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07-18-2016, 09:09 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
You may need to revise your perception of Ricoh. They have 110,000 employees after all. Not a small shop.

By most metrics (sales, employees etc), Ricoh is about 3 or 4 times larger than Nikon, but is still smaller than Canon in terms of sales.
Yes, I stand corrected in that Ricoh has more than 4x the employees of Nikon as a multinational. I was thinking more in terms of the Japan side dedicated to camera and lens production for Pentax.

07-18-2016, 09:48 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I was thinking more in terms of the Japan side dedicated to camera and lens production for Pentax.
The figures for the individual companies don't really tell the full story. It's all Japan Inc. Nikon is, for instance, just one of over 200 companies that are part of the vast Mitsubishi business. Ricoh and Canon also both sit in the middle of similar inter-connected corporate structures.
07-18-2016, 10:57 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
The figures for the individual companies don't really tell the full story. It's all Japan Inc. Nikon is, for instance, just one of over 200 companies that are part of the vast Mitsubishi business. Ricoh and Canon also both sit in the middle of similar inter-connected corporate structures.
Agreed. So a fair comparison might be Ricoh vs. Mitsubishi or Pentax vs. Nikon. My main intent responding to Uluru was the statement, "there is nothing preventing Ricoh from making a killer APS-C camera." When it comes to death and taxes, I'll agree on absolutes, but perhaps a better perspective is that even with Apple, there is something preventing them from making a killer APS-C camera. Having watched the photographic industry evolve over the last 40 years, it seems to me that Ricoh and Pentax are more of a success considering what happened to many others like Minolta or to giants like Kodak.
07-18-2016, 12:24 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
K3II is fine, but Nikon 500 simply blows everything out of water
Michael has already detailed a comparison above, but I'll be more direct: aside from better AF Tracking of the Nikon, where do you see it to blow the K-3/K-3ii out of the water? And that's ignoring the slight difference in price...

07-18-2016, 04:31 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
Michael has already detailed a comparison above, but I'll be more direct: aside from better AF Tracking of the Nikon, where do you see it to blow the K-3/K-3ii out of the water? And that's ignoring the slight difference in price...
Good tracking requires excellent and robust AF assembly, and the K3II does not have it. Therefore K-1, which is the first Pentax DSLR with radically improved AF and tracking abilities, is substantially bigger/taller than K3. D500 is also similarly proportioned and larger than K3 to accommodate robust phase detection AF assembly.

Compact size of Pentax DSLRs comes at the expense of good phase AF. If you want competitive AF, and in future that would certainly be a priority, then the size of a Pentax DSLR must increase. At least in the model above the K3II, if it ever comes. K3 and K3II are therefore not in the same level as D500. Pentax adds some derivatives of SR tech as features that seemingly close the gap by sheer number of them, but, not the major feature most users would like to see and want to buy good DSLR for.

Check this video by Pentax; it explains SAFOX12, but also tells about design choice to increase the size of K-1 compared to K3: mostly to accommodate new and more robust AF assembly. They call it "compact AF unit", and say they 'reduced the size of K-1 with it', but it is still larger than K3's. To keep Pentax crop cameras competitive, that unit at least must go inside the next crop body, and it must increase camera's size.


Last edited by Uluru; 07-18-2016 at 04:44 PM.
07-18-2016, 05:10 PM - 2 Likes   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Compact size of Pentax DSLRs comes at the expense of good phase AF. If you want competitive AF, and in future that would certainly be a priority, then the size of a Pentax DSLR must increase. At least in the model above the K3II, if it ever comes. K3 and K3II are therefore not in the same level as D500. Pentax adds some derivatives of SR tech as features that seemingly close the gap by sheer number of them, but, not the major feature most users would like to see and want to buy good DSLR for.
Again, simply have to disagree. My own tests across a wide range of crop-sensor brands demonstrated to me that the K-3ii is comparable in AF for my needs to any other crop-sensor camera with the possible exception of the D500 (which I have not tested and probably won't since my K-3ii does what I need). Anybody who says "xxx blows the doors off of yyy" reminds me of the uppity kids in high school back in the 1970s who would tell me their GM/Ford/Plymouth would "blow the doors off" of my tricked out 1972 BMW 2002 ti. Whenever we would race (and I hate to admit this now) I always won against these blowhards.

Such as it is with cameras. A camera may have "better" specs -- but it is the operator that makes all the difference.

Michael
07-18-2016, 05:37 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
Again, simply have to disagree. My own tests across a wide range of crop-sensor brands demonstrated to me that the K-3ii is comparable in AF for my needs to any other crop-sensor camera with the possible exception of the D500 (which I have not tested and probably won't since my K-3ii does what I need).
It is physically impossible that K3 compares to D500. Phase AF assembly can't compare, because Pentax has nothing like that.
With K5II a low light AF sensor was added, with K3 more cross points. That is where improvement comes. But neither have any 3D tracking ability nor as nearly as sophisticated 2D tracking. 86K sensor Real Scene Analysis mode was not tested around either.

This is not rant against Pentax though. K3 and K3II are elegant machines for most normal uses, but in critical use of a DSLR, where phase detection is stretched to the max (that is why users use DSLRs, for superior phase AF), they cannot deliver.

K-1 is another story, but its AF assembly is new, and must be fairly assessed. No one has done a thorough evaluation of the SAFOX12 yet.
07-18-2016, 08:05 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
It is physically impossible that K3 compares to D500. Phase AF assembly can't compare, because Pentax has nothing like that.
With K5II a low light AF sensor was added, with K3 more cross points. That is where improvement comes. But neither have any 3D tracking ability nor as nearly as sophisticated 2D tracking. 86K sensor Real Scene Analysis mode was not tested around either.

This is not rant against Pentax though. K3 and K3II are elegant machines for most normal uses, but in critical use of a DSLR, where phase detection is stretched to the max (that is why users use DSLRs, for superior phase AF), they cannot deliver.

K-1 is another story, but its AF assembly is new, and must be fairly assessed. No one has done a thorough evaluation of the SAFOX12 yet.
I'm afraid it was you who implied that every other crop sensor had better AF than Pentax. I on the other hand never said the K3 was better than anything. But it is now clear that perhaps only the D500 may be theoretically better. And it should be given its price point. So where is Pentax not providing a camera that is good enough for 90% of the photography population? (your original implication)

07-18-2016, 09:37 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
I'm afraid it was you who implied that every other crop sensor had better AF than Pentax. I on the other hand never said the K3 was better than anything. But it is now clear that perhaps only the D500 may be theoretically better. And it should be given its price point. So where is Pentax not providing a camera that is good enough for 90% of the photography population? (your original implication)
It was not my original implication. Please don't oversimplify.

My original implication was that Ricoh did not plan any professional level crop DSLR, although it was the logical next step after the K5II and K30, and considering commitment of Pentax brand to crop DSLRs. To develop a professional level crop body, a total overhaul of the AF is required, at a level higher than K3.

We never saw that. Ricoh only planned a replacement for K5. 7DII, and especially D500, are at that level I had hopes that maybe Ricoh will commit to. In short, Ricoh presumed that big two will never need a crop camera better than D7100 or 7D, and believed Nikon and Canon will focus on FF. Therefore Ricoh finally made K3 to compete with those DSLRs believing it's good enough, and then Ricoh too focused on FF.

But Ricoh missed the bigger picture: Nikon indeed planed a kick-ass professional crop body, and Canon too. They came late (to user's expectations), but they made it, and have fortified their crop presence, and moved one big step forward.

Now it's up to Ricoh to make up their minds. If Ricoh makes a professional crop DSLR, it must sport a new AF, and therefore must be bigger than K3II. Considering that, current AF from the K3 would better be used in all crop DSLRs, because this is 2016, not 2006.

---------- Post added 07-19-2016 at 03:05 PM ----------

In short, Pentax needs something serious like this:


It's the Nikon Multicam 20K AF module.
07-18-2016, 10:14 PM - 1 Like   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
My original implication was that Ricoh did not plan any professional level crop DSLR,
You might want to consider that Michael is a working pro and knows his gear. He also shoots with both the K-3II and recent top-shelf Nikon APS-C product. He knows both systems and I would suggest that his opinions constitute field validity.


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07-18-2016, 11:02 PM   #56
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The company with the best AF will make a big deal about how their AF is the best. But just using AF as the measure of a pro requirement is oversimplification. I started as a pro before AF existed, and although I appreciate having AF at times, it is only one of many elements in a system that will determine if I have the right tool for the task. Many pros still shoot manually and in some fields like videography and cinematography, manual focus is still the default technique.

Canon invests heavily in promoting and supporting their pros in more ways than just camera specs. Nikon as well, but at a fraction of Canonʻs budget, scope, and resources. There are a minority of pros (and corporations and governments) that take their own paths apart from Canikon, but it doesnʻt make them any less professional.

The reality is that pros represent a small percentage of photographers. They are the flagship users that help market and build prestige. But what is the profit margin of a K-1 vs a K-50? Canon probably sells 50 Rebels for every 5D III. How many D3300 for every D500? I love how the quality, price, and features of the entry level Pentax "blows the doors off" the entry level Canikon. And anyone thatʻs been into photography long enough knows, the photograph is pro because of the photographer, not the camera. Who is going to use a D500 or the K3? What brand of lenses are in your bag?
07-19-2016, 03:21 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The company with the best AF will make a big deal about how their AF is the best. But just using AF as the measure of a pro requirement is oversimplification.
Yes, Pentax users are best apologetics of the status quo of the brand, and all the same, all are blind to same predicaments.

All things being similar or comparative among cameras, AF must too be similar or comparative and talked about. Why is that important? Because even the mirrorless offers are starting to surpass AF available in Pentax DSLRs. With ISO, AF is the part of marketing sales toolkit and if AF is really not relevant, then please explain why DPR slandered K-1 so viciously (and undeservingly)? They didn't bother to test all facets of the AF, just tried things where Nikons wins by default and gave the final score. Horrible review, an insult to common sense, but — it did all the damage.

Why it did the damage? Because it's the DSLR game dictated by the DSLR game owners, who take AF far more seriously than Ricoh.

Lack of presence of a professional-level crop body is a sting in Pentax's side. But they have enough expertise to make a pro-level crop body so I hope they will realise it is time to do it. And, sorry Ricoh, selling a brand new K70 with 11 points AF is not a way to attract new customers; the reviewers will point that out immediately and lower the score. They won't even bother reviewing your effort properly. That economy of yours, dear Ricoh, by using the AF from 6-7 years old cameras, won't work. Instead, stick the same level AF in all medium grade bodies, and bring all new AF for the pro level crop camera.

---------- Post added 07-19-2016 at 08:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You might want to consider that Michael is a working pro and knows his gear. He also shoots with both the K-3II and recent top-shelf Nikon APS-C product. He knows both systems and I would suggest that his opinions constitute field validity.
Steve
Well, yes, I see where this argumentation goes, and I'm telling you, that dog won't hunt.
Ansel Adams too was a working professional, and he needed but a manual focusing camera.

As many of you know, photography today is not about art, but largely about performance, so a smart brand must have at least one contender in that silly game.

How difficult is that to admit?

If Pentax had, say, crop K2 at a level of D500, Pentax could sell K3II cameras at $250-300 higher price, and still sell same amount of them. THAT is how things are done. It is all about perception. But without a pro level camera, Pentax must sell K3II at prices that are pathetic.

For Pete's sake, Fuji will sell X-T2 at $1600, which is 40% higher than K3 was at its launch! And the press and the websites buzz about X-T2 more than they did about all Pentax cameras together. Why? Because it has 4K video, 11 fps and 300+ freakin' AF points. When compared to K3II, it sounds uber-pro. Nikon anticipated that and similar threats and issued D500. Ricoh didn't, and they must lose money selling K3II at prices below human dignity.

Last edited by Uluru; 07-19-2016 at 03:58 AM.
07-19-2016, 04:06 AM   #58
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I vividly remember we were told repeatedly by self proclaimed experts that Nikon would never release something like the D500. Such cameras are a dying breed killed by FF. Only Pentax don't get the picture....
07-19-2016, 05:52 AM - 1 Like   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Yes, Pentax users are best apologetics of the status quo of the brand, and all the same, all are blind to same predicaments.



---------- Post added 07-19-2016 at 08:27 PM ----------


Ricoh didn't, and they must lose money selling K3II at prices below human dignity.
Han, you have made your opinion more than clear, and my response to your argument is that AF and video are known not to be the strength in Pentax cameras. Pentaxians know this and arenʻt choosing Pentax cameras blindly despite this. We choose Pentax over other brands for other reasons. Yes, we would love better AF, but itʻs obviously not high priority. I have no reason to defend or apologize for any brand; there are no perfect brands. Yes, the D500 is the new star in the market and kudos to Nikon for getting it done. But itʻs meaningless if I canʻt afford it, donʻt have the lenses for it, and most importantly it wonʻt improve my photography because that solution is in the mirror (the one on the wall, not the camera).

I can make the same argument that Canon users are the best apologetics when it comes to the short comings of their sensor or that Canikon doesnʻt offer a medium format and has missed the opportunity time and again. Obviously AF is so important to you that it degrades Ricoh in your judgement. I donʻt think any Pentaxian is blind to this status. It is what it is and given all the options some have switched, some have stayed, and some use multiple systems.

You are saying the glass is half empty. Got it. And the price of the K3II, or any heavily reduced model like the T5, is simply to entice buyers into the brand and clear inventory to make way for the next gen K3. Whose dignity are you talking about? The retailer? K3II owners? No matter the cost, money is lost making cameras and recouped when selling them. The only thing that negatively affects the bottom line are used camera sales, but how many of us sell used to reinvest in a new camera?
07-19-2016, 06:06 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Now it's up to Ricoh to make up their minds. If Ricoh makes a professional crop DSLR, it must sport a new AF, and therefore must be bigger than K3II. Considering that, current AF from the K3 would better be used in all crop DSLRs, because this is 2016, not 2006.
Well, how many Pentaxians will spend $2000 for such a camera? Even if we discount it by 20% to $1600, how many Pentaxians will buy that? I don't think the market is big enough frankly. And I for one don't mind mixing brands, so if I had a need for sports/action photography I would certainly rent a D500, no questions asked. But I don't *NEED* such a camera in my day-to-day business. And neither do 90% of the people on this (or any other) photo forum. In the end, you have defined "professional" to mean only one thing -- which is what we are arguing about. I find that odd given that 5 years ago, such a feature was a pipe dream and yet there were certainly "professional" cameras back then. Has the business of professional photography changed that much in the past 5 years such that you are only a pro if you own a D500? Guess that means I'm not a professional anymore! :P

Michael
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