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06-18-2008, 10:52 AM   #1
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Speculation

This is less of a news item or rumor, more of a What if?

I was reading up a little on the MZ-D here:

MZ-D

and I had to wonder if Pentax had gone ahead and made the MZ-D, would the market(and Pentax's position in it) be any different now?

Personally I think it wouldn't have moved Pentax to the #1 spot, but my guess is they would have ended up as a close third place runner with another company like Minolta/Sony.


Last edited by brothereye; 06-18-2008 at 01:50 PM.
06-18-2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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It's hard to say. The MZ-D (or K1 as it was dubbed IIRC) would have cost about $5k at that time and it was also ahead of the mass move to digital. It may have retained a number of Pentax shooters in the time between that and the *ist D, but I don't know that it would have increased Pentax's market share by any significant percentage.

On the flip-side, I think that had the MZ-D been brought to market we'd see a different strategy from Pentax which would have included 3 levels of camera and FF compatability in most of the digital-specific lenses. Again, maybe not increasing the market share significantly, but it would be a bit more than it is now.

My last thought on this is there was problems with the sensor (again, working from memory here) and had that product been a bust, it could have done more harm than good for promoting the brand.
06-18-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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Well, my thinking was that, all digital was expensive a few years ago, and the people who could afford it could have bought one, if the bugs were worked out. I know they would not have sold a boatload of them, it would have really only changed perceptions, but that seems to be really important as far as marketing is concerned. And let's face it marketing is more important than merit. It seems a passable product with great marketing will sell better than a great product with passable marketing, in any market.
06-18-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
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You forgot or did not know something: the sensor was crap... real crap.

This sensor has been used in the Contax N Digital(Link. Contax never recovered: too much invested in a product which did not sell and did not perform, and was veeery expensive at that time.

Pentax may have been hostory if they took that path. Sure, they have to play catch up now. But they are still there. Better than nothing, heh?

06-18-2008, 02:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote
my guess is they would have ended up as a close third place runner with another company like Minolta/Sony.
Pentax is a third place runner together with Olympus and Sony (all three have 6% DSLR market share).
06-19-2008, 05:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Pentax is a third place runner together with Olympus and Sony (all three have 6% DSLR market share).
Hmmm, the last market share figures I saw put Sony in third place, Olympus fourth, Pentax fifth, Panasonic sixth, and Samsung seventh. Sony led Olympus by 2% Olympus led Pentax by 2% and Panasonic and Samsung held something like 1.4% and 1.2%.

Of course this was an internet article, so who knows how accurate it was. I was under the impression after reading it that Sony had a definitive lead at it's third place spot, with Olympus in a solid fourth and the rest dividing what was left. Or perhaps the writer had used figures that lumped PnS sales in with DSLR sales.
06-19-2008, 05:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
You forgot or did not know something: the sensor was crap... real crap.

This sensor has been used in the Contax N Digital(Link. Contax never recovered: too much invested in a product which did not sell and did not perform, and was veeery expensive at that time.

Pentax may have been hostory if they took that path. Sure, they have to play catch up now. But they are still there. Better than nothing, heh?
That would fall into the "did not know" category. At the time, I wasn't really reading much about photography, and I hadn't put film in my Maxxums for quite some time. It was just something I had set aside since I didn't have time for it.
06-19-2008, 09:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
You forgot or did not know something: the sensor was crap... real crap.

This sensor has been used in the Contax N Digital(Link. Contax never recovered: too much invested in a product which did not sell and did not perform, and was veeery expensive at that time.

Pentax may have been hostory if they took that path. Sure, they have to play catch up now. But they are still there. Better than nothing, heh?
according to this Contax N Digital Review the sensor wasn't so bad....

06-19-2008, 09:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
according to this Contax N Digital Review the sensor wasn't so bad....
I read that very same review, and I have found no evidence that shows that the CCD was that poor, in fact quite the opposite. I think pentax made a mistake not introducing the MZ-D, to be the first camera company to introduce a FF DSLR would have brought great recognition and interest to Pentax and I think (my opinion here) that it would have put pentax in a position to currently hold a much larger market share. even if they only made a small number of them you can bet there would have been some pro's who would have snapped them up, and that very well could have brought more pros to pentax in general. but who knows....
06-19-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote
Of course this was an internet article, so who knows how accurate it was.
We both seem to have trouble to find the source now...

My figure was from a worldwide DSLR market survey, the most recent year which was published (2006, I guess, did already include Sony and Samsung in the DSLR camp). Pentax, Sony, Olympus had all 6% each. But only after I added Pentax (5%) and Samsung (1%).
06-19-2008, 02:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I read that very same review, and I have found no evidence that shows that the CCD was that poor, in fact quite the opposite. I think pentax made a mistake not introducing the MZ-D, to be the first camera company to introduce a FF DSLR would have brought great recognition and interest to Pentax and I think (my opinion here) that it would have put pentax in a position to currently hold a much larger market share. even if they only made a small number of them you can bet there would have been some pro's who would have snapped them up, and that very well could have brought more pros to pentax in general. but who knows....
It was bad, not terribly bad but bad. The killer was price. a couple thousands dollars for just the sensor. Pentax introding a "Pro" camera with .. what lenses to follow?
It would have killed them.

A pity I know ..
06-19-2008, 05:31 PM   #12
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IMHO it would have kept them in the game and with the sucessors of the *ist-D and a nother FF I think they could have really gotten a full system. They were 2 years ahead of Canon with FF and what now, 6 before Nikon. Only comp was Kodak at double the price. When that was suposed to come out at a price $5-6K the D1 at $5K just entered the market as well as the D30 at $3K. A killer, maybe not but definatly better resolution than the comp.
Problem was the chip would overheat, batteries lasted 1-200 shots and memory
But I still wish for a MZ-S Digital, I loved (and still love) that body
06-19-2008, 08:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrendanPK Quote
IMHO it would have kept them in the game and with the sucessors of the *ist-D and a nother FF I think they could have really gotten a full system. They were 2 years ahead of Canon with FF and what now, 6 before Nikon. Only comp was Kodak at double the price. When that was suposed to come out at a price $5-6K the D1 at $5K just entered the market as well as the D30 at $3K. A killer, maybe not but definatly better resolution than the comp.
Problem was the chip would overheat, batteries lasted 1-200 shots and memory
But I still wish for a MZ-S Digital, I loved (and still love) that body
the joy of diversity. I never had a MZ-S so obvisously dont know what I'm missing but I look at the pic of the MZ-D and say big deal (not a negative, but not a positive). But the I look at the 50th Anniversary model

AP 50th Aniv.

That beastie I would have bought in second

Phil
06-20-2008, 02:07 AM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
It was bad, not terribly bad but bad. The killer was price. a couple thousands dollars for just the sensor. Pentax introding a "Pro" camera with .. what lenses to follow?
It would have killed them.

A pity I know ..
thats not what hands on testing have said, and the price would have likely been on par with the other first FF DSLRs to hit the market, how would that have killed pentax? and what do you mean what lenses? the FA* lenses aren't good enough for you? one doesn't need a whole new set of lenses for one new body, especially if that body uses the same 24x36mm plane.
06-20-2008, 03:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
thats not what hands on testing have said, and the price would have likely been on par with the other first FF DSLRs to hit the market, how would that have killed pentax? and what do you mean what lenses? the FA* lenses aren't good enough for you? one doesn't need a whole new set of lenses for one new body, especially if that body uses the same 24x36mm plane.
That is/was Pentax opinion, our doest count for much. As for FA* I may be wrong but most of those lenses were maybe not that much available anymore (this is IMO). They maybe judge that performance of lenses would not be adequate?

I dunno the details, the thing is Pentax judged performance was not good enough. The rest is speculation indeed.
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