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Old Feb 21, 2007, 9:02 AM   #11
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It will be interesting to see where Pentax goes from here. In the past they had their own niche and appealed to buyers like me - an amateur who loved to take travel/landscape pictures, the occasional macro and other random things. It was affordable and provided me (and many others) great quality pictures at a reasonable price. I wasn't a pro, had no ability or need to buy a whole bunch of top quality lenses, just wanted better quality than I could get from an instamatic. I think there's a huge marketmade up ofpeople like that - folks who will buy a couple of lenses and use the same equipment for 20 or more years.

If all of the camera companies start only courting the top pros and semi-pro amateurs, what's going to happen to the rest of us? There aren't all that many people who can both afford and need top quality everything and if all of the companies only chase those photographers, what about that huge number of people like me? I think that if all the camera manufacturers only chase those limited few, they will kill off the smaller companies, and leave folks like me out in the cold. I hope that Pentax continues to offer good quality for a great price, some upward progression (like they've been doing with the K10 and the upcoming *DA lenses) - they can tap into what I think is a big market "the rest of us."
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 9:22 AM   #12
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Mtngal - I agree with everything you said. Pentax has been filling that niche for 50 years. I think that's what gives them a decided edge over Olympus and Sony. But, I still wouldn't discount the possibility of a merger between any of the 5 major players (with the exception of Canon & Nikon merging - I couldn't see that).

And, like I indicated I believe it's perfectly valid to say 'no I don't need all the top quality AF lenses and the body progression offered by other systems'. Those are perfectly valid answers to the questions. If the answers weren't valid, smart, good photographers wouldn't continue to buy Pentax.


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Old Feb 21, 2007, 11:48 AM   #13
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Sony - ????
Sony's lineup is a bit weak right this minute. Most of the lenses offered are rebadged KM models (some of which are made by Tamron), and only a couple of lenses available have Supersonic Focusing Motors (Minolta's equivalent to Canon's USM lenses or Nikon's AF-S lenses).

There are some very nice brand new lenses in the lineup now, too (for example, the Sony Zeiss 85mm f/1.4G and 135mm f/1.8 ). But, the higher end glass available is rather pricey (an understatement).

You can see some incomplete lists of available lenses in Maxxum/Alpha/Dynax mount at these links:

Fixed Focal Length Lenses

Macro Lenses

Zoom Lenses

I bought the lenses I use with my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D at just the right time. I started buying Minolta lenses before the Maxxum 5D started shipping, and before I had a Maxxum body (film or digital) to mount them on. My film gear was mostly Nikon (and I still have one Nikon body left now). But, Anti-Shake that works with bright primes with ISO 3200 available was just too tempting to me. lol

I do have some Minolta Maxxum Film bodies I've acquired since the 5D was inroduced now (sorry, I still use film from time to time, and besides, I got better deals on some of my lenses by buying camera/lens packages). lol

Once the Konica Minolta 5D started shipping (some 50,000 cameras a month were produced initially), prices did go up with demand from the new 5D owners. So, that strategy allowed me to acquire some pretty good glass at ridiculously low prices on the used market. I've seen some of the lenses I own selling for several times what I paid for them recently (especially since we now have demand from new Sony DSLR-A100 owners, too. I wish I had bought more lenses as an investment. lol

But, prices are really not out of line with other manufacturers for used gear. They were much lower than other manufacturer's equivalent glass before the 5D started shipping. Heck, you could pick up a lens like a Minolta 70-210mm f/4 (a very well made and high quality lens) for around $75.00 all day long Try finding a Canon 70-200mm f/4L for $75.00. ;-) Now, they're selling for more. But, they're really not priced out of line with competing lenses if you're shopping used.

Minolta came out with the Maxxum 7000 Autofocus SLR System in January 1985, replacing their existing manual focus lens mount with a new AF mount, and introduced a new lineup of AF lenses that were *not* compatible with earlier models.

You can read more about it here (and I now have 2 of them in great shape):

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...um7k/index.htm

This bold strategy shocked the industry and allowed Minolta to gain signficant market share over the next few years until both Canon and Nikon switched their systems to Autofocus as well.

Since then, Minolta manufactured some 16 Million Autofocus Lenses. So, they are in the market, and although prices have increased with demand, you can find some pretty good glass at very fair prices in the used market if you're a good Ebay shopper. Vendors like KEH.com (my favorite for used gear), BHPhotovideo.com, and Adorama.com are also good places to look (and I've bought used lenses from all 3).

Another little known fact is that Sony is a large shareholder in Tamron (Sony owns approx. 21% of Tamron). So, I'd expect them to leverage that relationship in the future, as well as taking advantage of their existing relationship with Zeiss (and we've already seen a couple of new lenses being offered by Sony that are manufactured by Zeiss).

According to the most recent studies I've seen, Sony is now the second largest manufacturer of digital cameras (Canon is leading), with Kodak dropping into 3rd place after a signicant drop in market share (something like a 31% drop over the previous study if memory serves).

Yes, they're not where they want to be yet with their DSLR lineup. But, remember, they're just out of the gate with one DSLR camera so far and they have a huge distribution network in place already.

Sony also manufacturers the CCD Sensors used in a number of cameras made by Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and others (although Canon does make their own sensors for their DSLR models). So, they can take avdantage of their R&D in sensor technology by supplementing it with income from sensor sales they make to others.

I've seen some relatively interesting announcements recently from them, too. For example, one new CMOS sensor (1/1.8") they've announced allows 6.4MP images at 60 frames per second. So, I expect some of that kind of technology to work it's way into their larger sensor designs at some point, too. Recent interviews I've seen with Sony management indicate that they are shifting more focus into sensor development now (gearing up, not down with more sensor R&D).

Yes, we don't know what the future may bring with Sony's DSLR lineup yet. But, I suspect we'll see some interesting announcements from them soon (since PMA is almost upon us now). Only time will tell.

From my perspective, the weakest area in the lens lineup is lack of affordable lenses that rival Canon's USM lenses and Nikon's AF-S lenses.

But, it's all a matter of perspective.

The Maxxum 7 (film) was highly regarded as having the world's fastest Autofocus System when it was introduced. Of course, a number of cameras (film and digital) have faster systems now. But, it's not a slouch by any means as AF systems go with good glass (and lens choice can make a big difference).

This same 9 point AF module was used by KM when they announced their Maxxum DSLR System (although there are algorithm differences, I'm sure). No, most lenses don't have built in focus motors like a lot of Canon and Nikon's glass now. So, for sports shooters, I can understand wanting to have that extra edge.

But, it's not like photographers didn't get by shooting without those types of lenses for many years. lol My first "serious" camera (an old Canon Rangefinder my father got in Japan after WWII that I still have somewhere packed away from our last move) didn't even have a built in meter, much less Autofocus.

It's all a matter of perspective. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace right now, and manufacturers tend to "leapfrog" each other from time to time. Any DSLR model from a major manufacturer can allow you to get great photos in most conditions, with the Photograher's skill being the most important factor. Nobody knows what the future will bring.


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Old Feb 22, 2007, 12:19 PM   #14
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Pentax's lens lineup is filling out a little bit. They just announced 3-5 new "star" lenses (top of their line) to be available later this year. Of course, as anyone that's tried to buy new Pentax lenses knows, "available" is a relative term. I think right now they're a victim of their own success, but pretty soon they need to catch up to demand or they'll lose any of the momentum that they have gained. Maybe the merger with Hoya will help since they're an optics company as well.

I still think overall I've saved money buying Pentax, and I like the results I'm getting. I've been able to find pretty much all the lenses I want/can afford. If I'd bought Canon or Nikon, I know I'd be sorely tempted to buy one of those fast, long lenses so I could go shoot sports. Maybe the lack of lenses is a good thing. :-)

We do need competition in the industry. The D40 and aggressive pricing on the Digital Rebels are a direct response to the Pentax/Olympus/Sony deals of last year.

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Old Feb 23, 2007, 3:48 AM   #15
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Frogfish wrote:
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K10D also has 72 dust seals

I found the Sony had the best continuous shooting (3.0 fps until card full) - of those that I tried hands-on, it definitely seemed to have more stamina although I didn't try the D80 and the K10D runs it close.


I have now decided on the Pentax K10D (there are some great 2 lens starter kits on Ebay for a fraction over my US$1,000 limit)
Not JUST dust but weather seals as well.... pretty resistant to all but being submerged. Great for me in a salt air/spray... maybe spilt drink:roll:.... environment.

And yes the K10D does also does max res JPEG @3 fps until mem filled as well.

At least you finally came to the right final decision :-)

Oh and where was the Pentax K100D on your list????

PS Like me and seeming all others that actually have one... you are going to love the K10D.


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Old Feb 23, 2007, 4:01 AM   #16
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JohnG wrote:
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So, for instance if you were to buy a Sony alpha - you are gambling on Sony being able to gain profitability in the DSLR market. They have a massive amount of capital and marketing behind them so they could very well do it - but you just don't know. So, there is some element of risk.

Likewise with Pentax and Olympus- they have a relatively limited offering of autofocus lenses compared to Nikon & Canon (although they both can use a number of older manual focus lenses). So while kit lenses seem nice for a start if you think in the next 5 years you will want to add lenses to your kit (and most people do) - you are assuming some risk that your photography will evolve to match a lens that system offers OR they will offer the lens at the time you require it.
Even more? can SONY manage to bail out alreay once merged Konica-Minolta....

It perplexes me that anyone thinks Pentax is a new kid on the block????

They have been around as long or longer than Canon and Nikon.

In th 60's neighbors father was a cinematographer for ABC sports (Both WWoS and American Sportsman), and ALL his still gear was Pentax.

OK they made some poor decisions towards the end of 35mm popularity... and late to get into digital SLRs in a real serious way....

But with the even to them amazing success of the K100Dand K10D.... you betcha they have C&N's ears pricked up and paying attention.


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Old Feb 23, 2007, 7:04 AM   #17
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Hayward wrote:
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It perplexes me that anyone thinks Pentax is a new kid on the block????


But with the even to them amazing success of the K100Dand K10D.... you betcha they have C&N's ears pricked up and paying attention.

Who said anything about them being the new kid on the block. I was referring only to lens offerings.

Read the whole thread and you'll see this post from me:

Quote:
Mtngal - I agree with everything you said. Pentax has been filling that niche for 50 years. I think that's what gives them a decided edge over Olympus and Sony. But, I still wouldn't discount the possibility of a merger between any of the 5 major players (with the exception of Canon & Nikon merging - I couldn't see that).
The whole point is too take blinders off and look past a single body and single lens. Look at the whole system and what the system offers and decide if it has what you need for the long term. There is nothing wrong with Pentax, but they don't have the same flexibility Canon & Nikon do right now. They don't have a high end body like the D2x and Canon 1 series and they have less AFlenses (half the offering Canon does). But they still have some great gear and they are still the right choice for some people. BUt making a DSLR decision solely on a single body and it's kit lens is making a very uninformed decision.


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Old Feb 23, 2007, 8:11 AM   #18
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The direct competition with Pentax is Sony, Sony vs Samsung, but before Pentax could switch into high gear to gain a fair share in the DSLR with Sony, Pentax has to solve the differences with Samsung, the language barrier Korean/Japanese, the national pride between the two countries, then after this roadblockPentax has a bright future. Sony and Samsung are the two semiconductor giants in the world, in the near future Pentax will most likely to replace Sony sensor with Samsung sensor.

http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semi...0000307759.htm

http://www.businessweek.com/it100/2005/company/SAM.htm




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Old Feb 23, 2007, 10:25 AM   #19
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JohnG wrote:
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The whole point is too take blinders off and look past a single body and single lens. Look at the whole system and what the system offers and decide if it has what you need for the long term. There is nothing wrong with Pentax, but they don't have the same flexibility Canon & Nikon do right now. They don't have a high end body like the D2x and Canon 1 series and they have less AFlenses (half the offering Canon does). But they still have some great gear and they are still the right choice for some people. BUt making a DSLR decision solely on a single body and it's kit lens is making a very uninformed decision.
This raises the issue of who / which market the camera makers are actually designing their cameras for. Are the Pentax cameras trying to persuade people to buy their cameras as an entry level to their pro cameras, obviously not since they don't have them as yet, and may not even be willing to develop them since they don't have a range of lenses that can even begin to compare to those of Canon / Nikon.

So exactly what is the market ? It is generally acknowledged that the DSLR market is increasing in size by leaps and bounds, but of course the vast majority of these new DSLR owners will not go on to buy pro or even semi-pro cameras. This means that the camera makers, now producing these new 6 - 10 MP DSLRs, have identified this 'new' market and the lines between high end P&S cameras and 'entry-level' DSLRs will blur as the DSLRs take on even more of the usability of P&S cameras whilst incorporating the most desirable, but cost efficient, elements of higher end DSLR cameras.

This brings us to the lens issue. Will this 'new market' be prepared to spend a lot of money on new lenses ? Or will they be more than happy to just utilise the kit lenses ? The likelihood is that the market will demand a kit that covers all their basic requirements and that if they need additional lenses then these will be competitively priced, meaning more competition amongst lens producers in this low end of the lens market. The higher rated lenses will retain the market they currently produce for - pro and semi-pro shooters or very enthusiastic, and affluent, amateurs.

Third party lens producers already produce whole series' of lenses for all the major camera makers and these cost sensitive lenses fill the needs of these new Pentax users perfectly.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:00 AM   #20
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Frogfish - don't disagree with anything you've written. Again - I am NOT trying to say Pentax is bad and Canon is GREAT. Only that when deciding on ANY manufacturer you consider the big picture of whether that system embraces your style of photography and provides the long term equipment YOU specifically need. Period. It is just as valid to say: Canon or Nikon DOES NOT match my long term needs because their lenses are too expensive or they have segmented their markets too much by offering 5 or 6 camera bodies or whatever other reason. I honestly and truly do not care if people buy the brand of camera I own. The more competition the better. The better Pentax does the more it pushes my manufacturer to provide better products. I'll I'm advocating is taking a long-term view to a DSLR purchase.

In so many of these threads, ALL the emphasis is given to the initial body and kit lens with no thought given to the SYSTEM. And I've never met a single SLR or DSLR user that bought 1 camera and 1 lens and in 5 years never bought another lens or accessory.

Now, as for third party lenses - what you say is true TO A POINT. For instance, those lenses are not all available in all mounts - a lot are not available in Olympus mount. And, availability of lenses is a big issue. Just because a lens exists doesn't mean you can find it in stock. Let's take for instance the Sigma 70-200 2.8 Macro lens. I looked all over and found the lens in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts but B&H, 17th street photo, buydig, adorama and only Adorama had it even listed (although not in stock).

Same sites searched for Sigma 24-70 2.8 and it was more readily available because it's an older lens.

Same sites for Tokina 80-400: none of them had it for a pentax camera.

How 'bout the Tamron 18-250: Nope, B&H and Adorama are both expecting but they don't have it yet.

The reality with 3rd party lenses is that while they are manufactured in Sony and Pentax mounts they are often the last to ship and because the market is small right now they are in low quantities so they are more likely to be out of stock. It's a reality. It doesn't make Pentax bad, it just means it's a fact Pentax owners have to live with.




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