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09-16-2013, 07:39 PM   #2581
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
A unique and innovative MF would be one way to claim "pro" status. Pro, after all, is not just sports and wedding photogs. There are plenty of places where an MF would appeal to other types of pros. I'd imagine that a mirrorless MF for $3-4k (plus another $2-3k for a trio of primes) would be very intriguing. Add the possibility of adapting older MF lenses and you've got a Fuji X-Pro style niche.
I agree. Mamiya 7 II Camera Body 215-020 B&H Photo Video

I think a digital version or the Mamiya 7 (does not have to be 6x7) with 5 lenses could be a good selling niche camera.

That film camera currently sells for almost $4,000.00 (Body Only)
Lenses sell for $2,000 to $3,000 each.

A smaller digital 645 could sell in that price range and doesn't need more than a few high quality lenses. I have known people who used the Mamiya 7 II for wedding work.

09-16-2013, 08:44 PM   #2582
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The Mamiya 6 with the collapsible lenses and the 6x6 framing, my choice. Smaller than the 7.
09-16-2013, 11:13 PM   #2583
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Prices on MF sensors, cameras, lenses would have go down quite a bit for this to be a viable strategy. Moreover, Pentax should not be trying to attract new users at the expense of current users. They're too small a company to adopt such an approach.
I'd say the DMF market itself is too small for such an approach. If they will start resenting Pentax for changing the mount, if they give up on Pentax and start looking for other systems, it's game over. Ask 4/3 Olympus users, are they happy?
Pentax should think very well before making this move. They said it would make sense technically, because of the large mirror, but we'll see.

I doubt just by making it mirrorless (with a high quality EVF I presume) the price will drop to half. I doubt it would be a good strategy, they can only undercut the competition so much before having to start cutting corners.
On the contrary, I see them including some nice technologies, making it even more up to date than with the 645D. And... Uluru could be right about that surprise
09-16-2013, 11:40 PM   #2584
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I'd say the DMF market itself is too small for such an approach. If they will start resenting Pentax for changing the mount, if they give up on Pentax and start looking for other systems, it's game over. Ask 4/3 Olympus users, are they happy?
Pentax should think very well before making this move. They said it would make sense technically, because of the large mirror, but we'll see.

I doubt just by making it mirrorless (with a high quality EVF I presume) the price will drop to half. I doubt it would be a good strategy, they can only undercut the competition so much before having to start cutting corners.
On the contrary, I see them including some nice technologies, making it even more up to date than with the 645D. And... Uluru could be right about that surprise
I'm not sure I agree with you there. The DMF market /today/ is too small. Why? Because MF cameras are big, heavy, cumbersome, expensive. Any photographer (*1) who considers buying a 35mm FF is already convinced that a bigger sensor has potential, least he'd just get a Q (*2).

That actually means that there's an opportunity for a company to jump in and be a market maker. Remember that some exec at Pentax said in some interview I saw here on PF (*3) that they didn't just want to be a "me too" in the FF game, they wanted to be able to affect real change in their offering? What if the Pentax strategy is to be such a market maker?

Now, Pentax is actually good at making things small, ergonomic and (relatively) affordable for what they are: the *istD was a marvel of tinyness; it, and the MZ-S were forerunners of ergonomics. And, frankly, the bang-for-the-bucks that you get in a K5iis (*4) is impressive.

What if they replicated that in DMF? Say, a body - no bigger than the Canikon "pro" FF bodies, with the ergonomics of the K5iis, EVF so short register distance. They'd offer one or two new lenses, say a "MF pancake" sort of thing at a reasonable price, making for a compact combo -- and an adaptor for all existing 645-series lenses. They could even make two versions of that DMF: one which is "currently cropped 645D format" and one which is "FF 645". And weather sealed. Imagine, a weather-sealed MF body, the size of a 35mm DSLR?

Leaves the price; say, the "cropped 645" model competitive with the current top-of-the-line offerings from canikon, and the "645FF" taking a modest premium on top of that.

The question is, would there be a market for that? The MF "crowd" isn't one given to change bodies every two years on a whim. Perhaps it'd appeal to some, nostalgic for our Mamiya MF rangefinders (remember those? They were nice...) Who else would be the market? Art-photog's? High-end amateurs? I gather yes, and some more. Will it be worth the investment for Pentax? I guess that depends on how much of the K5iis and K-01 and Q design-lessons can be recycled.

I am not a camera designer or a marketing person. If I was, and I wanted to break out from where Pentax currently is, that'd be along the lines of which I'd think: don't compete with Canikon on their "home field", they will crush you...rather, define, make, your own battle-field.....don't be a me too.

===
Footnotes:

(*1) the term "photographer" implies somebody who actually cares about photography, as opposed to some yuppie just buying "the most expensive, for that must be better".

(*2) I own a Q. I love it. It's great for what it is, when one recognizes its limitations. It's not what I pick up when I want "imbattable image quality", however.

(*3) I know, I know, that's about as vague a reference as one can possibly come up with.

(*4) Somebody needs a serious word with whoever comes up for product names for Pentax, writing K5iis is just silly....
I thought it'd grow on me, eventually. I was wrong.

09-17-2013, 12:12 AM   #2585
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Well, I just don't believe that going cheap would bring them any benefit. There must be an increase in sales, large enough to compensate for the diminished margins (assuming they would sell over cost). Were they a "market maker" when they had cheaper products? Nope, that failed.
Right now, the 645D is the most affordable DMF solution, by quite some margin (and can be considered technologically advanced). They have the price advantage, now there are other issues to solve.

By the way, the 50MP Kodak sensor (smaller than "645 FF", with an area only ~20% larger than the 40MP one) is/was $3500, in volume. A modest premium over a $3000-4000 base price? Think again.

I think they can make a much smaller 645 SLR body, unless cooling becomes an issue. But maybe an EVF would be better suited to one of those new functions, who knows...
09-17-2013, 12:32 AM   #2586
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Well, I just don't believe that going cheap would bring them any benefit. There must be an increase in sales, large enough to compensate for the diminished margins (assuming they would sell over cost). Were they a "market maker" when they had cheaper products? Nope, that failed.
Right now, the 645D is the most affordable DMF solution, by quite some margin (and can be considered technologically advanced). They have the price advantage, now there are other issues to solve.

By the way, the 50MP Kodak sensor (smaller than "645 FF", with an area only ~20% larger than the 40MP one) is/was $3500, in volume. A modest premium over a $3000-4000 base price? Think again.

I think they can make a much smaller 645 SLR body, unless cooling becomes an issue. But maybe an EVF would be better suited to one of those new functions, who knows...
If Pentax decided it wanted to compete at the ultra high end not with 35mm sensors but with 645 sized sensors then I think making it mirrorless would be beneficial.

Although the big question with any development of the 645 line is this: who is going to drive forward sensor technology in this format? If there was a 645 sensor with the ISO abilities of the current 35mm leaders, and indeed video, then you'd have a much stronger reason to expand the 645 line.
09-17-2013, 01:32 AM   #2587
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
If Pentax decided it wanted to compete at the ultra high end not with 35mm sensors but with 645 sized sensors then I think making it mirrorless would be beneficial.
In which way?
Pentax only gave a technical reason - mirror slap.
09-17-2013, 02:10 AM   #2588
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Looking at the Pentax ducks all lined up (K-500, K-50, K-5, X-5) I'm going to take a punt and say there will be no K-3. Based on that line-up it looks to me like we may get a K-5IIx but that's about it.

09-17-2013, 02:57 AM   #2589
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
Looking at the Pentax ducks all lined up (K-500, K-50, K-5, X-5) I'm going to take a punt and say there will be no K-3. Based on that line-up it looks to me like we may get a K-5IIx but that's about it.
Agreed ... they are going to milk the "K-5" cash cow at least a third time (K-5, K-5ii/s, K-5iii/x ? with more MP +) ... buys time to better set up the next wave generation(s) ... J
09-17-2013, 03:16 AM   #2590
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Agreed ... they are going to milk the "K-5" cash cow at least a third time (K-5, K-5ii/s, K-5iii/x ? with more MP +) ... buys time to better set up the next wave generation(s) ... J
That makes a lot of sense to me and, frankly, there's nothing wrong with that strategy that I can see.

Even a K-5m (mirrorless) as an optional model could be on the cards.
09-17-2013, 03:22 AM   #2591
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Some potential variations on the K-5 theme:

K-5HD (high definition)
K-5ii/HD
K-5ii-M (mirrorless)
K-5x (monochromatic)
K-5iii/s
K-5 Super

or maybe not ;-)
09-17-2013, 03:24 AM   #2592
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Agreed ... they are going to milk the "K-5" cash cow at least a third time (K-5, K-5ii/s, K-5iii/x ? with more MP +) ... buys time to better set up the next wave generation(s) ... J
Not sure about that. If Ricoh want to increase their market share, they need new products. Every time they take more milk from the cow, it produces less at the next milking so, long-term, they are onto a loser without continuous development. At the least, they need a new sensor and seriously overhauled AF. In addition, folks talk about the next wave as if Pentax was going to produce something big and mould-breaking. Wishful thinking? I'd have thought the reality is that they are a small company which produces mainstream, highly conservative rather than innovative things. By comparison, outfits like Sony and Olympus (and for lenses, Sigma) are the innovators in the conventional camera biz; Apple, Samsung and Nokia are innovators in the "smart camera" mobile biz which probably outsells the conventional biz by 100-1. In any case, innovative is hugely oversold. Give me tried, tested and reliable any day.

Pentax do have an opportunity to be highly innovative with the 645D, however, not least because the high price of DMF products gives them much more room in which to play. No mirrorbox, in-lens stabilisation, perhaps a new approach to shutters, an EVF of mega proportions - there is plenty they can play with. However, at this level I'd have thought a product alone is not enough. The product probably has to live in an entire ecosystem dedicated to the professional photographer, right down to support and purchasing plans. Even a quick glance at the website of, say, Phase One shows the kind of approach the high-enders take. if I were in the market for a camera like this, I would pay much more if doing so meant full support in a switched-on pro environment. Buying a cheaper set-up where you are pretty well on your own as soon as you leave the dealer is a complete false economy especially if you are writing down your investments in hardware through the business you are (presumably) running. If Pentax really want to make waves with a professional DMF, it would be no surprise if they set up almost a parallel operation with dedicated websites and all the trimmings, quite separate from the consumer biz side. "Just another" 645D on its own would suggest to me that they are thinking small.

Last edited by mecrox; 09-17-2013 at 04:18 AM.
09-17-2013, 03:30 AM   #2593
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Not sure about that. If Ricoh want to increase their market share, they need new products. Every time they take more milk from the cow, it produces less at the next milking so, long-term, they are onto a loser without continuous development. At the least, they need a new sensor and seriously overhauled AF. In addition, folks talk about the next wave as if Pentax was going to produce something big and mould-breaking. Wishful thinking? I'd have thought the reality is that they are a small company which produces mainstream, highly conservative rather than innovative things. By comparison, outfits like Sony and Olympus (and for lenses, Sigma) are the innovators in the conventional camera biz; Apple, Samsung and Nokia are in the "smart camera" mobile biz which probably outsells the conventional biz by 100-1.

Pentax do have an opportunity to be highly innovative with the 645D, however, not least because the high price of DMF products gives them much more room in which to play. No mirrorbox, in-lens stabilisation, perhaps a new approach to shutters, an EVF of mega proportions - there is plenty they can play with. However, at this level I'd have thought a product alone is not enough. The product has to live in an entire ecosystem dedicated to the professional photographer, right down to support and purchasing plans. Even a quick glance at the website of, say, Phase One shows the kind of approach needed. if I were in the market for a camera like this, I would pay much more if doing so meant full support in a switched-on pro environment. Buying a cheaper set-up where you are pretty well on your own as soon as you leave the dealer is a complete false economy especially if you are writing down your investments in hardware through the business you are (presumably) running.
All valid points but Ricoh has shown it's hand via the *new* HD DA primes. They aren't going to destroy their current market with something revolutionary at this time but more evolutionary.
09-17-2013, 03:36 AM   #2594
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
All valid points but Ricoh has shown it's hand via the *new* HD DA primes. They aren't going to destroy their current market with something revolutionary at this time but more evolutionary.
I agree. Our posted crossed - I was revising mine while you were posting yours.
09-17-2013, 03:36 AM   #2595
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Not sure about that. If Ricoh want to increase their market share, they need new products. Every time they take more milk from the cow, it produces less at the next milking so, long-term, they are onto a loser without continuous development. At the least, they need a new sensor and seriously overhauled AF. In addition, folks talk about the next wave as if Pentax was going to produce something big and mould-breaking. Wishful thinking? I'd have thought the reality is that they are a small company which produces mainstream, highly conservative rather than innovative things. By comparison, outfits like Sony and Olympus (and for lenses, Sigma) are the innovators in the conventional camera biz; Apple, Samsung and Nokia are in the "smart camera" mobile biz which probably outsells the conventional biz by 100-1. In any case, innovative is hugely oversold. Give me tried, tested and reliable any day.

Pentax do have an opportunity to be highly innovative with the 645D, however, not least because the high price of DMF products gives them much more room in which to play. No mirrorbox, in-lens stabilisation, perhaps a new approach to shutters, an EVF of mega proportions - there is plenty they can play with. However, at this level I'd have thought a product alone is not enough. The product probably has to live in an entire ecosystem dedicated to the professional photographer, right down to support and purchasing plans. Even a quick glance at the website of, say, Phase One shows the kind of approach the high-enders take. if I were in the market for a camera like this, I would pay much more if doing so meant full support in a switched-on pro environment. Buying a cheaper set-up where you are pretty well on your own as soon as you leave the dealer is a complete false economy especially if you are writing down your investments in hardware through the business you are (presumably) running. If Pentax really want to make waves with a professional DMF, it would be no surprise if they set up almost a parallel operation with dedicated websites and all the trimmings, quite separate from the consumer biz side. "Just another" 645D on its own would suggest to me that they are thinking small.
OK ... not saying that you are wrong ... time will tell. But, I have five "word" direct response : CANON EOS 5D MARK III ... J
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