Thursday, October 29, 2009

Here are some random thoughts about Pentax!

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Hi Pentaxian friends.

1. Lately, I saw many posts about Hoya wanting to associate with another world-class company that could manufacture sensors for them. This could make Pentax viable outside the Hoya’s mission of medical instruments and the like. Hoya apparently purchased Pentax mostly for their medical instruments. It seems that Samsung eventually want to manufacture their own cameras with their own sensors…as I was told, at the last PMA, by a Samsung representative. What do you think?

2. The K-x is now available almost everywhere. It is equipped, as you know, with a Sony 12MP CMOS sensor. The low light/high ISO image quality is supposedly on the leading edge of all the current DSLRs. What would you think of a Pentax K-7x with the 12MP sensor instead of the Samsung 14MP? If the IQ were that much better, I would go for it. After all, Nikon seems to manufacture many models around the 12MP range and they are doing okay. In the past, I produce great enlargements of 11” x 14” and even 18” x 24” with the old Pentax 6MP DSLRs. If the IQ is better, 12MP is plenty and I believe it is the sweet spot for APS-C sensors. What do you think?

3. I own several Pentax lenses, some are “A” lenses, some are FA lenses, some DA Pancake prime lenses and some DA* zoom lenses, telephotos and primes. I am not a pixel peeper and frankly, I don’t see enough difference in image quality between any of my lenses to prefer one over another. For me, it boils down to what I am shooting on a particular day or what I can easily carry. I do use Photoshop to correct colors, Chromatic aberration and so on, but never to change the content of an image. It’s the darkroom of this era, why not use it to its full potential. If your picture is well composed, I don’t think that the viewers would see any difference between the IQ of one lens over another. What do you think?

4. I envision that Pentax will indeed introduce the 645D next year. They will jump from the APS-C sensor to one bigger than the Canon or Nikon FF sensors. Pentax made it clear before that they would never manufacture a FF DSLR. Would you get a 645D should the price be comparable to Nikon’s D3/D3X/D3S or Canon’s EOS 1Ds Mk III? There are thousands or millions of 645 used lenses on the market already and Pentax could introduce new 645 AF lenses modeled after the Film 645 medium format cameras. I would buy one. What do you think?

So there you have it, some random thought about Pentax’s future. I’m a die-hard fan of Pentax cameras and know that they will always emerge with something unexpected, innovative and great.

Thanks for reading, and what do you think?

Yvon Bourque


ordinaryimages said...

Re:K-7x w/Sony 12MP. I would say go for it! 12MP is plenty for this level camera.

Frank M. said...

I agree with you that FF is not that relevant for an amateur photographer. For a while I've wondered if a FF camera would be the only way to get good performance above ISO 800. But looking at APS-C cameras like the K-x, I realize that is not necessarily so.

On the other hand, I would not take the leap into medium format as lightly as you, despite the undeniable improvements in IQ. In addition to camera/lens costs, these are definitely large pixel count cameras, implying large CPU processing power and storage space. Do I want/need that?...

claytonia vices said...

I read in dpreview and I was glad to know that PENTAX is about 25% of Hoya's revenue!
If that is the case there is nothing to every worry about, isn't it?

I really agree with your idea of waist level finders in your previous post. I guess a swivel LCD with maybe a hood-like attachment to prevent daylight falling on it directly would work very well when used waist level...

jcr said...

Yes I agree, Pentax makes the idea of SLR cameras easy for beginners like me. Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful digital SLR camera reviews to give some insight for the better.

Nathan Chilton said...

What would you think of a Pentax K-7x with the 12MP sensor instead of the Samsung 14MP?

That's exactly what I want!

Alain Dumas said...

Great comments. I am on the same wavelength.

zkarj said...

You say no-one could tell the difference in IQ between lenses. Surely this is true only if you have nothing but quality lenses.

In January I swapped an 11 year old Sigma 100-300 for the new Pentax 55-300 and the difference in quality is like night and day. The Sigma shots had to be reduced to half dimensions before they began to look crisp. The Pentax turns out crisp direct from the camera. (K10D.)

Unknown said...


You are abosulety correct. I actually failed to mentioned that I was comparing new lenses currently available. Of course the technology of lenses manufactured decades ago do not have the same glass quality.

Enche Tjin said...

1. Hard to envision, Ricoh maybe? but recent rumors said that Ricoh will develop new system on their own (mirrorless). Ricoh might announce something in the next two weeks.

2. Tried a kx today, ISO 3200 is like 1600 on Canon 40D (which is more advanced camera). 6400 is also acceptable in small print. So, it is the best low light performer DSLR for less than $700. Kx will only beaten with FF sensor like 5D mark II or Nikon D700.

If K7 is equipped with this sensor at the beginning, I believe it will be more successful, and Pentax does not have to give discount that deep ($300 discount now).

3. I agree, some lens weaknesses could be corrected by photoshop, but some are not like image detail and acuity.

4. The trend is going to smaller / compact cameras such as GF1, E-P1, leica m9. I believe MF camera will only cater with a smaller audience. Photography business is harder to get return of investment.

FF camera could still be growing because APS-C sensor people are looking for that for upgrade. FF is portable, has the same interface operation, and many Pentax users has legacy lenses that they can use in FF. I think Pentax should make an FF camera.
Demand for that is strong. Nikon D700, 5D mark ii are on top 20 for months or maybe years.

Let's hope that Kx is successful. I am optimist that this will be one of the most successful Pentax DSLR yet. It shows it can be top 20 on list this week. I hope it is still growing.

What I think Pentax should do is to release Pentax K7x with image sensor update and minor improvements as soon as they can early next year.

Then at the summer 2010, announce full frame, then release it on fall 2010.

They should released around 3-4 new lenses as well 2 compatible with full frame, 1 or 2 for APS-C.

The price of lenses are scary here. 40mm f/2.8 is now close to $500 from $250 a year ago. Pentax should also do something about it.

Expensive lenses will sway away people that want to move in from more popular camera system.

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of Pentax, however I don't understand why they won't produce a FF camera. Launching only the 645D is controverse to their philosophy - small cameras and the limiteds. The Sensor of the 645D will have a higher resolution than normal FF, however, noise levels won't be that good - too much research has been made for the other format, so unfortunately Pentax still does not target towards AL enthusiasts... :-/

rhermans said...


1. I don't mind what Samsung does, as long as Pentax keeps going, and if Hoya gets better quality in the Pentax i'm happy.

2. After seeing the difference in image quality between the K7 and Kx I would really like to see that quality in the K7x.
The 10 / 12 / 14 megapixel resolution doesn't really matter.
When I got me a k20d I thought the K10d would become my backup camera. And I was completely wrong I sometimes have to look to see what camera I'm using.

3. I follow you on that idea. Some lenses I have I can see the difference between but I think you have to do with what you've got with you, and that you can't carry everything with you (although I try that to much). Although I've been using photoshop for more than 10years, I've been using it a lot less than lightroom what I got at version 2.

4. Its great that they'll have a real pro camera, only I'm not a pro, I'm doing my best to get as good as possible but the 645D is just above what I need. ... only ... before I went to dslr I thought my superzoom was all that I needed ;)

JohnP said...

I agree I'd much prefer the Sony over the Samsung. I've always stuck with Pentax but lately let down with faults originating from the sensor which doesnt seem capable of handling heat. In a recent wedding shoot as the day & camera warmed up I had green line (usually through the bride's face)and under exposure problems. Luckily we also had a Nikon 90D.

street_vision said...

Back to number 2.
I for one would love to see the K-7 with that Sony sensor. It would put the K-7 at least on par with the D300s..I love everything about the K-7 except the noise. It is s shame that my K20D handles noise better and that many k-7 owners are buying the K-X or holding on to their older Pentax DSLR's for better noise control....

All n all, the K-7 is a wonderful camera :)

Nathan Chilton said...

Yes, the K-7 is unquestionably the best DSLR Pentax has ever made. Pentax addressed pretty much every complaint a Pentaxian could have. The shutter/mirror mechanism is quieter, the FPS is increased, focusing is faster, the grip has an AF button and the ability to use AA batteries...

But, the K-x has a sensor which has superior performance in low light (something I NEED). This makes the decision difficult. The thing I most wanted Pentax to improve was the low-light/high-iso performance.

The K-7 is an awesome camera, but the K-x has the better sensor. I want the sensor of the K-x, but I don't really want to use a K-x. I love my K10D body. I don't think I want a DSLR that doesn't have a battery grip, dual dials, the ability to see the selected focus point in the view finder, etc. The buffer on the K-7 is bigger, also, and I'd rather not give up weather sealing.

So, what do we do? A K-7x would indeed compete well with the D300s. Let's hope Pentax gives it to us.

Miserere said...

I'm one of those people still shooting with their K10D, and quite happy about it for the most part. I skipped the K20D and was looking forward to purchasing a K-7 in the new year. However, having seen the comparisons between the Sony and Samsung sensors in the K-x and K-7, respectively, I am now not so sure.

If I didn't need high ISOs, then the choice would be clear, but I *do* need them, and the K-x delivers them in higher, and better quality than the K-7. Just like others have stated, I would also prefer a K-7x.

And so, I have decided not to buy either camera for now. It looks like the K10D will be getting a few more thousand shutter clicks over the coming months :-)

Silvertooth said...

Point 2--I would love a K7x as you describe. I now shoot with Olympus and low-light is their weakness (at least on my E500).

Point 4--This is what has me seriously thinking about going to Pentax. I have two Pentax film bodies and a few lenses. I still enjoy film. I can envinsion my self with a Pentax 67, 645D, K7, and my trusty old K1000 and ME-Super. Start with some 67 lenses, add adaptors and look out!!

Anonymous said...

Based on the feedback from the different customers that care ...there is a consensus regarding the fact that a K7x (Sony 12MP- for better high ISO IQ) would have a broader appeal and would result in more sales!

Can we get feedback from the Pentax marketing folks? I am sure they want to hit an home run with one of their camera... they are also in teh business of making money by satisfying customer's needs and they are so close with the K7 why not give the market what it wants?