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Thread: Any former Pentax user?

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    Any former Pentax user?

    Hi everybody,

    this is my first post on the forum after spending some time lurking around.

    I currently own a Pentax K-7 with a fair selection of lenses, both zooms and primes, which is a fine setup (even too much sometimes) for my needs (photography is only a hobby, nothing more).
    I am even however more and more tempted by m4/3, both for its compactness and for the overall high quality of both Olympus and Panasonic lenses lineup. I am so tempted in fact that I am seriously thinking of selling all my Pentax gear and replace it with a G3 or EP3 plus a couple of lenses.

    Is there any former Pentax user who made the switch and would like to share their experience passing from one system to another?

    Thanks

    Simone

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    I am a current Pentax user. I don't think I could give up that system and move entirely into the m/43 world.

    That being said, the latest prime lens introductions from Olympus and Panasonic make that a harder position to defend.

    Just my opinion.....R

  3. #3
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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    I was a Pentax user for a few years, had four different bodies during that time and owned a lot of lenses. I switched to MFT when I bought my GF1, and I never regretted it for a second. *I think the whole system is a lot stronger now then when I jumped in, and it is getting stronger all the time. *If compact size is a priority, you will be thrilled with the switch. *If you are a pixel peeper then you may not be 100% satisfied

    I take more pictures now with my EP-3 than I ever did with my Pentax. *There are a lot of threads on the different forms about this general topic. *A lot of people run two systems, but I never felt like I was missing anything after I sold my Pentax system. *MFT doesn't do some this as well as dSLRs, but the one thing that I missed, the fast AF is largely solved with the EP-3 and the touch screen shutter activation. *Let's face it, Pentax has never been known for it's lightning AF. *One thing that I don't miss is having to calibrate my lenses to correct for front focus or back focus, not a problem with the CDAF system.

    I love the live view - live view on the K7 is a joke compared to the MFT cameras. *Maybe you want to just buy one with a kit lens and try it for a while before you sell your Pentax gear. *If you don't like it you can always sell it on eBay without taking too big a hit. *

    If I only owned one MFT I would get one of the new Olympus cameras, I think that coming from a Pentax you will appreciate the in body image stabilization. *The G3 seems really nice too, and has the built in EVF. *I am thrilled with my EP-3 and touch screen, but many others seem equally thrilled with the E-PL3 and the tilt steen.*

    Personally I Like the smaller sized Olympus bodies with the removable EVF. *About the only time I use it is when I am using a MF lens, but it is nice to have for bright light also or any time that you want to put the camera up to your eye like an SLR.

    Let us know what you decide to do.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    You could say I did an inverse switch in a way - but more from 4/3rds to Pentax K-5.

    If size is a priority, go micro four thirds though the K-5 is the smallest pro specced best ergonomics DSLR I have ever seen.

    I will tell you though, the K-5 high ISO, DR and tonal range performance is vastly better than current micro four thirds, but this will only show up more if you are into street night life, you do a lot of high contrast photography (and you do want to keep all the details- maybe you don't for photographic effect), if you want a truly malleable raw file. Shots within the range of what micro four thirds can do, are great (as always, make sure you pick the better lenses).

    And the Pentax prime lenses are pretty good so that's covered on the Pentax end.

    I agree with jed that the AF of the Pentax though the K-5 is improved is not as good (for static subjects) as current Olympus/Panasonic models. It's fast but you have more control with AF on micro four thirds. If for you AF is a priority, certainly try micro four thirds.

    I will say ergonomics wise and camera performance wise + weather sealing- the K-5 is great.

    But again set your priorities and what you want. If you are shooting at low ISO in daylight, micro four thirds is fine. Shooting at night with the fast lenses in moderate light, mid ISO should be pretty decent (I am not talking about web sizes, though if that's all you need then go micro four thirds if you value the other pro points).

    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Pentax has MFT beat by almost any measure: ergonomics, viewfinder, features, system depth, image quality, etc. The Pentax lenses are also distinctly superior to those available for MFT. MFT body is smaller but add a few lenses and it's pretty much a wash.

    MFT has better video and metering (true for my E-P1 in any case). Also better for mounting off-brand lenses (obviously).

    I wouldn't switch from Pentax and instead thinking of selling up on Olympus and going back full time.
    Listen to my new album "The Drones" free on BandCamp. Visit my Flickr images, website, or blog. Cheers!

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    if you are not considering upgrading to Pentax body w/ Sony sensor (like K5) then Samsung sensor (which went slightly worse for K7 vs K20D) does not offer anything versus the top of the line Panasonic sensors (think GH1, GH2, G3)... Sony sensors are certainly better... so if you are OK w/ raw files from your K7 then you will not really miss anything by moving to Panasonic bodies (GH1, GH2, G3)... you will get worse raws from Olympus cameras though...

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by rparmar View Post
    The Pentax lenses are also distinctly superior to those available for MFT.
    so which one is "distinctly superior" vs 12/2 for example ? or vs 7-14/4 ?

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by deejjjaaaa View Post
    so which one is "distinctly superior" vs 12/2 for example ? or vs 7-14/4 ?
    In general a lot of the Pentax lenses are. It's the same story with Olympus 4/3rds over micro four thirds lenses. That said, micro four thirds is finally getting rolling with some good lenses- like the Olympus prime you mentioned. But Pentax as a system has primes nailed down- those that are not of the uber image quality are smaller and still darn good anyway, and those a bit bigger can be stellar.

    Micro four thirds lenses, almost pretty much all of them have optical distortions that need to be corrected for the most part- part of the micro four thirds standard itself.

    But yeah, the good lenses are finally coming. To me personally the two new Olympus primes, and the Panny Leica F1.4 look pretty good indeed.

    The Pany ultra wide you mention is not bad either.

    I will have to agree with the other poster though- to me if I can't put the camera in a pocket at that point it starts getting more into Olympus e-420/620, Pentax K-5 territory. Not quite right, still a bit smaller is cool but you have carry around, and that applies to both.

    Ironically the K-5 with the pancake primes is smaller than many micro four thirds lens combinations but the primes and the new pancake panny zoom are to fix that (though I am not a super fan of power zoom- I hope Panasonic allows to customize that to say 2-4 preset focal lengths).

    As far as ergonomics, I really think the K-5 has that super nailed down (as well as the K-7, they are near identical).

    This pocket-ability is the only reason I am really considering a Pentax Q after all- or the Fuji X10 - or simply to keep my LX5 which is great, instead of going micro four thirds.

    What I would *love* to see from Panasonic: a GF3 with manual controls (hey, it can be done look at the Q- looks like it has great ergonomics too), and a black and white only sensor of say 6-8 megapixels.

    Man would that rock :-)

    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    In general a lot of the Pentax lenses are.
    in general ? you were asked a specific question after your broad statement.

    so you do not know any specific Pentax lenses that are "distinctly superior" vs 12/2 or vs 7-14/4 ? the same eq. focal distance of course... w/ examples from slrgear, photozone or lenstip please.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by deejjjaaaa View Post
    in general ? you were asked a specific question after your broad statement.
    You certainly did not ask me. I just gave my opinion on the lenses in general. I could mention single prime lenses that micro four thirds doesn't have but that's beyond the point I presented.

    so you do not know any specific Pentax lenses that are "distinctly superior" vs 12/2 or vs 7-14/4 ? the same eq. focal distance of course... w/ examples from slrgear, photozone or lenstip please.
    I don't think I have to answer that because again, you were not asking that question to me nor responding to me per se. I just gave my opinion as a general assessment of where I see Pentax K mount lenses, and where I see micro four thirds lenses.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by deejjjaaaa View Post
    so you do not know any specific Pentax lenses that are "distinctly superior" vs 12/2 or vs 7-14/4 ? the same eq. focal distance of course... w/ examples from slrgear, photozone or lenstip please.
    Hehehehe.......slow down and take a deep breath

    There are more and more m4/3 lenses that are gaining a solid reputation amongst users and score well (if one really cares) in lens tests. You named two....there are several others.

    In the Pentax world, there are literally dozens of exceptional lenses, both prime and zoom that are considered world class.

    A visit to the Pentax forum on this website or to the lens review section of Pentax Forums (http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/) might better answer your specific questions.

    Hope this helps......R

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    I had a K5 with some lenses. With Pentax I see 2 problems: Inconsistent AF and inconsistent lens quality.
    However I really prefered the OVF, the IQ of the larger sensor and the shallower DOF as well as the overall handling of the K5 over m4/3. (I have a EP2 but now use a G3).
    One special thing about the Pentax I found the color and tonality is very filmlike.
    However I didnt get the focus problems under conrol so I gave up. (Other report to not have focus problems)
    The Pentax I feel like a small "real" camera.
    The m4/3 I feel like a big "digicam".

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I had a K5 with some lenses. With Pentax I see 2 problems: Inconsistent AF and inconsistent lens quality.
    HA! I think you nailed the biggest issue I have with Pentax. AF at very large apertures seems a hit or miss affair, especially in the newer models. Before the K-7 I have owned a K-r for about 6 months, before eventually selling it for MASSIVE AF back focusing issues in artificial light. The K-7 is better but not perfect, and is a whole lot slower. I also considered upgrading to the K-5, but it allegedly has the same AF problems in tungsten light (even though it seems not so bad as the K-r), and I wouldn't like to shell out so much money just to have another mis-focusing camera. I can live with slow AF, but definitely not with out of focus photos!

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Many thanks to everybody for your replies. It seems like almost everybody agrees thata newer m4/3 bodies are much better at focusing than Pentax bodies.

    What is still not very clear to me is how they compare (especially the 12-megapixel sensor ones, like the EP-3 or older Panasonic bodies) with the K-7 in terms of image quality. If I were to make the jump (assuming that I get used to the different ergonomics and the EVF) would I notice an improvement or are they going to be similar? Is high ISO performance (1600 iso is enough for me) going to be better?

    Thanks

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by simort View Post
    Many thanks to everybody for your replies. It seems like almost everybody agrees thata newer m4/3 bodies are much better at focusing than Pentax bodies.

    What is still not very clear to me is how they compare (especially the 12-megapixel sensor ones, like the EP-3 or older Panasonic bodies) with the K-7 in terms of image quality. If I were to make the jump (assuming that I get used to the different ergonomics and the EVF) would I notice an improvement or are they going to be similar? Is high ISO performance (1600 iso is enough for me) going to be better?

    Thanks
    I havent had the g3 very long now but personally I highly doubt that color, tonality and noise behaviour would be as good as the K5. And then some people will say it is as good because its a new generation sensor. But even if this was the case then we can expect a new generation sensor for DX as well.
    Besides color and tonality I find there is another difference:
    With dx you have more room regarding shallow DOF, even with the new Oly 45/1.8 you cant get as shallow DOF like a 55/1.4 or 77/1.8 on a dx sensor.

    To me the K5 images look more "filmlike" tha those I get with m4/3.

    I think you feel that I am torn between thoise systems myself. I can tell you if I had a Pentax K5 and lenses which would focus reliable I would clearly prefer the Pentax.
    Besides AF the G3 (or other m4/3) have the advantage of small size.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I havent had the g3 very long now but personally I highly doubt that color, tonality and noise behaviour would be as good as the K5. And then some people will say it is as good because its a new generation sensor. But even if this was the case then we can expect a new generation sensor for DX as well.
    Besides color and tonality I find there is another difference:
    With dx you have more room regarding shallow DOF, even with the new Oly 45/1.8 you cant get as shallow DOF like a 55/1.4 or 77/1.8 on a dx sensor.

    To me the K5 images look more "filmlike" tha those I get with m4/3.

    I think you feel that I am torn between thoise systems myself. I can tell you if I had a Pentax K5 and lenses which would focus reliable I would clearly prefer the Pentax.
    Besides AF the G3 (or other m4/3) have the advantage of small size.
    Tom,

    actually I back all you say! Especially if the K5 would have delivered consistent AF I would have kept this system and not gone back into m43, not even with Olympus.

    Peter

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by simort View Post
    I currently own a Pentax K-7 with a fair selection of lenses, both zooms and primes, which is a fine setup (even too much sometimes) for my needs (photography is only a hobby, nothing more).
    I am even however more and more tempted by m4/3, both for its compactness and for the overall high quality of both Olympus and Panasonic lenses lineup. I am so tempted in fact that I am seriously thinking of selling all my Pentax gear and replace it with a G3 or EP3 plus a couple of lenses.

    Is there any former Pentax user who made the switch and would like to share their experience passing from one system to another?
    I used Pentax gear for several years, while the *ist DS and K10D bodies were current. I had opportunity to use virtually all the current lenses available at that time and also used a large number of older M, K, A, F and FA series lenses. I have had no experience with the K7 or K5 bodies.

    From there I moved to using FourThirds/Micro-FourThirds with the Panasonic L1 and G1, Olympus E-1 and E-5 bodies, with Panasonic and Olympus FourThirds/Micro-FourThirds lenses as well as with a number of adapted lenses.

    Of the Pentax gear, I found many of the lenses to be excellent but also many to be mediocre; the Limited series prime lenses and particularly the DA14, DA21, FA43 and FA77 were top notch, my favorite Pentax lenses. The *ist DS and K10D bodies were good, each with its own minor foibles in use. From what I've read, the same is true of the K7 and K5 bodies but per above I have no direct experience. My personal summary: good value for money, somewhat uneven in quality.

    Of the FourThirds/Micro-FourThirds gear, all of the bodies I listed proved to be fine performers and very consistently produced image quality on par with or superior to the Pentax bodies I had used before them. The G1 was the smallest and lightest, produced image quality on par with the L1, E-1 and K10D modulo small differences in sensitivity and dynamic range. The E-5 is a substantively better performer than the others in all ways: responsiveness, customizability, features, dynamic range, sensitivity and acutance. Again, with no direct experience using a K-5, I can only speculate but from what I've read and seen as samples the K-5's sensitivity exceeds the E-5 by perhaps 1.5 stops.

    Regards FourThirds/Micro-FourThirds lenses, all that I've used have proven to be consistently above average to excellent quality. This includes in Micro-FourThirds mount the Lumix G 14-45/3.5-5.6 standard with the G1, Lumix G 20mm, and Macro-Elmarit 45mm, and in FourThirds SLR mount the Panasonic 14-50/2.8-3.5, 25/1.4 and Olympus 11-22/2.8-3.5, 25/2.8, 35/3.5 Macro, 50/2 Macro, and 50-200/2.8-3.5 (never mind the super-high-grade 7-14/4, 14-35/2 and 150/2 that I rented).

    Since I render my images from raw captures, what image qualities ("film like", etc) come out of the bodies' JPEG rendering is mostly irrelevant in all cases. Suffice it to say that with lenses that are on par in quality, I obtained image quality from all of the above equipment that is virtually indistinguishable as to which camera made the exposure.

    So, my overall summary is that Pentax, FourThirds and Micro-FourThirds can all produce superb results. Differences between the systems come down to minor differences in individual body sensitivity and dynamic range, larger differences in features and feel of the bodies, and which lenses you pick to use. The FourThirds and Micro-FourThirds gear have been consistent in quality and feel, IMO, and the FourThirds SLR lenses available up to when I stopped using Micro-FourThirds were a notch higher grade in build and performance to what was then available in Micro-FourThirds mount (this has changed as both Panasonic and Olympus have released several higher-performance Micro-FourThirds lenses). There are a few Pentax lenses that I miss for their unique qualities (the 43 Limited in particular, the 77 and 21 Limiteds after that), but I wouldn't go back to Pentax just for those.

    For Olympus and Panasonic, it's pretty clear now that Micro-FourThirds is their way forwards and they are advancing both their product lines in that direction (both lenses and bodies). The big questions here are when a professional grade body that compares on par with the E-5 will be released, and what will happen to the top of the line Olympus SLR lenses as a result of the move to Micro-FourThirds.

    For Pentax, the future is a little less clear since Pentax Imaging was sold to Ricoh by Hoya, and Ricoh has not yet announced their future plans for the Pentax brand and camera/lens lines as yet.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    I am a bit surprized about some trends...
    I dont understand why micro 4/3 is pushed so much and 4/3 is not.
    While I find m4/3 small size nice for some things (parties, bycicle tours, casual stuff) I find a nice OVF and more important a certain size and weight of a camera body just the better tool. More stable in the hands, buttons better to reach without looking at it, better viewfinder, faster lenses.
    Maybe I am old fashioned but m4/3 still does feel to small with too many buttons and video-camera-like viewfinder for me as an overall camera. Even without owning one a E5 is - IMO - much more camera than a GH2 or G3 or EP3.

    size, amount of mp and high ISO noise are the most overrated features IMO today.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by simort View Post
    What is still not very clear to me is how they compare (especially the 12-megapixel sensor ones, like the EP-3 or older Panasonic bodies) with the K-7 in terms of image quality. If I were to make the jump (assuming that I get used to the different ergonomics and the EVF) would I notice an improvement or are they going to be similar? Is high ISO performance (1600 iso is enough for me) going to be better?

    Thanks
    you will be approx on par w/ Samsung sensor in K7...

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post

    A visit to the Pentax forum on this website or to the lens review section of Pentax Forums (http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/) might better answer your specific questions.

    Hope this helps......R
    I am kind of a long time member of the said pentax forum ( http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/m...eejjjaaaa.html ), so I really do not need your advise about it

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    ...I dont understand why micro 4/3 is pushed so much and 4/3 is not.
    While I find m4/3 small size nice for some things (parties, bycicle tours, casual stuff) I find a nice OVF and more important a certain size and weight of a camera body just the better tool. More stable in the hands, buttons better to reach without looking at it, better viewfinder, faster lenses.
    Maybe I am old fashioned but m4/3 still does feel to small with too many buttons and video-camera-like viewfinder for me as an overall camera. Even without owning one a E5 is - IMO - much more camera than a GH2 or G3 or EP3.

    size, amount of mp and high ISO noise are the most overrated features IMO today.
    I think in many ways it comes down to how difficult it is to make a better SLR in the Olympus chosen FourThirds format. The basic design of the SLR has been very thoroughly developed over many years of constant improvement, since the middle 1930s, and is locked to certain physical constraints of the optical and mechanical systems necessary to implement it. In some ways ... the most important ones with respect to an "SLR" design (the viewfinder and reflex mirror system) ... the E-5 is very close to as good as you can get. While you can improve the sensor, the electronics, etc, there's really not much you're going to be able to do to improve the optical viewfinder performance given the size of the format.

    Changing the sensor format is not a great option because that implies re-developing the entire line of lenses. The Olympus Zuiko Digital lens line represented by the HG and SHG lenses is top notch and really does have all the lenses that a photographer needs, plus or minus one or two based on your particular predilections.

    The SLR's moving mirror also puts serious constraints on the development of lens designs ... a mount register that's nearly twice as deep as the 'normal' for the format makes designing normal to ultra wide lenses much more difficult. This is indeed the biggest advantage to Micro-FourThirds over the SLRs: the short mount register possible without a moving mirror means that it is possible to design normal and wide lenses of better quality that are simpler and less expensive.

    Smaller than 35mm film formats are basically not the best basis for a 35mm format derivative SLR ... and this is why Nikon and Canon, with a HUGE lens range in their portfolio and a vast user community with tens of thousands of dollars worth of lenses that they don't want to replace, have been so strenuously developing and marketing for "full frame" (aka, 35mm sized sensor) formats.

    These are just some of the things that comes to mind when I think of why Olympus might not want to push further with an SLR system, and why Panasonic only went to two models before putting all their investment money into all electronic cameras. The pro-line bodies and lenses Olympus has produced have all been very good to excellent products, the lens line for them is effectively very complete and top notch ... to go further down that path and produce better can only be done with very large investments, to which there are substantial risks. Meanwhile, the short mount register, modest size and shrinking price of producing quality electronics makes moving towards all electronic system cameras pretty appealing from a development standpoint. The compact size and low weight achievable is also very appealing to the consumer market standpoint too.

    None of the current Micro-FourThirds or NEX cameras are marketed as pro-grade cameras with performance and durability on par with the pro-grade offerings from Olympus, Nikon and Canon. There's nothing that says that a larger form factor, pro-grade mFT cannot come along ... and I speculate that this is precisely what Olympus in particular is working on, with the assumption that they want to maintain their professional market (which is still a healthy piece of their business). They've implied so much themselves: in several interviews and press releases they've indicated that the E-5 is their professional camera model until an all electronic model with comparable or better performance can be released, and that all the rest are superceded by the Micro-FourThirds line due to the performance they've achieved there.

    Whether all this is right or wrong from a marketing and business perspective is not mine to judge, but whenever that day comes, if it comes, I am pretty sure that it will be a fine camera satisfying to all who enjoy the quality and performance of the current E-5.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by simort View Post
    Many thanks to everybody for your replies. It seems like almost everybody agrees thata newer m4/3 bodies are much better at focusing than Pentax bodies.

    What is still not very clear to me is how they compare (especially the 12-megapixel sensor ones, like the EP-3 or older Panasonic bodies) with the K-7 in terms of image quality.
    If I were to make the jump (assuming that I get used to the different ergonomics and the EVF) would I notice an improvement or are they going to be similar? Is high ISO performance (1600 iso is enough for me) going to be better?
    The K-7 is probably better, but the K-5 is much much better (tone/DR/ISO).
    I am not sure how the K-7 would relate in absolute term, but from what I have seen it would be better. Over the Panasonic say GH2/GH1 which has the best micro four thirds sensors, maybe by a hair or about same.

    Over the K-5 sensor, none of them.

    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    For Pentax, the future is a little less clear since Pentax Imaging was sold to Ricoh by Hoya, and Ricoh has not yet announced their future plans for the Pentax brand and camera/lens lines as yet.
    This isn't exactly true. Ricoh already announced that their intent in buying Pentax was to get in the expected to grow further DSLR market. That means the K- line is here to stay. They also mentioned it was indispensable for them to get their camera business (Of Pentax going) and they have every intention of keeping the Pentax brand to the end consumer. So on the DSLR is a pretty safe bet. Given the money Pentax is doing / investing in promoting the Q and given the Ricoh transaction is pretty much done, officially transferring October 1st, I don't think Ricoh is going to be opposed at all to the Pentax Q, if not actually promote it.

    They also mentioned their goal is to expand the current Pentax + Ricoh camera marketshare by 2x within 3 years.

    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I am a bit surprized about some trends...
    I dont understand why micro 4/3 is pushed so much and 4/3 is not.
    Quite frankly at this point to me this is surprising only if you have missed on all the financial results/ directions/announcements of the companies. Let's take it by company with Panasonic first since that's the easiest one:

    - Panasonic never really earned much with 4/3rds. They are in fact the ones that pushed micro four thirds as evidenced by how ready they were out of the gate. They are an electronic company so a camera that relies more on electronics they will have an edge (after all they even make the sensor for Olympus). They have all to gain and compared to their previous 4/3rds attempt they certainly are.

    - Olympus - Olympus most likely saw an opportunity to get a foot hold while their 4/3rds market share and earnings continued to dwindle shrink quarter after quarter now over 2 years consecutively. So the issue here is not what some people perceive that would be nice- if 4/3rds continued, but the reality that it was just not profitable for Olympus.

    Personally the main problem I think 4/3rds bumped into is that it lost its unique selling proposition. While lenses are really good, their unique selling proposition would have been smaller competent camera bodies. This sort of was half way achieved with the e-4xx line but by then it was a bit late. Also then a camera like the E-3 comes out and has to compete vs the big boys.

    I personally think going head to head vs the big boys on their own game was probably Olympus biggest mistake. If they had focused on pro small cameras with good lenses I think they would have gotten a nice niche by now on 4/3rds. So micro four thirds is in a way that attempt now. Though now there's the initial catch up/ramp up with the lens system and new necessary tech (autofocus, etc.).

    While I find m4/3 small size nice for some things (parties, bycicle tours, casual stuff) I find a nice OVF and more important a certain size and weight of a camera body just the better tool. More stable in the hands, buttons better to reach without looking at it, better viewfinder, faster lenses.
    Maybe I am old fashioned but m4/3 still does feel to small with too many buttons and video-camera-like viewfinder for me as an overall camera. Even without owning one a E5 is - IMO - much more camera than a GH2 or G3 or EP3.

    size, amount of mp and high ISO noise are the most overrated features IMO today.
    I agree with MP. Not so sure on high ISO but I have particular needs. However, when you are putting out a big camera at $1,750 MSRP vs Nikon/Canon and surprisingly, Pentax and they are all ballpark good in many areas, your deficiencies start to stand out more and more… and that's a problem.


    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    This isn't exactly true. Ricoh already announced that their intent in buying Pentax was to get in the expected to grow further DSLR market. That means the K- line is here to stay. They also mentioned it was indispensable for them to get their camera business (Of Pentax going) and they have every intention of keeping the Pentax brand to the end consumer. So on the DSLR is a pretty safe bet. Given the money Pentax is doing / investing in promoting the Q and given the Ricoh transaction is pretty much done, officially transferring October 1st, I don't think Ricoh is going to be opposed at all to the Pentax Q, if not actually promote it.

    They also mentioned their goal is to expand the current Pentax + Ricoh camera marketshare by 2x within 3 years.
    What Ricoh press release did you read which articulated these things? Please send the URL as I haven't seen anything that stated their future directions for Pentax in such clear and incontrovertible terms.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    A camera like the E5 is the perfect tool for me for serious photography in many resects like size, IQ, features, controls, OVF etc. and also in combination with the pro grade lenses.

    M43 is far away from this perfection. While having different merits like small size, low weight and even EVFs which are sometimes preferable, it is far away from being as perfect for serious photography like E5 is for me.

    So I really do hope that not only Olympus, but also the other vendors will keep these type of Pro models in their lineup.

    M43 Pro only relying on EVF etc is very far away IMHO

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    What Ricoh press release did you read which articulated these things? Please send the URL as I haven't seen anything that stated their future directions for Pentax in such clear and incontrovertible terms.
    http://www.ricoh.com/release/2011/pdf/0701.pdf
    http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20110702D01JFA18.htm

    Given Ricoh is officially announcing they plan to sell and keep Pentax products/services, given they are talking about their interest in the Pentax DSLR (mentioned in a few articles / interviews), given this said in the last link:

    "With a focus on leveraging Pentax's SLR technologies, Ricoh targets 100 billion yen in annual sales from digital cameras in three years, almost double their combined sales at present. It hopes to turn digital cameras into a key business behind its office products."

    By combined sales it refers to Ricoh sales + Pentax sales (cameras).

    Since they explicitly talk about the DSLR business several times, it would be a truly bone headed move to get rid of the K-line. Interestingly enough, Pentax has an invitation in Paris in Salon De La Foto, mid october to introduce a new camera…. (my guess is the K-5 successor, probably with the A77 sensor though honestly I rather have them stick to 16 MP and tweak that more or an improved version of that).

    As for the Q, it just doesn't make any sense Pentax spending money on marketing and putting the Q out in the market with the already confirmed transfer of ownership- if Ricoh was against that product line. Yes, the Q is my own conjecture (and I didn't say anything different above though above it was just consequentially implied). It's just a connect the dots at that point when they have been laid out.

    Of course, on a dime/quantum physics/fate could intercede and a turn around of decisions could happen, but I don't think those are the likely scenarios.


    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I think in many ways it comes down to how difficult it is to make a better SLR in the Olympus chosen FourThirds format. The basic design of the SLR has been very thoroughly developed over many years of constant improvement, since the middle 1930s, and is locked to certain physical constraints of the optical and mechanical systems necessary to implement it. In some ways ... the most important ones with respect to an "SLR" design (the viewfinder and reflex mirror system) ... the E-5 is very close to as good as you can get. While you can improve the sensor, the electronics, etc, there's really not much you're going to be able to do to improve the optical viewfinder performance given the size of the format.

    Changing the sensor format is not a great option because that implies re-developing the entire line of lenses. The Olympus Zuiko Digital lens line represented by the HG and SHG lenses is top notch and really does have all the lenses that a photographer needs, plus or minus one or two based on your particular predilections.

    The SLR's moving mirror also puts serious constraints on the development of lens designs ... a mount register that's nearly twice as deep as the 'normal' for the format makes designing normal to ultra wide lenses much more difficult. This is indeed the biggest advantage to Micro-FourThirds over the SLRs: the short mount register possible without a moving mirror means that it is possible to design normal and wide lenses of better quality that are simpler and less expensive.

    Smaller than 35mm film formats are basically not the best basis for a 35mm format derivative SLR ... and this is why Nikon and Canon, with a HUGE lens range in their portfolio and a vast user community with tens of thousands of dollars worth of lenses that they don't want to replace, have been so strenuously developing and marketing for "full frame" (aka, 35mm sized sensor) formats.

    These are just some of the things that comes to mind when I think of why Olympus might not want to push further with an SLR system, and why Panasonic only went to two models before putting all their investment money into all electronic cameras. The pro-line bodies and lenses Olympus has produced have all been very good to excellent products, the lens line for them is effectively very complete and top notch ... to go further down that path and produce better can only be done with very large investments, to which there are substantial risks. Meanwhile, the short mount register, modest size and shrinking price of producing quality electronics makes moving towards all electronic system cameras pretty appealing from a development standpoint. The compact size and low weight achievable is also very appealing to the consumer market standpoint too.

    None of the current Micro-FourThirds or NEX cameras are marketed as pro-grade cameras with performance and durability on par with the pro-grade offerings from Olympus, Nikon and Canon. There's nothing that says that a larger form factor, pro-grade mFT cannot come along ... and I speculate that this is precisely what Olympus in particular is working on, with the assumption that they want to maintain their professional market (which is still a healthy piece of their business). They've implied so much themselves: in several interviews and press releases they've indicated that the E-5 is their professional camera model until an all electronic model with comparable or better performance can be released, and that all the rest are superceded by the Micro-FourThirds line due to the performance they've achieved there.

    Whether all this is right or wrong from a marketing and business perspective is not mine to judge, but whenever that day comes, if it comes, I am pretty sure that it will be a fine camera satisfying to all who enjoy the quality and performance of the current E-5.
    I still believe that the viewfinder is one of the most important parts of a camera. It is so a releafing experience to look through a D700 or A900 or S2 after having shot with a G3 for a time, its like "yeah, now I can see what I photograph and dont have to guess it", I can see how the light and shaddow and color really looks like and not how the display is showing it.
    I am not talking against m4/3 which I find great for its compact size for some people (who do not want to carry much) and for some occasions (where one just doesnt havemuch room)
    I also understand the theoretic lens design restrictions with the mirror in the way - but isnt reality that we do allready have all those very good lenses for 35mm available?

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    I also believe the viewfinder is one of the most important parts of a camera, but I see it more for its function than its aesthetic appeal. I use a viewfinder to focus and to frame ... anything that makes those functions better is appealing to me. I don't look through a viewfinder to find my subject matter in the first place ... I look with my eyes to do that. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    ... I also understand the theoretic lens design restrictions with the mirror in the way - but isnt reality that we do allready have all those very good lenses for 35mm available?
    Even in 35mm full-frame circles, it is a almost a given that the best performing lenses are the lenses made for rangefinder cameras. The reason for that is they can be produced with fewer constraints on their design due to the short mount register of RF cameras, the lack of mirror and other mechanical bits in the way that can also cause vibrations, and they're smaller and lighter in the bargain. This Voigtländer Skopar 35mm f/2.5 I shot my second test roll with the M4-2 is simply an astonishingly good lens, and it is not only tiny but relatively inexpensive.

    It's all about trade offs. I'll take a viewfinder that functions better over one that is perhaps more aesthetically pleasing, and I'll take lenses that perform as well or better that are much smaller. Others can make their own compromises... ;-)

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    I see. So you are inferring all these things, not reading them explicitly stated by Ricoh. That's what I thought.

    I don't think Ricoh is going to eliminate the Pentax K mount cameras, and Ricoh has said say they'll continue the brand (as of July 1 anyway). But just what their plans are remains to be seen, that's why it's "unclear" ...

    If Pentax Imaging had been making a lot of profit, I doubt Hoya Optical would have sold it for only $100M. Hoya never wanted Pentax Imaging, far as I can tell ... they wanted the very profitable Pentax Medical products.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I see. So you are inferring all these things, not reading them explicitly stated by Ricoh. That's what I thought.
    Nope, that's not what I said. Did you read what Ricoh stated as far as strategy for marketshare and interest in expanding the DSLR market? And keeping / putting products with the Pentax brand name? That's what they said, I didn't make that up.

    Now, are there some rather obvious conjectures there, sure. I mean, we can all use our brains little bit here without straying from facts.

    I don't think Ricoh is going to eliminate the Pentax K mount cameras, and Ricoh has said say they'll continue the brand (as of July 1 anyway). But just what their plans are remains to be seen, that's why it's "unclear" ...
    That's not what they just said- did you bother reading the links I typed? They said they intend to expand the DSLR and that their intent - part of their intent in the Pentax acquisition was about that.

    The Pentax Q is my own conjecture, but again, seems rather obvious too.

    If Pentax Imaging had been making a lot of profit, I doubt Hoya Optical would have sold it for only $100M. Hoya never wanted Pentax Imaging, far as I can tell ... they wanted the very profitable Pentax Medical products.
    Hoya always wanted the medical. Pentax last year did post a profit (small). That's certainly better than red and market shrink which is what Olympus has been doing. Though I expect the new pens to be a big success.

    - Raist

    PS: And there's additional data. Why would Pentax waste now-Ricoh's cash to gather reporters/people around Salon De La foto to announce new camera product(s) mid October, after the acquisition? Doesn't that strike you as a little bit odd? Same with the Q. The deal is already done. Why would Ricoh let them waste that cash if they are not approving?

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    BTW, here's the invitation by Pentax France to Salon De La Foto for new camera products to be announced, including what seems to be a new DSLR:

    http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...a-teasing.html

    http://www.pentax.fr/fr/news/1549/me...011_PENTAX.pdf

    Now, if Ricoh stepped in and said "this even is canceled" that would be a new direction :-)

    - Raist

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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    I have been thinking of leaving Pentax (have a Samsung GX20 aka K20D w/12–24, 16–45 and 200 M-series) to go exclusively m4/3. I do have a Mamiya 645AFD/Aptus for the serious stuff, but the GF1 is astonishingly capable for its size. All I need now is the 7–14!

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    More Ricoh plans with Pentax (and them):

    http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/09/17/5785391.htm

    Ricoh will offer characteristic compact cameras under its own label, while trying to bring the Pentax brand on par with Nikon Corp. and Canon Inc. in interchangeable-lens cameras, Ricoh President Shiro Kondo said.
    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    But also wondering if and when Pentax gains access to Sony’s 24MP APS sensor (as will Nikon).

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I also believe the viewfinder is one of the most important parts of a camera, but I see it more for its function than its aesthetic appeal. I use a viewfinder to focus and to frame ... anything that makes those functions better is appealing to me. I don't look through a viewfinder to find my subject matter in the first place ... I look with my eyes to do that. :-)



    Even in 35mm full-frame circles, it is a almost a given that the best performing lenses are the lenses made for rangefinder cameras. The reason for that is they can be produced with fewer constraints on their design due to the short mount register of RF cameras, the lack of mirror and other mechanical bits in the way that can also cause vibrations, and they're smaller and lighter in the bargain. This Voigtländer Skopar 35mm f/2.5 I shot my second test roll with the M4-2 is simply an astonishingly good lens, and it is not only tiny but relatively inexpensive.

    It's all about trade offs. I'll take a viewfinder that functions better over one that is perhaps more aesthetically pleasing, and I'll take lenses that perform as well or better that are much smaller. Others can make their own compromises... ;-)
    For me it is not only aesthetics if I can see the "real" thing shortly before and after I take a photograph. I feel I can better judge the light and I also feel to better catch the moment with an OVF.
    I am not saying that a ovf is better I can only say it works better for me for most subjects.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    For me it is not only aesthetics if I can see the "real" thing shortly before and after I take a photograph. I feel I can better judge the light and I also feel to better catch the moment with an OVF.
    I am not saying that a ovf is better I can only say it works better for me for most subjects.
    +1

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    For me it is not only aesthetics if I can see the "real" thing shortly before and after I take a photograph. I feel I can better judge the light and I also feel to better catch the moment with an OVF.
    I am not saying that a ovf is better I can only say it works better for me for most subjects.
    I'm not in disagreement really, but I find that the "seeing the light before and after" with a good EVF is fine in most circumstances. It's only when I need to do sequence shooting, particularly using longer lenses, that I find today's EVFs have issues and I prefer an SLR.

    That's why I have an SLR in my kit ... I just find that I'm using it less and less, and can't justify the weight and expense of a big SLR system anymore. My SLR kit is going down to one body and two lenses dedicated to it. Other lenses I can use with it will be shared with the mirrorless kit, and likely get more use there.
    Last edited by Godfrey; 19th September 2011 at 21:24.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    But also wondering if and when Pentax gains access to Sony’s 24MP APS sensor (as will Nikon).
    There's new announcements mid October by Pentax for new cameras so we'll see. My bet is yes, but honestly, I don't want 24 MP (not that I am buying a new camera, I am sticking to the K-5). While I can understand 24 MP on one end starts giving medium format class prints to an extent (or the low end of that), to me it would be just a workflow clog.

    Honestly, I think I would be fine with 12 MP. 12 MP of Foveon type data would be great to me. Even 8-9 MP of those.

    I just see the 24 MP as a workflow clog, and it demands better lenses to really use the data even if it delivers a bit more with the current lenses.

    Just my personal opinion though.

    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    My personal opinion too. 24Mp is a compromise - give me better quality pixels and I can scale them up for prints.

    Brian

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    There's new announcements mid October by Pentax for new cameras so we'll see. My bet is yes, but honestly, I don't want 24 MP (not that I am buying a new camera, I am sticking to the K-5). While I can understand 24 MP on one end starts giving medium format class prints to an extent (or the low end of that), to me it would be just a workflow clog.

    Honestly, I think I would be fine with 12 MP. 12 MP of Foveon type data would be great to me. Even 8-9 MP of those.

    I just see the 24 MP as a workflow clog, and it demands better lenses to really use the data even if it delivers a bit more with the current lenses.

    Just my personal opinion though.

    - Raist
    Reasonable point about workflow there.

    But we should wait to see if the higher pixel density will compromise image quality, particularly at high sensitivities—if a new Pentax sporting that sensor is inferior to the present K-5 in low light, then I would plump for the K-5.

    And hope that its price had gone down!
    Last edited by mediumcool; 20th September 2011 at 02:35. Reason: Italicised one word.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by jedperkins View Post
    Let us know what you decide to do.
    Well, in the end I found a good bargain for a used E-PL2 on Ebay which is going to arrive in the next few days. I'm going to test it for a while to see if it suits me better than my Pentax, and then I will decide which system to keep (might as well keep both )

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    I just see the 24 MP as a workflow clog, and it demands better lenses to really use the data even if it delivers a bit more with the current lenses.

    Just my personal opinion though.

    - Raist
    I had a talk with my camera pusher this morning. I asked him if he would start selling Sony again with the new 24MP models coming (he gave them up a year or so ago for many good reasons). He said that he would probably be able to sell a lot of the NEX 7, but "What when people start asking for good lenses for a 24MP sensor? At the moment, there's only one, the 24mm".

    This is a very important point. One can't put anything on a camera with that kind of resolution and expect to get all the resolution promised by the enormous pixel count.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I had a talk with my camera pusher this morning. I asked him if he would start selling Sony again with the new 24MP models coming (he gave them up a year or so ago for many good reasons). He said that he would probably be able to sell a lot of the NEX 7, but "What when people start asking for good lenses for a 24MP sensor? At the moment, there's only one, the 24mm".

    This is a very important point. One can't put anything on a camera with that kind of resolution and expect to get all the resolution promised by the enormous pixel count.
    Certainly true. Though Sony is coming out with two, not one good lenses. Ironically similar to the type of lenses Olympus is coming out for micro four thirds. To me these are the first two good Olympus lenses for micro four thirds.

    More resolution would still improve with the other lenses but certainly not as much and would be waisting megapixels for someone really expecting 24 MP's. But personally for example if the choice was the Pen 3 or a Nex 7 there are other considerations beyond the resolution- like better ISO and DR. And on the Pen favor, the average lens size. (just talking from the point of view of selling an equipment for a purpose).

    - Raist

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Certainly true. Though Sony is coming out with two, not one good lenses. Ironically similar to the type of lenses Olympus is coming out for micro four thirds. To me these are the first two good Olympus lenses for micro four thirds.

    - Raist
    Yes, but one big advantage with m4/3 is that there are two suppliers of lenses, both very good, plus Voigtlander and a couple of more obscure ones.

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    Re: Any former Pentax user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Yes, but one big advantage with m4/3 is that there are two suppliers of lenses, both very good, plus Voigtlander and a couple of more obscure ones.
    I agree but one big advantage of the Nex 7 is superior DR, better ISO and for those who need it more resolution. Sony also has a lens open system so there's supposed to be more lenses coming and there are adapters also.

    Not saying this to downplay micro four thirds, but I think the Nex with the 7 has many compelling reasons to pick it depending on one's needs instead of the initial fail it was (in my eyes) for the enthusiast photographer. And if you only need those focal lengths then the case is done.

    Not to mention the built in EVF it has. Finally do keep in mind the Nex has two suppliers - Sony and Carl Zeiss. I don't think Carl Zeiss has much to envy Olympus and I don't think Sony has much to envy Panasonic.


    - Raist

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