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6 Days Ago   #1
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Pentax DSLR body release rate

I see that many users here are hoping Ricoh will release, or at least announce, a successor to the K-3 II at the upcoming Photokina event. There is still a chance!

I looked up the years when previous models were released. Starting with the *ist D in 2003, I counted this many models released every year :

2003 = 1
2004 = 1
2005 = 2
2006 = 4
2007 = 1
2008 = 2
2009 = 3
2010 = 2
2011 = 0
2012 = 3
2013 = 3
2014 = 1
2015 = 2
2016 = 2
2017 = 1
2018 = 1

Running some easy statistics on these numbers we have a maximum number of 4 bodies in 2006 and a minimum of 0 in 2011. On average, rounding up, there have been 2 bodies released every calendar year. Ricoh has released one body this year, the K-1 II. Seeing the average is 2 we have room for possibly one more body in 2018! It's not impossible. Consider how many point and shoot cameras were released in the early years alongside some of the first DSLRs. I also didn't count any Ricoh branded cameras, any mirrorless bodies, or the 645 bodies.Think of how many lenses were released alongside those bodies too! The current line up is smaller and tighter. There are less distractions now than ever before.

So, yeah ... one more body in 2018!

6 Days Ago   #2
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My current prediction is we'll see a new GR at Photokina, then a K-3 replacement at CP+ next year. But who knows, maybe they'll surprise us with something unplanned!

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6 Days Ago   #3
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K1/II has created 3 needs: need for lenses, need for compactness and need for speed. Not sure if ricoh anticipated that when deciding to launch a full frame line along with already having to sustain apsc and medium format, they are spread too thin versus competition, or they must release less products with bigger perfomance gaps between models.
6 Days Ago   #4
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Sales were twice as high in the past in the whole industry, so 1 body per year actually is maintaining the speed of releases.

6 Days Ago   #5
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Nice! One possible way to add to the math would be by giving weighting to individual camera models in terms of technical complexity/difficulty, where you could use launch price as a proxy for this.

It seems fairly obvious that the trend in the camera industry is towards higher end models, and in my opinion there are only going to be so many more high end DSLR cameras released as I can't expect this market will growth much (at best it will maintain, as newer users look at mirrorless, given that's where the real innovation will be in the next 2-5 years).

From that point of view I think it's prudent for Pentax not to rush out models, but basically ensure that they release models with genuine improvements that will meet user expectations. Some of these models may be in the market for quite a while, especially the FF and APSC top end models.
6 Days Ago   #6
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One of the reasons that there was no camera body release in 2011 because of Ricoh acquisition, I believe. Another reason, the development direction and effort were focused on the mirrorless cameras. The first Q was released in 2011 followed by K-01 in 2012.
6 Days Ago   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
K1/II has created 3 needs: need for lenses, need for compactness and need for speed. Not sure if ricoh anticipated that when deciding to launch a full frame line along with already having to sustain apsc and medium format, they are spread too thin versus competition, or they must release less products with bigger perfomance gaps between models.

Need for lenses? - No doubt. They did make sure, though, that the Holy Trinity of "pro" lenses was basically covered by modern DFA/DFA* glass at K-1 release (or did the 15-30 come a little later?). Beyond that, there were the Three (film era) Amigos, a no-slouch kit zoom, a well regarded 100-mil macro. Only recently, the blows-your-socks-off DFA*50 has been released. And there's more on the roadmap. So, it's not that there wasn't anything to shoot with what the large majority of Pentax users will perhaps ever want to shoot. But sure, I get it, there could be more options, and there shall be.

Need for compactness? - Well, the bodies already are just about as compact as you can go with a real-glass-100%-view-pentaprism FF DSLR. Sure it would be great to have more options with slower-but-more-compact glass. However, when you board the FF train, you know beforehand that this will entail considerable bulk, compared with an APS-C system, don't you?

Need for speed? - Frames per second, AF-C tracking speed, buffer depth, or maybe all three? And lenses that can keep up with it, although my guess would be that the latest releases basically can? Well, in an ideal world that would be great indeed. But are these qualities all that indispensable in what is essentially marketed and likely used by the majority of its owners as a "field camera"?

Let's not forget that Ricoh Imaging remains a niche player that has few illusions about ever dominating the pro market again. In a way, this may also free them to some extent from the breakneck-speed product release cycles pursued by the big brands. And let's, perhaps, remind ourselves that there could be a difference between real needs and, understandable and legitimate as they may be, desires?

Now, don't get me wrong: I, too, would love to see improvements in all the above areas. The point I'm trying to make is that maybe not all the demands that people are constantly making are completely realistic about what Ricoh can likely deliver, and that generally some more patience may be in order. Certainly, I wouldn't want them to neglect their APS-C and MF lines altogether to focus on what the FF crowd is clamouring for. Nor would I want them to release half-baked product and make us beta testers, or even lower their quality standards.

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 6 Days Ago at 02:53 AM.
6 Days Ago - 3 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Need for lenses? - No doubt. They did make sure, though, that the Holy Trinity of "pro" lenses was basically covered by modern DFA/DFA* glass at K-1 release (or did the 15-30 come a little later?). Beyond that, there were the Three (film era) Amigos, a no-slouch kit zoom, a well regarded 100-mil macro. Only recently, the blows-your-socks-off DFA*50 has been released. And there's more on the roadmap. So, it's not that there wasn't anything to shoot with what the large majority of Pentax users will perhaps ever want to shoot. But sure, I get it, there could be more options, and there shall be.

Need for compactness? - Well, the bodies already are just about as compact as you can go with a real-glass-100%-view-pentaprism FF DSLR. Sure it would be great to have more options with slower-but-more-compact glass. However, when you board the FF train, you know beforehand that this will entail considerable bulk, compared with an APS-C system, don't you?

Need for speed? - Frames per second, AF-C tracking speed, buffer depth, or maybe all three? And lenses that can keep up with it, although my guess would be that the latest releases basically can? Well, in an ideal world that would be great indeed. But are these qualities all that indispensable in what is essentially marketed and likely used by the majority of its owners as a "field camera"?

Let's not forget that Ricoh Imaging remains a niche player that has few illusions about ever dominating the pro market again. In a way, this may also free them to some extent from the breakneck-speed product release cycles pursued by the big brands. And let's, perhaps, remind ourselves that there could be a difference between real needs and, understandable and legitimate as they may be, desires?

Now, don't get me wrong: I, too, would love to see improvements in all the above areas. The point I'm trying to make is that maybe not all the demands that people are constantly making are completely realistic about what Ricoh can likely deliver, and that generally some more patience may be in order. Certainly, I wouldn't want them to neglect their APS-C and MF lines altogether to focus on what the FF crowd is clamouring for. Nor would I want them to release half-baked product and make us beta testers, or even lower their quality standards.
I don't know about the word "need," but certainly there are room for a number of things.

In the APS-C line up, Pentax should have a dual slot camera that has higher frame rate and buffer than the K-P. It would also be helpful if they updated the DA * zooms, optically and with new lens motors. I think these would be big sellers -- probably even bigger than the DFA * primes they seem focused on.

Full frame is probably OK from camera body standpoint for the present. The biggest negative with the K-1 is the buffer size, but I don't see changing cameras because you have to wait a few seconds after shooting a burst. It's a bigger deal for pros. From a lens standpoint, they need a wide angle prime in the 20mm range, perhaps a little wider, that can take filters. They also need an 85mm prime. By all accounts, they are working on these.

I think Ricoh can turn out products at a faster rate than you might think, but I think the issue is that there have to be real improvements over existing products. The K80 or whatever the K70 sequel is called needs to have more than, say, a 1 frame per second frame rate bump and the addition of 2 scene modes. Nikon has released how many versions of the 5xxx series cameras? And for the most part they all blend together and all sit on store shelves selling against each other. The same with the Txi cameras from Canon.

5 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
My current prediction is we'll see a new GR at Photokina, then a K-3 replacement at CP+ next year. But who knows, maybe they'll surprise us with something unplanned!
This. There could also be a possibility of some other random Pentax camera that no one is waiting for. Hahaha!

I highly doubt the K-3II successor is ready to be announced and/or shown. Some info about the status of that camera would be great, but there's a higher chance that Samsung will reveal a NX1 successor, than us getting any info about the K-3II successor. In other words, we're more than likely going to get nothing.
5 Days Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
This. There could also be a possibility of some other random Pentax camera that no one is waiting for. Hahaha!

I highly doubt the K-3II successor is ready to be announced and/or shown. Some info about the status of that camera would be great, but there's a higher chance that Samsung will reveal a NX1 successor, than us getting any info about the K-3II successor. In other words, we're more than likely going to get nothing.
The problem with this logic is that is provides no assurance for those getting nervous about K-3ii inventory levels.
5 Days Ago   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
The problem with this logic is that is provides no assurance for those getting nervous about K-3ii inventory levels.
I think they at least have to say something about the APS-C follow-on. Otherwise every time a K-3 or K-3ii breaks their owners will ask "is Pentax even doing this any more?" I love my K-3ii, but it's a relatively minor refresh of the K-3 that's five years old. At least in the back of my mind I've started thinking of contingencies for Pentax getting out of the APS-C business.
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by parinya-ekparinya Quote
One of the reasons that there was no camera body release in 2011 because of Ricoh acquisition, I believe. Another reason, the development direction and effort were focused on the mirrorless cameras. The first Q was released in 2011 followed by K-01 in 2012.
There was a tsunami in Japan in 2011...
4 Days Ago   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
There was a tsunami in Japan in 2011...
Very true, I was supposed to be in Tokyo the week after the tsunami, had to reschedule
4 Days Ago   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
The problem with this logic is that is provides no assurance for those getting nervous about K-3ii inventory levels.
Yes. It seems like Ricoh/Pentax always keeps everything under tight wraps. Getting vague responses from the reps at Ricoh about upcoming products with unknown release dates will make a few users a bit worried about the future. Not to mention that Ricoh/Pentax seems to have a tendency of releasing stuff that no one is expecting. The KP came completely out of left field. A lot of people thought that was the K-3II successor at first, only to be more confused by retailers & reviewers claiming that it was, until Ricoh finally stepped in & said that it wasn't the K-3II replacement.

QuoteOriginally posted by ThorSanchez Quote
I think they at least have to say something about the APS-C follow-on. Otherwise every time a K-3 or K-3ii breaks their owners will ask "is Pentax even doing this any more?" I love my K-3ii, but it's a relatively minor refresh of the K-3 that's five years old. At least in the back of my mind I've started thinking of contingencies for Pentax getting out of the APS-C business.
I hope that they can shed some more light on the K-3II successor at Photokina, but I have a major feeling that we're not going to get any information on it. It's only 5 months to CP+, though. Not that far off. I think we'll see something or get more info there.
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