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08-06-2010, 04:55 PM   #46
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Well, I think the pro label make no sense in the digital age. What is a pro camera anyway nowadays except a hollow marketing term for an expensive camera? In the film days it was easier.
Most pros (and the rest as well) replace the camera after 18 months and no one manages to wear out a Rebel in that time....
I believe the "pro" label is much less worth now than in the film days.

And what could give more pro credibility for the brand than the 645D?
Canons most sold pro model isn't even FF....

08-06-2010, 04:57 PM   #47
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Its this metaphor that slays me:

"Overall, the dSLR market is in a state like a supercooled fluid..."

Only Falk could write that and we'd know where he's coming from. Even if we don't understand.
08-06-2010, 04:59 PM   #48
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The problem with FF is that give very little for quite a lot of money (all thing taken into consideration). Thats why its marketshare still stays below 5% and why APS is the sweetspot from a price/performance point of view. The 645D, however, gives lots for lots of money and therefore make more sense....
08-06-2010, 05:01 PM - 1 Like   #49
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I have read many arguments in this topic, but no one from "anti-FF" people convinced me.

-First of all, stop to argue that pentaxian crying for FF can go to 645D, that can offer an even better quality. This is a non sense sentence. Since 645D in not the same system as any K camera. Then, they also can go to Hasy or Mamiya. No difference. They will need new body AND new lenses. Furthermore, did you ever touched a 645D? I did. Last week. And believe me, it is clearly not the same way to take photography. Not only it is much more heavier. It is also so big that you would not want to keep it with you all during the day.

-Then, stop to make reference to Sony's a850/a900 sells as a reason to not go FF. Nobody (or at least not as much people as expected) buy Sony's FF camera, because they are... crap! Sure, they have plenty of pixels. But the noise is so strong, even at 400 isos, that you just cannot use this very high definition possibility. Also, who know the real sales in the world for these FF camera? In Japan, there is an other problem: the a850 doesn't exist. Making Sony FF option the most expensive option, with the most expensive body (compared to D700 and 5DMkII) and the most expensives lenses (most of them are called "zeiss", maybe a beginning of explaination). Another point is that nobody knows if Sony will continue to support his actual DSLR market, at least high end one. Alpha 700 is very old, and no replacement yet. FF doesn't sell well (I also guess). So, will Sony stay in the game? This is clearly not the recent release of 2 FF lenses that will tell us (since one is Zeiss, they would probably never design for APS-C, and the 2nd one is a 85mm, which seems to be very easy to design for FF and not much expensive than an APS-C design).

-then, the "FF has not many advantages compare to APS-C" arguments. People, stop to compare 2 year olds sensor design (FF) with the just released APS-C ones. Next generation of FF will be another big step forward. And I disagree when people say that Kx is already close to D700 in iso. Maybe image looks nice, but many details are gone (already true a middle iso setting, much more at high iso) and when Kx is set at high iso, do not check DR or you would cry compared to D700/5DMkII

-I would also like to add that a FF is not a Pro camera. D700 and 5DMkII are very popular, but not for pro. They shoot APS-C (big crop), APS-H (crop) or high end FF (comfort), but not that nuch with "affordable" FF bodies. They are design for enthusiasts. The one that want the bigger sensor possibly used on there actual lens system. And in a handy body. Many Pentaxian stopped to buy lenses because now they want a FF sensor.

Then, I have another question to people that always say FF is useless: do you know many people that went FF and were so disappointed by the IQ (or the non improvement of the IQ) that they decided to come back to APS-C bodies? On my side, no. No one. Never. All people that switch to FF were amazed by the quality they get. And don't even think one day to come back to APS-C. Maybe buy an APS-C body in complement for bird pictures, but not as a general purpose body. So, do you think all these people are so blind user that they just believe it is a better camera?...

I would like to thank FalconEye for this very nice article. And yes, I definitely think you must send it to Pentax, if possible some high rank marketting people (they are the ones that can decide to change the way, where the "market" is). But even if there is an effect, I will not enjoy it. End of year, as suggested by the FF opponents, I am switching to Canon to get many pixels + higher isos + higher DR. And also fast and silent AF system. Even if Pentax announce a FF for Photokina, it will not change anything. I don't see clearly the future of Pentax, and much less the future of a potential FF line up: what would happen if 1st body is a failure? I am planning to spend about 5000 dollars for a whole new system. Staying in Pentax do not let me save any dollar, since I don't have high end FF Pentax lens. So it would be the same price for other brands, where I know I can get a FF body, even in 10 years.

I think I will not be the only one to move. So I wish good luck to all of them.

PS: not only old people that started with FF film bodies want a digital FF camera. I started my dSLR life only 2 years ago. But now I want a better system. As many enthusiasts. And not just a small jump as any other APS-C camera can offer to me for the kind of pictures I am taking.

08-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #50
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To answer the question in the heading in this thread: There is no FF mystery. Pentax probably don't find FF viable from a economic point of view presently. It is as simple as that. FF is definitely an option for Pentax and the K-mount and I have no doubt that they will go that route at some point provided that the market go that way. I think it is an open question whether the DSLR market go for larger or for smaller sensors. If it is true that Sony is considering dropping FF, then it tells us that FF in not necessarily the future...
08-06-2010, 05:07 PM - 1 Like   #51
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Good initiative, and business wise I think FF is a good move for Pentax, all things considered. These are my opinions (misconceptions) on the matter, if anyone against all odds would be interested.

FF vs APS-C in general

+ less noise due to larger photo sites on sensor, regardless of tech improvements FF will always be ahead of APS-C, due to... laws of physics.
+ Larger dynamic range
+ Bigger viewfinder
+ Shorter DOF, iirc?
+ Better use of lenses if you are wide angle shooter.
+ Your lenses have the true 35mm FOV, a fast 50 is a fast 50, nothing else.

- More expensive system, at this point in time
- Generally, larger lenses
- Tele lenses are again true 35mm teles, a 300mm lens is equivalent to a 200mm on APS-C. And we all know how cheap a fast 300mm+ lens is...


FF vs APS-C for Pentax

+ Street cred. "No, don't buy a Pentax. They are not pro, they don't even have a FF upgrade path, even Sony has that".
+ Will provide that upgrade path for those users that do need FF (and those who just think they do)
+ Will make some owners of FA and old M/K/M42 lenses very happy (me included).
+ If FF really goes mainstream in a year or two, Pentax will be on the train.

- Pentax would need a whole new set of FF capable lenses.
- Would spread R&D money on both APS-C and FF lines


I think the last point is the most important one, can Pentax/Hoya afford to develop a whole new line of cameras / lenses while they sometimes have seemed to struggle with keeping up with the competition on just APS-C?

Also, I have been playing with the thought of converting to FF (Nikon/Canon), and this is what I concluded...

- Cost. A whole new system, with more expensive lenses. Might be a slightly cheaper transition if Pentax goes FF though.
- Tele lenses. I am more of a tele guy than WA. I don't want to lose the crop factor.
- Lens size. I really don't want larger lenses.
- My M42s won't work without a lens adapter on Nikon, and I don't like Canon DSLRs. No problem with Pentax FF, I would guess.
- No SR on non-SR lenses, unless Sony. I don't want a Sony.
+ Larger viewfinder. I already have the KPS 1.3x adapter for my K20D, but it is not the same thing. But maybe they could increase magnification even more? Not sure if that is possible, or if it is just a design preference to keep things small?
+ Less noise. Would be really welcome, and if the difference is as big as stated in some places it would make up for loss of SR to some degree.

If Pentax released a FF body, I would probably pick one up sooner or later and keep the APS-C body for tele. But right now I think the best thing would be to focus on APS-C AF performance and getting the bodies and lenses with SDM up to the same standards as Nikon/Canon, like faster (and reliable) SDM drives, 1/8000 shutter speed, 1/250 flash sync, etc. I have heard as much praise for the D700's fast AF as for FF specific improvements from the threads with numerous Pentax ---> D700 deflectors over at DPreview.
08-06-2010, 05:07 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by youky63 Quote
-First of all, stop to argue that pentaxian crying for FF can go to 645D, that can offer an even better quality. This is a non sense sentence. Since 645D in not the same system as any K camera. Then, they also can go to Hasy or Mamiya. No difference. They will need new body AND new lenses. Furthermore, did you ever touched a 645D? I did. Last week. And believe me, it is clearly not the same way to take photography. Not only it is much more heavier. It is also so big that you would not want to keep it with you all during the day.
.
The 645D is the same size and weight as Nikon and Canon pro FF offerings some are asking for. The lenses are the same size as Canon L-lenses.
You cannot compare the 645D with a Hassy or Mamiya system; they are primitive in comparison and a system would cost three to five time as much....
08-06-2010, 05:10 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pieter M Quote
it would probably not be good news for their APS line, not be good news in terms of a consistent marketing plan.
Thanks for sharing your opinion in such a well written way.

I basically agree. Where we may differ is the assessment of the evolution of the current entry-level SLR segment. I see it go SLD. After that happened, SLR may need an image quality argument to stay competitive in the $1000+ segment. So, I see APSC go SLD, and SLR go FF, over the next couple of years. Therefore, anybody investing into lenses now needs to know the vendor's roadmap. And only Pentax has none.

08-06-2010, 05:25 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
The 645D, however, gives lots for lots of money and therefore make more sense....
Just a quick correction.
FF over APSC has 2.3x the surface for 1.7x the price (say $2500 over $1500).
645D over FF has 1.7x the surface for 3.6x the price (say $9000 over $2500).

So, your argument would be somewhat difficult to defend :ugh:

But my article actually cares to prepare for the moment when FF actually reaches the $1500 price point.
08-06-2010, 05:27 PM   #55
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Compare FF and EVIL. Which one took off faster? Which market is still open to new innovations? Which market has the biggest potential client base? Which one simply makes more sense?
Oh, and while we're at improving, how about we start with prices, then move on to the lenses(FAs), then, just for me, release a new K200D^^ and THEN we can take a look at making FF cameras.
08-06-2010, 05:45 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Just a quick correction.
FF over APSC has 2.3x the surface for 1.7x the price (say $2500 over $1500).
645D over FF has 1.7x the surface for 3.6x the price (say $9000 over $2500).

So, your argument would be somewhat difficult to defend :ugh:

But my article actually cares to prepare for the moment when FF actually reaches the $1500 price point.
It is not about numbers, but image quality (BTW I think FF is 1.5X APS and 645D is 1.7X FF). Between MF digital and FF theres a huge jump in quality. Between APS and FF there isn't; its hardly detectable even in large prints. Just like in the film days there are certain sizes where the big jumps come in real life image quality.
The problem with FF is that it offers little and thats why it doesn't sell well; not the price alone. The images of the 24mp Sony sensor leaves me underwhelmed whereas the 645D images are the best digital images I have seen. It is clear to me that the jump for digital is somewhere close to 40mp; for film it was between 35mm and 6X4,5.
In order for any format to take off there must be an image quality/hassle/cost ratio that hit some sweet spot. This sweetspot is relative to other offerings. One of these factor needs to be small or large depending on whether it is hassle cost, or image quality. The 645D scores highly in image quality. FF scores unremarkably in all disciplines; image quality is marginally better, cost is much higher; hassle is higher (weight and size telephoto reach). APS is winner on price and hassle. It also see the fastest progress of sensor technology as it has 95%+ of the market.

$1500 may seem like a reasonable price point but that is because we are blinded. $1500 is the same price as the last generation of pro film bodies. It was so expensive that few amateurs could afford them. In fact, many pros couldn't either. Very few people are willing to spend this much on a camera. Even more so if you want do dublicate, say, the DA* 16-50/2.8 and the DA* 50-135/2.8 with lenses of the same angle of view and speed for FF. We are now talking about a multi thousand dollar outfit.

I would buy a Pentax FF camera in a moment as I have a complete set of lenses from 18mm to 600mm for it. However, I do not think the market trends are necessarily in favour of larger sensors. It may be that the coming generation of APS sensor is for all practically purposes good enough for most amateur and professional photography and profitable for the manufacturers. It is debatable wether the manufacturers are interested in lowering the price of a marginal sensor (FF) and making it less profitable while eroding sales of already sucessful and profitable products. I don't believe EVIL will steal much from DSLR's, but mostly from P&S or as a supplement to ther types of cameras, and I don't believe either that FF can do anything about this one way or another. That means; if people are going EVIL it is not because most DSLR's are not FF.

Last edited by Pål Jensen; 08-06-2010 at 06:09 PM.
08-06-2010, 05:59 PM   #57
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I think that Hoya made the right choice for the Pentax brand when they brought out the 645D. They could be brand #4 in the FF market, just as they are in APS-C (or possibly brand #5, I lose track of these things) or they could be brand # 1 in the MF market. That's not to say that the 645D is automatically going to sweep Hasselblad etc aside, but they have a decent chance of owning that segment, given the advantages of lower price and greater technical resources.

Going the other way and producing a compact mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor that meets the needs of enthusiasts might just give them a chance to be #1 or #2 in that segment as well.

Would I like a Pentax FF camera? Well, yes. Do I think that producing a camera that will inevitably be poorly compared to the opposition is a good strategy? No.
08-06-2010, 06:04 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by youky63 Quote
Then, I have another question to people that always say FF is useless: do you know many people that went FF and were so disappointed by the IQ (or the non improvement of the IQ) that they decided to come back to APS-C bodies? On my side, no. No one. Never.
People (ie me) don't say that FF is useless, just that it isn't a slam-dunk choice for IQ improvement over APS-C across all photographically relevant variables, or an automatic pathway to better photography either.

And yes I did recently come across one guy on these very forums who said he sold his D700 and bought a K-x instead. Mainly due to the bulk and complexity of the D700, which was unsuited to his style of photography, but also he was unhappy about the IQ when he used it. I suspect his lack of photographic experience probably meant his D700 shots were not taking advantage of the capabilities of the camera. (his thread and a similar thread). I've come across several FF users like that who just use their FF cameras as giant point and shoots. Which reminds us of the 'it's the user not the camera' cliche which very much applies here too.

Last edited by rawr; 08-06-2010 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Added URL's
08-06-2010, 06:08 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Hi,

I've just published a blog post subtitled
"Why at this year's 2010 Photokina exhibition, Pentax may not get
away with ignoring the full frame conumdrum."
I argue that launching K-r and K-5 which both are APS-C cameras is not enough to keep Pentaxians happy campers. This implicitely discloses that Pentax is not currently planning to release anything related to full frame at Photokina 2010.

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. I argue that to stay silent on the topic is almost suicide. I further say that starting to release full frame lenses is a better move than to rush a full frame camera now. It's the roadmap which is required, not an immediate product. Faith in the future.

The full article with links to supporting material is here:

-> Falk Lumo: Photokina 2010, Pentax and the full frame mystery

Tell me what you think. Shall we make it an Open Letter to Pentax?
I see that you credit Pentax bloggers with considerable clout when it comes to store staff etc, and for speaking on behalf of Pentax enthusiasts. And you place a strong connection between enthusiasts and Pentax's market.

I wonder if any of these bloggers has done any surveying to find out what the marketing realities are regarding enthusiast interests? We've had one long poll on lenses recently, and another (one question?) FF/EVIL query. But has anyone asked the broader 'Pentax enthusiast' crowd (hopefully a superset, not just this forum) about their interest level in actually *buying* a FF DSLR? For instance:

1. How much would you pay for a new FF DSLR body?
2. How much would you pay for a new FF DSLR system?

To my knowledge there's not been a concerted effort to form an advocacy group for Pentax, has there? Or to do a any work to derive at some consensus on recommended products?

Is there no interest in doing so? Has any past attempt failed? If so, was it due to apathy? For instance, if I put together a thread with a survey, would I even get ten responses?

Actually, I'm going to try it.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/110002-how-much-wo...ml#post1133665

There.
08-06-2010, 06:14 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by LinXitoW Quote
Compare FF and EVIL. Which one took off faster? Which market is still open to new innovations? Which market has the biggest potential client base? Which one simply makes more sense?
Oh, and while we're at improving, how about we start with prices, then move on to the lenses(FAs), then, just for me, release a new K200D^^ and THEN we can take a look at making FF cameras.
An FF camera can be an EVIL camera. They are not mutually incompatible. In fact, the Sony E-mount for the NEX system projects an FF image circle.

Eventually Sony sees that it will be putting an FF sensor in place of an APS-C. When they get there, the cost curve will move FF sensors more towards the commodity pricing already seen in APS-C, which is why I am seeing $299 APS-C Rebel Xs cameras still in production (with kit lens).
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