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View Poll Results: $2500 basic FF or top spec APS-C - Please read initial post befor voting
Basic FF 11928.61%
Hi-spec APS-C 24057.69%
Don't care! 5713.70%
Voters: 416. You may not vote on this poll

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02-04-2008, 01:02 AM   #31
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comments about making money on the lenes. To my thinking, lenses aren't consumables that you have buy every month. The number of people wiht LBA is actually pretty small a lot of people have just the kit lens or 2-3 lenses and maybe a desire to buy another...

I think they really need to make money on both.

02-04-2008, 02:54 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
Here is an interesting interview with Ned Bunnell, who most will recognize as the President of Pentax Imaging in the US, I think he has articulated the issues of what Pentax has to do and I think he is right on the money.

Photo Reporter - Photography Industry News

Mike.
I couldn't agree more. If you follow through on the philosophy projected in the interview, it is obvious that they will not produce a cheap FF camera.

Please note, from the recent polls, hardly anyone in this forum is prepared to pay more than $2500 for a FF body, so if the Pentax philosophy is to have higher priced, better quality, better margin niche products for the specialist dealers, then it's bye bye to that forlorn hope!

Thank goodness for Ned, I believe that he is not the only sensible head within Pentax. The US team does seem to have a clear insight into who and what Pentax should be. I just hope that Pentax Europe is equally clear thinking.

I'm amazed about the lack of knowledge exhibited by many posters about digital sensor technology, manufacturing methods, costs etc, despite the information presented by those who DO know! It's a classic example of "My mind's made up, so please don't confuse me with the facts!"

I was once told that we live in an age of "kidology" rather than technology, The blind believe that FF will be the nirvana of DSLR's is a classic example of this phenomena!

If you really want a high quality landscape or portrait body, then clamour for the 645D, THAT camera would deliver the goods.

If you want a fast high quality wildlife, birding, sports, child and action, photo-journalism, general workhorse body that can also double as a great vacation and enthusiasts camera at a reasonable cost (i.e. circa $2000-$2500), then clamour for an APS-C body above the K20D.

It would also be much easier to get a small number of 645D's into the hands of pro photographers than a FF body of any description. There are pro photographers who would want to use them. I could easily see Ben being able to get at least half a dozen 645D's into the hands of other pro photographers he knows.

Consider an advert featuring a top pro landscape or portrait photographer (in addition to Ben! ), who says "I chose to use a 645D for my work and I use my Pentax KxD and waterproof Optio for my pleasure. That kind of endorsement would make Pentax the brand the of choice for many discerning purchasers.
02-04-2008, 02:58 AM   #33
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Although I voted for the APS-C option as that is the camera suitable for me, I think it is ESSENTIAL for Pentax/Samsung to get into the FF NOW.

They need to set their sight a bit further than the immediate next gen. With 3 major competitors now entering the FF arena, and with the manufacturing ability of Canon and Sony, we'll likely see a FF price war starting soon.

And FF CMOS manufactring cost WILL fall - and I suspect the fall will come sooner rather than later. Remember only 4 years ago APS-C sensors were prohibitively expensive until Canon 300D?

Pentax needs to be in this race, otherwise come 2 years time, they will need to play catch up again, or have to rely on hand me down sensors from Sony again when FF price reduce to consumer level when eveyone else (maybe aprt fron Oly) have a cheap pro-amature level camera with FF sensor.

sure enough APS-C price will fall as well, but once it falls to a certain level, the margin for profit will also follow in the falling (see digital compacts) - Hoya want to increase the margin, so they better start looking into FF now.
02-04-2008, 02:59 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by philmorley Quote
comments about making money on the lenes. To my thinking, lenses aren't consumables that you have buy every month. The number of people wiht LBA is actually pretty small a lot of people have just the kit lens or 2-3 lenses and maybe a desire to buy another...

I think they really need to make money on both.
Absolutely! Those represented here are a very small percentage of buyers!

Remember Hoya's mantra - Profit, profit, profit!

02-04-2008, 04:38 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katsura Quote
Although I voted for the APS-C option as that is the camera suitable for me, I think it is ESSENTIAL for Pentax/Samsung to get into the FF NOW.

They need to set their sight a bit further than the immediate next gen. With 3 major competitors now entering the FF arena, and with the manufacturing ability of Canon and Sony, we'll likely see a FF price war starting soon.

And FF CMOS manufactring cost WILL fall - and I suspect the fall will come sooner rather than later. Remember only 4 years ago APS-C sensors were prohibitively expensive until Canon 300D?

Pentax needs to be in this race, otherwise come 2 years time, they will need to play catch up again, or have to rely on hand me down sensors from Sony again when FF price reduce to consumer level when eveyone else (maybe aprt fron Oly) have a cheap pro-amature level camera with FF sensor.

sure enough APS-C price will fall as well, but once it falls to a certain level, the margin for profit will also follow in the falling (see digital compacts) - Hoya want to increase the margin, so they better start looking into FF now.
I'm afraid your assumptions that FF sensor pricing will fall dramatically in the next 2 years is false. It's very little to do with the scale of manufacturing, it's down to the very expensive multi-million dollar machinery that is used to produce the sensors. Anything much larger than APS-C has to be made with multi-pass technology and the cost ramps exponentially. Read Canons own white paper on FF sensor fabrication to understand the underlying manufacturing process (short cut for the impatient - page 11 section IV)

http://www.robgalbraith.com/public_files/Canon_Full-Frame_CMOS_White_Paper.pdf

I'm not saying that FF pricings will not fall, but that it is unlikely to be a substantial amount. I don't think anyone will be in a position to offer a pro-am FF body much under $3000 - $3500 within the next 2 years, probably much longer. Apart from the Canon 5D (where the sensor was bought and paid for by the first 1DS and housed in a very basic shell) there has not been any major reduction in FF body prices over the last 5 years, in fact with Sony and Nikon coming in with theirs, we are now back to the same number of FF makers as there were a few years back when it was Canon, Kodak and Contax.

I'm sure that Pentax already have a FF (and x1.3 crop) body design and mockup ready as a feasibility exercise, but they will be very cautious and pragmatic about their decision making, if anything Hoya are less "gung ho" and more hard headed than the previous Pentax administration.

Guys and Gals, I ask once again, please do your due dilligence about the technology that supports this industry before making wild assumptions. In other words, "engage the brain, before putting the mouth into gear!" but maybe too many of you drive automatics (or don't drive at all)!
02-04-2008, 05:08 AM   #36
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Richard, thanks very much for the link to the Canon white paper on the Galbraith site. BTW, I voted "don't care" because a $2500 FF digital wouldn't add nearly as much capability to my toolbox as would a $5000 645D.
02-04-2008, 07:32 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by christinelandon Quote
Richard, thanks very much for the link to the Canon white paper on the Galbraith site. BTW, I voted "don't care" because a $2500 FF digital wouldn't add nearly as much capability to my toolbox as would a $5000 645D.
If I could get a 645D for $5000 or less, I would be with you! Unfortunately I reckon it would be nearer $8000+ (6000 Euros).

But I want that $2500 APS-C body as well! It also better fits my profile as being a bit of a tightwad!
02-04-2008, 08:05 AM   #38
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Thanks for the pointer to that Ned Bunnell interview. I was worried they were exiting the P&S market as well, but I'm glad they're keeping the Optio line...it has better image quality than the Olympus equivalent, no nowhere near the light gathering abilities of my Fuji F30 ;-)

02-04-2008, 09:36 AM   #39
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APS-C with better performance than the current line-up of cameras. I'd gladly put my name on the list as soon as one is announced.

FF, on the other hand (or even APS-H) would also be a welcome addition to my bag. But that's not my priority right now so I can wait several years on that front.
02-04-2008, 10:07 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
I'm afraid your assumptions that FF sensor pricing will fall dramatically in the next 2 years is false. It's very little to do with the scale of manufacturing, it's down to the very expensive multi-million dollar machinery that is used to produce the sensors. Anything much larger than APS-C has to be made with multi-pass technology and the cost ramps exponentially. Read Canons own white paper on FF sensor fabrication to understand the underlying manufacturing process (short cut for the impatient - page 11 section IV)

http://www.robgalbraith.com/public_files/Canon_Full-Frame_CMOS_White_Paper.pdf

I'm not saying that FF pricings will not fall, but that it is unlikely to be a substantial amount. I don't think anyone will be in a position to offer a pro-am FF body much under $3000 - $3500 within the next 2 years, probably much longer. Apart from the Canon 5D (where the sensor was bought and paid for by the first 1DS and housed in a very basic shell) there has not been any major reduction in FF body prices over the last 5 years, in fact with Sony and Nikon coming in with theirs, we are now back to the same number of FF makers as there were a few years back when it was Canon, Kodak and Contax.

I'm sure that Pentax already have a FF (and x1.3 crop) body design and mockup ready as a feasibility exercise, but they will be very cautious and pragmatic about their decision making, if anything Hoya are less "gung ho" and more hard headed than the previous Pentax administration.

Guys and Gals, I ask once again, please do your due dilligence about the technology that supports this industry before making wild assumptions. In other words, "engage the brain, before putting the mouth into gear!" but maybe too many of you drive automatics (or don't drive at all)!
We shall see the outcome come 2 years time Richard. I do not belive FF sensor camera price will be down to today's K10D level but my prediction is we will see them at around or slight above Nikon D300 level.

The investment for sensor production is a one time cost - once you put the initial money down, you reap the award from making chips from the production line for many years.

Through the improvement in manufacturing techniques, the price of the final product will be driven down. Withness the drop in price of RISC chip manufacturing cost with the improvement from reduced micro process.

Pentax is in a great postion in attaining these abilities, with parent company HOYA's experties in semiconductor plates and partnership with large scale CMOS manufacturing ability from SamSung.
02-05-2008, 01:39 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katsura Quote
We shall see the outcome come 2 years time Richard. I do not belive FF sensor camera price will be down to today's K10D level but my prediction is we will see them at around or slight above Nikon D300 level.

The investment for sensor production is a one time cost - once you put the initial money down, you reap the award from making chips from the production line for many years.

Through the improvement in manufacturing techniques, the price of the final product will be driven down. Withness the drop in price of RISC chip manufacturing cost with the improvement from reduced micro process.

Pentax is in a great postion in attaining these abilities, with parent company HOYA's experties in semiconductor plates and partnership with large scale CMOS manufacturing ability from SamSung.
I've made a note in my diary to reply on Feb 4, 2010! That's if I'm still posting in forums and can be bothered.
02-05-2008, 02:14 AM   #42
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Sir, I shall buy you a drink of your choice if I'm proven wrong come 04/02/2010, this gentlemen's bet is on .

I'm actually relocating to California in the spring, (Hooray for cheaper camera gear), and possiby go global trottering in the year after, but I will try to keep checking back into Pentax forum.
02-05-2008, 02:28 AM   #43
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As long as image quality kept on improving better and better, I really don't care it is FF or APC sensor.
02-05-2008, 02:39 AM   #44
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Katsura, I understand your point of view. Even if the prices won't fall that much, it's better for Pentax to enter the FF market while the margins are higher, right?
However, it seems right now a high-end APS-C model is much needed.
Well, Pentax has way more data than we (I) do. I trust them to do the right thing... I hope at a higher speed.
02-05-2008, 03:33 AM   #45
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Hello Richard,

Nice poll and interesting post to start it off.

I voted "don't care" since I'm never going to spend that money on a body. Ok, I succumbed into pre-ordering the K20D, but that's a stretch already...

But if I had the money to spend on it, I'm still not sure which one. I don't really need the high specs above the K20D (fps or fast AF), but some of the ones you suggest to be scrapped from the specs for the 135format I would miss... Guess I would go for the upped APS-C then... But as I said this is hypothetical only...

All the best!

Wim
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