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01-26-2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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Pentax - Future dream setup...

Now that we know of the new Cameras and lenses that are about to appear (K20d looks great and I want one....)

So how about a nice long term Business plan that Pentax can think of. It is worth thinking about as Pre EOS system, Canon were not even in the top 3 of SLR sellers, and pentax at the time were out selling Nikon and Canon combined.

Now here is an ideal set up that Pentax could consider over the next few years to bring them back to the major force that they deserve.

Budget SLR - lets call it K2000D (rivals being D40 E-410 A200 EOS400D)
More advanced SLR - K200d or its replacement (rivals D40x, E-510, EOS450D)
Prosumer SLR - K20D or replacement (rivals, EOS40D, Nikon D90, Sony A700)
Top notch APS-C(orH) K1D (rivals D300, E-1, EOS5D)

and then a Pro Camera, called, I dont know, but lets say ZX1D (with full frame and rival D3 and EOS1D)

Now the important bit, the Lenses.

A massive expansion of DA* Lenses for APS-C mounts, to rival the DX Nikon range, or maybe, forget DA* and go down the DFA* route, to rival the Canon L series range.

Not only would you have the following existing lenses, but a number of primes and Long zooms. How about for example:-

8mm Fisheye
14mm F4
18mm F2.8
new versions of the Limiteds, so 31mm F1.8, 77mm F1.8, 85mm F1.8.

Certain speed changes on primes, like Canon, for example, 50mm F1.2, F1.4, F1.8

High spec zooms, like 10-20mm F4, 16-50, F2.8 ~(I know we have it)
70-200mm F2.8
100-400 F4
85mm F1.4
I could go one as there are so many to choose.

now that crystal ball is clouding. :-)

I suppose it would be a dream, but can you imagine......

It would mean one thing, less Canikon users bashing us LOL

In all seriousness, I know know the R&D would not stretch, but there will always be hope. And to think where Canon were only 20 years ago, and well all know the K mount is legend so dont have the Canon problem at the time.............

01-26-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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That is an interesting viewpoint, looking at canon's sucess. However, I kinda wonder if Pentax could pull off a similar resurgence. The market is really saturated already, and Pentax does not seem to have the resources to launch a full range (low-mid-high) launch.

My guess is that Pentax will launch a high(er) fps body based on the APS-C sensor to try and capture some of that market, and then for ultimate image quality will launch the 645D giving hassleblad H3-quality with a much better user experience (large ISO range, RAW and JPG, larger screen, faster in-camera processing, etc). That would give pentax a full range without having to reinvent the DA line for a larger sensor- they just re-launch some of their most excellent 645 lenses.
01-26-2008, 07:26 PM   #3
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Well, let's hope that APS-C and Medium Format are not the only product paths Pentax will pursue, because Full Frame is where the competition and the technology is leading (megapixel densities will at some point demand bigger sensors to maintain image quality, and bigger original image size is superior to smaller original image size). Basically, if Pentax does not pursue a full frame dSLR pretty soon, they will be left in the dust in the market and fail.
01-26-2008, 07:31 PM   #4
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You forgot a market segment where they would be alone and have it all by them self.

A kind of Pentax K1000D or LX-D

Small, simple, just the basics, really made to be used fully manual with manual lenses and so on, could fit into your inner pocket of your jacket with a pancace or even a 50mm normal. But still a very high quality build in metal, quite heavy compared to size. Quite expensive too, not aimed at beginners for sure (unless they really want to learn), think of it as a Leica M8 but SLR insted of rangefinder.. Closest competitor would be the Leica M8.

Lets say that only 3% of all SLR photographers WW would be interested in such a camera, i think three out of 100 is quite realistic since the market for SLRs for sure is much bigger than the very top expensive rangefinder market. What would that mean? Today i think Pentax have 5% of the total market, in this niche they would be alone with no competitors at all. Why Pentax then? The K-mount and all those manual (and maybe FA) lenses of course. No other maker could pull this off without introducing a hwole new line of lenses, while Pentax could do it like tomorrow!

01-26-2008, 08:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kiss Quote
You forgot a market segment where they would be alone and have it all by them self.
That's certainly Olympus's plan with the 4/3rds system (for which they are inventing a whole new line of lenses, as you suggest). Right now, with sensor tech in its adolescence (not quite "infancy"), the 2 crop is somewhat impaired. But in the future, they'll get beautiful high-ISO results from a sensor that size with all the resulting advantages in compact design, and if 1.5/1.6 crop dies out, their niche is even more clear.

Meanwhile, back to Pentax -- seems pretty clear that their strategy is to keep the 1.5 crop for the low and medium end (and perhaps for a high-end compact system) and to keep the 645D in the wings to blow away full frame at full frame's game whenever it becomes a market necessity to do so.
01-26-2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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I'd argue that 4/3 is not intended to, nor will it ever, compete with FF 35mm sized digital for IQ, because whatever sensor technology advances there are that will imrpove the ability to put more on a given chip size will also benefit FF 35mm size chips, i.e., they will always be better. 4/3 is shooting for (pardon the pun) a niche market based on convenience (i.e., size/weight of equipment) rather than IQ. Don't know how successful they'll be, since 3rd party lenses for 4/3 (e.g., Sigma) are variations of 35mm FF lenses, and so much of the size/weight equipment benefit may be lost (for anyone's lenses but their own, at least). In the end, I think 4/3 will be relatively short-lived, for the same reasons that 1/2 frame 35mm and APS were. Size matters.
01-26-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
I'd argue that 4/3 is not intended to, nor will it ever, compete with FF 35mm sized digital for IQ, because whatever sensor technology advances there are that will imrpove the ability to put more on a given chip size will also benefit FF 35mm size chips, i.e., they will always be better.
Clearly. But currently, that's a practical disadvantage because there's trouble getting ISO 800 (let alone 1600) performance. In the not-so-far future, the IQ at that sensor size will be so good that the theoretical gains from getting any better don't apply in practice to the vast majority of the market.

And there certainly is huge amounts of research being poured right now into increasing image quality on tiny sensors -- look at all the P&S cameras (not to mention camera phones) sold with sensors smaller than a little fingernail. Image quality sells in that market too, so those problems will be solved.

Looking at how AMD's x86_64 crushed Itanium out of the marketplace is instructive -- Intel's next-generation 128-bit CPU architecture is clearly technically superior to the kludged-onto-1970s-tech x86_64 design -- but x86_64 could be sold in the mass market where Itanium had no chance, so modern x86_64 chips are now actually faster than Itaniums except in specific niches.

I'm not personally putting any huge bets on either horse (although I'm perfectly secure in buying 1.5 crop Pentax lenses today), because I won't be really surprised to see the camera market go either way. If full-frame wins the day, I don't think it'll really be on image quality (even though that claim is true) but because Canon and Nikon will see dumping huge amounts of marketing money into it as a way to shake off the pesky little companies. (As they're trying now with their campaigns for lens-based SR.)
01-26-2008, 09:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
If full-frame wins the day, I don't think it'll really be on image quality (even though that claim is true) but because Canon and Nikon will see dumping huge amounts of marketing money into it as a way to shake off the pesky little companies. (As they're trying now with their campaigns for lens-based SR.)
Heh - As a Pentax marketing arm, I'd have a field day with that campaign for lens based IS - I can envision the perfect commercial - hire the same actor that appears in the C/N ads touting lens-based SR and have him bragging to the guy next to him (a Pentax shooter) about how great it is. Then have the Pentax shooter tell the C/N guy how great his IS is. And have him pull out a 20 year old lens and point out that IT is also IS, and then pulll out another lens and remind him again that THIS one is ALSO IS, and so on until the C/N guy gets curious to try it out/gets exasperated with how much he pays to get only certain lenses to be IS lenses.

01-27-2008, 03:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
Heh - As a Pentax marketing arm, I'd have a field day with that campaign for lens based IS - I can envision the perfect commercial - hire the same actor that appears in the C/N ads touting lens-based SR and have him bragging to the guy next to him (a Pentax shooter) about how great it is. Then have the Pentax shooter tell the C/N guy how great his IS is. And have him pull out a 20 year old lens and point out that IT is also IS, and then pulll out another lens and remind him again that THIS one is ALSO IS, and so on until the C/N guy gets curious to try it out/gets exasperated with how much he pays to get only certain lenses to be IS lenses.
That would be delicious. When can we shoot the Ad then?
01-27-2008, 03:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
That's certainly Olympus's plan with the 4/3rds system
No, they are building green-rectangle auto everything clutter do anything but cook food cameras just like all the others.

If any maker else than Pentax will claim the niche i am thinking about (M8 but SLR) it will be the Russian Zenit or the Chinese Phoenix. The window of opportunity is closing...
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