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08-06-2008, 06:59 AM   #1
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Will Pentax compete against Micro 4/3's?

Now that Olympus/Panasonic have pretty much announced my dream system does anyone think there's a chance Pentax will compete in that market? I hope they do because the thought of DA limited quality lenses on a DA Limited body makes me drool.

However, if Pentax makes no announcement in 6 months or so I'm afraid I'll have to jumpy ship to Oly/Pan as soon as the first body is released. The only question is whether or not I will keep my K10D or sell it to buy a few lenses to go along with the Micro 4/3's body. I'd like to have both, because I really do enjoy using my SLR when I feel like carrying a back pack full of gear; the only problem is I rarely feel like doing that. I fully expect current DSLR image quality to be well above the new 4/3'system, but it just goes back to mentality that lower quality pics are better than no pics at all. And I know full well that I'd use the micro 4/3's camera 95% of the time just due to convenience. I simply don't know if I can justify keeping $1000 worth of photo gear that I only use 5% of the time.

08-06-2008, 07:23 AM   #2
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my understanding is that are Pentax not part of the four thirds consortium, and there is now way for them to 'complete' alone with a Rangefinder type approach as the PK registration distance is just far too big

This innovation strikes me as potentially changing the digital market quite fundamentally. If Olympus/Panason/Leica make a cracking interchangeable lens Rangefinder that has "decent image quality" (however you choose to define that, decent dyna,mic range that can be cropped to a good 12x8 at 300dpi is mine) then I would get one to complement my K10 tomorrow - if technology marchs on a pace (as you would expect in a relatively immature technology like this) then in 3 years it will beat the K10 and be a no brainer on convenience alone
08-06-2008, 07:27 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleSkink Quote
my understanding is that are Pentax not part of the four thirds consortium, and there is now way for them to 'complete' alone with a Rangefinder type approach as the PK registration distance is just far too big
They could easily join if they wanted to -- it's an open standard in that sense. That would be far preferable to creating a new competing "Micro K". (As much as I'd love to see a digital Auto110.)
08-06-2008, 07:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
They could easily join if they wanted to -- it's an open standard in that sense. That would be far preferable to creating a new competing "Micro K". (As much as I'd love to see a digital Auto110.)
That is what I hope they will do. I, as well as a lot of other people, have felt like this was always the destiny of the 4/3's sensor. It just seemed to obvious and to perfect. Assuming the 2x crop factor is the same as current 4/3's cameras I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on a G9-sized camera with a 25mm pancake lens mounted on it. That will suit my needs perfectly as a carry along/vacation/street shooter camera. I just hope they sell optical view finders to mount into the hot shoe for each focal length.

And when you feel like carrying a bag, such as on hiking trips, you could mount a 200mm on there and get a 400mm FOV. This would be great for telephoto lovers since most 200mm lenses are less than half the cost of a 400mm. The balance maybe a bit funky when using telephoto lenses, but I'm sure I could get used to it.

08-06-2008, 07:50 AM   #5
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fair comment, have to admit I didnt understand how open the 'open standard' is but Pentax has always ploughed its own furrow (SLR, auto 110 and Medium Format) and may stick close to Samsung for now

curiously (interestingly?) Leica is not mentioned on the Olympus 4/3 website, only Olympus and Panasonic
08-06-2008, 07:50 AM   #6
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Doh, so much for Pentax joining the consortium:

"Olympus and Panasonic are shutting out other manufacturers in their development of the Micro Four Thirds system. "

British Journal of Photography - Exclusive: Olympus and Panasonic guard their investment in Micro Four Thirds

I'm not sure if that is a good idea by Oly/Pan or a bad idea. On one hand I think they know how big this will be so they want to keep all the business for themselves, but on the other hand this could simply prompt everyone else to make an APS-C based system.

Edit: After reading the entire article it looks like they would still allow Pentax to join, but Pentax will have to be serious about it.
08-06-2008, 08:38 AM   #7
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I don't find 4/3 micro is very good idea. Compact - yes, light - yes. And it's all.
I will be happy with APS-C and FF from Pentax.
All system will have FF cameras, Oly invents bike.

As for me, it's just pre-announce. No real products. Need to wait and to see.
I think that Oly will have a small niche between cameras like LX3 and DSLR with micro 4/3 system. New prosumers with interchangeable lenses.

They have to make new line of lenses... I don't know if it's good or not.

The IQ of cameras will be lower than any APS-C's cameras. No doubts.
I think that Oly has to put more MP too in 4/3 sensor to sell it better.
I'm not sure that 12-14 МP camera of 4/3 micro with new lenses can make good results.

And I hate EVF and LV instead of optical VF. And what is about battery work in 4/3 micro cameras? EVF and LV have very high consumption.
Contrast AF is not very quick...

Last edited by ogl; 08-06-2008 at 09:29 AM.
08-06-2008, 08:50 AM   #8
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@ogl

You're right about a good number of those things. For the most serious photographers that don't mind carrying a purse around all the time full of gear DSLR's are still going to be the way to go; but until someone figures out how to make a pocket size SLR then people like me will be all over this new type of camera.

08-06-2008, 08:56 AM   #9
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Thom Hogan expects other manufacturers to follow suit with an APS-C sized Micro camera.
Thom Hogan's Nikon Field Guide and Nikon Flash Guide

Hope it's Pentax. The rumored k2000D is supposed to be smaller but there is no way it will be close to the new Oly.
08-06-2008, 09:00 AM   #10
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I could be interested in such a device in the role of a portable/travel camera but not as a DSLR replacement but as a p&s on steroids. This is IMO the misjudgment many people make to look down to this (as big camera owners) instead of looking up as p&s owners. Considering that last year the market was 93% p&s and 7% DSLR I think if Oly/Panasonic come up with a clever camera they will sell a lot.

What I want from this would be:

- trully portable even though not jeans pocketable at least jacket pocketable;
- their latest 10Mp sensor at least or an improved one in DR and noise even with fewer Mp;
- high def video;
- choice of several FL for initial lens buy;
- large, bright and hi res LCD screen - I really don't care about EVF make it removable Ricoh style and optional;
- at least 400 pics CIPA battery life;
- decent AF system - not by DSLR standards but much better than a p&s;
- 700 Euro tops.

Radu
08-06-2008, 09:32 AM   #11
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I think that 4/3 micro camera could be good for my wife for work. She is landscape designer.
She doesn't need very high quality, but need something compact, light and with picture better that PS cameras and prosumers.
08-06-2008, 09:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
I could be interested in such a device in the role of a portable/travel camera but not as a DSLR replacement but as a p&s on steroids. This is IMO the misjudgment many people make to look down to this (as big camera owners) instead of looking up as p&s owners. Considering that last year the market was 93% p&s and 7% DSLR I think if Oly/Panasonic come up with a clever camera they will sell a lot.

What I want from this would be:

- trully portable even though not jeans pocketable at least jacket pocketable;
- their latest 10Mp sensor at least or an improved one in DR and noise even with fewer Mp;
- high def video;
- choice of several FL for initial lens buy;
- large, bright and hi res LCD screen - I really don't care about EVF make it removable Ricoh style and optional;
- at least 400 pics CIPA battery life;
- decent AF system - not by DSLR standards but much better than a p&s;
- 700 Euro tops.

Radu
yes, something between P&S/prosumers and APS-C cameras.
it will be not bad.
08-06-2008, 09:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
And what is about battery work in 4/3 micro cameras? EVF and LV have very high consumption.
may be will be able to put OLED there and save some battery life.
08-06-2008, 10:06 AM   #14
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As far as IQ goes; I really don't think it will be an issue. The Oly E-420 looks great at ISO 100-800 and is usable at ISO1600, that's good enough for me, and I'm sure it's good enough for 95% of most other users as well. And dynamic range keeps getting better and better on APS-C and 4/3rs, so that's not an issue for me.

I do think this will be a wonderful compliment to an SLR, but I also think it will drastically cut into SLR sales as well if the price is right. This system should suit street shooters, soccer moms, and tourists better than an SLR system. That leaves only serious photo geeks, pixel peepers, portrait photographers, sports photographers, and pro's as the market for SLR's.

The M43 system may not have butter smooth bokeh like only FF can deliver; but it's good enough for amateurs. Plus, it has far better low light performance then any P&S on the market. Finally, and possibly most important, you won't have to walk around looking like this guy to be able to take quality pics
08-06-2008, 10:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
As much as I'd love to see a digital Auto110.
Drool. Drool.

QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
They have to make new line of lenses... I don't know if it's good or not.
Actually, they are smart enough to have an adapter for the current 4/3 lenses. One set of lenses for two body types... that's thinking.

IMO this is an initiative that shows some real inspiration. Pentax can accomplish much of the same by simply giving us a compact body. This is not so hard to do... the digital bodies have been getting bigger and bigger. Simply go back to the beginning and shave off another 30%. Remove SR switch, RAW button and other "conveniences". Bye-bye top panel. Keep depth needed for lens registration, keep same sensor and k-mount. No major innovation needed at all... just the will to release a Pentax Limited as an alternative to larger SLRs and even as a rangefinder replacement.

The cost saved on all those components goes into a metal body.

Another key advantage: higher quality APS-C sensor equates to a wider field of view than on 4/3 system. Which is what street photogs want. Snap on a 15mm Limited and go shooting!

With more development the mirror could be ditched and a proper swivel LCD put on the back. Imagine being able to shoot from the waist with full ability to compose the frame? Great for candids... which is a big amateur market.

Plus it would make a great second body for almost any pro shooter.

Me wants.

But instead we'll get an entry-level camera with too many bells and whistles... made for newbies not pros.
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