect shot. The birds were 10 meters (34') up in the tree.

I am also experimenting with a small patterned laser assist pen light, based on the Sony laser diode, this may be the answer for me when I get it finished.

Phil

07-08-2007, 08:53 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by matix Quote
Yes, you can do this... but who wants to put on a flash of that size that has at best a 2 meter (6 feet) range of assist with the dim red led output.
I've used the Pentax SB focus assist from about 15-20 feet away and it did seem to help. But I doubt that it would work for subjects that were much farther away. The up side is that the comparatively dim red light doesn't blind the subject the way that a white flash does.
07-09-2007, 01:44 AM   #10
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Don't know the brand name

I saw a P&S use this red grid. It projected a wide beam of red lines in a pattern of a grid. The first time I saw it I was surprised how easily it was projected onto the people being photographed.

Was definately not IR and quite easily seen.
07-09-2007, 02:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by crashman Quote
I saw a P&S use this red grid. It projected a wide beam of red lines in a pattern of a grid. The first time I saw it I was surprised how easily it was projected onto the people being photographed.

Was definately not IR and quite easily seen.
Sounds like the Sony Hologram AF assist.
07-09-2007, 05:45 PM   #12
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My last SLR, a Nikon, had a built-in light, it was great, a bit bright but way better than the Pentax flash solution. We also have a Canon compact in the house which uses a light, but it's orangish, so doesn't scare everyone away, it works better than the Pentax solution as well.
07-09-2007, 05:45 PM   #13
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The hologram thing is nice, but there must be some reason why they pulled the plug on it in their later models. Maybe it's not good for the human body to be subjected to that hologram often? I dunno.
07-10-2007, 12:49 AM   #14
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Even thou the onboard falsh is quite good it is only emergency solution. Using additional flash with af beam is the way to go.
Why compacts seem to do such a fine job focusing in the dark? I think it has a lot to do with a fact that due to a smaller sensor they have larger DOF at same aperture.
07-10-2007, 11:29 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
Sounds like the Sony Hologram AF assist.
My Sony DSC-F717 has the AF hologram assist. The first time people see it, they think of Predator or Tron and sometimes even freak out as they think it's a blinding laser
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