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03-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Now that its here

Now that the 645d is finally here what can this tell us about the future. First lets revisit the past.
K-10, K-20 Offering us affordable rugged weathersealed cameras. Perhaps not the absolute top of the line in specs, but very solid performers. (ask Benjikan if you disagree).
K-m Small size, good build good optically, overall a very good camera at a reasonable price.
K-7 Great build quality, high if not top specs, however in an extremly rugged package. Remember all the buzz it generated with the canikon crowd when released?
KX Fantistic image quality from an entry level camera. And tiny. I convinced a friend to buy one for his wife and my first reaction when holding it was where's the rest of it.
645d now the Canikon world is shaken up. Their FF cameras have just lost a little shine in certain realms of photography. Granted they are still the kings of the sports and ISO realms, but just got kicked in the teeth for landscape and possibly studio. Also the other MF companies are probably thinking "not those Pentax guys again."
So ask ourselves now that Hoya is in charge of the purse strings where are we headed? did they only revive the 645d because most of the R&D money was already spent? Or does Hoya hope by jumping an admitted niche with limited competition they can eventually grab a larger piece of the DSLR market. Bear in mind while the lineup of MF glass from Pentax may be somewhat limited, I'm fairly certain it is larger than the Canikon crowds.
with the publicity garnered among the dedicated photography world, has Pentax placed themselves in a better position to get even more respect? Can they next target the Canikon crowd. Remember, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

Shu

BTW I realize I omitted several models of cameras, however I felt it necessary to only include ones I have at least held that I thought were unique in some way.

03-11-2010, 07:43 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuie Quote
Bear in mind while the lineup of MF glass from Pentax may be somewhat limited, I'm fairly certain it is larger than the Canikon crowds.
Having used the 645/N for 25 years I would not disagree that the 645 optics are limited in selection. I have 11 645 lenses and that is not even half of what they offer.
03-11-2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuie Quote
Now that the 645d is finally here what can this tell us about the future. First lets revisit the past.
K-10, K-20 Offering us affordable rugged weathersealed cameras. Perhaps not the absolute top of the line in specs, but very solid performers. (ask Benjikan if you disagree).
K-m Small size, good build good optically, overall a very good camera at a reasonable price.
K-7 Great build quality, high if not top specs, however in an extremly rugged package. Remember all the buzz it generated with the canikon crowd when released?
KX Fantistic image quality from an entry level camera. And tiny. I convinced a friend to buy one for his wife and my first reaction when holding it was where's the rest of it.
645d now the Canikon world is shaken up. Their FF cameras have just lost a little shine in certain realms of photography. Granted they are still the kings of the sports and ISO realms, but just got kicked in the teeth for landscape and possibly studio. Also the other MF companies are probably thinking "not those Pentax guys again."
So ask ourselves now that Hoya is in charge of the purse strings where are we headed? did they only revive the 645d because most of the R&D money was already spent? Or does Hoya hope by jumping an admitted niche with limited competition they can eventually grab a larger piece of the DSLR market. Bear in mind while the lineup of MF glass from Pentax may be somewhat limited, I'm fairly certain it is larger than the Canikon crowds.
with the publicity garnered among the dedicated photography world, has Pentax placed themselves in a better position to get even more respect? Can they next target the Canikon crowd. Remember, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

Shu

BTW I realize I omitted several models of cameras, however I felt it necessary to only include ones I have at least held that I thought were unique in some way.
QuoteOriginally posted by D W Quote
Having used the 645/N for 25 years I would not disagree that the 645 optics are limited in selection. I have 11 645 lenses and that is not even half of what they offer.
I would say Pentax's next move should be be a dSLR between the K-7 and the 645d. Logically that would be a highly-spec'd, durable, WR, good-value FF camera in a K20 body.

Fortunately one reason they can offer the 645D at all is they still make FA645 lenses for the home market. Eventually most of those designs will be converted to SDM, but for now the camera is eminently usable with NIB lenses - eBay isn't required. Another reason is the Japanese enthusiast market (I read) is loaded with 645N/NII users who don't expect rental and pro support. To penetrate the EU and USA Pentax would need to provide this support - something that will be impossible for $9400 - that's why Hass/Mamiya/P1 are $20M - $40M - to support the support!

Unfortunately the analog condition doesn't exist for 24x36 image circle lenses. My guess is Pentax will never develop a truly FF system to compete at the pro level with Canon and Nikon. They can't develop all the lenses, will never have the revenue volume to support the support and the dream that they could reissue FA lenses is just a dream.

Maybe there are enough Pentax geeks around that an enthusiast FF camera could sell, but it would never compete at volume with Canon and Nikon.
03-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #4
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My only comment abouth developement of ff glass is they have only done so. With the fact that FA* M* A* lenses could be respeced with newer improvements in glass elements not necessarily demanding a total redesign. I believe using older optic designs combined with newer manufacturing technology and materials Pentax could in fact compete with their lens lineup. Why reinvent the wheel when you already have some of the best wheels out there. I think too many people believe Canikon are some giant who can't be beaten. I don't know if hoyatax has any intentions of playing David, but with the attention they are have recently gotten, Goliath may be developing a bit of a headache.

03-11-2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuie Quote
My only comment abouth developement of ff glass is they have only done so. With the fact that FA* M* A* lenses could be respeced with newer improvements in glass elements not necessarily demanding a total redesign. I believe using older optic designs combined with newer manufacturing technology and materials Pentax could in fact compete with their lens lineup. Why reinvent the wheel when you already have some of the best wheels out there. I think too many people believe Canikon are some giant who can't be beaten. I don't know if hoyatax has any intentions of playing David, but with the attention they are have recently gotten, Goliath may be developing a bit of a headache.
Since they can't use lead in the elements the optical redesign is more extensive than one might think. One benefit of APSc lenses is less glass, and look how expensive THEY are!! Add metal WR barrels, decent SDM and rear element coatings and I just can't see how Hoya/Pentax can develop a full-line FF system including pro support, at lower volumes, than Canikon and maintain their tradition value bias.

Not saying never, just that it doesn't seem likely.
03-12-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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Pentax of late done a great job of keeping true to their tagline "Be Interesting." Pentax now has the most interesting line of dSLRs, a multi-hued entry level K-x, and small tough pitbull K7, and now the game-changing 645D. Even their recent P&S cameras have utilized interseting shapes and finishes to distinguish themselves. It's a smart strategy. Unlike Sony, Pentax doesn't have the resources to battle Canikon head-on, so they must find and create market niches that they can compete in. That's what Panasonic and Olympus did when they shifted to M43, and it seems to be working for them.

With all of that said, I think the Pentax's next camera will continue the "Be Interesting" theme.

Is FF in a K20d-sized body interesting enough? I'd say no - FF in a K7-sized body is much more interesting.

Is EVIL APS-C interesting enough? Maybe, if they act soon. Samsung and Sony are knocking on the door though, so Pentax would have to move quickly.

Is a weatherproof, APS-C, EVIL with Video and full manual control interesting enough? Maybe.

Whatever the case, I hope that Pentax continues to be interesting...
03-12-2010, 03:37 PM   #7
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Funny, I was just looking over the photos from the Pentax stand at one of the recent shows, and between the 645D, K-7, K-x, and those uniquely flavored compacts, all I could think was that Hoya's push for greater discipline in the Pentax company has definitely cleaned up their act and pulled their product lineup into a neat package that is diverse yet unified, and the best single word to describe that overall lineup is "interesting."

I see a bright future for Pentax.
03-12-2010, 03:59 PM   #8
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it seems to me that rather than shotgunning a large number of products Pentax has chosen to target a smaller number of very precise and well engineered ones. my thinking would be that with the 645d being aimed at pros, and very well heeled amatures, the only hole left in their lineup is a more dedicated pro system (ie sports). If anything can hold them back it will most likely be lack of pro support. i would think that even though the 645 shares technology with the k-7, pentax probably learned much about more robust and larger format cameras which they can apply in the future. We are all aware pentax has created strong good handleing weathersealed bodies for longer than Canikon. Perhaps we may see them release a game changing system. I hope so. They certainly have gotten everybody's attention. One thing to consider is even though they may be smaller, all it would take would be for one revolutionary product, much as in the tech world. It all may be wishful thinking, but i can't remember when, in the last 15 years Pentax has generated as much talk. i just hope our fearless leaders in Japan capitalize on they good PR.

cheers
shuie

03-12-2010, 04:06 PM   #9
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To me it seems Pentax is making money again, so i'd love to see the lens prices go back down.
03-12-2010, 04:13 PM   #10
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Pentax could actually spend money on advertising. That would be an interesting move.
03-12-2010, 05:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LinXitoW Quote
To me it seems Pentax is making money again, so i'd love to see the lens prices go back down.
That's an interesting idea. I'll back that.
03-12-2010, 05:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
That's an interesting idea. I'll back that.
You're promoting LBA?!
03-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by joakimfors Quote
You're promoting LBA?!
No, the LBA already exists. I'm promoting measures which would allow people like me to act on our LBA.
03-12-2010, 07:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LinXitoW Quote
To me it seems Pentax is making money again, so i'd love to see the lens prices go back down.
Uhmm, What then . . . they return to losing money?
03-12-2010, 07:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Pentax could actually spend money on advertising. That would be an interesting move.
I'm wondering if the 645D actually was their way of spending money on advertising. Even if it just breaks even, this has gotten a lot of chatter even in the Canikon camps...
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