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03-14-2010, 10:50 AM   #31
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The paradigm shift waiting to happen in photography is a modular camera with open-source firmware. Imagine being able to change the sensor on your aging K10D, or to download a better AF algorithm, or to change the LCD out for one with 920k pixels, or...

03-14-2010, 02:05 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
The paradigm shift waiting to happen in photography is a modular camera with open-source firmware. Imagine being able to change the sensor on your aging K10D, or to download a better AF algorithm, or to change the LCD out for one with 920k pixels, or...
Cool idea, but what about consumeables - that's where the money is (P. T. Barnum - you can take a dollar from a highbrow patron or a dime from a million lowbrow patrons)
03-14-2010, 03:45 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
The paradigm shift waiting to happen in photography is a modular camera with open-source firmware. Imagine being able to change the sensor on your aging K10D, or to download a better AF algorithm, or to change the LCD out for one with 920k pixels, or...
I would suggest that the design of the image gather'er of the digital age hasn't settled yet. The 35mm format was popular for around 50 years and used
a lot longer than than that, it's way to early in the digital cycle to have a clue
what the enduring product will look like.
03-14-2010, 05:48 PM   #34
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I guess one thing the last few years of watching Pentax is in response to the "we're doomed' posts. Pentax has seemed to me not to be afraid of innovation an is in fact stiring the pot. oh wait, i almost forgot, "we're doomed", or maybe not!

Shu

03-14-2010, 06:34 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuie Quote
I guess one thing the last few years of watching Pentax is in response to the "we're doomed' posts. Pentax has seemed to me not to be afraid of innovation an is in fact stiring the pot. oh wait, i almost forgot, "we're doomed", or maybe not!

Shu
well pentax made some horrible errors quite a while ago when they disposed
for such classics as the Super Program with the ugly plastic P series followed
by more of the same of a decade. If pentax did much right between 1985 and 1995 I'm not sure what it was. They couldn't be bothered to add "A" lens support to the LX. or product attractive down line products. They finally got
a nice looking producct with the MZ/ZX family but it was almost too late.

Since then they have been steadily improving but recovery is hard but it looks to me like they are doing it
03-14-2010, 08:50 PM   #36
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I just don't buy the argument they can't do FF because they don't have the lenses. They have most of the primes, enough to start with anyway. They need three zooms (two 2.8s and a walkaround) and that is not insurmountable. Given the trickle of new lenses for all we know these are already designed and ready for production.

I think it would be far easier for Pentax technically to do an enthusiast FF than a flagship APS camera. It involves doing only things Pentax already knows how to do, rather than catch up in AF which they have never demonstrated the ability to do.
03-15-2010, 07:58 AM   #37
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the only film camers I've had heavy experience with is my PZ1-p. I used to use this camera for shooting snowmobile races (SNO-X). It performed extremely well in a very fast and demanding sport. Granted I used manual focus most of the time, however it seemed the AF was much faster than my K10. One thing I learned later was that when they designed the PZ1p the fucus motor was beefed up to allow faster focusing with the FA* lenses. I've heard it had the most powerful motor put in a Pentax camera. As far as the looks of the P cameras, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I loved and still have my PZ1p, and do not mind its looks at all. Which reminds me, I guess now I need to get som film and try it with my 800mm f8 Tokina.

cheers
Shuie
03-15-2010, 08:44 AM   #38
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Z-série was a vert good start IMO but starting z50 they messed up. Same with MZ: Well done but mz30 and later low end bodies messed up as well.

03-15-2010, 08:46 AM   #39
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+1

They came out with the F* and FA* lines, but I'd like to know what happened within the company to see them go from being a contender against Nikon and Canon to almost disappearing. I think they sat back during the late 80s and tried to maximize profits by relying on their brand name and it cost them in the long run. It's nice to see some of the items that have come out in recent years.

QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
well pentax made some horrible errors quite a while ago when they disposed
for such classics as the Super Program with the ugly plastic P series followed
by more of the same of a decade. If pentax did much right between 1985 and 1995 I'm not sure what it was. They couldn't be bothered to add "A" lens support to the LX. or product attractive down line products. They finally got
a nice looking producct with the MZ/ZX family but it was almost too late.

Since then they have been steadily improving but recovery is hard but it looks to me like they are doing it
03-15-2010, 07:23 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
+1

They came out with the F* and FA* lines, but I'd like to know what happened within the company to see them go from being a contender against Nikon and Canon to almost disappearing. I think they sat back during the late 80s and tried to maximize profits by relying on their brand name and it cost them in the long run. It's nice to see some of the items that have come out in recent years.
What happened to Pentax is they started to pursue exactly the strategy that they are currently pursuing, with the exception of the 645D - they started "bottom feeding," catering mainly to the entry-level market to the exclusion of high end bodies and lenses that would appeal to pros and enthusiasts, and basically surrendered those markets to Nikon and Canon in the process. Their high-end lens offerings were too few, too far between, and overpriced with the loss of economies of scale (and/or perennially out of stock), and they had no real high end autofocus body to mount them on (and to justify their prices). The MZ-S was about the best AF body they managed, and what did that offer - 2.5 fps?!

Amazing how many supposed supporters of Pentax that think they shouldn't expand their aspirations beyond APS-C dSLRs can't see how destructive this supposedly brilliant "strategy" is. They've been their own worst enemy for over two decades - time for them to wake up.
03-16-2010, 02:57 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
What happened to Pentax is they started to pursue exactly the strategy that they are currently pursuing, with the exception of the 645D - they started "bottom feeding," catering mainly to the entry-level market to the exclusion of high end bodies and lenses that would appeal to pros and enthusiasts, and basically surrendered those markets to Nikon and Canon in the process. Their high-end lens offerings were too few, too far between, and overpriced with the loss of economies of scale (and/or perennially out of stock), and they had no real high end autofocus body to mount them on (and to justify their prices). The MZ-S was about the best AF body they managed, and what did that offer - 2.5 fps?!

Amazing how many supposed supporters of Pentax that think they shouldn't expand their aspirations beyond APS-C dSLRs can't see how destructive this supposedly brilliant "strategy" is. They've been their own worst enemy for over two decades - time for them to wake up.
Rant/

Quick question : Why didn't you switched to Canon or Nikon if you're so worried about Pentax strategy since so long ?

I came to Pentax at the K10D era, for the bang for my bucks and the solid creativity capabilities (understand large feature set, weather sealing) I stayed with Pentax because of the zillion lenses available and that can be put on my camera without any afterthought (on contrary of Canon and Nikon) I love Pentax primes, I love the compacity of my setup and I don't care that Pentax don't have a camera on the edge of technology.

Any camera is outdated after 2-3 years in this era, does it prevent to do photos with it ? No. I perfectly respect the fact that some people needs the best performance available on the marketplace and are willing to buy top of the line every 2 years with the latest high performance glass. But simply put, Pentax was not for them until the 645D, and still the 645D is not for everyone (fashion, landscape, art, not sport or photoreporters)

Personaly, my everyday camera is a 25 years old Pentax Superprogram, not my K20D. The lightseal are not very healthy, the mirror bumper have a "here, I fixed it" taste and it lacks a lot of features. But it educate my eye, I have to train for the right framing and the right moment before taking a picture. I use up about 1 roll a month, use 400iso film that don't have half the definition of my K20D with the same lens. I love the results, I love the way it teaches me about photography.

Sincerely, if you're willing to spend 3000+ €/$ every couple of year for the latest "nicest" body, just switch. I can understand this hardware fetishism, as I have to restrain myself from buying every latest gizmo. Now if you think about photography, buy a book from Robert Franck, Ansel Adams, Capa or Richard Avedon, and think about the means they had to do their pictures.

/End of rant

Guillaume
03-16-2010, 09:30 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
What happened to Pentax is they started to pursue exactly the strategy that they are currently pursuing, with the exception of the 645D - they started "bottom feeding," catering mainly to the entry-level market to the exclusion of high end bodies and lenses that would appeal to pros and enthusiasts, and basically surrendered those markets to Nikon and Canon in the process. Their high-end lens offerings were too few, too far between, and overpriced with the loss of economies of scale (and/or perennially out of stock), and they had no real high end autofocus body to mount them on (and to justify their prices). The MZ-S was about the best AF body they managed, and what did that offer - 2.5 fps?!

Amazing how many supposed supporters of Pentax that think they shouldn't expand their aspirations beyond APS-C dSLRs can't see how destructive this supposedly brilliant "strategy" is. They've been their own worst enemy for over two decades - time for them to wake up.


Sure. Professionals who earn their principal living use and have used Pentax cameras some of the time. Upper-middle-class hobbyist/enthusiasts have at times even preferred Pentax.



But marketing to low-end consumers is nothing new. What were the?
  • H1a/S1a
  • SP500/SP1000
  • K1000
  • MV
  • ProgramPlus
  • etc. as you spoke about the more "modern" era
All pride aside, neither the K2DMD nor the MX nor the LX nor the MZ-s was a professional system camera, ala the Canon F1 series or the Nikon F series. Pentax has never had a true professional camera system with professional services and support. Pentax updated the LX three times and didn't even add "A" contacts to the mount, though they made LX's until 2001. That's 14 years of "A" lenses that the Pentax "pro" camera didn't communicate with.

Pentax exploited the explosion of post-WWII consumers with the leading, most attractive and well-engineered group of SLR bodies and lenses. As they converted from Brownies and rangefinders Pentax had some huge successes with consumers and for a time in the early 80's, selling the decidely consumer MESuper, Pentax manufactured 100,000 camera bodies a month.

Pentax was briefly fortunate to have the best 35mm camera body and lenses available in the 60's when wire services converted to 35mm. But their market advantage was never more than one of "first-mover."

Canon and Nikon, Pentax's victims in the 60's, responded with the F1, just as professional sports and sports reporting exploded, and the F-series. When AP converted to Nikon in 1970 that marked the end of Pentax as a technology and brand leader.

Olympus responded with the paradigm changing OM-1. One of Pentax's largest successes, the ME/MESuper, was actually nothing more than a late-comer response to Oly.

Pentax has done and is doing nothing that they haven't always done - the market has changed, not the camera company

Last edited by monochrome; 03-16-2010 at 10:59 AM.
03-18-2010, 09:22 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghelary Quote
Rant/

Quick question : Why didn't you switched to Canon or Nikon if you're so worried about Pentax strategy since so long ?

I came to Pentax at the K10D era, for the bang for my bucks and the solid creativity capabilities (understand large feature set, weather sealing) I stayed with Pentax because of the zillion lenses available and that can be put on my camera without any afterthought (on contrary of Canon and Nikon) I love Pentax primes, I love the compacity of my setup and I don't care that Pentax don't have a camera on the edge of technology.

Any camera is outdated after 2-3 years in this era, does it prevent to do photos with it ? No. I perfectly respect the fact that some people needs the best performance available on the marketplace and are willing to buy top of the line every 2 years with the latest high performance glass. But simply put, Pentax was not for them until the 645D, and still the 645D is not for everyone (fashion, landscape, art, not sport or photoreporters)

Personaly, my everyday camera is a 25 years old Pentax Superprogram, not my K20D. The lightseal are not very healthy, the mirror bumper have a "here, I fixed it" taste and it lacks a lot of features. But it educate my eye, I have to train for the right framing and the right moment before taking a picture. I use up about 1 roll a month, use 400iso film that don't have half the definition of my K20D with the same lens. I love the results, I love the way it teaches me about photography.

Sincerely, if you're willing to spend 3000+ €/$ every couple of year for the latest "nicest" body, just switch. I can understand this hardware fetishism, as I have to restrain myself from buying every latest gizmo. Now if you think about photography, buy a book from Robert Franck, Ansel Adams, Capa or Richard Avedon, and think about the means they had to do their pictures.

/End of rant

Guillaume
As respects your original question, I have been a Pentax shooter for 25 years, and therefore have an extensive collection of Pentax glass. It took me a long time to get that collection together, weed out what I didn't like, and have one cohesive range that provides all the tools I want to have. Switching means a sizeable loss on the sale of old equipment and a large expense of buying new equipment, and I'd much prefer not to have to go that route. Having tasted digital, however, I'd like to be able to shoot it in the same format, i.e., 35mm that I did on film. I bought APS-C dSLRs because that was the only choice available in my lens mount for my inital foray into digital photography, not because I ever wanted the cropped format, which I did not.

As for the balance of the rant, I was (and am) happy with manual focus, and since it was film I was shooting, no format difference or image quality difference existed. Digital has altered that landscape, but Pentax continues to follow the same strategy that turned them into an also-ran, and if they continue, than more people (like me) will switch to another brand. Is that what you'd like to see? More erosion of the Pentax user base? I'd rather see them expand rather than contract, personally.
03-18-2010, 09:43 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Cool idea, but what about consumeables - that's where the money is (P. T. Barnum - you can take a dollar from a highbrow patron or a dime from a million lowbrow patrons)
What are the consumables in the digital era? Throwaway cameras? Inkjet carts and paper? Throwaway LCD albums? Batteries? What will induce consumers to regularly, repeatedly part with their money? How about pulling a Polaroid, with an onboard printer so you can quickly hand out hardcopy? Or just a second card slot, so you can copy images onto a card to hand off? But that benefits the card/chip makers, not the cam maker. What will generate continuing revenue? I don't know. Do you?
03-18-2010, 09:56 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Sure. Professionals who earn their principal living use and have used Pentax cameras some of the time. Upper-middle-class hobbyist/enthusiasts have at times even preferred Pentax.



But marketing to low-end consumers is nothing new. What were the?
  • H1a/S1a
  • SP500/SP1000
  • K1000
  • MV
  • ProgramPlus
  • etc. as you spoke about the more "modern" era
All pride aside, neither the K2DMD nor the MX nor the LX nor the MZ-s was a professional system camera, ala the Canon F1 series or the Nikon F series. Pentax has never had a true professional camera system with professional services and support. Pentax updated the LX three times and didn't even add "A" contacts to the mount, though they made LX's until 2001. That's 14 years of "A" lenses that the Pentax "pro" camera didn't communicate with.

Pentax exploited the explosion of post-WWII consumers with the leading, most attractive and well-engineered group of SLR bodies and lenses. As they converted from Brownies and rangefinders Pentax had some huge successes with consumers and for a time in the early 80's, selling the decidely consumer MESuper, Pentax manufactured 100,000 camera bodies a month.

Pentax was briefly fortunate to have the best 35mm camera body and lenses available in the 60's when wire services converted to 35mm. But their market advantage was never more than one of "first-mover."

Canon and Nikon, Pentax's victims in the 60's, responded with the F1, just as professional sports and sports reporting exploded, and the F-series. When AP converted to Nikon in 1970 that marked the end of Pentax as a technology and brand leader.

Olympus responded with the paradigm changing OM-1. One of Pentax's largest successes, the ME/MESuper, was actually nothing more than a late-comer response to Oly.

Pentax has done and is doing nothing that they haven't always done - the market has changed, not the camera company
I never suggested that Pentax not market to low end consumers; rather, that they should not forget about high end consumers. There's a big difference.

As for your comment about the LX not being a professional system, you've GOT to be kidding. You can argue about the "support" and logistics that existed all you like (can't say I have any first hand knowledge of what that was like 30 years ago), but the LX was definitely a professional system camera. The LX offered numerous finders, numerous focusing screens, winder, motor drive, data back, bulk film back, power packs and battery grips, and included high end construction and features including titanium shutter, off-the-film metering, weather and dust seals, electro-mechanical shutter with support for operation without batteries, and extreme metering sensitivity range. What the h--l does it need for you to see it as a "professional" system - a "Nikon" or "Canon" label on the prism?! It's lack of success compared to Nikon and Canon offerings was (as is typical for Pentax) a marketing failure, not a product shortcoming.
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