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05-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrPetkus Quote
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?
I am not sure, if there is ANY official source, that says anything about DA lenses being on hold.

The DA 16-50 will be unuseable on FF. Yes, I know, some people will claim, that above a certain minimum focal length (22-24mm perhaps?) it would illuminate the full FF sensor. But it wans't designed to do so and I would not be content to use only part of its zoom range.

QuoteOriginally posted by MrPetkus Quote
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.
In the run of this discussion, you will find a few people who will deny your experience and insist, that the Pentax AF system is superior. So, your 300s experience must come from another world...

Your wishlist, by the way, is very much my own.

Ben

05-19-2010, 02:19 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by MMVIII Quote

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.
I agree fully with your notions and I also think, you have worded the Pentax strength very nicely!

Ben
05-20-2010, 07:45 AM   #168
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waiting for the FF DSLR , all rumor say that will come out.
05-20-2010, 02:56 PM   #169
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But not in 2010

05-20-2010, 03:56 PM   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrPetkus Quote
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.
Could clarify what you mean by the 300s was in another league concerning the AF. What was different about it? To me, a real layman, a camera either focuses or it doesn't so I was hoping to learn...
05-20-2010, 07:40 PM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
Could clarify what you mean by the 300s was in another league concerning the AF. What was different about it? To me, a real layman, a camera either focuses or it doesn't so I was hoping to learn...
The D300 has faster and more decisive AF.
05-20-2010, 08:11 PM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
Could clarify what you mean by the 300s was in another league concerning the AF. What was different about it? To me, a real layman, a camera either focuses or it doesn't so I was hoping to learn...
I can speak subjectively about my experience with the 300s AF but there is a technological basis for its superiority over the Pentax system.

Under average conditions (normal lighting and static to moderately moving subjects) there is little discernible difference between AF on the 2 cameras. However, I have learned that there are just some shots I'm not going to make on the Pentax and have adjusted my style and expectations accordingly. Someone here quipped about AF performance trying to capture a motorcycle whizzing toward you down the street. That's a perfect example. But it is the same with a bird or a running child. Note that I'm not describing a situation where the subject is moving quickly at the same focal length or parallel to the photographer but rather "toward and away". The performance degrades further as light quality diminishes.

At one point when I had the 300s, I was spinning around shooting a gaggle of kids frenetically running about like gas molecules in a balloon. Almost every shot crystalized the moment with tack sharp eyes and smiles. With my Pentax I'd have to disable CA and Distortion Correction and shoot in continuous drive mode hoping for some usable shots.

Do I think Pentax AF sucks? No way. I like my camera. In fact, I usually shoot manual anyway (right now torn between my next: Zeiss 50/1.4 or Voigtlander 58/1.4?). But if I were thrust into the shoes of a sports photographer or photojournalist capturing the moments after a car bomb explosion in Kabul then I'd require something better due to my own deficiencies. This new era of super fast AF and staggeringly high ISO is just a sliver in the evolution of photography. Behind it is a whole body of amazing photography done with film and manual lenses. If I don't stay anchored in that world then I'm going to be a lazy, dumb photographer, wheel on auto, completely reliant on and ultimately limited by technology.

From a purely technological standpoint is Nikon's AF technology better? Without a doubt.
Other than increasing the AF points over the years, the Pentax SAFOX III *autofocus sensor* has not significantly changed since the days of the *ist D.
The K-x and K-7 use an 11-point AF system with 9 cross-type points (the K-7 has a 2nd light color sensor and spruced up algorithms). In Mickey Mouse, a cross-type point is a sensor wherein a 2nd copy of an image (created by splitting light entering the lens) is compared to the 1st in order to determine correct focus. Pentax has 9 of those vs. Nikon's 15. The Pentax user can select up to 11 points on the frame from which the AF system can determine correct focus. On Nikon it's 51.

I imagine most folks, like me, who bought into Pentax researched the other brands. I knew it didn't have the best AF, etc., but I have a truly capable camera with a great lens selection at a reasonable price.
05-20-2010, 09:08 PM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I'm not following this line of thought at all.
Obviously. If you were paying attention to the "interview" post, the indication was that Pentax would upgrade existing bodies, and produce a professional grade body "above" the K7. Now think for a moment. What can they "upgrade" on the K7, i.e., what are people clamoring about in their "wish lists" for a K7 successor? Better sensor, better autofocus, and maybe higher frame rate is all that one could say is "lacking." I mean, what else do you want or need?! It's already a magnesium alloy body, 100% viewfinder, with a decent 5fps, what do you think is going to distinguish another APS-C camera from an upgraded K7?! There aren't enough "upgrades" left to make room for something "above" the K7, unless it's a FF camera. That's the line of thought.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
But making a FF camera in itself isn't innovative. It's more conventional thinking. It's Pentax saying, "Me, too!" Will
The same argument applies MUCH more successfully if applied to APS-C cameras, since there's LOTS more of those. There's currently NOTHING more "me too" than another APS-C dSLR.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
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.
An upgraded K7 with say, better sensor, better autofocus won't satisfy you? In what way? It's not like having a FF dSLR will make all of Pentax's APS-C options disappear. As for Pentax "losing" you, I doubt it, once you start pricing Nikon gear LOL.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
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."
How about a viewfinder THAT DOESN'T SUCK - like every APS-C viewfinder does. If you've forgotten, or never used a film SLR, pick up a film SLR and see what you've been missing.

The first 35mm camera I ever used was a half frame rangefinder camera that was my father's. When I moved UP to the full frame 35mm SLR from that camera, there was absolutely zero desire to EVER move BACK DOWN in format size. There still isn't. APS-C is less than half frame, and the reduction in format brought no advantages and many disadvantages (stellar marketing campaigns notwithstanding). I never asked for, or wanted, an APS-C dSLR, but have been forced to wait for what I've wanted to begin with, i.e., a 35mm format dSLR, because of sensor fabrication costs and the need for the technology to improve (and the costs come down) so that Pentax could produce a marketable FF offering. The time has come. Patience is running thin at this point, because FF doesn't mean $6,000 or $8,000 any more - it can be done for reasonable prices now. The foot dragging needs to end already. APS-C was always a compromise design resulting from sensor costs - if not for that obstacle, Pentax never would have made an APS-C dSLR, nor would Nikon or Canon.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
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!
Bigger formats always are better than smaller formats for image quality, since the larger the format, the less demanding it is on the lens (since the lens doesn't have to resolve the details at such a small size). 35mm has been the most popular format for a long time because it struck the right balance between image quality and size/weight of equipment. APS-C is really just 35mm with an undersized sensor; once you can get 35mm format dSLRs for prices close to higher end APS-C dSLRs, the reasons for the APS-Compromise quickly vanish.

As for "seeing them," (the decisive advantages of full-frame cameras) I'll repeat my comment from above - How about a viewfinder THAT DOESN'T SUCK - like every APS-C viewfinder does. If you've forgotten, or never used a film SLR, pick up a film SLR and see what you've been missing.

I've got a full array of FF PK mount lenses already. As for those who must have "new" lenses, since Pentax has been making 35mm format lenses for decades, that isn't exactly a big challenge for Pentax. Plenty of third party lenses available too.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
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.
A well priced Pentax FF dSLR with K7 build quality/features, top notch image quality, a 100% coverage/95% magnification viewfinder and full manual diaphragm controls for full backward compatibility with all K mount lenses would rock things pretty good!

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
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!
They can make those great new lenses FF lenses. No difference in size/weight for lenses of similar focal length and aperture anyway, and they'll still work fine on your APS-C cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
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.
You'll never see lenses that can "eliminate the advantages of competing FF cameras," certainly at those prices and with those apertures, when they're handicapped with resolving things at 42.25% of the size that a competing FF lens has to resolve them to.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
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
Bodies matter more than they used to, because not everyone can use an equivalent "sensor" by changing the type of "film" they load in the digital medium. When you handicap yourself with a less-than-half-size (compared with competitors) format as your only choice, you aren't going to be competitive in the long run.

QuoteOriginally posted by indyphil Quote
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.
Agreed! It's as if people are wearing blinders on this issue - the "market share" of FF is less due to price and price alone. As the FF prices get closer to high end APS-C cameras, the market share is going to increase.

QuoteOriginally posted by indyphil Quote
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.
Agreed, except I think they can make plenty on a FF dSLR at this point. The sensor prices are coming down, and a FF body will get many more "early adopters" willing to pay high margin introductory prices than another (yawn) APS-C camera, since with a few more tweaks they'll have taken APS-C about as far as it can go (i.e., they'll be nothing left to justify expensive body "upgrades").

05-21-2010, 03:41 AM - 1 Like   #174
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I think, there is too much wishful thinking in your post - especially concerning the price tags for FF equipment.

A K-7 successor with FF sensor, 100% viewfinder at 0.95x magnification and mechanical aperture levers for app. 1500USD? And then Pentax bringin out a new series of FF lenses at bargain prices?

The reality is, that the few remaining FF lenses have seen a severe price increase, nearly doubling that price over the last year. New FF lenses, especially those, that would make sense to complement a FF camera will not be bargains at all.

Using old lenses on FF cameras can sometimes produce great images, but we are already seeing, that the really good old glass sometimes costs just as much as it was new or even above. And the cheap crap, that Pentax also often produced is certainly not, what would make sense on a FF body, for those people craving for the best IQ.

I am not against FF cameras. But to expect it to be a cheap option is just unrealistic and will lead to even more loathing, when the real thing eventually will be released.

In the meantime there is still enough room for improvements on the APS-C sensor. And we'll see, that further advancements in in-camera processing will increase IQ. I just made a couple of prints in Super A3 format from K10 and K20 images and they deliver such a high IQ, that I cannot see, where a Pentax FF camera would have provided any improvement.

We should not forget, that the final printed image is the measure and the prints are much more limiting in terms of contrast range, Dmax, Drange and colour space, than the camera (not even to speak of monitor-based slideshows or the like). FF cameras will give less noise, may give higher Drange, may give finer tonality. But if it does not make a visible impact in my prints, it is not really relevant.

This is just my personal opinion, which you do not need and certainly will not share - but that's fine.

Ben
05-21-2010, 05:13 AM   #175
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QuoteQuote:
Agreed, except I think they can make plenty on a FF dSLR at this point. The sensor prices are coming down, and a FF body will get many more "early adopters" willing to pay high margin introductory prices than another (yawn) APS-C camera, since with a few more tweaks they'll have taken APS-C about as far as it can go (i.e., they'll be nothing left to justify expensive body "upgrades").
Yet another yawn FF rant. Seriously, it isn't going to happen. And I certainly won't be buying one. I'm in the market for a 645D, which will spank any FF in IQ.
05-21-2010, 05:40 AM   #176
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Pentax just released a MF camera for about half the price compared to competition and you guys stubbornly claim that FF for some reason always will be in the (for the most of us) too expensive $2000+ slot?

It's like claiming in the '90s that a 100MB HDD or a 60 MHz processor would be a dream but would most certainly never come to "buyable" price levels.

In this case, the only uncertainty is if the cheap FF will feature a Pentax logo or not imo.
05-21-2010, 06:19 AM   #177
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FF will come to Pentax eventually; that is the ceaseless march of technology. But if Pentax asked me what I wanted first - FF or better AF - I'd choose AF without hesitation.
05-21-2010, 06:52 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
FF will come to Pentax eventually; that is the ceaseless march of technology. But if Pentax asked me what I wanted first - FF or better AF - I'd choose AF without hesitation.
I choose FF. K-7's AF is good enough.
05-21-2010, 07:14 AM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
I choose FF. K-7's AF is good enough.
I will choose FF, even if they do not have AF
05-21-2010, 07:34 AM   #180
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I will buy Pentax FF when they will decide to release it... if not too late! Because I just need more iso and want more DR than any APS-C can offer (and AF is already more than enough for me)
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