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12-20-2007, 11:16 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
(snip) So, a line of pro-oriented cameras that is well supported by Pentax might create an image that would help Pentax in the pro-sumer market segment, even if the pro series cameras aren't really profitable. (snip)

While that might be nice, I don't think Pentax has the luxury, financially, to manufacturer a product simply for the impression it gives. Even Hoya doesn't have pockets that deep. Instead, any product offered at this point must target a specific very profitable market and do moderately well in that market. This is why I've said the next Pentax will target products in the $2000-2500 price point, and why I feel Pentax will ignore the higher price point markets for the time being.

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12-20-2007, 11:18 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
If Pentax wants to reclaim their share of the pro market, the 645D is their best bet, IMO. Jump the megapixels and low light capability way beyond anything Canon or Nikon can accomplish even with a FF sensor. IMO, if the price was held down, such a camera might also capture a big chunk of the advanced amateur market, too...especially for those photographers for whom image quality is more important than fps and autofocus speed.

What do you think of a 1.5x crop (est) image sensor in a medium format camera? Given the high cost of medium format cameras, I've often wondered how Pentax can compete and still make profits in such a small market. The obvious answer is to lower the price. That got me thinking about how companies have done exactly that with DSLR's. And, using the same idea, there might be a way accomplish that lower price point by, like many DSLR's and unlike other medium format cameras, offering a 1.5x crop image sensor in relation to medium format - aka a DSLR full-frame image sensor in a medium format camera. That would allow Pentax to lower prices more in line with top DSLR's using the same sensors, allowing this camera to really compete more with top DSLR's than other medium format cameras.

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12-20-2007, 11:56 PM   #33
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I don't know about that. The widest 645 lens I have is the FA 645 - 45mm with a horizontal FOV of 67 degrees. Wouldn't a 1.5 crop give it a 44 degree FOV, which is not much better than that of the 75mm lenses on a full size 645 frame? I guess the gist of my argument is the loss of the wide angle end. If Pentax were to go with such a crop, then I'd expect them to engineer some new DA 645 wide angles with focal lengths smaller than 35mm (their current smallest).
12-21-2007, 12:48 AM   #34
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Hmm, digital Pentax 645...
Well it would be nice if Pentax ever brings it out but here are the hard realities:

1) So many portrait and studio photographers have given up their medium format film cameras in favour of a digital workflow because time is money and by going digital, they get quicker results. (Look at the number of MF film cameras for sale on eBay as your barometer). Many who have switched to top of the line digital SLRs like the EOS 1Ds are quite happy with the results.

2) Medium format remains expensive, more so digitally. How many people have put money in a digital back lately or a digital medium format setup like say the Mamiya 645ZD (22 Mpix) or perhaps a Hasselblad H3DII? Both cameras are already available, but how how many units are sold in relation to APS and equivalent DSLRs?

3) Many are drawn to Pentax for the comprehensive feature set and excellent value. That's a plus but here's a quick reality check. Would you fork out the kind of dough for a digital Pentax 645 system (it won't be cheap)? More importantly, would you be prepared to carry a heavier and bigger camera and the attendant issues associated with it (bigger tripod, bigger hard disks, a more powerful computer, etc.)

The digital Pentax 645 (if and when it is introduced) will remain a niche product for a select few- people who won't bat an eyelid on the price tag, and those top earning working pros where the camera will pay for itself.

As it stands, it remains a pipe dream for me and I believe for a lot of us. Forget digital medium format, if Pentax can introduce a FF camera, that will be an achievement by itself.

12-21-2007, 02:52 AM   #35
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I beleive the 645D's developement was stopped for all the good reasons stated in the above post: medium format being too expensive, full format cameras delivering enough quality, etc etc.

Still, there are many pro with a big arsenal of 645 lenses, people that used and uses canon and Nikon, but that were with Pentax for medium format. Comparatively, there are much less pro (or, extensively, peiople willing to pay 4000 or plus dollars for a digital camera) with Pentax "K mount" lenses.

So, I believe that a full format 24x36mm, or, even better, a little larger sensor, like 30x45, could be in the work by Pentax, with a form factor similar to Canon Eos 1Ds pr Nikon D3, but with 645 bayonet, and a range of new, "cropped sensor" wide angles to lien up next the current FA 645 lenses.
12-21-2007, 06:51 PM   #36
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Well ideally, there would be three new cameras..

645D - FF, 32mp (or 24mp)

K2D - 1.25x, 21mp

K1D - 1.50x, 14mp


..... and they would give away every 10th camera made to anyone who asked for one!
12-22-2007, 05:48 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Hmm, digital Pentax 645...
Well it would be nice if Pentax ever brings it out but here are the hard realities:

1) So many portrait and studio photographers have given up their medium format film cameras in favour of a digital workflow because time is money and by going digital, they get quicker results. (Look at the number of MF film cameras for sale on eBay as your barometer). Many who have switched to top of the line digital SLRs like the EOS 1Ds are quite happy with the results.

2) Medium format remains expensive, more so digitally. How many people have put money in a digital back lately or a digital medium format setup like say the Mamiya 645ZD (22 Mpix) or perhaps a Hasselblad H3DII? Both cameras are already available, but how how many units are sold in relation to APS and equivalent DSLRs?

3) Many are drawn to Pentax for the comprehensive feature set and excellent value. That's a plus but here's a quick reality check. Would you fork out the kind of dough for a digital Pentax 645 system (it won't be cheap)? More importantly, would you be prepared to carry a heavier and bigger camera and the attendant issues associated with it (bigger tripod, bigger hard disks, a more powerful computer, etc.)

The digital Pentax 645 (if and when it is introduced) will remain a niche product for a select few- people who won't bat an eyelid on the price tag, and those top earning working pros where the camera will pay for itself.

As it stands, it remains a pipe dream for me and I believe for a lot of us. Forget digital medium format, if Pentax can introduce a FF camera, that will be an achievement by itself.
Agreed on all points. I'm not sure where the high cost of digital backs are coming from, but they (digital back manufacturers) are not doing themselves favors by servicing only the professionals, as well as the rich hobbyists.

In the meantime, Canon and Nikon (and soon, Sony) are making full-frame more and more accessible to pros (even hobbyists!), and delivering quality that could rival those digital backs.

I do think that full-frame and APS-C formats are now the new medium format and 135, respectively.

Pentax missed the boat on the 645D. Back then, people waited for it. By now, a lot of those who had need of such a camera moved on to other offerings. Especially now with new management that's seeking to get a bigger ROI on Pentax cameras, the 645D will remain in the labs of Pentax.

It need not be lost R&D, though. Whatever achievements they accomplished with that (I'm pretty sure it had good sensor technology) would probably be moved to future Pentax cameras (the K20D with its new sensor?).
12-22-2007, 09:17 PM   #38
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Maybe there's more to it...

I can imagine, the new MF sensor having the newest Kodak imaging goodies... Mayhaps it's best that pentax waited after all : )

* * *

Quote: Pentax missed the boat on the 645D. Back then, people waited for it. By now, a lot of those who had need of such a camera moved on to other offerings. Especially now with new management that's seeking to get a bigger ROI on Pentax cameras, the 645D will remain in the labs of Pentax.

12-22-2007, 09:34 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by solar1 Quote
I can imagine, the new MF sensor having the newest Kodak imaging goodies... Mayhaps it's best that pentax waited after all : )

* * *

Quote: Pentax missed the boat on the 645D. Back then, people waited for it. By now, a lot of those who had need of such a camera moved on to other offerings. Especially now with new management that's seeking to get a bigger ROI on Pentax cameras, the 645D will remain in the labs of Pentax.


While bigger is better how many photogs still use 8x10 negatives????

Looks to me like pentax saved an option of the APS-H -- (1.25x) sensor for a possible upscale model some day, and that's it.

since a 12/14mp model is about to hit the streets, R & D should be hard at work
on a 20 mp camera in the APS-C format, and if 14mp isn't enough then 20 mp should be, and if the market looks like it will support a bigger sensor--- they have the wiggle room to
go with their existing lens family
12-23-2007, 01:03 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
I don't know about that. The widest 645 lens I have is the FA 645 - 45mm with a horizontal FOV of 67 degrees. Wouldn't a 1.5 crop give it a 44 degree FOV, which is not much better than that of the 75mm lenses on a full size 645 frame? I guess the gist of my argument is the loss of the wide angle end. If Pentax were to go with such a crop, then I'd expect them to engineer some new DA 645 wide angles with focal lengths smaller than 35mm (their current smallest).

Good point. However, on the other side of the coin, that did not seem to slow down the DSLR manufacturers all that much. Instead, as you suggest, it might simply drive the development of wider angle MF lenses to better deal with the new crop factor.

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12-23-2007, 01:19 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
(snip) 1) So many portrait and studio photographers have given up their medium format film cameras in favour of a digital workflow because time is money and by going digital, they get quicker results. (Look at the number of MF film cameras for sale on eBay as your barometer). Many who have switched to top of the line digital SLRs like the EOS 1Ds are quite happy with the results.

Well, did you actually read anything that was said? We were discussing a digital camera, so the lack of a "digital workflow" obviously isn't an issue here.


QuoteQuote:
2) Medium format remains expensive, more so digitally. How many people have put money in a digital back lately or a digital medium format setup like say the Mamiya 645ZD (22 Mpix) or perhaps a Hasselblad H3DII? Both cameras are already available, but how how many units are sold in relation to APS and equivalent DSLRs?

We were discussing possible methods of lowering the cost of that medium format camera, so the above paragraph doesn't really apply to what was said either.


QuoteQuote:
3) Many are drawn to Pentax for the comprehensive feature set and excellent value. That's a plus but here's a quick reality check. Would you fork out the kind of dough for a digital Pentax 645 system (it won't be cheap)? More importantly, would you be prepared to carry a heavier and bigger camera and the attendant issues associated with it (bigger tripod, bigger hard disks, a more powerful computer, etc.)

The digital Pentax 645 (if and when it is introduced) will remain a niche product for a select few- people who won't bat an eyelid on the price tag, and those top earning working pros where the camera will pay for itself. (snip)

And nothing was said to suggest this medium format camera would be intended for mainstream consumers. Instead, I specifically said the camera would be targeted at top DSLR's, which are also very expensive and also not intended for mainstream consumers. And again, there was discussion about lowering costs more inline with those top DSLR's, so your ongoing objections about the costs of existing medium format camaras remain irrelevant. Finally, I'm a pro with medium format equipment, so the answer to your last question is, yes.

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12-23-2007, 05:48 AM   #42
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stewart, good to know you're a pro with medium format equipment... well I too ran a studio but that was a long time ago, so thanks for stating your credentials.

I have no objections at all with a digital 645 at all. I owned two 645s in the past so I have an affinity to it. Thanks for pointing out that my observations are irrelevant but that's just your opinion.

The key to cost for digital cameras lie with sensor availability. The sweet spot in sensor development lies in the current crop of DSLRs. Remember when the first DSLRs came out, their cost was very exorbitant with a low megapixel count by today's standards. Like memory chips or computer processors, with progressively higher volume, unit cost have progressively come down. This is no different where sensors are concerned. When there is a high and sustained volume, it will result in a far lower unit cost. Like computer processors, it has translated to cheaper and more feature laden cameras with each generation of sensors where the megapixel count has progressively increased.

Your earlier suggestion, "The obvious answer is to lower the price." is so too simplistic.
Digital medium format is expensive because like the scenario of the early DSLRs, it is limited to sensor availability and low volume. Unless there is a sustainable volume for larger sensors no company can bring to it market at a low price. So how in the world can they lower the price when there is insufficient volume to cover their production costs plus other ancilliary costs (R&D, marketing, etc.)?

The early digital 645 concept camera was supposed to be 18 megapixel if I remember correctly. At today's rate of sensor technology, it is a non-starter commercially. Sensor technology has increased that perhaps 32 megapixel or the current 39 megapixel like that of the Hasselblad would make it commercially viable. But it does not and won't come cheap.

Three of my friends bought the Hasselblad H3DII range. They paid A LOT of money. But then again they get to earn A LOT of money for their assignments. They are in a niche all to themselves. I'm a realist and I'm sure the smart people at Pentax, Canon or Nikon know they make more money from their consumer grade 400D/D80/K10D than from their top level cameras. People buying these cameras are underwriting the cost of development of the higher end cameras.

So, have you bought your digital medium format camera or back yet?
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