Thursday, June 28, 2007

The "Update" is Useless and Helpless - K100D Super

As you may have known, the K100D Super is announced today.

Just looking at the specifications of the K100D "Super" and compare it against the K100D, there are only two changes for the new "super" model: 1. Dust Removal (DR) by shaking the sensor - no difference from the K10D, of which the "system" is useless; 2. Supersonic Driven Motor (SDM) AF support.

Okay, let's look at the first "new" feature. First of all, this can *actually* be implemented simply by a firmware update, very likely. It is because the Shake Reduction (SR) hardware is already there in the K100D, the firmware can always tell the moveable sensor to shake. So, a simple firmware update to include the new software sub-routine for the new (DR) function is just what is needed and is really quick and simple to make. Secondly, the Pentax DR system and design is indeed something that has never worked, which have already been widely reported by numerous different K10D users and again been verified by different reviewers, here and here (in German).

Next, as for the new SDM AF support, the K100D has a position for the power contacts (for supplying power to the SDM) reserved for that. However, it was just that when the K100D was launched suddenly last year (probably in a hurry), the fundamental development of the SDM infrastructure and its specifications had not yet been completed and thus the K100D had not been included for the additional power contacts in the mount/body. So, this support actually should be provided on the day one but it happened that it was not ready yet. However, even the K100D Super now has this, is it really meaningful even for *now* as there is no SDM lenses available so far. Even later on when the two Star DA zooms can really come, who will really buy a top-of-the-line luxury lens and use it on a cheap entry level body, with the price of the lens doubles the price of the body? Yes, one may argue that it is for the future lens lineup and it is planned for the future. But, the K100D Super by itself is of a very old design deep inside and do also think about for such electronics gadgets, shall we buy *for* the future or simply buy *in* the future? :-) Alternatively, we can always buy now, just for those products which have the desired features right now and those are usually products with mature technologies, too.

In fact, Pentax repeats again the same mistake as they did with the DL2 and DS2 models. These models have never really sold and was just a marketing disaster, undoubtedly. But I do feel for their faced difficulties and situation, that is, with their limited ability and resources, it is very difficult for them to build a brand new body from scratch, especially in short time frame and and in a fast pace of renewal and replacement, considering that huge money and investment are involved and required for those new developments of new DSLRs.

Nevertheless, I think they should at least make a 10MP entry level this time but not *still* a 6MP one, if they still really want to compete. Pentax should remember entry level DSLRs are targeted for novices and beginners. Just when they go into the shops and discover that a "new model" DSLR is just having less pixels than the current maintstream P&Ses, what will they think? What can the sale persons tell and talk about to persuade them to buy? And, finally, what will the novice customers choose? Anyway, how many K100D Super will hit the shelves of the shops is yet a big question..

Afterall, the update is (almost) useless to the customers or any potential buyers and it can neither help Pentax to succeed, market-wise, I bet.

20 Comments:

andrewgilchrist said...

While I agree that they could have done a little more with the K100D Super, to call this, the DS2 and DL2 "mistakes" is a little harsh. These models are all essentially stopgap models and cost much less to develop than all-new models would. Their introduction helps keep Pentax in the news and slightly more up-to-date. I don't think there's a whole lot of dissatisfaction among the people who bought these models. When I bought my DS2 it appeared to be the best Pentax had to offer and I still love it, at least as much as the K10D I bought later. Perhaps more good additions to the Super might have been the additional capability of mating a battery/portrait grip and maybe top-LCD illumination.

Olivier said...

I suggest you GET A LIFE, Highrice, and go out, and make photos.

RiceHigh said...

The "mistakes" I mention refer to the marketing results and consequences. I am not saying that the DS2 or the DL2 are particularly bad products in the Pentax line, they were not selling simply because they were already outdated when they were born. Same case now happens for the K100D Super, I think.

The reality is that no one can sell a "nothing special" DSLR for more than one year (except for Canon who always led (and probably will lead) the market by first introducing something new and unique, months or years ahead). So, such "stopgap models" are simply a bad idea and strategy afterall.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that it is a meaningless update but for those who already own K100D. For a new buyer it is a good camera. As for 6MP sensor, we all know that it is actually better than the current 10MP one. Not all consumers buy into megapixel madness. Also, note that Nikon did not discontinue their 6MP D-40 so, as an entry-level model, it is fully justified with the current specs.

suecae_disco said...

I have a hard time seeing this as useless and helpless. This is a revision with minor improvements (where the SDM support might mean something in the long run), it is just the K100D upgraded. It is corporate logic used by brands such as Canon and Nikon for a long time.

nlx said...

you really should forget about Pentax now, its depressing to see someone some passionate about something negative.

Get a Nikon D40 6m pixels (do Nikon still really want to compete ??) that use only motorized lens (who wants to buy expensive lens for a cheap camera ??) and take some pics !

(soon here the Canon 5D Versus Pentax k100d+ test)

NB. you really you make no sense… each time !

RiceHigh said...

nlx, you forget about there is already a D40X for a while, an entry level 10M DSLR of Nikon, not only just its precedor D40!

As for D40/D40X only can use ultrasonic lenses, this has been widely blamed by Nikonians already. It is clearly a strategy of Nikon to force the new users to buy new lenses and to market their lenses by first selling a cheap body. But, do you want Pentax to follow?

Still, Nikon has an ultrasonic 18-55 kit lens for the D40s, where's Pentax's?

nlx said...

I don't consider myself as a specialist but to me its clear that the d40x is not replacing the d40 but is a addition to the Nikon line. So Nikon do have a 6 million pixel in its line. So you could ask : why Pentax don't have a 6 million pixels camera in its line ?

Having a 6 millions pixels make sense in term of photography. The people that buy reflex are a little more concerned about photography than the people that buy a cell phone to make photos. This people read reviews, and its been at least one year or two that it became an evidence for everyone that having more and more pixels is not the big thing (same thing apply to computer, people have understand the megahertz was a myth).

This, would be a problem if Pentax wouldn't have an affordable camera with 10 millions pixels. And its clearly the case with the k10d (and its price drop).

So it just mean Pentax have less models than Nikon, wich is in my point of view clearly a good thing. Apple have only 3 different ipod. 3 differents home computers (mac mini, imac, mac pro), 2 laptops (macbook macbook pro) and so on. And it make sense.

In terms of camera, Pentax do only miss one model wich is the high end model (aka Pentax K1d or anything).

I don't say everything is perfect (we clearly miss lens for exemple, till now), but it make no sense describe every news from Pentax as a disaster. You sound like those ppl some years ago that were claiming the apple death the same people have an ipod and a macbook now). It's a loose of time, its not helping making things better (because its caricatural) and its not revelent.

This blog could have been interesting, but its clearly becoming painfull to read.

Codiac2600 said...

Ricehigh you are completely idiotic and you rants against Pentax are not welcome coming from a Canon user. Why do you insist on making such poor assumptions from your fictitious facts and statistics. Please leave the Pentax camp alone and pursue complaining about your Canon 5D or something, which lacks in many areas so work on that.

RiceHigh said...

Mr. 2600, since you're mentioning about my "new" Canon 5D, I can tell you more for how it is compared to my various Pentax DSLRs.

I have had my 5D for nearly three weeks now, shooting for over 500 photos under various situations and all just in Jpegs. There are only few of them have improper exposure and the focus of the pictures are all very accurate, including at low light and under purely tungsten environments which no Pentax DSLRs can ever have no errors. Not even to mention the sluggishness or simply failure of AF of Pentax DSLRs under the same situations and conditions. Furthermore, as for continuous shooting capability and continuous AF tracking ability, it's just day and night when the 5D and the K10D are compared. In addition, the 5D is less noisy than my K100D at ISO 800 and 1600, but the pixel count is just more than doubled! Do note also that the K100D is already way better than the K10D as long as cleanness of higher ISO speeds is concerned.

Okay, in fact comparing the 5D and the K10D can be silly owing to the huge price (and thus quality) difference. But which other DSLR body in the Pentax line can we make a "fair" comparison?

I have a good collection of excellent (plus some relatively mediocre, mostly latest generations of) Pentax lenses which I can say the best of these can be better than some of the Canon L or upper class lenses. However, without a truly up-to-standard Pentax DSLR body with acceptable AE and AF accuracy and performance to match with, those good glass are just a waste (of them).

Finally, do remember I am still a Pentax owner and user. I just wonder why particular blind brand loyalists are just so narrow minded that only one brand we can use and "affixed" to. Cameras are just like toys (or tools whatever you like to call or think about it) that we can buy into different brands and models as long as we like and/or need!

nlx said...

there are no brands loyalist here - i can buy a Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sigma, Sony tomorow - just people are upset by your posts. Because they don't make sense. If you are silly not to see your fight against Pentax is ridiculous it's your problem.
If you think you are not fighting against Pentax, maybe you should start to think why people feel you are.

THINK.

Or get a meeting with a psycholog and talk about your problem about Pentax…

RiceHigh said...

> there are no brands loyalist here - i can buy a Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sigma, Sony tomorow - just people are upset by your posts. Because they don't make sense.

The most nonsense thing is that I just had bought a Canon kit set and particular blind loyal Pentaxians overreacted.

I have my rights to post my opinions about the performance of my new toy and my impression about it, haven't I?

> If you are silly not to see your fight against Pentax is ridiculous it's your problem.

If you see I am "fighting against" Pentax, that's your own problem, not mine. Why don't you just see what the Blog is about and Why This Blog before reading on? If this is not your cup of tea, just skip and go on.

> If you think you are not fighting against Pentax, maybe you should start to think why people feel you are.
> THINK.
> Or get a meeting with a psycholog and talk about your problem about Pentax…

I cannot and could not think of the strange behaviour(s) of so many other peoples in this planet. Or maybe when they talk to their psychologists, they can tell and offer helps. I don't mind all those affected people to show my Blog to their psychologists when they see them!

Anonymous said...

When will you close your blog and stop groaning? Take your Canon 5D and make photos.

RiceHigh said...

> When will you close your blog and stop groaning?

I shall never close my blog unless some days in the future Google close the blogspot.com. You can always hope and bless for my stop of updating it though!

> Take your Canon 5D and make photos.

I always do. So do I with my Pentax DSLR gear and my Fujifilm Pentax P&S DCs.

Anonymous said...

who will really buy a top-of-the-line luxury lens and use it on a cheap entry level body, with the price of the lens doubles the price of the body?

Anyone that is serious about photography and has a limited budget (aka, most amateurs and even a lot of pros) knows that you ALWAYS INVEST IN BETTER GLASS FIRST! Do you actually do any photography yourself? If you did, you would realise that most of the stuff you complain about isn't really a problem in real life - plus, how is a camera update so problematic to you? If this particular update doesn't offer anything to you, don't buy it. Do you get this bent out of shape when colgate changes the toothpaste color from red to blue?

Good heavens son - you're going to give yourself a stroke like this.

RiceHigh said...

> Anyone that is serious about photography and has a limited budget (aka, most amateurs and even a lot of pros) knows that you ALWAYS INVEST IN BETTER GLASS FIRST!

Investing in good glass is of course an essential thing. But in the DSLR era, what you need more is a better camera body. Without a better body, any good glass will eventually act like bad ones - for the final images produced, unless you're still shooting films.. then it would be less relevant. Still, the differences in accuracy and performance of different bodies do matter afterall.

> Do you actually do any photography yourself? If you did, you would realise that most of the stuff you complain about isn't really a problem in real life

I don't know how many times I needed to repeat my statement of "measurbators don't take pictures" before you blind brand loyalists could believe I won't take any picture and stop asking me similar silly questions again and again..

But if you say those raised issues are non-issues in reallife, then you must be kidding. E.g., anyone who has shot with a DSLR and has more than one lens knows that dust is a *real* issue for DSLR photography in *reallife*!

Anonymous said...

> Investing in good glass is of course an essential thing. But in the DSLR era, what you need more is a better camera body. Without a better body, any good glass will eventually act like bad ones.

Really? Just about any entry level DSLR coupled with a decent lens will do wonderful things in the hands of a good photog. Unless you are printing very large images, I don't see how people dump money into expensive bodies before getting good glass.

I read a lot of people wondering "what is better d80/d200? I'm going to get a kits lens and sigma 70-300 to go with. I'm on a limited budget..." Are you really going to recommend the d200 over better glass?

> But if you say those raised issues are non-issues in reallife, then you must be kidding. E.g., anyone who has shot with a DSLR and has more than one lens knows that dust is a *real* issue for DSLR photography in *reallife*!

Well, I carry and use a few lenses and take no more care in switching lenses than I did with film cameras and my DSLRs have never had dust problems. I must be the only lucky one, I guess.

Take a poll on photo.net - I would love to see the results on how many people regularly see the ill effects of dust on their sensors.

HateIdiots said...

This idiot writes against Pentax in a blog, hidden away at his home. Would like to see him saying all this crap eye to eye to me.

RiceHigh said...

So, what are you going to do if I repeat my viewpoints directly face to face with you?

Anonymous said...

I can see that, like me, you really want Pentax to succeed. I feel the same way about the company. We can only help them by telling them what we would be willing to spend our money on.
Having said that, I don't think that the K100D Super is a "mistake". It is a minor update to a very good entry level DSLR. There are two small hardware changes and some software tweaks.So it cost hardly anything to do. The K100D is not broken, so I see no need to "fix" anything else. What would relly make me happy is if Pentax will release the new software as an upgrade to the K100D for existing customers.
Meanwhile I want Pentax to spend their budget on higher end cameras and a wider lens range (not just expensive rebranding of Tokina), so that entry level users know that if they ever need to upgrade, they won't have to switch brands and discard their investment.

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