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Forum: Pentax Full Frame 10-21-2011, 07:22 PM  
Pentax Full Frame - An official statement from Pentax (they listened!)
Posted By Aristophanes
Replies: 3,121
Views: 345,311
There's no such thing as a bare bones FF. Not at the sensor price points.

If the sensor costs $600 alone, that's a minimum $2,000 for a body if you include all the other inputs + a viable profit margin. At any price point over $1,000 the potential market drops by about 50% for every $100 above $1,000. You wind up with an aggregate market about 5% of your total gross revenues from your APS-C line.

But...you also lose customers if you skimp on features. So you get a $1,600 FF but it has not very good AF (compared to a D700) and no SR (to save on size). It's less rugged, and maybe no WR (to keep warranty costs down). 3 FPS to save on size of the added circuitry, and so on.

And you keep lens prices down to keep the total package cost reasonable, so no constant 2.8's, only constant f/4's, right? At which point you lose a lot of bird and sports/action shooters.

So what you've gained in absolute market share in going bare bones you've lost in discrete segments. That's the price/value dilemma. Once you go premium price you have to go all the way with features at least comparable to the competition. The competition is the Nikon D700 and/or the Alpha A900. That's what a Pentax FF will require in terms of size/price/features to be competitive with enough customers.

All Canon has to do to destroy you is sell 1 EOS-1D X and take its profit margins forcing you to sell 7 Pentax FF K-1's to return the same margins per body. If you only sell 6 your shareholders suffer, at 5 your assembly line shuts down. Sony with the A850 tried to compete on price from a larger installed base than Pentax and they saw that price was NOT the determinant in sales of camera bodies over $1,000.....features was the determinant. That is what draws the consumer in. The situation Sony found was that a sub-$2,000 FF body attracted pretty much no Canon or Nikon customers. Sony would have bankrupted the camera division going down that path. And for every Sony customer looking at the $1,850 Alpha 850 there were 10 customers buying a $6,000 D3x and 30 buying a D700 at $2,450.

Heck, there were 2 buying the Alpha 900! So Sony gained itself $300 per unit more by killing the "market share" A850. If even half of those chased away by the $300 price difference left for Canikon, Sony still got more than it would have otherwise per unit. Sony proved that it was not possible to have a low-end FF and still stay profitable

And Sony makes the sensors.

So the bare bones option business math doesn't work. If Pentax gets in the FF game its going to be at the same price points and features as the big boys. And it will, for technical reasons, have to be a camera body as big as the D700 or A900. I suspect that Pentax has FF skunkworks going already, but the financial outlook for a camera that expensive without moving market share from Canikon is pretty much a deal killer. When a price war between Canikon starts to drive down FF costs, then, maybe, Pentax can get in and make its current user base happy whereas right now it stands no chance of making Canikon users happier by switching. That's not going to happen.

Don't get me going on lens development.

And...that letter really said...nothing. It said thanks, we have R&D, they do a lot of stuff, we want to be active in many market segments, we listen to our customer (duh!), we are part of Ricoh, and we'll send your nice letter upstairs.

I write these types of responses every week!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-08-2011, 06:45 AM  
Something's missing here!!!
Posted By Ailuropoda
Replies: 57
Views: 10,076
They only seem to be showing the camera side of their business in that picture. The ceramics division looks so interesting. I mean, how cool is a material that you can implant in the body to repair damage and instead of being stuck with a metal plate your whole life, it reabsorbs and natural bone grows over it. Clicking that "Other division | new ceramics products" link on the products page was a real eye opener. To me, that stuff is more exciting than any camera or lens they've come out with yet.
As much as I'm rooting for them though, I don't think I'll be buying any time soon. At least hopefully not until Canon and Nikon have taken notice and force Sigma and Tamron into that market as well.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-08-2011, 11:18 AM  
October 1st Pentax announcement
Posted By Blue
Replies: 199
Views: 39,116
I have it from a good source at Wolf Camera in 1989 that Pentax is folding. i would go by there ask them when this is going to happen but that store folded.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-07-2011, 06:59 AM  
Something's missing here!!!
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 57
Views: 10,076
Yes..


Official statement from Ricoh :

"Ricoh officially de-associates itself from Pentax K-mount cameras esp. K5 and will no longer be liable for warranty issues and class action lawsuits. "



Man!

Its just a photo.
Composition is excellent!
It forms a perfect dis-harmonious balance between two subjects, creating tension and hence capturing the viewers attention......
Not to mention that it has a hidden meaning when you look at the picture upside down, combining the silhouettes of both cameras... its seems to form the sharp of another camera.....
Then again, if I take their combined volumes and divide it by the 'perfect ratio' it seems to hint at the date of the new mirrorless Pentax....
:D
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-07-2011, 06:09 AM  
Something's missing here!!!
Posted By asw66
Replies: 57
Views: 10,076
P.S. I've also noticed that there's no giraffe in this image. Which is a shame, because there's plenty of white space, and giraffes are beautiful animals, don't you think?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-03-2011, 11:56 AM  
October 1st Pentax announcement
Posted By jatrax
Replies: 199
Views: 39,116
I would have been very surprised (delighted, but surprised) if there was anything announced beyond the official "the deal is complete" kind of thing.

Everyone on this forum, waiting with bated breath for some hint of a new camera, is a camera (and Pentax) enthusiast. Ricoh, and the people running it are business people. There was and is no logical business reason to make any kind of announcement through the general or business media. There might be some reason to announce something at the upcoming Paris show, but even then not much of a business reason.

Some might say they should announce something to rally the customer base. Well, they can do that anytime and still rally the customer base and waiting until they have everything organized is a much better plan. Ricoh is not going to make much headway at positioning Pentax against Canikon by selling to the existing base, they need to attract lots of new customers. Which means announcing something in the general media is a waste of time and possibly counter-productive. The worst thing I can think of would be a premature announcement of a product that never materializes or is even a little late to market.

Ricoh needs to re-establish the dealer and support network, repair relationships with retailers and generally re-build the marketing infrastructure that was largely dismantled under previous ownership. None of that is glamorous or exciting to camera enthusiasts. There is an old military saying "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics". Ricoh understands logistics, relationships, dealer networks and support, their copier division regularly eats Canon's lunch because they have feet on the ground who know what they are doing. Once they have that in place for the camera division I believe we will see some really cool products.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-28-2011, 10:26 AM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By baro-nite
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
Except that you can use a smaller tripod to good effect with a MILC (depending on lenses). Might make the difference between bringing the tripod or leaving it home.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-22-2011, 07:39 AM  
Nikon Has A Q Too
Posted By detritus
Replies: 20
Views: 3,600
its a marketing tagline. not a grammar test.

like it or not, its still gonna outsell the Q based on brand recognition alone.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-22-2011, 10:02 PM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By rawr
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
You will find all of the criticisms being made of Pentax in this thread being made of Nikon now on other forums online.

As Anon aptly said in one of those Nikon threads:
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-22-2011, 03:57 AM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By fast50
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
Indeed. Nikon made the same blunder, showing the world photos of its "revolutionary" V1 with a oil drum of a superzoom stuck on the front. Just to make it even bigger, they stuck VR and power zoom into the lens. No wonder it has a 72mm filter thread.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-20-2011, 10:09 AM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By northcoastgreg
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
No one knows whether APS-C is going to disappear in 5-10 years. If enough people have invested in higher end APS-C lenses, the demand for APS-C could persist for longer than 10 years. Nor does anyone really know at this point how the whole mirrorless thing is going to pan out. The main advantage of these cameras is their small size; but this small size makes them less compelling when used with most SLR lenses and ergonomically challenging for people with large hands. Not everyone wants a small camera, and I suspect that many photo enthusiasts will always prefer an optical viewfinder.



Swapping out mounts is generally not a good business strategy, as it alienates those who've invested in the abandoned mount. Canon and Minolta were able to get away with it because they were introducing a revolutionary lens-based technology: i.e., auto-focus. If Canon or Minolta users wanted to make use of the new technology, they would have to buy new lenses in any case, so swapping out the mounts was no big deal. But if you swap mounts merely to sell more lenses, you'll likely end up selling less lenses overall. If, in order to have any automatic features, I need to buy all new glass, why wouldn't I just switch to Canon or Nikon? Those brands offer more new lenses, more accessories, better flash system, better AF, better high-end cameras. Since it's precisely the K-mount glass, both new and legacy, that gives me the incentive to put up with Pentax's shortcomings in other areas, if Pentax abandons that mount, I'm taking my business elsewhere.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-20-2011, 09:55 AM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By les3547
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
But there's something you aren't factoring in. Consider how few of the large number of lenses that were made for, or are adaptable to, K mount have attained legendary status for quality.

The quality of FA Limiteds and to a lessor extent the DA Limiteds, for example, are not seen in every generation of new lenses; and there's just one Zeiss 21mm, or Voigtlander 125, or Leica R 50mm f/2 Summicron, or Pentax A 85 f1.4, etc. (I'm sure the experienced photographers here can add a few more to the list). The ability to not have to settle for consumer quality lenses is the number one thing that keeps my interest in photography equipment. And LBA is no small issue, as you can see here. Excepting the sensor, what mechanical aspect is more important than glass to picture quality?

So it isn't just "old" or legacy per se that means anything . . . it's that it seems a truly great lens is not so easy to produce (or the commitment isn't there from manufacturers). If the past is an indicator of how often we'll see Limited-quality lenses, then a new lens mount only promises to reduce things to consumer photography for many years.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-20-2011, 06:43 AM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By gazonk
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
Maybe one way for Pentax to be different would be to introduce a FF MILC camera with regular K-mount. With an EVF and a high MP count FF sensor (at least 30mp!), they could seamlessly integrate existing DA lenses (they could even specify individual crops for them - so that those lenses that have larger image circles could get any suitable crop between 1.5x and 1.0x) and thus have a full lens lineup for the new camera immediately while they renew their FF lens offerings.

But such a camera may look very old-fashioned the day Sony introduces FF NEX models...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-18-2011, 09:29 AM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By Aristophanes
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
You cannot have k-mount mirrorless in a smaller body than a K-r. The k-mount is an SLR mount. The option exists for an adapter, but it will add substantial bulk and cost.

This is an announcement of a new mount.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-18-2011, 04:05 AM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By russell2pi
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
I was sold on mirrorless for some time but thankfully lack of funds blocked me from acting upon it. (Still yet to find an option with IBIS, quality EVF and good lens selection.)

What drew me to mirrorless was the fact that size and styling were similar to the film SLRs to which I am accustomed (Olympus OM series). Really, there is no reason why DSLRs could not follow the same form factor, AND offer a 35-mm sensor rather than a small APS-C or a tiny 4/3 sensor. It really makes zero sense why the mirrorless / EVF design needs to be profferred as the sole solution to DSLR fugly factor. There is no reason why a DLSR could not be built to the same vintage style and size as we have grown accustomed to, while still offering the advatanges of an optical viewfinder, phase AF and superior sensor size. All it would take is the courage to eschew the the rounded edges, pentaprism snout and hand grip.

I suppose it's more profitable instead to let the X-100s etc become the norm and then come out with the latest new innovation, the "reflex digital camera"!

In fact, further to this, I really can't understand why these fancy new cameras still can't offer the size and brightness of viewfinder image I can get from a used film SLR available for pocket change.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-17-2011, 11:08 PM  
EXCLUSIVE: Ricoh to Beef Up Digital Camera Biz
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 255
Views: 38,327
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-08-2011, 10:27 PM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By drougge
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
I really wish there was a market for FF that wasn't stupidly high resolution. I just want a better viewfinder, not more pixels.


But you're still happy with a distribution codec as master? Now, I don't shoot video on my DSLR, but I have done a little video editing, and I'm much happier when the frames are independant (as they currently are on Pentax).
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-08-2011, 03:34 PM  
Pentax camera teasing
Posted By rparmar
Replies: 160
Views: 43,684
No way to improve the K-5? I beg to differ.
  • assignable Soft Button and Soft Switch

  • configurable Soft Menu

  • switchable "catch-in-focus" that works for AF lenses

  • in-camera hyperfocal distance calculation

  • focus bracketing

  • improved P-TTL

  • faster flash sync speed

  • improved metering

  • non-crippled KA-F mount for aperture coupling

  • 110% viewfinder coverage with marked sensor range

  • 1.0x viewfinder magnification

  • tiltable back LCD

  • switchable low-pass (AA) filter

  • increased diopter range on viewfinder

  • user modes that remember all settings

  • a return to the superior K20D SD card compartment

  • dual SD card slots

  • ability to set dials to ISO in M mode

  • ability to add aperture information manually (as focal length)

  • option to not release shutter unless SR engaged

  • option for shooting RAW with fewer megapixels

  • tethered shooting with software access to camera parameters

  • lower iso settings: 50, 25... (or built-in ND filter)

  • full manual control and AF in video

  • put green button back on top panel

  • move LV button out of way of the other controls

  • and then stop messing around with control placements for no good reason

Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-08-2011, 04:54 PM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By jerryleejr
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
Rest assured whatever I have bought into will be discontinued and replaced.

JJ
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-07-2011, 02:26 PM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By sjwaldron
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
I think your K-3 example is a perfect start to Pentax full-frame. Like you said, a d3x-like Pentax FF is out of the question from a technical standpoint and not something I would personally want or be able to pay for at the moment.

I think they can do FF in a way that it isn't underwhelming, just like they have done with the K-7/K-5. The K-5 itself was the child of the K-7, which was a camera that really didn't do any magic things, but was a full package of quality form and function when they released it. It had everything in a good balance to remove $$$$ from my checking account after being happy with my *ist DS for a good 5 years or so. The K10D had a small blip in my radar when it came out, but once I held it, it just didn't fit for me. The K-7 on the other hand... I tried it out at a local camera store (it had a grip attached) and instantly put the idea in my head that I will eventually need to buy the camera no matter what. It was that good of a photography tool compared to anything I had used in the past. I knew about what it could do given the technical reviews, but using the camera for a few minutes was the breaking point. I think if Pentax can capture that for a moderately powerful FF camera with great ergonomics, they would do well with it.

Pentax does not really have any street cred with "pro" photographers, so I don't see that as anything to care about. Unless it's an utter flop in ergonomics and technical sensor quality (output results), I don't see a problem at all. The 645D is like 1.1fps and slow-ish AF, but the final results are there front and center. I see a Pentax FF as being an enthusiast FF, just like the K-5/K-7 are to the market. Similar to where the 5D and D700 are. It doesn't have to be a technological powerhouse, but it needs to be a well rounded (small & quality ergonomics) package. :cool:


I'm personally on the middle of the road with the Q. I see positive aspects, but at the current price and lacking a few Pentax features (WR, that K-mount adapter prototype, hopefully an electronic version of that adapter too) I can't part with the asking price. I do agree it is fitting with Pentaxian engineering/marketing. Same goes with colors/special editions they have done for a long time.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-07-2011, 01:04 PM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By Christine Tham
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
Agree. I also suspect Pentax has a FF project on the backburner, waiting for the right circumstances and the right mix of specs.

It's hard though to tell what that right mix ought to be. If I were Pentax and reading this thread, the impression I get would be there is no clear consensus on what sort of full frame camera would appeal to the (limited sample size) of the users of this forum.

Producing a camera that can compete directly against Canon and Nikon pro models (the K-1?) - that would require a lot of money and frankly I am not sure Pentax is capable of it even if they had the money. Just in the area of AF, even though the K-5 has improved over previous models, anyone who has used the high end Canikon gear will attest that the K-5 is not in the same league and I am not sure what Pentax can do - I get the feeling the K-5 represents the best they can tweak their existing AF mechanism to and they will struggle to find further improvements without a completely new design, SDM Mark II etc.

A full frame equivalent of the K-5 (K-3?). That won't require a lot of cost or time to design, and would appeal to users with legacy FA glass. Would it be able to compete? I doubt it - K-5 features/specs with a full frame sensor would be distinctly underwhelming. That sort of model is more likely to lose street cred rather than win awards.

A mirrorless full frame accepting FA glass? Intriguing, but again likely to meet with a mixed reaction. I can already imagine the scorn that some users on this forum will pour on it.

A pellicle mirror design like Sony? Hmm, even more quirky and even more of a mixed reaction.

A Leica like rangefinder? Sorry, but Pentax doesn't have the brand goodwill that Leica has - I used the M9 for a few weeks and it's a mediocre camera with a mediocre sensor - the only redeeming feature is the amazing quality at base ISO with Leica glass.

If Pentax do produce a full frame (in any of the above variants), I will probably buy it (only because I own FA glass), but then hey I also find the Q exciting and planning to buy it, and I think we've already established I am not the "norm" in my buying preferences. :-)

With the resources that Pentax apparently has poured into the Q, yes arguably they could have made a full frame camera. But the Q is a bolder move, and arguably smarter. It remains to be seen whether the market Pentax believe exist for the Q is truly there. Early signs are encouraging - there's a healthy level of interest in the first week of release in Japan even in the environment of a very likely severe recession as a result of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor leaks. And the camera itself is a typical Pentax product - quirky, yet with surprisingly good image quality.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-05-2011, 04:27 AM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By Rondec
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
It has been touched on already in this thread, but prior to thinking about releasing a full frame camera, Pentax needs a much better support system. My experience is that turn around time on fixing a lens is 2 to 3 weeks. There are only two places in the United States that rent lenses for Pentax. Pentax cameras aren't even in stores. I can walk into my local Walmart and see an entry level Nikon, but not a Pentax. In such a situation, it is amazing that Pentax has any market share at all. Some of those things would need to change prior to launching such a camera.

Basically, there will always be attrition as you move up in price range. The K5 probably sells ten percent of the number of kx sales, just because it is more expensive. Move up to a 3000 dollar full frame and the number of sales will be ten percent of K5 sales. Currently that would be a pretty small number. Build the bottom end somehow and you could feed a full frame camera. You just need to have a good foundation before you build the house.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-04-2011, 08:27 AM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By Sperdynamite
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
It certainly looks like there are a lot of good opinions out there on what a full frame Pentax should be like. Iím surprised by a number of you resigning to not even want one! This scenario is least appealing to me, because were I to own two systems I simply wouldnít have the ability to use the great FA limiteds. Were I to do that though, I would probably get a Nikon D700 and a 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8, and 85mm 1.8 lenses. Which I have to admit wouldnít be the WORST thing that could happen. But since weíre speaking of hypotheticals here, Iíll stick with what Iím likely to use.

Iím also surprised at how many people want super telephotos in full frame. Why bother? The Pentax 200mm 2.8 is Ėe to a 300mm 2.8, is image stabilized, and is only a thousand dollars. The 300mm f4 is similarly inexpensive! And you have limited depth of field at those magnifications, and Pentax is the only system that due to the APS-C sensor and SR stabilization keeps the size and cost of their teleís down without sacrificing quality. For me APS-C is a great tele format. Canon can keep their uber expensive enormous telephoto lenses, AFAIC.

I was also surprised at how many of you expect the Pentax full frame to be cheap. It should or would probably be chearp-er, than a D3SÖ But it SHOULDNíT be inexpensive. I donít want a camera that sacrifices anything to be accessible to more people. Any moderately successful professional can afford a $3000 dollar body. The K-5 is currently around $1,300 dollars for a body and delivers pro grade build and performance. What I would expect, is a step up, and I expect to pay for it. Weíre not talking Leica prices here. And if youíre an amateur or student then my advice here and what I tell everybody is embrace the K-5! Itís extremely high quality! And the lens line up is better than youíll find for any system anywhere, on APS-C. Whatís even better is, nearly ANYONE can afford a multi lens system. Not true for Canikon.

I guess the core tenants of my argument here are:
1. I would like to see a Pentax professional system that utilizes both APS-C and Full Frame to make the best possible multi-format system.
2. I donít think a full frame option has to be cheap.
3. With their current APS-C line up, a Full Frame lens line up can be limited to focal lengths where it makes the most practical sense: Fast primes, specialty lenses, maybe a couple zooms (but I donít think the zooms are important because they can make them smaller and just as good in APS-C).
4. One last thing: Pentax will thrive in their differences rather than their similarities. If they take the Apple route, instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator, while not falling victim to the Leica elitism, they will find a market who enjoys standing out from the crowed. A great camera does a few things very well, but doesn't have to do EVERYTHING well. That's who I feel about my Pentax, and my X100, and that's why they're hype generators.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-02-2011, 11:06 PM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By Warpig
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
I agree, especially the part "doing the same things others do". I think that many people want "words" they read on different media, (FF, mirrorless, ILDC, translucent mirror, etc) just because everyone talks about it, but not thinking if they could benefit in their photo making.

As for me, I really don't need a bigger sensor or a high megapixel count. APS and 14-18mp is enough. What I would love though, is a pentaprism as big as it is in my ME Super. I remember the first time I looked on my K200D viewfinder, I was shocked how tiny and dim was the image projected. And thinking of the vast legacy pre-AF lenses a Pentax user could afford, a big bright viewfinder would help A LOT on focusing. (send this observation to Japan also!!)
Maybe I'm weird, but moving those focus rings on old lenses is something out of this world, it feels like you're building your house with your own hands. Nothing like a long travel focus ring. For me, that is.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-02-2011, 08:09 PM  
Some Thoughts Pentax and Full Frame
Posted By deadwolfbones
Replies: 561
Views: 73,018
Oh good, I was worried we wouldn't get another Pentax/FF thread.
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