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08-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #16
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I'm thinking we won't see a FF Pentax for at least another yea if not more. At which point, we'll likely see a mirorless FF solution rather than a DSLR type one. To which I'd add, I'm really not sure how this would work with existing lenses etc, but my gut tells me Ricoh will likely opt for a new mount and lens solution rather than that of a backward compatible one.

QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
I have waited, like many others here, a long time for Pentax to release a 24x36 digital body. There are multiple threads discussing the merits of FF and how Pentax should/shouldn't produce one. I dream of the day I can use my FA* 24, 43 and 77 Limiteds as they were intended, along with many other older lenses stored in the closet that call out the Pentax name at night, crying for FF.

Many question the benefits of FF, and if it would be worth it or if it would sink Pentax. Of course, I wish Pentax would have released one a long time ago, so they could be more competitive by retaining that market segment. That being said, the number one reason I look forward to a FF digital camera is the large viewfinder, similar to the size of the VF on my MX. While there are other advantages, this one trumps all for me.

I've used newer cameras, including the K-5ii and I still prefer the K10D for most shooting situations. I'm patiently awaiting the release of a FF and will probably continue to wait without upgrading bodies until a Pentax FF is my upgrade. However, Pentax hasn't been shy about letting its customers know they are committed to the K-mount and the APS-C format. Wondering if this unicorn will ever show up, my opinion might change though, and my final thought is if Pentax is so focused on the DA line, why not make an APS-C DSLR with a game-changing optical VF? I'd purchase it for my body upgrade. In fact, I'd love a K10D with a LX- or MX-sized VF.

Any thoughts on the subject? Would a product like this passify many of those asking for a FF or would people claim it's like another 645D with a cropped 645 sensor only half-way there?


08-27-2013, 07:11 PM   #17
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Pentax FF? No Thanks!

Well, I'm sure this will stir up a hornet's nest of dissenting opinions, but there you go.
I think releasing a FF DSLR is absolutely the worst move Pentax could make, now and in the near future. Let's look at the facts;
The big two have the 'Pro' market locked up and a recent entry, Sony, is now the dark horse or niche player, a role Pentax might have nabbed five years ago.
Ricoh/Pentax are a full decade behind Canon and 6 years behind Nikon in development, and light-years behind in marketing, name recognition, dealer support, 3rd party tie-ins and Worldwide service, rentals and repair. Even Sony, a small-market segment player, already has as many, if not more, modern lens offerings as Pentax for their FF sensor camera. Oh, yes, Sony also MAKES the sensors they (and Nikon) use, another drawback for Pentax.
Just the R + D, startup, tooling, marketing and manufacturing initial costs are prohibitive, unless you have the deep pockets of you-know-who. All that for a small % of total DSLR sales, worldwide.
Nikon and Canon have been making FF so long, they now have versions for about $2,000, $3,000 and the biggies, $6,000-$7,000. Where does Pentax jump in?
Does FF need another small-product-line also-ran? Can the market support it?
Does anyone really believe the FF DSLR will ever be a major part of the overall DSLR market? I don't. Too big, heavy and expensive. Perhaps it has gone unnoticed that camera that sell like hotcakes aren't getting larger, they're getting smaller. Sound like an optimum time for a 645-sized new camera intro?
No, Pentax should expand on the base they're carved out for themselves; APS-C bodies that offer higher-than-their price range features, weather resistance, legacy lens compatability and small form factor. Add some reasonably-priced WA primes and zooms, better overall lens and accessory selection and mend fences with all the disgruntled dealers, particularly the brick + mortar stores. Marketing that actually exists, listens and acts. Keep the K-mount, tweak the available APS-C sensors and keep moving forward in their own quirky style.
FF fanboys, unite and fire back!
Ron
08-27-2013, 08:17 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Well, I'm sure this will stir up a hornet's nest of dissenting opinions, but there you go.
I think releasing a FF DSLR is absolutely the worst move Pentax could make, now and in the near future. Let's look at the facts;
The big two have the 'Pro' market locked up and a recent entry, Sony, is now the dark horse or niche player, a role Pentax might have nabbed five years ago.
Ricoh/Pentax are a full decade behind Canon and 6 years behind Nikon in development, and light-years behind in marketing, name recognition, dealer support, 3rd party tie-ins and Worldwide service, rentals and repair. Even Sony, a small-market segment player, already has as many, if not more, modern lens offerings as Pentax for their FF sensor camera. Oh, yes, Sony also MAKES the sensors they (and Nikon) use, another drawback for Pentax.
Just the R + D, startup, tooling, marketing and manufacturing initial costs are prohibitive, unless you have the deep pockets of you-know-who. All that for a small % of total DSLR sales, worldwide.
Nikon and Canon have been making FF so long, they now have versions for about $2,000, $3,000 and the biggies, $6,000-$7,000. Where does Pentax jump in?
Does FF need another small-product-line also-ran? Can the market support it?
Does anyone really believe the FF DSLR will ever be a major part of the overall DSLR market? I don't. Too big, heavy and expensive. Perhaps it has gone unnoticed that camera that sell like hotcakes aren't getting larger, they're getting smaller. Sound like an optimum time for a 645-sized new camera intro?
No, Pentax should expand on the base they're carved out for themselves; APS-C bodies that offer higher-than-their price range features, weather resistance, legacy lens compatability and small form factor. Add some reasonably-priced WA primes and zooms, better overall lens and accessory selection and mend fences with all the disgruntled dealers, particularly the brick + mortar stores. Marketing that actually exists, listens and acts. Keep the K-mount, tweak the available APS-C sensors and keep moving forward in their own quirky style.
FF fanboys, unite and fire back!
.

Ron, there's nothing all that controversial about what you write. Ricoh may continue along that exact route.

It's just that the landscape has changed since Pentax entered the aps-c DSLR business in 2003, and it's going to change more.. It's not 2003 any more. It's not even 2010 any more, when Pentax had some success with the K-x.

It's looking like this: If Ricoh wants to continue to sell K-mount DSLRs, they will have to offer a FF body at some point. Their procrastination has already cost them. and it will continue to cost them. If they don't plan to stick with DSLR, or K-mount, or either, they have other options, but those other options will be less palatable to the rank & file of this forum, and those other options will bring "Pentax" that much closer to a name-only, vestigial entity, like a Vivitar.

.
08-28-2013, 01:03 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
I'm thinking we won't see a FF Pentax for at least another yea if not more. At which point, we'll likely see a mirorless FF solution rather than a DSLR type one. To which I'd add, I'm really not sure how this would work with existing lenses etc, but my gut tells me Ricoh will likely opt for a new mount and lens solution rather than that of a backward compatible one.
There are several existing K-mount lenses that are OK for 35mm film and would perhaps be OK for digital FF. These include FA, DFA, and even some (not all) DA*. I think Ricoh/Pentax would want to be able to promote those lenses as part of any FF system.

They would probably also want to offer the ability to use non-FF lenses lenses in a "crop mode" on an FF camera. This would ensure that users of those lenses would see an advantage in going for Pentax FF rather than stagnating or going for another brand.

But - I think there is a possibility that Ricoh/Pentax might use a variant of the K-mount with a short registration (flange to sensor) distance on a such a mirrorless camera. I would then expect them to supply a good adapter for backward compatibility with all K-mount lenses.

08-28-2013, 01:03 AM   #20
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I agree with Tuco.
Just get a something brand FF.
If one does not need the MP and AF, just get a old 5D.
Else, wait out for a MILC FF that can take adapted lenses.
Heck! there is even NEX with the turbo booster (though I think it does not do the lenses justice)

It does not need to be expensive either.
FF will not be cheap anyway even when Pentax releases one.
I spent nothing on lenses on my 5D.
All my lenses are M42 mounts or easily converted K-mounts.
I've tried a few Canon lenses, but decided they were not worth spending additional money on. (personal decision)

The same can be applied with a 5D; 5DII; 6D; D700; D600 with their lower end f1.8/f2/f2.8 primes or even a Tamon 28-75.

All said, I won't encourage anyone to give up Pentax.
To me, the lenses work on FF (and these are just S.Taks)
I can imagine its far better with the good * and ltds when a FF does come.
Small well built lenses, with the IQ and rendering to match any comers.
And then there is the Pentax philosophy of well thought out and small camera bodies, simply a joy to use.
There is nothing wrong with Pentax aps-c either.
In fact, given the choice between big/heavy/FF and Pentax aps-c, I'll choose the latter w/o a doubt.
That applies to me only of course.
I know a lot of guys from can drive from point A to B for photo taking.
Mines on foot day in day out, public transport (with heavy bag on my lap; not in a car boot).
Totally different usage/needs.


I recently got a DP1m and I've got to say that its a paradigm shift to me.
Small and quirky to use, but a monster in low ISO IQ that trashes anything short of a D800 (and that's arguable).
All in a small package costing far less.
It basically throws out the argument that FF is superior for resolution, leaving only a shallow DOF argument (DR is moot to me since its easily taken care of with bracketing and the Foveon does amazing highlight recovery)
And remember, its a much smaller package with almost flawless matching between sensor and lens.

Things are changing and no system is safe, nor is any format the perfect format.
If with hindsight I am to start with nothing today, I'd still have a Pentax just because its a joy to use, not too big, not too expensive, but less of the lenses I use less, I'd certainly have the Sigma and probably keep a cheap 5D just for shallow DOF stuff.
Come to think of it, thats where I am now except for the less lenses part. .....

Last edited by pinholecam; 08-28-2013 at 01:09 AM.
08-28-2013, 05:09 AM   #21
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Support for APS-c is more important than FF for the continued success of Pentax... I have a couple of 645 lenses, the 645D is now down to $6000 at Henry's, for 6k I could be in business tomorrow with a 645D. To me, the whole allure of an FF is completely dead. I can have MF for the same money, tomorrow if I so choose (d800 and 14-24mm zoom). But I also have a DP2, which also supplants FF, with a much smaller file size. IF anything, I'd like a 24 or 30 MP APS-c. To me, FF was always an orphan format. Not really portable, not really as good as the larger formats for sitting down in the studio. APS-c- MF is still to me the best camera combo.
08-28-2013, 05:10 AM   #22
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I have no problem waiting for Pentax. I always think you are happiest when you can enjoy the gear you have, rather than long for the gear you don't have. Would I buy a full frame Pentax camera? Sure, but in terms of what I shoot every day, I can't honestly say that I probably would see a big difference. And I'm a lot richer for not having it available to buy.
08-28-2013, 05:51 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
No, Pentax should expand on the base they're carved out for themselves; APS-C bodies that offer higher-than-their price range features, weather resistance, legacy lens compatability and small form factor. Add some reasonably-priced WA primes and zooms, better overall lens and accessory selection and mend fences with all the disgruntled dealers, particularly the brick + mortar stores. Marketing that actually exists, listens and acts. Keep the K-mount, tweak the available APS-C sensors and keep moving forward in their own quirky style.
FF fanboys, unite and fire back!
I would agree with this, only there's the big risk that the market may move away from this strategy. Look at what happened to Pentax when they stuck with screw mount a bit too long... there wasn't a real photographic need for a bayonet mount (save the limit on how fast a lens you could mount) so why chase fashion? The same thing happened to Canon, not coming up with a high spec SLR for too long... there wasn't a photographic need for the SLR, as the Canon RF did most things just fine...

08-28-2013, 06:09 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
The same thing happened to Canon, not coming up with a high spec SLR for too long... there wasn't a photographic need for the SLR, as the Canon RF did most things just fine...
I wonder what happened to Canon.....?
08-28-2013, 06:21 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cynog Ap Brychan Quote
I wonder what happened to Canon.....?
They learned to build SLR's, and to try to be at the front of the market rather than at the back
08-28-2013, 06:36 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Things Changed

QuoteOriginally posted by Cynog Ap Brychan Quote
I wonder what happened to Canon.....?
Not keeping up with Nikon's SLR pro-offerings for several years relegated Canon in a distant 2nd (new Canon users may try revisionist history to dispute this, but it's true) throughout the 1960's, 1970's and half the eighties. Nikon had the vast majority of high-end and professional users, a much larger majority of that market than Canon has now.
What happened in 1985 and shortly after, was the game-changer. Whether by luck, divine intervention or remarkable foresight, Canon chose to use SDM for auto-focus drive, following Minolta in this respect. Nikon and Pentax chose screw-drive, enabling the use of older lenses on the AF bodies and vice-versa.
The hue and cry from the dedicated Canon shooters will be well remembered by anyone who was there. Old lenses didn't mount onto the new bodies. New lenses didn't mount onto pre-1985 bodies. Completely new system, nothing old worked with anything new.
But, over the course of a few years, the micro-second faster AF speed and accuracy of SDM won the battle. Canon may have been a good loser throughout the first 25 years of Nikon's SLR dominance in pro shooting, but they've been a terrible winner since.
If there were only the 2 major brands of DSLR's available, I'd use Nikon.
JMO,
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 08-28-2013 at 06:45 AM.
08-28-2013, 06:38 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I would agree with this, only there's the big risk that the market may move away from this strategy. Look at what happened to Pentax when they stuck with screw mount a bit too long... there wasn't a real photographic need for a bayonet mount (save the limit on how fast a lens you could mount) so why chase fashion? The same thing happened to Canon, not coming up with a high spec SLR for too long... there wasn't a photographic need for the SLR, as the Canon RF did most things just fine...
I'm suspicious about statements like "there wasn't a real photographic need for a bayonet mount (save the limit on how fast a lens you could mount)".

First, because the ability to change lenses fast is a photographic need, for some. (I remember being irritated by wasting time fiddling with screw mount lenses).

But changing to a bayonet mount opened up options (although I don't know how far that was appreciated at the time). I wonder how much of the current camera/lens automation could satisfactorily be driven via a screw mount?

So while I agree with your concern that the market may move away from an "APS-C only" strategy, I wouldn't say that it is just chasing fashion. There are photographic reasons for FF, and not just those often mentioned. For example, I would like the extra field of view with my current long lenses (a couple of which happen to be FF-ready).
08-28-2013, 07:03 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
I agree with Tuco.

I recently got a DP1m and I've got to say that its a paradigm shift to me.
Small and quirky to use, but a monster in low ISO IQ that trashes anything short of a D800 (and that's arguable).
All in a small package costing far less.
It basically throws out the argument that FF is superior for resolution, leaving only a shallow DOF argument (DR is moot to me since its easily taken care of with bracketing and the Foveon does amazing highlight recovery)
And remember, its a much smaller package with almost flawless matching between sensor and lens.
.
The Sigma DP1m sounds like an incredible camera. Its image quality at low ISO beats anything up to and maybe including a D800? - but that is comparing to current technology on the larger cameras. Wouldn't the Foveon sensor be that much better on a FF? Or is there some technical reason it can't be used?
Today we might think the compact APS-c camera can have the best image quality we will ever need... until the next thing comes out.
Then the question is - is there really a limit at which people will give up IQ for size? i.e.: this is good enough for me. Now I don't need to lug around the extra size and weight. Well, just my opinion, but look at all the lens collectors on this forum. Everyone is always looking to eke out just that little bit extra for each shooting situation.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
APS-c- MF is still to me the best camera combo.
This is really it, right? Do we need the step in between APS-c and medium format?

QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
If there were only the 2 major brands of DSLR's available, I'd use Nikon.
Ron
I agree. i find it interesting, though, to look at Nikon's lower end point and shoot cameras, which are not that competitive. They seem to just not "get" the needs and wants of that consumer, and the tradeoffs between price and functionality down at that end.

Last edited by Takumar55; 08-28-2013 at 07:09 AM.
08-28-2013, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #29
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Note: I was speaking in terms of corporate think, not what proved to be correct in the market, or correct in a technical sense. Clearly the screw mount limits options when it comes to further automation and proprietary commercial interest, it's just does your upper management believe the future is here so soon or not. Apparently Pentax management was not overly concerned about moving to bayonet mount, and in consequence seem to have forever lost their market position. Canon, by their willingness to abandon legacy support (perhaps a lesson from the RF days) and the embrace of new technology managed to regain their market position, and more.

Barry, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, or personally, and I'm exposing my own gullibility and feature-anxiety: a photographic need often isn't universal. In fact a photographic need may be very specialized and seldom needed. But in marketing, such needs become major drivers. And I'd say, appropriately so, for the SLR indeed aspires to be the universal, most widely adaptable, camera configuration ever.

But where it bites us: we talk ourselves to upgrade after upgrade, to move up the model ladder, simply because of this feature or that (no, not exclusively so, but being honest here, yeah, I chase features and gimmics and things that at worst complicate the camera, at best are useful only on occasion)...

And there are always people who will in no uncertain terms defend or justify the absolute necessity of any given feature or performance item. We are all in danger of seeming foolish yokels amongst real photographers

That said, 'the market' doesn't necessarily move in sync with purely photographic values. Some excellent designs will be duds, and some mediocrities will light up the sales figures...

(I've leveraged my daughter's becoming a photo major + some gift dollars for 25 years of corporate survival into what I think are the rational cameras in the current SLR market: K-30 and D600. The D600 is an experiment in seeing what Nikon is all about, and the full frame part of it is just me taking advantage of the one time in the near term I would go for such an expensive camera, plus all my legacy Nikkors bought with half a mind to eventually use on digital.)
08-28-2013, 07:59 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takumar55 Quote
The Sigma DP1m sounds like an incredible camera. Its image quality at low ISO beats anything up to and maybe including a D800? - but that is comparing to current technology on the larger cameras. Wouldn't the Foveon sensor be that much better on a FF? Or is there some technical reason it can't be used?
Today we might think the compact APS-c camera can have the best image quality we will ever need... until the next thing comes out.
Then the question is - is there really a limit at which people will give up IQ for size? i.e.: this is good enough for me. Now I don't need to lug around the extra size and weight. Well, just my opinion, but look at all the lens collectors on this forum. Everyone is always looking to eke out just that little bit extra for each shooting situation.
As of today, thats what I have and see on my hands/computer.
A camera the size of about an Iphone (3x thicker though) that gives IQ that good that one starts to question the point of lugging around a D800 and an expensive quality lens.
Not as versatile of course, but the photographer can mix and match the tools/cameras available to him on the market. (eg. DPxm + Q7/m4/3; Dpxm+dslr; etc)
Where it counts (still images at low ISO ) it delivers (in a small package)

What can be said of Foveon, is that manufacturing it is no walk in the park either.
All the layers need to be good and that eats up the yields.
Thats also why Sigma always claimed its about 36mp for a 12mp camera and initially priced it as a 36-40mp camera.
A Foveon RAW file is 40MB, I don't want to think what its going to be if it was a 24mp FF foveon.


Personally, I have a feeling that the limit for existing uses (ie. screen viewing; printing up to A3+ ), shooting in low light and viewing normally, is reaching a point that all cameras can do it plus-minus a bit.
I think some photographers like Kirk Tuck is seeing this too and writes about his thoughts here :
The Visual Science Lab / Kirk Tuck: Has the bubble burst? Is that why camera sales in N. America are down by 43%?

I've also noticed that many camera bloggers who review cameras (eg. SteveHuff; RobinWong; MingThien) no longer talk about cameras falling far short anymore.
In the past, this would have been more common (eg. v. poor AF in low light; poor low light performance; this sort of thing)
In other words, for taking photos in most situations, most cameras nowadays are pretty fine.
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