View Full Version : Pentax at Photokina

17-09-2014, 5:17pm

Despite a global declining trend in camera sales, Ricoh Imaging has been gaining market share over the course of the past two years. Thus, the primary focus of our interview today was future direction and changes necessary to adapt to the state of the camera market. We learned from the interview that some of the recently-announced Pentax cameras are part of a new "innovation" line, which will be maintained parallel to the core K-mount and Q-mount lineup. Thus, the gamut of Pentax and Ricoh camera products will slowly expand. We also learned that Ricoh is engaged in the development of a full-frame camera, though the potential launch of such a camera will depend on the market situation.

Read more at: http://www.pentaxforums.com/articles/photokina-2014/pf-interview-with-ricoh-imaging-photokina-2014.html#ixzz3DYTIhsLA

17-09-2014, 5:20pm
#19. As you indicated in previous interviews, are you still considering expanding the K-mount camera system to use sensors larger than APS-C? This is a question that we cannot disclose, but as I said in the 645Z questions, we think that the 645Z is one of our answers toward the high-end of customers.

At the same time, we know that the full-frame market is growing. So, our engineers are engaged in the development of full-frames, but with the question of when to launch/release the product, we will want to carefully study the market trend.

18-09-2014, 7:56am
This makes sense to have a contingency plan as a backup.

I don't expect that the full frame digital camera market(note I didn't say DSLR market!!! .. errr.... Sony :D) will suddenly consume and destroy the crop camera market .. but it's appearing that the cost delta between the different formats is declining.

Sony has always pushed the larger sensor market(more so than either Canon or Nikon) to the brink of cost parity with the cop sensor market .. ever since the A800 days some years ago.

A couple of years ago Nikon also entered the 'cheaper' full frame DSLR market and then not too long later Canon(D600 and 6D respectively).
With phone cams getting so much better* and encroaching into real camera market space, this is where the potential for sales decline actually is in the long term**.

It makes sense for Pentax to have at least one larger frame camera model soon(er .. rather than later) before all die hard Pentax fans migrate to other brands(due to the lower eventual cost).

* getting so much better is not my personal view on the situation with phone cams. I don't hold the view that phone cams are an alternative to proper ( 1" or 4/3rds and larger) cameras.
But there appears to be a consensus among many internet related photography discussion types that phone cams are getting as good as proper cameras for photography(at a serious level).
My POV is diametrically in opposition to these views!

** long term future could be 3 or 4 generations forward from here. Maybe not the K3mkIII, D650 or 6Dmk IV generation of camera models, but most likely just beyond that say between 5-10 years forward. Sensor production could come down to the point where the cost of the silicon as an overall percentage of the camera parts collective could be so much lower, we may see sub $1K full frame cameras sooner rather than later.
It makes sense, and appears to be the trend. Imagine that it now costs $500 to make an APS-C sensor but double that($1K) for a full frame sensor obviously at $500 difference it's harder to make a cheaper full frame camera. But, say in 5-10years time the cost of making the APS-C sensor is now down to only $50 and maintaining the double ratio, that makes a full frame sensor only $50 more now .. camera pricing between the formats will get closer.

Pentax needs to realise that this is a possibility and should have these backup plans .. but more importantly sooner rather than later before it loses any more customer loyalty.
There are a few on AP that have switched from Pentax to other brands (that I can remember).
So the question of when to launch is easy to answer ... yesterday! :D

19-09-2014, 7:08am
I agree that Pentax needs to keep an open mind on various format cameras. Another avenue that would be good to explore would be weight reduction. Due to some arthritis issues I have recently experimented with some Olympus mirrorless models and have found the lower weight very nice for handling, especially on long term events. Smaller size, however, comes at a price of harder handling when held in adult hands. My Pentax K-5 IIs (with grip) is very good for handholding. If the weight (and not the size) was reduced, I think Pentax would score another win.

20-09-2014, 7:13am
..... Smaller size, however, comes at a price of harder handling when held in adult hands. My Pentax K-5 IIs (with grip) is very good for handholding. If the weight (and not the size) was reduced, I think Pentax would score another win.

Completely agree.

My two main issues with all these smaller (usually mirrorless) type cameras that seem to be the current fashion.

1. I can't hold them for long enough without my hand cramping up. Very few of them have a grip of any worth.
2. I can't look through the viewfinder without the feeling that I'm playing a video game or something like that.EVF technology is still not a step up over optical viewfinders.

As of a few months back, the Sony A7 body, is about the only small camera that I could hold without the feeling that I'm holding my my fingertips .. which means(for me) that more force is needed from my hand to keep the camera in my hand.

My primary concern is that the grip of the camera fits perfectly into my hand, so that the friction of textured surface of the camera is what holds it into my hand.

Lighter weight would be a bonus .. but not if it comes at the expense of a well molded shape(ie. it becomes smaller).
The Nikon Df is(to me) an example of this. It barely has a molded grip to 'hang onto'. Even tho it's lighter than the D800, I'm 99.999% positive that for me, it'd be a pain in the palm(literally).
My D70s is like this. My palm doesn't envelop the grip at all, so the tips of my fingers do all the holding. This means no friction to keep the camera from slipping out of my hand, which in turn means more force is needed from the hand at all times. Even less than one hour of holding it, my hand will start to cramp with fatigue.
D800 weighs twice as much, and with my main lens, about 4x as much as the lightest setup I can have with the D70s. I can hold the D800 basically all day without an issue(which was pretty easy at the last Melbourne meetup).

20-09-2014, 8:02am
I find the OMD-EM1 grip fits perfectly into my hand and I can carry it around for hours without a problem . It helps that it is much lighter than DSLR's as well . As for the EVF , I like it , but I have never used a DSLR so I guess it is just what you are used to .