Let's help Jim Malcolm

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
dboeren Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm

I'm a casual shooter, newly moved up from compact cameras to DSLR's.  I do enjoy gear, but don't have the funds to actually buy the premium level lenses I'd like to own.

I don't know where this puts me in the demographics chart, but personally I think if Pentax is to make inroads they do need to be attractive to the casual photographers.  When I was doing my shopping research, I was putting the K-30 up against the Rebel t4i, Sony A57, and other starter DSLRs and it seemed like a slam dunk, the image quality and features of the K-30 are clearly better (IMHO) than what you can get from other makers.

The problem is, nobody who goes shopping for a camera knows about this.  You can't see a Pentax at Best Buy, Walmart, or anyplace else that people will go to look at cameras.  I was fortunate enough to find one Pentax camera in a Wolf Camera in downtown Atlanta, they claimed that they were the only store in the state that carried Pentax.  So how is anyone going to discover this option?

Putting out a full frame camera is fine and all, but I feel like it's only going to make a difference to a small amount of the market.  Building up the company requires getting a piece of the mass market, and you can't do that if your product isn't somewhere they can see it.  Sure, it's cool being all "underground" and everything, but I'd rather see Pentax in normal stores and selling enough volume to lower prices and support an improved rate of lens releases.  Hopefully you do too.

So how do I feel about full frame?  Frankly, a little apprehensive.  What I don't want is to see lens releases derailed.  The rate of release is slow already, and if full frame is going to come out Pentax will need to make a detour to put out a set of FF lenses for people to use with this hypothetical new camera.  That will likely cause further delays while the DA lenses on the roadmap are put on the back burner.

Also, there's the other elephant in the room - compatibility.  Right now, probably just about all of us own at least one, and probably several, DA or DA* lenses.  These lenses won't operate with a full frame sensor.  Having to replace all those lenses would be a significant expense, and the more DA lenses you own the higher it gets.  So, I (and others) want to know whether to keep going down this particular rabbit-hole.  I figure that in maybe 3-5 years I'll probably be looking to upgrade my K-30.  I feel like I'll probably be upgrading to the new top APS-C camera - the successor to the K-5iis, or potentially to a full frame version.

If I'll be buying full frame, I'd like to know that before I put any more money into additional APS-C lenses, particularly expensive ones like the DA*'s or Limiteds, which of course are attractive things a lot of us might aspire to own.  Conversely, if FF is not coming or if it's expected to be so expensive that it's out of reach for casual shooters, then by knowing that now I could relax and buy whatever lenses I want knowing that compatibility won't affect me.

Now, no matter how much people complain about Pentax, I think we all have to admit that they take backwards compatibility seriously - and at least to me this is a big draw of the system.  I just picked up an m42 adapter and plan to have a great time with some inexpensive legacy lenses.  So, I doubt they would leave us totally out in the cold.  Someone in another thread mentioned that they could support DA lenses by shooting in a mode that only uses an APS-C sized patch of the full frame sensor and this makes a lot of sense to me.  My DA lenses would work like they always have, even keeping their 1.5x crop factor.  Then my other lenses would be able to choose whether to shoot using the whole sensor or shoot in cropped mode, which might occasionally be attractive if you want more reach.  If they're smart, they could easily build a database of all the DA lenses and each one's maximum coverage - I'm guessing a lot of them might be able to cover more than just the bare minimum ASP-C sized patch so you'd get at least partial sensor size upgrades even with these.

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