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09-04-2019, 02:36 AM   #1
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How hard would it be...

to develop a MLC based on the GRIII frame bundled with a select number of the very best re-purposed DA limited primes? That would put Pentax/Ricoh back in the mirrorless game and provide them with additional time to work on AF for the remainder of their offerings.

09-04-2019, 02:48 AM   #2
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How hard would it be... to make it at any cost, or to make it while meeting certain targets (of sales, expenses...)? How about the opportunity cost, compared to other projects they're working on?
Ricoh Imaging's goals are more complex than "must have mirrorless".
09-04-2019, 02:51 AM - 1 Like   #3
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It's an interesting idea... though rather a lot of work. For a start, there's the AF screw-drive, aperture control and EVF to add in. That would take up quite a bit of space and have greater power requirements, so a bigger battery would be necessary. I doubt they could keep the GRIII frame - they would need something bigger.

A more realistic option, IMHO, would be to take the KP, remove the mirror and PDAF assemblies, shave off the mirror box, reposition the aperture control, and fit an EVF where the existing OVF is. All of which sounds quite straightforward, but it's actually a significant redesign requiring (I'd guess) lots of new components

EDIT: The design, prototyping, testing and tooling would, I believe, cost no less - in both time and money - than another DSLR to continue Ricoh's chosen Pentax path...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 09-04-2019 at 03:01 AM.
09-04-2019, 02:55 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Moved to Pentax Mirrorless Cameras forum (as neither news nor rumour)

09-04-2019, 02:56 AM - 1 Like   #5
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They have been in business since 1936, and have made cameras like the k1, 645z... so I’d imagine that would be a piece of cake.
09-04-2019, 02:59 AM   #6
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I have often wondered about the same thing. The basic building blocks for a good MILC are there, why not take it further? A proper MILC would need a new lens mount. Perhaps a K-01 II can be done. Just make sure that it has an EVF this time. As for weird looks, we can live with that.
09-04-2019, 03:04 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
How hard would it be... to make it at any cost, or to make it while meeting certain targets (of sales, expenses...)? How about the opportunity cost, compared to other projects they're working on?
Ricoh Imaging's goals are more complex than "must have mirrorless".
Good points. I am not a member of the grumbling masses but it seems to me that Pentax is now a niche brand without the resources to compete on the basis of lens offerings or a diverse range of camera bodies. But they do have a number of small, high quality primes that would fit nicely with a really compact apsc sized body. I frequently travel by motorcycle and my entire topcase is devoted to either my K-1 or K-3, tripod and an assortment of lenses. It would be nice to have a smaller frame with a few really good primes but I could probably accomplish much of this by acquiring a smaller camera bag and paring down my list of travel lenses. I am hopeful that we see signs of life around the Anniversary celebration.
09-04-2019, 03:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRT Quote
Good points. I am not a member of the grumbling masses minority
Fixed that for you

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRT Quote
but it seems to me that Pentax is now a niche brand without the resources to compete on the basis of lens offerings or a diverse range of camera bodies.
At this point, I really don't think Ricoh / Pentax is even trying to compete with anyone else. It occupies its own niche that most (not all, but most) existing users are happy with, a few off-brand folks will "get" and switch to, and the rest, who think we're all deluded and Pentax is in its death throes

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRT Quote
But they do have a number of small, high quality primes that would fit nicely with a really compact apsc sized body. I frequently travel by motorcycle and my entire topcase is devoted to either my K-1 or K-3, tripod and an assortment of lenses. It would be nice to have a smaller frame with a few really good primes but I could probably accomplish much of this by acquiring a smaller camera bag and paring down my list of travel lenses.
It's a nice thought, but without redesign of the lenses, the mirrorless versions would simply have lens body extensions to position the optical elements far enough away from the sensor (as Sigma did with some of its lenses for E-mount initially). And then, the saving in size for a camera / lens combo is more of an illusion than reality.

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRT Quote
I am hopeful that we see signs of life around the Anniversary celebration.
I think we might see some new products, but I wouldn't be optimistic for a MILC. Still, anything could happen, I guess


Last edited by BigMackCam; 09-04-2019 at 03:22 AM.
09-04-2019, 03:14 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRT Quote
I frequently travel by motorcycle and my entire topcase is devoted to either my K-1 or K-3, tripod and an assortment of lenses. It would be nice to have a smaller frame with a few really good primes but I could probably accomplish much of this by acquiring a smaller camera bag and paring down my list of travel lenses.
We could ask Ricoh to make a collapsible camera, with a front plate that extends and retracts flat, so that the camera folded is flat like a smartphone. That would that time to develop.
In the meantime, you could decide not to take the tripod on your motorbike trips, this would save you a lot more space than a new Pentax camera.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-04-2019 at 03:20 AM.
09-04-2019, 03:18 AM   #10
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The thing is, IMO Pentax/Ricoh Imaging can much more easily compete on the DSLR market - advantage their loyal user base - than on the much more crowded, much more competitive MILC market. Particularly as Canon and Nikon's efforts are diverted... elsewhere.
The question is one of the future. Fortunately, it's not me who must find an answer.
09-04-2019, 03:27 AM   #11
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Anyway, for camera companies such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, the goal of making mirrorless camera with a new mount is to sell more lenses. So, I couldn't see why Ricoh would be so nice to make a mirrorless camera that avoid customer to by new lenses. There's a contradiction between customer motive and business motive.
09-04-2019, 03:31 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRT Quote
Good points. I am not a member of the grumbling masses but it seems to me that Pentax is now a niche brand without the resources to compete on the basis of lens offerings or a diverse range of camera bodies. But they do have a number of small, high quality primes that would fit nicely with a really compact apsc sized body. I frequently travel by motorcycle and my entire topcase is devoted to either my K-1 or K-3, tripod and an assortment of lenses. It would be nice to have a smaller frame with a few really good primes but I could probably accomplish much of this by acquiring a smaller camera bag and paring down my list of travel lenses. I am hopeful that we see signs of life around the Anniversary celebration.
Going mirrorless instead of a K-1 or K-3 won't help you as much as you think, PentaxRT.

The body, quality lenses and tripod will basically end up taking the same space in a bag or pannier or case or whatever, and there won't be much saving in weight of that bundle, either.
09-04-2019, 06:07 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Part of the issue of doing a small mirrorless camera with the DA limiteds is that the camera is going to have to include a sufficient body focusing motor, which might be hard to squeeze in.

Pentax has accrued a lot of technical debt as a result of sticking with a backwards compatible mount. It was worth it to me, but it has drawbacks.
09-04-2019, 07:17 AM   #14
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Someone submit a letter to the Pentax engineers. Maybe it is a question for an interview or something. As source of speculation it leaves a little to be desired. There is a technical answer, but no one here knows it.
09-04-2019, 07:56 AM   #15
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I don't think it would be hard, it just costs money. In fact, that's how Fuji's current APS-C lineup came to existence - the success of the X100 created a lens mount and that's where we are today...

But in the current shrinking market where you're losing 30+% of the market year after year, it's just not going to happen. We should be grateful Ricoh/Pentax is still releasing anything at all.
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