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03-12-2008, 12:01 PM   #16
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As a follow up to my above post let me further clarify several points..

First, although a full-sized sensor would be the ideal set-up as regards to capturing on the sensor what is seen through the viewfinder, I would be content with any sensor sized between what we now accept as the most common standard, A-PSC, and one that was full-sized..Eliminating the other features that I listed above should more than compensate monetarily for enlarging the sensor by a third to full-sized..Even if that were not the case I am not so much interested in lowering the camera's retail price, as I am in simplifing the process of my digital photography..

Second, after reflecting on ftpaddict's post regarding AE & AF I would agree that auto exposure should probably be retained, but not auto focus..The motors & electronics for auto focus are one of the primary ways to lighten the camera..

Third, the addition of electronic leaf shutter lenses is, IMO, the simplest & most practical way to accomplish flash on SLR cameras, digital or film..You only have to talk for a short while to any pro that uses such a medium format camera & lens set-up to understand just how much easier flash can be..For those of us that are interested in macro photography, it's just about the ideal arrangement..A 200mm f4 Macro ED lens with an electronic leaf shutter that was weather sealed??..Man!!..I'd be willing to just about kill for such a lens..With the advances in lens design & manufacturing that have been made in the past decade, such a lens would not only be supremely practical in the field, but should not cost much more, if any, than the the old FA* 200mm f2.8 ED (IF) lens did when it was last sold..Note that none of the electronic leaf shutter lens suggestions that I mentioned above have internal focus..Although I like (IF) lenses very much, I'd rather see Pentax put the finest glass formulations into these lenses along with superb optical design, than I would see them spend money on (IF)..

Forth, such a camera would be the perfect bridge between point-and-shoot cameras & full-sized dSLR's with their feature rich packages.. Committing a large sum of money for advertising & EDUCATION would be needed to convince the camera buying public that they were not taking a step backwards in purchasing such a camera..The past two decades of digital camera design has every consumer convinced that feature rich cameras are a necessity for all photographers regardless of ability..

It seems to me that Pentax is in a unique position, industry wise, to bring such a camera to market & make it successful..Pentax's quirkiness, or shortsightedness, in design & marketing over the past several decades has put them in the position of attracting the photographer that does not want to follow the Canon & Nikon herd..With the proper approach to educational advertising I believe that is would not be all that hard to convince the average point-and-shoot photographer that such a camera as I have described would make the perfect bridge camera to own before purchasing a full-featured dSLR..

We all know with absolute certainty that learning the basics of aperture, shutter speed, manual lens focusing, etc. would make the learning curve with a full-featured dSLR much easier..Two ways to encourage the purchase of such cameras would to first set up a factory-sponsored rental program to allow people to see if a dSLR is really what they want to move up to..After renting & using such a camera, the person renting the camera would have the option to apply part of the rental fee towards the purchase of either the manual dSLR, or to a full-featured dSLR..Second, would be to have a buy-back program that would allow full purchase price trade-in towards a fill-sized dSLR say for 90-180 days after purchase (assuming the camera was in good shape at the time of trade-in)..This would give the rental program a new & steady supply of cameras so that the older ones could be sold off, or scrapped..

Just some more thoughts..

Bruce


Last edited by baltochef920; 03-12-2008 at 01:51 PM.
03-13-2008, 05:41 PM   #17
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Best thread I've read in a while.

Indeed why not make it compatible with the LX finders? I'm thinking waist-level.
03-13-2008, 08:19 PM   #18
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I have 2 MX-bodies and love them. Chris is a great person and thanks to him, my second MX was given a new lease on life. The MX is my all-time favourite Pentax. However, I recently got a Spotmatic II and I must say that the Spotty is one fine camera too.

My beef with anything digital is not with the medium itself but with the human-to-machine interface of the cameras. I find them absolutely terrible. If Pentax ever came out with a digital manual body like the MX, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. And I don't want some plastic thing either. I would like a metal body that has upgradeable guts (like the Leica M8) so that it won't be found on some landfill site a few years after I buy it.

Last edited by Nando; 03-14-2008 at 12:42 PM.
03-16-2008, 08:00 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nando Quote
My beef with anything digital is not with the medium itself but with the human-to-machine interface of the cameras. I find them absolutely terrible..
I think you have this exactly right. I use the K10D a lot more than the MX (have to be practical here), but the MX is just smile inducing. It's the directness of the interface, with modeless execution for every function. You either have zero modes, or in general you have many many of them, and accounting for the modes is what introduces friction with digital gear.

The other thing is the basically 1:1 view finder of the MX when using a normal lens. It's exatly like looking through a window, with no change in perspective, and this lends an organic feel to the whole process.

03-19-2008, 03:22 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by twinda1 Quote
I think you have this exactly right. I use the K10D a lot more than the MX (have to be practical here), but the MX is just smile inducing. It's the directness of the interface, with modeless execution for every function. You either have zero modes, or in general you have many many of them, and accounting for the modes is what introduces friction with digital gear.

While I don't have a MX, I'll be getting a K1000 pretty soon. I can't quite explain it, but there's just something special about the old manual bodies that can't be duplicated with the AF film or digital bodies. I will say that I do like the way they feel in my hands. What made me decide to get another manual film body is the little Canonet 28 that I have. It's manual in terms of focusing and film advancing, but it acts like a point and shoot with a meter in the viewfinder. I want more control, so I decided to go back to a manual SLR body, which will be bigger, but still have the same feel in my hands that I like.

On a digital note, one of the things that attracted me to the K10D is that while it does pack a lot in in terms of features, it's still fairly simple to use once you get down the basics. It doesn't have scene modes, either, which is fine with me, as it forces me to figure a shot out myself.

If someone would revisit the idea of an digital insert for a film body, I'd definitely be interested. Assuming it's technologically possible, I think the key to making it successful would be a good marketing strategy. Think about it, regardless of what mount you have, they all use the same film, so there wouldn't be much difference, if any in the film compartment, so it could very well be a universal item. You could put the same insert into a K1000, an Olympus OM-1, a Canon, AE-1, a Nikon F, etc. In other words, it could attract classic camera afficiandos of all stripes.

It never hurts to dream.
Heather
03-24-2008, 05:35 AM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
Why does everyone assume that a very simplistic digital SLR camera with mostly manual features would be a money loser??..

If the price was right I'd buy several of them, no question..

What is so seductive about a dSLR that weighs as much as a professional medium format film camera with menus so extensive & complicated that it takes an engineering degree to figure them out??..

And a several hundred page long owners manual that is so counter intuitive, complex, & poorly written that the average owner doesn't even bother to read more than a small fraction of the manual??..

From what I have observed, the average dSLR owner (myself included) would be much better served with a simpler, lighter, easier to understand, easier to use camera..

My ideal camera would be something like a digital Pentax LX..

Incredibly bright 98% viewfinder..Easily interchangeable screens, finders, & lenses..Full size sensor..

Flip-down sensor for easy cleaning..Weather sealed body..No built-in flash..

Minimal frame-per-second image advance, say 3fps tops..

Other than image writing to the chip & the image advance rate, everything else to be manually set by the user..

No auto-focus, no auto exposure..Minimal external controls..

P-TTL & TTL flash capability..Flash sync for standard lenses at 1/250th second..

Able to accept both standard & electronic leaf shutter lenses..

Electronic leaf shutter lenses available with speeds from 1/2 second to 1/1000 second and B..

Leaf shutter lens suggestions--20mm f2.8 AL, 24mm f2 AL, 28mm f2 AL, 35mm f1.8 AL, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4 ED, 100mm f2.8 Macro, 135mm f2 ED , 200mm f4 Macro ED..

Keep the camera as simple as possible with a full-sized digital sensor; with all of the features that the advanced amateur had with the MX & LX cameras..

If Pentax were to market such a camera & it proved to be reliable I'd purchase at least three of them for sure..

My main interest is in street photography..So a camera such as I've described above would be just about perfect for my needs..

Since digital sensors don't read through filters very well, the white balance menus would have to be retained, & or added to..Other than the white balance settings, I don't see the need for most of the other functions in the menus..

Make the camera simpler, & do all those other things in post processing on a full-sized personal computer where you will have more control over the image & be able to accomplish those tasks much more quickly..
QuoteQuote:
First, although a full-sized sensor would be the ideal set-up as regards to capturing on the sensor what is seen through the viewfinder, I would be content with any sensor sized between what we now accept as the most common standard, A-PSC, and one that was full-sized..Eliminating the other features that I listed above should more than compensate monetarily for enlarging the sensor by a third to full-sized..Even if that were not the case I am not so much interested in lowering the camera's retail price, as I am in simplifing the process of my digital photography..

Second, after reflecting on ftpaddict's post regarding AE & AF I would agree that auto exposure should probably be retained, but not auto focus..The motors & electronics for auto focus are one of the primary ways to lighten the camera..

Third, the addition of electronic leaf shutter lenses is, IMO, the simplest & most practical way to accomplish flash on SLR cameras, digital or film..You only have to talk for a short while to any pro that uses such a medium format camera & lens set-up to understand just how much easier flash can be..For those of us that are interested in macro photography, it's just about the ideal arrangement..A 200mm f4 Macro ED lens with an electronic leaf shutter that was weather sealed??..Man!!..I'd be willing to just about kill for such a lens..With the advances in lens design & manufacturing that have been made in the past decade, such a lens would not only be supremely practical in the field, but should not cost much more, if any, than the the old FA* 200mm f2.8 ED (IF) lens did when it was last sold..Note that none of the electronic leaf shutter lens suggestions that I mentioned above have internal focus..Although I like (IF) lenses very much, I'd rather see Pentax put the finest glass formulations into these lenses along with superb optical design, than I would see them spend money on (IF)..

Forth, such a camera would be the perfect bridge between point-and-shoot cameras & full-sized dSLR's with their feature rich packages.. Committing a large sum of money for advertising & EDUCATION would be needed to convince the camera buying public that they were not taking a step backwards in purchasing such a camera..The past two decades of digital camera design has every consumer convinced that feature rich cameras are a necessity for all photographers regardless of ability..

It seems to me that Pentax is in a unique position, industry wise, to bring such a camera to market & make it successful..Pentax's quirkiness, or shortsightedness, in design & marketing over the past several decades has put them in the position of attracting the photographer that does not want to follow the Canon & Nikon herd..With the proper approach to educational advertising I believe that is would not be all that hard to convince the average point-and-shoot photographer that such a camera as I have described would make the perfect bridge camera to own before purchasing a full-featured dSLR..

We all know with absolute certainty that learning the basics of aperture, shutter speed, manual lens focusing, etc. would make the learning curve with a full-featured dSLR much easier..Two ways to encourage the purchase of such cameras would to first set up a factory-sponsored rental program to allow people to see if a dSLR is really what they want to move up to..After renting & using such a camera, the person renting the camera would have the option to apply part of the rental fee towards the purchase of either the manual dSLR, or to a full-featured dSLR..Second, would be to have a buy-back program that would allow full purchase price trade-in towards a fill-sized dSLR say for 90-180 days after purchase (assuming the camera was in good shape at the time of trade-in)..This would give the rental program a new & steady supply of cameras so that the older ones could be sold off, or scrapped..

THANK YOU

I thought nobody else thought like me on this. I would also buy several. I think the MX would be the ideal platform for design only because its a bit smaller than the LX but either way thiat would make one fine camera.
03-28-2008, 07:22 AM   #22
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A few months ago I got an MX in excelent condition. I used other film bodies before bun none of them was a pentax one. Oh boy, what can I say about that camera. It's the closest machine to actual photography. So easy to use it, that lets you consern only about composition, focusing and exposure. Nothing more - nothing less. I am always impressed when I curry it togeather with M50/1.7 in my jacket's pocket.











04-07-2008, 04:29 PM   #23
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All good photo, but that last one is excellent.

04-07-2008, 06:05 PM   #24
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Mx-d / Lx-d

QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote

Make the camera simpler, & do all those other things in post processing on a full-sized personal computer where you will have more control over the image & be able to accomplish those tasks much more quickly..
Reading this before posting, it is disjointed and rambling - not surprising for typing into a box - I hope you can tease out my ideas - we have to think about the capital allocation process to properly imagine the condition which could make an MX-D / LX-D possible and successful.

I rarely see comments like this, edging around the recognition that taking Kodak (any film making / processing company) out of the business completely changed the capital allocation decisions of camera and lens manufacturers.

Pentax could build a business on glass because it had only to think about the properties of light, film and chemicals, and they were fairly constant. Kodak worried about making film and processing it profitably, and had long strings of repeat sales to generate revenue on invested capital. To some degree Pentax and all camera makers rode the coattails of Kodak's capital.

Since WE now need to process our pixels, the capital Kodak invested and the potential profit they earned has been shifted to the user in the form of PC's, printers, scanners and software - but the time allocated to work has no measurable positive return to us. Camera makers cannot ride the coattails of the sensor manufacturers the same way they got soft benefits from film makers' investment, because film is consumable and sensors are durable.

Digital was originally presented in part as a cost saving. Yet read any blog on work flow - we are all trying to be more productive - even the enthusiast like me - and work flow issues are an unmeasured, soft cost that we bear - time is money. I really need to adjust to the idea that I HAVE TO SPEND TIME IN FRONT OF THE PC to see my images - quite a shock to a first-time serious DSLR owner.

The camera today needs to be designed for the target user, a PC maker and Adobe at the same time- but there is a rapid technology upgrade cycle in digital processing media, and there are NO Kodak-style repeat purchases to earn returns on. The capital cycle is so short that a simple, durable, long-lived camera may be impossible. Camera makers are forced to constantly upgrade not just to compete with other makers, but also to keep up with other technologies.

In addition to pros and enthusiasts, a Pentax MX-D/LX-D would also need to be designed for the average user who wants to buy the fancy camera but can't process the images. Without the near-enthusiast amateur there likely wouldn't be enough volume to return capital before the end of a product cycle. There would likely need to be a K1000-D derivant with scenes and other consumer "enhancements" to generate volume. Think K2, and KX, followed as an afterthought by the K1000. Think ME - ME Super, MX - and then no pro camera until the LX in an ME form factor. Same can be said for the MZ-s.

Perhaps the answer is to formalize a partnership with digital web or kiosk image processors for the casual user and another partnership with specialized PC makers or Apple, printer and scanner makers, and Adobe, for the enthusiast and professional.

Perhaps just agreement on standards would go a long way to making the work flow process more productive and the capital allocation process more profitable for the makers. Taht would free up capital to take a business risk on the MX-D / LX -D.

When the capital allocation issues are resolved I believe Pentax (and any maker) could create a much more productive, simpler tool, such as the MX-D or the LX-D, but until the post-processing issues are resolved I do not believe they will happen.
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