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03-14-2010, 04:38 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
The idea that you can't make a Pentax dSLR any thinner than they are now because of the registration distance is a bit of myth. Take a look:




I daresay that the MX is probably as thin as an Olympus EP-1/2 or Panasonic GF1.
The main body portion is probably similar in thickness to those cameras, but the lensmount is the kicker, adding another half of the original thickness. In practical terms, a K-mount EVIL with the same thickness as the MX you show above, even with the DA 40 mounted, is still a good bit thicker than the Pen cameras or GF1 with their pancake lenses mounted, and this is right in the size range where an extra quarter inch here or there makes the difference between pocketable or non-pocketable.

The idea of a retractable lensmount is very interesting. A variation on that might be interchangeable lens mounts (sort of). Want to shoot K-mount? Just snap on the K-mount module that has full electrical contact with the body and is just as fully functional as the mount on any DSLR and increases registration distance so K-mount glass works as it should. Want maximum compactness? Take it off to reveal the "mini-K" mount similar to other modern micro-mounts and put a newly-designed Pentax mini-K mount pancake on it. It could be done.

03-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
The main body portion is probably similar in thickness to those cameras, but the lensmount is the kicker, adding another half of the original thickness. In practical terms, a K-mount EVIL with the same thickness as the MX you show above, even with the DA 40 mounted, is still a good bit thicker than the Pen cameras or GF1 with their pancake lenses mounted, and this is right in the size range where an extra quarter inch here or there makes the difference between pocketable or non-pocketable.

The idea of a retractable lensmount is very interesting. A variation on that might be interchangeable lens mounts (sort of). Want to shoot K-mount? Just snap on the K-mount module that has full electrical contact with the body and is just as fully functional as the mount on any DSLR and increases registration distance so K-mount glass works as it should. Want maximum compactness? Take it off to reveal the "mini-K" mount similar to other modern micro-mounts and put a newly-designed Pentax mini-K mount pancake on it. It could be done.
A retractable lens mount? Hmmm...interesting. I suppose the engineering challenge would be keeping everything perfectly aligned in both positions and keeping them aligned throughout the products lifespan. I can see "My retractable lens mount is off by .001 inches!!!" threads already LOL

For grins, I've placed the E-P1, MX, and K-x in one image, using the bottom label, screws and tripod mount of the K-x to align the two images.



As you can see, it may be possible to design a Pentax EVIL with a standard K mount (and the required registration distance) that's not much thicker than an Olympus IF the viewfinder and circuit board are relocated from behind the sensor to somewhere else on the body.

Add WR, two dial controls, the K-x sensor and price it @ $800 for the body...now that would "Be Interesting"!
03-14-2010, 07:28 PM   #18
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This is a (VERY rough) workup of a vertical EVIL design.
Front: Non-retractable (???) lens mount on top.
Back: EVF on top; controls; (swivel?) LCD screen.
I've made no attempt to make the controls look real.

Body dimensions: Thickness (midpoint) about 25-30mm; through lens mount, about 55-60mm. Breadth about 65-70mm. Height maybe 110mm. Adequate battery may require a bit of expansion.

The goal: minimize thickness of lens-mount area by separating lens-sensor stack from circuitry-screen stack. If the body was oriented horizontally, the offset of lens from EVF and screen would probably be disconcerting. With this vertical orientation, the camera feels rather like an extended cellphone (with a big lens protruding, but that's unavoidable while keeping K-mount compatibility). Maybe the retractable lensmount should be reconsidered, eh?
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Last edited by RioRico; 03-14-2010 at 11:45 PM. Reason: spelling
03-14-2010, 10:08 PM   #19
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I wonder how many hours it will take until that picture spreads around the net's camera rumor sites as a new coming Pentax EVIL.

EDIT: But I agree that film-based technology has caused cameras to have a certain look and shape and now as we're no more bound to that technology, the camera could have a very different shape and functionality, a different way of holding one etc...

03-14-2010, 11:40 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
I wonder how many hours it will take until that picture spreads around the net's camera rumor sites as a new coming Pentax EVIL.
Going viral, even as we sit here. If my lousy lettering and BLA BLA BLA doesn't give a hint.

QuoteQuote:
EDIT: But I agree that film-based technology has caused cameras to have a certain look and shape and now as we're no more bound to that technology, the camera could have a very different shape and functionality, a different way of holding one etc...
Sony has done this before, even more rad, with their DSC-U60 [ Sony Dsc-U60 Review: Overview ] which I wanted until I learned that it underperformed.

Of course we can understand that traditional SLR makers are used to making traditional SLRs, and selling them to people who want to buy traditional SLRs. That's why it's Panasonic and Samsung and other non-trads who have come up with variant architectures -- Sony too, before they devoured and shat out Minolta. You do what you're good at. Maybe, if you're a small cog in a giant corporate machine, your bean-counting masters won't let you do anything else. Or maybe if you're a small-enough cog, you can slip something in when they aren't watching.

But long before SLRs (and I'll skip past commercial view cams) were stealth cams in various shapes, and cams that looked like revolvers (not a good idea now), and box cams (reincarnated as Holgas), and rangefinders. And now are pen.cams and phone.cams and all sorts of imaging devices that DON'T have to be held like Leicas and Nikons and Polaroids. Videocams are similarly evolving -- who woulda thunk that cine.cams would grow up to be SLRs?

I hope we see new mutant cams soon, affordable mutants, not just more waves of zombis.
03-15-2010, 03:25 AM   #21
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Interesting workup!

Unfortunately, it's going to take a while to change the public's preception of what a camera should look like. My wife is on her 4th or 5th Sanyo revolver cam, and people still think it looks weird.

In terms of a traditional 4/3rds rectangle shape, another workaround (in addition to the retracting lensmount) would be to use an OLED display, as it is a fair bit thinner than backlit LCD.
03-15-2010, 03:57 AM   #22
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QuoteQuote:
I don't think there's any point in making a non-SLR camera with the K mount, since the registration distance means it can't be made small anyway.
Well, you could. I would go for a sort of micro-Bronica look, a cube (or a cylinder!) that's no wider/taller than needed to mount the lens, which would give you plenty of registration distance. Articulating screen on top, viewfinder in back. Preferred shooting mode would be from waist level, looking down at the screen, although you could hold it like a traditional dslr as well. Nice size, good ergonomics
I'm not sure the whole miniaturization concept of 4/3 works in practice. The real size problem is lenses. You're not going to do a long tele that's pocketable, nor even a 2.8 18-50 zoom. You want something you can carry 24/7, buy a Canon s90. More likely that's the future of walk around, pocket cams with slightly bigger sensors and a little more processing power.
03-15-2010, 08:48 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
For grins, I've placed the E-P1, MX, and K-x in one image, using the bottom label, screws and tripod mount of the K-x to align the two images.



As you can see, it may be possible to design a Pentax EVIL with a standard K mount (and the required registration distance) that's not much thicker than an Olympus IF the viewfinder and circuit board are relocated from behind the sensor to somewhere else on the body.
Put a K-mount to M4/3 adaptor on the E-P1 and then measure how close the lens is to the sensor. You may find it longer than you think.

03-15-2010, 10:01 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by LouD Quote
Well, you could. I would go for a sort of micro-Bronica look, a cube (or a cylinder!) that's no wider/taller than needed to mount the lens, which would give you plenty of registration distance. Articulating screen on top, viewfinder in back. Preferred shooting mode would be from waist level, looking down at the screen, although you could hold it like a traditional dslr as well. Nice size, good ergonomics.
It's an EVIL Brownie!!

Still, with an APS-C (or FF) sensor, you'd end up with a small box with a big lens attached, a small box you peer into one way or another -- unless you bluetooth the screen data to your VR goggles. Then you could hold the cam however you want, and lens size becomes less important.

QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
Interesting workup!
Thank you, thank you.

[/me buffs fingernails, looks nonchalant]

QuoteQuote:
Unfortunately, it's going to take a while to change the public's preception of what a camera should look like. My wife is on her 4th or 5th Sanyo revolver cam, and people still think it looks weird.
Hmmm, how about an EVIL revolver (APS-C or FF) where the lens is the 'barrel', the sensor is in the 'chamber' which also mounts the swivel screen, battery etc in the handle -- just like a Sanyo revolver but with bigger lenses? As long as the screen can be seen, bystanders *might* not mistake it for a flare gun, or worse.

But people accept all sorts of devices as 'cameras'. Look at all those tiny brightly-colored thin squares and rectangles, the sub-compacts. My Oly 770-SW is barely that (noisy, but it's good to 10m underwater). Common consumers used to lug around bulky unwieldy camcorders -- some still do.

Or maybe a successful EVIL will just be constrained by physical limits. Lose the prism and mirror and keep a holdable body, and we get a digital 'rangefinder' with EVF and LiveView, an APS-C or FF Leica IIIf for the modern world. Keep that bag of Takumar primes! But hey, how come my half-frame K20D is so much bulkier than my full-frame ZX-M? Both have batteries and motors. The culprit is the LCD screen. Lose that too, and the built0n flash, and we're really in Cartier-Bresson territory.
03-16-2010, 09:03 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zou Quote
Put a K-mount to M4/3 adaptor on the E-P1 and then measure how close the lens is to the sensor. You may find it longer than you think.
There won't be any surprises, it will be45.46mm, the standard registration distance of the K-mount. And that won't change with a Pentax K-mount EVIL.

The point that I am trying to make it that much of the camera bloat over the last decade or more (see my photo with the small K-x next to the even smaller MX) is due the electronics stacked - the LCD display and the computer main circuitry - behind the sensor. I imagine the SR system adds a couple of mm as well.

If Pentax wanted to make an EVIL that utilizes the standard K-mount and standard registration distance, they might be able to reduce the body thickness by relocating some of these electronics.

I imagine that Pentax has thought about this already. After all, they have some good engineers - just look at the K-x, K7 and 645D as proof...
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