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Pentax Focus On DSLRs - No Mirrorless Camera Planned

Ricoh Pentax focus on DSLRs, and Medium Format, with no plans to release a mirrorless camera.

Posted: 20/05/2019 - 10:59

Pentax K 1 MarkII (2)
Imaging-Resource has interviewed Ricoh Pentax, and there are a number of interested snippets of information, including the prediction that many people who switch to mirrorless cameras, will switch back to DSLR:

"Currently, mirrorless is a newcomer, so of course many users are very interested in the new systems, they want to use [them]. But after one or two years, some users who changed their system from DSLR to mirrorless come back to the DSLR again."

Pentax say that the optical viewfinder is the reason people will come back. They also predict that the current decline in the DSLR market, is just that, a decline that will stop in two or three years:

"So the DSLR market is currently decreasing a little bit, but one year or two years or three years later, it will [begin] getting higher."

Pentax say they are still focused on medium format, so it's likely you'll see an update to the Pentax 645Z - Pentax' 50mp medium-format DSLR. You can read the full interview on Imaging-Resource, which covers all Ricoh Pentax products, including the Pentax K-1 II, plus compact cameras, including the (relatively) new Ricoh GR III, Ricoh WG-6, and Ricoh Theta Z1.

Ricoh Pentax are one of the only imaging companies to have made a profit in their imaging division, up 4% for Q1 2019 (January to March), according to ByThom. Many companies are seeing a loss, with the market showing overall camera shipments down 25% in dollars.

What do you think? Have you switched to mirrorless? Are you planning on staying with mirrorless or do you miss using a DSLR? Let us know.

Posted 20/05/2019 - 15:26 Link
Not thinking of going mirrorless for the foreseeable future. Running both a K-3 and K-1 plus a bagful of nice glass (class leading in some cases). I like the OVF, Pentax ergonomics and most importantly the images returned
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Posted 21/05/2019 - 09:45 Link
Well I went mirrorless 5 years ago to Fujifilm and the X-Pro 1, I wanted to photograph in a different way and I was never going to afford a Leica! The X-Pro 1has a hybrid viewfinder so there is the choice of OVF and EVF. Although Fujifilm started with just 3 lenses, 18, 36 and 60 which I have, the range is now huge. Would I go back to a DSLR? Probably not but I do still have 7 or 8 Pentaxes including the Q which still adore. It took quite a bit of getting used to though and at times I thought I had made a mistake. The rangefinder style has seduced me and I've returned to film on a 63 year old Zeiss Contax IIIa and an 82 year old lens!
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Posted 23/05/2019 - 13:41 Link
I read this interview a few days ago and have had chance to reflect. The market is shrinking and will continue to do so due mainly to the phones getting better. Photographers that want ‘cameras’ that are sole use are a dying breed (non-pro).

I, like everyone on this forum, am part of that dying breed, so have a distorted perspective on ‘the market’.

My own cameras (iPhone 8+), Sony RX100v, K3 and K1ii, are those of a hobbiest with an eye and interest in pictures above and beyond snaps. I tried a Sony A7Riii before buying the K1ii.

Do I think Mirrorless will take over from DSLR ? Absolutely not... use an RX100 compact, A7Riii mirrorless, then a K1... experience is vastly different. I take the small camera when I know I’m wanting quality images but space is a premium. Would I choose the Rx100 over the K1 ever if space wasn’t a premium ? Never.

In my opinion, just as the guys at Pentax have pointed out, Mirrorless falls between two stool of snappers and people who enjoy taking photos (through a lensed camera).

Pentax will hopefully keep to this line and continue to make profits from their imaging division... that is after all what will really keep the brand alive in years to come.
Posted 23/05/2019 - 21:23 Link
I can see the market diverge more. Digital cameras took over from film for most people when resolution was good enough to make the convenience more important than the picture quality (thinking in terms of holiday snaps). Now a phone is far more capable than most people need, and as it's the camera that is always with them, it's hardly worth bothering with a separate device.

However, for those who reach the limits of these basic cameras, there are two different routes that seem to make sense, the 'bridge' camera which adds a good zoom lens, or the specialist camera with a choice of high quality prime and zoom lenses. I think there's room for both, but I can see that DSLRs are likely to become more specialised with less of the cheaper lenses. It's hard to see how a low end DSLR and lens can compete with the higher end bridge cameras, when they also include a viewfinder (even though it's not true optical).

I'm using my K5II most of the time, even expanding my lenses to include more wide angle, but it's the 300mm (with 1.4 converter when light's good) that captures birds in flight. I use the Q for ease of carrying, and to experiment with (e.g. fisheye and with a long K lens as an alternative to digiscoping), and it does give some really good results, but it's trickier than the K5, especially with the lack of a through lens optical viewfinder.
Posted 22/08/2019 - 09:04 Link
Talking with Pentax people 'behind the counter' here in Tokyo last years, there was no really any concrete plan of bringing on actively 645 platform. Being a studio camera mostly, without a good teetering system - as it is currently - it makes little sense investing in it for a professional into the fashion/advertising world (where the money is), where you want to craft your image as you go on. And, reportedly, there were no plans for that. While concerning mirrorless, Pentax will remain in my opinion a niche camera, while the remaining photography world will evolve around it. Mirrorless is the future, I think. The mirror inside has no photographic function whatsoever, photographically. A noisy burden. The only gain it provides for now is longer battery life. But with the technology improvements we are seeing, all you will need is just bringing with you one or two more batteries at worse. The viewfinder quality critique is a no-brainer: you just get used, like you get used to any bad prism viewfinder in an old camera. Digital viewfinder let you focus-peaking to the slightest detail and modern ones have very high quality indeed. Beside mirrorless let you use any legacy lens you stumble upon and allow you to shoot silently, opening you the doors to theaters and photographic environments where the camera shouldn't be heard. Pentax will remain a very good niche camera, yet... in a niche, I believe, if they do not move with the flow. And the only flowing thing I see for now is GRIII.
Edited by micmarc: 22/08/2019 - 09:06
Posted 10/03/2020 - 13:53 Link
I went mirrorless last year. You should see the state of my hair and all the razor nicks. What a mess! (I'm told).

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