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04-16-2014, 12:04 PM   #106
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Does anyone know what the margins are on the 645Z? It retails for $8500 with one lens. How much goes to the retailer, distributor, and finally to RIcoh? And then, the next question, what does it cost to build such a camera? Parts and labor?

04-16-2014, 12:15 PM   #107
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I thought the $8,500 was for the Body only, with no lens?
04-16-2014, 01:49 PM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The A7r doesn't have a "crowd". It might sell maybe 30,000 units, if that.

An entry-level Canon model will sell 1.5 million units...per year.

Most people don't realize that the photography market, which in the post-film era is now almost exclusively centred on the camera, is a pyramid.

Once you get into the D4, Leica, and Pentax 645z price range, you're talking about only 0.1% of unit sales in digital (non-phone) cameras.

Most bodies take a loss. The cash is in the glass and a proprietary mount. Adapters and "cross-platform" users actually kill your margins, not increase them.
Million-selling Canon entry-level cameras or going cool on Sony or saying that adapters are no good because I wouldn't use one (you didn't say that) have nothing to do with the topic at hand. The original question is whether predictions of MF sales are too modest - 12000 MF bodies over five years was mentioned as a typical scenario. (With, in the case of Pentax, many or most of those going to Japan quite possibly leaving a only a small number over for Europe and North America.) I think they are too modest if sensor prices remain low (and hence the price of the system falls significantly) and possibly Sony or another enters the market, perhaps with a mirrorless body. When the price of admission is less than 10K rather than north of 30K, there is then the potential to bleed off a proportion of high-spending FF users.

Others may not agree. Such is life. But the catch is that if camera-makers start out thinking along the lines of "Oh, it's MF, so we'll be lucky to sell 100 units in Europe" they will give up marketing and selling their wares and just settle back saying "I told you so". You can look backwards and expect no change or you can look forwards to change which will happen anyway. Digital is changing all the time and nothing is fixed in stone. That we do know. For myself, I think Ricoh are far too get-up-and-go to be content with a simple re-run of the last time around, with the first 645D.

Last edited by mecrox; 04-16-2014 at 02:19 PM.
04-16-2014, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Equivalence is a way to understand things, but its usefulness is questionable. Every day there are people buying cameras that have never taken a single photo on 35mm film, so knowing the equivalent FL, or DOF, or anything else as it relates to that format is useless/meaningless to them. My Ram pickup has a cargo capacity of about 2,000lbs. How useful is it to know how many Ford Model A pickups would yield the equivalent carrying capacity? I know that if I hit my thumb with a hammer, it hurts. What's the benefit in calculating the equivalent force needed to yield the same amount of pain by hitting it with a rock?

Seriously, if I have an APS-c format camera and a 645Z and I decide that the 645Z is the best body to use for a particular subject or scene, (due to pixel count, DOF, whatever) I only need to know what lens to put on it to capture the scene as I wish to capture it. The comparative, or mathematical relationship between that and what I would need to do to get a similar result in the other format is completely superfluous.

As my sig line reads: Life gets easier once you forget the concept of "crop factor" and "full frame equivalent"

EDIT: Sometime between the time I quoted him, and the time I finished writing this response, Falconeye deleted his post. There is nothing wrong with that. I only mention it so nobody will wonder what I was quoting.
I give you three examples, when I used equivalence recently:

1) One friend asked me for help to select a light pocket camera, <800USD, with good image quality and without typical compact's huge DoF.
I selected three candidates: LX7, RX100II and GM1.
But how to compare three different sensors: 1/1.7", 1″, 4/3
and three different lenses: 4.7-17.7mm/f1.4-2.3, 10.4-37.1mm/f1.8-4.9 and 12-32mm/f3.4-5.6 ?
And also their ISO ranges...
Results were quite interesting.
I really don't know, how I would evaluate it without the equivalence math. Few shots in the store don't help much.

2) I bought Pentax 6x7 last winter. Sometimes I look at eBay and buy 6x7 lens. Without equivalence math I would have no idea what is 6x7 75mm/f4.5, e.g.

3) I was considering full frame few months ago. I missed fast 35mm lens (full frame equivalent) from Pentax. But then came Sigma with their 18-35/1.8 and maybe also 24mm/1.4. So I decided to continue with K line and bought K3.

I understand, that some people don't understand equivalence or simply don't need it. It's their full right. I just want to say that sometimes is this math useful. And it is completely unimportant what you choose as reference. It can be APSC or Q7 or whatever else.


Last edited by Jan67; 04-16-2014 at 02:41 PM.
04-16-2014, 03:30 PM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
They're implying that, while the D800E may be close to the 645D in IQ and resolution, it is no match for the 645z.
QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I think the same.

Cf. their claim ( Medium Format Digital Camera and 35 mm Full-Frame Camera / PENTAX 645Z Special site | RICOH IMAGING ):
The 645Z surely is a great camera and I expect it to lead DxOScores once tested (I estimate it'll score at 105).

The camera with the world's best image quality is a ... Pentax! Bravo!

Nevertheless, Pentax is exaggerating in their claim and it's something I don't actually like.

The 645Z has a 35mm-equivalent crop of only 0.79. It is a much smaller sensor than the 645 format would suggest and built into a mirrorless camera, it would be rather small, not much bigger than an RX1!

Truth is, a 645Z with F/2.8 lens is outperformed (in light sensitivity) by a full frame with F/2 lens or faster.

Not something I'd call "far exceeding". I assume a D800e/Sigma50/1.4Art vs. 645Z/75/2.8 will be hard to distinguish. Esp. now that they are made from the same silicon and spatial resolution is only 17% apart (only 12% in 3:2).
Why do we feel that this camera will better the DXO scores of the D800s and D600s if the 80 megapixel Phase One IQ180 sensor does not?

QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
It just blow my mind that ricoh can build this camera and sell it at 8500, but refuse to release a full frame camera!
They must have felt the previous 645D sales were good enough to justify making and releasing this, however I'd bet money that a FF body would be more profitable.
04-16-2014, 03:38 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Why do we feel that this camera will better the DXO scores of the D800s and D600s if the 80 megapixel Phase One IQ180 sensor does not?
I believe it's the 'state-of-the-art' image processing, i.e. Pentax's known ability to wring more out of a Sony sensor than any other camera company coupled with the new Milbeaut Image Processor, which I do not believe is included in either D800 iteration, nor in the PhaseOne.

Certainly we'll know the answer shortly, subject to the oft-stated limitations of DXO's testing regimen (lens selection bias).
04-16-2014, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Aristophanes, if you're saying that a smaller and lighter camera is easier to hand hold, I strongly disagree. The camera's shape and weight distribution are very important, and I found the 645D body to be surprisingly comfortable to hold despite its size and weight. Similarly, many small cameras are "slippery", with little grip.
I totally agree with you.
I do not know about Aristophanes, but I have noticed many who argue 645 Z "should go mirrorless because mirrorless is future" or "it should be smaller then" have never held or used one.

645D is unbelievably comfortable to use. Because of its unique ergonomics an weight distribution and elongated body, it is more comfortable to use it than any modern DSLR with a longer lens, because it pushes the centre of mass forward, towards natural resting position of human arms. (Modern DSLRs push the centre of mass further back, which induces extra stress on arm muscles).

It is even possible to use it with one hand (weight distribution is so good) , although using it with both hands really absorbs you in. A swivel screen in Z is an added bonus: it will be wedding photographer's dream camera to get all the innovative low-angle and high-angle shots.

It is a camera designed uncompromisingly for a real photographer who wants to job get done, and deliver best possible image quality. In terms of fine arts, it is analogous to a painter working outside, with a sturdy easel, paints and canvas rather than with a pencil and small pocket sketchbook. A truly fantastic experience, that would not be as half as good if the camera was any smaller.

Last edited by Uluru; 04-16-2014 at 04:11 PM.
04-16-2014, 04:24 PM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Equivalence is a way to understand things, but its usefulness is questionable. Every day there are people buying cameras that have never taken a single photo on 35mm film, so knowing the equivalent FL, or DOF, or anything else as it relates to that format is useless/meaningless to them. My Ram pickup has a cargo capacity of about 2,000lbs. How useful is it to know how many Ford Model A pickups would yield the equivalent carrying capacity? I know that if I hit my thumb with a hammer, it hurts. What's the benefit in calculating the equivalent force needed to yield the same amount of pain by hitting it with a rock?

Seriously, if I have an APS-c format camera and a 645Z and I decide that the 645Z is the best body to use for a particular subject or scene, (due to pixel count, DOF, whatever) I only need to know what lens to put on it to capture the scene as I wish to capture it. The comparative, or mathematical relationship between that and what I would need to do to get a similar result in the other format is completely superfluous.

As my sig line reads: Life gets easier once you forget the concept of "crop factor" and "full frame equivalent"
Do you also question the use of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), asking "Why do I need to know the time in Greenwich, or how many hours offset any given time zone is from it? I don't live in Greenwich and I don't plan on going there. I can see the clock and sky just fine. If I ever want to know what time it is anywhere in the world I can do that by going to that place and looking at a clock."

Now I have a compact camera right in front of me, whose focal length as reads on the lens is 5.8-23.2mm. Do you understand what it looks like, and whether this range of AOV is useful for you? It is very easy to have a single standard against which to compare any number of formats to understand what the AOV on any of them will look like without even seeing the standard (i.e. you don't even need to know what 35mm looks like). Say you have formats A, B, C, D, E and X (e.g. 1.7", 1", m4/3, APS-C, 645D, 35mm). There are four ways you can understand what the AOV of any given sensor/lens combination looks like:

If you use X as a standard you can then learn exactly 5 conversions to understand what the AOV on any of them looks like: A <--> X, B <--> X, C <--> X, D <--> X, E <--> X. This is useful even if you don't know what X looks like, as long as you know any single one of them, because it is a simple 2 step math conversion from any format to any other format: e.g. D -> X -> A. Adding additional formats increases the combinations linearly (e.g. adding 1 format increases the conversions needed to learn by 1).

The second way is to memorize the conversion between each and every one, which leads to 15 combinations which you must figure out. Adding more grows the combinations exponentially (e.g. adding 1 format increases the conversions needed to learn by 6).

The third way is to not learn AOV equivalence at all. Now you can just "figure it out" once you can look through the camera and lens in your hands, in which case good luck buying a compact camera, or figuring out what lenses you need to make a new system viable before you buy into it.

The final way is to learn the formula for AOV in degrees/radians (which is analagous to your 2000lb truck capacity example, which uses the standardized units of "pounds"). This is the most universal, unambiguous way to understand AOV for any sensor/lens combination in existence. I have that handy dandy formula right here for you to use in your everyday life:

AOV = 2 arctan(d/(2f))

where d is the sensor length in millimeters in the dimension you're interested in (i.e. horizontal, vertical or diagonal), and f is the focal length in millimeters. Have fun doing that in your head.


Last edited by Cannikin; 04-16-2014 at 04:38 PM.
04-16-2014, 04:42 PM   #114
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So do you feel a need to know what the equivalent to my 4th geer is in your vehicle, just in case you ever buy one like mine? That way you would know in advance what gear to be in for various conditions.

Last edited by Parallax; 04-16-2014 at 04:55 PM.
04-16-2014, 04:52 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I will assume that means you didn't actually read it (and understand why using a standard is highly useful even if you don't know the standard first hand), and just went "Well that bunch of text proves my point that 'life will get easier once you forget about equivalency'", in which case I wonder why you keep harping on this topic, trying to advocate making life more difficult for people who do use or are considering buying cameras of different formats.
04-16-2014, 04:57 PM   #116
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Why do I keep harping on the topic? Quite simple, really. For the same reason others keep harping on the opposite viewpoint.
04-16-2014, 05:17 PM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
So do you feel a need to know what the equivalent to my 4th geer is in your vehicle, just in case you ever buy one like mine? That way you would know in advance what gear to be in for various conditions.
Yes, because road conditions ("photographic scenes") are what you need it to handle, you know your current vehicle ("sensor/lens combination") can handle them, you need to know whether the new vehicle you're considering buying can do what your current vehicle can already handle.

I'll throw that back to you, in more relevant terms.

Situation 1: You do internal architectural photography. You need at least a horizontal angle of view of a little more than 90 degrees to capture an entire room from a corner. You want a better camera with low light performance and higher resolution, so you consider the 645Z. You can:

A: Know your 10mm lens on APS-C can do slightly more than 90 degrees. You know this is 15mm equivalent in 35mm. You know the 645Z's widest lens is 25mm, which is 20mm equivalent in 35mm. Thus you conclude that the 645Z will not meet your needs.

B: Order a 645Z and a 25mm from B&H, throwing down $13,500 in advance, go to the room and take a picture. You see it is not as wide as your 10mm lens on APS-C, and cannot do 90 degrees horizontal. You return it to B&H, minus the substantial shipping/insurance costs.


Situation 2: You want a convenient vacation setup. You are considering 2 setups: APS-C camera with 18-270mm superzoom and RX10 with 8.8-73.3mm lens. You want to know how wide they will go and how long they will go, to see which one meets your needs better. You can:

A: Know that the 35mm equivalent of the 18-270 on APS-C is ~28-413mm, and the RX10 is 24-200mm (which they conveniently give in the description). You now know that the RX10 can go wider than the 18-270, but not as long. You make your decision based on what you intend to shoot.

B: Buy both, take them on your vacation, carry them both around (which pretty much negates the convenience factor) and see which one does what you want. Return the one that didn't work after your vacation.

C: Guess and buy one. Maybe because the 18-270 has a bigger zoom ratio, it will be better. Sorry if your vacation pictures are ruined because what you picked can't go as wide as what you wanted.

Last edited by Cannikin; 04-16-2014 at 06:21 PM.
04-16-2014, 07:35 PM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Million-selling Canon entry-level cameras or going cool on Sony or saying that adapters are no good because I wouldn't use one (you didn't say that) have nothing to do with the topic at hand. The original question is whether predictions of MF sales are too modest - 12000 MF bodies over five years was mentioned as a typical scenario. (With, in the case of Pentax, many or most of those going to Japan quite possibly leaving a only a small number over for Europe and North America.) I think they are too modest if sensor prices remain low (and hence the price of the system falls significantly) and possibly Sony or another enters the market, perhaps with a mirrorless body. When the price of admission is less than 10K rather than north of 30K, there is then the potential to bleed off a proportion of high-spending FF users.

Others may not agree. Such is life. But the catch is that if camera-makers start out thinking along the lines of "Oh, it's MF, so we'll be lucky to sell 100 units in Europe" they will give up marketing and selling their wares and just settle back saying "I told you so". You can look backwards and expect no change or you can look forwards to change which will happen anyway. Digital is changing all the time and nothing is fixed in stone. That we do know. For myself, I think Ricoh are far too get-up-and-go to be content with a simple re-run of the last time around, with the first 645D.
Hasselbald and Phase One sell maybe 4,000 bodies total each for a run of a camera body. Maybe.

This is an exceptionally tiny market despite its high profile. A major chunk of the Hasselblad/Phase One cost goes into their professional support network and warranties.

Even the proportion of high-spending FF users is relatively small. The vast bulk of FF is in the D600/800 crowd, not the 1Dx and D4 crowd. So the body-only 645z is still about 2.5x the D800e, not to mention lens costs.

Even with the bleed-off to smartphones from the point-and-shoot segment, the proportion of FF cameras in dedicated camera sales is still less than 1/10th of all other sales.

The 645z will get a burst of marketing activity and a a lot of chatter, and then the blunt realities of economics will assert themselves and an $8,500 camera body will sell in the few hundred a month. Just not that many people in the world need such a camera, and even fewer can afford one.

---------- Post added 04-16-14 at 11:37 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Cannikin Quote
Sorry if your vacation pictures are ruined because what you picked can't go as wide as what you wanted.
If your vacation is "ruined" because you only brought your 28mm, you have greater psychological issues to deal with.
04-16-2014, 08:12 PM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
If your vacation is "ruined" because you only brought your 28mm, you have greater psychological issues to deal with.
I believe I wrote "vacation pictures".
04-16-2014, 08:25 PM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Hasselbald and Phase One sell maybe 4,000 bodies total each for a run of a camera body. Maybe.

This is an exceptionally tiny market despite its high profile. A major chunk of the Hasselblad/Phase One cost goes into their professional support network and warranties.

Even the proportion of high-spending FF users is relatively small. The vast bulk of FF is in the D600/800 crowd, not the 1Dx and D4 crowd. So the body-only 645z is still about 2.5x the D800e, not to mention lens costs.

Even with the bleed-off to smartphones from the point-and-shoot segment, the proportion of FF cameras in dedicated camera sales is still less than 1/10th of all other sales.

The 645z will get a burst of marketing activity and a a lot of chatter, and then the blunt realities of economics will assert themselves and an $8,500 camera body will sell in the few hundred a month. Just not that many people in the world need such a camera, and even fewer can afford one.
...
One could say the same for the 800mm lenses that Nikon sells for sports events. They don't sell very many at all, but it gets their name out when people are watching. Same with the Canon long lenses distinctive color. How many 400 2.8's does Canon sell? Not very many.

But they put something out that people can aspire to, then go spend what they can afford.

I won't buy a Pentax 645Z, not many people will, but I think we will see this in contexts of photographic excellence, bringing attention to the less expensive Pentax bodies when people go to select something in their price range.
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