Pentax Q: What were they thinking?

Started Jun 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
Ed Herdman Regular Member • Posts: 140
It's the camera, not how many eyes it has!

The one thing I thought I had learned from reading articles by the experts (the whole spectrum...from characters like Ken "your camera doesn't matter" R. to Michael Reichmann (and of course many others) was that the further along you go in the craft, the more the small things in a camera will matter to your workflow. Not so much the technical things but the usability points.

The site is called Digital Photography Review, and not limited to just high-end equipment. And following along that note, consider that first you have users, like most of us, who have either specialized needs or specialized "attitudes" about filming - some of it is practical and some is aesthetic. Obviously, if you are seriously birding or shooting product photography, you don't go to the smallest format cameras without a wide enough lens range.

But if you are into the sort of photography Henri-Cartier Bresson excelled with, a street photographer or just a humanist with an eye for images (or maybe neither of those in particular, just a person who carries the camera either discreetly or not as their primary focus) you may have some more reason to look to a small sensor camera. Yes, it's clear it will do many things poorly, and I think that the f/0.95 lens potential is missing the point. It is for an entirely different segment.

And on that note, the issues about Hoya/Pentax supposedly losing their marbles: Yes, they're under new management apparently, but the 645D seems to be a worthwhile product in its market, and this may be a worthwhile product in its own as well. It may make people with nostalgia for Spotmatic cameras and the "Pentax screw mount" M42 lenses (lately counting myself one of them) wish Pentax branding was "more mainstream" (read: More aligned to my own personal quasi-professional niche ) but if we are realistic they would not be at an advantage directly competing in the crowded FF/APS-C DSLR or other size subframe ILC categories.

I don't see this as a modern answer to the Minox spy camera or an exact analogue to anything else - it recalls what Joseph S. Wisniewski writes about that light field camera: Potentially an answer in search of a question - but in this case, the answer is just a new, smaller format camera which will likely have good quality Pentax lenses. Live and let the format mature, or fail in the market, I say, but it will get its chance the same as any other worthwhile technology - unlike some other products that aren't set to appear any time soon

About the "cuteness" factor: I think Pentax has their sights clearly on the use of the camera, and so weight and image control (and image quality) takes over for "zoom range" and in this case probably "cuteness" as well. I don't deny such things matter in marketing - they certainly could doom this - but I think this is more missing the point as to what the camera is supposed to be: A solution to a particular photographic need.

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