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Forum: General Photography 02-21-2020, 07:48 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
I meant I didn't say you could not have both :)

USB charging is not ideal. The connectors are horrible. Even USB-C, the latest, is poor, needing a lot of insertion force. From the mfg POV, USB is not good because the PCB takes a lot of stress, and a yank on the cable is likely to break the connector off.

No, just have two metal contacts.

Then they could sell a battery pack, disguised to look like the OM1 motor drive :)

This is why I have not bought a Huawei phone. They have the best cameras, and all cameras on a given model can shoot RAW (unlike Samsung on which only some can). But no wireless charging unless you buy the Pro version, and they are huuuuge.
Forum: General Photography 02-21-2020, 07:22 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
I didn't say you could have both :)

It would be trivial for Pentax to have 2 contacts on the bottom and a charging base.

I know people carry spare batteries for longer trips; I do too. Mobile phones have the same issue... actually much worse.
Forum: General Photography 02-21-2020, 06:59 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
The video is 50-100mbps which is pretty normal for consumer cameras. And you cannot write to this to a cheap SD card unless there is buffering.

Of course, implementing buffering is easy. My point about basing a camera on a widely used proven OS is that it does all that for you - as well as open easy doors to wifi (the Pentax wifi is so slow as to be virtually useless; look at the various threads here), bluetooth, phone sync, etc. But I've written all this before.

Why did I choose the K1?

- had K100 K200 K5 K3 and had lenses
- good ergonomics

I looked hard at mirrorless and some have nice features but by the time you stick some decent glass on the front the result is hardly smaller or lighter. If one had

- either wireless charging or charging via a "charging base" (no need to remove the battery)
- auto sync to a machine on the home LAN, via wifi
- auto sync a reduced jpeg to the phone pic gallery via bluetooth

those would have been killer features, and I suspect they would have been of much interest to everyone who lives their life to some extent in the modern world e.g. sending pics to people via whatsapp, telegram, etc.

Re go-pro, yes some people do that but the result is really dreadful. Go-pro have nearly gone bust because nearly everything shot with them is viewed exactly once :) Especially videos...
Forum: General Photography 02-19-2020, 09:35 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
I have been shooting video with a Sony X1000 and X3000. Since I got the X3000, the 1000 Canon G40 cam never got used, so I sold it. The only advantage it had were the zoom, and the manual shutter which at 1/80 allowed shooting forward through the propeller of a light aircraft, without artefacts.

The bit rates one needs to support are not that high. HD (1920x1080) 50/60fps needs about 50mbps for a really sharp result. 4K accordingly needs 200mbps. In practice the best action cams do HD/50mbps and 4K/100mbps; AFAIK nobody does 200mbps.

I am not talking about emulating a Red and generating 8K RAW at gigabit speeds which need SSDs.

Much of the sensor in say the K1 would be unused.

As regards basing a camera on say android, to get wifi and bluetooth to work properly, that's not a big deal. With an OS like that you get an RTOS and you hang the various bits of software you already have onto that. You also strip out the stuff you don't want (hence WinNT embedded, and embedded versions of all later versions). The result has no greater need for updates than the normal fixing of bugs in any product.

Security updates are an issue only if you have internet access which, as I said, could be sidestepped by delivering decent auto sync to a phone, with an app on the phone acting as the other end.

Pentax may need a faster CPU in their camera to do 4K video but these are in the general pipeline already.
Forum: General Photography 02-19-2020, 04:45 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
I think that is a trap. If you ask the converted, you will get answers from the converted.
Forum: General Photography 02-19-2020, 02:11 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
Indeed some ideas got mixed up. I brought in the stuff about connectivity to phones because somebody said DSLRs should be free of other functionality.

Yeah, a lot of people get really heated up...

Pentax presumably can't do video easily because they would need better hardware and software. The other stuff they could do but it is hard if your product is not based on an OS which does most of it for you.

I've been developing hardware and software since microprocessors came out, btw.
Forum: General Photography 02-18-2020, 08:27 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
That's true but you don't have to implement that stuff. If you give people a function which auto generates downsized jpegs, say 1MB, and copies them to an app on the phone which drops them into the Gallery, then people can do all that junk with their phone. It has a proper user interface, too :)

Currently, a DSLR is a total dead end if you are on a trip. You get back home, to a hotel, etc, and have to either USB-connect to a laptop (phones don't recognise a K1 as a USB slave... why is that??) or pull out the SD card and insert that into the laptop. Then mess about, then send some pics to people.

You could implement auto sync to dropbox, google drive, onedrive, suitably firewalled. This could be done straight out of the camera (wifi) or to an app on the phone (wifi or bluetooth) which does the upload. The latter would sidestep security issues because the camera mfg controls both ends. It also sidesteps UI issues because all the config is done on the phone, and stuff like dropbox auth will be already configured there.

The IOT security issue is an issue partly because the chinese could never write even half decent software (all the IT gear whose nontrivial sw was written out there is ridden with bugs) and are rapidly getting worse because anybody with more than half a brain is constantly looking for their next job, and because "everybody" wants remote control of their fridge, toaster, oven, heating, etc, over the internet, which is ridiculous. Most people can't even set up a webcam on an open port, with a password other than "admin" :) Here we are not talking about remote control of your K1, over TCP.

But, yeah, even the mighty Sony cannot write a usable phone app. Their PlayMemories app for their action cams, now called Imaging Edge Mobile, is junk. Crippled by some usability committee. But that doesn't mean it cannot be done well.
Forum: General Photography 02-18-2020, 07:47 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
Security is an issue only if you have an internet connection, and run a browser or an email client (that's 99.9% of it, anyway).

If you were running say a dropbox client, that can be adequately firewalled.

The main attack vectors are via browsing, email, and general support for downloading objects.
Forum: General Photography 02-18-2020, 07:33 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
The reason my Samsung S7 can shoot 4K at 30fps with the cheapest slowest possible 256GB SD card is because it has an OS which does all that for you: android i.e. "unix". Nobody would develop an OS from scratch.

Then you get other benefits e.g. proper wifi, not the virtually useless wifi we get on our DSLRs, especially Pentax whose wifi is incredibly slow. You could have high speed sync to your phone, so no more taking a pic with the DSLR and then taking another one with the phone to send to somebody :)

It is really hard to grow a product in the direction of modern functionality unless one can leverage (see, I am making good use of the corporate bull***t generator) a proper OS. With android, or linux, most of the hard work is done for you. You can be a network client on a wifi network. You can have wifi or bluetooth auto sync to a phone....

Unfortunately the "few people have asked for it" line doesn't work. It just allows one to keep selling the same old product to the same old people. But to grow you need to expose completely new strata of users. Nikon and Canon can fight a battle between themselves for what is left of the market, but Pentax has to get some new customers.

In reality people do pay for convergence. A $1200 phone is identical to a $600 phone - except for the camera. People are willing to pay for that.
Forum: General Photography 02-18-2020, 06:40 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076
Whoops you are right about the numbers!

The decline is still there however.
Forum: General Photography 02-18-2020, 05:04 AM  
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 105
Views: 3,076


We are now looking at under 1M annual volume for all makers together.

Look at how many models there are and you are looking at small production runs - in tens of thousands per model.

The decline has many reasons - the smartphone being the #1 - but I am sure that the utter wastage of that huge sensor by not doing even half decent videos (in most cases) is just consigning DSLR makers to the grave a lot sooner than would otherwise be the case.

People find all kinds of excuses for cameras not supporting video properly. Yes, battery life is one, but if you don't shoot video at the time it won't be affected. Looking at camera firmware I just see really poor software development, where most seem to start with a developer kit from Sony (who make the sensor) and then they hack a crude user interface around it. This has also been a problem with action cams (gopro etc) which have suffered from similarly crude user interfaces, and due to not having any real OS they have required very expensive ultra fast SD cards to record in 4K when the average data rate is perhaps 1/10 of the card's speed.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-27-2019, 01:53 PM  
To full or not to full (frame) - that is the question
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 90
Views: 5,086
The K1 is an outstanding camera, but I don't see any special benefit in "full frame" unless you want (a) the biggest possible sensor (for best quality/resolution/etc) and/or (b) the capability to shoot with a minimal depth of field.

There is no relevance to having a sensor which is the same size as a piece of 35mm film :)

For landscape work in particular, FF is irrelevant unless you want max pixels.

If you can get a smaller sensor to deliver the quality etc you are happy with, then FF is pointless and merely results in a bigger and heavier camera and bigger and heavier lenses. I am sure that FF will eventually die out, along with the optical viewfinder (i.e. all SLRs will go mirrorless). How long this will take is anyone's guess; perhaps when cameras get to 100MP because any more than that will be unusable to most. Other things like image stabilisation make a much bigger difference to most users (and the K1 does that exceptionally well too).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-14-2019, 01:37 PM  
Travelling with primes
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 65
Views: 4,741
If I had to travel with just one lens, and it was for outdoors stuff, I would take the 18mm Zeiss Milvus. It is quite light too. The quality is amazing.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-11-2019, 04:11 AM  
Travelling with primes
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 65
Views: 4,741
When I travel with the K1 I take just one lens (too heavy otherwise) and it will be either the 24-70 or if doing just landscape photos I take the amazing 18mm Zeiss Milvus.

The resolution of the K1 means you can crop if needed, etc.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-28-2019, 01:36 AM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 6,446
Views: 834,413
Popped into Park Cameras (Sussex, UK) 2 days ago. Not a single Pentax on display that I could see.

They used to sell them, but when I was looking for a K1 (not long after it came out) they weren't interested in discussing the firmware version (there were issues with the early ones, IIRC). So I went to SRS, who used to go all the great grey imports but no longer; now they are official.

As an interesting aside, Peark Cameras were showing the Canon G7X at 490, when a grey import I've just bought on Amazon was 400. I got the G7X for a hiking holiday in Greece; I can't carry the K1+lens unless I am going somewhere really special, and I am sure I am not the only DSLR owner who thinks the same way. OK, the quality doesn't compare (especially the dynamic range, in terms of info which can be extracted in LR from shadows and highlights) but the weight and size difference is huge, and the quality is way above any smartphone. The market for pocket cameras has collapsed in recent years but the upmarket ones are very good. I wonder if a lot of Pentax gear is bought as grey imports?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-26-2019, 09:55 AM  
Could this shot have been achieved without HDR?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 22
Views: 1,864
In reply to the OP, the answer is Yes.

I could probably get it with my Samsung S7 phone :)

Expose for the sky and obviously shoot in RAW, then pull up the shadows in Lightroom/etc.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-10-2019, 03:40 AM  
D-LI90 shelf life of new batteries
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 14
Views: 1,203
There is an opinion that the best LIPO shelf life is when kept fully charged. If someone knows more, it would be good to see some data.

The general problem with batteries is this: almost anything which can be faked gets faked. So fake batteries are widespread on amazon, ebay, etc. Also non-brand batteries are usually of poor quality compared to the (much more expensive) branded ones. Some non-brand batteries have much smaller cells inside!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-07-2019, 02:18 PM  
Acceleration Chip (K1mkII, KP and K70) - What's the Difference
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 45
Views: 6,460
"It could possibly be a Gate Array or some other specialized hardware - or a Digital Signal Processor.
Back when I worked on digital radios, the "modems" were implemented in DSPs, because they could do that kind of processing so much faster and efficiently."

IF the sensor outputs digital data then this chip cannot do anything which the camera CPU could not do in its software.

It can probably do it faster...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-04-2019, 01:07 AM  
Acceleration Chip (K1mkII, KP and K70) - What's the Difference
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 45
Views: 6,460
That is certainly the case for some sensors lower down the market; their output is purely digital. I have no idea about these higher end sensors.

If the sensor does indeed output digital data (probably 14 bit; a lot of the ARM processors have a 14 bit digital camera interface which can transfer ~50mbytes/sec) then this image processing chip cannot be doing anything which the camera's software could not do. It might do it a lot faster...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-03-2019, 11:18 PM  
Acceleration Chip (K1mkII, KP and K70) - What's the Difference
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 45
Views: 6,460
As a hardware and software developer since the first days of microprocessors, I can't see what this chip does which could not be done in software.

Does it work in the analog or the digital domain? If the former then it might be doing what the old Dolby B did for audio: apply a nonlinear amplification to the signal, which then allows a better dynamic range to be extracted from the subsequent A-D converter.

Where is the A-D converter?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-29-2019, 12:10 AM  
Speculation of FF DSLR the size of KP body, is it possible?
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 39
Views: 2,831
I don't like current mirrorless but for obvious technological reasons it must and will eventually dominate and mirrors will disappear. It will take some more years...

A big factor is the size of peoples' hands. I know a number of photographers, including "professional" ones, and some of them have huge hands. Maybe 50% wider then mine, and I am average (75kg / 1.75m). That is just the way the human species is - especially males which are the bulk of DSLR users. Some would say this is because photography is an obscessive / antisocial hobby (like e.g. fishing) and that is another trait mostly absent in females :) If you don't believe me, get into a ski lift, or walk into a ski shop and look at the size of most of their boot stock, and you will see that clearly most of them are built like gorillas. These men don't want small DSLRs. They can't hold them properly. The camera makers know this and are addressing this market...

I find the K1 is really big and carry it only on trips where (a) it is expected to be scenic and (b) I have not been there before. But as the poster above says, it is really the camera+lens which makes the thing so bulky, and you cannot do anything about the lens. Well, once you abandon full frame then you can. I started with the IST-DL (I chose Pentax for the small body size, having been an OM4Ti user) and the bodies have grown every time since then, with the FF K1 being a fair size jump.

In the meantime, the DSLR market is being eaten from the bottom pretty well. Look at the Huawei P20 / P30 PRO, the new Nokia with five 12MP cameras with software processing, etc. And this is in a device which you can and do always carry with you. In good light, it is hard to tell... I used to have a Nokia 808 (a large "bump on the back" camera, with a lens not matched by any phone since, with 40MP sensor downsampling to superb 12MP jpegs) and if you were displaying it 1:1 on a PC, you really could not tell between that and any DSLR. And the latest multi-sensor phones will probably be better still. So the DSLR market will continue to shrink.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-14-2018, 03:41 PM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 8,870
"This seems to be lost on our electronics business owning friend."

It has not. You could have a plastic portion of the body. Lots of camera bodies are entirely plastic so a small piece is no problem.

However I also mentioned contacts. That's a cheap and easy solution, used by (I posted this at least 2x) things like portable radios...

None of the above is incompatible with the present ability to extract the battery and put in a fresh one, or charging via a cable (which in the modern age would be a USB-C connection; more sturdy than micro-USB, and reversible).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-14-2018, 09:19 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 8,870
"I never, ever upload pictures to social media without doing some basic editing first"

Same for anybody with a brain :)

But in any case I was not advocating that capability because there are basically only 3 ways to do it

- camera on a wifi network (cafe, hotel, etc) - this is rare
- camera on a wifi network provided by your phone
- camera contains a SIM card - almost nobody would want that, for SIM contract cost reasons

and in all cases the camera would contain the destination login credentials, which with no keypad would be a total PITA to enter.

Just auto sync to the phone's picture folder would fulfil the whole requirement. Then you can do what you like with it.

Auto sync may be possible already, with a suitable phone app, but the camera's wifi is way too slow. It would be ok if the camera synced a lower res jpeg, but that would need camera firmware modification which is impossible.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-14-2018, 05:01 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 8,870
Yes I think that is accurate.

But if your name is Pentax you don't want to shrink to serving an ever declining fraction of a market which is really very mature.

The advantage Pentax have is that Canon and particular Nikon have really militant user bases and will find it hard to introduce "trendy" features. Sony are free to do that.

But Sony are also constrained by their own media agenda which is occassionally irritating. I can't remember the details but when I was looking at the A7 I found the video format was something "special" which my video editor (Vegas) would not import. An irritating small thing (would have to run a converter on it first) but illustrative. Yesterday I was trying to get a Sony TV to play videos from a network drive acting as a DLNA server (a good use for a TV, and illustrative of the "convergence" requirement). It would not play anything... after a lot of googling I found that Sony refuse to support mp4 !!! They do support it on their action cams though...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-14-2018, 04:27 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 8,870
Next time you are "somewhere scenic", watch someone with a DSLR. There won't be many of them :) Watch them take a pic with the DSLR and take the same pic with a phone to send to someone. That is a right PITA and is completely avoidable with very simple technology.

Having really easy automatic pic transfer to a phone would be a killer feature. Basically, sync suitably downsized jpegs (say 10-15MP) to the phone's DCIM/CAMERA (or similar, "camera roll" on Apple phones) path. The phone can then sync them to dropbox if needed.
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