I guess this forum is picking up on Pentax' lack of a convincing overall philosophy for their digital camera portfolio. There is the Pentax Q born dead in the cradle because of a sensor too small for anybody who would consider an interchangable lens camera
. There is the Ricoh GXR, a brilliant concept, but who has enough space in the camera bag for multiple sensor modules
? There is the APS-C duo consisting of the surprise success K-5 and the incarnation of ugliness lovingly called K-01
. Better than ist, I guess. Both are capable cameras destined to trail behind the CaNikony competition (whatever that might be). Part of it is the APS-C format that with its full-frame lenses ranks behind the full-frame competition in overall image quality. Another part is the size of the mirrorless K-01 when compared to the Nixes (better: Nexusses or Nexi or even Nexuus) and m43s. If successful at all, the K-01 would also brilliantly compete with the company's own GXR, slapping Pentax's mother Ricoh in the face
. And then there is the 645D, still-born for half a decade and pondering for another between full frame and 44x33
I left Minolta when they changed mounts from MC/MD to Maxxum because I felt I couldn't rely on the future of my lens system with a company that so readily abandons their loyal customers for any new technology.
I feel that Pentax needs to streamline their portfolio if they want to have a chance to survive. Here is what Iíd like them to do
(i) Keep the 645D and commit, either to a top-quality, reasonably priced full-frame system or to a very competitively priced 44x33 system that would compete with Canonís and Nikonís high end models. The 44x33 version would entail upgrading to a next generation sensor and offering lenses at very competitive prices. This system would also very well match with a mirrorless 44x33 body that would even better fit with the great 645 lenses. Alternatively, a full-frame version would compete with Hasselblad and Phase and offer better integration, robust bodies, automation, and top lenses.
(ii) Have an APS-C system that competes with the best of the full-frame sensors in terms of quality. Offer top lenses dedicated to APS-C. This system would be more portable and elegant than the full-frame cameras and would nicely match with a parallel generation of mirrorless cameras. Better wideangles would be part of the equation. The K-01 is a great concept, but canít the body be more compact and elegant?
(iii) Shelve everything else (Q, GXR, new 4/3). Drop full-frame or totally commit. At this point, I feel all lenses should be converted to DA, the DA line should be expanded, and quality further improved.
Asahi Pentax of the 80ies with their Spotmatic, the 67, and later the 645 followed that philosophy. This offering would set Pentax apart from the competition and turn them into a genuine alternative. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am not in a position to tell Pentax what to do and I realize itís hard for complex corporate infrastructures to see the light of day