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Old Mar 3, 2010, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Will Pentax go Full Frame?

It seems like the majors as well as Sony have made Full Frame part of their product offering in the pro & prosumer field. Has there been any recent news on Pentax's intentions towards Full Frame, which I believe offers much better noise control characteristics? Pentax's lens road map lists only DA series lenses which reiterates their commitment to the APS-C sensor.

I've not heard anything recently on this subject, and wondered if anyone has any information.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 12:08 PM   #2
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Even though all my lenses are FF except the DA16-45, and I still prefer buying older FF lenses to newer APS-C sized, I 'm one who'd be most surprised if Pentax releases a FF body in a somewhat near future. They're just about ready to release the 645D, a camera directed strictly to the pro market. And they only have APC-S lenses in the roadmap. A clear pointer to me.
I think the future is rather in a leap forwards in sensor technology, with much less noise and higher ISO settings sticking with APS-C size.

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Old Mar 3, 2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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Pentax has been known in the film days for it's excellent medium formats. Word is that they will soon (poss. April 2010...we shall see) introduce a digital medium format 645 camera system.

In film days they well well known for their excellent 645 and 6 X 7 system. I rented the 6 X 7 Pentax and the image quality was out of this world.

I do have a Mamiya medium format system with three lenses. The system is big and awkward....but medium format is hard to beat in image quality due to the size of the film or sensor...unless you go large format film and use view cameras.

So in my view Pentax will get into to a medium format line.

Will they go full frame....don't know. There are a three...Sony, Canon, Nikon, as you say.

They are pricey, although Sony with their new 850 FF is quite reasonable.

I think it will be interesting to see how Nikon and Canon and other makers respond to Sony's lower priced FF.

It's still expensive, but less so then anything else on the market and maybe it's the first salvo in an upcoming price war for lower priced full framed cameras.

Once a price war stops and new models start flowing...if this happens it will be interesting to see where it goes .

It's interesting to see that the Canon 7D a high quality, advanced APS-C, as well as Nikon's 300s have been introduced.

APS-C isn't dead yet.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 2:05 PM   #4
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I would be amazed if Hoya was going to do medium format AND full frame. Now you've got to manufacture lenses for BOTH - in addition to meeting the demands of your APS-C users. APS-C user base seems to like small, light, inexpensive. That doesn't mesh well with lenses for full-frame. So a lot of the aps-c user base won't want to pay the size and dollar premium for full-frame lenses. That's tough for Hoya to deal with. Canon and Nikon have always and continue to manufacture the majority of their higher end lenses for full frame. There are a couple exceptions to this 17-55 2.8 for instance. But by and large, they haven't had an issue with their user base balking at price and bulk for full frame lenses.

I just think dividing up their money 3 different routes makes little sense. I think they'll be content to go aps-c and medium format.

But then my opinion on this is worth exactly what you're paying to get it.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 6:02 PM   #5
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I don't particularly care one way or the other since I can't handle a heavier camera than the K20. If someone were to make a full frame camera that weighs less, then I might care. But technology will need to change quite a bit for that to happen.

I agree with others that Pentax can't afford to go full frame anytime soon. They've got the 645 for those looking for more and that's going to be a significant capital outlay for supporting medium format, they'll need to make that reasonably successful before they'll think about full frame.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 6:06 PM   #6
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I agree, i don't see them going FF.

it just goes too far against their mantra of smaller lighter and full featured. and would require quite a large capital investment that i don't believe they are willing to bet on. it is a safer bet for them to continue to push the envelope with aps-c as they have done with the k7 and kx, and push their 645digital.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 7:10 PM   #7
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Hi jelpee,

The responses so far are pretty much what I expected from this forum -- well thought out and practical considering Pentax's past and present offerings and base. I've always felt that a FF model would be a waste of time and resources -- at least for my use.

But to add a little fantasy to such a reasonable thread. . .

What about going the other way? Considering the advances in IQ due to sensor technology and processing shown by the latest APS C models -- why not a 4/3 sensor in a K-mount body? We'd get a built-in 1.5x TC from the additional crop factor, better AF performance since the DOF would be deeper (which should make it both faster and seemingly more accurate), similar high ISO performance to the best of the pre Kx models (as long as they kept the MP count down to something reasonable), the same legacy lens compatibility, probable better SR performance because of the smaller lighter sensor, faster frame rates and quieter shutters from the smaller mirror and shutter assemblies, and the possibility of even smaller, lighter bodies at a lower relative price point for the features offered (they wouldn't be thinner since the register distance would have to be the same as current bodies, but they could be smaller in width and height).

Since it wouldn't share the 4/3 standard lens mount, it could be called the K4:3

Maybe I'm just sick, but If they could make a K-7 featured body with a 4/3 sensor that offered similar IQ and noise, I'd buy one, no questions asked. . .I could really get excited about my FA*300/4.5 becoming a 600mm eq, and with the 1.7x AFA, a 1020mm. . . in a very handholdable (with some challenges because of the extreme eq FL) package.

Scott
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 8:49 PM   #8
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I guess I was asking more of a rhetorical question since I too believe that Pentax seems committed to the APS-C sized sensor.

The real question is at some point in time, will FF become the defacto standard as the price point moves down especially with Sony's entry. Even with Nikon, the D700 while more expensive than anything Pentax has, is several steps below their D3 series. I wonder if over the long haul the lens industry can support two standards? For Pentaxians the choice is easier since all new releases are in the DA format. But Pentax with its small market share does not seem likely to influence future trends, unless as some have said, it introduces the new APS-C sensor that trumps the FF's in IQ and noise.

Time will tell...in the mean time, let's all keep the economy stimulated by buying what's current!!
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 9:08 PM   #9
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i don't see either FF or APS-C going away anytime soon.
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 1:17 PM   #10
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To be honest the only feature of the full frame cameras that I would really like to have is the big bright viewfinder.
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