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03-28-2015, 02:32 PM   #1
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The Full Frame: What will make you buy it?

So I am a pretty happy K3 user, but am excited about the potential of getting even more from my lenses with the upcoming Full Frame. For me to pull the trigger straight away, on release of the camera, these are the key issues:


  1. Increased DR
  2. Higher resolution (or at least the same at 24MP)
  3. Improved low light performance over the K3. (Which is already pretty good)
  4. WR (must have, don't want a plastic camera I can't take out in the field)
  5. Not huge profile. (A little larger than the K3, but as small as is practical)
  6. Price in the $1.5-2.5K range (USD)
  7. Excellent dust control


Nice to have but not essential:


  • Better integration with wi-fi and remote control
  • ASPC compatibility for my DA lenses (Crop mode)
  • More programmability for bracketing and long shots


Just some thoughts. The Sony A7r is also attractive, but would like to have the auto-focus and WR.

03-28-2015, 02:33 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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Somebody holding a gun to my head and taking my K-3.
03-28-2015, 02:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
Increased DR Higher resolution (or at least the same at 24MP) Improved low light performance over the K3. (Which is already pretty good) WR (must have, don't want a plastic camera I can't take out in the field) Not huge profile. (A little larger than the K3, but as small as is practical) Price in the $1.5-2.5K range (USD) Excellent dust control
I think that based on what we've already seen, we will be getting all 7 of these things as a bare minimum. I personally believe that Pentax will add a significant twist/feature to their FF to make it stand out, since the competition's offerings are already very strong. But the number one thing for me is having the improved image quality and the ability to use modern K-mount lenses as well as legacy glass, as well as a larger viewfinder.

Adam
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03-28-2015, 02:42 PM   #4
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Maybe an insurance claim. I took my Kr out in the field in any weather. And our plastic cameras can withstand rain better than the K5 series. Never heard of a Holga being harmed by rsin. 😆

03-28-2015, 02:48 PM   #5
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It's a good question, and one more than a few of us are asking of ourselves. The K-3 (and to some extent the K-5II/s) is a hard camera to imagine being bested in the short term.

I think part of the answer may be that the APS-C bodies will be kept for relative lightness and long FL work, and people will buy the 35FF body for whatever new features it offers and shorter FL work. The K-3 sensor resolution won't be matched by the crop mode of the new 35FF body unless its sensor is over 50MP!

However, in my case the big attraction will be what I can see in the viewfinder. If the viewfinder image is noticeably brighter than that of the APS-C cameras, I will be looking hard at my bank account. There are other, lesser things that may help sway the decision (not the least being cost), but anyone of a certain age will understand how important being able to see things clearly is when framing and focussing, especially with MF lenses.
03-28-2015, 02:52 PM   #6
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I think the chances are high that the FF will offer everything you've listed as essential. All high-level Pentax DSLRs have weather sealing, FF cameras almost always have better low-light performance than their APS-C and mFT peers, the resolution will be determined by what sensor manufacturers offer and what it takes to compete with CaNikon and Sony and the gold standard has been 36 MP for at least a year now and the prototype shown was not much larger than the K3. As for the dynamic range, it's difficult to make predictions, but considering technological advances an increase in DR is very likely. The only really open thing here is the price. We don't know which competing models Ricoh wants the FF to rival. If it's up against the D810 and its possible successor, then the initial RRP might well be around $3000 or so. But chances are such a high price on the first FF would scare off the current Pentax customer base which is used to a lot of bang for the buck and it would also make it difficult to attract newcomers to the system.

So ... I guess the Pentax FF Jinn will grant your wishes
03-28-2015, 02:55 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
But the number one thing for me is having the improved image quality and the ability to use modern K-mount lenses as well as legacy glass, as well as a larger viewfinder.
The only thing that matters is the image quality. I shoot with several people who insist no one should waste their time taking pictures with anything less than a FF camera. Yet at any reasonable print size my k-3 images are indistinguishable.

A nice big viewfinder would be great but is that worth $2,000? Outside of gear aquistion syndrome or bragging rights: "I shoot with a FF camera so you mere mortals with APS-C should get out of my way", a FF is going to be a tough sell for me. I'm not against it, the cash is in the bank but it has to show a clear advantage over the k-3 or it's just a waste of money.

I am however, eagerly awaiting some new lenses. The DFA 24-70 sounds like a perfect lens on APS-C for me. Or if it is f/4 then maybe the DFA 24-105.
03-28-2015, 02:57 PM   #8
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There is nothing controversial on your list - I'm certain they are all considered key features by just about everyone. Your price range is a bit optimistic though.
Like RobA_Oz, a bigger brighter viewfinder will be the selling point for me.

03-28-2015, 03:21 PM   #9
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Pretty sure everything on that list is going to be there. I think it's probably going to be around 2g's, knowing the way Pentax prices their DSLR's.
As far as DR, resolution, and low-light performance, those three things they have plenty of other competitors FF camera's to look at to know where they have to be, to either match it or have it be better than what it is because it's lacking in either one of those it'll come and kick them in the ass.
03-28-2015, 03:35 PM   #10
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I have a few lenses that are not full frame compatible. Love my K-3 and see no reason to change at this time.
03-28-2015, 03:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The only thing that matters is the image quality. I shoot with several people who insist no one should waste their time taking pictures with anything less than a FF camera. Yet at any reasonable print size my k-3 images are indistinguishable.

A nice big viewfinder would be great but is that worth $2,000? Outside of gear aquistion syndrome or bragging rights: "I shoot with a FF camera so you mere mortals with APS-C should get out of my way", a FF is going to be a tough sell for me. I'm not against it, the cash is in the bank but it has to show a clear advantage over the k-3 or it's just a waste of money.

I am however, eagerly awaiting some new lenses. The DFA 24-70 sounds like a perfect lens on APS-C for me. Or if it is f/4 then maybe the DFA 24-105.
Your opening sentence is hard for anyone but a gear addict to argue with. However, ergonomics make a difference to all but the most dedicated (some might say, obsessive) photographer. If things don't feel right, if the gear isn't easy to work with and if you can't see what you're photographing well enough to have confidence in your focus and framing, you won't be out taking photos so often or you'll make some other change.

Is it worth $2,000 in itself? What would you spend on another product or system, or even another hobby to get that level of confidence or satisfaction?

I don't think people with good eyesight can really appreciate what affects those who don't have it. Eye relief is helpful if you're excessively short- or long-sighted spectacle-wearers, but once things start to dim a bit nothing helps but more light.
03-28-2015, 03:54 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The thing I cant believe is that we're almost 2 Mo since it was announced and there's been no more leaks or sneak peaks... There has to be some corporate interest in keeping us all in a lather
03-28-2015, 04:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
However, ergonomics make a difference to all but the most dedicated (some might say, obsessive) photographer. If things don't feel right, if the gear isn't easy to work with and if you can't see what you're photographing well enough to have confidence in your focus and framing, you won't be out taking photos so often or you'll make some other change.
Agree with that 100%. But for my hand the k-3 is the best I have ever carried. It just fits. I've tried 5d mkII and a D810 and no thanks, I would not use either very often.

There are a lot of advantages to the APS-C k-3 that any FF camera will have to be able to out shadow:
  • File size for k-3 will be much smaller than a 36mp FF
  • K-3 ergonomics are just stellar (for me) will a FF be as good?
  • Lens field of view, I have used APS-C for my recent (last 5 years) photography so all the focal lengths will be wrong
  • Cost alone might be a factor with the price range being likely in the range of double an APS-C flagship
  • "Reach" becomes an issue on the long side for anyone used to APS-C
  • Cost of new lenses to match the format change. Some existing glass will work of course but there are very few FA*28-70 f/2.8s floating around so that means a lot of new glass no matter what we have hoarded

Probably more but all I'm saying is that there is a place for both formats. If a new FF shows me a clear advantage for what I do, then I'm all in. But it has to justify the cost. Every time I sit down and add up the FF advantages the list just does not look all that long. Is a bigger view finder, more dynamic range, maybe a bit over 1 stop lower light performance, 36mp and maybe a better tracking AF worth $2k for a new camera? I'll let you know in November

QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
There has to be some corporate interest in keeping us all in a lather
Interest? Sure they want us interested, but they don't have to do anything. The less they say the wilder the rumors get.
03-28-2015, 04:24 PM   #14
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What will make me buy an FF? Absolutely nothing. I am surprised at how important it seems to so many people.

When you consider that Mike Johnston, of TOP fame, was recently suggesting that four-thirds was the way to go, I think FF is a step in the wrong direction for a lot of the people who will actually buy one.

Also, some people on this forum have been saying that even the K-3 has forced them to up their game in order to get results as satisfactory as they used to get on their previous gear.

I'm sorry, I don't want spend another small fortune on replacing all my ASP-C lenses and equipment with heavier gear that shows up my all-too-many technical shortcomings!
03-28-2015, 04:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by waterfall Quote
I have a few lenses that are not full frame compatible. Love my K-3 and see no reason to change at this time.
Same for me. Given the considerable amount of K mount equipment that I have, half of it APS-C only. I'll be curious at how does a Pentax FF upgrade costs. I'll use my current gear, and wait and see...
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