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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: 3,973
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: 48
Views: 2,686
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: 48
Views: 2,686
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: 5,734
Views: 742,676
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: 1,520
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: 997
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: 5,116
"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: 5,116
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: 5,116
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: 2,436
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: 7,125
"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: 7,125
"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: 7,125
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: 7,125
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.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-14-2018, 03:58 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 7,125
It would not take "billions" to fix the simple stuff like the near-useless wifi and connectivity and charging. Perhaps 100k... I've run an electronics design and mfg company for 40+ years.

I think the lack of sales is due to multiple factors. The biggest is that phones do an increasing chunk of photography. You can't fix that. It is here and cannot be stopped. Well, Pentax could go back to little retro-style film cameras for hipsters, with leather shoulder straps :) I think that fashion, the beards, etc, will die out within a few years, but there may be a bit of money in it for a bit.... maybe not though since there are tons of these old cameras on Ebay, and these people just carry them mostly for show.

The areas which can be addressed are the usability features. WIFI transfer etc is really a low hanging fruit.

Lots of companies with a "fanatical" following have had problems moving forward. Look at Apple. When their fanbase heard that Apple went to the IBM PC (80x86 processor) architecture, they went berserk, over the abandonment of "traditional Apple values". I hate this expression but sometimes you have to crack some eggs to make an omelette, and if Pentax if to survive as a player they need to move forward and come up with some stuff the others (similarly constrained by their fanbase) don't have. Pentax will never compete with Nikon and Canon in their traditional "pro" playgrounds; they need to do something different.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-14-2018, 02:31 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 7,125
"They might however be deal-clinchers for someone buying a DSLR for the first time, choosing between different brands and models. Such people often only count the marketing feature tick-boxes, because they have nothing better to go by"

I have been shooting since 1975.

Fujica 605 (?)
OM1
OM1N
OM2SP
OM4TI
IST-DL
K100
K200
K5
K3
K1
and some others in between.

Clearly I must be stupid because film did everything I needed :) Provia 100 was not too bad. I used to shoot 25 rolls on a trip. Oh I used to shoot a pic of a piece of paper with my name and address, on every frame, to reduce the "lost in processing" percentage... Of course real men do their own E6 processing.

People like (some of) you lot are the biggest challenge for Marketing, which has to balance the hardcore militant fanboys with the people who actually buy the new stuff.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-13-2018, 11:30 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 7,125
None of this is hard.

Wireless charging doesn't need to be fast for a DSLR. It needs to be fast on a phone because that's what people want, and most high end phones struggle to last a whole day. Most won't last a whole day if you are taking photos; I carry one of those "power monkey" things to top mine off if I am out all day. But a K1 easily lasts all day no matter what you are doing. Mine lasts several days (say 500 pics) and I carry a spare battery.

Wireless charging is also not essential if you do it via contacts, like has been done since for ever on Dect phones, handheld transceivers (Icom, Yaesu), etc.

WIFI can easily be much faster. What we have is simply negligent software. Somebody made a decision that wifi is not a market priority, so they have this extremely slow implementation. It's not a significant power issue either. And there is no extra space or weight to do it properly (as I wrote earlier, 20 megabytes/sec is possible using the "old" current standards). And implement both modes i.e. the camera is a wifi client (and syncs the pics to a preconfigured network share - samba shares are common because most network drives run linux) and where it is a wifi hotspot (access point) where your phone can connect to it and grab pics off it.

I think the future must be mirrorless - like it or not. That enables a significant shrinkage of the body, and some small weight saving. But most importantly loads of fancy features which the main market clearly wants: you can display all kinds of junk on the viewfinder. So if Pentax want to be a player, they will have to put a lot more R&D into it anyway, to get fast enough focus, etc.

So why am I not using the A9? It doesn't do the above stuff either, but mostly because the ergonomics are rubbish. The angular case is dreadful to hold. The K1 (and predecessors) is much nicer. Oh and the silly price...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-13-2018, 04:41 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 7,125
Looking at how many DSLRs have rubbish wifi performance, I reckon that most of them are based on some kind of "sensor evaluation kit" which comes as a PCB with the CPU, with USB, ethernet, wifi... They do the software development on this, ditch the ethernet port and any other excess on the final hardware, and keep the rubbish wifi.

On a "rainproof" camera like the K1 you would seriously benefit from wireless charging - or at least a charging base which makes a connection using two external conductive pads such as is used with DECT phones etc. One could also do ultra fast data transfer using such a connection.

I think people don't appreciate being able to browse the camera like a network drive all the time they haven't got that capability. On my K1 I transfer the pics over USB into Lightroom, and once I am sure I got everything off and edited and exported into jpegs (I don't keep RAWs except when somebody wants them specifically) I then reformat the two SD cards using the camera menu. This is clumsy. Drag and drop would be nicer and then you could just delete the files off the cards like you would delete files in windows explorer.

Also, as pointed out above, there is a real need for a very easy and quick transfer of DSLR pics to a phone, for emailing to people. This needs bluetooth (which is fast enough for a few megapixel jpeg, no more) or wifi. The camera could connect to a wifi hotspot on the phone and via that could upload the reduced jpegs to say dropbox... All this is easy to do.

I've been in business over 40 years and have seen many changes. In the 1970s and 80s everybody used a professional photographer for product photos. Most of that "product literature" business has gone because people realised that they can get the same job done for nothing using a camera and a flash with an umbrella. The umbrella makes it easy to get stunning results. The internet finished off what was left because product leaflets are no longer produced; everything is on a website and you need a nice photo but a few megapixels is enough. Like I said earlier, most of the pro scene is weddings and that isn't exactly growing. There is no money in shooting for picture libraries; I know people who used to make a living and they all tell me this has come to an end (partly due to heavy use of bootleg photos). Stills+video convergence is necessary because a half decent video camera is big and clumsy, and Pentax are losing a lot of sales there.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-13-2018, 12:51 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 7,125
I am not a millenial; I was born only a decade after ww2 ended. Almost zero "millenials" are using a DSLR. But even this is an interesting case. My older son, now 25, got into semi commercial action photography. He started with Canons, got through various bodies, and now he uses a Sony. He had an A7 and now has an A9. Why Sony? Probably lots of reasons but it is smaller and lighter than Pentax or most others, does great videos, and Sony have finally more or less solved the drawbacks of mirrorless cameras (ableit at a price). You can see which way the market is going. It is same as phones and most other things: convergence. People will pay for something which does multiple jobs and does them all well. Even your traditional wedding photographer needs to do video nowadays as a part of the service. I went on a Lightroom course a few years ago and everybody in the room except me was a wedding photographer...

Wireless chargeable phones are not big or heavy. Look at a Samsung S7/S8/S9. Thin and no evident weight penalty.

Drag/drop file transfer (or some automated method) over wifi is routinely done by people who use their phone for lots of photos. And quite a lot of people do that. There is a big clip-on lens market for the Iphones for example. Obviously the pics are acceptable only in good light etc but this displaces a lot of DSLR usage. Once you have had this you will never want to go back to cables.

One can poo-poo requests for change by saying only millenials want it, etc, but it will happen.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-12-2018, 03:15 PM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 7,125
The battery is already rechargeable so it can be same with wireless charging. Actually we don't even have in-camera charging via a cable, which is really poor.

Great point about messing up the seals via repeated opening of the covers.

Current-technology (I mean the last 5 years) wifi transfers about 20 megabytes per second (that is application to application) if correctly implemented, which would transfer a raw file in 2-3 seconds. Here are some RAW files



The F* ones are from my Samsung S7 phone which I use mostly in RAW too (12 megapixel).

Wireless charging is a great feature. I have not bought the best camera phone currently out - the Huawei P20 PRO, which should finally match the amazing camera of the Nokia 808 - simply because I don't want to be constantly plugging in and pulling out the rather stiff USB-C cable. Especially with a car holder where you have to do it single-handed... another story.

Unfortunately people do compare DSLRs with phones, and walk away when they see how features which are obviously really easy to implement aren't implemented, and there is no clear reason for that.

And the number of people who are willing to carry a 2kg+ "weapon" to get great photos is reducing all the time. Not quickly, because phones are constrained by physics and are making very very slow progress, but it is happening. For social media a phone is already good enough. We have already seen the almost total death of pocket cameras (a 500 quid one is as good as a DSLR, in suitable and fairly common circumstances).

I am putting my Canon Legria G40 on Ebay shortly. Bought it 2 years ago and hardly used it. Fantastic video quality, HD at 50/60fps (I wish the K1 did that; it soooo easily could), totally stunning stabilisation. But it is too bulky, which limits its use to ... almost no opportunity at all.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-12-2018, 09:38 AM  
And people wonder why DSLR sales are declining...
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 154
Views: 7,125
Just a little list:

- no battery charging without removing the batteries
- no wireless charging (with batteries in the camera, obviously)
- nearly useless wifi speed
- nearly useless wifi functionality (e.g. cannot browse the camera storage over a local network, for drag/drop file transfer; this is done by implementing Samba shares)

A mobile phone can and does do all these things.

All of it is technically doable, some trivially.

DSLR makers seem to think that their customers hold the view that "real men" will take the battery out and put it in a charger, after every job.

I have a K1, a 24-70 f2.8, a Milvus 18mm, a 70-300 Tamron, and love this kit for the quality of the pics, especially with the Milvus. Friends jokingly refer to the camera as a "weapon" and you could certainly use it to crack somebody's skull with it :) A Pentax DSLR gets bigger and heavier with every new version (I've had most of them). I carry it only if travelling to a new place and one which is expected to be scenic.
Forum: Pentax K-1 12-12-2018, 09:30 AM  
K-1 tethering options
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 17
Views: 2,313
AFAIK there is no usable wifi data transfer option - because the wifi is so slow.

It would not be a huge issue if the camera could be wirelessly charged by putting it on a charging base while it sits there half the night transferring photos to a folder on the PC; this is what my phone does every day at 3am, except that its wifi is about 10x faster than the K1's...

The USB tethering (mentioning Lightroom in that table) does work but the micro-USB connector is not suitable for throwing the cable around. It will just break the connector off the PCB inside the camera. This - a broken micro-USB connector - is a major reason why many tablets end up in the dustbin. The K1 costs rather more...

In this age there ought to be much better ways...
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-29-2018, 02:07 PM  
K-1 firmware 1.5 released
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 43
Views: 4,280
Focusing seems better. I get more or less instant focus on subjects dim enough to make the camera want way past ISO 200000.
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-16-2018, 04:57 AM  
K1 spot focus doesn't always spot focus
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 16
Views: 1,474
That would be interesting to know too... I did wonder about that.
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-15-2018, 11:12 PM  
K1 spot focus doesn't always spot focus
Posted By peterh337
Replies: 16
Views: 1,474
It was focusing on other objects, in the background of the one intended.

With more testing it does just look like the size of the focus spot is just bigger than is shown in the viewfinder.
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