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03-27-2010, 04:58 AM   #1
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Any K7 successor likely this FY?

Hi All,
I'm curious whether anyone believes there is any likelihood of a successor to the K7 before July 2010. I'm thinking of buying one right now, but if there was a successor likely in that timeframe I would more likely wait to see its spec. It would presumably also bring the K7 price down prior to switching to the new model.

Rob

03-27-2010, 05:23 AM   #2
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There's no solid answer to this.

My belief: We'll see a middle ground camera (Between the K-x and K-7) introduced in that time frame.
03-27-2010, 05:23 AM   #3
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Personally I don't think so. I feel the entire industry is slowing releases down.

BUT...remember you can wait forever, there will be ALWAYS something bigger and better just around the corner.
03-27-2010, 05:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by noahpurdy Quote
There's no solid answer to this.
All the speculation seems to be focussed on a FF body but IMO that seems unlikely.

QuoteQuote:
My belief: We'll see a middle ground camera (Between the K-x and K-7) introduced in that time frame.
Interesting! I'd still go for the K7 then.

Rob

03-27-2010, 06:01 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by omega leader Quote
BUT...remember you can wait forever, there will be ALWAYS something bigger and better just around the corner.
Yep. Not quite as bad in cameras as computers but still true. One thing I was pleased to note was that firmware updates for the K7 are being released. I waited a long time to buy the K200 - if I'd waited a little longer, the Kx might have been better, but I'm still quite happy with it. But the K7 has a LOT of features missing from the K200.

Rob
03-27-2010, 06:36 AM   #6
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I was in the same situation a year ago, and this is what I remembered....

For the K7, it was released in mid May 09, and I purchased my K20 in April. Leading up to the K7, there was a lot of leaked information, building up anticipation, and then they announced a release date. Prior to that, the price on the K20 broke around Christmas a bit. Then after the first of the year, Pentax added on the 3 year warranty, then the price stepped down after it broke $1K, until it bottomed out at around $700 when the K7 was released. I bought knowing full well that the K7 was a month away, but at $700 the price was just too good to pass-up. Also, the exact features were just a speculation. I figured that the K7 would not reach the $700 mark for another 12 - 18 months, so getting the K20 made sense. Am I sorry for not waiting - not really. I have really enjoyed the K20, my skills have increased, and it was just what I needed at the time.

The KX, was somewhat of a surprise stealth announcement, as I remember. All of a sudden it was just there. No leaks, no build up, no real price break of the K2000/KM, leading up to the announcement. It is just me speculating that the KX was timed with the end of the K2000/KM production run and inventory depletion that reached a certain level.

The 645D again was also just an announcement. Pentax had made a number of references that it was coming, however they had said that for years. There was nothing to really replace, since the 645 film body was not in production, hence no prior model price reduction or warranty addition. No real run-up in announcement speculation like the K7. In fact there was some what of a run on the old film based 645 lenses that were available on ebay and KHR, on the day of the announcement.

So where does that leave the analysis. The K7 has come down in price, breaking the $1K barrier, currently somewhat wandering in the 900's. No real anticipation of a new body being worked up in the masses, with leaks. No real drops of information here and there. Pentax has not done anything really to even start to clear inventory - like the addition of the 3 year warranty. So, my guess - which is as good as yours, is that Pentax will announce something out of the blue, or it will show up at a one of the future camera shows. So, my speculation is that they will silently let K7 production end. Silently start beta testing, then start new production, while letting the K7 inventory deplete naturally. Then announce something new, when they have the new camera setup and ready to go. If you remember the K7's firmware appeared to have some pre-production loads for the first set of units, with a firmware update soon after release. Also, I remember that there were some beta testers that were publicly talking about the camera and images were posted. This did not happen with the KX.....

You certainly know that the new camera will be price above the K7's current price, and in this economy I do not think that you will see any aggressive price reductions to clear the shelves. I also think that the K20's price floor at $700 or so, shows to some degree the amount of price elasticity or softness there could be. So right now, I would guess that your playing with about a $200 or about a 20% margin. I can only guess that if they intend to come out with a new model, this year, that they would need it out and available for Christmas. So looking back to the KX again - which was out for last Christmas, it was announced in September (searching back on the web). So if Pentax intends to do something this year, it will probably be within the next 6 months and your probably risking at most $200 in price.

I was just reading in another thread that a retailer is offering the K7 and a kit lens for 899, so with the bing cash back and selling off the kit lens for $50, that effectively brings the body only price down to $800.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/95112-k-7-18-55mm-%248...-cashback.html

In yet another thread, a Swedish retailer was speculating that a mid level body would come out this year. So who really knows for sure....

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/81158-what-comes-after-k7-14.html (post #206)


Last edited by interested_observer; 03-27-2010 at 07:00 AM.
03-27-2010, 09:04 AM   #7
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A good discussion about prices, introductions, etc.

Because i was in management for a period of time(but not in the camera industry)
, i tend to look at things from a slightly different perspective, that is, labor resources and their costs.

In a very simplistic way, all camera companies have 2 types of workers behind each product: A) the design and engineering staff, and B) the manufacturing staff.

A) Design and engineering staff are usually some of the highest labor cost assets per person. Their skills and abilities often reach of peak of effectiveness after a few years of formal classroom training and a few years of on the job experience. Once laid off, you can't easily recover their numbers again. Also, the culture of a product often resides in these design folks and their values. After a design team finishes a particular design, say the 645D, you keep a few of the team on for follow-up work, but the majority will often be reassigned to a new project. You can't lay them off because its difficult to rehire, you can't let them sit around and do nothing while paying them, and so you must assign them to a new project. On the other hand, you generally can't let them work indefinitely on a specific project since the overhead costs for that project go thru the roof and few people will want to buy it. So generally new camera models will always be coming out, whether its a substantial change, like the K7 or just window dressing, perhaps like some of the lower cost Sonys. (in the point and shoot world apparently, some camera companies are actually farming out their design and engineering work to other companies and then putting their label on them)

B) Manufacturing plants and their teams are also something that you want to keep busy producing product for the parent company. You can't just shut down a plant for 3 months or longer and then expect all those people to be there waiting when you want to start up again. Many will wander off and get jobs somewhere else. There are some startup costs with each new product, such as building the injection molds for each new body, and solving any space interference issues that the design team may have screwed up on, ordering new stocks of supplies like sensors, wiring, etc. required for the new design. The volkswagon car after WWII was a case where design and manufacturing costs were kept very low by accomplishing only minor changes from year to year. A product like this builds up a reputation for reliability at low cost. But in the camera world, the advertising and sales staff seem all geared up to present the case for buying the new model of camera for all the usual reasons, e.g. this one comes in colors, this one has improved AF, this one has better IQ, the "next best camera" syndrome. Buy, buy, buy. Sometimes they are much better but many times there are pros and cons to the changes like adding more megapixels. Like the design and engineering team, you generally can't just let a top flight manufacturing plant and staff just lie idle. Best to keep the operating equipment maintained and staff at peak manufacturing efficiency. You can either build old designs or new designs, but you've got to have them doing something.

If you want to slow down the camera introduction rate, you reduce the number of A) employees, if you want to reduce stock inventories (and storage costs), then reduce the number of B) manufacturing employees, operate one shift instead of 2 or 3, etc.

So will we see a new Pentax camera this year. Well for certain they are working on it and have been doing so for many months. IMO, its a remake of the K7, like the D300s, with a different non-Samsung sensor. No FF sensor this year. New camera not likely to show up this summer. What facts do i have - absolutely none :-)
03-27-2010, 09:26 AM   #8
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There have been a number of threads asking this....

Might be a month or two off, but the dates I could dig up from the web are;
K10d - released Sept 06
K10d Grand Prix - released June 07
K20d - released Jan 08
K20d Titan - released Mar 09
K-7 - released May 09
K-7 Silver - released Mar 10

So...if this timeline holds true....the next top end 35mm dslr camera would be in 2 to 6 months. Of course the release of the 645d could cause a change in the schedule....

03-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #9
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The answer to this question is based on variables that we don't know.

For example, if Hoya/Pentax plans on releasing two new camera models this year, I would guess we will see one model in late spring or early summer so the releases are spaced far enough apart (replicating the K-7 and K-x release date).

If they are planning on releasing just one camera, I would guess it would be timed for later Summer or Fall to coincide with Photokina. Of course, if there are two camera models, nothing prevents them from releasing both at the same time, which again would make more sense closer to fall. Get as much mileage as the K-7 and K-x as they can, then bring out the new stuff for the fall/winter shopping season.

If they release no camera models this year, that could suggest they're really rethinking their strategy and are working on something larger for next year.

Also guesses -- likely no full frame or EVIL cameras this year. But next year, maybe?

As for your decision to buy the K-7, I say wait a few months if you can stand it, until a vendor gives you an offer you can't refuse.

Or buy one now and have fun taking a ton of photos. That's what I did, at full price. No regrets
03-27-2010, 05:21 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I realised that they would be speculation, but there's been some really interesting points like the timeline of past releases, and the need to keep the design/manufacturing team going. Frankly, one of my concerns is that in Australia we're very much at the mercy of the exchange rate with the USD. At the moment the AUD is pretty strong against both the yen and USD, so the body prices are comparable with the US. Lens prices aren't! So I have to gamble on whether the AUD will still be strong in 3 months (to just before the end of the FY) or bite the bullet now. Oh, and grey market Pentax equipment isn't covered by CR Kennedy (local distributors), so I'd rather buy a camera body here. At the moment I can get a locally warranted K7 for very close to the best price in the US.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what Pentax is likely to offer in a successor to the K7 that would be worth waiting for. I don't think there's likely to be a significant increase in megapixels. Having a FF sensor really doesn't concern me that much - in fact I like the effective increase in focal length from the smaller sensor. The K7 is already up to a shutter speed at the top end which is faster than I'm likely to use. At the bottom end of the shutter speed, stacking is probably the way to go. It already has HDR in camera. There's already HD video in camera with the ability to connect an external stereo microphone, although true HD as a resolution would be nice (1080p). One minor concern I have is that I've never seen figures on the audio quality for the camera.

No, I really can't think of any features that I might add to the K7 specification to make a new model worth waiting for. :-7
03-27-2010, 07:19 PM   #11
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Wait till Photokina
03-27-2010, 11:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zackspeed Quote
Wait till Photokina
September? No thanks.
03-28-2010, 01:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Hi All,
I'm curious whether anyone believes there is any likelihood of a successor to the K7 before July 2010. I'm thinking of buying one right now, but if there was a successor likely in that timeframe I would more likely wait to see its spec. It would presumably also bring the K7 price down prior to switching to the new model.

Rob
I have read some "predictions" of a K200-like camera due around mid-year, and the rumour has been for an announcement of a K-7 replacement at Photokina in late september.

But quite frankly I don't see where this K200 replacement would fit pricewise: K-x is around €500 and K-7 can be found at €755 (both prices from amazon.fr)... not much space to fit in.

Maybe it would make more sense to release a K-7 replacement first (APS-C 14MP sensor from Sony @ €1300) and then, release a K200 replacement around €800 at Photokina and a K-x replacement around €600 lin early 2011 but that's just IMUO (In My Uninformed Opinion...).
03-28-2010, 02:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
But quite frankly I don't see where this K200 replacement would fit pricewise: K-x is around 500 and K-7 can be found at 755 (both prices from amazon.fr)... not much space to fit in.
I don't either - I thought the Kx was the K200 replacement just as the K7 was the K20 replacement.

Rob
03-28-2010, 02:44 AM   #15
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The K-7 is an excellent camera, whatever is your final choice.
You can't go wrong buying it, IMO that's the most important: you don't risk much.
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