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07-01-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
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Things that could help Pentax in their Niche Market

Everyone here has a passion for Pentax (more or less) and would like to see them produce a real wonder of a camera body without having to consider sacrifice when making a purchase. Though I would like to see a FF camera body, I don't think it will surface anytime soon because of the investment Pentax has made into the current lens line and not all have full coverage - it would not be cost effective. What I have been thinking about are things you don't see in cameras today that would draw more people to our side (the dark side :-)). Here's what I've come up with - I'm just wondering what you guys think could be add on...

- Pentax could make a square sensor. Who here doesn't crop??? Playing with an old Yashica TLR I got to thinking that a square sensor wouldn't be much more to produce and the image circle from the current line of lenses could accomodate it.

- Throw in a few metering eyes on the sensor and give us the off-the-film metering from the LX on a modern digital.

- A live view that's worth a flip.. It's like what was brought up in K20's review @ dpreview... Manufacturers are including live view without knowing really what to do with it other than to compete. Give us a great LCD (buy up a bunch of the old 5G iPod displays and stick em on the back of the camera) overlay several selectable grids etc and magnify the center for focus. Also, if there was a square sensor you could preselect your aspect ratio. Also display a live view DOF preview - Amazing. I'm sure there's more to explore with live view that no other manufacturer has explored. There are a lot of people that shoot that don't have great eyesight and could appreciate something like this.

- Now on the crazy side... Get rid of the viewfinder and make it strickly live view. Modern digitals don't need shutters or mirrors - These are only to accomodate the people resistant to change. The sensor doesn't care if there is a shutter there or not, it can be turned on or off whenever it wants to. Or - Leave the viewfinder on... I find it easier to visualize an image when looking at it on ground glass as opposed to through a view finder, but that's me and I'm sure there are others that are the opposite.

Anyways, has anyone thought of any other crazy things that Pentax could do to make people take a second look?

07-01-2008, 09:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by the_int21h Quote
Anyways, has anyone thought of any other crazy things that Pentax could do to make people take a second look?
A film camera.

Nah. That'd be crazy.
07-01-2008, 11:25 PM   #3
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A Changeable Sensor DSLR with "removable cube design"...
Similar to pro backs but a cube that can be removed containing the sensor.
Third party manufacturers could get in to the game with different formula's.
Could be fun.
07-01-2008, 11:58 PM   #4
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re getting rid of live view. I was resistant to buying a dslr 3-4 years ago because no live view, it only took a few weeks to get used to the viewfinder but it certainly made me hesitate. I've know people in the past who have said they dont want a dslr because of not having live view and watch someone pick up a dslr and wait for the screen to come on. I used a p&s the other day, and it was soooo weird, I'll stick to the viewfinder thanks but.. anyway I have always thought there would be a strong market for an entry level dslr that had good live view (at least as good as a p&s) to grab those people coming from p&s who really are looking for a high end p&s camera, and without mirror etc it could be made cheap (and maybe small too)

Phil

07-02-2008, 07:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by the_int21h Quote
- Now on the crazy side... Get rid of the viewfinder and make it strickly live view. Modern digitals don't need shutters or mirrors - These are only to accomodate the people resistant to change. The sensor doesn't care if there is a shutter there or not, it can be turned on or off whenever it wants to. Or - Leave the viewfinder on... I find it easier to visualize an image when looking at it on ground glass as opposed to through a view finder, but that's me and I'm sure there are others that are the opposite.
I'm guessing you must have transitioned directly from a film SLR to a digital SLR and not ever used a digital point and shoot. If you had you would realize that a modern digital SLR still needs a shutter or mirror - Despite the lack of anything mechanical in the shutter actuation system, point-and-shoots suffer from horrific shutter lag compared to digital SLRs, mainly because of the live view system. It also kills battery life compared to a DSLR. Live view also has a latency between what is actually going on and what is displayed.

A Pentax DSLR that was "live view only" would be useless at airshows for example, probably also for motorsports. (As opposed to my K20D which performed incredibly well at an airshow two weekends ago.)
07-02-2008, 07:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by the_int21h Quote
- Now on the crazy side... Get rid of the viewfinder and make it strickly live view. Modern digitals don't need shutters or mirrors - These are only to accomodate the people resistant to change.
Funny, I never shot film yet couldn't wait to get away from the EVF of my P&S and get a real VF. If you want a video camera, buy a video camera.
07-02-2008, 07:48 AM   #7
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ditto on the viewfinder...try using a digital display in sunlight? washout city. Even the K10D/K20D's 95% viewfinder is much better.

What I wish for is an option that leaves the focus point displayed...tried a friend's D80 out over the weekend and that made AF-C mode much more useful...
07-02-2008, 07:59 AM   #8
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Hi the_int21h

Re your outrageous proposal:

QuoteQuote:
Get rid of the viewfinder and make it strictly live view.
Perish the thought. Sorry old chap, but heretics will NOT be tolerated around here, so consider yourself officially banished from this forum with immediate effect...your excommunication certificate has just been despatched in the mail as we speak. Oh, and don't forget to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with soap on the way through the exit, either...LOL !

If you ask me, I think you need to calm down for a while probably in a darkened room, before seeking immediate medical attention......however, I'd try this simple experiment first. Obtain a 600mm telephoto for example, attach it to the front of your DSLR and then try holding the whole contraption steady at arm's length, whilst attempting to compose your image on the LCD's live-view screen, with bright sunlight shining behind you.
Doh.....I'm afraid it's back to the asylum for you, matey !


Best regards
Richard


Last edited by Confused; 07-02-2008 at 10:29 AM.
07-02-2008, 08:39 AM   #9
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I think the OP wants a P&S with dials and K-mount. Nice idea. Though it'd be a big of a P&S!
07-02-2008, 08:49 AM   #10
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How about a round sensor plane instead of a square/rectangle? Then have the camera crop aspect ratios as a user setting and have the viewfinder have guide marks that correspond dynamically to the selected aspect ratio. I think that would be something that would really set Pentax apart.
07-02-2008, 09:14 AM   #11
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Something that would help Pentax?

Advertising

CW
07-02-2008, 09:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
Advertising

CW
Best answer yet.
07-02-2008, 09:46 AM   #13
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Hire Hillary

QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
Advertising

CW
The marketing department needs to hire Hillary because it is my impression the whole lot of them don't have a pair. Her brass ones would make up for all of them.

Ken
07-02-2008, 10:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
A film camera.

Nah. That'd be crazy.
Madness indeed! Haven't you read the pamphlets? Every single image ever taken on the medium of film is completely crap! In fact, we're holding regular bonfire nights in major towns, where those unfortunate to have images taken on film may burn the offending prints, negatives and slides.

We assure you that your identity will be kept in the strictest confidence, to save you the embarassment of your friends and relatives discovering you have images made on...film.



Seriously, though, bring back the K1000, LX and MZ-S! Even if Cosina does it. It would be a niche market all right, away from the Canon "uber-pro" film models and high-end rangefinders.

QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
A Changeable Sensor DSLR with "removable cube design"...
Similar to pro backs but a cube that can be removed containing the sensor.
Third party manufacturers could get in to the game with different formula's.
Could be fun.
I've been pondering this, too.

Granted, Leica's R8 had the option of the a digiback, but that didn't go well for 'em.

As I think you imply, it would be both easier and cheaper for just the sensor to be swapped out. A digital SLR with an interchangeable sensor, not a 35mm SLR with the option of a digital back.

Keep the buffer memory, image processor, LCD, etc on the camera body.

For those of you pondering the merits of this, consider that the main disadvantage, keep in mind that the two most important things in taking photographs are the lens and whatever's capturing the final image - film or a CCD or CMOS sensor. Unfortunately, with the sensor built into the body, if you don't like how it looks and it's not the lenses fault, the only thing you can do is buy a new body. Chances are it'll be the same across the entire range of camera maker's range, though.

One big advantage of film over digital, is if you find you don't like, say, the grain of one film at a certain ISO, you can change it after 36 shots.

Of course, if you can delay obsolence of a piece of equipment by upgrading a small part of it, that means the camera company is losing money (and, as RIAA is teaching us, that's practically outright theft. Well, it should be, legally.)

Look at the PC industry - that's why more and more computer companies, the big ones, are getting bespoke components and OSes made, so incompatibity with another brand ensures that a user must seek parts or upgrades through the same company.

Also, would companies capable of producing sensors be willing to pay a licence to Pentax to produce sensors, or would they rather get a fat contract with guaranteed sales to make the built in sensors for another company? A licence would be a way to ensure Pentax doesn't lose money on their own sensors when those from other companies are available.

A standard for interchangeable sensors seems unlikely.

QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote

If you ask me, I think you need to calm down for a while probably in a darkened room
Darkened room is right, because it'd be the only place you could see the live view LCD...

Anyway, apart from the interchangeable sensor, full-frame, and better AF (though, frankly, I can't remember the last time I used an AF lens) possibly with an IR AF-assist beam, there's not a whole lot I'd like. Full-metal body shell as well as chassis? Yeah.

Unfortunately, when I think of "niche" I tend to think of Leica RF-style "niche." Expensive for no particular reason (unless the reason is "hand manufactured in the Bavarian alps by a race of ancient, camera-building elves who will spend a decade perfecting the blend of ancient metals, mined from rich, forgotten veins of ore deep within the earth to form the baseplate, and glass that is forged from the crystalline tears of the gods who weep when they see the mortals with lesser cameras") with performance, marketing and, importantly, sales based more on myth than performance.

Though how about that film camera idea, eh?
07-02-2008, 10:08 AM   #15
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Hi Ken

Ah, Pentax. The "INVISIBLE" brand. I remember them well. Great cameras, but a shame about their total lack of market presence. I actually discovered one of their iconic K10D's gathering dust in the British Museum of Antiquity the other week. What lovely memories that brought back. Can't help wondering what they're up to nowadays ??? Anyone........

As for Lithos's amusing comment:

QuoteQuote:
It would be both easier and cheaper for just the sensor to be swapped out.
Yeah, it might well be "both easier and cheaper", but you've totally failed to realise that the primary objective of photographic manufacturers everywhere is to tempt YOU (the customer) to acquire the latest shiny new equipment whilst extracting maximum profits, thus keeping their respective Boards of Directors in the comfort to which they've become accustomed......LOL !

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 07-02-2008 at 10:33 AM.
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