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09-21-2009, 03:31 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
if it does come out I wonder how many people here will buy one, considering how much talk it gets. Seems it would be better if they didnt release it and focused on their existing linup instead.
I dont think that the camera should be profitable by itself. IMO it has value as a marketing movement. It would be the same reason a car maker participates on Formula one or world-championship of rallies and the like. It is to make a totem that looks inviting enough for people to buy into the prestige idea. It also doubles as a potential improvement path in pentax line that they dont have at this moment. Even if your lenses for APS-c wont work for MF you can use the MF lenses on APS-C (even when realistically not too many people will follow this path). It also triples as a way of having back part of the money that they expend on R&D for their previous attempts.

I certainly wouldnt buy the PEntax 645D if I were interested on a MF. Not until I could see that the movement to establish a MF line is serious and not a damage-relief movement.

09-21-2009, 06:10 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
I dont think that the camera should be profitable by itself.
I agree that it would lift the brand up. But why shouldn't it be profitable at the same time? Normally, the high end products are highly profitable because they have high margins.

If Leica releases a similiar camera for just under 20k$ (1000 units planned) then a 10k$ 645D isn't that cheap.

If the 645D turns out to be the best studio camera at this price point then I am sure that it will be very profitable. Pentax could sell 3000 of them.

Note that unlike film, the digital medium format has no negative aspects for studio work. Resellable nudes are all shot at >30MP nowadays and there definitely is a market for 30MP+ cameras. And you cannot by this class from Canikon... The D3X is the closest thing to it and is more expensive and the Mamiya 645 has too few pixels!

And buyers would ignore strategic aspects (faith in Pentax MF and the like). If you require a 30MP+ camera then you buy the tool as it fits.

Last edited by falconeye; 09-21-2009 at 06:19 PM.
09-21-2009, 07:44 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I agree that it would lift the brand up. But why shouldn't it be profitable at the same time? Normally, the high end products are highly profitable because they have high margins.

If Leica releases a similiar camera for just under 20k$ (1000 units planned) then a 10k$ 645D isn't that cheap.

If the 645D turns out to be the best studio camera at this price point then I am sure that it will be very profitable. Pentax could sell 3000 of them.

Note that unlike film, the digital medium format has no negative aspects for studio work. Resellable nudes are all shot at >30MP nowadays and there definitely is a market for 30MP+ cameras. And you cannot by this class from Canikon... The D3X is the closest thing to it and is more expensive and the Mamiya 645 has too few pixels!

And buyers would ignore strategic aspects (faith in Pentax MF and the like). If you require a 30MP+ camera then you buy the tool as it fits.
I said it shouldnt be profitable but I was trying to say that it doesnt need to be profitable (nor mainstream). Worst case scenario I dont think that they would loose too much for the positive impact that it will do to brand perception. Of course in order to achieve that they should deliver a good product not plagued with QC or ergonomics issues. And I really think that they will do a good job. They have the know-how and I think that they will sell all the units fairly fast. There are a lot of people that still having a pretty good image and experiences from the film MF cameras and lenses made by Pentax.
09-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
I said it shouldnt be profitable but I was trying to say that it doesnt need to be profitable (nor mainstream). Worst case scenario I dont think that they would loose too much for the positive impact that it will do to brand perception. Of course in order to achieve that they should deliver a good product not plagued with QC or ergonomics issues. And I really think that they will do a good job. They have the know-how and I think that they will sell all the units fairly fast. There are a lot of people that still having a pretty good image and experiences from the film MF cameras and lenses made by Pentax.
3000 units * $10,000 = $30,000,000. That revenue would help support a lot of R&D that would eventually get installed on down-line cameras and lenses. The 645D itself doesn't need to be profitable. The profit comes from installing the new technologies on future mid-stream camera bodies, for which the R&D cost is functionally zero..

09-21-2009, 11:07 PM   #35
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Hoya won't let Pentax lose much money with 645D, maybe not earn much, but no lose much.
4 years ago however, Pentax would probably have lost bunch of money with it.
09-22-2009, 03:34 AM   #36
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It will come down to what the 645D really is from a technological standpoint. If this camera will be a sibling of other MF cameras and S2 then it has little reason to exist and it is unlikely to thrive. But, what about this camera being not a MF per se but something like a LTFF (Larger Than Full Frame) DSLR?

My personal feeling is that Hoya will throw a lot of money into this camera making it the ground for a family of such cameras with different sensors (44x33 mm, 45x30 mm and 48x36 mm) in the future and also a technology demonstrator. Most likely the first one will have a similar sensor to Leica S2 (45x30 mm) to maintain the usual 1.5 ratio for the image but hopefully tweaked with Kodak for better high ISO performance. I would like to see a completely new AF system debuting on this camera with the prospect of it being put into K-7' successor. The exposure system will probably come from K-7, also the Prime 2 (one or two chips), the LCD hi res screen and maybe the battery too.

I hope for at least 2.5 fps and at very least 10-15 frames in buffer, camera should be SDXC ready I guess.

I also hope they could use the CCD sensor to get something like 1/500 X sync with the flash, that would be cool.

The DFA 55/2.8 will probably be the *kit* lens and offered at a promotional price as such.

In all honesty I hope they will trounce S2 in performance for a fraction of the price. The only great unknown is the lenses how fast can they upgrade for digital their range and at what quality/price ratio.

Radu
09-22-2009, 04:06 AM   #37
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Hin's take on Pentax 645D


Hin's Big Mouth 645N Camera.
Canikon, dare to match it.







All Big Mouth pictures shot with
Best Documentary limited lens

I have told Robin along with a bunch of close Pentaxian friends that I bought 645N for few reasons. One of them is have an upgrade path to 645D.

And I have been training my LittleMan on cameras and lens.


I am hopeful that if I ever outlive to retirement age and saw a broken Pentax 645D soul listed for parts for $2K, I would bid with full forces for keep sake with my 645N. And I am betting one of my two boys graduated with a degree related to optical lens and one on camera engineering and they have a good chance to get the broken soul/junk working.

@Robin, what will be an ideal b&w film to try on portraits followed by some street shooting.

Hin

Last edited by hinman; 09-22-2009 at 07:00 AM.
09-22-2009, 04:35 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Obviously the medium format market does not get as much discussion among amateur on the net as cheaper cameras. But that is no measure of its importance.
That's until a 645D comes along at $3999

09-22-2009, 07:50 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
If the 645D turns out to be the best studio camera at this price point then I am sure that it will be very profitable. Pentax could sell 3000 of them.
The original 645 was marketed as a "field camera" and indeed was popular with outdoor photographers like Tim Fitzharris, Darryl Benson amongst others. If the 645D got the same weatherproofing treatment as the K-7, it could garner a following in that market segment again. I am sure many still have their 645 glass and it looks like the sensor @ 1.3X would not make them too far off their old focal lengths. Of course, that does not preclude it from also being a good studio camera and if priced right, could do well.
09-22-2009, 08:56 AM   #40
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British Journal of Photography - Pentax confirms 2010 release date for medium format camera

I think that Pentax will show serial camera and specs before February, 21.
PMA2010. The price from 8100 till 9800 USD.
09-22-2009, 09:19 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
The original 645 was marketed as a "field camera" and indeed was popular with outdoor photographers like Tim Fitzharris, Darryl Benson amongst others. If the 645D got the same weatherproofing treatment as the K-7, it could garner a following in that market segment again. I am sure many still have their 645 glass and it looks like the sensor @ 1.3X would not make them too far off their old focal lengths. Of course, that does not preclude it from also being a good studio camera and if priced right, could do well.
Mike,

The 645D is weather proofed (they insist on the outdoor theme) just like Leica S2. The latter though is IMO a pretty primitive camera (in line with other MFs and MF backs) with a 3 point AF system, 5 zones exposure metering, so-so LCD on an over 20K USD camera for example. Pentax has the advantage of cheap electronic parts and more know how in electronics and noise treatment and they can build easier and cheaper high performance processing modules and hopefully drag along Kodak into making faster and better sensors.

Radu
09-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #42
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Radua, I think you're asking way too much on this one for a couple reasons:

- Data are huge, depending on the sensor of course but still. How fat is a 50Mpix Raw ?
- Available Sensors are simple unable do go even past 2fps. It is no electronics (CPU etc.) limitation but a sensor limitation. If Kodak can't go faster, Pentax can't either.

- Sensor electrnoic X-sync would be very stupid on such a camera. Manufacturers got problem with it. Even Nikon stoped using it altogether for good reasons. I wouldn't want such a camera to sport any feature even remotely unreliable.

- The AF will probably be either very conservative (Pentax thinking) or K7+ level (Hoya thinking).
09-22-2009, 09:29 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
The original 645 was marketed as a "field camera" and indeed was popular with outdoor photographers like Tim Fitzharris, Darryl Benson amongst others. If the 645D got the same weatherproofing treatment as the K-7, it could garner a following in that market segment again. I am sure many still have their 645 glass and it looks like the sensor @ 1.3X would not make them too far off their old focal lengths. Of course, that does not preclude it from also being a good studio camera and if priced right, could do well.
I think this camera makes a lot of sense for a few reasons:

a) Most of the engineering had been done earlier so i suspect it didn't cost a lot relatively speaking to put it out.

b) I would think it will cause a pretty good buzz when it comes out, since Canon and Nikon have nothing like it. Magazine writers don't have to apologize for focusing an article on it since its unqiue among today's consumer brands

c) $10,000 is not a lot of money for a professional who can deduct it from his business profits.

d) It looks really good in Hinman's photos - GO PENTAX
09-22-2009, 09:45 AM   #44
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I have summarised the available info in my article Pentax 645 Digital On The Horizon. I don't usually cover unreleased gear, but as I'm doing a series on medium format, it seemed to fit.

If this camera comes out at five thousand pounds sterling it will rock the world!
09-22-2009, 05:40 PM   #45
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Hi, Thibs

I see this problem as a combined one: Kodak doesn't bother making faster sensors in part because they regular customers cannot use the extra speed hence don't need this progress. But if Leica worked together and obtained a custom sensor with 1.5 fps maybe Pentax can do better. They have the advantage of compressed RAW (both pef and dng) hence smaller files than uncompressed formats and the advantage of the Prime 2 that can do more than off the shelf asics of traditional MF producers and probably more than the Leica's Maestro processor (incidentally made also with Fujitsu like Pentax).

K-7 with 5.2 fps @ 14.6 Mp can process almost 76 Mp/s and has a buffer of 14-15 RAW. Let's grossly assume that a 37.5 Mp RAW is 2.6 times the size of a 14.6 Mp one (of course one is 16 bit and one 12 bit so it probably is more, even compressed). So in theory a camera with a single Prime 2 and double the RAM buffer of K-7's could do about 1,5-2 fps and 11 RAW in buffer. What about one with 2 Prime 2 running in parallel? My point is that MAYBE if the processing power will exist Kodak can make a sensor that will be capable of 2.5-3 fps.

I hope that Hoya needed that year to vastly improve the camera not to use the same 2006-2007 designs of the various 645D prototypes.

Radu

QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Radua, I think you're asking way too much on this one for a couple reasons:

- Data are huge, depending on the sensor of course but still. How fat is a 50Mpix Raw ?
- Available Sensors are simple unable do go even past 2fps. It is no electronics (CPU etc.) limitation but a sensor limitation. If Kodak can't go faster, Pentax can't either.

- Sensor electrnoic X-sync would be very stupid on such a camera. Manufacturers got problem with it. Even Nikon stoped using it altogether for good reasons. I wouldn't want such a camera to sport any feature even remotely unreliable.

- The AF will probably be either very conservative (Pentax thinking) or K7+ level (Hoya thinking).
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