Any special news from CP+ ?

Started Feb 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 5,132
Re: Indeed?

ragmanjin wrote:

DAVID MANZE wrote:

Hi,

Pentax has found a route in business which is keeping it alive via Ricoh, I also know that great pressure has been brought to bear to not make dangerous product moves and take unnecessary risks in a changing photographic world and staffing has been reduced to the bone. Batch production is the modern way, components are manufactured (whether it be lenses or bodies) by contracted companies and then others are contracted to assemble the product, none of these people are employed by Pentax. The whole production run can be costed and priced appropriately to market and financial wastage is at a minimum.

Is full frame really the way to go? in the short term it looks promising, Canikon is now bringing out affordable FF DSLRs and then Sony drops one of the "biggest bombshells" in camera history, a really compact mirrorless, with an electronic viewfinder and a short registration distance so different brands of lenses can be mounted via adapters and all of a sudden the goalposts have changed.

In the long term, have optical veiwfinders a limited life for the mass market? I think so, except for serious amateurs/pros, compactness will be the limiting factor, once the quality is there, image wise, the big push will be for smaller cameras. In the longer term (10-20 years on) , sensor technology/ electronic veiwfinders will be at the point that image quality will be less of a problem and the race will be on to minimize camera size and weight, then things start looking very different! So where does this leave your Nikon D4s and Canon 5DIIIs ? or their modern equivalents, they will be there for sports pros studio photographers.

Overall in history it has been a story of shrinking camera dimensions starting with the 10X8" plate cameras, then 4X5", the 120 format, then 127 and 35mm and half frame then the overshrinkage of the 110 cassette, Pentax had seen that compactness need in the 35mm format, the M series etc. Then digital made cameras bigger again but the photographer became independent of film manufacturers/processors,"freedom" was the key, but now the big climb back to smaller cameras is top of the list.

Is the APSc format finished? IMHO absolutely not! the 90% market share shows that and whilst many are gagging for FF, a lot are leaving their D4s's at home having just bought a Fuji or an Olympus. How many people need 30X40" prints? Really!

So Pentax walk the FF tightrope at your own risk!

While your opinion is very rational and well written, I tend to disagree. Just as Pentax was the first to bring digital medium format to the masses with the 645D, I thoroughly believe that if anyone can make FF truly accessible and even more attractive to the current APS-C enthusiasts, Ricoh-Pentax can. They have two formats to borrow parts from to start (MF and APS-C) — just think of what an FF sensor in the K-3 body with the 645DII's processor would be capable of. And if they put it out at a price comparable to or lower than the current "affordable" FF offerings from Canikony, but with a spec sheet that puts the 5DIII and D4 to shame, I think not only the 6Ds and D6XXs but also the D7100s and 70Ds will start dropping like flies as passionate enthusiasts make the switch to the FF K-mount.

And with the quality of some of their more recent (and some still-in-production) FA glass, throwing a quick prime lineup out there at the same time wouldn't even be a long-shot. Add a second APS-C backup body for the pros and photojournalists, and the FF venture starts to look very profitable for Pentax.

Just my two cents.

-Raj

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Hi Raj,

Thanks for your reply, much as I share your enthusiasm for FF (and believe me I would like to see a P FF)  I can't help thinking that the backdrop of suitable lenses is just not there and what is there, are mainly older designs as yet unproven on FF sensors (although I sure we will be seeing more examples on Sony's A7 series with adapters) and we can't rely on third party lenses. Sony is a huge company and can promise new lenses, ( twelve new lenses promised soon ) Pentax could not even come close to that. When you say "recent FA glass" there is precious little recent FA glass and all of it are old designs.

The 645D MF is in a market that has far more money (per unit) and Pentax is rivaling with other small companies producing very expensive boxy DSLRs, so the playing field is more level, it's the pro market. It's also a market that advances at a much slower pace so Pentax can stay at the vanguard. As for using 645D technology, the AF is from their APSc cameras and even with the recent AF improvements of the K3 haven't yet caught up with the competition.

Throwing up a quick prime lens range?  Well, there we are dreaming! When has Pentax done that? zooms will be needed or it's dead in the water, IF Pentax were to put themselves in league with Tamron, who they already have connections, dreams like that could be realized, but I don't see Ricoh going down that route.

Finally,cameras like the 5DIII or the D4/D800 have been years in development, their AF systems are called upon to do pro work, the lens range is there and is being constantly uprated, they have most things covered, and still most people have heard little of Pentax.

What "IF" Pentax took the plunge, new FF body, decent reviews, normal comments "AF still not up to the competition", "very limited lens range, poor support from third party lens makers" " live view AF slow due to no AF on sensor" etc. Overall a great camera but maybe and realistically not quite as good as the competition.... and ..... and ....it didn't sell well,   it happens in business    ( I'm old I've seen many companies come and go, most from my youth "have gone") then what, headlines like "Pentax announces it's ceasing trading as from.... "disappointing results from their FF project have forced Pentax..........."   Ricoh unprepared to support ailing sales....       Where are we then?  up the creek with a load of Pentax mount lenses and some aging DSLR bodies all of which become worthless.

I think Sony have got it right, a tiny FF camera, short registration distance, multi mount adapters for all lenses and the possibility to use our Pentax lens with it!

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