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07-27-2010, 11:12 AM   #1
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Potential ka-bosh on Pentax FF in the near future due to Sony rumor?

Was just browsing the 1001noisycameras.com site and happened across that the rumor is Sony might very well be bowing out of the FF market. Not really a surprise given that the demand might just not be there these days, at least not enough to support three big brands of FF bodies and lenses.

Here is the article which only brushes against the topic but does give a link to more, ummmm, "passionate" discussions:
Rumor round-up: Sony full-frame panic, new Sony primes, Canon 60D LCD & more - 1001 Noisy Cameras

While I am sure the Sony exit strategy would be longer term it is still it is sad because it means a loss of another old and venerable descendant of the 35mm bodies, Minolta, but also, if Sony completely stops or stops producing their FF sensors in volume the cost for Pentax to use them would be substantial compared to if Pentax was considering a FF in the next couple years. Also, what would this mean for crop sensors? Maybe more money for their development or for an even better option tech wise?

Last night I commented in another thread here about how current users who either own only crop gear and have enough in lenses optimized for crops, I posted a question about how willing those users might be to move toward a FF body thanks to how it affects the effective focal length and DOF on existing lenses in relation to what these users are used to and how they built out their lense collections. Meaning moving to FF might fill some holes at the wide end but certainly opens holes in the "normal"/mid range as well as in the mid-long to long end of the the spectrum. So new lenses would be need to be added to their collections to keep the well rounded group they are currently used to...in these times that is another reason we might not reasonably expect to see a FF HoyaTax body anytime soon the total cost of moving toward FF for the user extends beyond the body alone.

BUT, what might happen if Hoya decided to bolster the DSLR and even the imaging division in general via BUYING the whole sensor division from Sony? Sony has a reputation of dumping product lines or even whole categories even when they are making money...I offer the hugely successful and well made Clie line of PDA's which seemingly over night Sony shut down with essentially zero ceremony. It might be possible that in their corporate plans selling off that part of the company might be something they would do...if Hoya is interested in building the entire imaging side of Pentax would making their own sensors, based on an already well regarded sensor lineup, make sense to the bottom line if it could be had quickly and on the cheap side? Sony is a company that values their resources and if a given investment is not making enough profit, even if it is still making a profit, they will dump it...I actually can understand that position as it is better to sell a year too soon than wait a year to long and get more in return for selling early while someone might still have hope or a viable plan for that resource.

Even if Sony is not a seller for their sensor production division, it surely could mean the total dropping of FF sensor production maybe killing off FF hopes from Pentax.

BTW, if the Sony FF thing does happen, then Pentax's effort in the 645D makes more sense, almost prescient, even is it was dumb luck and having no clear plan that the FF sensor market might tighten up over the next 1-2 years increasing wholesale sensor prices for everyone but the big two.

Anyway, I just found the whole situation both interesting and in an odd way, actually potentially stabilizing for Pentax in that as users who are holding out on new purchases because of the whole FF issue being a total unknown. Personally, I don't think Pentax will move to FF for a good 2-3 years and won't be the worse for it if they can improve their crop sensor tech enough. I think the whole "...wait for a FF body..." would be completely put to rest should this all shake out, not that Sony is the only FF option out there, but Sony certainly has one of the better FF sensors, and as the K-x shows their crop sensors don't stink either, based on what I recall reading over the past couple years since I started paying some attention to that whole side of things.

I dunno, maybe I am just getting too old and tired of the moving targets but I LIKE my SLR/DSLR cameras and enjoy the images they produce. I see myself buying one, MAYBE two bodies in the time I have left but never going to a MF body simply because, well, I can live for a year+ on what a MF 645D would cost me then again maybe it would be better to spend that year learning something new like MF photography...so it's some form of DSLR for me until they lay melting into the desert floor, as my body lays desiccating beside them under the unending assault of the sun...hehehehe.... As long as I have the right palliative "meds" who cares right?

07-27-2010, 11:30 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
BUT, what might happen if Hoya decided to bolster the DSLR and even the imaging division in general via BUYING the whole sensor division from Sony?
whole sensor division of Sony makes Sony profit from sensors smaller than FF so why 'd Sony sell it off ?
07-27-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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I, for one, hope it DOES put an end to rumors of a Pentax FF camera. Pentax has never said anything but "NO" regarding FF cameras, yet rumors persist that a new FF camera is right around the corner.

Pentax has never even indicated that they were exploring the possibility in their labs, although I'm sure they are, at least on paper, if not in full-size mock-ups.

However, this rumor about Sony just shows how foolish it would be for Pentax to attempt to market a FF camera. Sony has much deeper pockets than Pentax. Hoya has not shown any enthusiasm for dumping huge amounts of development money into Pentax. If Sony can't compete against Canon/Nikon, why would anyoune think that Pentax could?

A Pentax FF would be an enormous cash drain with very little chance of cracking into Canon or Nikon's market share in that market, which is a tiny, tiny segment of the overall camera market.

Right now, Pentax has their hands full with the 645D roll out. That is a real product, in a market segment that Pentax has been a serious player in, at least in the past. The 645D comes in at a very attractive price-point, compared to its MF competition. The 645D may or may not turn out to be profitable, and Pentax can't afford two halo products.

As for Pentax buying the Sony sensor manufacturing division, this is a pipe dream. I would be amazed if Sony would sell it. If they did, it would probably cost more than Hoya is willing to invest. As someone else said, Sony makes a lot of sensors other than FF ones. I doubt if their FF sensors amounted to one percent of their entire sensor output, either in terms of units or yen.

Sony has a reputation for leaving market segments where they can't be number one or two. If this rumor turns out to be true, it may just be an admission that they were unable to dominate that market segment. They gave it a try, but now they're going to take their bat and ball and go home.
07-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #4
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Well at the world cup there were lots of canon and nikon shooters, but my guess is not so much sony-users. That meens numder 3, and maybe they don't want that place.

07-27-2010, 12:14 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Hoya is a deeply indebted company largely based in a deflationary market in Japan. They can't buy Sony's sensor division.

More to this story may be that Sony sees this sensor biz becoming too low margin for them and they cannot compete with the high Yen against other Asian currencies. Sony is a disaster on the balance sheet.

The issue is NOT that FF as it currently stands is a tiny market segment. The issue is that for competitive reasons the ONLY way to maximize sensor resolution in the future is to have larger sensors. FF will continue to drop in price and even the Sony e-mount can accept a FF image circle.

So it is NOT about "cracking" the Canikon market. It's that Canikon will offer a $1,500 FF camera in the next few years that will destroy anything above $900. That will kill Pentax profit margins and the whole DSLR biz for them. FF will be where APS-C is in 5 years. because of lens investment and design, to go to FF requires a long-term commitment.
07-27-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
whole sensor division of Sony makes Sony profit from sensors smaller than FF so why 'd Sony sell it off ?
Hence the "what if" nature of my question...take it in total context not as a sound bite....in business, as anyone should know, nothing is impossible. Something my be improbable but impossible, never. Having been involved in some deals many considered as impossible simply because I floated the idea to the company, I know these things can happen first hand....or not...but it's the open discussion of the possibility, spit-balling if you will, that leads to game changing transactions.

it may turn out, based on Sony's account and actuarial analysis that it's in their best interest to BUY sensors via an agreement written into a sale of the whole sensor division....or it may not, this is a thought experiment and your point makes sense because Sony does, indeed make some great small pocket cameras and makes nice sensors for them...now how many they sell to other camera mfg's in an unknown here. Which might be why it could turn out that selling to a company like Hoya could work for Sony AND Hoya given Hoya's investment in the Pentax camera division as well as the Pentax Imaging division meaning Hoya might have more interest in making their own sensors than to buy them elsewhere. That is up to Hoya and Sony to decide and maybe explore even if neither believes it makes sense up front. better to examine in detail than dismiss off-hand.

QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
I, for one, hope it DOES put an end to rumors of a Pentax FF camera. Pentax has never said anything but "NO" regarding FF cameras, yet rumors persist that a new FF camera is right around the corner.

Pentax has never even indicated that they were exploring the possibility in their labs, although I'm sure they are, at least on paper, if not in full-size mock-ups.

However, this rumor about Sony just shows how foolish it would be for Pentax to attempt to market a FF camera. Sony has much deeper pockets than Pentax. Hoya has not shown any enthusiasm for dumping huge amounts of development money into Pentax. If Sony can't compete against Canon/Nikon, why would anyoune think that Pentax could?

A Pentax FF would be an enormous cash drain with very little chance of cracking into Canon or Nikon's market share in that market, which is a tiny, tiny segment of the overall camera market.

Right now, Pentax has their hands full with the 645D roll out. That is a real product, in a market segment that Pentax has been a serious player in, at least in the past. The 645D comes in at a very attractive price-point, compared to its MF competition. The 645D may or may not turn out to be profitable, and Pentax can't afford two halo products.

As for Pentax buying the Sony sensor manufacturing division, this is a pipe dream. I would be amazed if Sony would sell it. If they did, it would probably cost more than Hoya is willing to invest. As someone else said, Sony makes a lot of sensors other than FF ones. I doubt if their FF sensors amounted to one percent of their entire sensor output, either in terms of units or yen.

Sony has a reputation for leaving market segments where they can't be number one or two. If this rumor turns out to be true, it may just be an admission that they were unable to dominate that market segment. They gave it a try, but now they're going to take their bat and ball and go home.
EXACTLY....I like that this could really squash further speculation about FF Pentax for a few years at least. It might be that the MF bodies grow to fit more budgets, if that is even possible. My very first exposure to photography beyone the old 110 Instamatics was on the old Rollei TLR cameras my HS had for students to use. So, I am familiar with how nice that sort of body design can be under the right situations compared to the SLR style body, which is not ideal for all situations. Still, I don't really expect there to be much of an expansion of the lineup of MF bodies in time for me to try them out, if ever.

I also agree the odds of Sony getting completely out of the sensor market is likely pretty slim. Still they could spin off certain production lines like DSLR sensors while keeping the small device sensors. I am not technically fluent enough in the engineering of sensors to know if there is a symbiotic relationship between larger and smaller sensor design and production.

It is because of Sony's willingness to dump a division that, while profitable, is simply not profitable enough so they kill it off. It was from this that I thought up the whole "what if Sony sold the whole sensor division" line of thought...it's not likely but I felt it might be fun to explore while we wait for more rumors of the next Pentax DSLR's....

Thanks for having some fun with this idea and thinking it through...it's pure WAG on my part and I like that, to me it's fun.
07-27-2010, 12:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Hoya is a deeply indebted company largely based in a deflationary market in Japan. They can't buy Sony's sensor division.

More to this story may be that Sony sees this sensor biz becoming too low margin for them and they cannot compete with the high Yen against other Asian currencies. Sony is a disaster on the balance sheet.

The issue is NOT that FF as it currently stands is a tiny market segment. The issue is that for competitive reasons the ONLY way to maximize sensor resolution in the future is to have larger sensors. FF will continue to drop in price and even the Sony e-mount can accept a FF image circle.

So it is NOT about "cracking" the Canikon market. It's that Canikon will offer a $1,500 FF camera in the next few years that will destroy anything above $900. That will kill Pentax profit margins and the whole DSLR biz for them. FF will be where APS-C is in 5 years. because of lens investment and design, to go to FF requires a long-term commitment.
Thanks...that is a really interesting look at the picture of the market. it's always more complicated and convoluted that news articles make it seem. Going by news articles you would think everything was akin to buying and selling a loaf of bread.

It could well be that longer term FF is the logical extension with it becoming the standard and MF the level above, which is why Pentax chose to invest now in MF in order to build out their customer base before the "twins" try move into that market. Then again perhaps the FF market ends up dying off for all but the "twins" and the rest of the makers just building on the APS-C sensor...maybe looking at the 7D and it's dual sensors gives a bit of a clue if it's a viable option to going completely FF with a product line?
07-27-2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
So it is NOT about "cracking" the Canikon market. It's that Canikon will offer a $1,500 FF camera in the next few years that will destroy anything above $900. That will kill Pentax profit margins and the whole DSLR biz for them.
I think you're VASTLY over-estimating the lure of FF. I could see a FF Canon at that price point eroding the sales of a K7 type camera, but I think there would be quite a few (if not the majority) of Pentax's users who would buy an improved Kx that would work with all their existing lenses, rather than starting all over again with a camera system whose advantages they may or may not need.

07-27-2010, 01:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
... Pentax has never said anything but "NO" regarding FF cameras,

...Pentax has never even indicated that they were exploring the possibility in their labs...
That's what I've always heard. I never have understood why people keep holding their breath for a FF Pentax when Pentax has never given any indication that FF is under consideration.

I'd love to see a breakdown of the numbers for FF sales vs APS-C sales for canikon. My gut tells me the FF market is just too small for Pentax to try to be a part of. Or maybe I'm just hungry
07-27-2010, 04:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
That's what I've always heard. I never have understood why people keep holding their breath for a FF Pentax when Pentax has never given any indication that FF is under consideration.

I'd love to see a breakdown of the numbers for FF sales vs APS-C sales for canikon. My gut tells me the FF market is just too small for Pentax to try to be a part of. Or maybe I'm just hungry
Forget today's numbers. That's yesterday's sales data only. If the price of FF sensors gets down (and it will jus as all technology gets cheaper) then anyone not FF is in deep trouble.

The more FF's sell and become entrenched in the marketplace over the next few years, the more economy of scale FF will have. As I said before, if Canikon come out with a sub-$1,500 FF DSLR, Pentax will lose half their profit margins from their higher-end K-7 equivalent and especially the lenses to go with.

All you have to do is follow the cost/benefit ratio of the sensor costs and you see that FF is inevitable. Very soon the only technical elasticity (all cameras can do virtually the same thing as every other model from every other brand) will come from sensor size.

Right now the market is protecting its past. They overprice FF sensors relative to real production costs and deliberately tweak the market to keep FF sensor volumes low (Intel did this as well). Canon will be the one to blink. One could say Leica already did.

People keep thinking wrongly that past market indicators are predictors of where the market in tech will go. Wrong, wrong, wrong. No one will put FF in a camera to compete in a 5% defined market. They'll put FF in to blow the other guy away and move 40% of the market to FF, drive down the cost and up the economy of scale.
07-27-2010, 04:20 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Hoya is a deeply indebted company largely based in a deflationary market in Japan. They can't buy Sony's sensor division.
The economic situation in Japan affects all companies particularly with large companies like Sony. Hoya is in pretty good shape financially.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
More to this story may be that Sony sees this sensor biz becoming too low margin for them and they cannot compete with the high Yen against other Asian currencies. Sony is a disaster on the balance sheet.
Margins may be thinner but the real story would probably be that Sony is not selling enough of its APS-C and FF cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The issue is NOT that FF as it currently stands is a tiny market segment. The issue is that for competitive reasons the ONLY way to maximize sensor resolution in the future is to have larger sensors. FF will continue to drop in price and even the Sony e-mount can accept a FF image circle.

So it is NOT about "cracking" the Canikon market. It's that Canikon will offer a $1,500 FF camera in the next few years that will destroy anything above $900. That will kill Pentax profit margins and the whole DSLR biz for them. FF will be where APS-C is in 5 years. because of lens investment and design, to go to FF requires a long-term commitment.
Like TaoMass has said, I think you're overstating the case for FF. While FF camera prices might conceivably come down in price a little, the reality is FF sales remain relatively small compared to APS-C cameras. FF sales won't dramatically increase because most photographers who currently use APS-C find that the quality is good enough and are unprepared to spend the premium for FF (and most camera companies are banking on this assessment). While FF does offer image quality benefits, it does not automatically correlate that current APS-C camera users will migrate to it in numbers.

Before any of your guesstimates of a $1.5K FF camera will happen, FF growth must begin to outpace APS-C, something that won't happen anytime soon. From the FF manufacturer's perspective, there are plenty of reasons to maintain the premium pricing on FF cameras: to recoup the R&D, production, distribution and marketing costs (due to a smaller user base) and to ensure there is defined price segmentation from their APS-C offerings. Making FF much cheaper (if it were possible) would begin to cannibalize existing and future APS-C camera sales which thus far allows these companies to be market leaders by sales volume (basically you don't kill the golden goose that underpins the bulk of your sales and revenue).

The reason Sony is floundering is because it does not have the established user base in APS-C cameras in the short time it took over Konica Minolta. While it has been well established in the PnS market segment, margins there remain thin due to intense competition. Strong brand recognition in PnS and prosumer cameras is no guarantee that those looking to upgrade to DSLRs will opt for Sony. With such a small APS-C user base and frankly uninspired cameras on offer, is it any wonder that Sony APS-C users moving up to Sony FF would be tiny to say the least. Also the A900 was not without its issues, reliability wise. That Sony is actively banking on the NEX is in part an appeal on its PnS/prosumer user base to upgrade.

I think Hoya/Pentax market analysts are clever enough to "pick their spots" on what to offer the market. The key lies in establishing a foundational new user base to underpin further growth. While Pentax may have a big number of old legacy users, it isn't clear that this dwindling segment will continue to spend, so I think the K-x has been brilliant in reaching out to a younger demographic. A bigger user base means more lens purchases and a bigger market and mind share. Until this user base is entrenched, all talk about Pentax unveiling a FF camera is in my view premature.

People who harp about Pentax having to need FF in order to survive are missing the point. I dare say these FF proponents are all bluster because when rubber meets the road, they will balk at coughing up the kind of money for any FF camera, whether from current Canikon offerings or even if Pentax does eventually come up with one. Let's face it if one had the means and urgently needed FF, one would already have bought into Canon or Nikon FF a long time ago.
07-27-2010, 04:26 PM   #12
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There are other sensor developers.

Sony's decision is due to the fact that they produce EVERYTHING in-house, and they are not profitable. Therefore they are cutting out an expensive R&D sector while losing a small minority of their user base.

Pentax will not enter FF until they can market it to the enthusiast market, which means less expensive sensors. But those sensors will come, just give it time. Pentax won't be entering FF as soon as many hope, but eventually they will have to as FF will become obsainable one day in the sub 1200market.

Quad cores existed forever before they were consumer products. FF will become a consumer product one day. Hoya has the flexibility to buy sensors from whoever will sell it to them. They are smart in that they don't take risks developing their own sensors. This is why Pentax sensors are never the latest and the greatest, but they are very very affordable.

I, for one, will never buy in APS-C, even if it means I lose out on most AF lenses.

Don't mix Sony overspending up with Pentax's conservative product lineup.
07-27-2010, 04:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Forget today's numbers. That's yesterday's sales data only. If the price of FF sensors gets down (and it will just as all technology gets cheaper) then anyone not FF is in deep trouble.

The more FF's sell and become entrenched in the marketplace over the next few years, the more economy of scale FF will have. As I said before, if Canikon come out with a sub-$1,500 FF DSLR, Pentax will lose half their profit margins from their higher-end K-7 equivalent and especially the lenses to go with.

All you have to do is follow the cost/benefit ratio of the sensor costs and you see that FF is inevitable. Very soon the only technical elasticity (all cameras can do virtually the same thing as every other model from every other brand) will come from sensor size.
I have to say you're reading too much into your own analysis. Prices will go down but only if there is steady and growing demand first. The impetus towards FF is not as inexorable as you describe. DSLRs aren't cheap whether APS-C or most certainly FF and it is questionable if FF will sound the death knell for APS-C. It hasn't happened to date and you still see Canikon investing heavily in APS-C cameras. From their perspective why should FF cameras be priced lower as they have invested heavily on their consumer grade cameras?

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Right now the market is protecting its past. They overprice FF sensors relative to real production costs and deliberately tweak the market to keep FF sensor volumes low (Intel did this as well). Canon will be the one to blink. One could say Leica already did.
I'd like to know how you can make assertions that FF sensors are overpriced relative to costs, where is the proof? The R&D costs for FF cameras are huge and if look at Canikon's offerings, they don't keep introducing new FF models because it costs a lot of money to roll out a new model, the segment of pros and serious amateurs using FF cameras don't keep upgrading so fast, and the cameras have a longer model life because they incorporate the most features and technology in them.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
People keep thinking wrongly that past market indicators are predictors of where the market in tech will go. Wrong, wrong, wrong. No one will put FF in a camera to compete in a 5% defined market. They'll put FF in to blow the other guy away and move 40% of the market to FF, drive down the cost and up the economy of scale.
So by your analysis, why are you still sticking with Pentax and not jumped to the Canikon FF bandwagon? There's something to be said about brand preference and brand loyalty. People don't automatically jump ship, certainly not in the percentages you describe. No camera maker thus far has to my recollection ever been able to do so. You're talking about cameras where there are entrenched investment sunk in, not cornflakes or instant coffee. If the market is there and the numbers are right, I'm sure Pentax will invest in FF cameras and lenses when sensor prices reach levels that it feels it's own user base are prepared to invest in. Don't forget many people buy into Pentax because of affordability and "bang for the buck" reasons.
07-27-2010, 05:17 PM   #14
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Has anyone mentioned that just because the Sony camera division might no longer be making 135 format DSLRs, there is not necessarily a correlation between this and the Sony semiconductor division potentially ceasing production of 135 format sensors?
07-27-2010, 05:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
The economic situation in Japan affects all companies particularly with large companies like Sony. Hoya is in pretty good shape financially.


Margins may be thinner but the real story would probably be that Sony is not selling enough of its APS-C and FF cameras.



Like TaoMass has said, I think you're overstating the case for FF. While FF camera prices might conceivably come down in price a little, the reality is FF sales remain relatively small compared to APS-C cameras. FF sales won't dramatically increase because most photographers who currently use APS-C find that the quality is good enough and are unprepared to spend the premium for FF (and most camera companies are banking on this assessment). While FF does offer image quality benefits, it does not automatically correlate that current APS-C camera users will migrate to it in numbers.

Before any of your guesstimates of a $1.5K FF camera will happen, FF growth must begin to outpace APS-C, something that won't happen anytime soon. From the FF manufacturer's perspective, there are plenty of reasons to maintain the premium pricing on FF cameras: to recoup the R&D, production, distribution and marketing costs (due to a smaller user base) and to ensure there is defined price segmentation from their APS-C offerings. Making FF much cheaper (if it were possible) would begin to cannibalize existing and future APS-C camera sales which thus far allows these companies to be market leaders by sales volume (basically you don't kill the golden goose that underpins the bulk of your sales and revenue).

The reason Sony is floundering is because it does not have the established user base in APS-C cameras in the short time it took over Konica Minolta. While it has been well established in the PnS market segment, margins there remain thin due to intense competition. Strong brand recognition in PnS and prosumer cameras is no guarantee that those looking to upgrade to DSLRs will opt for Sony. With such a small APS-C user base and frankly uninspired cameras on offer, is it any wonder that Sony APS-C users moving up to Sony FF would be tiny to say the least. Also the A900 was not without its issues, reliability wise. That Sony is actively banking on the NEX is in part an appeal on its PnS/prosumer user base to upgrade.

I think Hoya/Pentax market analysts are clever enough to "pick their spots" on what to offer the market. The key lies in establishing a foundational new user base to underpin further growth. While Pentax may have a big number of old legacy users, it isn't clear that this dwindling segment will continue to spend, so I think the K-x has been brilliant in reaching out to a younger demographic. A bigger user base means more lens purchases and a bigger market and mind share. Until this user base is entrenched, all talk about Pentax unveiling a FF camera is in my view premature.

People who harp about Pentax having to need FF in order to survive are missing the point. I dare say these FF proponents are all bluster because when rubber meets the road, they will balk at coughing up the kind of money for any FF camera, whether from current Canikon offerings or even if Pentax does eventually come up with one. Let's face it if one had the means and urgently needed FF, one would already have bought into Canon or Nikon FF a long time ago.
All what you say is valid, unless Canikon (one or both) decide that they have no means to compete on lenses (both have suitable arrays), marketing (how much is viral costing us anyway), faster AF (so incremental no one will notice), and so on.

When they run out of advantages and have tech and market parity, and when one starts losing market share (like Canon), then the suitable option exists to stop the opportunity cost of spending $$$ on marketing and putting that money into a bigger sensor (the bodies already can take them, like Sony's e-mount can accept FF) and let the market decide.

Will you buy a new Pentax K-? APS-C at $1,200 or the Canon FF at $1,500, or the Canon APS-H at $1,000? For new entrants, it's no question what brand they will choose.

This has nothing to do with "good enough" from the consumer POV (and since when has that been an issue?). At some point the main competitive edge will come from putting an FF sensor into the bodies that can already take them. If that means Canon takes 5% market share from Nikon in a year, good for them. But it would take 50% of what Pentax offers in a year, bankrupting them, unless Pentax can respond in kind. This industry has been badly shaken by broad strokes like this before, completely shuttering many prominent names (Yashica, Bronica, Konica, Minolta, yad yada yada...).

I see 2 tech issues and 1 economic issue stalling the inevitable FF advance:

1) Focus on lenses and software. Built-in video AF, focus-stacking, and software calibration. This arms race will put $ into advances there that could go into cheaper FF sensors, delaying the latter.

2) Mirrorless. Lots said there. Might mean new mounts. All eyes on Canikon at Photokina.

3) Milking the APS-C base as long as possible for the most ROI over the longest possible term. Canikon already have models still for sale new (D60, Xs) with 4-year pedigrees. I saw a brand new D60 for $249 with VR kit lens. How do you go wrong with that? That's raw competition with the DSLR as a commodity. Where does that put EVIL?
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