What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,746
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

Breakfastographer 2 wrote:

And for the record, in case it matters: XQD does 125 to 500 MB/s. Using your ballpark figure of 33MB times 12fps, we get 400MB/s, which means XQD could in theory give unlimited raw bursts on the K-3 III, while UHS-II at full speed comes close enough that you should be able to maintain around 8fps (to account for margins of variation).

The potential silver lining is that if your card writing speed matches or exceeds your data capture rate, you don't need much buffer.

<<See below>>

For a fully optimised camera with similar characteristics as the K-3 III even 200MB of RAM would seem slight overkill - rather than 1GB as it currently needs.

So in my mind, eliminating the buffer should be an engineering priority.

It's a house of cards, of course, in the sense that when the user inserts a slow card, everything falls apart. That's the nice thing about using a completely new card standard like XQD - it's got an added up front cost to the user, but at least you know they'll be using a fast card because no slow and/or "legacy" cards exist.

Yes, you keep a buffer for slow cards, but it can be quite small, and a new standard gives you a minimum speed.

You've got input of 26 Mpixels per frame at 12 fps which transforms into 33MB per file at which needs 400MBytes per sec to write 12fps.

But in between you need something which can process 300MPixels per sec. There's an easy test - if save small, ** or * JPEG so the file sizes are ~1MB what happens to the shooting speed.  My guess is the frame rate is much the same, because the prime is the bottleneck (the accelerator makes it less of one).

I wonder what you could get if you wrote DNG files WITH NO PREVIEW,

I think reception of a stellar camera that requires a new card would have been better than of a camera that provides only moderate performance, but with all sorts of cards.

For every machine gunner who thanks you for allowing bursts of 720 frames in a minute (before changing card and/or battery)  there is at least one customer who hates having to use different cards which cost 10 times as much, new readers etc.

When SD became the norm I went to "single use" because the cards are so cheap.  My back up of last resort is the card I shot on. Today a 128GB Kingston costs £17 and Amazon want £178 for a120GB Sony XQD. Just having to buy two cards (one spare / for when the other fills up) adds 20% to the cost of the K3-iii

That's not to say everything is perfect, even shooting at my 1 frame per 2-3 seconds the K1 can be saving files 30-40 seconds after I have finished shooting, either the Prime chip or the SD interface is slow. But I don't think I've ever found the limits of the K1 (or K5) buffer.

 James O'Neill's gear list:James O'Neill's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +3 more
Phil A Martin
Phil A Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 6,365
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

James O'Neill wrote:

Breakfastographer 2 wrote:

And for the record, in case it matters: XQD does 125 to 500 MB/s. Using your ballpark figure of 33MB times 12fps, we get 400MB/s, which means XQD could in theory give unlimited raw bursts on the K-3 III, while UHS-II at full speed comes close enough that you should be able to maintain around 8fps (to account for margins of variation).

The potential silver lining is that if your card writing speed matches or exceeds your data capture rate, you don't need much buffer.

<<See below>>

For a fully optimised camera with similar characteristics as the K-3 III even 200MB of RAM would seem slight overkill - rather than 1GB as it currently needs.

So in my mind, eliminating the buffer should be an engineering priority.

It's a house of cards, of course, in the sense that when the user inserts a slow card, everything falls apart. That's the nice thing about using a completely new card standard like XQD - it's got an added up front cost to the user, but at least you know they'll be using a fast card because no slow and/or "legacy" cards exist.

Yes, you keep a buffer for slow cards, but it can be quite small, and a new standard gives you a minimum speed.

You've got input of 26 Mpixels per frame at 12 fps which transforms into 33MB per file at which needs 400MBytes per sec to write 12fps.

But in between you need something which can process 300MPixels per sec. There's an easy test - if save small, ** or * JPEG so the file sizes are ~1MB what happens to the shooting speed. My guess is the frame rate is much the same, because the prime is the bottleneck (the accelerator makes it less of one).

I wonder what you could get if you wrote DNG files WITH NO PREVIEW,

I think reception of a stellar camera that requires a new card would have been better than of a camera that provides only moderate performance, but with all sorts of cards.

For every machine gunner who thanks you for allowing bursts of 720 frames in a minute (before changing card and/or battery) there is at least one customer who hates having to use different cards which cost 10 times as much, new readers etc.

When SD became the norm I went to "single use" because the cards are so cheap.

Are you saying that you use a card and keep it when full instead of formatting it for reuse?

My back up of last resort is the card I shot on. Today a 128GB Kingston costs £17 and Amazon want £178 for a120GB Sony XQD. Just having to buy two cards (one spare / for when the other fills up) adds 20% to the cost of the K3-iii

That's not to say everything is perfect, even shooting at my 1 frame per 2-3 seconds the K1 can be saving files 30-40 seconds after I have finished shooting, either the Prime chip or the SD interface is slow. But I don't think I've ever found the limits of the K1 (or K5) buffer.

James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,746
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?
1

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

There are 3 groups of possible customer. Existing K1 users. Non-FF K-mount users moving up to FF. Outside of K1 and K3-iii owners there is a choice go stay APS-C or go FF, and the K3-iii offers better high ISO, better AF, better wifi, and faster FPS in a more portable package without needing to the change any lenses. The K1 offers a tilting screen, built in GPS and the last word in image quality - though this is more in theory than leaping out of the prints.

Have you compared prints between the K1ii and the K3iii and if so, at what size?

I don't have a K3-iii so I can't take two identical pictures to compare but...

However if put my DFA* 85 on the K1 and take a shot, and then swap the body to the K3-iii , and take another shot, it's sensor is 2/3 the width and 2/3 the height so 4/9ths of the area I've thrown away 56% of the image. If I replace the lens with one of a similar quality which gets me roughly the original angle of view, say the DFA* 50, the crop sensor camera is still digitizing less information using fewer pixels.
The laws of physics are ever-so-straight forward Or so you'd think.

I've got a K5-iiS and a K1, I previously had the original K5, the K7, K10D and *ist-D, and an Optio 430-RS, plus a canon compact I used to use for diving and various mobile phone cameras. It's a challenge to tell the pictures apart under normal viewing conditions. A3 prints from the *ist-D hold their own.

I put the parts of a panorama I shot on the K1 through adobe's super-res function, and you could zoom in on the screen and see stuff which was impossible to make out before. Since my roll paper is 210mm wide (A4 size even though my printer will take A3) I printed the Pano at 800mmx210mm even with a jewellers eyeglass I couldn't see detail in the enhanced print which was visible in the unenhanced pictures.  I could have halved the resolution and got the same print.

So the bottom line is the K5 has better quality images than most of us will ever need the K3-iii is better, and the K1 even better still. The bit I underlined is because beyond some threshold, it gets harder and harder to see. The reason to get a new camera isn't better digitization of the image (unless you shoot at very high ISO) but because all the stuff the camera does helps you to get shots you wouldn't have tried to get before (or would have usually failed)

 James O'Neill's gear list:James O'Neill's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +3 more
Phil A Martin
Phil A Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 6,365
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

James O'Neill wrote:

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

There are 3 groups of possible customer. Existing K1 users. Non-FF K-mount users moving up to FF. Outside of K1 and K3-iii owners there is a choice go stay APS-C or go FF, and the K3-iii offers better high ISO, better AF, better wifi, and faster FPS in a more portable package without needing to the change any lenses. The K1 offers a tilting screen, built in GPS and the last word in image quality - though this is more in theory than leaping out of the prints.

Have you compared prints between the K1ii and the K3iii and if so, at what size?

I don't have a K3-iii

So you mean you don't have a K1ii, only a K1?

so I can't take two identical pictures to compare but...

However if put my DFA* 85 on the K1 and take a shot, and then swap the body to the K3-iii , and take another shot, it's sensor is 2/3 the width and 2/3 the height so 4/9ths of the area I've thrown away 56% of the image. If I replace the lens with one of a similar quality which gets me roughly the original angle of view, say the DFA* 50, the crop sensor camera is still digitizing less information using fewer pixels.
The laws of physics are ever-so-straight forward Or so you'd think.

I've got a K5-iiS and a K1, I previously had the original K5, the K7, K10D and *ist-D, and an Optio 430-RS, plus a canon compact I used to use for diving and various mobile phone cameras. It's a challenge to tell the pictures apart under normal viewing conditions. A3 prints from the *ist-D hold their own.

I put the parts of a panorama I shot on the K1 through adobe's super-res function, and you could zoom in on the screen and see stuff which was impossible to make out before. Since my roll paper is 210mm wide (A4 size even though my printer will take A3) I printed the Pano at 800mmx210mm even with a jewellers eyeglass I couldn't see detail in the enhanced print which was visible in the unenhanced pictures. I could have halved the resolution and got the same print.

So the bottom line is the K5 has better quality images than most of us will ever need the K3-iii is better, and the K1 even better still. The bit I underlined is because beyond some threshold, it gets harder and harder to see. The reason to get a new camera isn't better digitization of the image (unless you shoot at very high ISO) but because all the stuff the camera does helps you to get shots you wouldn't have tried to get before (or would have usually failed)

James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,746
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

.

When SD became the norm I went to "single use" because the cards are so cheap.

Are you saying that you use a card and keep it when full instead of formatting it for reuse?

Yes. A 64GB card holds 1500 files, and costs less than it used to cost me to buy a 36-exposure roll of film and get it processed (without scaling that for the change in prices or my income since I was shooting lots of film). The cost of storage for my shoots is much less than the cost of driving to the shoot.

My back up of last resort is the card I shot on.

(I still have 4GB cards from c. 2008 although I'm not relying on them working!)

 James O'Neill's gear list:James O'Neill's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +3 more
James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,746
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

The K1 offers a tilting screen, built in GPS and the last word in image quality - though this is more in theory than leaping out of the prints.

Have you compared prints between the K1ii and the K3iii and if so, at what size?

I don't have a K3-iii

So you mean you don't have a K1ii, only a K1?

"Only" Yes. The upgrade here was over-subscribed and then the service company went bust, otherwise I would have taken the upgrade.

I don't think anyone can tell a K1 print from a K1-ii print at normal ISO.

I reckon I could put my best prints from the last dozen years (most A3 size, some A4) on a table at A4 or A3 size and no-one would be able to tell what was K7, K5, K5-iiS or K1. If I chose carefully they wouldn't spot the iPhone ones. 
There are pictures I wouldn't have taken on the phone, or the K7 that I would take on the better cameras, and pictures which failed on the lesser cameras.

If I had K1-ii, K3, and K3-iii to add to the selection would they be easier to pick out ? No.

 James O'Neill's gear list:James O'Neill's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +3 more
Phil A Martin
Phil A Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 6,365
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?
1

James O'Neill wrote:

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

.

When SD became the norm I went to "single use" because the cards are so cheap.

Are you saying that you use a card and keep it when full instead of formatting it for reuse?

Yes. A 64GB card holds 1500 files, and costs less than it used to cost me to buy a 36-exposure roll of film and get it processed (without scaling that for the change in prices or my income since I was shooting lots of film). The cost of storage for my shoots is much less than the cost of driving to the shoot.

My last 128 gb card cost me £40, my 4tb hard drive cost £140 and can store the equivalent of just over 30 128gb cards and that would cost over £1200. Obviously it's your choice but it doesn't seem very economic or convenient to me.

My back up of last resort is the card I shot on.

(I still have 4GB cards from c. 2008 although I'm not relying on them working!)

Phil A Martin
Phil A Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 6,365
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

James O'Neill wrote:

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

The K1 offers a tilting screen, built in GPS and the last word in image quality - though this is more in theory than leaping out of the prints.

Have you compared prints between the K1ii and the K3iii and if so, at what size?

I don't have a K3-iii

So you mean you don't have a K1ii, only a K1?

"Only" Yes. The upgrade here was over-subscribed and then the service company went bust, otherwise I would have taken the upgrade.

I don't think anyone can tell a K1 print from a K1-ii print at normal ISO.

I reckon I could put my best prints from the last dozen years (most A3 size, some A4) on a table at A4 or A3 size and no-one would be able to tell what was K7, K5, K5-iiS or K1. If I chose carefully they wouldn't spot the iPhone ones.

I've not had the opportunity to carry out this test but I feel confident that I would be able to tell.

There are pictures I wouldn't have taken on the phone, or the K7 that I would take on the better cameras, and pictures which failed on the lesser cameras.

If I had K1-ii, K3, and K3-iii to add to the selection would they be easier to pick out ? No.

James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,746
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

Phil A Martin wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

.

When SD became the norm I went to "single use" because the cards are so cheap.

Are you saying that you use a card and keep it when full instead of formatting it for reuse?

Yes. A 64GB card holds 1500 files, and costs less than it used to cost me to buy a 36-exposure roll of film and get it processed (without scaling that for the change in prices or my income since I was shooting lots of film). The cost of storage for my shoots is much less than the cost of driving to the shoot.

My last 128 gb card cost me £40, my 4tb hard drive cost £140 and can store the equivalent of just over 30 128gb cards and that would cost over £1200. Obviously it's your choice but it doesn't seem very economic or convenient to me.

https://www.7dayshop.com/products/kingston-canvas-select-plus-micro-sd-memory-card-100mb-s-uhs-1-u1-a1-v30-class-10-with-adapter-128gb-sdcs2/128gb

Kingston 128GB for £17.29. 64GB is £8.99 Call it 3000 photos for 1800p. 0.6p per photo. When I come to sell the K1 I'll probably get half it's cost back so (I'm guessing )45,000 shots will cost £900- 2p per shot.

Thanks to lockdown the 64GB card which I started in August didn't come out till May, and the one which went in in October I finished this weekend. So even writing to two cards, I've spent less than £20 on storage in the last 10 months. I've driven somewhere over 800 miles to take those pictures, at 25p/mile that's £200. I could probably save the price of the storage by driving a bit slower! Things like Scuba trips start at £1000, so dedicating a £10 memory card to one doesn't register.

I also have a 4TB drive - a bit more than half full, that's my primary back-up. Cards are the last line of defence. It's miles easier to find what I want on the 4TB drive too (was that on the card I started in May or ended in May?) It must have 70-80,000 pictures on it, plus video, but most of those are smaller files than the K1 produces. Still I could get 100,000 K1 Raws on it which is 10-15 years shooting.

FWIW my backup drive policy is buy the biggest drive I can get for about £100. In the time it takes to fill it capacity increases, when it's nearly full buy a new £100 drive copy the last one to it and repeat. That might seem mad too

My back up of last resort is the card I shot on.

(I still have 4GB cards from c. 2008 although I'm not relying on them working!)

 James O'Neill's gear list:James O'Neill's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +3 more
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