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Old Jan 22, 2006, 2:44 PM   #1
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Being a Pentax user for the last 15 years, I am hoping to continue my association with Pentax. Starting out on a K1000, moving to a Z-50 and now a proud owner of the *ist Ds, I love the quality that Pentax delivers. However I am concerned about the future of Pentax. When I visitedthe photo store that I purchased my Z-50 from they have since discontinued selling Pentax models. The nearest Pentax dealer is over 200 miles away now and the excuse I was given is that Pentax have had bad sales numbers and they are limiting their product. This has since been slightly believable due to the limited availability of Pentax equipment. I know the new DS2 and DL models and the recent copying of those models for Samsung should give me hope, but I'm not convinced. Pentax needs a higher MP model with more advanced features... I'm looking for a Pro Model Pentax with some of the features similar to the Nikon Dx and D200 (which will be the models I switch to when Pentax doesn't produce a pro model). The option of using the CF microdrives, the dual CF/SD card Raw - Jepg/Tiff, RAW, Jepg, and Tiff shooting formats would be a plus. I'd also like to see a greater range in auto bracketing to allow for more picturesat a greater range of exposures, something that is great to use with Photoshop CS2's HRD Merge to create a high dynamic range photo.

A VERY DESIRABLE OPTION I'd like to see for the *ist DS is a capture program that allows the DS to be connected via USB and controlled by a computer similar to the Remote Assistance software available for the *ist D. I'd love to experiment with time lapse photography and the ability to remotely control the camera would be a nice addition.

The recent update to the firmware for the DS was a pleasant Christmas gift from Pentax. But I'm still not seeing a Full Frame camera option, or a pro DSLR option to keep my beloved Pentax in my camera bag. I have a great collection of lenses and accessories, but I'd be lying if I said they were easy to gather... In all honesty, Pentax is harder to buy accessories for than any other camera on the market. I'd love to see Pentax lobby for more dealers and would love to see a catalogue with all their accessories that would be available when I needed them... Wishful thinking or a better business plan.

If anyone knows of a way to do the remote capture or time lapse photography with the DS I'd like to hear about it.

Also I'm having trouble taking long exposures with my DS. My batteries keep dying when I try to do shots of the night sky with exposure times over 15 minutes on bulb. What is the best way to fix this and is there a power pack or A/C adapter that can help me with power problems while doing these long exposures?

Thanks....
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 8:17 PM   #2
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Yeah, there is an AC adaptor you can get for the DS and its relatively inexpensive.

I know how you feel - its hard getting Pentax eq. and my local camera store stocks probably only DL's and the kit lenses - anything else needs ordering in.

Wow, 15 minutes is a long exposure If I were you id make sure you turn noise reduction off and do that in post processing - or you are going to be waiting along time for the DS to do its noise reduction (probably an extra 15 minutes).

Also, what batteries are you using?
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 8:39 PM   #3
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moutainmandave wrote:
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But I'm still not seeing a Full Frame camera option, or a pro DSLR option to keep my beloved Pentax in my camera bag.moutainmandave:
I cannot comment on Pentax with regards to their business future but let me comment on one statement. The "Full Frame" issue is one that is somewhat overblown much of the time. Nikon is a top pro brand yet all of their digital slr cameras use the "DX" sized sensor (read that APS). Right now only Canon produces a 35mm sized sensor (Kodak is gone from this segment), and they only offer it in one of their 1D models (the other uses a smaller sensor) and the new 5D (which is very expensive compared to the similar spec 20D).I think Canon has caused some confusion by offering both formats since a 20D or 350D owner with a set of EF-S lenses cannot step up to the 5D since the EF-S lenses will not cover the larger sensor.!?

I can understand the desire to use the older 35mm lenses without a crop factor, 28mm would be a wide angle again.I understand that the larger the sensor, the larger the photosites (given equal resolution) so noise would be better controlled, but the small sensor cameras have advantages as well. Clinging to the 35mm frame format as if it were some absolute seems unnecessary.

As for a pro model, hopefully sales of the *istDL will spur Pentax to broaden their market by building an MZ-S-like digital body (they did have a "full frame" model in development at one point but the sensor turned out to be a problem see http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/for the prototype). I would like to see an APS sensor model of 10-12MP with a nice metal body and a user interface which is based more on buttons than menus.


Ira
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 9:03 PM   #4
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errno_gmm wrote:
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Wow, 15 minutes is a long exposure If I were you id make sure you turn noise reduction off and do that in post processing - or you are going to be waiting along time for the DS to do its noise reduction (probably an extra 15 minutes).

Also, what batteries are you using?
15 minutes is a long exposure but if you want to get the streaking stars in the night sky, it's a rather short exposure. And you are right on about the in camera noise reduction, after a few hours of waiting for multiple exposures to process, I killed the in camera noise reduction and that helped reduce the time the image was processed by the camera. I'm looking for a fairly portable power pack to power the camera for multiple long exposures, pure experimental but producing some nice shots.

As for the batteries I'm using: Rechargeable AA 2500 mAh Ni-MH (Energizer and Kodak brand, making sure they are kept in sets that were purchased, used and recharged at the same time), and Energizer Lithium Photo E2 CRV3 batteries (which I usually use when I know I'm going to take a lot of photos and don't want to switch out batteries like a wedding or when I backpack, also I've used them for the long exposures and get better results but they drain too quickly and are expensive not to be rechargeable)



Here is an example of a 12 minute exposure I took in October in a campground at Monument Valley, Utah.
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 9:25 PM   #5
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Monza76 wrote:
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The "Full Frame" issue is one that is somewhat overblown much of the time. Nikon is a top pro brand yet all of their digital slr cameras use the "DX" sized sensor (read that APS).
Quote:
I can understand the desire to use the older 35mm lenses without a crop factor, 28mm would be a wide angle again.I understand that the larger the sensor, the larger the photosites (given equal resolution) so noise would be better controlled, but the small sensor cameras have advantages as well. Clinging to the 35mm frame format as if it were some absolute seems unnecessary.
Quote:
As for a pro model, hopefully sales of the *istDL will spur Pentax to broaden their market by building an MZ-S-like digital body (they did have a "full frame" model in development at one point but the sensor turned out to be a problem see http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/for the prototype). I would like to see an APS sensor model of 10-12MP with a nice metal body and a user interface which is based more on buttons than menus.


Ira

Ira;

Thanks for the comments, you seem to be a staple on these forums and you are always on top of things. Keep it up. As for your comments on the full frame sensor, I agree that it is over blown. But as you admit it would be nice to use those nice lenses, that we have spent years collecting, as they were intended with their ratings.. Thank god I only have to multiply by 1.5 to get that focal length instead of the 1.6 Canon has... My math skills aren't that great when I'm concentrating on getting the photo... I'm only concerned to see that Pentax has stayed at the 6 mp range and they don't seem to be letting folks in on any future developments, at least I haven't found anything. The full frame thing isn't my biggest concern.Like you, Iwant to seea 10 - 12 mp metal body and we all like the button interface rather than the menus, who has time to look through those things anyway.

I like to shoot on manual, Av or Tv and occasionally use the Bulb settings to get those night sky shots... But the preset program modes are nice when you are trying to teach a novice how to use the camera without overloading them with manual buttons. I guess shooting Manual takes me back to the K1000 days when I fell in love with photography.

I guess I'm not the only one with friends who shoot Nikon and Canon and feel like they are laughing behind my back. Even though, I'd stack my 6 mp shot from the *ist DS next to their fancy dancy big guns any day. Pentax truly has quality in mind, now if we can just motivate them to bring us more in a timely manor..

Does anyone know of some websites that leak Pentax info? LOL would love to check them out and get my hopes up....


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Old Jan 23, 2006, 2:47 AM   #6
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I share your hope, that Pentax will keep developing new and better dSLR's. However, we might not be in agreement as to what "better" is

I don't support the "more buttons are better". I have access to a Nikon D50, besides my istDS, andI find the Nikon interface to be messy in comparison. I'm also in agreement with Monza76 in yhat the "fullframe" is a bit overhyped...

However, I must admit that would like Pentax to launch something in the style of the the Nikon D200: high resolution, all the features you will probably ever need, very good build quality and yet still rather compact. But stick with the Pentax tradition of elegance and simplicity in design and handling...

Yours

Lars
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 9:47 AM   #7
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I think the megapixel issue is more a case of what is available. Canon has its own exclusive CMOS sensors, Fuji has its own, Sigma has Foveon, Olympus has Kodak 4/3, almost everyone else uses SONY. You may notice that all of SONY's customers still have 6MP sensors in their consumer models (Nikon has used it in the D100, D70, D70s and the D50, KM has used it in the 7D and 5D, Pentax in the *istD, DS, DS2 and DL) since these models make up the majority of dSLRs sold (and Canon and Olympus are only 8MP, not a real improvement) I think we will all have to wait for the next step in reliable low cost sensors. Right now only Nikon is offering a mid level model with a significant increase in resolution with the 10MP D200 (8MP is not really significant and all the others are far more expensive).

Resolution is very important but these quality 6MP cameras can produce images of such high quality that they will keep me happy for now. If the resolution takes a big step upward many of us will need new computers to edit our images because what we use now is too slow, and we will need bigger memory cards to store the images, but we will probably stick with 8"X10" images so the gain is not that great.

Please do not get the impression that I do not want more resolution, I just look at the fact that, as Pentax users we are not really any worse off than the others, and at the next price point the Canon 20D is just 8MP, the KM 7D is only 6 as is the Fuji, the Canon 5D is very expensive and only the Nikon D200 (which is brand new) offers a real step up in resolution.

I would actually like to have a *istD since it offers a nicer user interface (Lars, your opinion is noted) than the newer models. I own a *istDL and I am very happy with the results so far, especially with the RAW files, but I wish I didn't have toresort tothe menu for some regularly used items.

Ira

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Old Jan 24, 2006, 2:03 AM   #8
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True, 6MP is fine for producing good quality 8x12s and 8x10 prints. I like the 8x12 as they are the same aspect ratio of the sensor and i dont have to lop 2 inches off the side. Ive printed a whole heap of 8x12 and are just framing them all to have a crack at selling some pictures.

Bigger enlargements are also possible if you arent fussed over sharpness, I mean i printed a A1 poster of a photo I took, at close range sharpness isnt very good at all but standing back about 1m (which is where you normally would stand to look at a picture that size) the quality is fine.

Here is the A1:
Original:


A1 print and framed:


Not my best picture, but was one of the first i ever took with the DS. Too busy background etc etc, before I learned many conventions. My mum liked it though, so I got it printed and framed for her. Sorry about the reflections in the frame though


But yeh, a few extra megapixels cant go astray but the difference between 6 and 8 i would think negligible
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Old Jan 24, 2006, 3:12 AM   #9
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I did som epicture framing for a short time some years back and non-reflective glass is the way to go there, but it is expensive compared to smooth glasss.

Be nice dave, I still use the K1000 for work for my day and night shots. By the way the star night shot, 12 minutes you said what aperture/lens combination and in RAW or jpeg? Any post modifications?

I like the picture.
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Old Jan 25, 2006, 9:53 AM   #10
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Crashman wrote:
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Be nice dave, I still use the K1000 for work for my day and night shots. By the way the star night shot, 12 minutes you said what aperture/lens combination and in RAW or jpeg? Any post modifications?

I like the picture.
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"LOL. I'd never put anyone down for still using the K1000, I love that camera and it's the reason that I still shoot with a Pentax... I still have my ZX-50 as a back up.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"The shot of the Rock and stars was taken in October at Goulings (sp?) campground just inside the Utah Border near Monument Valley. The Rock was approx 20 feet across a creek from my campsite and as I was downloading the days pictures into my laptop I thought I'd play around a for a bit. Set my camera on my tripod aimed at the rock and started with a 3 min exposure, moved up to a 6 minute then a 12 minute. My batteries died before I could get anymore shots. The rock was a nice shade of red but what gives it that orange glow was the light from the campground lights. The shot I posted is the original JPEG shot with not post production other than resizing it to post on here. I did however retouch that picture for other purposes, but I wanted to show the fine folks on this forum that the low noise and quality of the DS for such a long exposure is just fine...

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Tech specs on the photo: Pentax *ist DS, ISO 200, Bulb Exposure; 12 mins, f/8, Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm 3.5 - 5.6 (kit lens) @ 18mm . Tripos mounted, triggered with cable release to reduce vibration. Internal noise reduction turned off, shot as a high quality 6mp JEPG.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"This is what you get from pure experimental shooting.. I was sitting under the most beautiful night sky with some of the most recognized landforms in the background and wanted to get something different. I think I got it... Thanks for the comments....
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