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08-04-2011, 10:45 PM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
There were no FF camera models released new in 2010. That tells you something about demand, and that was all pre-earthquake.
Falk has provided good reasons as to why the big two are happy with how things are. They don't need to create competition for themselves which would eat into their FF camera margins.

Pentax is in a different boat. They can shake things about without hurting themselves. And no, I don't believe that Pentax is in the same position at Sony. Different lens prices, different customer base.

Just a quick question: Which APS-C camera do you think Pentax will be able to sell to current K-5 owners? The sensor is close to perfect regarding noise. I doubt that many will want to have more MP as the files will just eat away storage without any practical benefit for most in terms of resolution.

I think rather sooner than later Pentax will have to go FF in order to give current DSLR owners something to aspire to / buy.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Nikon volumes mean a much lower price (say $650 per sensor) where Pentax's .25% of the volume would translate into a substantially higher price (maybe $1,200 per sensor).
I cannot believe that SONY will offer Pentax a sensor for $1200 if they can sell it for $640 to Nikon. SONY will give Nikon some bonus for its high volume purchases but why wouldn't they pass some of that high volume advantage for them to Pentax as well?

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The whole point of supply exclusives is to prevent a marginal competitor from breaking into your market on the coattails of your investments. Nikon's deal with Sony is likely structured that way.
So why is SONY not protecting its own alpha line APS-C DSLR sales by not selling the fantastic 16.3MP sensor to Pentax? Why does your "protection" theory only work for FF sensors but not APS-C sensors?

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Sony will not pixx off Nikon to make market space for Pentax ...
So who will a pixxed off Nikon turn to for world leading sensors?
To Kodak?
I don't think Sony is forced to play nice with Nikon. It's the other way round.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
If Pentax wants that biz as well, they'd have to pony up some serious capital towards the same process, but with so little projected sales volumes, how does one pay a design team and keep the credit and overhead supply going at probably less than 20,000 units per year ...
How did Pentax manage regarding the K-5's sensor?

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
If a Pentax FF body costs $20 million to design,...
I'm sure it doesn't cost that much!
Remember there is $0 for QC.
Just joking, of course, but still I don't see that sum.

Maybe the K-5 successor will be the K-1 with an APS-C sensor (and some improvements over the K-5). Some time later, Pentax will sell the same body, same mechanics, etc. with an FF sensor. Easy.

08-04-2011, 11:45 PM   #107
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Pentax does have appeal with current Canon and Nikon users. Just look at this forum and the large number of posts where the user says they are moving from Canikon to the K-5 for size reasons among other things. I don't see Pentax as a direct competitor to anyone, but rather a company that offers unique qualities that are appealing to certain types of photographers. To beat a dead horse again, a lot of what Pentax has done such as WR and color cameras is well within what they have historically done for the past 30 years. A Pentax FF will be uniquely Pentax and appealing to people who care about those qualities. If you can't see the qualities of our tools compared to others out there, they why are you even using Pentax?

Just today I was at a local camera shop. The employee was older and a Nikon user. I mentioned what I used and he was saying. Their glass is amazing, but it's ******* expensive... That shows at least in part that a Nikon users holds a quality of Pentax in high regard.
08-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #108
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Let's not forget Pentax does not necessarily need Sony for its new sensors. If Sony pi$$es off Pentax by not selling them the sensors Pentax wants, then they can and will step to another supplier. They already use Kodak sensors and have used Samsung sensors in the past. I was always very happy with the Samsung sensor in my K20D; with a bit more R&D they could possibly deliver a product on par with Sony. Why not? Samsung is a technology moloch willing to compete.

There's no guarantee that the current FF equilibrium will last forever. Where's written that Nikon and Canon will stay market leaders forever? After all, being market leader often means that R&D and sales departments rest on their laurels, creating opportunities for other brands. What Pentax has done with the 645D they can do also with a FF (causing a massive stir in the market competing on features and price). All Pentax needs is the necessary funds and Ricoh seems to be the answer to our questions.
08-05-2011, 12:32 AM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
Does there absolutely have to be something "next" ? What is missing in your K-5 that would be magically solved by having a larger sensor ?
I don't think there have to be something next. I used the MZ-S for 10 years before buying my first DSLR last year, and I still use it. Why because it is a good camera, never made me longing for something newer, or "better". And the same with my K-7 now, it is a very good camera, even though many try to convince us otherwise. You just need time to get to know it, and yes that can take longer than a few days (wich in these days seems ages for some already). So if nothing happens to the camera, I probably will be using for around 10 years. As nothing pentax will do, will make me a better photographer just because they have a new model. heck, I see now from time to tme better pics made with a istDS than with a K-5.
And I personally think, for some it is just envy that Canikon have FF, so they have to have it also, and for some it is just they will never be satisfied, whatever they get, with Pentax or with another brand

08-05-2011, 01:01 AM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
"Sony officially announced (via Amateur Photographer) that “Sony plans to discontinue its full-frameAlpha 850 DSLR this summer and has already stopped making its Alpha 290 and 390 DSLRs, less than a year since they were announced.” and “Sony plans to halt production of the Alpha 850 (pictured) in July or August because the 24.6MP camera is too similar in specification and price to the flagship Alpha 900 model.

from ---> link
.

I fail to understand as to what is your point???

Are you saying that there going to be NO sony FF after these are discontinued??

Same token, were there NO APC cameras after Pentax discontinued their istD cameras???
08-05-2011, 02:28 AM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
For the second time: THIS IS ABOUT MONEY AND NOT PRODUCTION UNITS!
Are not the two intrinsically linked ? Certainly from an Investment perspective they are... ?? You can build the best damn product in the world... but you gotta move it don't you ? And in examining if you can - Surely you would look at how much you can move of your CURRENT product ?

Or is it that there will be a mystical explosion of market share just because Pentax develops this camera ? In a Contracting Market Segment ? Ok - So the release of a Pentax FF is going to *grow* the market segment and not just "rob from Peter to pay Paul".. In a sector that all pundits are putting on a continued decline as MILC etc ramp up ? Or is this a case of "If you build it they will come?" - in such case - wheres the basis for these thoughts and the supporting analysis, because it would be curious and fascinating reading?

I totally accept we are talking In the Future once Ricoh has the business - but even then - You cannot examine the current market place and suggest it would be wise for Ricoh to dump money into FF over what the rest of the market considers the 'growing sectors' ?? Not unless you are privvy to some event that will trigger a massive onslaught of people needing/wanting FF??

If you think it will just be about the quality of the product - Just ask Sony about BetaMax... Superior Product, Inferior Sales. Only took 'em 20 years to get around to trying again...

Also - maybe the BOLD ALL CAPS HAS THROWN ME - But I'm pretty sure it says "Friendly Pentax Photography Forum" up the top ? Apologies if thats the FIRST TIME its been raised in this thread..

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I think rather sooner than later Pentax will have to go FF in order to give current DSLR owners something to aspire to / buy.
Why is that exactly ? I thought you yourself have been harking the point that there needs to be a "K-3" that is a 'reliable K-5' in other threads .. Theres an entire two years of product cycle right there for you

Last edited by adr1an; 08-05-2011 at 03:29 AM.
08-05-2011, 03:31 AM   #112
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Question: Why does making a FF mean that it has to compete for leadership in FF segment?

Just a thought..... They can still make a good FF body wich will sell and even move user from other brands to Pentax, without being better than the top FF bodys from Canikon.
08-05-2011, 03:39 AM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by the swede Quote
Just a thought..... They can still make a good FF body wich will sell and even move user from other brands to Pentax, without being better than the top FF bodys from Canikon.
No doubt about it. But as they would most likely wish to stay solvent - they would only do something like that if it could be shown it wasn't just going to eat their own existing consumer-base market share and thus eat their own bottom line... They also need to be able to provide a return on that investment to keep share holders happy. If they drop $$$'s on it - they need to be able to show they can recoup those $$$'s. I'm not sure anyone has demonstrated how that part of the whole equation will work ? How will the FF genuinely and without question grow the Pentax Market ?

If its not better than what Canikon have to offer - well then - 'serious' users will continue to drift there wouldn't they ? So thats not going to help Pentax either.

I would imagine at best - offering an 'average' FF Body would probably generate more 'sneer value' in the market place towards Pentax - whilst not actually growing their market share overall. But this is just me guessing.

But right now - this all does seem a little bit like the Southpark "Underpants Gnomes" here..

Phase 1: Produce a Full Frame Camera
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: PROFIT!

Can someone shed some light on "Phase 2" ?

I'm not in any way interested personally in the whole "I want a FF and I want it now!" thing - But I am very curious about how people see it working - So I'm fascinated from a marketing / sales perspective

08-05-2011, 03:42 AM - 1 Like   #114
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I find it interesting that in the case of Pentax everything is considered economically viable, from the 645D down to the APS-C series and the Pentax Q and the compacts. But a FF isn't?
08-05-2011, 03:44 AM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Well all you FF nay sayers, I've read your comments, and I find that you logic sadly applies to the 645D, as well as the K-5. We should just toss it all in now with the Q which is vastly less expensive, far more portable, and has a much smaller sensor.
I think the 645D is a different animal. It enters a market that doesn't have high expectations with regards to auto focus speed, number of focus points, frames per second, etc and it is able to sell at 10,000 dollars. If Pentax could release a similar camera for full frame (say sell it at 5000 dollars) and release two lenses for it over the next two years, they would do it in a heart beat.

I have no idea what Ricoh/Pentax will choose to fund and I am OK if they release a full frame camera, but I know that the 35mm market and the medium format markets are very different.
08-05-2011, 04:01 AM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
I find it interesting that in the case of Pentax everything is considered economically viable, from the 645D down to the APS-C series and the Pentax Q and the compacts. But a FF isn't?
I don't know that the Q is economically viable, but I think that we can officially say that the prognosticators on the Pentax Forum are not great at predicting which cameras will be big sellers and which won't. When the kx was released, it was disparaged widely. In particular, with regard to the lack of auto focus points. That didn't stop it from selling more cameras than the K5 and K7 put together.

I still don't see where the market is coming from for this Pentax camera. I understand that if it is different and special in some amazing way, people will buy it. But, people who go to full frame tend to be locked into their camera company -- they have a couple of Nikon f2.8 zooms and so when they move up, the question isn't whether they will buy a Canon or a Nikon or a Sony, but which Nikon will they buy. Unless they can mount their lenses on this new Pentax camera, they wouldn't look twice at it.

Price is a huge factor in whether "normal" hobbyists purchase a particular camera body. I have seen 2700 dollars mentioned, which seems a little low to me, considering the beating the dollar is taking, but even at that price, you have effectively cut your market down considerably. The number of people with 5 grand (considering the price of the buy and a couple of full frame zooms) sitting around is not that high in Pentax land (despite frequent avowals to the contrary).

The biggest things to me for Ricoh to work on have little to do with camera bodies as such and a lot more to do with lens development and QC. Pentax has to get some decent ring motors in their DA * lenses and they have to do a better a job of keeping problem lenses/ camera bodies from leaving their factories. It is killer when people show up interested in buying a K5, but don't want to buy the DA * zooms because of (perceived) QC issues and durability issues. That has to be fixed.
08-05-2011, 04:49 AM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
One of the biggest influx of new shooters we've had in years happened with the K-x, if you look at sales numbers. Still plenty of time to catch them before they pop off the top. Looks like there will be more behind them, also.
QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I think rather sooner than later Pentax will have to go FF in order to give current DSLR owners something to aspire to / buy.
There's that assumption that everyone eventually aspiress to a FF again ! It's simply not true. Just like far from every Canon 7D user want a 5D, or every Nikon D300 owner want a D700.


QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Just a quick question: Which APS-C camera do you think Pentax will be able to sell to current K-5 owners? The sensor is close to perfect regarding noise. I doubt that many will want to have more MP as the files will just eat away storage without any practical benefit for most in terms of resolution.
When you put it that way, what point is there to go to a FF sensor, especially since it would mean investing in lenses for most people as well ?
08-05-2011, 05:19 AM   #118
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
I find it interesting that in the case of Pentax everything is considered economically viable, from the 645D down to the APS-C series and the Pentax Q and the compacts. But a FF isn't?
It makes sense.

Theoretically the Q and the 645D have market segments all to themselves. That's where any manufacturer wants to be. I have doubts about the Q, but the 645D is solid.

APS-C was/is the dominant sensor form factor produced en masse due to production cost and demand meeting at the right price points for broad sales. Now there are multiple suppliers with competition, though Sony makes the better CMOS sensors. Sony has to sell in volume to match Canon's output. That means they have to supply different brands.

You can sell APS-C in volume and still make profits, even for Pentax with 4.5% market share. You can price 645D at profitable numbers. The Q is over-pried and a gamble. We'll see.

But FF has a very expensive sensor with limited supply and really only Sony can provide a video-capable CMOS excelling in low light. There is no economy of scale nor demand enough to drive the cost down right now. So in 2010 no one saw fit to release a new model, and Sony dropped its loss leader A850 moving the average price of FF cameras up.

I doubt Pentax can get into the current gen of sensors from Sony for the D4/D800 (late as they are to market due to the earthquake). That means if Pentax does tool up for FF it would likely be the gen following, so 3 years from now before and announcement, and closer to 5 years before delivery.

Are there other CMOS, low-light sensor suppliers for FF besides Sony? Only Canon, and they don't supply externally. Kodak for CCD, and Samsung has no FF system, nor Panasonic.

The spanner in the works here is mirrorless and whether the k-mount in FF has growth potential in the face of that, or a new mount is required.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
So why is SONY not protecting its own alpha line APS-C DSLR sales by not selling the fantastic 16.3MP sensor to Pentax? Why does your "protection" theory only work for FF sensors but not APS-C sensors?
Because APS-C makes its $$$ for Sony on volume sales while FF makes it on restricted volume margins. There's huge demand for APS-C cameras having driven almost all DSLR growth, and very low demand for FF sensors.

Going by Flickr stats, the old Nikon D90 alone has around 30,000 in the groups compared to the D700 and D3 FF models coming in at half that combined. All Nikon groups for APS-C are over 200,000 members while the entire FF assembly is still at 15,000.

And the tilt is even more pronounced towards Canon's APS-C vs. FF.

The ratio looks to be for every 100 units of APS-C there's 4.5 FF.

Why? Price. That's 99% of the explanation, even if all these brands have huge amounts of legacy glass.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Falk has provided good reasons as to why the big two are happy with how things are. They don't need to create competition for themselves which would eat into their FF camera margins.
Falk is right. Thom Hogan and the Sony camp see this as well.

QuoteQuote:
Pentax is in a different boat. They can shake things about without hurting themselves. And no, I don't believe that Pentax is in the same position at Sony. Different lens prices, different customer base.
Pentax has zero ability to "shake things up". Have you seen the buffers for a Mark II data dump? And a PDAF array in a D700?

These are physically big items because they have to be. The capacity to sell FF based on a smaller form factor is simply not there, not if features like SR are incorporated, not to mention other "pro" attributes. The FF mirror box is basically unalterable if a DSLR. The whole concept that Pentax has some magic fairy dust to make a smaller FF DSLR is nonsense because the dimensions of certain components are beyond Pentax's control. Pentax cannot make a $3,000 FF model that has no SR, slower AF than a D700, and slower data speeds than the competition, all to make a marginally less intrusive form factor, while still requiring big glass. They'd lose their shirts. The smaller form factor FF concept is a dead end.

That leaves mirrorless, with no k-mount and no OVF. Or pellicle to move to EVF and retain k-mount. These are not easy choices for Pentax to make. But I think Pentax needs to wait and see what other players do and how they do it. Sony is more likely to experiment.

All DSLR customers come from the same pool. One cannot make the argument that Pentax is different, and then warn about how many Pentaxians move to Nikon for FF! Clearly, when money and features and value are up for discussion, there is little real difference between the brands.

QuoteQuote:
Just a quick question: Which APS-C camera do you think Pentax will be able to sell to current K-5 owners? The sensor is close to perfect regarding noise. I doubt that many will want to have more MP as the files will just eat away storage without any practical benefit for most in terms of resolution.
K-5 Super. Better AF system. Stronger video options. Longer warranty. Work on QC. Lower the price. Get some market share back. Lenses.

DSLR innovation now is about incremental changes.

QuoteQuote:
I think rather sooner than later Pentax will have to go FF in order to give current DSLR owners something to aspire to / buy.
I don't think there's an FF sensor available to Pentaxin the current cycle. I think, like Olympus, Pentax will have work on their current offerings and innovate with smaller sensors until the FF cost curve moves towards players with smaller market share.
08-05-2011, 05:40 AM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
DSLR innovation now is about incremental changes.

I agree with you. Much like the situation with home computers, there was a time when the equipment was advancing so quickly that if your camera (or computer) was 3-5 years old, it was almost obsolete. You had to upgrade regularly or get left behind. I think that time has passed and now we're in a "fine tuning" stage.
08-05-2011, 05:44 AM   #120
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
It makes sense.


Going by Flickr stats, the old Nikon D90 alone has around 30,000 in the groups compared to the D700 and D3 FF models coming in at half that combined. All Nikon groups for APS-C are over 200,000 members while the entire FF assembly is still at 15,000.

And the tilt is even more pronounced towards Canon's APS-C vs. FF.

The ratio looks to be for every 100 units of APS-C there's 4.5 FF.

Why? Price. That's 99% of the explanation, even if all these brands have huge amounts of legacy glass.


The Big flaw here is a large number of FF users do not post on Flickr as they prefer to control the distribution of their images much more tightly. Of the 10 or so FF users I know only 2 have a Flickr, the others have websites and are with Getty or another Stock Agency. Even on the 2 that do have Flickr it's mostly for family stuff and not their serious work. I think the vast majority of FF on Flickr are amateurs and pro wanna be, with of course some pro users - APSC is a different animal being a consumer item so i think the apsc numbers are probably more representative . nothing wrong with that but it isn't a true representation of FF sales volume.
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