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10-20-2013, 11:11 AM   #46
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The Pentax K-mount body is a full-frame specification. It is starting to feel silly lugging a K-mount digital body with a sensor that captures 50% less light than what it was originally designed for back in the 70s.

No doubt Pentax has been mis-managed in recent years. Having said that, the enthusiast market is clamoring at the bit RIGHT NOW for a FF camera with K-3 build quality and feature set for less than $2k. Disregarding the glass issue, of course.

Pentax could be kicking major ass right now if Hoya had a clue or more that a passing interest.

10-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by noser Quote
I can see it now... Alaskan cruises + Viagra + loaner lenses to entice more sales. Probably would fill a boat...
@noser -- probably would fill a boat... sure would!

Lets get practical with that imaginary Pentax marketing budget. Let's spend the money to fund a remake of the Love Boat TV show... wildly popular with our target demographic from 1977-1987. As before, a tie-in with Princess Lines, which has those Alaskan cruises (great photo ops) ... and also Princess Lodges onshore near the national parks. For the money, the main characters, of course, are always carrying Pentaxes, and the episode dialog follows, like, "Honey, I just shot that killer whale with my new 55-300mm telephoto!" And a running comedy, maybe with a Canikon-toting character who overdoses on Viagra and tries to get it on with a moose at Skagway.

My theory -- or hypothesis, whatever -- is that this could be done quickly and that a popular TV show might be a natural place to build up anticipation for your FF Pentax ... sort of like 'who shot JR' on Dallas ... given a team of halfway-decent scriptwriters.

As for the professionals. What do you think the 'hook' would be to get them to switch brands and lens systems? Maybe Pentax ruggedness and weather-sealing? Testimonial ads from a muddy battlefield in Somewherestan? Or how the K-3 saved that outdoor wedding, you know, the one in Abilene where a tornado ripped off the bride's dress and sent the wedding party running for cover? Has to be a hook; Pentax has to find it.

Last edited by jon404; 10-20-2013 at 11:26 AM.
10-20-2013, 12:33 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
Exactly!!! I don't fit into any of the categories listed by the original poster, but will gladly open my wallet for a FF Pentax. You do not need to be rich to be willing to drop thousands of dollars on a new camera system. Nor do you need to be a professional. Nor do you need to have some compelling "use" for the better image quality. A lot of people are willing to spend money to indulge their expensive hobbies with no "good reason". Most of the people who buy expensive camera equipment are not rich, not professional, and they don't really need it. They simply want it, and can afford to indulge. Some may feel that it is a waste of money, but camera companies can generate a lot of revenue helping people to fulfill their materialistic impulses. Nothing wrong with that.

Dan
This.
My other hobby is metal detecting for gold. I had a couple of cheaper metal detectors and just got frustrated. So I spent $6500 on the best of the best, brand new from the shop. People use this same detector in a professional manner to earn their income. Works for me, it finds gold for me!
10-20-2013, 12:59 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben78 Quote
This.
My other hobby is metal detecting for gold. I had a couple of cheaper metal detectors and just got frustrated. So I spent $6500 on the best of the best, brand new from the shop. People use this same detector in a professional manner to earn their income. Works for me, it finds gold for me!
Wow, never knew they could be that much. Has it found $6500 in gold?

10-21-2013, 01:31 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Wow, never knew they could be that much. Has it found $6500 in gold?
LOL

No.....
10-21-2013, 02:04 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben78 Quote
This.
My other hobby is metal detecting for gold. I had a couple of cheaper metal detectors and just got frustrated. So I spent $6500 on the best of the best, brand new from the shop. People use this same detector in a professional manner to earn their income. Works for me, it finds gold for me!
Why am I so easily enthused by interesting hobbies?! Dang, that sounds like great fun. I need to try and forget about this.
10-21-2013, 02:12 AM - 1 Like   #52
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I've known a few women who could smell gold a mile away and they didn't need no damn $6,500 metal detector.
10-21-2013, 12:57 PM - 1 Like   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by noser Quote
Most of the Canon users (the non 1D crowd) are very surprised by the feel of the K5. I was equally surprised when I picked up a 5DII for the first time and thought it was a joke. Yes, they'll switch if they get the body in their hands. Canon ergonomics suck, at best it feels like a Playstation controller. At least Nikon makes real cameras for photographers, and not fauxtograohers. Sorry, end of rant.
Subjectively you think the 5D II is a joke, but 10x? 100x? 1000x? more gifted, talented, intelligent professionals chose the 5D II over the K-5. Yes of course they will switch, this has been a commonly held sentiment since the K10D, not sure why it didn't happen with the K10 or k20 or k7 or k5 or k5ii...

Oh, I know why, because the assertion that a large majority of Canon/Nikon users are waiting for their eyes to be opened to the superiority of Pentax is unfounded, silly, and arrogant. People can intelligently choose Canon or Nikon for real world benefits, like autofocus, lens lineup, flash support, professional support, or even the much stronger and more active used market. Believe it or not, someone can pick up a Canon/Nikon and a Pentax and choose the Canon/Nikon for objective, intelligent reasons. Mind-blowing I know...

QuoteOriginally posted by noser Quote
This doesn't count the fact that every year there are that many new folks wanting to chase the dream or even just test the waters. I won't mention (much) the point about non-western markets; every year China graduates more genius level students from high school than the entire USA graduates students, period. I would assume India is the same. Wow.
I'm not sure how genius students are relevant, but I was under the impression that non-western markets were still dominated by Canon/Nikon/Sony. New users are certainly an important demographic though.

QuoteOriginally posted by noser Quote
I totally agree with the rest of your post.... The flagship K cameras have always been 'better', it's just hard to get them into the hands of the purchasers. At least here there are purchasers... Thousands of them. With no viable option they buy Canon, a few who might read up will buy Nikon, fanboys buy Sony, and fewer still discover Pentax.
Your definition of fanboy is probably different than mine, to me a fanboy is someone who refuses to appreciate the benefits of other systems and makes blanket statements like "x has always been better than y". Pentax has done things better than other manufacturers, and for certain usage patterns you could say it is superior, for others you should probably acknowledge that other manufacturers have done it better.

All camera systems have compromises, you choose the features that are important to you and neglect the others.
QuoteOriginally posted by noser Quote
If only we had the advertising you suggested...

Sigh...
I think Pentax gets blamed for their lack of advertising too often, the other brands get a lot of free advertising from their users.

Regarding whether or not Pentax could make a profitable full-frame...
Look at Sony's example. They came out with a full-frame A850/A900 real early and, frankly, nobody cared. It was better in some respects and worse in others compared to Canon/Nikon offerings, but their sales certainly didn't reflect it being better in any way. If Pentax came out with a K1 with D800 sensor and IBIS I would buy it, so would many Pentax users and a few people from other systems, but they would probably sell far far fewer than Nikon sold D800's. It probably would not even pay for R&D.

Now look at Sony's A7/R, a really overhyped camera with an INCREDIBLY lacking lens lineup. For a day or two it was #1 on amazon in the camera & photo category, now this isn't super meaningful since these people aren't obligated to pay for it until it ships, and many will cancel, but the K-3 didn't come close in hype/popularity. Was it their advertising, or is the difference that they didn't simply make a stat for stat equivalent to the Canon/Nikon offerings?

Sony did some interesting things with their NEX lineup, they stole a large part of the APS-C market share despite their "humble" beginnings. NEX's are great if you don't need ultra fast autofocus or if you want to adapt old lenses (sound familiar? like a niche that was previously represented by someone else?)

I guess my point is that if making a comparable, even slightly better in some respects APS-C camera repeatedly hasn't been enough to come close to the giants of the industry, why would making a comparable, even slightly better full-frame?
Pentax did something innovative early on with IBIS, have they done anything innovative since then? They allowed you to change lenses on a tiny compact camera sensor, they made a mirrorless k-mount camera that embraced the downsides of mirrorless without any? of the benefits. The first full-frame IBIS camera was introduced 5 years ago by someone else.

10-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
Now look at Sony's A7/R, a really overhyped camera with an INCREDIBLY lacking lens lineup. For a day or two it was #1 on amazon in the camera & photo category, now this isn't super meaningful since these people aren't obligated to pay for it until it ships, and many will cancel, but the K-3 didn't come close in hype/popularity. Was it their advertising, or is the difference that they didn't simply make a stat for stat equivalent to the Canon/Nikon offerings?
The Sony A7/A7r and the Fuji XE-2 pretty much dominated Amazon sales. The K-3 came in at #73 in sales in the DSLR category. Outside of the Pentax user base the K-3 hasn't generated much excitement. Some Nikon users are now clamoring for a D400, but the excitement this year has been all about FF bodies.

According to SonyAlphaRumors they had 30% more click through for the Sony 7r than the 7, which I thought was surprising, but the higher priced 7r seems to be selling better than the more economical 7.

It's a waste of time for Pentax to introduce a FF body with the current AF system. We will see if the K-3 AF is a big enough step forward to consider a FF body.
10-21-2013, 08:45 PM - 1 Like   #55
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For me the A7/R with a 24 mm prime would be the perfect landscape camera,to compliment my K5II for tele work,who needs AF for landscape,for 30 yrs had no AF & sold lots in exhibitons..I think the SonyA7's will sell well,as a compact landscape tool..and at he current price with a WA prime is still quite inexpensive..would be nice though with a K01 with EVF FF..time will tell
10-21-2013, 10:06 PM   #56
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I agree with the OP, and I'll add that one of my reasons for not upgrading my K200D is that I don't want more than 10MP.
10-22-2013, 12:06 AM   #57
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@Jonathan Mac -- the K-30 will spoil you rotten, and it's a real bargain these days... like my beloved K-01.

Tough business to be in... you bring out a new model, it's only there for a year, and then it goes obsolete and loses 50% of its value. Talk about planned obsolescence! But for those of us on the trailing edge of technology, great deals...
10-22-2013, 03:06 AM   #58
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FA 31mm; FA 77mm; DFA 100mm Macro; DA*300mm; A 24mm f2.8; A 28mm f2.8; A 50mm 1.4; A 50mm f2.8 Macro; Sigma 12-24; Sigma 20-40 f2.8; Sigma 28-70 f2.8...I'm good to go with full-frame. But, if one does not materialise, I'm good to stay with APS-C, too.

With regard to beating the big boys, this isn't going to happen overnight. Steady improvements, until the products are as good as or better than the other brands; greater visibility through advertising and endorsements; better value; market research; innovation. I have great hopes in Ricoh, but only time will tell.
10-22-2013, 03:14 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
The Sony A7/A7r and the Fuji XE-2 pretty much dominated Amazon sales. The K-3 came in at #73 in sales in the DSLR category. Outside of the Pentax user base the K-3 hasn't generated much excitement. Some Nikon users are now clamoring for a D400, but the excitement this year has been all about FF bodies.

According to SonyAlphaRumors they had 30% more click through for the Sony 7r than the 7, which I thought was surprising, but the higher priced 7r seems to be selling better than the more economical 7.

It's a waste of time for Pentax to introduce a FF body with the current AF system. We will see if the K-3 AF is a big enough step forward to consider a FF body.
I always hate when people use Amazon as a proxy for world wide sales. Even in the United States, a significant portion of camera sales occur elsewhere from Amazon -- probably most being sold through some big box store. Beyond which, Amazon tweaks their rankings so that they are not purely based on actual purchases, but include sales expectations.

We know that Pentax has poor representation in the United States, but honestly, it has little to do with the fact that they don't have a full frame camera and a lot more to do with the fact that they have no physical presence in stores and that they have almost no advertising. Neither of these things has changed with the release of the K3, so why would we expect sales to increase either?
10-22-2013, 07:13 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
Subjectively you think the 5D II is a joke, but 10x? 100x? 1000x? more gifted, talented, intelligent professionals chose the 5D II over the K-5. Yes of course they will switch, this has been a commonly held sentiment since the K10D, not sure why it didn't happen with the K10 or k20 or k7 or k5 or k5ii...
Well, not that extreme. I think the 5D II is a great camera (still), but I expected it to feel like its price. It didn't. Referencing the 'new pros' they tend to go with the herd, ie what others are successfully using, not even knowing there are options. Early on it was pretty much the only thing FF that didn't cost 10k to get into, which really put it on top. I've lost track of the number of times I've been shooting with others and they were surprised at the built-in features, even the small ones, that they either didn't have, didn't know how to find in their body, or took to long to use compared to Pentax. They generally felt a bit disappointed that I spent less than $1000 and had a fast, WR, IBIS body. Late-onset buyers remorse?

QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
Oh, I know why, because the assertion that a large majority of Canon/Nikon users are waiting for their eyes to be opened to the superiority of Pentax is unfounded, silly, and arrogant. People can intelligently choose Canon or Nikon for real world benefits, like autofocus, lens lineup, flash support, professional support, or even the much stronger and more active used market. Believe it or not, someone can pick up a Canon/Nikon and a Pentax and choose the Canon/Nikon for objective, intelligent reasons. Mind-blowing I know...
Agreed (with the sarcasm and the logic)! I think a FF in the Pentax lineup would at least give an body upgrade path to users that want crop today, but want the option of going FF later.

QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
I'm not sure how genius students are relevant, but I was under the impression that non-western markets were still dominated by Canon/Nikon/Sony. New users are certainly an important demographic though.
Yeah, that's why I put 'better' in quotes. Subjectively I think Pentax tends to get it right more often than others, except for the whole no FF thing. That certainly isn't better to me!

My belief is that smart folks tend to stay in school, get better paying jobs, and have a more participatory artistic life, so a portion would be able to afford to express that with a camera. The fact that these large numbers of smart folks happen to be in non-western market countries is a New Thing, so the focus by some on the US market isn't correctly placed.

QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
Your definition of fanboy is probably different than mine, to me a fanboy is someone who refuses to appreciate the benefits of other systems and makes blanket statements like "x has always been better than y". Pentax has done things better than other manufacturers, and for certain usage patterns you could say it is superior, for others you should probably acknowledge that other manufacturers have done it better.
For some users sure. But to me 'fanboy' is someone (and I'm thinking of a specific person) who thinks that Sony ALWAYS does it better. He doesn't even consider alternates in his purchasing, no matter what the product. If Sony made coffee, cars, jeans, or cats he'd buy into it.

QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
All camera systems have compromises, you choose the features that are important to you and neglect the others.
I don't think 'neglect' is the word I'd choose. When I first purchased (the K10D) it as the WR that sold me. IBIS was a close second, because IS/VR lenses are usually more expensive and heavy, and I knew there was a great used lens market for Pentax. I also chose Pentax partly on name/brand trust, that their folks 'get' photography the same way I do.

As the years passed and my tastes changed I found myself shooting different subjects that to my eye are better shot with longer focal lengths but wide fields of view. I picked up a 645 and three lenses last week for this reason. Hopefully I'll be able to buy a digital 645D II next year, but I'm happy to shoot film with it for now. I still shoot the same stuff with the K5 since the 645 doesn't have a meter, and later this week I'll see if my theory was right. Developing a few rolls tonight...

QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
I think Pentax gets blamed for their lack of advertising too often, the other brands get a lot of free advertising from their users.
True 'nuff! Although I'm partly to blame, I don't use a strap so no one sees the big red Pentax around my neck.

QuoteOriginally posted by azimuthal Quote
Regarding whether or not Pentax could make a profitable full-frame...
Look at Sony's example. They came out with a full-frame A850/A900 real early and, frankly, nobody cared. It was better in some respects and worse in others compared to Canon/Nikon offerings, but their sales certainly didn't reflect it being better in any way. If Pentax came out with a K1 with D800 sensor and IBIS I would buy it, so would many Pentax users and a few people from other systems, but they would probably sell far far fewer than Nikon sold D800's. It probably would not even pay for R&D.

Now look at Sony's A7/R, a really overhyped camera with an INCREDIBLY lacking lens lineup. For a day or two it was #1 on amazon in the camera & photo category, now this isn't super meaningful since these people aren't obligated to pay for it until it ships, and many will cancel, but the K-3 didn't come close in hype/popularity. Was it their advertising, or is the difference that they didn't simply make a stat for stat equivalent to the Canon/Nikon offerings?

Sony did some interesting things with their NEX lineup, they stole a large part of the APS-C market share despite their "humble" beginnings. NEX's are great if you don't need ultra fast autofocus or if you want to adapt old lenses (sound familiar? like a niche that was previously represented by someone else?)

I guess my point is that if making a comparable, even slightly better in some respects APS-C camera repeatedly hasn't been enough to come close to the giants of the industry, why would making a comparable, even slightly better full-frame?
Pentax did something innovative early on with IBIS, have they done anything innovative since then? They allowed you to change lenses on a tiny compact camera sensor, they made a mirrorless k-mount camera that embraced the downsides of mirrorless without any? of the benefits. The first full-frame IBIS camera was introduced 5 years ago by someone else.
I think we all imagine R&D is some fantastically expensive adventure that happens in giant sterile laboratories with hundreds of techs scurrying around doing the bidding of dozens of senior engineers. I'd like to know the truth at Pentax, but I think it's a lot less than that. There was a rumor that a 5D sensor was jammed in a Pentax camera as a test. I bet that isn't 100% true, but I think it's something that could be done by a couple of folks over a few weeks, if they didn't also have to reverse engineer the sensor electronics.

As for Amazon, I think they are a poor indicator. Here in Canada it's common knowledge that amazon.ca has the HIGHEST prices overall. And the whole USA-in-the-toilet thing doesn't help, although I'm starting to see signs of recovery based on more US TV adverts for credit. Not that credit is good, but that the feeling is the lenders think there is more to milk from the market.

The part I think that Sony does get right is to try, and try often. Kinda like Edison and the lightbulb; have a few hundred (thousand?) failures and then get it right. I think legacy Pentax had to play it far safer in the DSLR arena, and it wasn't until recently they started to try (and occasionally fail) with more experimental things like the Q or K-01. I also think that Pentax pays too much attention to the local market in Japan with a fanatical focus on 'small' instead of 'best' and it affects the engineering trade-offs too much. I bet the most frustrating job at Pentax is the ergonomics team, who bang their heads on the table every time the marketing department says 'Smaller!'.
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