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10-31-2009, 03:58 PM   #1
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Thought for future Pentax DSLRs

It seems as tho Pentax is aggressively pursuing the average consumer with their new DSLR cameras. They're small, lightweight and appeal to a broader audience than bigger bodies. Even the flagship K7 is a small camera in comparison to the K20D and mid range Canikons.

Two thoughts:

Does having a full lineup of these smaller bodies turn off pro and semi-pro photographers who would rather shoot with something that doesn't seem targeted primarily at consumers?

Would Pentax benifit from having a "classic" DSLR camera design like the older film SLR bodies in their line up? That could appeal to photography veterans who are used to the older bodies.

10-31-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
Does having a full lineup of these smaller bodies turn off pro and semi-pro photographers who would rather shoot with something that doesn't seem targeted primarily at consumers?

I was surprised at the size of K7 body (only tried once), especially since I would think the natural buyers are those who are used to K10D or 20D bodies. But, I guess in the end, the Pentax DSLRs have been relatively smaller compared to their counterparts until K10D showed up. This hasn't turned any pro or semi-pros off as I can see.

I don't think the size of the camera will be a turn off as much as the features. I will shoot with a pin-hole camera if it can produce results in an efficient manner I am mostly interested in seeing how the K10/20D users are adapting to the newer, smaller body. Like Canon/Nikon, Pentax has two lineups, distinguished by the price you pay, although if someone pays close attention, might not really be a big difference. (e.g. who would know difference between 77 versus 11-segment metering?)
10-31-2009, 04:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
Does having a full lineup of these smaller bodies turn off pro and semi-pro photographers who would rather shoot with something that doesn't seem targeted primarily at consumers?
I highly doubt any pro is going to be turned off by something like that. They'll make their decision based on image quality first and foremost, most likely followed by build quality, ergonomics, and then feature set (of which, I'd consider lens / accessory availability to be a feature).

If IQ is up to snuff and the camera has the build quality and features (including lens / accessory support) that they require, then ergonomics will be the deciding factor. Provided they still like the ergonomics, smaller size and weight are not going to be seen as a disadvantage - pros don't *want* to lug around larger, heavier equipment than they have to. A smaller / lighter body just means they can move to get the shot quicker while carrying one or more cameras.

The real question hence should be - is the camera too small to offer good ergonomics. My answer would be no, unless you have exceptionally large hands. Personally, I'm 6'1" tall, have large hands, and find the K-7 to be among the more comfortable cameras I've handled ergonomically.
10-31-2009, 05:37 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by knoxploration Quote
Personally, I'm 6'1" tall, have large hands, and find the K-7 to be among the more comfortable cameras I've handled ergonomically.
I had the same feeling - except I only tried it once at a store. By any chance the buttons (especially the AE-L) get in your way of dialing the exposure?

11-01-2009, 09:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaman Quote
I am mostly interested in seeing how the K10/20D users are adapting to the newer, smaller body.
I've upgraded from K10D to K7 and like the K10D size better. Also like the K10 button layout better at the moment (exp comp on K7 is back-to-front compared to K10D and takes serious mind power to operate!, the other notable one is the focusing mode AF-S/AF-C/M switch, that's an nasty little lever) but reckon I'll get used to it. When reviewing pics or changing settings the K10D has a nice area on the left to grab hold of it, the K7 has the LCD almost right to the edge of the camera. Speaking of that, never used to smudge the K10D LCD much but the K7's is always covered in 'nose grease'. There's a few other things I don't like but how it takes pictures (AF accuracy and speed) makes up for all that!
11-01-2009, 11:49 PM   #6
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Times are changing, and Pentax has brought concept cameras like the K-7 out in the past.
I would agree that I too prefer the more solid K10D/K20D look to the K-7 but wouldn't feel in any way uncomfortable using the K-7.

What matters more to me is not necessarily the size, but the ergonomics and functionality. I have seen Pentax taking added measures to ensure this is a priority in their bodies, as opposed to Sony and Olympus with their quite different (won't say worse) ergonomics and UI.
11-02-2009, 12:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Times are changing, and Pentax has brought concept cameras like the K-7 out in the past.
I would agree that I too prefer the more solid K10D/K20D look to the K-7 but wouldn't feel in any way uncomfortable using the K-7.

What matters more to me is not necessarily the size, but the ergonomics and functionality. I have seen Pentax taking added measures to ensure this is a priority in their bodies, as opposed to Sony and Olympus with their quite different (won't say worse) ergonomics and UI.
When I was first looking at DSLRs I was looking primarily at Canon and Nikon because I didn't even think about the Pentax name.

The Canikons that I have used generally leave me with a puzzled look on my face wondering how to navigate and change settings, etc...

I popped into Future Shop and saw that they were carrying the K10D. It was priced just a bit more than entry level Canikons and felt substantially more solid and professional. I turned it on and was immediately struck with how simple and intuitive the controls were. Try flipping back and forth between changing speed and aperture with only one dial!

This is why I was wondering if pro and semi-pro photographers want something more robust feeling than what is typically aimed at consumers. I'm purely an entry-level consumer and really wanted something beefier than the Canon XT or D40.

I picked up (handled, not bought) a Kx today at Future Shop (No K7s in stock). I realize it is an entry level camera but it wasn't priced too much lower than what I got my K10D for. If I was in the market for a $700 Canikon right now, the Kx wouldn't have won me over based on feel.
11-02-2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaman Quote
I had the same feeling - except I only tried it once at a store. By any chance the buttons (especially the AE-L) get in your way of dialing the exposure?
Nope, not at all. Nor have I had the issues I've seen complaints about from others (card ejects just fine, I have no problems turning the mode dial while depressing the locking button with the same hand that's turning the dial, and only once in weeks have I unintentionally bumped the LV button when I switch AF point selection.

The only one that's slightly got me is the metering dial, which is more just that I'm not used to it. My brain expects the part of the dial that sticks out to indicate the selection, not the white marking to the right of it. Hence I generally have to do a double-take to notice what mode I left the camera in last.

For the size of the camera (almost identical to my wife's Canon Rebel-class camera), I'm staggered at how many controls Pentax has fitted in without messing up the ergonomics.

11-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
When I was first looking at DSLRs I was looking primarily at Canon and Nikon because I didn't even think about the Pentax name.

The Canikons that I have used generally leave me with a puzzled look on my face wondering how to navigate and change settings, etc...

I popped into Future Shop and saw that they were carrying the K10D. It was priced just a bit more than entry level Canikons and felt substantially more solid and professional. I turned it on and was immediately struck with how simple and intuitive the controls were. Try flipping back and forth between changing speed and aperture with only one dial!

This is why I was wondering if pro and semi-pro photographers want something more robust feeling than what is typically aimed at consumers. I'm purely an entry-level consumer and really wanted something beefier than the Canon XT or D40.

I picked up (handled, not bought) a Kx today at Future Shop (No K7s in stock). I realize it is an entry level camera but it wasn't priced too much lower than what I got my K10D for. If I was in the market for a $700 Canikon right now, the Kx wouldn't have won me over based on feel.
I'm sure you got your K10 at the end of its production line, while the kx is a brand new, just barely released camera. I haven't held a kx, but the k2000 feels much more substantial than the equivalent Canon/Nikon entry level cameras and I feel certain that the price will come down somewhat with time.

Remember that the Kx is launching at basically the same price that the K2000 did a year ago (with more features). At the end of its production life, the K2000 ended up selling for just a shade over 500 dollars. Prices fall over time and early adopters, even of entry level cameras, pay more.
11-02-2009, 06:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
It seems as tho Pentax is aggressively pursuing the average consumer with their new DSLR cameras. They're small, lightweight and appeal to a broader audience than bigger bodies. Even the flagship K7 is a small camera in comparison to the K20D and mid range Canikons.

Two thoughts:

Does having a full lineup of these smaller bodies turn off pro and semi-pro photographers who would rather shoot with something that doesn't seem targeted primarily at consumers?

Would Pentax benifit from having a "classic" DSLR camera design like the older film SLR bodies in their line up? That could appeal to photography veterans who are used to the older bodies.
The pro boys I know are almost all using mid range Nikons or Canons. It's kind of funny, they are buying these things because of the "upgrade path", but they aren't taking advantage of it.
To be fair, a mid range Nikon such as a D300 is still a higher performance camera than the best that Pentax has to offer, but that advantage is lost because they aren't doing anything to take advantage of it most of the time.
A K-7 in a studio environment is as good as anything else at any performance level simply because the environment isn't demanding much by way of camera performance.
As long as the camera can shoot a picture every couple of seconds and write fast enough to not bung up, it's fast enough.
11-02-2009, 09:13 AM   #11
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With the K-7 Pentax is going back to their roots. Those of us who shot with an MX or LX are comfortable with the size, ergonomics and aesthetics of the K-7. Well, I am anyway and I would suspect others from my generation are also.
11-02-2009, 11:49 AM   #12
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I've been pining away for a K30D for awhile now. It may that having both sizes may stretch Pentax too far but I keep hoping anyway. An upgraded K10/K20 size body makes sense for those of us that have invested in the accessories for them, e.g., the battery grip. I would certainly buy one myself, especially if the AF and frame rates were increased for us wildlife and sports shooters. Just my .
11-02-2009, 03:26 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
I've been pining away for a K30D for awhile now. It may that having both sizes may stretch Pentax too far but I keep hoping anyway. An upgraded K10/K20 size body makes sense for those of us that have invested in the accessories for them, e.g., the battery grip. I would certainly buy one myself, especially if the AF and frame rates were increased for us wildlife and sports shooters. Just my .
I wouldn't hold your breath. Pentax have flat-out stated that the K-7 is the K20D's replacement, and there will be no K30D. It simply wouldn't make sense for Pentax to tool up another product line and occupy it making a nearly-identical camera to the K-7, but a bit bigger.

Tried the K-7 with BG-4 grip? I find the combo very useable.
11-02-2009, 03:38 PM   #14
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I think they're a fool for not offering a larger body that could be used for both a FF and APS-C sized sensor.
11-02-2009, 10:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
I think they're a fool for not offering a larger body that could be used for both a FF and APS-C sized sensor.
Who's to say they can't fit an FF sensor in the current body size? That said, who's to say they actually want to? Full frame brings advantages in some areas, but it also brings disadvantages in others.

Certainly, I don't think they're foolish to focus on providing a compact, near-pro grade body. It's something nobody else is really offering, and it pays to differentiate. I'm quite sure it has attracted new customers for Pentax - and I should know, I'm one of them. The size and weight of the K-7 body relative to other mag-alloy weatherproof DSLRs was a major selling point for me.
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