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Forum: Pentax K-3 III 04-05-2021, 06:15 AM  
DPReview first impressions Pentax K-3 III
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 97
Views: 9,718
There are two different issues here. First is the number of DSLRs and lenses out there and in use. The second is where industry investment is going looking to the future.

It is clear that a simply huge number of DSLRs and lenses are out there and in use. They will be available, even if increasingly second hand, for many years to come, although the indications seem to be that mirrorless cameras are increasingly the ones that are bought new although not the only ones. Mirrorless cameras are only just starting to get to grips with the heights of sports and action of the Canon 1DX kind. It will take a while before the big three camera companies have sorted that one out and no doubt even longer before the professional photography corps make significant changes.

It is also clear that industry investment is going towards what we call mirrorless cameras. I think this is more generally Augmented Reality. An EVF is augmented reality, really, and so are an increasing number of software programs that will transform an original image by for example changing the sky, removing things, putting other things in, and so forth. The resulting image may bear little resemblance to what the photographer actually saw. Still, I would guess that 'mirrorless' and software come together into a new Augmented Reality paradigm especially when seen in its widest sense to include smartphones. This challenges our whole idea of what a photograph and photography are, especially when we consider software than can create lifelike, photo-real portraits or landscapes using CGi and not involving an original photograph at all. At that stage, will a camera even be necessary?

The question is whether this is the way the next generation want to go. They are raised on Augmented Reality - think of all the apps of the TikTok kind - so probably this is where they will go, and industry investment will go with them. However, just as there are some photographers who think a 5"x4" film camera is very heaven, so there will also be photographers for whom staying with the straightforward, basic approach offered by a DSLR matters and is what they prefer. Perhaps there won't be many of them in years to come, but they will be there. In any case, perhaps there don't need to be many of them for a small boutique company like Pentax to find a niche. It's obvious after all that the K3 Mark III is a very good camera and no doubt a new K1 in due course with its innovations will be very good too. And film photography, for example, hasn't disappeared and in fact is steadily becoming more popular.

Most internet articles I've read don't consider these matters very deeply. They are after an easy the-one-vs-the-other comparison because that makes for easy clicks. But shifts like this are never as straightforward and never as complete as the internet boosters would have you think. But start saying that and the clicks go down, so we don't read about it very often.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2021, 11:57 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 572
Views: 38,988
The chairman of Ricoh has basically said that the photography market is changing, Ricoh as a corporation is changing, and their camera division needs to change too. Really no surprises here. We all know the state of the world, surely.

What is impressive is that the chairman of a huge corporation is prepared to think carefully about the matter and try to ensure the continued heritage of a part of his company so small that it is probably worth about five minutes of his time per month, given what else he has on his plate. So my guess is that Ricoh will make best efforts to get a reasonable result and if they don't it won't be for lack of trying. Compare this to the brutal behaviour of many boardrooms, especially with very small divisions. The question here perhaps is whether Pentax and DSLRs are so closely wedded that one cannot exist without the other. What would change really involve? We may all have different opinions on that but I think the statement from Ricoh suggests that they are going to consider the whole thing much more carefully than many boardrooms might.

Beyond this, there really isn't anything a few customers can do. The pandemic has accelerated change in many areas of life and this is one of them. I still think Ricoh are missing a trick by leaving 'prosumer' medium format to Fujifilm. Not everyone at all wants a Canonikony clone which is the present scene in the upper levels of the FF market.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 03-15-2021, 06:43 AM  
Japanese market share (unit sales)
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 37
Views: 2,201
Follow the money. The CIPA figures suggest that mirrorless pulls in about 71 per cent of the worldwide shipment value of mirrorless and DSLRs combined. Itís the cash thatís driving this, not absolute unit numbers. Everything becomes easier when you can secure a higher average unit sale price, as with mirrorless.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-11-2021, 07:25 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 572
Views: 38,988
Well said. The opportunities lie in fields outside mainstream photography. The mainstream both consumer and professional even now has more players and products floating around than there is really room for. As a B2B business already involved in imaging and document management, Ricoh may be better placed than many to identify what those fields are and how best to move into them, with or without partners. I would guess this is a large part of what the CEO was getting at, though I guess he may also have been alluding to an idea already around, that camera-makers may need club together and to co-op some things, such as their manufacturing facilities, to reduce excess capacity in the industry.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-10-2021, 11:56 AM  
CEO of Ricoh (the mother ship) talks about the future of PENTAX and GR
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 572
Views: 38,988
There isn't much more revenue to be obtained from simply making more cameras, I'd guess. That applies to all the current players. The market is unlikely to grow at all and will probably consolidate around just a few higher-end items from a smaller number of brands, although video (which Pentax isn't in) will likely expand. I'd guess Ricoh are looking for ways to leverage their patents and expertise in ventures in other fields of whatever kind, or license things that can be used under other brand names, etc. The imaging field is wide, far beyond just classic photography though whatever agreement Ricoh have with Hoya might limit what can be done. That might provide some extra revenue and expand the field of operations. In the meantime, Pentax can continue to make their DSLR cameras. It's hard to see where else they have to go with that. There are very few players left now and fewer options than there were. Things are pretty well set. I think Pentax have missed a trick with not doing more on medium format, though. Anyway, I don't think the head of Ricoh was talking about doing deals with other camera companies particularly but about a wider pan-industrial view of things that might need imaging expertise.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 03-07-2021, 12:42 PM  
Canon R1
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 31
Views: 1,223
Amazing specs but the whole FF mirrorless thing is ending up in a very samey Canonikony clone situation for ‘only’ many thousands of dollars. A mad money race. That’s fine for particular things like sports where top AF, high ISO quality and fast frames are important but plain batty for some other genres where those features don’t matter nearly so much. Right now I’m thinking stick with what you have and then look at jumping up to medium format which at this rate will soon be less costly than FF. A lot of things - street, travel, family snaps eg - that MF is not designed for can be accommodated very well on APS-C or likely on a smartphone.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 03-04-2021, 02:04 PM  
Buying into Nikon?Theres not many taking the new way!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 65
Views: 2,388
What interested me about that article was how well Fuji are doing, considering they don’t have a player in the FF game. I wonder if Fuji’s bet on medium format will pay off now that they have set prices at the upper end of FF but not noticeably above it (except for the original GFX 100) and in fact below it in some cases.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-10-2021, 03:07 PM  
Fuji GFX100s - 100MP Cropped Medium Format for under $6,000??
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 171
Views: 8,807
Looks a really fine camera but at 100mpx I’m wondering whether good shots really depend on a tripod. One tiny slip of the hand and at that res I’d have thought the result could suffer even with stabilisation. Still, this camera with a prime lens weighs less than the camera and zoom lens I lugged around the countryside this afternoon (with a smaller sensor) so I can see it’s tempting if you have the asking price. Not sure whether Fuji are using clever marketing to repurpose what is still basically a studio camera, though.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 02-08-2021, 11:53 AM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 173
Views: 13,861
Well said. My heart says go for Nikon Z7 (i only used Nikon in analogue days) but my head says Canon and Sony are ahead and pulling further away all the time, and their finances look more stable, too, particularly Canon's. A dark horse creeping up on Nikon for de facto #3 is Fuji. I don't much like Fuji's APS-C cameras but their new and low-priced (erm relatively) medium-format offerings sound amazing if more slow and considered photography is your thing. Nikon's slide over the past decade has been painful to watch. They can clearly make world-class kit but somehow the bigger picture never quite comes together.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 12-31-2020, 06:25 AM  
Mirrorless camera- was this a good move for Canon/ Nikon ?
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 41
Views: 1,928
In addition to the points made by various people here, digital convergence means that Canon and Nikon pretty well had to move on from the traditional DSLR. The majority of aspiring young image-makers today are going to spend as much and probably far more time shooting videos over their career as they are making stills, and DSRs simply aren't the best for video. One could argue that current MILCs mostly aren't video beasts either and are only borderline serious kit at the commercial end - for example only a couple are on Netflix's current approved camera list - but they are a stage on the road to something else. While almost any quality DSLR of recent years can make a beautiful still image, market demands have simply moved on.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-06-2020, 07:01 AM  
The Zeiss Zx1 at ..... $6,000
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 12
Views: 665
One-offs like this never wok, imho. The technology is beyond the average camera/optical outfit, and often so is the marketing. Sales are modest. Soon the manufacturer is losing interest, updates and bug fixes slide and within 18-24 months the item is on its way to paperweight status. I can see this idea working as a new camera OS but only when launched as a consortium platform with some big players on board, and with the expertise, size and funding to build out something longer term.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-30-2020, 04:11 PM  
Really tempted to get an Olympus 0M-D M-M1X kit.
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 13
Views: 1,227
The EM!-X is a very good camera. I have one. But imho it is a big beast and really designed for long telephotos and sports-type photography, so the Oly 300mm f4 or 40-150mm f2.8 would be an ideal pairing, for example. For more 'normal' focal lengths you will get similar performance and many of its features from an EM1 Mark III in a much smaller form factor. The EM1 Mark II is also a good alternative to the Mark III though obviously with slightly older tech. However, same sensor so similar output, just less tweaked. They are all good cameras provided you accept that a smaller sensor will not perform quite so well in low light, but then you won't be lugging around a heavy and costly FF-calibre lens either. As with all cameras, it is a trade-off - great for some, not for others.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 03-14-2020, 02:06 PM  
Going into Micro Four Thirds - I'm getting an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 120
Views: 6,845
Yes. I think it is important to bear in mind that AF performance is dependent on the integration of the whole system - lens, camera, camera's electronics. More recent cameras often do have an advantage here. They are using more powerful processors, the latest AF software, and often quite recent lenses with very fast motors. An example is the sophisticated tracking AF on some cameras but then you may have to pay a lot for that, if you want the best - far more than any Pentax camera costs.

Obviously Pentax is not competing in this market, or so it seems to me. if you need top tracking AF and the fastest-focusing modern lenses then Pentax is not really the brand to choose. But many people don't need that and have no intention of ever needing it. And if you don't need that then top AF performance isn't really relevant and it doesn't matter if your lens is an older model. It will still work fine within its design parameters for its intended purpose, and if you can't get things to work within those parameters then the problem is likely between the ears, not in the camera. it's all about horses for course, imho. FWIW, I hardly ever use AF tracking on my Olympus camera. I simply don't need to because I don't photograph the kinds of things for which tracking is designed. AF-C is plenty good enough for what I do and still allows for quite a bit of movement in the frame. What I need is fast AF acquisition and lock and then shutter release, which is not quite the same as tracking.

Goes to show one needs to think through getting any camera. Is it suitable for my intended purpose? Is it a jack of all trades or a specialist item? No one would by a Fuji GX medium format intending to shoot horse-racing at speed unless they are nuts. But for other things - landscape, fashion, portraiture - it is superb. Because it was designed with that kind of photography in mind. Ditto Pentax in its own spheres, notably of landscape and the 'field camera' but also extending into general purpose and travel, especially on crop format.

I suppose a potentially tricky exception here is face- and eye-detect AF which seems to be becoming a kind of general expectation in cameras. But like tracking, of which it is a variety, that too depends on both a well-integrated system and the company designing those kinds of cameras for that kind of market. Suppose the company doesn't? Well that's fine. One presumes the company is designing its cameras for a different kind of use. Same with top-spec video. Not all cameras are designed with that in mind. Just do the research before buying. Imho, most of the world's most celebrated images were taken on relatively and sometimes very basic cameras by modern standards. And some of the most celebrated images still being taken today are on 10x8 and 5x4 field cameras using fairly long exposures on film. No electronics there at all ...
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 03-07-2020, 01:58 AM  
Going into Micro Four Thirds - I'm getting an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 120
Views: 6,845
Lucky you! Sounds fab. There are various sites and cheat sheets if you Google which explain typical menu settings, AF settings and the like. These will mainly still be for the older EM1 Mark II but most menu items will have stayed the same. An example is Unlocking Olympus. For AF settings here is one site. There are lots of others. In practice I have not found much of an IQ difference between M43 and APS-C especially where IBIS and accurate AF can be used to keep ISO down and images correctly focused. However, the combination of smaller size and full features on the better M43 kit means that my enjoyment and keeper rate have increased. I have a camera with me more often and it delivers good results. There is less leeway for seriously incorrect exposures, though. One wants to try to get that right in camera. FWIW I have made good prints of 45” x 30” from m43. I really don’t need anything larger.

Sulasula is the website of one M43 wildlife photographer. He also has a few tips for settings, AF, post-processing and the like. When I get as good as that maybe I’ll think it’s time to move on, lol.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-27-2020, 02:11 PM  
Going into Micro Four Thirds - I'm getting an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 120
Views: 6,845
I use a lot of Olympus equipment. The 12-100mm f4 is a fine lens and I have one. However, for what you have in mind the real workhorse is probably the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 (80-300mm equiv). This can be safely left on f2.8 while you shoot away. Superb quality at all lengths, built like a tank. I have taken more keepers with this than with any other lens. A 1.4x and a 2x teleconverter are available for it too. Both are quality, potentially extending the lens to 600mm at f5.6 but at that aperture you will want reasonable light. There are other, slower zooms in the Olympus and Panasonic stables but my experience is that with smaller sensors you want the fastest glass you can afford. I’ve found Olympus to be generally excellent and with top WR. Many love Panasonic gear just as much but Oly strikes me as better for action since Panny cameras lack phase detect AF. Two other top lenses which I don't have are the Panny 200mm f2.8 and the Oly 300mm f4.

However, as others have said there are several choices out there and it may be that a Nikon D500 say with an appropriate lens will offer better performance and value, and very possibly superior tracking AF which it sounds as if you will need. Unless you have set your heart on Oly, it would certainly be worth checking out other systems.This might especially apply if you are shooting indoors where low light could be an issue.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-11-2019, 04:39 PM  
Olympus Rumours
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 73
Views: 3,547
My understanding is that Olympus is facing litigation in the US because its endoscopes have been implicated - so it is alleged - in superbug outbreaks which have claimed many lives. A really bad result in the courts could blow up Oly’s medical division because of ruinous damages, I guess?? In which case the company becomes a target for corporate vultures, break-up artists, etc. So if the imaging side goes south it could be for reasons elsewhere in the company. But who knows. I don’t think Oly would stop making cameras unless the ship was about to go down or the current management lost control. Imaging is a very important part of their culture. However, they could shrink it down to barebones stuff for long-term loyal customers only, I suppose. That said, it looks as though all the camera companies are facing a fairly similar situation in terms of steep market declines. And if the decline continues it’s pretty unlikely all of them will still be merrily making cameras in say five years’ time.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 07-02-2019, 09:01 AM  
Canon Full Frame Mirrorless $1,299
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 345
Views: 18,575
I doubt Canon and Nikon really expected to set the world on fire. The most lucrative sales will come at the upper end from their professional and prosumer customers, a market that's conservative about sudden changes of direction because it likes to stick to what works and maintain the value/usability of lens portfolios. This will change for sure, but quite slowly. I'm sure Canon and Nikon know that. I've met two professional photographers in the past few days and both had just purchased a Nikon Z6 to add to their arsenal. The advantage, both said, was silent operation through the viewfinder instead of being limited to silent operation via live view off the back of the camera. LV operation is no good for concert/event photography when you're trying to capture the key moments of expression of faces on a stage with a longer lens, for example (which is what both photographers were doing).
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-11-2019, 03:19 AM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 173
Views: 13,861
You're mixing up mirrorless and DLSR. Others make a clearer distinction. As I said, if someone wants something and they can afford it they'll by it, whether an S1R or a $100 million yacht. Outrageous to some, chump change to others. The usage cases and value judgements made by those not in the target audience are irrelevant. The manufacturer only needs enough folks in the segment they're aiming the product towards ...
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-11-2019, 02:56 AM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 173
Views: 13,861
People are always shocked by how much others are prepared to pay for something they want but one doesn't. A $100 million yacht, anyone? All that matters to the manufacturer is that enough of a market does want it and is prepped to pony up. I doubt Panny are expecting to sell oodles of the S1R but as always they only need enough people ... and so far as I can make out, it is a very fine piece of engineering. There is still a lot of money around in some parts of the world, even if not in the old West.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-11-2019, 01:13 AM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 173
Views: 13,861
Iím not in the market for a full-frame camera though Iíve handled both and talked to an FF Panny owner. But if Panny keep up their high standards then next time I need a new mirrorless camera Iíll be looking at their M43 stable. My guess is that ILC photography gear will continue to get steadily more costly as volumes fall and unit costs rise. Unwelcome fact of life, though mitigated by ďgood enoughĒ - far less need to update the camera more than occasionally.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-10-2019, 03:10 PM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 173
Views: 13,861
If I was in the market for a full frame camera I would buy a Panasonic first and a Nikon second. Both fine camera-makers, in fact very fine from many angles. Nikon has a vast and heavily invested user base, in addition, while the Panasonic can use Leica and Sigma lenses. If you want quality then you need to pay for it in either case. Not a surprise. It’s hard to see what the fuss is about.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-30-2019, 06:20 AM  
Could Ricoh make the camera without compromise? (Ricoh-Patent on PDAF and/or CD AF)
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 67
Views: 9,422
It's an intriguing idea but I wonder who would buy it or whether there'd be enough interested Pentax-owners to make it feasible? I suppose this would be selling customers on from the K1 level to the next and newest level, a kind of K1 Mark III with a newer sensor et al inside it too. Presumably Ricoh would do some market research first.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 05-27-2019, 05:53 AM  
Watching dinosaurs - ILC (mirrorless and DSLR) markets
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 67
Views: 5,052
I am no fan of Sony and don’t want a Sony anything in my house. However, one has to give them props for coming in and shaking up a complacent duopoly in a fairly short time. Consumers have benefited, no doubt of it. I’ve no idea whether and to what extent any of the main camera-making companies is really profitable with regard to their digital camera divisions. They employ so much smoke and mirrors in their accounts that it’s hard even for experts to say. I agree with a previous poster, though, about industrial growth. The old assumptions are a bust and a new way of doing things is required.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-11-2019, 06:31 AM  
Currently Watching my Managers Failing at Flash Photography
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 30
Views: 2,152
Thatís a good start! Thank you very much :)
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-11-2019, 12:02 AM  
Currently Watching my Managers Failing at Flash Photography
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 30
Views: 2,152
Anyone recommend a good resource for getting flash photography right? I’ve likely got some coming up in June - people, an event, inside a marquee I would imagine. Walk around snapping guests and groups. It’s neither paid nor pro nor very important but it would be nice to know I was getting it as right as I could.
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