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02-29-2012, 12:18 AM   #316
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That was different: stained sensors to Pentax, non-stained sensors to Nikon (since Nikon prefers to put their own stains)

02-29-2012, 04:17 AM   #317
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I just had a chat with a photo interest. He's a D90 and wants to upgrade. While visiting me, he visited our flagship store to get some idea where to go. Then, we had a large discussion with friends in a similiar situation about the outcome.

Basic result: He won't upgrade buying another dSLR. He's only one lens and thinks SLR is not versatile enough for the bulk. He seriously looked at Panasonic µFT. But was a bit turned away by the size of zoom lenses. So, he didn't bite yet.

But what became clear from the discussion: the bulk of current dSLR owners (the ones who upgraded from P&S because of their bad image quality) are hunting for compact system cameras now, with more compact lenses than current FourThirds offers actually.

Pro users are FF already (it's even a prerequisite to become member of NPS (Nikon Professional Services)).

So, enthusiast amateurs, the ones buying the K-5, are the only group left to buy APSC SLRs. I know many of them across brands. And currently, none of them even thinks about buying yet another APSC SLR. Their plans are E-MD5, D800, X-Pro1 etc. I wonder how this segment can anything but dramatically shrink. Except if it is different in other regions of the world.

Of course, a break-thru technology like column-parallel embedded A/D converters (D7000, K-5) or lightning-fast AF could sell another generation APSC bodies. But I don't see it. Esp. as the APSC MP race (24MP+) will highlight the superiority of FF glass.
02-29-2012, 04:37 AM   #318
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Basic result: He won't upgrade buying another dSLR. He's only one lens and thinks SLR is not versatile enough for the bulk. He seriously looked at Panasonic µFT. But was a bit turned away by the size of zoom lenses. So, he didn't bite yet.
Well, if he's got the very capable D90 and don't want to upgrade to even a μ4/3, he can't really upgrade

QuoteQuote:
But what became clear from the discussion: the bulk of current dSLR owners (the ones who upgraded from P&S because of their bad image quality) are hunting for compact system cameras now, with more compact lenses than current FourThirds offers actually.
Nikon 1 could have been a winner here, but they failed gloriously with their bulky zooms, especially the hilariously big super zoom.

QuoteQuote:
So, enthusiast amateurs, the ones buying the K-5, are the only group left to buy APSC SLRs. I know many of them across brands. And currently, none of them even thinks about buying yet another APSC SLR. Their plans are E-MD5, D800, X-Pro1 etc. I wonder how this segment can anything but dramatically shrink. Except if it is different in other regions of the world.
I have the same impression (my daughter, who had had a NEX-7 on order since November, has decided to rather get the OM-D, mostly because Sony's lens announcement didn't impress her), BUT I think this may be partly due to the fact that all recent announcements have been in this categories.

Let's have a closer look: The OM-D E-MD5 is one cute little camera and has some obvious advantages because of its size (my daughter, for instance, has small hands and actually thinks the K-5 is too big). But its sensor, from what I've learned about it, is still not even in the same league as the K-5 sensor. The X-Pro1 is also an interesting animal, but it's waaay too expensive and not really compact at all. So here's my $0.05: When many of these users walk into a shop and finally place their order, they may end up with an APS-C DSLR after all. Because it's still the most rational choice! And as soon as there are new and interesting models out, they may be the talk of the week anyway.

(And then there's the undeniable fact that FF means bulkier lenses. I'm very happy with the quality of the 300mm shots I get from my DA55-300, and I just have to laugh when I think of the size of a hypothetical FF equivalent of that lens. On the other hand, if Pentax announces an FF camera with very good compatibility with non-FF DA lenses, it may still be an interesting alternative for my next camera. What I hope for, is a hybrid EVF/OVF, where you can use it in EVF-mode for video and crop mode.)
02-29-2012, 04:49 AM   #319
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
What I hope for, is a hybrid EVF/OVF, where you can use it in EVF-mode for video and crop mode.)
Hybrid EVF/OVF may be a possible instrument to sell another generation of APSC SLRs indeed.

02-29-2012, 05:09 AM   #320
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Hybrid EVF/OVF may be a possible instrument to sell another generation of APSC SLRs indeed.
Indeed, but in the post you commented, I was actually thinking of an FF with hybrid viewfinder, using the EVF when using APS-C-only lenses.
02-29-2012, 05:37 AM   #321
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Hybrid EVF/OVF may be a possible instrument to sell another generation of APSC SLRs indeed.
That would be my guess. Besides, I think there is a danger here of mixing up form factors with sensor sizes. We know that a good APS-C sensor can offer great image quality while being reasonably cheap to produce - something of a win-win for manufacturer and consumer. Other sensor sizes have their virtues, of course, but APS-C still offers an excellent compromise. The problem is the form factor it's put into. I don't think any camera company has worked out how to do this well at all when looking at a replacement for the conventional SLR. The new smaller form factors all have significant drawbacks for the user, I think - slow autofocus, long write times because of underpowered processors, unbalanced and/or unwieldly lenses, poor battery life, not robustly constructed, arm's length usage needed as if your expensive new cam were a cheap mobile, lack of manual controls, etc, etc. No doubt a new form factor which works well will emerge from the current crop of experiments, but until it does a conventional DSLR will retain quite a lot of attractions. It remains a safe choice: you know you are getting a form factor which is proven to work well.
02-29-2012, 05:55 AM   #322
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
It remains a safe choice: you know you are getting a form factor which is proven to work well.
True, but this market is saturated now. OTOH, one "only" needs to sell 10 million units a year
02-29-2012, 06:14 AM   #323
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Pro users are FF already
So, enthusiast amateurs, the ones buying the K-5, are the only group left to buy APSC SLRs.
I know 2 photojournalists and both have their equipment supplied by their employers. APS-C is dominant with FF as an option (and quite a few legacy APS-H in the Canon set). A typical drive around with the police scanner on is with an APS-C like the D300. The D700 comes out for indoor stuff and nighttime. Most serious pros have both systems available.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
And currently, none of them even thinks about buying yet another APSC SLR. Their plans are E-MD5, D800, X-Pro1 etc. I wonder how this segment can anything but dramatically shrink. Except if it is different in other regions of the world.
According to the market data it is still a net growth market, though it is maturing. More and more sales will be replacement, and the upgrade cycle will slow considerably as the consumer's ROI and upgrade path vis-a-vis features and sensor becomes less apparent. The K-01 appears to be a bridge to that outcome.

But FF is not a solution to size/weight issues, especially with lenses, while staying true to K-mount and SLR design. And the cost reaching up to FF is prohibitive both for initial manufacturing investments and especially for consumers, so it will not make up for slower APS-C sales.

02-29-2012, 06:23 AM   #324
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
But FF is not a solution to size/weight issues, especially with lenses, while staying true to K-mount and SLR design.
I don't want to hear the "Zoom" word again in your responses, but one quick glance in my manual focus lens cabinet shows that there is absolutely no size advantage in current APS-C mirrorless when compared to old FF glass. Old FF glass is compact, new FF glass is enormous. Pentax could still do a lot in that field, bing the "primes" brand.
02-29-2012, 06:25 AM   #325
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote


The thing is, the moment Pentax do release an FF camera, and I think they will at some point, the whining will start because it is not like the Nikon or Canon they compare it to. It is not mirrorless. Too small. Too big. Not enough lenses. Not a 1200/5.6 in sight. Not to mention that there is not tilt/shift lens available.....
This I can completely agree with. Pentax cannot release a product without some segment here whining about it

Having spent a little over 25 years in CE retail (including cameras) from a salesperson perspective I can tell you it is far easier to sell a lineup that includes options. Salespeople in general will take the easy way out (having managed a few hundred of them over the years). Currently the pentax line is not an easy sell for a number of reasons. the fact that there is essentially only 2 choices is a big issue. this can be resolved with 4 apsc bodies, but reality is the money would be better invested in 3 apsc and 1 FF offering some broader choices. Second is there needs to be marketing for brand awareness. It's unfortunate but if you are under a certain age odds are you have no idea who Pentax are, and in many cases even people who do are surprised to find out they are still in business. I don't envy Ricoh's task to be honest there are a lot of obstacles to overcome brand awareness, product assortment, distribution, marketing. every other brand in the ILC market is ahead of them on these fronts right now. Word of mouth is great but it can't be the only strategy like it has been for several years. This will cost some serious money and require long term commitment (including probably the willingness to take some losses to develop things again)
On the plus side Ricoh is a very large company with good cash reserves and the proven willingness to spend them to secure market (for instance in 2008 they bought one of the biggest copier leasing companies in the US (IKON) who primarily distributed canon and effectively shut canon down in those contracts as they came up for renewal - this cost an order of magnitude more than pentax did - it actually cast more than it would to do all the things i mentioned at Pentax - 1.62 billion dollars. The cost to really make an impact with Pentax will be far lower than the Ikon deal. they could invest 2-300 million over the next 2 years and what could be done would just blow us all away - a Full on FF program would likely cost less than 80 million to get off the ground properly
the real test of commitment will be Photokina which will be the first showcase of any impact Ricoh has had on direction. then 2013 should be a banner year. anyone that expected overnight change (and many seem to) has no clue on how long development cycles are. If Hoya had been investing in R&D but holding off on production things could have gone much faster but gioven how many engineers they canned it's pretty obvious they were investing the bare minimum to achieve their goal

the next 2 years will be a pretty interesting time in Pentax land. Certainly before some things come a number of users will bleed off to Canikon and others for what they perceive their needs to be. Fortunately their are always new customers coming into the market its not a static number (It does however cost a lot more to bring in new customers than it does to keep existing ones)
02-29-2012, 06:55 AM   #326
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
I don't want to hear the "Zoom" word again in your responses, but one quick glance in my manual focus lens cabinet shows that there is absolutely no size advantage in current APS-C mirrorless when compared to old FF glass. Old FF glass is compact, new FF glass is enormous. Pentax could still do a lot in that field, bing the "primes" brand.
Prime = too small market. It's as simple as that.

You'd be looking at a $3,000 body and far fewer lens options.
02-29-2012, 07:30 AM   #327
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Prime = too small market. It's as simple as that.
Look, I'm getting older by the day. It's certainly not fun to lug a big 80-200/2.8 zoom around. Don't get me wrong, I still lug it around but it certainly is not fun at all. Most of all while travelling or on vacation. I carried 7 kilos of equipment with me all day on vacation in Italy (including the FA* 80-200/2.8) and I will NEVER do that again. I even lost a lot of weight although normally I'd gain some pounds...

Anyone thinking that large, heavy zooms are the way to go needs to have his brains checked.

QuoteQuote:
You'd be looking at a $3,000 body and far fewer lens options.
Fewer lens options = easier to choose from
02-29-2012, 07:52 AM   #328
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Most of all while travelling or on vacation. I carried 7 kilos of equipment with me all day on vacation in Italy (including the FA* 80-200/2.8) and I will NEVER do that again. I even lost a lot of weight although normally I'd gain some pounds...

I trekked around Rome lugging a Bronica 645D 3 backs tripod and 3 lenses (and 50 rolls of film) in addition to DSLR and 2 zooms and a holga for fun - my favourite shot from the whole trip was from the Holga LOL - now I go with a body no grip and 3-4 primes nothing long - and i still think it's too heavy some times
02-29-2012, 07:54 AM   #329
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
But FF is not a solution to size/weight issues, especially with lenses, while staying true to K-mount and SLR design.
While what you say is strictly speaking true what you mean isn't. My DA* 50-135/2.8 is a fine lens, but I think it's too big and heavy. So let's say I get an FF camera and want a lens that gives me the ability to take the same images. (Read Falk's paper if you are unclear on what this means.)

The DA* 50-135/2.8 is 765g, 136mm long.
The Canon 70-400/4 (non-IS) is 705g, 172mm long.
I don't have diameter numbers, but they look about the same.

It's actually lighter, if a bit bigger. It could probably be made shorter with a bit more glass, giving the same size and weight as the DA*. Still too big and heavy, but not so bad I wouldn't use it.

And with the FF I could have a small, light and cheap 50/1.4, which has no equivalent at any price for the APS-C camera. And if it did it would be bigger and heavier. And the FF tele is much cheaper too, probably even a bit cheaper to make (since it doesn't need the same sharpness per image area).

If you only care about tele that's fine, but don't insist others have to be the same. And also consider reading Falk's paper if you think APS-C gives you an inherent reach advantage with the same lens.
02-29-2012, 08:36 AM   #330
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
1. Most serious pros have both systems available.
...
2. But FF is not a solution to size/weight issues
1. This is what I meant, with FF being prerequisite now to be accepted by NPS.

2. True, but APSC-equivalent FF glass (read slower) and a more compact body for FF can fill the gap w/o a need for APSC. So, the extinction of the APSC-SLR market which I predict will eventually not leave a gap because it is filled easily.

What could have saved APSC-SLRs (note that I talk in past already ) would have been an optimized form factor with shorter registration distance (28mm) and smaller mount, allowing for SLR almost as compact as the GH series of mirrorless and making mirrorless with the same mount more of an option.
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