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09-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #301
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Pentax doesn't have to have a FF body, but they have to do something.

If Pentax does decide that APS-C is the future of the company then they need to get to work on some really serious glass that is optimized for APS-C. Glass that is fast and sharp at wider apertures. The support technologies need to be upgraded and SDM needs to be improved.

Pentax use to be the high quality, compact prime, camera king. Companies like Olympus and Fuji are currently doing a better job at producing compact high quality systems. Pentax needs to find its identity again..... if it ever had one.
APS-C cannot be the future of K-mount. It's an FF mount.

If they cede the mid-$1,000 market to Canon, Nikon, and Sony, they will lose so much revenue they cannot support the mount.

Those competitors will buy standardized components and share resources between APS-C and FF more than they do now and drive their APS-C costs well below Pentax. This cost-shifting between high-margin, lower volume FF and higher volume, lower margin APS-C will give them an economy of scale Pentax cannot compete against, not in DSLR's.

To stay relevant Pentax needs both a volume and a margin market. The industry is littered with the corpses of companies that tried to be all low-end (where is Casio?), or all high-end (where is Contax?). Even Leica has had to slum it to stabilize revenues. Decades ago Olympus had to give up its prized OM-mount and focus on being the best P&S maker with a sizeable low-end market. Why? they could not get a higher-end AF system to compete with Canon, Nikon, and Minolta (and Pentax). They were not large enough to keep their old sales while cannibalizing with a new mount.

Remember: APS-C should have had the new mount.

09-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #302
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
APS-C cannot be the future of K-mount. It's an FF mount.
That really isn't relevant.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
If they cede the mid-$1,000 market to Canon, Nikon, and Sony, they will lose so much revenue they cannot support the mount.
Olympus is set to launch a mid-$1,000 M4/3 body and a $1,000 20-40mm F/2.8 zoom. Fuji will replace the XP-1 with a mid-$1,000 body and they have a couple of $800.00 primes. There is plenty of room for a high quality APS-C body in the Mid-$1,000 IF Pentax will make the highly desirable glass.

This industry is about glass, not bodies. Bodies and sensor come and go. Lenses are coveted.

It's not about the sensor size as much as it is about making desirable, high quality glass.

I want Pentax to make a FF. I will be buying a FF in the near future as I have sold my 5D (original) and all my Canon gear, and my Contax 645 is about ready to be retired. A 30MP +/- FF will replace both. It might be a Sony mirror-less. It might be a Pentax K-1 if its on the same quality level as a Nikon D800. But, Pentax has to have the glass. Pentax will survive without a FF if they chose not to make one.
09-08-2013, 06:16 PM   #303
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
That really isn't relevant.
Of course it is. One of the main problems for an APS-C camera on a legacy mount is it cannot get the form factor size down because the opening is too wide. It's structurally larger than it needs to be, so an APS-C camera on an an original 135 mount cannot take full advantage of the smaller sensor.


QuoteQuote:
Olympus is set to launch a mid-$1,000 M4/3 body and a $1,000 20-40mm F/2.8 zoom. Fuji will replace the XP-1 with a mid-$1,000 body and they have a couple of $800.00 primes. There is plenty of room for a high quality APS-C body in the Mid-$1,000 IF Pentax will make the highly desirable glass.

This industry is about glass, not bodies. Bodies and sensor come and go. Lenses are coveted.

It's not about the sensor size as much as it is about making desirable, high quality glass.

I want Pentax to make a FF. I will be buying a FF in the near future as I have sold my 5D (original) and all my Canon gear, and my Contax 645 is about ready to be retired. A 30MP +/- FF will replace both. It might be a Sony mirror-less. It might be a Pentax K-1 if its on the same quality level as a Nikon D800. But, Pentax has to have the glass. Pentax will survive without a FF if they chose not to make one.
1. Olympus ison a death watch. Their OM5 has sold poorly and the company's latest financials show the imaging division is bleeding. Using Olympus as an example of success and price points is self-defeating to your arguments. An Oly 2040/2.8 zoom is closer to an f/5.6 in equivalence for DOF control. Is that a "high quality" offering?

I put forth as evidence this is precisely what is causing Olympus staggering losses:

More on Olympus and Breakeven | Sans Mirror ? mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan

2. Even if Pentax were to make this so-called "highly desirable glass" what did you have in mind? Of course one can make the same for FF, and in shallower DOF options, do so much cheaper. It's an arm's race APS-C cannot win because to get those faster apertures it gets costlier with APS-C than FF unless you are willing to give up substantial DOF control.

3. Sensors determine glass. Price determines which glass. If you want a D800-level, Pentax will not make the fast glass for that. Too few Pentaxians can and ever will spend that much on a system camera. I had a D700. I sold my Mamiya 645. So what? You won't get the fast FF glass unless Pentax gets a much higher paying user base. I'm not seeing that in the cards. I'm seeing a sub-$2,000 FF body and a long wait for lenses, and an APS-C ad campaign trying to buy time.
09-08-2013, 07:44 PM   #304
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In one statement you say:
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Those competitors will buy standardized components and share resources between APS-C and FF more than they do now and drive their APS-C costs well below Pentax. This cost-shifting between high-margin, lower volume FF and higher volume, lower margin APS-C will give them an economy of scale Pentax cannot compete against, not in DSLR's.
Then you write:
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Of course it is. One of the main problems for an APS-C camera on a legacy mount is it cannot get the form factor size down because the opening is too wide. It's structurally larger than it needs to be, so an APS-C camera on an an original 135 mount cannot take full advantage of the smaller sensor.
The ability to share lenses and to upgrade from APS-C the FF as a photographer needs are actually important. I would buy a FF and keep my K-5 (or K-3) as a second body because it gives me more flexibility with my lenses. In your first statement you point out that standardization across platforms an important advantage for Canon and Nikon, and then in the next statement you say Pentax should do away with the biggest standardization of them all, the lens mount.

Unless Pentax is going mirrorless there is no reason for a new mount. If Pentax is going to a mirrorless FF then I agree, they need a new mount with a much shorter register distance. If Pentax is staying with the DSLR and the OVF, then there is no reason or advantage to a new APS-C mount. There would be ZERO 3rd party support from companies like Sigma.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
1. Olympus ison a death watch. Their OM5 has sold poorly and the company's latest financials show the imaging division is bleeding. Using Olympus as an example of success and price points is self-defeating to your arguments. An Oly 2040/2.8 zoom is closer to an f/5.6 in equivalence for DOF control. Is that a "high quality" offering?

I put forth as evidence this is precisely what is causing Olympus staggering losses:
Now you sound like the peanut gallery who have been declaring the death of Pentax for the last 10 years. That includes idiot like Thom Hogan.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
2. Even if Pentax were to make this so-called "highly desirable glass" what did you have in mind? Of course one can make the same for FF, and in shallower DOF options, do so much cheaper. It's an arm's race APS-C cannot win because to get those faster apertures it gets costlier with APS-C than FF unless you are willing to give up substantial DOF control.
I shot with a Canon 5D and the 85L for years. F/1.2 on a FF has fewer real world applications than it does on an APS-C body. The DoF at that aperture/focal length/sensor size is only useful when shooting static subjects. You have to have really fast/accurate AF to work with moving people at an event on a FF. I spent most of my time at F/2.8-F/4.0. On an APS-C body though the added DoF makes F/1.2 more practical. Faster apertures are no "costlier with APS-C than FF" since the image circle is smaller.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Pentaxians can and ever will spend that much on a system camera.
Those people have been the biggest problem for Pentax. They have a user base that don't want to spend any money. They need to expand and develop a better user base.

09-08-2013, 08:07 PM   #305
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
The ability to share lenses and to upgrade from APS-C the FF as a photographer needs are actually important. I would buy a FF and keep my K-5 (or K-3) as a second body because it gives me more flexibility with my lenses. In your first statement you point out that standardization across platforms an important advantage for Canon and Nikon, and then in the next statement you say Pentax should do away with the biggest standardization of them all, the lens mount.
I said no such thing.

I specifically said Pentax has to make FF. APS-C only will deprive it of the higher-end revenues.

Technically, all camera makers saw APS-C as a bridge sensor. They did not anticipate that sensors yields and FF costs would take so long to come down. The backlog towards FF has been affordable photolithography.

Ideally, if APS-C was going to be around this long, yes, a new mount should have been made. That is eventually what Fuji has done.

But for now it looks like K-mount will serve a sub-$1,000 market for APS-C (where the K-5ii is at $896 a B&H this week) and FF above that price point, probably closer to the $1,500.

Problem is Pentax dies on revenues without $1,500 bodies, and especially on margins. They become the Wal-Mart DSLR brand if they have no FF to recapture their higher-end. Retailers won't even stock them because they will have too few after-market sales.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Those people have been the biggest problem for Pentax. They have a user base that don't want to spend any money. They need to expand and develop a better user base.
Trying to force your way up a shrinking price ladder is death without volume below. Toyota made Lexus after establishing their own brand. Pentax has no cachet to suddenly make $2,800 bodies when their current flagship is at $896. Their customers are at $896. The DSLR user base looks to start shrinking for a variety of reasons. You know how you capture from your competitors?

Price. The DSLR market is mature so tech advances cannot do it. Pentax starts from a huge FF lens deficit. And they have poor distribution. Unlike Canon they don't make their own sensors. Historically Pentax has competed on price.

Maybe re-read this:

http://www.falklumo.com/lumolabs/articles/equivalence/FullFrame.pdf

Falk is right IMO except his timeframe is too advanced because he overestimates the market for pricey cameras. Even prosumer enthusiasts question a $3,000 outlay for 8% more linear resolution at 1.9" of shallower DOF at f/1.4. But that is what is buttering Canon and Nikon's bread these days. They have taken a huge slice from Pentax wit their lower-end FF's. And the slaughter will continue.
09-12-2013, 07:09 AM   #306
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
What we do know is that Sony makes the superlative sensors; their tech is ahead of all others. Nikon has had a hand in designing a number of sensors in their brand. Fuji and Canon both use Sony as well.
Fuji's new X-Trans CMOS sensors are made in-house. They may use Sony sensors in other products.
09-12-2013, 07:27 AM - 1 Like   #307
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Rumor is Sony will be releasing three different NEX-FF models in October, including a DSLR and a compact mirrorless variation. If that's the case Pentax has lost the initiative in this market segment.

Even worse is the report that Sony is releasing body-side autofocus. It's like having a 1.0x AF adapter to every single lens mount. That would be amazing even on APS-C, but it would be a killer feature on FF. Particularly if they can do X-Trans style phase-detect autofocus.

I think the FF market segment is about to get more crowded. Pentax's roadmap has been godawful and IMO they are not in a good place to react to this. They have focused on APS-C for far too long and allowed their FF lens lineup to decay to mediocrity. They cannot compete with Canon/Nikon in the high-end market at the present moment, and Sony is setting the stage to lock down the enthusiast market. Sony is very, very aggressive about releasing new models and dropping the price of their old stuff, which will increase their penetration downmarket.
09-12-2013, 10:29 AM   #308
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul MaudDib Quote
Rumor is Sony will be releasing three different NEX-FF models in October, including a DSLR and a compact mirrorless variation. If that's the case Pentax has lost the initiative in this market segment.

Even worse is the report that Sony is releasing body-side autofocus. It's like having a 1.0x AF adapter to every single lens mount. That would be amazing even on APS-C, but it would be a killer feature on FF. Particularly if they can do X-Trans style phase-detect autofocus.

I think the FF market segment is about to get more crowded. Pentax's roadmap has been godawful and IMO they are not in a good place to react to this. They have focused on APS-C for far too long and allowed their FF lens lineup to decay to mediocrity. They cannot compete with Canon/Nikon in the high-end market at the present moment, and Sony is setting the stage to lock down the enthusiast market. Sony is very, very aggressive about releasing new models and dropping the price of their old stuff, which will increase their penetration downmarket.


Man those FF NEXs are going to be tempting. Leicia is probably even more scared than Pentax


With that said you're right, the FF market is going to become very crowded soon and it puts Pentax in a bad spot. If Pentax could somehow release something similar to the K5 it would at least help things. Concentrate on a real well built smaller body with FF capabilities.

As time goes I think you'll see less and less people even jumping on a path towards a DSLR. I wonder just how good smartphone cameras can get? What I mean is there going to be a point where a smartphone is going to blur the line between itself and a DSLR? Obviously you won't have the lens capabilities but will its fixed 35mm capabilities going to be so good that most people wouldn't even know?

09-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #309
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QuoteOriginally posted by richmondthefish Quote
As time goes I think you'll see less and less people even jumping on a path towards a DSLR. I wonder just how good smartphone cameras can get? What I mean is there going to be a point where a smartphone is going to blur the line between itself and a DSLR? Obviously you won't have the lens capabilities but will its fixed 35mm capabilities going to be so good that most people wouldn't even know?
I think a substantial number of smartphone users will want to upgrade to something better. But will that be a dSLR or a MILC with EVF?

I think the path to the latter (MILC with EVF) will be easier for those people than a path to the former (dSLR).
09-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #310
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Arguably we're already there for the snapshooters, who are the vast majority of the camera market. Lots of iphone photos getting taken out there, and I don't see people using $100 P+S's all the time like I used to. I see a lot of low-end consumer DSLR bodies out there too, both used and new. They're finally cheap and plentiful enough that your average guy can justify owning them.

I don't really see the idea of smartphones with high-end sensors taking off. Most people are content with the crappy sensors that are already there and the people who aren't will still buy dedicated cameras for the quality. Not to mention the ability to upgrade your phone/camera without having to buy a really expensive combo unit, especially for the folks who lose phones and stuff.

That new Samsung Android-based camera and the new Sony NFC magnetic-transfer camera module both strike me as gimmicks. You would be better off buying a decent camera and getting one of those EyeFi cards that can upload to your phone or a Flickr/Picassa dropbox.

For the people who want something in-between a smartphone and a camera, that's where the used market and micro-4/3 fit in.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 09-12-2013 at 11:24 AM.
09-12-2013, 01:27 PM   #311
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
I think a substantial number of smartphone users will want to upgrade to something better. But will that be a dSLR or a MILC with EVF?

I think the path to the latter (MILC with EVF) will be easier for those people than a path to the former (dSLR).
Well I guess this depends how far we go into the future but i'll say this..... The farther we go in the future and the farther smartphone cell tech advances, the less people will want to upgrade beyond their smartphones. Eventually you'll have a smartphone that is taking X100 quality pics and who knows from there.
09-12-2013, 04:01 PM   #312
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You know what would be awesome? A focal reducer for Pentax medium format lenses. It would reduce them to the FF image circle. Medium format field of view would be left in tact. They could make versions with and without auto focus.

Pentax FF DSLR + focal reducer = win. At least from a user perspective. I'm sure any number of people can immediately chime in about how it would never work because of the market, etc. But I can still fantasize...
09-13-2013, 01:46 AM   #313
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@ approx 9-10 grand, I think a FF Pentax body would be a bit more affordable then a 645N plus focal reducer.
09-13-2013, 05:48 AM   #314
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I think he meant using P645 lenses on a "35mm" full frame camera. Assuming the reducer does all the AF and AE tricks, could be viable, but not as the sole road forward.

Sadly, now that I own a D600, the idea of full frame is not such a great lure; I doubt I will invest in another digital camera for a while, unless I sell the D600. I would likely see no need to buy a possible Pentax FF at this point, unless there was something really compelling for me to switch. For the Pentax marketing folks, the calculation has to be: how many people like me leak over to the other 3... and whether we're likely to come back to Pentax, and for what reason. (I don't see the need to buy another APS-C SLR for some while either, and by that time, who knows what the market will offer...)
09-13-2013, 05:57 AM   #315
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I think he meant using P645 lenses on a "35mm" full frame camera. Assuming the reducer does all the AF and AE tricks, could be viable, but not as the sole road forward.

Sadly, now that I own a D600, the idea of full frame is not such a great lure; I doubt I will invest in another digital camera for a while, unless I sell the D600. I would likely see no need to buy a possible Pentax FF at this point, unless there was something really compelling for me to switch. For the Pentax marketing folks, the calculation has to be: how many people like me leak over to the other 3... and whether we're likely to come back to Pentax, and for what reason. (I don't see the need to buy another APS-C SLR for some while either, and by that time, who knows what the market will offer...)
I think the only market Pentax has left is folks like me who don't really need FullFrame, but might buy one just because it would make many of our lenses two lenses. I already often carry a second body. Imagine taking your FA50, but it's either a 50 or a 35 depending on which body you have it on. Apparently my 60-250 is FF, my A-400 is definitely FF, All I'd need would be a 24-70 or something like that.

But it would be a fluff purchase, something to own because I can. And because as many of you know, you can never own to many different cameras, or too many different types of cameras. If you own it, a use for it will become apparent.
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