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09-17-2013, 11:12 PM   #2626
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It seems to me that the Pentax model numbering is all over the place (How does one relate to Q1, Q10, Q7. Or am I just being old fashioned in thinking that a number needs a reason?) Disregarding ancient history (the K10D was "camera of the year" only 6 years ago!), it seems to me that Pentax Ricoh have reset the numbers with the K5ii/iis, K50 and K500. The K5ii/iis was a stop-gap revision which allowed them to present a full APS-C line up which consumers can relate to in terms of levels of capability and price. I would think that line up will need to run until about March 2014 before being revised, if only for reasons of economics. The K30 is still there, so introducing a K3 could cause some confusion. That suggests to me that, if there is to be something at the end of this year, a new FF (with new processor) is about to appear with a different numbering system - maybe "L" something as a tip of the hat to the LX which seems to have been the standard that people look to. So there could be a Pentax L1 (FF) on the way, and to meet the small market, maybe a K-02 with the new image processor and/or a K-02 FF (because the K-01 can cover FF). Forget the retro look, the K-01 styling will leave its mark yet. Maybe that would keep the baying hounds quiet for another few months. But I could be (and probably am) wrong.

09-18-2013, 12:23 AM   #2627
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Maybe I'm being too positive now, but maybe they're planning something even bigger then we're all hoping for. Look at the preferences on this forum, literally each and every person has a completely different whishlist. The perfect camera doesn't exist. Everyone has very different ideas. Good or bad, doesn't even matter, feature set 12345 suits person A best, and feature set 2468 suits person B the best.

Now look at something interesting Pentax is doing right now. We can order cameras and lenses with their own specific colours. Those cameras are actually "built to order", or rather "customized to order". What if all this colour-nonsense is just ramping up to lots more customisation? A covert way to set up the customisation facilities, testing the logistics, etc. Maybe we can soon choose from a variety of chassis, feature-set, sensor, mount type in the near future, and have our own personal perfect cameras pretty soon? A digital lx-d with exchangeable parts would be an engineering nightmare in the digital age, but built-to-order could just maybe be possible?

Last edited by Clavius; 09-18-2013 at 12:52 AM.
09-18-2013, 12:56 AM   #2628
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Now look at something interesting Pentax is doing right now. We can order cameras and lenses with their own specific colours. Those cameras are actually "built to order", or rather "customized to order". What if all this colour-nonsense is just ramping up to lots more customisation? A covert way to set up the customisation facilities, testing the logistics, etc. Maybe we can soon choose from a variety of chassis, feature-set, sensor, mount type in the near future, and have our own personal perfect cameras pretty soon?
Quite possible a customisation of some sort, more evolved than what we've used to.
Same body, but choose between two or three sensors, then pure black, silver-black and all silver camera bodies, then different leatherette finishes a la custom made Leicas.

I also thought, considering that SR mechanism and sensor shift can accomplish a lot of things, and that GXR was already a great experience modular build of the camera, maybe the interchangeable sensor camera isn't too far in the future?I don't know about this, just speculating.

But I agree with your assessment — customisation is possible, and even the GR can be customised now! On the other hand, tell me about the customisable Coolpix A, for example.
09-18-2013, 02:04 AM   #2629
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Quite possible a customisation of some sort, more evolved than what we've used to.
Same body, but choose between two or three sensors, then pure black, silver-black and all silver camera bodies, then different leatherette finishes a la custom made Leicas.

I also thought, considering that SR mechanism and sensor shift can accomplish a lot of things, and that GXR was already a great experience modular build of the camera, maybe the interchangeable sensor camera isn't too far in the future?I don't know about this, just speculating.

But I agree with your assessment customisation is possible, and even the GR can be customised now!
Imagine a web-configurator that starts with the camera body and ends with the detailing. Meanwhile updating the price, weight and dimensions instantly as the customer chooses the options.

If Pentax does watch this forum, then the single most important conclusion to make is that each and everybody has their own preferences.


QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
On the other hand, tell me about the customisable Coolpix A, for example.
The fact that I have to google it says it all.

09-18-2013, 03:02 AM   #2630
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Quite possible a customisation of some sort, more evolved than what we've used to.
Same body, but choose between two or three sensors, then pure black, silver-black and all silver camera bodies, then different leatherette finishes a la custom made Leicas.

I also thought, considering that SR mechanism and sensor shift can accomplish a lot of things, and that GXR was already a great experience modular build of the camera, maybe the interchangeable sensor camera isn't too far in the future?I don't know about this, just speculating.

But I agree with your assessment customisation is possible, and even the GR can be customised now! On the other hand, tell me about the customisable Coolpix A, for example.
If to make the sensor interchangeable by the end user, it probably need to be designed as a digital back, at least on a DSLR.
If replacing the sensor, you probably also need to replace some of the electronics and software in the camera before you can use the camera, so it's not a simple operation to be done by end users, unless it's done by a simple attachment to the camera.

I doubt anything like this is going to happen on APS-C or FF DSLR, as it will make camera more expensive, bigger, and the mechanical interface need to be kept the same for the future, which might limit design possibilities on future cameras.
09-18-2013, 03:21 AM   #2631
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
If to make the sensor interchangeable by the end user, it probably need to be designed as a digital back, at least on a DSLR.
If replacing the sensor, you probably also need to replace some of the electronics and software in the camera before you can use the camera, so it's not a simple operation to be done by end users, unless it's done by a simple attachment to the camera.

I doubt anything like this is going to happen on APS-C or FF DSLR, as it will make camera more expensive, bigger, and the mechanical interface need to be kept the same for the future, which might limit design possibilities on future cameras.
Nobody mentioned interchangeable. That would be an engineering nightmare, and very expensive indeed. We were discussing customisation: A built-to-order process. Much like with cars nowadays. I selected the chassis, engine, options, rims, tires, interior colours, exterior colours, etc, of my car all via online web-configurator. With some types of chassis certain options are greyed out. And with other, certains options become available.

Pentax would only have to make sure the parts are easy to mount for their technical staff in their configuration centers. Not for the customer itself. That would mean a much smaller impact on cost and engineering trouble then the LX-D concept.

Such a service would certainly be MUCH more revolutionary and MUCH more interesting for the users then just marketing yet another me too FF DSLR.
09-18-2013, 03:23 AM   #2632
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
If to make the sensor interchangeable by the end user, it probably need to be designed as a digital back, at least on a DSLR.
If replacing the sensor, you probably also need to replace some of the electronics and software in the camera before you can use the camera, so it's not a simple operation to be done by end users, unless it's done by a simple attachment to the camera.

I doubt anything like this is going to happen on APS-C or FF DSLR, as it will make camera more expensive, bigger, and the mechanical interface need to be kept the same for the future, which might limit design possibilities on future cameras.
Something like a Rollei SL 2000 F / SL 3003?

09-18-2013, 03:23 AM   #2633
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
The really interesting question for me is how the cameras above the K-50 will be positioned. The K-5II is being described by the press in Japan as "lower mid-class" and I cannot believe Ricoh is satisfied with that representing the top end of the line-up. So, I have a feeling that the top end camera will be more expensive and advanced than the K-5II - more like the Nikon D300 was. That leaves space for another camera between the K-50 and the hypothetical K-3. Since there has been no successor to the K-01 yet, I wonder whether it will be replaced by a small, nicely-designed K-mount camera, to be used with the just-renewed limited lenses. I suppose an alternative would be just to continue with K-5-type cameras. But I think it's reasonable to expect two cameras by the end of the year.
I can see 2 reasons for this:
  • K5IIs is APS and not FF, some think you can't have a camera serious if it is not FF
  • Price. At the price the K5 is, would you, based on price, think the K5 is anything else than what you describe?
Some forum member a couple days ago (pro photog) said Pentax should sell for cheap high level cams.
Exactly the opposite, they will drive prices higher, because that boasts the image. I regret it but I'm convinced it will evolve that way: we can already notice it I think.

09-18-2013, 03:29 AM   #2634
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Nobody mentioned interchangeable.
Uluru did.
QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I also thought, considering that SR mechanism and sensor shift can accomplish a lot of things, and that GXR was already a great experience modular build of the camera, maybe the interchangeable sensor camera isn't too far in the future?I don't know about this, just speculating
09-18-2013, 03:36 AM   #2635
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Interchangeability or flexibility

I have a number of A* and FA limited lenses itching for a FF body.

I could shave off the aperture lever and use in on a 5D with an adaptor, If Pentax isn't planning to release a FF body, I might have to consider this option.

On the other hand, why hasn't anybody started to produce shaved replaceable mirrors for Canon5D, that would accomodate Pentax lenses with an aperture lever? If you produce an adaptor, why not a shaved mirror?
09-18-2013, 03:52 AM   #2636
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
That doesn't surprise me regarding advertising in Japan. Pentax/Ricoh seems to be VERY japan-centric based on the products they sell there which aren't available elsewhere in the world.

As for an American presence. ..ummm not really. A few stores in St Louis carry Pentax. One store in San Diego carried a Q and I don't recall any stores in LA that carried any Pentax DSLRs.
That's what I mean. Poor distribution means that TV advertising is not the logical next step. They need to get retailers to stock the cameras first. It must be difficult to get retailers to stock a new brand when the whole market is shrinking and they are more likely looking for a brand to ditch. It doesn't look like low-hanging fruit to me.

I'm not sure that Pentax is as Japan-focused as you think. The K-500 and silver MX-1 models are not sold in Japan and are only for export, so it goes both ways. By the way the adverts are in TV shows that have been sponsored by Ricoh for a while. They have replaced bland corporate messages about CSR and ecology with adverts specifically for K-series and Q-series models.
09-18-2013, 04:08 AM   #2637
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
Uluru did.
I mentioned both possibilities; 1) order a camera with a specific sensor built in, or, 2) I was wildly guessing about the design approach that would allow some camera to have a stabilised sensor in a separate module.

Not as a design approach for all cameras, but just for one model, which, if the current software specs are ok for it to be used even in next 10 years (say a camera more oriented for stills, portraits and landscape, with fewer fps and normal video) that would allow people to buy one body, and a few different sensors, for this or that use. One of them could be a B&W sensor, one 24MP and lower res but more sensitive, another 40MP hi-res less sensitive, etc.

I don't say it is possible, but it would certainly open up more possibilities.
09-18-2013, 04:11 AM   #2638
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Nobody mentioned interchangeable. That would be an engineering nightmare, and very expensive indeed. We were discussing customisation: A built-to-order process. Much like with cars nowadays. I selected the chassis, engine, options, rims, tires, interior colours, exterior colours, etc, of my car all via online web-configurator. With some types of chassis certain options are greyed out. And with other, certains options become available.

Pentax would only have to make sure the parts are easy to mount for their technical staff in their configuration centers. Not for the customer itself. That would mean a much smaller impact on cost and engineering trouble then the LX-D concept.

Such a service would certainly be MUCH more revolutionary and MUCH more interesting for the users then just marketing yet another me too FF DSLR.
The trouble is that the entire camera biz is a minute cottage industry compared to automobiles or IT. Even those offer only a limited range of custom options but at least I don't have to wait too long or pay too much because they can be assembled from plants in my part of the world using components made in their millions by companies with huge investment budgets. Now imagine you lose most of the economies of scale and have to ship the stuff around from somewhere in the Philippines on, comparatively, a shoestring budget. Goodbye to your margins unless you are shipping to Japan and SE Asia. Most folks just won't wait a couple of months for what is often a fairly impulse purchase, imho.

Everything we've so far see from Ricoh, which isn't much anyway. suggests they will come out this fall with one or two new APS-C DSLRs, very likely conservative, straight down the line ones. They probably won't do much with them outside SE Asia, because they don't seem to be doing much of anything outside SE Asia other than pushing up prices (the new DA HD Limited lenses here are priced at ludicrous levels).

Last edited by mecrox; 09-18-2013 at 06:48 AM.
09-18-2013, 04:25 AM   #2639
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The current custom colour system is done by retailers who log in using an ID. The customer's choice is then UPS'd to the retailer. Returns are borne by Pentax.

What could be customizable?

Colours
Top LCD
Articulating rear LCD
Touch screen rear LCD
Sensor
Manual switch configurations
WR

A base body type could be selected first and maybe even a mirrorless option with an EVF. BTO creates all sorts of options.
09-18-2013, 04:38 AM   #2640
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I see one more option, in the realm of 645.

A. Now we have 40MP 645D. Keep it in the lineup. It's 1.3x crop, I believe, and is a good option.
B. A new model may have a 60MP MF sensor, at 1.1x crop, which is currently available. A top of the line MF camera.
C. Why not use the same new image processor, same body and tech, and not make a 645 ... but with a state of the art current 135 format FF sensor inside? This one priced quite competitively and is a viable (another) FF solution.

I think (C) is a better solution than crop the image of a 60MP sensor in camera (B) which is so much more expensive. And it expands the appeal of the 645D system.
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