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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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02-05-2008, 04:25 AM   #46
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Hello all,

I'm new here and just registered to vote in this forum!

anyway, the only result of the poll I can think of is to reflect that all we need is a K30d for a Hi-spec APS-C and a K1d for the start of FF era under Pentax!! That would be great!

02-05-2008, 10:34 AM   #47
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I'm withholding my vote on this one.

I don't agree with your markup scenario as a basis for the theoretical pricing of a completed unit.

Given the increased cost of a single part, the costs for marketing, assembly, shipping remain relatively constant - The cost per unit & desired ROI will be much more slim than the 1:10 ratio you suggest, I think - especially if the company in question can sell 10x more units by slimming that markup to 1:3. There's additional profit to be had with such a strategy with minimal R&D and I don't think they'll overlook that. Raw numbers don't always tell the tale.

What's in the K20D? How much are they asking for that camera?

I also note the price drops of many electronic devices after their initial introduction. Once economies of scale kick in the ballgame changes.
02-05-2008, 11:21 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
First some basic facts.

In manufacturing these days, material cost to final price ratios are around 10%. i.e. $150 worth of bits = $1500 retail. (The remainder of manufacturing costs that build up the ex-factory price are made up of all the other usual business overheads, this usually is 3 to 4 times the material costs)

It is estimated that an APS sensor cost is around 20% that of a FF sensor, that ratio doesn't change greatly irrespective of the basic cost of manufacure, it is based around the yeild per die.

The estimated cost for an APC sensor is around $40, this leaves about $90 for the rest of the materials for a K20D, if you fitted a FF sensor at $200 + $90 for the other bits you get a resale cost of $2900. To produce a $2500 model you would need to shave of some features, i.e. SR and sealing, i.e. a 5D (surprise, surprise!)

The alternative is to use the same (or even better) APS-C sensor and use the extra money, i.e. double ($180), to build a pro-spec body with fast fps, hi-speed 1/500 sec flash sync, the fastest tracking AF, big 100% x1.2 VF, GPS, wi-fi etc., etc.,

With the first option you cannot use your collection of APS-C lenses and you don't have the reach for wildlife (i.e. free 1.5x TC) or action work, plus it's a pretty basic camera. The benefits are reduced DOF, possible improved resolution if the same pixel size is utilised or assumed better high ISO noise if the pixel size is increased and MP kept the same or lower.

With the second option, you have the benefit of increased DOF, effective larger aperture for the same FOV, smaller lenses for the same FOV from approx 35mm upwards, plus all the advanced pro features that so many have clamoured/are still clamouring for.

Please vote now!
Well, I do know that price has little to do with manufacturing cost. I often cited the example of Honda and Acura. An Acura costs twice as much as a Honda but it does not cost twice as much to make an Acura vs. a Honda. I do not know how much it costs to make a sensor, but raw materials cost for an APS-C sensor should not be much more than about $5, since about 150-200 of them will fit on an 8 in silicon wafer, which costs a few hundred bucks. That is why I find the K20D so outrageously expensive, and the same is true of the Sony A700 and the Nikon D300 is the worst offender. It looks like, after the steep price cuts of last year, Canon, Sony and Nikon have decided to try to raise prices. Pentax is following suit. They don't need to get together to agree to it. One of them just look at what another is doing with prices and follow suit. It is like airline ticket prices. If one raises it, others may follow.

With Sony, Nikon and Canon having full frame models, it is no longer possible for Pentax to build a pro-spec APS-C camera and expect to sell it in large numbers. There are very few pros out there, and most of them probably find it impossible to compete without a full frame. Sure, it may be cheap to build an APS-C camera, but will it sell? If it does not sell, then Pentax would lose money. Given marketing conditions, Pentax should not waste them with APS-C cameras as these are destined for the low end, where it is tough to make money due to slim profit margins.
02-06-2008, 01:24 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
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!
$8,000+, y'think? That would be disappointing unless they essentially drive an "all NEW!!" chassis under the old model designation. One would hope that a profit-oriented firm would use amortized components and tooling that are up to the job, and only spend for new engineering/production capability where it was really needed. Mercedes doesn't build an entirely new car, or new plant, very often, after all.

On the other hand, you might be right...the dollar is losing value pretty quickly nowadays. Maybe they'll at least keep backwards compatibility with the "old" 645 glass, maybe?

02-06-2008, 01:50 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by christinelandon Quote
$8,000+, y'think? That would be disappointing unless they essentially drive an "all NEW!!" chassis under the old model designation. One would hope that a profit-oriented firm would use amortized components and tooling that are up to the job, and only spend for new engineering/production capability where it was really needed. Mercedes doesn't build an entirely new car, or new plant, very often, after all.

On the other hand, you might be right...the dollar is losing value pretty quickly nowadays. Maybe they'll at least keep backward compatibility with the "old" 645 glass, maybe?
I suspect that the original thinking was to bring the 645D out at, or just under, the price of a 1DS, i.e. circa $8000. However the D3 may cloud the pricing issue somewhat, but at 12MP it's hardly a landscape photographers dream camera. Maybe when Sony and/or Nikon launch a high MP FF body, that may determine the projected price point of a 645D, if they actually do decide to bring it to market.

On another tack completely, and thinking somewhat "outside of the box", if you scaled the K20D sensor up to a 36 x 24mm (FF) sensor with the same pixel size, you would actually get 32MP! This is slightly more than the Kodak (46 x 35mm) 31MP sensor that was planned for the final version of the 645D.

If such a sensor with similar noise to the K20D was acceptable, then this could be another path for Pentax (that's if Samsung would fabricate the small quantities required), the only issue would be whether the old Pentax FF film lenses would be good enough, which is debatable, and therefore exert pressure for a new range of D-FA lenses, but we do already have two, namely the 50 and 100 macros, not to mention the spattering of F* and FA* designs that are around, plus of course the FA Limiteds. The more mundane F and FA designs don't really cut it on the K10D let alone a FF high spec body. It may well be that the longer DA* lenses will be okay on FF, considering that Pentax have actually stated that the DA*200 has an identical optical design to the FA*200, but that we don't know.

Many many feel that I'm against FF from my various previous postings, but really I'm not. I'm against a half baked, low cost FF effort, brought out too early in Pentax's programme. I also feel a 645 based very large sensor camera is actually a better concept for Pentax considering it's strong professional heritage in that area up to and even into the digital era, they are still being used, I've seen pro photographers still using them for magazine work. Pentax's FF film offerings since the LX design of some 20+ years ago, have been mid range enthusiast bodies at best.

Going completely bananas, if you built a 645 (1.3 crop) CMOS sensor based upon the K20D design, then you would end up with a whopping 64MP! I suspect that may be more than necessary , but it sure would mean that Pentax would win the megapixel race!

Anyway, that's enough of my ramblings! Back to reality - The new K20D promises to be an astounding enthusiast/pro level camera and I will certainly be getting one in the near future. I also hope that we shall see a higher spec APS-C body that will be nearer a D2x or 1D level of performance in terms of AF, frame rate and feature set within the next 12 - 18 months. I'm hoping that it will improve my birding and action photography, but I'm actually not so confident about that, my reaction times are much slower than my K10D!

Although I shot 645 film (with a Bronica) alongside 35mm a few years back, I doubt if I shall ever again venture into that segment, or even FF, as I cannot see either those being at, or around, $2000, but you never know!

A footnote, my rationale:
In the film era, you had 3 main components required to take photos, Lens, Body and Film.

I used to shoot around 50 to 80 rolls of 35mm film a year, if you calculate the cost including processing at around $15 - $20 per roll, that equates to $750 to $1600 per year. I upgraded/changed my film bodies on an average once every 5 years.

In this digital era, you have basically 2 main components to take photos, Lens and Body, film is now included with the body (and memory is dirt cheap).

If you upgrade/change the body every 18 months at a cost of $2000 (assuming no value for the old one), it is about the same cost as film, if the body is less, then you are on the winning side!

I regard a new body every 18 months as my film/processing cost. I usually spend less than $2000, so currently I'm winning!

My computer was already in place before I went digital and again is upgraded regularly (for my real job!), but I no longer need my light boxes, slide mounts, expensive scanner, projectors, etc., etc. My darkroom went many years ago! The cost of the software is small in comparison to the other consumables needed for film.

What's more, my photos are of a much higher technical quality, the artistic quality is debatable!

Once again, apologies for my rambling and the length of this post.
02-06-2008, 02:58 PM   #51
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If I had the money to burn (which I don't ATM), I would prefer the high spec APS-C.. The sensor is big enough for my needs and I think I would benefit more from the added features than just the bigger sensor...

Besides if I went FF then my APS-C lenses would be useless and other lenses that are good as using the 'sweet spot' may show more weaknesses on a FF sensor. So the FF camera would cost me more than simply the price of the FF body..
02-07-2008, 12:55 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
If I had the money to burn (which I don't ATM), I would prefer the high spec APS-C.. The sensor is big enough for my needs and I think I would benefit more from the added features than just the bigger sensor...

Besides if I went FF then my APS-C lenses would be useless and other lenses that are good as using the 'sweet spot' may show more weaknesses on a FF sensor. So the FF camera would cost me more than simply the price of the FF body..
Hi Joele

You've hit the nail squarely on the head for the majority of us!
02-07-2008, 01:09 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
If I had the money to burn (which I don't ATM), I would prefer the high spec APS-C.. The sensor is big enough for my needs and I think I would benefit more from the added features than just the bigger sensor...

Besides if I went FF then my APS-C lenses would be useless and other lenses that are good as using the 'sweet spot' may show more weaknesses on a FF sensor. So the FF camera would cost me more than simply the price of the FF body..
I think the majority of the market feel this way.

I have no doubt that APS and FF will be "options" for years to come, with the borderline between APS and FF hovering around the professional level price point (easier to make margin). That price point may come down but right now and for at least 2-3 years there is still a big market for high speed APSC cameras.

I wonder if Canon with "upgrade" the 1D to a FF sensor? High ISO performance seems pretty good already for a 1.3 crop!!

02-07-2008, 02:26 PM   #54
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I really dont care, theirfor not voting, but putting in my 2cents:
I like my K10D's, and will get a K20D, I have seen some nice stuff from the K20D and am excited, but...
I dont care what format the K*D is as long as it has the folowing
Next Gen AF (super fast processing)
5-8fps (the faster the better)
10+MP
Flash Sync 1/250th
better flash system
ISO 200-6400 (100 and higher than 6400 are nice but I usualy only shoot 100 in the studio, hence the K20D is a good "backup for this")
Big buffer
Wi-Fi (via some means)
A few other things but they are more computer-based than hardware.
02-08-2008, 03:14 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrendanPK Quote
I really dont care, theirfor not voting, but putting in my 2cents:
I like my K10D's, and will get a K20D, I have seen some nice stuff from the K20D and am excited, but...
I dont care what format the K*D is as long as it has the folowing
Next Gen AF (super fast processing)
5-8fps (the faster the better)
10+MP
Flash Sync 1/250th
better flash system
ISO 200-6400 (100 and higher than 6400 are nice but I usualy only shoot 100 in the studio, hence the K20D is a good "backup for this")
Big buffer
Wi-Fi (via some means)
A few other things but they are more computer-based than hardware.
Hi Brendan

You've just specified the Hi-spec APS-C camera!

I did say $2500 low end FF or Hi-spec APS-C (at todays values), but maybe you don't think your requirements are Hi-spec?

A FF body meeting your requirements (Nikon D3), or even APS-H (Canon 1D MkIII), are currently a bit more expensive than that!

Maybe you'll reconsider and cast a vote now?
02-08-2008, 08:04 PM   #56
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I would prefer a Pro spec APS-C camera along with all the goodies metioned in the OP's post.
More AF points, with a small cluster around the center to assist in AF tracking.
Bigger ISO range, including ISO 25 & 50.
If Pentax want to stay with APS-C for a while maybe they should develope a high quality
DA*10mm to keep the landscapers happy.
Not to mention a DA*70-200 F2.8 "50-135 isn't long enough".
Basicly I would like a D300 killer.

Cheers

Del
02-09-2008, 01:13 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by VHDEL Quote
Not to mention a DA*70-200 F2.8 "50-135 isn't long enough".
DA* 60-250 will be enough long...
02-09-2008, 02:34 PM   #58
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How about "D" None of the Above?

This is a silly poll; if a FF dSLR is introduced, it will be a high spec camera. It would be somewhat ludicrous to put a top-line sensor (which it will be when Pentax is introducing their first FF dSLR) into a low-spec body. Sort of like Honda introducing its first V-8 in a subcompact 2 door hatchback with skinny little tires.
02-09-2008, 06:46 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by ArturMalyPL Quote
DA* 60-250 will be enough long...
And where is this lens that was announced back in September 2006?

Besides, If I wanted F4 I would bought a Sigma 100-300F4 6 months ago

Cheers

Del
02-10-2008, 05:02 PM   #60
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I voted for the basic FF.

But that is really not what i would opt for. I would like a camra with the same "think" behind as the Leica M8, but single lens reflex insted of a rangefinder. A digital ME or let say a "Pentax LX-D Limited". I would pay at least 4000 US dollars or even more for such a camera. I would not mind if it did not have autofocus, though it could be practical with autofocus motor in house using FA lenses. I would still be prepared to pay 4000 if there was no on camera display, that could be cable attached instead. With a pancake it would fit the inner pocket of my jacket.
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