Pentax confirms (again) that they are working on a Full Frame camera.

This is likely the tenth time Pentax says that they are working on a new Full Frame camera (Source: Pentaxforums). But that timeit’s said that Pentax has already a working prototype. And seeing how hard it is to really compete in the Pro segment against the Nikon-Canon dominance I would not be surprised to see a Mirrorless Full Frame from Pentax. The advantages would be clear:
1) No real competition yet (Leica doesn’t count). And no Canon-Nikon hegemony to deal with.
2) It would have the famous “WOW” factor. It would be a unique product and certainly many would look at it.

So let’s go Pentax…just (finally) do it! :)

P.S.: It is rumored that Samsung may announce a FF mirrorless in Spring. While more reliable rumors are coming from the Sony front where a new NEX-FF system will be launched in 2014.

  • lovice

    I don’t think Pentax will release a mirrorless FF. For them there’s no size advantage to do so. K-mount is K-mount. There’s nothing you can do about it. Just look at the K-01. I don’t think they will introduce a FF camera with a totally new mount.

    However, Pentax showed us they can make the smallest FF SLR in the world. We know if size is the most important thing for its next FF camera, and they really want to make it small, they will be able to make a FF DSLR smaller than some of the APS-C and MFT mirrorless on market today (beside the depth).

    To be honest, if a DSLR is smaller than a mirrorless, I’m sure most people would choose a DSLR (Pentax’s limited lenses are quite small). And if anyone can produce a DSLR not only smaller than a mirrorless, but also includes an EVF (some kind of hybrid like Fuji), it must be a winner.

    • Mike1

      Just compare the size of GH3 with Pentax K5. GH3 doesn’t have any size advantage. I’ve just bought a filterless K5iis and I would say its IQ is already in the FF territory. It’s a league in front of GH3.

      I also think Pentax wouldn’t go for a mirrorless FF. Rumor that their FF would be filterless with auto moire remover. If it’s true and they would maintain their reputation in compact DSLR, I definitely will go for it.

      • Eric

        That comparison isn’t really fair. You chose the largest m4/3’s camera vs the smallest prosumer DSLR. The OM-D and the NEX-7 are also in that group, and are much smaller and lighter than a K5.

        So, I think Pentax could gain quite a bit by going to shorter registration distance. Just be sure to make a good K-Mount smart adapter like Sony as done with their A-Mount adapter so their DSLR users can mount their lenses to it without losing autofocus.

        • Mike1

          I know it’s a bit unfair. I’m just making a point that mirrorless is not necessary compact, especially if a tall lens is mounted. If lightness is what I need for an assignment, personally I prefer to carry my K5 plus 3 limited pancakes (21, 40 & 70mm).

  • Gabriel

    A Pentax FF and a Samsung rebadged FF camera ? Like the old GX10 and K10 couple.

  • roger f

    COME ON DO IT NOW FULL FRAME PENTAX

  • Tim

    Didn’t the head of development (or some similar title) state quite clearly at photokina that they had considered a FF mirrorless but decided not to and that any FF Pentax released would be a DSLR?

    • lovice

      Yes, he did. He was saying that he doesn’t really ‘believe’ in mirrorless. I may not totally agree with his opinion. But, for Pentax a APS-c or FF mirrorless just doesn’t make much sense due to the K-mount (I don’t believe Pentax will introduce a special mount just for its mirrorless range) and Pentax’s already compact design. In the old days, most Pentax manual and some auto focus SLRs were smaller than mirrorless range finders, anway…

  • grafixstop

    It might be an opportune time for Pentax to re-establish some leadership.
    The Spotmatic was innovative in it’s time, the M series competed strongly
    with Olympus for smallest size, the lenses have always been good, but the
    marketing has always been terrible. Maybe with Ricoh’s money there could
    be a ‘re-birth’ – and a small sized full frame DSLR with a limited range of
    high quality lenses which undercut Canon/Nikon pricing may be the answer.

  • Austin

    FF Q-mount confirmed

  • camaman

    F..Q mount confirmed…! 😛

  • ray

    So, let’s see. Pentax should build a FF camera for:
    a) The tons of loyal users who have been hording glass since the beginning of time – and will therefore not need tons of new lenses.
    b) The advanced ams/pros who want FF but aren’t looking at Canikon because they don’t need a good flash system, good AF, accessories, or near ubiquitous access to bodies/accessories/rentals.
    c) The prestige market, because if I can’t afford a Leica, I’ll take a Pentax in wacky colors.

    I kid, I kid. I’ve owned Pentax cameras for more than 20 years. But it feels like a bunch of gimmicks and one offs these days, as opposed to a coherent strategy.

  • MdB

    FF K-Mount GXR module would be just fine.

    Pentax aim for niche markets because they can’t compete with the big two (numbers wise, not quality wise). Pentax skipped FF all together and went with the 645D – they already have a large sensor camera, they should focus on making that better and cheaper. Do a FF GXR module and call it a day, then do a $3-4K 645D update.

  • Carl

    Pentax should just use M mount for a mirrorless full frame. Plenty of lenses available, including the special edition of the 43/1.9. The GXR could fit the same lenses.

  • Derek

    “Mirrorless Full Frame… No real competition yet” – not so: you forgot about Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1.

  • Reinhard

    The Problem with the M-Mount: It´s really old!
    No electronic contact, no AF contacts, just mechanical connection.

    But for Pentax it could be an idea. After a lot of years between the big players, today the company is a smaller provider of cameras and lenses. But this could be also an opportunity to be more innovative or to develop good products to smaller markets. The 645D seems to be quite successful, but it´s only a small market.
    A FF rangefinder camera could also be such a product. A lot of enthusiasts are dreaming of an M Leica, but only a few can pay the bill. A camera with sensor and quality of the K5 as rival to the new M under 3000 Euro (maybe 2000?) would be bought by a lot older film Leica owners, who can not buy the expensive digital Leicas.
    BUT: Please don´t use this toy design from the K01 again! I saw the documentation about the designer who did it. He is maybe a good designer, but has absolutely no knowledge about cameras! In Germany we have this cild toys called “Playmobil”. A smaller K01 would fit perfectly to these toys 😉

  • joe

    comparison Gh3 vs K-5 what about
    by still photo or hybrid
    K-5 ready compatition to Gh3 on video???

  • lovice

    Do you really think Pentax is developing an all new mount for its APS-C and FF mirrorless. K-mount is all Pentax has got left. Without it Pentax will be just another camera company.

    As for the comparison, of coz we can only use the smallest hi end APS-C DSLR to the biggest MFT mirrorless. It’s not about which system is smaller or bigger (mirrorless will always be smaller in theory). It’s about what if Pentax can develop a FF DSLR which is the same size if not slightly smaller than some of the top end mirrorless (MFT or APS-C or FF Leica). If they can, then why should Pentax spend the time and money to develop an all new mount and lenses just to reduce 1.5cm in length, 1cm in hight and another cm in depth…

  • Eric

    Because, in theory, they might actually attract new customers if they do this the right way. Sure, existing K-Mount customers will be happy about not needing an adapter, but in a few years when people cross shop the Pentax system against the full frame Sony and Fuji systems; why would the choose the one that is built around a bulky legacy mount they’re not invested in? I own a few K-Mount lenses for my Pentax LX that I still use, but I have no qualms with using an adapter for them.

    There’s no reason to maintain clearance for a flapping mirror when a mirror is no longer there. If they stick with the K-Mount they’ll sacrifice one of the best features about mirrorless systems; the ability to adapt almost any lens to a body. A smart adapter will work perfectly fine for existing users.

  • lovice

    Initially, we were talking about if Pentax develop a mirrirless FF, it will have or have not size advantage over a traditional SLR FF. As I explained if K-mount is used, then mirrorless will be pointless for Pentax due to K-mount itself and the compact design form Pentax used to be (still is) famous for.

    Sure, all new mount would be another story. But, IMO Pentax won’t introduce an all new mount for it’s first FF camera or the near future ones. Therefore, there will not be a mirrorless FF from Pentax.

    Now, you are talking about the use of adopters… That’s where I believe Ricoh comes in with its GXR style mount system which is a much better solution compare to normal mirrorless system.