29 March 2015

future technical difficulties

After spending much of yesterday setting up an old computer in a new place and allowing it to massively update itself, it's now refusing to power up.  No pretty lights, no beep - nothing.  Maybe I unwired something when I put the case back on, though that seems unlikely.  Drat, more effort needs to be spent on a 'simple' project.. I hate that.

As to my dueling camera kits, both Pentax and Samsung technology folks are making excellent arguments as they seek to be my future 'primary camera'!
  • Samsung captured my attention with the NX300 for its minimal size (both body and primes like the 30/2), on-chip AF that's speedy for stills and video, its generally fine image talent - and its ability to use my K lenses effectively.  The newer 28Mpx backlit sensor of the NX1/NX500 holds up very well in real tests, though for no clear reason DxO has chosen to take its time reviewing this unique large backlit sensor.  Toss in the impressive 4k video abilities of the new cameras, even though my video usage is rare.  However - since Samsung can grab video frames on the fly for still use, this 'trick' has many advantages as a pseudo-burst mode, and for macros you can shift focus in and out then grab the most interesting focal plane from your video as your final image.  We'll call it a pseudo-Lytro effect. Samsung's technical group is taking cameras seriously, no doubt about it.
  • And then Pentax comes along with another sensor-shift surprise: tiny shifts between four images can yield full-color RGB data on each pixel.  The result is claimed to be a pseudo-Foveon effect like Sigma's sensor captures (not hyper-pixel files like Olympus has just introduced).  If the Foveon claims a 19Mpx image is effectively 38Mpx, then what does Pentax' shifted 20/24Mpx produce?  Something like Olympus claims, in fact.. curious!  And with lower noise than Foveon?   And then with a smile and wink the Pentax engineers hint that current users will not be left out - implying that a firmware update could bring this down to other cameras with micro-SR abilities (K-3, K-s1/s2.. perhaps K-5 II series?).  Another reason to pick up a K-s1 as prices head toward an inevitable clearance?  Or just what they want me to think so they can offload slightly older bodies??  Clearly the Ricoh R&D department is not resting either.
Since the Unfortunate Budget Reduction Act of 2015 was approved, the discussion isn't immediately relevant to me.  At some point Pentax will acquire the on-chip PDAF with a Sony (or ??) sensor inside, rendering some of Samsung's advantages moot-ish - but Pentax clearly states they're not much interested in pushing video capabilities so NX will continue to prevail there.  Samsung is showing some amazing gear - but they are now aiming to sell 2-kilogram $1500 lenses.. thank you, but no.  The cameras announced this year by both companies will be far less expensive by the time I might begin to reinvest.  Interesting times indeed!

While it's not a terrible thing to have a foot in both systems, it clearly causes more distractions.
At least I'm only in two systems!