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12-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #1
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I think the Pentax FF will be announced at Photokina 2010

Sorry about the title. However I have done some homework on it, hear me out.

I recently collected the prcing history of Pentax DSLR bodies in the last few year. (I got them from nextag, camelcamelcamel, and old dpreview posts. Yes its not very accurate but the price change alot near the end of the product cycle. Basically it will give you guys a rough idea where the price is going.)


This gave me a clearer picture of Pentax's release schedule.

As you can see, it's a rough idea so please allow +-$100USD margin of error. And I didn't include some low end bodies because there is no space in the grid.

The "top tier" (or prosumer if you will) body ist D was announced at the end of '03, and the low end body DL was released in late '06. So it took 2 and half years for the 6mp sensor to trickle down to the cheapest low end body. For the 10mp sensor, it took 2 years exactly, K10D came out at Photokina 06 and the K-M/K2000 came out at Photokina 08.

So assuming this is Pentax's way of controlling the production cycles, the 14mp sensor will show up on the low end body 2 year after the K20D, which is early 2010. Obviously the 14mp sensor will show up on the mid-tier body first. And I remember some interview said that the K-M chassis will be shared with other Pentax bodies, then I am guessing a K300 with a 14mp sensor will come out early '09. I don't know if it will have weatherproof since it may base on the K-M body.

As for the next sensor, going from the 6mp-10mp-14mp trend, I am guessing it will be a 18mp sensor, give or take, coming out on the K30. I think it will have a list price closer to K10D than K20D. The K10D had a very reasonable $899 list price and it hardly had any price drop in the first year of its release, unlike the K20D, which droped half of its price quickly. If we don't see a K20D Super in 09, we should see a 18mp K30 coming early 2010.

Now what about the full frame. As you can see from the table, historically, Pentax's top end body, including the MZ-s came out at around $1500-1700 listed. IF Pentax were planning a FF body, it would release one when its prossible and profitable to produce a FF body in that price range.

Pentax also tradionally favor IQ over focusing speed and other pro features. So I think it just make sense. Pentax can spend $1000 to buy a FF sensor from Sony and stuff it in a K200D body and sell it for $1500, it would still be the cheapest FF and lot of people will buy it. The reason Pentax is not doing it is because going with Samsung will save them some money.

So when will the FF bodies drop to the 1500-2000 range. Right now the D700 is 2500. You can get a A900 for slightly higher. Give them two years to drop to the 1500 range is very reasonable. I wouldn't be surpriced if Nikon eventually merge the D200/D300 line with the D700 line. Two years can also give Pentax enough time to position the D20/D30 line to a lower price/market.

Anyway I am saving money for a 2010 FF body. Pentax or an used D700.

12-30-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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I'm sorry to sound so horribly pessimistic, but.. as your username states: whatever.
I'm happy with my K100D so far. What I need is a better crop of lenses; that's my main concern.
12-30-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
I
I'm happy with my K100D so far. What I need is a better crop of lenses; that's my main concern.


So what Lenses do you want Dan, isn't there any old glass that will do the job?
12-30-2008, 04:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
I'm sorry to sound so horribly pessimistic, but.. as your username states: whatever.
I'm happy with my K100D so far. What I need is a better crop of lenses; that's my main concern.
A FF body will take better picture most of the (non DA) lenses. Slap a FA-J on a FF body and you can take great pictures with it!

12-30-2008, 05:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
So what Lenses do you want Dan, isn't there any old glass that will do the job?
Fast tele (Tamron 70-200), good wide-angle (DA 12-24), good portrait prime (FA 77 Limited) and the best 135mm f/2.8 I can get my hands on (favourite focal length for film).

Is there any affordable 70-200 f/2.8 with AF and great performance?
Is there any affordable ultra-wide lens for digital that works well?
Is there anything better than the 77 Limited?
12-30-2008, 05:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by whatever7 Quote
A FF body will take better picture most of the (non DA) lenses. Slap a FA-J on a FF body and you can take great pictures with it!
I beg your pardon?

My FA J 28-80, when stopped down to f/13, works miracles on my K100D. Bokeh is choppy and quite horrendous, but otherwise surprisingly sharp for a lens no more expensive than a box of matches.

Last edited by ftpaddict; 12-30-2008 at 05:43 PM. Reason: forgot a comma
12-30-2008, 05:52 PM   #7
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This is an interesting theory and I appreciate the effort to create the graphing but there is one issue that could easily derail most companies plans. The world economic slump. If a company has the opportunity to promote and push a fast selling mid level camera vs a high end model that only a small segment of the buying group wants or can afford. Which would you put out over the next 12-24 months.

I have read that the FF top end models from C/N still only command 5-6% of their sales and the bodies like the 40D and 300 still make up most of the business.
12-30-2008, 08:42 PM   #8
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By Spring 2010 $1,500-$1,700 may be too much money for budget full frame K Mount dslr.

Canon is flooding the market with factory demo 5D and they sell between $1,000 to $1,330 in open ebay auctions, with one year warranty. Here's a pricey one from tonight for $1,330.

CANON EOS 5D 12.8MP DIGITAL SLR CAMERA BODY/REFURB/$1 - eBay (item 260336994301 end time Dec-30-08 18:02:04 PST)

12-30-2008, 10:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
By Spring 2010 $1,500-$1,700 may be too much money for budget full frame K Mount dslr.

Canon is flooding the market with factory demo 5D and they sell between $1,000 to $1,330 in open ebay auctions, with one year warranty. Here's a pricey one from tonight for $1,330.

CANON EOS 5D 12.8MP DIGITAL SLR CAMERA BODY/REFURB/$1 - eBay (item 260336994301 end time Dec-30-08 18:02:04 PST)
You really can't rely on Canon to take pity on you and drop the FF bodies price. The 5D price from 3 years ago was essentially the same as the new 5DII. So basically they are not dropping the price. Nikon even rip you off with the new D3x.

I did a search on completed auctions, new 5D bodies are going around 1500. That actually is a very good price. If I am in the market for a prosumer class camera I wouldn't think twice and go broke for the 5D.

I sill don't think C and N will flood the FF market though. They have too much established market to protect. It's up to the smaller players to make a play on it. That just gives me more support to my theory IMO. Maybe Pentax will go even lower. They will list it at 1499 and sell it at 1200. How many people in this forum will say no to a $1200 FF body?
12-30-2008, 10:55 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
By Spring 2010 $1,500-$1,700 may be too much money for budget full frame K Mount dslr.

Canon is flooding the market with factory demo 5D and they sell between $1,000 to $1,330 in open ebay auctions, with one year warranty. Here's a pricey one from tonight for $1,330.

CANON EOS 5D 12.8MP DIGITAL SLR CAMERA BODY/REFURB/$1 - eBay (item 260336994301 end time Dec-30-08 18:02:04 PST)
I've been watching that as well. Used 5D's are also regularly selling from $1100-1250. I'm going to wait till March to see what Pentax comes out with at PMA, but if I see a 5D for under $1000 on eBay that might be too much to pass up. I just wish it was the D700 selling that cheap. Canon's affordable primes (lenses under $400) just don't do much for me.
12-30-2008, 11:00 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
This is an interesting theory and I appreciate the effort to create the graphing but there is one issue that could easily derail most companies plans. The world economic slump. If a company has the opportunity to promote and push a fast selling mid level camera vs a high end model that only a small segment of the buying group wants or can afford. Which would you put out over the next 12-24 months.

I have read that the FF top end models from C/N still only command 5-6% of their sales and the bodies like the 40D and 300 still make up most of the business.
I think the point is FF sensor is going to be affordable to mid range bodies in two years. You just have to anticipate the price drop of these electronic things. Like harddrive price or SD card price. If I tell you a 5TB harddrive will sell for less than 100 dollars in two years. Your intelligent side might believe it but your emotional side might not, seeing how expensive a 5TB NAS cost today.

And I don't see any additional investment Pentax need to foot in for the FF sensor, since they can buy it off the market. Unlike focusing tech and other stuff.
12-30-2008, 11:11 PM   #12
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"Better" pictures from FF?

It seems that the main advantage of increased size for sensors is reduced noise at higher ISO settings. The main disadvantage, apart from cost, seems to be the reduced depth of field that arises from the increased diameter of the image circle. Of course, that's also an advantage in those situations where discrimination is required, to isolate a subject from its background. Generally speaking, though, wider field of view shots, where large depth of field is almost always desirable, are probably advantaged by smaller sensors, and telephoto portraits are probably advantaged by larger ones.

It also seems from the little reading I've done on the subject, that a very high lens resolving power can be a problem for larger sensors than smaller ones with the same pixel count, so, when I hear people talk about full-frame sensors taking "better" pictures than smaller ones, I wonder what they're really talking about. Are they comparing like with like, or are they just impressed by the pixel count?
12-30-2008, 11:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
It seems that the main advantage of increased size for sensors is reduced noise at higher ISO settings. The main disadvantage, apart from cost, seems to be the reduced depth of field that arises from the increased diameter of the image circle. Of course, that's also an advantage in those situations where discrimination is required, to isolate a subject from its background. Generally speaking, though, wider field of view shots, where large depth of field is almost always desirable, are probably advantaged by smaller sensors, and telephoto portraits are probably advantaged by larger ones.

It also seems from the little reading I've done on the subject, that a very high lens resolving power can be a problem for larger sensors than smaller ones with the same pixel count, so, when I hear people talk about full-frame sensors taking "better" pictures than smaller ones, I wonder what they're really talking about. Are they comparing like with like, or are they just impressed by the pixel count?
But wider FOV is easier to get on a FF sensor (an 18mm lens gives an 18mm FOV). The issue that I think you'll start to see will be that "consumer" lenses will be the limiting factor on a FF body. Canikon is finding new life in old film lenses, but the designs will need to be updated. And all the DX stuff will kinda work, but why spend money on a FF body if you're going to throw a bunch of the sensor away using an APS optimized lens?

I think the issue for Pentax going FF is lenses. Are they going to un-discontinue a bunch of film lenses? While the current FA ltds are great, they lack features that some (many?) may want (SDM, quick shift, etc). But maybe this is what the Hoya management was talking about wrt the "unfocused" strategy. They are making a bunch of DA lenses (especially ltds) that wouldn't work with a FF body. Who knows...I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime I'll continue to shoot what I've got, as I haven't come anywhere near pushing the envelope of what I can get out of the K20d and ltd lenses.
12-30-2008, 11:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
It seems that the main advantage of increased size for sensors is reduced noise at higher ISO settings. The main disadvantage, apart from cost, seems to be the reduced depth of field that arises from the increased diameter of the image circle...impressed by the pixel count?
Here's a good write-up of all the pros & cons.

To Full-Frame or Not To Full Frame?

Big VF, shallow DOF are the two main reasons I want one (Big View Finder being the main reason though). I don't really care about the ISO bonus. I think a FF SLR with a APS-C or M4/3's pocket camera would be just about the perfect set up.
12-30-2008, 11:48 PM   #15
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Rumor has it that it is a 21mp body, but what ever....
Pentax K30D 21 MP coming soon - Photo.net Pentax Forum
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