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04-27-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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Pentax shunning a few current owners to get new ones?

I am like everyone else, and can hardly wait for the first sample images from this camera, but the more I read the more disappointed I am. I kept telling myself that if Pentax can produce a great pro body to rival even some of my 5DmkII features then I would return in a second.

I know a lot of users are delighted to see a small durable body that will suit their needs better than the current K20D. However, I would have to assume there are a few that are feeling very neglected right now. This is obviously not Pentax's fault, they are simply trying to differentiate themselves from the pack, but I believe it will come at a cost.

The idea of a compact high performance APS-C seems like an incredible direction for a company like Canon or Nikon who already offer an upgrade path for potential buyers, or pros looking for that compact body that do not want to invest in a new system. However, I look at Pentax and the K20 and think to myself it was the perfect body in its class, if only there were a class above it.

Based on the specs and things we have seen so far, I am more and more inclined to believe that this camera has no WOW features, or new AF system, or even amazing new Samsung sensor. From the sound of things it will be no more than a K20D shrunk in size with a retro body and the K-Ms AF.... I sorely hope I am wrong for my own sake, but that is not to say Pentax will do poorly with such a body. The K20D is still a competitive system in the same areas it was when released, and a smaller one with a greater emphasis on its weather sealing, if marketed correctly could be a boon for the company. The problem is the camera will do nothing to stem the tide of users like myself going to Nikon Canon and Sony for new bodies. In my mind the only market Pentax can hope to capture with this camera is the average Olympus user.

This was no way meant to be a bash on Pentax, I love their lenses, and the weather sealing the system offers, not to mention the features of the K20D in many ways still out do my 5dmkII. I guess I was looking for a reason to come back to Pentax, and I was wondering if I am alone in my current thoughts.

04-27-2009, 04:48 PM   #2
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unfortunately, Pentax never had a pro foothold in digital. (Benjikan practically a celebrity in being the rare exception.)

i dont know how far they ever had a pro foothold with film, but it seems it was centered around MF. hence their first foot forward in pro-digital will follow that same approach. Photographers, more than most professions, are a nostalgic bunch.
04-27-2009, 04:49 PM   #3
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@joerg, You have too little information to base your argument on.

The K-7 is large enough to hold any feature you may wish. And may still contain none of them. The specs simply haven't been leaked yet.

- The video may be gimmick, or actually more useful than on a 5Dmkii.

- The body is new. So may have more fps and better AF, or still just the same.

- The sensor is (still) 15 MP APS-C which is fine. If is produces even better than K20D IQ -- who knows?



So, the best we can do is this:

For any possible speculative spec, we create a separate thread and put all our whining about "not good enough" there
04-27-2009, 04:49 PM   #4
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I think it's wise to wait until the official announcements or a creditable, verifiable leak before declaring a lack of WOW features. So far all we have is partial views of the camera and a whole bunch of speculation on the specs. Let's cross the disappointment bridge when we get there.

04-27-2009, 04:50 PM   #5
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I would at least wait for the specs to be announced before making judgement.
04-27-2009, 04:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jay Hawk Quote
I would at least wait for the specs to be announced before making judgement.
i believe the one spec he and countless others were really waiting for was FF. and we already know the K-7 won't have it.
04-27-2009, 05:39 PM   #7
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"Pentax shunning a few current owners to get new ones?"

Unlikely.

What if they do? That only means someone has to sell us something more than attitude. Bring it.


Wouldn't be the first time I spent a number of decades shooting an unsupported camera.


I mean, seriously, stop talking at camera companies like we need them more than they need us. Tools are available. So they don't make anything good this year... they don't make us photographers. We make them camera makers. Don't be fooled.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 04-27-2009 at 05:44 PM.
04-27-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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Amazing specs or not, it does not change the fact that thus far what we know shows Pentax heading in a very new and hopefully rewarding direction. My commentary was merely to point out that it does seem they had to almost choose a metaphorical path and either path had to leave some users a bit discouraged.

My only critique is that if I had a tradition pro level K-Mount body like a larger FF or even APS-H camera, I would be far more inclined to own a smaller weather sealed full featured body like the K-7 seems to be shaping up to be. For me such a camera is more of a tool for pleasure and excursion, one which I would love to have if I was already vested in a large Pentax system.

While there have been a few cases of amazing pros using smaller APS-C bodies, they are by far the minority. I am not saying APS-C is not a capable format, but merely stating that the natural evolution of the digital K-Mount could have benefited by first targeting the users looking to move in that direction.

While I would love to own a K-7 and a 645D, that still makes no sense from the standpoint of wanting a complete system from Pro down.

I hope to eat my own words and watch the K-7 defy the general boundaries APS-C and smaller bodies impose much like the D300 did at launch, but I fear that Pentax simply could not have had the means to make a new sensor, new AF system, and all new design at the same time.

04-27-2009, 06:44 PM   #9
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joerg,

I completly see where you are coming from. In a way I agree.

But I don't think this new camera is the K20D replacement. It is the camera to go with the line of APS-C limiteds.

I expect this new camera will draw a number of Nikon and Canon users into the Pentax fold as dual system users.

The Pentax users it excludes are those that want or need FF, or D300 specs, but cannot afford to go dual system.

In a way this new camera is a luxery like the limiteds. I don't yet see it as a camera that I would need, to me it might be a camera I want. Much in the same way I don't need the 15, 20, 31, 35, 40 and 43 Ltds. That range is covered just fine with a single zoom and a fast 50.

I do worry that Pentax might start to look like Leica, and forget about the regular Joe's that bought their gear for the value of price/performance. The masive lens price hike last month might be the first indication of this. The hike was enough to make Canon start to look like a value company.
04-27-2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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Just wait for the specs and feature list, and then the early reviews.
04-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by joerg Quote
My only critique is that if I had a tradition pro level K-Mount body like a larger FF or even APS-H camera, I would be far more inclined to own a smaller weather sealed full featured body like the K-7 seems to be shaping up to be. For me such a camera is more of a tool for pleasure and excursion, one which I would love to have if I was already vested in a large Pentax system.
QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
I expect this new camera will draw a number of Nikon and Canon users into the Pentax fold as dual system users.

In a way this new camera is a luxery like the limiteds. I don't yet see it as a camera that I would need, to me it might be a camera I want. Much in the same way I don't need the 15, 20, 31, 35, 40 and 43 Ltds. That range is covered just fine with a single zoom and a fast 50.
Good analysis. I'm a Canon user looking for a smaller system for situations where small size and/or discretion are more important than absolute quality. I was all set to get a K-m and some pancake lenses, but the K-7 will probably be much more up my alley--a lot less compromise to get the small size I want. If the K-7's AF gets up to speed with Canon's prosumer level I'd consider using it as a main camera for paid gigs, but as it stands I plan it as a 2nd system for situations where quick AF don't matter as much.


QuoteOriginally posted by joerg Quote
While there have been a few cases of amazing pros using smaller APS-C bodies, they are by far the minority. I am not saying APS-C is not a capable format, but merely stating that the natural evolution of the digital K-Mount could have benefited by first targeting the users looking to move in that direction.

While I would love to own a K-7 and a 645D, that still makes no sense from the standpoint of wanting a complete system from Pro down.
Define "pro". If you don't go the snarky route and say it's anything that you can earn money with, it's a tough term to define. AF? Framerate? Viewfinder coverage? Weather sealing? Sensor size? Etc.? Arguments can be made for all of the above to differing degrees. I would argue that the Nikon D300 is a pro spec camera with an APS-C sensor, while the Canon 5D is a prosumer-spec camera with a FF sensor. And I say that as a happy Canon 5D user. So in my mind FF isn't the deciding factor for a camera being pro or not.

My point is that (again, pending the release of REAL specs) the K-7 could very well be the 1st true pro-spec camera in a compact form factor--fast AF, 100% viewfinder, good framerate, clean high ISO, etc. That would make it absolutely unique in today's market. If it's APS-C like all early indications point toward, the FF fanatics will dog it just because of that, but that doesn't make it any less relevant and remarkable. Note that I'm not calling you a FF fanatic; I just know that they're out there.

I don't want to sound like I'm cheerleading for a camera whose specs aren't even out yet, but rather I'm saying let's give the specs a chance before we dismiss it as a non-pro camera, because again sensor size isn't the be-all end-all of pro camera specifications.


QuoteQuote:
I hope to eat my own words and watch the K-7 defy the general boundaries APS-C and smaller bodies impose much like the D300 did at launch, but I fear that Pentax simply could not have had the means to make a new sensor, new AF system, and all new design at the same time.
Every company has to work within its means. Pentax is much smaller than the 2 camera giants, and as such has to pick its battles. Making a pro-spec APS-C camera in a small form-factor would fully emphasize and capitalize on Pentax's unique qualities, instead of spending a bigger outlay just to become an also-ran in areas where the camera superpowers reign supreme. Yet again pending real specs, it could be exactly the camera Pentax needs to consolidate its niche and gain some new users at the same time. Nobody else is even close to putting out a small pro-spec camera. This could be something really special if executed properly.
04-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by joerg Quote
However, I look at Pentax and the K20 and think to myself it was the perfect body in its class, if only there were a class above it.
There needs to be a substantial market "above it" to sustain such a product.
04-27-2009, 07:29 PM   #13
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This complain realy make no sense.

When did Pentax ever said they didn't want to have FF? They have no FF sensor. How do you know Sony is willing to sell the FF sensor to Pentax for cheap?

They already said a supported FF lenses system need to prepare for the FF body. That sounds like they are working on it.

The design of the K-7 is alot closer to a FF pro body than the K20D, K10D, that's for sure.

So please, justify your argument in logical sentenses.
04-27-2009, 07:35 PM   #14
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I do hope this is not the K20s replacement, Pentax officially stated that it was not meant to replace the K20D. I am just worried that what they meant by that was that the two cameras are not necessarily similar, but that says nothing about whether they will replace the K20D. I kind of feel stranded, the 5DmkII gives me everything I could ask for in image quality, but leaves me wanting my K20D back for ergonomics, controls, and SR. I guess I just wanted a in between.

As for Pentax's pricing structure they do need to be very careful, a large amount of Pentax users got on board because of the K100 and K10 when they were at such amazing prices. I for one see a ton of value in the brand and would not feel bad about paying Canon or Nikon prices the equipment, but if I pay that much, I expect them to offer me similar features and not simply attempt to rely on weather sealing and SR to push their value.

I will be the first to agree with everyone in saying that the camera has very nice niche potential, and even the potential to create a whole new class of DSLR where EVF designs are failing (small but packed with features and tremendous quality.

You are correct in saying that defining pro is difficult, I would not define it by sensor size, frames per second, or even physical size. It is a combination of many things, just having weather sealing might make it a pro camera to some, an ultra high MP sensor like the D3x might be pro to others, a huge feature set like the D300 might be pro to some, or the high fps of the 40d. Every "pro" has their own unique needs. I personally do not need FPS, but ergonomics is key, as is a wide selection of primes, and extremely reliable performance in low light with no sacrifice to image quality. Personally the K-7 just seems to lack that pro aura that some of the other cameras have, you are all right though, it is to early to tell, but I stand by my original point that Pentax clearly chose a direction here that will inevitably disappoint a few users (maybe not considering the response so far, lol)

Last edited by joerg; 04-27-2009 at 07:50 PM.
04-27-2009, 07:35 PM   #15
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The thing I think many are overlooking is the top line FF bodies account for 2% of the total market share. So why would a smaller camera maker want to fight it out for such a small group of buyers? Add to that, if a company wants to have a truly Pro camera (whatever that is?) then they need a service department program that can support pro shooters and turn a camera around in 24 hours, offer loaners and all sorts of support programs. Far too expensive for the small return on sales.

If they decide to offer a larger sensor body, the 645 makes infinitly more sense as there is a built in group of buyers with lenses and a desire to own this camera in a D version.

Let Canon and Nikon beat each other up for the few who want to drop $3-7000 on a FF DSLR.
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