Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

Started May 4, 2010 | Discussions
Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 32,666
Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

I hope this hasn't been posted previously, but I saw this over at the "other forum".

Translated interview.

http://es.babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pentaxeros.com%2Findex.php%3Find%3Dnews%26op%3Dnews_show_single%26ide%3D135&lp=es_en&btnTrUrl=Traducir

As indicated by the orignal poster over at the "other forum", I have copied and pasted the main points:

To summarize:

  • The priority for Pentax right now is to complete the existing DSRL range as soon as possible.

  • This year there will be updates of existing cameras, and some completely new models.

  • There will be a professional camera above the K-7, but he cannot say when will be announced.

  • When asked about when will be distributed the 645D worlwide, he says that they want to gather some experience in Japan before taking further steps./

This all looks quite exciting. Hopefully, the professional camera above the K-7 will be FF. I would like FF more so for the big bright easy to use VF, the other IQ beneifts would be great as well. Let's hope that if it is FF, that it is small like the K-7 or at most the K20D. If I wanted a large FF camera, I would have already migrated to Nikon, like *isteve.

This would of course mean that Pentax would need to introduce FF lenses, but there are a few of the current lenses that would work anyway. The DFR macros, The FA Limiteds, the DA*60-250(?), the DA*200 and possibly the DA*300, the DA*55(?) would/could work on FF. In the short term, this would mean that Pentax would need to be developing lenses like: a 20mm f2.8, possibly a 24mm f2.8, a 24-75 f2.8 zoom and a 70-200 f2.8 zoom and then fill in other lenses as they go. In other words, if the long DA* lenses - 200mm and 300mm, did work on FF, then we would have a ready FF system if the new lenses were developed short term.

Of course, this is all pure speculation, but one that I think Pentax probably needs to go into if the FF sensor cost is low enough. Pentax are not going to get any, or many if at all, converts from Canon, Nikon and Sony, so, any FF users will be current Pentax APSC users wishing to upgrade and maybe some new to DSLR users wanting a top spec camera, ie advanced amateurs, and have not yet bought into a system or those that are not entrenched into another makers system. So, to entice 'advanced amateur new to DSR users', the price needs to compete at the same level as top spec APS C cameras, otherwise, they will more than likey go APS C and end up with a Canon, Nikon or Sony.

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Nikhil Ramkarran
Nikhil Ramkarran Contributing Member • Posts: 531
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

Although I don't believe my photography yet challenges any of Pentax's DSLRs, it is still a bit disconcerting that there is no upgrade path (apart from MF). I wouldn't complain that there isn't a full frame, but I'd like to know that I can move up when the time is right.

I think the potential is there to compete (with Sony at least, if not the big 2), eventually, when the time is right for them.
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Jerome the Parisian Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

I wish Hoya/Pentax will think about distribution, advertisement and about a new line of compact and regular APS-C bodies and maybe FF as well.

I understand Pentax is far away from Canon and Nikon market share and I don't think it's bad for Pentax to be at this level. Having a small market share is not always bad as long as you are profitable, but...
1- Will the 645 will bring enough profits from a niche market?

2- Where are the next profits for Pentax: in a MF system? In a FF system? In a EVF APS-C system based on existing APS-C lenses system? In the addition of a brand new line of "pro" APS-C bodies?

I do not have the answer, do you?

All the best, Jerome

OP Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 32,666
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

Jerome the Parisian wrote:

I wish Hoya/Pentax will think about distribution, advertisement and about a new line of compact and regular APS-C bodies and maybe FF as well.

I understand Pentax is far away from Canon and Nikon market share and I don't think it's bad for Pentax to be at this level. Having a small market share is not always bad as long as you are profitable, but...
1- Will the 645 will bring enough profits from a niche market?

2- Where are the next profits for Pentax: in a MF system? In a FF system? In a EVF APS-C system based on existing APS-C lenses system? In the addition of a brand new line of "pro" APS-C bodies?

I do not have the answer, do you?

No.

All the best, Jerome

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Marques Lamont Contributing Member • Posts: 561
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

Lance B wrote:

  • This year there will be updates of existing cameras, and some completely new models.

The existing cameras are K7 and K-x. So...

  • K7 will get K-x's sensor

-- hide signature --

OR--------------------

  • K-x will get battery grip, hopefully to resolve battery related issues

Either one would be enough.

Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,343
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

Thanks for posting, Lance.

Joe

me_tarzan Regular Member • Posts: 238
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

I'd like to see the K7 have the following improvements:-
1) Lower noise.
2) Higher dynamic range
3) Faster and more accurate autofocus.
4) More powerful flash

The megapixels are fine at 14.6 or thereabouts. No need to enter the megapixel arms race.

I like the lightness and small size of the APSC sensor. Possibly one the size of the Canon EOS 1D ie the APSC-H is a great compromise and that would mean DA lenses could be used.

I had a Nikon D700 for a short while.Got rid of it after 2 months. It was bigand heavy and I never used it.....

A Schamber Senior Member • Posts: 1,068
Thanks, Lance

For posting it.

I really want it to be a FF camera... but am I the only one that thinks that Pentax is the only major player that HAS to do both things? I mean: full frame, and also an EVIL system?

Why? One, because the user needs FF. But the other one, because it's been with their philosophy of smaller, better, quieter, that they've been having for a really long time (although most cameras were not quiet).

Pentax could compete, and get the profits from the EVIL market, and just do the "me too" game for FF. After all, that is what we want them to do: a camera like the K20 with a FF sensor (although I want the magnesium body of the K7), with not less than 14 mp... but not 24 or more (18 would be perfect). And 4 or 5 fps is enough for anyone using Pentax.

The EVIL market is where I think Pentax can get the most profit, since it's the only player who knows what to do, and how to do it.

Imagine a APS-C EVIL camera, with the sony 12 mp sensor... 3 fps, fast contrast AF, weather sealing, magnesium body, big viewfinder (even a rangefinder, and just the option for an electronic viewfinder), and small but really sharp primes... and lenses optimized for video (silent AF, stepless aperture).

No one could make this better than Pentax... and many would get one, even for 1200 body only.
--
Alan Schamber

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Leuf Senior Member • Posts: 1,131
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

Lance B wrote:

  • There will be a professional camera above the K-7, but he cannot say when will be announced.

He's very vague there, and that's what Pentax needs to be at this point. They don't have a camera to launch any time soon but they have already probably waited too long to start dangling the carrots. Maybe the DFA macro was a carrot too. An enthusiast FF seems much more likely than a super APS camera. People say they don't have the lenses for FF, but they don't have the lenses for that APS body either. The FF seems much less of a technological leap. Reuse the same metering and AF modules, which would now be used in three different formats at once. A Pro FF to compete with the likes of the D3 and 1Ds would be nuts.

I need to start saving up for either the 77 limited or the new Sigma 85 so I'm all set to rock and roll with a FF. I'm not allowed to spend any more money on camera stuff until I roll the odometer on the K-7 (currently at 4k and rising) so by the time I get there hopefully we'll know more

exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

me_tarzan wrote:

The megapixels are fine at 14.6 or thereabouts. No need to enter the megapixel arms race.

that is not up to Pentax, but up to the sensor manufacturers... so if Sony or Samsung will make 18mp sensor for their own needs, Pentax will have to take it in.

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viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,156
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

Lance B wrote:

To summarize:

  • The priority for Pentax right now is to complete the existing DSRL range as soon as possible.

  • This year there will be updates of existing cameras, and some completely new models.

  • There will be a professional camera above the K-7, but he cannot say when will be announced.

Thanks for sharing Lance! People wondered why they "wasted" resources building the 645D, but it is a camera that it clearly hiding the next "pro" level Pentax camera that falls between it and the K-7. It has dual card slots, etc. What remains to be seen is if its innards will be used for a full frame or an APS-C body.

I think if Pentax goes full frame they can afford to keep their AF system around a bit longer (and the enlarged focus array for the 645D might mix well with a full frame), but if they produce an up-level APS-C, it really needs to have a focus system to compete with Nikon/Canon. I would rather see the full frame as I think the K-7 AF is great for my needs.

Either way, it looks like it will be an interesting year.

Eric
--
I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object
be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. - John Constable (quote)

See my Blog at: http://viking79.blogspot.com/ (Weekly)
Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28177041@N03/ (updated daily)
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OP Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 32,666
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

viking79 wrote:

Lance B wrote:

To summarize:

  • The priority for Pentax right now is to complete the existing DSRL range as soon as possible.

  • This year there will be updates of existing cameras, and some completely new models.

  • There will be a professional camera above the K-7, but he cannot say when will be announced.

Thanks for sharing Lance! People wondered why they "wasted" resources building the 645D, but it is a camera that it clearly hiding the next "pro" level Pentax camera that falls between it and the K-7. It has dual card slots, etc. What remains to be seen is if its innards will be used for a full frame or an APS-C body.

I think if Pentax goes full frame they can afford to keep their AF system around a bit longer (and the enlarged focus array for the 645D might mix well with a full frame), but if they produce an up-level APS-C, it really needs to have a focus system to compete with Nikon/Canon. I would rather see the full frame as I think the K-7 AF is great for my needs.

You and me both, mate.

Either way, it looks like it will be an interesting year.

It sure does.

Eric
--
I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object
be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. - John Constable (quote)

See my Blog at: http://viking79.blogspot.com/ (Weekly)
Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28177041@N03/ (updated daily)
See my PPG Shots: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/erictastad (8/31/09)

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KentG Veteran Member • Posts: 4,687
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

While I think MP for MP sake is a mistake it is hard to refute the success of the Canon 7D and it's performance level. So a new higher end APS-C camera will most likely need to be around 16-18 MP. As for full frame it would need 24 MP at a minimum. Only Nikon and Canon can make one with less MP and make it successful. But I'm not betting on a FF camera even though I tend to buy FF lenses just in case. FF cameras need to be bigger just to put all the electronics and larger parts into a case that won't melt down due to heat issues. I'm sure Pentax knows this.I 'd be happy with an APS-H camera in the 20 MP range if the size was similar to the K20D/K7. It would still be more professional than the 7D and there are a lot of pros who like the 7D as a main camera, considering all the features for both stills and video it has.
Kent Gittings

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Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
FF - Pentax must make an clear statement

Pro model could mean a faster K7 with an improved AF system or better strobe support.

New models, I suspect, means different coloured K7's and K-x's. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see a red 645D - assuming I ever do see a 645D outside Japan !

The lens I'd like to see is a just to restart production of the FA 85mm f1.4 without modifications. Am I the only one who wants this ? Surely not. Sigma see a market for an 85 f.14, and I'd be inclined to think they know the lens market.

Of course 85 f1.4's sit well on FF, and that's another reason I don't think I'll be getting FF from Pentax.

The flash system need improvements. This is another key issue for pros. A pro camera without a serious pro flash system is not going anywhere.

Pentax ought to be making use of it's limited lens designed. Licence them to other manufacturers. It's about making money. They are not, contrary to Pentaxian belief, religious icons. These lenses are about the only Pentax kt that Canon and Nikon owners covet. I find it hard to believe the designs cannot generate cash for Pentax outside the K-mount market. Surely Tamron or Sigma ( or Tokina ! ) would be interested.

But the thing I really, really would like to see less vagueness and more drive.

Pentax seem to think they should "wait and see" with everything. No rush getting the 645D onto the world market. That's pure dumb. Strike while it's hot and establish it firmly. But no, the Pentax way is to wait and be as vague as possible to potential buyers - they haven't even announced any dates yet ! I haven't even see a professional review in English.

This vagueness also hurts them when they will not say what their plan is for FF.

Either you are or are not going to develop a full frame. Either you do or do not have a business plan for this. And this is a major issue that crucifies them in the pro market. Right now I can get three professional standard FF sets of cameras from the competition, not just one model each, but several. FF, even as an option for the future, is a key selector for a professional and many enthusiasts.

If Pentax do not commit one way or another to FF they will loose a substantial part of their loyal customer base. These are the people who give word of mouth support to Pentax.

Their loyalty is being used to keep them hanging on. Frankly I do not believe Pentax will produce an FF. I dare say we will eventually get a vague promise of an FF, but I really do not believe these dreamy words any more.

They must tell us what the plan is. If they even have a plan. They need to do that because we need to plan based on it. Pros, in particular, run businesses and they have to make forward looking plans. Vague promises are useless to them.

Pentax must make an unambiguous statement on FF.

Are we getting it and if so, when ?

Over to you Pentax.

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StephenG

Pentax K100D
Fuji S3 Pro
Fuji S9600

OP Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 32,666
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

KentG wrote:

While I think MP for MP sake is a mistake it is hard to refute the success of the Canon 7D and it's performance level. So a new higher end APS-C camera will most likely need to be around 16-18 MP.

I am not dissing Mp for Mp's sake, my reason for using the Mp race as an argument is more due to the fact that it is used as a marketing ploy more than it's actual real world benefit which is negligible for most users.

As for full frame it would need 24 MP at a minimum. Only Nikon and Canon can make one with less MP and make it successful. But I'm not betting on a FF camera even though I tend to buy FF lenses just in case. FF cameras need to be bigger just to put all the electronics and larger parts into a case that won't melt down due to heat issues. I'm sure Pentax knows this.I 'd be happy with an APS-H camera in the 20 MP range if the size was similar to the K20D/K7. It would still be more professional than the 7D and there are a lot of pros who like the 7D as a main camera, considering all the features for both stills and video it has.

Can't argue with your thoughts here.

Kent Gittings

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OP Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 32,666
Re: FF - Pentax must make an clear statement

sjgcit wrote:

Pro model could mean a faster K7 with an improved AF system or better strobe support.

New models, I suspect, means different coloured K7's and K-x's. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see a red 645D - assuming I ever do see a 645D outside Japan !

It's hard to take your post seriously when you make quite silly statements like the 645D being introduced in red and K-7 in coloured bodies in an effort to try ridicule.

The lens I'd like to see is a just to restart production of the FA 85mm f1.4 without modifications. Am I the only one who wants this ? Surely not. Sigma see a market for an 85 f.14, and I'd be inclined to think they know the lens market.

Of course 85 f1.4's sit well on FF, and that's another reason I don't think I'll be getting FF from Pentax.

????

The flash system need improvements. This is another key issue for pros. A pro camera without a serious pro flash system is not going anywhere.

Pentax ought to be making use of it's limited lens designed. Licence them to other manufacturers. It's about making money. They are not, contrary to Pentaxian belief, religious icons. These lenses are about the only Pentax kt that Canon and Nikon owners covet.

No, there are also the FA31, FA43 and FA77 as well, plus the DA21, DA40 and DA70.

I find it hard to believe the designs cannot generate cash for Pentax outside the K-mount market. Surely Tamron or Sigma ( or Tokina ! ) would be interested.

But the thing I really, really would like to see less vagueness and more drive.

Pentax seem to think they should "wait and see" with everything. No rush getting the 645D onto the world market. That's pure dumb. Strike while it's hot and establish it firmly. But no, the Pentax way is to wait and be as vague as possible to potential buyers - they haven't even announced any dates yet ! I haven't even see a professional review in English.

This vagueness also hurts them when they will not say what their plan is for FF.

Either you are or are not going to develop a full frame. Either you do or do not have a business plan for this. And this is a major issue that crucifies them in the pro market. Right now I can get three professional standard FF sets of cameras from the competition, not just one model each, but several. FF, even as an option for the future, is a key selector for a professional and many enthusiasts.

If Pentax do not commit one way or another to FF they will loose a substantial part of their loyal customer base. These are the people who give word of mouth support to Pentax.

Their loyalty is being used to keep them hanging on. Frankly I do not believe Pentax will produce an FF. I dare say we will eventually get a vague promise of an FF, but I really do not believe these dreamy words any more.

They must tell us what the plan is. If they even have a plan. They need to do that because we need to plan based on it. Pros, in particular, run businesses and they have to make forward looking plans. Vague promises are useless to them.

Pentax must make an unambiguous statement on FF.

Are we getting it and if so, when ?

The only way Pentax will make a FF camera is when the FF sensor prices are low enough for it to compete against the current crop of high end/semi pro/pro APS C sensored cameras like the 7D and D300. This is where Pentax can snatch potential advanced amateur Canon, Nikon and Sony users, as well as new to DSLR users, to the Pentax fold or maybe those that have not yet heavily invested in their current C, N & S system. Pentax are not/unlikely going to woo long term C, N & S users to Pentax as they are entrenched in their current system. Why would they change? Only if they are disgruntled with their current large and heavy FF offerings or large APS C offerings. This is the other thing, Pentax needs to have a differentiating feature in order to sway potential customers to Pentax and that feature is a small sized FF camera, otherwise they may as well buy C, N or S.

So, Pentax will only make a statement about their desire to go FF when the FF sensor prices are at a level that allows the above to happen. They cannot make that statement until that happens as they will be just another FF camera less likely to sway any potential buyer to the fold.

Over to you Pentax.

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StephenG

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A Modest Mouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,235
Eric/Lance

When I think of a body between the 645D and the K-7, I have a hard time imagining an APS-C hardware set. If it were revised - I wonder if it could be called any more 'pro' than the K-7 (perhaps with a major sensor and AF system upgrade). It just feels like there is such a slim niche to settle in at the top of the APS-C market now; though the K-7 has shortcomings, it is already a class leader in many respects, and a unique offering when it comes to size/handling.

I definitely agree with the thoughts on a FF body being hidden by 645D technology - though the K-7 is definitely a cousin, it feels like an evolutionary step is yet to be unveiled. I've always felt that Pentax will have a hard time applying SR to a FF sensor though, and this may be part of what holds them back in terms of feeling like they'd have a market share to carve out. Clearly, it is no longer a technology issue that prevents the entry of Pentax into FF.

-Mouse

viking79 wrote:

Lance B wrote:

To summarize:

  • The priority for Pentax right now is to complete the existing DSRL range as soon as possible.

  • This year there will be updates of existing cameras, and some completely new models.

  • There will be a professional camera above the K-7, but he cannot say when will be announced.

Thanks for sharing Lance! People wondered why they "wasted" resources building the 645D, but it is a camera that it clearly hiding the next "pro" level Pentax camera that falls between it and the K-7. It has dual card slots, etc. What remains to be seen is if its innards will be used for a full frame or an APS-C body.

I think if Pentax goes full frame they can afford to keep their AF system around a bit longer (and the enlarged focus array for the 645D might mix well with a full frame), but if they produce an up-level APS-C, it really needs to have a focus system to compete with Nikon/Canon. I would rather see the full frame as I think the K-7 AF is great for my needs.

Either way, it looks like it will be an interesting year.

Eric
--
I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object
be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. - John Constable (quote)

See my Blog at: http://viking79.blogspot.com/ (Weekly)
Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28177041@N03/ (updated daily)
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'My boss just quit the job, says he's goin out to find the
blind spots and he'll do it ... the 3rd planet is sure
they're bein watched, by an eye in the sky that can't
be stopped - when ya get to the promised land ...
you're gonna shake the eyes hand.'

OP Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 32,666
Re: Eric/Lance

A Modest Mouse wrote:

When I think of a body between the 645D and the K-7, I have a hard time imagining an APS-C hardware set. If it were revised - I wonder if it could be called any more 'pro' than the K-7 (perhaps with a major sensor and AF system upgrade). It just feels like there is such a slim niche to settle in at the top of the APS-C market now; though the K-7 has shortcomings, it is already a class leader in many respects, and a unique offering when it comes to size/handling.

I definitely agree with the thoughts on a FF body being hidden by 645D technology - though the K-7 is definitely a cousin, it feels like an evolutionary step is yet to be unveiled. I've always felt that Pentax will have a hard time applying SR to a FF sensor though, and this may be part of what holds them back in terms of feeling like they'd have a market share to carve out. Clearly, it is no longer a technology issue that prevents the entry of Pentax into FF.

You could very well be correct. However, there is one person on this forum that believes that SR can be implemented on FF and K mount.

-Mouse

viking79 wrote:

Lance B wrote:

To summarize:

  • The priority for Pentax right now is to complete the existing DSRL range as soon as possible.

  • This year there will be updates of existing cameras, and some completely new models.

  • There will be a professional camera above the K-7, but he cannot say when will be announced.

Thanks for sharing Lance! People wondered why they "wasted" resources building the 645D, but it is a camera that it clearly hiding the next "pro" level Pentax camera that falls between it and the K-7. It has dual card slots, etc. What remains to be seen is if its innards will be used for a full frame or an APS-C body.

I think if Pentax goes full frame they can afford to keep their AF system around a bit longer (and the enlarged focus array for the 645D might mix well with a full frame), but if they produce an up-level APS-C, it really needs to have a focus system to compete with Nikon/Canon. I would rather see the full frame as I think the K-7 AF is great for my needs.

Either way, it looks like it will be an interesting year.

Eric
--
I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object
be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. - John Constable (quote)

See my Blog at: http://viking79.blogspot.com/ (Weekly)
Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28177041@N03/ (updated daily)
See my PPG Shots: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/erictastad (8/31/09)

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'My boss just quit the job, says he's goin out to find the
blind spots and he'll do it ... the 3rd planet is sure
they're bein watched, by an eye in the sky that can't
be stopped - when ya get to the promised land ...
you're gonna shake the eyes hand.'

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halai Contributing Member • Posts: 833
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

If it is an improvement over the K7, and would like to see 2 things:
-high ISO performance
-faster AF in low light

If Pentax can come out with FF, it would be a dream to a lot of Pentaxian!

 halai's gear list:halai's gear list
Nikon D700 Sony a7 III Nikon Z6 Nikon Z50 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +10 more
Gazooma Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: Interview with Hiroshi Onoda, manager of Pentax Europe.

The optimism and imagination are truly amazing. All of a sudden the dead Pentax FF is alive again. Dream on, but to me a pro camera above k-7 is just that and only that, a K-8 or whatever it is called. I do not know anyone inside or have any better information, but it has to make sense. A FF camera would not be described as just a "camera above K-7", as it is a totally new category, a different and higher class. So, calm down. There is no case for a FF camera, as analysed numerous time before. Boy, this is so cruel.

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