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05-04-2010, 12:02 AM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
The problem with Pentax releasing a FF camera is that almost nobody will buy it. All those who are now clamoring for one will say what? $2,000 for a FF Pentax? you must be joking!!! I won't buy one until it's $1,250. Then Pentax will go bankrupt and that will be the end of that.
I guess that FF sensors of today is on the same price level as crop sensors was a couple of years ago.
New mirror assembly and prism is the big thing to develop I guess.

05-04-2010, 12:58 AM   #62
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There should be no concern over lens availability for a FF, apart from the Pentax lenses already available that are suitable there are plenty of excellant 3rd party lenses such as Sigma. And if (I mean WHEN!) Pentax releases a FF, Sigma and other lens manufacturers may bring out new or exisiting lenses with a K mount.
05-04-2010, 02:55 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by ozlizard Quote
(..) Sigma and other lens manufacturers may bring out new or exisiting lenses with a K mount.
Exactly my thoughts. It is very reasonable to think that the FF camera will be announced together with at least 2 new Pentax FA lenses (standard zooms probably), and Hoya just has to make sure that Sigma and Tamron are prepared to release K-mount versions of their lenses when the FF Pentax hits the street.

With the two or more new FA lenses that will come with the FF camera, the current FA line-up and the existing lenses from Sigma and Tamron, customers would have a very viable lens choice right from the start.
05-04-2010, 03:11 AM   #64
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Really, these interviews are like seeing shapes in clouds in the sky. You can see whatever you want but there is no reality to any of it.

Hoya have said that they are interested in profitability over market share. If that is Hoya's aim, releasing a "cheap" full-frame 35mm camera at under the competition's prices contradicts it totally.

Second, at the moment a full-frame Pentax DSLR camera would probably appeal to a few thousand and perhaps only a few hundred people in the entire world. You can't run a business on that. The overwhelming majority of users are at the other end of the spectrum, the EVF and micro four-thirds end, the end that is stocked and advertised worldwide by the big retail chains. My guess is that it's Pentax's strategy here that will dictate their immediate future.

Last, Pentax is only a small player in this market. It's hardly realistic to think they are about to run four separate product lines - medium format, full-frame 35mm, APS-C 35mm and compact-m4/3. Not even the world's biggest player does that, especially as the overall world market for conventional cameras of any kind is in fact quite small and rather stagnant. You won't get folks to invest in new kinds of camera for new reasons (video, internet, etc) by producing full-framers for a tiny minority.

05-04-2010, 03:21 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Really, these interviews are like seeing shapes in clouds in the sky. You can see whatever you want but there is no reality to any of it.

Hoya have said that they are interested in profitability over market share. If that is Hoya's aim, releasing a "cheap" full-frame 35mm camera at under the competition's prices contradicts it totally.

Second, at the moment a full-frame Pentax DSLR camera would probably appeal to a few thousand and perhaps only a few hundred people in the entire world. You can't run a business on that. The overwhelming majority of users are at the other end of the spectrum, the EVF and micro four-thirds end, the end that is stocked and advertised worldwide by the big retail chains. My guess is that it's Pentax's strategy here that will dictate their immediate future.

Last, Pentax is only a small player in this market. It's hardly realistic to think they are about to run four separate product lines - medium format, full-frame 35mm, APS-C 35mm and compact-m4/3. Not even the world's biggest player does that, especially as the overall world market for conventional cameras of any kind is in fact quite small and rather stagnant. You won't get folks to invest in new kinds of camera for new reasons (video, internet, etc) by producing full-framers for a tiny minority.
Oh, thanks. Reading the other posts I was thinking I fell into a weird parallel reality.
05-04-2010, 03:29 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Really, these interviews are like seeing shapes in clouds in the sky. You can see whatever you want but there is no reality to any of it.

Hoya have said that they are interested in profitability over market share. If that is Hoya's aim, releasing a "cheap" full-frame 35mm camera at under the competition's prices contradicts it totally.

Second, at the moment a full-frame Pentax DSLR camera would probably appeal to a few thousand and perhaps only a few hundred people in the entire world. You can't run a business on that. The overwhelming majority of users are at the other end of the spectrum, the EVF and micro four-thirds end, the end that is stocked and advertised worldwide by the big retail chains. My guess is that it's Pentax's strategy here that will dictate their immediate future.

Last, Pentax is only a small player in this market. It's hardly realistic to think they are about to run four separate product lines - medium format, full-frame 35mm, APS-C 35mm and compact-m4/3. Not even the world's biggest player does that, especially as the overall world market for conventional cameras of any kind is in fact quite small and rather stagnant. You won't get folks to invest in new kinds of camera for new reasons (video, internet, etc) by producing full-framers for a tiny minority.

You said it all
But nothing stop peoples of dreaming, it's fun reading what peoples are dreaming
05-04-2010, 03:33 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
ogl always posts his personal opinion as if it were a law of nature.

If ths forum had a "post-rewrite feature" (as it does have a post-ignore feature), I would prepend all ogl posts by "I am not sure but I think that maybe "
It wouldn't be a photography forum if opinions weren't treated as fact...

How many of those *^&king 1001 Noisy Cameras "op-ed" pieces end up in the News section as bona fide fact?
05-04-2010, 03:40 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
As much as I would like to agree, let me strive for precision here: The terms "pro" and "call" have been used by the interviewer, not Mr. Onada.

Onada actually did use the word "pro". But only in context with 645D users.

Onada said "yes" to a question. In his own words, he only leaked that (a plurality of) successor models and (a plurality of) completely new models is due. It cannot be deduced (in a logical way) that by "new model" he meant "above K-7" or "pro".

So, we may speculate that he talked about FF. But it is speculation, really.
Well, for a few reasons I think this is a hint at FF. On the one hand it is of course speculation, but on the other hand I can't think of a plausible way how this can not refer to FF.

Let's quote the relevant passage:

QuoteQuote:
Many users of Pentax, demand has long been a professional camera above the K-7, what can I say? Will we see something in the not too distant?

The answer is yes, although I can not predict when.

Also in relation to your question right now in Japan have just launched the Pentax 645D. The idea is to collect and analyze information as possible for professional users face the next step.

Do we expect new releases this year?

Thank you for your question. The answer is yes, we are preparing the successor models of the current range and new models. But I can not anticipate much more at this time.
Mr. Hiroshi answers yes to the question if we will be seeing a professional camera above the K-7 in the not too distant future. Like I said, I don't see how Pentax could create an APS-C camera that is distinctively more 'pro' than the K-7. Even if they someone came up with better AF and bought a sensor that is even better than the K-x at high ISO, these kind of upgrades would be expected of the successor to the K-7. Even if Pentax were able to make a camera as good as the 7D, it would still be specced too close to the "K-8" (which he sort of hints will come out this year). Also, later in the interview he says Pentax won't compete with Canon and Nikon on such things as "high shutterspeed", so that pretty much leaves a 'pro' APS-C la 7D out of the question (as you rightly pointed out).

The only thing I can think of that will set this new 'pro' camera apart from the K-7 line of cameras is an FF sensor. (Also, the way he answers the question makes it clear he is not talking about the 645D.)

So yes, this is speculation, but I don't see how this could be interpreted in any other plausible way.

QuoteQuote:
Also, the following comment make me stumble:
"In this regard we must choose if we want to bet on consumer products or by products of higher quality but for a more limited market. In short, we are launching new models to the market but most of all we are studying very carefully the directions for the brand in the future."

To me, sounds like the decision about FF (higher quality but for a more limited market) vs. non FF (consumer products) is pending, awaiting the reception of soon to be launched models in the decision process. Which would imply that all soon to be launched models are non FF.
The market for digital camera's will look alot different in the future than it does now. The market is slowly saturating, and new forms are becoming available or affordable (MILC and FF). I think the APS-C marketshare will decline (if not disappear), so it is only natural that a company as Pentax is rethinking its future. Whether that means FF is speculation, but it's a very viable option.


Last edited by kevinschoenmakers; 05-04-2010 at 04:15 AM.
05-04-2010, 03:51 AM   #69
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Let me first say I'm not part of the pro-FF crowd. However I believe this interview cannot plausibly be interpreted in any way other than that there is an FF camera coming up (see my post above this one).

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Really, these interviews are like seeing shapes in clouds in the sky. You can see whatever you want but there is no reality to any of it.

Hoya have said that they are interested in profitability over market share. If that is Hoya's aim, releasing a "cheap" full-frame 35mm camera at under the competition's prices contradicts it totally.
It doesn't have to be contradictive. Bodies are usually sold with little margin, because more bodies sold means more lenses sold, and lenses make the profit. It's a razorblade business model.

QuoteQuote:
Second, at the moment a full-frame Pentax DSLR camera would probably appeal to a few thousand and perhaps only a few hundred people in the entire world. You can't run a business on that. The overwhelming majority of users are at the other end of the spectrum, the EVF and micro four-thirds end, the end that is stocked and advertised worldwide by the big retail chains. My guess is that it's Pentax's strategy here that will dictate their immediate future.
He did say this in the interview: "In this regard we must choose if we want to bet on consumer products or by products of higher quality but for a more limited market."

You could interpret this as Pentax assuming APS-C is a dead end, and looking at whether to go with mirrorless or FF. However his comment on a 'pro' body above the K-7 leads me to assume an FF camera is in the works (see above post).

QuoteQuote:
Last, Pentax is only a small player in this market. It's hardly realistic to think they are about to run four separate product lines - medium format, full-frame 35mm, APS-C 35mm and compact-m4/3. Not even the world's biggest player does that, especially as the overall world market for conventional cameras of any kind is in fact quite small and rather stagnant. You won't get folks to invest in new kinds of camera for new reasons (video, internet, etc) by producing full-framers for a tiny minority.
Say for the sake of arguement Pentax goes the FF-way (which is my assumption, again, see above post). Then we'd have APS-C, FF and MF. APS-C and FF aren't really very different. You could use alot of tech between the two production lines, and you really only have to develop new lenses for FF, since they work on APS-C as well. So I don't see how this would pose a problem.

Last edited by kevinschoenmakers; 05-04-2010 at 04:13 AM.
05-04-2010, 03:59 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
So, we have
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This makes an upcoming FF camera even more plausible to me. Although of course it is definitely not proof.
05-04-2010, 04:10 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
I agree, which is why I'm saving for, probably, a Nikon. I fell into sports photography after falling into Pentax.
Arpe, it's off-topic, but want to know:
Why not Canon or Sony? I heard their AF tracking capability is superior to Nikon's. But this could be wrong of course.
05-04-2010, 04:33 AM   #72
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The problem is that the way that cameras are sold right now, you have to have something new and better in your camera body for photographers to want to go out and buy it. I really think that with the kx and K7 we are close to the end of "big" improvements. While there may be incremental changes over time, I don't expect something big that will make current K7 owners want a K7 super, for instance.

That means that in order to keep people in the fold and sell new cameras to those at the top of the line, Pentax/Hoya will need to off something above the K7, but below medium format. I definitely do see this coming. The biggest clue to me is the lack of lens development for APS-C. The only cropped lens released in the last year was the DA 15. Everything else has been full frame compatible and the number of new lenses has been pretty small over all. Something is going on behind the scenes right now...
05-04-2010, 04:47 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Really, these interviews are like seeing shapes in clouds in the sky. You can see whatever you want but there is no reality to any of it.

Hoya have said that they are interested in profitability over market share. If that is Hoya's aim, releasing a "cheap" full-frame 35mm camera at under the competition's prices contradicts it totally.

Second, at the moment a full-frame Pentax DSLR camera would probably appeal to a few thousand and perhaps only a few hundred people in the entire world. You can't run a business on that. The overwhelming majority of users are at the other end of the spectrum, the EVF and micro four-thirds end, the end that is stocked and advertised worldwide by the big retail chains. My guess is that it's Pentax's strategy here that will dictate their immediate future.

Last, Pentax is only a small player in this market. It's hardly realistic to think they are about to run four separate product lines - medium format, full-frame 35mm, APS-C 35mm and compact-m4/3. Not even the world's biggest player does that, especially as the overall world market for conventional cameras of any kind is in fact quite small and rather stagnant. You won't get folks to invest in new kinds of camera for new reasons (video, internet, etc) by producing full-framers for a tiny minority.
Let me ask you this. You are a new to DSLR purchaser and you have about $1,500 to spend on a camera and you have the choice of purchasing a high end APS C camera or a FF camera of the same size and specs. Now, considering the FF camera has better overall IQ which are high ISO results, better DR, better control of DOF, a larger VF for ease of manual focus and auto focus confirmation, are you saying you would choose the APS C camera? Because this is what it is going to amount to, Pentax offering a high end APS C camera and Canon, Nikon and Sony offering a FF camera, in this particular price bracket, for the same money if they do not go the FF route. I would say that people will most likely opt for the FF camera as there are no real penalties but all the advantages. Pentax will lose these people for ever more to the likes of Nikon, Canon and Sony.

You must remember that once FF sensors are cheap enough, this opens up a whole new market area. That market are those people who do not require a rugged over sized FF camera like what Canon, Nikon and Sony now produce specifically for the pro market. Canon, Nikon and Sony produce these large cameras simply because they need to be large as they need to stand up to the rigours of professional use. They are therefore big, robust and costly. They are also big because they are usually attached to huge lenses and need to have protection against being thrown around in the daily rigours of sports and news photogs. They have large memory and big batteries and big grips and duial card slots(in some cases) etc. These FF cameras are for pros, and serious amateurs with too much money. They weren't made for amateurs with the hope that pros may use them, just the opposite, they were made for pros and if some overpaid amatuers also wants to pony up for one, they will gladly sell him one.

Now, once the prices of FF sensors are such that Pentax can offer a FF camera at the price point of a current high end APS C DSLR, then they can be made less robust, more like a high end APS C DSLR, like a K-7. They are smaller, cheaper, but can have the same specs as the K-7 but with a FF sensor.

Hoya says that it is interested in profits over market share. Well, I can tell you, that Pentax's profits will dwindle very quickly if it loses these advanced amateurs to Canon, Nikon and Sony because they can purchase a FF DSLR at a price point of a current APS C sensored camera with all the added advantages of FF. Once they have moved to the other manufacturers, there is no coming back. They have invested in lenses and flashes and will therefore be lost forever.

At the moment, advanced amateurs seem to be looking at the $1,500 price point for their cameras. Yes, when FF sensors come down in price this will also mean that APS C sensors will also come down in price but, advanced amatuers will still have a $1,500 budget and will want to get the most camera for their money and this will be a FF camera. As I say, why get an APS C camera if you can get a FF camera for the same price.

It will happen, it is just a matter of when that price point is reached and once it is reached Pentax needs to be on the boat or they will be left standing at the dock.
05-04-2010, 04:54 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Hoya have said that they are interested in profitability over market share. If that is Hoya's aim, releasing a "cheap" full-frame 35mm camera at under the competition's prices contradicts it totally.
As I researched elsewhere, making an FF camera (all else being equal) is only about $100 more expensive. Add chip maker, vendor, dealer margins and you end up with ~500$ added street price. So, a $1500 FF is a viable proposition.

Don't confuse volume with profit.

Somewhere else I compared volume numbers, production costs, sales prices and came to the conclusion that K-x, K-7 and 645D create an about equal profit for Pentax in the end. A $1500 FF camera will just create as much profit. Or better said, will preserve the profit in the segment now occupied by the K-7.

This may not be intuitive but its the high quality products which create the profit. At least if you aren't a Chinese company.

If Pentax has to ignore a segment of the market, then it is P&S. The mirrorless segment is critical too because it soon will be a low profit segment (ruled by Sony, Samsung, Panasonic) with high investments (EVF, video, ...) where Pentax cannot profit from its existing technology. Ignoring FF however is suicide for them.

QuoteOriginally posted by Supernaut Quote
I guess that FF sensors of today is on the same price level as crop sensors was a couple of years ago.
New mirror assembly and prism is the big thing to develop I guess.
As I said, FF sensors aren't default only because people still buy APS-C. As the APS-C segment is saturating, you'll see that FF cameras in the semipro segment aren't more expensive actually. It is the semipro segment now. There will be no new APS-C semipro cameras coming (with a few exceptions in 2010, maybe).

Pentax released their last full frame mirror assembly (1/4000s shutter) and prism in 2003. That was only seven years ago.
QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
I think the APS-C marketshare will decline (if not disappear)
+1

I think 2010 marks the year where APSC disappears from the semipro (enthusiast) SLR segment.
It may be 5 more years before it will disappear from the entry-level SLR segment too.
Beyond that, we may see the end of entry-level and semipro SLRs (replaced by system cameras).

Last edited by falconeye; 05-04-2010 at 05:05 AM.
05-04-2010, 05:13 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lance B Quote
Now, once the prices of FF sensors are such that Pentax can offer a FF camera at the price point of a current high end APS C DSLR, then they can be made less robust, more like a high end APS C DSLR, like a K-7. They are smaller, cheaper, but can have the same specs as the K-7 but with a FF sensor.
There's a flaw in your reasoning here: The 5d (and 5d Mk II) doesn't fit your description: It's not very big and heavy, and it's by no means as robust as the K-7. And it has been on the market for a looong time.

Otherwise, I mostly agree with you that there will be a move to larger formats, and while I think that eventually Pentax can make larger-than-FF cameras that are very attractive to serious hobbyists (and I see no reason why these cameras won't drop down to the $1500 level, but I won't bet on how long time it will take), they may need to create a stop-gap FF camera in the meantime. And a "K-8" may have to be FF if it's going to be more than just a refinement of the K-7.

Some people may still prefer APS-C or even smaller formats though, e.g. birders. Personally, I would be reluctant to say good-bye to the DA70. But then, good old Pentax short teles were very compact too, e.g. the M-100/2.8. And they made some fabulously small ultra wides (e.g. the M-20/4).

Btw. did you now that contrary to common belief, quite a few FF lenses are still current, at least in Japan: Just have a look here (warning, huge PDF) at this very recent (K-7 appears in illustrations) catalogue of lenses which even includes two A lenses (one zoom and the 50/1.2:
http://www.pentax.jp/japan/imaging/catalog/pdf/lenses_accessories.pdf
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