Some mirrorless options for Pentax

Started Aug 25, 2018 | Discussions thread
Barry Pearson
OP Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 8,723
Re: Some mirrorless options for Pentax

Alex Sarbu wrote:

Barry Pearson wrote:

I thought I'd sketch some of the options for hypothetical future mirrorless Pentax cameras.

All right, I'll chime in - basically by re-stating things that I've said in the past. Of course, this is just my opinion so please take it as such.

In short, IMO it's Option 1 for now, with Option 3 likely in the future.

Option 1: Don't do it!

(I don't want to start a rumour. I have no evidence that Ricoh/Pentax have any intention of releasing a mirrorless system camera).

This is primarily a short term solution IMO, which means it will work out for several years.

According to CIPA, DSLRs are still significantly outnumbering the MILCs - and any MILC advance is sluggish.

The same argument suggests that Ricoh/Pentax shouldn't have introduced an FF camera, because sales of APS-C cameras significantly outnumber sales of FF cameras.

As for a tipping point generated by Nikon's Z series (Canon, people forget, already has their MILC), I don't expect any dramatic effect. Maybe helping towards a 1.5:1 DSLR:MILC ratio.

Option 2: Mirrorless K-mount cameras

Pentax doesn't have to follow the examples of Sony, Nikon, etc.

A short term solution too, but of a different nature.

Ricoh Imaging could make one or a few more such cameras, the trick is to properly differentiate them from a DSLR. One possibility would be a video-oriented camera (that's something I don't see them doing, though).

They differentiate themselves! They could have pretty-much the same set of features as SLRs. But achieved without a mirror.

But they will never be able to compete with MILCs on size and weight, especially when considering wide and ultra wide lenses.

Given that MILC means "Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera", Option 2 is a MILC!

Note that I was careful with this option to show the camera being exactly as thin (from to back) as the option 3 camera, except for the region around the throat. That latter would add little to the size and weight.

Going with this might postpone a dedicated MILC mount.

Staying with K-mount doesn't necessarily prevent new lens designs taking advantage of having no mirror to avoid.

Like the prototype lens for the K-01, do you remember it? Had a back group protruding into the "mirror" chamber. But, this severely limits the optical design.

Option 3: New mount for mirrorless cameras

This could be done without alienating people with a large investment in K-mount lenses, while still enabling new lens designs to take advantage of having no mirror to avoid.

The long term solution, allowing them to compete even in a hypothetical "no-DSLR" world.

I believe this is more likely, and if there will ever be a choice between survival and this, they'd do it.

For the moment though, the K-mount/DSLR line takes precedence.

I'm currently investigating ways of avoiding the mirror-flickering (while panning) downsides of SLRs. That is important to me, if not to everyone else. I'm experimenting with Red Dot Sights; that is how seriously I see this problem.

If Ricoh/Pentax solved this mirror-flickering problem in a new camera, I would probably buy it to replace my K-3ii.

 Barry Pearson's gear list:Barry Pearson's gear list
Ricoh WG-6 Panasonic LX100 Ricoh GR III Pentax K-7 Pentax K-3 II +27 more
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