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08-22-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Invest in Pentax... or? Sony?

My trusty K20 is starting show some wear I have been thinning about upgrading it and then when shopping for a 70-200 for a recent need that came up suddenly i started questioning spending another 1k on Pentax Glass knowing a body replacement is not far away. I do have an existing nominal (probably sub 1.5 k) investment in Pentax accessories, lenses (mostly older manual focus primes) flashes, batteries etc.

The K5 is the natural move to make staying in the Pentax line but $1,300 for a new body alone would effectively double down my current investment in Pentax gear (ignoring the need for the new 70-200)... two things that are weighing on this decision point for me.
  • Sony - Specs on the A77 look fantastic. Body investment looks to be about the same as the K5 (or within ~30% factoring in moves in the next 90 days) but then comes replacing lenses, grips batteries etc and a quick swag of lens to replace my current "go to" glass would be in the 1.5k range but it would also replace many of my older MF primes with current AF glass (good or bad debatable for sure). Adding to the pull to Sony My second camera is a little NEX-5, and quirks aside, for a small shooter i love it and take it everywhere with me. So some cross lens use on some AF primes would be a nice option between the alfa and nex mounts.
  • Future of Pentax - Ricoh Move will it change anything? Future of Pentax and their directions is less than clear at this point (Q... 645D and...?). They seem general mute at the moment with respects to product road map.

So bottom line am i completely stupid to write off a under 2k of investment in Pentax at this point - hop rails to another manufacture (Sony) and start over? Or do i invest another 1k or more in Pentax and stay with them for another couple of years.


Long time lurker here - not so active on posting but this form has some great pragmatic members so i thought I'd post this quandary and solicit some thoughts

Thanks in advance!

08-22-2011, 10:46 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hi Derek! Glad you found your voice on this question, but the answer is very personal - here's mine.

Specs on the A700 replacement have looked fantastic for over three years. I really liked my A200 but tired of Sony's numerous strategies and their disdain for those who bought into them early. Had I begun with their 500-level cameras I would probably be fine with them, but I didn't and am still glad I left. I greatly prefer the thumb when only one control is in use for one thing, but again that's just me. In the Pentax world I was winnowing my way from K-7 to the micro-43 world, but I went to the k-x and it's ideal for me. The 12Mpixel sensor is so much better than micro-43. I am with Pentax for the duration, unless my financial crush becomes catastrophe - and when I recover it will be Pentax again.

Good luck with your decision, as I say it's a personal thing. I found Pentax much more open than Sony in my day, but times change. I fear nothing from Ricoh.
08-22-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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It's much more likely that Sony will abandon DSLRs entirely than Pentax doing the same.
08-22-2011, 11:00 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by CallMeDerek Quote
... two things that are weighing on this decision point for me.
  • Sony - Specs on the A77 look fantastic. Body investment looks to be about the same as the K5 (or within ~30% factoring in moves in the next 90 days) but then comes replacing lenses, grips batteries etc and a quick swag of lens to replace my current "go to" glass would be in the 1.5k range but it would also replace many of my older MF primes with current AF glass (good or bad debatable for sure). Adding to the pull to Sony My second camera is a little NEX-5, and quirks aside, for a small shooter i love it and take it everywhere with me. So some cross lens use on some AF primes would be a nice option between the alfa and nex mounts.
  • Future of Pentax - Ricoh Move will it change anything? Future of Pentax and their directions is less than clear at this point (Q... 645D and...?). They seem general mute at the moment with respects to product road map.
Ok, my 2 cents here...

Sony has the Konica Minolta legacy, which means that there is still a lot of "old" glass around that you can still use on Alpha camera's. (I have some...)
The sensor in the A77 is without question *very* good. Sony is the sensor maker in the world for Nikon, Sony and many other manufacturers like Pentax.

The thing I have no good experience with, is Sony's (lack of) product quality.
The products look GREAT, design is good and I've bought plenty Sony electronics equipment is the past.
My first digital camera was Sony, as all but 1 of my camcorders.
They work great at first, but they break easily...
My (almost) 3 year old TGZ3 HD camcorder does not take pictures anymore (not that I would want it to, but still).
My 2 other Sony camcorder failed while on a trip (different years).
My Viao laptop screen went black and my stereo has intermittant connection problems.
It feels like Sony has built a timer into the machines knowing when my warrenty expires.
Have you tried their repair cost? I did.

So much different from the TA1010 amplifier I bought in 1975, it still work perfectly and still looks great. Where has that Japanese "total quality management" gone with Sony? I cannot find it anymore.

On the other hand, I've travelled many, many countries and places. Dragged my Pentax gear around, not in a "proper" camera bag. It still works, it always works, it does not break on me.
(Knock on wood)

About the future of Pentax? Do you think it to be a wise management decision for a camera manufacturer (Ricoh) to dump a recent investment (Pentax) or not to invest in that investments R&D? I think not. I think Pentax's future is save with Ricoh. More than it was with Hoya.

It is all just another opinion, based upon some individuals experience (mine)

Bert


Last edited by bymy141; 08-22-2011 at 11:42 AM.
08-22-2011, 11:14 AM   #5
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If you're looking for corporate stability, invest in Samsung -- much bigger firm than Sony, and they'll be churning out some real interesting products. Whether they'll be as rugged as Pentax, who knows? Canikon will probably continue to make dSLRs too. But I think we'll see some real game-changing products from Pentax-Ricoh -- and Ricoh is on the same corporate scale as Canon. I think Pentax-Ricoh is a safe investment.

As to product quality re: Sony's disconnect between what's designed and what's delivered: When I researched dSLRs before buying my K20D 3+ years ago, I analyzed price vs design vs user whines-bitches-moans-groans -- and Pentax won. Try this: go to DpReview.Com; note user feedback on comparably-priced cameras from various makers; chart satisfaction vs cost. This should be an instructive exercise.
08-22-2011, 11:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If you're looking for corporate stability, invest in Samsung -
The company which rebadged Pentax DSLRs for some years before dropping them completely from their catalog? OK, admittedly the users still have Pentax to turn to, but that's no thanks to Samsung.
08-22-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It's much more likely that Sony will abandon DSLRs entirely than Pentax doing the same.
+ 1
The Pentax name is meaningless without a DSLR line of production. Not so with Sony.
08-22-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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Just curious, why only move to Sony?
Why not Nikon or Canon? Not trying to steer you that way, just want to know why you only mentioned Sony.

08-22-2011, 12:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It's much more likely that Sony will abandon DSLRs entirely than Pentax doing the same.
And yet it's much more likely that Sony will endure than Ricoh when the global economy collapses.
08-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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I personally try not to jump systems for improved bodies as they are leapfrogging each other regularly, unless one manufacturer has a clear lead in a certain feature (i.e., Panasonic with video). For me, the investment into a system is in the lenses. My investment in Pentax is probably 80% lenses/20% body(ies).

The Ricoh purchase of Pentax makes their continued development in dSLRs assured. They may be quiet about a roadmap, but Ricoh didn't buy Pentax to build Optios...

I'd stay if you like Pentax lenses.
08-22-2011, 01:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico:
If you're looking for corporate stability, invest in Samsung -
The company which rebadged Pentax DSLRs for some years before dropping them completely from their catalog? OK, admittedly the users still have Pentax to turn to, but that's no thanks to Samsung.
I didn't say that they're nice people, just that Samsung is a major player that won't disappear anytime soon.
08-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CallMeDerek Quote
So bottom line am i completely stupid to write off a under 2k of investment in Pentax at this point - hop rails to another manufacture (Sony) and start over? Or do i invest another 1k or more in Pentax and stay with them for another couple of years.
I wrote an article about this same discision because I was looking around for some months ago. So I made an inventory on my spendings.

Artikle is in Dutch, so I'm not going to bring it nor translate it. Here's the weird google: Google Vertaling

Basicly I did a bussiness model on this subject with a continious investing over the years. With tha investment there is also a write-off on stuff. For that you have to make reservations.

So your (small) investment on pentax gear is almost pocket change in the cameraworld.

Stay or change systems? Well I don't expect Pentax to go out off bussiness over the coming three years (the time for Ricoh to change things and bring Pentax where they want it) and over that periode most on your investments (Pentax/Sony or whatever) will be vanished.

So when you buy a K-5 it is as cleaver as it is to buy A77. Stricktly looking at numbers and $.
08-22-2011, 01:38 PM   #13
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What's wrong with you K20d?

It is interesting to hear why people switch back and forth between the brands. Rationalizations proliferate. I'm no different. I've been with Olympus and recently purchased a K20d with very low usage. I made a moderate investment in lenses for it (not all Pentax), but I haven't sold any of my Olympus gear. It isn't "wearing out."

My Olympus E-1 was manufactured one year after my 2002 Jeep. Ruggedly-built cameras like the E-1 and the K20-d will, I have noticed, outlast by many years the interest of most owners. Why keep an old camera when all the magazines show new and newer ones. Our interest in our old stuff "wears" thin and we experience gear lust.

Since my own gear-lust led me to a k20d (which I have since its acquisition put about 4,000 clicks on), I can't help wondering why yours is leading you away.

As to the person wondering why justcallmeDerek is considering Sony rather than Canikon, it is a psychological thing. I have it myself. When the Olympus forums were full of wailing and gnashing of teeth over Olympus neglect of their dslr lines, and I decided to add a brand, I couldn't bring myself to consider Canikon. They are too large and too impersonal. After so much time with Mon-and-Pop Pentax or Olympus, we find it hard to switch to Walmart.
08-22-2011, 02:25 PM   #14
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Great responses! Thank you all…

In response to one common question why not Nikon or Cannon – good question and it comes down to one of cost/feature only…. Otherwise yes they have entered my mind particularly the D7000. Cost /feature and lens cost is the main reason for Sony along with a compatible lens system for my “nock around” NEX-5 was the main reason for a nod to Sony…. Add the big sensor… articulating LCD.. video specs… and I started to be very attracted to the “new shiny”. In addition the idea that Sony seems to be very aggressively aiming hard for the “Number 3” spot could well support their forward aggressive pricing stance.

Other question on what’s going on with my K20 – its been heavily shot – the focus motor seems to have gotten flaky. There are times it works great and other times I have to turn the body off and back on to get it to respond. Does not seem to make any difference on what lens so it is the body. Understand though this thing has been backpacking, used in unsupported very cold temps, traveled with, studio shot with … a very heavily used camera. So I have absolutely no concerns (nor should anyone else) on the quality of the build of this body.

My above comments along with post above referencing quality of build brings me back to a important reminder that does not always show up on a spec sheet – Quality of build. There is no debating that Sony build quality is a “?” for long term durability of their new Alfa line and with Pentax there is that proven history, along with my personal experience.

So honesty – no concern with Ricoh? I look at the move HP made this week, these are tight times and for a company to cut off an arm to save a body is not unheard of… guess that said they are not going to shuttle it that is obv but a slowdown in innovation would seem likely. … again being attracted by the “new shinny” maybe I should just forget that and go take more pictures for as low an investment as possible….
08-22-2011, 02:32 PM   #15
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If I were to quit using Pentax Sony would be way down on the list to go to.Think Ricoh will strengthen the Pentax line.
Jake
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