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09-23-2016, 04:55 PM - 1 Like   #181
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QuoteOriginally posted by OoKU Quote
Step by Step is not enough in times of intense competition
It depends on the steps. Ricoh is slow and methodical. Arguably too slow. They have a lot of patents that have yet to see the light of day. IF they can conquer AF..... IF..... That is the Achilles heal.

09-23-2016, 05:36 PM - 2 Likes   #182
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QuoteOriginally posted by OoKU Quote
Step by Step is not enough in times of intense competition
Yes, yes it is. It just isn't fast enough for people who want what they want RIGHT . . . NOW.
09-23-2016, 06:00 PM - 1 Like   #183
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
It depends on the steps. Ricoh is slow and methodical. Arguably too slow. They have a lot of patents that have yet to see the light of day. IF they can conquer AF..... IF..... That is the Achilles heal.
That's right. Number of steps is not so important. What is important is which steps are perfected.

First issue is the AF. Now entering the sixth year of Ricoh's ownership of Pentax, we can confirm the Pentax AF is now the overall worst in all camera world. Overall means combined AF-S and AF-C performance. Worse is only AF in manual focusing cameras. Sony, Fuji, Leica with SL and Q, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, etc. are now all well ahead.

Now this could be a butt of a joke in some pub downtown Tokyo, but it is a tragedy, in fact. What is the cause of this?
Two reasons, in fact.
  1. To build an AF Ricoh needs to mobilise users, seriously, and work with them, seriously accepting their feedback. Ricoh does not do that. Ricoh Imaging, now it seems, does not even work with own brand ambassadors and leaves them up in the wild.
  2. Then mobilising serious money is needed for serious hardware, computing power, algorithms, etc. but that never happened in the amount that was needed to (A) bridge the gap that existed even 5 years ago between Pentax and competition, and to (B) foster all future needs.
The money they invested barely covered the gap in the lower tier cameras of the 5 years ago, not even medium or higher range. For the future performance investment, there is none. So roughly, out of 100% necessary commitment for the AF problem, Ricoh delivered 25%.

Solving AF problem is not a cost — it is investment and pure future profit. Just one top performing AF is easily implemented in different cameras.

Second issue are the lenses. Ricoh has created a situation in the market that Pentax solely relies on Ricoh now to deliver AF capable lenses for Pentax. Sigma retreating, Tokina gone, Tamron not delivering for Pentax mount but Ricoh rebrands only some Tamrons. Lenses do not come out when users want them, (and they wanted them even before 2011) but at Ricoh's whim. Although they could have done much worse job than they did, they did not their best job they could either. So their performance there is some 50% of what was possible and needed with just a better thinking.

They failed to talk to customers about lenses for five (5) years, but started only recently, in a survey organised by their European distributor.

So 25% work done in AF department, and 50% work done in lenses department … well, anyone could do that. If Pepsi bought Pentax they could do the same. My grandmother too. Therefore, the Ricoh's management is nothing special in that regard, it only shows that investment in Pentax came with problems they do not understand at all. Ricoh had no plan nor strategy whatsoever, for why would they wait five years to finally ask customers about something so crucial as the lenses?

Turning the AF problem into an advantage

Now the question: is the AF performance, especially tracking, really what photography is all about? Surely not. It's a fad. But, if Ricoh thinks they can't do anything in that area, and are not willing to invest at all, they could turn the caveat into an opportunity. Just forget the modern shaped DSLRs then which Canon and Nikon already make, and instead produce cameras that are undoubtedly retro. Manual focusing stuff, just 1 point AF, and build a very interesting eco-system of extremely good lenses and dedicated cameras that restore much needed photographic experience and premeditation.
Market is full of guys who all do same. Just move aside.

Then get rid of the entire crop line or just leave it as it is. Issue one new camera there every 3 years.

Let every Pentax new way DSLR be:
  1. an FF with a 36MP chip,
  2. strip the AF to its bare bones,
  3. install huge pentaprisms with 100% field view and 1.0x magnification,
  4. offer pixel-shift,
  5. astrotracer,
  6. make lenses that have brilliant MF feel,
  7. make cameras that look like old Spotmatics, or whatever old else.
  8. then work on touch screen UI, or,
  9. have one camera with no screen whatsoever.
  10. strip the DSLR weight down to some 700-800g.
  11. make thing weather-resistant,
  12. let the camera looks and performance be different totally from the rest of industry.

Just reinvent the entire game for yourself, and stay out of any possible comparison with anybody else. Things in world move in circles, and soon enough people will be sick of complicated cameras, and smartphones, and will crave for simplicity and beauty of photography.

Last edited by Uluru; 09-23-2016 at 06:33 PM.
09-23-2016, 06:12 PM - 1 Like   #184
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Now entering the sixth year of Ricoh's ownership of Pentax, we can confirm the Pentax AF is now the overall worst in all camera world. Overall means combined AF-S and AF-C performance. Worse is only AF in manual focusing cameras. Sony, Fuji, Leica with SL and Q, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, etc. are now all well ahead.
It is hard to understand. The PDAF sensor is now ancient technology. The latency seems to be in the software that drives the system.

09-23-2016, 10:06 PM   #185
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
It is hard to understand. The PDAF sensor is now ancient technology. The latency seems to be in the software that drives the system.
There is another explanation (theory); if we assume Ricoh was serious in their job, but was hiding intentions, then whatever they did in the current lineup of DSLRs, including the K-3, 645 and K-1, was deliberately a half-baked delivery to keep things appearing there with a minimum of work, but in parallel they worked on a brand new system camera and lenses idea.

Some tech is shared. There is also GR and Q development. Both started with the purchase of Pentax. Now, to me both GR and Q look like some sort of experiments with unclear ends. I mean, 5 years of development of a team for one pocket camera like the GR and almost exactly same copy named GRII? I am not buying it: they had to work on something else. Q as well is same from one version to the next, just its looks is changed.

Perhaps we have something similar to what Sony did with their Alpha mount, keeping it alive, albeit users know that Sony works on two tracks. But Pentax users do not know that Ricoh might be working on two tracks. And maybe in 2017 they will finally start revealing what that prolonged 'non-commitment' was all about?

Ok, this is a theory. One reason they might have been tight lipped is because any rumour would scatter all remaining users in all directions, and to reassure them to stay, cameras like K-1 and K-3 were issued. However, we now come to a point (and I think they realise it too), where things can't be pursued like this anymore. Things simply don't add up.

It's time to show the cards.

Last edited by Uluru; 09-23-2016 at 10:29 PM.
09-23-2016, 11:12 PM   #186
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenspo Quote
Well, then tell them that! I think they know exactly what they are doing. If it haven't been for Ricoh, Pentax wouldn't be anymore at this time. Ricoh had to almost rebuild Pentax from scratch. If you think you is better qualified for that job, i can tell them about you
What's controversial with Pentax is that if you know the economics of sensors, Pentax makes the best decisions, although it may no be perceived as such by every demanding photographers. For example, the K1 is introduced at a time where it became difficult to increase IQ out of apsc sized sensors, and also at the time where FF sensors became cheaper thanks to the deployment of 300mm silicon wafers. In terms of technology selection, it makes perfect sense for the users, but users don't realize that Pentax has selected the best tech/money for them.

If you look at MF, the announcement is impressive, but the advantage over full frame is minimal and price multiplier is maximal. For example, if you use a Pentax K1 with a fast lens, I am not so sure about the tiny increase of IQ you get out of a MF sensor (that is actually a crop sensor... not a real MF size), for more than 3 x the price. In additional, due to the fact that most imaging terminal render no more than 8bits color coding per channel, any SNR higher than 48dB is just going down the drain. If you are a pro and can depreciate an MF camera equipment, fine. But for the mass of enthusiasts, there is no point to be wowed by something you can't afford and that would not provide much difference in your photographic activities, especially when you read that X1D max shutter speed is 1/2000 at 2.3fps and Fuji GFX is 1/4000 at 3fps, not even as good as what the Pentax K1 costing 4x less money.
09-24-2016, 01:50 AM - 1 Like   #187
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Uluru, are you on something ?





09-24-2016, 02:11 AM   #188
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
For example, the K1 is introduced at a time where (...) FF sensors became cheaper thanks to the deployment of 300mm silicon wafers. In terms of technology selection, it makes perfect sense for the users, but users don't realize that Pentax has selected the best tech/money for them.
It's hard to find the bond between K1 and 300 wafer size transition as this began "in earnest in 2000" (citing wikipedia)... So it's been more than a decade that 300mm are out of the market... We can say that 300 mm wafer are becoming cheaper and cheaper each year... But they are also improving in characteristics and transistor dimensions (density).... From 180-130nm process node introduced in 1999-2001, to this 14/16nm as current state of the art process node technology...

Plus, I think Pentax is not the only one who choose the best Tech/money for users

09-24-2016, 02:56 AM - 2 Likes   #189
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sasha Quote
It's hard to find the bond between K1 and 300 wafer size transition as this began "in earnest in 2000" (citing wikipedia)... So it's been more than a decade that 300mm are out of the market... We can say that 300 mm wafer are becoming cheaper and cheaper each year... But they are also improving in characteristics and transistor dimensions (density).... From 180-130nm process node introduced in 1999-2001, to this 14/16nm as current state of the art process node technology... Plus, I think Pentax is not the only one who choose the best Tech/money for users
I'm semiconductor engineer. Process node min. size isn't a factor in the cost of imagers because more than 80% of the area is made of photo-sites, smaller process node does not allow to reduce sensor size (=no cost reduction) and the sensor size is anyway defined by the camera format. On the contary cost increases because the cost of photo-lithography mask sets increase exponentially when process node decreases. However, cost reduction comes along with increasing the diameter of silicon wafers. Due to the constrains of photocell size, and so, the die size is fixed by the photographic format, and the breakdown voltage that contributes to the dynamic range of the sensor, wafer fab lines used for imagers employs rather old and certainly not the smallest process node. Only the size of wafers or reduction of the number of manufacturing step allow cost reduction. Yes, 300mm wafer lines started long ago, but it was only by 2014 that Sony upgraded their fab lines with 300mm equipments for CMOS imagers. Sony published some information about that in the professional press. That period also matches with when Nikon and Canon designed cheaper full frame bodies such as the D600 and 6D. And 2014 is also when full frame was considered by Ricoh imaging, a decision that already is reflected in the aggressively priced Pentax K (for the benefit on Pentaxians).

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-24-2016 at 03:10 AM.
09-24-2016, 03:12 AM - 1 Like   #190
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Photokina 2016 Pentax Interview - Photokina 2016 | PentaxForums.com
09-24-2016, 03:16 AM   #191
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sasha Quote
Plus, I think Pentax is not the only one who choose the best Tech/money for users
Sure, but the Nikon D800 was (and still is) 30% more expensive than the K1 introduced later, while imaging capabilities are the same. Pentax has done a perfect job of road mapping the K1 after the K3, and it is essentially the irrational thinking of customers (who for most of them aren't working for a camera company) moved to another FF brand while apsc image quality still had potential for improved image quality. In essence, customers who moved from Pentax to Canon/Nikon spent more money than loyal Pentaxians who now get the same image quality for cheaper.

---------- Post added 24-09-16 at 12:18 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by OoKU Quote
Photokina 2016 Pentax Interview - Photokina 2016 | PentaxForums.com
Very positive indeed. For one time, Ricoh exec. seems to know what they are doing.
09-24-2016, 03:27 AM   #192
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To me, Ricoh's approach is totally rational: a 36Mp camera is not (with current technology) a sports camera. The D810is not a sports camera. Where Nikon have the advantage is that they also make sports cameras, so the AF technology is already developed and can be transferred with some modifications into the D810. Ricoh would have had o newly develop sports camera technology for a camera that was never going to be able to fire at the fast frame rate that a sports camera requires. Yes,they must get it right - I still wonder if the lack of lens based image stabilisation isn't a disadvantage in this - but it would not have been rational to put an expensively newly designed system into a camera that could not take full advantage of it.

Last edited by ffking; 09-24-2016 at 05:50 AM.
09-24-2016, 03:44 AM   #193
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I'm semiconductor engineer. Process node min. size isn't a factor in the cost of imagers because more than 80% of the area is made of photo-sites, smaller process node does not allow to reduce sensor size (=no cost reduction) and the sensor size is anyway defined by the camera format. On the contary cost increases because the cost of photo-lithography mask sets increase exponentially when process node decreases. However, cost reduction comes along with increasing the diameter of silicon wafers. Due to the constrains of photocell size, and so, the die size is fixed by the photographic format, and the breakdown voltage that contributes to the dynamic range of the sensor, wafer fab lines used for imagers employs rather old and certainly not the smallest process node. Only the size of wafers or reduction of the number of manufacturing step allow cost reduction. Yes, 300mm wafer lines started long ago, but it was only by 2014 that Sony upgraded their fab lines with 300mm equipments for CMOS imagers. Sony published some information about that in the professional press. That period also matches with when Nikon and Canon designed cheaper full frame bodies such as the D600 and 6D. And 2014 is also when full frame was considered by Ricoh imaging, a decision that already is reflected in the aggressively priced Pentax K (for the benefit on Pentaxians).
I'm actually going to study this matter on next semester starting this next monday
Your answer is highly welcome then! I didn't know Sony was so "slow" in acquiring 300nm fab technology... Hence, my post which circle around how "ancient" this technology really is...
Process technology node was put into discussion only to highlit that older node for sure are cheaper than newer one

BTW, understand your point now!
09-24-2016, 05:12 AM   #194
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Uluru, are you on something ?
No. Some things simply don't add up. I started my suspicions when the K-1 was announced, then postponed. And when the K-1 came out, the specs of the machine (which were worse in many regards than K-3), rebranding of Tamrons, endless cheapo plastic and kit lenses released, made me think. I think Ricoh avoids any serious commitment within the existing ecosystem. They issue things with minimal effort possible. Preserving most of their energy for something else?

Now I am almost convinced that we are served side-dishes while they cook the main course. K-70 foretells their next cameras may freak out many folks.

Last edited by Uluru; 09-24-2016 at 05:19 AM.
09-24-2016, 05:23 AM - 3 Likes   #195
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
rebranding of Tamrons
This is wrong. Keep your facts correct if you gonna complain. Its assembled by Tamron in in Tamron tubes. Coating and glass is Pentax made. That doesn't make it a rebrand. It had to be done this way due to minimal production lines at Pentax.

QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I think Ricoh avoids any serious commitment within the existing ecosystem. They issue things with minimal effort possible. Preserving most of their energy for something else?
This is also wrong. Ricoh are in for the long perspective. That they do thing more slowly and not in the way you want, doesn't make this true. I think you need to learn more about economy and business.


I suggest you buy a Nikon, although Nikon is bankrupt in few years if they can't turn things around soon (This is one situation Ricoh wants to avoid). Have fun

Last edited by Nass; 10-05-2016 at 04:50 AM. Reason: telling people to bugger off is unneccessary
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