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09-26-2008, 09:19 AM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
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.
Exactly right.

09-26-2008, 09:46 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
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.
First off i never said outsourcing was bad, outsourcing as a concept is very good, much akin to renting, but as everything in life this has to be looked at case by case.

Pentax scavenging parts from other companies is not going to make it a better camera, you can fume over feature set all you want, but i doubt that it will steal away people who already have FF/MF cameras of other manufactuers, and if it does attract new customers, its not going to be many. Pentax does not have a large market share, and its not going to grow overnight no matter how crazy their new product will be


QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
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?
i find it humorous that you try to exhibit such shock and awe at my stamens, seriously, i havent said anything provoking.

ofcourse samsung is not going to GIVE away their sensors, way to go captain obvious. But samsung is going to have to DESIGN one, mass produce one, and make sure that there are no quality control issues.

again you (and others) seem to be forgetting what a tedious process digital sensor creation is, and that the larger the sensor, the greater chance of a defect during the manufacturing stage, this is a fact, and this is why large sensors cost alot of money.

if pentax follows suit, which they can, by all means, where, i ask you, are they going to make their margins from?






QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
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.
so who is left then? and how many of them? think about that, think about that real hard.

QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
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.
so you HAVE read my other posts, okay, let me reitterate

so who is left then? how many of them? who is going to pick up these new mid-priced MF systems?

QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
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
Pentax had a good thing going until.. something happened, they dropped out. Pentax doesnt need a niche market, Pentax already has good bodies, and good lenses. What Pentax lacks is the advertising to get their products into the hands of "professionals" (for entertainment see my "what is a professional" thread and start selling more units.

Hoya is already planning on pumping money into Pentax SLR department (contrary to the high cries of Rice High), but the foundation for a full attack into the MF and FF world is not there, not yet.

I have no doubt that pentax will one day branch off and become a stronger competitor, but its not going to happen by the end of September, and i do not share the optimistic predictions of other members that 2009 is the magic year.
09-26-2008, 10:48 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
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.
I agree with the first part 100%...Leica knows they will have people buying their products, if for nothing more than the name. Heck, I bought a $5 Leica film P&S at a thrift shop. I'm a Leica Owner

The second part...not so sure of. With the Nikon D90 and Canon 5D2 out at the same time (yes, I know different demographics but both with video capacities), it's more of a "me too" thing rather than "look at this"...not sure how many Canon users Nikon will take with a mid-level body or vise versa.

IMO Pentax should wait for the hype to die down a little, then bring it big time. 9 new lenses at once for Leica? That's the kind of announcement Pentax needs.
QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
Hoya is already planning on pumping money into Pentax SLR department (contrary to the high cries of Rice High), but the foundation for a full attack into the MF and FF world is not there, not yet.

I have no doubt that pentax will one day branch off and become a stronger competitor, but its not going to happen by the end of September, and i do not share the optimistic predictions of other members that 2009 is the magic year.
That's all there is to it. Nooooooo way they can make MedFormat happen in what...6 months? Unless they've kept everything under wraps for the last couple years, without a single leak...then I could see it.

So far everyone predicting 645 at the Photokina has been wrong, so who really knows?
09-26-2008, 11:23 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
so who is left then? how many of them? who is going to pick up these new mid-priced MF systems?
Are you saying that no one is left to buy a FF/MF system because based on Pentax's current marketing, and their small market share, they just won't attract the sales needed to sustain let alone justify a FF/MF camera? In other words, Pentax knows they are small, and knows they need to build loyalty (with new customers who are new to Pentax) and build sales volumes before expanding in a "full attack into the MF and FF world"?

I guess it goes back to the original topic of this thread: Leica opens a door for Pentax. Perhaps Leica never had to open it -- Pentax can always open it on their own. But in Leica doing so reminded everyone of what is possible from the underdog. So Pentax will march to its own drummer. And as Aristophanes comments:

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The S2 will make or break Leica.
Speaking of quotes, your comment below is really well put!

QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
Pentax had a good thing going until.. something happened, they dropped out.


09-26-2008, 11:34 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by WaterDog Quote
In other words, Pentax knows they are small, and knows they need to build loyalty (with new customers who are new to Pentax) and build sales volumes before expanding in a "full attack into the MF and FF world"?
!
i dont thinks its a matter of loyalty, its simply a matter of straight up advertising and product identification.

get a guy photographing the olympic games with a pentax, get a picture of him, put that picture in magazines

get people to properly test the camera, DPreview reviews jpeg output only... no ****ing wonder the pentax models dont rank so highly, our jpeg outputs are only good when you tweak them, not straight out of box, they are so lazy at DPR, they want a magic camera, swear to god...

anyway
09-26-2008, 12:28 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
The announcement of Leica's new S2 camera LEICA Camera AG - Aktuell has been received enthusiastically by many pundits.

Everyone seems amazed that you can make a camera with a sensor bigger than 35mm "full frame." They also seem accepting of Leica's platinum-plated price tag.
Building a medium format camera is nothing amazing. Mamiya did it a few years ago with the ZD.

QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
The S2 is being called a "medium format" camera. If it were film, you'd call it a "345" -- the sensor is 3cm x 4.5cm.
Yes, and that could be its downfall. Hasselblad has medium format cameras with sensors that are nearly 60mm x 45mm. Hasselblad cameras can theoretically go all the way to 6x6 in sensor size, although most of the time the extra sensor real estate will be thrown away by cropping.

QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
This is a perfect opening for Pentax to move the 645D project ahead. The Pentax 645 has always been the perfect hybird of medium format with 35mm SLR handling. Some say that the Pentax 645D will fail if it's priced at or above the Canikon FF cameras. But Leica have set new rules for digital medium format -- and the price is astronomical.
The 5DMKII just made the 1DSMKIII pretty much obsolete. A replacement camera will probably be 30+ megapixels. That means the 645D will need to be about the same resolution. A 30+ CCD sensor would cost too much for the 645D to be sold below $10,000.

QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
The original Pentax 645 redefined the price/performance ratio for medium format shooters, and took a huge chunk of the fashion/wedding/portrait business. The Pentax 645D can do the same -- medium format digital "for the rest of us" -- working photographers who want results, great lenses, a reliable tool -- and don't care about the Leica name.
The rest of us must be rich enough to pay for a camera in 5 digits.

QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
Sometimes it pays to not be the pioneer. I believe Pentax has made some tough, but good, decisions during the digital transition. They cancelled the MZ-D instead of selling a full-frame DSLR with sensor problems (which killed Contax). They have held back the 645D because the price and market weren't right yet. I hope Pentax/Hoya are watching the S2 very closely, and are rubbing their hands together in anticipation. Now is the time for the Pentax 645D!
The Contax N digital did not have "sensor" problems.

Contax N Digital Review

"The Contax N Digital produces images of outstanding quality that in my tests supersedes any current 6-megapixel SLR and holds up very well against Canon 1Ds and even Kodak DCS Pro Back mounted on Contax 645 body. Partly due to outstanding Carl Zeiss optics and partly to developed by Kyocera thin low-pass filter that eliminates light frequencies that produce image artifacts common in digital images."

The problem seems to be the rather subpar in camera image processing. This is the same problem that plagues the Mamiya ZD and most other medium format digital cameras. Pentax will probably excell in this area since it has proven itself capable of good image processing in its DSLR cameras. What Pentax probably needs is a cheaper sensor to compete with a possible Nikon entry, which would most likely use a Nikon designed CMOS chip.
09-26-2008, 04:40 PM   #67
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So here are my predictions:

Leica will go under (like Contax). It will fall under the Kodak jinx and fail.
The new S2 will be a flop. It's trying to compete with/fill a niche above the Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III. It is too expensive and comes too late to a market that is miniscule in the larger scheme of things. A Hail Mary effort to try to win over a very select group of users who already have many choices at hand.

Leica is banking on name recognition and hoping that it still has enough influence to steer their small existing user base (rangefinder enthusiasts); and the working photographer requiring very high resolution to switch. If one is looking to buy into a high end system, do you make a selection on the basis of brand or what the entire system has to offer (eg. Canon). That's a dilemma for the would-be buyer and a hurdle that Leica has to overcome. It will be the same question if and when Pentax decides to roll out a digital FF or MF.

Pros are smart breed. They will use whatever gear that gets the job done at the cheapest cost. One does not need a prestige product like the Leica to get many assignments done.

As much as we all wish in our heart of hearts that Pentax can come out with a digital 645/67 and conquer the photographic market, the reality is even during the film era, the Pentax medium format cameras never achieved a strong dominance on the market. Pentax was late in the 645 format and sales never supplanted Mamiya and Bronica in a big way. The Pentax MF user base wasn't huge and here's the thing, most medium format working pros I know have already switched to digital a long ago for workflow considerations, buying high end Canons and Nikons or pricy digital MF even. The user base of Pentax medium format film users have dwindled that there really isn't any market for Pentax to cater to with a digital replacement.

Pentax will monitor the sales of the Leica S2 because it will be a barometer whether it will make or break the company and it will also serve as yet another competitor should Pentax do decide to come out with it's version of a high end digital 645. I predict sales for the Leica will be sluggish. No prizes for being second unfortunately.

The demographics of the average Pentax user simply means the vast majority will never hope to buy such a camera or system when it does eventually come out. Personally I'm unsure Pentax can bring the long held value proposition of being the "best bang for the buck" to a FF or MF digital camera. That can only happen when they can sell such a camera in large enough numbers. With sales of Canon and Nikon's top end cameras tapering off, I simply can't that happening.

Last edited by creampuff; 09-26-2008 at 04:46 PM.
09-26-2008, 06:26 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anastigmat Quote
The Contax N digital did not have "sensor" problems.

Sounds like sensor problems to me: (from mir.com)

"Then, the MZ-D (MR-52) became frozen in time, having so appeared only as a phantom cameo hope at its Photokina 2000 new product showing. Advanced Pentax photographers wrote letters to Pentax distributors demanding to know when the camera could be obtained. First there was silence in response, then, just under a year later, came the bad news. The camera would not be released. No reason was first given by Pentax, and an announced Contax DSLR release using the same image sensor took considerable time to actually appear on camera store shelves. Then, using the same Phillips full-frame sensor that Pentax and Phillips were developing for Pentax use, Contax tests showed a legacy of arising sensor hot spots, imaging anomalies, color problems, and electronics dropout with questionable reliability. Some users even reported occasions of electronics burning inside this camera. Yikes!

Phillips could not make these sensors with predictable reliability, nor in then Contax and Pentax projected needed quantities. Costs of unpredictable Quality Control were high for both consumer and manufacturer. There is little public documentation for a year on reasoning behind the Pentax decision not to produce the camera, other than the price would be "too expensive", but the reasons why not now seem obvious."

09-26-2008, 09:47 PM   #69
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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
I think there's the assumption that one's buying a full-frame DSLR from the newly-released bunch.
09-26-2008, 10:15 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
ofcourse samsung is not going to GIVE away their sensors, way to go captain obvious. But samsung is going to have to DESIGN one, mass produce one, and make sure that there are no quality control issues.

again you (and others) seem to be forgetting what a tedious process digital sensor creation is, and that the larger the sensor, the greater chance of a defect during the manufacturing stage, this is a fact, and this is why large sensors cost alot of money.

if pentax follows suit, which they can, by all means, where, i ask you, are they going to make their margins from?
Uh, from lenses?

Profits in DSLRs have always been in lenses and other equipments. No one, especially in the digital MF and FF markets, will buy only a DSLR body and kit lens.

Of course, there's still profit in bodies (and backs) with those markets, but it'll eventually boil down to lenses as time passes.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
so you HAVE read my other posts, okay, let me reitterate

so who is left then? how many of them? who is going to pick up these new mid-priced MF systems?
Pros who have use for an MF system who went for the FF compromise due to higher costs wouldn't hesitate to buy a mid-priced MF system, if it would improve their photography and/or business.

Really, if the 5D hadn't come into fruition still, we'd be looking at FF the same way we're looking at MF DSLRs now.

Price it right, and people will come, even from another mount. I did when I came from Canon (less expensive with SR and ability to use old lenses).

QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
Pentax had a good thing going until.. something happened, they dropped out. Pentax doesnt need a niche market, Pentax already has good bodies, and good lenses. What Pentax lacks is the advertising to get their products into the hands of "professionals" (for entertainment see my "what is a professional" thread and start selling more units.
We can agree on marketing. That will move units left and right.

QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
Hoya is already planning on pumping money into Pentax SLR department (contrary to the high cries of Rice High), but the foundation for a full attack into the MF and FF world is not there, not yet.

I have no doubt that pentax will one day branch off and become a stronger competitor, but its not going to happen by the end of September, and i do not share the optimistic predictions of other members that 2009 is the magic year.
Of course, that's assuming that the whole 645D R&D have been trashed and deleted from hard drives. It's already been done, for the most part. Hoya's probably now trying to update the design and specs in light of the current competition, as well as sourcing/designing a new sensor for it.

A year is a long period of time. Expecting something in 2009 doesn't necessarily mean that a failure to release the 645D in January means that the camera won't come out in 2009 at all.

I like the thought process that Hoya has now (save for the hint that they might produce lenses for other mounts): build momentum and market share (as well as make Pentax a household name) with the K-m, commit to the APS-C format (would help Pentax owners hesitant in buying DA lenses in anticipation of a FF body buy DA lenses), and later on, compete in the MF market, where there's not much competition still.

While looking around for best prices in HK for Pentax lenses, I was surprised to see stores still selling new 645 lenses and accessories (teleconverter, lens adapters, etc.). It seems as if Pentax never left the MF market, which makes it easier for them to release the 645D with not needing to create a full line of MF lenses, which they already have.

It's certainly easier (and possibly much more profitable) than making an FF DSLR (which they probably have no working prototypes to speak of, whatsoever) and creating a whole new FF line of lenses (of which it has been rumored that the last FA lens rolled off the assembly line some time ago).
09-27-2008, 09:07 AM   #71
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Why not just make digital backs for the already existing 645n?
09-27-2008, 11:13 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by turbosaturn Quote
Why not just make digital backs for the already existing 645n?
The reason is that Pentax never used film backs, even on there 6x7, they used film inserts. It's a completely different mechanical set up. It would likely be impossible to digitalize the current 645N.

But this does bring up an interesting point. Would Pentax bring out a closed system 645 or redesign the camera to accept digital backs (and film backs). Here's an interesting article from the LL.

Phase One 645 Camera Review

If they made a 645 with the Mamiya standard it would be a much more versatile system.
09-28-2008, 02:11 AM   #73
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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
just thoughts (may be I'm dead wrong)

as they are smaller and very expensive, the production required is very small. they dont need to make a few hundred thousand kit lens, their lenses and cameras would be made in small numbers (hundreds??). So they dont need lots of production capabilities or lots of stock.

a while back (before hoya) it was mentioned that pentax had more than 20 new lenses designed, but couldn't bring to market because of production capacity and demand would be too high (we have probably seen a number of them in last 12-18 months)

a few comments I have seen around the place (and I dont know if true) is that this may be a do or die effort from leica, if its doesn't work it may be end for leica?

I would think if a pentax 645 did actually get beyond prototype, pentax would need to come out with a similar display of half a dozen lenses for it (old lenses dont make pentax money), but it would never be a huge seller so maybe they would have the capacity to do so, much like leica??

Last edited by philmorley; 09-28-2008 at 02:16 AM.
09-28-2008, 06:15 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by philmorley Quote
I would think if a pentax 645 did actually get beyond prototype, pentax would need to come out with a similar display of half a dozen lenses for it (old lenses dont make pentax money), but it would never be a huge seller so maybe they would have the capacity to do so, much like leica??
I'm still of the mindset that Pentax hasn't left the film MF market still. At least, stores are still selling 645 lenses as new and with full warranty. In any case, it's a simple matter for Pentax to rebadge their old MF lenses if and when they do showcase the 645D. Better for them, too, since the R&D for those lenses have been paid for a long time ago. And yeah, I agree that it doesn't take much production capability to maintain a healthy inventory of MF lenses since it'll be a much more niche market.

Unless Hoya drops the 645D price to compete with FF DSLRs. But that's wishful thinking.
09-28-2008, 10:41 AM   #75
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They haven't come to market wih it yet...

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
they've merely shown a prototype. There can be lots of slips twixt the cup and the lip. And how many will they actually have to produce at $30,000.00+ USD body only? Not a whole lot.

Also, this is a teeny little niche product, by a teeny little niche maker. It's like Porsche coming out with a new car or two; they don't have to service the comparatively large dealer and customer network that Pentax does to keep it's business going. Pentax has to keep making it's existing products as well as add the new ones to stay financially viable. Leica hardly has to build a thing - I think their digicams are all outsourced, so as a manufacturer they only have to worry about a few gold plated M7's with lizard skin a month, and perhaps a smattering of M8's, and a few 24 f=1.4's and such; I don't even know if those are actually made there, or how much of them are. I imagine the electronics are all manufactured elsewhere and shipped to them as modules.

Leica itself is also a bit of an anomaly in the camera world, and I really think they are getting bankrolled by 'daddy' somewhere, just like Hasselblad is/was. To hell with profit, we will make the finest cameras/lenses in the world. It's a legacy/pride/national heritage thing now, and I think the rich guys over there would keep it going regardless. That legacy is too great to disappear.

And I completely agree that this camera will spark a whole new interest in MF, and if Pentax can get in there with a sub $5,000.00 multi-lens format compatible full-frame equivalent, I think they'll be off to the races again. The pros and semi-pros (like me) will jump aboard in droves. I only wish Pentax does what Leica has done here - COPY THE 67 FORM FACTOR FOR EASE OF HANDLING, FAMILIARITY, AND USE!

Nice camera BY Leica, though, and we'll see how great their first implementation of autofocus is. If it ever sees the light of day.

Cheers,
Cameron
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