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05-04-2010, 11:24 PM - 1 Like   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
What I don't understand is why it's vital for Pentax entering in the FF arena, and not for Canon and Nikon entering the Medium Format one. Both are very small niche segment of the market, while most of the sales volume is made of entry level SRL.

I mean, aside the fact that most of the posters of a DSRL forum obviously want a FF camera...
MF is a larger format and requires larger lenses. FF lenses are already availabale for all the manufacturers cameras whereas MF lenses are a complete new lens lineup. Also, FF is now a standard and the cameras are about as big as pro's would want them.

Canon, Nikon and to a lesser degree Sony are the market leaders and manipulators and therefore Pentax needs to make sure they can keep pace with their offerings. Pentax are the tail and C, N and S are the dog, so I doubt that Pentax can wag the dog.

As I keep saying, if Canon, Nikon and Sony release a FF camera at the $1,500 mark, then Pentax will have to have a FF camera in this area otherwise it Pentax will lose purchasers to C, N and S. If Nikon released a FF camera at $1,500 that had all the features of the K7 and was about the size of the K20D, then I would probably jump ship, as I am sure others here would too.

05-04-2010, 11:33 PM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lance B Quote
MF is a larger format and requires larger lenses. FF lenses are already availabale for all the manufacturers cameras whereas MF lenses are a complete new lens lineup. Also, FF is now a standard and the cameras are about as big as pro's would want them.

Canon, Nikon and to a lesser degree Sony are the market leaders and manipulators and therefore Pentax needs to make sure they can keep pace with their offerings. Pentax are the tail and C, N and S are the dog, so I doubt that Pentax can wag the dog.

As I keep saying, if Canon, Nikon and Sony release a FF camera at the $1,500 mark, then Pentax will have to have a FF camera in this area otherwise it Pentax will lose purchasers to C, N and S. If Nikon released a FF camera at $1,500 that had all the features of the K7 and was about the size of the K20D, then I would probably jump ship, as I am sure others here would too.
Still, I don't understand why should be inevitable for Pentax to do a FF, while Olympus and Panasonic on one side, and Mamiya/Phase One and Hasselblad on the opposite, could survive without one...
05-04-2010, 11:52 PM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
Still, I don't understand why should be inevitable for Pentax to do a FF, while Olympus and Panasonic on one side, and Mamiya/Phase One and Hasselblad on the opposite, could survive without one...
Olympus and Panasonic are trying not to compete with DSLR, but with compact camera (m4/3 will become smaller and smaller). They want to develop camera with better IQ but the same size/weight/price than top compact camera (G11, LX3, next EX1), and more flexibility for high end users with the possibility to change lenses (also more money for them ). This is a different market.
Mamiya/Phase One and Hasselblad don't have to compete with anybody, they already have the best camera you can get... for their specific field. Indeed, Canon (1DsMarkIII), Nikon (D3x) and Sony (alpha 900) are trying to compete with them. Do not invert their respective role.
And Pentax... Pentax is in the middle of that. No very small high IQ camera. They launched the 645D because they spent many money for its development and they know the market is here for them (all professional using previous 645 system), but they probably don't know if they can compete with the other High class brands. And between the cheap APS-c cameras and the expensive MF one, they don't have anything to offer.
05-05-2010, 12:22 AM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by youky63 Quote
Olympus and Panasonic are trying not to compete with DSLR, but with compact camera (m4/3 will become smaller and smaller).
True, it's long since I read about dslr news from them. This makes me wonder how many lines Pentax can develop. Aps-c and MF is already 2. Making a mirrorless mount is quite an effort.

05-05-2010, 02:28 AM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
For many years the market clearing price point for a PC was $1899. [...] then price competition began.
That nice comparison makes my reply

Because the budget is still there and now it goes to MacBook Pros

It seems to verify that it is important to offer the best possible product within an accepted budget. And for high quality still imaging, this is the price of a very good desirable lens (like the Nikon AF-S VR 70-200mm 2.8G ED II or a bit less).
QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
What I don't understand is why it's vital for Pentax entering in the FF arena, and not for Canon and Nikon entering the Medium Format one.
Because as a niche player, you go up in the market segment, not down. Or you even move up the value chain.

I.e., in the long term, Hasselblad could become a professional services network provider rather than a manufacturer.
05-05-2010, 02:45 AM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Supernaut Quote
This makes me wonder how many lines Pentax can develop. [...] Making a mirrorless mount is quite an effort.
This is why rebadging an OEM'd FT and maybe offer an AF K mount adapter and retrofitted DA40 is their only option in the MILC game. The Pentax XC90 is rebadged. So, why not EVIL. Otherwise, I agree with the comment.

QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
What I don't understand is why it's vital for Pentax entering in the FF arena, and not for Canon and Nikon entering the Medium Format one.
This is a good question.

Actually, in the medium term, I do expect mirrorless designs to emerge for all sensor sizes, including larger than MF. There are some excellent lenses out there with larger image circles. Cameras like the 100Mpx Pentacon Scan6000 will become surface scan and with even larger image areas. At this stage, Canikon will probably bite.

In the long term, I do expect sensors to be permanently attached to lenses and the current distinction between different size format cameras will be gone.
05-05-2010, 05:50 AM   #127
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(Sorry for joking in a serious discussion)

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The Pentax XC90 is rebadged.
I'm driving an XC90, but it's just a Volvo. I didn't know Pentax rebadges them
05-05-2010, 06:39 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lance B Quote
So, at the moment, those purchasers who would normally purchase a high end APS C camera would certainly purchase a FF camera at this price point over a similarly priced, sized and specced APS C camera. They will still spend this amount because that is what they have to spend especially when they know they can get a FF camera at that level.
People will still choose APS-C if it has advantages to offer. Right now those perceived advantages include size, cost and more telephoto reach. Not everyone sets aside a given sum of money and says "I'll spend all this on a body even if I can get a cheaper one." Otherwise no-one would bargain hunt.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lance B Quote
This is the price point at which Pentax could have many customers and users, but they will lose this market completely if Canon, Nikon and Sony have FF cameras. These users will be lost forever, never to return as they will then build up a relationship with those manufacturers.
But Canon, Nikon and Sony do already have FF cameras. So your scenario has already happened. Applying your logic, there would be no point for Pentax to enter a FF market they have already "lost forever".

QuoteOriginally posted by youky63 Quote
Olympus and Panasonic are trying not to compete with DSLR, but with compact camera (m4/3 will become smaller and smaller)
They are competing with both (bridge cameras also) and getting whatever market share they can. Some people have sold off their SLRs and gone to m43. If they were not competing also with the SLR market they would not be adding and promoting SLR features, chief among them interchangeable lenses.

05-05-2010, 06:45 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by farhagh Quote
I'm driving an XC90, but it's just a Volvo. I didn't know Pentax rebadges them

Good one. Yeah, you caught me

XC = Cross country, right? Pentax only is X90, for Cross over. Interesting how brains work
05-05-2010, 07:01 AM   #130
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Some people have sold off their SLRs and gone to m43. If they were not competing also with the SLR market they would not be adding and promoting SLR features, chief among them interchangeable lenses.
Not sure how many that really sell off their SLRs: I think Panasonic and Olympus sell a lot of #2 cameras to DSLR owners.

If I had a larger camera budget... I would seriously consider adding the GF1 with the pancake as a walk-around camera. I tend to bring my K10D with 3 or 4 lenses in my backpack almost every day when commuting to work, but over the last weeks I'm using the DA35 more than 80% of the time, and not that often at macro distances, so I would probably be quite happy with a GF1 with the 20mm/1.7. It's a great focal length for walking around, almost exactly in the middle between the DA21 and the FA31 in focal length, and closer to the FA31 than the DA21 in max aperture (it translates into a 26mm f/2.3). And where I live, the GF1 20mm kit is half-way between the DA21 and the FA31 in price, too.
05-05-2010, 08:34 AM   #131
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I agree a good number of people seem to be getting m43 as a second camera, especially those people who have a honkin' monster of a Canon FF. Some of them might instead have bought a Pentax or one of the smaller Olympus SLRs, before m43 was available.

I looked at m43 but for me I'd rather a Pentax plus prime. In some ways it's not so much bigger* and is a lot more capable and ergonomic. But for people not already committed to k-mount, the story would be different. The m43 systems need to fall in price by half before I'd be that interested.

* For me a camera either fits into: a pocket, a small bag, a rucksack. The m43 don't make the cut for a pocket, so they'd be in the same bag I use for my K20D.

Last edited by rparmar; 05-05-2010 at 10:42 AM.
05-05-2010, 10:10 AM   #132
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Back to the original interview, I don't know if you can guess if Pentax will go either EVIL or Full Frame just from reading this, but I think the most interesting tidbits are the most vague ones focusing on business direction.

In the following excerpt I take it that mark = brand, but I didn't want to offer a false translation.

QuoteQuote:
Onada: At the moment we are very trims(?) in the reestablishment of the Pentax mark jointly with the (HOYA) direction. The main challenge at the moment is to place in the place that deserves the name of the Pentax mark. In this sense we will have to choose if we want to bet more by products of great consumption or products of more quality but for a limited market.

In summary, we are sending new models to the market but overall we are studying very (carefully) the direction that must take the mark in the future.
And.

QuoteQuote:
Onada: A thing is very clear at the moment, our objective is not to secure high quotas of market. Therefore our objective is not to compete directly with Canon and Nikon.

Although by all means we will continue developing popular cameras, our primary target is to turn us into a (brand) that is very wanted by the lovers of always of Pentax. Like? You will be able to verify with the models that are going away to develop facing the future.
And.

QuoteQuote:
Interviewer: Many users of Pentax, for a long time demand a professional Camera over the K-7, What can say to them? We will be able to see something in a term not very distant?

Onada: The answer is yes, although I cannot anticipate to him when.

Also in relation to its question right now we finished sending in Japan the Pentax 645D. The idea is to obtain and to analyze the maximum possible data of the professional users facing the following step.

(Me: note the distinction between the 645D and this other "professional" camera here and how he says they will use the 645D to obtain data about professional users. It sounds like they're trying to gauge the need to set up a professional services system)
Statements like this make it sound (in my interpretation) like Pentax/Hoya is playing it conservative this year, with an eye toward possibly moving toward a more ambitious change in direction next year. Whether they go Full Frame or EVIL or whatever else we're clamoring for, I'm interested in seeing how the above planning discussion plays out, and what it will mean for the company's direction.

What I hope is that Pentax goes a route similar to what Leica did last year, releasing a bunch of cameras that don't really compete with Nikon and Canon at all, but still are compelling to photographers, especially brand loyalists.

Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 05-05-2010 at 10:16 AM.
05-05-2010, 05:46 PM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
People will still choose APS-C if it has advantages to offer. Right now those perceived advantages include size, cost and more telephoto reach. Not everyone sets aside a given sum of money and says "I'll spend all this on a body even if I can get a cheaper one." Otherwise no-one would bargain hunt.
They will when they see that there is a FF camera with all the benefits and none of the drawbacks. Once they get the price down and then make them smaller to suit the advanced amateur rather than the pro users. You seem to think that FF is made big simply because the senosr is big, but this is not the case. They are made big because they are made for pros and pro use because it is generally pros who have the money to justify their cost. Advanced amateurs neither need or want this ruggedness or large size, so, once FF sensor costs come down, only then will you see smallerFF cameras.

Also, the telephoto advantage is a fallacy. A cropped 200mm shot from a 24Mp FF sensor would be just as good as that from an 14Mp APS C camera with a 300mm lens. Wide angle lenses on a FF sensor are actually smaller than their APS C counterparts look at the FA20 f2.8 compared to the DA14 f2.8 for just one example.

QuoteQuote:
But Canon, Nikon and Sony do already have FF cameras. So your scenario has already happened. Applying your logic, there would be no point for Pentax to enter a FF market they have already "lost forever".
No it hasn't. They are not at the $1,500 level where the high end advanced amateur cameras are and they have not yet made them small specifically for the advanced amateur market. They are stilled aimed at the pros who require big robust cameras for the rigours of pro use.

QuoteQuote:
They are competing with both (bridge cameras also) and getting whatever market share they can. Some people have sold off their SLRs and gone to m43. If they were not competing also with the SLR market they would not be adding and promoting SLR features, chief among them interchangeable lenses.
Those that have gone to 4/3rds are not generally advanced amateurs looking for the best IQ they can get in a body the size of a high end DSLR. These are mostly point and shooters or weekend photographers looking for smaller cameras. Also, the reason some are going to 4/3rds is simply because the difference between APS C and 4/3rds is minimal, wheras the difference between FF and 4/3rds is huge. Imagine a FF camera but the size of an APS C camera compared to a 4/3rds camera and you can then see sticking to a DSLR of the size of a current APS C camera but with a FF sensor then makes alot of sense. I know what I would choose.
05-05-2010, 05:47 PM   #134
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I agree a good number of people seem to be getting m43 as a second camera, especially those people who have a honkin' monster of a Canon FF. Some of them might instead have bought a Pentax or one of the smaller Olympus SLRs, before m43 was available.

I looked at m43 but for me I'd rather a Pentax plus prime. In some ways it's not so much bigger* and is a lot more capable and ergonomic. But for people not already committed to k-mount, the story would be different. The m43 systems need to fall in price by half before I'd be that interested.

* For me a camera either fits into: a pocket, a small bag, a rucksack. The m43 don't make the cut for a pocket, so they'd be in the same bag I use for my K20D.
Imagine then, a FF camera that is the same size as an APS C camera. You can use your Pentax prime but with the advantage of FF.
05-05-2010, 06:48 PM   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
People will still choose APS-C if it has advantages to offer. Right now those perceived advantages include size, cost and more telephoto reach. Not everyone sets aside a given sum of money and says "I'll spend all this on a body even if I can get a cheaper one." Otherwise no-one would bargain hunt.
Once FF dSLRs enter the price range of high end APS-C dSLRs, APS-C loses the only actual advantage it ever had - cost. The "perceived" advantages, as you put it so well, are just that - perceptions, and those are based on a very successful marketing campaign, not on ACTUAL advantages. One need only consider the answer to the following questions to bare the reality of the so-called "advantages" of APS-C:

Would you buy a 645D with a 24 x 36mm sensor in it?

If not, why not?

Essentially, that's exactly what you've done with APS-C dSLRs, is to buy into a camera made for a bigger format with a smaller format sensor in it. APS-C is and always was a compromise introduced for the sole reason that larger sensors were too difficult to make and too expensive to sell to most of the camera market at the time. As the fabrication tachnology and techniques are advanced and the costs of FF sensors come down, that sole reason for the APS-Compromise will be eliminated. You can rationalize the supposed advantages all you like (easy to do when you have no other choices), but the reality is that with APS-C dSLRs you have a camera and lenses that are much bigger and heavier than need be, due to the need to maintain backward compatibility with the larger 35mm format the cameras are based on (lens mount, register distance, etc. are dictated by 35mm, not APS-C, thereby making the cameras bigger and heavier), and absent the advantage of being cheap by comparison, not many would have ever "chosen" them. A price floor will be encountered based on the cost of the camera components other than the sensors, which means that as the FF sensor costs come down, the prices will get closer together, and as that happens, suddenly FF cameras will expand their market penetration and a new marketing campaign will arrive to remind people what they've been missing.

There isn't any APS-C camera that Pentax will make (particularly in view of the assertion that Pentax doesn't plan to push the envelope on frame rates and the like) that will justify prices higher than the K7, so any "improvements" on what you have with the K7 are just things to put into K7 successors - a product above the K7 ("professional" grade, if you will, though I know that word raises a lot of needless arguments) NEEDS to be a full 35mm format. No intermediate steps (APS-H, or APS-ANYTHING), will do at this point - there has already been too much foot dragging.

It's been a long wait, Pentax - time for your FF dSLRs already!
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