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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10 Hours Ago  
K-1 mark II imminent
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 120
Views: 12,180
A very interesting idea and one which tells you that leaked spec sheets never tell the whole story.

Even so, surely the problem with objects moving in the frame - a branch in the wind, e.g. - would still remain. Eventually, I hope someone turns this whole idea into a switchable one. The user can select whether to use pixelshift to defeat the Bayer array and so improve acuity and colour fidelity or to increase resolution to MF levels which is what the Olympus system does - or a third option, so it appears: lower resolution output in exchange for handholding. Pentax uses four readings, the other uses eight. Just flick a switch, as you wish.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 1 Day Ago  
DSLR versus Mirrorless
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 45
Views: 1,170
So the answer is more porridge? I don't see why a mirrorless line would have to have anything to do with Pentax. It could be done as a Ricoh line, developed by a Ricoh team, and it could even use an existing mount (M43, e.g.) rather than start over with a brand-new one. I guess the idea would be to provide their Smart Vision operation with two main income streams rather than one. The hassle at the mo is that their main income stream, the DSLRs, are declining year on year. It's not either/or with Ricoh/Pentax or DSLR/DSLM. Anyway we'll see. It's quite hard to think Theta is all they've ever had in mind on the Ricoh side, though it could be so.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 1 Day Ago  
Pentax K-1 Mark II DSLR camera detailed specifications leaked
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 389
Views: 29,659
So you are saying news breaks on the morning of Thursday 22 February, Tokyo time?

There's nothing on Postel, yet. Though I have noticed that camera-makers now seem to register things on there after news breaks and not before it. They must have got wise to that little leak ... OTOH, if it is a minor update I guess the original registration might do.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 1 Day Ago  
DSLR versus Mirrorless
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 45
Views: 1,170
The problem with selling only to your userbase is that eventually age and infirmity carry them off faster than they are replaced. So really there are only two ways Pentax can go. The one which would interest me is getting on down with the new generation of cameras and photographers as an additional income stream to the DSLR cameras. Almost everyone expects sales of those to remain weak or reduced in coming years. A move into mirrorless would signal that Ricoh really do mean business. It would be hugely welcome, imho.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 2 Days Ago  
DSLR versus Mirrorless
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 45
Views: 1,170
Maybe we’ve been conditioned to think registration distances have to be quite large - is there an optimal distance?

Likely a degree of differentiation going in here too. The mirrorless outfits had to offer something obviously different. The advantage of a new range of lenses is that people end up buying them and new sales are how the companies make their money. Secondhand is no good to them. It also means that the catalogue isn’t full of old stagers from analogue days.

My understanding is that on-sensor CDAF mandates different lens designs and motors if it is to work well. The moving focus groups within the lens need to be small and light to accommodate lots of small, fast adjustments. Traditional DSLR lenses aren’t so good at this because they are not designed for it. In addition, in-camera software correction means lenses can be designed differently and can be smaller - they do not require so many corrections built in to the lens elements. Maybe cost savings with this approach?

Mirrorless growth in Asia is quite impressive now. Too much of a honey pot for the companies to pass by, perhaps.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 4 Days Ago  
K3ii replacement
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 318
Views: 31,828
You mean like the forthcoming 50mm f1.4? That's way too large and costly for APS-C, I would think. If you mean a range of slightly smaller and less costly lenses of an f1.8 kind, then I agree but that's not what they seem to be doing ...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 4 Days Ago  
K3ii replacement
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 318
Views: 31,828
I’d guess that the growth of mirrorless will make APS-C on DSLR increasingly difficult financially for a smaller player and even more tricky financially for those revised screwdrive lenses you mention. One can see why Ricoh are looking harder at FF these days where this does not apply to anything like the same extent, or not yet. I doubt there is time, now, for a multi-year lens refresh on APS-C. The period needed to recoup the capital outlay of revising all the DA Limited lenses, say, just isn't likely to be there. Maybe better to earmark the money for a new mount come mirrorless option or accept a rundown towards much more modest sales on crop DSLRs. The way the market is changing must all be a very difficult challenge for Ricoh’s financial planners. I would expect a basic set of new or improved zooms on APS-C K-mount, like the recently announced 11-18mm or the not-so-old 16-85mm, but not a flush of modern crop-format primes for the K mount. New primes would have to share with the FF venture. We'll see.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 5 Days Ago  
Pentax K-1 Mark II DSLR camera detailed specifications leaked
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 389
Views: 29,659
But the lenses for the K1 don't target low-end FF market, with the exception of the 28-105mm. So far the lenses target mid to high FF market, and from the specs very high FF market in the case of the forthcoming primes like the DA 50mm f1.4. There seems to be a non-sequitur here? Cheap pre-digital Pentax lenses can be sourced from Ebay of course, but this brings in no money for Pentax. So which one is it really, high or low? My own guess would be high or pretty high anyway with the Pentax value brand discount included in the case of the body.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 5 Days Ago  
Pentax K-1 Mark II DSLR camera detailed specifications leaked
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 389
Views: 29,659
I've no idea but it has been suggested it might be a new dual gain one from Sony - I've no real idea what that means beyond "better" at some things. Saying the sensor is 36 mpx doesn't tell us whether it is an older model or a newer model. Both are 36 mpx but one has improvements. That's the problem with spec sheets.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 5 Days Ago  
Pentax K-1 Mark II DSLR camera detailed specifications leaked
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 389
Views: 29,659
Spec sheets don't tell the whole story, I think. On paper this looks a very dull update. However, it's perfectly possible that a combination of a new sensor, an accelerator chip, improved software and tweaks here and there will turn out to produce a tighter, more responsive camera with IQ which is definitely a tad better, especially as the ISO climbs. Not enough to upgrade to from a K1, perhaps, but clearly something of a Mark II version. We'll see.

The real big seller which Pentax would benefit from would be a serious step-up on APS-C. That and not this new FF number will put some better news into their annual results, imho.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 6 Days Ago  
DSLR versus Mirrorless
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 45
Views: 1,170
I guess the mirrorless vs DSLR thang is a mix:
  1. A new generation coming up on smartphones has no trouble with any alleged newfangledness about EVFs and mirrorless cameras. For them, it's all quite natural.

  2. Mirrorless camera companies have been far more astute than the DSLR crowd in capturing attention via marketing and by following fashion and the general zeitgeist.

  3. Mirrorless probably has manufacturing advantages for companies - fewer parts, easier for automated assembly.

  4. Mirrorless companies have been quick to jump on video. DSLR ones not so quick or hardly at all.

  5. Running so much off the sensor enables things like face and eye detection, almost unlimited focusing points, WYSIWYG in the viewfinder, lightning fast AF - things DSLRs haven't really managed, not in the VF.

  6. Mirrorless camera companies have no legacy baggage to worry about. They've been astute in building out systems quickly. Generally, they now have very full offers, lenses and all. And with the exception of Sony, there is no playing off APS-C against FF a la Nikon or Canon.

  7. Mirrorless cameras offer growth to hungry companies. It's the only sector which is growing year on year. This is crack to corporate beancounters. It won't last but I'm sure plenty will pile in hoping for a slice of the pie.

I'd like to think there will always be room for both kinds of camera. A sad day if there wasn't. But I'd guess that DSLRs will gradually become something for specialists or for the older crowd who don't want to start over with new tech. Many seem to think that with a couple of years, mirrorless cameras and DSLRs will be at parity, by value if not by volume, and from there they'll likely become dominant. Now that most of the technical challenges in making them seem to have been mastered, they have most definitely arrived.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 6 Days Ago  
From Asahi man
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 281
Views: 23,637
It looks as if a K3II/KP successor with new-gen tech would be the big seller, so that is what will likely make the biggest difference tp Pentax's fortunes if they can get it into the 2018 reporting year. All the other rumoured or announced new items will help, of course, but I'd say the trick is to avoid another 2017 and to get some growth back into the annual results. Whatever we may think about feature A vs feature B in a particular item, some kind of financial stability must surely be on the mind of those who make the decisions at Ricoh.

All barring some totally unexpected new cam which enters the bestseller lists, of course. It's only mid-February ... and I do wonder what Pentax have been up to since about the middle of 2016. The KP was fully done a year ago already. The K1 refresh is hardly demanding. An MF 645 refresh might not be much more than dropping in a new processor and the current imaging system. The next big K3II/KP moves seem some way off from now. New lenses are taking an unusually long time to emerge. So what's been going on? Either not a huge amount perhaps or a completely new project we don't know about?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-13-2018, 04:46 AM  
From Asahi man
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 281
Views: 23,637
Whether it is mirrorbox or mirrorless, the main thing for Pentax is to get some growth and good news back into their finances and for that they need an enticing range of new items to hit the market throughout 2018. In two or three weeks, we will get a solid taste of what they have in store, at the CP+ show in Japan. Even Olympus, often in the frame as the next company to get it in the neck, recently reported growth of 7 per cent in their digital cameras and revenue two or three times higher than Ricoh's Smart Vision camera business. That's on track to report annual shrinkage of around 10 per cent or so, I think, something that has to be reversed if Pentax is to have a healthy future. Stakes are very high in 2018. Pentax need sales and sales need good new products!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-12-2018, 02:39 AM  
Pentax K3ii officially discontinued
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 477
Views: 27,327
Pentax are in a tricky position. Ricoh will never give them the funds to build a true D500 or X-H1 class of camera. Even if they did, the result would cost around 2K at retail, a lot more than many who want “flagship” would be prepared to pay, in reality. There’s a degree of fantasy football going on here.

Maybe the best chance for Pentax is to take the next generation of sensors and processors, which will be a lot faster and more capable than ones now 3-5 years old, and wrap them in a more K3-like body. They can add as many features as they can afford while keeping the price to a low enough level for the majority of Pentax customers. The result still won’t be D500 but it will be a little closer to it than a KP, especially in terms of ergos and battery.

Bear in mind that APS-C probably isn’t as nearly sexy as it was. Mirrorless cameras are eating their way through what is left of the sector after the declines of recent years. And Pentax have to put their modest funds where they can secure the best return. They are likely correct to think that is FF and other high-value items. APS-C is likely going through an awkward change-over period as mirrorless cameras come to the fore. There will be even more of those in a year’s time. Pentax are right to be a little diffident about pouring money into the sector. The world’s changed.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-09-2018, 03:41 PM  
Pentax K3ii officially discontinued
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 477
Views: 27,327
Your needs sound like a dead ringer for a D500 (or similar), quite honestly. Pentax aren’t going to produce one. I don’t know what your gut reaction is, but go with that. The right choice for you is what matters. Pentax can’t cover every base and the KP was acknowledgement that high end sports/action stuff was a stretch too far. I’m sure Pentax will produce a fine new APS-C number, but it will be a Pentax take on things and it still won’t be anything like a D500. Asahi Man is now being trashed because he spoke an inconvenient truth. Honestly, you are worth more than being given the runaround. Just move on if that’s what you decide and don’t regret it.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-09-2018, 03:16 AM  
Pentax K3ii officially discontinued
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 477
Views: 27,327
It’s hard to see the benefit of taking the assumptions of 2012-13 and throwing them forward into 2019 as a K3II successor. Tastes and tech have changed a great deal in that time so what people are wishing for might turn out to be a magnificent fossil. It’s perfectly reasonable to think the whole K7 to K3 evolution has well and truly run its course. Time for something else.

It sounds as if Pentax aren’t big enough now to do much more than one thing at a time. So when FF is out of the way for a while, I expect they will return their attention to APS-C. A new offer will need to be a camera which works in the market of 2019, however. That market has shrunk by about 40 per cent in the past few years and by 2019 chances are Canon and Nikon will be pumping marketing millions into the AP-C mirrorless bandwagon. The camera market might be looking a pretty different place in one year’s time.

I see Asahi Man’s statement as basically saying there won’t be a new higher-end APS-C camera until the KP has run its course and that the main focus is on FF these days. And when a new offer does come, Ricoh realise that it can’t be a KP Mark II but they also realise it can’t be a K3 Mark III either. Change is the name of the game now. Best to look forwards, not backwards. Most folks who have a KP seem to love it. Why would what it represents not make for a decent future anyway? It's a scaled-down K1 in most ways and isn't the K1 exactly what Pentax does best?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-08-2018, 02:57 AM  
Financial Results:FY2018/03
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 651
Views: 42,982
I agree. But Ricoh must be hoping for at least a mini version of this bounce in 2018. There are likely two or three bodies and two or three lenses in the mix this year (according to rumours or undertakings) and all are high-value items, especially if one includes anything on the 645 front. And the most of that will depend on existing Pentax customers laying out a tidy sum. So far anyway, Ricoh havenít looked far outside the userbase for their sales. To do that might require more marketing, addressing long-standing issues like AF or video performance, and a venture into other form factors (MILC, eg).
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-07-2018, 04:15 PM  
Financial Results:FY2018/03
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 651
Views: 42,982
The K1 provided a massive boost in 2016 which tailed off naturally after initial demand was met; and after that, collectively, Pentax products matched the general 10-15 per cent decline in the DSLR market. It only looks like a 40 per cent decline because the sales boost of the K1 means that the quarterly figures start from an uncharacteristically high level if you take as the starting point one of the quarters when the K1 was returning big sales. There may be other reasons such as industrial cameras in the mix, but imho there is no actual need for them to explain the figures. The K1 effect is a pretty sufficient cause.

I’d guess Ricoh may be hoping for a repeat of this with a Mark II K1. The effect won’t be nearly as large, because most Pentax folk who want a K1 now have it. What it shows, however, is that the quarterly figures can improve quite quickly if there is a decisive shift to much higher-value products, as happened for a few months with the K1. The trick is to keep them there.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-05-2018, 08:34 AM  
Micro Four Thirds Club
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 2,148
Views: 188,661
That's a fine image, and thanks for the info ...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-05-2018, 04:09 AM  
K3ii replacement
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 318
Views: 31,828
Well, Pentax has been valued for years for what one might call cameras made by and for photographers. I'm sure their teams greatly like and respect the DSLR form factor, and obviously they are expert in it, but at the same time I am sure they are pragmatic people, If the need to change a bit is there, they will change what they do. After all, in the 645 series, the Q and the GR they've already shown they can make cameras in other form factors which are as good as the best of them. It's nothing they haven't done before. In fact, Canon, Nikon and Pentax are almost the only camera companies which haven't substantially reinvented themselves over the past 10-15 years. To me, what would be remarkable is if they don't change a bit, not if they do.

One could argue that if things continue with cameras moving up the market and the whole thing becoming more and more exclusive, then some companies won't be in the camera business at all but in the luxury brands game. I guess Leica and perhaps Hasselblad and Phase One are already there. Very different rules for that game. No more boxes piled high in chain stores, etc. Who wants to buy a beautifully-made 2000-note lens in the same place which sells toasters and boomboxes? I'd be surprised if some of the camera companies aren't at least looking at this scenario too.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-04-2018, 03:51 PM  
K3ii replacement
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 318
Views: 31,828
That view might need to be revisited in the light of one word: Asia.

Look at the stats over recent years. It’s clear that Asia has become the principal market driver in the camera world. And as I’ve said, it is not either/or anyway but both: asking Asian companies (which includes Japan) to walk by what will soon be half the Asian market for cameras isn’t a flier. They would be walking past the next generations of camera buyers. So those DSLR companies which want to survive will offer both. Canon as good as acknowledged this in their recent financial report when they said intend to “maintain sales growth, driven by mirrorless cameras where double-digit sales growth continues.” It’s just good old capitalism following the market and, tbh, completely unremarkable. And if the market changes, so astute companies will change their mix of products. They’re not really in the DSLR business or in the mirrorless business. It’s not a marriage. They’re simply in business. If the world changes so will they.

I fully expect Ricoh’s next APS-C camera to be a DSLR but I don’t think they can kick this can down the road much longer, not if they want to stay in the game.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-04-2018, 11:57 AM  
K3ii replacement
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 318
Views: 31,828
Try this for size:

Asian women get their closeup in new push for Japanese cameras- Nikkei Asian Review

The press release for the new Fujifilm X-A5 is full of code words - user-friendly, easy, touchpanel, enhancer, affordable, quick, fun, lightweight, comfortable, etc. It comes in a choice of three colours (two are pastel-ish) and is offered with a power zoom. No EVF, just the rear screen.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-04-2018, 11:22 AM  
K3ii replacement
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 318
Views: 31,828
A fair opinion obviously, but mine is that concentrating 100 per cent on DSLRs will put Pentax out of business eventually. Even if they reduced down to a single FF camera and more or less dumped APS-C, the DSLR market will become too tough and constrained for a niche player on the side. It is simply shrinking year by year. Somehow, Ricoh have to navigate a changeover period of a few years - still with DSLRs for their traditional customers for sure but with the new-gen stuff building and gradually coming through for the new wave of future customers. It doesnít have to be either/or, and none of us knows what Ricoh really want from their imaging division anyway.

So, yes to a good new APS-C DSLR in 2018 but if Ricoh spokesmen rule out mirrorless in the not very distant future, I would take it as a warning that Ricoh are looking for an out of some kind.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-04-2018, 03:29 AM  
K3ii replacement
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 318
Views: 31,828
Yes, it looks as if today cameras like the Canon M6, Olympus Pens and Fuji A series are appealing to that market just as the Q did back in the day, with the sensor and controls of the period. A new-generation Q++ would be right in among those cameras - much larger sensor, modern video, etc. There are opportunities in mirrorless that donít involve immediate conflict with K mount. Once one has a really sorted new mount one can switch targets using body styles and feature sets - this one for younger women, that one for the vlogging crowd, another one for ye olde crusties etc etc. For Ricoh, itís a missed opportunity I think.

Keep a hand in both camps and see what the market says. Putting every single egg in the DSLR basket is much riskier than it was.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-03-2018, 03:54 AM  
Micro Four Thirds Club
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 2,148
Views: 188,661
Very good to see these images. I first came across Klamath in a book of short stories by the late Raymond Carver (who eventually lived in Port Angeles, WA) and have always wondered what it was like.
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