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09-09-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Leica M9, X1, Kodak and the consequences for Pentax

I hesitated a bit to post this on this forum, but since I want to discuss about sensor and not the cameras itselves, I post it here.

As you know, the Pentax 645D will mostly get its sensor from Kodak.

Leica has just been presenting today the M9, first full frame of the brand, and the X1, an APSC, fixed focal lens compact camera. Both sensors are produced by Kodak.

The exiting news for Pentaxian is that now we have a new, independant maker of an APSC sensor and of a full-frame sensor. And this new maker has already commercial ties with Pentax (or most likely)

This creates the first real opportunity for Pentax to produce its full frame DSLR, at least this is more likely than if Pentax was to get its sensor from Sony (a Pentax camera would be in direct competition with the A900 / A850, on contrary of the D3X) or from Samsung (FF sensor has become a gost)

To knowledge, the list of FF sensor makers is the following :
- Canon,
- Sony / Nikon,
- Kodak

As said numerous times, the Pentax / Samsung partnership is getting colder and colder, and as a consequence the possibility of Samsung making a full frame chip is less likely than ever.

I see also the APSC sensor from Kodak as good new for the same reason as above, making Pentax less depending on Samsung strategic decisions for its own cameras.

What do you think ?

Regards,
Guillaume

PS : For those wanting to discuss the new Leica cameras, there is already a thread here.

09-09-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
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I have wanted Pentax to partner with Kodak for a long time. it makes sense for a number of reasons.
09-09-2009, 10:08 AM   #3
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FF leica!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

its time to open a new saving acount... but she will be mine oh yes she will be mine
09-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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@ Redpigeons : Please keep those remarks on the Leica thread I have linked.

I created this thread to discuss of the consequence of the avaibility of the Kodak sensors for Pentax, not to discuss about Leica.

Please don't take this badly, but I would like to avoid the thread getting off-topic after 3 replies.

Best regards,
Guillaume

09-09-2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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Pentax needs to learn from Leica and make a full frame, as this is where all current trends are all leading with every camera manufacturer but us. They now already have a medium format digital sensor (S2) and a full frame (M9). Pentax needs to get with Kodak or anyone and get on a FF sensor quick, as Leica knows where "it's at".
09-09-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
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I rather have a SuperCCD FF sensor. Kodak's sensors traditionally don't go over ISO 400 very well.
09-09-2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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I am sorry. about that.

but if I would stay on topic it would sound like... :
"that is what we want to see from Pentax the smallest FF slr camera"

I learned over the years with Pentax that wishing is for losers... lei ca did it!! leica deserve the praises.

Pentax also works with Sony and Sony has a FF sensor for a long time.

I agree FF Pentax that will look like the 5D is a big mistake.

I small FF from pentax that feels and look like a classic K that's what Pentax needs to do. but I guess it too expensive?/ hard?/ I don't know.

I wish Pentax will open something like "Pentax elite" division. were they sell a small production of a very high end K mount for the people that want it ( like me)

bottom line I don't thing the sensor is the problem when it comes to making a Pentax FF camera.
09-09-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Leica is completly on a different segment than Pentax.

Their price point is more on the D3X side, the online photographer made an interresting article about the Leica phenomenon here.

I have no doubt that the Leica M9 will be an excellent camera, but saying that it is competing with Pentax is plain wrong.

@ K-9 : Leica si a niche player, fighting for its survival. At a 5000 € / $ price, their are not competing with Canon or Nikon but selling a legend for healthy, non-pro, buyers.

Pentax strategy cannot be the same as only Leica has this Legend, even Rollei or Hasselblad can't have this strategy.

Pentax strategy is to make cameras knowledgeable enthousiasts on a budget. Pentax is the paradise for people wanting to use their vintage lenses on digital (a market niche that is being attacked by micro 4/3) and the best brand for those who want to buy a full lineup on a budget.

I don't believe that Pentax would be able to deliver soon a Full Frame and I think Sony will want to keep exclusivity on their FF sensor (at least until they have a real market share) But the news here are that now there is a new player that can help Pentax to present an 18Mpx FF in a not so far future.

Pentax needs to recreated a full 35mm Lens lineup and this take time, you can't just change the coating of the film era designs. While the center performance as seen on APSC cameras may be good with the old lenses, the corner performance can become very poor, especially at th widest angle.

And then, they need to push it under production and get a good QC.

At the end the real question is what price will you be willing to pay for those cameras and lenses ?

FF will come to Pentax someday, but I doubt very much that it will be 2010.

09-09-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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Who says the X1 sensor is Kodak? Most people are assuming Sony (same as the D300).
09-09-2009, 12:23 PM   #10
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I think a Kodak - Pentax alliance could be a very good thing but:

1) I don't think there is any evidence that the sensor inside X1 is Kodak made. In fact I believe all signs point to a Sony sensor either like in a Nikon camera or more likely like in the new Sony A500. It makes sense especially in economical terms because I think the cost is very low.
2) The Kodak FF sensor is CCD (unlike any FF sensor I know existed in the past - Kodak, Canon, Nikon or Sony designed all CMOS type) and at least on paper seems low tech for these days with a maximum of ISO 2500. I think the last thing we need is a Pentax FF with an ISO1600 usable. Leica get get away with that, Pentax won't even for one third of the M9's asking money IMO.
3) Kodak is rumored to had closed its CMOS imager division: Kodak Closes CMOS Imager Division: News Discussion Forum: Digital Photography Review so it makes little sense that they could want to branch out in the APS-C sensors.
4) It may be that a partnership could boost quickly the performance of Kodak' sensors (FF and MF) simply because Pentax could buy maybe 10 times the number Leica buys for its M9 or S2 and Kodak could update its technology to meet Pentax' demands (numbers and quality/performance).

My 2 eurocents,
Radu
09-09-2009, 12:26 PM   #11
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Kodak sensors

M9 has Kodak CCD sensor, it is said officially, but X1 has CMOS sensor, and officially there is no info from what manufacturer this sensor comes.
Besides, on DPR News discussions there is thread about Kodak finishing to develop and manufacture CMOS sensors and that Kodak liquidates Cmos Imager division: Kodak Closes CMOS Imager Division: News Discussion Forum: Digital Photography Review
But all advanced aps-c DSLRs and all FF DSLRs have CMOS sensors
09-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #12
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Canon, Nikon, and now Leica make significant product introductions around APS-C cameras, yet some still think that APS-C is a dead end, that if Pentax doesn't go full-frame now than they will perish.

The IQ of the current crop of APS-C dSLRs now rivals that of older full frame dSLRs. In a couple of years they will undoubtedly advance and have IQ rivaling the current crop of FF dSLRs. There will always be a want (if not absolute need) of the best image quality, but how many people really need IQ beyond what APS-C can provide now and in the future? Are there really that many people making a living selling giant gallery-quality prints?

I contend that the heart of the market is not going towards full frame. Too big and too costly. Instead, the heart of the market will be fought between APS-C and Micro 4/3rds. There is enough room for Pentax there.
09-09-2009, 12:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I contend that the heart of the market is not going towards full frame. Too big and too costly. Instead, the heart of the market will be fought between APS-C and Micro 4/3rds. There is enough room for Pentax there.
I agree with you.
09-09-2009, 01:15 PM   #14
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I don't think the presence or absence of a Kodak sensor has anything to do with what Pentax might do with its products. Pentax simply does not have the resources to keep lots of different camera bodies and lenses in production at the same time. Working on a medium format and full frame digital at the same time is not within their capabilities.

Of course Hoya could decide to throw lots of money at Pentax, so they can diversify. But so far that is not their policy.
09-09-2009, 02:01 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
I contend that the heart of the market is not going towards full frame. Too big and too costly. Instead, the heart of the market will be fought between APS-C and Micro 4/3rds. There is enough room for Pentax there.

I also agree. I don't think Pentax will make a FF camera anytime soon.
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