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03-29-2012, 01:10 AM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
A 'better' FF dSLR is not enough. Canon and Nikon have pro support networks too, and vast marketing budgets. I'll partially blame Sony's failure to penetrate the FF market on their lack of pro support. Such support can be bypassed if a camera is cheap enough for non-pros. But even Sony's US$2k A850 couldn't grab enough buyers. Sales dynamics change when mucho dinero is at stake.
That's why Pentax first needs to focus on the portion of the market that doesn't need/want/affords the pro support.

Build the low end prosumer orientated very affordable FF now, just to get in the market with something and buy some time. And build the marketing/pro support network in the comming year or two to finish it off with a high end FF.

03-29-2012, 01:17 AM - 1 Like   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
I bet that a FF mirrorless camera, perhaps with a new mount, would draw attention from users of other systems.
That would be Pentaxs most stupid move ever. Users are desperate for a Pentax FF to mount their K-mount FF glass on it... And then Pentax gives them a FF body without K-mount! Then if they're lucky they can get an adapter so they can mount their K-mount glass without AF.

Not to mention having to support yet another new mount. And not to mention developing a completely new lensline.
03-29-2012, 01:29 AM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
They can still stir some waves, but they need to go somewhere where they can make a difference. They cannot take Canon or Nikon heads on. I bet that a FF mirrorless camera, perhaps with a new mount, would draw attention from users of other systems.
A new mount would not interest me and all of my FF compatible lenses however...
03-29-2012, 01:51 AM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by Freak Quote


An update to the K-5 won't really have the legs beat the current Sony fullframe sensor this time around, it would have to use the 24Mp Sony, which simply won't compete against the FF 36Mp sensor. It will take at least 2 years for APS-C to have any advantage over the current 36Mp sensor IMO. Thus as I said above missing the window of opportunity to release a fullframe with the 36Mp sensor is a costly mistake for Pentax, because the K-3 won't make the impact the K-5 already did.

It's not a real good time to be a Pentaxian unfortunately.


I don't really think the 36mp on the D800 is that much more sensor performance wise over the K5.
Having just viewed some samples a friend of mine snapped in the Nikon service center here.
I can't say I am impressed and he (D90 Nikon fan)was in agreement of this too.
The impression is that its more mp of the same thing (ie. K5)
ISO performance is D7K/K5 like with the only good thing being able to zoom in more due to more MP.
The D800 also seems to hold more details at high ISO over D7K/K5 due to the sheer 'brute force' of having more MP and not by a sensor tech that is a step up of the 16mp sensor used by the latter two.
This is what I feel comparing the DPR comparator shots as well as hinted at by the very close DXO values.


This of course are causal shots.
The samples from studio shots or those shots where all factors fall into place that are on the internet are wonderful.


The 36mp creates as many problems as it tries to solve in real world shooting.
When the stars are aligned and the cards are all in place, yes, it has terrific o/p, but based on simple snaps (that my friend took) as well as some samples here and there of snaps (eg. DPR samples), I am starting to have doubts about paying $3K for real world usage that will obviously not have all factors in agreement. (ie. focus; subject movement; lens sharpness)


As far as blowing a loud trumpet and capturing the imagination/attention, I'd agree that the D800 has done a good job, and that impression will be hard to displace with whatever Pentax (or even Sony) will come up with.

03-29-2012, 04:14 AM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
there is also a rumour that there will be an updated D700 which will get the 24mp sensor once the 12 mp sensors are depleted
Very interesting.... got any more info on that or a source?
03-29-2012, 04:19 AM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote

Instead, I would prefer that they field a camera that breaks the mold a little bit. Think K-5 + GXR (sort of). What I would envision is a modular FF SLR where the base camera is little more than a sensor, shutter, electronics, mirror box and mount. No AF, no eye-level finder, No onboard flash, with a battery sized to meet the needs of the base features supported. Small, light-weight, and basic. To add AF, you would purchase the grip with the bigger battery to support this power-hungry feature. To add video, slip in an expansion card. Need an optical viewfinder? Remove a panel and slide one on to enable the mirror mechanism. Don't need an optical finder? The camera would default to live view or an accessory finder and the mirror stays up. Want a hybrid viewfinder to be used mirror-up? Simply slide one on.

Steve
What a neat concept that is! And it would cleanly fit Pentax' idea of making "something different".
03-29-2012, 04:45 AM   #97
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To be quite honest now I own the K5 there's not really anything that would tempt me away, I can't see how for my requirements (landscapes) I'd get anything that would better it - I'd much rather Pentax spend their time developing a wider range of high quality lenses, if they did they'd also stand a better chance at gaining new customers too

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03-29-2012, 05:13 AM   #98
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I don't care too much for a FF digital, as I went 35mm film instead, and probably will go medium format film in a few months, but I read about Canons new sensor and image processor that has a higher bit depth than anything else on the market, and with that is supposed to be able to actually produce images that are closer to film in terms of grain and depth. This is something that would of course be interesting for Pentax future digital body's imho.

03-29-2012, 06:44 AM   #99
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Huh. The shape of the battery and the voltage makes me think it's two cells. It's possible pentax did series/parallel or something weird with a 'standard' battery like a CR123 or something... but why?
03-29-2012, 09:03 AM - 2 Likes   #100
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From Thom Hogan, Nikon guru relating to the D800 and D4:

"It's a delicate balancing act that Nikon has to go through. We're not talking mass market consumer item here, where you build huge, permanent capacity to meet insane demand (the current Apple model). A D4 is going to sell a few hundred thousand copies in its lifetime, a D800 maybe a million+. Sendai's current capacity is 5,000 D4's a month, 30,000 D800's a month. Best case scenario (assuming that the parts are actually available, which is a huge assumption considering we're talking about precision sensors here), is that they could double production by doubling staff or making everyone work double shifts."

"If we look at Nikon's factory numbers, they add up this way: D4 will likely have a total product build in the neighborhood of 120,000 units (5k * 12 months * 2 years); the D800 might manage 1.44 million units (30k * 12 months * 4 years). That's assuming they stay popular enough during their entire life cycles to keep the factory at full capacity. Compare that to the Apple iPad's 3 million units delivered in the first three days. So all those writing me saying that Nikon should just do what Apple did are a bit off in their objection: the iPad is a mass market item with a one year life cycle that sells in the tens, maybe hundreds of millions of units a year. It's worth building additional factory capacity for that kind of demand. On the other hand, Nikon professional cameras are niche products that take a long time to reach even a million units (and that's assuming they're popular and state-of-the-art through their life cycle). It's not worth building huge capacity for that because it will go unused after initial demand dissipates."

Niche product. Hogan has solid #'s based on past sales.

Pentax has about 5% of the DSLR market. So what's 5% of the D800 + D4 market? Nikon FF will max out over 5 years of both at 1.75 million units at US$3,000 and US$6,000/body. Relatively Pentax would get maybe 90,000 FF units sold over the same 5 year period. These #'s explain why Nikon charges $6,000/unit for a D4; demand is low.

Nikon makes a healthy profit at those prices and those volumes, but Pentax would need to also make a healthy profit at 5% the volume. It's very difficult to spread a similar cost over far less units sold and still have healthy margins. Ricoh would have to bleed red ink for years to make a go of it at such low volumes. A lower priced FF would make the revenue side even worse.

The Ricoh GXR A12 modules are supposedly made at 3,000 units/month, which is even more product than an FF Pentax system would move. The reason? Price. The moment a camera body gets up over $2,000/unit the demand falls off a cliff and moves into a hard-to-sustain niche. For all its weird, proprietary, lensor system, the GXR has more market appeal than a Pentax FF solely because of price.

Estimates of demand for FF products here on PF are exaggerated. Pentaxians are no more likely to spend $3,000 on a camera body than a Nikonian or Canonista. FF is a very small market. Tiny, in the big scheme of discretionary consumer spending and small relative to the total buying power of the photographic hobby community.

We may see a proof-of-concept FF at PK 2012 from Pentax, with some vague 2013 launch rumours, but more likely 2014-15. The real eyes will be on Sony to see what they do to FF to drive the cost curve down because Sony owns the dominant sensor foundry.
03-29-2012, 09:09 AM   #101
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cost of the 24mp sensor will be the determining factor. Sony will not be able to price a 24mp in the territory of the D800/800E. if they do they will fail. the improvement look good on the camera but it's not a direct competitor for canikon without a pro network . I would peg the Sony at $2200-2500, So certainly a unique offering from Pentax in that range should be doable provided Sony makes the sensor available (even if Pentax has to pay $50-75 more per sensor)
03-29-2012, 09:37 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Estimates of demand for FF products here on PF are exaggerated. Pentaxians are no more likely to spend $3,000 on a camera body than a Nikonian or Canonista.
Wow. How many Pentaxians bought their K-r at walmart? What's the ratio of k5 sales to k-r sales? What's the ratio of D7000 sales to D3100 sales? What's the ratio of D700 to D7000 sales?

How many Pentaxians were well informed and had to seek out a Pentax?
03-29-2012, 09:44 AM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonkit Quote
To be quite honest now I own the K5 there's not really anything that would tempt me away, I can't see how for my requirements (landscapes) I'd get anything that would better it - I'd much rather Pentax spend their time developing a wider range of high quality lenses, if they did they'd also stand a better chance at gaining new customers too

Simon
Most new customers are drawn in by the body before the lens. If this time next year Pentax is still working with a 16mp sensor while all the other DSLR's are 24mp+, Pentax would be dead in the water.
03-29-2012, 09:52 AM   #104
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Most new customers are drawn in by the body before the lens. If this time next year Pentax is still working with a 16mp sensor while all the other DSLR's are 24mp+, Pentax would be dead in the water.
the 24mp apsc model is pretty much a given for the K5 replacement. however this rumour of a K5n with tilt screen could be a model to hang around in the line as lower price alternative to the 24mp model keeping the still excellent 16mp available on a higher level body. with the lower bit version in the K-01 in the KR replacement

the 24MP FF is really dependent on whether Sony has the capacity to supply it and a price that makes it viable for Pentax to implement it. until we se the Sony model officially and know the price all guesses and opinions are just what they are. Based on the Nikon 800 you can make a pretty informed guess that it will be a lower price sensor allowing a $2500 or less Price Point
03-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
cost of the 24mp sensor will be the determining factor. Sony will not be able to price a 24mp in the territory of the D800/800E. if they do they will fail. the improvement look good on the camera but it's not a direct competitor for canikon without a pro network . I would peg the Sony at $2200-2500, So certainly a unique offering from Pentax in that range should be doable provided Sony makes the sensor available (even if Pentax has to pay $50-75 more per sensor)
What matters most is how many consumers are willing to pay more than US$2,000 for a camera body.

The Nikon #'s say not that many. The total # of worldwide of FF purchasers over a 5 year cycle is probably somewhere just over 2-2.5 million from Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Leica.

How can Pentax get larger than 5% of the pie? What special incentive does Pentax have over Canon or Nikon or Sony or Leica? All they have is their installed base.

So the Pentax FF dilemma is trying to eke out profits at something like 15,000 units/year while still reeling in enough margin to continue development and fund the next model. Right now the FF development and release cycle is about 5 years, but if that shortens (a Sony thing) then they have a problem.

Then, based on those sales, how many FF lenses can be made and sold in such limited quantities?

And which sensor? If it's not Sony, it has be IQ equivalent or people will leave Pentax for better IQ anyway. The 24MP Sony (A99) sensor may be a cost driver, but we'll have to see. Sony has been bleeding red ink so are hungry for margins from....anywhere. I cannot see Sony driving FF down to commodity price levels, so the US$,2000/unit barrier is still in place.

Let's not forget rumours of a Nikon D750 with perhaps that 24MP sensor as well. I'm not sure about that. What I do see is FF perhaps inching down in price starting early 2013. By 2014 it may be enough to drive volume sales at bodies lower than $2,000, especially if APS-C sales peak and plateau.

Sourcing a sensor (March 29, 2012):

"Just my two cent speculation: It sounds like the Sony-Nikon sensor partnership works that way: In the APS-C league Sony has a six months exclusive use of the sensor and after that time shares it to Nikon. Full Frame sensors are sold with a 6-12 months exclusivity to Nikon and can than be used by Sony cameras."

sonyalpharumors | Home

I suspect (as does Thom Hogan) that some agreement like this is true, although I'd not put numbers to it. I suspect there are co-design license agreements, blah, blah, blah.

A lot of things have to line up for Pentax FF starting with the volume to price ratio. The sensor and its price starts a chain of business logic.

For all the speculation and media chatter, FF is still a very small market. It requires even large corporations like Nikon and Sony to cooperate for economies of scale. And even then the FF bodies are $3,000-$6,000/unit.
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