the K3 is perfectly tiimed to hit C and N where they hurt

Started Nov 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,053
Re: Canon user's take

I wandered in to this thread thanks to a search for something else. As a long-time Nikon user (please don't hold it against me!) I'd observe:

Competition is always good and in the last few years there have been so many mergers and failures that basically there's nowhere to go but up. It's also nice to see that there are new sensor formats being tried and form factors. How many of these will survive in any great measure, it's too soon to say.

For example, do we really need 4/3 and APSC? Only time will tell how the market shakes out. Best to keep an open mind but my guess is that whoever has the fewest different lens mounts may end up with the most profitability because fewer manufacturing lines will be needed. However, that's just a guess.

How features get implemented is also important as merely having them. For example on some discussion fora here, birding photos are 'birds in flight' where in others the birding images are 'birds standing around.' I think that eventually the smaller companies' AF systems will catch up but actually, unless you're actually shooting sports there is little super-urgent-gotta-have need for them to because the profits these manufacturers may get could be quite small.

Pentax appears to be adding very big feature sets to their cameras at their relative price points. That's their competitive advantage. In comparison, Canon and Nikon have differentiated product lines.

The point being that even if Pentax had the most stupendous AF system in the history of AF systems, cameras need to be thought of as platforms; in the photo industry this is critical. If the rest of the chain isn't there, the investment in a super AF system may not ever pay off. Best to dominate a particular price point where they can maximize profitability. Besides, I suspect that any replacement AF would eliminate in-body stabilization, which is currently key to Pentax's marketing. (In body stabilization caps the upper limit of the AF's system's responsiveness because figuring out the focus while adding stabilization are competing needs.)

In my opinion, the D800 killed the D400 market.

At the $3k price point, the pro bodies have no place to have a serious price point between the consumer D610 and the D800. Nikon's pro bodies have more than 40 switch positions and buttons and I'm guessing Canon's pro bodies are the same. You can reprogram the camera while running and never need to look at the screen once you learn where the buttons are. Once you have that there's never any going back to a consumer camera. That and the high sync speed that PJs depend on for fill flash, compact flash storage, high shutter life, and other goodies are part of the pro lines. Just looking at the MP and the buffer isn't a big enough check list.

Besides, there's pro support.

So, were does a $1400 pro body replacement get placed relative to the D610 and the D800? The D300s is a great camera and a real workhorse for small and medium-sized newspapers. I think that it got squeezed between two price points. Given that the D800 does everything the D300s does only better, that there are still D3s for sale and comparatively reduced prices, I think the price point basically got squeezed from above and below.

If you try to be strong everywhere, you may end up being weak everywhere. Were I to make a recommendation to Pentax product development it would be to focus on profitability and for that, their AF system is probably good enough for 99 per cent of their market. They need to get the best deals on components (Sony currently makes their sensors and I recall reading that Seiko makes their shutters but don't quote me on that); I'd wait to let others decide whether 4/3rds or APSC 'wins'; and have the least number of products with the longest lifecycle in the middle of the market.

I remember being told once that if you can't get rid of something, make it the most important thing. Well, were I Pentax, I'd ship all cameras with bright split diopters and other 'friendly' options like big buttons to make their cameras not intimidating and a pleasure to use.

I'd say their primary competition are companies like Sony or Fuji and not Canon or Nikon.

All the best, gentlemen.

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Could you all move half an inch to the left? Okay, pretend you like each other and smile.

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