I can see Pentax/Samsung fighting the AS wars with Sony (Minolta) for the second spot to Canon/Nikon and especially marketing the entry DSLR market which is by far the most profitable.
With both companies offering AS in entry level bodies I wonder how long Canon/Nikon can bury their heads in the sand?
First, I wonder why you expect such a radical shakeup in DSLR market share, where Pentax and Konica-Minolta are currenly far behind third placed Olympus in sales. The Olympus-Pentax comparisons from their recent annual reports for Fiscal Year 2005 (April 2005 to March 2006) are
Olympus: 250,000 DSLR's sold (up from 100,000 in FY2004), estimating 400,000 for the FY2006
Pentax: 120,000 DSLR's sold, estimating 230,000 for FY2006.
I would guess that K.-M. was behind Pentax in sales rate.
So Pentax themselves are not even predicting reaching in FY2006 to what Olympus achieved in FY2005. Given that K.-M. has had AS from the beginning and still faired poorly, I do not expect the new Pentax "Shake Reduction" feature alone to dramatically improve market share for Pentax.
Second is the question of whether it makes sense for Canon or Nikon to adopt sensor-based "shake cancellation" technology when they already have lens-based systems that work far better than Konica-Minolta's sensor-based Anti-Shake. And does it make sense for the Four Thirds makers Olympus and Panasonic to go sensor-based instead of introducing Panasonic's proven lens-based Optical Image Stabilization system, as will be used in the one Panasonic/"Leica D" Four Thirds format lens announced so far?
These are not entirely rhetorical questions, I am divided:
- On one hand, for people who want shake cancellation with multiple lenses, it might be cheaper to put it in one body rather than in multiple lenses.
- On the other hand, so far lens-based systems work far better than sensor-based, and a majority of SLR users only have one telephoto lens, and only one or two lenses total, and my guess is that those lenses are likely to stay in use for longer than a DSLR body. So for many SLR users, it might actually be cheaper in the long run to buy one or two shake cancellation lenses instead of upgrading a shake cancellation DSLR body every few years.
Then again, Pentax is only charging an extra US$100 for their Shake Reduction, the price difference for the K100D over the K110D: that seems less than the price premium for IS and VR vesions of lenses.