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08-06-2010, 01:11 PM - 1 Like   #16
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I'm not so sure. How is the sales of FF cameras anyway? Are they profitable? (Sonys certainly are not). The rise of FF has been predicted for at least five years now and nothing is happening.
For me the problem with FF is that it doesn't deliver. The quality advantage is so small that no one can see the difference in a fine art exhibition whether an image is shot with a 21mp Canon or a 14mp Pentax...
The high ISO performance of the D700 is a case of its own but the best APS sensors aren't far behind in this regard...

08-06-2010, 01:15 PM   #17
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Your quoted FF DSLR sales figure is not quite correct.

In the first half of 2010, the Japanese market share for 5D II is 1.8% (rank #13).
D700 is much less - outside the top 20. Its monthly ranking in June is #49, and in July is #35. So its market share is definitely sub 1%; probably around 0.8 to 0.9%.
And Sony does not contribute much, if at all (ranked #114 last month).

So D700 does not reach anywhere near 2-3% as stated in your blog, and the total FF market share is probably closer to just 3% in Japan rather than 5 to 10%.

Last edited by nosnoop; 08-06-2010 at 01:38 PM.
08-06-2010, 01:16 PM - 1 Like   #18
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I am not a pro photographer so I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I will chime in anyway.

With the 645d it seems like Pentax has the larger than APS-C ground well covered. The economics of film production and processing had a lot to do with the sucess of FF during the age of film. If the DOF, resolution, IQ, or something else about APS-C's small sensor is holding you back then hopefully a MF would satisfy those needs better than a FF. With digital the economics of using a MF go away and the drawback is the heft and bulk.

The 645d is not that much heavier than a Nikon FF and with some creative engineering I think it would be realistic to expect a 2nd or 3rd generation to be down to less than 1 KG.

I think the economics of semiconductor production greatly favor APS-C (370 mm^2) over FF (864 mm^2) or MF (2000 mm^2) because larger chips have much lower yields due to the fact that wafers are circular and dies are rectangular, and manufacturing defects can impede performance or prevent sale. The largest mass produced chips are CPUs and GPUs, GPUs are generall much larger because they are very repetitive and produced on lagging generation equipment. GPU manufacturers have been facing serious issues with yields on super large dies which are in the 300-500 mm^2 range and there seems to be a trend to scale back in size. I think it will probably be difficult for any camera manufacturer to expect successful economical mass production of sensors much larger than APS-C until the graphics or processing industry foot the expenses of overcoming production challenges. Going beyond this is certainly possible, but I think that APS-C there will be a very steep step cost associated from ordering a mass production sensor to smaller batches.

I think that their commitment to building larger sensor cameras will probably be in building the MF ones not the FF ones especially as there is less competition in the MF market, why would they want to pick a fight with giants like CNS that have so much more resources.
08-06-2010, 01:32 PM   #19

With due respect, the 645D does not probably work all that well with the FF-capable K mount lenses most members have.

08-06-2010, 01:47 PM   #20
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Looks to me that Pentax put a lot of eggs in the big sensor market with the 645D. I realize it is five to ten times the price point of their current top of the line system, as well as more than twice the price point of other system's full/large frame cameras without the benefits of the DSLR system. I would be interested to see who is buying this camera. Anybody know? If you query Pentax about a FF camera, they might send you a picture of a 645D.

I love my k7 and k-x, and would like to see more reliable lens functionality for them before I see a new APS-C replacement, but turns out they didn't call me and ask what I wanted, maybe I was mowing the lawn. On the other side of that, I have been starting to look at Canon, Nikon and even Sony for my future purchases.

You can't deny the direction of the industry (right or wrong), and you can't stubbornly refuse to follow that direction and survive, so I am certain that Pentax will eventually build a FF camera, unless they decide to go the way of the compact and superzoom producers. What I'm saying is, if Pentax IS going to stay in the DSLR business, they will have to compete with a FF, as the cost of producing FF will go down. I'm guessing that within 5 years, the equivalent of the today’s k-x will be FF. I’m not saying FF is better, well, yes I am. It’s obviously better. Is it necessary? I don’t know. I have a Sony f828 that takes great pictures, and I think the sensor in that is 8mm x 6mm. My wife doesn’t know anything about sensors, but she knows what a good picture is. Her Sony compact is what she takes with here when she can’t carry her k-x. Pentax knows this, Sony knows this, C & N know this. They know their market.

What is the 35mm anyway… Film standard settled on 35mm for many reason’s. I’m not sure digital sensors follow that same logic. Yes I know the mirror box, prism and overall size are physically similar, but the reason people buy camera’s is the photograph, 99% of which are 4x6 inches. I’ve heard it would take over 75 mp to equate digital sensors to film’s resolution. Cramming 75mp on a 24x35 mm chip is beyond our current technology. Pentax is over half way there with their 645D, but that camera, in addition to the DSLR make up probably only about 10% of the camera market (that’s a guess).

I bought a 50-135 and had to return it due to focusing issues. Had to return its replacement too. I'm going to meet a guy a couple hours from my home soon as he is leaving Pentax and selling a couple DA* lenses along with his K20D. I'm hoping since they are a couple years old, they will work. This is the only option I have in Central Florida. I don't know of any Pentax dealers around here, so I either mail order or buy used from ebay or the Market Place. I never had my hands on a K7 before I purchased. I relied mostly on this forum, and have no regrets. Not surprisingly you can get C and N here, at a premium, or at least get hands on time with them. My point is that MOST people aren’t going to buy Pentax when all they see at Best Buy is C and N. Pentax knows this, and again, if they don’t, they’re not real smart, and they will eventually fail or change their plan. I tend to believe they’re smart.

My whole point is, we’re going to have to settle for what they give us, and just hope it’s what we want…
08-06-2010, 01:50 PM   #21
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While I think it would be nice to have a FF option for some of my lenses, I don't think Pentax releasing a FF camera is going to save the company...just look at Sony.

08-06-2010, 01:53 PM   #22
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Right On Falk!

Right on Falk! Great write up. I myself am waiting to see what Nikon does with the D700 replacement. If I don't see anything happening with Hoya/Pentax I will be changing camps and heading back to Nikon for a FulllFrame DSLR. I can always pick up a used Canon 5D or 5D Mark II for legacy glass support. Canon is also working on bringing out a replacement for the 5D Mark II which should be interesting.

It's a shame that certain members of the Pentax forum are so vocal against Full Frame. Pentax needs to grow and offer more choices to customers to be profitable and survive. Two APS-C DSLR's is not any way to rake in profits. The upcoming Pentax EVIL and recently launched 645D are a step in the right direction. Full Frame is what I am intent on purchasing. I will not purchase another APS-C DSLR regardless how good it is. I loathe the cropped APS-C format.

Canon and Nikon have no problems supporting multiple formats. I don't believe Pentax will either.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote

I've just published a blog post subtitled[INDENT]"Why at this year's 2010 Photokina exhibition, Pentax may not get
away with ignoring the full frame conumdrum."

Tell me what you think. Shall we make it an Open Letter to Pentax?
08-06-2010, 01:59 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
Who really wants FF?
..If you ask someone who started SLR hobby directly from APS-C, he may not have the same strong belief.
Hyyz, I am one of those someone's who started of with a K7. I'm not an old timer with photography, but I have come to realize the advantages an FF can give me and certainly am one of them waiting for it from Pentax. One grows out of what one is capable of and into a direction to get better. May it be a pro or a hobbyist like me. Because, I want to buy more lenses for my existing body, but want to be sure enough that if I invest in the K-mount FF lenses (Pentax or 3rd party), I can later on (when available) upgrade to an FF body from Pentax.

I like Pentax for the fact that they offer more per camera compared to the competition. To that end, I support a good company. But if I have no option to upgrade.. where do I go? On the other hand, if I am said that I should wait, it will make me hold on. So, I fully agree with you, Falk, appreciate and support it. (Nice article!)

Last edited by icypepsi; 08-06-2010 at 02:27 PM. Reason: grammatical!
08-06-2010, 02:05 PM   #24
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Why do all of the Full Frame detractors keep pointing at Sony? Sony made some huge mistakes with their entire camera line, not just Full Frame. Sony's APS-C DSLR's sold well at first but have really nosedived. How is FullFrame to blame for that? There is not one Sony DSLR that interests me in the least. Regardless of what people might say about Minolta, the best lenses made by Minolta were in the 1970's, after that their offerings weren't that good. Out of all of the standard 50mm's tested awhile back (Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Sony[Minolta]), the Sony (Minolta) was the worst.

You get what you pay for, you pay for what you get. Minolta had already started shuttering its camera divison when Sony bought it. That should have been a warning sign to Sony not to buy it.

Sony screwed up big time in not offering video, cropping the viewfinder and a few other key areas in its DSLRs. The CCD sensor is nice in the Sony FullFrame cameras but you can't use a CCD sensor for Video or LiveView. Sony needs to look at a CMOS version of the sensor and rethink its camera division. The NEX is a step in the right direction. Let's wait and see if Sony manages to screw up the NEX somehow.
08-06-2010, 02:11 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
What is killing Pentax is that they are marketing themselves as a photo-enthusiast brand and not a brand where a photo-enthusiast can grow into a pro. .
...and whats wrong with the K-7? (and the coming K-5?). They are more of a pro camera than 95% of the cameras Nikon and Canon pros are using! (contrary to commong beliefs most pros are not using "pro" cameras).
08-06-2010, 02:12 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Angevinn Quote
Why do all of the Full Frame detractors keep pointing at Sony?

I think it's because Pentax's situation is much closer to Sony's than to Nikon's or Canon's. Nikon and Canon are firmly entrenched in the pro ranks (which probably accounts for a significant portion of FF sales)...Pentax and Sony are not.
08-06-2010, 02:13 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Angevinn Quote
The CCD sensor is nice in the Sony FullFrame cameras
A900/A850 have CMOS sensor
08-06-2010, 02:18 PM   #28
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Hi Deejjjaaaa,

I stand corrected. I read in another post that the Sony FullFrame Sensor was a CCD sensor. I looked up the specs on the Sony page:

24.6 MP 35mm format full-frame CMOS sensor

It is a shame Sony isn't offering video and other features. Look at how Canon upgraded the firmware of the 5D Mark II to keep it competitive with video. No such luck from Sony.

QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
A900/A850 have CMOS sensor
08-06-2010, 02:22 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
My whole point is, we’re going to have to settle for what they give us, and just hope it’s what we want…
No longer my position, although I acted like this for some time.
08-06-2010, 02:25 PM   #30
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Fullframe is so overrated

What's so hot about full frame that Pentax needs it to stay alive? Why is specifically 24x36mm such a great sensor size? I do see the advantages of a bigger sensor but that's why the 645D is there.

In my opinion APS-C is a fine size and all this FF begging is just because people can't part with "the way it used to be".

I think Pentax should put a 30x40mm sensor size body on the roadmap just to see people scratch their heads How many people would start shouting that Pentax is stupid not to produce a 24x36 body?!

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