Why Pentax Need a New Mount Now

Started Nov 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Bill Robb
Senior MemberPosts: 3,332
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Re: Why Pentax Need a New Mount Now
In reply to 6x9, Nov 13, 2013

6x9 wrote:

Bill Robb wrote:

6x9 wrote:

Currently Pentax have two mount types - K(AF3) for APS-C (and potentially for FF), and Q for a small size sensor.

There is now a clear trend towards mirrorless cameras with big sensors (APS-C, MFT), as they offer DSLR quality in compact package. Current APS-C sensor bodies are comparible in size with 1/1.7"-1/2.3" ones.

But they don't offer DSLR usability in any package. When they get that straightened out, you might be on to something.

I do not totally agree. There are mirrorless cameras on the market which are pretty much "DSLRs" (in some respects are even better). The Olympus OM-D cameras are really great in terms of usability. I have E-M5 and since I bought it last year it is my main "DSLR" (well, it is mirrorless of course). I use my K5 mainly for shooting serious events where I need my top lenses (mainly because I have nice Pentax lenses). E-M5 is my travel camera.

A friend of mine has one. The viewfinder is junk. So much for usability.

Although it is fun to use the Q series, I do not think there is real future for Pentax Q format, unless it stays as a fashion thing (see how many color options are offered for Q-series).

Now we come to the K mount. Pentax K-01 was the first mirrorles with this mount. Although it has a benefit of offereing full compatibility with K-mount lenses (which is great), this camera is clearly off the mainstream as it does not offer similar compact body as competitors. Now K-mount becomes a clear limitation for mirrorless design, and needs to be "upgraded" to fit mirrorless path.

Tke K-01 is a one off joke. Every manufacuter makes an Edsel from time to time. This was the Pentax Edsel.

Oner may laugh, but I consider the K-01 a serious tool. I have three of those. Yes, it has its drawbacks and if I had influence on Pentax R&D I would make it a bit different. But some drawbacks of this camera are actually an advantage. It is a very straightforward camera with great controls, it is solid, it is easy to use. It may look ugly, but it has all what you need in it: huge battery, sensor which does not overheat in video mode, and - it kas K-mount.

Ideally, this new mount should be suitable for FF. It would probably need to be a bit larger, to make sure that it is suitable for in-body stabilization.

Or just leave well enough alone, since the registration distance is ideal for the 24x36 format.

The faster Pentax takes this decision to move to a new mount, the better (but still preserving compatibility with older lenses via a special adaptor).

The faster Pentax does what you suggest, the faster they lose about the only bragging right they have, which is full, unadapted compatibility with every bayonet mount lens they have made, and the faster they lose compatibility with their present screw drive AF lenses.

If Ricoh/Pentax introduce the new mount in smart way, they will finally win. Canon had introduced the EOS AF mount when the FD was still more than alive. Sure many were not very happy. But having AF was so tempting...

I know people who still won't touch Canon after the FD debacle. I was selling cameras when the EOS system came out. The rep bald faced lied to me about what was going to happen to the FD line. It took Canon about a year to completely abandon the FD mount and an entire customer base along with it.

Sony did the same thing now with the FF mirrorless. It is enough to preserve backwards compatibility via adaptors.

Sure, and Canon did that how? With a junky refconverter that destroyed image quality? Converters are a guaranteed kludge.

Look at this from a different perspective - in a few years the market for DSLRs will squeeze significantly, whilst the mirrorles systems will dominate.

You are making a presumption with absolutely no facts to back it up.

I am not just quoting rumors, this is reality which we live in. Over the years electronics is getting cheaper than equivalent mechanics. If Ricoh/Pentax continue to stick to KAF (which is DSLR-oriented) without offering a new line of mirrorles cameras with a new mount, they risk loosing the martket share as a minimum.

What market share do they have now? What they need to be doing is going after market share in the thriving and much bigger DSLR market. Get a foothold rather than a toe hold there.

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