Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Timing is everything. Important facts about Pentax you should know. Read this blog then share it with your Canikon friends. :)

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

Timing is everything. So many of you, including myself, do wish that Pentax would have produced a Full Frame DSLR. Did you know that the first Full Frame DSLR was actually designed by Pentax, but the wrong timing and other factors prevented them to release what would have been the first Full Frame, 6 megapixels DSLR, in 2001.


Here is a press release issued on February 10, 2001:

DENVER, Colorado (February 10, 2001) . . . PENTAX Corporation will preview a new digital autofocus SLR camera (The MZ-D)) at the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) Show held in Orlando, February 11-14, 2001. The addition of this advanced digital SLR camera complements one of the most extensive photographic lines of any manufacturer in the industry including 35mm, APS, medium format and digital for various levels of photographers.


The MZ-S was the last 35mm camera that Pentax produced. I loved the design. Actually it wasn't their last 35mm, the *ist was, but the MZ-s was the last flagship model..

Created along the same developmental concept lines as the new PENTAX MZ-S professional 35mm autofocus SLR camera, this high-end digital SLR will feature a 35mm-film-sized, six megapixel CCD image sensor as well as a DSP and other digital processing components. This package was jointly developed with Philips Electronics in order to realize high-grade image quality, top-level performance and compact dimensions simultaneously. Offering compatibility with the existing PENTAX KAF2 lens mount, it will also accept PENTAX 645-system and 67-system interchangeable lenses (when used with an adapter). This high-performance digital autofocus SLR camera will be ideal for advanced amateurs and professionals who demand top quality images and SLR maneuverability.


The camera will be compatible with four new accessories introduced for the new MZ-S 35mm SLR camera including: 1.) BG-10 Battery Grip, 2.) CS-105 & CS-130 Cable Switches, 3.) TS-110 Release Timer Switch, and the 4.) AF360FGZ Dedicated Flash Unit. The final product specifications, pricing and marketing dates will be announced at a later time.

This DSLR still appeals to me today. I think the design is incredibly beautiful. Who's to say that Pentax couldn't reuse this design with a new / current Full Frame CMOS sensor!
 
The  LCD screen is small in today's standards, but look at the top panel of the camera...pure beauty. Remember that this was in 2001, that's ancient in digital technology, and yet Pentax was at the forefront of Full Frame DSLR.
So why wasn't it ever mass produced?

Well, as it turned out, the Phillips sensor fail to deliver. Actually, Contax were to introduced a new DSLR as well, based on this same sensor, but the failure to deliver from Phillips actually drove Contax to extinction. Aren't you glad that Pentax was strong to hang in there? If that sensor would have succeeded in producing great images, Pentax would have been ahead of Nikon and Canon. It took them a while to get back on their digital feet, but now with the 645D, the K-5 and the K-r, Pentax is definitely in the game.


The picture above was Pentax first design of a mirrorless digital camera...way ahead of everyone else. The year...1997. It was going to use Pentax "K" mount.  It was never released, but it seems like the idea was a good one, look at all the mirror-less cameras out on the market today.

This was a sample of a camera Pentax designed years ago (1997, yet never released): a K-mount digital CCD camera with with no mirror assembly, just live preview on the LCD.

I am fascinated by the 'Pentax Design Studio'concept model of this ultra-compact Digital K-SLR from 1997
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Note: At the time Pentax were going to introduce the new MZ-D Full Frame - 6 megapixels,  Nikon's flagship model was the D1, with only an APS-C sensor @ 2.7 megapixels.  Canon had the EOS-1D with a Panasonic 1.3x APS-C sensor @ 4 megapixels. Nobody else had a Full Frame in the works. Technically speaking, and timing wise, if the Phillips sensor would have delivered, Pentax would have had the best DSLR way at the beginning of the DSLR revolution. But it isn't over yet, and with the current line of DSLRs, I am confident that Pentax will be at the top in the near future. Hang in there, the Pentax world is about to change the game. Never, never, but never give up!

Thanks for reading.

Yvon Bourque


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