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02-07-2012, 04:42 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
What about the Junghans Mega 1000?


It's predecessor, the Mega 1, had a convex bulge to the left.

It served no purpose (the antenna was in the wrist strap). I'd say it violates purist design rules, but I can see that some may find it visually pleasing. (I have more trouble imagining someone who finds the snorkel visually appealing. "Quirky", "interesting", "different", "fun", maybe, but "visually appealing", no).

The successor, the "Mega Futura", goes back to the bulge again:
.

AFAIC, there is no question which of the three designs is truly timeless.


Quite possible. But then a good design would have done as well (saving the pay cheque for Newson), right?
I disagree. I wouldn't purchase any one of those watches and find them all equally ugly in their own special way. Maybe they are timelessly ugly?

But this is again the issue of arguing over taste. What appeals to one person from an aesthetic standpoint, is despised by another. Ergonomics are a different story, although once again, there are plenty of nikon/canon users who will tell you flatly that their cameras are just as easy to use/ergonomic as Pentax's. There is no real scale to measure ergonomics for, say, males with average sized hands and women with average size hands. Only individual preferences.

I have showed a number of people photos of the K-01 and most just said "looks like a cool camera." This was particularly true if I just showed the white and black or silver and black versions. It just looks like a camera to them, not really that much different than the other cameras they have seen.

02-07-2012, 04:45 AM - 3 Likes   #77
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This is an interesting thread. I would like to chip in with my thoughts but please don't treat this as a hostile post and please no flame or personal attacks This is just another point of view here.

I work with Architects very closely in my field of work. I am not an Architect however. I am just a lowly engineer. So together, we design buildings like hotels, condominiums, airports, skyscrapers, houses and the like. The Architect is usually directly commissioned by the Client to deliver a architectural masterpiece satisfying all the criteria as stated during the appointment. I have a lot of respect for good Architects in my field. My understanding is that these kind of projects generally falls under 2 broad categories.

1. Projects that are constructed for a single purpose or a single client (such as an airport, a bungalow house, a hotel and perhaps a school) and
2. projects that are constructed for mass production (such as a condominium building, an office building with office lots for sale, etc).

Perhaps lets just narrow the project scope down a bit.

For a bungalow house design say, the Architect will deliver a couple of designs for the client to comment/choose. User opinions are important here as they are the only end user who will occupy that building. The Architect will try to accommodate as best as he can the wishes of the client. Afterall, a happy client is a happy paymaster. So if the Client wanted a house with a 2 storey void and a spiral staircase, I am sure the Architect will create something that works.

For a condominum project, the Client usually has already in mind the type of people they might want to sell to. If it is a medium range condominum, the client may target medium incomers and if it is a luxury condominium, the client may target the high flyers. The Architect may then do market research (often helped by the client's marketing department) to establish the kind of things the target audience may be interested in, in order to differentiate their design from the crowd so to speak. The Architects may or may not do consumer research themselves, i.e. they may not go on the street asking people's opinion what kind of condominium apartment one would like, neither will they go on internet forums soliciting ideas from people like you and me in order to know what floats our boat, and they probably will not setup polls for people to vote what they want and do not want. If they do, they will probably never finish their design ever. We are all individual beings with very different thoughts and needs.

Understanding what the end users want for a project like a condominium is the Client's responsibilities, not the designers themselves. The Architect translate that sets of desires/wants into a workable solution. So if the Client knows that most users wanted a condominium with large kitchens and big balconies and the buyers are prepared to pay money for, this becomes one of the things the Architect has to design for, or at least have to show serious considerations in their design, unless there are physical constrains that render these cannot be done - either due to budget constrains, technical limitations, etc.

Similarly, Marc Newson is appointed by Pentax to deliver a camera design which pentax already knew who they wanted to market for. Pentax has not done a mirrorless body before and they want to make this unique and differentiate themselves from the crowd (pentax's motto is "Be different", is it not?). They may not be able to conceptualize a body that is cool and yet workable within the constrains of the k-mount. So a designer's help is in order here. Why they choose Marc Newson and not someone else? I don't know but why not Marc Newson?

Pentax can design the camera in house of course, but the design may be too monolithic in this case (it will prolly just look like a shrink down K-r if we ask pentax to do it themselves)....this is the reason why we Engineers do not design buildings even though we build them. Engineers are builders. Engineers are not designers, no matter what we think of ourselves.

And Marc Newson now being tasked to design a camera, obviously has a dateline to meet (don't we all) in order not to upset pentax's delivery schedule. Will he be able to go on the most famous and friendly pentax forums on the internet, maybe disguising himself as a user amongst us, soliciting ideas from the forums what pentaxians want and do not want? yes he can. But is he expected to? probably not in my opinion. if a camera maker wants to know what their users think, it should be pentax themselves coming on pentax forums asking users what we want. But that obviously is not happening judging from the many grieves all of us have (me included to some extent).

But saying it is Marc Newson's fault in delivering a design that does not appeal to some, is not a fair statement IMHO. I believe Marc Newson is doing the best he can, given the kind of constrains pentax has given him.

I once had lunch with a few architects from a very well known architectural firm based in London. I respected them because they are good Architects. One of the senior architects shared a joke around the table. He said that he once walked down a street not too far away from one of the buildings he designed (a building he is proud of) and came to a bus stop. There are a couple of locals waiting at the bus stop. So he asked one of them what he thinks of that building up the hill. The guy replied that he never take notice of that building because it is just so boring. He then asked another lady waiting at the bus stop the exact same question and the lady replied that that is one of the most ridiculous building she has ever seen and exclaimed that the Architect must be mad to design something like that. The Architect did not get upset but shared that he just had a good laugh after knowing what others think of his design.

The fact is that a design may not work for everyone. Some may love it, some may be indifferent to it and some may even hate it. But this is okay, because we are all individual beings with different thoughts.

So the pentax k-01 is in my mind a uniquely design camera. It may not be well loved by everyone but let's give Marc Newson some credit of delivering Pentax's first mirrorless camera. Time will tell if the camera really fails in the eyes of pentaxians,

Sorry for the long post

Last edited by raider; 02-07-2012 at 04:53 AM.
02-07-2012, 05:21 AM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
There is another video on yoututbe where Marc Newson does an interview at the event. The interviewer asked Marc whether the consumer input is important and he blantly said that he doesn't like to listen to consumers. For him, his job is to look toward the future and what's next. In that angle, the K-01 makes sense to me, because it is a refreshing look to a old consumer product. We'll just have to see whether this works out in the end.

Also, Marc is a professional, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt on what he thinks makes great design.
Mark is a professional stylist who has NEVER STYLED A CAMERA BEFORE THIS. He apparently doesn't care to listen to consumers, meaning he doesn't care if his designs are functional in the hands of consumers, only that they appeal to his sense of aesthetic.
I happen to be a professional tile setter. Would you trust me to design a jet airplane?
I know I wouldn't. I don't know squat about what makes a good jet airplane. Camera design isn't something best left to furniture stylists.
02-07-2012, 05:26 AM   #79
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Design Principle #11 - Nobody should give a shit what the designers name is

I am prepared to overlook or forgive certain aesthetics as long as the ergonomics and functionality suit my needs. Having not yet held or used one, I have not yet formed an overall opinion about whether it is good design or not. Not sure how some of you have.

But I do feel that it is pretentious of Pentax to draw so much attention to the designer himself. Unless your camera is a fashion accessory then who cares?

There are plenty of interesting features of this camera being overlooked because of the Marc Newson distraction.

No EVF means no K-01 for me, but I wait in anticipation for a future mirrorless body that: feels good to hold, has a viewfinder, is intuitive and convenient to use, accepts all my K-mount lenses and produces great images.

Meanwhile, my K-5 is all of those things and I have no idea what the designers name was!!!


Last edited by Kennod; 02-07-2012 at 05:35 AM.
02-07-2012, 05:52 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
This is an interesting thread. I would like to chip in with my thoughts but please don't treat this as a hostile post and please no flame or personal attacks This is just another point of view here.

I work with Architects very closely in my field of work. I am not an Architect however. I am just a lowly engineer. So together, we design buildings like hotels, condominiums, airports, skyscrapers, houses and the like. The Architect is usually directly commissioned by the Client to deliver a architectural masterpiece satisfying all the criteria as stated during the appointment. I have a lot of respect for good Architects in my field. My understanding is that these kind of projects generally falls under 2 broad categories.
...

The fact is that a design may not work for everyone. Some may love it, some may be indifferent to it and some may even hate it. But this is okay, because we are all individual beings with different thoughts.

So the pentax k-01 is in my mind a uniquely design camera. It may not be well loved by everyone but let's give Marc Newson some credit of delivering Pentax's first mirrorless camera. Time will tell if the camera really fails in the eyes of pentaxians,

Sorry for the long post
Thanks for the thoughtful post. You make a lot of good points. I studied both engineering and architecture - the mindset and POV of these two groups are very different, but the best work comes out of collaboration. My personal preferences are those architects that have a clear sense of engineering (i.e., Rogers, Calatrava, etc...).

Now a joke...
Q. What's the difference between and architect and God?
A. God knows he's not an architect
02-07-2012, 08:43 AM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kennod Quote

But I do feel that it is pretentious of Pentax to draw so much attention to the designer himself. Unless your camera is a fashion accessory then who cares?
But it is. BJP interviewed the Pentax UK General Manager.
QuoteQuote:
BJP: Can you tell us what is the target audience for this camera?

Jonathan Martin: The K-01 is aimed at, first and foremost, the fashion and design market, which we see as a new market for us. But it's also aimed at current Pentax users, who will have the ability of using their current range of Pentax lenses on a brand new product.
So it's primarily a fashion accessory, secondarily a photographic tool for Pentax users.

More:
QuoteQuote:
BJP: What are these mirrorless features that you don't find in a DSLR?

Jonathan Martin: ... design, really. Design.
02-07-2012, 09:49 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
How can you even begin to argue that the iPhone design fails any of the design criteria I listed? Where is it gimmicky? Where is it not ergonomic?

AFAIC, the iPhone design does not violate any of Rams' design principles. It has all the hallmarks of a timeless design, AFAIC.


It depends on where the trail that has been blazed is leading. Those who "object in present" are only perpetuating mediocrity, if the new trail actually is leading somewhere useful. Hopefully the K-01 won't blaze a trail for more cameras with ill-placed exposure compensation buttons.

Did you see me post a criticism of the iPhone design somewhere? Or object to another great design?

Any suggestion of criticism (everyone is invited to enlighten me as to why the K-01 satisfies Rams' rules or what product does not satisfy Rams' rules but still is fantastic) must be coming from a backward thinking, mediocrity-preserving mind? I don't think so.

Perhaps it wasn't in such a nice way of doing it, but I set a trap, and predictably you got caught in it, just the way I thought you would.

For something like the iPhone, it would be awfully difficult to dispute its effectiveness as a design, because it has been so wildly successful. It is just not conducive to an effective argument. I knew that you would say that iPhone is in line with Ram's design principles, and I give you this much, that yes there is enough room in there that the iPhone can be neatly placed within the boundaries of such a principle although I dont know if Jonathan Ive had that in mind or not. Oh, it just came to me - I wonder what he thinks of the design of K-01 . . . What do you think?

I wonder what your take would be on this camera if there was an Apple logo on it, instead of Pentax. You would say that it still sucks, because it is what it is. But it makes me wonder about the truthfulness of what your reply would be, because you seem to say "AFAIC," awfully a lot. It makes you look like creating escape routes in the event that you get stuck.

But, let me throw another trap out there. If iPhone was for whatever reasons not entirely successful, would you still say that iPhone was well designed, or in line with your principle of your choice? My guess is that your answer would be "yes." Am I wrong there? But then you would say that iPhone is successful as such because it meets every criteria, no? If that is the case, coming up with a mega hit is so simple; just confine its design to that of Ram's principle. One will succeed every time. Of course, we all know that is not that simple.

Then, here is another one. Are there products, which meets every criteria that you mentioned, that have not been successful in the market? This one is a little bit more tricky, I would say. I think I know what you are going to say, but I think I will let you answer that one if you want.

Here is yet another one. Are there what is considered timeless designs that have stood the test of time that do not exactly meet Ram's criteria? Do every timeless designs meet every time, or (or even "many" or "most" of the time is adequate with me) meet Ram's criteria? If so, (which I think your answers would be), then which came first? Were the principles derived out of successful designs, or were they purely out of intellectual discipline?

Where I am going with this is, just exactly how important are "design principles?" Does it really matter? Should it matter? Is this what is really needed for every creative endeavor?

Let's just say for the sake of your argument that yes they are "very" important. Then, what I wonder is, should creativity of a designer be restricted to the boundaries of guiding principles? Creativity within the realm of constraints previously set by someone else's observation - is that a good thing? I am not so sure, and I say this by looking at many of the designs of the smart phones. They all pretty much look the same. As a designer (not that I am one), I would hate it if the design principles are dictated by the force or the direction of the market, or worse yet, by someone else's intellectual exercise. What may set a designer apart from the rest, as Newson has done in the past, is to not go along with it. At least I can see that much in the design of K-01. Based on what I have seen, I cannot think of not one designer who has been as "successful" and "creative" as Newson, with the exception of Jonathan Ive of Apple.

It is to a great extent rhetorical. Argument is of no use, really. You can have a discussion and argument on every product designed in the history of mankind, and there will never be consensus. That is what makes product design interesting, and rather mundane at the same time. You cannot diagnose the effectiveness of product design as we diagnose malignancy, or cancer. The gray area is too large. Anyone can choose to live towards opposite or either edges of that gray zone, not that there is anything wrong with it. But there will never be a consensus.

I would say it is mediocre at best to judge the timelessness of its design, when there has barely been a week since the introduction of this camera. Besides, even the value of "timelessness" is debatable. Think about Bauhaus tradition. Timeless? Outdated? It depends on who you ask. Even Leica has, as long as it has been around and considered timeless by many, quirkiness in its design. It does not even have a button dedicated for exposure compensation that you seem to be stuck on . . .

Do I like the design of this camera? I am not sure. I think I do, but I am still not sure, because I have not touched it, or seen it before my eyes yet. I have some reservation about this camera as to how truly beneficial this camera is to the well being of Pentax from the business standpoint. But, as a product design, it is intriguing enough that it makes me want to put my hands on it, just to see how it feels.

Last edited by Fontan; 02-07-2012 at 11:45 AM.
02-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #83
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Offtopic discussion. We Pentax users are a secondary unimportant target.
Fashion matters.

02-07-2012, 10:57 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by edri Quote
Offtopic discussion. We Pentax users are a secondary unimportant target.
Fashion matters.
Of course fashion matters! Do you not remember Andre Agassi's commercials for Canon? "Image is everything!"
02-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #85
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@Fontan @ClassA: The iPhone 4s is an utter failure as a business tool. The applications are not designed for users who work in business. They are designed for kids and their mothers.

Unless I submit my entire being to the iCloud masters I cannot link a Contact to a Calendar Entry. I cannot link a Meeting in Calendar to multiple attendees and send in bulk a reminder email. These are just two examples of fundmental, elementary requirements of a Personal Digital Assistant - they're not optional.

I cannot operate an iPhone the way a business is structured.

I may, however, redesign my business structure so that it neatly fits Apple's design for how I should structure my business. I may, however, take a low-quality picture and send it directly to InstaGram. I may however receive all manner of immediate alerts from all manner of group-users who want me to know iimmediately that they sneezed or went to a restaurant (or the restroom there).

I hate my iPhone 4s. It is so poorly designed that it is nearly useless. It lacks necessary core design philosophy and features that would make it functional.

But it sure looks pretty on my desk. And it sure receives nods of appreciation from my clients.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-07-2012 at 11:16 AM.
02-07-2012, 11:36 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
@Fontan @ClassA: The iPhone is an utter failure as a business tool. The applications are not designed for users who work in business. They are designed for kids and their mothers.

Unless I submit my entire being to the iCloud masters I cannot link a Contact to a Calendar Entry. I cannot link a Meeting in Calendar to multiple attendees and send in bulk a reminder email. These are just two examples of fundmental, elementary requirements of a Personal Digital Assistant - they're not optional.

I cannot operate an iPhone the way a business is structured.

I may, however, redesign my business structure so that it neatly fits Apple's design for how I should structure my business. I may, however, take a low-quality picture and send it directly to InstaGram. I may receive all manner of immediate alerts from all manner of group-users who want me to know iimmediately that they sneezed or went to a restaurant (the restroom there).

I hate my iPhone. It is so poorly designed that it is nearly useless. It lacks necessary core design philosophy and features that would make it functional.

But it sure looks pretty on my desk. And it sure evokes nods of appreciation from my clients.
Well, since I am not in business, I would not know how true that is. But I believe you because I simply know that it is difficult, if not impossible to design a perfect phone for every application out there. And, I hope you and I can at least agree that that was not what Apple tried to set out to do. I think they knew that. Functionality is terribly important, but as we saw with iPhone sales that functionality is obviously not everything with something like a phone, as opposed to, say, surgical instruments where functionality IS nearly if not everything, and design aesthetics is so completely secondary.

So, you cannot (I am not saying "you") judge a product based on design aesthetics alone, because depending on what kind of products we are talking about, there must be a different degree of importance that goes along with it. The most tricky part of product design is to judge that degree of importance associated with the product you are about to sell. When you happen to stumble onto the right mix, you will have a big hit in your hands, as Apple apparently did with iPhone. They are so very good at that, and part of it was that they had in the past some beautifully designed products that bombed in sales. They were observant, and able to swallow their own bitter pills, and turned the business around.

In the field of medicine, iPhone and iPad really have changed the way we do things for the better. We are able to provide better care as a result. In fact, I think that Apple is sitting on a gold mine in the area of medical informatics, because every other product that I have seen in this area for the last 10 years is complete shit. There is such a discord between the hardware and software. They really have the products, resources, and possibility to corner the entire industry.
02-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #87
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IPhone 4s -> Pentax K-01 in @Fontan's reply.

Sent from my iPhone 4s. It's great for what it's meant for <|;>)

[EDIT: Back at my desk]: What I meant by that is that devices have a purpose. One must evaluate the design both aesthetically and functionally in the contect of the intended purpose of the device.

A device such as the iPad in medical use (and to a degree in my business) works best in a static Wi-Fi environment - and the potential applications of the iPad are nearly limitless. In my business we are struggling to find the correct utility of the iPad. I have issues with the device. It is both too large and too small - too heavy and too light. That's just me, of course.

I think as we prospectively evaluate the K-01 we suffer from a lack of complete understanding of the purpose and utility of the device. Pentax may be at fault here in that they havve not told us their conception of its purpose. Perhaps they want the market to find the purpose. It is a challenge for to have an opinion because there is no context for the evaluation. We cannot get outside ourselves and look at the camera from the perspective of its intended user, so we are forced to evaluate it completely within our own set of needs. Since our group is made up of experienced photographers with complex needs a simple camera will almost always be found lacking. This has certainly stirred passions!!

In my view the camera is not intended to satisfy the needs of enthusiast amateurs and professional photographers. It doesn't have the physical features they demand for their businesses / busineslike hobby. Rather it is a simplified version of a higher-spec. tool, intended for users who are entering the realm of higher quality images and video (which it will produce) but retaining a familiar operating feel.

Alternatively it may be considered a simpler version of a high-spec camera designed for a limited set of uses for more accomplished photographers.

An analogy might be the Olympus XA, which was a cutting-edge aesthetic design in its day, was pocketable, had a very high spec. lens, meter, shutter, a self-timer, etc, took really good pictures - a camera for a pro's busman's holiday - but had an awful flash - a nearly useless flash - a fixed focal length.

The K-01 won't create markets for itself the way recent Apple products have but it certainly might move some users like me and my wife up the scale of utility from simple point and shoot cameras.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-07-2012 at 01:29 PM.
02-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The K-01's design either meets Rams' criteria or it doesn't. Doesn't depend on my expertise. How do you argue that my reasoning is wrong?


Your reasoning isn't wrong, it's fundamentally flawed. Only Dieter Rams can determine if the design of the K-01 meets his criteria! That judgement also completely and entirely depends on expertise, and remains subjective.

I agree that his principles are a great way to start a conversation about design (and I wish that's where this thread went), but using them to defend an opinion in absolute terms (it "either meets Rams' criteria or it doesn't") makes it appear your personal opinion of design needs external validation. Design is a deeply personal creative process, and the intention is that design appreciation will also be a personal process (you know, holding the object and experiencing its function!), not something that is freed from critical thought by spending enough money or reading someone else's opinions... or principles.
02-07-2012, 12:22 PM - 1 Like   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Of course fashion matters! Do you not remember Andre Agassi's commercials for Canon? "Image is everything!"
Then of course there's Ashton Kutcher...

[TaoMass, the following rant is not aimed specifically at you, so please don't take it that way]

[RANT=ON]
It's no coincidence that the two most successful brands of the last 20 years are the ones that market in ways that "serious" photographers look down upon. That success, of course, has enabled Canon and Nikon pour money into lens and camera development at the top end.

One of the common complaints about Pentax is that they don't know how to market. Then the K-01 comes along - a camera literally built with the marketing potential to introduce whole new audiences to our moribund brand - and how do we respond? This virtual gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands is tragic and comic at the same time and reminds me that fanboys come in two flavors, lover and haters. I'm beginning to think that Pentax's "golden handcuffs" isn't the K-mount but rather its owners.

Don't like the camera? Fine. Don't buy it. Don't like where Pentax is heading? Fine. Move on, or submit your CV and grab an oar instead of armchair quarterbacking. But they've committed to their tagline "Be Interesting" with colored dSLRs, affordable MF, and creative mirrorless. And now they have some capital from a brand known for their own quirkiness (yes, GXR, I'm looking at you).

I suspect that it's about to get even more interesting in the coming years, not less. If you're not ready for the ride, you may want to get off at the next stop.
[RANT=OFF]

There, I feel better now.
02-07-2012, 12:28 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Then of course there's Ashton Kutcher...

[TaoMass, the following rant is not aimed specifically at you, so please don't take it that way]

[RANT=ON]
It's no coincidence that the two most successful brands of the last 20 years are the ones that market in ways that "serious" photographers look down upon. That success, of course, has enabled Canon and Nikon pour money into lens and camera development at the top end.

One of the common complaints about Pentax is that they don't know how to market. Then the K-01 comes along - a camera literally built with the marketing potential to introduce whole new audiences to our moribund brand - and how do we respond? This virtual gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands is tragic and comic at the same time and reminds me that fanboys come in two flavors, lover and haters. I'm beginning to think that Pentax's "golden handcuffs" isn't the K-mount but rather its owners.

Don't like the camera? Fine. Don't buy it. Don't like where Pentax is heading? Fine. Move on, or submit your CV and grab an oar instead of armchair quarterbacking. But they've committed to their tagline "Be Interesting" with colored dSLRs, affordable MF, and creative mirrorless. And now they have some capital from a brand known for their own quirkiness (yes, GXR, I'm looking at you).

I suspect that it's about to get even more interesting in the coming years, not less. If you're not ready for the ride, you may want to get off at the next stop.
[RANT=OFF]

There, I feel better now.

I doubt they will be impressed by my CV though . . . Otherwise I would!
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