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07-01-2014, 02:56 AM   #241
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Intersting points some of you raise. I see two recurring themes here that are often at the heart of further comments. Either Pentax is seen as really BIG now that it is part of Ricoh (100.000 employees, about half the size of Canon) or conversely, poor little Pentax will be crushed by the weight of R&D if they go ff and thus should perhaps rebadge Sony cameras (1900 employess at Ricoh Imaging Japan).

It would help to put this into some perspective and so you might look at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar, where about 1300 employees research, develop and largely produce compacts, the X, T, M and the S systems plus lenses, binoculars, spectives whathaveyou ranging in size from 1/1.7" to APS-C, FF and MF. Now of course everything Leica is more expensive but on the other hand, as your average Japanese employee works harder, longer and with less vacation than his German colleague (or so they say) not all is lost in Pentaxland either.

Just a thought perhaps for the PentaxIsDoomed crowd.

07-01-2014, 03:32 AM   #242
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I see it this way:
Ricoh Imaging is a small part of Ricoh; so small (comparatively) that they're grouped in "Others" in the financial reports (together with some leasing and financing business). We should think of them as a small (but growing) division/company; while Ricoh is investing they don't have huge resources at their disposal, and they're required to be profitable. This is limiting what they can do.
However, being small and owned by a company thinking long term also means they're not asked unreasonable margins (like Hoya did), nor be subjected to more cost cutting (which works only short term). Ricoh can afford to build Ricoh Imaging into a major camera business.

I said Ricoh is investing - last I've read (from public reports available on Ricoh's site) they are putting money on increasing production capacity. Interesting, don't you think?
07-01-2014, 03:33 AM   #243
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
Intersting points some of you raise. I see two recurring themes here that are often at the heart of further comments. Either Pentax is seen as really BIG now that it is part of Ricoh (100.000 employees, about half the size of Canon) or conversely, poor little Pentax will be crushed by the weight of R&D if they go ff and thus should perhaps rebadge Sony cameras (1900 employess at Ricoh Imaging Japan).

It would help to put this into some perspective and so you might look at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar, where about 1300 employees research, develop and largely produce compacts, the X, T, M and the S systems plus lenses, binoculars, spectives whathaveyou ranging in size from 1/1.7" to APS-C, FF and MF. Now of course everything Leica is more expensive but on the other hand, as your average Japanese employee works harder, longer and with less vacation than his German colleague (or so they say) not all is lost in Pentaxland either.

Just a thought perhaps for the PentaxIsDoomed crowd.
Very good points here! Off course Pentax is not doomed. They just seem so... unmotivated.
07-01-2014, 04:06 AM   #244
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
Intersting points some of you raise. I see two recurring themes here that are often at the heart of further comments. Either Pentax is seen as really BIG now that it is part of Ricoh (100.000 employees, about half the size of Canon) or conversely, poor little Pentax will be crushed by the weight of R&D if they go ff and thus should perhaps rebadge Sony cameras (1900 employess at Ricoh Imaging Japan).

It would help to put this into some perspective and so you might look at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar, where about 1300 employees research, develop and largely produce compacts, the X, T, M and the S systems plus lenses, binoculars, spectives whathaveyou ranging in size from 1/1.7" to APS-C, FF and MF. Now of course everything Leica is more expensive but on the other hand, as your average Japanese employee works harder, longer and with less vacation than his German colleague (or so they say) not all is lost in Pentaxland either.

Just a thought perhaps for the PentaxIsDoomed crowd.
Good point. The CIPA stats for May are just out and show the same picture as the previous months for this year. Briefly stated, they show that the industry is contracting sharply - by roughly 35 per cent in volume and 17 per cent in value, a very serious decline considering the precarious financial health of many camera operations. And that DSLRs are tanking in Europe and North America but that MILCs continue to do quite well, notably in Japan and so far this year in Europe too.

All this is only shipments, of course. Will the units sell and will they sell at full price?

There is little reason to think this pattern is going to change significantly in the near term, I'd suggest. So if you were sitting in Ricoh's planning office, which way would you bet? I mean, why produce yet more DSLRs when it appears that everyone who wants one already has one and folks in Europe and North America are turning off the taps? If the market is stagnant or declining then new sales can only come from taking share away from others, something that is very, very hard to do when the others are Canon and Nikon. The only patches of brightness in the stats lies in a) MILC sales, and not only in Japan, and b) shipments to "other areas" which I take it means areas like India. Perhaps there is a hint in that?


Last edited by mecrox; 07-01-2014 at 04:14 AM.
07-01-2014, 04:18 AM   #245
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
So if you were sitting in Ricoh's planning office, which way would you bet? I mean, why produce yet more DSLRs when it appears that everyone who wants one already has one and folks in Europe and North America are turning off the taps?
Because they're growing, because they must keep their user base happy, because the DSLR market is several times larger than the MILC one yet with fewers camera makers on it, because they don't have an alternative which could support the company.

In the long term, they probably should build that alternative. But it's not as urgent as some claims, and it shouldn't have to be done at the expense of DSLRs - as long as most of us are buying DSLRs.
07-01-2014, 05:18 AM   #246
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
If Pål has reason to believe they use APS-C why should I not believe him. He is from Norway, I am not. You seem to have a problem with his claim, I suggest you take it up with him?

You seem unfamiliar with the 'rules of evidence', Eyeswideshut. The onus is not on people to prove a negative.

And if you have facts to show Norwegians are too ashamed to use FF, as you speculated, let's see them.



QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
What is wrong with you? Still sore about the world cup? ... My advice to Pentax? You still sore about that? Because I envision a different camera than you do. ....

[Laughs]. Okay, so we can add being irrelevant to your lack of data on matters of fact.


As for your opinions, I think Pentax have even less chance of making your precious non-AF, non-video, non-Live View FF than Philipp Lahm raising the World Cup.

---------- Post added 07-01-14 at 10:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Good point. The CIPA stats for May are just out and show the same picture as the previous months for this year. Briefly stated, they show that the industry is contracting sharply - by roughly 35 per cent in volume and 17 per cent in value, a very serious decline considering the precarious financial health of many camera operations.

BTW, that dropoff in compacts/P&S makes for extraordinary reading, Mecrox.


Panasonic have a new one that takes a 1" sensor like the RX 100 except the lens goes up to 400mm equivalent. Hard to see how the novelty might be rewarded as sales in that sector plummet.

Last edited by clackers; 07-01-2014 at 05:32 AM.
07-01-2014, 05:33 AM   #247
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Very good points here! Off course Pentax is not doomed. They just seem so... unmotivated.
I would not call them unmotivated so much as slightly 'obstinate' - they know they have a good format (aps-c) and good products that provide what Pentax management deem the best allaround package for their customers but they are, well, slightly ungrateful and unappreciative of all that Pentax give them . At least that is what I read - largely between the lines - in the interviews published.
And that reminds me a little of the Zeiss attitude back when they still manufactured Cameras and Lenses. Customers wanted ever faster lenses which the Japanese manufacturers were only to happy to supply - even if speed negatively impacted on optical quality. Zeiss obstinately stuck with what they "knew" was best for customers - nothing brighter than f/1.4. Please.
But at least they had a sense of humor about that. Anyone know the story of the Super-Q Gigantar lens?

Anyway, Zeiss left the camera business eventually (a long and convoluted story in it's own right). Of course Pentax won't make mistakes like that!

---------- Post added 01-07-14 at 14:38 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You seem unfamiliar with the 'rules of evidence', Eyeswideshut. The onus is not on people to prove a negative.

And if you have facts to show Norwegians are too ashamed to use FF, as you speculated, let's see them.






[Laughs]. Okay, so we can add being irrelevant to your lack of data on matters of fact.


As for your opinions, I think Pentax have even less chance of making your precious non-AF, non-video, non-Live View FF than Philipp Lahm raising the World Cup.

---------- Post added 07-01-14 at 10:24 PM ----------




BTW, that dropoff in compacts/P&S makes for extraordinary reading, Mecrox.


Panasonic have a new one that takes a 1" sensor like the RX 100 except the lens goes up to 400mm equivalent. Hard to see how the novelty might be rewarded as sales in that sector plummet.
Whatever clackers. Anybody know where the ignore button is?
-Found it.

Last edited by eyeswideshut; 07-01-2014 at 05:42 AM.
07-01-2014, 06:15 AM   #248
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
Anyone know the story of the Super-Q Gigantar lens?
I had to google it. That's the coolest looking lens I've ever seen. I'd use it in public, even though it's a non functional mockup lens.

07-01-2014, 06:26 AM   #249
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Pfff... I'm quite sure now that the conversations in this thread are an exact copy of the conversations in the Pentax R&D department. And that that is the exact reason why they are so hesitant. You can't please a crowd of which literally everybody has a different taste. They should hire some R&D personel that's not afraid of making a move which doesn't bring everybody in extacy, and finally get things done.
And I think that is why hope for the FF is receding...., right now I'm not even thinking Pentax FF. My choice would be A7r for landscape, or A7s for low light, or used 645D at great price, or mortgage the house and get a 645z. Pentax at least initially will probably come out with one or two models if they come out with anything at all. How does Pentax marketing know where to make their entry. Everyone else has a base 18-24mp model and are developing "the next new thing." Economically Pentax should come out with a 20-24 mp base model. To keep the pros happy they're going to have to match the D810. For small bird guys like me, a low light high ISO camera would give me good exposure in shade would completely change the way I shoot. Despite what people have said, they don't just want a Pentax FF, they want Pentax to make the FF that they most desire out of all the conceivable variations. Which are already too much to choose from without missing out on something you'd really like.

You can't have both the best low light performance (645z, Sony A7r and Nikon D4s ) ands high res. A D600 and that class is a good starting point from a consumer stand point, but really, it's not much better than a k-3 at the things it's better at, and falls way behind the K-3 in telephoto and macro.

So with the mindset that Pentax will produce an FF if they can come up with something unique, well every day Pentax doesn't introduce an FF, the odds of a practical unique camera in the FF format gets less and less. Other companies are cranking out unique all the time, and the left over spots to fill with a unique camera are shrinking rapidly. At this point the only thing "unique" about a new Pentax camera might be that it's K-mount.

And with new announcements coming from other manufacturers every day... I really am starting to think Pentax will not be able to find a niche for themselves, even if they want to. Even for Pentax shooters, when and if Pentax comes out with a Full Frame, it won't be the one they want. In another thread someone mentioned how the D4s has became the camera to go to for candids at weddings because of it's incredible low light performance. But they are still shooting d800s for the main event. One Full Frame is not enough for a pro these days.... even a FullFrame doesn't stop the bleeding when it comes to Pentaxians migrating to other platforms.

Thank god the 645z seems to have started some FF bleeding, users who shot FF and never before used Pentax, buying the 645z. I think that's where Pentax execs have their hopes, and based on past interaction with them, my guess is it's been that way for a long time. If they do produce an FF it will be somewhat reluctantly. What they're really hoping is that the 645z becomes the new Nikon D800.

That's the bottom line at this point, Pentax doesn't really want to do a Full Frame, nobody over there is gung ho about it. But they might, if the 645z doesn't meet sales expectations, and right now there's every indication the 645z is going to be a hit.

Last edited by normhead; 07-01-2014 at 06:45 AM.
07-01-2014, 06:37 AM   #250
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I had to google it. That's the coolest looking lens I've ever seen. I'd use it in public, even though it's a non functional mockup lens.
An excellent choice of a paper weight for a cool $80.000!
07-01-2014, 07:13 AM   #251
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I used to have a couple of condensers , I'll look for them if someone wants to make one. But, why would someone pay that kind of money for what is essentially a prank?
07-01-2014, 07:54 AM   #252
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
My choice would be A7r for landscape, or A7s for low light, or used 645D at great price, or mortgage the house and get a 645z.
I love my A7r, but... I whish Sony would have waited and introduced the A7, A7r and A7s all at once. Then I would have gotten the A7s instead. Can't afford them both. I would gladly give up 2/3 of my megapixels for such low light performance. Shooting with that must feel like cheating.

A7s supersensitive sensor in a DSLR would be pretty unique and very usefull. Next week I'm going to shoot a sports event in a dimly lit hall again. Shooting action means I'm taking my K5 instead of my A7r. Imagine how a high framerate DSLR with that A7s sensor would perform there!
07-01-2014, 08:11 AM   #253
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I love my A7r, but... I whish Sony would have waited and introduced the A7, A7r and A7s all at once. Then I would have gotten the A7s instead. Can't afford them both. I would gladly give up 2/3 of my megapixels for such low light performance. Shooting with that must feel like cheating.

A7s supersensitive sensor in a DSLR would be pretty unique and very usefull. Next week I'm going to shoot a sports event in a dimly lit hall again. Shooting action means I'm taking my K5 instead of my A7r. Imagine how a high framerate DSLR with that A7s sensor would perform there!
I agree, when looking at low light performance... many of us looked at what was available, and thought "it's not good enough". It was better on FF, but still not good enough. With the 645z, Nikon D4s and Sony A7s... there's a class of cameras that specifically address that problem.... I just wish the A7s was a bit more than 12 MP. I was happy with my k20d at 14 Mp, but not with my K-x at 12 Mp... maybe it's just me. At 12 Mp you don't have much crop room, to produce large prints with acceptable quality. You really have to frame tight.

And after 6 months, the biggest joy with the K-3 is the ability to crop away half the image and still get a printable file. I wouldn't have thought it before, I thought better AF, better AE, and those things are nice...but those things are secondary to being able to crop.
07-01-2014, 08:12 AM   #254
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I used to have a couple of condensers , I'll look for them if someone wants to make one. But, why would someone pay that kind of money for what is essentially a prank?
If I remember correctly, at the same Westlicht auction an early Leica sold for around $1.000.000. Collectors!
07-01-2014, 08:39 AM   #255
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
"Sacrificing quality"? What are you talking about?

Which Nikon version is "superior already", and why do you think so?

Customers also are buying new lenses, that's why they're called customers. Canon is selling new lenses (even new versions of old lenses), Nikon is selling new lenses, everyone is selling new lenses despite old lenses existing. Pentax is no different, it's not like they have monopoly on people refusing to use anything but old lenses.

Those are video cameras, perhaps you're with the wrong brand? Canon, Sony, Panasonic, JVC might be better for you?
Anyway, no strategy based on "same product but 15 times cheaper" is worth considering. Please rethink.
I meant I guess great camera engineers don't grow on trees, they are quite rare. Hiring some engineers without the experience and without others to teach them to develop a new camera would be bad, IMHO. I think they should grow their team, but in an organic way, slowly. The current release cycle is... slow, to say the least. For the number of different lines they have it's fine, but if they are adding another one...?


Canon users can't use 40 year old lenses, IIRC. They did a clean cut a while back. Also there are a ton of Canon and Nikon photographers, so even if few customers buy lenses, that's still a lot of lenses sold. Pentax has a much smaller market share, especially the FF part, if they end up doing it.


I am first and foremost photographer, but I also enjoy doing videography. And I want a tool that does both. I once called in for a job ad for a position as a in house photographer, and despite the ad not mentioning it they more or less said "if you don't do video, don't bother even writing us".


Pentax needs to consider the needs of pro photographers, and that is, often enough, stills AND video.


The Panasonic GH4 is around 2k (4k with that audio add on), and it is pretty damn good, competing with much, much more expensive cameras von Canon and Sony. And I guess people will buy it.


QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I think it's a small leap from K-3 to D600, about a cm bigger in height and length. Definitely bigger though. The equivalent lenses are generally a hair smaller, going from Nikon FF to Nikon APS-C.

I think if Pentax's goal was a small FF they could do one in a space smaller than the K-3.

I have a tiny camera bag. Honestly it's less full with my FF stuff than APS-C - for APS-C, for me, I basically carry primes from 15 mm to 100mm. For FF I feel like zooms are good-enough-for-me.
Ok, that confuses me. Why are for FF zooms good enough, while for APS-C you need primes? Don't FF sensors have higher resolution, thus creating the need for better, sharper glass? Or am I mixing something up? Could it be more related to Pentax having great primes, and that's why you have them?


@Kunzite: I thought I replied already about the laughing stock. Hasselblad is a "laughing stock" because they have DRESSED UP a Sony camera. That's like encrusting a VW Golf in diamonds and then charging more for it than you would for a Mercedes S class. It's not making the actually quite competent car any better. What you fail to see though is that Hasselblad is probably earning pretty well with these cameras. You may laugh at them, but they'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Certain people don't care about the actual product all that much, they want exclusivity, expensive (sounding) materials etc. Vertu was selling old Nokia phones for $10000, at a time where most people were using iPhones etc. And they did really well. Now at least they also make smartphones that are decent, but a HTC One will be just as good... for a fraction of the cost. But it's not a Vertu, the back is not made from alligator skin, ...


If Pentax were to rebadge a Sony camera for example, because it's a low volume market and doing something unique would not be economically viable, the reaction may not be as harsh (unless Pentax adds stupid gimmicks like Hasselblad does). I mean Mercedes is rebadging Renault for example. Nissan is rebadging Dacia. And on and on and on. So what?


Arri is another example like Leica, maybe even more important. Leica is, these days, more of a boutique manufacturer, doing collectors items. Arri though with it's 1100 employees dominates the movie equipment market.


I don't think it would be wise for Pentax to compete in a market (FF) where there are 2 extremely well established brands, with brand loyalty and where people have bought into the system (thus making switching even harder). There are not so many new users, and usually they come from those established brands anyway. There is of course the advantage in Pentax offering FF in that people from the start see an upgrade path all the way, where they can keep at least some of their gear should they want to switch from APS-C to FF. i.e. using a FF Pentax to sell APS-C Pentaxes. But at this point... not sure it is worth it.


The mirrorless market is much more diverse. Canon is completely unimportant, Nikon is doing something a bit odd that doesn't seem to sell well. Panasonic and Olympus have one well established system, but they aren't absolutely dominating. Sony is there too, but they too aren't dominating. Samsung is a side note, and then there is Fuji and Leica battling it out for pure stills cameras that are a joy to use, cameras where user experience is all (IMHO). It is a very diverse market with many brands competing, but none of them have really caught on. I'd argue it'd be easier for Pentax to do a mirrorless APS-C (or perhaps mFT?) camera that has something new to offer. It could be like the K1000. A Nikon Df done right. Comes with a K mount adapter that gives full K mount functionality. Perhaps it's even easier to do a FF version (no bigger prism needed, no new bigger mirror mechanism needed). And different sensor versions, with essentially identical cameras but different sensors for different purposes (like the A7 series... I think Sony is on to something).


It is regular, cheap P&S that disappear from the market. They don't have much to offer over a smartphone. At least not enough. Wide zoom ranges, larger sensors, those seem to have a chance still, though they are a bit in trouble because on one side there are smartphones, on the other DSLRs/mirrorless cameras, and they are closing in from both sides.
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