Tilting The Screen

on May 17, 2016

Older members of the readership will remember the 1980 movie " Flash Gordon " with the fight between Flash and the hawk men on a tilting tabletop. It was a pivotal point in my life...pun intended... as it was the first concrete illustration of the university education system I had ever seen. I still have Flash backs...

Well, university aside, the tilting tabletop is the best way to understand the new LCD screen mechanism on the Pentax K-1.

We've seen LCD screens in various forms since the inception of digital photography and they have gotten bigger, brighter, more detailed, and more useful all along. A few years ago they started to move - makers attached them to panels that swung out to the side of the camera. Then the panels were made to swivel at the same time and eventually they got to the point where they could go from being turned into the body of the camera to pointing straight forward.

Not content with this, other makers made the screens tilt - up, down, and eventually right forward again. It was all very good, but it really was only a help when the care was held in the landscape orientation - if you went to portrait position you still had to peer sideways and wonder.

An aside. Old Hasselblad and Rollei photographers like me can peer sideways like owls. We had to do it with the waist level finders on the old film cameras and we've developed the knack. Still makes us look silly, though.

Okay. Pentax have taken a leaf from the makers of some monitor screens and attached the LCD assembly to the back of the new K-1 camera with four struts. This means it can go in far more positions for viewing without being stuck out of the side of the camera on a flimsy plastic swivel. You can sight through it in portrait mode without twisting your neck off. No small advantage in candid photography and an absolute godsend in tripod work in a studio. Note: once it goes to the end of he swivel arms it tilts up even further.

I get the feeling that Pentax designers are human beings who take their own pictures in real life with their own design of cameras. And they pay attention to how their own hands work and how they feel. Let us all applaud them with our hands.

Then let us dive this hands into our pockets and fish up a wallet. This camera is in the shop right now - come play with it or order it on-line.