Monday, March 09, 2009

Hoya and Pentax Talk About Summer 2009 and What's To Come

DC.Watch.Impress had a recent sit down with Taku Sendai, manager of Hoya's Product Planning (pictured right), and in the course of the interview a few juicy nuggets of information were harvested for us to speculate upon. (See the full article in translation from Google here.)

First of all, Sendai very briefly mentioned that a new model of DSLR camera which is not a successor to the K20D, but something with next-generation features and possibly a new body-type, will be announced for Summer 2009. Not much is said about what will make this model so different that it will be a new class of camera for the line-up, but it's suggested that it will be a new direction more akin to the K200D series (perhaps lighter weight, more compact, and with advanced functions not typically found in an amateur SLR - but targeted to the amateur demographic). It will likely outperform the K20D. I wonder if it offers more resolution than the K20D, because then this might require special refinements to the optical design of future lenses. And we have to wonder what Pentax has up its sleeves regarding size improvements, seeing as the micro four-thirds trend is taking off and the K2000 is still relatively new in the market. Will this new camera be the answer?

Also, Sendai confirmed that the "digital 645" is a top priority now, and this is to stay competitive against "full-frame" sensors offerings from other companies for advanced amateur and professional users. So, don't expect a full-frame sensor camera from Pentax any time soon. I think that if people were looking for an upgrade from their K20D, perhaps the digital 645 is going to be the path that Pentax and Hoya are expecting you to take.

Finally, there was another nail in the coffin that puts to rest rumors of Pentax's involvement in Samsung's new prototype camera. Even though Pentax has partnered with Samsung for DSLR cameras in the past, Sendai says they are not involved with the Samsung NX series unveiled at PMA (the NX features a yet unidentified interchangeable lens system paired with a small body that uses a digital viewfinder instead of a mirror for a more compact size). So it looks unlikely that the NX series will be using a variation of the K-mount lens system, like on the Samsung GX models.

One of the best methods for surviving a recession is to hunker down in the design process and innovate products that customers can't find anywhere else and build on your best. Judging from Sendai's comments, it looks like Pentax has put some serious thought into navigating the slumping economy with a cautiously optimistic plan for the summer and the next holiday season by delivering really fresh cameras that are backed by solid R&D. That's some really good news.

Above photo © DC.Watch.Impress.

1 comment:

ps said...

"One of the best methods for surviving a recession is to hunker down in the design process and innovate products that customers can't find anywhere else and build on your best. "

this is so nice to hear. and, this is the answer. not waste money and expect your government to bail you out. i hope pentax/hoya weather the storm, as they are certainly my favorite photography brand. they have heart and philosophy, and it shows in their products (the other big 2 just don't seem to have this extra bit of "soul" pentax slr products do). i am really looking forward to this next product advance he mentions. i am still eyeing the dp2, but it is not out, and i still think there can be something better!

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