Why Are Pentax with Prime Selection Grabbing Some of Mirrorless Market?

Started Aug 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Alex Sarbu Veteran Member • Posts: 9,402
Re: The problems as I see it.... Pentax, or is it Ricoh

Richard wrote:

Rod McD wrote:

Richard wrote:

The problem with Pentax is 2 things, first, no path to FF. I hear now there are rumors of a full frame. So in the past even if you considered this brand you did not know if they would produce a FF. But the rumor has it they will make one with the same sensor as the D600 yet they are going to charge $2800. The D800 is selling for $2800 right now, the Pentax will not sell.

I'm a current Pentax user who is watching info about their probable FF. It's all rumor and conjecture but we're broadly predicting an FF in 2014. (They do of course make the pro-level 645D that FF users can upgrade to).

Do the lenses from the K30 work on the medium format? No. How many lenses does that format have, 3 or 4. Not an upgrade path but medium format.

17 lenses.

As far as price goes...... I've never seen a price quoted for the rumored FF camera. Pentax may be smaller than Canon & Nikon, but they aren't stupid. They won't sell a D600 spec'd camera with the name Pentax on it for twice the price of a similar one with the name NIKON on it.

They sell their lenses for higher price. The link I found on the rumored price. But again, it is all rumor and we don't know if it will ever materialize, but it doesn't matter, my point was I can see why this camera is not mainstream.


That was an April 1st joke, a bad one I must say.

The real information and rumors circling out there don't say anything about the sensor used, nor the price.

Second... consumer confidence. Is it Pentax or.. uh... Hoya... or uh... Ricoh. So while it seems like a decent product, it has some major issues.

I'm not sure that the average consumer knows who owned the company and when. Enthusiasts do, but the fact that it changed doesn't make it a "major issue". Hoya purchased it to get the medical optics division (and did keep it on sale to Ricoh). Ricoh purchased the camera division for a reason - to make cameras. The purchase by Ricoh - a huge and stable company - is seen in the Pentax Forum as an asset.

Yes, that inspires confidence... Not.

Confidence must be gained, indeed - but Ricoh is making steps in the right direction. For example, their planned re-entry in the Indian market.

I thought there were only two issues but I thought, hmm, lets see what it would cost to replace my lenses. What I found is that the comparable lens from Pentax were much more expensive than Canons and that Pentax does not have my favorite go to lens the 70-200 2.8 or the 24-70 2.8

Pentax make APSC equivalent zooms for their current line of cameras. The 50-135 f2.8 and a 16-50 f2.8.

I am using the 70-200 on an APSC 7d, they don't make this lens

They're environmentally sealed and have great optics. If Pentax do bring out an FF model, there will no doubt be FF lenses to match......

Again, they don't have an upgrade path.

It did not cover my Nikon14-24 2.8 either nor a fisheye (there may be some 3rd party alternatives). I was not sure if any of these lenses were full frame.

No-one else makes a lens like Nikon's 14-24, though Canon folk say that Canon are planning one. If you absolutely need one, go Nikon. Pentax do make a fisheye zoom.

I have Nikon and Canon. Pentax does not have a fisheye on their website.


IMHO, there are a lot of reasons NOT to buy this system over the Canon or Nikon if you a pro or advanced amateur.

You may indeed get greater support from Canon & Nikon if you are a professional. I'm not sure that a non-professional buyer gets any more service than a Pentax buyer.

I think Pentax users would concede that the Nikon flash system bests theirs and that there are some other features that are better - eg if you need higher speed AF, though that gap is closing, tethering and very long (>300mm) telephoto lens options. As for advanced enthusiasts, there are plenty using Pentax. It rather depends on what you want to do - if you want a well made, small, water resistant high grade APSC DSLR with access to a range of excellent small primes, it's a great system.

I agree but we were discussing why it is not mainstream.

Do we need to choose a mainstream brand, or one that suits our needs?

The K300 at $570 is not a bad deal for entry level or for the masses and it has some great features that the Canons and Nikons don't have in entry level at that price, but, no migration path to FF (only rumor), more expensive lenses, less lens choice and I am not sure where this company will be in a few years so an informed buyer would be turned off. The mass mentality buyer is probably going to get a Canon or Nikon. You mention Pentax or Ricoh... they will probably say huh?

K30 buyers are probably not buyers who consider an FF upgrade when buying that model. At current FF prices, I suspect people who've enough experience to know that they want FF will just buy one from the outset.

So while it has potential, I can see why it is not a major player. That does not mean it is not a good camera or choice for entry level, it just mean it will probably not sell the the masses or to the advanced amateur or pro, so it is relegated to a niche market.

"While it has potential" ????

While it has potential to be a major player, I can see why it is not. That was the point

Having a not so strong market position when the digital thing started. Late entry in the digital arena, and "milking" the *istD design too much. Being forcibly taken over by Hoya, right when they had ready an amazing new camera (the K10D). Not much investment while in Hoya's hands (who were looking to sell the unwanted Imaging Business division). Another delay introduced when they were finally sold to Ricoh.

Now, apparently Ricoh wants to become a major player, competing at the top. Potential is not enough; will and resources are also needed to make it happen.

I suspect that Pentax owners bought into the system because of its products not its placement in sales ranks. No it's not Nikon or Canon, but makes great small WR DSLRs and offers a lens range that isn't duplicated elsewhere. (And yes there are a few gaps - no-one does it all.)

I agree, it is a pretty good system and offers some good things and has some good lenses.

The OP also referred to Pentax potential for taking advantage of the interest in mirror-less cameras. Pentax Ricoh do currently make three - the Q, the GR and the GXR. They did recently make a fourth - the now discontinued APSC K01. No-one yet knows what their next step in ILC mirror-less will be.

Cheers, Rod


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