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01-04-2013, 03:03 PM - 2 Likes   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Had my phone call this morning. I didn't learn any secrets, but felt very listened to and came away with a positive impression.

Things we talked about:
  • Flash system. Nothing I he could tell me in the works, but Jim knows that Pentax is behind. He wasn't aware of Metz's reverse-engineered-pttl models, and I mentioned that I think these basically saved Pentax for anyone interested in advanced automatic flash — but aren't really enough.
  • Customer communication. I mentioned that Metz engineers will respond to technical questions with technical answers, but that Pentax customer service usually responds with "Pentax Japan doesn't tell us that". He said that that kind of answer is going to stop, and that he's hired someone who is fluent in Japanese (imagine that!) to serve as a technical liason to the Japanese headquarters.
  • Weather-sealed normal prime. Again, nothing in the works, but he shares the interest, which is a good sign. Jim says he too prefers to shoot with primes, so I think that Pentax tradition is in good hands.
  • Hackability. I brought up CHDK and Magic Lantern and mentioned how these are great drivers of a subculture of enthusiasts. Open firmware or even Android would be very interesting to me, although a good open SDK for tethering and hardware hacking and such would be a nice start. He responded that it was an interesting idea but that they were very far away from it even being possible. Fair enough — I just wanted to get that out there.
  • Fate of APS-C when full-frame arrives. I don't mind all y'all who want full frame getting what you want, but with today's technology, I'm very happy with APS-C and one reason I've stuck with Pentax is the continued development of high-end APS-C models like the K5-ii. With full-frame in the lineup there's a temptation to put all advanced/enthusiast features in the full-frame camera and push APS-C only to the mass consumer market. Response was that they're very aware of the importance of the following they've built with the current system and that they won't abandon it. Also mentioned 645D for people who want a bigger sensor system.
I am glad someone finally brought up the flash situation and rubbed in Metz a little.
As far as 645D being there for people that want a big Sensor, that is about an 8x increase in price for the body alone note taking lenses into account. Every piece of digital Pentax gear I own wouldn't add up to a 645D body. But, importantly, many of my K-mount lenses would actually work on a ff body. I think there are a lot of people in the same place I am in that regard.

01-04-2013, 03:59 PM   #137
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Matt, it was good to have your input passed onto Jim regarding P-TTL and thanks for the feedback. It has been a while since the AF540FGZ was brought out, so I think this is a good time to have some development in the flash department.
01-04-2013, 09:42 PM - 2 Likes   #138
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Hi Matt,

thanks heaps for sharing the details of your conversation.

And kudos to Jim again!

QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
He wasn't aware of Metz's reverse-engineered-pttl models, and I mentioned that I think these basically saved Pentax for anyone interested in advanced automatic flash — but aren't really enough.
I'm curious, what is it that the Metz models offer that the AF540FGZ, for instance, does not offer?

QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Customer communication. I mentioned that Metz engineers will respond to technical questions with technical answers, but that Pentax customer service usually responds with "Pentax Japan doesn't tell us that". He said that that kind of answer is going to stop, and that he's hired someone who is fluent in Japanese (imagine that!) to serve as a technical liason to the Japanese headquarters.
Sounds awesome!

QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Hackability. I brought up CHDK and Magic Lantern and mentioned how these are great drivers of a subculture of enthusiasts. Open firmware or even Android would be very interesting to me, although a good open SDK for tethering and hardware hacking and such would be a nice start. He responded that it was an interesting idea but that they were very far away from it even being possible.
As you say, fair enough, but I don't know why they don't publish the protocol (or even API) for interfacing with the tethering mode of Pentax DSLRs.
All Pentax DSLRs already support some form of tethering and it is just the PC end that's missing. It is a shame that Pentax neither offers a "Remote Assistant" anymore (as they used to), nor collaborates with Adobe to enable tethering with Lightroom, for example. Failing all that, they should provide the information/code that independent developers would need to provide tethering solutions on their own. There are of course some solutions available, but I understand that the respective developers have to do a lot of guesswork and receive no support from Pentax.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Also mentioned 645D for people who want a bigger sensor system.
I don't want to sound negative, but for a K-mount user (or a Q-mount user for that matter), the 645D might as well be produced by Kyocera. I don't see how the 645D is of any consolation to someone who hasn't got 645 lenses already and has a large budget for photography gear. In other words, for most Pentaxians the fact that Pentax offers the 645D is rather immaterial.

It is great, of course, that Pentax appears to make money with the 645D, but I don't see a more immediate value than that for any K/Q-mount Pentaxian.
01-04-2013, 11:02 PM - 1 Like   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote

I don't want to sound negative, but for a K-mount user (or a Q-mount user for that matter), the 645D might as well be produced by Kyocera. I don't see how the 645D is of any consolation to someone who hasn't got 645 lenses already and has a large budget for photography gear. In other words, for most Pentaxians the fact that Pentax offers the 645D is rather immaterial.

It is great, of course, that Pentax appears to make money with the 645D, but I don't see a more immediate value than that for any K/Q-mount Pentaxian.
I agree. Unless the next 645D is priced below $5,000 and has a full sized Sony CMOS MF sensor (not a cropped 645), it is not a substitute for a FF professional body. There are only 3 or 4 lenses even available in the USA for the 645 system.

01-05-2013, 01:51 AM   #140
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The 645D doesn't have to be a substitute for a FF professional body, it only needs to be better
You can't be serious with a 56x41.5mm digital camera having to cost less than a small format one.
01-05-2013, 06:44 AM   #141
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Best news I have heard in this thread is that the new COO for Pentax USA has hired someone that speaks fluent Japanese and is going to see typical Randall S answers from Pentax Imaging STOP. FINALLY.
01-05-2013, 11:32 AM - 2 Likes   #142
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Well the funny thing is alomost everything we were hoping for was dismissed :S

1. The Pentax USA Boss doenst know what Metz is doing? -> Nice fail

2.Customer Communication ?
->Finally something, but i thing we should wait until somebody get a real answer translated by this mysterious "fluent japanese" person.

3.Weather-sealed primes ?
-> Nothing in the work? Seriously Pentax what is "in the work"? Well is anyone at work at all?

4.Hackability ?
-> Again you didn't thought about that ? Well of course nobody of them uses any Nikon oder Canon Camera, so he doenst know that some nerd gadget like tethering even exists( pure irony)

5. APS-C vs. FF
-> Wow, that was awesome, so again they fool themselfs in being competitiv in APS-C and that 645D is their " larger" sensor....
-> With CaNikon i can by a D7000 and slowly build a expensive, but first-class lens-lineup in full frame, and i am even able to use it on the D7000, then one day i can buy an old used D600 oder 5D etc. and iam perfectly fine...
-> Pentax things that if i want something bigger than APS-C is will just invest 15k in the blink of an eye.... (you cant be serious about that......)
01-05-2013, 12:01 PM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I'm curious, what is it that the Metz models offer that the AF540FGZ, for instance, does not offer?
A number of things:
  1. more focused zoom beam, providing more effective power at focal lengths narrower than 70mm (on APS-C).
  2. more levels of manual power control
  3. much more customization over things like auto-off time
  4. (on the top model) non-ttl automatic flash that doesn't keep reverting to ttl
  5. second forward-facing flash reflector
  6. stroboscopic mode
  7. better build quality (metal flash shoe)
  8. format conversion (displays zoom in aps-c focal lengths)
  9. swivel head on mid-range models
  10. touchscreen ui on newest model

But that's just Metz. If we look to Nikon and Canon, there's:
  • even more zoom
  • multiple flash coverage patterns (center weighted or more-even coverage)
  • control of different wireless flash groups at different levels
  • control of those remote groups from the camera body
  • integrated radio wireless (including triggering the shutter from a button on the strobe!)

And all that's off the top of my head. There's probably more.

01-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #144
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Pentax you lose their customers, every day!
01-06-2013, 09:20 PM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Please don't take offense but I thought he was head of Pentax USA and you are in Canada. I have had great responses from Pentax Canada and they seem, by comparison anyway, to be doing a MUCH better job than Pentax USA. Pentax Canada, according to the Pentax Global site, is a separate corporation from Pentax Americas.

Ditto on he should just come here and interact like a regular person.
You must be dealing with a different Pentax Canada than I am.

The shops around here complain that there are distribution problems with Pentax as they have changed distributers again.

I was looking for the adapter so I could use my 645 lenses with my K7. In the US it was available on the Pentax site for $225 but they would not ship to Canada. I contacted Pentax Canada and they told me it would be $625, then they phoned me back and said it was not longer available - but it was in stock at the Pentax US site.

They also took 10 weeks to fix my 16-50 - waiting for parts.

The Pentax Canada site still does not show the K5II.

Maybe this will change maybe it won't.

Paul
01-07-2013, 06:11 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by RossCo Quote
You must be dealing with a different Pentax Canada than I am.

The shops around here complain that there are distribution problems with Pentax as they have changed distributers again.

I was looking for the adapter so I could use my 645 lenses with my K7. In the US it was available on the Pentax site for $225 but they would not ship to Canada. I contacted Pentax Canada and they told me it would be $625, then they phoned me back and said it was not longer available - but it was in stock at the Pentax US site.

They also took 10 weeks to fix my 16-50 - waiting for parts.

The Pentax Canada site still does not show the K5II.

Maybe this will change maybe it won't.

Paul
Paul,

Sorry to hear about the problems with Pentax Canada. Honestly, I don't think its possible they are worse than Pentax US and from my 2 dealings with them they were very helpful (I had to go to them because Pentax US just plain either lied to didn't care enough to actually look into my issues in the first place). They also actually carry all the parts that Pentax lists in the manuals that come with the camera - which Pentax US does not do. Their parts department actually answers its phone too.
01-07-2013, 06:22 AM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Unless the next 645D is priced below $5,000 and has a full sized Sony CMOS MF sensor (not a cropped 645), it is not a substitute for a FF professional body
Should Pentax consider the route that most of the recent Hassy's and Mamiyas have taken? By offering body only options and also the option of getting the Body with a number of different sensors?

For me this would have worked. I would have chosen a Hasselblad H4 with a 20 (some) mp back over the existing Pentax medium format. The resolution is still that close. Plus I'd still have the option of upgrading later to either a 60mp back of the 50MS back; and to better the offer - even a film back. Also of interest - only a short matter of time before Hasselblad releases their H5 and thennot long the road from that - a massive 105mp back
01-07-2013, 06:52 AM   #148
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I think the current, cleaner design makes more sense. The most expensive component is the sensor+electronics, right? You won't gain much by keeping only the camera part, and exchanging backs; why not upgrade also to a better AF, metering system etc. when changing the "back", for the same price? (actually much cheaper).
Pentax wouldn't have the option to use a film back, since - as you already know - they used film inserts instead.
I would say the archaic concept of interchangeable digital backs on a film-era camera is going to disappear.
01-07-2013, 07:45 AM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I think the current, cleaner design makes more sense.
+1

I think it even makes sense to make it even more like a "normal" DSLR. The 645D has a conservative design made to fulfill the dreams of those with film 645 systems. Instead of making it even fatter with changeable backs, it should be possible to cut quite a bit of fat from the back by making it thinner, there's a lot of open space in there. My guess is that the next model will be smaller and lighter and thus even more usable handheld in the field than the current 645D.

I also think it would make sense to introduce two models. One with a crop CMOS sensor with movie mode and significantly lower price, and one which is at least as expensive as the current camera with a huge (645 full frame or just slightly smaller) 60-80mp sensor.
01-07-2013, 08:48 AM   #150
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I'm not sure a movie-mode 645D should be significantly cheaper
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