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04-11-2012, 11:17 AM - 1 Like   #646
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Give me a timeline, say a reasonably close date when Pentax would cease to exists if they won't have a FF by then; and let's make a bet.

P.S. I'd rather say APS-C image quality will get better, not worse. If it's good for an SLR now, it will remain so in the future.
I think Falk has a good point though Cell phone images will improve to the point of apsc in many ways and for the vast majority that will be good enough (Hell already cell phones are good enough for the majority)
the k mount being to big for mirrorless is largely true when you look at the Fuji samsung and Sony offerings for size. For enthusiast SLR type cameras the market will become FF as production capacities increase and the cost comes down. no foot in the FF market will mean eroding market share while the entry level is eaten up by the other alternates
So yep without some move to change the current paradigm at Pentax I could see in 10 years the K mount being dead. Personally I think they see it also (it doesn't take a brain surgeon) and have changes in the wings that will begin to address it. whether it is enough to dramatically alter the share of the market is another thing altogether, and as the SLR market declines in sales volume in favour of the smaller alternates like cell phones so to will total sales if you don't grow your share of the market. Right Now SLR are selling in the biggest numbers ever exceeding the glory days of the 60's and 70's. but you just need to look at how much that market contracted in the 80's (when good quality AF P&S cameras came along) to see the dangers

04-11-2012, 11:34 AM - 1 Like   #647
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I think Falk has a good point though Cell phone images will improve to the point of apsc in many ways and for the vast majority that will be good enough (Hell already cell phones are good enough for the majority)
the k mount being to big for mirrorless is largely true when you look at the Fuji samsung and Sony offerings for size. For enthusiast SLR type cameras the market will become FF as production capacities increase and the cost comes down. no foot in the FF market will mean eroding market share while the entry level is eaten up by the other alternates
So yep without some move to change the current paradigm at Pentax I could see in 10 years the K mount being dead. Personally I think they see it also (it doesn't take a brain surgeon) and have changes in the wings that will begin to address it.

This is false logic.
1) People who find cell phones good enough won't buy a mirrorless either (why should they as the camera is even closer to a cell phone form factor?).
2) Customers for DSLR are people who want a dedicated camera. The cell phone and mirrorless have eroded P&S as it is not a dedicated instrument to the same extent in peoples mind. P&S's are causual cameras like cell phones. To some extent the same is true for mirrorless.
3) In spite of mirrorless and cellphones DSLR sales continue to increase. They will obviously reach a saturation point somewhere but this is not dependent on sensor size.
4) Mirrorless or not is not dependent on sensor size. People who want mirrorless will buy one at the quality and cost level that suits them. Regardless if we are talking FF, APS or smaller.
5) The main volume maker for any camera system, including DSLR's, is price. Hence, APS will be dominating (the quality is beyond good enough for full market acceptance long ago).
6) The need for FF, if there ever was one, are diminishing due to increased quality of sensor making larger sensors less necessary for image quality.

Last edited by Pål Jensen; 04-11-2012 at 11:54 AM.
04-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #648
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The discussion about my claim could be endless. I cannot prove it and I may be wrong. So, it is just my opinion I wanted to share.

As for a timeline, I'd say in 5 years from now, Pentax will look very different without adding FF. I didn't say Pentax would die, I said the K mount will. Just like what happened to Olympus and the FourThirds mount. One of the two died.
I'm pretty sure you will be proven wrong. K-mount will continue to be a APS system.

There are three main problems for Pentax and FF:

1) Making the camera profitable. The market is limited - mostly the people sitting on existing FF glass.
2) Pentax need to make a number of FF lenses, some of them fitting for the enthusiast, to support the FF camera. They need to sell in sufficient quantities. Considering that Pentax have serious holes in the APS lens line-up, the Q line-up, and the 645 line- up. This will be challenging.
3) Pentax need a long term FF sensor supplier that can supply them with state of the art sensors for at least a ten year perspective. Making an FF camera, with an FF lens system, without updating it in concert with sensor technology just won't do. Does such a supplier exist? And can Pentax afford it?

I expect Pentax will approach FF from above. I suspect they will make the 645 system cheaper by adopting the current cropped sensor as a defacto standard and start introducing DA 645 lenses. I wouldn't be suprised if there will be a $6000 645D in 2013 along with a couple of "cheaper" DA zooms.

This is just speculation....
04-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #649
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The discussion about my claim could be endless. I cannot prove it and I may be wrong. So, it is just my opinion I wanted to share.

As for a timeline, I'd say in 5 years from now, Pentax will look very different without adding FF. I didn't say Pentax would die, I said the K mount will. Just like what happened to Olympus and the FourThirds mount. One of the two died.
Indeed, you said the K-mount (I don't see Pentax without the K-mount, that's why) - but this doesn't change anything.

I'm certain Pentax will look very different 5 years from now, with or without FF. I'm also certain the K-mount would not die because of that. For you to be right in your prediction, the following conditions must be met (in the 5 years period):
- Pentax should not launch a so-called FF camera
- FF cameras should still exist, and DSLRs in general. No dramatic technological breakthrough would occur, e.g. contact with aliens (which would give us better than OVF electronic viewfinders)
- APS-C DSLRs should become non-viable
- as an effect, Pentax should stop making K-mount products
I don't see it happening.

The APS-C only K-mount survived a hostile take-over (followed by cost cutting and downsizing), two natural disasters and a buyout. 5 more years, with Ricoh at the helm - piece of cake.
The 4/3 survived 7 years, but it didn't die because the lack of a FF - Olympus simply miscalculated the sensor size and shape. I believe it's the lack of APS-C that killed it

04-11-2012, 12:47 PM   #650
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The discussion about my claim could be endless. I cannot prove it and I may be wrong. So, it is just my opinion I wanted to share.
Thats understandable Falk


Imho the best Pentax can do is to release a FF mirrorless K-mount when right EVF and sensor comes along.

Doing what the others dont, going for a different approach, from another angle and so on.... as they (Pentax Ricoh) hinted they would IF they'd release an FF camera.
I know, it sounds daring. And stupid, there will be a large empty room in a body like that. So what?
But its not something we can rule out just because the trend for mirrorless at the moment is small bodies/mount.

In fact, we already have the first sign of that, already here in shape of K-01. Doing what the others dont...

But these are just my fantasies and opinions of what i think would be cool, without actually having the knowledge or insight of the industry itself.

Last edited by the swede; 04-11-2012 at 12:54 PM.
04-11-2012, 03:46 PM   #651
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The APS-C market must have been impacted by P&S cameras with similar sized sensors and resolution of late - cameras with fixed zoom lenses of 12mpx and up must be affecting APS-C sales. I can't see any alternative for Pentax but to develop a reasonable FF system again or just start making their own versions of those particular camera types the core of their business - that would probably be suicide due to the proliferation and turnover of those types of cameras on the market.

A dedicated whole body approach is probably not the go either as they'd then be stuck with not being able to develop an alternative mount system without a separate camera and perhaps destroying their current DA lens line. Adapting the Ricoh GXR to a range of possibilities, include a new line of lenses as well as the existing ones and APS-C/FF sensors is their best shot at success in my mind. This would allow transition whilst selling the one main product (with alternate mount and sensor modules) thus offering the chance for a new line of lenses without shutting down your existing line. It is possible that they plan to slow production on the current line by raising prices so as to start this transition process.
04-11-2012, 03:53 PM - 1 Like   #652
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It is not about whether Pentax can make a FF body that can be profitable!

Pentax need a FF body to keep people with FF sized budgets spending on Pentax lenses and Pentax accessories. Losing all their customer base with large budgets, and only keeping those with smaller budgets, is not a good strategy if a company wants solid revenue streams. If Pentax don’t announce a FF this year then they will lose a significant portion of their customer base, but it’s not just a random portion, it’s the portion who are prepared to spend thousands on their photography hobby.

I agree with Falk on this; k-mount will die without a FF digital option. Even if you only ever want to own a APS-C DSLR I think you should still be calling for Pentax to build a FF so short term you get more lens options and long term so the k-mount stays alive.
04-11-2012, 03:57 PM   #653
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Since you can use all APS-C lenses on a FF body, I don't see the problem with a FF Pentax SDLR if it come in between the price of the Nikon D800 and the Nikon D700. As for the idea of a less expensive 645D, even $6,000 is more than the majority of people will pay when they can get a D800 for half of that.

Tom

04-11-2012, 04:10 PM   #654
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
It is not about whether Pentax can make a FF body that can be profitable!

Pentax need a FF body to keep people with FF sized budgets spending on Pentax lenses and Pentax accessories. Losing all their customer base with large budgets, and only keeping those with smaller budgets, is not a good strategy if a company wants solid revenue streams. If Pentax don’t announce a FF this year then they will lose a significant portion of their customer base, but it’s not just a random portion, it’s the portion who are prepared to spend thousands on their photography hobby.

I agree with Falk on this; k-mount will die without a FF digital option. Even if you only ever want to own a APS-C DSLR I think you should still be calling for Pentax to build a FF so short term you get more lens options and long term so the k-mount stays alive.
Those are good points but it is questionable how many of those high spenders will be high spenders on FF. If they already have the lenses and are sitting on legacy stuff, they will not be. They'll probably just want a body and they may want an inexpensive one ( as in, not much margin for Pentax). This is not much use to Pentax since it reduces the income they might expect from whatever FF ecosystem they introduced. The Legacy Geezers with their collections of lenses built up over decades are something of a problem for Pentax. They are highly conservative in outlook and very tight with their pocketbooks. A camera with a sensor which allows both FF and very good cropped image circle output for APS-C lenses sounds a more likely way to go, if Pentax can obtain a reliable supply of top sensors at the right price. Many seem to think this might be a tall order given that the supply of sensors sounds constrained at the moment.

Besides, we don't know what kind of brand Ricoh would like Pentax to become. If a traditional camera company then, yes, they would need to try to retain high spenders I suppose. But it might be that trad outfits like this have no future in Ricoh's eyes. Ricoh might think the future lies in producing lots of less expensive gadget-type things that folks will buy fairly often, a similar situation to mobiles and music players. Meantime, the present K-mount ecosystem will help to fund some of those new developments while slowly fading away. We simply don't know.

Last edited by mecrox; 04-11-2012 at 04:20 PM.
04-11-2012, 05:58 PM   #655
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I will not defend my point of view. I may just as easily be wrong anyway.

But I can shed some light what made me think the way I currently do. Earlier, I just called for an FF option from Pentax because I wanted to buy one. And some reasoning told me that APSC dSLRs are a fragile proposition because under attack from two growing frontiers. But that all was my head talking. Emotionally, the K-5 was just the hot camera which should do it a couple more years.

More recently though, I am seeing a shift of paradigm in all other camps (read friends). Olympus discusses the E-M5 and Sony the NEX which start to be taken seriously by enthusiasts, i.e., SLRs are already considered a thing of the past and both Canikon are fully absorbed in upgrading to FF now (esp. Nikon). I should mention the Fuji too. All of a sudden, a Pentax dSLR feels like an Olympus E-3, not the last camera of its kind, but a dead end nevertheless. I can't explain it, it is just a feeling. Of course, Canikon will not abandon crop dSLRs either. Not immediately. But they won't be the desirable things which they once were, it's my impression. And the fact that both Q and K-01 are considered toys by the other camps doesn't help either.

So, going FF feels like the easiest way out.

However, I do acknowledge that from a purely photographer's point of view, the K-5 is as much camera as 95% of us will ever need and therefore, there is no problem looking for a way out. Not for us indeed. But maybe Pentax if nobody feels an urge to upgrade anymore.
04-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #656
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
However, I do acknowledge that from a purely photographer's point of view, the K-5 is as much camera as 95% of us will ever need and therefore, there is no problem looking for a way out. Not for us indeed. But maybe Pentax if nobody feels an urge to upgrade anymore.
+1

If Pentax confined themselves to APS-C, they can only improve the K-5 marginally and many will find those improvements optional.

Pentax can increase the megapixels (but many neither need higher resolution nor want bigger files), improve the AF (but it works just fine already for many), improve the video capabilities (but how many will be prepared to pay big bucks for a secondary aspect?), etc.

By starting an FF line of cameras, Pentax could begin a new upgrade chain (they'd be forgiven a few shortcomings in the first model and then can sell upgraded versions to early adopters) and create a new line of revenue by selling FF lenses. Pentax could start making more profit immediately by selling FA Ltds. instead of DA Ltds and can gradually keep adding FF lenses which should find a lot of appreciation among the new FF camera owners.
04-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #657
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
It's very easy. If Pentax doesn't go FF, the K mount will die.

K mount is too large for mirrorless and APSC image quality is too low for an SLR. Both statements will be true sooner than later.
K mount is already nearly dead in my opinion . . . . Such a small segment of the market.

It is so dead to the point that Pentax ought to think about producing their lenses in multiple mounts, for Canon and Nikon and Sony. Dropping all bodies may well be a viable and sensible option from economic standpoint.
04-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #658
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
K mount is already nearly dead in my opinion . . . . Such a small segment of the market.

It is so dead to the point that Pentax ought to think about producing their lenses in multiple mounts, for Canon and Nikon and Sony. Dropping all bodies may well be a viable and sensible option from economic standpoint.
Now THAT sounds very drastic
04-11-2012, 11:43 PM   #659
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Fontan, what are you doing here, then? Jump, now!
Killing a viable system (thus upsetting and obviously losing all your customers), lowering yourself from an OEM camera&lens maker to a mere 3rd-party, paying license fees, having to compete on price... yeah, a solid business case

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I will not defend my point of view. I may just as easily be wrong anyway.
Expressing an opinion does not need to be defended. It just happens that I disagree.
[...]
SLRs are already considered a thing of the past and both Canikon are fully absorbed in upgrading to FF now (esp. Nikon).
By whom?
Let's see first affordable FFs. Both D800 and the 5DMkIII are quite expensive.
The E-M5 is an interesting camera; a mirrorless made to look like a SLR (that should give you a hint)

Indeed, an upgrade path is IMO a very valid reason to have a FF; but that's different than "APS-C will die".
04-12-2012, 12:48 AM   #660
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Like I said, the GXR is the key that will save Pentax by allowing them to reinvent themselves and their product line. It will give them a chance to transition back to a 35mm format and leave the APS-C ship sinking in the west along with the sun. Let's face it, there's phones and there's phones.. and then there's the new brigade of P&S that are also getting more 'hi-res' and 'good enough' for the average punter. All that's left after that is making a Pentax FF with a K-5 crop factor, losing the mirror for 645D and getting it a new sensor. I am bemused by the number of people saying that the D800 beats the 645D.. just wait until the Pentax gets a make over and it'll leave all that in it's wake.

Last edited by bossa; 04-12-2012 at 12:54 AM.
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