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09-27-2012, 05:27 AM   #31
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FF gaining momentum? Maybe... But there might be a tendency to overestimate the potential of the FF market.

Nowadays one can see many tourists with APS-C dslrs. It seems that PS cameras have been replaced by APS-C dslrs. Many people I know, who have no idea to use a camera in a non-foolproof mode, bought an APS-C and are happy with it. But I can't really imagine them with a FF hanging from their neck. If camera makers can offer bodies as cheap and as light as the current entry-level APS-C, I'd be willing to agree APS-C is virtually dead (even if I think it still has a few years ahead--more than 5, that is).

09-27-2012, 05:34 AM   #32
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you know, in reading all this stuff, and all the posts by the OP, there are a couple of things that come to mind here.

First of all, the OP is questioning basically, with all his threads and musings about pentax, as to whether the brand actually deserves to exist at all, or is it just a cash cow, milking the masses that want to hang on to their antiques, relics and curiosities, by supporting a sensor that a small number of people don't want, but which represents one of the largest market shares of all sensor formats, and a mount that is dedicated to offering more backwards compatibility than the other manufacturers offer.

Second, all the other brands also support similar sized sensors and mounts that the OP claims are too big, and have not changed, for example, the size of their mounts proportionally. Sure you might argue that because they support multiple formats it makes sense, but then again, why should they maintain backwards compatibility. Just look at canon, they have abandoned their mount twice, and made millions from people willing to cash it all in and purchase new lenses. Nikon, for all its claims recently about backward compatibility, offer it only in some bodies, and at entry level (where people might wish to economize, purchasing older low tech stuff) you are forced to purchase only the latest lenses, because the bodies don't have even a screw drive. (ouch). These brands get away with treating their customers like this because, for what ever historical means they have the market share that lets them do it and get away with it.

Pentax simply does not have the market position to treat its customers like the big boys.
09-27-2012, 05:38 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Indeed. And even the 'affordable FF' D600 at about $2400 (body only) is still twice the price of a D7000 at about $1200 (body only). [In Australia, at a popular online store like DCW]. That's a big hurdle to overcome for mass-market penetration.
Though there is a significant proportion of the amateur photographer community who are prepared to pay the $2400 for a body and more for lenses for a system that will give them the FF benefits, even if they never fully appreciate/realise them in their photos.

There's nothing wrong with screwdrive. And I don't see Pentax giving up on it since the FA Limiteds rely on it.
09-27-2012, 05:45 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
...Untill a manufacturer somewhere issues a NEX-like EVIL camera with an FF sensor. Then suddenly FF becomes ultra-portable. For lots of people outthere, the size of the FF camera alone is the dealbreaker.
Size vs FF is only relevant to folks like us. To the average consumer, price is the major hurdle for FF. For them, even $500 is a lot to spend on a camera. I'm not saying that FF won't continue to be a serious market. I just don't see them being sold in enough numbers to drive the price down into the range where they can totally replace APS-C or 4/3 cameras in the marketplace.

09-27-2012, 05:51 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Though there is a significant proportion of the amateur photographer community who are prepared to pay the $2400 for a body and more for lenses for a system that will give them the FF benefits, even if they never fully appreciate/realise them in their photos.
Of course that's true. But the point I was responding to related mainly to the general consumer market.

But even amongst the 'serious' amateur camera-buying demographic, I doubt we will be seeing a massive shift to FF any time soon. In Nikonian terms, a FF D600 might be nice, but it's simply not twice as nice as a D7000. Plus if you want to shoot wildlife or sports, which a lot of amateurs like to do, there are still advantages to crop that are going to be hard for FF to overcome.
09-27-2012, 06:00 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Pentax simply does not have the market position to treat its customers like the big boys.
You're 100% correct there! So they certainly shouldn't give that small number of customers that they do have a big fat "NO!" when those customers beg for an extra gadget to spend their cash on. They don't have the marketshare nor the money to do that.
09-27-2012, 06:25 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Size vs FF is only relevant to folks like us. To the average consumer, price is the major hurdle for FF. For them, even $500 is a lot to spend on a camera. I'm not saying that FF won't continue to be a serious market. I just don't see them being sold in enough numbers to drive the price down into the range where they can totally replace APS-C or 4/3 cameras in the marketplace.
...but the average consumer buys <$500 cameras(probably point-and-shoots) or is even happy with the camera of their phone. (Especially in the near future when those phone-cameras wil outperform 4/3 or even APSC cameras.)

And (detail) Pentax doesn't even tend to that category anymore. They stopped doing point-and-shoots and they never did, and still don't, do phones.
09-27-2012, 06:33 AM   #38
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Why doesn't Pentax make a their flag ship Dslr with APS-H chips instead? Being that the APS-H CMOS chip can be used with the current lenses and the camera can still have SR built into the body. Pentax could incorporate the necessary improvements in those bodies such as faster more accurate AF with more smaller AF points. Built in stereo mic and faster Flash speed (1/250 of a second or faster) with wireless off camera flash sync. They can start off with a 20 MP sensor and just increase the MP by 2 MP each year for a few years until they figure out how to make a FF Dslr with shake reduction and make some FF lenses to go with the new Dslr.

09-27-2012, 06:41 AM   #39
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I think the OP makes some very cogent points in his initial post on this subject. However, the contention that the Q is photographically irrelevant is, I think, quite wide of the mark, but there's been enough discussion about the Q in other threads to allow me to say that many Q users here don't share that viewpoint, me included, and leave it at that.

The other issue is that of the APS-C sensor format, and its continued relevance. It's worth reflecting for a moment on what are the driving factors for its continued existence. Obviously, sensor cost as a percentage of the total body build is a major issue, and an APS-C sensor will always cost less than a 35mm format one, regardless of the relative sales of each format, unless APS-C bodies were to become a very small niche market, requiring occasional special manufacturing runs to produce enough sensors to warrant the effort. The momentum in sales of APS-C will probably ensure that this doesn't happen, but the other driving factor is the continuing need to develop better sensors, which will ensure that production costs won't drop dramatically, at least in the short term, while the trade-off against price lowering continues to be technological improvement.

The other major driver is the size and cost of lenses, both of which are lower for the APS-C format than for larger ones. Now, some will argue that, for true equivalence of APS-C and 35mm sensors, the maximum aperture of the APS-C lenses must a stop greater than for equivalent 35mm format lenses. Of course, that's true as far as minimising Depth of Field goes, but irrelevant otherwise. I suspect bokeh is a bigger issue for most photographers than minimal DoF, and that's largely a matter of lens choice.

The noise advantage of 35mm sensors also continues to be diminished with each new development of the technology, although, for the type of sensor with the same pixel density, it will always be better than that of a smaller sensor.

Of course, many of the same things can be said of the 4/3rds sensor, in relation to APS-C, albeit to a slightly greater extent, as it is 61% of the area of an APS-C sensor, whereas an APS-C sensor is 57% of the area of a 35mm sensor, though I doubt the difference is significant.

The final point to consider is that a DSLR's optical viewfinder brightness will diminish, proportional to sensor area, for a given eyepiece magnification, which is possibly a good part of the reason why most 4/3rds cameras aren't DSLRs, though Olympus certainly tried to make it work in that format.

Of all the issues considered here, the only one that is not subject to technological improvement concerns the OVF, and that will at some point be rendered irrelevant when EVFs become effectively as good as OVFs. When that will be is anyone's guess, but Sony is clearly suggesting at will be sometime not too distant. When that happens, there will be equal pressure on both 35mm and APS-C formats from 4/3rds, at least in the enthusiast parts of the market, but probably eventually also in much of the professional market. How the buying public reacts to that will be interesting, but I doubt anyone's got a halfway good prediction of what it will turn out to be. The way the future market shapes up may well be determined on size, as well as price, and that might mean the APS-C camera survives simply because it feels right in some hands, and the cost premium over smaller formats is not too great.
09-27-2012, 06:43 AM   #40
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When cdaf catches up with pdaf. Wait a minute the af c of k5 any better than mirror less?
09-27-2012, 08:39 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Plus everyone forgets that if they want to have shake reduction built into the camera, then their old FA lenses won't work anymore, because their image circle is too close to the edge of the 35mm frame. Buy a DA15 limited and cheer up!
In-body shake reduction on a Pentax FF hasn't been ruled out yet. Sony pulled it off. There could be tricks and tweaks around the problem that could still make it possible in a Pentax FF. The DA15 is an awesome lens!

QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
Why doesn't Pentax make a their flag ship Dslr with APS-H chips instead? Being that the APS-H CMOS chip can be used with the current lenses and the camera can still have SR built into the body. Pentax could incorporate the necessary improvements in those bodies such as faster more accurate AF with more smaller AF points. Built in stereo mic and faster Flash speed (1/250 of a second or faster) with wireless off camera flash sync. They can start off with a 20 MP sensor and just increase the MP by 2 MP each year for a few years until they figure out how to make a FF Dslr with shake reduction and make some FF lenses to go with the new Dslr.
As far as I know only Canon has ever made APS-H size sensors and they don't like to share. The verdict isn't out yet as to whether or not a Pentax FF camera will be able to implement SR in the body or not. Sony seems to have managed it just fine. Definitely like the ideas of better AF, stereo mic, faster x-sync, and wireless OCF. As far as MP numbers for sensors, I don't think Pentax is in a position to dictate that, they have to choose from what's on the market.

QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
...but the average consumer buys <$500 cameras(probably point-and-shoots) or is even happy with the camera of their phone. (Especially in the near future when those phone-cameras wil outperform 4/3 or even APSC cameras.) And (detail) Pentax doesn't even tend to that category anymore. They stopped doing point-and-shoots and they never did, and still don't, do phones.
Larger sensors will always be able to gather more light than smaller ones. Larger sensors will always have advantages over smaller ones. This is especially so when looking at same generation technology. I'm not sure about how much Pentax outsources their P&S cameras but they still have plenty with their name on them. Maybe your referring to the indications of Ricoh putting their name on all future P&Ss. They seemed to have backed away from those statements a little bit though.

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
an APS-C sensor is 57% of the area of a 35mm sensor
Actually, it's 40%. A FF 35mm sensor is more than twice the size of an APS-C sensor.

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
there will be equal pressure on both 35mm and APS-C formats from 4/3rds, at least in the enthusiast parts of the market, but probably eventually also in much of the professional market.
There simply will never be the same degree of artistic flexibility with 4/3rds as there is with FF.
09-27-2012, 08:57 AM - 1 Like   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
You're 100% correct there! So they certainly shouldn't give that small number of customers that they do have a big fat "NO!" when those customers beg for an extra gadget to spend their cash on. They don't have the marketshare nor the money to do that.
here you are wrong. you are assuming that the small number of customers pentax do have are united in their requests. that is so far from the truth that it requires a sanity check.

While there are very vocal proponents of some additional gadgets, etc, they are small in terms of where the mainstream of pentax is headed with customers, so to produce a ton of marginal gadgets, just to satisfy the few who never will be, is a waste of resources.

while they may be somewhat blind in their approach to market reading, they at least are producing some excellent products that get good market acceptance. do you want the quality of these products to suffer so a few can have extra toys? I dont
09-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
while they may be somewhat blind in their approach to market reading, they at least are producing some excellent products that get good market acceptance. do you want the quality of these products to suffer so a few can have extra toys? I dont
Pentax accepted by the market? Where do YOU live? How many Pentaxians have been laughed at for still carrying Pentax? How many jobs did Pentaxians miss because their clients wanted FF format pictures?

The low quality of the Pentax products was caused by lacking QC. (bad thing.) Not because they were so busy anticipating the evolving market. (That would have been a good thing.)
09-27-2012, 10:17 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I think you're right. It makes no sense to have the K-01 and the GXR in the Pentax/Ricoh line. The GXR seems to have been designed with much greater flexibility so it would be the better path to follow, I think.
I would humbly note that comparing K01 to GXR and deciding which is better, is probably not the best approach. Rather look at the competition and design a better product. Sony e mount and the Fuji X are the items to look at, IMO.

There are signs of life at Pentax, but are they willing to make the innovative moves necessary for the brand to survive 10 years down the road - is the interesting question posed by the OP. What is their brand roadmap? Its ironic that the chief executives of the various remote headquarters in Spain, Germany and other locales, seem far more willing to embrace change than the Japanese headquarters. The headquarters organizaton needs to lead, not follow.

Yep, i like my K5, its been very durable and WR and i won't be replacing it anytime soon. But i'd like to see Pentax go out there and kick ass.
09-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #45
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I think rumors of the demise of APS-C are very much over stated. Sure, full frame is having a larger and larger share of the market. Yes, I do think that Pentax will need to make a move in that arena. But, APS-C has excellent sensors available at this point that give current cameras more capability that was available from nearly any camera five years old or older. Understand as well, that most camera bodies that are sold are in the sub-1000 dollar range and you have a disconnect.

People have a tendency to compare upper end APS-C to lowest end full frame (where the price is still 1000 dollars different), but there are (and probably always will be) a lot more kx's and entry level rebels sold than K5 IIs and 7Ds. As long as APS-C has a solid hold on these, it will stick around. When full frame moves down to 1500 dollars (that day will come), I do think that upper end APS-C SLRs will likely end, although probably mirrorless options will be around even after that.
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