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12-27-2012, 02:26 PM   #901
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Even try to find lenses comparable to the remainder of the DA and FA Limited series, all of which are brilliant in IQ right from wide open, and you'd be hard pressed to find decent rivals in their price range. The Limited series primes are just a marvel of engineering, both in terms of build and size/weight, and combining great IQ. Arguably, faster lenses in similar focal lengths produced by Canikon may need to be stopped down to a similar aperture as these Limited lenses are wide open in order to get the same kind of image quality. Yet these same Canikon lenses are both bulkier and more expensive. And at least the FA Limiteds are FF compatible...
I like the Nikon 85mm F/1.8 better than the 77mm Limited. The Bokeh of the 77 is great but if you're shooting something white (like a wedding dress) wide open there's a lot of PF.

Both are FF compatible. The Nikon is slightly bigger. The Nikon is $430, the Pentax is $790.

We could go through this down the line... but I think at the end of the day we'd still disagree and I'd have wasted a day.




I don't have a ton of experience with other company's stuff (yet) but the Nikon D600 + 85mm is very nice.

12-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #902
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I like the Nikon 85mm F/1.8 better than the 77mm Limited. The Bokeh of the 77 is great but if you're shooting something white (like a wedding dress) wide open there's a lot of PF.
Both are FF compatible. The Nikon is slightly bigger. The Nikon is $430, the Pentax is $790.
We could go through this down the line... but I think at the end of the day we'd still disagree and I'd have wasted a day.
I don't have a ton of experience with other company's stuff (yet) but the Nikon D600 + 85mm is very nice.
The 31mm, 43mm, & 77mm could definitely be updated with modern coatings. I would love to see all metal D-FA* limited lenses with WR and updated drive motors.
12-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #903
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think that MILCs have done a lot better in Asia than in the United States.
That is indeed the case. The propagation of MILCs follows the route: Japan->Asia->Rest of the world.

If Ricoh would introduce a Pentax FF DSLR at this point, they would make a strategic mistake. As much money as Ricoh may be willing to invest to try to make Pentax fly as a mainstream brand, they will not be able to afford costly mistakes. If they want to be successful long term, they need to work the MILC angle. Even if SLRs will continue to be relevant for a while, Pentax cannot hope to gain anything more from that market than they've been able to so far - at best they can offer parity of features with Canon/Nikon cameras - and that won't be enough to get them noticed. But with MILCs they do have a chance to create a good product before Canon and Nikon make a serious move in that market. There is still a window of opportunity here, because there are few high-end products in play, so a company can still be a late comer and catch attention (like Fuji, although their execution was far from perfect, hence the window still exists). But if Ricoh delays and misses this chance, they will not get another one anytime soon.
12-27-2012, 05:41 PM   #904
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I have to disagree; why should Pentax be the one to push MILCs forward?

If they would go MILC, the investment would be huge, with chances to recover it after years, if they survive so far. For now, IMO, a better strategy is to keep the K-mount no. 1, adding a higher end option (or two ). I firmly believe there is much potential with the K-mount - just seeing what they could do under Hoya.
It could make more sense to compete on a market 5 times larger, even if the MILCs fans don't like the idea

12-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #905
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
That is indeed the case. The propagation of MILCs follows the route: Japan->Asia->Rest of the world.

If Ricoh would introduce a Pentax FF DSLR at this point, they would make a strategic mistake. As much money as Ricoh may be willing to invest to try to make Pentax fly as a mainstream brand, they will not be able to afford costly mistakes. If they want to be successful long term, they need to work the MILC angle. Even if SLRs will continue to be relevant for a while, Pentax cannot hope to gain anything more from that market than they've been able to so far - at best they can offer parity of features with Canon/Nikon cameras - and that won't be enough to get them noticed. But with MILCs they do have a chance to create a good product before Canon and Nikon make a serious move in that market. There is still a window of opportunity here, because there are few high-end products in play, so a company can still be a late comer and catch attention (like Fuji, although their execution was far from perfect, hence the window still exists). But if Ricoh delays and misses this chance, they will not get another one anytime soon.
DSLR's are still dominant in worldwide large sensor sales, especially with interchangeable lenses. There is no problem with k-mount trying to maintain and even gain some market share within the segment. It's a worldwide market than can only grow as the developing world escapes poverty. There is almost no new market or technology that will make photography substantially new or different enough to constitute a distinct market advantage. Smartphones have done everything they can do mimic features, so they are en evolution, not a revolution.

Canon and Nikon have already done the "serious" MILC thing. Where have you been? There's pretty much zero room to innovate in a larger sensor without abandoning the k-mount and legacy glass. So there is no "soon" to beat. Pentax simply needs to cater t their existing base, get an FF out when sensor prices commoditize, and get the Q a larger sensor with a lower price.
12-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #906
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This coming true will close the window of opportunity I had mentioned earlier.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I have to disagree
I know you have to.
12-27-2012, 06:38 PM   #907
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
If Ricoh would introduce a Pentax FF DSLR at this point, they would make a strategic mistake.
Laurentiu, you're entitled to your opinion, but no matter how emphatic you make your statements, it doesn't make it right. dSLRs have their place. The development of the MILC technology doesn't render dSLRs obsolete. I think you can see from the fair number of press interviews with influential Pentax staff that MILC has been dabbled with and was great while it lasted, but they are focusing on a product for the higher end user, where dSLRs have been mentioned numerous times. Whether that's FF or not is only known to the R&D and strategic teams in Ricoh.
12-27-2012, 07:11 PM   #908
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Laurentiu, you're entitled to your opinion, but no matter how emphatic you make your statements, it doesn't make it right. dSLRs have their place. The development of the MILC technology doesn't render dSLRs obsolete. I think you can see from the fair number of press interviews with influential Pentax staff that MILC has been dabbled with and was great while it lasted, but they are focusing on a product for the higher end user, where dSLRs have been mentioned numerous times. Whether that's FF or not is only known to the R&D and strategic teams in Ricoh.
1) Agree that MILCs won't render DSLRs obsolete.
2) Pentax has "dabbled" in MILC offering. IMHO, dabbling more often than not leads to failure.
3) Pentax failures (that's my view, maybe not Pentax's) in MILC were due to poor implementation
K-01 is too big opposite competition and despite being designed as full-featured, lacks an EVF (which means not full-featured)
Q/Q10 uses a sensor that is way smaller than anything else in the MILC field and is consequently a P&S competitor, not MILC
4) I interpreted what little I've seen from Pentax personnel as the K-01 is dead. Didn't read it as their effort in MILCs is dead.

I may be 100% wrong on #4, though.

12-27-2012, 07:20 PM   #909
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Dabbling doesn't predicate failure. The K-01 is hardly a failed product, nor is it a poor one by any means. That's just my opinion, even though my own experience with it was in a store and I don't intend to own one. There was quite a lot of "heart" put into the development of the K-01, and not having an EVF I'm sure was on purpose (size was a big factor in its development). Flings can be memorable too.
12-27-2012, 08:56 PM   #910
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Laurentiu, you're entitled to your opinion, but no matter how emphatic you make your statements, it doesn't make it right. dSLRs have their place. The development of the MILC technology doesn't render dSLRs obsolete.
Of course it does and you are not providing any argument to support your assertion.

The logic around something becoming obsolete is simple and history is full of examples.

If tech B can do all that tech A does, just as well, while also providing some new advantages, then it will replace tech A.

In our case, tech B = MILC and tech A = SLR.

Anything that an SLR can do can also be done by a MILC. There are a few things that an SLR can do a bit better today, but as MILC processing algorithms will improve, such advantages will disappear in a few years. And there are things that a MILC can do that an SLR just won't be able to do - simply because a MILC is about real time image processing, while an SLR is just about looking through the lens and there is not much benefit coming from that. Real time image processing opens lots of possibilities - with more processing power, for example, it will become possible to do real-time HDR - the possibilities will be limited only by the imagination and the competence of manufacturers.

Believing that SLRs won't become obsolete is like saying that an abacus will not be replaced by a pocket calculator. Or that a wired phone cannot be replaced by a cellular one, or that the cell cannot in its turn be replaced by a smart phone. Already DSLRs are running software to do demosaicing and raw image processing in real time - the problem is that they can only do this when the mirror is lifted and the sensor gets to see something. Moving to full time image processing is just the natural evolution of technology and now with 5 companies fully committed to such approach, it cannot be mistaken for a fad - it becomes a sign of an imminent change. Some people saw signs years ago - I remember reading a PopPhoto article from around 2009 in which they were discussing trends in digital photography and the main trend was the trickling of technology from P&S cameras into high end DSLRs - LiveView, movie mode, art filters, etc. The natural end to this trend is for high end cameras to become P&S with large sensors and interchangeable lenses, i.e. MILCs. Why would you have an SLR mechanism if it has to be disabled to access this new functionality of a camera?

Thus, betting that the SLR will be relevant long term (and by long term I mean < 10 years, not decades or more) lacks any argument on which to base such bet. I like bringing this MILC argument up to see what counterarguments are put forward by others in support of SLRs, because maybe I am missing something. However, none of the arguments I have seen so far is an argument that holds up long term. The arguments I saw were either:

a) based on temporary advantages of SLRs that will disappear in a few years
b) based on loving one's SLR
c) based on someone else's belief that SLRs will continue to be relevant (Pentax staff, other users, etc.)
d) based on disbelief that technologies can fall out of grace so quickly
e) irrelevant

None of these are arguments that will hold long term, regardless of how often people bring them out here. Canon and Nikon can slow down this transition by continuing to put out SLRs, but that is all they can do. I think Canon is in good shape, but I am not very sure about Nikon - they were always second to Canon at new tech - they came out with a FF camera after Canon and now they do have an advantage, but they also probably profit less than Canon because of their dependency on Sony.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I think you can see from the fair number of press interviews with influential Pentax staff that MILC has been dabbled with and was great while it lasted, but they are focusing on a product for the higher end user, where dSLRs have been mentioned numerous times.
Pentax staff may not know or may not be able to speak publicly about Ricoh's plans. And I remember an interview with a Pentax engineer where he mentioned they were contemplating a mirrorless 645D, so I really doubt that their engineers do not see the possibilities. It's hard to tell what Pentax and Ricoh staff actually has in their minds.

And my hope for Pentax comes from Ricoh. Ricoh has made an interesting experiment with the GXR. They also seem to have supported that system with solid firmware updates in which they kept adding new useful features (focus peaking would probably not have made it into the Q under Hoya). To me, this shows that they were willing to take risks by putting out non conventional technology and it also shows that they understand how to maintain a product with software updates. These are good advantages to have if you want to put out a high end MILC system. And they can use Pentax's experience in optical design to produce nice optics for such a system (assuming they still have the Pentax optical experts).

Of course, Ricoh may have totally different plans. Maybe their goal is to sell Pentax SLRs that can wirelessly print on Ricoh printers. Or maybe they just bought Pentax to let it do its own thing and nothing will change. But I am not sure why one would buy Pentax, which has been the least successful SLR maker at acquiring new customers (*), and then would let it continue doing the same thing it did before, when they cannot even help them do better - what can Ricoh teach Pentax about SLR making?

(*) I expect only Sigma gets less customers for their SLRs, but at least they can afford it.

I am looking forward to people disagreeing with me, because if they are right, I get the opportunity of learning something new. But that requires disagreements to be accompanied by good arguments. So I am looking forward to some, if you have them.
12-27-2012, 09:08 PM   #911
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I lean towards Laurentiu's comments. I personally don't care whether dslrs become obsolete or not - too esoteric a question for me. All i care about is having the kind of tool performance that enables me to meet my photographic goals.

This is more than just talk for me - i've purchased a Nex camera and also have the Pentax k5. There are different advantages that each camera has, so i find myself unable to sell the K5, nor would i get rid of my Nex camera. I don't know yet if my next camera will be a Sony or a Pentax. My plan is to check back in a year to see where Pentax and Sony are, and see which company has the most effective photographic tool for me at that time. Pentax is investing money in MILC via the Q, but i would feel better about it if it wasn't such a small sensor. But if they are making money on it, good for Pentax.
12-28-2012, 02:29 AM   #912
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Sorry, but even if Pentax would be able to develop a similar camera in a rush, putting all their resources to get it out on the market just before Sony's, what would they gain? Being there one-two months faster? (I doubt that would be possible, but let's suppose it is).
After that, nobody would care Pentax was there first.

You have to push MILCs, OTOH, don't you?

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
If tech B can do all that tech A does, just as well, while also providing some new advantages, then it will replace tech A.

In our case, tech B = MILC and tech A = SLR.
Wow, that's some statement!
But is wrong; MILCs cannot do "all that DSLRs does, just as well, while also providing some new advantages". A mid- or high-end DSLR runs in circles around those silly gadgets, and it's in fact the DSLR who can do everything that MILCs does - in Live View mode - yet still retaining the classic SLR operation. I would exclude (and hope nobody will put such silliness into a photographic tool!) things like Android OS, Facebook integration, Angry Birds and the ability to read your e-mails, which naturally fits with the MILCs.
I'm amazed how you say how there's no benefit in looking at the scene you're going to take a picture of; instead being content with some heavily processed view, using whatever parameters are set in the camera, which is barely able to approximate what you might get as a final result - on the highest quality EVFs, otherwise, not a chance even for an approximation.
Even more amazing, you're talking about "trickling of technology from P&S cameras into high end DSLRs"; why is it better for a mature photographic tool to become P&S like? You know, I never liked P&S; they're slow to use, cumbersome, too complicate for the basic functions (even if overall they have way less settings), even their shape is wrong. Why would I want that trickled into the high end DSLRs?

I am sorry, but you're requesting good arguments while offering none in return; only a strong personal attachment to the "new technology". Guess what, I also have a strong attachment to the "old technology", and for a good reason: it works much better (for me at least) than the MILCs. I won't chose an inferior product now because of what could happen in 10 years; that would be silly.

IchabodCrane, the Q is selling very well in Japan so I wouldn't call it a failure. It plays well on the only advantage a MILC has: it can be cheap enough and still be sold for a profit. It's the smallest, either.
12-28-2012, 04:55 AM   #913
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I'm sorry, Laurentiu, I don't see that much benefit from going with mirrorless. All digital cameras are computers. How fast they process files, how quickly they can do things like generate HDR files, depends completely on the memory and processor that is placed in a camera. Upper end cameras tend to have faster processing and deeper buffers, while lower end cameras, the opposite. This is true for mirrorless and for SLRs alike. But, what you find is that in general, the mirrorless cameras are less responsive at a given price range than SLRs at the same price range.

In addition, the biggest thing "feature" going for mirrorless cameras is the fact that Olympus and Panasonic have to have fire sales in order to get rid of their stocks of cameras. The race to the bottom in mirrorless kills the market when it comes to financial gain for the companies involved. Currently, there is a lot more money to be made in SLRs in the mid to high end range.

Honestly, the biggest feature for mirrorless technology is the fact that the cameras are small. This "feature" has been sold and sold hard. Sony and Olympus showing tiny cameras with pancake primes and slow zoom lenses to demonstrate how tiny the packages are. But, in the United States, size is not that big a deal once you get over pocket sized. Most people don't want primes, they want zooms and professionals want fast zooms and those are anything but small, whether you are talking mirrorless or traditional SLR.
12-28-2012, 05:44 AM   #914
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I'm sorry, Laurentiu, I don't see that much benefit from going with mirrorless. All digital cameras are computers. How fast they process files, how quickly they can do things like generate HDR files, depends completely on the memory and processor that is placed in a camera. Upper end cameras tend to have faster processing and deeper buffers, while lower end cameras, the opposite. This is true for mirrorless and for SLRs alike. But, what you find is that in general, the mirrorless cameras are less responsive at a given price range than SLRs at the same price range.

In addition, the biggest thing "feature" going for mirrorless cameras is the fact that Olympus and Panasonic have to have fire sales in order to get rid of their stocks of cameras. The race to the bottom in mirrorless kills the market when it comes to financial gain for the companies involved. Currently, there is a lot more money to be made in SLRs in the mid to high end range.

Honestly, the biggest feature for mirrorless technology is the fact that the cameras are small. This "feature" has been sold and sold hard. Sony and Olympus showing tiny cameras with pancake primes and slow zoom lenses to demonstrate how tiny the packages are. But, in the United States, size is not that big a deal once you get over pocket sized. Most people don't want primes, they want zooms and professionals want fast zooms and those are anything but small, whether you are talking mirrorless or traditional SLR.
I think Laurentiu's point was that the absence of a mirror makes it possible to capture a digital stream in a way that is much harder for a DSLR to do. Look at, say, the Nikon 1 series for what this implies - there is no longer much of a distinction between still and video and stills can be selected or combined on a best-shot basis - and the frame rates are incredible. Add in art filters and the like and one can do just about anything with the digital stream. Of course traditional DSLRs have their strong sides too. The DSLR is still an aspirational item in much of the world so there are still plenty of sales to be made, but we are looking at the future here and it's pretty hard to argue against what mirrorless offers both in terms of new tech and lower production costs and in terms of size, weight and appearance (i.e. not a forbidding black box).

The race to the bottom aspect is simply spin. There are plenty of high-end mirrorless cameras and as time goes by there will be more and they will be better. Sony's (probably) forthcoming FF NEX is more a race to the top than to the bottom. If Pentax wish to dismiss this entire market as not "serious" then I'll wager that in three years we'll be seeing 2000-post threads here titled "How to push the Pentax Mirrorless Idea and get that MILC out faster". They've pretty well missed the boat with FF, please god they don't go and do the same with mirrorless over the next few years. The form factor and the sensor are distractions in a way. It's the electronics inside and what they can offer to consumers which are key, and I suspect that mirrorless cams will soon turn out to offer more to folks (not to everyone, of course) than do traditional DSLRs. They don't have to be best, just good enough. Real enthusiasts with deep pockets will still be able to by a DSLR but perhaps at a steep price and anyway there just aren't very many of them compared to the overall size of the market.

Fair points about the USA but electronics are a worldwide thing and the US market is not what it was. Do people always make bigger smartphones just for the US market?

Last edited by mecrox; 12-28-2012 at 10:53 AM.
12-28-2012, 06:07 AM   #915
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The good news is that the FF NEX will take Pentax lenses (and many others!) via an adapter, and I expect they will work superbly. I'm therefore fairly relaxed about whether Pentax enter this arena, although I will miss the excellent Pentax user interface/controls and of course SR. Still, pity Pentax appear to be missing the boat yet again.
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