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Old Feb 26, 2006, 9:12 AM   #21
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The Konica Minolta specific lens mount has been taken over by Sony I believe, so if you buy the KM and want to upgrade, your betting on Sony continuing to manufacture DSLR's with a KM mount and making a DSLR in the future that you'd be interested in.
Yes, and Sony is one of the largest sensor manufacturers in the world, supplying sensors to most other manufacturers (Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.) for many of their cameras. They even supply sensors to Canon for use in some of their non-DSLR models.

Sony is also #3 in Digital Camera sales behind Kodak and Canon (and ahead of Nikon) in the U.S. They're at #2 in some parts of the world. So, they've already got a huge distribution network in place to take advantage of their entry into the DSLR market using KM technology.

They've already announced their intent to capture 25% of the DSLR market, so I wouldn't underestimate them.

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If your next DSLR after this purchase is "full frame" then you won't be able to use the lenses you buy for this camera (the 5D, D50 or the rebel xt).
OK Terry.. that's stretching it a bit. ;-) You may not be able to use lenses you buy designed ONLY for DSLR models with a smaller sensor if you go to a full frame model later.

Only one lens I own falls into that category (the kit lens).

All of the rest of my lenses will work on my KM 5D or 35mm film models (so they would work on a full frame DSLR model using this lens mount, too).



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Old Feb 26, 2006, 11:24 AM   #22
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Hey Jim,

I get a kick out of our discussion!

Hey, great that all your lenses will fit a full frame sensor.

I think most of mine won't

I suspect my next DSLR will likely be full frame, similar to the 5D or the higher end.

Not sure ifCanon will pull off a 16-24mp sensor in an APS-sized format (looking a few years ahead, as I'm probably not replacing my 20D for 3-5 years).

I'm really wondering about Sony.

If I were a betting person, I would bet $100 that they won't capture 25 percent of the DSLR market.

It's a hunch, but lately I haven't been impressed with Sony offerings in the electroincs marketplace.

Sony used to be the "Toyota" of electronics, but lately they really haven't wow'd me with anything.

-- Terry
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 11:36 AM   #23
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We'll just need to wait and see how well Sony does. But, I think they'll probably do better than most people think. They have in the non-DSLR camera market. ;-)

As for full frame versus APS-C sensors, I'd prefer it if manufacturers "split the difference" and go 1.3x crop if we've reached technology limits for stuffing more photosites into a smaller sensor. That would be an improvement for getting suitable lenses for the wide end without breaking the bank, too.

I'm not too worried about APS-C size sensors going away anytime soon, even if we do see more models using larger sensors.

All of the manufactures seem pretty committed to this format (Canon, Nikon, Tamron,
Tokina, Sigma all have lenses designed specifically for it, with new ones being announced periodically).

Even though all of my existing lenses except for the Kit Lens will work on full frame cameras, I'm not opposed to buying some designed for APS-C sensors either.

Now that Sigma just announced that their 30mm f/1.4 (APS-C size sensors only) will be available in Maxxum mount, I'm thinking about one... In some low light conditions, my 28mm f/2 isn't quite bright enough, even at ISO 3200. So, an extra stop is tempting, and it will probably be less expensive than a Minolta 35mm f/1.4 (with 30mm being just fine for my limited needs).

I'm keeping an eye on the newly announced Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD, too (designed only for cameras with APS-C sensors), to see how it stacks up to others.

There is something to be said for smaller and lighter lenses (which you get with lenses that have smaller image circles for APS-C sensors).


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Old Feb 26, 2006, 11:48 AM   #24
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Yah, that's true.

Probably easier and less expensive to make lenses for the smaller sensors.

Hey I went out on PBASE and did an informal reveiw of the number of "users" for each camera.

Here is what I found:

CANON

EOS 5D - 629 users

20D - 7,521 users

Rebel XT - 3,545 users

PENTAX

ISD and ISD-DS - 760 users

NIKON

D50 - 658 users

D70 - 864 usrs

OLYMPUS

E500 - 127 users

E300 - 352 users

SONY

R1 - 68 users

KONICA MINOLTA

KM 5D - 166 users

KM 7D - 485 users

Okay, this is a very, very informal survey, and some cameras have been around longer than others, and who knows why someone posts their photos on PBASE while another photographer does not.

By far, it appears that more people are posting on PBASE that own the Canon 20D, followed by the Rebel XT.

In fact, the 20D has more users on PBASE than the rest of the cameras I mentioned combined as a total.

The Sony R1 looks pretty lonely with only 68 users.

The KM 5D didn't have as many users as I expected, but given that many PBASE users appear to be pro's, perhaps there are far more DSLR entry level users with the 5D (I hope) than the above statistics let on.

So if Sony plans to crack the DSLR market, they'd better hope to swing some users away from Canon at the moment.

I don't think the R1 is doing it. Had they priced the R1 about $300-400 cheaper, they would have taken much more of the entry level DSLR market (in my opinion).

I think KM blew it by introducing the 7D first, at a high price relatively speaking, then introducing the 5D. Should have introduced the 5D first.

Just my thoughts, and open to obvious criticism.

-- Terry

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Old Feb 26, 2006, 12:01 PM   #25
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Yep, it's too bad that KM was so "late to the party" and didn't have time to turn their financials around, since the 5D is such a nice little camera.

A forum thread someone started on another forum a while back after the KM/Sony announcements, dicussing the 5D and their plans to exit the business really hit home. It was titled:

"KM gets it right, then quits"


But, in the long run, perhaps it's better. This new arrangment will eliminate the "middle man" since Sony makes their own sensors, and since they'll probably be able to sell a lot more cameras than KM could, that will also reduce their R&D costs, allowing even better products in the future (while still offsetting their costs by selling DSLR sensors to manufacturers like Nikon and Pentax, not to mention their sensor sales to manufacturers for non-DSLR models).

In hindsight, KM's marketing savvy left something to be desired, too (and Sony is very good in that area).

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Old Feb 26, 2006, 12:14 PM   #26
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WOW great information guys thanks!

Are you saying that the KM 5D lenses will fit the new Sony cameras when they come?
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 12:16 PM   #27
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the other problem in the DSLR market is many pro's have investments in the Nikon and Canon mount, so there's little incentive to change over.

Probably Sony will go after the entry level DSLR market, where users haven't made a commitment to a specific mount.

The only problem with that strategy is the entry level DSLR market is likely to dive into lower and lower pricing.

I wouldn't doubt the $400 entry level DSLR is around the corner, followed by the $300 DSLR and in a few years the $200 DSLR.

I read that the mark-up on DSLR's is quite low, only 10 percent. Probably just a way to turn around and sell lenses at a profit.

Not sure why Sony would want to "duke it out" in this market.

Sounds like Kodak is reaping the rewards of going after the consumer point and shoot market.

If I were sony, I'd do many one or two really nice entry level and slightly above entry level DSLR's (like the 5D) and call it a day!

-- Terry


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Old Feb 26, 2006, 12:24 PM   #28
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So if the KM 5D lenses will go over to Sony's new DSLR cameras my next questions is this.

These DSLR cameras Nikon D50 andMinolta 5D are only 6MP is this enough? What application would anyone use or need higher Megapixals?
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 12:36 PM   #29
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A 6MP straight out of the camera can deliver a decent 8x10 print.

However, it's not uncommon to "crop" the image using software before creating an 8x10 print.

So, if you crop away 1/3 of the image, you will be effectively printing an 8x10 from 4mp of the 6mp sensor, if you know what I mean.

The Rebel XT, for instance, is an 8mp image.

With the Rebel XT, you can crop away 25 percent of the image and still get an 8x10 print equivalent to a 6mp camera.

My personal opinion is, all things considered, more megapixels give you more "digital negative" to work with.

The bottom line is it depends how much cropping your doing, and what you plan to use the image for.

If you were only planning to post small photos to the web or this forum, you could get away with a 2mp camera.

-- Terry
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 12:36 PM   #30
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DJMic wrote:
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Are you saying that the KM 5D lenses will fit the new Sony cameras when they come?
Yes.

That was announced a long time ago (July 2005), even before before KM decided to stop selling cameras under the KM brand name.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/digin....html#sony_slr

Here is a quote from one of the more recent press releases regarding transfer of some assets to Sony:

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Under this agreement, on March 31 2006, Sony will receive certain assets from Konica Minolta PI that are necessary for the development, design, production and so forth of digital SLR cameras compatible with Konica Minolta PI's "Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system".** Sony will accelerate development of new digital SLR cameras based on and compatible with the Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system with a view to marketing these models this summer.
http://konicaminolta.com/releases/2006/0119_02_01.html

BTW, KM will still be manufacturing the cameras. They'll just be doing it as the OEM supplier for Sony, and you'll see a Sony label on them. ;-) It's my understanding that KM is actually retaining a large percentage of ownership in the factories, producing lenses and cameras, too.

We had a news story with more details earlier this month. But, it looks like we have a problem navigating to January 2006 and early February 2006 news right this minute from the menus. I'll try to dig for it later if you want to see it.

Minolta manufactured some 16 Millioin lenses in Maxxum/Dynax mount since it's introduction (and that doesn't include the scores of lenses from third party manufacturers like Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, Cosina and others).

So, by striking a deal with KM, Sony got an existing customer base with Maxxum Lenses that may want to buy their DSLR models, helping Sony get it's "foot in the door" as the new kid on the block in the DSLR market.


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