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View Poll Results: Would you buy the K1000D as described below?
Yes, I would most certainly buy it! 1114.86%
Don't know if I would buy it, but I would certainly be interested. 2128.38%
I would be interested, but probably would not buy it. 1824.32%
'Re ya Kiddin' man? 2432.43%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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03-17-2008, 01:56 PM   #1
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Your weekly K1000 thread...

I'm sorry, but have to write this down and ask. If you're already bored with these threads, just carry on...

The reason I write this down is:
a) that i think Pentax shot itself directly in the foot, by letting Oly brag with their E420 and pancake kitlens...
b) that I can't imagine that Pentax wants to stay with two camera's only, while their competitors all have three (Oly) or more (Canikosony), if they want to be taken serious, they should give more choises...
c) purely egoïstic: I'm looking for an upgrade for my ist D (which I like a lot, but God it's s-l-o-w) and there isn't any (for me at least: I tried the K10 for half a year, but I saw myself comming back to the ist D more often, so sold it off.)
d) I think Pentax has sth in its' sleeve: the K1000 was Pentax' longest lasting SLR (it was the longest lasting ever, all brands included) hence the names K10 and K100, but we never saw a K1000D. If I keep whinning, maybe eventually they listen and introduce it just to have me shut up...

Here goes:
a) IMHO K1000D should be (in recognition of the analog K1000) a long lasting tool and not feature overloaded. Above all, it should be reliable, easy to use and attract amateurs, enthousiasts and pro's alike. The analog K1000 lasted for more than 20 consecutive years, I think we will be very ambitious if the K1000D makes it five years (but we can try),
b) hence: leave out AF and introduce it with a viewfinder which reminds of the film days. Bright viewfinder with standard split prism and microprism which is interchangeable. Viewfinder should be large 1,10 (which is 0,72 equivalent - that was the standard in the late eighties, begin nineties.) Och and make it 98% coverage (real coverage, not like the K10, where 95% is more like 90%!) The gridlines on command of the Nikons should be nice to.
c) I would leave the AF out for various reasons:
  • lots of people have a Pentax because they had one or various manual focus lenses in the first place. Many of them use these MF lenses, and I'm quite sure lots of people wouldn't care if their camera had autofoucs or not.
  • the Limited lenses are the first line of lenses which will have a basis in the K1000D. And these lenses IMHO are more MF lenses that happen to have AF than the other way round.
  • AF is always too slow. The K20 is faster than the K10 which in return was faster than the ist D. Still, for a future K30, people will ask to have a still faster focus. If you want the K1000D to stay for 5 years, by then it will have a completely outdated AF.
  • Pure nostalgia: you would like to remind the analog K1000 days.
  • I don't think most people will object IF the viewfinder is up to the task.
d) In exchange, You would make it a fully compatible K-mount (not the crippled down version.)
e) Make no mistakes: Hyper modes (thus dual dials) should be present. It's one of the most intelligent feature ever invented on a camera, so you would like to keep it. In return, you could leave out Av, Tv and Sv (not sure about that last one, but I would not miss it) as well as all scene modes.
f) In return I would add a third dial: you could easily use the dial that is now present on the ist D/K10 which is used for the AF points. This would be very usefull to dial in ISO (and that is why I would leave out Sv all together.
g) Make no mistakes: it should have metal frame and it should be weather sealed. Pitty the Limited lenses are not sealed, but one can always hope. The body should be small (if you make it smaller than the E420 then YOU have the smallest DSLR, which makes for a good selling point) and like E420 not have a too deep grip (heck, you want to make it the smallest.)
h) Batteries: now I know this will not have everyone's agreement, but I would leave the AA/CR-3V solution, but I would include a set of Eneloops and a charger. Of course, it should have its' own small weather sealed battery grip.
i) Flash solution: I would include an on board flash. P-TTL (of course), dunno about TTL (would love it though)
j) Last but not least: the sensor should be low MegaPixel account, but low noise, high DR. Go beg Sony to give an update version of the 6 MP ist D series thingy, kidnap the wife of Fuji's senior officer and ask the Super CCD as ransom or keep the engineers of Samsung hostile telling them they only will be freed when they make a newly developed CMOS. It's no use to try and aim for more megapixels since 15 MP will be obsolete within five years (and, remember, you want to last it 5 years.) Come to think of it: I don't know if it's plausible to design the K1000 in a way to allow future sensor upgrades...

Price is sth I can't answer for, but this camera shouldn't be sold by the truck loads. I think it's more realistic if you keep it low volume/high margin. Something like the Limiteds: in absolute price they're expenssive for the specs, but everyone will agree that they're very nifty and have an incredible value. In the same regard you can make the K1000 a Limited (well you know what I mean.) If you design a special lens for it (say an A 28 f/1,8 Limited, but I'm open to other ideas) which you can only buy as a kit lens with the K1000, I'm sure you will draw enough attention...

The thing should of course be fast (I mean write times, not fps) and reliable. A workemans horse, more than a beautiful mare that only stands in the stable to be shown on sundays...

And then the marketing department of Pentax should go to work. Well, to help them, I already have a slogan: 'Less is More.'

Please elaborate if you should have anything to add...

03-17-2008, 05:53 PM   #2
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You've obviously given this a lot of thought and I like the sound of the camera you describe, but to be honest I don't think it's a K1000D. This is how I see it;

The K1000 was such a success because it was cheap, rugged and a true camera for the masses (at the time) - the camera you describe is a retro version of the same camera but not a camera for the masses (a bit like New Mini; the original was popular because it was a classless workhorse that gave many people their first taste of car ownership - the sequel merely traded on the looks and the reputation but was a study in style over substance, it wasn't in any way a radical design in the way the original was).

The reason the K1000 was made of metal was because the hard wearing engineering plastics that we take for granted today simply weren't available - pressed metal was the most economical material to use back then. If Pentax had had access to cheap polycarbonates then you can be sure that's what the K1000 would have been made of! The feature set for the K1000 was also in line with what the competition of the day offered but it was cheaper (a strategy that Pentax still use).

I think a future K1000D should be aimed squarely at first time DSLR (or any camera) buyers and, as such, should offer the following:
  • Compact and lightweight plastic body, small enough (with appropriate lens) to fit in a pocket or handbag. Available in a choice of colours too.
  • "Crippled" KAF2 mount, simply because it's cheaper to make and Pentax want to sell new glass - not keep eBay in business.
  • Green, PASM and plenty of scene modes for beginners.
  • Pentamirror viewfinder.
  • No SR or anti-dust facilities.
  • Minimal external buttons and no dials (maybe a small 4 way joystick like the one on the new Ricoh R8 that all the reviewers seem to like).
  • A large LCD screen with "soft" buttons like the Samsung NV models.
  • Single shot AF (no continuous) with single central AF point.
  • 3 FPS should be plenty.
  • No internal flash (and P-TTL only - see comment on KAF2 mount above).
  • Lithium battery for weight saving.
  • Proprietery sensor - I doubt it would cost any more in the long run to use their own (Samsung) 14MP CMOS sensor than it would to keep sourcing a defunct design from Sony, probably be much cheaper if they sold enough units.
  • No battery grip.
  • No weather sealing.

In addition I'd launch a new ultra-compact flash unit (GN approx 15, P-TTL only) in a matching range of colours and a reworking of the FA35/2 as a DA at a bargain-basement price (equivalent of all those 50/2's that were sold alongside the original K1000).

So the camera I'm talking about would actually be more like a point-and-shoot digicam but with interchangeable lenses and an optical viewfinder. I doubt that there would be many on these forums queueing up to buy one but what if Pentax were to offer such a camera for less than $100?

Canon effectively bought their DSLR dominance not by producing a brilliant camera but by breaking a psychological barrier - the original 300D/Digital Rebel caught the public attention by selling for less than $1000 at a time when DSLR's were out of the reach of the masses. By selling a brand new DSLR for $99 Pentax would be truly capturing the spirit of the original K1000 and bringing (quite literally) millions of new customers into the K-mount fold, many of whom would migrate to more expensive (and profitable) Pentax cameras and buy Pentax lenses - this could only benefit the rest of us Pentax users as a result. Maybe they'd even have enough funds in the kitty to launch "enthusiast" cameras like the one outlined in the OP.

So, in summary, yes I'd like to see a K1000D but I think it should be dirt cheap, packed with user-friendly features and be backed by a massive advertising campaign (get the folks who launched the iPod in for that one). People who know absolutely nothing about cameras should be able to take it home, put in a battery and card and start taking great pictures without any further input. The image quality will be much better than any digicam on the market and pretty soon people will once again ask each other, "Have you got a Pentax?" rather than, "Have you got a camera?"
03-17-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Pentax should make a 'digital kit' that we can install into our K1000's - If they don't someone is going to.
03-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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Ya know Pentaxke, these fancy auto focus lenses CAN be focused manually if that's what you want. I've got a little AF-MF switch on my K100D that allows it.... And if you're looking for a camera for the masses, like the K1000 that I had, you MUST have auto focus. The 'masses' just won't take to it if it ain't easy. They don't want to learn the craft, they just wanna shoot pictures and have them look good - as automatically as possible.

With the introduction of the K20 and K200, Pentax now has four cameras available - I think the K10 and K100D Super are still being made and featured on the Pentax web site.

The Pentax strategy has been a good one for the typical Pentax owner. If you invested money in Pentax equipment in the old days, you can still use your lenses on the fancy new digital cameras. How many other manufacturers can say their cameras will work with almost every lens they ever made? They've done all this and STILL have been packing some of the best & most advanced hardware & features in the industry into their cameras. Not bad at all.

Pentax has stood by their customers and that matters to me. Especially important since some of the old Pentax lenses for film cameras were some of the best glass in the world. Just about the whole AF series are awesome lenses, and some of the old manual m42 screw mount glass is still drooled over to this day, not to mention the manual focus K mounts you love so much.

I'm afraid your business strategy would lead to the quick & bitter demise of a fantastic company.

03-17-2008, 10:58 PM   #5
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I definitely see the possibilities of hefty's version of a K1000D. As stated the original was targetted at the entry level consumer market with stripped down features yet still maintaining the same quality of higher end models. It was a trainer so to speak. Back in the '70s and '80s if you polled the junior high or high school photography classes most of the students had a K1000 and the schools' inventories of loaners were predominately K1000s as well - because they were simple to use and inexpensive yet solid cameras.

If Pentax were to come out with a 21st century equivalent (with AF and several pre-programmed exposure settings) for around $99 to $150 coupled with a really well thought out marketing campaign, I think you definitely could see a rebirth of that "have you got a pentax?" culture. It's a market that really isn't being filled right now - there are cheap SLRs out there - but really they are cheap and most of today's "range finders" take better pictures IMHO.

However, the biggest hurdle that I see of introducing this camera is that the current pop culture is all about camera phones and iPhones and overcoming that is going to be tough as I don't see shoving the circutry required to embed a browser and wifi into the camera to allow "instant sharing" being the way to go. The rage today is do-everything gadgets (albeit none of them do any one thing very well) and this would be an "extra" gadget which does only one thing yet does it quite well, and that is a reversing of mindset that is going to take some serious thought to make happen.

The key to success, aside from it needs to be a high quality yet very affordable product, is in getting the camera into people's hands - LOTS of people and quickly. I think you'd have to get the education industry behind it by "giving away" the cameras to schools with photography classes (like Apple did with the AppleII) to get the younger crowd hooked on pentax; and then go after the soccer moms and football dads with the marketing campaign "because nobody wants blurry, out of focus memories".

I'd love to see it happen though. It's absolutely the type of camera I would want to shop for to introduce my son to photography! But I also feel it would be expensive and risky for pentax to persue.

I'm starting to ramble so I'm gonna quit while I'm behind. Very interesting topic however.
03-18-2008, 12:12 AM   #6
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A K1000D is surely a possibility, but not like you describe it. A manual focus camera these days is something totally impossible. You'll sell it in mere hundreds...

On the contrary, a cheap, all plastic, but as small as the ist cameras, with Live view, the 14,6 Mp CMOS and in kit with the 18-250 would sell like hot cakes...
03-18-2008, 12:52 AM   #7
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I think the sad reality is that we will never see a camera like the K1000 again. We live in a world were EVERYTHING is marketed with a laundry list a mile long of features. A simple camera like the K1000 would never make it out of the modern design think tank and boardroom. Even if the designers came up with a simple and eligant camera, the marketing people would not know how to sell it. By the end of the product developement meeting, the camera would have every "feature" that can also be found on the competition. Marketing people live in fear that their product will fall short "mano a mano" with the competitors product. Stripping a modern camera down to the lvl of a K1000 would never happen.

Having said that, I think Pentax will introduce an entry lvl camera at Photokina 2008. (Sept?)

My guess, and only a guess, is that it will unique. I can easily imagine no viewfinder. Live view only with a C-MOS sensor. Same modes as the K10D/K10D. no scene modes. Basic on body controls. Smaller body, without grip. No weather sealing. Uses AA's. Back to the sensor. Live view needs a C-MOS, or so I understnd, so why not the 14 mp sensor from the K20D? Now that would be unique.

Maybe what we really need is a firm ware update that adds "K1000 Simulation"

It shutsdown Autofocus, the screeen, sets the camera to "M", locks down the flash, reduces the drive mode to single shot only. No white balence, RAW only. An SD card will now only hold 36 shots. No erase function. And the best part...After each shot, you need to "advance the film" with a wind on the rear e-dial!


I took to long to type! Eurostar got there first!
03-18-2008, 04:46 AM   #8

IMO K1000D should be a Sigma DP1 "done right". I mean very small body (light as possible, too) a new 8-11 Mp sensor with Live view and the features of a "real" camera. Make this sensor 11 MP CMOS and just put it in a K250D with LV and more ISO and a bigger buffer as soon as possible. I just read the popphoto's review of DP1 and it only confirms many of the impressions from the early users. It's just too slow in too many ways for 2008. Plus relatively "slow" lens, ISO 800 max, kind of wide lens. And costs above 900 USD for the body+VF+flash.

So, "my" K1000D should have:

- KAF2 mount (and be sold as body only or a combination of body and different pancakes);
- Responsiveness of a DSLR in terms of AF, fps, buffer size;
- Flash as an option but AF assist light on body;
- LV done right;
- At least good ISO 1600 (for 8 - 11 Mp I think 3200 is a very reasonable option);
- VF as an option;
- SR for sure;
- Dust reduction as a must (since the lenses are removable);
- No sealing (anyway most of the lenses are not ...);
- Obviously less dials and buttons (because of the size);
- Both manual and auto controls (scenes for the beginners);
- 2,7 " LCD from K20(0)D;
- Small LiIon battery 300-400 shots per charge;
- 300-400 grams for the body tops;
- Not necessarily shaped as a classic DSLR - maybe more as a DP1 quasi pocketable if possible;
- starts at 500 - 600 USD/Euros body only without any optionals (flash, VF);

Esentially is a new class not something bellow K200D (wich is cripled in some very bad ways IMO - see buffer size, no LV, so forth). And Pentax could go after compact camera users buying into better quality camera. I think we make the mistake of regarding a new camera only from a more experienced point of view. A beginner may need something totally different I guess. And so would I for a second body !


03-18-2008, 04:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxke Quote
I'm sorry, but have to (snip)

Lets consider manufacturing and market realities for a moment. The K1000 sold well, and for so many years, because it was relatively inexpensive. And the reason it was inexpensive is because it was a comparatively simple, by today's standards, mechanical device without a digital image sensor, processor, memory, internal software, memory card port, and so on.

Adding these to a K1000 would mandate a price right in the middle of the existing budget DSLR's offering a much wider range of capabilities/features than those you describe. The market for a bare-bones camera (without AF and so on) priced the same as other cameras offering a wider range of capabilities/features would obviously be small.

Instead, since it costs very little to add additional capabilities/features to a camera already containing the digital hardware to support it, any camera company (including Hoya/Pentax) would far more likely add capabilities/features to at least match the competition.

These realities obviously suggest your bare-bones camera (a digital K1000) just isn't going to happen.

03-18-2008, 10:10 AM   #10
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My K1000D

I personnally think that there is a niche for a K1000D but you have to think outside the box.

I think that there would be a demand for a cheap, rugged, and simple DSLR.
I don't know about you guys, but i like my camera a lot. Because of these feeling of mine, how it performs above 800 ISO, and the size of the GX-10, I am not taking it out on some occasions.
Examples of such occasions would be night clubs, bars and in general most evening events with people holding drinks everywhere and jumping up and down.
If i go moutain biking or any other somewhat extreme sports where i could fall and break my camera, i don't take it.
Now if Pentax came up with a small weatherproof metal body with a 6 or 8 Mpixels sensor that performs well at 3200 and is usable at 6400, with an antidust system, and with a pricetag around $400 or under body only, i would be interested in buying it as a second camera. Make two pancake zooms to go along with it and you are good!

I don't think that it needs to have that large of a screen. I don't think that it needs to have a build in flash. I don't think that it needs to have a plethora of scene modes (Portrait, sport, night mode, landscape, macro should be enough, just make a website to explain all the beginners how to use the camera properly).
Just strip it down to the basics in order to have a small, light camera that you can take everywhere and get good shots.
I understand that i only represent a small portion of the population and that a lot of people would argue that this type of camera won't sell in today's world.

I think it would all depend on how you market it. If it is marketed as the young, active people's DSLR i think that it would sell. Market it as a camera for the skater kids, for the college student who is out clubing all the time, for the surfers (make a nice underwater kit for cheap), for the hikers, bikers...for all of those people who need to travel light and don't have $1000 to spend on a camera that they are most likely going to break or get covered with dust.

Thinking that the average consummer isn't smart enough to understand that a 7 Mpixels can take better picture than a 14Mpixels is a bit arrogant. I understand it so everybody else can.
03-18-2008, 12:11 PM   #11
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Rather than a K1000, I'd go for a modern version of the ME Super or Super A. In other words, the same thing olympus is doing with the e420. I'd like something small. I'd have bought the Oly just for its size if it had been available earlier and if it were backward compatible with Zuiko lenses. Well, also I have a difficult time peering into the Olymopus viewfinder.

Unfortunately features sell, and fortunately many of the features (scene modes etc) are next to free given the automation and electronics that have to be built regardless. The real question is which of the photographically significant items aren't too costly to ruin the concept.

The marketing question is, how much money is there to be made a slot below the K100D/K200D? Or how much money in a 'purist' high end body, for that matter.
03-18-2008, 12:49 PM   #12
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Wow, I didn't expect this flow of reactions... I had to read for almost half an hour to get all answers.

I didn't say I have all answers, but I do know this:
when the original K1000 was launched in 1976, the research and development was already paid for. The K1000 stems from the KM, which in return is a Spotmatic SP-F with K-mount. In those days, it wasn't very popular and, although it was the cheapest Pentax you could get in those days, it wasn't particular cheap (there were better offerings.) Eventually Pentax kept the K1000 going and eventually (in the late 80's or 90's I guess) it became a very popular model.
So, to say, as some of you did, that to keep the remembrence of the K1000, the new K1000D should be dirt cheap is not particulary true...

The only thing for me is: I always liked Pentax as a brand, because they could people surprise with new designs and daring things (remember MZ-5?) To me, the K20 and K200 thingys are more of the same thing. If they sell good, that is fine to me, but why not go out for the niche, as I'm not sure if trying to fight Canikon with the same weapons is a good method to gain popularity. IMHO, if the camera stands out of the crowd, the thing will eventually sell itself. Like it or not, with lots of scene modes it won't stand out of the crowd, with leaving AF out it will.
03-20-2008, 08:14 AM   #13
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Sounds like a camera suitable for cave photography. I wouldn't mind the addition of SR. Scene modes don't cost much so I don't see where's the harm of puting them in. No AF will never happen.
03-20-2008, 10:36 AM   #14
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Like others and me were saying, you should think out of the box. One thing I can tell you: without Af and without scene modes, Pentax would likely draw attention...
03-20-2008, 12:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matjazz Quote
Sounds like a camera suitable for cave photography. I wouldn't mind the addition of SR. Scene modes don't cost much so I don't see where's the harm of puting them in. No AF will never happen.
However, no drive motor in the body might happen — like the new nikon D40 and D60 and like all Canon bodies. Right now, that'd pretty much suck, but as the lineup of SDM lenses grows it will start to make sense. And that's something that really does save money, weight, and space.

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