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Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: September 18, 2014 05:04PM
[www.photographyblog.com]

"In an interview with Photography Blog, Ricoh's European Product Manager Laurence Bouly has confirmed that development of a Pentax full-frame DSLR camera is officially underway. No launch date has yet been set, but she said that the launch itself would be communicated through the usual formal channels, rather than Facebook (as Ricoh France did earlier this week). In addition, the two lens prototypes (high magnification super-telephoto zoom lens and large diameter telephoto zoom lens) on show at Photokina are actually full-frame lenses, rather than APS-C. "

Oddly, I can't find the actual interview on Photograpy Blog. So maybe we should say "Confirmed?" I think it's been clear for a long time that Pentax has been working on some kind of FF camera. The questions have been, when and what? By what, surely Pentax knows it must find a way to differentiate it's FF offering from those of Canon and Nikon. We've seen how they've managed that in their APS-C dslrs (excellent viewfinders, weather sealing on lower priced models, etc). It'll be very interesting to see what comes of this.

Personally, I'm not all that interested in an FF camera due to the cost, and my high level of happeness with my trusty K-5. But assuming this time it's true, I'll say: Thanks Ricoh!



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 18, 2014 05:10PM
Didn't they show a prototype in early 2000s? they could have been one of the leaders in full frame now instead of playing catch-up. Camera
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 18, 2014 05:19PM
oh, and "full frame" is smaller than "medium format", isn't it?
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: freeradical
Date: September 18, 2014 05:37PM
Quote
space-time
Didn't they show a prototype in early 2000s? they could have been one of the leaders in full frame now instead of playing catch-up. Camera

Yep. It's going to be a tough sell to try and get Canon and Nikon users who've invested lots of bucks in full frame lenses to switch.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 18, 2014 05:56PM
Quote
space-time
oh, and "full frame" is smaller than "medium format", isn't it?

Yep. Full frame is the equivalent of 35 mm film, 35mm x 24mm. Medium format was 2 1/4" square, or 6cm x 6cm, sometimes 6cm x 7cm. Just sayin'



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 18, 2014 05:59PM
Medium format is 6cm by whatever. Anywhere from 4.5 to 17cm.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: September 18, 2014 06:20PM
Quote
freeradical
Quote
space-time
Didn't they show a prototype in early 2000s? they could have been one of the leaders in full frame now instead of playing catch-up. Camera

Yep. It's going to be a tough sell to try and get Canon and Nikon users who've invested lots of bucks in full frame lenses to switch.

Who says that's their plan?



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: September 18, 2014 06:38PM
I always thought it odd that Pentax did not have a FF 35mm camera. There was no place for their users to move upward to. Canon had FF 5 years before Nikon. Nikon realized their users could not top out at DX if they wanted to maintain sales of higher end lenses. I know a few Pentax users that topped out and switched to Canon or Nikon for the FF.

I am open to a Pentax full frame but would probably get my hands on a used Sony A900. The colors on that had a nice quality about them.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: September 18, 2014 06:39PM
Quote
space-time
Didn't they show a prototype in early 2000s? they could have been one of the leaders in full frame now instead of playing catch-up. Camera

Yes, they did:
[en.wikipedia.org]
[www.bdimitrov.de]

I've heard a couple reasons why it was never offered for sale. One is that it would be too costly for Pentax's target market (see the quote in the Wikipedia page) which makes sense, as Pentax's market did (does) not include professional photographers who would shell out the $$ for a full-frame SLR. At that time, it would have been about $10,000. The other story is that the maker of the sensor, Phillips, bowed out so they couldn't have put it in production anyway. Canon of course was first in FF since they make their own sensors. (When did Nikon introduce their first?)

Now: enthusiasts are obviously clamoring for FF bodies. They'll happily spend in the $2k neighborhood to get one, and there are many existing Pentax users who are very eager for this. I read often enough posts by Canon or Nikon users who say they'd consider Pentax "if," because they like what they see in cameras such as the K-5 and K-3, but want FF. We'll see.

I think it was probably not a bad business decision for Pentax to stay out of the FF game until they could do it in a way that avoids being just a "me-to" maker and come up with something substantially different.



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: September 18, 2014 06:49PM
Quote
Uncle Wig
Quote
space-time
Didn't they show a prototype in early 2000s? they could have been one of the leaders in full frame now instead of playing catch-up. Camera

Yes, they did:
[en.wikipedia.org]
[www.bdimitrov.de]

I've heard a couple reasons why it was never offered for sale. One is that it would be too costly for Pentax's target market (see the quote in the Wikipedia page) which makes sense, as Pentax's market did (does) not include professional photographers who would shell out the $$ for a full-frame SLR. At that time, it would have been about $10,000. The other story is that the maker of the sensor, Phillips, bowed out so they couldn't have put it in production anyway. Canon of course was first in FF since they make their own sensors. (When did Nikon introduce their first?)

Now: enthusiasts are obviously clamoring for FF bodies. They'll happily spend in the $2k neighborhood to get one, and there are many existing Pentax users who are very eager for this. I read often enough posts by Canon or Nikon users who say they'd consider Pentax "if," because they like what they see in cameras such as the K-5 and K-3, but want FF. We'll see.

I think it was probably not a bad business decision for Pentax to stay out of the FF game until they could do it in a way that avoids being just a "me-to" maker and come up with something substantially different.


Sony makes the aps-c sensors for Pentax. Nikon needs help from Sony fabrication for their FF chips. Not sure why Pentax could not strike up a joint agreement also.

I really like the layout of Pentax camera. Something more Mac-like about them than the Nikons I currently use.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: September 18, 2014 07:37PM
Quote
pRICE cUBE


Sony makes the aps-c sensors for Pentax. Nikon needs help from Sony fabrication for their FF chips. Not sure why Pentax could not strike up a joint agreement also.

I really like the layout of Pentax camera. Something more Mac-like about them than the Nikons I currently use.

My guess is it'll be a body something like the K-3 in terms of design. Maybe a little bigger. It'll have to have a processor upgrade to give it a decent frame rate, and probably an improved autofocus system. (Pentax autofocus has gotten steadily better but the reputation remains.)



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: September 18, 2014 07:59PM
Quote
Uncle Wig
Quote
pRICE cUBE


Sony makes the aps-c sensors for Pentax. Nikon needs help from Sony fabrication for their FF chips. Not sure why Pentax could not strike up a joint agreement also.

I really like the layout of Pentax camera. Something more Mac-like about them than the Nikons I currently use.

My guess is it'll be a body something like the K-3 in terms of design. Maybe a little bigger. It'll have to have a processor upgrade to give it a decent frame rate, and probably an improved autofocus system. (Pentax autofocus has gotten steadily better but the reputation remains.)

Engineering the bigger prism and mirror box are probably easy since they used to do this in the film days. I am curious to see if Sony is the chip supplier or if Pentax/Ricoh figured out their own fabrication situation.

I wonder if Pentax people are arguing about full frame and the need for it. I recall in the 5 years Nikon took to come up with FF after the Canon 1Ds and 3 years after the 5D, that I had online disagreements with "Nikonians" about the need for FF. I would say 90% of the Nikon people said "DX is the digital format of the future" which was total marketing bull. Nikon knew they were behind. WIthout real DX ultrawides, a 70-200mm 2.8 equivalent, and other DX equivalent lenses, the DX was purely a stop gap solution until they could engineer a full frame chip. It was more difficult to do since the Nikon F mount is narrower than the EOS mount. When Nikon realized the D700 and D3, Nikonians acted as though Nikon beat Canon by 5 years. The 90% FF Nikon haters became FF lovers. Lucky for me, I didn't unload all my full frame Nikon lenses to buy the few DX lenses there were.

I am interested in how this Pentax FF will turn out. I have always liked their cameras. They seem to have a bit more soul in the digital era than the Canons and Nikon I have used.

Now if they came out with a Nikon F4 digital or a back for the F4, I would be in heaven.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: September 18, 2014 08:29PM
I honestly think that most people who are clamoring for an FF camera really have no idea WHY they feel they need one; they just DO. Some (like me) want to see a Pentax FF because it's needed to compete in the marketplace. A few want to take advantage of the DOF qualities with wide apertures, or the low-light capabilites. But again, most (and this goes for people buying Nikon and Canon FF cameras too) are convinced they'll just die without one.

I'd be willing to bet the chip will come from Sony. And that's fine. Pentax has been able to use the same or similar Sony chips as other APS-C brands, and yet get quite different results in terms of image quality, especially high-ISO capabilities.



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: davester
Date: September 18, 2014 09:23PM
Quote
Uncle Wig
I honestly think that most people who are clamoring for an FF camera really have no idea WHY they feel they need one; they just DO. .

Exactly. I think part of the reason is that "full frame" makes it sound as though any smaller sensor is "part frame" and therefore inadequate by comparison. The fact is, the size of an FF sensor is arbitrary, and based on the size of film, which makes little sense in today's day and age. There are severe penalties (weight, bulk, cost of lenses) to full frame equipment. Only pros shooting particular types of subjects really need FF sensors IMHO. For the rest of us, APS-C or even micro 4/3 are more than we need.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: freeradical
Date: September 18, 2014 09:33PM
Quote
davester
Quote
Uncle Wig
I honestly think that most people who are clamoring for an FF camera really have no idea WHY they feel they need one; they just DO. .

Exactly. I think part of the reason is that "full frame" makes it sound as though any smaller sensor is "part frame" and therefore inadequate by comparison. The fact is, the size of an FF sensor is arbitrary, and based on the size of film, which makes little sense in today's day and age. There are severe penalties (weight, bulk, cost of lenses) to full frame equipment. Only pros shooting particular types of subjects really need FF sensors IMHO. For the rest of us, APS-C or even micro 4/3 are more than we need.

My full frame Olympus XA weighs 242 grams loaded with a 36 exposure roll of film, and it fits in the front pocket of a lightweight Summer shirt.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: September 18, 2014 09:37PM
Pentax's rich line of full frame lenses going way back are a great reason Pentax should have done this sooner. For many people, aps-c is plenty of camera.

For me, I LOVE shooting a 400mm 2.8 across a basketball court. It blurs the background better than a 300mm on aps-c. That is why I bought my own full frame great when my work was still using Nikon D1H. I would say I am much pickier than most people. Especially since the 1DS was $7600.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 19, 2014 12:03AM
Seems to me there's a different quality to the color in FF, like the transitions from one color or value to the next are smoother. I used to notice something similar when I did B&W hobby darkroom work. The larger formats had that same quality, smoother and more articulate, especially in shadow and highlight detail. The larger formats gave sharper images too, but even crude old uncoated lenses on a 4 x 5 were better tonally, IMO.

Someone said the tones and color in smaller formats were more "jumpy."

I love my K20D for the same reason price mentioned. Everything seems to be right where I need it. Like Macs USED to be.



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: (vikm)
Date: September 19, 2014 12:22AM
I'm of the opposite opinion. I'd suggest the people that want FF actually do know why they want it and those that don't actively seek it out don't generally know what it is or what the difference is compared to the cameras that don't offer it. Just my opinion, though.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: September 19, 2014 01:09AM
Quote
(vikm)
I'm of the opposite opinion. I'd suggest the people that want FF actually do know why they want it and those that don't actively seek it out don't generally know what it is or what the difference is compared to the cameras that don't offer it. Just my opinion, though.

I'm sure both are true for some people. Others want it the same way they want 4k video, curved screen teevees and the like because they've been convinced those things must be "better."

Me, I look at the image quality I get from my current set up and I think: do I want to spend thousands more for the improvements FF may offer? Right now, the answer is no.



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: freeradical
Date: September 19, 2014 01:11AM
Quote
lost in space
Seems to me there's a different quality to the color in FF, like the transitions from one color or value to the next are smoother. I used to notice something similar when I did B&W hobby darkroom work. The larger formats had that same quality, smoother and more articulate, especially in shadow and highlight detail. The larger formats gave sharper images too, but even crude old uncoated lenses on a 4 x 5 were better tonally, IMO.

Someone said the tones and color in smaller formats were more "jumpy."

I love my K20D for the same reason price mentioned. Everything seems to be right where I need it. Like Macs USED to be.

Exactly. The difference between a print made from a 35mm negative and a medium format negative, even a 645 negative is startling with respect to the tonalities.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 19, 2014 01:23AM
A 6x4.5 has 2.7x more surface area than a 35mm negative. So enlargements are far smaller scale-wise. Huge difference in subtle highlights with detail, and shadows with detail. That's why wedding photogs held out so long. The huge dynamic range between a white lace dress, and a black tux with a textured vest or cumerbund was a @#$%& to capture and print, when using 35mm film.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: September 19, 2014 06:26AM
Yeah, not all FF are equal. While the Nikon chips are very detailed and very sharp, they have a cold feel to them. The Canon's have a warmer feel and I spend less time fixing the brutally honest Nikon skin tones. Something about that A900 tonality was really nice for portraits. I was hoping to pick one up by now but they haven't dropped as much as I had hoped. I think a lot of A900 admirers must feel the same way. The A900 was in actuality Minolta's before it was sold to Sony. Their subsequent cameras have had a lot of flashy features but lack the oomph the A900 had for tonality. The downside of the A900, the vertical grip was the size of a whale's behind.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2014 06:28AM by pRICE cUBE.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 19, 2014 08:24AM
great legacy glass is why people still crave FF cameras, but I would say that market is small and shrinks every year. I am still not going to budge at anything over $1000, though.
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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 19, 2014 11:09AM
Quote
pRICE cUBE
Yeah, not all FF are equal. While the Nikon chips are very detailed and very sharp, they have a cold feel to them. The Canon's have a warmer feel and I spend less time fixing the brutally honest Nikon skin tones. Something about that A900 tonality was really nice for portraits. I was hoping to pick one up by now but they haven't dropped as much as I had hoped. I think a lot of A900 admirers must feel the same way. The A900 was in actuality Minolta's before it was sold to Sony. Their subsequent cameras have had a lot of flashy features but lack the oomph the A900 had for tonality. The downside of the A900, the vertical grip was the size of a whale's behind.

I used to sense something similar with large format lenses, between Nikon and Schneider. The nikons were plenty sharp, but there was a hardness about the images from them. The Schneiders gave a softer, but no less sharp image.

Some of this stuff doesn't translate well into words.



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Re: Confirmed: Pentax developing a full-frame camera
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 19, 2014 11:46AM
I know what you are talking about. My Fuji lenses have a different feel as well.
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