Monday, March 07, 2011

The State of Pentax (by Q1 2011)

The photo industry super analyst Thom Hogan (a Nikonian in principle) has recently written a sum-up of the current states of Nikon's product lineups and families of DSLR and camera gear.. See:-

http://bythom.com/state2010.htm

I think it would be interesting to my readers if I write a similar article about Pentax. So, here we go! :-D


PENTAX HAS:


- A second highest resolution APS-C DSLR body with (relatively) "compact" size, i.e., the K-5 (Canon current APS-C DSLRs all have 18 MPs);

- A weather-sealed mid-grade APS-C body with optional weather-sealed lenses (DA* and WR models);

- Stylish entry DSLR bodies (K-r and the old K-x) with various choices of different colour combinations and special cartoon editions of those. There are always more fun with Pentax regarding this! (And they taught me for not liking black cameras anymore! ;->)

- Compact (but rather slow in speed) elegant DA pancake lenses (i.e., DA 15/21/40/70);

- Choice of other bulkier (but yet not really very fast) DA primes, e.g., DA 35 Macro, DA 35/2.4, DFA 100 and etc.;

- Good to better ergonomics for the body and operational interface/menu design, usually;

- SMC coating - superb flare control, excellent colour rendition;

- SP coating for front/rear glass elements - easy to clean and yet sturdy;

- Still the nearly cheapest entry level DSLR body by now (the price of K-r has been reduced significantly already);

- A higher grade 645D Cropped Medium Format (MF) DSLR body - unique in the market for an "entry level" "low-cost" MF DSLR body and system (but there are only two new lenses launched so far for the digital Pentax 645D "system" anyway);

- Some uniquely designed compact P&S DC with appealing appearance and attractive/useful specs, e.g., the latest Optio WG-1/GPS, which people think that it looks like a Casio G-shock watch.


DOESN'T HAVE:

- An upper grade and true professional APS-C camera;

- A 135 Full Frame K-mount body;

- Faster prime lenses with larger aperture values (they used to achieve this for the FA lineup in the old film days!);

- A complete lens lineup that supports full frame nor there is anything beyond 300mm on the super-tele side, neither;

- There is no Tele Convertor/Adaptor that just supports AF nor SDM, in addition;

- Any plan(s) on the future development of the Pentax systems - at least it is not as transparent as it should be, or, there is no useful for those;

- An updated P-TTL system that can perform better;

- Updated flash units with faster recycling time and more updated features and etc. - The two 360 and 540 models are just too aged and now many Pentax people who want better performance and/or value have already gone Metz;

- A true video compression codec and technology for effective video and motion compression for any of their DSLRs ever made.

- A mirrorless system (at least one body + two lens!).


(SUPER) NEGATIVES:

- SDM of those premium DA* to mid-range DA lenses could die at any time and people scare!

- The latest SAFOX IX/+ never focus properly except at outdoor and on bright days!

- The persistent K-5 sensor stain issue!

- Lack of proper QC for both bodies (made in Philippines) and lenses (made in Vietnam).

- Inferior after-sales support: Slow response to issues / Reluctance to admit problems / Inability to eliminate most technical issues for that those become persistent and infamous.

- Pentaxians on Internet still call the "P" of P-TTL stands for Pathetic, owing to its poor exposure accuracy and reliability! >:-(


Last Analytical Paper:-

Pentax' Performance Evaluation Against Forbes' Seven Secrets of (Successful) Companies

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