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03-23-2010, 04:28 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
The Pentax demographic are for the most part not high end customers (whatever that means). Don't you know Pentax users are cheap, that's why we're a penny pinching bunch who whine a lot but are pleased as punch when getting old junk lenses because we don't have the deep pockets to buy new glass. They lament of Pentax's supposed shortcomings but when push comes to shove will still stick with Pentax because the "best bang for the buck" argument prevails, or perhaps because their pockets are half empty and their bank accounts are overdrawn. Ask yourself first if you're prepared to consider upgrading to the K-7 which is now pretty cheap, then ask yourself if you're willing to fork out extra to go the Canikon route. The majority of high end customers have already switched to Canikon a long time ago if you didn't already know.



Sorry but I'm just not sure you know what you're talking about. High end products may have a high margin but invariably there just isn't enough volume to provide enough return of investment or sustainable profit. The success of the entry level K-x has reinvigorated the company and it's financial bottomline. Canon made a killing with the EOS 300/350 as did Nikon with the D70/D70s. The APS-C segment is where the money is, not FF. Most Pentax FF aspirants can talk a lot but the reality is most just don't have the means to buy one even if Pentax launched a 35mm FF tomorrow. Pentax users with money looking for FF have already jumped ship.
This is so true. High or low end, your R and D costs have to be made back on each camera. Sure, if Pentax came out with a 1900 dollar full frame camera they would sell some of them, but they would also end up losing money on each unit and they still wouldn't gain much market share. To make money per unit on full frame, they will definitely have to come in at a price over current Nikon and Canon lines. And I don't see anyone switching if they do that. To get people to switch, you would have to seriously undercut the competition or, offer something significantly better. They've got to start from the ground up. Moving people into Kxs and then to K7s and eventually have a pro line available.

I am not impressed by the number of Pentaxians with holes burning in their pockets for full frame. In fact, when a new camera comes out, I here more complaints about how it isn't different enough from the last camera and how it costs too much. When the K20 came out, it was too expensive and not a step up from the K10. Then, when its price dropped to 650 and the K7 came out, the K7 wasn't worth the price difference and you were far better going with the K20. Clearly these are not people chasing the latest and greatest technology, they are people chasing a good bargain (and I am one of them).

03-23-2010, 12:01 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
This is so true. High or low end, your R and D costs have to be made back on each camera. Sure, if Pentax came out with a 1900 dollar full frame camera they would sell some of them, but they would also end up losing money on each unit and they still wouldn't gain much market share.
Prove it. All you have to do is go back to the old thread here asking if Pentax should put out a $2500 FF which is full of people saying how that's not possible, and now looks rather silly considering there's 3 of them on the market now.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
To make money per unit on full frame, they will definitely have to come in at a price over current Nikon and Canon lines.
Really? Because they come in priced under for a given set of features than either of them on everything else. What is so magical about FF that Pentax can't make it the way they make everything else?

The D700 with it's battery grip is a viable alternative to the D3/D3s that cost twice as much because it's so feature rich, and it only costs $2400 right now. You're telling me Pentax can't take their simple SAFOX AF and 77 segment metering from the K-7 and put them into a FF body without losing money unless they sell it for over $2500? It's nonsense. They don't have to reinvent the wheel to do this, if they can put them in the 645D they can put them in a FF. They already know how to make a FF mirror box and pentaprism.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
And I don't see anyone switching if they do that. To get people to switch, you would have to seriously undercut the competition or, offer something significantly better.
Or something just significantly DIFFERENT. The K-7 did not seriously undercut the D300 or 50D at launch price, and it wasn't better either. But it did well because it offered what it offered in a different package. A compact FF and the FA limiteds are something Canon and Nikon don't offer at all.
03-23-2010, 01:57 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by krtwood Quote
Prove it. All you have to do is go back to the old thread here asking if Pentax should put out a $2500 FF which is full of people saying how that's not possible, and now looks rather silly considering there's 3 of them on the market now.



Really? Because they come in priced under for a given set of features than either of them on everything else. What is so magical about FF that Pentax can't make it the way they make everything else?

The D700 with it's battery grip is a viable alternative to the D3/D3s that cost twice as much because it's so feature rich, and it only costs $2400 right now. You're telling me Pentax can't take their simple SAFOX AF and 77 segment metering from the K-7 and put them into a FF body without losing money unless they sell it for over $2500? It's nonsense. They don't have to reinvent the wheel to do this, if they can put them in the 645D they can put them in a FF. They already know how to make a FF mirror box and pentaprism.



Or something just significantly DIFFERENT. The K-7 did not seriously undercut the D300 or 50D at launch price, and it wasn't better either. But it did well because it offered what it offered in a different package. A compact FF and the FA limiteds are something Canon and Nikon don't offer at all.
There are a couple of points a) other than the FA limiteds, Pentax doesn't have any full frame lenses, compact or otherwise. b) the K7 has not been an amazing seller. It has been an OK seller, while the kx has put Pentax back on the map. What the kx did was it offered more for a lower price than other brands were offering. c) Putting the K7 autofocus system in a full frame camera is a recipe for disaster. The complaint about Pentax is already that it's autofocus system is Jurassic compared to other brands, release a full frame camera and it will be expected to keep up with D700, 5D. Trust me, that isn't happening without a lot of investment. d) speculating about exact prices is impossible. All we know for sure is that if Pentax releases a full frame camera, it will sell a tenth (roughly) of the number of units that Canon and Nikon sell.

I want to see things happen. I want to see Pentax take steps forward and become a professional brand again, but slow and steady will win this race and I am not certain that full frame is in the short term forecast.
03-23-2010, 04:44 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There are a couple of points a) other than the FA limiteds, Pentax doesn't have any full frame lenses, compact or otherwise. b) the K7 has not been an amazing seller. It has been an OK seller, while the kx has put Pentax back on the map. What the kx did was it offered more for a lower price than other brands were offering. c) Putting the K7 autofocus system in a full frame camera is a recipe for disaster. The complaint about Pentax is already that it's autofocus system is Jurassic compared to other brands, release a full frame camera and it will be expected to keep up with D700, 5D. Trust me, that isn't happening without a lot of investment. d) speculating about exact prices is impossible. All we know for sure is that if Pentax releases a full frame camera, it will sell a tenth (roughly) of the number of units that Canon and Nikon sell.

I want to see things happen. I want to see Pentax take steps forward and become a professional brand again, but slow and steady will win this race and I am not certain that full frame is in the short term forecast.
a) No kidding. But they only need a few key zooms. And there is already support via Sigma on those key zooms as well as two excellent primes. The point was that the FA limiteds are part of a package that are enough of a unique selling point to lure in certain new buyers, and of course those that already own them.

b) The k-x got noticed because of being offered in colors

c) The 5D and D700 are already not at the same level of performance, and if Pentax can survive in APS with lower AF performance they can do so also on FF. By having two higher priced bodies at the same time sharing the same AF module they can split the future development cost between them.

Nikon and Canon are only just now updating their FF lineups with new lens designs, so there is never going to be a better time to try to catch up with lenses than right now.

I believe the low end of the dslr market is severely threatened by mirrorless cameras and it is going to happen fast (2-3 years), which is a separate discussion, but if you assume that to be true that does not bode well for the K mount which has no place on such a camera. If the low end is dominated by short registration distance cameras with lenses that can't be used on dslrs, then there is a break between those users and the high end users. When they want to trade up they can switch brands at will. You don't see Canon and Nikon in a big rush to get into that market. For those that do, why are they going to want to move up? Either for better IQ or better performance. Better performance is not a Pentax strong point. For better IQ than an APS sensor you need FF. I see great danger and also great opportunity in the coming years, and I don't think it's a time to be conservative.

03-23-2010, 05:54 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
The Pentax demographic are for the most part not high end customers (whatever that means). Don't you know Pentax users are cheap, that's why we're a penny pinching bunch who whine a lot but are pleased as punch when getting old junk lenses because we don't have the deep pockets to buy new glass. They lament of Pentax's supposed shortcomings but when push comes to shove will still stick with Pentax because the "best bang for the buck" argument prevails, or perhaps because their pockets are half empty and their bank accounts are overdrawn. Ask yourself first if you're prepared to consider upgrading to the K-7 which is now pretty cheap, then ask yourself if you're willing to fork out extra to go the Canikon route. The majority of high end customers have already switched to Canikon a long time ago if you didn't already know.



Sorry but I'm just not sure you know what you're talking about. High end products may have a high margin but invariably there just isn't enough volume to provide enough return of investment or sustainable profit. The success of the entry level K-x has reinvigorated the company and it's financial bottomline. Canon made a killing with the EOS 300/350 as did Nikon with the D70/D70s. The APS-C segment is where the money is, not FF. Most Pentax FF aspirants can talk a lot but the reality is most just don't have the means to buy one even if Pentax launched a 35mm FF tomorrow. Pentax users with money looking for FF have already jumped ship.
Exactly how would you know the "Pentax demographic?" How would you know how many "Pentax aspirants" have the "means" to buy a FF dSLR? I think you're making a lot of assumptions - on the other hand, my comments have the support of history, i.e., just look at what happened to Pentax when they started "bottom feeding" in the market when autofocus became the norm. Did they flourish? No, they withered. Those who fail to learn from history, as they say, are doomed to repeat it. APS-C is not where the money is any longer, especially for those with small shares of the market. APS-C margins have already been squeezed pretty hard by competition, and it's not going to get any better. Foot dragging on FF is just going to reduce the margins Pentax can make when they get around to it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
This is so true. High or low end, your R and D costs have to be made back on each camera. Sure, if Pentax came out with a 1900 dollar full frame camera they would sell some of them, but they would also end up losing money on each unit and they still wouldn't gain much market share. To make money per unit on full frame, they will definitely have to come in at a price over current Nikon and Canon lines. And I don't see anyone switching if they do that. To get people to switch, you would have to seriously undercut the competition or, offer something significantly better. They've got to start from the ground up. Moving people into Kxs and then to K7s and eventually have a pro line available.

I am not impressed by the number of Pentaxians with holes burning in their pockets for full frame. In fact, when a new camera comes out, I here more complaints about how it isn't different enough from the last camera and how it costs too much. When the K20 came out, it was too expensive and not a step up from the K10. Then, when its price dropped to 650 and the K7 came out, the K7 wasn't worth the price difference and you were far better going with the K20. Clearly these are not people chasing the latest and greatest technology, they are people chasing a good bargain (and I am one of them).
Again, more (groundless) assumptions. R&D can be spread over multiple products that share technology. Maybe a FF dSLR finally justifies a total revamp of autofocus for Pentax, which can then be shared with a K7 successor. FF has been overpriced for a while now due to the lack of competition, and there's more room for price decreases. The fact that Pentax can offer a medium format digital camera priced close to where the top 35mm format cameras are, with a bigger sensor, and with more than likely much smaller sales volumes, shows that the sensors are not so dear as the propagandists protecting their fat margins would like you to believe, unless you're prepared to argue that Pentax is offering the 645D at a loss out of the goodness of their new parent's heart (highly doubtful, I'd say). Assuming that $1,900 will be the price tag, and that such a price tag would be is a money loser, is all unfounded speculation. You could have been making the same arguments about a 645D price tag that significantly undercut other medium format digital cameras, and how did that turn out? How do you know how many people (Pentaxians or otherwise) would or would not buy a Pentax FF dSLR? I suspect many who profess a lack of interest today (when there is no Pentax FF dSLR) will change their view when one actually becomes available. As for the "bargain chasers," marketing only to them is not exactly a sound business strategy.
03-23-2010, 06:09 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
No, because the one thing you're forgetting is that Sony is stuck with the Minolta autofocus mount. There's not a whole lot of high-end autofocus glass in Minolta mount; most available stuff (in the case of zooms) is slow, variable aperture, plasticky consumer-grade stuff. Minolta, like Canon, abandoned their manual focus customers when they came out with autofocus gear. UNLIKE Canon, they didn't produce and market high-end stuff and become a dominant player in the post autofocus SLR market. There's a LOT more PK mount glass out there (given BOTH manual AND autofocus PK mount lenses will work) than there is Minolta AF glass. That's one reason why Sony's FF dSLRs aren't selling all that well. The other reason is they didn't do such a great job on their FF sensors in terms of noise control.

Pentax needs to stop the bleeding (of high end customers). If they don't get a FF dSLR into the market soon, nobody will care how terrific an APS-C dSLR they make, because they'll have lost what's left of their market share to Canon and Nikon (maybe a few to Sony). High end products are the profitable ones; entry level stuff earns profit on volume, and Pentax will never keep up on that basis with Canon and Nikon (not to mention Sony), who can just keep bombarding them with new product. If Pentax is going to be successful , they will need to expand their appeal, and that means a FF dSLR.
I just checked out Sony's collection of lenses - including the top Zeiss and G Series lines - and I'd say that they've got some pretty sweet offerings:

G 35mm/F1.4
Zeiss 85mm/F1.4
Zeiss 135mm/F1.8
G 300mm/F2.8

Zeiss 16-35mm/F2.8
Zeiss 24-70mm/F2.8
G 70-200mm/F2.8

So they've got 16-200 at a constant F2.8 covered and some fast primes as well. I don't think this "Sony hasn't sold because of the lenses" argument holds much water.

I do agree that Pentax loses customers who want to move beyond the K7. How many? It's hard to say. But I'd hazard a guess that the K-x, which recently had 4+ models in the top 50 on Amazon, is filling the bucket faster than the "no model beyond K7" phenomena is emptying it.

Pentax will probably go FF eventually. But can they really support 3 sensor sizes with bodies and glass effectively?
03-23-2010, 07:59 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I don't think this "Sony hasn't sold because of the lenses" argument holds much water.
+1 on that.
I was a long time Minolta user and the argument that was put forward relating to Sony's supposed problems as being linked to using the Minolta AF mount is pure ignorance.
03-24-2010, 12:06 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
G 35mm/F1.4

"Sony hasn't sold because of the lenses"
Sony 35mm 1:1.4 is not a very good peformer, judging from what I read. The rest of them are, for certain.

03-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
+1 on that.
I was a long time Minolta user and the argument that was put forward relating to Sony's supposed problems as being linked to using the Minolta AF mount is pure ignorance.
Since you were a Minolta user, you switched because you found their product line so impressive, presumably? All kidding aside, apart from a 70-200 or 80-200 F2.8, they had no long, fast AF zooms, (all slow, variable aperture stuff from what I've seen; have a look here: Minolta/Konica Minolta/Sony Alpha lens data) and their AF cameras and lenses were mostly plastic, not exactly a big appeal for pros that need durability and ruggedness. Like Pentax, Minolta's best gear was made in the manual focus era; unfortunately, unlike Pentax, you can't use any of Minolta's manual focus gear on their dSLRs, since their AF mount is not backward compatible. That's what I mean when I say Sony is "stuck with" the Minolta AF mount. Not much backward compatibility means a smaller pool of committed customers. The manual focus Minolta shooters who never went for Minolta autofocus gear didn't have any investment in Minolta AF mount, and were therefore unlikely to stick with it when they had to start from scratch to go digital.

The argument has been made many times that backward compatibility is "bad" for Pentax. I beg to differ, since if forced to start a new system from scratch, Pentax wouldn't even make my list. The ability to use existing lenses is the only reason many Pentax users continue to be Pentax users, and probably is the only reason Pentax continues to exist as a camera maker.

As for Sony's current line-up, there's some nice lenses there, but it's a mighty short list - hardly impressive compared to what you can get for Canon or Nikon, if you're starting from scratch.
03-26-2010, 03:43 AM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
Since you were a Minolta user, you switched because you found their product line so impressive, presumably? All kidding aside, apart from a 70-200 or 80-200 F2.8, they had no long, fast AF zooms, (all slow, variable aperture stuff from what I've seen; have a look here: Minolta/Konica Minolta/Sony Alpha lens data) and their AF cameras and lenses were mostly plastic, not exactly a big appeal for pros that need durability and ruggedness. Like Pentax, Minolta's best gear was made in the manual focus era; unfortunately, unlike Pentax, you can't use any of Minolta's manual focus gear on their dSLRs, since their AF mount is not backward compatible. That's what I mean when I say Sony is "stuck with" the Minolta AF mount. Not much backward compatibility means a smaller pool of committed customers. The manual focus Minolta shooters who never went for Minolta autofocus gear didn't have any investment in Minolta AF mount, and were therefore unlikely to stick with it when they had to start from scratch to go digital.

The argument has been made many times that backward compatibility is "bad" for Pentax. I beg to differ, since if forced to start a new system from scratch, Pentax wouldn't even make my list. The ability to use existing lenses is the only reason many Pentax users continue to be Pentax users, and probably is the only reason Pentax continues to exist as a camera maker.

As for Sony's current line-up, there's some nice lenses there, but it's a mighty short list - hardly impressive compared to what you can get for Canon or Nikon, if you're starting from scratch.
And how exactly does Sony's situation differ from Pentax's, except that there are a plethora of old, manual focus lenses out there that could be used on full frame for Pentax?
03-26-2010, 04:48 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
The ability to use existing lenses is the only reason many Pentax users continue to be Pentax users, and probably is the only reason Pentax continues to exist as a camera maker.
I agree with this somewhat, although I wouldn't say it's the only reason. After a lot of thinking I chose Pentax when starting from scratch (I only had a Sony bridge camera, the DSC-F717) a couple years ago.

One big reason was indeed the backwards compatibility coupled with in-body shake reduction.

Another big one was the possibility to create a cheap weather sealed combo. Now with the WR 18-55mm this combo can be created RIDICULOUSLY cheap, especially if one settles for a K10D/K200D/K20D. I really wonder how much one would have to shell out for something similar from the other makes.

The third reason was the price/quality ratio, which seemed very good with Pentax.

Fourth reason was the incredible flexibility with the possibility of using Pentax medium format lenses via adapters. No other manufacturer can provide this level of interchangeability between DSLR/35mm/645/6x7 equipment. I often have a LX, a K10D and a 6x7 in my bag with lenses from each system and most of them can be used on the other bodies too (lenses from the bigger systems on smaller system bodies of course). I love it! Any day now I'm getting a Pentax monocular converter as well so I can use the tele lenses as spotting scopes...will for sure try the converter with my 6x7 adapter on the 6x7 400mm f4.0

And yes, I do have the 6x7 --> 645 adapter too, waiting for used 645Ds to appear in a few years
03-26-2010, 05:10 AM   #87
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If I were Pentax I'd do some overall product portfolio analysis to see where they're missing out on good revenues. FF is a contender but so is investment and production of a wider range of lenses filling gaps where other companies are taking revenue away from them. Ie Sigma.
03-26-2010, 07:34 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by 24X36NOW Quote
Since you were a Minolta user, you switched because you found their product line so impressive, presumably? All kidding aside, apart from a 70-200 or 80-200 F2.8, they had no long, fast AF zooms, (all slow, variable aperture stuff from what I've seen; have a look here: Minolta/Konica Minolta/Sony Alpha lens data) and their AF cameras and lenses were mostly plastic, not exactly a big appeal for pros that need durability and ruggedness. Like Pentax, Minolta's best gear was made in the manual focus era; unfortunately, unlike Pentax, you can't use any of Minolta's manual focus gear on their dSLRs, since their AF mount is not backward compatible. That's what I mean when I say Sony is "stuck with" the Minolta AF mount. Not much backward compatibility means a smaller pool of committed customers. The manual focus Minolta shooters who never went for Minolta autofocus gear didn't have any investment in Minolta AF mount, and were therefore unlikely to stick with it when they had to start from scratch to go digital.

The argument has been made many times that backward compatibility is "bad" for Pentax. I beg to differ, since if forced to start a new system from scratch, Pentax wouldn't even make my list. The ability to use existing lenses is the only reason many Pentax users continue to be Pentax users, and probably is the only reason Pentax continues to exist as a camera maker.

As for Sony's current line-up, there's some nice lenses there, but it's a mighty short list - hardly impressive compared to what you can get for Canon or Nikon, if you're starting from scratch.
Yes I've owned both Minolta non-AF film cameras like the SRT series, XE, XK, XD series as well as the AF film bodies like the 7000 to the 700si together with the MC/MD manual focus and AF versions. Minolta's switch to AF necessitated a change to the lens mount and to the overall lens line-up but I have never lamented nor considered it to be an issue at all. Simply put, in terms of functionality, the AF system was far superior than focusing manually and it allowed photographers of all abilities a lot more success in shooting and tracking fast moving subjects. So most Minolta users, at least the many that I knew, never considered the switch to AF to be a negative as you seem to imply. And I think the fact that Minolta sold A LOT of AF cameras and winning Camera of the Year honours testifies to the fact that most Minolta users did willingly made the switch to AF, and if not, there were definitely a lot more new users who bought Minolta AF cameras.

Admittedly Minolta has not always been prominent where telephoto zooms and long teles are concerned, but they did have a line-up of lenses that were comparable if not larger in number than Pentax's (excluding the legacy lenses). Minolta's prime lenses were pretty good (especially their G lenses). Sony's challenge is not, as in your words "stuck with" the Minolta AF mount, but because they were a late entrant in the DSLR arena, where even plenty of marketing and development dollars cannot win market and mind share overnight. Simply put, I think you just don't know enough about Minolta or Sony with your flawed supposition about the issue of Minolta's AF mount.
03-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #89
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I feel like everyone's ignoring the fact that all those beloved M42 lenses can be mounted on an A900 or A850 (with an adapter of course) and have both their full field of view and sensor-based stabilization. Focus confirmation too, if you buy enabled adapters. So aside from K-mount glass, Alpha-mount cameras can mount most of the same legacy lenses that are most popular for K-mount cameras. It's not like they're only able to mount a tiny selection of new, expensive glass.
03-28-2010, 04:08 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
I feel like everyone's ignoring the fact that all those beloved M42 lenses can be mounted on an A900 or A850 (with an adapter of course) and have both their full field of view and sensor-based stabilization. Focus confirmation too, if you buy enabled adapters. So aside from K-mount glass, Alpha-mount cameras can mount most of the same legacy lenses that are most popular for K-mount cameras. It's not like they're only able to mount a tiny selection of new, expensive glass.
Yes, and they can be mounted on Canon and Nikon with adapters as well. K-Mount lenses, on the other hand, can't be adapted without butchering them.
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