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03-31-2015, 07:49 AM   #1081
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The camera I'm really pissed they dropped is that MZ-1. I really wanna use that prototype, one day :'(

03-31-2015, 08:19 AM   #1082
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I completely agree with you about the retro Pentax DSLR idea. It makes a lot of sense with the limited lenses. The idea of limited lenses has always been undermined by the lack of a small body to use them with. Ironically, the much-maligned K-01 and K-S1 are the two bodies that get closest to realising the potential of a compact kit with the limiteds. In the case of the K-01, they work very well functionally together and also in terms of style in my opinion, but I know plenty would disagree with me.

I think the MX-1 compact did quite well for Ricoh - at least the retro design went down well with reviewers and owners. It sold well in Japan at higher prices than the internally identical Olympus XZ-2, the main difference being the design. I think there's a chance that Ricoh will look at that and see the opportunity to make a retro DSLR in the same vein. What the K-S1 shows, even if you hate it, is that Ricoh can make a very compact but functional DSLR. It strikes me that if you can put everything necessary in the K-S1, it's just a matter of moving parts around to make an MX- or Spotmatic-sized DSLR.

I suppose you could infer from the development of the limited lenses that Pentax intended to make such a camera in pre-Hoya days, but nothing that Hoya did indicated an interest in this. To me the Hoya days were characterised by coloured DSLRs, development of the Q and K-01 and the drying up of lens releases. On the plus side, they also made some very good high-end DSLRs and the 645D. I think you need to look at the calendar realistically, Uluru, and stop thinking that a camera or lens could go from concept to the shop shelves in the space of a few months.
Interestingly, back in the day Pentax said that the K7 was designed specifically with the Limited lenses in mind and produced a document about the design story. Since both the K5 and the K3 are very similar, I don't think much has changed except that miniaturization now means Pentax could indeed reduce the body size to one more in line with a KS-1. Having all the Limiteds myself, I would certainly find such a body pretty tempting and ideal for travel and vacations.

See here for the Pentax document.
03-31-2015, 08:29 AM   #1083
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
The camera I'm really pissed they dropped is that MZ-1. I really wanna use that prototype, one day :'(
...and here it is:

03-31-2015, 11:17 AM   #1084
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I wonder what would happen if Pentax tied-up with Sigma's sensor division to come up with a 44x33 Foveon sensor for the next iteration of the 645D/Z

While it may take a sudden drop in low-light performance I just wanna see how much you can get off a MF Foveon...

03-31-2015, 03:17 PM   #1085
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Ever since I've started using the limiteds I've been whishing for a camera that is built around the same concept. The limited line of lenses are focussed on compactness. So much even, that an important aspect, like lens speed and all that it influences, is sacrificed. There is no camera body that makes such a (or any) compromise to reach the same level of compactness.
K-S1, Clavius.

Amongst DSLRs, only the Canon SL-1 can match it for size.
03-31-2015, 03:20 PM   #1086

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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
He switched into his anti-Pentax/Ricoh mode, I see... I was wondering when it would happen.

The K-01 was announced in February 2, 2012 - a mere 4 months and one day after Ricoh took over Pentax. The claim that it was Ricoh's "brain child" is utterly ridiculous - starting new projects is not something you'd do day one after acquiring a company, and it's taking longer than 4 months anyway. Most likely, it was all Pentax could think of while under severe constraints - and I mean Hoya's; Ricoh's part was just not asking Pentax to cancel it.
Nah, I wouldn't say that. Not anti-Pentax rant, but analysis of a lost opportunity. Do you ever sit with a family to discuss past actions and underscore stupid things done? To avoid future mistakes?

Why is this important to reflect upon? Because it shows a pattern of behaviour of the brand / entity, that — pattern shows — tends to neglect demands and requests from users and profit from them. Users give them money in advance, but they refuse to take it.

Almost all Pentaxians I saw writing on the net, when they saw DA Limiteds, I noticed they longed for a retro-style body. It is the lens design that calls upon a certain camera design. So this really fits into "ignore user" mode of behaviour.

At least in Ricoh's case, they showed they think they know better than what users think or want. And as a consequence, they admit they had a failure with K-S1, and not so bright a prospect with K-01. Surprised? Because no one really asked for such things! In the beginning I left some doubt as to K-01 might have been idea Pentax came with. But after the K-S1, same approach and fate, I have no doubts both are Ricoh's.

On the other hand, Fujifilm has created a whole niche on the prospect Pentax has initially started.

There was also an interview detail in which an engineer admitted a K-1000-like idea "was considered". Of course it was. But most likely totally rejected before the selling of Pentax to Ricoh as it would incur extra cost. Then Ricoh wasn't interested — they wanted to "modernise" and rebrand most traditional of all camera makers.

As for the K-01, Ricoh was loong in the process of purchasing. At least a year before the summer of 2011, they knew what they will buy. They gave green light to the Q and Q was ready for autumn of 2011. It did not take them long to make K-01, as it is cheaper to make such a plastic box than developing a new DSLR. It does not have a mirror, does not have an EVF, no OVF, it is just a box with K-mount and a back LCD — it is cheap, cheap, done within months. Most expensive part was paying Mark Newson's fees.

The pricing of Q, K-01, K-S1, show the certain pattern of behaviour, untypical of Pentax. It is Ricoh's screw up, repeating over again: high initial price on a product that really can not justify such a price.

And, of course, the price of the lost opportunity to practically establish and own the retro-look market before others.

Ricoh isn't too smart a company when it comes to photography, end-user business. They have resources, but they they don't "get" certain important clues on what users really want.

Last edited by Uluru; 03-31-2015 at 03:49 PM.
03-31-2015, 03:46 PM   #1087
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
At least in Ricoh's case, they showed they think they know better what users think. And as a consequence, they admit they had a failure with K-S1.
When was this??

They are still selling the K-S1 and followed it up with the K-S2.

03-31-2015, 03:50 PM   #1088

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What analysis? There's no such things in your post
You're not even trying to define the product; all you have is a vague idea which could mean anything, then making wild claims of 10x sales compared to this, price compared with that. On which basis?

Are you comparing Pentax' most unsuccessful products with Fujifilm's most successful? Don't forget: in Japan, Pentax is beating Fuji with the Q!
Though I wouldn't call the K-01 'most unsuccessful' - just overpriced in the beginning. They made the blue edition, citing demand.

You are making unfounded assumptions, e.g. about how long it would take to make the K-01 - which by the way is not plastic but metal, and it was the camera to introduce the Prime M processor + the first 'consumer' 16MP camera; this means new development. And purchasing doesn't mean product planning.
03-31-2015, 03:53 PM   #1089

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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
...and here it is:
See how Fuji X-T1 faithfully follows those same SLR lines.
It's is incredible to see that Fujifilm benefits from Pentax heritage and ideas more than Ricoh.
03-31-2015, 04:22 PM   #1090

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I think the K-01 did OK overall. I saw a load of them in the hands of visitors at CP+ in February. I'd say it was the second most common Pentax model after the K-3 at that event. At one point there were three pandas next to each other being pointed at the FF case. Missed photo opportunity! It's also very scarce on the second hand market, and sells for more than the K-30 now. And it's definitely made of metal, not plastic. Its a cool camera and has a classic feel to it.

I'd never seen that MZ-1 prototype before. It does indeed look like a Fujifilm XT1. I think if it were that easy to make such a camera, one of the DSLR makers would have done it by now. It must be a case of miniaturization of key components. Look how big the Df became.

Last edited by JPT; 03-31-2015 at 04:33 PM.
03-31-2015, 04:53 PM   #1091
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There is no question in my mind that strategies formed and utilized by Fuji seem much more savvy than what Pentax-Ricoh (or Pentax-Hoya) have done in the last several years. Fuji has a clear direction in terms of style, logics of progression that make sense for the market condition that lend itself to poor performance by most manufacturers.

Fuji needed this; as they really did not have the existing user base in this segment of the market. They needed clear and winning strategies to build it from pretty much scratch. Pentax on the other hand has had "cult" following type of user base (the worst kind really - many are vocal, hard to please etc) that wouldn't be as valuable from the standpoint of sales, because of small volumes of sales attributed to them. At the same time for Ricoh to want to grow the business, they wanted and needed new users, who are not very much like existing Pentax users.

Pentax has not been able to appeal to new user base and existing supporters at the same time with several product lines (except Q). I imagine this is difficult. CaNikon can put less emphasis on new users because of their name values; first timers are more likely to go for Canikons because of name values. The battle for this segment is just too tough.

We the users can abort and move on to another brand. They cannot go from one segment of the market to another without making a significant investment. Their job is probably much much harder than you and I can ever imagine.

Last edited by Fontan; 03-31-2015 at 05:57 PM.
03-31-2015, 09:04 PM - 1 Like   #1092
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To me the big problem with Pentax is just the lack of "in your face" like Nikon & Canon. I've always had a pentax slr / dslr, and when I was getting my dslr, I looked at Nikon & Canon, and Bang for the buck, features of each camera I compared, Pentax won, Not the popular "in your face" Nikon & Canon. I don't think Pentax will EVER take that over. People are too hung up on what does Mr. & Mrs. Jones have for a brand. People don't think for themselves, and investigate what a truly good camera with WAY more features than Nikon & Canon is. Even back in the 80's when I got my K-1000 & ME Super, I thought them VERY solid & nicer to look at than the bulky Nikon's, Canon's & Minolta's. People are people, and until they start thinking with their brains and really looking at all the features, maybe then and only then, will the Pentax name shine, AS WELL IT SHOULD! Those are my 2 cents worth. I hope I'm wrong, and someday Pentax blows them all out of the water.
03-31-2015, 09:41 PM   #1093
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Fuji has obviously taken some market share, but do you really think the whole camera market wants a retro camera? I think older men who frequent forums are enamored with the look of cameras past, but the rest of the camera buying public I'm not so sure. I think Pentax is more in the fight than they appear. They haven't actually hit on a design that works yet, but they're trying to figure out what the camera of the future will actually look like. And while its kind of hot right now, pretending at the designs from 40 years ago is not a sustainable plan.
A couple of important things to consider. Despite Pentax long term commitment to compact design, bigger cameras sell. Canon doesn't have to make their cameras so bulbous, they do it because people love to pretend that a bigger badder camera will make better photos. Small is for the discerning buyer, big is for the pretenders, and pocketable is for the normal not camera obsessed general public.
The current retro fad will end, and probably soon. It will end because it is a look driven by an ageing demographic and it offers no improvement in an of itself. It is not more ergonomic, or functional, and only more beautiful to hipsters and those with a bit of nostalgia.
While I don't know the exact sales numbers of the k01, it was made clear that it was a limited run and it sold enough to justify a rerelease in the special edition blue k01. Despite the critical backlash and a release price that was never going to work, the k01 was a successful product that brought many new customers to the brand.

I don't dislike the retro look, I just want the design of my camera to be informed by function, and ergonomics first.

So what can Pentax do to design the camera of the future, please existing pentaxians, and gain market share? They can design a camera that uses newly developed tech to genuinely improve the photographic experience. No one has done this is in quite a while IMO. The best thing about the retro movement is an improvement in the tactile feeling of the materials. We like metal, and we like tactile feedback. People are very conflicted over mirrorless and EVFs, because while they offer improvements they also have serious compromises. I think this is reason enough to wait for the tech to get better before jumping into mirrorless.
However, right now, Pentax could make a compact DSLR, with top quality ergonomics, excellent metal build, good manual focus feel(no focus by wire), with incremental improvements to the design that are forward thinking and useful. For example if we see an EVF it should be bigger and better than any OVF it replaces. I could live with a 645 size evf in an apsc camera. If the camera is to be more compact, they should not sacrifice the grip to save a few milimeters. Any changes should atleast be an attempt to improve the camera. Unlike Sony and Fuji , who are just throwing ideas at a wall hoping something will stick. Sony is close to haveing something with the A7 series, but the lenses if they exist at all are overpriced, underperforming and oversized. Fuji has great lenses, but their camera design is all looks and no substance. The bodies are plasticy, the lenses are focus by wire(which I hate), ergonomics are ok but not great, and the mirrorless tech additions are gimmicky and distracting. I'll give Fuji one thing, I like the form factor. There is absolutely a place for a Leica style rangefinder in todays camera market.

I think the Pentax strategy is fairly in line with what I'm asking for, they want to compete by making a better product. Which means their flagship will continue to be conservative but solid. And their entry level will split between the conservative and the experimental until hopefully they find the next idea worth pursueing.

I'm hoping for a 645_k01 that can compete with higher end full frame on price. Something like Mamiya might have made in the 80s, the cheapest possible medium format with great lenses and a compact design.
03-31-2015, 10:46 PM   #1094
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
...and here it is:
Ah, there it is. I almost cry now. So sad they canceled that one : (
04-01-2015, 12:37 AM   #1095
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Where did the MZ-1 fit in the scheme of things? Was it cancelled in favour of the more futuristic-looking MZ-S, or was it something else. Nice looking camera, no doubt, but I think the MZ-S just as good.

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