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Should Pentax Produce a Minimal Digital SLR

grahamwalton
Posted 25/07/2009 - 14:57 Link
A recent survey has shown that most of us mainly use AV mode on our Digital SLRs.

Many years ago Pentax produced the Pentax MX, which for me was the ultimate minimal SLR. It had just about all the features that I wanted. Many years later, Pentax went minimal again with the very successful MZ5.

It seems to me that all these Modes, Custom Functions and Programs complicate the processing of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. There are buttons and knobs everywhere, that I really do not need. It appears that all the camera manufacturers are producing more and more modes, just to satisfy a Photo Journalists checklist.

If Pentax were to return to basics and make a DSLR, based on say the MZ5 concept, would they have a winner on their hands? What are your views?
Friendly Regards
Graham
Don
Posted 25/07/2009 - 15:10 Link
I loved my mz5. and my k1000.
I like my ds2 and my k10's.

so what would I do if I were Pentax...
stripping out features is IMHO needless... green mode got that covered....

Now taking a lesson from Apple about user interface... If I had the camera on Green Mode or Program, and there was a custom function that assigned one button as a "Help" button and pressing the help button brought up a "Photo Genius" help guide that offered some (perhaps context related by knowing what the camera settings are at) photo tips and help menus to teach you the basics and replace the manual.

"Dude, I see you are using a wide angle in a bright scene... Are you shooting a Landscape?"
"Y" or "N"?
"Y- I notice your camera isn't very level...
using a tripod may help.
here is how the sensor leveling feature works.."

I mean there is a computer inside there...

I suppose an Iphone/ipod touch ap to that effect if firmware and language support is to expensive to do in Camera...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Edited by Don: 25/07/2009 - 15:11
Snappycaz
Posted 25/07/2009 - 15:11 Link
Graham, it would get my vote. I hardly use many of the options on the K10. But isn't that they way of many items these days. I have a washing machine with lots of wonderful features but I only ever use one of about three programmes. I would love a high quality simple DLSR but until that day comes I'll use my K10d & ignore all the bits I don't need. It does seem a waste doesn't it. Maybe a simpler model could be a bit more affordable too.
Caz
"IF YOU OBEY ALL THE RULES, YOU MISS ALL THE FUN." - KATHERINE HEPBURN
Hardgravity
Posted 25/07/2009 - 15:41 Link
Most people here use Av, occasionally Tv and Rarely 'idiot-proof'

A camera with just Three or Four options would get slated by the press, but loved by the public.

Take the Pentax ME for example, it will never catch on was the phrase used in most reviews, erm, it did!

For Pentax to take such a leap of faith again they would need BIG support from the concept.

Any ideas on feature sets you'd like to(not) see?
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
Edited by Hardgravity: 25/07/2009 - 15:42
Snappycaz
Posted 25/07/2009 - 16:03 Link
Maybe if enough people lobbied for it? I use TAV, AV & Manual most. Hardly ever use the green mode now, but I must admit I did use it at first until I was used to the camera, probably the first 20 or so shots.
Caz
"IF YOU OBEY ALL THE RULES, YOU MISS ALL THE FUN." - KATHERINE HEPBURN
Mannesty
Posted 25/07/2009 - 16:19 Link
Have you seen the K-M (K2000 in US). Does that not fit your spec?
Peter E Smith - flickr Photostream
Snappycaz
Posted 25/07/2009 - 16:33 Link
It still has too many features doesn't it? All those pre-defined modes?
Or have I got it wrong? I like to tell the camera what to do not have it try to teach me some formulaic idyll.

I know it has less buttons but I would miss the info panel on the top.

Mind you it looks like it would fit in the handbag
"IF YOU OBEY ALL THE RULES, YOU MISS ALL THE FUN." - KATHERINE HEPBURN
johnriley
Posted 25/07/2009 - 16:35 Link
What about those who use some other mode all the time?

We here may use Av mostly, but we aren't necessarily a representative sample.

What the enthusuasts want is there, but if that was all that was there then it might cut out the majority of the purchasers.
Best regards, John
Snappycaz
Posted 25/07/2009 - 16:44 Link
That's a fair point John. Perhaps it just demonstrates how difficult it is to produce a one size fits all piece of kit.
Caz
"IF YOU OBEY ALL THE RULES, YOU MISS ALL THE FUN." - KATHERINE HEPBURN
Hardgravity
Posted 25/07/2009 - 16:45 Link
That's where the 'idiot-proof' mode comes in John.

When I've struggled to get a shot I've switched to this auto mode, as it's called, and the camera does it all.

OK, maybe just three settings is a bit short, but...
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
bforbes
Posted 25/07/2009 - 16:48 Link
Even if all the manufactures produced a DSLR with very basic controls at a low price, I suspect their marketing departments would soon be asking for extras. They would be saying we need a Unique Selling Point, an additional feature, to differentiate our model for XYZ. After a while it would spiral back to where we are today.
Mannesty
Posted 25/07/2009 - 17:01 Link
Truth is that in the days of the more mechanical film camera it was more difficult to add functions and features.

As time progressed, more and more electronics were added to make the implementation of these functions more simple and more affordable.

Now we are in the era of almost totally electronic cameras, where functions and features are merely a piece of computer code.

To add more is relatively simple, to remove them is as simple, but why bother?

Just because X/Y/Z camera has this/that/the other function, doesn't mean you have to use it if you don't want to (or don't know how).

It's precisely because modern cameras have all these functions that makes them popular. Witness the rush of some on here to get their hands on a K-7 (almost as much of a rush to send them back it seems).

How many youngsters with money to throw away would buy a DSLR that had only an M setting, a digital K1000 in essence? Not many, if any.
Peter E Smith - flickr Photostream
Edited by Mannesty: 25/07/2009 - 17:03
Hardgravity
Posted 25/07/2009 - 17:12 Link
You want a good selling point Barrie, try this one.

124.99 body only!

That would sell plenty to people who want a second body, are on a budget or simply just want a basic DSLR to use their old lenses on.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
johnriley
Posted 25/07/2009 - 17:16 Link
Quote:
124.99 body only!

But it wouldn't happen, as most of the cost is in development and in the actual mechanical stuff - all the old fashioned buts that we still need.

I'll bet it would be more like 350.00!
Best regards, John
Hardgravity
Posted 25/07/2009 - 17:33 Link
OK John, maybe a bit low, but Olympus are currently clearing E420 bodies for around 250.

Yes it's an old model but are they really selling below the cost of production?

The specs at that price are VERY tempting!
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
Edited by Hardgravity: 25/07/2009 - 17:33

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