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08-19-2013, 12:04 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
By far the best sellers for Canon is their f/4 L-glass. It hits a sweet spot for price/performance for pros and amateurs alike. I see them everywhere.

The market for cameras over $2,000/body unit is tiny. Pentax has never ever sold into that category in their history in 135 neither in lenses nor in bodies, even taking into account the LX. Look for a D600 competitor because it is impossible given Pentax's limited lens production capacities to compete with either Canon or Nikon optical factories which have something like a dozen lines going full on all the time, and Pentax with 2.

Since the camera market is slowing releasing a top-end FF at $3,000/unit is suicide because you now have even less buyers. For Pentax it's all about a minimum break-even volume.

Pentax needs a cheap body to leave consumer headroom for decent glass. Over 80% of lenses sold are zooms.

You have to remember the entire medium format digital market is under 3,000 units per year, and Pentax may have 20% of that market.
A $2000 might be a goal for Pentax, but I doubt that will happen on the first gen camera. Within 5-10 years Pentax probably have $2000 body, and by then they also need slower zoom lenses. But for the first FF I think Pentax will go for higher margin camera to make profit, which I doubt they can do on a $2000 FF.
FF is a long term commitment, so I doubt they need to maximize sales the first few years by selling cameras at no profit.

Canon f/4 sell well because they are primarily used by APS-C users, but Canon FF users often choose f/2.8 version. At least for the 70-200mm zoom, but for normal zoom f/4 might be a little more popular on FF. but I don't think the sales on normal zoom FF lenses is as much dominated by the f/4 version as it is on longer lenses.


Last edited by Fogel70; 08-19-2013 at 12:26 AM.
08-19-2013, 12:40 AM   #47
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I think an affordable FF is a must for Pentax. To gain market share and by that selling lenses which gives profit.
Besides that, I'm not sure Pentax have all the high tech ready that is needed to compete with the highest CaNikon bodies. Making a better D600 or 6D should be no problem though.
08-19-2013, 03:38 AM   #48
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Canikon has the advantage of being able to reuse many components, for their "cheap" FF cameras. Pentax OTOH would have to develop many things from scratch - mirror mechanism, viewfinder, new SR adapted for larger sensors, new AF (hopefully; they won't get away easily with reusing an APS-C one, due to the lack of an alternative); and while Ricoh Imaging wants to gain market share, they're also targeting profit.
I think a higher level camera (not a "pro" monster, just something upper level than the 6D and D600) is plausible.

Going straight after market share - right from the beginning, with an incomplete lens system, and risking to make a product which is "not good enough" - would not be an effective strategy, and it would be better left to the APS-C cameras. What they need is a foothold.
08-19-2013, 05:32 AM   #49
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A lens like the Canon 24-105 f4 L is usually sold as the 'kit' lens for cameras like the 6D and even 5D3. I think Nikon even offers unspectacular stuff like the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED as part of D600 kits. Looking around some of the local online stores I even see D800's offered Tamron, Sigma and Zeiss FF lenses too as part of their kit.

So I think there's no need for us to set the bar too high for Pentax by requiring that all their new FF glass be Pentax FA* constant f2.8 zooms or 1.4 primes, and stellar in quality (and price). Or even be Pentax branded.

08-19-2013, 05:37 AM   #50
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Going for either extremes would be a mistake. Make it too expensive and very few would buy it; make it too low-end and people would sneer at it. Fortunately, there's a lot of middle ground to choose from
Using the Pentax brand can be considered a given, IMO.
08-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Supernaut Quote
I think an affordable FF is a must for Pentax. To gain market share and by that selling lenses which gives profit.
Besides that, I'm not sure Pentax have all the high tech ready that is needed to compete with the highest CaNikon bodies. Making a better D600 or 6D should be no problem though.
I agree that I dont thino Pentax would try to compete head to head with the big guys in the pro or semi pro marlet. They will most likely try to find a different market niche. Thats why I think tbe full frame when it does arrive could be something like a K 50 but with a larger sensor. Thats why I dont think they will offer constant 2.8 zooms up front perhaps something more consumer orientated.
08-19-2013, 07:36 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Going for either extremes would be a mistake. Make it too expensive and very few would buy it; make it too low-end and people would sneer at it. Fortunately, there's a lot of middle ground to choose from
Using the Pentax brand can be considered a given, IMO.
Yes. Pentax can make lenses that are moderate in specification but have very high image quality. Perhaps this is Pentax's real niche, to be pursued here.
08-19-2013, 05:18 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by hidden_au Quote
I agree that I dont thino Pentax would try to compete head to head with the big guys in the pro or semi pro marlet. They will most likely try to find a different market niche. Thats why I think tbe full frame when it does arrive could be something like a K 50 but with a larger sensor. Thats why I dont think they will offer constant 2.8 zooms up front perhaps something more consumer orientated.
That's where the meat of the FF market is. And Pentax has never offered a camera in the same league as the D800 (or even D700). Pentax has always been a value brand and we see that in their APS-C models where they are just a notch under Nikon or Canon prices or have upscale features like WR.

08-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
A $2000 might be a goal for Pentax, but I doubt that will happen on the first gen camera. Within 5-10 years Pentax probably have $2000 body, and by then they also need slower zoom lenses.
Any model higher priced than $2,000 for a Pentax FF would die an instant death. They have zero market presence in this sales category and never have. There is no room here with Canon and Nikon (and Leica) and their massive lens banks to the point even Sony is struggling.

This is a very tiny, niche, and likely saturated market full of used D3's and D700's (and D600 and D800's) already. You need a stable of 7 zooms and 8 primes to play there to sell even 5% of the bodies Canikon does. Better to aim lower where there is less risk and lower investment costs to reach a broader base. Only lower prices can reach the volume necessary for a Pentax FF.
08-19-2013, 06:32 PM   #55
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A well articulated, fully featured FF camera slotted BETWEEN the D600 and D800 (with Pentax dust e.g. IBIS) and a complement of lenses that could also bleed down to the top APSc camera (as could many of the internals) might do fine.

In fact, if done right in the K-3, much of the internal technology could simply transfer upstream as in the K-7.technology appearing first in the 645D and the K-30 technology appearing first in the K-01 (though the volumes would reverse so the K-3 couldn't be the learning platform the way K-01 was).
08-19-2013, 11:23 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Any model higher priced than $2,000 for a Pentax FF would die an instant death. They have zero market presence in this sales category and never have. There is no room here with Canon and Nikon (and Leica) and their massive lens banks to the point even Sony is struggling.

This is a very tiny, niche, and likely saturated market full of used D3's and D700's (and D600 and D800's) already. You need a stable of 7 zooms and 8 primes to play there to sell even 5% of the bodies Canikon does. Better to aim lower where there is less risk and lower investment costs to reach a broader base. Only lower prices can reach the volume necessary for a Pentax FF.
Whatever the price is on a Pentax FF is, it will not sell much more than 5% of canikon. If Pentax is to sell FF at $2000 they need to undercut specification of D600 and 6D, as Pentax will sell in much lower volume.

A Pentax FF is not really competing with canikon, as it will basically only be used by existing Pentax users, and for these users it will probably be cheaper to get a $3000 Pentax FF, than to jump ship to a $2000 canikon FF.

Sony tried to sell a $2000 FF 4 years ago with A850, but it did not go very well. And that was when canikon had $3000 bodies.
So i'm not sure Pentax will be very successful in selling FF by competing on price.
08-20-2013, 01:23 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Any model higher priced than $2,000 for a Pentax FF would die an instant death. They have zero market presence in this sales category and never have. There is no room here with Canon and Nikon (and Leica) and their massive lens banks to the point even Sony is struggling.

This is a very tiny, niche, and likely saturated market full of used D3's and D700's (and D600 and D800's) already. You need a stable of 7 zooms and 8 primes to play there to sell even 5% of the bodies Canikon does. Better to aim lower where there is less risk and lower investment costs to reach a broader base. Only lower prices can reach the volume necessary for a Pentax FF.
They have zero market presence because they don't have such products. How could they sell anything, if they don't have the product? How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?
In such conditions, deciding there just isn't a market for a Pentax camera costing more than $2000 is a mistake. After all, the 645D didn't "die an instant death"
08-20-2013, 05:21 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
They have zero market presence because they don't have such products. How could they sell anything, if they don't have the product? How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?
In such conditions, deciding there just isn't a market for a Pentax camera costing more than $2000 is a mistake. After all, the 645D didn't "die an instant death"
You don't enter a high-end market without all your competitor has to offer.

Pentax hasn't the AF system nor tethering, nor strobist, nor RAW processing, and far too few long and wide zooms to compete against the D800 equivalents.

We live in an era where people are more than willing to own multiple systems. And the used market has never been more robust and accessible. It is not uncommon to see a D800 on the market for a 25% discount (and no tax) with less than 2,000 actuations out of its rated 100k for pro-quality durability. All eminently serviceable.

Pentax has none of that.

The 645D is a limited run, hand-built, small market item. Any FF DSLR is a volume sales, mass market, mass advertising (Nikon D600 on billboards and in National Geo) product. The only way prices get to where they are is on volume sales with FF.

Volume = lower prices.

And Sony got turfed with A850 precisely because they did not have the lens array and strobist and all the other accoutrements compared to Canikon. So people bought the D700 for $2499 and not the $1999 A850.

Pentax needs an inexpensive FF body (assisting a short product cycle) with a slew of decent lenses, especially zooms. They need an updated flash system, tethering, reworked SDM, improved AF and SR, etc. and that's just to keep current Pentaxians happy. But at 5% of the market there are not enough of us to make money off of this until we see sensor prices drop and more people capable of buying in.
08-20-2013, 06:40 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
You don't enter a high-end market without all your competitor has to offer.

Pentax hasn't the AF system nor tethering, nor strobist, nor RAW processing, and far too few long and wide zooms to compete against the D800 equivalents.

We live in an era where people are more than willing to own multiple systems. And the used market has never been more robust and accessible. It is not uncommon to see a D800 on the market for a 25% discount (and no tax) with less than 2,000 actuations out of its rated 100k for pro-quality durability. All eminently serviceable.

Pentax has none of that.

The 645D is a limited run, hand-built, small market item. Any FF DSLR is a volume sales, mass market, mass advertising (Nikon D600 on billboards and in National Geo) product. The only way prices get to where they are is on volume sales with FF.

Volume = lower prices.

And Sony got turfed with A850 precisely because they did not have the lens array and strobist and all the other accoutrements compared to Canikon. So people bought the D700 for $2499 and not the $1999 A850.

Pentax needs an inexpensive FF body (assisting a short product cycle) with a slew of decent lenses, especially zooms. They need an updated flash system, tethering, reworked SDM, improved AF and SR, etc. and that's just to keep current Pentaxians happy. But at 5% of the market there are not enough of us to make money off of this until we see sensor prices drop and more people capable of buying in.
So basically what you're saying is that before Pentax can enter FF market, they need to be where canikon are after many years in this segment?
08-20-2013, 07:14 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
So basically what you're saying is that before Pentax can enter FF market, they need to be where canikon are after many years in this segment?
Pentax needs to compete on priceerformance which is a Nikon soft spot. Canon less so.

To get there, Pentax needs to update its strobes and tethering. And rework SAFOX. The Pentax AF system cannot compete at the $2,000 price point much less the $3,000 one. I doubt they can make the leap to D800/D4 AF quality, but they can get to D600/7000 on a stock Sony sensor in a relatively compact form factor. AF takes up space as do the visual overlays.

There are also issues with SR and long glass. Does Pentax FF require in-lens stabilization? how SDM or DC lens motors? Video? That's what sells a lot of Canon bodies.

The killer problem is lenses and these related matters. Pentax FF will require 14mm to 500mm (560?). It will require a TC. Zooms are the major issue because primes are mostly recycled formulas. Zooms today need much faster focusing and flare/CA control than in the days of film, so recycling complex zooms is not likely an option. Look at the Canikon efforts and you see that's where the bulk of their decade long effort went.

Unless Ricoh is prepared to bleed money like Sony (which shut down its A850/900 line for almost a year) to establish a foothold and work into the market, it's not feasible at today's FF sensor costs to jump in at the D800/$3,000 level for price. That's an astronomical amount for a body when Pentax could only put out 15% of the lenses the other guys put out. Even diehard Pentaxians will buy a Nikon just for the lens and strobe availability. And lens profiles in LR, etc.

If Sony, Aptina, Toshiba are able to undercut current FF sensor prices Pentax can get in at the sub-$2000/unit price point. This provides headroom for lens sales to grow. Consumers who suck all their cash into a $3,000 body won't have enough left over to buy lenses, or they'll adopt into a waning market so slowly they'll need a new body before their next lens purchase comes out. Pentax FF would have to 4x their current optical output beyond the Q, 645, and APS series already in production.

FF is 7% of the DSLR market and 2% of the system camera market. So Pentax would get 5% of 7% of 2% of the overall market just by catering to the current users here for maybe a $150 million outlay. That's why price matters because Pentax needs to replace the K-5 buyers with FF buyers. Can't do that at $3,000 prices.
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