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06-21-2010, 05:47 AM   #61
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dnas, if it was that easy for them to gain market share, why haven't they? Why do you think it's easier for them to gain so much as 1/3 of the EVILs?
And there are other factors to be considered; launching a new system takes resources (that would be from DSLRs). Delaying DSLR products in order to support an incompatible, competitor's system - what message would that bring?

06-21-2010, 05:47 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
Anyway, how big is the market for 24 x 36. [...] If anyone knows.
I don't know the answer but would like to know the exact figure as well.

However, now that virtually no new 4/3 SLRs are made anymore, there are only FF mount SLRs and smaller mount SLDs (system cameras) left.

So, one way to see it is the future market segmentation:
  1. Phone camera
  2. High end compact (like LX3, Leica X1)
  3. SLD (ÁFT, E-mount, NX, ...)
  4. FF dSLR (Canon, Nikon, Sony)
  5. FF Rangefinders
  6. MF dSLR (P1, Hassy, Pentax, Leica)
I am absolutely sure that the APS-C dSLR segment is about to disappear, eaten up by SLD from the bottom and FF dSLR from the top. Has already happened for 4/3 dSLR...

So, if you were Pentax, what would you do? Their P&S division could jump to high end compact or SLD and their SLR division could jump to FF. Maybe that's exactly what they do ...

If I were them, I would codevelop an SLD and SLR both with FF sensor (an entry level SLD with APS-C too), share the lens development roadmap (some wide angle lenses would be SLD only of course -- but e.g., Sigma does already release their APS-C SLR lenses for the NX mount) and leave the smaller sensor SLD markets to giants like Sony or Samsung. You really don't want to compete with them for what appears to be a new market ... Even Nikon and Canon seem to stay away from that battle you can only loose (think Sony NEX-XX for $199).

Last edited by falconeye; 06-21-2010 at 05:59 AM.
06-21-2010, 05:55 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
Second, it can't have K-mount, it must have a much smaller flange distance. But if "k-mount lens capabilities" means that they'll provide a fully automatic (including AF) K-mount adapter, then by all means, that would really be cool.
Are you sure it requires a new flange distance? What really matters appears to be the total depth of the lens + box. The Pentax primes are small enough already and it appears that primes are making something of a comeback as the current M43 camp demonstrate.

No M43 or EVIL I have seen is a truly pocketable device (and our pockest are becoing increasingly crowded with smartphones). Some (e.g. PEN) are very hard to hold compared to the extended grip of a DSLR. If one abandons the pocket fantasy, theres' more design leeway. Sony's NEX looks like a pipe stuck on a cigarette box. Surely there is market space something that looks less like a James Bond toy and more like a rugged camera with a proper grip.

As a market strategy, EVIL may not be a way for Pentax to grow market share. However, a backwards compatible, k-mount EVIL would play very well to the Pentax loyal. Make it rugged and WR and the the niche is less about about form factor and that slick look, and more defined.
06-21-2010, 06:11 AM   #64
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And about "FF"... I'm not sure if Pentax should enter this market, but IMO there are differences between this and the m4/3 route:
- they won't start from scratch - they have some "FF" lenses readily available, they can "share" lenses between "FF" and APS-C. With m4/3 at most they are able to put K-mount lenses on m4/3 cameras - but as purely manual lenses (no AF, no open-aperture metering, no aperture control from the camera...)
- having a higher-end essentially for the same system, they would promote their own (K-mount) system, instead of casting doubts about their commitment to it.
- they don't risk brand dilution, as they could if they demote themselves to being a "3rd-party lens manufacturer" (the patents are talking about lenses, not cameras - right?)

But I'm not one of the "FF" advocates... I'm not asking them to make such a camera, no matter what. For now I'll support them, even if they stay with APS-C (and DMF).

I still have a question, though... "smc Pentax-MFTS" - this exact designation appears anywhere in the patents, or it's just made up by the blogger as a possibility?
I find it strange that Pentax would link an optic design to a certain system.

Aristophanes, but if they don't decrease the registration distance, the resulting camera would be (more or less) the same size as a K-x... then, why not making it a DSLR?

06-21-2010, 06:56 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Aristophanes, but if they don't decrease the registration distance, the resulting camera would be (more or less) the same size as a K-x... then, why not making it a DSLR?
It's all about the 25mm (1 in.). We'd reduce IQ, AF speed, DOF, ergonomics, on-board flash, and backward compatibility to save 25mm flange distance? (barrel size seems to be a minimal, non-factor savings at 6mm).

I'm not convinced this is the Holy Grail of camera design, nor of market share. The end result is not a pocket camera, nor a system that saves much $$$ (in fact, the new proprietary mount investment and amortization of capital will likely drain a budget in a fractured market). Having messed around with a K-x vs. a PEN and GH, I can say there's not a lot of space or weight savings.

EVIL or M43 is not a fad, it's her to stay, but it's market has boundaries, like any other. I think SONY was right to keep APS-C because it's sensor horse has a proven IQ track record.

Last edited by Aristophanes; 06-21-2010 at 07:02 AM.
06-21-2010, 08:28 AM   #66
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Then you agree they should stay with DSLRs.
06-21-2010, 09:11 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Then you agree they should stay with DSLRs.
No. A mirror box is a DSLR. Sans mirror, no SLR.

The kicker is whether Pentax should develop a proprietary lens system alongside APS-C DSLR and perhaps FF DSLR (e.g. M43).

The company dies if it abandons its DA/APS-C crowd and their lens system investments for yet another format. It would be just another "me too" company, late to the M43 game. Pentax lenses are no better engineered than Zuiko or the Panny contract. Pentax needs to keep APS-C relevant (like Sony and Samsung) to leverage the IQ demands of its established user base and lens investments. The issue is one of mirror and form factor.

And by far the the biggest argument against some M43 offerings is lack of built-in flash.
06-21-2010, 09:26 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The company dies if it abandons its DA/APS-C crowd and their lens system investments for yet another format.
As I said in another thread, IMHO their best chance for the future is to do this in the immediate future:
  1. Release a FF dSLR with K-mount.
  2. Release a SLD (aka EVIL) with a ÁK mount.
    ÁK would have the same diameter as the K-mount but at most half the registration distance. The difference should be enough that it can host an aperture motor should the ÁK mount be all electronic (which would be my advise).
    The released SLD would be APS-C, the ÁK mount would allow APS-C and FF though!
  3. Release a ÁK-K adapter with full automation support (which would support FF by definition (no glass inside)).
  4. Release dedicated ÁK wide angle and pancake lenses unfeasible with the K mount.
  5. Release a FF SLD with ÁK mount before the price battle for APS-C SLD reaches the $199 price point (it's already reached the $499 price point ...).



Last edited by falconeye; 06-21-2010 at 09:36 AM.
06-21-2010, 09:41 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
As I said in another thread, IMHO their best chance for the future is to do this in the immediate future:
  1. Release a FF dSLR with K-mount.
  2. Release a SLD (aka EVIL) with a ÁK mount.
    ÁK would have the same diameter as the K-mount but at most half the registration distance. The difference should be enough that it can host an aperture motor should the ÁK mount be all electronic (which would be my advise).
    The released SLD would be APS-C, the ÁK mount would allow APS-C and FF though!
  3. Release a ÁK-K adapter with full automation support (which would support FF by definition (no glass inside)).
  4. Release dedicated ÁK wide angle and pancake lenses unfeasible with the K mount.
  5. Release a FF SLD with ÁK mount before the price battle for APS-C SLD reaches the $199 price point.
I agree with the automated extension tube adapter. It's a 12mm piece. Very cost-effective. Helps the macro and bird shooters.

Halving the register distance would have what effect on the DA 15 through 70's and the DA*'s, those are the money lenses, Pentax's profits? (i.e. used w/o an adapter).

New wide angles is a given, and much needed.

And SDM?
06-21-2010, 09:50 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
M43 has demonstrably poorer IQ than APS-C. There will always be a large segment of consumers who want better IQ.
I print only on 13X19 Red River Paper full size of the actual image (no cropping). And by the way, in a shameless plug, the new Red River Metallic papers are fantastic for B/W. I cannot tell the difference between the K7, the KX, and the E-P2 at this size. The only difference is the actual aspect ratio of the photography. I suppose if you need to severely crop your photos you could tell a difference. Personally I find it much easier to use the viewfinder to compose an image. If it's too small walk closer, if it's too large walk back.

I also just don't think very many people are printing much larger than this. It gets very expensive. If you have that kind of money, you'll probably just hire someone to do the photos for you. I know I would. It already costs $2.00 a sheet for the paper and that's not including the ink at 13x19.

One reason I particularly like the 4/3 format it is perfect for 11x14. You only lose a tiny bit off the ends. The ASP-C is good for landscapes but not so great for portrait work because the frame is a bit too rectangular. But that's just a personal choice and certainly not meant to imply it's some kind of absolute answer.

I completely disagree on ASP-C disappearing. How many ASP-C cameras were sold last year or this year and how many 24x36? Like I said, I know at least 60 people who have DSLR's. Only one has a 24x36, and she basically leaves it home and takes her point and shoot when we go hiking. Too big, lens are too big, it's just a hassle. In fact I can't remember the last time I saw that Cannon Mk5DII or whatever it is. It practically needs it's own mode of transportation.... Just kidding. I can see why sports photographers or portait photographers would like it, but for just the average joe like me who just has fun taking pictures it's kind of overkill. It far exceeds my ability as a photographer. So I'd rather spend the money on photo paper and ink.

My worthless opinion is the meat of the consumer photo market is people like me who just like taking pictures but don't have ***** envy on cameras and sure as heck aren't going to tote around a ton of gear. 645D notwithstanding, I just don't view Pentax as a professional camera company. I love their products and have no intention of switching to Nikon or Canon. And I don't think they will ever try to be a Nikon or Canon, it's doubtful the camera market could support that anyway. Heck even the 645D seems to be aimed a limited market segment.

So if I was betting, unless 24x36 gets cheaper and smaller, I don't think Pentax will enter that market. I doubt they do micro 4/3 either.
06-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I agree with the automated extension tube adapter. It's a 12mm piece. Very cost-effective. Helps the macro and bird shooters.

Halving the register distance would have what effect on the DA 15 through 70's and the DA*'s, those are the money lenses, Pentax's profits? (i.e. used w/o an adapter).
I meant a ÁK-K adapter, not an extension tube.

Halving the registration distance means the adapter would be 22.73mm deep.

You won't be able to use existing glass w/o the adapter, but with it, no compromise in quality.

The adapter would have an aperture motor and SDM contacts for full automation support of existing K-mount glass. It could even have a screw drive motor (in a more expensive version) as those are small motors really. This adapter would communicate to the body via the all-electronic ÁK mount protocol and (Áprocessor inside) talks to the K-mount contacts and drives SDM, aperture motor (and optionally the screw drive).

Independently, Pentax can release interesting glass with a ÁK mount as this would require a mechanical change only. So, 40 and 70mm DA Ltds. could be offered with a ÁK mount. Plus new wide angle pancakes for ÁK only. Sigma does this already for the NX mount.
06-21-2010, 10:19 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
I completely disagree on ASP-C disappearing.
I don't know if this is in response to my post.

If it is, I didn't say so. I said APS-C dSLR will disappear. Or, to put it in another way, SLRs will be squeezed out of the P&S trade-up buyer market.

And this is exactly what you say yourself: the resolution is only required by some and the size is a burden for many. Just draw the conclusion of what you posted. Never just extrapolate a situation as it is now to predict the future.
06-21-2010, 10:41 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I meant a ÁK-K adapter, not an extension tube.

Halving the registration distance means the adapter would be 22.73mm deep.

You won't be able to use existing glass w/o the adapter, but with it, no compromise in quality.

The adapter would have an aperture motor and SDM contacts for full automation support of existing K-mount glass. It could even have a screw drive motor (in a more expensive version) as those are small motors really. This adapter would communicate to the body via the all-electronic ÁK mount protocol and (Áprocessor inside) talks to the K-mount contacts and drives SDM, aperture motor (and optionally the screw drive).

Independently, Pentax can release interesting glass with a ÁK mount as this would require a mechanical change only. So, 40 and 70mm DA Ltds. could be offered with a ÁK mount. Plus new wide angle pancakes for ÁK only. Sigma does this already for the NX mount.
That fills it in. Thanks. I just called it an extension tube because it would have no glass and its primary purpose is to add flange distance. Interesting about the motors. Maybe it's not so cost-effective (and more moving parts brings up service and warranty issues). Weight and balance would be concerns. Sounds entirely plausible, so much so that I suspect deep in Pentax skunkworks (along with some Asahi beer) there is a mock-up of this idea.

Any design like this needs a menu system that can interpret FL and explain it in lay terms, plus a website that does the same, and a iPhone/Android apps. From an engineer's perspective, the solution is ideal. from a marketing perspective it's...complicated. The ÁK initial offerings would have to be comprehensive and standalone as a solution to make a market impact.
06-21-2010, 11:05 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Pentax going m4/3 - OK. But didn't everyone argue that Pentax cannot support three lens lines? (That was said with regards to the FF format: FF is impossible because it requires a new lens line. OK, but suddenly it's viable to produce another line for a smaller camera format?)
Then you have not understood the argument.

The argument is that Pentax has too small market share to support three lens lines, for their own mounts. Selling Pentax lenses to Pentax cameras using Pentax mount.

To design and support a new lens format unique to Pentax takes resources.

Micro 4/3 is already developed and not by Pentax. So no resources spent to developing a new lens mount. No resources spent to market a new lens mount since it is marketed and paid by Olympus and Panasonic.

Of course it is much easier and much less expensive to design and release lenses for a system that someone else has already designed, paid and marketed!

But, if those lenses are going to be released - then I have my doubt that they will be sold under the Pentax name. Most probably will they be Tokina, as Tokina are already releasing Pentax lenses for other lens mounts.

Pentax can of course release new 24x36 lenses for K-mount and support it (they could buy lens designs from Tokina. Tokina needs new 24x36 lenses to sell for Canon and Nikon)., the problem is - if they do this then they will end support for APS-C only lenses. So no new APS-C lenses coming (except updates like adding weather sealing to existing lenses). And that would be sad. The DA serie is far from complete.

Pentax has limited resources both in development and in their factories.
They could use Tokina I believe, even setting up a new lens plant in Vietnam as a joint venture between Pentax and Tokina. Pentax has not enough money to do it alone.

The current factories are already having problem with manufacturing.
Have you heard about delivery problems with lenses? Lenses out of stock? Lenses taking time to deliver? Customers having to wait for their ordered lenses? Lenses on back order? Shops not getting delivery dates of lenses.
Have you heard about this? I have read those complaints in this and other forums for some years now...
Does this shows that Pentax has an unlimited production capacity that easily can be expanded to produce more lenses... ?!
It has been like this for quite sometime now.
One do gets problem when one closes down the lens production in both the Phillipines and Japan and tries to replace two lens plants with one.
One do gets problem when one fires much staff, called "cost cutting" that Hoya are so proud of.

Hoya has shrinken the costume of Pentax, like washing Pentax in too hot temperature.
This is the major thing they've done to reduce costs so that Pentax can be profitable.
Yes, much of todays profit is thank's due to this cost cutting rather than expanded market share or sales.
06-21-2010, 11:09 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Any design like this needs a menu system that can interpret FL and explain it in lay terms, plus a website that does the same, and a iPhone/Android apps. From an engineer's perspective, the solution is ideal. from a marketing perspective it's...complicated. The ÁK initial offerings would have to be comprehensive and standalone as a solution to make a market impact.
There is nothing complicated or changed for existing APS-C DSLR users. Mount the adapter and eg the DA70 on the APS-C EVIL cam and you'll get the same image (FOV) as on your K-X with the DA70.
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