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02-20-2012, 08:20 AM   #331
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
The better high ISO performance is academic at this point. K-5 is in the same ballpark as the full frames.
Well I disagree. Looking at performance from D3s that is a way better camera at hi-isosettings. Future demands toward images for commercial use (I'm not talking about art of personal print for sale, but magazines) will be harder to meet. Pentax should invest in a camera that meets that future.

02-20-2012, 10:16 AM   #332
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well I disagree. Looking at performance from D3s that is a way better camera at hi-isosettings. Future demands toward images for commercial use (I'm not talking about art of personal print for sale, but magazines) will be harder to meet. Pentax should invest in a camera that meets that future.
Going by DXOmark, the D3s offers a stop and a half of better low light performance. Other full frame cameras have a significantly smaller advantage. And, this is with worse dynamic range and color depth than the K-5. So, I wouldn't call them "way better". I think it is safe to say that the K-5 is in the same ballpark. Note also that there are full frame cameras that the K-5 beats... the point here is that it isn't as simple as it used to be. There used to be a huge image quality gap between full frame and everything else, and that gap has diminished.

There's also the question about when a sensor is "good enough". Most people don't need a computer with more than 2 cores and a few GB of RAM - for 90% of use cases (emailing and watching youtube) modern computers are far more than most people need. Sure, a 12 core monster with 16GB of RAM is objectively more powerful, but it is a complete waste for most people. The race is over for speed in a consumer computer, and there's an argument that cameras will approach the same kind of barrier, if they haven't already. At the limits of the k-5's low light performance (at least with a fast lens), you are likely to be struggling with focusing and even being able to see your subject well enough to compose a shot well. Sure, going to ISO 200,000 is better than ISO 50,000, but the situations where that is meaningful are pretty scarce.

The question isn't "is full frame better?" The question ought to be: Is full frame enough better to move a lot of units and make more profit than an APS-C only strategy? Is it enough of a difference to motivate a lot of buyers? It is tough enough for a small player like Pentax to make a grab at a fairly large market (entry level DSLR). Don't expect a small market like full frame to magically be any different - in many ways it could be more difficult to do profitably.
02-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #333
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
There's also the question about when a sensor is "good enough". Most people don't need a computer with more than 2 cores and a few GB of RAM - for 90% of use cases (emailing and watching youtube) modern computers are far more than most people need.
In 1995 I bought a 1.2Ghz, 16MB of RAM Pentium that was WAY too fast for email and watching demos. Now, even if I could boot it up on a modern operating system, it would take days to load up a modern internet browser.
02-20-2012, 10:28 AM - 1 Like   #334
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
Going by DXOmark, the D3s offers a stop and a half of better low light performance. Other full frame cameras have a significantly smaller advantage.
When were those cameras brought to market?

02-20-2012, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #335
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
Going by DXOmark, the D3s offers a stop and a half of better low light performance. Other full frame cameras have a significantly smaller advantage. And, this is with worse dynamic range and color depth than the K-5.
The DR advantage is only really there at base ISO, and if you can ever see any difference in output from that small color depth delta, you must be superhuman

(Also, D800 has made up those small differences and then some, now.)

QuoteQuote:
So, I wouldn't call them "way better". I think it is safe to say that the K-5 is in the same ballpark. Note also that there are full frame cameras that the K-5 beats... the point here is that it isn't as simple as it used to be. There used to be a huge image quality gap between full frame and everything else, and that gap has diminished.
'Same ballpark', sure, but it depends on how you define the ballpark. Really, the Fuji X10 is in the same ballpark as the K-5 as well, then.

Also, the output is only part of the equation - how you get that output is another part. There's a pretty big difference in performance between the K-5 and D700 for example in AF lock speed and accuracy, especially with tracking and low-light shooting, there's a much better VF in the D700, and you enjoy the lens advantage in the wide-normal-mid telephoto focal lengths with regards to DOF control.


QuoteQuote:
The question isn't "is full frame better?" The question ought to be: Is full frame enough better to move a lot of units and make more profit than an APS-C only strategy? Is it enough of a difference to motivate a lot of buyers? It is tough enough for a small player like Pentax to make a grab at a fairly large market (entry level DSLR). Don't expect a small market like full frame to magically be any different - in many ways it could be more difficult to do profitably.
That is the question - but also, what is the cost of doing nothing, or of doing half measures? Pentax may not be able to sell K-mount lenses in the market that will exist five years from now at sufficient volumes without an FF footing.


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02-20-2012, 01:19 PM   #336
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Thanks Jay. And that's why I think Pentax are taking their time with their FF prototype. Something to look forward to.
02-20-2012, 01:46 PM   #337
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Thanks Jay. And that's why I think Pentax are taking their time with their FF prototype. Something to look forward to.
"Taking their time" really probably means "Playing it Safe", and it means that they still won't have the lenses that would make their offering truly competitive when/if they decide to release it, unless they greatly accelerate the roadmap the same year they release the camera, which could be very expensive if they don't have the existing capacity to do that.

In the meantime, they're bleeding the shooters they'll need to retain, and they aren't selling any of these new lenses to asp-c shooters. And Sigma/Tamron/VL/Zeiss take their cues from that, K-mount choices constrict even more, and the situation self-perpetuates to the point where Ricoh could just say, "Let's cut our losses and dump K-mount, in hindsight we lost our chance by procrastinating, let's start fresh."


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02-20-2012, 03:07 PM   #338
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
That is the question - but also, what is the cost of doing nothing, or of doing half measures? Pentax may not be able to sell K-mount lenses in the market that will exist five years from now at sufficient volumes without an FF footing.
Thank you J, the cost of inaction is something that Pentax should have considered when they canceled the K-1, along with a lot of other decisions that have led to their marginalization since the golden age of film. Every day that goes by without a professional camera they lose more and more of their shooters to brands that do offer such a camera. They've missed so many opportunities because of their aversion to risk. Six months ago they could have announced a 36mp full frame for under 3 grand and turned the camera world upside down, now it's too late, Nikon has beaten them too it. It's like they keep waiting for the "right time" but it's never going to come because, guess what, the rest of the industry doesn't stand still.

02-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #339
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
That is the question - but also, what is the cost of doing nothing, or of doing half measures? Pentax may not be able to sell K-mount lenses in the market that will exist five years from now at sufficient volumes without an FF footing.

If we want to claim that a FF will make Pentax suddenly more successful, we need to explain why that didn't happen with Sony and FF. And we need to explain how it will be different with Pentax. Pretty much since the first FF came out, it seems like people have been screaming for Pentax to have one and prophesying the death of Pentax if they don't have one, but that still hasn't happened.

Can a camera manufacturer be successful by only selling APS-C bodies and smaller? Absolutely. Will they ever dominate the market? No. Could a full frame be harmful to a smaller manufacturer if it diverted resources from more profitable market segments? Yes.

All I'm saying is that full frame isn't a black-and-white affair - there are lots of ways it could help, but lots of things about it that could be damaging. A well implemented solution is more important than just throwing out something to fill a certain segment. It reminds me of the people that want Apple to put out a cheap desktop tower just like everybody else - but it is insane to suggest they should compete in a low-margin, super competitive segment when they are profitable and successful elsewhere. "Me too" strategies are seldom successful.
02-20-2012, 06:29 PM   #340
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
If we want to claim that a FF will make Pentax suddenly more successful, we need to explain why that didn't happen with Sony and FF.
It has been explained, quite a few times.

1) Sony name carries(carried) no particular appeal with photographers
2) No Live view
3) So-so AF
4) So-so 'high iso' capability (worst in class)
5) New lenses were few and mostly expensive - comparison 'pricing out' a kit at the counter or online didn't favor Sony. (link)

Trying to use Sony as an example why you don't want to move into FF is like using the Newton as a reason to skip producing the Ipad.


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02-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #341
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
It has been explained, quite a few times.

1) Sony name carries(carried) no particular appeal with photographers
2) No Live view
3) So-so AF
4) So-so 'high iso' capability (worst in class)
5) New lenses were few and mostly expensive - comparison 'pricing out' a kit at the counter or online didn't favor Sony. (link)

Trying to use Sony as an example why you don't want to move into FF is like using the Newton as a reason to skip producing the Ipad.
What this says to me, however, is that FF isn't nearly as important as making good cameras. I don't think Pentax will do any better than Sony on name recognition - Sony doesn't have the photographer clout, but it does have huge recognition and advertising budgets that offset that. I don't see Live View as a make-or-break feature either... AF and High ISO are issues, but that just highlights my point, which is that people are motivated by performance more than sensor size. In terms of pricing... Sony seems like they always overprice their products, so who knows what logic motivates that.

FF is a means to an end for most - they want really good performance, and if a large sensor helps produce that, that's where they will head. If it doesn't offer a considerable benefit, it isn't going to sell. If you can offer a really awesome APS-C, you can guarantee that you're going to appease some of those people that are crying for full frame, without all the risks involved.
02-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #342
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
If we want to claim that a FF will make Pentax suddenly more successful, we need to explain why that didn't happen with Sony and FF.
Sony doesn't have 20 million full frame lenses
02-20-2012, 07:01 PM   #343
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
Sony doesn't have 20 million full frame lenses
Are you forgetting Minolta? A lot of compatible legacy glass there.
02-20-2012, 08:06 PM   #344
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
What this says to me, however, is that FF isn't nearly as important as making good cameras.
That's always going to trump everything else. Funny thing is that the A850 especially was really a lot of camera for the money, and a lot of smart photographers who knew what they wanted (and knew what they didn't need) chose that camera. It's just that it and the A900 didn't have the check-box items that would appeal to those masses of 5DII, D700 or even D3/1Ds buyers, it had a few 'negatives' that would pop up in reviews, and that the lower body price didn't hold up when folks were pricing out the entire kits.


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02-20-2012, 08:45 PM   #345
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Ya, it's too bad that the A850/900 didn't really pan out as well as was hoped. I'd have loved to have an excuse to get some of those Zeiss lenses, as expensive as they are, but the system as a whole just didn't fit my needs.
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