2015 Pentax Interview Transcript
Today we are happy to present the transcript of our video interview with Ricoh Imaging representatives at CP+ 2015. Below you will also find additional informal questions and details not found in the video.
Our interview consisted of 19 formal questions as well as a number of off-camera clarifications.
1. Do you have any thoughts to share with fans that eagerly await the full-frame launch?
To tell the truth, I was relieved because many camera fans didn't say that it's too late. I am very glad to hear the posted comments from Pentax fans. Thank you for waiting for a long time!
2. What kind of users will the new full-frame Pentax DSLR be aimed at? How will it stand out alongside the competition?
The first users are Pentax fans. Besides, it's important to get back Pentax users from competitors. Therefore, it's natural to make it have many strengths of Pentax. Besides, it's important to have attractive new features which other competitors don't have.
3. What do you think is the most suitable resolution for DSLRs with full-frame sensors?
I think the suitable resolution is changing according to the sensor technology and the environment to handle the image data.
4. Can users expect more full-frame compatible lenses to become available together with the launch of the full-frame DSLR?
We are going to develop D-FA lenses as soon as possible. You can see the new lenses on the newest roadmap.
5. Do you have plans to re-launch or update any FA-series lenses, or will you be focusing on new designs going forward?
We are going to design new lenses, basically; however we are also going to develop/re-design some FA lenses that have a good resolution performance.
6. How would DA lenses lenses with 35mm image circle coverage be handled via the in-body crop function Will you change any existing lens designations/specifications?
It's true that some DA lenses cover the full-frame image circle. However, we make it a priority to design and develop new lenses rather than to redesign DA lenses.
Off-camera clarification: the way the cropping system will work is not yet finalized. We may or may not allow full manual shutoff, but the crop the camera selects will depend on the lens. For example, the DA 12-24mm may have the APS-C crop while the DA* 55 or 200 will have no crop at all. This is not final, but this the aim.
7. Do you plan to reintroduce the aperture coupler in the Pentax full-frame body so that legacy lenses can meter without having to stop down?
I think it's important but it's difficult because of the limited space.
8. How would you describe the response to the Pentax K-S1?
With the K-S1 we tried to attract non-Pentax users mainly. In that sense we had a very nice challenge, but for that, so far, we couldn't get the return we expected.
9. Do you have plans to improve the speed of the SAFOX autofocus?
AF performance in the K-S2 has been improved. We are improving the speed once more. The new telephoto lenses have a high speed actuator and a newly-developed algorithm, so you can use them comfortably.
10. The Pentax lens lineup still lacks products such as leaf shutter lenses, tilt/shift lenses, and extension tubes. Is this an area you feel is important to expand?
It's important, especially for the 645 series, so we are considering them.
11. Why is wired tethering not possible with the Pentax K-3? Do you plan to offer this feature in the future, i.e. via Image Transmitter 2?
Image Transmitter 2 was developed for the 645Z. However, some K-3 users are requesting it. Therefore, we are considering it with a firmware upgrade.
12. As industry trends change, do you have plans to continue pursuing more consumer imaging gadgets like the Ricoh Theta?
Of course it's important to expand photo capture with new imaging gadgets.
13. Would it be possible to leverage the SR mechanism to increase the effective resolution of a Pentax DSLR?
We have tried to increase the effective pixels with shake reduction. But the data size is big and image quality is not improved. So we are now trying to improve the resolution performance without increasing the effective pixels.
14. Do you have any comments in response to the technical feature suggestions presented by our users?
It's really nice to listen to the end users because they have their requests or expectations, we study carefully, then, depending on the necessity or the requirement, we might consider to implement onto the firmware upgrade.
15. Why has Ricoh Imaging decided to launch the full-frame DSLR now (as opposed to earlier)?
As you know we have a lot of K-mount series fans as well as 645 mount, so we had valued our existing customers and we believe that time has matured and it's a really nice time to release the full-frame for those who are waiting for it.
16. How does the size of the Japanese market for Pentax and Ricoh cameras compare to international markets?
Frankly the composition of the Japan market for Pentax/Ricoh is larger than the global market.
17. Has the Ricoh Imaging international market share for ILC's increased over the course of the past two years?
As you know the market itself been has really drastically decreasing. We are faced with that trouble but we are safer than the total market trend.
18. Does Pentax see some advantages to partnering up with sensor manufacturers other than Sony?
The selection of the sensors is purely for our engineers to make our product more attractive. We are not attaching to the A brand or B brand, so it's the matter of what kind of performance that the device will provide.
19. Would you like to share any closing remarks with the community?
Both us are really thankful for this interviews and after the launch of the full-frame, everyone will be excited, so please be happy until the product comes into your hand.
Thank you for waiting for the Pentax full frame camera for a very long time. I invite you to look forward to a very attractive camera and lenses. Thank you!
These questions were asked following the recorded interview. Responses are paraphrased.
1. Do you plan to release updated bodies for the Pentax Q lineup?
We are still developing the Q system, but are now concentrating all efforts on full-frame development. This includes lenses. The full-frame system is a priority.
2. Similarly, do you have plans to expand and improve your video capabilities?
Users have been requesting video improvements, and they are being developed. The Pentax K-S2 is already the best consumer Pentax body (to date) for video.
3. Can you comment on the size of the Pentax full-frame DSLR?
We do not have a final size for the full-frame, but it should not be much larger than the K-3.
User Suggestions for Pentax ILC's
- Enable focus peaking during recording
- Add continuous AF / on-sensor PDAF
- More file formats, higher video & audio quality
- Improve stabilization (sensor-shift or in-lens)
- Improve focus peaking options (as on the Ricoh GR)
- Prevent the mirror from coming down when the user enters the control panel screen
- Improve SAFOX AF speed / tracking algorithm
- Improve viewfinder overlay display
- Allow primary SD card slot selection on cameras with dual slots (via firmware)
- Enable USB tethering
- All the user to use live view AF to help set PDAF autofocus fine adjustments
- Add auto composition adjustment bracketing / image merging
- Speed up image deletion (1 sec waiting period is unnecessary)
- Speed up TIFF shooting
- Enable longer bulb exposure for astrophotograhy purposes
- Use higher-resolution LCD screens
- Improve battery life
- Add wireless / social features