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07-21-2011, 03:55 PM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pl Jensen Quote
Actually, the main problem is that very few people want or buy FF cameras. Image quality from APS sensor satisfies the need of about 95% of the market and the image quality of this sensor size is only going to get better. This and the price penalty of FF, particularly the lenses, will ensure that the FF will probably never exceed 10% of the DSLR market. If anything there will be a trend towards smaller sensors in the majority of the market. There will still be a market for larger sensors but it will remain small...
This sounds about right. I'm also not sure that competing head to head with Nikon and Canon is what Pentax or Ricoh has in mind. I think Olympus and Panasonic are the smart ones here. They are creating a new market instead of trying to compete directly with Canon and Nikon. Even if Pentax released a Full Frame camera tomorrow do you really think people would line up to buy it over a Canon or Nikon? Both of those companies could undercut Pentax on pricing easily and not break a sweat. They can't even compete with them in APSC sensor camera sales now, so how are they going to do that with a more expensive 5D version of the K5?. The 645D is a different camera and is priced to where they can almost manufacture on demand. I'm sure some additional marketing would help but it would take an awful lot due to the brand recognition Canon and Nikon have.

In short I remain extremely skeptical of any Pentax Full Frame camera. Hope they make one and if it's $1500 or less I'd consider buying it.

07-21-2011, 04:25 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pl Jensen Quote
Actually, the main problem is that very few people want or buy FF cameras.
the same is true for 645D, for Ricoh lensors, Ricoh compacts and K5 cameras... they are all niche products rarely making any statistics, so Pentax does not need to take a price hit on FF body - they can sell it like 645D to a niche market and still make the money.
07-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
In fact I think FF is an investment that would boost overall sales for Pentax given the interest in utilising fine FF glass already available (and can easily be reproduced in DFA format from their formularies). Potential FF buyers are not in the market for a 645D, and I'd be interested to see how many MF Pentaxians would be happy to settle for FF...
if new owner, Ricoh, is OK to make M-mount module, w/o M-lenses of its own, making money just off the body itself, then that same owner might as well think about FF camera to be sold w/o actually making a full line of FF lenses... new owner might as well do just that.
07-21-2011, 04:30 PM   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
T Even if Pentax released a Full Frame camera tomorrow do you really think people would line up to buy it over a Canon or Nikon? Both of those companies could undercut Pentax on pricing easily and not break a sweat.
D7000 costs less than K5 yet Pentax still sells some... so will be w/ FF body - there still will be some people willing to buy it even @ price over C&N... even Sigma sells SD1 ... please do not assume that Ricoh is really after mass market share - they just want to have business catering to certain niche segments and the way to expand is to create just more of such niche segments, not competing head to head w/ C&N&S on a plain field...

07-21-2011, 05:05 PM   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
if new owner, Ricoh, is OK to make M-mount module, w/o M-lenses of its own, making money just off the body itself, then that same owner might as well think about FF camera to be sold w/o actually making a full line of FF lenses... new owner might as well do just that.
This ties into what I've suggested, that Ricoh-Pentax will release GXR mountors in AF for Pentax AF lenses (Q or KAF), and in MF for other mounts. Thus sales of AF Pentax lenses are not cannibalized. Use ANY lens you want! But if you want AF, buy-use Pentax (or Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, etc). Canikonympus lenses are welcome -- but you must twist the rings yourself.
07-21-2011, 05:24 PM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
... Among the guys i shoot with, the K5's shutter is quieter than the Canon 50D, Nikon D300s and the D7000. When i'm shooting candid backstage shots, people do not turn around and look if i'm shooting, because even in the quietest situation, you can't hear the K5 at all if one is 10 feet away from it. I'm not saying its a perfect camera, but its doing everything i wanted out of it.
I really, really lust after that quiet shutter. That feature alone may eventually convince me to upgrade from the K20D.


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07-21-2011, 05:40 PM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
the same is true for 645D, for Ricoh lensors, Ricoh compacts and K5 cameras... they are all niche products rarely making any statistics, so Pentax does not need to take a price hit on FF body - they can sell it like 645D to a niche market and still make the money.
It is not the same. The 645D domminates a market segment where the buyers are willing to pay $5000 for a lens alone.
Theres no reason a Pentax FF camera will take a higher market share of the FF market than they do for the APS market. That means 5% share of a 5% slice of the total DSLR market; clearly unsustainable and thats why we haven't seen an FF DSLR from Pentax yet. And then theres the issue of the lens line-up...
07-21-2011, 05:46 PM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
they don't... one niche company, Ricoh (exotic lensor concept and niche compacts), buying another niche company, Pentax (not exactly a massmarket products)... so they will stay in certain niches - just in more of them being together...
Ricoh is a huge corporation, but up to now has been camera niche. Every press release I've seen suggests that they bought Pentax in an effort to change that.

They see emerging markets, advancing technology in the imaging field, and have envisioned a growth opportunity in the marriage between the two.

They paid $124 million for Pentax - The options available to them from that relatively small investment are many. A complete FF push may cost them $50 million additional including lenses, and may have a 5, 6, 8-year ROI, but then they're in that game, and the Pentax brand - their investment - is enriched, and remains a dependable revenue stream because of this enrichment.

They may need to think about these new money streams for 5, 6, 8 years from now.... Which is exactly what I think they're doing with this and other moves, because the copier business looks like it's going to be much different, maybe much smaller in 10 years.

Or, they may throw away K-mount altogether in the next decade and try to compete in some form of aps-c mirrorless tier, with a new mount. If that happens, I don't see the point of them holding on to the 645D, either.


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Last edited by jsherman999; 07-21-2011 at 05:59 PM.
07-21-2011, 05:49 PM   #174
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Keep in mind...

QuoteOriginally posted by Pl Jensen Quote
Theres no reason a Pentax FF camera will take a higher market share of the FF market than they do for the APS market. That means 5% share of a 5% slice of the total DSLR market; clearly unsustainable and thats why we haven't seen an FF DSLR from Pentax yet. And then theres the issue of the lens line-up...
Markets expand. China alone is fairly untapped as far as Ricoh is concerned. Much of Asia could be a very fertile market for DSLRs or interchangeable lens cameras in 10 years, compared to now.

With a potential market that large, even a small % of shooters who can afford FF really expand the overall market - compared to it's current size.

It will be interesting to see what Ricoh talks about doing this fall after the official takeover, if they give any hints or put forth any sort of product roadmap for the coming years.

Last edited by jsherman999; 07-21-2011 at 06:01 PM.
07-21-2011, 10:47 PM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Ricoh is a huge corporation, but up to now has been camera niche. Every press release I've seen suggests that they bought Pentax in an effort to change that.

They see emerging markets, advancing technology in the imaging field, and have envisioned a growth opportunity in the marriage between the two.

They paid $124 million for Pentax - The options available to them from that relatively small investment are many. ...

They may need to think about these new money streams for 5, 6, 8 years from now.... Which is exactly what I think they're doing with this and other moves, because the copier business looks like it's going to be much different, maybe much smaller in 10 years.

Or, they may throw away K-mount altogether in the next decade and try to compete in some form of aps-c mirrorless tier, with a new mount. If that happens, I don't see the point of them holding on to the 645D, either.
.
Interesting analysis and makes sense. Some guesses of mine:

a. In 10 years we will see marked changes in DSLRs. (a given)

b. The innovative changes will come via companies who currently don't have a major share compared to Canon and Nikon who are satisfied with the status quo. (Remember the Swiss analog watch makers)

c. Ricoh and Sony are likely candidates to introduce major changes. They have the means and the motive.

d. The current lens/camera mechanical mounts will all be obsolete in 10 years. The standard lens mount of tomorrow's lenses will be an electrical connection bus, such as the one that Ricoh has designed in the GXR. GXR is ahead of its time and may or may not be a success, but it is the most innovative imaging device we will see this year.

e. Lens designs will be smaller in design and lighter in weight than they are today (except for the Pentax pancake lenses )

Hey, that was fun!

Last edited by philbaum; 07-21-2011 at 10:57 PM.
07-22-2011, 12:50 AM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Ricoh is a huge corporation, but up to now has been camera niche. Every press release I've seen suggests that they bought Pentax in an effort to change that.

They see emerging markets, advancing technology in the imaging field, and have envisioned a growth opportunity in the marriage between the two.

They paid $124 million for Pentax - The options available to them from that relatively small investment are many. A complete FF push may cost them $50 million additional including lenses, and may have a 5, 6, 8-year ROI, but then they're in that game, and the Pentax brand - their investment - is enriched, and remains a dependable revenue stream because of this enrichment.

They may need to think about these new money streams for 5, 6, 8 years from now.... Which is exactly what I think they're doing with this and other moves, because the copier business looks like it's going to be much different, maybe much smaller in 10 years.

Or, they may throw away K-mount altogether in the next decade and try to compete in some form of aps-c mirrorless tier, with a new mount. If that happens, I don't see the point of them holding on to the 645D, either.
.


Actually Ricoh has a lot of options in developping the market.
- Making a push in Medium Format
* Releasing several bodies (60Mpx, 80Mpx FF)
* improving sensor technologies - how much would cost sourcing a MF CMOS sensor with lire view from Sony
* improving AF coverage, speed and accuracy, processing power of images etc...
IMO Ricoh/Pentax have a possibility to make a complete highjack of the MF market
- Making a push for average "pro" market.
* Many pros (wedding photographers, photojournalists) are using APSC for cost reasons. The K5 basically just miss a "pro" support network (short time to repair, free loaners, ad hoc support center for special events) Ricoh can add value by using their own support infrastructure for business market.
* FF development, the Sony way of doing it by trying to compete with price basically failed. I don't know if Ricoh-Pentax can repeat the strategy that Canon used against Nikon in the 1980s, if they try, that means it will take time and a lot of money. And they will need a strong commitment on long term from Sony at least to source the sensors.
* Lenses, addressing pro market would mean to fill the "holes" in current K-mount offering. Fast wide Primes (20F2-APSC, 24/28F2 FF, 14-24 ish F2.8 zoom) Long lengths 400mmF4, 300F2.8, 200-400mmF4 etc... And some "speciality lenses: T/S, 50mm/F1.2, 85mm/F1.2, 200mm/F2, TC
They don't need to have everything to be a success (Canon didn't have good wides) but in a market in crisis, they will have to be really convincing.
- Movie cameras: IMO this is the biggest opportunity so far. RED has proven that there is an opportunity for a new comer but have been releasing a bit too much vapowares. Canon has proven that the professional are ready to accept a still camera that also shot movies.
* Using the K-mount to release movies that be a great entry in the broadcast business. They need to beef up the electronics and redesign lens mecanisms and they shall be ok at least for broadcast market. (APSC is about the size of the "classic" 35mm, so the look of video shot on APSC camera shall be just fine)
* Sensor sourcing is even more critical here, and it would depends a lot on Sony who may not be willing to let a newcomer enter the market.
- Developping speciality cameras
There is currently no camera optimised for shooting people (color accuracy) shootng BW, shooting IR, astrophotography etc... all are small niches. But a small engineering to optimise achitecture, bayer matrix, remove IR filter add visible light filter etc, and optimising sensor signal processing can lead to cameras much better than current solutions. And add a lot to the k-system attractivity
.
- Developping compact and mirrorless cameras.
This is basically Q-mount, mirrorless APSC, M-mount camera, APSC compact etc... Ricoh has already proven to have a taste for originality in this domain, abeit not very successful. The competition is already there (4/3, Sony Next, Fuji, Leica X1, Samsung) or will arrive stronger (Leica upcoming mirrorless interchangeable)
So FF is not the only development plan that Ricoh can pursue and ramping up engineering ressources is not easy and cannot be done efficiently on the next day, even with a lot of money. IMO, we'll see the vision of Hoya-Pentax being released for the next year or so, and see the vision of Ricoh-Pentax unfold only in 2013 where the market will already be significantly different.
07-22-2011, 01:00 AM   #177
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I consider both an EVIL (already in Pentax Q) and a FF model to be good moves for Pentax, but I don't see the FF camera taking away from 645D sales the way you do.

To me it would be no more than thinking good P&S models hindering Q sales. In fact I think FF is an investment that would boost overall sales for Pentax given the interest in utilising fine FF glass already available (and can easily be reproduced in DFA format from their formularies). Potential FF buyers are not in the market for a 645D, and I'd be interested to see how many MF Pentaxians would be happy to settle for FF...
I think we totally agree.
I just think if Pentax would go to FF, they would rather limitate it's Mpix resolution to something reasonnable i.o. not to give it the "studio orientation" the D3x has, and to be preferably an "high ISO performer".
But of course each sensor size has got it's specific advantages/drawbacks.

Last edited by Zygonyx; 07-22-2011 at 01:05 AM.
07-22-2011, 04:34 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pl Jensen Quote
99% of all images have quite an extensive DOF. Where the focus point is within a bracket of cm-scale is unimportant. This is way within current AF, not to mention manual focus.
As I wrote elsewhere, APS-C camera AF modules easily make a focus error of 50m (maybe half that in optimum situations). That's the displacement of the true focus plane and independent from DoF. It may even happen at infinite distance. That's thinner than a hair.

Now, you can translate focus error into effective resolving power (Megapixels).
E.g., a 50m defocus causes about 33m/N extra blur where N is the f-stop. Even if we accept a full pixel extra blur, then N=5.6 translates to a 10 Mpixel resolution limit (40 Mpixel for optimum situations only). And you can't stop down further if you need top resolution with APS-C.

Forget the math. I just say this: More than anything else, AF is limiting possible resolution for APS-C cameras.

Last edited by falconeye; 07-22-2011 at 04:40 AM.
07-22-2011, 04:37 AM   #179
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As soon as the "phase difference AF" can be included within the "big" sensors hence replacing the "contrast difference AF", that question could be solved.
07-22-2011, 04:56 AM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zygonyx Quote
As soon as the "phase difference AF" can be included within the "big" sensors hence replacing the "contrast difference AF", that question could be solved.
Which question? Or do you mean problem?

As a matter of fact, contrast AF is more accurate than phase AF (in many cases at least). Or do you mean it the other way round?

But even contrast AF is limited when the subject is moving or the camera sees shake. A blurry or noisy input signal converts to limited focus accuracy. In such cases, phase AF can (today) deliver more accurate focus. Esp. K-5 with its big AF relay lens.

Last edited by falconeye; 07-22-2011 at 05:01 AM.
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