Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yet Another New K-m Preview

A new K-m Preview is out today at the DC page of the Japanese Impress Watch, here it is:-

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/review/2008/10/15/9420.html

The article shows us something new and interesting, say:-

1. The bright green power LED indicator does actually indicate also the power level, namely, strong, weak and empty. With the deletion of the top monochrome LCD status indication panel, I think this design is just clever and brilliant as it is simple but yet provides very clear and easy-to-see indication to the user/operator;

2. Battery type can now be entered into the camera or the user can still let the camera to "Auto Detect" the battery type in use. The supported battery types (of the 4 AA batteries) are namely: NiMH, Alkaline or Lithium. It seems that Pentax have finally done something to improve the power stability when they had to insist on the AA battery solution in their lower level DSLRs but which has been proven to be ultra problematic for almost half a decade. Well, my MZ-S battery grip did use to have a battery type selector as it is told in the user manual that it must be selected for the proper operation of the camera. Now, Pentax could only re-think and re-introduce such an essential feature after 7.5 years. Huh? But Late is better than None, anyway! And also let's wait and see if the problem is really completely resolved!

3. A few more screen shots for camera's recording functions, playback options and digital filter / color setting options etc.

Furthermore, there is a shutter sound wave (.wav) file which is available for download in the page. The first time I downloaded it and heard its sound did make me feel really excited for its light touch and smoothness, which just doesn't look like any previous Pentax DSLRs and it would be an improvement over its predecessors. But however, I noticed very shortly about the file name of "5D2_01" for the wav file which is just highly suspected that it is the sound of the 5D MkII instead and the editor has very probably been mistaken.

So, I just browsed through the front page and then go to their 5D MkII Preview page and it is confirmed that my suspection is correct, i.e., the "K-m sound file" is just the 5DMkII one! :-( Now, I just hope that the editor can make the correction and put a true K-m sound file for my measurbation, like I did myself for those, very soon! Anyway, I have already measured the overall system lag time of the 5D MkII to be 105 ms which is indeed 27 ms longer than the original 5D but nonetheless is still faster/shorter than that of any of Pentax DSLRs ever tested and published for the timings. My 5D MkI produces clunky large shutter/mirror sound, though, although it is yet faster.

Update (Oct. 16):

The editor has noticed the error and made the correction already. There are now two sound file links in which the wave files should be the K-m's ones this time: One for the Single frame mode and the other for Continuous shooting mode, the direct links are as follows:-

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/static/2008/10/14/tansha.wav
(Single frame mode: ~2.1MB)

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/static/2008/10/14/rensha.wav
(Continuous shooting mode: ~3.3MB)

From the two sound files, I have measurebated the following actual performance figures of the K-m:-

1. Actual shooting rate/frequency is only at 2.87 frames per second (well below and much worse than the claimed Spec. of 3.5 fps);

2. A maximum of 10 frames can be shot up to in a chain (doubled and better than the official Spec., which is 5 only);

3. The system time lag (shutter lag) is measured to be 114 ms or 0.114 second (the best figure I have ever seen for an entry level Pentax DSLR - not bad for an entry level DSLR indeed).

I would comment that it just sounds to be smoother for both mirror up and down actions which are now having a lighter touch or simply gentler (for what it was recorded and as it seems to be - the actual noise level cannot be judged exactly, though). Well, well done, Pentax! (I still would say for that part, but the lower fps is yet something which I do not wish to see..)

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny how people don't comment when you are talking nicer towards Pentax...
I guess people kinda do get a little kick when you are sarcastic.

on the other hand,
I love it when you are positive about something without comparing.
you too can be nice sometimes..that's what makes me keep coming back here..lol

.mario said...

Hi RiceHigh,...
and considering its street price (in Italy, 470 euros with the kit zoom) is definitively a bargain!

any hints about how it performs at 3200 iso?

RiceHigh said...

With the very limited number of direct sample photos posted, it looks quite good so far, at least there is little chroma noise visible but just luminance noise which means the noise looks very film grains alike. See this.

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