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Rumor: Pentax considering joining Micro Four Thirds

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Just came across a rumor that Pentax may be considering joining Micro Four Thirds.

    Check out the excellent 1001 Noisy Cameras blog for the details and sources.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    From an industry outsider's perspective that would bring a lot of good things to the m4/3s table, but how much it would benefit Pentax is another thing. Pentax already is able to make a fairly small camera body and with the m4/3s mount and imaging system, it might not require that much work to bring out a smaller body in short order.

    However, I'm not so sure that producing new, small, lenses will be that easy. There's no doubt that they would have the edge over all the m4/3s producers when it comes to making small, prime lenses, as they seem to be the only ones really into this, but converting current lenses wouldn't be that easy a task.

    That said, this could be a lifeline to Pentax in their ever diminishing market. Rightly or wrongly, the more that join in the m4/3s format (which almost seems to have become a synonym for the format, regardless of the sensor size), the more it will consolidate itself into a standard of its own and make life easier for a lot of people when thinking about what camera to buy. One mount, many cameras, many lenses.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  3. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    I agree with a lot of the points Ray raised, but Pentax has done really well with their K-x, it is a very good small SLR at a cracking price, it produces some great images and seems to be the best APS-C sized sensor for low light - if they revamped their whole range with developments they made with the K-x over the K-m then they (IMO) could do really well.

    But now that Samsung has it's NX system, I wonder if there's any co-operation between the two companies? If not the m4/3rds system could really help them.

    on a side note I was just thinking that if the NX10 handled noise as good as the K-x, m4/3 would really b in trouble ;-) Finally who's to say Pentax won't join Samsung's NX system? that really would heat up the mirrorless camera wars ;-)
     
  4. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    Pentax has been making lenses with image circles equivalent to micro four thirds longer than anyone , by that im referring to the 18 2.8 ,24 2.8 50 2.8 ,70 2.8 and the 20-40 2.8 aspherical the primes are commendably tiny the 24 is literally the size of a Pepsi bottle cap
    that Pentax created for the line of 110 SLR cameras made about 30 years ago

    i for one would love to see pentax get in to the micro 4\3 lens game, but then again im still waiting for sigma tamron tokina,and esp voightlander to realize the validity of , and design for this new format .
     
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    All said and done, Pentax is seriously bleeding and Samsung seem to have gone their own way. The Japanese and Koreans have always had a tenuous relationship and I read somewhere (Thom Hogan?) suggesting that this is the fork in the road for that relationship. Pentax seems to be on their own and where are they going?

    I forgot about the Pentax 110 line, but in reality, that's a bit like the Pen F line of lenses, how many of us would have clamoured for a re-introduction of those if it were possible? I would have gladly filled my kit with all and sundry Pen F lenses, but unfortunately, we are now held to ransom by a small group of ebay sellers. Heck, buying Leica lenses is a cheaper option!

    Chers

    Ray
     
  6. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    true that, but the original pen interchangable lenses used an image circle larger than the pentax 110s the pentax of that line that was "normal" was the 24mm

    but on penf i think 38 was normal ..... not sure about the pen f data
     
  7. Herman

    Herman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I really do hope that both Fuji and Pentax will join m43.
    Would it be great to have a digital EVIL camera with pentax110 size ?
    Smaller sensor, less MP, less weight, a P&S camera with interchangable lenses.
    What you think?
     
  8. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Interesting speculation and one that would make perfect sense providing Olympus & Panasonic are willing to let them join, and the cost is not too high for them to buy in.
    It would be good for the market and even better for micro 4/3rds as it will add yet another credible manufacturer with pedigree to the format.
    It will also spur on the Canikon answers to micro 4/3rds and of course the winners of all this will be us!
     
  9. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    170
    Jan 24, 2010
    Tokyo
    So one blog cites another blog, and that second blog cites a machine translation of a very short article that, with no supporting evidence whatever, cites unnamed high-up sources saying this. Sorry but there's nothing to see here. There may be something to this rumor, but if there is then it is withheld from us.

    Meanwhile, shortly having shed Presto 120 film, Fuji is using the back pages of the Japanese camera mags to advertise not a micro 4/3 digicam, indeed not any digicam, but instead its 6x6/6x7 folder (which I'd want to feed with Presto). My own unsubstantiated hunch about Fuji is that somebody high up wants its photographic division to go hugely into the red so that it can be closed down and the company can then concentrate more fully on cosmetics for insecure middle-aged women.
     
  10. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Ray,

    As a Pentax and m4/3 user, I am surprised to hear the same vitriol about Pentax here as I do about m4/3 over at pentaxforums. The K7 is a killer camera that offers alot more than the competition at a lower price point. The Kx was backordered for months and is still selling extremely well - so well they have brought over 5 new colors to the U.S. (and don't bother knocking colors - this is the m4/3 forum, panny and oly both do it too). Finally, they are also releasing the 645d, which by all accounts is a market changer in the MF arena. Anyway, just wanted to point out that your bleeding comment is way off base.

    In short (as short as I can be, haha), Pentax has always been going compact, competitively priced, optionally weather sealed with higher end bodies, and feature packed camera bodies, along with a prime lens lineup any other brand drools over. That is their direction, they are most definitely not lost in the woods.

    Samsung has always been the tag-along in the relationship, not much loss there either. IMO it was samsung that made the mistake of not bringing Pentax users along with the NX system by not having an actual functioning adapter system. If you go look up the discussions at pentaxforums, you'll find that is the overall sentiment as well. That is definitely their loss, not Pentax!

    Edit: forgot to comment on the discussion at hand! I seriously doubt this would happen. Primarily, most of Pentax's lenses are screwdrive which would not at all be compatible with the m4/3 mount - well, it seems it would be a pretty big engineering feat to put a motordrive into an adapter that could run the screw pin. The SDM lenses could be worked, but that is only a handful of current Pentax lenses. They are very strongly committed to aps-c too; its all just rumor anyway but who knows, my guess is they won't be joining the m4/3 standard.
     
  11. mabelsound

    mabelsound Guest

    Presumably they would not be abandoning ASP-C or trying to use their current lenses on m4/3 cameras, but introducing m4/3 cameras and lenses of their own. I would love to see this happen, though I kind of doubt it too.

    The K-7 is indeed a terrific camera. I wish they had put the K-x sensor in it, though.
     
  12. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Mabel, I would love it if Pentax got into m4/3 as well, but I feel more like the rumor is mostly speculation based on the all but stated parting between Pentax and Samsung. I feel like Pentax is defining their market more with each body released, and just don't see where a mirrorless camera fits into their lineup (the Pentax factory itself can only run 2 camera bodies at a time from what I have read, adding an entirely new camera with a different mount just doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a *relatively* small brand).

    I am anxiously awaiting the K7 replacement. I adore my K20d, and will probably be selling my Kx shortly. Low light capability aside, the user interface is just too basic and beginner-oriented - what it does it does very well, but it just feels like access to its features takes too long!

    I think the K-7 was in development when the Samsung relationship was still in effect, or they had already ordered the sensor for the camera before the relationship ended. I am anxiously awaiting their next high-end release, as I don't have a need for 2 bodies since its just a hobby! I am sure the next camera's sensor will be on par, but likely better than the K-x.
     
  13. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'm not sure where you got the idea that there's vitriol towards Pentax, especially from my comments. I merely stated a few facts about where Pentax stands at the moment; they make great products, but that isn't translating into major market inroads. I'd like it if Pentax were to join m4/3s, they be able to bring a lot to the table, but that may never happen.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  14. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    Pentax would be a nice entrant to m43 but I don't see it, in fact I don't see any other camera manufacturer joining up with Oly and Pany.

    The APS sensor is the route all others have gone and its where they will develop mirror less cameras and they will ALL use there own mount.

    The 43 standard has been around for years now and recently the m43 standard
    it makes a great deal of sense ... a common mount and contact array ... a sensible Sensor size ... a possible revolution and advantage to the user, but no additional entrants forthcoming.

    Japanese camera companies have very individual Philosophy's and in the end want market share so they will pursue the APS route with propriety lens mount, besides the press continually praise APS for less noise than 43/m43 and its here there is an edge and they will use it.

    Noise is the obsession of lots of user's (ie low being desirable) never mind the fact they almost always use base ISO or use flash, they dream of the possibility of huge noise free 20 x 30 inch prints or being able to shoot at ISO 6400.

    Specifications still sell and the forums are full of posters that use 43/m43 but still reference to their FF camera and the IQ a camera they rarely use in fact on account of the sheer bulk.

    m43 has it all but its not setting the camera world on fire.
     
  15. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Your 1st sentence I quoted is IMHO very true ; I sold myself my Pentax dslr the day after I got my E-P1, because my first couple of pictures told me that I wouldn't use it any more. Yes, in pure IQ terms, the Pentax was a bit better, but nothing that would matter until a 60x40 cm blowup. At least. Maybe more. But I reckon I'm pretty much an exception.

    OTOH, I don't agree with your conclusion. ยต4:3 snatched more than 20% of the DSLR market in less than a year with the release of the E-Px and GF-1. That's truly an earthquake from a marketing POV. I'm sure heads are rolling in the canikon world for letting this happen.

    I don't pretend to foresee how this trend will influence new cameras design from other manufacturers, but there will be a reply for sure.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    It's all good, I found the bleeding comment to much stronger than intended I guess! While it would be great for Pentax, they are inherently a (relatively) small, niche camera maker - with the last couple of camera releases they seem to be finding their footing more and more - they certainly won't ever be the synonymous camera name they were long ago, but they'll be around a long time making great products under the headings of rugged, cheap and features out the wazzoo.
     
  17. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Jun 13, 2010
    Japan
    Next to Pentax, for sure Fuji, Kodak (Minolta) as well as both Canon and Nikon have been considering to join m43, but it ain't an easy decision to make. Doubling your production lines is not a cheap thing to do and I expect only Canon and Nikon to have sufficient cash to make this split jump and they have a lot to loose in the DSLR business as well... I foresee Canon and Nikon will go to mirrorless design for their non-full-field camera's (smaller, cheaper) and make smaller lenses (next to maintaining full-field pro-line), but why give up their current establized mount bi-poly?

    Back to Pentax, Fuij, Kodak (Minolta). m43 is gaining market, but I expect to first see Tamron and Sigma to come with native m43 lenses and the market growing before Pentax will join. But from the other side, I don't know the "hidden" relationships between all these Japanese companies...
     
  18. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    i got my micro 4\3 machnes in june and oct of last year , where are the third party lenses ?
    as was said m4\3 has captured 20%of the dslr market .... what in the world are they waiting for?
     
  19. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    If pentax could make mFT lenses, than I think that would be great. We need more lenses, and since they use sensor IS, then their lenses woudl be perfect for OLY products, as well as panasonic if IS is not of concern.
     
  20. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Jun 13, 2010
    Japan
    If Pentax will come with lenses then I think they will also come with camera's. But will they come with camera's?