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09-25-2008, 10:13 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
... to make a DSLR camera, you need to have either means of production, or outsourcing capabilities of the most important part of a camera

that being the digital sensor!

Pentax does not make digital sensors

Pentax can either outsource Sony sensors, like they did in the past.

or

Pentax can turn to samsung and request that they make a MF sensor.
What's wrong with outsourcing? Leica outsourced the sensor for the new S2 from Kodak. They didn't seem to be bothered that Kodak also makes sensors for competing products. Pentax can take the same approach. Just because their APS-C sensor comes from Samsung doesn't mean a FF or MF sensor has too also. Unless they have an exclusive agreement with Samsung.

QuoteQuote:
Asking Samsung to create an entire production line for digital sensor development is ludicrous. The ROI is simply not there. They are not building paper clips here, creating a FF or even a MF sensor that is fault free is NOT AN EASY TASK
What do you mean the ROI is not there? Ludicrous? Samsung is not going to give away any sensor they make. Pentax will pay, and it is Pentax's ROI issue for the camera with said sensor. Leica went to Kodak for the S2 sensor. I hardly think it was a losing transaction for Kodak. So why can't Pentax follow suite?

QuoteQuote:
Pentax users are known for how cheap they are, we are used to paying bargain prices for premium quality, unfortunetly, this will not be the case with a MF or FF camera if you want Pentax to make it, so unless everyone here is willing to pay 3000 grand for a new unit, at the very least, i would try to end all of these silly pipe dreams.
Why is this so silly? Pentax users who do not want to spend lots of money will continue to buy and support the more inexpensive models like the K200D/Km. I wouldn't even suggest that this group of consumers would consider a FF/MF Pentax.

But for those that want to dabble with larger format cameras, a Pentax MF digital, even if in the $8-10K range, would be much more palpable, than the lofty prices for Hasselblad or Phase One. And those that are pro and make a pro living, as you point out, have already moved to the lofty priced systems.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Pentax developer a MF system that directly competes with the likes of Hasselblad, either in terms of target market or pricing. If you look at the Leica S2, it is going after a niche that not one other camera manufacturer is filling. Bravo Leica! Can Pentax find a new niche too?

Arthur

09-25-2008, 10:39 PM   #47
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The last rumors from Photokina:
1. Close to PMA we will see top APS-C camera (1/8000, higher fps) based on K20D.
2. 645D will be launched on spring 2009.
3. No FF in the near future.

small and top APS-C and digital MF.

4. Samsung can develop FF camera.
09-25-2008, 10:58 PM   #48
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Looking for insight

I am looking for some insight here…

We all have seen the posts about folk yearning for a FF and/or MF Pentax. And then a small company called Leica drops the S2 bomb at the Photokina show. For those not familiar, there is lots of coverage at www.1001noisycameras.com/2008/09/as-the-leica-wo.html

So here is my riddle:

If you look at Pentax’s financial results for 2007 (see www.pentax.co.jp/english/news/announce/20071029-02.pdf – page 7), they reported Sales of 157,344 million yen, or about US$1.5 billion. And Net Income of 3,570 million yen, or about US$34 million.

If you look at Leica’s financial results for 2007 (see www.leica-corporate.com/assets/file/download.php?filename=cp_file_3753.pdf – page 2), they reported Sales of € 156,238,000, or about US$135 million. And Net Income of € 3,042,000, or about US$4.4 million.

Are you following me so far? So Pentax has sales that are 11 times more than Leica! And this is what I don’t get.

How can a relatively small company like Leica come to market with the new S2, with a sensor 56% larger than FF, with dual shutters, and 9 new lenses? Why can’t Pentax, with all it's resources and money, also wow us with something amazing? Can you imagine how many of us would faint if Pentax announced 9 new DA* lenses on one day? Plus a FF/MF body? (I can see it now, Adam looking at PentaxForums site visits drop to zero as forum users around the world pass out from the news... )

So what am I missing?

Arthur
09-25-2008, 11:32 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
I am looking for some insight here…

We all have seen the posts about folk yearning for a FF and/or MF Pentax. And then a small company called Leica drops the S2 bomb at the Photokina show. For those not familiar, there is lots of coverage at www.1001noisycameras.com/2008/09/as-the-leica-wo.html

So here is my riddle:

If you look at Pentax’s financial results for 2007 (see www.pentax.co.jp/english/news/announce/20071029-02.pdf – page 7), they reported Sales of 157,344 million yen, or about US$1.5 billion. And Net Income of 3,570 million yen, or about US$34 million.

If you look at Leica’s financial results for 2007 (see www.leica-corporate.com/assets/file/download.php?filename=cp_file_3753.pdf – page 2), they reported Sales of € 156,238,000, or about US$135 million. And Net Income of € 3,042,000, or about US$4.4 million.

Are you following me so far? So Pentax has sales that are 11 times more than Leica! And this is what I don’t get.

How can a relatively small company like Leica come to market with the new S2, with a sensor 56% larger than FF, with dual shutters, and 9 new lenses? Why can’t Pentax, with all it's resources and money, also wow us with something amazing? Can you imagine how many of us would faint if Pentax announced 9 new DA* lenses on one day? Plus a FF/MF body? (I can see it now, Adam looking at PentaxForums site visits drop to zero as forum users around the world pass out from the news... )

So what am I missing?

Arthur
That's one side of the equation, and a legitimate one. The other side of that is if it's worth it to do so. I don't know much about digital MF but digital 135 is a very small percentage of the DSLR market. I heard it's about 2% of the total DSLR sales. Seems about right with the recent sales figures out of Japan. With the release of the Canon 5Dll there has to be real doubt as to wether Sony will survive the FF market. There's a good chance the A900 may be dead in the water before they even get the door open. A lot of things can be done but is it worth it to do so.

09-26-2008, 01:39 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
How can a relatively small company like Leica come to market with the new S2, with a sensor 56% larger than FF, with dual shutters, and 9 new lenses? Why can’t Pentax, with all it's resources and money, also wow us with something amazing? Can you imagine how many of us would faint if Pentax announced 9 new DA* lenses on one day? Plus a FF/MF body? (I can see it now, Adam looking at PentaxForums site visits drop to zero as forum users around the world pass out from the news... )

So what am I missing?

Arthur
Here's my own personal view on things.

Leica: They really needed to make a splash. They're not the kind of company who caters to most photography hobbyists. Their prime market are the working professionals and enthusiasts who have lots of money to burn. And even then, not all working professionals would pick Leica, seeing as most of them would rather have a Canon or Nikon system.

I believe Leica has gone through numerous restructuring, due to declining profits over the years. I even think that their partnership with Panasonic is a necessary one for them to stay afloat.

They needed the S2 because they might have run out of items to sell their small client base, who might not have grown much over the past few years and may have bought all the M and R lenses they want.

Pentax: Hoya's not in the same mindset as Leica. They're okay with much lesser profit margins than Leica, as long as they could move lots of units to compensate for that, hence the K-m and the continuation of the DA Limiteds (relatively cheap for what they are). They're geared to get market share to rake in more profits (not necessarily being number 1 or 2), and if it means servicing the lower end first, which is where all the money is as of the moment, they'll make their presence there first.

There's no doubt that with all of the money at Hoya's disposal, they could create a digital LX, or finish the 645D, updated, and released as a competing offering to the S2. They have a choice with sensor makers, too. Sony, Kodak, Fuji, Cypress, and, of course, Samsung are all capable.

As to why they won't do it just yet, well, it might be because they currently don't have the factories to keep churning out different bodies. As it is, they have 3 bodies to keep in the market. It's the same with lenses. They must be at full production capacity with DA lenses as of now, with the 60-250 and 55, along with the DA-Ls which needs a lot of production runs if they intend to score a lot with the K-m.

As others have noticed, Pentax hasn't totally left the MF market, as they're still selling new 645 lenses. But for Pentax to jump in the digital MF game now, well, they might be shooting themselves in the foot if they can't keep up with making items available to stores the world over.

In any case, the market is still there come next year. With digital MF choices limited to expensive machines, there is still room for a digital MF equivalent to the legendary 300D.

For now, I think Hoya's doing a good job with introducing new people to the brand and keeping existing users happy by filling in gaps in the system. Brand recognition is very much important, and the K-m will do its part to help make Pentax a household name.

Once the user base is big enough, the pro-level body will be there.
09-26-2008, 02:29 AM   #51
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Two tries for answering a couple points which have brought to my attention in this thread:

About Leica being a small company and launching a new system:

You've got a point indeed but there's another issue: Leica knows perfectly well that some people (call them crazy if you want) *will* buy into this system because they *want* Leica and nothing else (which is understandable Leica being what it is) and Leica had never ever had bigger than 24x36 sensors/film before. Leica is the one who brought 135 film to photography after all.

Leica knows as well that since the begin a new system, they do not have to compromise on compatibility. They can engineer the system as the ywant from the ground up. Which is a strength (from this point of view).

If Pentax introduces a 645D not compatible with previous 645 offering, you can throw it into the dustbin right away. Pentax *has* o take care of compatibility. Leica doesn't care at all.

About sensors from different companies

There are a couple things to consider:
* Sony had and still has a couple or exclusivity deals with some companies. Pentax always had been late on the market with latest sensors from Sony because Nikon could use those sensors exclusively (as well as Sony when they bought Minolta) before others. In this is case, Sony is a supplier but only for middle-end/low-end sensors. Pentax simply will not have access to top end sensors.

*Pentax may have a contract with Samsung forbiding them to source high end sensors from another supplier or simply it would not be interesting to "degrade the relationship" between Samsung and Pentax by chosing another supplier.

* Fuji/Panasonic may have exclusivity deals with other companies as well or may simply not want to develop sensors for a different market they are in at this time (cost of development, ROI etc.)

This is all quite complex and very subject to speculations (most of what Iwrote *are* speculations except the exclusivity deal between Nikon and Sony).

Life/Business isn't an easy thing...
09-26-2008, 03:45 AM   #52
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Raise your hand if you have the money or the justification for your photography needs to spend $30,000 on a camera body?

Another question, what real difference does it make to anyone (except the extreme niche market) whether or not Pentax releases a competitive body, or even the 645D for that matter?

Jason
09-26-2008, 03:54 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Raise your hand if you have the money or the justification for your photography needs to spend $30,000 on a camera body?
Probably nobody here, but agencies, ads agencies etc will defenitely.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Another question, what real difference does it make to anyone (except the extreme niche market) whether or not Pentax releases a competitive body, or even the 645D for that matter?
I don't care too much but a lot people will be reassured by the fact that there is an upgrade path.
As for 645D, they are know in MF market, not going to digital MF they would:

* lose customers (yes some would go back to 645D from Canikon)

* lose reputation

09-26-2008, 06:54 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
i dont get you people...

to make a DSLR camera, you need to have either means of production, or outsourcing capabilities of the most important part of a camera

that being the digital sensor!

Pentax does not make digital sensors

Pentax can either outsource Sony sensors, like they did in the past.

or

Pentax can turn to samsung and request that they make a MF sensor.

Using sensors that are used in Nikon cameras will be futile, cuz then you just get a Nikon without the burst shooting and fast(er) AF

Asking Samsung to create an entire production line for digital sensor development is ludicrous. The ROI is simply not there. They are not building paper clips here, creating a FF or even a MF sensor that is fault free is NOT AN EASY TASK

there is a reason why current digital medium format cameras cost so much.

there is a reason why a Canon 1D is so much cheaper than a 1D's.


Pentax users are known for how cheap they are, we are used to paying bargain prices for premium quality, unfortunetly, this will not be the case with a MF or FF camera if you want Pentax to make it, so unless everyone here is willing to pay 3000 grand for a new unit, at the very least, i would try to end all of these silly pipe dreams.
I am just wondering where $3000 came from. I hear people saying the same mantra over and over.
Street price for Canon 5D is $1900 in US
09-26-2008, 07:32 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by awo425 Quote
I am just wondering where $3000 came from. I hear people saying the same mantra over and over.
Street price for Canon 5D is $1900 in US

Most probably referring to the current and new 5D Mk2 at a suggested retail of $3k

If you can find a 5d for less than $2200, that's a good deal.

Jason
09-26-2008, 07:35 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Raise your hand if you have the money or the justification for your photography needs to spend $30,000 on a camera body?

Another question, what real difference does it make to anyone (except the extreme niche market) whether or not Pentax releases a competitive body, or even the 645D for that matter?

Jason

Of course most of this is entertainment! People discuss Angelina Jolie and Hollywood box-office all the time... how many of them are Hollywood producers or are sleeping with Angelina?

Anyway, I like the original 645, and respect what it did in the market.

I know that a similar 645D would do the following for someone like me (an aspiring amateur who wants to shoot the occasional job for friends):

A 645D would be cheaper to rent, because it was cheaper for the rental house to buy.

It will one day be cheaper to buy on the used market, because the original price will be lower.

If I pick up a used 645 system, then the 645D becomes even more attractive to rent and use for important jobs.


As to rent vs. own, I bet >90% of the wedding and portrait market owns their gear. Renting something weekend after weekend after weekend gets pretty expensive. You rent the primo gear you can't afford and don't use every day.
09-26-2008, 07:42 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
For now, I think Hoya's doing a good job with introducing new people to the brand and keeping existing users happy by filling in gaps in the system. Brand recognition is very much important, and the K-m will do its part to help make Pentax a household name.
And perhaps this is why we don't see Pentax rush to market with FF/MF bodies -- they are trying to build greater momentum in the "bread & butter" market segments, and gain brand recognition with *new* consumers. Many of us (but not all) who've used Pentax equipment for decades would jump to buy a FF/MF body. But what good does this do Pentax if the new younger customer base hasn't yet learned about the Pentax appeal? Just because a product is good, if there is no brand recognition, they may not come.

QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Leica knows as well that since the begin a new system, they do not have to compromise on compatibility. They can engineer the system as the ywant from the ground up. Which is a strength (from this point of view).

If Pentax introduces a 645D not compatible with previous 645 offering, you can throw it into the dustbin right away. Pentax *has* o take care of compatibility.
This is a really good point, that the Leica S2 fills a product space that they didn't occupy before, so compatibility issues are non-existent, and starting from ground up allows them all the latitude to come up with a "wow" product. Pentax has done well to take care of us and ensure that our older 135 lenses are still compatible with new digital bodies. So certainly they will want to do the same in order to support all those folk with older MF lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
There's no doubt that with all of the money at Hoya's disposal, they could create a digital LX, or finish the 645D, updated, and released as a competing offering to the S2. They have a choice with sensor makers, too. Sony, Kodak, Fuji, Cypress, and, of course, Samsung are all capable.

As to why they won't do it just yet, well, it might be...
You are right, we can only speculate. Too bad they haven't published a "body roadmap" to whet our appetite...

Thanks to vinzer and thibs for your insights!

Arthur
09-26-2008, 08:07 AM   #58
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About 645 body-lenses and stuff:

To say that Pentax is already producing 645 lenses and there is no immediate need of designing-releasing new ones is as naive as thinking that you are going to meet Brad Pitt and that he is going to hand Angelina Jolie over. Then you will think, oh this is awesome, since she already has dresses and jewells etc I dont have to buy her anything...

Disclaimer: this example treat Angelina Jolie as a passive object. I just posted it as an example, I dont think that women (or Angelina Jolie) should be considered in this way. High doses of Angelinas, or MF dreams can result in dizziness and cardiac arrest, please, consult your doctor if you have erec**ons lasting longer than 4 hours.
09-26-2008, 08:17 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
well... i'm not saying everyone should rent, but it certainly is a viable business model, depending on your needs.
Only in very large urban markets where there is an economy of scale. You are effectively renting to users who already have their equipment knowledge "dialled in", and that's precious few bodies and a miniscule number of people. MF flourished in a certain photographic age, but there is a dearth of new users with the knowledge, either pro or hobbyist. Then, there is the problem of there often only being a single rental agency, and with it a market lock and resulting diminished product sales. So the rental margins go way up and the price per shoot correspondingly travels north.

I've seen this in other industries where the lease or rental model actually costs far more $$$ to the user than capitalizing the items in-house. Suffice it to say that the Mamiya's, Hasselblad's and Leica's want as few rentals as possible. They need end and through sales. The market for MF cameras is tiny—measured in the low tens of thousands per year worldwide. Leica is in deep financial trouble and they've put out yet another high end, limited market camera with an exorbitant price tag for a tiny market, where they are competing against very established players with better business models, like Hasselblad. Their new system will certainly not grow the market (not at those price points), but must take huge market share from the other players in order to survive.

The S2 will make or break Leica. Speculation is the owner is draining his personal and family fortune over his photographic "hobby". Most industry pundits believe that Leica can only survive by leveraging its lenses onto a much less expensive body, taking advantage of the RF and name cachet. They did not do that. For those who know of Leica's financial woes, this is not a system to buy into if the security of one's tools-of-the-trade are paramount. Leica has the unique ability to make people drool and then price them out of the product line completely.

So, yes, there is room for Pentax on the MF front because of the installed base, crossover technology, and the better price points. In fact, now is the time to go because a competitor has just entered at the extreme high end, making anything with less cost look good by comparison.

Last edited by Aristophanes; 09-26-2008 at 08:30 AM. Reason: typos
09-26-2008, 08:40 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
also, having seen the rise and fall of the K20D hype, and the aftermath, with people STILL complaining that 1000 dollar for this amazing piece of technology is "too much", i will take your statement with a grain of salt, and still assume that MANY people will bitch and moan about such a "high" price tag, and in the end, very few people will actualy own this peice of machinery.
I actually agree with everything you've said except this bit. Witht he D90 at $99 the K20D looks about $200 over priced.
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