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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

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so you will choose the 31mm? ;-)

Marion,
A kindly reader offered to loan me a 31mm he isn't currently using. So that's what I'll use with the K-5 initially.

Mike

For those looking forward to a mirrorless Pentax, there are signs they've got one in the works. Most recently, this: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.quesabesde.com/noticias/pentax-sistema-camaras-sin-espejo-primavera-2011,1_6965">http://www.quesabesde.com/noticias/pentax-sistema-camaras-sin-espejo-primavera-2011,1_6965">http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.quesabesde.com/noticias/pentax-sistema-camaras-sin-espejo-primavera-2011,1_6965

Did Ned Bunnell just imply that yes, mirrorless and/or full-frame Pentax cameras are coming soon - just wait for the official announcement. I had hopes that the 4/3 (or some other format) would become a standard - not just in terms of sensor size, but also uniform lens mounts (without adapters), flashes, accessories. Instead it looks like proprietary formats will rule the day, for now anyway. Well, at least tripod mounts will still be standard.

so...what you're sayin' is full frame will be announced at photoplus in october, 24-36mp, 100% viewfinder, a little larger than the k5, body-integral image stabilization, and weather sealing? mirrorless coming in february at cp+, k5 sensor, fixed 24/2 lens (35mm-e), image stabilization, weather sealing, and built-in optical viewfinder (sort of like the fuji x100 but without the evf)? is that what you're sayin'?

Pentax always frustrated me. I jumped ship waiting for a professional successor to the SF-1n, which alas, never materialized, even though Pentax never closed the door to the possibility. It's seems like the same old song and dance today. Interesting company though, no doubt.

I too am looking forward to hear how you like the K5 with 31mm. I'm considering selling my M8 + Summicron to get that set (and the cheap weather resistant kitlens). Hope it will arrive before the holidays so you (and I :)) can use those rumoured high ISO capabilities.

Well, Pentax are at an interesting crossroads.

Their APS-C line is finally toe-to-toe with Canon and Nikon (one could say they are in fact ahead). Where to next?

APS-C mirrorless makes so much sense. It's the fastest growing segment in the industry, Pentax are indisputably the kings of compact/pancake lenses that so suit this segment, and Pentax have much experience with cramming things in to smaller bodies. Add WR and you leave the competition trailing.

FF also makes a ton of sense. With Pentax once being top of the hill in 35mm SLR sales (annual sales more than Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus etc COMBINED), there is a huge amount of Pentax mount lenses around the world. An affordable Pentax FF would generate huge sales from those that may not have wanted to incur the cost of a full FF digital system, but would go for a FF body that worked with their legacy glass (usually currently gathering dust).

With Hoya, Pentax have the wherewithal to address each of these opportunities. Let's hope they do.

"Did Ned Bunnell just imply that yes...[snip]"

WHAT?!? How do you get all that from "there’s really not much that I...can say"?

That's not reading between the lines, that's inventing furiously between the lines....

Just sayin'.

Mike

"uniform lens mounts (without adapters)"

The problem there, toto, is that none of the camera companies is willing to risk giving you free reign to buy whatever lens you want. They don't all want to compete so directly with each other. They all have much more stable market share by making it harder to switch between brands. (The amount of profit made on lenses might factor in here too - but I don't know if that's high enough to matter or not.)

Even 4/3 and m4/3 are not really open standards - companies have to be let in on them via agreements and NDAs. And I always wondered if the reason Panasonic doesn't have IS in the body is so that their lenses are less attractive to Olympus owners, and vice-versa.

I think that is sarcasm between the lines.

@ Player:

I jumped ship waiting for a professional successor to the SF-1n, which alas, never materialized, even though Pentax never closed the door to the possibility. It's seems like the same old song and dance today.

Really and truly, Pentax is no different than 99% of other companies 99% of the time. Nobody talks much about future product plans for many reasons, but one big one is that they don't actually know for sure what they will be marketing in 3 years.

@ Fred:

With Pentax once being top of the hill in 35mm SLR sales (annual sales more than Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus etc COMBINED)

Boy, you'd have to go back a long, long time for this to have been true. Maybe in 1967 (when Pentax was indeed the world's largest SLR manufacturer by unit, but I'm dubious it was by that much of a margin). More likely you'd have to go back to 1957 or so, when Pentax was essentially the only Japanese company making SLRs.

I love what Pentax is doing these days, and think they've got a clearer-eyed product and marketing plan than I've seen from them in 25 years, but I just don't think you can construct a convincing business case for making a FF DSLR in 2011 based on sales figures, and legacy M42-mount lenses, from the 1960s.

ahmmm, there seems to be quite a concern over in pentaxforums about a lens (lenses?) which do not perform well with the K5 maybe due to its sensor being better at resolving than the lens is capable of.

Would a good FF camera render more existing (old) lenses incapable?

Call me cynical, but I see this as a delaying tactic. Ned's throwing out a very non-committal rope to keep some of the fans on the res.

Sony can't make a profit on FF, and I'm going to bet that Canikon doesn't make tons. FF just a massive resource suck, for precious little return apart from street cred, and Pentax already has the 645D for that. And I'm not holding my breath on mirrorless either, although I think that's more feasible/sensible/inevitable. But if they're not in now, they might as well wait until the dust settles, so I don't see a conservative company like Pentax throwing something out there.

Of course, based on my track record for predictions, Pentax will announce a 3 camera mirrorless lineup and 2 FF cameras tomorrow.

Awesome. How do you get people to give up so much incredible marketing information.

Wait until I tell my friends that Pentax is working on a composite body autofocus 4x5 with interchangeable 4x5 sized digital back for approximately US$2,000! They will lock up the market.

"Did Ned Bunnell just imply that yes...[snip]"

Mike, you're right. "Imply" was a poor choice of words, because he wasn't implying anything. What I really meant was I got the impression that [...]. The key phrase is not "there’s really not much that I...can say", rather it's "until a product is officially announced".

Dear toto and aizan,

Ned said nothing of the kind. I've been a position of having to make similar statements. That is absolutely, positively meant to be taken as a null statement. Note the phrasing-- can't comment on what is OR ISN'T in the labs.

He's not being cute or clever. There is no man behind the curtain. Nothing to see, move along, move along.

More generally, even if you have knowledge of a lab product or design, that doesn't mean that will ever see the light of day as a consumer product. If you're not in high tech invention and design, you'd be amazed what percentage of really cool inventions and devices that make it to the fully-functional prototype stage never become "real product." It's a lot more than half.

Even if Ned has implied there were such designs in the lab, and he didn't, it would not tell you anything about whether Pentax would ever produce a consumer product like that.

pax / Ctein

We photographer types are just as bad as teenage girls hanging onto the latest snippet of Justin Bieber gossip....

PentaxForums unfortunately has become a second home to some amateur photography engineers who measure every pixel seen online and discuss endlessly the possible softness of certain lenses, or supposed focussing issues or the aggressiveness of the AA filter not to mention the NR. Always looking for faults, its a pity because the majority of the PF population are brilliant and generous.
My K-5 arrived yesterday and i'm over the moon with it. Small but very well built, quiet (think of a knife on a sharpening stone in full burst mode, ssssh, ssssh) with a lovely grip. The first lens I put on it was my latest lens addition, a venerable K50 f/1.2 and went available light shooting after my cat :) @ f/1.2 of course to try out the viewfinder. I will need a Katz Eye I think soon ;)
http://robbiecc.smugmug.com/Latest-Shots/Last-48hrs/rszmaximus2/1103642806_SZgBJ-X3.jpg
This is an ISO1600 shot that blew me away, easily pleased I know but my older K20D would have struggled massively with this. It was nice of Mr Bunnell to Thank You for the interview and also give a bit of oxygen to the rumour fire!

"some amateur photography engineers who measure every pixel seen online and discuss endlessly the possible softness of certain lenses, or supposed focussing issues or the aggressiveness of the AA filter not to mention the NR. Always looking for faults"

Robbie,
The funny thing is that it doesn't matter to photography at all. "Perfect" camera performance doesn't even move the needle from zero to one on the meter of pictorial success. In fact, easily as many great shots in the history of photography have depended on technical "flaws" as on the absence of them...probably a lot more. There no such things as quality, just qualities, and qualities are neutral.

Mike

P.S. You do know the old expression, though, don't you? "People who take cat pictures should not throw stones"? [g]

(Nice cat picture, though.)

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