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08-06-2010, 02:26 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by PŚl Jensen Quote
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...
they are as they should be a stop behind, aren't they... but you need to measure best APS vs best FF implementation in this specific area which is D3s now, not D700

08-06-2010, 02:26 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Angevinn Quote
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.
Furthermore, what makes everybody think that Sony FF DSLRs are not profitable?

Is there info somewhere that they planned to sell much more of them than they actually did?

High margin goods need not selling in great numbers to be profitable.
08-06-2010, 02:29 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thijssie Quote
Why is specifically 24x36mm such a great sensor size?
close to the biggest size that can support existing mounts/registrations distances/etc
08-06-2010, 02:48 PM   #34
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I just saw this other Falk thread (

Would it be better if they found the max size sensor that would work with all or most of their DA lenses and go with that instead of all the way up to FF? Maybe a 1.2-1.3 crop factor instead of 1.5

08-06-2010, 03:30 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
I just saw this other Falk thread (

Would it be better if they found the max size sensor that would work with all or most of their DA lenses and go with that instead of all the way up to FF? Maybe a 1.2-1.3 crop factor instead of 1.5
That 1.3 number sounds familiar ......

PS: This observation is not an endorsement of the idea, just a random thought.
08-06-2010, 03:38 PM   #36
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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.

All other major brands have a path to pro. Why not Pentax? It keeps them from being taken seriously.
I couldn't agree more. This is the real issue. No one, including Pentax, regards them as a pro option. The problem isn't that the gear isn't good enough. It's plenty good. I'm a pro. I know that.

The problem isn't that it's not being marketed as pro gear, so people just assume it's just good enough for amateurs. If you tell someone that a camera is good enough for a pro, they will assume that it is also (more than) good enough for an amateur. But if you only tell someone that a camera is good enough for n amateur, not many people would assume that it's probably also good enough for a pro. I understand that Pentax wants to be attracting the amatuer market, which is smart, because they are one of the biggest chunks. But you don't attract them by marketing your top camera to them. You market to pros, and let the amateurs dream and drool. Everyone wants an upgrade path to pro, even if they're never going to take it. It's part of brand loyalty. People want a brand they can have pride in, and that means a badass top line camera. Even if they'll never buy it, they want to be able to look at it and say, "Yeah, that's my brand!"
08-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
I just saw this other Falk thread (

Would it be better if they found the max size sensor that would work with all or most of their DA lenses and go with that instead of all the way up to FF? Maybe a 1.2-1.3 crop factor instead of 1.5
I agree. I think they next body, (after what we see in Sept...) should be an even higher line, in the $2500 range, with a aps-h 1.3 sensor, and very rih with pro features. Then while that is out, they could release a handful of FF lenses, and begin to build that line up. Then if they felt like it, the pathway would already be open for an FF body. But a very well built, well featured APS-H body, in the vein of the 1DmkIV, at a $2500-3500 price point would be a very smart move in my opinion.
08-06-2010, 03:50 PM - 1 Like   #38
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Hoya is not stupid enough to blindly follow the calls for FF when for the most part the Pentax user base is extremely price sensitive (read cheap!). If there are existing Pentax users drawn to the lure of FF DSLRs and who have the means to pay for them, they would already have walked the talk a long time ago and bought into Canon, Nikon or Sony's FF offerings.

So why would Hoya bank upon a modest segment of existing users who yearn for FF when it is doubtful they even have the means to pay or show any inclination to purchase a higher priced camera body and associated lenses and accessories? It is interesting that some posters who cry loudly for FF are still shooting with discontinued Pentax DSLRs models with a mixed bag of lenses. To me at least, there appears to be a big disconnect between what people would like to propose and wish for and what they actually are prepared to spend and buy with their hard earned money. Certainly there are FF pundits who currently aren't even prepared to upgrade to the current APS-C flagship model despite the recent price falls. That says a lot about Pentax enthusiasts' propensity to spend. So no need to have any sort of open letter to Hoya... I'm sure they are well aware of the spending patterns and limits of the current Pentax user.

08-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
My point rather was that all of these positive developments may be in vain if Pentax' enthusiast base looses patience.
QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I argue that at Photokina 2010, they have to publish their full frame road map too or they will loose their enthusiast base which is expected to buy K-5, lenses and to further invest into the Pentax ecosystem.
TS, it would be good if you can distinguish the use of "loose" and "lose" in your posts.
A nicely crafted argument is wasted with sloppy word use...
08-06-2010, 04:03 PM   #40
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We can endlessly and rightfully criticize Sony but can't say they don't make decent sensors.
08-06-2010, 04:06 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Tell me what you think. Shall we make it an Open Letter to Pentax?
I never cared about FF other than to get better low light shooting. Therefore when Pentax introduced the Kx, I knew then and there that FF would most likely become an unnecessary expense for someone like myself.

The only thing is, the D700 can still effectively shoot at maximum ISO so it does still have a one full top advantage over the Kx. But something tells me that we may be able to squeeze a little more out these crop sensors just yet. So there's definitely more to look forward too down the road!
08-06-2010, 04:14 PM   #42
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I plan on staying with Pentax and probably picking up a cheap used Canon 5D for my full frame needs when shooting weddings. The appeal to me is not so much the image quality difference, which I agree is negligible in a lot of cases; or the high ISO performance, which I can work around -- in truth I'll probably try to shoot the Canon 5D from between ISO 100-1000. What I want is the fast wide angle options (true 24 mm) and narrow DOF that you can only get from a full frame camera at the moment. I'm sure others want FF for their own reasons, some valid, some less so.

This is not the end of the world for Pentax, as I'll still stay with them, but that's money that could be going to them instead of Canon, and I'm sure others who are interested in full frame might follow a similar path. If that bothers Pentax enough to release a full frame camera, they will do so; if not, they'll probably do alright with their current strategy.

In fact, with their 645D and potential EVIL projects they may do better business than with a full frame camera. It won't meet my needs, but I won't take it personal. It's a business decision.
08-06-2010, 04:15 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
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%.

Yes, I know.
But like I wrote, both cameras (D700 and 5D2) are pretty old now and I don't think D700 sells worse than 5D2 on a worldwide scale. So, I estimated both models account for about 5% when considering a longer time frame and larger regional scope.

I will try to restrict my discussion in this thread to quality issues in the article.

May I ask that this be less a "why FF" discussion and more a "what to communicate" discussion?

FF may not have reached a mass market price point yet. But it would be a pity if people leave Pentax before it is, just because they start to doubt the roadmap.
08-06-2010, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #44
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Well, Iíve never written down my opinion on Pentax and FF anywhere, partly because Iíve never completely thought it through, partly because all those writing about it seemed much more confident, knowledgeable, authoritative and vocalÖ Let me just write down my own thoughts. Though theyíll probably get ignored, burned down or both, at least I will have formed an integrated opinion and voiced it.

Yes, apparently FF sensors have a better IQ than APS. But in two years time, a new APS camera will have caught up with the quality offered by current FF cameras. So to obtain that D700 quality that I want, I donít necessarily need to move to FF. Also, it was clear to me the moment that I bought my first Pentax camera, that it didnít offer the best IQ on the market. There were definitely better quality cameras around. Most obviously all the professional grade FF and non-FF cameras. It was even quite clear that Pentax arguably didnít have the very best IQ for an advanced enthusiast level camera, the level I wanted to buy in to. It was however clear that Pentax offered to me the best camera and image quality for the amount of money I could or wanted to spend, so thatís what I did. When I bought Pentax, that was not because they offered the worldís best IQ. To those who argue they still donít, well that means nothing has changed, so why should I complain?

It is supposed to be an unavoidable evolution that sensor prices will come down a lot, so evidently FF sensor will come into price range of current APS sensors, and the price difference will become irrelevant. FF cameras are also supposed to command much higher profit margins, so camera makers are supposed to have FF cameras to stay profitable. But those two just donít add upÖ If the price difference between an enthusiast APS and an enthusiast FF becomes irrelevant, then that can only be because the profit margins have become the same.

And at least in my laymanís eyes, FF cameras really donít seem to represent the way the market is moving. Most of that movement seems to be coming from mirrorless cameras, trying to pack similar image quality in smaller, more convenient packages. Thatís also where most innovations seem to happen, especially since the loss of the mirror and prism allows lots of new innovations.

One of the reasons that I finally made up my mind on this, is the blog of Tom Hogan today on the Nikon quarterly sales report, and his reading is very clear, logical, and based on public facts: the market is evolving towards more sales, but at lower prices and with lower profits. So the market really doesnít seem to evolve towards FF with a price and quality premium, even if that quality premium is getting smaller.
The second thing that helped me make up my mind also came from his site: current mirrorless cameras seem to target amateurs, upgrading from PnS cameras. But a lot of them are bought by enthusiasts, who want to have a small camera to take everywhere that still offers big camera quality. Most brands donít really offer an enthusiast grade mirrorless camera yet. But they can, even Sony, and itís a logical step that someday they will. And by that time they will have a more complete lens line-up that can appeal to enthusiasts, and by then they will have quality problems such as a good enough EVF sorted out too. So enthusiasts will have an enthusiast level camera with a high, albeit maybe not the highest possible, image quality in a slightly smaller package and a modern, all-electronic system that opens up plenty of room for new innovations. By the way, isnít that what Pentax seems to be all about: great quality in a smaller, innovative, affordable package?

So if Pentax is really planning their own distinct mirrorless camera that could work out great. APS quality. Legacy support for all or most past K-mount lenses, most probably through a well thought out adapter to allow for an all electronic, future proof Pentax mirrorless mount. This would mean jumpstarting the lens collections for enthusiasts (think Limiteds). The Pentax mirrorless with existing lenses and adapter could be the size of the current cameras, while coupled with new designed for mirrorless lenses it could be smaller. This would be completely consistent with the Pentax philosophy so far, but anyway, enough about mirrorless, back to FFÖ

I am an enthusiast, that means I might want the best quality, but I am not a professional, so I donít need it. So if I am currently lusting to buy a new camera, thatís not because the quality on my current K10D is letting me down, it hasnít, and realistically for an amateur it never will.
The main reasons Iíd like the K7 would be the 100% viewfinder, the higher resolution screen, faster AF, better WB, quieter shutter, better DNG support and the overall smaller, better rounded package. It will also give me better high ISO and more resolution, so overall better IQ, and all that without having to change to FF.
The main reasons I didnít buy it before? The current quality of the camera is enough for me, even if I have been printing up to 32 inch wide and using some pictures professionally. I still wanted to improve my photography (read wanted to buy new toys), so if the camera with its older APS sensor didnít limit me, I bought better lenses, better accessories, better software, and behold my photography has improved.
The reason I donít buy the K7 now? Well, me too I am awaiting Photokina. They might release a new camera that appeals so much to me that I canít resist to buy quickly. Or they donít, and Iíll buy the K7 at an even lower price. Or they release a new lens with completely appeals to me (say a new DA 70 Ltd with weather sealing and F/1.9 or faster, or a DA28 with those same specifications). Or they donít, and I might buy one of the current lenses. I am currently in a wait before buying mode, especially because of the rapid evolution of mirrorless cameras. Not that I need a better camera, lens or mirrorless, but I just want my next Pentax investment to be future proof. The main thing that could actually prevent me from buying more Pentax gear would actually be their announcement of a FF camera. If they did, it would probably not be good news for their APS line, not be good news in terms of a consistent marketing plan. It would also require a substantial investment from me before I could benefit from the FF, money that I also could spend on a FF camera and lenses from a different brand, not that I would necessarily switch in that case, but it would make me rethink a lot of stuff
08-06-2010, 04:48 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by PŚl Jensen Quote
...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).
There is nothing wrong with the K7. I fully and completely agree with you about the K7 being 95% pro. The problem isn't being marketed as a pro camera.

The perceived quality of a brand is one of the most important assets a company can have. If Pentax is a brand that doesn't support (and market) the perception that it produces pro-quality cameras how can it legitimize itself when compared to other brands that do have a "pro" gear (gosh I hate the word pro right now).

If Pentax slaps the "Pro" label on the k5 and has the support network, it will significantly improve it's image.

However, I do think that Pentax needs to have a 3-tier family of bodies. Entry level (~US$600), Mid (~$800-1200) and a flagship ($1500). This will further enforce in the minds of the consumers that Pentax does have a significant upgrade path when it comes to camera bodies.

Despite Pentax camera's consistently getting as high (and often higher) marks than the Canikon rivals, the lack of a "pro camera" is a very significant hinderance.

Pentax...fix this.

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