Clean ISO3200 + Image Stabilization + Manual Focus with Peaking + QuietShutter = Undisturbed Kitty

Via Flickr:
Pentax K-01 with DA40mm F2.8 Limited @ ISO3200, F2.8, 1/20s. Nate had no idea I was stalking him. Nor does he know how many photos of him are on the Interwebs.
While this works for sleeping cats and flowers, the K-01 needs two things in order to be a stealthy street camera:
  • SDM lenses. As much as I love the DA Limiteds - they are jewels - they are screw-driven and thus make noise. Most of the time it's not objectionable, but everyone once in a while the camera fails to snap to focus and runs the lens through it's whole range of focus before locking in. Depending upon the situation, people may or may not hear that, but I sure do, and it makes me worry that others do. SDM lenses, with internal motors are virtually silent, and neatly solve this problem. Currently, SDM motors are used in many of Pentax zooms and some of the longer primes. The shortest prime with SDM is the 55/1.4, which is unfortunately a focal length I don't really get along with. I'll be the first in line if Pentax releases a set of SDM primes in the focal lengths I like - like the DA Limited 15, 21, 35, 40, 70.
  • Greater than 1 FPS in RAW. This is a real buzz kill. I often shoot photojournalist projects of public figures. When with them, there are events that I like to capture - a handshake, a discussion, a tense moment, etc. This shot, for example, was taken in 2009 with the K-20d:
  • Jets Tailgate, Meadowlands

    Could I have taken this shot with the K-01?

    IQ-wise? Yes. Most decidedly so.

    Decisive-moment-wise? Maybe. My chances would improve with JPG, and in a situation like this I'd likely be forced to. The excellent AWB helps, but I really would prefer RAW.

Ultimately, the K-01 is "that" close to being a great camera for that kind of photography...

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