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06-18-2010, 09:39 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I seriously doubt that Pentax is going to stop making camera bodies in the current size format. The Micro 4/3 or whatever will probably be an additional line.
Exactly. I can't imagine Pentax would drop APS-C. Micro four-thirds would be an addition, which could theoretically replace Pentax's line of small-sensored digicams. But I doubt that as well because I'm pretty sure Pentax doesn't actually make those low-level cameras and if they make the company money, great.

As for micro four-thirds in general, I can't speak for others but I also own an Olympus E-PL1 and I think it's great. Noise levels are better than my K200D. Dynamic range problems are not an issue. One can clip highlights with almost any camera if you try hard enough. The Olympus's tendency to do so is only slight and only in really demanding situations.

Meanwhile, the E-PL1 - with a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake mounted on it - is also superior to my K200D in low light (of course, with a faster lens than I have in my Pentax lineup). Besides, I use the E-PL1 for generally less critical work. It's light years better than any compact digicam and a total hoot to use. An excellent second camera for when you don't want to carry a DSLR.

Does this mean I now have less interest in Pentax and larger-sensor DSLRs? Absolutely not. I eagerly await Pentax's announcements - for both APS-C and possibly micro four-thirds - this fall.


Last edited by Biro; 06-18-2010 at 09:44 PM.
06-18-2010, 10:59 PM   #32
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Going to M4/3 probably means a new EVIL camera, good news overall considering the success of this kind of camera. Pentax can sure grab its share of the market.

What I'm worried about is the addition of a new lens line-up on top of both the APS-C and 645D (in developpement) lens line-up.

Somewhere in the future, the developpement of one of these three lens line-up will probably suffer from the limited resource resulting from developping three different lens formats.

Canon and Nikon both have 1 lens format (2 if you count APS-C and FF DSLR lenses as separate series, but since both APS-C and FF share the same mount, I technically count APS-C and FF as one format).

Sony has 2 lens formats, EVIL and DSLR (3 if you count APS-C and FF DSLR lenses as separate series [...]).

Olympus has 2 lens formats, EVIL and DSLR, same for Panasonic. Also the same for Samsung (they use rebranded Pentax lenses for their DSLR).

Pentax has 2 lens formats, 645 and DSLR (3 if you count APS-C and FF DSLR lenses as separate series [...]).

And now Pentax would have one more format?! Can they pull it off?

***

However, it could also mean Hoya will soon be offering Pentax lenses for other mounts instead (either as rebranded or as third-party lenses)!!!


I'm not kidding...

Hoya already mentioned in the past that they were investigating the possibility of developping lenses for other mounts, allowing Pentax to become a third-party brand for other manufacturers.

With the possible release of a new Nikon EVIL camera, the launch of the Sony EVIL NEX series and the already existing Micro 4/3 (Olympus & Panasonic) and Micro APS-C (Samsung), there is a lot of potential market for Pentax third-party lenses, with a lot of potential for profits.

That is especially true considering the vast experience of Pentax in developping pancake lenses. Such lenses would be the perfect companions for EVIL cameras and would make them pocketable indeed.
06-18-2010, 11:15 PM   #33
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Anybody found a link to the patent application / granted patent on any legit website, either for the original Japanese patent or an overseas equivalent?

All my searches on the provided number find nothing except the Japanese blog, sites discussing the Japanese blog, and a handful of unrelated pages.
06-18-2010, 11:23 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
I'm about to join.
Thanks! Now if you make some posts I'll be incredibly happy.

06-18-2010, 11:42 PM   #35
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If Hoya will sell micro 4/3 lenses, it's simply good bussiness and nothing else.
06-19-2010, 02:34 AM   #36
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That´s the point ogl
And Hoya´s goal is,to be profitable with Pentax.
And it looks not bad

Best regards
06-19-2010, 02:48 AM   #37
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If Pentax users think Pentax glass, especially primes, are so good, why hasn't Pentax sold lenses to other mounts so far? Is it that they'd have to pay some licensing fees? Is it that they'd have to reverse engineer the electric contacts? Or is it that their business model brings actually more money in from the camera bodies than lenses? I have thought that lenses are where the money is, but I've heard opposite claimed also. And it is true that when one has a "complete" collection of lenses, it's the cameras that he/she buys then and considering their relatively cheap price, perhaps again and again.
06-19-2010, 04:36 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
If Pentax users think Pentax glass, especially primes, are so good, why hasn't Pentax sold lenses to other mounts so far? Is it that they'd have to pay some licensing fees? Is it that they'd have to reverse engineer the electric contacts? Or is it that their business model brings actually more money in from the camera bodies than lenses?
Presumably it just a matter of pride. The money come form the lenses, but Nikon would never sell lenses with Canon mount, Canon would never sell lenses with Nikon mount, and Pentax would never sell lenses with both mount.

But now Hoya is not Pentax...

06-19-2010, 07:46 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Wow, this'd be good news. I think Pentax needs a MILC and it'd be awesome to see them join in something successful rather than striking out on their own and producing a well-made but pointless also-ran (Samsung, I'm lookin' at you).
For the life of me, I just cannot see the point of joining µ43 now...

After letting Pana and Oly get all the profits they could in the first, most lucrative, period, they would come in what is soon going to be an overcrowded area where margins are going to fall dramatically: late they are, very late.

µAPS-C is a bit better with only the first cameras getting out now (Sony & Samsung) but is going the same way with prices falling down fast.

And please, can someone tell me why MILC cameras would necesarily be the "future" of the camera business?

Sure, with a pancake lens, they are small and quiet: this will surely appeal to some people (like me...) but those people will buy a body, one or two primes and hat's it, hardly more than a niche.

What about the general crowd? Just put a zoom on these tiny cameras and they become as bulky and less enjoyable to use than any DSLR can be with slower AF and questionable VF (if any)... I can clearly see some of the P&S crowd being lured into MILC but I can also see them running back to their P&S when they'll realize how big a MILC camera is whith a 18-200 zoom...

Furthermore, it's been told time and again (and again) that Pentax just doesn't have what it takes to run 3 lens lines at the same time... did anything change on this front?
06-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
For the life of me, I just cannot see the point of joining µ43 now...

After letting Pana and Oly get all the profits they could in the first, most lucrative, period, they would come in what is soon going to be an overcrowded area where margins are going to fall dramatically: late they are, very late.

µAPS-C is a bit better with only the first cameras getting out now (Sony & Samsung) but is going the same way with prices falling down fast.

And please, can someone tell me why MILC cameras would necesarily be the "future" of the camera business?

Sure, with a pancake lens, they are small and quiet: this will surely appeal to some people (like me...) but those people will buy a body, one or two primes and hat's it, hardly more than a niche.

What about the general crowd? Just put a zoom on these tiny cameras and they become as bulky and less enjoyable to use than any DSLR can be with slower AF and questionable VF (if any)... I can clearly see some of the P&S crowd being lured into MILC but I can also see them running back to their P&S when they'll realize how big a MILC camera is whith a 18-200 zoom...

Furthermore, it's been told time and again (and again) that Pentax just doesn't have what it takes to run 3 lens lines at the same time... did anything change on this front?
lol... when people talk about EVILs or MILCs being the future of the business, they don't necessarily believe (at least I don't) that the format will wipe out DSLRs. But such cameras do stand a chance of becoming the largest single segment of the market for dedicated cameras. Here are the demographics that I believe will come together to give EVILs/MILCs a lion's share of the market (but I could be completely deluded):

A) Serious photo enthusiasts (like me) who own extensive DSLR systems but want a second camera or system that's smaller and lighter (i.e. more convenient) than a DSLR but still provides results much better than typical digicams. If we're honest with ourselves, this is almost all of us. We all recognize there are situations when the DSLR is best left at home.

B) Non-enthusiast members of the general public who have been using digicams long enough to begin to notice their shortcomings and want something better.

I work in New York City - a place where one sees a lot of tourists each day. I have noticed that more and more of these tourists are carrying DSLRs (one used to see them shooting with tiny digicams). Now, some of these people will undoubtedly evolve into the next generation of photo and DSLR enthusiasts. But historical sales trends make it pretty clear that it won't be most of them. It's a no-brainer that many of these people would prefer cameras that are noticeably smaller and lighter than DSLRs - if they can get, say, 80-90% of the quality.

Now, while I don't see DSLRs going away - professionals and serious enthusiasts will still appreciate what these cameras have to offer - it is clear that the market for DSLRs is mature and may have reached its peak in terms of annual sales. We're not going to see a lot of growth - and the sales figures from the major camera makers back up my contention.

At the same time, the market for small, entry-level digicams is also likely to suffer as many users opt for cell-phone cameras, which continue to improve in both quality and ability, and other users move up to EVILs/MILCs. So don't look for a lot of growth here, either.

One part of the digicam market that is likely to grow, however, is the compact superzoom segment. I'm not talking about Canon SX20s, Panasonic FZ35s, Nikon P100s and Fujifilm HS10s. I'm talking about Canon SX210s, Panasonic ZS5s, Samsung HZ35s and Casio FH100s. This segment will take care of the people who might be put off by the size of an EVIL or MILC with an 18-200mm zoom on it. In fact, those larger P&S superzooms - the so-called bridge cameras - will also probably suffer due to the availability of EVILs/MILCs just above them and better compact superzooms just below them.

'Compact Super Zoom' Camera Group Test (Q2 2010) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

To sum up, for the next 5-to-7 years, I see slow or no growth in DSLRs and compact, entry-level digicams with most of the growth in the EVIL/MILC and compact superzoom segments. It's hard to predict what will happen beyond that as both economic factors and technical progress will be the overriding influences on the camera market.

That's my take on it. But I certainly don't have all the answers. Feel free to poke holes in my theories and assumptions. We're all friends here.

Last edited by Biro; 06-19-2010 at 03:16 PM.
06-19-2010, 01:15 PM   #41
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Biro, thanks for this interesting post.

To answer to your A) point: I agree but MILC/EVIL in their current form are too big to me.
An LX3 (which I own) is the max possible size. It already is quite deep. S90 size is even better.
Yes I know, with a pancake an EVIL can be of acceptable size, but it is inconvenient, so a no-go: even my LX3 is more useful with its very limited zoom range.

Once I can find an EVIL with a standard zoom range (3x) with no more deep in my pocket than an S90, I'll buy one.
06-19-2010, 02:39 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Biro, thanks for this interesting post.

To answer to your A) point: I agree but MILC/EVIL in their current form are too big to me.
An LX3 (which I own) is the max possible size. It already is quite deep. S90 size is even better.
Yes I know, with a pancake an EVIL can be of acceptable size, but it is inconvenient, so a no-go: even my LX3 is more useful with its very limited zoom range.

Once I can find an EVIL with a standard zoom range (3x) with no more deep in my pocket than an S90, I'll buy one.
Thibs... I understand what your saying. I have an LX3 myself (still a great camera, by the way). One of the reasons I bought the E-PL1 is that the Olympus, in a practical sense for me, really isn't larger than the LX3 - even though it really is larger. That's because, as you point out, the thickness of the LX3 (mostly the lens) prevents me from easily putting it in a pants pocket. I still need to either put it in a small camera bag or just carry it around my neck with a strap.

Well, that's what I have to do with the E-PL1. What's more, the weight difference between the cameras isn't much - 11.8 ounces for the Olympus vs. 9.3 ounces for the Panasonic. So I've opted for the larger sensor and interchangeable lenses. But if the LX3 is already pushing it for you in terms of size, I can see your point.

What you and many others may need is something like a micro four-thirds EVIL/MILC with... don't laugh... folded optics. Ridiculous? Think about it. Panasonic's TS series of waterproof, rugged, point and shoots showed you can get great results with folded optics. What if they offered a micro four-thirds compact featuring a non-interchangeable lens with folded optics? Say, with a short zoom range like the LX3? Or no zoom range? Notice that Leica's X1, with an APS-C sensor, has a fixed 24mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) lens.

I don't expect anything like this anytime soon. But as the EVIL/MILC market becomes more crowded, there'll be pressure for camera makers to break from the crowd by differentiating their products. But without that pressure, most camera makers are too conservative in their thinking and won't step outside the box. Panasonic and Olympus had nothing to lose by stepping out of the box and coming up with four-thirds and micro four-thirds.

I am sure there'll be an EVIL/MILC that meets your needs before very long. Maybe a Pentax?

Last edited by Biro; 06-19-2010 at 03:27 PM.
06-19-2010, 05:41 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by tigrebleu Quote
Canon and Nikon both have 1 lens format (2 if you count APS-C and FF DSLR lenses as separate series, but since both APS-C and FF share the same mount, I technically count APS-C and FF as one format).....

.....Pentax has 2 lens formats, 645 and DSLR (3 if you count APS-C and FF DSLR lenses as separate series [...]).

And now Pentax would have one more format?! Can they pull it off?
Nikon used to make 35mm lenses, MF lenses (for Bronica and maybe others) and LF lenses along with a variety of industrial and scientific lenses (which they probably still do).

Fuji had their own range of 35mm and MF cameras and also made LF lenses.

Canon made/make movie/video lenses in a variety of formats as well as their 35mm lenses.

In 1984 when it introduced the 645 Pentax also had the 110, K mount and 6x7 systems, plus medical and scientific optics.

The real issue will be manufacturing capacity, not the ability of Pentax to design the lenses, and of course whether Pentax can sell enough of them to make it worth doing.
06-19-2010, 06:02 PM   #44
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It is interesting to note that there has been/is µFT activity at Pentax in/since the year 2008. So, a shift of optical resources to FF isn't the only/exclusive possibility.

However, many Pentax patents are never commercialized and no real conclusions can be drawn. Just another tiny bit of information to remember ...
06-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
However, many Pentax patents are never commercialized and no real conclusions can be drawn. Just another tiny bit of information to remember ...
nooo!!!1!1 omg pentax is totaly gonna do this cuz they know i want 4/3 and they also dont want me 2 change 2 another brand cuz they luv me so much.

I've got two words on these patents, like what falcon says: "Blocking" and "patents."

Since we're chucking petrol around, would someone like to remind me again of the advantages of a 4/3-sized sensor versus an APS-C one, and why a Pentax DILDOS wouldn't use the larger one?
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