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06-26-2015, 11:59 PM   #166
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Nostalgia and analogies from other fields are fraught with difficulty. In this case, we also need to remember that the K1000 was essentially a Spotmatic F with a K-mount in place of the M42 mount. At the time of its release (when I bought one) the SP-F was the top-of-the-line Pentax SLR, until the ES came along (I bought one of those, too, and an ESII later). With the demise of the SP500, the SP-F became the entry-level Pentax briefly until the K1000, KX and K2 were launched at the introduction of the K-mount. So, it's no wonder the K1000 was able to be manufactured so cheaply, as the basic operational components had been in production since around 1975! Those who used them from that earliest time had well and truly moved on, or probably aspired to do so at least, by the time the K1000 had been relegated to student camera status.
The point here is that a cheap DSLR is going to be based on an old model whose fixed production investment (capital expenditure) has been written off already, and there isn't one available to do that with. Making a simple DSLR from scratch involves new capital expenditure, and if the sales volumes aren't seen to be there to justify it, it isn't going to happen.

06-27-2015, 12:08 AM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
The point here is that a cheap DSLR is going to be based on an old model whose fixed production investment (capital expenditure) has been written off already, and there isn't one available to do that with.
Not to mention the fact that any given sensor is only going to be in production for a limited time.
06-27-2015, 02:15 AM   #168
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Neither the 911 nor the Mustang sold today are ANYTHING like their original versions. They have been massively changed. What they used to make they wouldn't be able to sell. And we do have updated successors to the K1000... they still use the K mount.

Btw., car manufacturers do sell stripped down, back to basics versions of their sports cars. Usually that involves a very significant price increase. The more is missing, the more it costs. Ferrari will happily remove carpets, radio, air-conditioning, sound proofing, ... if you are willing to pay for that.

Are there ways to make the FF cheaper? Yes. But not by removing features that come more or less free of charge, like video. That would only make the cameras more expensive. Broadening the appeal could lower prices, as development cost is spread out over more sold cameras. Removing the mirror could. Use as many parts from the APS-C line as possible could (so the small AF sensors from the K-50 for example).

To lower the cost I would hire a team of software developers experienced in and focused on video. Tell them they can do whatever they want, what is necessary, without having to add expensive hardware. Just make use of the existing hardware, with the understanding that users will be smart enough to know the trade offs certain functions could have (right now Pentax treats video users as idiots who don't know anything... imagine them only letting you use ISO up to 3200, because it is a bit noisy above that and the user has to be protected from it at all cost, he shouldn't have the right to choose that because of course he wouldn't understand that it can create noise, and surely he must care about that A LOT...).

So... have an advanced video mode that can be activated in the menu. Send out a few review copies... Philip Bloom, EOSHD, ... let them take care of creating buzz. Then add a marketing campaign linking the new camera to old Pentaxes, mostly with the idea of we are back. As has been mentioned here people remember Pentax, but aren't aware that they are still in the market. Change that. At the same time new users can be made aware of the history of the brand, and how the brand has a ton of experience in the field and taught countless photographers how to shoot.
06-29-2015, 10:28 AM   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
So... have an advanced video mode that can be activated in the menu. Send out a few review copies... Philip Bloom, EOSHD, ... let them take care of creating buzz. Then add a marketing campaign linking the new camera to old Pentaxes, mostly with the idea of we are back. As has been mentioned here people remember Pentax, but aren't aware that they are still in the market. Change that. At the same time new users can be made aware of the history of the brand, and how the brand has a ton of experience in the field and taught countless photographers how to shoot.
In my fantasy world, we'd see a Pentax that could shoot some kind of RAW video, and cinema-friendly versions of some of the more uniquely "Pentax" lenses.

On another note, I was on a video shoot the other day in which I used Leica R lenses and my Pentax M lenses. I'm pretty excited to examine the footage to check out some of the differences between the lenses.

07-01-2015, 06:33 AM   #170
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Still, in the medium format world Pentax, compared to the other brands, is the 'cheap' one, and it's working out for them very well. I don't see why it can't be applied to their FF lineup. Regardless of what the naysayers here say.
07-01-2015, 07:04 AM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Still, in the medium format world Pentax, compared to the other brands, is the 'cheap' one, and it's working out for them very well. I don't see why it can't be applied to their FF lineup. Regardless of what the naysayers here say.
Especially if they were to go like K-50 cheap. Everyone seems to assume cheap means crippled. Maybe cheap would mean using the most cost efficient components, etc. stuff that's been around long enough to pay off development costs but new enough to still be good, not cutting edge, but functional. A K-50 to go beside the K-3. Not the latest and greatest, but something that works.

That is especially important for Pentax, because unlike Canon, I can't pick up a 5D for $500 and start shooting.

Last edited by normhead; 07-01-2015 at 09:40 AM.
07-01-2015, 08:50 AM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Still, in the medium format world Pentax, compared to the other brands, is the 'cheap' one, and it's working out for them very well. I don't see why it can't be applied to their FF lineup. Regardless of what the naysayers here say.
I think there are two things to say about this. First of all, Pentax had a lower price with the assumption that they would out sell Hasselblad and the other medium format makers. That has turned out to be the case, but it is very unlikely that they can project full frame sales that would match those of Canon/Nikon or even Sony.

The second thing is that I do think the Pentax will be "cheap" for what it is. I just don't think they will try to target the A7/6D/D610 market. Rather they are going to try to go up scale and have something that is D810-ish, but for a little less than the D810. This will, in a sense, be a cheap camera, but it certainly is not what Pentaxians mean when they say "cheap" (I think they mean 1000 dollars or less).
07-01-2015, 11:11 AM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
In my fantasy world, we'd see a Pentax that could shoot some kind of RAW video, and cinema-friendly versions of some of the more uniquely "Pentax" lenses.

On another note, I was on a video shoot the other day in which I used Leica R lenses and my Pentax M lenses. I'm pretty excited to examine the footage to check out some of the differences between the lenses.
While I would like that too, I can already see the outcry by people here. Also, that is requiring some seriously beefed up hardware, and it appeals to the more high end video market who have the processing power and skills to match. Heck, even guys like Philip Bloom rarely shoot raw video AFAIK. It's for projects where you have either too much time or a big team or or or... Storage would be a big issue. Having a good high bitrate h264 or MJPEG implementation would be more beneficial IMHO. A way to output uncompressed video via HDMI, or perhaps raw via USB 3.0 (i.e. attach an external SSD that is fast enough) would be neat for those who can afford it.

Personally I'd already be happy if they'd make full use of the already existing technology, with software that has some additional video functionality. A proper USB port (imagine backing up photos to an external drive in the field, or even bursting onto an SSD for an unlimited time for sports photographers) and good tethering via WiFi and USB (with an open API anyone can use). These functions can filter down to flagship APS-C models, and be stripped for middle of the range FF models.

QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Still, in the medium format world Pentax, compared to the other brands, is the 'cheap' one, and it's working out for them very well. I don't see why it can't be applied to their FF lineup. Regardless of what the naysayers here say.
Few reasons I can see: Pentax basically enlarged a K-5 or K-3 to create the 645D and Z. They used the processor from the K camera. The AF sensor. The software. Surely other parts too. The development cost of that is already paid for. Yes, changes had to be done, but nothing too significant. They could also leverage being able to order parts in much higher numbers than their competitors could. Those had to develop the cameras from scratch. They have to get custom made hardware in small numbers. And don't they aim at a higher end market, with certain new features that they couldn't buy off the shelf? Like shifting around the sensor a bit to increase the resolution, when no one else was doing that? Finally those companies may make some decent profits, because of the lack of competition. You only had 2 or 3 manufacturers in a field where there are few customers, but those are willing to spend a lot.

The FF world is entirely different. Canon and Nikon ARE able to use parts developed for their APS-C cameras, or are able to use those parts in their APS-C cameras. Much like Pentax. They have a much wider customer base, so they are able to spread out development cost even more. They have several lines of FF cameras, plus previous models, from which they can reuse parts.

Most of the the advantages that Pentax has in MF are gone in FF, where they switch from being a much bigger competitor to being the small underdog. I'd be surprised if Pentax could even be competitive... they might have to make less profits per model than Canikon, in order to have similar price tags for competitive models.

07-01-2015, 03:38 PM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
Most of the the advantages that Pentax has in MF are gone in FF, where they switch from being a much bigger competitor to being the small underdog. I'd be surprised if Pentax could even be competitive... they might have to make less profits per model than Canikon, in order to have similar price tags for competitive models.
There are several other matters than sheer size, though. Full utilisation of production capacity, planned time to recover development costs and purchasing power can make a big difference to final cost, even though the second of those is just a financial policy decision. Of the three, though, it's probably the last that can make the biggest difference to final cost, and it's the one where we tend to think of the size of the Pentax market share, rather than the size of Ricoh's businesses as a whole that confuses us. Ricoh can probably source standard componentry for its Pentax line much cheaper than the smaller manufacturers like Hasselblad.
07-02-2015, 12:21 AM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
Most of the the advantages that Pentax has in MF are gone in FF, where they switch from being a much bigger competitor to being the small underdog. I'd be surprised if Pentax could even be competitive... they might have to make less profits per model than Canikon, in order to have similar price tags for competitive models.
You make some excellent points. I'm afraid that you may be right. Unless the prices of Canon and Nikon are bloated. They only had/have eachother to 'compete' with. But I bet they make sure not to make to much waves with pricing, for their own good.
07-02-2015, 04:48 AM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
Most of the the advantages that Pentax has in MF are gone in FF, where they switch from being a much bigger competitor to being the small underdog. I'd be surprised if Pentax could even be competitive... they might have to make less profits per model than Canikon, in order to have similar price tags for competitive models.
Thom Hogan wrote about this and it does make since that scale makes the difference and in MF Pentax has the advanced.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/how-tight-is-tight.html

Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 07-02-2015 at 05:42 AM.
07-02-2015, 05:33 AM   #177
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I came back to Pentax when I went digital in part because the K10d was a terrific deal for the money. I don't think they can get K50 cheap, but A7 or even A7II cheap would be in line with where the K10d was.

I'd also be cool with the FF losing the mirror, like the A7II, but that is another forum.
07-02-2015, 08:06 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I came back to Pentax when I went digital in part because the K10d was a terrific deal for the money. I don't think they can get K50 cheap, but A7 or even A7II cheap would be in line with where the K10d was.

I'd also be cool with the FF losing the mirror, like the A7II, but that is another forum.
While I might not mind a mirrorless camera, I don't think Pentax would create a particularly good one. You need a good EVF, you need a very fast processor, etc. Things Pentax doesn't have, and won't get access to (Samsung and Sony won't sell their processors I imagine).

Maybe Pentax can start with a hybrid VF solution... that way they can work out the EVF portion without having to get things 100% right from the start...
07-03-2015, 06:58 AM   #179
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Along the lines posted elsewhere, I sometimes wonder whether Pentax would not have been better off concentrating on making the best APS-C DSLR around, and worked on a PK AF adapter like the Metabones Canon EF to Sony E-mount to fill the FF hankerings. From the early tests, the A7rII looks like an amazing body in search of lenses. Pentax has some nice lenses in search of a FF body.
07-03-2015, 07:09 AM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Along the lines posted elsewhere, I sometimes wonder whether Pentax would not have been better off concentrating on making the best APS-C DSLR around, and worked on a PK AF adapter like the Metabones Canon EF to Sony E-mount to fill the FF hankerings. From the early tests, the A7rII looks like an amazing body in search of lenses. Pentax has some nice lenses in search of a FF body.
Well, since it is easier to out a body than a load of lenses, I'd say Pentax situation looks good IMO.
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