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07-01-2014, 03:03 PM   #286
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Olympus gave up on being a SLR brand long time ago (well, their fixed lens IS series were SLRs - but that was a way of avoiding to build and support a system); then restarted with the 4/3 and gave up again. Canon and Nikon are dominating the SLR market, so I'm not sure why are you mentioning them?
Wow, so some camera companies can change completely, and some camera companies can add new technologies. Other camera companies go by the wayside.

Good lesson! Maybe you're right, Pentax *should* continue with the mirrorless cameras they have, maybe add some more as it makes sense. You've convinced me.

07-01-2014, 08:42 PM   #287
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
It's just too easy to throw words like "professional" into a discussion - but it takes real determination and cash to actually place as many Pentax cameras into the Stadium in São Paulo as there were CaNikons during tonight's game Argentina vs. Switzerland. I did not see a single one.
There also wasn't a single Sony to be seen amongst the sports shooting pros, even though many were wearing Sony vests, since Sony were sponsors.

And speaking of "its too easy to throw words like 'professional' about", it's worth noting that the world of pro sports shooters is a very, very narrow slice of the commercial photography market. What one is really talking about when one talks 'professional' is simply folks who earn most of their living from their cameras.

It's a wider definition, and a far bigger market, than just the Reuters pros at the World Cup. There are far more 'professionals' out there schlepping their cameras about to photograph real-estate interiors, kids portraits at the mall, weddings, stock photos, food or product photography, news stories for the local paper, studio fashion, etc etc.

Not all of them need or want the same things in a camera (and have the same budgets) as the pros at the World Cup. Neither do they have the same support needs as the Reuters pros. They don't routinely need access to a nearby room full of spare 1Dx bodies and 400 mm f2.8 L lenses. Many regular 'pros' don't even use FF.

If I was Pentax, and chasing the 'pro' market, the pro sports shooting market isn't going to be worth even 5% of, for example, chasing the wedding 'pro' market. That's the sort of 'pro' segment they could easily get into, and earn far more from.

Last edited by rawr; 07-01-2014 at 08:51 PM.
07-01-2014, 08:59 PM   #288
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If the software could account for a better ISO performance, I wouldn't even care as much about FF. I mean if we could see a couple steps of ISO value cleaner than what we do now with APS-C. Say ISO 1600 looks like current ISO 400. That would be a boon to sports, news, and wildlife shooters due to the apparent crop effect on APS-C. Wouldn't even need super high aperture lenses.
07-01-2014, 09:28 PM   #289
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
If the software could account for a better ISO performance,
There's probably a limit on what you can do just through software advances alone. But RAW processing software is continuously improving, as is the PC hardware available to run it on. Some of the IQ ceiling imposed on APS-C, especially in low-light, by sensor hardware limitations are already being lifted by image processing advances in-camera and out of camera. You can see this in the progress of Lightroom or DxO's NR effectiveness over the last 3 or 4 versions. They just keep on improving.

Even some of the in-camera low-light shooting tricks you see in APS-C cameras (eg Sony's 'Handheld Twilight Mode' multi-shot blending) can often adequately solve some of the low-light IQ limitations of smaller sensors, boosting apparent DR and reducing noise. FF not always required.

07-02-2014, 12:03 AM   #290
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
There also wasn't a single Sony to be seen amongst the sports shooting pros, even though many were wearing Sony vests, since Sony were sponsors.
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock'n'roll

QuoteQuote:
And speaking of "its too easy to throw words like 'professional' about", it's worth noting that the world of pro sports shooters is a very, very narrow slice of the commercial photography market. What one is really talking about when one talks 'professional' is simply folks who earn most of their living from their cameras.

It's a wider definition, and a far bigger market, than just the Reuters pros at the World Cup. There are far more 'professionals' out there schlepping their cameras about to photograph real-estate interiors, kids portraits at the mall, weddings, stock photos, food or product photography, news stories for the local paper, studio fashion, etc etc.

Not all of them need or want the same things in a camera (and have the same budgets) as the pros at the World Cup. Neither do they have the same support needs as the Reuters pros. They don't routinely need access to a nearby room full of spare 1Dx bodies and 400 mm f2.8 L lenses. Many regular 'pros' don't even use FF.
I never used such a narrow definition, merely gave an illustrative example. The actual story was Canon took years to be considered Nikon's equal in the professional world. It is a big world out there and the term 'professional' works on many levels - but the most important one of all is still what marketing makes of it. "It's what the pro's use" still works wonders but it takes years of dogged effort before your marketing department can actually say that without being the laughing stock of the photographic world.

Did you ever see Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket? Nikon's F1 practically had a starring role in that film, or when Paul Simon sang an ode to Kodachrome, he used a Nikon camera to capture those green summer days. Now that's a brand that has moved even beyond professional to become iconic. But boy, it's a long way.

QuoteQuote:
If I was Pentax, and chasing the 'pro' market, the pro sports shooting market isn't going to be worth even 5% of, for example, chasing the wedding 'pro' market. That's the sort of 'pro' segment they could easily get into, and earn far more from.
Probably. But what would 'chasing a market' mean in actual practice? Products and advertising. A top of the line ff dslr to earn the designation 'professional'? Or a more modest, enthusiast oriented ff camera? Or turbo charging the K3 a little more? 'Professional' is just such a poorly defined term. But if it helps Pentax sell cameras and lenses, I'm all for it .
07-02-2014, 12:26 AM   #291
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Wow, so some camera companies can change completely, and some camera companies can add new technologies. Other camera companies go by the wayside.

Good lesson! Maybe you're right, Pentax *should* continue with the mirrorless cameras they have, maybe add some more as it makes sense. You've convinced me.
You were already convinced; you were just waiting for some words to reinterpret your way
I'll quote myself just so that you won't miss by mistake an important point I've made:
QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Sorry, but a brand identity is most important as it's allowing you to choose the one that fits your needs and preferences. It makes no sense whatsoever to consider all brands "the same", randomly go with one then spent time "explaining" why that brand should make other types of products.
Indeed, a brand can change over time - but it won't change for you.

It's an interesting discussion, I must say. Hasselblad's Lunar and Stellar are given as examples of why Pentax should rebadge Sony cameras. Olympus' repeated failures on the SLR market are reasons for Pentax to jump mirrorless. Which other failures should Pentax follow?
07-02-2014, 01:27 AM   #292
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
Probably. But what would 'chasing a market' mean in actual practice? Products and advertising. A top of the line ff dslr to earn the designation 'professional'? Or a more modest, enthusiast oriented ff camera? Or turbo charging the K3 a little more? 'Professional' is just such a poorly defined term. But if it helps Pentax sell cameras and lenses, I'm all for it .
Well with Canon only naming the 1Dx as professional that does make it difficult. At least Pentax has the 645Z as professional camera already. So K-mount can stay at the playground.
07-02-2014, 01:50 AM   #293
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well with Canon only naming the 1Dx as professional that does make it difficult. At least Pentax has the 645Z as professional camera already. So K-mount can stay at the playground.
Good point, I'll take the playground with fun and games.

07-02-2014, 02:26 AM   #294
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Who AFAIK are haemorraging cash doing so, without inroads into Canikon.

Nothing you've said is controversial, DarCam. It's presumably what desperate marketers are telling angry boards writing out cheques one more time ...

But the results aren't there. I've seen this year in Melbourne lots of billboards and bus shelter advertisements advertising a perfectly fine Olympus m4/3, but haven't seen a single paying customer.

An interview with the Ricoh marketing manager said FF will come, but not at the expense of the Q, K and MF mounts.

Maybe a company in financial freefall would be forced to act rapidly and radically (read: discard the past), but as Uluru points out, Pentax's current owners are a conservative, long-term profit outfit - a photocopier producer.
Not a huge follower of FF debate but can the 3rd or 4th camara company (or 4/3 lol) support 4 lens mounts? The economies of scale preclude that I would think.
07-02-2014, 03:39 AM   #295
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QuoteOriginally posted by Waratah Quote
Not a huge follower of FF debate but can the 3rd or 4th camara company (or 4/3 lol) support 4 lens mounts? The economies of scale preclude that I would think.
That is one question. The other is, can Pentax refuse to follow if Canon, Nikon and Sony are increasingly defining the enthusiast market in terms of 35mm?
Your guess is as good as mine, but should you know the answer, don't tell us - tell Pentax. They'll love you for it!
07-02-2014, 04:20 AM   #296
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What are the chances of FF sensors becomming so "cheap" that FF cameras will end up in APS-C flagship pricing territory? Because that's the moment where a Pentax company without FF will be in trouble.

Edit: IMHO, paying more for getting less is bizarre. An APS-C sensor is smaller then an FF sensor, so should always be costing less. But wise men guarantee me that it is possible.

Last edited by Clavius; 07-02-2014 at 05:48 AM.
07-02-2014, 04:33 AM   #297
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
What are the chances of FF sensors becomming so "cheap" that FF cameras will end up in APS-C flagship pricing territory?
I think we are almost there. Recently (depending on periodic sales, cashback schemes, exchange rates etc etc) I've seen Canon 6D or Sony A7 bodies only 2-3 hundred $$ more than 7D or D7100 bodies.
07-02-2014, 04:37 AM   #298
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QuoteOriginally posted by Waratah Quote
Not a huge follower of FF debate but can the 3rd or 4th camara company (or 4/3 lol) support 4 lens mounts? The economies of scale preclude that I would think.
I may have misquoted him, Waratah, since FF would mean a fourth product line, but still K-mount.

I think Clavius has a point in saying the K3's attraction for its price/features combination gets threatened by what rivals could do with dropping FF sensor prices. ie introducing a FF product can be a defensive move, rather than a headstrong attempt to take on giants at their own game.

Last edited by clackers; 07-02-2014 at 04:43 AM.
07-02-2014, 04:41 AM   #299
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What about people who buy something like the GH4 or the OM-D E-M1? Those are expensive, yet have a small sensor size.


@Kunzite: I'm all for Pentax enlarging their team, so they can do more at the same time. If they do it they can do FF. If they can't scale up though (great camera designers/engineers and lens designers are perhaps not so easily available) then it would mean they don't invest as much into APS-C anymore. I find Canon's and Nikon's APS-C offerings quite lacking, surely those brands can do better than that. But they are investing in FF. That helps Pentax doing a great APS-C camera that surpasses their competitors. Also, didn't Hoya fire many engineers etc.? Could Ricoh get them all back...?


You're right, many people might be alienated if Pentax changes the mount just to make them buy new lenses.


I think it depends on what sort of pro we are talking about. The sports market belongs to Canikon, and unless Pentax does A LOT to their AF system and works on fast tele lenses I don't see that changing any time soon. I'd just let Canikon have that segment, even though it's great advertising to have Canikon gear prominently featured on TV and at sports events.


But what about wedding photographers? IINM they like to carry 2 cameras... light gear is certainly an advantage. For those more candid photographers the Pentax shutter sound is great. Fast primes, great too. I don't see much reason why Pentax can't capture that market. Some do want FF, and eventually Pentax could offer that. However the weddings I attended usually had at least one videographer, and each and every time he was using a DSLR. Mirrorless not yet... I don't know why. Perhaps the companies want to stay with one brand so they can share lenses?


What about other types of commercial photography? For architecture Canon has an advantage thanks to tilt + shift lenses, then again Pentax does offer shift functionality with every lens (though more limited). For studios Pentax has the 645z. News gathering/war photography... Pentax cameras are light and robust. However video plays a role there, i.e. a photographer is sent to shoot something, but he also has to come back with video, instead of sending a photographer and a videographer.


How much pro level support do those people get? I thought it's mostly a sports photographer thing. Others are left on their own.


In the pro video market that really focuses on video... I don't think Pentax could or would compete with Arri, it'd be more of an indie thing. Those who use BlackMagic Design cameras, or a GH4, Canon Cx00 or a hacked Canon DSLR, maybe rent a RED, ... Keep in mind that Canon DSLRs are meh for video, until you install a hacked firmware. The hardware in the K-3 is fine. What it needs is a firmware that gives what a videographer wants, and maybe a few tweaks to the camera itself. Until recently BlackMagic Design didn't make cameras at all. RED was established like 10 years ago, and a few years later Peter Jackson was shooting RED cameras. The Digital Bolex that was essentially a kickstarter campaign. Some Chinese company is working on a more high end camera. There's a constant stream of small companies coming out with affordable professional video gear.
In the professional market there is no need for AF. Lots of manual controls and graphs/scopes, and a codec that records as much of the sensor data as possible (or simply clean HDMI out, though having great recording capabilities in camera help). Maybe a built in ND filter (which would be nice to have for a stills photographer too). When they then add SR for video and have decent video quality from the sensor (the K-3 seems fine, and sensors are getting better and better anyway) that's pretty much what is needed.


Basically hand the firmware and all specs and whatever they need to the Magic Lantern guys and let them work their magic.


Leica also rebadged (rather tastefully) Panasonic cameras. I think there wasn't too much of a backlash there. A Sony based Pentax could be, should be more Pentax anyway. Wasn't the MX-1 a rebadge job too? I don't think the A7 would be the best choice anyway, a rebadged D810 would make more sense.


To me the difference between mirrorless and FF is that the mirrorless is nowhere near as established as the FF segment. Few people have bought into a mirrorless system to a degree that switching brands would hurt badly, so which camera (system) they buy depends much more on what the brand offers, making entry easier. How often does a Canon FF photographer switch to Nikon FF or vice versa? I doubt that happens often, even when the grass is much greener on the other side. However those ADDING something that is entirely different, like mFT, that does seem to happen. Eventually they may give up FF, or they won't, it doesn't really matter.


Ok, so I got the details wrong on Pentax not caring for the pro market and the result. But can you agree with me that Pentax went from outselling their competitors in ridiculous numbers to "do they still make cameras?", while Canon and Nikon, which used to be not so important, got to dominate the market? I can't help but think Pentax screwed up. Yes, other things come into play too. But focusing on enthusiasts, when enthusiasts wanted to have what they saw professional users use didn't help.


I do want Pentax products. I don't like how a Canon or Nikon feels. How they are used. Sony is hit and miss... I quite like their DSLTs, I don't get the hype around the A7 (my first impressions trying it in a shop were very bad). I love the way a Pentax feels, and I love the way a Fuji feels even more. Olympus and Panasonic are hit and miss too. Rebadging though could be a quite and easy way to give users a FF camera, while they concentrate on making their APS-C cameras more awesome. :P At the same time they can expand their lens line up so that at some point they can introduce a real FF Pentax.


Oh and personally I prefer to use a DSLR. :P


@eyeswideshut: IMHO Pentax made a mistake back then. They were in the dominant position. Canon had to fight their way up, but Pentax was already there.


Thanks to Ricoh I do think Pentax has, just like Canon in the past, the long time security to establish themselves. They do not have to be too profitable. Also the professional video market is more frickle minded it seems. Gear is rented for example, so from project to project it can change.

---------- Post added 02-07-14 at 13:56 ----------

Professional video is to a certain degree at least a matter of getting the software right. I reckon they could turn the K-3 into a very capable hybrid camera if they invested a bit in the software, in the right developers.


I hope when they come out with a mirrorless lens mount, they will base it on the K mount. As closely as possible, so that a mechanical adapter can give full K mount lens compatibility.


PDAF can be on the sensor these days.


And if all you care for is the low light capabilities, keep in mind that sensors keep getting better. A 12 MP APS-C camera with the latest sensor tech could do pretty nice things, let alone what can be done in a few years. Yes, FF will (probably?) be always a step ahead. But if what you want is current FF performance, then a few years down the road that is what APS-C will offer.


Pentax could also develop something like the Metabones SpeedBooster, giving you even more of what FF has to offer. FF lenses would appear as FF lenses on the APS-C camera, with the same DoF it would have on a FF camera. It would gather more light, so the low light advantages of FF would be lessened too. Mostly it'd be the viewfinder size and the resolution that would not be as good as with some FF cameras. The advantage is that you have FF and APS-C at the same time. Do you want a crop or not?


When you see someone using a product in a movie these days, that is because the company making the product has paid the producers of the movie to show the product.


Pentax could easily do that, if they had the marketing budget. Heck, they could make a "pro" studio photographer in a movie use a Q with enough budget (as long as they can find a director that doesn't think it would ruin the movie for being not believable enough).


The image of a brand can of course change. That's what brands do, what they put effort into. Mercedes was the rich old folks car brand. Look at their cars now. They are shooting for young professionals, and when I think Mercedes these days I don't think grandpa anymore.


Telling something to Pentax... good luck. I've reported a K-5/K-3 bug on these forums (for lack of contact information), and no one cared. Or what about the wishes for enabling the option to use SR on the K-3? Just giving a second shake reduction option, that is more or less already implemented in the camera. Pentax didn't bother at all.


@Clavius: But not everyone wants FF. The price may put off some, but there are more reasons not to want FF. But yes, I agree. It could be problematic for Pentax. Then again, even when they have a FF body they still need the lenses...


I think Pentax have a professional DSLR. It's called the K-3. What is missing is video... that's sub par, when it should be exceeding competitors (and with some software tweaks I think it could). Then they need to market it. Get Pentax cameras into the hands of photographers, especially those who teach workshops, who give talks, speak on podcasts, review gear, ... the product itself is IMHO convincing. Photographers need to know Pentax is still around, and that they offer the best APS-C camera there is, especially considering weight and size. Pentax cameras also need to appear in shops. Looking at specs, Pentax does not shine. It's average perhaps. But touching the camera makes the difference.


It's the same with Fuji. They are pretty, the specs are so-so. But I've spent an hour or two trying several Fuji cameras, and took hundreds of photos at the same location in the process. Just because I enjoyed using the camera. I want to press the shutter button. Look through the viewfinder. Touch it.

Last edited by kadajawi; 07-02-2014 at 05:14 AM.
07-02-2014, 05:39 AM   #300
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I think we are almost there. Recently (depending on periodic sales, cashback schemes, exchange rates etc etc) I've seen Canon 6D or Sony A7 bodies only 2-3 hundred $$ more than 7D or D7100 bodies.
We are there now and have been for a while, imho. I suspect the Canon 6D served notice on high-end APS-C equipment a couple of years ago. The reason is that high-end APS-C bodies have come down in price as a consequence. Were it not for cameras like the 6D, the D600 and the A7, cameras like the K3 or the D7100 would be priced more highly than they are now. A further ratchet an be applied, perhaps by Sony dropping the price of the A7 when new models are introduced, or simply introducing an A7 Lite, or Canon selling the 6D at a discount for a while after its successor is launched. For Pentax an additional catch is that as time goes by folks may become more reluctant to buy APS-C-only lenses for a full-frame mount, especially since some of those lenses are as expensive as or more expensive than their FF equivalents from other brands. It's the famous pincer movement: low-price FF from above and MILCS from below, at least in some parts of the word. For Pentax it could all be a matter of whether they wish to retain their enthusiast clients or live with a hollow middle i.e. above the K50 level and below the 645 level, most folks either don't buy into the brand or if they already own it, they migrate to other brands.

Last edited by mecrox; 07-02-2014 at 08:02 AM.
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