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01-19-2012, 10:49 AM   #2206
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QuoteOriginally posted by rjcassara Quote
I don't think there is any way for Pentax to get a FF at $2,000-$2,500 USD. That's what a 5D Mk II runs for, and it has:

-worse build quality
-Canon's economy of scale

Realistically, a Pentax FF would be north of $2,500 and may even sacrifice some features to get there.
I'm not sure about features, but AF up to the standards of Canikon, that's a major issue for a camera over $2,000.

But look at Nikon. The D300s and the D700 are pretty much the same body and feature set, witht he D700 at $1,000 higher.

And these are not just MSRP. These prices don't really budge down no volume sales.......because there are none.

So comparing to the K-5 and prior upper end Pentax models does not work. They are not in the same cost, market space, price point, and shelf life segments due to underlying cost structures to bring to market and much, much lower demand.

To retain market share currently Pentax is compelled to drop prices and issue new models. That does not work in FF, in large part because of the very constricted supply of FF sensors.

QuoteQuote:
Moreover, Aristophanes, you always argue like the risk avoiding chief controller asking if the risk is worth the benefit. I dealt with such people during my career. Over time, they more often came to me asking what ideas I would have to create new revenue because they saw that risk avoidance and cost cutting leads them ... to keep the company profitable but disappear.
There is zero evidence of Pentax disappearing because of FF draw. It's the other way around. It's the lower end that is the problem for Pentax, and the meaty middle, threatened by m43, MILC in general. According to all market data, Pentax unit sales are still modestly growing. The absence of FF has not impacted growth because the aggregate added units FF would offer would hardly budge the needle.

The consumer demand for camera bodies over $2,000 is tiny. You're overestimating it compared to the market data. It's not quite the 1%, but more like the 2.5%.

01-19-2012, 10:56 AM   #2207
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sinister Quote
What do you think has Sony done wrong?


there are some possible reasons I cant think of. lack of exposure to promote the product, priced too high considering there are better FF or APS-H that are being offered, it has a lot of things missing on the camera, lack of lenses, etc.... I don't know why Sony had to price them that high or basically they would had probably relied on their Brand name as a consumer electronic giant would make them a camera giant. I remember before the 3D TVs were up for sale and I asked a Sony rep how much they would cost and the rep told me a ridiculous figure for it. a month later, Samsung came out with their own 3D TV for half or even a fourth of what was being asked by Sony. a few months after that, Sony cut their prices around what Samsung was offering or even a bit more cheaper.

so it is more likely has to do with Sony's aggressiveness or overconfidence in the sales of their products envision their success rather than do some more feasible study on how the market would cater their product. I guess they learned their lesson on how they price their NEX-5n. if the NEX-5n were priced around $1,500, I'm not sure if they will have the same sales figures that they currently have right now.
01-19-2012, 11:52 AM   #2208
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QuoteOriginally posted by rjcassara Quote
I don't think there is any way for Pentax to get a FF at $2,000-$2,500 USD. That's what a 5D Mk II runs for, and it has:

-worse build quality
-Canon's economy of scale

Realistically, a Pentax FF would be north of $2,500 and may even sacrifice some features to get there.
I don't think you spent nearly as much effort as me to compute an FF camera's building cost. My figure is an even conservative estimate of what Pentax can do.
01-19-2012, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #2209
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
That does not work in FF, in large part because of the very constricted supply of FF sensors.
Your arguments eventually all fall back onto this claim.

I seriously doubt it. Sony Microelectronics must try very hard to raise the value of CMOS sensors embedded into system cameras. Right now, it has become ridiculously low, between 2% and 10% of the overall product. Their best option is to create a market for larger formats and I am pretty sure this is exactly what we see happening this year. Unlike Canikon, they don't (nor does the Sony camera divison) have to protect $5000 cameras from canibalization.

01-19-2012, 12:14 PM   #2210
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I'll make a shot, outlining how a full frame Pentax should look IMHO.

I'll collect feed-back and may write a blog article outlining a camera which may create enough interest. Here we go...

<snip>
Yeah, I could go for this camera though I would classify it as a semi-pro model. This would leave them free to add a pro level FF in the future, and also move the successor for the K-r up half a tier, and add an entry level model below that, possibly mirrorless.

A couple other thoughts: I can't help but noticing that it is a mere 1mm wider than the K20d, I think that is about the right size despite what other people will argue. Foregoing SR is crazy, and when you add the better AF system that everyone is wanting, it ends up being about the size of the K20d (which was bigger than it needed to be for APS-C), but I would love to see it fit into a K20d body in hopes that we might one day see an underwater housing for both cameras.

As far as 35MP, it's really more than I think is needed. I'd much rather see a 24MP full frame with a 6Ám pitch for lower shadow noise and a higher diffraction limit.

Any FF camera needs to include APS-C crop mode for sure, and like you say, it should have a default behavior with a manual override, and maybe an APS-H crop for lenses that don't quite make the FF image circle, or for when filling the frame just isn't feasible. I would also like to be able see the crop in the viewfinder. A sliding mask just behind the diopter is my idea for achiving this and that would also provide options for different aspect ratios, but even something as simple as frame lines on the focusing screen would work.

Everyone pretty much agrees that AF needs improvement. I think 3d tracking is very important for sport and wildlife shooters. I would add that the AF array should cover a larger area of the frame, when you look at the 645D's AF area it is the same size as the K5, and I don't mean proportionally, I mean in absolute terms. I don't see why they even bothered to put multiple points in when it only occupies the central 10% of the frame, it pretty much amounts to center point select. Ideally I'd like to see it cover about 80% of the frame in height and width.

As far as lenses go, I think you're right on the money with constant f/4 glass. High ISO performance has made f/2.8 lenses something of a specialty tool, as long as the f/4 glass is optimized for wide open shooting. There will be folks who just have to have f/2.8 (like me), but many more will be attracted to the lower price and smaller size of the slower lenses knowing that ISO 200 looks as good as ISO 50 did in the film days. Some may even decide to sell me their old FA* 300mm f/2.8 for a good price...
01-19-2012, 12:26 PM   #2211
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Your arguments eventually all fall back onto this claim.

I seriously doubt it. Sony Microelectronics must try very hard to raise the value of CMOS sensors embedded into system cameras. Right now, it has become ridiculously low, between 2% and 10% of the overall product. Their best option is to create a market for larger formats and I am pretty sure this is exactly what we see happening this year. Unlike Canikon, they don't (nor does the Sony camera divison) have to protect $5000 cameras from canibalization.
Absolutely.

No arguments that sensor supply is the driving issue.

But since the Sony brand is not able to drive a larger sensor system against Canikon's massively entrenched market, it's going to take a price war between Canon and Nikon to move this ship off the rocks. Those two will "create the larger market" because Sony is not there yet to do so in the traditional DSLR space.

In fact, FF prices have risen over the last 24 months, not fallen. And Sony dropped their 2 FF models from production, limiting them to NOS despite price advantages over Canikon. There is zero incentive for Sony to get Pentax to buy sensors at $250 a pop for 5,000 units per year when Nikon will gladly pay $400 a pop for 90,000 units per year.

And, while I agree your Pentax specs are ideal, the essential problem for Pentax is that they can really only deal with Canikon on price, by offering a slightly lower cost for the body, with less than stellar AF, and a much weaker lens and flash array.

How many people will spend $350 less on a Pentax FF body than a D800 when you get all the advantages of being in the Nikon camp? you'll need a far greater price difference than that, and a few mm shaved of the body dimensions to swing anyone in the market but a few thousand consumers who might troll this forum. A $2,250 body is pricey. Price = very small market.

Last edited by Aristophanes; 01-19-2012 at 12:58 PM.
01-19-2012, 12:29 PM   #2212
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QuoteOriginally posted by rjcassara Quote
I don't think there is any way for Pentax to get a FF at $2,000-$2,500 USD. That's what a 5D Mk II runs for, and it has:

-worse build quality
-Canon's economy of scale

Realistically, a Pentax FF would be north of $2,500 and may even sacrifice some features to get there.
Both Canon and Nikon have purposefully positioned their entry-FF tier in order to 1) not compete with their top-tier models, and 2) show separation from their bread & butter aps-c bodies, and 3) Make a nice per-body profit.

Ricoh doesn't need to do #1. This frees them up to make their top-end DSLR model both relatively feature-rich (within reason) and relatively affordable (within reason.)

.
01-19-2012, 12:32 PM   #2213
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Aristophanes, do you know, in absolute numbers, what is the worldwide market of 2000-2250$ camera ?

01-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #2214
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Another way to prop up support for new products from Pentax may be just contacting (email) our favorite photo dealer (or marketplace dealer if using Amazon, Best Buy or other large online retailer) and letting them know we still like Pentax products and look forward from more innovations from Pentax. Let's remember that they are the ones who actually buy to Pentax official distributors in our countries and sales staff may be more than willing to hear from those actual 'customers' of them.
01-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #2215
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jan67 Quote
Aristophanes, do you know, in absolute numbers, what is the worldwide market of 2000-2250$ camera ?
He doesn't, not even the 2008 market, not to mention the 2013, 2014 and 2015 markets. Asian and other markets are emerging, and as that ILC balloon expands the part of the balloon surface that covers FF expands as well.

.


.
01-19-2012, 01:18 PM   #2216
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Absolutely.

No arguments that sensor supply is the driving issue.
...
A $2,250 body is pricey. Price = very small market.
Ok, and market size at $2250 is our other key argument.

You seem to agree that if the market were large, sensor supply cost could be low enough. Kind of a vicious circle of course

I guess the $2250 market isn't that small if the offering is compelling enough. I don't see why Pentax wouldn't sell in the order of 50,000 a year.

But I agree, as soon as Canikon release a camera according to my specs, the chance for Pentax is gone and they can only follow by reusing tech offered to Canikon.
01-19-2012, 01:25 PM   #2217
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jan67 Quote
Aristophanes, do you know, in absolute numbers, what is the worldwide market of 2000-2250$ camera ?
The closest you'll get is the big picture here:

CIPA:Interchangeable Lens

So up to Nov. 2011 there weer ~14.5 million DSLR/m43 units shipped.

Pentax has about 5% market share for something about 800k units YOY.

The lens data shows that 35mm size product is about 3.5x bigger than for "smaller" than 35mm. Except there's a catch there in that many lenses are not sold exclusively for 35mm anymore; they are marketed as lenses for any DSLR of that mount/brand. The Pentax FA 50/1.4 is an example, and where is the DA*55 counted? Who knows? Is the DA*16-50 in which category? Who knows?

Many Canon, Nikon, and Pentax primes fit this category, so it is fungible.

I did backwards stats analysis of potential market share between APS-C and FF using Flickr stats about 2 years ago, and posted it here (I will try and find it). It showed that FF was under 10%, maybe smaller). It's hard to extrapolate, but I have spoken with a couple of marketing people in the industry and they confirmed that FF unit sales are a small minority of camera bodies. If it's less than 10%, Pentax may only sell 75,000 FF units per year, which, given worldwide distribution and a whole new re-tooling system, may not be enough. And it still does not get Pentax over the problems that they would need a whole new lens offering, at price points essentially competing with Canikon who are much more heavily invested. I suspect a break even for FF is around 200k per year. That seems to be what Sony was trying to get to with the A900/850, and they did not get there.

As much as I think a Canikon price war is what is needed, the last thing a new entrant Pentax would be able to tolerate is being party of that price war.
01-19-2012, 01:35 PM   #2218
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
A couple other thoughts: I can't help but noticing that it is a mere 1mm wider than the K20d, I think that is about the right size despite what other people will argue.
...
As far as 35MP, it's really more than I think is needed. I'd much rather see a 24MP full frame with a 6Ám pitch for lower shadow noise and a higher diffraction limit.
...
I would also like to be able see the crop in the viewfinder. A sliding mask just behind the diopter is my idea for achiving this and that would also provide options for different aspect ratios, but even something as simple as frame lines on the focusing screen would work.
...
I don't see why they even bothered to put multiple points in when it only occupies the central 10% of the frame, it pretty much amounts to center point select. Ideally I'd like to see it cover about 80% of the frame in height and width.
Thank you very much for your feed back.

The K10D size similiarity is by accident, but an interesting one

However, having shot the K-5 cut model, I don't see how they could reuse the body. But they could decide to obtain the same outer shape of course. I still think the more edgy K-7 body is more sexy.

I agree 24MP would suffice for a FF camera. However, a 35MP camera would be a no brainer for upgraders from a K-5 as the crop mode would provide the same image quality. This is why I propose 35MP. As is the anticipated offering of such a sensor from Sony. I'd not like to see a crippled (18MP) or old (24MP) FF Sony sensor. Moreover, 35MP does not negatively impact noise or diffraction properties -- you have to consider the image quality, not the pixel quality.

For crop lines I agree frame lines should be there. Ideally, Pentax could embbed an EVF and make a hybrid VF. However, this may be left for a higher market pro model.

As for the AF module: the 645D reuses the K-5 AF module. An AF module covering 80% of a 24x16mm sensor which gives you 20% coverage on a 44x33mm sensor... But it has an advantage too: it focusses much more precisely on a subject detail (like an eye). The K-5 AF focus points are too wide for my taste. Using the identical module with an FF sensor provides only 35% coverage but may just be the right size. I.e., a larger coverage would require more AF points, like 25 for 80%. So, a 25 points AF module would be best. But as a compromise, I would prefer 11 points 35% coverage over 11 points 80% coverage. However, I still would like to see an additional more powerful f/2.8 center AF sensor.
01-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #2219
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Moreover, 35MP does not negatively impact noise or diffraction properties -- you have to consider the image quality, not the pixel quality.
If they do go 35mpix, I hope they implement something like Canon's sRAW and mRAW.
01-19-2012, 01:56 PM   #2220
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
If they do go 35mpix, I hope they implement something like Canon's sRAW and mRAW.
I guess with the upcoming dSLRs breaking the 20MP barrier, we're going to see sDNG or similiar and I see no reason Pentax wouldn't support it. But we're deep in speculation territory here
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