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04-27-2008, 05:57 AM   #1
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Dear Pentax (A "small" rant about what I want)

I don't think I'm alone in my desire to find the smallest DSLR that also has a solid set of features. My first Pentax camera was an old ME and that little guy served me well from the 80s through to the first part of this century despite the fact that it lacked a lot of features.

I own two K10D bodies for work but I still have a *ist DL for a couple of reasons:
  1. The DL is light weight
  2. The DL is small
  3. The DL still performs quite well ... good enough for most uses.
  4. The DL is a cheap travel DSLR
  5. The DL is small and light (yes, I know I already said that)

The K200D is great, but it's too dang big compared to the latest entry level bodies from Canon, Nikon, and Olympus. The Olympus E-420 is the type of camera the DL used to be but the E-420 is even smaller.

The DA Limited primes are the best made-for-digital primes on the market. They're small, incredibly sharp, and simply amazing. It almost seems like a sin to put these wonderful small lenses on a giant DSLR.

Please, Pentax, make your next DSLR a compact DSLR with good performance/features. I don't need weather sealing or 4fps ... but I want nice build quality and I don't want to be crippled by your BS buffer limit. There's no reason that a modern entry-level DSLR can't record unlimited JPEGs in continuous/burst mode until the memory card is full or at least 6-10 RAW.

04-27-2008, 08:09 AM   #2
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I held K200D and compared it to my K100D Super. The grip of K200D was better than that of K100D or DS. I compared K200D and K100D Super bodies side by side and to my supprise they appear to be the same in H/W/D sizes (depth from back lcd to lens mount). K200D seems a tad heavier, and it has a better (thicker) grip. The thicker hrip really doesn't matter since depth in practice is determined by lens.
04-27-2008, 08:34 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matjazz Quote
I held K200D and compared it to my K100D Super. The grip of K200D was better than that of K100D or DS. I compared K200D and K100D Super bodies side by side and to my supprise they appear to be the same in H/W/D sizes (depth from back lcd to lens mount). K200D seems a tad heavier, and it has a better (thicker) grip. The thicker hrip really doesn't matter since depth in practice is determined by lens.

Pentax ME:
Depth 1.93 in.
Height 3.24 in.
Width 5.13 in.
Weight 15.68 oz.

Pentax *ist DL:
Depth 2.6 in.
Height 3.7 in.
Width 4.9 in.
Weight 19.9 oz.

Pentax K200D:
Depth 2.9 in.
Height 3.7 in.
Width 5.3 in.
Weight 24.34 oz.

Olympus E-420:
Depth 2.1 in.
Height 3.6 in.
Width 5.1 in.
Weight 15.5 oz.

Pentax is fully capable of making a DSLR as small and light weight as the E-420 and old Pentax ME ... maybe even smaller. The K200D might not be HUGE ... but it's not as small and light weight as the DL, the old ME, or Olympus' E-420.

I'm just ranting because my DL is getting a little long in the tooth and I'd like to replace it ... but Pentax doesn't have anything as small and light weight (or smaller than the old DL).
04-27-2008, 08:55 AM   #4
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I got out my old ME Super the other day and compared it to my K10. It was tiny! However, I like the chunkiness of the K10 and, for me, if size is ever a problem I use a compact. A camera the size of my ME Super still wouldn't fit in to my pocket.

04-27-2008, 08:57 AM   #5
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I guess the real question should be how many cameras do you want pentax to market concurrently?

is there sufficient market in making the smallest thing going (this almost sunk pentax in the 1980's going after the niche market of small with every model they made) plus a full or at least bigger size starter camera plus an advanced camera, plus hopefully a pro camera some day.
04-27-2008, 09:02 AM   #6
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If I could get something small and light, with weather seals, that would be great for backpacking and climbing. The K10 is quite a load. My girlfriend has a D40 and you can fling that thing around all day and not notice.
04-27-2008, 09:14 AM   #7
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I'm with Lowell on this one. Personally I think the market for small dSLR's is a niche and not all that great. Canon and Nikon have such a huge market share they can attempt to put a body in that market and Olympus is only in that market (small dSLR and starter)(they didn't until recently have anything like the K10D\30D\D80etc) and only recently brought out a high end model (yea I know there was the E1 but I'm talking about in the last 3years or so), but Pentax is quite small compared to them and I don't think it would be wise to bring out a 3rd "range" of bodies. If they did I personally think it should be a pro model. The K100D is not noticeably bigger than the DL\DS etc. in practical terms and if you have actually held a XT or some of the smaller cameras out there you may think other wise. Grips are thin and cramped or non existent, the back of the camera is often crapped (small body, huge screen=less space for controls) and your loosing a lot of things just for it to be smaller. To get the quality and everything you want from a dSLR you have to give up something, and often that something is size. If you really wont something small get one of those pocketable P&S mega zooms.

Thanks
04-27-2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I guess the real question should be how many cameras do you want pentax to market concurrently?

is there sufficient market in making the smallest thing going (this almost sunk pentax in the 1980's going after the niche market of small with every model they made) plus a full or at least bigger size starter camera plus an advanced camera, plus hopefully a pro camera some day.
Although the K10D and K100D Super are still "technically" on the market the only two DSLR cameras that are currently in production are the K200D and K20D.

I don't think it would bankrupt Pentax to have three camera bodies in their lineup (compact entry level SLR, Mid-range SLR, Semi-pro/pro SLR.

Four cameras in the lineup at the same time might be tough for Pentax, but I guess it just depends on what they think is most important to their business. They might decide that a full-frame pro DSLR is more important than a compact budget DSLR, but I honestly don't know how many working photographers would purchase a $2,000+ DSLR body from Pentax.

I'm reasonably sure a light and compact DSLR (that isn't crippled with a horrible burst/continuous buffer) combined with the compact DA Limited lenses would sell very well if Pentax kept the price low and marketed it as if it was a "common man's Leica."

Of course, I'm sure the ad agency working for Pentax wouldn't use the word "Leica" in the ads since that would probably create some legal issues with Leica.

04-27-2008, 09:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikhail Quote
I'm with Lowell on this one. Personally I think the market for small dSLR's is a niche and not all that great. Canon and Nikon have such a huge market share they can attempt to put a body in that market and Olympus is only in that market
Indeed, the market for DSLRs is smaller than most people in this forum (and similar forums) realize. Nikon's reported 2008 sales growth estimates in terms of units sold worldwide:

Digital cameras (all): 10,300k
Compact Digitial: 7,700k
Digital SLRs: 2,600k

Most of the "Digital SLRs" being sold in the 2,600,000 figure are cheap entry level DSLRs ... NOT D3s.

You'll also notice that Nikon is selling MANY more of the cheap point-and-shoot digital cameras with horrid performance than all of their DSLRs combined.

The real "niche" is the pro DSLR market. I'm sure Pentax is well aware of this.
04-27-2008, 05:12 PM   #10
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Last week, in a used book store, I came across a copy of Camera Magazine from 1971. They had an ad for a Spotmatic which stressed how small and light the Spotie was. I never thought of them as being small and light so I lined up my bodies side by side just as a point of interest.

The H3 and Spomatic were the same size, much taller and heavier than the LX, MX and ME Super. The LX was the largest of those three by a small margin.

But the K10D dwarfed them all. I had forgotten what a pleasure it was to carry an MX around all day and last week shot a roll of film with it and am seriously considering going to film for most of my shooting. My wife wants the K10D anyway.

Having said that, I'm a street shooter and the only thing keeping me from jumping to the Oly E-420 is the lack of a prime lens with a 24-28mm equivalent focal length.

Gerry
04-27-2008, 05:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerry Quote
Having said that, I'm a street shooter and the only thing keeping me from jumping to the Oly E-420 is the lack of a prime lens with a 24-28mm equivalent focal length.
it should be a race between the Olympus 28mm pancake (i doubt this would happen) and the mythical K2000D (much more likely) and slap on pancakes
04-28-2008, 06:38 AM   #12
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This is your rant, but I'd prefer something in the line of the DS In other words a camera with better viewfinder.

With a price in the D40 range it would be a perfect entry level competitor, a bridge from P&S to DSRL. And a good candidate for a second body for those who have the upper level Pentaxes. Those who wants to travel light, or use discreet equpment, every now and then.

In a perfect world I'd like the camera to be sealed. A complete line of sealed cameras with SR could make Pentax the alternative for nature photographers.
I can see the Pentax slogan:

"There is no such thing as bad weather for photography, just wrong equpment".

Last edited by Fototim; 04-28-2008 at 06:53 AM.
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