What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Breakfastographer 2 Contributing Member • Posts: 544
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

MarBa wrote:

Breakfastographer 2 wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

Breakfastographer 2 wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

5r82 wrote:

Since this is a full frame lens, it will could be released with new K-1 Mark 3 one day.

Possibly the announcement it is shipping will coincide with the first showing of K1-iii prototype.

Not sure if you're being sarcastic now, because that would be a long way off - the next camera to be released will be APS-C.

General consensus is not. The investment in things which we see on the 3-iii was substantial and those things need to go other high price cameras. There was something Asahi man said a few months ago which made those of us waiting for the next FF feel optimistic. I'm hoping to see a K1-iii this year, but next year is more likely. But shown this year and shipping next year is possible.

Fair enough, maybe it's one rumour against another.

But having heard how much trouble they had scaling up the pentaprism production for this camera, and that the overall process took five years, I'm not too hopeful they can make an even bigger one with a low failure rate in production quite so soon, for a realistically priced K-1 III that includes it.

I don't think they need new pentaprism for K1. It has a large OVF. The problem always was APS-C, not FF. The OVF in K1 is bigger than in K-3 III. And I don't see any difference in "brightness/clarity". Remember that the FF OVF has 2x the amount of light to begin with (with the same max aperture lens).

With an upgrade of the K-1 line, the question in my mind would be how to create a substantial upgrade that would appeal at least to previous K-1 line users. Why is that so particularly relevant? Because the existing K-1/II users have shown that they are willing to go the full frame path, or at least live in a dual world of shooting both formats. So they are, obviously, the biggest, or at least safest, potential market for a K-1 III.

How can we appeal to them?

Touchscreen to me seems a given in the K-1 III. The required electronics are probably thin enough that the back of the camera doesn't have to be substantially changed. If it does, we're back at the discussion over the OVF, because one publicised property of the new prism material is that it results in greater eye relief, allowing more display tech to be installed behind the sensor (touchscreen, articulation).

Is that in itself enough to make folks upgrade? Hardly, imo.

So let's see what else we could include that isn't the new OVF, adapted for FF. A sensor resolution bump also seems a bit lame to me, honestly. A global shutter, on the other hand could be rather interesting, and there are already products advertised using those new sensors and e-shutters, albeit in other domains than consumer cameras.

A 60-megapixel sensor would give you an APS-C crop mode of about 26 megapixels - but then you have to wrangle with 60 megapixels when you take full frame images (I'm assuming you want to process raw - JPEG would presumably have downsampled modes).

So I'm not personally sure 60 megapixels is for everyone, given how often we hear of people waiting for the post-processing apps to get on with the job. Going from 36 megapixels is going to approximately double the wait (or worse for operations that work in context, i.e. O(n**2) or thereabouts - probably applicable to some "AI" features).

However, if they do go for a higher res sensor, it makes a lot of sense to go for the 60 megapixels one.

Getting back to the 26 megapixel mode - that's going to be afflicted by being small in the OVF! (But rangefinder users have lived with that for decades, and still do.)

I'm going to hold back belief that any major project that hasn't been firmly rumoured yet (which would be a reasonable prequel to it being "shown" by the end of the year) could be shipping before 2023. An APS-C body that's an update to the K-70 and/or KP, presumably without the new pentaprism, but maybe some other features carried across (touchscreen, AF using metering matrix) - sure, I can see that, even releasing by the holiday season if the upgrades are relatively minor and straightforward, or the platform is essentially the K-3 III with just a few differences in hardware (pentaprism, shutter-mirror-assembly, sensor, display articulation).

I agree .. the rumors should start soon .. then we will have at least half a year of teasers and then it will be postponed at least once. So earliest before the next summer?

I see no reason to push out "cheap" APS-C. Why? K-70 is still produced .. what improvements you could possible make that would not result in cannibalizing K-3 III sales?

I hear you, and I'm just following what the rumour said, rather than advocating. But let's look at whether and how there is a way to do it.

Well, the K-3 III has kinda laid the scene for that more than the K-70/KP if you see what I mean. Buffer performance could have been one of the big differentiators, but it's really so-so as you've pointed out in your review.

In my mind, you'd leave off many of the convenience features for entry-level. No joystick, old OVF, old sensor or take it down to 20 megapixels (but then give it touchscreen). Keep it plastic, lower max. burst rate. I'm torn on omitting 4k, because it's such a silly feature to have in the first place.

But you'd use the old AF sensor field, but you might include the cross-talk with the metering matrix. It would still be a good chunk less accurate than the K-3 III is capable of. And, of course, the old slim battery! A major factor given how you've seen the K-3 III consume more power than previous generations. If it really is the display sapping the juice, and you stick a similar display into the "KP-90", it would quickly prove that the bigger battery is a real advantage.

An entirely different possibility is that they're not looking to launch an entry level camera, but a differentiation at the top end, which is where the market is going!

The thing with the K-1 III is that they need to learn from the K-3 III and put all those lessons into the K-1 III for it to be a real success. And then iterate that again for the K-3 IIIs or whatever comes next in that line. The platform they have now has some very good parts, they just need to take a step back, take a good look, and tweak it right.

K-1 III needs to get a new sensor ... maybe the same as in Z7 II ... needs to keep everything that it already has (GPS, flip-screen etc.) and add AF module from K-3 III.

Well, would you want a touchscreen? Because I actually don't know the size of additional components required, and whether that means the display area at the back would need to be redesigned. So that might not be completely trivial.

Next redesign question, if they do include a new pentaprism, would they be able to fit the GPS? The bigger camera might give a bit more flexibility in that respect, but I don't have THE solution ready right now. I have ideas, but that's between me and Ricoh if they hire me. 😈

I get that you don't want the new pentaprism in the FF camera, but you need to remember the pentaprism is about four things:

- larger image

- slightly brighter

- better eye relief

- negligible distortion

I would argue that the last one is the reason you want this kind of technology on every camera, and there are reasons I believe it is one of Ricoh's most promising recent patents. It's possible they could make a version where the image isn't larger, only brighter, and I imagine you wouldn't oppose that.

But to take advantage of the AF, it would probably also need new mirror box and shutter for faster frame rate?

I don't think that's necessarily related, or perhaps I'm reading it wrong. You'd get benefits from better/faster AF even with a lower frame rate, and we know the currently known K-1 design can do at least 7fps (because that's what the APS-C mode does).

However, higher megapixel count with higher frame rate would also require a bump in processing power, buffer size and write speeds. But that would need redesign of the electronics.

If you want the same or faster frame rate and same processing, then likely yes.

In addition, it would be nice to get 4K/60 with no crop, no time limit, maybe 10bit etc .. that would be great .. but that would require even better electronics!


And actually .. even new battery! K-3 III is worse than K-1 and if the future K-1 III would be even worse than that ... it would be bad.

They would have to look into that eventually, no doubt. But they should still be miles ahead of mirrorless cameras. If they can manage with normal size batteries, why shouldn't Pentax? I also keep hearing new battery technology is just around the corner. Been that way for five years now. Camera makers who have introduced new batteries have shown relatively modest improvements while maintaining form factor. I guess the major breakthrough(s) is/are still coming.

Seeing that K-3 III (current action camera flagship) is lagging in buffer size, speed of image processing and writing even behind 5-years old D500 .. I think it is fair to say that massive improvements in processing power are unlikely .. especially now during massive shortages of chips everywhere.

Remember that the D500 uses XQD cards. It has an SD slot as well, but I suspect you need XQD to get that peak performance. No IBIS, no accelerator... hard to say what role the accelerator plays in power consumption or pipeline delays, or how much lens it takes for IBIS to be the cheaper option.

Well .. actually just these shortages could be the reason why we'll not see anything new for a while!

That is a possibility.

Last note on the K-1 III: What I would personally like are the new bracketing and focus peaking modes from other current Pentax cameras, and the ability to switch OFF the accelerator for raw (and raw in "RAW+").

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