What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Breakfastographer 2 Contributing Member • Posts: 544
Re: What happened to the FA 21 Limited?

James O'Neill wrote:

Breakfastographer 2 wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

Breakfastographer 2 wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

5r82 wrote:

Since this is a full frame lens, it will could be released with new K-1 Mark 3 one day.

Possibly the announcement it is shipping will coincide with the first showing of K1-iii prototype.

Not sure if you're being sarcastic now, because that would be a long way off - the next camera to be released will be APS-C.

General consensus is not. The investment in things which we see on the 3-iii was substantial and those things need to go other high price cameras. There was something Asahi man said a few months ago which made those of us waiting for the next FF feel optimistic. I'm hoping to see a K1-iii this year, but next year is more likely. But shown this year and shipping next year is possible.

Fair enough, maybe it's one rumour against another.

Indeed.

But having heard how much trouble they had scaling up the pentaprism production for this camera, and that the overall process took five years, I'm not too hopeful they can make an even bigger one with a low failure rate in production quite so soon, for a realistically priced K-1 III that includes it.

I hadn't heard anything about problems manufacturing the pentaprism (another rumour ? )

No, that story was hinted at in one of their livestreams. Details in my usual place, but the short version is that the new glass is more brittle and in early trials often broke on being cut into the desired shape.

And it took them 5 years with near zero investment from Ricoh

Another rumour, apparently.

do new a new shutter, new prism, new AF, new prime chip and accelerator mated with new CPU and OS - with touch screen support. and integrate it with Sony's new sensor . The job of the K1-iii is to integrate the K3-iii's motherboard and AF module and a new FF sensor into the current K1 body. Same shutter, touch screen (with or without the moving assembly) K3-iii mainboard / prime / accelerator (possibly meaning a loss of GPS), and the K3-iii AF. The main questions are fixed screen or movable, GPS or not, super-bright prims (or not needed on FF) and if it gets the K3-iii AF joystick what other control changes do they make (the body shell needs to allow some control changes but doesn't want to be all new). But this is an integration job, not creating many new parts.

New AF module, touchscreen and sensor seems a bit meagre for a model upgrade. If the question is, what does it take for a person to upgrade from the original K-1, that may not be the answer. And skipping the pentaprism, which they've done such a huge song and dance about seems bordering on suicidal to me.

I'm going to hold back belief that any major project that hasn't been firmly rumoured yet (which would be a reasonable prequel to it being "shown" by the end of the year) could be shipping before 2023.

Well there are a number of things, One is what have the people who worked on the K3-iii been doing for the last year - we were seeing videos of a working K3-iii in the first half of 2020. Only if they are going to do a new prime chip and another new AF system would 2023 be necessary. If they're looking to amortize their R&D spend from the last 5 years over more models, they need to get high end models out reasonably soon

Haha, so then why would they hold back innovations like the prism? That makes no sense.

An APS-C body that's an update to the K-70 and/or KP, presumably without the new pentaprism, but maybe some other features carried across (touchscreen, AF using metering matrix) - sure, I can see that, even releasing by the holiday season if the upgrades are relatively minor and straightforward, or the platform is essentially the K-3 III with just a few differences in hardware (pentaprism, shutter-mirror-assembly, sensor, display articulation).

But what would that be? A new camera with the old, class-trailing, AF won't sell and they can't use any of the K3-iii parts until having them on entry / mid range cameras doesn't hurt K3-iii sales.

I think the question of what they'll do to keep the KP90 behind the K-3 III very quickly turns into the question of what they've done to keep the K-3 III ahead, and immediately we come up against the lacklustre buffer and clearing rate.

But the bottom line is that there's just no convincing people looking for an $800 camera that they should pay $2000. The K-70 is not that fresh, and the KP is somewhat specialised and an acquired taste in some ways (grip and shutter button position). Touchscreens are well on their way to becoming a standard feature, and it's one area where camera makers can probably take an affordable more or less stock part from a smartphone supplier.

In my opinion, keeping the K-70 in the line-up is a lawsuit risk, especially for the US market. If it turns out that they're losing money on this model via settlements, what choice do they have? They'd certainly have to pull the model, and if there's no class-action-proof replacement, well, then that's that for Pentax entry level for the time being. And strategically speaking, having an entry level model is more important than having a KP replacement.

If differentiation is the main concern, then adding convenience features like a touchscreen probably makes the model desirable enough that dropping to a decent 20 or 21 megapixel sensor would be deemed acceptable. That would probably require launching it as a new line or as a revival of an older one - K-S3, perhaps. Not a bad ring to it next to the K-3 III.

There are solutions to everything, but ignoring problems and not moving forwards to remedy them, that's how you don't "win".

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