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10-16-2020, 07:04 AM - 3 Likes   #16
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The only way to sell to the general consumer market is to have massive advertising budgets and front and center placement in both brick and mortar stores and online vendors. Canon and Sony have that now and are what most uninformed buy because that is what is on the shelf at Best Buy or Costco. Selling to a niche market is quite different and can be a very profitable venture provided you have the discipline to focus 100% on your market and ignore the cries to pander to the whole world.

Ricoh, I think has settled on a viable strategy for Pentax. One that might not be survivable in the long run but one that does offer the chance for their being a long run. If they are the last DSLR maker standing then they will automatically attract users for whom that feature is important. Perhaps enough users to offset the loss of customers that either age out or move to MILC. It will be interesting to see in 10 years if their plan works. But I think the important thing is that this plan gives them 10 years to work with. Trying to emulate Sony and going consumer MILC would sink them in short order.

One thing to watch for would be what they do in the medium format world. How will they carry forward there? They could walk away right now, bring out a new 645z model or take a shot at a mirrorless model in that format. They do have a customer base there but is it big enough to warrant development of a new body? When RIcoh bought Pentax they had an inventory of 645 glass that needed sold, is that inventory still there or has it been moved out thus removing the need to keep a camera body to match?

10-16-2020, 08:30 AM - 2 Likes   #17
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Needed a break from the regular daily run so chiming in anecdotally.
Recently visited with one of my "trusted" suppliers ( a rare long-term bricks and mortar business) noticed their inventory in all brands was lower than in the past. The indication was the traditional first-time buyers were now satisfied with their cell phones and the ability to publish their "snaps" to social media so the traffic they would experience for the former myriad of entry level options was virtually non-existent. The coincidental factor though many of the rare first time buyers were introduced through a long-term user, many times the senior setting the younger "up".
There remained those people that have enrolled in some kind of visual arts program and wish to invest in a setup for the course (usually focused on the used offerings). The numbers of these that actually shop for course equipment (seems careers as photographers no longer holds the former allure) have diminished. More people off-load the equipment post-course than experienced traditionally and that small percentage of persons choosing to upgrade has also fallen (seems video is the preferred future).
I guess I typify today's core customer; people who are well established with a system (there isn't a significant brand migration once committed) and we follow our brand. Further to this, when there is something within our brand we usually follow a pattern of research-discussion and, if satisfied, are willing to wait the item to be ordered in for sale (when no one has inventory, we adapt) and our decision is mostly based on the seller's service reputation and advice.
So, it would seem, taking an indication from Pentax, the future relates to people enjoying the beauty of the art form and through this love there will be a continued need for equipment and techniques. Coupled with this is the question of who will be introducing the next generation to this art-form and that will only come from the grass-roots users that share and instill their love of the art in those uninitiated. (just don't mention this hobby-habit costs more than many vices lol).
We fell things are bad with "our" brand but my local indicates this down-turn is equally spread across the industry. If you want to talk about warranty repair issues, that's another discussion and it would appear that this is an area Pentax wins hands down compared to their traditional competition who seem to be struggling and respectively maintaining their reputation with their customer base.
10-16-2020, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #18
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Hmmmmmm.....

I note with interest that so far not one poster has mentioned:
  • The global pandemic and enormous job losses
  • The uncertainty people fell who still do have jobs/work(I think I may have just lost a $14K+ contract through June, for instance)
  • Thus from the above the need to save money
  • The impact the pandemic has had on global supply chains
  • The impact it has had on travel (maybe not such a hot need for a camera right now...)
  • The continuing rapid ageing of a key demographic that bought a lot of cameras over the years.
Gosh! I wonder if any of this might have something to do with flat sales this year????? And the release of oodles of new gear????
10-16-2020, 11:58 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I bet there are a lot of those cheap DSLRs along with expensive DSLRs and Mirrorless sitting in those bags. A lot of people buy them to take better photos of their kids in various activities, but never learn to sue them and don't get the right lenses anyway. I've had a couple ask me what to get, for what they wanted to do, but they go to Best Buy and come out with a Rebel kit with an 18-55 zoom to shoot indoor soccer, then think they just have to take it to the game, point, and shoot. The photos are crap and they stick it in the closet to figure it out later.
i see this a lot at my grandkids games. especially indoor flag football i use my K1 and DFA 70-200 which BTW you can't do action with(tinge of sarcasm here) . i see people usually with a canikon and a kit zoom taking action photos. i think id be afraid to look at the shots.

10-16-2020, 02:29 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by nitehntr Quote
i see this a lot at my grandkids games. especially indoor flag football i use my K1 and DFA 70-200 which BTW you can't do action with(tinge of sarcasm here) . i see people usually with a canikon and a kit zoom taking action photos. i think id be afraid to look at the shots.
If they know enough to set shutter speed high and let the ISO float they'll get much better results than a phone. But if they put it in Auto mode and let the camera pick 1/50th or 1/100th shutter speed it'll be kind of a mess.
10-16-2020, 03:25 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
I note with interest that so far not one poster has mentioned:
  • The global pandemic and enormous job losses
  • The uncertainty people fell who still do have jobs/work(I think I may have just lost a $14K+ contract through June, for instance)
  • Thus from the above the need to save money
  • The impact the pandemic has had on global supply chains
  • The impact it has had on travel (maybe not such a hot need for a camera right now...)
  • The continuing rapid ageing of a key demographic that bought a lot of cameras over the years.
Gosh! I wonder if any of this might have something to do with flat sales this year????? And the release of oodles of new gear????
You've got a good point here, and will no doubt affect the R&D of all brands and the time-span. However, I saw some new older-stock Nikon DLSRs still on the shelf (probably Canon too) of the 12mp genre. Long before the pandemic was thought of. People complain about Pentax taking so long in coming forth with new models, but OTOH it seems smarter than too many too soon. If history gives clues, the K-3 II was long gone from shelves, and the KP got to be no longer new, before finally it was released that there will soon be a replacement APS-C flagship.

So I am thinking, along with the horrible pandemic situation, the K-1 II will be gone from most shelves by perhaps a year or maybe even longer before any official news comes of a replacement in the works. And why not? It makes sense that there will remain fewer left over older stock, clearing the way for the new model.
10-16-2020, 05:48 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Pentax has already combined the 'accelerator' with "FF" in the K-1ii. Nikon has used 24mp to get low noise and high DR on "FF" bodies, but I'm not sure Pentax will go that way.
From what I've seen, Nikon and Sony have both used the potential of the BSI sensor technology to allow higher MP designs to also be capable of lower noise at higher ISO settings. Pentax has done likewise with their accelerator technology. The two technologies seem to be fairly even in effectiveness. However, Sony now has a 61mp mirrorless FF model using a BSI sensor, and it looks like they may have gone too far. While resolution appears to be exceptional, noise performance seems not as good as the K-1 II. So I wonder what would happen if both technologies were combined?

Maybe the K-new will provide insight...?? Others have said, perhaps we might learn from it as to the direction the new Pentax FF model is likely to take when the time comes.
10-16-2020, 08:02 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Ah, if they could only develop an FF about the size of a K3 with small lenses ...

10-16-2020, 09:58 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Sony now has a 61mp mirrorless FF model using a BSI sensor, and it looks like they may have gone too far. While resolution appears to be exceptional, noise performance seems not as good as the K-1 II. So I wonder what would happen if both technologies were combined?
If the new RI dslr has the 26mp Sony sensor and the AU is carried on,you will see.Its the same wafer as as used in Sonys 61mp body and Fujis 102mp body.

However, I'm guessing the 24mp non BSI will be in the Knew.History shows that is more likely.

Maybe,with the indications that Knew will be a high price it could have the BSI?
10-16-2020, 10:29 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I have noticed some of both Nikon and Canon FF DSLR models are now quite dated and not moving off shelves at BH, while they have been replaced as newer, updated models have been more recently developed. The Pentax FF K-1 II appears to have been doing ok, offering upper-level high resolution, low noise performance with excellent image quality, top-level build quality, and a wealth of features at a very good price point. It seems Canon, Nikon, and definitely Sony have been slowing down as to FF DSLR advancement. Might this bode well for Pentax? Looking at the newer BSI sensors available, I am curious as to how their resulting improved low noise might be even better if combined with the Pentax accelerator.

As Pentax has been releasing new FF lenses, and with more on the horizon, it seems they have no intention of abandoning FF DSLR development. Thoughts on this?
I think Nikon is still supporting DSLR and also trying to build the mirrorless line to compete with Sony and Canon. The D780 was just released and the D850 and 500 are still very competent cameras.

As for the Z line not selling like crazy, I think that's more a function of anyone with a D750 or D810 and up probably sees no reason to upgrade as those body's still work great and the newer sensors don't really offer any quantum leaps anywhere in DR or ISO. The AF systems on those older cameras are still great and you don't really need more. Sony also was in early and got most of the mirrorless users who really wanted it when they had no FF competition.

Really the camera industry is dealing with smartphones eating up all the casual customers with Iphones working pretty well in low light now. On the other side they're dealing with people probably not updating body's or lenses for a very long time as the sensor tech has kinda plateaud in the DR and ISO improvements once we got to the 16/24mp sony sensors about 5-7 years ago. A little more DR or smidge more ISO isn't enough anymore to get someones wallet open for 2k.

I cannot see a reason to upgrade from my D750 to a Z line honestly. The sensors nearly the same and the AF is really good. Why would I swap it out? I have an EM10 ii mirrorless (mostly to give mirrorless a shot and own a M43 camera). Really mirrorless is kinda gimmicky to me, it's just liveview in the viewfinder. I find the Fuji X100 series with the dual optical/EVF setup way more attractive.

As for updating my K-3? Pentax would need a giant leap to something like Nikon D500 performance to get me to bite. That AF had better be quantum leaps better.

I think Optical will stick around with people used to it. Anyone coming from phones will probably prefer EVF in the future though as that's what they learned with. A bunch of us started on film cameras with optical so we're pretty used to setting exposure and using the EV meter.

I think the major gains are in using the image merging techniques with AI algorithms that smartphones use to take another leap in performance out of the larger sensors like with what they've done with those tiny cell phone sensors. That and much more streamlined image sharing from the camera. Take all the fuss out of that.
10-16-2020, 10:40 PM - 1 Like   #26
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There is no power in the world that would make me separate with my K-1s and I am fine sticking with them for the next 20-30 years. For lenses in the other hand... I would really love an update to the 100mm Macro WR, but only for the focus motor that is.
10-16-2020, 11:50 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeeRunge Quote
Really the camera industry is dealing with smartphones eating up all the casual customers with Iphones working pretty well in low light now.
These new iPhone Pro 12 models seem to attack especially the photography (and video) market - also concerning low light. Does anybody know the sensor sizes (mm) used? The Pro 12 Max has 3 build in lenses, one "equivalent" FL 65mm (standard model 52mm) "tele lens" with optical zoom. The more I read the specs and advertisement the more I'm confused about this marketing language!

Addition: found an article at peta pixel that states 1.7 sized pixels. Since it's a 12MP sensor at I guess 4:3 ratio I should be able to compute the sensor size by myself - and from that point I get the angles of view for the supported focal lengths.

Next Step: If I'm right the sensor is ~ 6.8 x 5.1 mm. We can compare this with Pentax Q-S1, 1/1.7" sensor, 7.6 x 5.7 mm at 4000 x 3000 pixels. We never discussed the Q-S1 could substitute the K-1, did we? - Fun to read this article concerning DOF if you are an APS-C and FF camera shooter.

Last edited by acoufap; 10-17-2020 at 02:16 AM. Reason: corrected - internet articles speak of equivalent FL 65/52mm
10-17-2020, 02:39 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Ah, if they could only develop an FF about the size of a K3 with small lenses ...
The challenge isn't really making a camera small. That's pretty easy to do. The challenge is keeping enough features on that small camera that it competes with others on the market.

Everyone seems to want fast frame rates, top end auto focus, a flippy screen, a touch screen, and lots of buttons to allow changing settings on the fly (with gloved hands no less) and having all of that on your camera is going to dictate the minimum size your camera can be.
10-17-2020, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #29
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I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about what I'm doing with photography, a friend who used to be a pretty good film photographer (a musician himself, did close up band/concert stuff), and left all that to do entreprenurial computer stuff.

It's something I've been thinking about, which began with concerns about what I considered over-doing post-processing. That led me to thinking about the role of post-processing / editing, in digital photography. I generally shoot both raw and jpeg, using the jpeg's basically as high-resolution thumbnails - I use them with Windows photo viewer software to make a first pass on which files to throw away. So all "real pictures" are in raw format.

I came to the conclusion that what I used to do with film now requires two stages, because the photograph isn't really taken until I adjust whatever parameters are required to compose the scene in post-processing. Half of what happens with film now happens in post-processing.

Then, I thought, and in particular with reference to mine and my friend's experience with film, that the big, blocky cameras with optical viewfinders and mirrors are the way they are for the same reason that Browning's autoloading pistols had single-action hammers: it's what people familar with the preceding level of technology were used to. Revolvers prior to that time had to be "cocked" in order that the trigger will have a spring-loaded hammer to release. So, though the firing chamber of an autoloading pistol has to be charged by "racking the slide", and simply pulling the double-action trigger will "cock" the hammer, and all subsequent shots will be in "single-action mode" because the action of firing a bullet will cause the slide to shift backwards, expelling the spent shell and loading another round. Hence, the ability to "cock" the exposed hammer manually was superflous, and only added to provide a sense of familiarity. Same thing, I think, with mirrors and optical viewfinders. Old geezers like myself are used to squinting through the viewfinder and can't even half see the LCD screen, much less use "live view". And God help us with touch-controlled LCD screens. I've never really even figured out how to get the magnification thing to work in live view (and don't want to know).

But, as many semiauto pistols today have no exposed hammers at all, and more have no hammer period (operating by means of a "striker", in effect, a long, spring-loaded firing pin), I think the DSLR will be going away as the film-photography generation dies out. That stupid mirrorless crap is here to stay and all the kids (people under 40) think it's normal.
10-17-2020, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
I think the DSLR will be going away as the film-photography generation dies out. That stupid mirrorless crap is here to stay and all the kids (people under 40) think it's normal.
If it makes you feel any better, I'm still a long way away from 40 and I'm firmly against EVFs , and I'm not alone in this. I mean, my first reaction to trying out the EVF on the Canon RP was a string of expletives. I know that a lot of people are perfectly fine with them, however, some even [shudder] being alright with no-viewfinder cameras.
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