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08-03-2011, 11:50 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
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.
The simple fact is, you top out in Pentax world, and you can't grow beyond a certain point. For most, that point is irrelevant; for a few, and keep in mind these are the same few that make a lot of recommendations to the masses, that is unacceptable.

I think that without a reissue of most of the FA* series, a FF DSLR, and reps that visit the stores periodically, they will have a hard time convincing people to come to the brand, which also means that when someone asks their local shop or pro, hey should I go with Pentax? That pro will say no for these reasons, even though that may never be a need for the consumer.

08-03-2011, 11:50 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
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.
the problem in apsc is it largely encompasses the high volume low margin part of the market.FF is not that type of market. With the lower volumes the margins are much more protected and you don't see wide-scale discounting on FF even when the product is 2 + years into it's retail cycle, so this argument is really a fallacy. you make money on the higher end by protecting margins and keeping prices high. leica would be long gone if this didn't work (even with a rich fan-boy owning the company - you don't get to be rich enough to own the company without enough sense to know when to cut your losses and shutdown)
D700 if you can find one even at what is the end of it's life-cycle is still $2500 and even went up in price for while earlier this year
The other issue with Pentax in the APSC market is really lack of models to fully compete. no real entry level model drives down the price of the mid model so there is less profit, the dropping mid model brings down the price of the top model as the gap has gotten too wide to move people up. Combine this with truly bad distribution in the US and many other markets, a complete lack of marketing for the most part and you get reduced volumes. Hoya is resposible ofor a lot of this because they really didn't want to be in (or for that matter even seem to understand) the digital imaging market. Ricoh looks to be coming at this from a whole different angle with the purchase, and deep enough pockets to tackle the challenges. I think it will take until 2014- to see what really will happen but i can imagine if it's done right the company will look very different than it does now. a line with the Q and an APSC Milc, the GXR system, 3 APSC DSLR a FF and 2 645 is well within the realm of possibility just from where it sits now if they are truly dedicated to growth and capturing market share.
Of course they could just continue on the mining the margins for the leavings from the big guys and we'd be pretty much in the same boat. I highly doubt this is the plan Ricoh bought this to diversify their business model to offset the changes coming in their core business
08-03-2011, 11:53 AM - 1 Like   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
rawr, the prestigious camera is the 645D.
But I don't care about the 645d because I'd have to buy new glass. If I'm buying new glass anyway, the Nikon and Canon lines start to look appealing.

Similarly, I don't care all that much about the 645d, so I wont buy one, but I don't have any good cause to go about saying Pentax shouldn't be making it.
08-03-2011, 11:58 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
The simple fact is, you top out in Pentax world, and you can't grow beyond a certain point. For most, that point is irrelevant; for a few, and keep in mind these are the same few that make a lot of recommendations to the masses, that is unacceptable.

I think that without a reissue of most of the FA* series, a FF DSLR, and reps that visit the stores periodically, they will have a hard time convincing people to come to the brand, which also means that when someone asks their local shop or pro, hey should I go with Pentax? That pro will say no for these reasons, even though that may never be a need for the consumer.

And I think there will be a lot of changes even without FF being out right away. Marketing needs a huge investment (this includes reps, distribution plans and advertising), and to do that their has to be an expanded line to spread the cost
A proper entry level DSLR needs to exist to hold the pricing better on the mid model which is really what a KR is, which in turn will help hold the upper APSC model price better. And yep a FF has to come, maybe not with all the lenses initially, but certainly a 24-70 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8 need to come out to complement the primes already there. then it needs to expand to support continued growth in lens sales.
But their definitely needs to be some serious improvement in distribution and dealer support in many markets, you can't get market share with the current US distribution which is pretty much down to 2 big internet dealers and virtually nothing else
Still it boils down to how serious Ricoh is about growing the business and winning market share. Given their aggressive pursuit of their core business and willingness to go head to head with Canon there I see no reason they won't do the same in photography

08-03-2011, 12:03 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
But I don't care about the 645d because I'd have to buy new glass. If I'm buying new glass anyway, the Nikon and Canon lines start to look appealing.

Similarly, I don't care all that much about the 645d, so I wont buy one, but I don't have any good cause to go about saying Pentax shouldn't be making it.
For what I've seen of what you shoot Clinton the 645D is not really the camera for you
a FF though is another story.
645D though is a market changer in it's segment, and it seriously grew that market when released. I would imagine it is reasonably profitable as well despite it's low price for the market it competes in
a FF and a 645D mk 2 easily could share many aspects like the k5/7 and 645d do and spread the cost of development around I would not be at all surprised to see both announced in the same year
08-03-2011, 12:16 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
a FF and a 645D mk 2 easily could share many aspects like the k5/7 and 645d do and spread the cost of development around I would not be at all surprised to see both announced in the same year
I think here there is the strong point for Pentax, to share R&D between diffenrent camera lines. Where entry- and mid-level APS-C can continue with current electronis (PRIME II) for 645D, FF and new APS-C top of the line camera new designs can be in the works.

With the coming of a 36 megapixel FF camera I'm curious where 645D is going. Is it going to keep CCD sensor (grwing to full size 65 megapixel) or is there a CMOS coming? A CMOS with a full size sensor can have enourmous amount of pixels.
08-03-2011, 12:19 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
The simple fact is, you top out in Pentax world, and you can't grow beyond a certain point.
That's why I would like to see a FF Pentax DSLR. I just don't think it's that easy.
I fully agree, they can't just make the camera; however, I think going after the pros would be a mistake (too costly). What's left? A D700/5DMkII-level camera.

It doesn't matter if you care or not about the 645D; it is their flagship, and much better at this (at being "prestigious") than a mere FF could be. My point is: a FF will be made for other reasons than prestige (e.g. profit - exactly as Hoya said).
08-03-2011, 12:27 PM   #53
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The never ending Pentax FF battle starts again.

I'll just say I have almost zero interest in mirrorless ILC, but the Fuji x100 is an exception. I have no desire to be without an optical viewfinder on my "serious" cameras. If I need or want a small camera I would just get a decent waterproof digicam that is actually pocket-able. Most of the mirrorless ILC are in an odd spot because they are not really much more portable than DSLRs, yet lose out on one of the best features. I'd be disappointed if Pentax did release only a FF mirrorless ILC without a DSLR version. FF mirrorless ILC just seems awkward and not worth the expected high cost. The only benefit I could see is it being a good video camera if it had the proper level of control.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
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.
Yeah I agree. The 645D is an example of what Pentax might do with FF. They specifically created that camera to cater to their existing market that somehow still existed by the time they finally released the camera. I think people in this thread really need to put more clout in lenses than they do. Old Pentax FF lenses are reason enough for Pentax FF to exist. The thing is there are still some in production anyways (FA LTD, D-FA). I'm thinking there are a lot of Canon/Nikon shooters that started with a Pentax and would consider picking up a FF Pentax if it came out with a historic feel to it. Not to mention all of us who want to expand our system versatility. I would not drop APS-C for FF, I would have both.

It's odd how people don't look at what Pentax has done to speculate on what they will do in the future. Heck, they even release silver versions of their high-end DSLRs to cater to people who own the somewhat rare silver painted lenses. The K-5 silver was the first to have a global release and seemed extremely successful.

- The 645D made it's own market, or rather worked with an old existing market.
- The Q system is more evidence Pentax does their own thing.
- Pentax heritage exists and they do actually try to build things that fit into that.

08-03-2011, 01:45 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
But I don't care about the 645d because I'd have to buy new glass. If I'm buying new glass anyway, the Nikon and Canon lines start to look appealing.
A point I continually try to make. The 645D is a great offering, but it may as well be made by Panasonic. It has no effective user ties to the K-5 for example, because its a different mount altogether. There is no 'upgrade path' that preserves any portion of a Pentax K-mount investment a shooter might have.

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08-03-2011, 01:48 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
It's odd how people don't look at what Pentax has done to speculate on what they will do in the future.
But what Pentax has done in the past is not try to slug it out with Nikon and Canon at the top of the SLRs. They considered their medium format cameras as their pro cameras.
08-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #56
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QuoteQuote:
There is no 'upgrade path' that preserves any portion of a Pentax K-mount investment a shooter might have.
I'm just not sure how big of an attraction that is. When I think about the people I know who are still shooting Pentax, the majority will most likely never upgrade beyond APS-C. I'm the only one I know who might and even then the price would have to be right.
08-03-2011, 02:39 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
The simple fact is, you top out in Pentax world, and you can't grow beyond a certain point.
Agreed.

The beauty of a full frame body is it allows folks to grow at their own speed. Since presumably it would be based on the K mount, even DA series lenses would still work, just with an APS-C sized virtual crop factor.

For folks who aren't ready to take the full frame plunge yet, the camera could still be a stepping stone for the future, allowing them to upgrade a lens at a time. Others have the glass now and are dying to get back to the old days of a 35mm frame. Still others will want the latest digital coatings, weather sealing, and SDM, and so there will be a demand for new lenses too.

I think a full frame body will have huge appeal.
08-03-2011, 02:53 PM   #58
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645 is a broken 'upgrade path'

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I'm just not sure how big of an attraction that is. When I think about the people I know who are still shooting Pentax, the majority will most likely never upgrade beyond APS-C. I'm the only one I know who might and even then the price would have to be right.
Right, but our point was that people mention the 645D as an 'upgrade path' for the K-5 shooter, but it's really not an 'upgrade path' any more than the Nikon D3X or a Hassy for example would be. It's a different mount altogether, it just happens to carry the Pentax name.

The FF cameras from other manufacturers do represent upgrade paths for those shooters, because the mount is the same as their ap-c bodies. With the exception of the aps-c only zooms (and a few primes,) you'd be able to use all your existing lenses when you upgrade. You'd even be able to mount and use your aps-c-only lenses in DX-mode, because they mount and work just fine, with full metering and AF, and no adapter required.

As far as you, the shooter, is concerned; If you were able to buy a gently-used K-1 for, say, $1800 a couple years from now - and not have to buy any more lenses - wouldn't that be an attractive option?

As far as Ricoh is concerned, they probably will find it hard to justify a FF push without some lenses to go with it. Ned Bunnell has hinted this was the real investment-impediment when Pentax was a standalone.


.
08-03-2011, 03:01 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by fikkser Quote
3000 too expensive? You don't have to buy a new camera every year.
Well said, there are hords of people "upgrading" from 7D to 5D (not mkII) just for FF sake. I heard they miss the better AF from the newer 7D, but still... they buy old 5D's.

Pentax doesnt need to deliver a camera that beats all the FF's out there. A good sensor with some Pentax TLC, in a nice K5 body (a tad bigger though) would sell plenty anyway!
08-03-2011, 05:16 PM - 1 Like   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
There is no 'upgrade path' that preserves any portion of a Pentax K-mount investment a shooter might have.
1. It is unlikely there would be for mirrorless as well, FF or otherwise. The entire concept of the DSLR may be "topping out" as a growth market. FF at 2x the cost of the K-5 is not going to grow any market by definition.

2. Making a $3,000 body for legacy k-mount glass is foolish because that throws all the profit onto the body, not the glass and accessories. The real $$$ in camera systems is the lenses and accessories.

The reality is a k-mount DSLR at FF would be very expensive because the sensors are estimated to be about $800 per unit and the "pro" features that go into the body make it both large and expensive.

To all those who argue for a FF upgrade path because the system 'tops out', but then state that Pentax needs to find its own niche, you're contradicting yourself. If Pentax creates that path at very high cost, they are exactly where Canikon and Sony are with FF sales less than 10% of APS-C sales, less for Sony. If you create the upgrade path you're exactly following in Canikon's shoes, which Sony tried to do but have largely failed at. Pentax has no technical or engineering magic pixie dust to shrink RAW dump RAM and circuits to create a similarly specced pro body with PD AF and in-body SR and make the system smaller as a sales advantage. Historically, in fact, making systems smaller has not worked in SLR land, nor DSLR land. Pentax and Olympus made smaller non-pro systems and the high-end of the market stuck tot he big body Canikon's and Minolta's. It s neither possible to shrink the DSLR FF form factor much below, say, the D300, in size, nor is it a market advantage.

And selling to legacy lens owners is economic suicide. You don't trick out an $800 Sony sensor in a pro DSLR body only to have some guy throw a budget 30 year-old eBay prime on it for his shooting experience. That's not a market. Get real.
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