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07-06-2010, 03:09 PM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
If they leave FF to other manufactures they will be left behind as FF prices come down and APS-C loses market share. "Too small" now will not be too small in a few years. Releasing a FF would be risky, but not releasing one is risky too.
Do remember that FF market is basically a two horse race - Canon and Nikon. Sony has not made a dent so far, and their whole DSLR division is sinking. NEX is their brightest star since 2008.

So there is not much to be "left behind" really.... Canon and Nikon has always left everyone else in the dust for the past ion years! If FF market would indeed grow in 2 to 3 years time, well, Pentax would better wait till then. Now, Pentax should concentrate on where the money is, rather than throwing money for 0.2% market share in the hope that it would grow in a few years' time (which may or may not happen).

07-06-2010, 03:25 PM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
That is flawed reasoning. Larger sensors will always have advantages over smaller sensors. If nothing else they have a FOV advantage, and larger size means the ability to have higher resolution while maintaining similar IQ characteristics.
But they also have a telecentricity compromise. So for telephoto (all those Olympus 4/3 bird shooters) and macro, APS-C has been a tremendous boon, with less glass cost, size, and mass.
07-06-2010, 03:29 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
That is flawed reasoning. Larger sensors will always have advantages over smaller sensors. If nothing else they have a FOV advantage, and larger size means the ability to have higher resolution while maintaining similar IQ characteristics.
QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
EVILs are in the mid price range because they are just coming out of the gates. There will no doubt be entry level EVIls at more entry level prices.

Of course, "dominate" in the sense I used it is mostly hyperbole, but EVIL sales will pass DSLR sales within a year or two. Though they probably won't be at the expense of APS-C DSLR sales in most cases.

Owning APS-C legacy glass will indeed keep many from going FF even when prices are coming down, but all manufacturers will probably be forced to allow compatability with such lenses in their FF cameras as prices for FF drop. Then legacy glass won't even keep people with APS-C.

Once again, all just speculation. For all I know FF prices could continue to be artificially held up by manufacturers to reduce competition with APS-C. That is one more reason I think it would be good for Pentax to release a FF priced at or below the $2000 mark. It would force more price competition.
I would prefer a larger sensor LX3 to a interchangeable lens EVIL. Many would for size and weight advantages, not to mention sensor protection lower price, etc.

For a larger sensor I'll take a larger body because...I'll likely need larger glass. It's going to be extremely difficult to replicate an FF pentaprism with an EVF, and the DSLR is well oiled tech with enormous sunk costs.

Sensor size is one issue, but it only relates to form factor in so many ways. They have discrete aspects.
07-06-2010, 03:34 PM   #94
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If pixel densities were the same between the two sensor sizes it wouldn't matter. An APS-C sized crop from the center of a FF sensor would have just as many pixels as as an APS-C sensor with the same pixel density. APS-C lenses could be used with no loss of function and the same effect as being used on an APS-C camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
But they also have a telecentricity compromise. So for telephoto (all those Olympus 4/3 bird shooters) and macro, APS-C has been a tremendous boon, with less glass cost, size, and mass.


07-06-2010, 03:50 PM   #95
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I never suggested FF EVILs. However, don't forget that there will be a whole new generation of photographers that started out with digital PnS cameras that had nothing but an LCD screen, and maybe a crappy rangefinder. These people will be used to using an LCD screen in place of an OVF/rangefinder, and so will be unlikely to know what they are missing.

I also never suggested that DSLRs as a whole are going anywhere. When I say FF I mean FF DSLR.

Larger sensor, compact, fixed lens cameras don't seem to be making much of a splash. Sigma is the only brand to delve into those waters, and it hasn't been the most successful venture. There is probably a reason other brands have passed that market up so far(limited expandability=few sales beyond the initial purchase?). Maybe when the EVIL market cools down a bit that market will become a new arena for competition and innovation.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I would prefer a larger sensor LX3 to a interchangeable lens EVIL. Many would for size and weight advantages, not to mention sensor protection lower price, etc.

For a larger sensor I'll take a larger body because...I'll likely need larger glass. It's going to be extremely difficult to replicate an FF pentaprism with an EVF, and the DSLR is well oiled tech with enormous sunk costs.

Sensor size is one issue, but it only relates to form factor in so many ways. They have discrete aspects.

Last edited by Votesh; 07-06-2010 at 03:58 PM.
07-06-2010, 04:59 PM   #96
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I have said over and over again that Pentax would not need to enter the FF market in a mode to directly compete with any other FFs. A small, weather sealed, FF camera at a good price also just might attract some advanced amateurs or semi-pros from other systems, but the main goal for FF should be to keep as many users in the brand as possible. There would be no sense in shooting it out with the big guys on such a lopsided playing field, so they would have to engage in photographic guerilla warfare. It is what they have done in the APS-C market and they have done it fairly well. Compete where the others can't or don't care to. Carve out a niche and build from there.

Concentrating on where the money is now is what will cause them to be left behind, IMO. High end Pentax users will continue to leave the brand for FF. APS-C DSLRs will continue to lose market share on the low end due to the emergence of more/cheaper/better EVILs.

What percentage of the market is digital medium format? Yet Pentax chose to enter into that market. Look at what happened. It seems to be a great success. Why is that? Probably because there is a boatload of legacy glass available, and because they offer a product that doesn't directly compete with the established MF players, at a price and with features that those other players either can't or don't want to match. Pentax would have a hard time releasing a FF that is similarly less expensive than the other brands' FF cameras. However, they could differentiate themselve from the other guys with a camera aimed at a different demographic.

QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Do remember that FF market is basically a two horse race - Canon and Nikon. Sony has not made a dent so far, and their whole DSLR division is sinking. NEX is their brightest star since 2008.

So there is not much to be "left behind" really.... Canon and Nikon has always left everyone else in the dust for the past ion years! If FF market would indeed grow in 2 to 3 years time, well, Pentax would better wait till then. Now, Pentax should concentrate on where the money is, rather than throwing money for 0.2% market share in the hope that it would grow in a few years' time (which may or may not happen).
07-06-2010, 05:25 PM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
I never suggested FF EVILs.
falconeye made the shrewd observation that Sony's E-mount can accommodate FF.

This partly explains the odd oversize barrel on the cigarette box of a body.

Sony is clearly building in the capacity to compete on sensor size in EVIL as this will be one (of many) components that a brand can compete on. In the quest for resolution, the FF sensor will inch down into EVIlL, perhaps sooner than we think if they are already putting mount design placeholders into their systems.

Corral that thought with a fixed lens, small format LX3 clone with an M4/3, APS-C, or even an FF sensor. The real danger for the M4/3 crowd is if someone designs a NON-interchangable lens M4/3 camera that can do 90% of a PEN of GH. If FF can fit into an NEX, it can fit into an LX3. Zoom will diminish, but IQ and low-light will substantially improve.
07-06-2010, 06:52 PM   #98
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I guess it should be interesting to see where the competition heads. There is lots of fertile ground, but a finite amount of resources to be invested.

I would think large sensor, fixed lens, compact cameras won't be a popular focus for many years. Not only do they offer less incentive to companies since there are fewer extra items for customers to purchase, but they will also be quite expensive for some time to come. They will cost as much as an EVIL, but they will also be less flexible. To some that won't matter, but to many it will.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
falconeye made the shrewd observation that Sony's E-mount can accommodate FF.

This partly explains the odd oversize barrel on the cigarette box of a body.

Sony is clearly building in the capacity to compete on sensor size in EVIL as this will be one (of many) components that a brand can compete on. In the quest for resolution, the FF sensor will inch down into EVIlL, perhaps sooner than we think if they are already putting mount design placeholders into their systems.

Corral that thought with a fixed lens, small format LX3 clone with an M4/3, APS-C, or even an FF sensor. The real danger for the M4/3 crowd is if someone designs a NON-interchangable lens M4/3 camera that can do 90% of a PEN of GH. If FF can fit into an NEX, it can fit into an LX3. Zoom will diminish, but IQ and low-light will substantially improve.


07-06-2010, 07:27 PM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
I guess it should be interesting to see where the competition heads. There is lots of fertile ground, but a finite amount of resources to be invested.

I would think large sensor, fixed lens, compact cameras won't be a popular focus for many years. Not only do they offer less incentive to companies since there are fewer extra items for customers to purchase, but they will also be quite expensive for some time to come. They will cost as much as an EVIL, but they will also be less flexible. To some that won't matter, but to many it will.
Leica just made one. The X-1. Only APS-C:

Leica Camera AG - New Products

Now look on their website how that is positioned in a line with the P&S re-branded Panasonic V-Lux. Take out the OVF, add a bigger sensor, less zoom, but killer low-light portability

Someone will follow this trend. I would not at all be surprised at Photokina to see a major player pulling a digital rangefinder out of a hat with an APS-C or M4/3 sensor, basically NEX size with a fixed lens. No one is going to let the revenues going to Leica go unchallenged. The rangefinder market used to compete very well with the DSLR market (in fact, it was perhaps more profitable unit-by-unit).
07-06-2010, 08:57 PM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
That is flawed reasoning. Larger sensors will always have advantages over smaller sensors. If nothing else they have a FOV advantage, and larger size means the ability to have higher resolution while maintaining similar IQ characteristics.
While there is no doubt that, all else being equal, a larger sensor will be better, what I am saying is that we have reached the point where the law of diminishing returns is going to become more evident.

The real game changer will come from electronics and processing. Expect within 10 years a PnS sensor with focus information for each pixel. DOF and bokeh can then be created by the camera.
07-06-2010, 09:17 PM   #101
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The X-1 also sells at $2000. Of course, a lot of that is for the Leica premium.
The Sigma DP line is much more affordable, and has been around for a couple of years. They seem to have a solid following but haven't really taken off. It does/did have some well known glitches though, so I could see why.
There is also the Ricoh GRD with the macro lens/sensor attachment that is APS-C, but that's another thing altogether.

These cameras, at the prices they go for still only appeal to a limited group. Or maybe they appeal to a large amount of people, but the prices keep them away. They would be perfect for owners of DSLRs that want something really compact to use when size matters, but I think at the moment they're too close to EVILs in size and price. I think most would choose the flexibility of EVILs, especially those used to a DSLR system.

Now, if Pentax released one with an APS-C sensor, top of the line weather sealing, or better yet weather proofing, and a lens with a max aperture of f2 or better, I would buy it the day of release. I doubt any other manufacturers would think to weather seal such a camera, at least not early on, so it would probably have to be from Pentax, but I'd buy something like that from any brand. Although I would love a small FF in K mount, that might be my absolute dream camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Leica just made one. The X-1. Only APS-C:

Leica Camera AG - New Products

Now look on their website how that is positioned in a line with the P&S re-branded Panasonic V-Lux. Take out the OVF, add a bigger sensor, less zoom, but killer low-light portability

Someone will follow this trend. I would not at all be surprised at Photokina to see a major player pulling a digital rangefinder out of a hat with an APS-C or M4/3 sensor, basically NEX size with a fixed lens. No one is going to let the revenues going to Leica go unchallenged. The rangefinder market used to compete very well with the DSLR market (in fact, it was perhaps more profitable unit-by-unit).
07-06-2010, 11:25 PM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
APS-C lenses would work perfectly fine on FF. They could phase out the APS-C line, or keep it going while increasing the number of FF lenses they offer.

What big R&D costs would be required? They were a majority FF company until 2003(35mm film). They have designs for every major component required. They currently sell a number of FF compatible lenses, and 3rd party manufacturers sell more still. The main cost would be in retooling production facilities, to enable them to start producing FF components. It's not rocket science, it's what Pentax did, just with a different light collecting medium, for decades.

Any digital know-how that couldn't trickle up from APS-C could trickle down from 645D. There are several things that would be unique to a FF body that would require new R&D, but I imagine they would be relatively minor.

If they leave FF to other manufactures they will be left behind as FF prices come down and APS-C loses market share. "Too small" now will not be too small in a few years. Releasing a FF would be risky, but not releasing one is risky too.
Wait wait wait - what? APS-C lenses work fine on FF? Am I missing something?

They have never made a FF digital camera. Lens R&D is always pretty easy I would think (lots of old designs) but making their first FF DSLR won't be easy I should think. They have never even made a big DSLR!! It just isn't their style.

I still don't think FF will catch on like you think it will. FF will get cheap, APS-C will get cheaper! FF is not the only thing getting cheaper! FF will also always be more bulky and generally complicated to use. It's only really used by pros and dedicated hobbyists. Since most of the emerging DSLR market is "prosumer" I don't see much demand for FF opposed to APS-C or EVIL.
07-07-2010, 01:45 AM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by sushi warrior Quote
It would be cool to see two almost identical models, one aimed at higher MP and one at better ISO.
Interesting idea!

I could imagine a K-7L (using the K-x sensor) and a K-7H (using a 16MP sensor). I don't think retailers would be happy to stock two SKUs at the same or nearly the same price point though...
07-07-2010, 02:39 AM   #104
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QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
Hmmm... I visualize an adapter that will mount on the FF camera and let you use DA lenses that will cover the entire sensor.
Isn't that called nothing else but an 1.4x or 1.5x tele converter

QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
Yvon is blogging about adding another brand.

He's a Pentaxian with NDA inplace past few years which tells me Pentax has nothing exciting/new in the pipeline.
Yvon is talking about buying cameras in niches Pentax doesn't address, like machine guns. Now that he has to replace stolen equipment.

Pentax does have something exciting/new in the pipeline. How exciting it will be, or if it will be FF, I don't actually know/cannot say. I can't even say if it will be announced at PK. But I do know something is coming.
07-07-2010, 04:02 AM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Someone will follow this trend. I would not at all be surprised at Photokina to see a major player pulling a digital rangefinder out of a hat with an APS-C or M4/3 sensor, basically NEX size with a fixed lens. No one is going to let the revenues going to Leica go unchallenged.
Again, I think you're ignoring history. ALL the major camera companies made rangefinder cameras at one time, but moved out of the market and left it to Leica. What would be the point of making a digital rangefinder? You're talking about a market that represents a fraction of even the serious hobbyists.
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