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11-28-2009, 10:02 PM   #61
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Many pros claim they shoot digital due to the demands of work flow and some have switched back to film due to work flow. There are a lot of pros who shoot digital for clients and film for themselves. A survey in the UK stated that 70% of professional photographers perferred film over digital. It is not about changing peoples preferances but about producing a product that is a valuable tool to further the photographer's goals and aspirations. In my previous job we both shot digital at work and more film than digital for ourselves. But for our needs at work digital was just so much better partly cause we could not send film out for processing as some of the images were classified for national security and others for sensitivity and there was the time involved as well as very little post processing was required.

Perhaps there are people out there who have waited longer for a digital Pentax 645 than you have for a full frame? Maybe it makes more sense from a production and logistics framework to go 645 first or perhaps marketing. For me neither a full frame or a 645 digital would have me stopping shooting film as well as digital so I do not think it is a matter of converting people to go to the darkside

8 grand is not a very expensive camera. Canon makes lenses that are six times the price and one could get 10 645D for the price of the high speed camera I used to use. I do not think that Hoya/Pentax is deliberating ignoring their customers and certainly not trying to insult some customers by providing a product in another sector. Should they also stop producing new spotting scope and binoculars and medicical imagery devices until the crisis of no FF is solved? Nikon the other giant has only had full frames a short period of time. Art, not sure why you appear to take it as a personal afront to your needs or at least wants in a camera that Pentax for whatever reasons have different order of priorities? Perhaps I have not been on the forum long enough but have been reading it for over six months but some things I do not understand. IMHO a succesful 645D will pave the way for sales of a professional level FF whereas I do not think a FF would help sell 645Ds.

11-29-2009, 12:35 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
Because the K-7 feels like a cheap toy in comparison to the K20D?
No way. I have both. K-7 is at least as good as the K10.
If you think it's too small, I don't care but calling it a cheap toy very unfair (and not very smart).
11-29-2009, 03:26 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
No way. I have both. K-7 is at least as good as the K10.
If you think it's too small, I don't care but calling it a cheap toy very unfair (and not very smart).
I have the K-7 and it definitely does not feel like a toy. Pick it up from your bag when it's cold, you can definitely feel the the rigidy of the magnesium alloy that it boasts.
11-29-2009, 05:37 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
I have the K-7 and it definitely does not feel like a toy. Pick it up from your bag when it's cold, you can definitely feel the the rigidy of the magnesium alloy that it boasts.
additional battery grip can help sizewise.


I'd buy 645 only if the price is below 8k, at least 2 fps, fast af, iso not lower than 3200 - to use it for street shooting...

11-29-2009, 07:16 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by artemapei Quote
additional battery grip can help sizewise.
I'd buy 645 only if the price is below 8k, at least 2 fps, fast af, iso not lower than 3200 - to use it for street shooting...
ISO50 and 1600 - 100%. 3200 - I doubt, but we will see...
11-29-2009, 08:23 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm glad Pentax is making a 645D, I just wish they'd take care of the nagging 24x36 issue first. Last I checked 35mm was also a large part of their heritage. The 645D will obviously be a very expensive camera.
I do understand this attitude, especially as I will never have the money for the 645D myself. But it makes sense to me that Pentax should put into production a camera that is essentially already developed, one that will allow them to compete in a new market that is not already saturated. In fact, if they do it right, they are essentially creating a market where one didn't exist: enthusiast medium format digital. Canikon owners will be able to upgrade to MF for an incremental price as compared with what they already pay for "full-frame". Some of these people, now aware of what Pentax offers, might then buy a K-7 as a "polaroid" camera that can use the same lenses with an adapter. Bringing in a new customer base makes a lot more sense than trying to sell to the same Pentax devotees. And all of this increased market share makes FF more likely down the road.

Trying to compete today in 3624 against Canon, Nikon, Sony etc. would be a much harder proposition.

I cannot wait for the 645D and I hope it takes the world by storm.
11-29-2009, 09:19 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Yes, if the camera would be that cheap - but that is more as doubtful. Pentax has a record of inventing nice digital cameras, which then disappeared silently (MZ-D and several incarnations of the 645D), because they were too expensive too produce.
One would assume, that Pentax was aware of the app. 4000 USD price tag of the Philips FF sensor, when they showed the MZ-D. Nevertheless they announced the camera, showed prototypes and then withdraw, because they realized the sensor was way too expensive for the Pentax clientele. Hey, the price for the sensor was well-known to anyone, how can they realize that only after they already had done the development?
MF sensors are much more expensive, than FF sensors today and the processing power needs to be considerably higher, not due to Megapixels, but due to colour depth. Pentax processors are already slow, how slow can it get with a 645D? Or do they invest in the development of much faster processing units and into a much more expensive sensor, but keep a DSLR price tag? And still, even then, they need to make a healthy profit with every single camera body!
By "close to" price I mean that the 645D would have to be around $10K ...the Canon and Nikon top of the line are pushing $6K and that would make the 645D far more attractive to those seeking MF IQ than existing MF cameras ...the Mamiya is about the best bet right now and their 31MP back alone is selling for around $15600 (all prices in Canadian Dollars). So if Pentax can come in with the 645D at about $10K I think it would be very competitively priced. My only concern would be that there are those professionals, such as Darrel Benson or Tim Fitzharris, who used to shoot with a 645N that have now moved to the Mamiya system and are now invested in that brand so unlikely to move back, although, they may still have a lot of 645 Pentax lenses.
11-29-2009, 02:41 PM   #68
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The MF sector may not be huge, but if Pentax manages to have a good picture quality and reasonable price, they might sell fairly well. After all, this is MF and there's already a large - albeit aging - number of suitable lenses. Also, having a "serious" camera in their product line will probably help APS-C DSLR sales also. I'm actually excited already although I'm not in the target customer base.

11-29-2009, 02:47 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Trying to compete today in 3624 against Canon, Nikon, Sony etc. would be a much harder proposition.

I cannot wait for the 645D and I hope it takes the world by storm.
+++

I agree 100%. It would be much harder for Pentax to go head-to-head with the established FF companies. Hopefully Pentax can carve out it's own niche with the affordable MF option.

Start saving your pennies now folks!
11-29-2009, 02:57 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
The MF sector may not be huge, but if Pentax manages to have a good picture quality and reasonable price, they might sell fairly well. After all, this is MF and there's already a large - albeit aging - number of suitable lenses. Also, having a "serious" camera in their product line will probably help APS-C DSLR sales also. I'm actually excited already although I'm not in the target customer base.

The problem is, that the MF market already struggles to support just the two currently active companies. Then Leica comes onto the stage, that makes three manufacturers again. I cannot see, how Pentax would make an inroad here.

The basic problem (I have close connections to one of the two current manufactureres in our country) is, that you simply need to sell these digital MF cameras directly to the customer. H'blad tried to rely on retail mainly and struggled hard. Mamiya/PhaseOne are building completely on direct sales and only a small number of pro retailers now, which affords a dedicated and knowledgeable and expensive sales force.

Pentax has nothing of that kind. They don't have the professional dealers anymore and they don't have a sales force. They even cut down there service and I can tell you from sad experience, that the currently employed service provider is abysmal.

If I, for whom photography is only a part of the overall business, contemplates to switch to Nikon, because of the non-existent Pentax service, how can anybody seriously expect a full-time photographer to rely on such a poor infrastructure.

No, in my view Pentax has set the path for pure amateur photography, which is a valid decision and hopefully will lead to a thriving business - but before they can seriously think about making pro business in the very(!) competitive MF sector, they need to build a pro sales force and provide pro services - both of which do not exist.

Perhaps the situation is different in Japan and that is the reason, why Pentax announced months ago, that the 645D will only be sold in small numbers in Japan and not to the rest of the world. I don't know.

Ben
11-29-2009, 03:18 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The problem is, that the MF market already struggles to support just the two currently active companies. Then Leica comes onto the stage, that makes three manufacturers again. I cannot see, how Pentax would make an inroad here.
Pentax would likely be the cheapest digital MF out there. I would guess that is how they are going to try and make inroads in the digital MF market. I certainly agree with your next statement:
QuoteQuote:
No, in my view Pentax has set the path for pure amateur photography, which is a valid decision and hopefully will lead to a thriving business - but before they can seriously think about making pro business in the very(!) competitive MF sector, they need to build a pro sales force and provide pro services - both of which do not exist.
I don't think Pentax is going for the pro MF market just yet.
11-30-2009, 12:59 AM   #72
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@ Ben_Edict

Once, a real pro was supposed to be using medium or large format. This was complete bullshit of course (ignoring Cartier-Bresson and others) just like today a pro is supposed to use FF, because APSC are at best semi-pro.

It happens because it allows to make the distinction between pro and amateur by the price of the camera, not by the talent of the photograph.

My 50c guess is that, as FF will become more and more popular, the marketing distinction between amateur and pro will shift to medium format. This will probably not happen with the 645D v1 as its price will be a bit on the high side, and FF cameras are still expensive, but :
- 8000€ / 11 000$ was the price of the higher end bodies from Nikon & Canon some time ago,
- At 2000€ with the Alpha 850, FF is entering the realm of mass market for photo gear.

Last year, around 450 medium format back/cameras were sold in France, and that is for a country being arguably the capital of fashion shooting, but current digital MF are mostly considered studio devices (true, it's not the case with Luminous Landscape) When Pentax will release it 645D we'll have :
- The cheapest MF system (bodies + lenses widely available)
- The first system designed for shooting outside of studio.

True, this may not be a big rush at the begining, but price will significantly decrease after 2-3 years, and a V2 would definitively broaden the segment. Especialy if the CCD technology comes in MF.

Regards,
Guillaume
11-30-2009, 01:46 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghelary Quote
Especialy if the CCD technology comes in MF.
Regards,
Guillaume
Kodak MF sensors are all CCDs. Kodak doesn't produce CMOS anymore AFAIK (or maybe small sensors for compacts).
11-30-2009, 02:46 AM   #74
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My error, I was meaning CMOS instead of CCD. I'm quite sure that after some time the lines of production that make APSC and FF sensors will make MF as well, albeit in much, much smaller quantities.

This won't happen in 2010 or in the next years, but I'm quite sure before 10 years from now.

Best regards,
Guillaume
11-30-2009, 10:36 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by ewalk Quote
Pentax would likely be the cheapest digital MF out there. I would guess that is how they are going to try and make inroads in the digital MF market. I certainly agree with your next statement:
I don't think Pentax is going for the pro MF market just yet.
Why not, the IQ with a 6.8 micron sensor @ 39mp would be awesome (and I don't use that word lightly as is the fashion today) ....I think many pros, especially those that have 645 lenses around, would be highly attracted to such a camera as opposed to a 24mp 24X36 sensor camera.
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