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05-08-2017, 03:02 PM   #391
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^^ There is a crossover volume where the cost of capital is less than the cost of people, per Unit. We don't know, but I can surmise, whether Ricoh projects enough volume to justify the capital expense for cameras.

As I wrote elsewhere, 360o vision is critical to the next iteration of automotive automation. High volume, automated assembly techniques will make sense extending Theta patents there.

05-08-2017, 04:00 PM   #392
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
..to describe what Pentax went through a few years ago and introduced the Q-mount, which is much more like the EF-mount than like the K-mount. ..
That is called a parallel sheet.

---------- Post added 05-09-2017 at 09:05 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by camyum Quote

All that makes me think that Uluru is somehow on the right path, when he says we need both worlds.
I would absolutely be the first in line to buy the next Full-Frame PENTAX which offers the best advantages of both worlds in one camera.
.
More options means better genetic pool of existing solutions, therefore healthier, more robust options for the future.
Limiting genetic pool means retardation.
05-08-2017, 04:16 PM   #393
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
That is called a parallel sheet.
You appear to know very little about one of those two mounts - or perhaps about either of them.

Until the KAF4 variant was introduced this year, the K-mount was heavily dependent on mechanical linkages - a legacy of how it developed.

The Q-mount, which was introduced in 2011, six years ago, reminds me greatly of Canon's EF-mount; unlike the K-mount, there is absolutely no mechanical linkage between body and lens. Development of Q-mount clearly had no dependency on Pentax's previous experience with M42-mount and K-mount lenses. This is what I mean when I talk about a "clean sheet" - no obvious dependence or reference to what you have done before. And when I talk that way about a new MILC camera, that is exactly what I have in mind, designing the camera from requirements without any reference to the K-mount line. I believe taking the innards of the K-70 as the first cut would be a good step, but only if they didn't have to drag any of the old K-mount stuff behind.
05-08-2017, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #394
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
..Roger Cicala's teardown of a Sony A7[/URL] series camera and his conclusion: "The completely disassembled Sony A7R consists of about a dozen major pieces, held together with 29 screws of just three different sizes. A typical DSLR has around 120 screws of 11 different sizes ... how much cheaper it must be to make this camera, than to make a DSLR.".
Ricoh Imaging can do DSLRs quite cheaply. It's not how DLRS appear complex to users, but how the process is worked out. Human brain is very complex — imagine how much cheaper would it be for nature to produce nuts only, or bird's brains? But it dares to produce more complex machinery.

Complexity is oftentimes needed to achieve a certain feature that makes all the difference, and from there, new achievements. Say, Pentax team totally reinvented the way mirror works. Or how the FF sensor shifts. That knowledge is very valuable to solve something else. So some healthy complexity must remain.

And that is Mr Cicala's problem, he laments about the inadequacies of his skills and equipment. Many mechanics too lament they can't repair modern cars anymore, "Computer's control gone, must go to the manufacturer's". Or the brake assembly is too complicated, requires special skills. But that extra complexity in brake control system helps save more lives, for example. Etc.

Mr Cicala can repair an old SLR perhaps, but can't repair a DSLR, nor a mirrorless anymore. Nor Sony's E-mount zoom. Mirrorless may look simpler for him to disassemble, and waste less time, but looks simpler because it is mostly a computer with ever reduced number of circuitry.

Similarly, IT technicians complain today about iPads, MacBook Pros, smartphones, etc. Not expandable, can't really repair them, can't prolong their life — although they are simpler than traditional computers with CD drives, hard disks, keyboards etc.

So we have two trends — (A) complexity, and (B) unfixable simplicity.

If one wishes to find a limes of the trend (B), (lim f(x)) it seems it goes towards irreplaceability and automatic end of life when the manufacturer goes bust or leaves the arena. Because only the manufacturer can issue a new device instead, and offer support for third party additions.

That is the major reason I am reluctant to spend any money on any camera and lens with a purely electronic mirrorless mount. I support only Leica's M because it was analog, and I am very interested to keep supporting the K-mount for the same reason. Because I cannot ignore that limes above — I would be a fool to ignore it when the rest of the industry fortifies into it.

My only ideal mirrorless camera is therefore a fixed lens mirrorless camera, because I am prepared to the fact that it may be broken and never replaced. If Leica stops doing their X line, Panasonic may have something with a fixed lens. Or if Panasonic stops doing them, Ricoh may still have the GR. Etc. There is a high probability that one manufacturer will always be there that offers a fixed lens mirrorless camera. But if Canon leaves EOS M, or Fuji leaves X, no other manufacturer will support them and issue new cameras for those mounts, nor provide third party support instead of them.


Last edited by Uluru; 05-08-2017 at 04:44 PM.
05-08-2017, 05:01 PM   #395
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
If you had my comment in mind, viewfinder type isn't the issue. The matter here is clever design which takes a big step towards the camera of no moving parts, one which can be produced economically on a modern automated production line. The argument is that a DSLR is a design from a previous era which isn't nearly so suitable for such treatment. It is therefore more difficult and more expensive to produce. Tolerances and precise alignments become an issue with the DSLR. It is this kind of contrast which points the way to the future, in my view. I doubt Sony have ease of repair in mind as one of their design goals. They are not exactly famous for their customer service when it comes to repairing anything. Nor does the production technique guarantee decent build quality. Look at Sony's ambiguous position with regard to WR. The smart folks to look at here are likely Canon, not Sony. A tear down of an EOS M5 could be revealing.

In fact Ricoh do have an opportunity to do something similar themselves. They have written down the value of their old compact camera plant and say they intend to repurpose it towards camera equipment for industry, automobiles, etc. They have therefore created an opportunity to install the most advanced automated production facilities for their new, industry-facing camera operation.
OK, I read it as more limited in scope than you obviously intended. We aren't a million miles apart, then.
05-09-2017, 12:11 AM   #396
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Development of Q-mount clearly had no dependency on Pentax's previous experience with M42-mount and K-mount lenses. This is what I mean when I talk about a "clean sheet" - no obvious dependence or reference to what you have done before.
It surely had, just like the EF mount was built based on previous experience. Modern iterations of a product are based on the previous models

What you're talking about is backward compatibility rather than previous experience. A new MILC mount which doesn't have to be backward compatible with anything - it can be fully electric, it can be short registration, it can have a larger diameter.
The problem is changing the mechanical specifications.
05-09-2017, 03:01 AM   #397
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I think the whole goal of mirrorless/EVF technology from the companies making them is to create a camera that can be produced more cheaply than SLRs and thereby generate more profit. Somehow it hasn't turned out that way to this point. Sony's cheap APS-C cameras are priced pretty similarly to Canon and Nikon's cheap APS-C SLRs and the same with the expensive stuff. Maybe Sony is rolling in profit, but it hasn't showed on their bottom line yet.

From a photographer's standpoint, there is less difference than there is sameness between mirrorless and SLR models. Both have the same modes of operation, both have similar features, and both actually end up being similarly sized when you use anything but a wide angle prime. I think we need to understand also that if Pentax releases a me-too product -- basically a Sony mirrorless knock off, but maybe with slightly worse EVF and performance -- it wouldn't sell much. Tech hasn't been Pentax's forte over the years and that is what mirrorless cameras are all about.

Personally, I would like to see a K-02 -- keeping the k mount, but including more recent technology -- a full frame sensor, PDAF on the sensor, EVF, etc. It could be the perfect complement to the FA limiteds.
05-09-2017, 03:23 AM   #398
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think the whole goal of mirrorless/EVF technology from the companies making them is to create a camera that can be produced more cheaply than SLRs and thereby generate more profit. Somehow it hasn't turned out that way to this point. Sony's cheap APS-C cameras are priced pretty similarly to Canon and Nikon's cheap APS-C SLRs and the same with the expensive stuff. Maybe Sony is rolling in profit, but it hasn't showed on their bottom line yet.
The latest is that Sony camera sales dropped from 6.1 million to 4.2 million. Next year the forecast is to fall again to 3.8 million.

Source: https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/library/fr/16q4_sonyspeech.pdf

05-09-2017, 03:42 AM   #399
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Ricoh Imaging can do DSLRs quite cheaply. It's not how DLRS appear complex to users, but how the process is worked out. Human brain is very complex — imagine how much cheaper would it be for nature to produce nuts only, or bird's brains? But it dares to produce more complex machinery.

Complexity is oftentimes needed to achieve a certain feature that makes all the difference, and from there, new achievements. Say, Pentax team totally reinvented the way mirror works. Or how the FF sensor shifts. That knowledge is very valuable to solve something else. So some healthy complexity must remain.

And that is Mr Cicala's problem, he laments about the inadequacies of his skills and equipment. Many mechanics too lament they can't repair modern cars anymore, "Computer's control gone, must go to the manufacturer's". Or the brake assembly is too complicated, requires special skills. But that extra complexity in brake control system helps save more lives, for example. Etc.

Mr Cicala can repair an old SLR perhaps, but can't repair a DSLR, nor a mirrorless anymore. Nor Sony's E-mount zoom. Mirrorless may look simpler for him to disassemble, and waste less time, but looks simpler because it is mostly a computer with ever reduced number of circuitry.

Similarly, IT technicians complain today about iPads, MacBook Pros, smartphones, etc. Not expandable, can't really repair them, can't prolong their life — although they are simpler than traditional computers with CD drives, hard disks, keyboards etc.

So we have two trends — (A) complexity, and (B) unfixable simplicity.

If one wishes to find a limes of the trend (B), (lim f(x)) it seems it goes towards irreplaceability and automatic end of life when the manufacturer goes bust or leaves the arena. Because only the manufacturer can issue a new device instead, and offer support for third party additions.

That is the major reason I am reluctant to spend any money on any camera and lens with a purely electronic mirrorless mount. I support only Leica's M because it was analog, and I am very interested to keep supporting the K-mount for the same reason. Because I cannot ignore that limes above — I would be a fool to ignore it when the rest of the industry fortifies into it.

My only ideal mirrorless camera is therefore a fixed lens mirrorless camera, because I am prepared to the fact that it may be broken and never replaced. If Leica stops doing their X line, Panasonic may have something with a fixed lens. Or if Panasonic stops doing them, Ricoh may still have the GR. Etc. There is a high probability that one manufacturer will always be there that offers a fixed lens mirrorless camera. But if Canon leaves EOS M, or Fuji leaves X, no other manufacturer will support them and issue new cameras for those mounts, nor provide third party support instead of them.
Ah, I see where you are coming from. In part, I agree. The trend is towards monopoly rents where the originating company controls the whole show so totally that the customer has no freedom of action at all, even when it comes to repairs. In this scenario the customer isn't really buying anything though they may think they are. They are renting it, in effect. Every few years their purchase will fail or become obsolete or unrepairable, by design, and they will be forced to "rent" a new unit for another few years. All consumer electronics tends to this direction and much else. I think it is fair enough if you know what the game is. A camera body has maybe 5 years, a lens maybe 10 years with typical use - don't expect much more. After that, repairs outweigh residual value anyway.

In a similar position, I would probably stay with quality film cameras - 35mm and MF - and put the savings on equipment into film development costs and digitizing negatives. I guess Photoshop remains the killer app which links the two worlds, analogue and digital. Looking around, it's clear that plenty of folks are doing exactly this including our future: young artists. All very encouraging, imho.
05-09-2017, 06:05 AM   #400
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There's nothing wrong with product complexity if that complexity delivers some functionality or performance that a sufficient number of customers want and are willing to pay for.

The price points for low-end DSLRs prove that camera makers can build all that moving mechanical complexity for about a couple hundred dollars (plus a couple hundred dollars for the rest of the body, sensor, battery, displays, controls, etc. required for the non-DSLR parts of the camera).

Imagine a Pentax camera body with the A9's sensor, electronics, and EVF inside a body that also had an OVF. Wouldn't a sufficient number of people pay a couple hundred more for an OVF/EVF version that can switch between DSLR and MILC modes? Rather than make a me-too MILC at extremely high investment cost of developing a new system, Pentax would do better to create something different (at far lower R&D costs) that delivers functionality that Sony cannot deliver.
05-09-2017, 06:23 AM   #401
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All right, I'm imagining this 4500 euro camera; I'm good at imagining things. Now I'm imagining it costing 5000 euro, as it would include a hybrid OVF/EVF viewfinder system ("pay a couple hundred more").
What if... this would compromise both the EVF and OVF? I can't help but think to Sony's lame Quick AF Live View from the A350.
05-09-2017, 06:24 AM   #402
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At this point in time,the stacked sensor isn't for sale.That maybe the case in the future too.

Imagine all you like ,the reality is $$$$ony holds the aces.
05-09-2017, 06:35 AM - 2 Likes   #403
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Personally, I would like to see a K-02 -- keeping the k mount, but including more recent technology -- a full frame sensor, PDAF on the sensor, EVF, etc. It could be the perfect complement to the FA limiteds.
Hey, get in line bud. I was here first.

I've got an FA 31 and 43 waiting for this unicorn...
05-09-2017, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #404
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: I liked my K-01. I enjoyed it's brick-like appearance and simplified control interface. It had two fatal flaws: slow autofocus (even after firmware updates) and a rear LCD that was impossible to use in bright sunlight. Both issues are easily dealt with using current technology. So I say bring on the K-02.
05-09-2017, 07:31 AM - 2 Likes   #405
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
It surely had, just like the EF mount was built based on previous experience. Modern iterations of a product are based on the previous models

What you're talking about is backward compatibility rather than previous experience. A new MILC mount which doesn't have to be backward compatible with anything - it can be fully electric, it can be short registration, it can have a larger diameter.
The problem is changing the mechanical specifications.
The three reasons that K-mount backward compatibility matters are lenses, lenses and lenses.
  1. You don't want to obsolete your substantial existing inventory of K-mount lenses
  2. Your current customers don't want you to obsolete their substantial existing inventory of K-mount lenses.
  3. Your capital allocation decision makers don't want you to commit the firm to development of a catalog of lenses that obsoletes your substantial existing inventory of K-mount lenses tools and your K-mount lenses knowledge base
That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it - but there are strong headwinds . . . .

Last edited by monochrome; 05-09-2017 at 08:32 AM.
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