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02-24-2014, 10:55 AM   #1
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A Semi-professional Pentax Mirrorless...Please?

I currently own a Pentex K-5. Prior to purchasing this, I considered several mirrorless camera options. Many of these are small, fast, and they really pack a lot of options. Several times I have considered selling my K-5 because I have not been able to save money to buy any additional lenses. I also like all of the updated technology offered in many of the newer mirrorless cameras. The more I thought about it the more it made sense to stick with my K-5. Although it may not have all of the fancy options that some of the newer cameras have, you just can't be its image quality.

Still it would be nice to see Pentex competing in this emerging market. It seems like more and more photographers will be moving to this technology, and I would hate for Pentex to be left behind. The K-01 was a great idea and a great start, but it didn't last very long. Curious to see what happens, and hoping that Pentax can capture more market share.

02-24-2014, 10:58 AM   #2
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Of course, it needs to have an add-on EVF ....
02-24-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
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Yes, but not a cheap, crappy one...
02-24-2014, 01:15 PM   #4
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...Maybe take a page from Leica and simply re-badge the current Olympus external EVF? I couldn't guess how the marketing geniuses at Ricoh Imaging might add up the plusses and minuses in that case... nor, of course, how Olympus might regard the same. But they could use the extra bucks, for sure. I might suggest that the Japanese camera industry spends quite a lot of its resources re-inventing the wheel to little gain as regards innovation. Well, in any event, we Pentaxians do have a notable proclivity for optimistic dreaming... between occasional bouts of anxiety over "future shock". ...And, then, I already have my VF-4 (heh, heh...). Bring it on, Ricoh.

02-24-2014, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by KevinE Quote
The K-01 was a great idea and a great start, but it didn't last very long.
Mine seems to be lasting well.
02-24-2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Simple solution - place the mini-HDMI (or Thunderbolt/Displayport) under hotshoe, allow for an EVF (which connects through mini-HDMI or other) or monitor to handle LiveView, then watch the sales take off.....
02-28-2014, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #7
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K-02 - what it should be, wish list

I really hope Ricoh-Pentax are paying attention to the latest mirrorless offerings from Fuji, Sony and Olympus.
The X-T1 and a6000 both have a lot of desireable features and both perform very well.
They only lack one thing to make them nearly perfect, in-body-stabilization.

So Ricoh-Pentax, if you're listening...
I'd like a K-02 with an EVF that's at least as good as the one in the a6000, if not like the one in the X-T1 with a live histogram so we can easily see what's happening with the exposure.

Also, make it:
- weather-sealed like the X-T1
- shake-reduction IBIS like other Pentax bodies
- SHORT flange distance so I can use ANYBODY'S lenses on it with an adapter, including K-mount.
- good battery life (300+) using the same battery K-01 and K5 series use
- good high ISO performance and the ability to focus in dim light
- phase + contrast AF with speed comparable to SLR and useful for video
- built in electronic horizon and auto-level options like the K series
- global shutter, if possible, for excellent video up to 60fps at 4k resolution
- full frame sensor with a 1.5 crop mode would be icing on the cake but I know short flange distance and corner performance with a FF sensor is a huge challenge.
- selectable SR-based AA filter simulation like the K3
- all other great features from recent K-series bodies.

As much as I think the K-01 was a good camera, it could have been FAR more useful with an EVF and a short flange/register distance.

Here's a chance to do it right. And announce it before this year's Photokina so we'll have something to look forward to and then you'll lose fewer customers to the competition this summer while giving your existing user base something to cheer about. (I say as I wait for my X-t1 to arrive to join 4 other Fuji X-bodies)

Last edited by aglet; 02-28-2014 at 04:12 PM. Reason: added title
02-28-2014, 05:55 PM   #8
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So what does it cost?

QuoteOriginally posted by aglet Quote
I really hope Ricoh-Pentax are paying attention to the latest mirrorless offerings from Fuji, Sony and Olympus.
The X-T1 and a6000 both have a lot of desireable features and both perform very well.
They only lack one thing to make them nearly perfect, in-body-stabilization.

So Ricoh-Pentax, if you're listening...
I'd like a K-02 with an EVF that's at least as good as the one in the a6000, if not like the one in the X-T1 with a live histogram so we can easily see what's happening with the exposure.

Also, make it:
- weather-sealed like the X-T1
- shake-reduction IBIS like other Pentax bodies
- SHORT flange distance so I can use ANYBODY'S lenses on it with an adapter, including K-mount.
- good battery life (300+) using the same battery K-01 and K5 series use
- good high ISO performance and the ability to focus in dim light
- phase + contrast AF with speed comparable to SLR and useful for video
- built in electronic horizon and auto-level options like the K series
- global shutter, if possible, for excellent video up to 60fps at 4k resolution
- full frame sensor with a 1.5 crop mode would be icing on the cake but I know short flange distance and corner performance with a FF sensor is a huge challenge.
- selectable SR-based AA filter simulation like the K3
- all other great features from recent K-series bodies.

As much as I think the K-01 was a good camera, it could have been FAR more useful with an EVF and a short flange/register distance.

Here's a chance to do it right. And announce it before this year's Photokina so we'll have something to look forward to and then you'll lose fewer customers to the competition this summer while giving your existing user base something to cheer about. (I say as I wait for my X-t1 to arrive to join 4 other Fuji X-bodies)


02-28-2014, 09:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
So what does it cost?
Price it 80% of the K3, cuz it'll cost less to manufacture.
03-01-2014, 05:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aglet Quote
- SHORT flange distance so I can use ANYBODY'S lenses on it with an adapter, including K-mount.
No. No, no, no...

To be fair, I thought that too for a while, but eventually I realized why it was a bad idea. Pentax are already supporting Q, K and 645 mounts, and they are about to dive back in full-frame K, which will require some updated lenses. Adding yet a fourth lens-mount standard.... It's too much! They can do what they need with the three they already have. If you want to go small, that's what the Q system is for, and it does small better than anyone else.

Neither do I see an urgent need to use adapted glass (with limited functionality) from every other lens ecosystem. I've got plenty of K lenses to play with. They're good.
03-01-2014, 05:32 AM   #11
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No need to add a new lens mount. Rather than having adapters they could make interchangeable lens mounts. Put differently the flange on the camera itself would not be meant to fit to any lens directly but instead to a flange adapter. The 'default' adapter would be the k-mount adapter.

So to use K-mount lenses you install the K-mount flange, whereas for other mounts you mount a different flange, rather than mounting an adapter onto a k-flange (or to a new type of lens mount)

To use another type of lens the k-Mount flange is removed and replaced with one of the other lens mount.

That being said it is already possible to use various lenses having short flange distance with the K-01 since the absence of a mirror allows lenses to protrude into what would have been the mirror box. The only limitation is that the diameter of the neck of the lens needs to be smaller than the inner diameter of the k-mount, to allow the back of the lens to be recessed into the body of the K-01. There could be a problem though with regards to making the lense's aperture ring unreachable.
03-01-2014, 06:40 AM   #12
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For what earthly reason would a company with a long lens designing and manufacturing tradition and some game-changing patents (Super Multi Coating - granted, they bought it, but they owned it) want to intentionally enable everyone else' lens mounts?

The camera is still just a light-tight box. Lenses are where the money and creativity is.
03-01-2014, 01:46 PM   #13
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How to make a better K-mount mirrorless

@ Tony Belding
K, Q and 645 mounts are all quite different, no confusion, very different systems. I think a variation of an existing mount is workable.
I'd suggest what this could use is a short register K mount, I'll call it "Ks." It can be exactly the same size and detail as normal K mount. Use legacy K lenses with a simple extension tube containing electrical contacts. Aperture-lever requirements could be managed manually, possibly automatically if they care to continue this method of aperture control but I'd say this would be a good opportunity to abandon the aperture lever and go all electronic like in the Q and newer K lenses.
You could also adapt 645 lenses to this Ks mount, even with tilt-shift ability!
You can even get some tilt-shift ability with legacy FF K (or other format) glass on this new Ks mount.
Oh, and every other 35mm format lens mount around would also work, at least in manual mode, with an adapter. People using EOS M, Fuji X, Sony E and MFT mounts are enjoying this ability already. It would be a disadvantage to restrict a new Pentax Mirrorless to K-mount only when other brands offer such flexibility.
Native Ks mount lenses could be very small pancake types, even screw-drive AF still possible for legacy support.
The (diffraction limited) Q, for all its abilities, is still not comparable to a larger APS-C sensor camera for per-pixel sharpness and low-light ability. Q7's only a bit better.

@lister6520
yes, that's one good way to do it. use something like a dovetail mount, slides in from the left side (or bottom) with a lockdown screw to prevent any tilt misalignment.
This would be a more complex and costly ecosystem to support, but could be very versatile and even allow FULL lens functionality for any current mount. Licensing issues?..
I think a bayonet system is cheaper to implement and won't have shades of the Ricoh GXR system.

@ monochrome
The reason would be increasing market and mind share, something they haven't been able to do very effectively despite having some of the best DSLR products and innovative compacts available.
This would not hurt Pentax lens sales compared to a huge number of people who currently ignore the system completely because they're not sure what benefits it has over the alternatives. It miay actually open up a bit more of a lens market for those wanting to stay with OEM lenses.
Plainly, there's lots of room for market share to improve. I see an extremely capable mirrorless body as a gateway to not only enhanced creative options with Pentax lenses, but as an ambassador of sorts, allowing people to use it with a variety of lenses for a variety of purposes. If it can do very good video, and I mean it needs to excel at this as well as stills, then it'll gain some extra traction with the low budget video production crowd are now happily buying Canon, Nikon and Sony products.
Full WiFi ability, NFC, maybe touch-screen interface, and some other tricks would also enhance the product's market appeal to younger users.

Ricoh Pentax has the ability to produce such a product. I don't think it would cost much more R&D than some other mirrorless or SLR product, and the payback could really launch them to better market share.
The original K-01 is an excellent camera handicapped by no EVF, jelly video, and the longest register distance around, making it unappealing to nigh impossible to use lenses other than K mount.
They could get it right next time or lose this burgeoning segment to the competition who are already on track with viable products tho each has their own handicap.
A Ks-02 could scoop all the capabilities and be highly competitive.

I hope to have a chat with my local rep sometime in April. He's very good at not telling me anything.
But a twinkle in the eye can belie the silence if the correct questions are asked. From a previous encounter, discussing the merits of short-register mirrorless like Fuji's X-mount, I got a sense this is a direction Ricoh Pentax might also be considering.

Last edited by aglet; 03-01-2014 at 01:59 PM. Reason: typo fix
03-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by aglet Quote
@ Tony Belding
K, Q and 645 mounts are all quite different, no confusion, very different systems. I think a variation of an existing mount is workable.
I'd suggest what this could use is a short register K mount, I'll call it "Ks." It can be exactly the same size and detail as normal K mount. Use legacy K lenses with a simple extension tube containing electrical contacts. Aperture-lever requirements could be managed manually, possibly automatically if they care to continue this method of aperture control but I'd say this would be a good opportunity to abandon the aperture lever and go all electronic like in the Q and newer K lenses.
Yes. That is exactly the idea I had some weeks ago, and I pondered it carefully, and it does seem appealing, but at the end decided it's a bad idea.

You say "no confusion", but the K-mount alone is already so confusing that we need a compatibility chart to figure out what features on what lenses work with what bodies. It's not exactly noob-friendly in that way. It's not really about confusion, though. It's more about resources. I don't know any other company that is already supporting three complete lens mounts. Adding another to the roster seems like a bridge too far -- especially when they've already got big, medium and small, just like the three bears. What use case does that not cover?

The idea that Pentax could eventually have both pentaprism DSLRs and mirrorless-with-EVF cameras using exactly the same lenses is intriguing. They could have the smoothest possible transition to mirrorless technology for both the company and users. It's just possible that DSLRs may not be rapidly and completely replaced by EVILs after all, and that the pentaprism may be with us for a long time to come. With the existing K-mount they can support both approaches as far into the future as needed.


QuoteQuote:
Oh, and every other 35mm format lens mount around would also work, at least in manual mode, with an adapter. People using EOS M, Fuji X, Sony E and MFT mounts are enjoying this ability already. It would be a disadvantage to restrict a new Pentax Mirrorless to K-mount only when other brands offer such flexibility.
To me, that's a gimmick. It's a stunt that a small group of camera geeks do mainly for kicks. For Ricoh to make business decisions based on that would be folly.


QuoteQuote:
Native Ks mount lenses could be very small pancake types, even screw-drive AF still possible for legacy support.
If small is your thing, that's what Q is for.


QuoteQuote:
The (diffraction limited) Q, for all its abilities, is still not comparable to a larger APS-C sensor camera for per-pixel sharpness and low-light ability. Q7's only a bit better.
It's not bad, and it's going to get even better. Diffraction is why you have a built-in ND filter, so you can use that instead of stopping way down. And low-light ability is where there are still improvements coming down the sensor-technology pipeline. Of course, at the end of the day every system has some compromises. Q is one compromise and K is another. The question is whether there's an urgent need for yet another in between those two, but I don't think there's a strong case for it.
08-28-2015, 11:54 PM - 1 Like   #15
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18 months later, Sony's kicking some butt with the A7 series, in good part because of the short register distance & IBIS providing buyers with excellent image quality and lots of lens flexibility, included full aperture, OIS and AF for many of them.
Ricoh-Pentax may have missed that boat I suggested they build.
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