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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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02-03-2008, 03:41 AM   #1
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Poll - $2500 low end FF or Hi-spec APS-C? - Please read initial post before voting

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!


Last edited by Richard Day; 02-11-2008 at 03:02 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake
02-03-2008, 03:59 AM   #2
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But what about the third option of offering a $3000 full frame camera with all the benefits of a high-spec APS-C and a full frame sensor? Just like Canon makes the 1D and the 1Ds, Pentax could offer an APS-C K1D and a full frame K1Ds. I personally wouldn't want such a camera, but there are enough people crying "we want full frame!!" that it might be a worthwhile model for Pentax to offer.
02-03-2008, 04:18 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jms698 Quote
But what about the third option of offering a $3000 full frame camera with all the benefits of a high-spec APS-C and a full frame sensor? Just like Canon makes the 1D and the 1Ds, Pentax could offer an APS-C K1D and a full frame K1Ds. I personally wouldn't want such a camera, but there are enough people crying "we want full frame!!" that it might be a worthwhile model for Pentax to offer.
It wouldn't be anywhere near $3000, a $200 sensor plus $180 will make a $3800 (probably nearer $4000 or even more) camera. The fact that Canon charge around $4300 for the ID (a 1.3x sensor not FF) and $6000 for the FF 1DS, backs this up. It is a well accepted speculation that Canon loose money on the 5D as it is.

I was trying to keep the total package cost to be at the top of the mid band area ($1000 - $2500). The Pro sector (above $2500) has around a 1% - 2% market segment, which is not what I was trying to ascertain.

We must keep some form of reality and perspective here!
02-03-2008, 04:39 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot for your run-through I would love a Pro specked APS-C. I think it is the perfect size for digital.

QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
It wouldn't be anywhere near $3000, a $200 sensor plus $180 will make a $3800 (probably nearer $4000 or even more) camera. The fact that Canon charge around $4300 for the ID (a 1.3x sensor not FF) and $6000 for the FF 1DS, backs this up. It is a well accepted speculation that Canon loose money on the 5D as it is.

I was trying to keep the total package cost to be at the top of the mid band area ($1000 - $2500). The Pro sector (above $2500) has around a 1% - 2% market segment, which is not what I was trying to ascertain.

We must keep some form of reality and perspective here!
Why would Canon sell the 5D, if they’re loosing money on it ?
Did they plan for more people to buy it, or was it to increase the lens sale of their FF lenses ?

02-03-2008, 04:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Thanks a lot for your run-through I would love a Pro specked APS-C. I think it is the perfect size for digital.



Why would Canon sell the 5D, if they’re loosing money on it ?
Did they plan for more people to buy it, or was it to increase the lens sale of their FF lenses ?
Think of it in terms of the video game market. Most console manufacturers like Microsoft and Nintendo manufacture their consoles at a loss which they make back in game sales.

Lenses are much more profitable than bodies.
02-03-2008, 04:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Thanks a lot for your run-through I would love a Pro specked APS-C. I think it is the perfect size for digital.

Why would Canon sell the 5D, if they’re loosing money on it ?
Did they plan for more people to buy it, or was it to increase the lens sale of their FF lenses ?
I did say it was speculation, no-one knows for sure!

I do know, for a fact, that the dealers make virtually nothing on selling 5D bodies, it's all about selling the lenses where they make their margins. Naturally it is also seen a bridge for those purchasers to step up to a 1D or 1DS in the future. The pressure to buy the better models is very high!

Many dealers are very unhappy about the pressure Canon put them under. Strangely, for some wierd reason, they like to make a reasonable margin!
02-03-2008, 05:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jms698 Quote
But what about the third option of offering a $3000 full frame camera with all the benefits of a high-spec APS-C and a full frame sensor?
I find this third option quite tempting.
Usually the price of semiconductors and electronics components goes down significantly once the produces learn to master the processa and get the yield up.
This has happened with memories, processors, displays etc, and I cannot see why it would not happen with sensors.
In this case a $3000 FF pro-spec camera might well be feasible in 2 years or so.

It may be that Canon is getting prepared for this, and accepting some losses in order to prepare the market
02-03-2008, 05:28 AM   #8
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forgot one thing

QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote

We must keep some form of reality and perspective here!
I don't argue with your numbers in relationship to the MSRP of the units. The online US price from the discounters would be $1,750-$1,650. That, IMO, might suggest another alternative. The APS-C unit would of course be the first unit to buy but the basic FF would be highly desirable as a second body much in the way one would buy a high quality lens for certain types of situations.

Regards,

Ken

02-03-2008, 05:55 AM   #9
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Sensor Pricing

As we do not know the price of manufacturing a FF sensor by Pentax/Samsung, it is difficult to determine the bottom line. Perhaps it will come down to that and that alone. If the quantity is great enough, we might find that in the very near future that FF sensors will cost something around 200-300 € per unit. If that is the case, we might see FF cameras in the 1000-1500 € range for the body alone.

Ben
02-03-2008, 06:05 AM   #10
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Market trend

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)

Richard,
With Samsung and Sony getting in the game the old rule of thumb for pricing bodies will be changed to more resemble the pricing structure people like Hilti and Bostic nailers use. They sell the tool at cost so you buy their nails and anchors. Sell the bodies for a lower price but keep a lot of profit in the lenses and other accessories. Executives from Canon have stated this will be the future trend. So your $2,500 MSRP body that would have an online discounted price of $1,700 will be selling in the $1,200 range which makes owning both a very real possibility.

Regards,

Ken
02-03-2008, 06:26 AM   #11
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Good poll Richard!

I (in the minority I see) voted FF, because I think it would be a BAD decision for Pentax to abandon SR and sealing; they're both major brand differentiators, and should remain such.

It's also somewhat a moot point for me, though, because although I'll (hopefully) pony up for the k20d, I don't anticipate ever spending $2500 on a body.

QuoteOriginally posted by anomaly Quote
Lenses are much more profitable than bodies.
ESPECIALLY when you're selling SR in them over and over again!

QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
(i.e. free 1.5x TC)
Hmm, watch out Richard -- I got spanked for that kind of talk!
02-03-2008, 07:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by amateur6 Quote
Good poll Richard!

I (in the minority I see) voted FF, because I think it would be a BAD decision for Pentax to abandon SR and sealing; they're both major brand differentiators, and should remain such.

Hmm, watch out Richard -- I got spanked for that kind of talk!
Agreed... luckily you were a smart man and ran for cover when "the knights of FOV righteousness" descended... only minor bruising from the public stoning...

Richard, I think we covered the topic nicely in the link provided above. The crop factor is FOV, not magnification...

Cheers,
Marc

PS: I voted for High-Spec. APS-C, even I already have mostly full frame lenses. Higher specs have more appeal to me, since I own some excellent glass, and it would improve my low-light wildlife opps, indoor shooting, etc.

Last edited by Marc Langille; 02-03-2008 at 08:19 AM.
02-03-2008, 07:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
As we do not know the price of manufacturing a FF sensor by Pentax/Samsung, it is difficult to determine the bottom line. Perhaps it will come down to that and that alone. If the quantity is great enough, we might find that in the very near future that FF sensors will cost something around 200-300 € per unit. If that is the case, we might see FF cameras in the 1000-1500 € range for the body alone.

Ben
Ben

I've been in electronics manufacturing for a long time (I'm an old geezer! ) and I do know the base cost relationships across the industry including offshore manufacturing (China, Korea etc.). I also know the general sensor costs within the industry in manufacturing quantities. Even if Samsung do an inter-company swap, sensor for mechanics, with a favourable exchange mechanism for both parties. a FF sensor will cost at least 4x the cost of an APS-C sensor, it's down to the silicon real estate and yeild per silicon disc.

In my example of a FF sensor costing $200 (not 200-300 Euros!), the camera would be around $3500 if you retain a body similar to the K20D, with the same (already condemned by some as insufficient) performance parameters. The FF sensor would need to be in the region of $60 max to allow for a $1500 (1000 Euro) price point. It ain't going to happen unless both parties are prepared to write off the cost of the exchange value, very unlikely, knowing Hoya's focus on profitability!

I am not dismissing the fact that, one day, Pentax could well produce a FF body, but at this time and probably for the next couple of years, there is a much larger ROI available if they jump into the gap provided by the demise of the D2x, and the fact that there is no pro-grade APS-C Canon either, plus neither the Nikon D300 nor the A700 cut it at that level.

Once Pentax have established the fact that they can produce a serious Pro-grade camera that could be closely compared to the D2x or 1D mkII in terms of constructional quality, durability, accessories etc., then that would be the time to do a FF body and FF lens range, or do a 645D system.

Personally I favour the latter. Why? Because of the number of 645 users out there, and the lenses that are still out there, and the fame and culture of Pentax in that particular market segment. Pentax never had a professional FF culture or following after the LX, which was a long time ago, too long in my opinion, Canon and Nikon destroyed that following (Leica, Contax and Olympus as well), where as they never cut it in the MF field, where Pentax were very strong and hugely respected.

The only perceivable benefit for Pentax to produce a FF body, is to show that they can, but then it will put additional pressure on the already strained lens supply chain, without the prospect of suficient sales, if the new DA Lenses above, say 35mm, cannot produce decent results on a FF sensor.

If they can, then there will only be a requirement for a smaller number of FF circle coverage lenses below the 35mm focal length and also to produce some longer telephoto's in the 400 and 600mm region, which will also be required for a pro-APC camera as well.

My tests on all the DA prime lenses above 40mm and the zooms at the mid to long end of their focal lengths (with the exception of the 18-55 and 50-200) on my MZ-S, do show that they have a sufficient circle of coverage, but the results on film are likely to be very different than on a FF sensor due to the criticallity of light fall off and edge resolution. I haven't tried the DA* lenses on my MZ-S, nor am I likely to, as I'm disposing of it in the next couple of weeks. Someone else will have to do that!

The fact that Sony have also thrown their gauntlet into the FF fire, will have some influence on the decision makers at Pentax, I just hope that they don't make any unwise knee jerk re-actions that prevents them from producing a better than K20D model nearer to the D2x level. I would part with my money for one of those, but not for a "me too" average FF, and I'm a professional tightwad and squeak when I walk!
02-03-2008, 08:09 AM   #14
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None of the above.

I too am in the camp that with Samsung throwing the research and development resources of a $100,000,000,000 + company into making FF sensors (which I believe they are doing, particularly since they want to be in the top 3 by 2010), that a reasonably priced (i.e. $2000) high spec FF body will be here by 2010. But you keep on insisting that it is not possible. You and many others will be proven wrong within a few years.

Ted
02-03-2008, 08:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tbear Quote
I too am in the camp that with Samsung throwing the research and development resources of a $100,000,000,000 + company into making FF sensors (which I believe they are doing, particularly since they want to be in the top 3 by 2010), that a reasonably priced (i.e. $2000) high spec FF body will be here by 2010. But you keep on insisting that it is not possible. You and many others will be proven wrong within a few years.

Ted
Hello Ted;

When you a few years, that is still too vague. I am quite sure that it may be on the horizon within a much more compressed time frame than a few (2,3,4 etc.) years.


Ben
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