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04-11-2010, 06:56 AM   #1
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A Pentax Mirror-less Design would Rock!

Does anyone know if Pentax is likely to produce a mirror-less design anytime soon?

Personally I think the market has huge potential and with current technology pretty feasible even for enthusiasts. I am also a little in love with the Samsung NX10. Despite its flaws it's actually a very likable camera, and the 30mm/f2 it comes paired with is a pretty gorgeous lens.

Pentax would have to work on a new mount though, with an adapter for existing lenses.

They'd need a new name for it too, and it doesn't have to start with a K, since it doesn't have to be a K-mount.

I suggest the Pentax u (Nu: Greek symbol for micro).

Pronounced Pentax "New"

:-D

Or maybe that's just the "Geek" in me :-p

04-11-2010, 07:15 AM   #2
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It is mu, not nu

Why does it need a new mount?
04-11-2010, 07:20 AM   #3
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Oh yeah, that would look like a v. My bad.

Existing Pentax lenses would have to be miniaturized somewhat I think. Might require a new mount.
04-11-2010, 07:50 AM   #4
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I would like it for portability, but only if it takes existing lenses—as would be expected with a Samsung-like mirrorless Pentax. In my guess, Pentax would not even contemplate it any other way, since they already have three different systems in production (aps-c, old-style full-frame, and 645 assuming the 67 is out of production).

Yet I urgently needed a digital camera last week - my first - when I was working in a library, my laptop's battery was dying, and I could no longer take notes. If a Pentax evil-camera had existed, I had taken it. As it happens, there was a shop nearby with the K-x. My first auto-focus camera, with ISO capabilities suitable for libraries, and I'm quite impressed. With a 645 to K adapter on its way - and three M-lenses in the cupboard - plenty of room for trying things out.

04-11-2010, 09:21 AM   #5
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While I have not had the chance to even hold a mirrorless camera such as the NX10 or one of the micro four-thirds SLRs, I do think the systems have a lot of merit. I have not read a single review that finds and major faults with such cameras.

My main fear is how well people adapt to the electronic viewfinders found in such cameras. I know the technology has improved, but from personal experience I can say I do not like what I've seen in various super-zoom P&S cameras from the likes of Canon and Kodak. They are low resolution and often the color of the interior screens do not adapt to the white balance.

Don't get me wrong, I've been involved with many situations where I've had to take a what-I-see-is-not-what-I-get approach (infrared photography, for instance); it all comes down to technique and experience. Some people, however, have no faith in their abilities!

Considering that some might be put off by EVFs (or EVLs?) I expect a mirrorless system from any company would have an uphill battle to win over traditional photographers. I suppose I would need to see what Pentax comes up with and hope everything else about the system is rock-solid.
04-11-2010, 09:37 AM   #6
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Would love a rangefinder...I still prefer having an optical viewfinder. However, the small size of mirror-less cameras does somewhat make up for that.
04-11-2010, 11:43 AM   #7
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Since present lenses are designed for the ~45mm flange distance, there would be no savings in terms of body depth if something like what you are proposing was to use a K-mount.
There is no reason why an adapter couldn't be made to go with a shorter registration distance.
A new camera line would need to be introduced with lenses designed to work with the new body, which would put Pentax up to three lens systems. This would be acceptable if the present DSLR lens range was complete, but it isn't.
Also, electronic viewfinders need to get better.
04-11-2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Since present lenses are designed for the ~45mm flange distance, there would be no savings in terms of body depth if something like what you are proposing was to use a K-mount.
Solution: very short (pancake) AF catadioptric mirrors. Right.

QuoteQuote:
There is no reason why an adapter couldn't be made to go with a shorter registration distance.
But could we use Leica LTM glass? Canon FD and Oly Pen-F, sure.

QuoteQuote:
A new camera line would need to be introduced with lenses designed to work with the new body, which would put Pentax up to three lens systems. This would be acceptable if the present DSLR lens range was complete, but it isn't.
Pentax already has three lines: FA, DA, and 645. A short-register EVIL line (maybe H-mount, after Hoya) would make four. Is Pentoya up to running four separate lens lines? Would a fourth Pentoya lens line be "spreading too thin", or a "wedge into new markets"?? Other than Sigma, Tamron, other multi-mount foundries, how many cam.makers produce more than one line of dSLR lenses? (I'll ignore CCTV and other small-footprint glass.)

QuoteQuote:
Also, electronic viewfinders need to get better.
Moore's Law will provide for that. What's unreasonable last year will be in WalMart next year.

EDIT: I almost forgot to add my conclusion: Don't expect any FF or APS EVILs from Pentoya, nor Rangefinders. I suspect we'll see such from a maker not already invested in multiple lens lines: Samsung, Fuji, Sony, Panasonic. Hey, it'd be great to have a full range of digicams from one maker: m4:3, APS, FF, 4x4, 645, 6x6, 6x9, etc, and as dSLRs, RFs, EVILs, whatever. Some of these could even be game-breakers. But resources are required, lotsa resources. And unless Pentoya patents and exploits some radical must-have technology, they probably won't have the $$$ and we won't see the goodies. Bother.


Last edited by RioRico; 04-11-2010 at 04:25 PM.
04-11-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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I personally don't like EVF and using the liveview often sucks up too much battery juice.
A rangefinder would be acceptable but with a rangefinder, you often have parallax error.
04-11-2010, 04:39 PM   #10
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Yeah it would sure be nice (well not to me, I prefer the mirrored design for a bunch of different reasons) but I don't know if Pentax is ready to make an entirely new mount for it.
04-11-2010, 05:21 PM   #11
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Something that Pentax would have to do is something quite different and better than Lumix or Oly.
That might not be an easy task.
I mean really, what can they bring to the table?
04-11-2010, 07:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
I personally don't like EVF and using the liveview often sucks up too much battery juice.
With the advent of AMOLED screens, which is efficient, works great in sunlight, and incidently also equipped on the NX10, battery life should become less of a problem.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
A new camera line would need to be introduced with lenses designed to work with the new body, which would put Pentax up to three lens systems. This would be acceptable if the present DSLR lens range was complete, but it isn't.
Also, electronic viewfinders need to get better.
I don't mind the EVF actually. The NX10 EVF resolution is fair and there's a heck of a lot of information presented - which gives it an edge over the optical VF. I also like the fact that EVFs can "gain up" in low light making composition easier. The GF1 EVF is also larger than average, and in general a real pleasure to use.

Regarding lenses, perhaps Pentax can arrange for compatibility with the Samsung NX lens range. So far, with 3 lenses already available (one of which is a very desirable 30mm/f2 pancake), 5 lenses on the way, I'd say Samsung is investing considerable time and money into the system. Pentax would do well to try getting involved, and why not since they've collaborated in the past.


QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Something that Pentax would have to do is something quite different and better than Lumix or Oly.
That might not be an easy task.
I mean really, what can they bring to the table?
IMHO, not attempting to exploit the mirror less market would be folly. Prices of these cameras are dropping as manufacturing becomes more efficient, and I think it's just a matter of time before they will overtake compact DSLRs in sales. I do think mirror-less has a bright future.
04-11-2010, 07:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shahmatt Quote
IMHO, not attempting to exploit the mirror less market would be folly. Prices of these cameras are dropping as manufacturing becomes more efficient, and I think it's just a matter of time before they will overtake compact DSLRs in sales. I do think mirror-less has a bright future.
In two sentences, you have covered both why they should do it and why they shouldn't.
I suspect that there is a good market for a camera of the type we are discussing, but as you say, prices are falling, making them ever less profitable.
Mirrorless is undoubtedly the future, if for no other reason than fully electronic will eventually be less expensive to build than the hybrids that we are using now.
Unfortunately, this does not imply better.
04-11-2010, 07:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
In two sentences, you have covered both why they should do it and why they shouldn't.
I suspect that there is a good market for a camera of the type we are discussing, but as you say, prices are falling, making them ever less profitable.
Mirrorless is undoubtedly the future, if for no other reason than fully electronic will eventually be less expensive to build than the hybrids that we are using now.
Unfortunately, this does not imply better.

Prices falling does not mean less profitable - only that the costs of manufacturing becomes less. Profit margins could still remain the same. So that takes away the negative right there
04-11-2010, 07:58 PM   #15
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Yes, the technology will be there. Screens are getting better and electronics consumes less power now that this become a development priority. I have a digital recorder that works for days on two AA batteries. Previously I would have expected about 4 hours. Sometime soon this sort of optimisation will come to cameras.

Meanwhile LCD panels (or related technologies: OLED, whatever) get better and better. Removing physical components reduces the need for power. So someone is going to develop a killer EVIL camera. Maybe even the micro-4/3 people, once they cut prices in half.

But I agree with RioRico: it won't be Pentax.
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