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01-01-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Will Pentax go Pro?

Will Pentax go Pro? When I say Pro, I mean a camera that many of the Canon and Nikon journalists as well as commercial photographers require. I am a pro and have no problem with the K20D, but there are those out there that demand faster AF, synch speed and FPS. Pentax is still fringe in the pro market and I would love to see a Flagship Model.

Will a pro Pentax increase the stature of their brand?

Ben

Oh and Happy New Year to all.


Last edited by benjikan; 01-02-2009 at 05:58 AM.
01-01-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
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Hi Ben,

The K20D has great IQ, and I'd like better AF and FPS.

Anything else is gravy, since I have such great glass. It's a shame that's it's discontinued or special order from Japan. A fuller long lens lineup would be nice, and I'm not afraid to say I'd shoot with two systems, but I have different needs to be met.

Happy New Year!

Regards,
Marc
01-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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Hi Ben, I don't think pentax will have a "pro" camera now like caikon but a better AF, a bigger buffer, and an integrated battery grip would do it for me. How difficult would that be?
01-01-2009, 10:43 AM   #4
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Well the AF on the PZ-1P and the MZ-S was and is faster than the K20D, so they already have the problem solved with film, so why not in digital?

For some reason it does not seem to be a priority with Pentax, so time will tell if they want to do it, since they have already proven that they can.

Tom

01-01-2009, 10:47 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
Will a pro Pentax increase the stature of their brand?
Although it would be nice if we get a pro model, Pentax just needs to advertise better to improve their stature imo. There are many benefits for their consumer models that go unadvertised that you only notice after you buy (weather sealing, shake reduction on all lenses, and cheaper lens upgrades). The current weather sealing ad (cocktail poured on cameras) doesnt really do it for me. It just looks like an "artsy" advert. Something more extreme like putting it under tapwater might do it.

Improving AF will not increase stature I think, since most consumers wouldn't think about af speed when making a buying decision. Would be really nice for us, though.

Edit: Since Ben supposedly know what's coming in January, could this be a survey to see what people think of the upcoming *gasp* K3?

Last edited by Andi Lo; 01-01-2009 at 10:56 AM.
01-01-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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No!

Appealing to the Pro market requires having a lot more equpment available than Pentax currently offers.

It's more than just a camera body.

A wider array of Lens.

A better Flash system.

And the list goes on.
01-01-2009, 10:50 AM   #7
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No, Pentax will not go pro. Instead, they will launch an excellent camera (a clear step up from the K20D), at a price I can barely afford. So, I'll have to buy it
01-01-2009, 10:55 AM   #8
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I don't think a Pro Pentax camera body will increase their stature, but I think if Pentax sponsored MORE commercial photogs, socialized more with the industry (as Canon and Nikon do) it could start a trend. Just think of Joe McNally and what he does for Nikon. Some people shoot Nikon just because Joe McNally shoots Nikon. And really, McNally is awesome and so is Nikon so why not? But that's advanced amateurs...

Just think though, if Pentax sponsored perhaps... 10 or so top commercial photogs. That "elitist" air could begin to permeate the minds of other pros. And that trend could turn into something Hoya could keep running with. But I don't think that's on Hoya's agenda.

Again, sponsorship and socializing more with the industry, familiarizing themselves to the industry will get them more Pro attention. Then the camera bodies will have credibility.

01-01-2009, 11:05 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Will Pentax go Pro? When I say Pro, I mean a camera that many of the Canon and Nikon journalists as well as commercial photographers require. I am a pro and have no problem with the K20D, but there are those out there that demand faster AF, synch speed and FPS. Pentax is still fringe in the pro market and I would love to see a Flagship Model.

Will a pro Pentax increase the stature of their brand?

Ben

Oh and Happy New Years to all.
Aside from the crème de la crème with an unrestricted budget, I'd opine that many pros or semi-pros may consider a camera offering the quality that a Pentax does with the improvments suggested here, for a Pentax price. I also can't see how raising the bar could hurt the brand. I suppose it could pigeon hole Pentax as a lower priced solution, rather than an optimum one if they missed the mark (among pros).

Part of me is hoping this post is a subtle gesture at things to come

Fwiw though, I represent a segment of the market that does not require such a camera. My ideal upgrade would still be sensor based improvments.
01-01-2009, 11:06 AM   #10
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Pentax Autofocus

QuoteOriginally posted by ennacac Quote
Well the AF on the PZ-1P and the MZ-S was and is faster than the K20D, so they already have the problem solved with film, so why not in digital?

For some reason it does not seem to be a priority with Pentax, so time will tell if they want to do it, since they have already proven that they can.

Tom
Here are my thoughts on autoficus:
  1. Hoya/Pentax has stated their market is high value-to-price, durable, innovative cameras for outdoor use
    1. I interpret that to mean landscape shooting for enthusiasts
  2. Pentax has a history of excellent lens design and remains committed to backward compatibility
    1. Pentax glass is optimized for color rendition and sharpness and was, for certain bodies, for studio work
  3. Auto-focus speed and shutter speed (higher FPS) are related
    1. Can't really have a faster shutter without faster auto-focus speed, though I suppose you could improve the auto-focus and leave the shutter alone.
    2. I guess you could have a faster shutter with a lower in-focus hit ratio, too
  4. Pentax auto-focus system (at least the screw-drive system) makes a rapid close estimate of proper focus, then recalculates a fine focus and finalizes the elements. That takes time, but should have a higher in-focus hit ratio and sharper focus to complement the lens designs.
    1. That system is consistent with slower, more contemplative shooting, such as landscape and studio
    2. It should enable higher IQ for larger prints - amazing for the price of the gear.
  5. Sports/Action journalism photography requires high frame rate for shooting in burst mode. That requires a fast shutter, thus fast auto-focus. Canon and Nikon seem to own Sports/Action journalism. There is money and marketing exposure in Sports/Action. That leads to the whole soccer mom Canon/Nikon deal that we grind our teeth about - increasing volume for their specialized features, accelerating return period on engineering investment and lower per-unit costs.
    1. I'd look for comments on this item from commercial studio/product and professional wedding and portrait photographers - do frame rate and auto-focus speed matter (other than convenience)? How much do you really shoot in low light?
    2. I'd look for comments from professional/commercial outdoor photographers - can you earn a living selling landscape images?
Given Pentax's stated forward market, I'd bet they NEVER invest significant money in engineering LEADING auto-focus and high frame-rate shutter systems. Rather they will invest in smaller, lighter, less expensive, weather sealed camera bodies optimized for IQ and color; RAW engine; great glass, etc. designed for semi-pro and accomplished amateur enthusiasts.

My New Year $0.02

Last edited by monochrome; 01-01-2009 at 01:04 PM.
01-01-2009, 11:39 AM   #11
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They certainly should...

QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Will Pentax go Pro? When I say Pro, I mean a camera that many of the Canon and Nikon journalists as well as commercial photographers require. I am a pro and have no problem with the K20D, but there are those out there that demand faster AF, synch speed and FPS. Pentax is still fringe in the pro market and I would love to see a Flagship Model.

Will a pro Pentax increase the stature of their brand?

Ben

Oh and Happy New Years to all.
Happy New Years to all as well...and RIP to the great Freddie Hubbard, who died yesterday; he'll be sorely missed, but remembered forever.

We've been waiting since about 1995 for this alleged 'flagship' model that never seems to come. We get photos released ten years later of MZ-1's that should have been done. The 'almost' great MZ-S, along with an almost full-frame digital camera in 2000, then three or four years behind everybody. The *ist D whose only claim to fame was that it's small. They've been dropping the ball on their cameras since the early 90's.

The K10 and 20 are really, really nice cameras, but... they are so CLOSE to being GREAT it hurts. I have been so close to buying a K20 on several occasions, but I borrow my buddies from time to time, and it still hunts and pecks in even moderately low light - back and forth - it is especially painful with non-internal focus lenses. Some are quite quick to focus, like my old F*300 f=4.5 - really quick. Some just take FOREVER. I must confess, I haven't tried the HSM motored lenses at a shoot, but from what I've heard, they are quieter, but not really any faster, and I sure don't want to spend $1,000.00+ on a duplicate lens just to find out, although the weather-proofing would be nice, which is also a strong temptation to buy a K20D. But then, I'd have to switch lenses, and they don't have a weather-proof flash, and I'd probably still get frustrated and stumped by the auto-focus...

Faster AF, faster shutter, faster flash sync...they can probably just BUY a shutter system, I think that's what mostly happens in the camera world, so it's just a question of the other two. I really hope they do a pro SYSTEM; it would give them so much credibilty, rather than a splashy announcement about changing the colour of the plastic on their cameras; that was so freaking STUPID, and embarrasing, I still can't believe it. And why didn't they introduce SEVERAL colours while they were at it? Just plain dumb...

And in spite of what some of the fanboys and girls have to say, it IS embarrasing getting snubbed almost everytime I go out to do a shoot where there's other pro photographers. Pentax's profile is not just 'fringe' around here; they appear to be the laughing stock. They've got some SERIOUS ground to make up. And they'd better get it done soon or this economy is going to severely bite them in the *** if it hasn't already done so. We'll see when the numbers come in from Christmas sales, but I think it is going to be a VERY grim time for manufacturers, and especially the 'fringe' players like Pentax. A lot of people have been calling doom and gloom for a lot of years, and I have systematically poo-pooed them all, but this time may be really different. I certainly hope not, but I must say, I am not optimistic at this point.

Sincerely,
Cameron
01-01-2009, 11:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Given Pentax's stated forward market, I'd bet they NEVER invest significant money in engineering LEADING auto-focus and frame-rate systems. Rather they will invest in smaller, lighter, less expensive, weather sealed camera bodies optimized for IQ and color; RAW engine; great glass, etc. designed for semi-pro and accomplished amateur enthusiasts.
IMO you are 95% on the money. The AF system MIGHT be improved but it will NEVER be state of the art. Add to that there will NEVER be a FF unless Samsung demands it. APS-H is an outside possibility.
01-01-2009, 11:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Will Pentax go Pro? When I say Pro, I mean a camera that many of the Canon and Nikon journalists as well as commercial photographers require. I am a pro and have no problem with the K20D, but there are those out there that demand faster AF, synch speed and FPS. Pentax is still fringe in the pro market and I would love to see a Flagship Model.

Will a pro Pentax increase the stature of their brand?

Ben

Oh and Happy New Years to all.
Happy New Year to you too Ben and to all.

I think they almost have to go "Pro". Where else can they go? They have taken the "advanced amateur" model as far as they can. With Sony making huge leaps in the market introducing a full frame professional model to compete directly with Canon and Nikon they don't have a choice. Granted they are mostly re-branded Minoltas but they have also introduced new from the ground up models as well.

Pentax is behind in product development that can't be denied. Me, like every one on this forum want Pentax to stay around for years to come. In order to do that they have to expand and grow their photo business IMO.
01-01-2009, 12:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by KFrog Quote
I think they almost have to go "Pro". Where else can they go? They have taken the "advanced amateur" model as far as they can.
Even if they don't go "Pro", Nikon/Canon are pushing "Pro" features down into their "advanced amateur" models (aka the 50D/D300) and Nikon is also pushing the D700 as "advanced amateur".

Most obvious of these features is a lot more advanced AF than the K20D has but there are other features they have as well...
01-01-2009, 12:30 PM   #15
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I think that Pentax will look out for the majority of its support base and come out with technically excellent new cameras that are still affordable. I expect a new APS-C sensor which will have high dynamic range and lower high ISO noise and may in fact give full-frame sensors a run for the money at about 25% of their (Canikon) prices. I think we will see improved AF for the many Pentax supporters who are specializing in sports and the others who are working in low light environments. I think Pentax's strategy is to help its supporters to afford to periodically upgrade and not price them out of the market.
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