04-04-2018, 05:59 AM
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018, 06:22 AM by davidmanze.)
A French review of the new Pentax K1 II is out, complete with full AF-S and AF-C tests.
The review states quite rightly that Pentax cameras have suffered over the years with their AF-C system......lagging behind the competition.....
Now with the announcement of the K1 II accompanied with only the usual dry Pentax wording of.....
"improvements in AF-S and AF-C algorithms for faster focusing"
has hidden what could turn out to be a pot of gold!
It sounds like Pentax's typical stock in trade launch phraseology... but this time these words are not hollow...because they actually "have" transformed AF-C into a working system that actually tracks very well, if the famous bicycle test is anything to go by.
There were no AF hardware upgrades, it's the same system, but with an added booster/processor which serves for AF as well as the new hand held pixel shift technology.
For Pentaxians this is huge news......and Pentax claim their $550 dollar upgrade to the standard K1 will embrace the full upgrade of the Mk II model.
I hope that Pentax can put this reputation of poor AF-C behind them.....many sports/nature photographers had fled to Nikon for AF and lenses (I being one of them) maybe it will get them back on track.... add a few new lenses.
All this begs the question.......Why didn't they do before, five years ago, before many migrated to more modern AF systems?
It cost them many clients.....most have gone for good....still, better late than never!
I'd like to have that test double and triple checked but yeah, the results are encouraging.
(04-04-2018, 05:59 AM)davidmanze Wrote: Now with the announcement of the K1 II accompanied with only the usual dry Pentax wording of.....
"improvements in AF-S and AF-C algorithms for faster focusing"
They're also saying "The camera's overall AF performance has been upgraded to a new level compared with K-1." - on the K-1 II's product page.
(04-04-2018, 05:59 AM)davidmanze Wrote: All this begs the question.......Why didn't they do before, five years ago, before many migrated to more modern AF systems?
Don't get me started on this... it's the same reason why they lost all of the 2008 momentum, why lens development slowed down to a grinding halt, why products from the roadmaps disappeared - and then roadmaps altogether, why no K-mount product was released in 2011...
And if you want to say that 5 years ago Pentax was owned by Ricoh, keep in mind that development takes time; and building experience with advanced AF systems takes time as well (not a coincidence - see the previous paragraph why - their first camera with an advanced AF capable of subject tracking was newer than 5 years). As you're very well aware, you don't solve difficult issues by wishing them gone, but with hard work
04-04-2018, 08:08 AM
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018, 08:34 AM by davidmanze.)
I spent some time testing the K3's new AF system as it was then......obviously there were many improvements, more points, a supposed object recognition system using the exposure module. I didn't find object recognition functioned at all by the colour or shape of the subject, but just by it's distance.
AF-C had a much larger "dead-band" than AF-S (twice as much).....ie. the distance the subject could move before the AF system reacted with a focus change.....couple that to slowish AF motors and the system was running a step behind ..I'd posted my findings on DPreview etc. but you know how is? if you write anything negative......etc.
I was however rewarded from a DFPreview test of the AF that they found the same. In short, I was certain the AF-C problems were down to the dead-band plus sampling times.....all enough for the DPR cycle test to cause plenty of missed shots.
This new booster/processor was the missing ingredient.....up until now AF-C had been struggling to react quickly enough to keep up with the action and algorithms were probably simplified to keep the whole thing function within it's limitations.
With the calculating power increased, the no doubt faster sampling and new algorithms come together to produce something far more cohesive!
Anyway that's my ten cents worth......and I don't thinks it's far wrong!
I doubt the accelerator unit does anything AF-related... at best, it might take over some of the PRIME's image processing tasks. Or not.
OTOH the improvement could be generated solely through new algorithms.
DPR? Are you talking about that forum where, if you write something positive... etc.?
The atmosphere there is depressingly negativistic, and full of "hey, folks, my brand is so much better than Pentax!" and "I don't care what you want, DSLRs must die".
I read that Pentax were using the accelerator for AF, pixel shift and high ISOs...
Nikon employs a processor separate for AF in the D5/D500........so AF takes some processing power........Pentax K1 is doing a lot with it's processor, what with pixel shift and general throughput......the K1 isn't the most responsive camera and leaves you waiting for certain operations, it's processor is being used to the limit as it is. Maybe I'm wrong, but these algorithms for quicker focus need quicker processing, it has to come from somewhere, I'm sure if the existing processor was sufficient for good AF-C they would have already done it.
Future models will give us more clues, but I see this new AF-C appearing in all their new high grade cameras.
If they would announce three or four FF new lenses that would the icing on the cake!
You don't have to explain to me the K-1's delays and hiccups, from its wake-up delay to its AF hesitations. It's a 2000 euro landscape machine, but every noticeable performance improvement is welcome.
One cannot attempt to guess where the performance improvement comes from. Performance is pretty much unpredictable and non-intuitive - you can theorize about it as much as you wish, but you don't know you have a gain until you've reliably measured it. In the end, it doesn't really matter - just the end result (which, hopefully, is a faster, more responsive K-1).
Three or four FF lenses, this year? I don't dare to hope for this!
But... hmm... what about the rumored APS-C lenses?
04-04-2018, 03:18 PM
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018, 03:20 PM by davidmanze.)
I think that it is no co-incidence that three features suddenly blossomed from this accelerator chip......
But of course things will come to light with the passage of time......firstly there will be a huge call for FW updates for the K70 / KP as well as those that have the existing K1......
Questions will be asked in those rare Pentax interviews:
"Will we see FW updates for the KP/K70/K1 so they can benefit from the K1 II's AF-C system?"
Maybe like IBIS in video which was touted to be a FW release and ended up being dropped due to "technical difficulties" we may hear a similar response:
"We can not implement the K1 II's new system with a FW due to technical difficulties!"
Then we will know the accelerator chip is required!
The K-70... I have doubts it will happen (as it doesn't have the same AF hardware).
Do note that some ameliorated software updates require more processing power, implementing them might make system unstable.
It's like installing Windows 10 on a ten year old laptop that used to run Windows XP or vista, it might run, but a centrino oe core 2 duo will have trouble coping with the demands of Windows 10 and then end result would be a slower and unstable laptop that crashes often
04-04-2018, 04:59 PM
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018, 05:00 PM by Kunzite.)
Unstable? How so? Even if any code change can introduce a bug (bugfixing included), I see no reason to believe that improved algorithms would be particularly dangerous.
This is not Windows 10.