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Will Canon & Nikon leaving the DSLR market boost Pentax?


Andrew Reid
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Pentax seem to have shunned the growing areas of the camera market (mirrorless cameras, cinema and videography).

But as other manufacturers move on from the past will Pentax eventually benefit?

https://www.eoshd.com/news/will-canon-nikon-leaving-the-dslr-market-boost-pentax/

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If pentax want to continue as a niche product like Leica I think they might be able to pull it off. I think in general now camera sales now are driven by video specs. Because the photography side of things has been "good enough" for awhile.

Hell I occasionally miss my  DSLR, but I was never willing to give pentax a shot because I would not be able to use my nikon glass on it. Mirrorless, I can just adapt my glass so jumping systems is pretty easy. 

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Pentax is really drilling their niche product status, absolutely.

As a MILC Pentax owner (Q system), I would be thrilled to get my hands on a DSLR that allows me to focus manually through the OVF.

I've held off any new photographic purchases on the wake on their new APS-C camera with the "ground-breaking" OVF. We've waited long enough for an OVF SLR experiencie in a DSLR.

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I don't think Nikon have any plans to leave the DSLR market any time soon; they are far more successful with DSLRs than with mirrorless and their mirrorless market share is quite small. They announced two new DSLRs this year (D780 and D6) and a DSLR lens (120-300/2.8). Also they in their public messaging have consistently stated that they will continue to develop both technologies taking advantage of each technology's advantages into the foreseeable future. I recall reading a comment from Nikon that at least in the next seven years this isn't likely to change (this suggests that they have products and technologies in development for products to be released in this period). Off course, what actually happens is also dependent on what the customers decide to buy, so it's not entirely up to Nikon's to decide since they need to sell products. Personally I am likely to buy a few more DSLRs in years to come. I could never really swallow the EVF. Nikon's plan is to design new products so that parts can be shared across DSLR and mirrorless products, and this way they costs of R&D and manufacturing can be shared, making it possible to maintain both product lines at lower cost. The D780 and Z6 seem to be the first example of this plan, with the Z6 sensor, LV AF technology and video technology inherited by the D780.

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Even as principally a photographer and a pro one at that for 20 years, I sometimes forget Pentax even exists.

That may be my bad, but never had one, don't really know anything much about them and I guess because they are not much of a mirrorless player, the baseball cap backwards attired YouTubing world is not much interested in them?

I'm all for more camera companies being around as competition is good and also because I tend to like the underdogs and more niche companies rather than the big corporate giants.

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So here's a simple story:  I was in the market to hire a guy about 4 years ago for a video shoot.  A shooter contacted me to inquire about the gig, but had almost no experience with motion pictures.  

He was just getting into video from photography and he asked me if his lowly Pentax, which only did 60p @720 would be okay.  His photos showed that he had a great eye for composition and when we talked about the assignment he explained that he was a video neophyte, but was willing and eager to learn.

Seemed like a bit of a risk to hire this dude. After all here was a guy shooting on a decidedly not video-centric DSLR and admitting that video wasn't his main thing.  After some coaching, both of us reviewing past examples of the job I was hiring him for, and collaborating about what I wanted to see in the footage, we decided to partner up, and off he went.

Meanwhile, I simultaneously hired another guy for the same sort of shoot on the opposite side of the country.  Dude made sure to tell me more than once what his list of gear included (would you also like to know about his C300 and PL mount lenses?  Apparently he was convinced I did) --and how he was a video professional with years of experience.  Sure, he knew what I wanted, not a problem; don't even need to discuss it.  After watching past examples of the job and assuring me he could do it, off he went.

With that narrative set-up you can probably imagine who delivered spot on incredible b-roll shots that were a bit IQ mushy, but captured great scenarios and emotion --and who gave me a pile of shit footage with no cohesiveness or creativity, (plus couldn't even get the horizon level) but sure looked super sharp with great colors.

I don't know if any of this is germane to the thread, but... Here's hoping that niche players like aspiring videographer Phil from North Carolina hang in there...and their camera gear supplier does too.

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13 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

So here's a simple story:  I was in the market to hire a guy about 4 years ago for a video shoot.  A shooter contacted me to inquire about the gig, but had almost no experience with motion pictures.  

He was just getting into video from photography and he asked me if his lowly Pentax, which only did 60p @720 would be okay.  His photos showed that he had a great eye for composition and when we talked about the assignment he explained that he was a video neophyte, but was willing and eager to learn.

Seemed like a bit of a risk to hire this dude. After all here was a guy shooting on a decidedly not video-centric DSLR and admitting that video wasn't his main thing.  After some coaching, both of us reviewing past examples of the job I was hiring him for, and collaborating about what I wanted to see in the footage, we decided to partner up, and off he went.

Meanwhile, I simultaneously hired another guy for the same sort of shoot on the opposite side of the country.  Dude made sure to tell me more than once what his list of gear included (would you also like to know about his C300 and PL mount lenses?  Apparently he was convinced I did) --and how he was a video professional with years of experience.  Sure, he knew what I wanted, not a problem; don't even need to discuss it.  After watching past examples of the job and assuring me he could do it, off he went.

With that narrative set-up you can probably imagine who delivered spot on incredible b-roll shots that were a bit IQ mushy, but captured great scenarios and emotion --and who gave me a pile of shit footage with no cohesiveness or creativity, (plus couldn't even get the horizon level) but sure looked super sharp with great colors.

I don't know if any of this is germane to the thread, but... Here's hoping that niche players like aspiring videographer Phil from North Carolina hang in there...and their camera gear supplier does too.

fully agree here. give Steve Vai a piece of shit guitar and me a $6000 Ibanez Jem. who is going to play better...its never the gear...on a side note i still love my 1DC and RED One MX...amazing cinematic images

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3 hours ago, Sid said:

Is this site now boycotting Canon, after the R5 experience ?  It's just that the Canon EOS C70 4K Digital Cinema Camera has been announced and there is no mention of it on this site.  It looks pretty good to me, but I was wondering Andrew's take.... 🙂

agreed. its a killer cam

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11 hours ago, Ilkka Nissila said:

Nikon's plan is to design new products so that parts can be shared across DSLR and mirrorless products, and this way they costs of R&D and manufacturing can be shared, making it possible to maintain both product lines at lower cost. The D780 and Z6 seem to be the first example of this plan, with the Z6 sensor, LV AF technology and video technology inherited by the D780.

Bet that is what will happen, Nikon will put the priority on mirrorless as that is their future. But will maintain some DSLRs (but with longer lifecycles), which are released by being similar clones (but in a DSLR body) of cameras they've already released as a mirrorless camera. (like Z6 then being followed up by a D780. Perhaps in a couple of years time we'll see a top notch Pro DX Z Mount camera, that then a year or two later is released as a Nikon D550)

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I will always have a soft spot for Pentax but they are history and toast.

Ricoh saved it as a brand from total oblivion and Ricoh is a big enough company that it can exist as a pimple on the arse as long as it does not lose too much money.

I have had a M42 Spotmatic SLR (still have it and a K mount film camera actually) a couple of other film K mount cameras, an IST*D, K100D and Kx DSLRs and a Pentax Q and loved them all....Thing is that my little Sony RX100 iv is probably better than all of them.

The K100D and the Q both died prematurely probably because I over stressed the IBIS.

The Q was a lot of fun and if I came across a cheap one I would buy it in a heartbeat (but not particularly looking).

Do not forget, Pentax tried the mirrorless APSC route with the K-01 in 2012 but that used the K mount so was very niche in a brand that had already become very niche in itself so maybe 1% of a brand that had about 5% of the market at the time and has gone backwards..

I would only buy another DSLR IF it was cheap enough, FF and Canon and just to use my existing Canon mount EF AF lenses.

The only Pentax I would consider is that cheap Q if it hit me in the face in the likes of a pawn shop or charity shop.

The Pentax 1.7x AF adapter was worth the price of entry to K mount (probably still is for some people).

 

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I doubt Pentax will survive. Ricoh could probably justify (in a Japanese sort of way) keeping the business open while its core business was doing well. But now that its office equipment business has collapsed (and is likely to be difficult for several years) the camera business just becomes an obvious cost saving item.

I am not sure Canon and Nikon moving their focus to mirrorless really helps Pentax. You now just find that you can pick up Canon and Nikon DSLRs (and to some extent dslr lenses) dirt cheap, so there is no real advantage to moving or choosing Pentax.

My feeling is that Pentax's lack of move into mirrorless is a sign of weakness (Ricoh not committing to the investment) rather than a core strategic decision. (A bit like Olympus's decision not to join the L mount but stick to M43.)

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