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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

PMA Disappointment (but there is hope)

The PMA has come to the end. As we all know, Pentax has only shown in the PMA two new DA* lenses with SDM (Supersonic Direct-driving Motor) AF support, for the first time, with a 645D behind glass and a new super simple Pentax dedicated P-TTL auto flash AF200FG (no zoom head nor it is movable in any direction and there is even no AF assistance spotbeam!), along with a few minor updates to their P&S DCs as their latest X30 models.

Nevertheless, Pentax has updated and published their new lens roadmap. The closest things which shall see the light are the two DA* super-telephoto primes and one zoom along with a 35mm/F2.8 DA Macro.

The biggest disappointment of this PMA show on Pentax’s part is that there is no new Pentax DSLR announced, which I guessed just right before the PMA. Whist the lens plan of Pentax seems to be quite aggressive and a truely complete lineup can be formed by 2008, I just wonder if the Pentax DSLR system can be successful without better DSLR bodies (and continuous upgrade of their current models).

While on these few days during the PMA I have posted in net forums that I think there should come a K100D and K10D replacement, preferably also with a new compact entry level DSLR plus a true high end / pro level DSLR model well above the K10D, quite some people have been arguing that there is no need to have new models for the time being, just because their current K10/K100D are “so good”. Today, I learn the good news that Pentax has actually planned to have updates on both cameras within this year, as well as they *would* consider another compact model and/or true pro level model (which they claim that they are capable of making one), in the following interview with Pentax senior officials at the PMA:-

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/other/2007/03/12/5799.html (in Japanese)

and here is a human (not machine) translation of it:-


So, there is still hope, although there are so little DSLR stuff shown or announced in the PMA, which is quite a disappointment indeed. At least, we shall see that the K100D will be replaced not later than July this year and the K10D will be replaced by November this year. And, there may be surprise on a new compact model, too! But, I bet the new pro level DSLR will be unlikely to see the light in the near future, yet.

It seems that Pentax is now in a right direction for what they think and planned to do, from what I can see in the interview, let’s wait and see!