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05-19-2010, 02:33 AM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Offer FF under $1500, Pentaxian buy. I think FF camera from Pentax could easy take 20% of all Pentax DSLR. Not 7-10% like Canon.
Yes, you hit the nail right on the head here!

05-19-2010, 03:31 AM   #152
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Offer FF under $1500, Pentaxian buy. I think FF camera from Pentax could easy take 20% of all Pentax DSLR. Not 7-10% like Canon.
Exactly my thoughts! People seems hard to undrestand that prices of technology keeps decreasing. I'm sure the Hoya people has more insight and have had so for a while.

K-7 sold well when it came at $1300. K-FF would sell even better at $1500. A small budget FF is right in Pentax nische slot. With optional split prism if a may dream
05-19-2010, 04:37 AM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Strangely, Pentax always kept its current customers in their mind. That's why they were slow to bring out the K-mount. But yes, they were slow in this department.
Pentax was never customer centric. They were Japan-centered and then engineering-centric. The nearly ruined the company when sticking to screw-mount and lost their leading position in the SLR market accordingly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
I still have several ME-Supers and all of them work correctly. I have yet to encounter a defective one.
Nice for you. Out of the 6 or 7 ME Supers among my closer friends, all but one died long ago. Usually the metering broke, not the least caused by malfunctions of the buttons. The Super Program was much improved in that respect, but somehow never gained the popularity of the MEs.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Have you ever looked at what the other brands offered in the same era? Those were just as well ugly 80's products, just like the cars of that time. To blame Pentax for that is a bit silly. (Just have a look at the Canon T80)
The SFxxx series is really nothing to rave about - come on. These were not only ugly, the appearance matched that of those cheap 25 bucks plastic toy cameras sold today on ebay to the unknowing.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Wrong (see Roland's post above)
So, it's your and Roland's experience, that Pentax AF can match Canon's or Nikon's? Or do you find it even superior?
I do not know, whether your list of lenses in your signature is comprehensive, whether you omitted AF lenses from that list or whether you don't have AF lenses.

But writing, that Pentax AF is second to none is - up to date - more than a bold statement. It is simply unfounded by facts. Just have a look through the countless threads with real life experience here. I would say, the Pentax AF system can be used within its limits successfully - but it cannot compeet with other makes.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Well, they'll work on it for sure. But as Pentax said: they could only work at one thing at a time, having a small R&D department. So the next body could have better AF but not a better flash system at the same time.
That's true. And any of these few points, that need improvement seems more important to me than building a FF body.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
That's your opinion, I think otherwise. It's all about the price point. I'm sure Pentax could offer a FF camera for the same price as the original *ist D.
If Pentax could have offered a cheap FF camera, they would have done so. The MZ-D died the death by over-pricing (same Philips sensor as the Contax N) - but at least Pentax used the emergency break, before releasing an unsaleable product. Contax died.

FF bodies still are under 10% of the DSLR market and if I understood the few and far between utterings by Pentax representatives over the last two years correctly (which might have not been the case), they want to concentrate on viable mass markets, within the niche (whichever) they carved out for themselves. The Pentax niche is already small and I cannot see a reason, to make it even smaller, because a FF camera will not be cheap by any means.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
I believe the strategy of attracting only new customers, while neglecting current and experienced customers, will not pay off in the future. Everyone outgrowing the K-x and K-7 will flee the brand. It's a BAD strategy.
Whatever "outgrowing" means in photography. Pentax will improve on the K7, that's sure - whatever direction this improvement takes.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
See, a FF camera has its place. You won't replace your Pentax system but you can even use your old lenses on the Pentax FF. A win-win situation if you ask me
Yes, I can use my old lenses. But what is about exactly those newcomers who jumped on to Pentax with the K10 and later offerings and got the DA lenses? These DAs are the current reality, not my old FAs. And Pentax ceased production of most of the remaining FAs over the last two years, especially the long pro-lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
So the 645D is only that, an 'image building product'?
I DID NOT EVEN MENTION THE 645D. I am not sure, why you would bring it in here - quite as I have no idea, what's Pentax intention with this product.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
To me, Pentax is only about this: IQ, IQ and IQ. Faster FPS and better AF is not what I need. I believe the same goes for most of us. By definition, Pentaxians are after ultimate IQ, not speed.
I have never seen your definition of a "Pentaxian". Fine if it suites you. But I would guess, that the "quest for ultimate IQ", could also be the realm of some Canon or Nikon users.

What I see every single day here in the Pentaxforums, tells quite another story,though!

Look at the threads, in every second one, you will find words like "cheap", "affordable", "not expensive" and when you dig deeper, you'll see, that people want lenses below 200USD, tripods below 50USD or start threads about using 3.99USD filters. And I have the feeling (without doing the statistics), that is a large part of "Pentaxians".

Do you seriously consider this cheap-cheaper-cheapest mentality being supportive of buying into FF cameras?

Certainly prices for FF cameras will come down further - but there are limits. Limits that manufacturers like Pentax and Nikon for instance already experienced in the past, when they had to cease the production of the LX and F3 respectively. Even in film days, the market for professional cameras was limited and over time electronics got cheaper, but mechanics more expensive. And a pro spec body still needs a lot of mechanics. The LX was much more expensive towards the end of its production lifecycle than at the start! And Nikon lost money with every F3 leaving the machine shop. Both manufacturers stopped the production of these too expensive modells.

Nikon stayed in the pro-market, for many reasons, Pentax had lost the 35mm pro-market anyway and went out ever since.

If the 645D is a real success, which remains to be seen, as currently it is just extending the never-ending story of that model by further delay in the release date, Pentax may gain enough no reputation in the pro-market, to follow with a FF modell, we'll see.

Ben

Last edited by Ben_Edict; 05-19-2010 at 04:44 AM.
05-19-2010, 06:39 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Nice for you. Out of the 6 or 7 ME Supers among my closer friends, all but one died long ago.
Strange. We have two (my wife has one, and I inherited one from my father) - they've both been more reliable than my LX and still work flawlessly.

QuoteQuote:
If the 645D is a real success, which remains to be seen, as currently it is just extending the never-ending story of that model by further delay in the release date,
Oh come on, it's just ridiculous to tie that last delay to "the never-ending story of that model" - they just delayed release by 3 weeks because of high demand.

05-19-2010, 07:12 AM   #155
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About the 645D delay, it is important to note that the camera *is in production*.
Now, Pentax wants to have more stock available in the shops at the release date - that is why they need some extra weeks.
Same thing happened with the K10D.
05-19-2010, 07:24 AM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
So, it's your and Roland's experience, that Pentax AF can match Canon's or Nikon's? Or do you find it even superior?
Experience and confirmed by tests in magazines.
The MZ-5 with 28-70 f/4 AL ran circles around the Canon EOS 50E in swedish magazine FOTO. The MZ-3 with FA 28-105 f/4-5.6 (the Tamron re-badged) had fastest AF in a test made by Practical Photography. I have the issue at my country house.
Dynax 808, EOS 5 and Nikon F80 were featured.
Sorry I don't remember the lenses the competition had.

In a test made by the magazine Photo Technique UK (no longer alive, but was made by the same publishers that makes the Outdoor Magazine), the Pentax MZ-10 had faster autofocus than the Canon 500.

Just to name a few.
Pentax had the fastest screwdriven AF in the 90's.
It lacked cross sensors and it had fewer AF points than Canon and Nikon, but in terms of speed, it was more effective.

The thing with the MZ-serie is that they all had the same speed (except for the MZ-60). The cheapest of them had the same AF motor and AF performance as the most expensive one. Not so with the other makers. The Canon 500 was seriously flawed in focus speed. The Minolta 404Si/505 was slower than a turtle. And so on.

In a recent test by swedish magazine FOTO, the Pentax K-7 with Pentax DA 17-70 f/4 was found to have similar AF speed and shot-to-shot performance as the Nikon D300 with 16-85.

Please note that the AF tests in FOTO is made *indoors* with medium lighting, so not outdoors in bright sunlight. This means not ideal conditions.

So the idea that Pentax has never had a competetive AF is just plain and dead wrong.

>If the 645D is a real success, which remains to be seen, as currently it is just >extending the never-ending story of that model by further delay in the release date, >Pentax may gain enough no reputation in the pro-market, to follow with a FF modell, >we'll see.

The 645D *is in production*. The amount of pre-orders for that camera made Pentax wanting to have more stock available in the shops at the launch date. If not doing this, the whole stock would go to the pre-orders. Pentax wants to build up such a large stock that you actually can go to a store at the launch date and buy one instead of be met by "Sorry, the first batch was sold out completely". That is why Pentax had to make more 645D, to have some cameras left when the pre-orders had been delivered.
05-19-2010, 07:26 AM - 1 Like   #157
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Henry Ford: "History is bunk"


QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex:
Pentax (Asahi) was the first Japanese company to bring out a 35mm SLR, the Asahiflex I, in 1951, when Nikon and Canon were still concentrating on rangefinders. In many ways Canon and Nikon are followers, not trendsetters. That is still valid in this day and age, especially when I look at the K-7.
Careful with your verb tenses there. Canon and Nikon WERE followers, back, oh, forty, fifty years ago. Ask somebody under the age of 30 where the innovation is today, and they are going to mention Nikon, Canon (maybe), Olympus, maybe Fuji, maybe Samsung, maybe Ricoh, perhaps two or three other makers. NOBODY THINKS PENTAX IS INNOVATIVE NOW. I don't mean to say that Pentax isn't making GREAT cameras. I think they are. I'm using them and I love them. And let me be clear: I think innovation is highly overrated. But that's precisely my point. It is highly overrrated—that is, a lot of people rate innovation very highly. Innovation = news, news = mind share, mind share = market share. Apple has never been as innovative as it looked. Didn't matter. It LOOKED innovative.

Actually, Nikon and Canon don't have to be so innovative. They don't have to make DEVIL cameras, or micro four-thirds cameras, or cameras with Foveon sensors, etc. They have so much of the market sewn up that they can to afford to just keep making really good cameras and be fine. Pentax behaves as if it were in that position. It's not.



The importance of price

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Look at the threads, in every second one, you will find words like "cheap", "affordable", "not expensive" and when you dig deeper, you'll see, that people want lenses below 200USD, tripods below 50USD or start threads about using 3.99USD filters. And I have the feeling (without doing the statistics), that is a large part of "Pentaxians".

Do you seriously consider this cheap-cheaper-cheapest mentality being supportive of buying into FF cameras?

I think Ben is right here. I purchased my K100D for three reasons:
  1. Price
  2. Shake reduction in the body—I was stunned that Nikon and Canon didn't have it
  3. Reviews

They were all important to me, but price was really the first consideration and the decisive. I'd add that shake reduction in the body really is a price consideration, pure and simple. There's absolutely nothing wrong with image stabilization in the Nikon or Canon systems, other than the fact that you have to pay for it when you buy lenses.

Now that I have more money invested in Pentax than I like to think about, and I'm making a good portion of my income from photography, I simply can't afford to switch to another system. And because I am able to do very well with my Pentax bodies, I don't feel an urgent need to do so. So Pentax can keep me as an APS-C customer, at least for a while longer.

But if the main upgrade path for me—the main way to get a better camera—is to buy a Pentax full-frame camera, I think it's quite possible Pentax will LOSE me as a customer. Nearly all of my lenses now are APS-C optimized lenses. If I have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a new body and thousands more to buy new lenses, I'm probably going to figure out a way to do that buying Nikon.


The full-frame obsession

I simply don't understand the obsession with the full-frame idea. It's like some mythical challenge—killing the great white whale, the four-minute mile, putting a man on the moon. People seem obsessed with it. I can't for the life of me figure out why.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex:
APS-C was there only for financial reasons (cheaper sensor and smaller electronics) and nothing else. There were no other considerations for choosing the APS-C sensor.
And what considerations now would drive somebody to full-frame? There's nothing magic about full-frame. Full-frame is a misnomer. It simply means "sensor size approximately = old 35mm film camera frame size."

What exactly are the decisive advantages of full-frame cameras? I simply don't see them. And full-frame cameras have disadvantages, too, and I don't just mean price.


Lenses!

I just don't see Pentax succeeding as a competitor in the full-frame market against Canon and Nikon. And I don't see Pentax or Hoya coming up with any other innovative ideas that would rock the industry or at least turn people's heads.

What I do think Pentax could do, however, is make more competitive lenses: better lenses, faster, and more affordable. Affordability would be key. We're trying to compete here with Canon and Nikon, not with Zeiss!

What I'd like Pentax to do is make a few more outstanding and VERY FAST primes optimized for the APS-C body. By doing this, they could keep their current body design, get some attention for themselves in an area that matters to pros, and pretty much eliminate the advantages of competing full-frame cameras at least in the image quality area. I'd be delighted to pay $700 for a 100 f/1.8 or a 24 f/1.2. Would rather have one of those than a new body. I pull the $700 figure out of thin air. It's a little bit higher than the average price I've paid for my lenses. My point is, if a lens costs $1500 or $2000, well, that's a tough buying decision for me. But if it's $700 or even $800, then it's worth serious consideration.

I think a line-up of seriously superior prime lenses from Pentax WOULD attract attention from pros in the Canon and Nikon camps. Lenses matter more than bodies. The problem is, Nikon and Canon have great lenses, too. That's why I would suggest Pentax work on PRIMES and make 'em really, truly, noticeably superior.

In short, I think Pentax's best option is to really cater to its niche and maximize its advantages. Instead of trying to be another camera maker that makes cameras that can do everything (most of it not as well as the competition, but more cheaply), pick an area that appeals to connoisseurs and become supreme in that area. And that area appears to be lenses, not bodies.

Will
05-19-2010, 07:33 AM   #158
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I find the comments about FF being niche market or "less than 10%" of the market kind of amusing. Or "If Pentax could do it they would have done it already!".

Remember when digital SLRs were 10% of the SLR market. Remember when Pentax didnt have a digital SLR to offer.

The past or present is no indication of the future.

Theres room in the Pentax line up for a world class Full frame DSLR costing between $1500 and 2000 at time of launch. Would it make lots of money? probably not, but it would keep people from running off to Canikon, it would keep me in the business of buying Pentax glass. I see folks selling their K7, K20 or K10 all day long because they went to a 5DmkII or a D700 or a 1D or D3

In the long run (the next 2-3 years or so) the competition will make FF the standard and if Pentax doesnt have a FF camera then I will leave Pentax and that means all my pentax glass (and those of the countless others that make the same choice) will flood the market. eventually it will become a stampede, Pentax would get left behind, serious photographers and newcomers would ignor the brand entirely and the K mount will die.

Every brand needs a flagship model regardless of whether it makes money, its about demonstrating its commitment to innovation and to the future.

Imagine being a TV company and insisting that youll never make a high definition TV because not many people are willing to buy a $5000 TV and you pride yourself on making smaller cheaper high volume TVs. What do you do when the competition drives the prices down from $5000 to $500 and suddenly your TVs dont sell anymore?

What is todays low volume flagship model is tomorrows industry standard. Many people (myself included) see the new technology and wait until it is more mature before we jump on it. A full frame camera around $1500 will sell like hot cakes, in much the same way as high definition TVs and flat panels started selling like hot cakes in 2008 when prices came below $1500. People who had been drooling over them for years and waiting for prices to come down finally got off the couch and pulled their wallets out. That pent up demand is there for FF and you can bet good money that Canon and Nikon are working on a mid level full frame camera as we speak. If Pentax doesnt have an answer for it in the works then it is a dead duck. all the marketing babble about being a niche player and having nice small cameras cant sell an APSC camera at the same price as the competition offers a FF camera. The only hope for Pentax then would be to abandon SLRS and sell only point and shoot cameras.

05-19-2010, 07:57 AM   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by indyphil Quote
Every brand needs a flagship model regardless of whether it makes money, its about demonstrating its commitment to innovation and to the future.
Pentax currently has the 645D. The marketing value is immense, people who're considering their first DSLR notice the news about the 40mp super camera. Just talked to one yesterday who's buying his first serious camera. Unfortunately, he's chosen the E-PL1. And I'm afraid he may be representative for quite a few potential buyers. So from a business point of view, Pentax may want to start competing with m4/3, NEX and NX10 before they attack the FF market.
05-19-2010, 08:03 AM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Pentax was never customer centric. They were Japan-centered and then engineering-centric. The nearly ruined the company when sticking to screw-mount and lost their leading position in the SLR market accordingly.
I don't think any of the companies were customer centric in the 50s and 60s, especially the German firms that had their head in the sand about SLR until about 1968.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Nice for you. Out of the 6 or 7 ME Supers among my closer friends, all but one died long ago. Usually the metering broke, not the least caused by malfunctions of the buttons. The Super Program was much improved in that respect, but somehow never gained the popularity of the MEs.
That's hardly a statistical sample to make a broad sweeping statement. However, I recall Eric Hendrickson saying the MX was more problematic of the M series bodies.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The SFxxx series is really nothing to rave about - come on. These were not only ugly, the appearance matched that of those cheap 25 bucks plastic toy cameras sold today on ebay to the unknowing.
I can't say much about those but the PZ-1p kicked asses and took names compared to the Canon EOS 10s sitting on my desk. The MZ-3 I have kicks its ass also as well as the A2 I got rid of last year.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
But writing, that Pentax AF is second to none is - up to date - more than a bold statement. It is simply unfounded by facts. Just have a look through the countless threads with real life experience here. I would say, the Pentax AF system can be used within its limits successfully - but it cannot compeet with other makes.
Based on the sales of the K-x and K-7, they are competing. Hell, the K-x is competing in different colors. Hysterical

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
If Pentax could have offered a cheap FF camera, they would have done so. The MZ-D died the death by over-pricing (same Philips sensor as the Contax N) - but at least Pentax used the emergency break, before releasing an unsaleable product. Contax died.
All digital bodies were extremely expensive in 2000-2002. The Nikon 5700 hybrid came out in late 2001 at a street price of $1300.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
FF bodies still are under 10% of the DSLR market and if I understood the few and far between utterings by Pentax representatives over the last two years correctly (which might have not been the case), they want to concentrate on viable mass markets, within the niche (whichever) they carved out for themselves. The Pentax niche is already small and I cannot see a reason, to make it even smaller, because a FF camera will not be cheap by any means.
Considering Pentax is been battling to get 10% of the market, it would have been risky for them to do so. I'm not convinced that 1 out of 10 on this site would by a FF Pentax much less the market as a hole.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Whatever "outgrowing" means in photography. Pentax will improve on the K7, that's sure - whatever direction this improvement takes.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Yes, I can use my old lenses. But what is about exactly those newcomers who jumped on to Pentax with the K10 and later offerings and got the DA lenses? These DAs are the current reality, not my old FAs. And Pentax ceased production of most of the remaining FAs over the last two years, especially the long pro-lenses.
There are folks with old Pentax m42 lens, Zeiss lens, Enna lenses that are using them on not only Pentax, but EOS bodies as well.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I DID NOT EVEN MENTION THE 645D. I am not sure, why you would bring it in here - quite as I have no idea, what's Pentax intention with this product.
It probably has to do with Pentax regaining there roll as a trend setter. Canon and Nikon are trying to hold onto their rolls as "Lemming Herders."

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I have never seen your definition of a "Pentaxian". Fine if it suites you. But I would guess, that the "quest for ultimate IQ", could also be the realm of some Canon or Nikon users.
I'm guessing this is on all photographers radar unless they are big into Lomography.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
What I see every single day here in the Pentaxforums, tells quite another story,though!
QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Look at the threads, in every second one, you will find words like "cheap", "affordable", "not expensive" and when you dig deeper, you'll see, that people want lenses below 200USD, tripods below 50USD or start threads about using 3.99USD filters. And I have the feeling (without doing the statistics), that is a large part of "Pentaxians".
That depends on which forums and threads you look at. There are people that are into the LTD series of lenses, DA* primes etc. There are those that are into vintage glass and some of us who like some of all of it. By the same logic I could draw a different conclusion.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Do you seriously consider this cheap-cheaper-cheapest mentality being supportive of buying into FF cameras?
I see a lot more cheap Canon stuff on the streets than any single thing. There is nothing more asinine than a middle of the road equipped Canonnite with there nose so high up in the air they are at risk of drowning here during our rainy season.



QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
If the 645D is a real success, which remains to be seen, as currently it is just extending the never-ending story of that model by further delay in the release date, Pentax may gain enough no reputation in the pro-market, to follow with a FF modell, we'll see.

Ben
Actually, it hasn't been delayed endlessly. It was officially tabled for 2 years. That is a big difference. Under Hoya, this is the first delay of the actual release. What was unveiled 5 years ago was a prototype under glass. Nikon and Canon top FF marketing people are pissing their pants.
05-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Henry Ford: "History is bunk"

Careful with your verb tenses there. Canon and Nikon WERE followers, back, oh, forty, fifty years ago. Ask somebody under the age of 30 where the innovation is today, and they are going to mention Nikon, Canon (maybe), Olympus, maybe Fuji, maybe Samsung, maybe Ricoh, perhaps two or three other makers. NOBODY THINKS PENTAX IS INNOVATIVE NOW. I don't mean to say that Pentax isn't making GREAT cameras. I think they are. I'm using them and I love them. And let me be clear: I think innovation is highly overrated. But that's precisely my point. It is highly overrrated—that is, a lot of people rate innovation very highly. Innovation = news, news = mind share, mind share = market share. Apple has never been as innovative as it looked. Didn't matter. It LOOKED innovative.

Actually, Nikon and Canon don't have to be so innovative. They don't have to make DEVIL cameras, or micro four-thirds cameras, or cameras with Foveon sensors, etc. They have so much of the market sewn up that they can to afford to just keep making really good cameras and be fine. Pentax behaves as if it were in that position. It's not.



The importance of price




I think Ben is right here. I purchased my K100D for three reasons:
  1. Price
  2. Shake reduction in the body—I was stunned that Nikon and Canon didn't have it
  3. Reviews

They were all important to me, but price was really the first consideration and the decisive. I'd add that shake reduction in the body really is a price consideration, pure and simple. There's absolutely nothing wrong with image stabilization in the Nikon or Canon systems, other than the fact that you have to pay for it when you buy lenses.

Now that I have more money invested in Pentax than I like to think about, and I'm making a good portion of my income from photography, I simply can't afford to switch to another system. And because I am able to do very well with my Pentax bodies, I don't feel an urgent need to do so. So Pentax can keep me as an APS-C customer, at least for a while longer.

But if the main upgrade path for me—the main way to get a better camera—is to buy a Pentax full-frame camera, I think it's quite possible Pentax will LOSE me as a customer. Nearly all of my lenses now are APS-C optimized lenses. If I have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a new body and thousands more to buy new lenses, I'm probably going to figure out a way to do that buying Nikon.


The full-frame obsession

I simply don't understand the obsession with the full-frame idea. It's like some mythical challenge—killing the great white whale, the four-minute mile, putting a man on the moon. People seem obsessed with it. I can't for the life of me figure out why.



And what considerations now would drive somebody to full-frame? There's nothing magic about full-frame. Full-frame is a misnomer. It simply means "sensor size approximately = old 35mm film camera frame size."

What exactly are the decisive advantages of full-frame cameras? I simply don't see them. And full-frame cameras have disadvantages, too, and I don't just mean price.


Lenses!

I just don't see Pentax succeeding as a competitor in the full-frame market against Canon and Nikon. And I don't see Pentax or Hoya coming up with any other innovative ideas that would rock the industry or at least turn people's heads.

What I do think Pentax could do, however, is make more competitive lenses: better lenses, faster, and more affordable. Affordability would be key. We're trying to compete here with Canon and Nikon, not with Zeiss!

What I'd like Pentax to do is make a few more outstanding and VERY FAST primes optimized for the APS-C body. By doing this, they could keep their current body design, get some attention for themselves in an area that matters to pros, and pretty much eliminate the advantages of competing full-frame cameras at least in the image quality area. I'd be delighted to pay $700 for a 100 f/1.8 or a 24 f/1.2. Would rather have one of those than a new body. I pull the $700 figure out of thin air. It's a little bit higher than the average price I've paid for my lenses. My point is, if a lens costs $1500 or $2000, well, that's a tough buying decision for me. But if it's $700 or even $800, then it's worth serious consideration.

I think a line-up of seriously superior prime lenses from Pentax WOULD attract attention from pros in the Canon and Nikon camps. Lenses matter more than bodies. The problem is, Nikon and Canon have great lenses, too. That's why I would suggest Pentax work on PRIMES and make 'em really, truly, noticeably superior.

In short, I think Pentax's best option is to really cater to its niche and maximize its advantages. Instead of trying to be another camera maker that makes cameras that can do everything (most of it not as well as the competition, but more cheaply), pick an area that appeals to connoisseurs and become supreme in that area. And that area appears to be lenses, not bodies.

Will

The pro-market isn't really what put Canon way out ahead of the pack beginning in the late 80s. The left Nikon with their pro-market base. It was the AF wars and Canon took a gamble and left a chunk of their FD users behind. However, it paid off for them. The pro-market is a lot different animal these days.

Sure Pentax is a niche market. They will remain so for a while. They are just expanding their niche. To continue the ecology analogy, everyone has a niche.
05-19-2010, 10:29 AM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Offer FF under $1500, Pentaxian buy.
But that's the problem.
People here want a cheap Pentax, and at the same time, complain about slow AF, low FPS, P-TTL, noise.... You can't have it both ways....

QuoteQuote:
I think FF camera from Pentax could easy take 20% of all Pentax DSLR. Not 7-10% like Canon.
Not a chance. If K-7 cannot get near 10%, I can't see how a FF can (apart from first 1 or 2 months "honey moon" period).
Even Canon cannot get anywhere close to 10%. Only 5D MkII are sold in any decent numbers. In the month of April, 5D II ranks 17th and 22nd in sales chart in Japan, and that represent approx 2% market share. So out of Canon's 40-45% total DSLR market share, that's only about 5% of Canon sales.
05-19-2010, 11:44 AM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
But that's the problem.
People here want a cheap Pentax, and at the same time, complain about slow AF, low FPS, P-TTL, noise.... You can't have it both ways....



Not a chance. If K-7 cannot get near 10%, I can't see how a FF can (apart from first 1 or 2 months "honey moon" period).
Even Canon cannot get anywhere close to 10%. Only 5D MkII are sold in any decent numbers. In the month of April, 5D II ranks 17th and 22nd in sales chart in Japan, and that represent approx 2% market share. So out of Canon's 40-45% total DSLR market share, that's only about 5% of Canon sales.


Hard to pick the exact numbers here, but I would think that just because of the old lens compatibility that more Pentaxians seems more likely to buy FF DSLR's.
05-19-2010, 12:36 PM   #164
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How accurate is it to say that new DA lenses are on hold - what is the source? I thought Pentax was coming out with a DA* 11-16 f/2.8 based on the Tokina. Or is DA* considered differently than DA in this context?
While a FF product would add more depth to the Pentax repertoire, I'm concerned about protecting my current investment. After using a cache of old manual lenses I invested in the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 2.8. Since these lenses are designed for APS-C, how well will they perform on FF? What kept me with Pentax in the first place with the ability to recycle glass from my time with the K1000. There is no way in hell I'm going to drop another $1k for a FF version of the same lens. Won't this alienate all the DA limited loyalists out there - surely I'm not the only one edgy about an abandonment of this format?


Personally I would like to see a K7 upgrade with the high ISO capabilities of the K-x (minimally) and autofocus on par with the 300s and 7D. My choice of the K-x over the K7 was not economically driven - I frequently shoot high ISO and compromised with the K-x as a bridge in anticipation of K7 refresh. Because I like Pentax. But I recently got to spend a day with a 300s and have to say, that camera was simply wonderful. The AF was in another league completely. If Pentax could match that product with a K8, let alone surpass it, I'd be content.
05-19-2010, 01:57 PM   #165
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Will, I must quote Goethe (with a poor translation by myself): you spoke a true word calmly.

I think you are just right. Pentax was and is famous for producing products with well proven technology, that combined, in the best way, the "good" things from the market to an affordable price and are therefore unique and innovative, looking at that from another point of view.

That's why I have to laugh at some critics that say, yeah, nice cam the K-7, but the Olympus XX is lighter and smaller/the Canon XX is faster/the Nikon XX has less noise. Turn this around (which one is smaller than the Nikon, has less noise than the Olympus and better built than the Canon and is more affordable than all of them) and you have defined the virtues of Pentax cameras.

And I absolutely agree that the biggest plus of the Pentax system could be built with a set of top-lenses, even if they are APS-C.

Regarding the FF-myth: I agree that they should focus on APS-C for new innovations (just some minor changes and a successor of the K-7 is still a dream camera). I would say remote control (PC), some AF tweaks and some flash tweaking could make it a professional tool for different occasions.

As an addition I could just imagine, as some others have pointed in this direction, a very reduced camera, held back to the basic necessities, which should be for 35mm:
* use of existing lenses (mechanical coupling....)
* high ISO and DR-sensor (keep the resolution between 14 and 18 Mp)
* AL-capable AF (just one central focus point, higly sensitive in low light)

You gain two advantages: you keep the value of the APS-C system and you give the people the opportunity to use a system with the FA (*/limited) lenses. Add just two fast and high performance limited zooms and you have a camera worth to buy additionally to an existing APS-C system.


QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Henry Ford: "History is bunk"

...And let me be clear: I think innovation is highly overrated. But that's precisely my point. It is highly overrrated—that is, a lot of people rate innovation very highly. ...

The importance of price

...They were all important to me, but price was really the first consideration and the decisive. I'd add that shake reduction in the body really is a price consideration, pure and simple. There's absolutely nothing wrong with image stabilization in the Nikon or Canon systems, other than the fact that you have to pay for it when you buy lenses.

Now that I have more money invested in Pentax than I like to think about, and I'm making a good portion of my income from photography, I simply can't afford to switch to another system. And because I am able to do very well with my Pentax bodies, I don't feel an urgent need to do so. So Pentax can keep me as an APS-C customer, at least for a while longer.

But if the main upgrade path for me—the main way to get a better camera—is to buy a Pentax full-frame camera, I think it's quite possible Pentax will LOSE me as a customer. Nearly all of my lenses now are APS-C optimized lenses. If I have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a new body and thousands more to buy new lenses, I'm probably going to figure out a way to do that buying Nikon.


The full-frame obsession

I simply don't understand the obsession with the full-frame idea. It's like some mythical challenge—killing the great white whale, the four-minute mile, putting a man on the moon. People seem obsessed with it. I can't for the life of me figure out why.

And what considerations now would drive somebody to full-frame? There's nothing magic about full-frame. Full-frame is a misnomer. It simply means "sensor size approximately = old 35mm film camera frame size."

What exactly are the decisive advantages of full-frame cameras? I simply don't see them. And full-frame cameras have disadvantages, too, and I don't just mean price.


Lenses!

I just don't see Pentax succeeding as a competitor in the full-frame market against Canon and Nikon. And I don't see Pentax or Hoya coming up with any other innovative ideas that would rock the industry or at least turn people's heads.

What I do think Pentax could do, however, is make more competitive lenses: better lenses, faster, and more affordable. Affordability would be key. We're trying to compete here with Canon and Nikon, not with Zeiss!

...

I think a line-up of seriously superior prime lenses from Pentax WOULD attract attention from pros in the Canon and Nikon camps. Lenses matter more than bodies. The problem is, Nikon and Canon have great lenses, too. That's why I would suggest Pentax work on PRIMES and make 'em really, truly, noticeably superior.

In short, I think Pentax's best option is to really cater to its niche and maximize its advantages. Instead of trying to be another camera maker that makes cameras that can do everything (most of it not as well as the competition, but more cheaply), pick an area that appeals to connoisseurs and become supreme in that area. And that area appears to be lenses, not bodies.

Will

Last edited by MMVIII; 05-19-2010 at 02:19 PM.
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