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12-13-2014, 05:09 AM   #3391
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Regarding the last phrase: my thoughts exactly... how user's perception can be off at times!

Regarding the "cinema" issue, video done right isn't only having a couple of very good primes...
Ergonomics and controls are important for video, and a solid codec that can hold up well to grading. Even if that codec is a high bitrate MJPEG... Something that Pentax was capable of in old cameras. The Cx00 line from Canon IIRC doesn't even support 4K and costs a lot... And is successful. Add a SR system that can be adjusted in its behavior and strength and Pentax might have an interesting product (that can in turn influence their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras).

---------- Post added 13-12-14 at 13:13 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
That the question... In car it is the same. Many think that if you sell luxury car you may make more money and be more successfull. Overall from statistics your margin is not better with luxury cars than average cars. You still need to innovate and your clients will not tolerate any problem from your product.

One might find that some luxury car maker perform quite good, but as do other... And some like volkswagen (literary the car of the people, and that go from Nazi time when hittler wanted affordable car for everybody) but they cover all large spectrum of vehicules with: Seat, Volkswagenn, Skoda, Bentley, Audi, Buggatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Scania or Man.

As for the MF competitor, my understandings is that theses guys simply don't have enough sale to innovate. They do have crappy AF, crappy ergonomics... On the opposite, Pentax just needed to reuse the components of K3 with just a bigger sensor and got something overall far better than the other could provide for 3 time the price. I would not bet for theses competitor to be still there in 10 years if they don't make innovative products.
There are studies on which car maker earns how much per car... And guess what, luxury brands are doing really well. Why do you think many car makers want to move upscale? Offer luxury products? Ford, Renault, Peugeot, Citroen (DS subbrand), VW, ...

Also, what I've read was that the 645Z is nice, but no competitor to Hasselblad and Phase One. They have better shutters, flash stuff etc. Those cameras are beyond my means and needs, but anyway despite being so much more expensive people still buy those brands. Surely not just because of the name.

It seems like Hasselblad/P1 have some advantages over Pentax and vice versa. For example a 1/500 flash sync speed vs 1/125. That's quite a difference for some. Looks to me like the Pentax is more a competitor to the big Canikons. FF high MP cameras for landscape, while the HassiOnes are more towards studio shooters who need good tethering and high flash sync speeds.


Last edited by kadajawi; 12-13-2014 at 05:25 AM.
12-13-2014, 01:20 PM   #3392
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For car makers the advantage of making a luxury brand in parallel with a regular brand is that in the luxury brand they can develop innovative stuff which then ripples down to the mass brand without any IP transfer costs - the ownership of the IP is internal - and they can amortise the cost of IP development on the higher price per unit product. If they only have the cost conscious market to sell to they cannot afford risky innovation because the extra price per unit is too hard to recoup in competition. In the mass brands of car the makers are very conscious of saving the odd few cents on components or assembly because of the price sensitivity of their market. And of course that shows the problem of any commodity product market sector.


As for MF cameras - many who buy the high price specialists would also have a large investment in connected accessories, lenses etc. They stick with what they know because they do not want to turn over the whole investment at one time and also they want to keep the same interface because they know it. But what if as part of the 645Z system Pentax provided adaptors that gave full functionality support to the third party lenses and other items for the others? Sounds counter-intuitive because it does not involve sales of those high value items in the near future - but it could be a way to squeeze those competitors out.
12-13-2014, 01:38 PM   #3393
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
As for MF cameras - many who buy the high price specialists would also have a large investment in connected accessories, lenses etc. They stick with what they know because they do not want to turn over the whole investment at one time and also they want to keep the same interface because they know it. But what if as part of the 645Z system Pentax provided adaptors that gave full functionality support to the third party lenses and other items for the others? Sounds counter-intuitive because it does not involve sales of those high value items in the near future - but it could be a way to squeeze those competitors out.
645Z + all the lenses and accessory you would need to change to go with it are less expensive than one new body for the other MF brand... And they could still keep the old product in case or sell it to futher reduce the cost. Likely you can get 645Z + all lenses and accessories just by selling your current gear and make a profit.
12-13-2014, 01:45 PM   #3394
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
For car makers the advantage of making a luxury brand in parallel with a regular brand is that in the luxury brand they can develop innovative stuff which then ripples down to the mass brand without any IP transfer costs - the ownership of the IP is internal - and they can amortise the cost of IP development on the higher price per unit product. If they only have the cost conscious market to sell to they cannot afford risky innovation because the extra price per unit is too hard to recoup in competition. In the mass brands of car the makers are very conscious of saving the odd few cents on components or assembly because of the price sensitivity of their market. And of course that shows the problem of any commodity product market sector.
Overall this is complex topic. One tend to think you need to be expensive to have high margin and be successfull. Both model can work, both model can be successfull. Apple target something in the middle and they make lot of money. Coca Cola is quite cheap but very sucessfull. Oil is a commodity, quite innexpensive and is a cash cow for the companies that deal with it. Bakery tipically make lot of money and this is not a very advenced product they sell or something only targetting the wealthy...

Here in France the most successfull mobile and internet provider is a low cost company... Yet it get the best margins of the four players and was thinking not long ago to buy one of the US mobile company to grow externally.

The MF maker do no make money, they are a niche and live only because nobody try to disurpt them... And nobody even try because the market is seen as too small. One day it may be very well that Sony or Pentax or another player start to sell MF bodies for 2000$ or less, making it an interresting alternative for all the giuys that always want more but don't have 30000$ budget...

12-13-2014, 02:51 PM   #3395
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How about flash sync speeds? If you need more? 1/125 is quite slow. Correction. It is very slow. But if you want to go faster Pentax lenses won't cut it. Technical limitations.

Not all luxury car makers are backed by some bigger general purpose car maker, and the tech isn't always developed for the luxury cars and trickles down. It can go both ways. Plus developments are frequently done by suppliers. Lane assist systems for example can be bought from LG, amongst others. Bosch supplies ESP. IIRC Hella supplies laser headlights to Audi and BMW (of course they try not to mention that detail and claim they have developed it themselves). Likewise LED, which can come from Hella, Osram, amongst others. It's a bit like in the camera industry where Leica, Pentax and Nikon get their processors from Fujitsu.

I do admit that budget car makers can be profitable too. Hyundai/Kia and Dacia are good examples for this. VW is doing quite well, though Audi surely contributes to that a lot, and VW is the carmaker that may benefit the most from sharing tech in house (the Golf, Octavia, Leon and A3 are based on the same platform, and in the next few years almost all VW group models will join them... Same platform. The same radar system can be used from the Passat to the Polo, and many more cars. Plug and play. Even the same production street can produce different cars, depending on need.

I object to Apple targetting the middle of the segment. Above Apple there is really only Vertu in terms of phones, and Vertu sells on brand and casing alone. Apple is extremely profitable, their products cost significantly more than they cost to produce. Chinese phone makers sell similar phones for less than half the price... With similar if not better built quality and materials.
12-13-2014, 03:02 PM   #3396
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
Ergonomics and controls are important for video, and a solid codec that can hold up well to grading. Even if that codec is a high bitrate MJPEG... Something that Pentax was capable of in old cameras. The Cx00 line from Canon IIRC doesn't even support 4K and costs a lot... And is successful. Add a SR system that can be adjusted in its behavior and strength and Pentax might have an interesting product (that can in turn influence their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras).

*snip*
How many zooms in the Pentax lineup are parfocal?
Then you'd need, ideally, things like live HDMI video output (not just in playback mode), zebras, AVCHD or, better yet, high-bitrate XAVC, an audio jack (if only for synching purposes with the "real" track on a dedicated device), a good chroma subsampling (as you said), proper, noise-free, mechanical SR in video mode etc. etc. etc.
Those are just some random things that come to mind.
12-14-2014, 04:57 AM   #3397
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote

It seems like Hasselblad/P1 have some advantages over Pentax and vice versa.
Aren't you the video obsessive, Kadajawi?

Surely the only feature that matters to you is the 645Z is IIRC the one MF camera with video.
12-14-2014, 01:09 PM   #3398
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QuoteOriginally posted by abmj Quote
I've read the "pros dissing Pentax" thread and had a bit of a laugh. I shot high-end Canon for 30 years in my film days but am at a more laidback place now during semi-retirement. For the switch to DSLR, I couldn't justify the expense - particularly for good glass - that Canon entailed and went with Pentax. I am very happy with that choice despite the occasional sneer from my former Canon compatriots.

Now, my topic. During the recent Worldwide Photo Walk, I joined 40+ area photographers for a fun day of shooting followed by a group lunch and wrap-up. In that group, I saw exactly zero Pentax DSLRs - aside from my own. I found myself "justifying" my choice not to go with Canikon during good natured discussions. Not so much distain but more "why in the world would a serious photographer NOT buy Canikon??"

Are we really that sparse out in the world?
Yes, among professional photographers Pentax shooters are rare to nonexistent. But it does not matter if you are personally satisfied with your gear. Your skill as a photographic artist is much more important than your camera brand. I've seen so many amazing great photos posted here, from all you great Pentax shooters. Keep using and enjoying your fine gear.

I won't say the Pentax cameras and lenses are not great, they are. But it's a fact that Canon and Nikon have much higher sales. Which leads to more profits to be invested in development of new and better cameras and lenses. Which leads to even greater market share. Success breeds success.

Pentax cameras have been around a long time, and there is a hard core group of Pentax loyalists who just want Pentax. These loyal buyers keep the brand alive. You may know that Asahi sold the Pentax line to Hoya a few years ago, who in turn sold it to Ricoh. That tells you there are some financial issues still. The steady demand still keeps the product sales up. Support them, keep buying new lenses and cameras folks!

You have to be realistic though. This is a risky business. Recall that Olympus left the E system users flat in 2009, and Minolta (first autofocus) folded its camera business in 2006, Konica (first TTL auto-exposure) bailed in 1986. Canon and Nikon stomped them.

There is a reason for their success. High quality and reliability are now taken for granted from Japanese camera makers. It takes more. Better marketing and better product planning were the drivers. Initially, Nikon moved way ahead of Canon in the pre-autofocus era, with the introduction of the Nikon F camera and superb lenses in the 50s. Most photojournalists and sports photographers shot Nikon equipment. Nikon established a reputation for rugged, reliable, great performing manual focus cameras. The public followed. Then Canon went to auto focus in the 80s, and their auto focus system was much faster than Nikon's. Canon also cultivated professionals by giving them special discounts and front of the line service on repairs.

The faster performance of Canon AF lenses was a huge deciding factor. When getting the shot is the key to making a living as a pro, you must have the fastest gear in the right focal lengths. Once a pro has invested in a system of lenses, cameras, lighting and is fully trained and productive, he's loyal, but he's not blind. Nikon was stodgy and kept making slow autofocus lenses and in particular was a bit late with the preferred pro zooms, especially 70-200mm and 100-400mm F2.8 with IS, and the long teles with fast AF and stabilization.

So Canon hit the sweet spot, Nikon missed -- only for a while, but long enough to lose most pro's. Eventually Nikon figured out the game, and now has much faster autofocus pro lenses in most key ranges -- but the delay cost them huge market share. You keep seeing mostly white barreled Canon lenses on the sidelines of sports events. This tacit endorsement by pro's is worth millions in sales to the public.

For Pentax to move into the pro market now would be expensive. They might have to give free cameras and free support to key professionals. They need big, fast zooms for the pro's, which are very expensive to develop for a niche market. The smartest thing might be to partner with Tamron or Sigma for the big fast zooms. For now, it's a hole in the product line. And maybe it's too late anyway.

Times are changing. Smaller mirrorless cameras are stealing market share from DSLRs. Sony seems to be leading, Olympus/Panasonic close behind. Canon and Nikon are struggling in this market, as is Pentax. The Pentax Q has too small a sensor to dominate, sorry to say. It will sell on convenience and price to consumers, seldom to pro's.

There is another trend that should not be ignored. Today the vast majority of pictures are shot with smart phones or tablets. Every camera maker should be making one, or partnered with a smart phone maker. This is the future and you have to keep your brand prominent among the leading products.

Pentax must defend its current position with even better lenses, and yes, a full frame body. Every new product should have at least the option of WIFI, because customers care about that. These are just examples. To prosper, Pentax must participate credibly in emerging product markets.

That's my take on the camera business today. It's brutally competitive. There will be radical upheaval from the mirrorless and smartphone sales. It's a win for consumers, that's for sure. For camera makers, it demands smart marketing and future products aligned with future markets. Change is a must. Evolve or go extinct.

So, keep buying new Pentax cameras and lenses, you keep the company alive for now. I hope they aim well at future markets, or I'll be worried.

12-14-2014, 01:29 PM   #3399
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I was at an event this morning and happened to be talking to a guy about cameras. He asked me what I use and I told him "Pentax".....pause....then he asks me "what is that?". I said that it's a brand of camera like Nikon or Canon...."oh", he replied.....

Geez, people don't even know that Pentax is a brand...pretty sad. Yes, I would say that we're pretty rare...
12-14-2014, 01:58 PM   #3400
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In a tourist spot in NZ yesterday. Lots of people with Canons and Nikons and a few small mirrorless models but identified one K5IIs on a middle aged male French tourist (I spoke to him).
12-14-2014, 03:57 PM   #3401
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
How about flash sync speeds? If you need more? 1/125 is quite slow. Correction. It is very slow. But if you want to go faster Pentax lenses won't cut it. Technical limitations.
I admit I wonder why you don't use a permanent light or a high speed sync flash when you have 30000 invested or more in gear already ?

Is there a big issue of using such feature for everybody to give endlessly the flash sync speed as key argument?
12-14-2014, 04:08 PM   #3402
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Aren't you the video obsessive, Kadajawi?

Surely the only feature that matters to you is the 645Z is IIRC the one MF camera with video.
I shoot stills too, and made money off my photography. Also I am not interested in MF for my own photography. They are not suitable for what I do (I need lots of DoF most of the time, and don't need high MP cause the photos that I do sell are usually stitched and consist of many photos).

As for the video of the 645Z... It's rather useless. The purpose the camera is able to shoot video is IMHO because the sensor gained video functionality cause in a studio setting live view is useful (including HDMI out), and Pentax was already using a video capable processor. Providing the functionality was trivial. But it employs massive line skipping (there's no way they can read the 50 MP sensor fast enough and scale it down to 2 MP fast enough), so basically you end up with a couple of small pixels that are far apart. Poor low light performance and massive aliasing and moire are the result.

---------- Post added 15-12-14 at 00:10 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
I admit I wonder why you don't use a permanent light or a high speed sync flash when you have 30000 invested or more in gear already ?

Is there a big issue of using such feature for everybody to give endlessly the flash sync speed as key argument?
Don't ask me, I'm not a studio shooter. I'd imagine until recently heat would be the big issue... MF cameras were not very light sensitive, so you'd need a lot of continuous light, which is expensive and heats up the studio a lot. Now with LED you can get by with less heat, but the LEDs cost even more and the colours may not be as good as with a proper studio flash.

Given that people complain about the sync speed of normal Pentaxes, the even slower sync speed of the 645Z may be an even bigger issue for the kind of photographer that is attracted by a MF camera.
12-14-2014, 04:26 PM   #3403
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
As for the video of the 645Z... It's rather useless. The purpose the camera is able to shoot video is IMHO because the sensor gained video functionality cause in a studio setting live view is useful (including HDMI out), and Pentax was already using a video capable processor. Providing the functionality was trivial. But it employs massive line skipping (there's no way they can read the 50 MP sensor fast enough and scale it down to 2 MP fast enough), so basically you end up with a couple of small pixels that are far apart. Poor low light performance and massive aliasing and moire are the result.-
Is not true for almost all brand DSLR-s? The video mode is kind of "secondary". Video cameras are for serious video recording, I guess. Video on DSLR-s is more for occasions. Therefore I have not touched video mode on both my cameras. No need.
12-14-2014, 04:41 PM   #3404
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Is not true for almost all brand DSLR-s? The video mode is kind of "secondary". Video cameras are for serious video recording, I guess. Video on DSLR-s is more for occasions. Therefore I have not touched video mode on both my cameras. No need.
You can apparently do some serious (albeit not super professional) filming with something like a 5D Mk III or 70D. DigitalRev TV for example shoot everything on 5D Mk IIIs.
12-14-2014, 08:54 PM   #3405
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Is not true for almost all brand DSLR-s? The video mode is kind of "secondary". Video cameras are for serious video recording, I guess. Video on DSLR-s is more for occasions. Therefore I have not touched video mode on both my cameras. No need.
It's not. AFAIK the Nikon D5300, D750 and D810 read all (or almost all) pixels and bin them down to the 2 MP that are needed. The Panasonic GH2, GH3 and GH4 do it (though in 4K it takes a 4K crop from the sensor and uses it 1:1... in terms of sharpness, moire etc. that is the ideal, though you should start with a resolution that is close to the intended output resolution). The Samsung NX1 takes all pixels (all 28 MP of them) and is able to downscale them to the 2 or 8 MP (4K) that are needed. The Sony A7S is able to read all pixels and downscale them to 2 MP.


I'd say the successor to the K-3 should have the CPU and sensor necessary for this (as Nikon is using the same hardware...). Doing it with the 50 MP MF sensor of the 645Z is pretty impossible though. The sensor would heat up a lot, the amount of data that needs to be shifted is even significantly more than the NX1 is able to shift, etc. And the NX1 has the most advanced sensor and processor used in a camera, far ahead of anything Pentax, Canon or Nikon have access to (except for perhaps the new Lytro, which has a state of the art smartphone CPU, but then again the NX1 CPU is a smartphone CPU enhanced for camera use).


As for professional use of DSLRs... I've seen German documentaries made for TV where some of the shots are shot on DSLRs (you can see the crew filming each other accidentally, and nope, they aren't using C100 etc.). House MD had an episode shot on DSLRs. Movies like The Avengers make use of 7D and 5D Mk II or III, probably as crash cams for when their Alexas etc. are a bit too expensive. And there are plenty of short films, and even a few full length features that use DSLRs (though that has gone down as cameras like the C100, C300 and C500, F5, F55 etc. have entered the market... DSLRs in a more professional video oriented form factor).
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