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09-10-2020, 08:32 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Fenwoodian's Avatar

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Should Pentax Focus Their Limited R&D Resources On "Stills" Cameras?

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In the last few weeks, I've purchased 3, lightly-used Micro Four Thirds cameras with 4K video capability. I only paid between $200 USD and $300 USD for each of them! One of my small MFT bodies with a native lens is about the size/weight of a Pentax telephoto lens and will fit into one of my coat pockets.

I've tested each of these MFT cameras and they all produce great 4K and terrific FHD videos. I have a couple of Metabones speed boosters, and if I put a good Nikkor full frame lens on a MFT camera with a speed booster, the FHD video sharpens up to near 4K levels! Given that, why would I ever want to use one of my Pentax cameras for FHD video?

Pentax does a great job at making stills cameras (my favorite stills camera remains the Pentax K-1), Given Pentax's limited R&D resources, do you think they should exclusively focus on what they do best - "stills only" bodies, and give up their efforts to incorporate video into their stills cameras?

Take out video from the future new Pentax bodies, charge even less for them, sell more bodies, increase market share...


Last edited by Fenwoodian; 10-15-2020 at 04:16 PM.
09-10-2020, 08:38 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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That's what they have been doing.
09-10-2020, 08:51 AM   #3
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That's not much different from Leica, really.
09-10-2020, 08:58 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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I dont think they spend a lot of time video, it just that the chip that process still include vIdeo and without video, their will be 100 of pages why no video like no flippy screen.

09-10-2020, 09:23 AM - 4 Likes   #5
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I'm not a betting man, but I'd wager video is already towards the bottom of the list in Pentax development priorities. Still, whilst I personally have little need for it, I don't think there's much benefit to Ricoh in removing the capability altogether from Pentax DSLRs. Whilst performance in this area seriously lags behind "the competition", it's still handy enough for casual use, and in the right hands can turn in quite professional results...
09-10-2020, 09:34 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I think Pentax is probably not prioritizing video in any significant way....but we'll know more from the new apsc model, which would be an excellent candidate for upgraded video. My hope is that they will at least keep pace with things around them. I would like to see them do that as video has just now jumped up into my professional work as a significant item. I'll be doing a significant bit of work at the end of the month, in fact. If the new apsc model has significantly improved video from the K1mkII, then it will be on my radar. No longer too interested in having multiple systems in my possession---already have to deal with Canon at work.

With respect to cutting edge tech, we don't need that from Pentax right now in video, imo. Editing what we do with 4K is already taxing enough, and for web output it's arguable that it's even needed. But I do hope Pentax will move into 4K with a decent codec and decent capabilities.
09-10-2020, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #7
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What it comes down to is really do they get more flak for 'feeble' video or for no video. They're never going to keep up with people like Sony and Canon and Panasonic, who make high end video equipment as well, with all the trickle down that gives them, so it will never be better than what the sensor outputs anyway, which people can get better than from a small, light video-oriented camera (if not their phone) anyway. IMHO, if they're brave enough to do away ith the flippy screen and talk about concentrating on the OVF experience, they might as well do away with video as well, and save a few bucks on microphones etc.- as well as creating a few more squre mm of space inside the body for other things
09-10-2020, 10:20 AM - 4 Likes   #8
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I buy stills cameras to do stills, I buy video cameras to do video. In my opinion those that try to do both, Fail.

09-10-2020, 10:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roadboat24 Quote
I buy stills cameras to do stills, I buy video cameras to do video. In my opinion those that try to do both, Fail.
I pretty much agree with this. However, cellphone cameras like iPhone get a lot of sales in part because of their 12-megapixel cameras plus video capability -- which the average person uses a LOT. But in a DSLR, the video really only is important (to me) if I'm going to do an instructional video to post online -- and what's in the recent Pentax cameras are plenty sufficient for that. If I need more, I'll turn to a video-only camera (and my iPhone is plenty fine for most casual videos, not to mention small and easy to handle, despite its obvious limitations).
09-10-2020, 10:43 AM - 1 Like   #10
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As I recall in several of the interviews that PF had with Ricoh representatives at CP+ and other shows in the past they stated Ricoh's emphasis is on still photography with video being lower priority.

I don't think Ricoh should shift their priorities. Do what they do best. Others may feel differently.
09-10-2020, 11:16 AM   #11
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I've shot some video of my kids on my Pentax cameras. Because of the lenses they are nicer that what my phone produces. It doesn't have to be great but its nice to have.
09-10-2020, 12:36 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I've tested each of these MFT cameras and they all produce great 4K and terrific FHD videos. I have a couple of Metabones speed boosters, and if I put a good Nikkor full frame lens on a MFT camera with a speed booster, the FHD video sharpens up to near 4K levels! Given that, why would I ever want to use one of my Pentax cameras for FHD video?
m4/3 excels at video capture. Choose the tool for the job. I do believe that has been majority opinion for some time.

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
Take out video from the future new Pentax bodies, charge even less for them, sell more bodies, increase market share...
I guess it comes down to > how much does rudimentary video capability factor into cost. If negligible, no reason not to leave it in, even if it isn't cutting edge.
>Someone< might get use from it in a pinch. But if the cost for inclusion is appreciable, perhaps more than 5% total cost, then yes, do leave it out. Again,
majority opinion would suggest Pentax users don't want/need video in their stills camera.
09-10-2020, 01:13 PM   #13
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As others have said, I think Pentax is already concentrating on stills more than video. That's not a bad thing, but to be successful at that, wouldn't you have to be significantly better at stills than Canon, Sony, or Panasonic? I love my Pentax cameras, but I'm not sure they're far enough ahead of their competition in the stills category to give up such a common feature as video. Seems like you'd simply be limiting your sales base without offering a very clear advantage to customers.
09-10-2020, 01:20 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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Since Pentax gets off the shelf sensors, those already do video. And I think the codecs are also readily implemented since Pentax don't really do anything with the software (AFAIK the K-1 has neither SR nor AF enabled during video capture for example), so it's basically no work to have rudimentary video capabilities.
09-10-2020, 02:35 PM   #15
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The whole point for Pentax is figuring out how to charge more for their cameras, not less. With the market going in the tank the way it has this year you have to make more money per camera, just to break even.

Video has never really been their thing either. I don't see them making a major investment to sell cheaper cameras.

Beyond which, there is a reason why Olympus couldn't make a go of it and it isn't that they were turning a profit...
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