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08-03-2011, 10:16 AM - 1 Like   #31
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Sorry Aristophanes, your reply is full of assumptions. I appreciate your efforts though

(Disclaimer: I have my fair share of assumptions, but at least I do not refer to a worldwide FF market or FF sales percentages compared to APS-C as Pentax has nothing to do with the current FF market divided by the big two).

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Who is unsatisfied with their D700!

That camera will go down as one of the great classics.
Maybe, but not for users of old glass. Please try to understand the appeal of the current mirrorless market. It's not because of the lack of the mirror, but the fact that all sorts of lenses fit those cameras, both old and new. Nikon is not known for being highly adaptable to all sorts of glass. There's a reason indie filmmakers prefer Canon. Nikon has the worst registration distance in the market.

QuoteQuote:
FF cameras are priced high to make a profit where sales volumes are low and to make up ground where lens development is slow, costly, and expensive as well.
Like developing FF lenses is rocket science. It's a surprise Pentax still exists after developing all those great FF lenses!

QuoteQuote:
A Pentax FF camera will be a large beast (MZ-D big) with SR and PD AF plus space for WR, power. video, etc. All the pro controls. It will be the same size as the A900, D700, and so on. Maybe they can squeeze it down to the D300 size. Maybe.
Sorry, those are all assumptions. FF does not necessarily mean that the camera needs to be big. MZ-D size: no way. Please try to understand Pentax's history and traditions.

QuoteQuote:
Any such camera will go to market at between $2,500 and $3,500 which automatically prices it waaaay out of the range of "shitloads" of units. Sony could not sell that many with the A850, so what makes everyone think Pentax has more market reach. FF sales from Canikon are very low compared to APS-, as in 5% of the total.
Please try to understand Pentax' market segment. 5% of Canikon FF sales does not mean that the same percentage applies to Pentax. You know how many APS-C models Canikon are selling; those numbers way outreach Pentax APSC sales. However, the Pentax market is completely different. The FF percentage could be a whopping 15% or more.

QuoteQuote:
So the sales volumes at that price point are low and the sensor alone (if available;likely not as Sony is the only available supplier and they look to have a sweetheart deal with Nikon already) is $1,000 per unit. And another $500 for distribution, marketing, support, warranty, software, etc.
Again, nothing but assumptions. And Sony will sell a FF sensor to anyone willing to pay for them. The Sony semiconductor company has nothing to do with the camera company apart from a close relationship. They would be stupid limiting sales to only a few (or only one) camera maker.

QuoteQuote:
And what of profit? The shareholders are so entitled. Add 20% margins to the mothership plus the dealer's 10%.
That's where Ricoh comes into play

QuoteQuote:
Demand is a function of the price. I do not see that demand because the price is far too high. There are simply too few consumers willing to shell out $3,000 for a camera body. It's a tiny, tiny market even in our fantasy Pentaxland.
Please try to understand the Pentax user from an historical and functional standpoint, not from an arbitrary price level.

QuoteQuote:
And then there's lenses. And the fact that the whole DSLR concept with OVF is threatened by mirrorless, which shrinks market share even more as at least some DSLR users will irrevocably abandon the SLR form factor and OVF.
Now you understand why I wrote "FF cameras" and not "FF DSLR's". I never mentioned DSLR in my original post

QuoteQuote:
FF is not a growth market and there's no profit selling to a guy with 30 year-old lenses. You need him to buy a slate of $$$ zoom from 14-300 plus some primes on top of a FF body.
Assumptions, assumptions...

The appeal of DSLR's and EVIL cameras is also about the availability of both old and new glass. Pentax could also see this as a business opportunity. Didn't a Pentax official state that the APS-C line was more or less complete? Do you really think they are planning to launch more and more APS-C lenses?

QuoteQuote:
I cannot see Ricoh/Pentax offering FF until sensor prices drop corresponding to APS-C hitting a development wall. Not for a few thousand units per year. The economics just do not work out right now.
I want hard facts, not assumptions


Last edited by Asahiflex; 08-03-2011 at 10:28 AM.
08-03-2011, 10:22 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Who is unsatisfied with their D700!

That camera will go down as one of the great classics.
Agreed. So could - maybe - the K-1, when it arrives.

QuoteQuote:
A Pentax FF camera will be a large beast (MZ-D big) with SR and PD AF plus space for WR, power. video, etc. All the pro controls. It will be the same size as the A900, D700, and so on. Maybe they can squeeze it down to the D300 size. Maybe.
I'm wondering what you'll do when the small-bodied (smaller than D300) FF DSLR appears. I guess we can all hope that it's Pentax that delivers it, but further procrastination will shrink that hope.

QuoteQuote:

And then there's lenses. And the fact that the whole DSLR concept with OVF is threatened by mirrorless, which shrinks market share even more as at least some DSLR users will irrevocably abandon the SLR form factor and OVF.
Mirrorless (or translucent mirror) FF is coming. But in general, mirrorless is going to carve out market share from lower-end DSLR space.

QuoteQuote:
FF is not a growth market
Case could be made that all interchangeable lens cameras are in a growth market, when you consider emerging markets. Ricoh seems to think so.

QuoteQuote:
and there's no profit selling to a guy with 30 year-old lenses. You need him to buy a slate of $$$ zoom from 14-300 plus some primes on top of a FF body.
This touches on truth. To accelerate ROI, Pentax would need to introduce some new lenses.

QuoteQuote:
I cannot see Ricoh/Pentax offering FF until sensor prices drop corresponding to APS-C hitting a development wall. Not for a few thousand units per year. The economics just do not work out right now.
I don't think Ricoh is limiting their thinking to the 18-month plan. They are thinking (probably) about establishing K-mount as a dependable revenue stream for years to come, as the copier business changes under them. (they seem to be doing that in other areas as well.)


.
08-03-2011, 10:23 AM   #33
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@Asahiflex:
You're contradicting yourself - suddenly it's not only about "xx will always be better"

Nice try; the argument was about a format being always better - not about compatibility. By the way, I wouldn't buy a FF camera to use it in cropped mode - I'd need FF lenses, as well.
"the K-mount is a FF mount" - irrelevant. The mount is very well suited to the APS-C format, even if capable of accommodating a FF sensor.

No, you can't. You have no real knowledge on this subject, did no market research - all you have is a strong desire to see a Pentax FF DSLR - which you may or may not buy. You can guess, be it an educated guess/opinion - but you can't guarantee anything (and neither can I, of course).
The market of a FF Pentax is different, how exactly? And even if the 15% figure is correct, that means about 6000 units per month. Would that be enough?
Leica doesn't sell "shitloads" of cameras, by the way.
08-03-2011, 10:35 AM   #34
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Why is it the APS-C fan peoples have to hate on us that want a FF Pentax? So you don't want one? Fine, don't buy one.

I don't know how many they would sell, but I can at least say I'm in for two of them.

08-03-2011, 10:37 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
@Asahiflex:



The market of a FF Pentax is different, how exactly? And even if the 15% figure is correct, that means about 6000 units per month. Would that be enough?
Leica doesn't sell "shitloads" of cameras, by the way.
you've answered the question. Leica doesn't sell 6K units a month (or even a quarter) of the M9. I'd be surprised if the yearly was even that to be honest. they of course cover this with a high price
At 6K units a month you have 72K units a year. not a hell of a lot but certainly enough with target small batch manufacturing to be profitable (2 runs a year of 36000 units) (the 645D is more constrained than this i believe)
I do think the FF market would expand with the right release from Pentax. Aside form Pentax shooters a lot of other people would look if the design was like the K5
Different market than the big zoom/big camera market altogether

But I also agree with another poster that if the next FF sensor from Sony is 36MP then Pentax would have to address the issue at the 645D level as well. It may make a lot of sense to add a 645D MK2 at 60MP and keep the current at a lower cost as an alternate (Say 7000 and 14000) then launch the Ff at 2500-3000 as the entry level pro camera with all the upgrades people are looking for (faster AF/more af points/ better VF all while maintaining what makes the K5 hot albeit at a slightly increased size
08-03-2011, 10:42 AM   #36
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OK, I'll bite, although I should know better by now.

IMHO the only reason Ricoh/Pentax would ever produce a FF Pentax DSLR will be to have a prestigous DSLR flagship and to make a PR splash.

They certainly won't do it to seriously try and shake Canon or Nikon's hold on the FF pro market, or because of any of the supposed technical advantages of FF over APS-C. The 645D is a good example of what Pentax might do. The 645D is a great camera, attractively priced, but it isn't designed to, and wont, kill Hasselblad or Phase One or Leica even, and eat up all of their MF pro market share. It's just something Pentax dropped into the marketplace after a long time in the incubator to build on their heritage and please some pros and prosumers, but not to achieve world dominance.

Similarly a Pentax FF will probably be a great camera, delivered at a premium price, but produced in limited quantities initially just for Japan, and then after a while made available to other markets in limited numbers subject to demand. So it will be designed to boost Pentax's prestige and make enthusiasts happy, but not actually require too much effort or $$ from Pentax to produce or support.
08-03-2011, 10:46 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
I don't buy the "APS-C is good enough" statement, because FF will always be better...
Whether you buy it or not, that discussion has been around for a long, long time. Medium format film was better than 35mm, but 35mm was good enough for the majority of folks. It's not just a question of quality. It's how much you get for how much you have to pay and whether it's worth it to the consumers.



Edited to add: Oops...looks like this point had already been made. That's what I get for not reading the thread all the way.

Last edited by TaoMaas; 08-03-2011 at 10:55 AM.
08-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
OK, I'll bite, although I should know better by now.

IMHO the only reason Ricoh/Pentax would ever produce a FF Pentax DSLR will be to have a prestigous DSLR flagship and to make a PR splash.

They certainly won't do it to seriously try and shake Canon or Nikon's hold on the FF pro market, or because of any of the supposed technical advantages of FF over APS-C. The 645D is a good example of what Pentax might do. The 645D is a great camera, attractively priced, but it isn't designed to, and wont, kill Hasselblad or Phase One or Leica even, and eat up all of their MF pro market share. It's just something Pentax dropped into the marketplace after a long time in the incubator to build on their heritage and please some pros and prosumers, but not to achieve world dominance.

Similarly a Pentax FF will probably be a great camera, delivered at a premium price, but produced in limited quantities initially just for Japan, and then after a while made available to other markets in limited numbers subject to demand. So it will be designed to boost Pentax's prestige and make enthusiasts happy, but not actually require too much effort or $$ from Pentax to produce or support.
this is quite likely the scenario that will eventually happen, and there will be a great wiling and gnashing of teeth because it costs more than most of us can justify or afford

08-03-2011, 10:52 AM   #39
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The question, wheater Pentax can sell it at a profit and with high enough volume sales is a question for Ricoh to determ before launching it. Future will determ if that is the right descision. If it will come at PhotoKina 2012, it will be in production for 3-4 years. This is the same with topmodels from Canon and Nikon. So it is not only looking at the point where Pentax is now at this moment, but also making a projection off where Ricoh thinks that Pentax will be in 2016!
08-03-2011, 11:02 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Why is it the APS-C fan peoples have to hate on us that want a FF Pentax?
Not hatin'. Just pointing out that it's far from a done deal that every Pentax owner would buy a FF.
08-03-2011, 11:06 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Not hatin'. Just pointing out that it's far from a done deal that every Pentax owner would buy a FF.
Has anyone made that claim?
08-03-2011, 11:06 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
you've answered the question. Leica doesn't sell 6K units a month (or even a quarter) of the M9. I'd be surprised if the yearly was even that to be honest. they of course cover this with a high price
At 6K units a month you have 72K units a year. not a hell of a lot but certainly enough with target small batch manufacturing to be profitable (2 runs a year of 36000 units) (the 645D is more constrained than this i believe)
I do think the FF market would expand with the right release from Pentax. Aside form Pentax shooters a lot of other people would look if the design was like the K5
Different market than the big zoom/big camera market altogether

But I also agree with another poster that if the next FF sensor from Sony is 36MP then Pentax would have to address the issue at the 645D level as well. It may make a lot of sense to add a 645D MK2 at 60MP and keep the current at a lower cost as an alternate (Say 7000 and 14000) then launch the Ff at 2500-3000 as the entry level pro camera with all the upgrades people are looking for (faster AF/more af points/ better VF all while maintaining what makes the K5 hot albeit at a slightly increased size
Agreed on all points; this is what I was trying to say. The "Pentax won't do FF" crowd always mentions the FF slice of the market, as if it is up to Pentax to get a slice of that slice. No, Pentax would want to make the FF slice bigger.

It can be done. Photography is more than ever about traditions, that's why Leica still exists and Fuji made a big bang with the X100. For instance Canon has nothing to do with a traditional user or fanbase; they cater to the mass market.

Pentax still has the name and fan- and user base to make the FF economically viable. How would they expect to lure new users into the brand? With just a K-r, K-5 and 645D (including the enormous price gap between the K-5 and 645D) as true enthusiast and pro cameras? That's not enough to make the brand survive... There's little reason to stay with Pentax at the moment. An upgrade path and thus a flagship is needed and fast (and please don't mention the 645D as that's not an upgrade path...)
08-03-2011, 11:17 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Has anyone made that claim?
lol No, not that every Pentax owner will buy one. But they are saying there will be enough to make it feasible. I don't think there will be that many buyers. Pentax is just barely making it in APS-C where they make some damn fine cameras. I think Pentax can count on about the same percentage of the FF market that they have in APS-C. That's going to be a very small niche.
08-03-2011, 11:48 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Why is it the APS-C fan peoples have to hate on us that want a FF Pentax? So you don't want one? Fine, don't buy one.
Strawman - we don't hate you, and we might even buy the FF Pentax if/when it will appear.

eddie1960: Leica is special; Leica is able to sell their products at premium prices. Pentax has no such advantage over Canikon, on the contrary - they have to offer better features at a lower price to be competitive. In most people's eyes, Pentax is the lesser brand - no matter how much we disagree.
You're talking about the K-5, but this camera didn't do any miracles for Pentax; the same will be true for a FF version. And the people complaining that $1500 for a Pentax is way too expensive won't gladly pay $2500-$3000.
About the 645D - they make about 6000 units per year, afaik. That's a lot for a medium format camera.

rawr, the prestigious camera is the 645D.

Asahiflex: the x100 is an APS-C camera.
08-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #45
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This is how I think it is.

I think Nikon and Canon users are first buyers, like 90% of them. They see the pro's using canikon and the brands are hyped leaving nothing for other brands. Even Sony is coming strong in the low end segments with cheap dslr and nex series.

I think Pentaxians are more devoted photograpers, older - has a job - willing to pay more for a camera, is more interested in equipment such as old lenses etc. etc. Not like the leica crowd, but between leica and canikon. I think Pentax would have been big if they weren't a long forgotten aps-c brand.

3000 too expensive? You don't have to buy a new camera every year.
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