Some mirrorless options for Pentax

Started Aug 25, 2018 | Discussions thread
Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 10,212
Re: Some mirrorless options for Pentax

Barry Pearson wrote:

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.

Barry, please understand that the only thing I'm trying to prove with this is that Pentax can still continue as a DSLR brand for now. Because there's a large DSLR market to be in. Really, that was all I am saying.

If they should or should not go mirrorless (with no time frame given), that's a much more complicated discussion. I'm guessing they eventually will have to. I hope they have plans to do so, after taking care of the K-mount line. I hope they will pick up their speed with the K-mount line (which means they'll be able to add a MILC line faster).

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.

I'm afraid that I don't see "without a mirror" as a differentiator.

I don't know; I don't want them to make another K-01, a camera we'll not even give a chance.

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!

Absolutely right, but all the MILCs on the market have short registration mounts - a SLR mount MILC will stick out as a sore thumb.

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.

Except for every wide and ultra wide angle lens

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.

Yeah... I can't stand EVFs, you can't stand mirror flickering. Different people, different needs.

I hope Ricoh Imaging will make something that works for you, whatever that might be.

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

Maybe replacing the moving mirror with a fixed, variable transmission one?


 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +8 more
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