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08-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
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.
Again, great comments, and i don't disagree with your main points. I just wonder what the comparison point is that everyone has in their mind. I think it was first digital getting to film IQ. Now we seem to be there. But when the Foveon FF camera comes out, how much more blown away will we all be?

As for the Kirk Tuck article, you can see the comments I've made in that thread already. It seems that his sentiment has struck a chord with a lot of people in the photo community. However, the sales numbers show that it is the non-ILC camera sales that have fallen the most (although ILC cameras are significantly down at 18%, the non-ILC class is down around 50%). That says to me that while overall the market is declining people are still clinging to their big bodies and lenses (unless Pentax Q sales are making up for all the difference )

So it's a bit of a conundrum for me. Certainly, anyone who has a 5-year old DLSR is going to see something like the Sigma - or the Ricoh/Sony, etc. - mirrorless cameras to be equal to or better than what they are used to. But people in the market today are not buying into it as much. Maybe we are spoiled and holding out for the ultimate?

Having said all that, this thread has begun to make me think that Pentax is probably not too far off the mark by waiting to see what happens. Why rush out the FF, only to be last to the party, just as all the guests are leaving for their mirrorless Foveon APS-C cameras? Maybe it is wiser to see how things sort out.
And maybe there is an internal struggle between the Ricoh folks with all their mirrorless concepts and the traditional SLR Pentax people.

08-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
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...
Chuckle! I'm not going to be upset by what you say!

I've come to the conclusion that photographically we are all in minorities. "Generalisations" typically don't actually apply to everyone, and in many cases not even to the majority. This makes strategy-making in Ricoh/Pentax (etc) a nightmare. One such nightmare is the knowledge that, while "the SLR indeed aspires to be the universal, most widely adaptable, camera configuration ever", that is not only being challenged, but is also becoming irrelevant. A "universal, .. widely adaptable, camera configuration" is becoming less important; or perhaps just as important to some, but only to a smaller proportion of people.

At the moment, K-mount cameras are arranged as a "model ladder" (your term), as though people are expected to "move up the model ladder". But to pursue one line of improvement (for example autofocus) users have to buy lots of things they don't want. Perhaps some different packaging of technology would enable people to select by features, much more like the way people buy cars. I might choose to have one camera for studio work and another for motor sports, but both from the Pentax K-mount range. I would not only have cameras with interchangeable lenses, but lenses with interchangeable cameras.

(I don't have a clear proposal to make to Ricoh/Pentax! But I hope they have considered such things).
08-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
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.
I think a similar thing came in the 70s and 80s when the manual focus SLR was 'perfected' - there weren't any bad SLRs any longer...
In Hi-Fi a point was reached that the general sound quality was pretty fine...
In cars a point was reached that the general performance, safety and reliability was pretty fine...
In PCs a point was reached that just about any PC could run most applications, and the every-2-year replacement cycle was broken...

in each of these cases the journalist and corporations have more-or-less managed to come up with new ladders, whether through new technology, new formats, or new market segmentation.

Manual Focus SLRs were replaced by Auto Focus ones, plus Digital.
Hi-Fi splintered into the High End, the appliance and portable... and yeah, iPod sounds better than the KLH all-in-one

What this is telling me is that the camera industry may be at another inflection point, where the previous ladders are no longer as meaningful, and new ladders are being carried in. Which of these turn out to be the new market drivers is another, more interesting, question. Us enthusiasts have a role in this, as our opining diffuses across the crowd... but what the crowd ends up thinking of as the quality ladder may not be congruent with ours.

I'm hoping we won't end up in the hi-fi high-end ghetto; and that those golden times in the photo business when market values and photographic quality went hand in hand are more frequent than those where the two did not...
08-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
...
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.
...
After seeing where you live, Norm, I see why you're into nature and landscapes where a fast camera is not needed. And when the heck are we going to see some film shots from your 645?

08-28-2013, 08:48 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takumar55 Quote
Again, great comments, and i don't disagree with your main points. I just wonder what the comparison point is that everyone has in their mind. I think it was first digital getting to film IQ. Now we seem to be there. But when the Foveon FF camera comes out, how much more blown away will we all be?

As for the Kirk Tuck article, you can see the comments I've made in that thread already. It seems that his sentiment has struck a chord with a lot of people in the photo community. However, the sales numbers show that it is the non-ILC camera sales that have fallen the most (although ILC cameras are significantly down at 18%, the non-ILC class is down around 50%). That says to me that while overall the market is declining people are still clinging to their big bodies and lenses (unless Pentax Q sales are making up for all the difference )

So it's a bit of a conundrum for me. Certainly, anyone who has a 5-year old DLSR is going to see something like the Sigma - or the Ricoh/Sony, etc. - mirrorless cameras to be equal to or better than what they are used to. But people in the market today are not buying into it as much. Maybe we are spoiled and holding out for the ultimate?

Having said all that, this thread has begun to make me think that Pentax is probably not too far off the mark by waiting to see what happens. Why rush out the FF, only to be last to the party, just as all the guests are leaving for their mirrorless Foveon APS-C cameras? Maybe it is wiser to see how things sort out.
And maybe there is an internal struggle between the Ricoh folks with all their mirrorless concepts and the traditional SLR Pentax people.
Fall in MILC sales?? Honestly, I don't know.... over here in Asia, at least the places I've been to recently (Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan), I get the impression that thats what lots of ppl are using nowadays.
That said, these are laymen and they probably hold on to their cameras for longer than the LBA/CBA that enthusiasts suffer from
08-28-2013, 08:50 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takumar55 Quote
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.
I'll answer your question - but only for me. I don't claim that it is a majority view.

For club-level work, I am "always looking to eke out just that little bit extra for each shooting situation". I love biggish sharp prints, birds in flight with full feather detail, crisp projections onto a 10 foot screen, etc. I am prepared to upgrade for better AF-C for birds, planes, motor sports, etc.

For the rest, "I don't need to lug around the extra size and weight" - so I'm build up a Q system, and learning how to use it pretty much as a point & shoot, but with a bit more capability when it is all I have with me and I unexpectedly need more.
08-28-2013, 09:13 AM   #37
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Who knows what the next 5 yrs will bring, Id rather Pentax concentrated on APS-C cameras making them the best in class and updating or releasing new lenses to make Pentax THE goto brand for mass market DSLR cameras. The market for FF is tiny, and if Pentax are going to do it, Id guess that we will not hear anything until Photokina 2014?
Im not sure the sales volume would make FF worthwhile at the moment
08-28-2013, 09:29 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by edgedemon Quote
Who knows what the next 5 yrs will bring, Id rather Pentax concentrated on APS-C cameras making them the best in class and updating or releasing new lenses to make Pentax THE goto brand for mass market DSLR cameras. The market for FF is tiny, and if Pentax are going to do it, Id guess that we will not hear anything until Photokina 2014?
Im not sure the sales volume would make FF worthwhile at the moment
I hope Ricoh/Pentax have at least examined the idea of a relatively small mirrorless camera body with eye-level electronic viewfinder that can be sold with either an FF sensor or an APS-C sensor, supporting all K-mount lenses. The FF version would support lenses in full mode or crop mode as appropriate.

08-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
I hope Ricoh/Pentax have at least examined the idea of a relatively small mirrorless camera body with eye-level electronic viewfinder that can be sold with either an FF sensor or an APS-C sensor, supporting all K-mount lenses. The FF version would support lenses in full mode or crop mode as appropriate.
Yes, they did!
"mirrorless segment is moving forward to smaller size. Even though there was possibility to bring FF into this segment, it was our conclusion that APS-C should be the utmost size for mirrorless segment." - Toshiyuki Kitazawa, Head of Business Development, (then)Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company.
08-28-2013, 09:38 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Fall in MILC sales??
Apparently, just going by the data that Kirk Tuck is referring to. Here is the source data:
http://www.cipa.jp/english/data/pdf/d-201306_e.pdf

You can see the ILC vs. non-ILC breakout, and also the geography.

The non-ILC market is much bigger, so it's a huge swath that is being grouped together compared to the ILC market.

And then you have categories that make things more difficult to compare; i.e.: the Sigma DP series is a non-ILC camera, even though in terms of capability you could argue it belongs in the "high end" ILC category. But then you can also see within ILC, that mirrorless is much smaller than SLR. But maybe the mirrorless non-ILC would make up for that?

Given the constraints in the data, my hypothesis is that the low end is getting hit much more than the high end. I would guess low end is getting eaten by phone cameras. So then if you believe in high end demand holding up (relatively, of course), then is it SLR or mirrorless? Is it interchangeable or fixed lens? And then does FF hold a big enough advantage over APS-c given the cost and size/weight considerations? Of these three, I would be most confident of interchangeable lenses being around.

Last edited by Takumar55; 08-28-2013 at 09:48 AM.
08-28-2013, 10:19 AM   #41
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Relative to the high end, where will the pro market go? I'd say it remains where it is, until a pro quality evf has enough advantages and manufacturer backing to make an impact in the studio.
Therefore, us enthusiast prosumer or less well heeled, the majority of us is likely to remain with the OVF model for the forseeable future, again pending a true quality breakthrough in EVF.
What I see is the market share of FF gradually increasing at the expense of APS-C. We see it right here - quite a few of us have made the jump to another brand for FF in the last year or so.

For the more casual photographers, there has to be some enticement to get beyond the phone... that would be waterproof, maybe better quality pictures, concepts such as bokeh as signs of 'better photography'... this is the mess low end SLR, mirrorless, hq compacts and bridge cameras are duking it out in. When Tutu Dad and Soccer Mom reach for a NEX or Olympus or other EVF ILC - or a fixed zoom compact - instead of a low-end SLR when thinking of documenting all the precious moments, that's when we know there's a change.
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