Co-Development Section, please don't distribute this URL as it is in an advanced under construction stage. Any comments or add on please make use of the Message Board (link is provided below) to relay your views or suggestions. HERE'S HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE OR LEND US A HAND: we need ORIGINAL pictures of your early Pentax DSLR cameras and Pentax systems components/accessories. Good pictures taken with your Pentax DSLR are welcome too, but will be subject to selection based on a qualitative photography criteria.

"Establishing THE Classic PENTAX DSLR"

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Subject: Message Board for a Pentax Advanced Digital SLR Model Users Group

Message Board for Pentax Advance Digital SLR Models


[--Insert Images of the MZ-D and Pentax Logogram--]

The K mount Phantom DSLR

It represented a transformation of the upcoming Pentax MZ-S high quality film Kaf2 mount auto focus SLR (marketed in 2001) into a digital interchangeable lens camera with a 35mm format size full-frame--and at the time large--6MP imaging sensor. This seemed to offer the greatest potential of the rugged so-called Flagship film SLR camera to appear first on the horizon as the finely crafted digital camera build shown as the Pentax MZ-D (Pentax MR-52) Kaf2 mount DSLR body. For advanced Pentax system users, this formed considerable hope, back at the turn into the digital SLR century, after being revealed at photokina. Advanced Pentax LX and PZ 1 (Z1) film camera users stood to attention, ready to migrate to the unveiling of a digitally advanced Pentax DSLR camera which used fine available lenses. Its sensor yield would grant a good letter sized print. Such was cutting edge technology at the time.
Just two years earlier the few professional DSLRs of other makers only boasted 2MP sensors for any camera found at the top of their product lines (giving a just bearable 5 X 7 inch print, without further software alteration). These were awkward gangly units, with digital imaging demands adapted to existing film cameras. Cameras were remanufactured by blending digital sensor-equipped thicker camera backs with bolted on lower, and much longer, film body housing extensions to existing 35mm system SLR bodies. Such digital module appendages placed on a SLR film camera body had to be attached for all the related imaging electronics and mobile power requirements involved; even Kodak, then a leading digital imaging developer, was attaching its DSLR module designs to other brands of 35mm SLRs, as were transformed into then so-labeled digital SLR imaging cameras. These were considered the advanced digital imaging origination designs offered by various manufacturers. Such consolidated camera units cost US $5,000 upwards to US $20,000 in the late 1990s.

[--Images of the MZ-D's top-]

But the Pentax MZ-[S]D would hopefully change all that complexity of manufacturing with a robust, but more in the hand approach for the namebrand's transition to Pentax DSLRs (as Nikon had done to its DSLR in 1999). Though the build quality of the film based MZ-S was second to none, its 2001 release features would not quite measure up to other paramount SLR systems cameras leading the last years of the film based SLR era. It lacked true motor drive burst speeds (at 2.5 fps), and did not have all the quick use hyperdrive features that had led the PZ 1 (Z 1) Kaf cameras to have a considerable dedicated following. It did not offer new interchangeable extra system-establishing components too, which other makers presented to their advanced systems users. Yet, it was handsome and strong, borrowing the slanted SLR body top control array from the likes of Leica. And its images were second to none, using the excellent Pentax lens system of renowned color transmission and resolution qualities as well as longevity.

Then, the MZ-D (MR-52) became frozen in time, having so appeared only as a phantom cameo hope at its Photokina 2000 new product showing. Advanced Pentax photographers wrote letters to Pentax distributors demanding to know when the camera could be obtained. First there was silence in response, then, just under a year later, came the bad news. The camera would not be released. No reason was first given by Pentax, and an announced Contax DSLR release using the same image sensor took considerable time to actually appear on camera store shelves. Then, using the same Phillips full-frame sensor that Pentax and Phillips were developing for Pentax use, Contax tests showed a legacy of arising sensor hot spots, imaging anomalies, color problems, and electronics dropout with questionable reliability. Some users even reported occasions of electronics burning inside this camera. Yikes!

Phillips could not make these sensors with predictable reliability, nor in then Contax and Pentax projected needed quantities. Costs of unpredictable Quality Control were high for both consumer and manufacturer. There is little public documentation for a year on reasoning behind the Pentax decision not to produce the camera, other than the price would be "too expensive", but the reasons why not now seem obvious. And this left Pentax in a quandary as to its own considerable reputation in respect to advanced user camera futures. Tooling up for any interchangeable lens systems camera requires R & D, a vast budget, planning, focus, resources, just-in-time manufacturing processing in established facilities, desirable features of special renown, and marketing. Yet, the entire industry was in a watchman on the walls state with the digital imaging shift, as began in the mid 1990s, where it was earlier when called to address change when auto focus first appeared industry-wide in SLRs the 1980s. Finding the vision and stability to proceed was not as clear as in the days of film system SLR standards (for so much about digital imaging was unknown and presented as uncharted territory ahead as to technology, systems planning, needed attributes, and marketing).

[--Images of the actual early Pentax Consumer DSLRs--]


Pentax film camera development had progressed beyond the 1995 conceived MZ/ZX lightweight small bodied AF film SLR series, to film point and shoots, panorama selection in bodies, to the even smaller, quicker, and auto everything *ist film SLR (cr. 2003). This closely paralleled similar amateur film camera developments at Canon (the most integrated total camera systems manufacturer and developer then and now). Yet the big industry trade-name-holders other than Pentax--of Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and (then) Minolta--were shifting a total industry direction toward digital futures through planning and research development at the turn of this century. This included leaps forward for DSLRs. Electronics products manufacturers like Panasonic, Sony, Sanyo, Epson-Seiko, HP, JVC, and Toshiba were changing the notion of who was in the camera business: as their own digital cameras captured marketplace share. Pentax codeveloped a 3X integral zoom 2MP small lateral DSLR with Hewlett Packard, the computer innovator, also back in 2000. Even so, Pentax had clearly dropped the ball on advanced DSLR futures when the Phillips sensor ghost failed at the gate; so did the inner workings of the Pentax Corporation DSLR leadership development process also hesitate.

Film camera SLR sales were OK, so why get ahead of the game too soon? An evolving notion of an acceptable small format digital sensor size too was tripping up the camera horizons at that time. Why not wait to see what settles out? 35mm sized, APS-C, 4/3rds, or another? In the meantime other manufacturers risked various approaches to digital SLR development, some advanced, some lost--all at great cost. And the remaining camera past innovators could not help but notice that losses were big at the enterprise level of being in the camera business.


Quickly came the rapid advancements of other major manufacturers of electronics and optics: new autofocus means coordinated by several identified in the viewfinder autofocus sensor methods, rapid response mechanical interchangeable AF lens systems that did not hunt to focus (except in low light), quick and silent hypersonic in-the-lens-body coreless AF focusing motor telephoto and telephoto zoom lens designs, camera shake compensation in-the-lens mechanisms, hybrid lens element group wide angle and wide angle zoom designs, competitive new methods to achieve metering and camera information display accuracy, in camera multiple aperture control methods, new residual means for holding measured exposure memory and AF preset subject focus, greater shutter speed ranges, eye pupil gaze sensitive viewfinder focus points, new rechargeable battery technologies, greater in the SLR body exposure motor drive speeds, increased choices for add on mobile power and flash systems, computer interfaces for remote camera control, the popularization of the graphics based image interface PC for everyone, manipulatable photography imaging software, smaller integrated circuits, digital imaging in camera processing means and methods, in camera digital color and color balance control technologies, increasing digital sensor ISO sensitivity and range, shrinking large pixel count sensor physical sizes, sensor pixel size upgrades, solidification of image file formats--all big changes, on and on!

It became a trend that such rapid change required a manufacturer to be electron-ically, mechanically, and optically on the cutting edge of design innovation: all of the time. A sense of permanency or reliability of small format imaging technology for the long run was up for grabs in the last 20th Century into the first 21st Century decades. Further, amateur buyers of cameras had shifted away from SLRs to point and shoot convenience and DSLRs were costly. This left most DSLR buyer advanced users and professionals undefined of an uncertain future market share interest. True system choices were lessening and were obvious as which to select as probable manufacturer survivors in the emerging technologies marketplace (by market share and product release cycles).

The allure of interchangeable optics, as had been once relatively inexpensive and simple as to basic consumer choices, also were becoming more complex and expensive in order to achieve such a good image quality with all in one, wide to normal, and maximum tele-range AF zooms. Lens choices were not as finite in attempts to offer all focal lengths as once were available and needed to achieve film image quality (from a long established prime optics development past). Japan experienced a recession in the late 1990s, into this century of uncertain sales years. This touched the big five name brand makers--including Pentax. Many photo industry manufacturing centers had been and were shifted offshore from Japan's expensive and skilled labor base to places throughout a well-developing Asia. How to invest in advanced user futures was as uncertain as was the emerging imaging technology environment. How to plan for camera development and sales looked up to a clouded sky.

[--A late 1990s early 2000s camera makers market share report sheet reproduction,
or a related Japanese five year stocks chart powerpoint type slide image--]

Much about photographic imaging and its technology remained unclear as to what would be desired as sustainable gear for the advanced systems user, or prosumer. Also, general publication uses of images were shifting from the finest quality and detail to lesser and faster image processing standards. Lower quality coarser pixel based images were transported on and reproduced from the Internet and lower pixel count quick imaging digital cameras, as cheaply available. Photofinishing too could be now achieved at home or in an office by inkjet and other technologies. What had been photography and its related support industry for advanced user foundations--fixed for many years on the 35mm small format camera systems standard (as used too for film and paper emulsion based image chemical processing, and offset printing technology)--now shapeshifted to newly evolving, emerging, and presenting small format digitally based imaging technologies.

Though computer manipulation of images was everywhere, it was not established by the early 21st Century what a small format camera digital sensor and its aspect ratio size of one year would be in the next. TIFF, various RAW, and JPEG image encoding too held many uncertain quality standards industry wide. What would emerge as a dozen types of image file memory card media available for the different camera makers also confused the matter: what were now to be the industry imaging media foundations (as solid as had been 35mm)? Finally offering some sense of stability, in 2006 the photofinishing industry noted a majority shiftover from chemical emulsion processing for the first time to digitally based image processing.

[--Images of the inside chassis of the early Pentax DSLRs--]


By the new century, Pentax was losing money, while some other manufacturers were either merging or going out of the photography imaging business altogether. Pentax was not large and diversified enough to be on an electronic, computer logic, and digital innovation cutting edge; its strengths were in optics, optical coatings, camera and optical manufacturing, autofocus sensors, and scientific and medical instrumentation. Its weaknesses were in staying on top of the type of vertical and horizontal corporate structure needed to be innovative in all aspects of digital SLR research and development, financial planning, computer controlled in-camera systems, electronic camera parts, related resources, and other digital imaging requirements engineering. What it then had offered the advanced digital user relying a great deal on its reputation and user attachment to its past achievements and gear was established by a legacy of quality lenses, and smaller hand holdable film format quality SLRs of reasonable prices and good service.

[--insert of *ist D Kaf2 mount SLR--]

The first consumer/advanced user DSLR camera originating from Pentax was the 6MP *istD SLR, of early 2003--the same year Pentax was forced by the emerging marketplace to abandon film camera development. And this camera appeared from the requirements of digital bodies alone, not as a 35mm SLR camera's adapted digital appendage. The primary way it differentiated from offerings of other manufacturers was by its rugged body core of stainless steel design, physical size, and price--not acting thereby primarily as a coordinated advanced systems components employment user offering. Professionals past using the LX and PZ film SLR systems pulled away because of a lack of advanced user system higher end products to keep pace with Canon and Nikon, and nuances of the changing way information was relayed to and from the camera through an evolving lens K mount. This contributed to Pentax's low and sluggish market share. But the organization's continuing digital SLR development choices, desire for product longevity, and newest development alliances would slowly change this.

[--Images of representative FA, FAJ, and DA lenses--]s

Pentax had stopped its own development of film cameras in 2003. Its commitment to a complete system lens line also seemed to be left in limbo with the changeover in imaging aperture format size. With a few exceptions, its digital point and shoots as offered in this 21st Century decade, have remained overall lackluster, yet were built and priced well. The innovations of quiet focus and quick zoom motors, higher quality movie making features placement in still digital cameras, mechanical optical image stabilization, and reliable advanced chip color processing in cameras were not pressed to the cutting edge of the highly competitive industry: as was needed to establish the like of any such components being Pentax innovations. Pentax had pretty much stuck to the fixed focal length, then the 3x zoom for point and shoots when others advanced to larger zoom ranges with other technological in camera image processing and image stabilization offerings for point and shoot cameras. Though limited in range, lenses continued primarily to be of the highest available quality for such Pentax units.

[--insert of Pentax K20D, and Samsung GX20D cameras, side by side--]

Pentax Corporation then realized, from the development of the *ist D forward, in 2003, that its camera product development trail ahead was in DSLR advanced user designs--and in forming needed horizontal enterprise product development alliances toward achieving this end with electronics and computer logic chip manufacturers (such as the Sony sensor division, various IC chips manufacturers, and others). Critical to its goals Pentax reached out for and won investment alternatives to stay afloat. The decision was made to go offshore to Samsung for matrix organizational assistance with in-camera color imaging digital data processing, and for camera image data logic control research & development co-engineering.

This team approach for the electronics and data path logic side of mechanical, optical, and electronics SLR camera imaging processing advancement proved to be a brilliantly calculated corporate management, resource and asset strategy by Pentax Corportation. This was most formative toward presenting advanced Pentax KDSLR designs, which by 2008, found our MIR Photography Website Classic Camera Guestbook user Forum standing. In 2007, the K10D market share underdog won camera industry awards in Japan and Europe. This was over and above the other industry leaders, as the overall camera industry media signIficantly recognized a Pentax commitment to excellence and professionalism.

Early in 2008, Pentax introduced the K20D, 14.6MP Digital SLR, retaining the best features of the K10DSLR, and further offering its emphasis on increased user controlled image quality and file format capturing programmable flexibility for color image density, correction, and resolution options--as being extensions of a unique user's hand and mind. With an enterprise posture after the 2003 *ist D's, and for cameras in between: the first of the KD SLR series camera designs cooperation increased on developing what had come forth as released from Pentax as the K10D (and from Samsung as the GX-10). By forming development alliances Pentax assured a future in what was a very difficult, demanding, and uncertain economic and technological survival environment for many camera makers. That Pentax achieved certain outcomes of its goals through its own processes and horizontal business and development alliances is noteworthy for its legacy stemming from a proud Japanese industry's design and planned development name branded industry.

Pentax has been increasingly profitable and innovative since establishing matrix organizational alliances made for creating its now most complex products (most recently in lens project co-developments with Hoya Corporation). In so risking investment and marketing strategies with other conglomerates in an innovation-interdependent emerging technologies industry (where the mainstream DSLR imaging sensor size proved to be APS-C sized), a 1.53X magnification factor accompanied this small format digital imaging attribute when applied to all prior existing 35mm K mount system lens focal lengths (1.54X on the K20D, with the new sensor). Newly dedicated for advanced user digital sensor format sized imaging lenses, of wide to telephoto lens designs from Pentax, along with the first K10D body with professional moisture sealed and dust resistant components and rugged stainless steel frame composition, and in-camera horizontal and vertical plane shake reduction: have accompanied the highest build quality bodies ever developed for the APS-C sized sensor. This excellent standard would offer a most forthright long term view toward reestablishing a reputation of striving for the best interests of the advanced camera user (over upholding to any product hype for the marketplace).

Interchangeable optics now produced with dust and moisture seals, with even more advanced coatings, hybrid formulas, accompanying extreme wide angle zoom designs granting the best results of the optical/mechanical engineering tradeoffs involved, and advances to hypersonic in-the-lens motors for Pentax's most expensive optics were developed along a lens roadmap time plan: projected ahead for fresh and forthcoming advanced user interests by Pentax Corporation. In 2008 too, developed wide aperture wide angles, telephotos, and zoom offerings have once more reestablished Pentax's reputation for settling at the top of the mountain for its vision for the long haul. In an industry for which DSLR system standards were just quieting down to mountaintop heights in the second half of the first 21st Century decade, Pentax now offers a true camera systems component approach to KDSLRs.

For this approach, the latest 2008 Pentax bodies, the 14.6 MP K20D, and 10MP K200D, have extended the K10D's earlier advancements. A total redesign of the APS-C sized sensor was achieved to reach below professional gear retail pricing with offers of professional image quality structuring for the K20D: complete with live view, Pentax's first smooth CMOS sensor developed with its Samsung teammate (an amazing commitment by both corporations), greater in-camera dust management, tighter Image Stabilization, a purely RAW shooting mode, in-camera RAW to JPEG conversion, JPEG file size by ISO scaling, low JPEG size 20+ FPS editorial high burst rates, a reasonable camera cost for the detail achieved by the 14.6MP sensor (with greater resolution than the Canon D-40) along with a very high body quality, customizable features (30+), and image review system. Retaining the K10D's most advanced grade features, while adding and advancing on its and other innovations of the industry, has not been compromised in temporarily leaping ahead of the other APS-C camera manufacturer offerings in this price range; all said, keeping Pentax at the head of the class of seeking not only its own interests, but the interests of others will continue to increase market share and maker reputation.

[--Shots of the K10D, and K20D, various views--]

The late 2006 and 2007 K10D 10MP CCD camera, its price point, build quality, features, and advanced user systems futures vision helped turn around Pentax profitability and advanced user confidence in the process (along with the past K100D series camera DSLR). Though Pentax will complete a merger this spring with the larger and more diversified Hoya Corporation, its past corporate operating board remained zealous of its vision to emerge as a leader in DSLR development; this held true along with a need to further develop economically and horizontally diversify its future resource development base. It has observed camera newcomers and name branded camera lines die in the present marketing and technology innovations climate, and has carefully strategized at the financial holdings level on across to the project development matrix alliances team approach to be around a long time.

As the Hoya Corporation merger now happens, this year the Pentax Division will usher into cohabitation its leadership role in the arenas of optics and DSLR design and manufacturing for these industry bedfellows. Samsung has also sung the song of Pentax diversification, and Pentax helped advance the completion of a Samsung vision to become a real industry innovator in digital cameras. The Co-development of the K 20D sensor has placed Samsung as an industry leader in sensor design for the APS-C format. This has moved Pentax away from dependence on a name brand competitor's sensor (Sony), much like Nikon has so moved from this supplier for its leading camera with the development of the D3 SLR's sensor. It seems only the subtle imaging factors of getting the lowest digital noise at a given ISO rating, low light autofocus, and high JPEG ISO file size burst rates are the factors still advanced by the most expensive DSLRs costing 3 to 7 times the price of a K20D SLR. In most other features and quality areas of DSLRs' imaging Pentax can be said to be neck and neck, or even ahead of the competition. Hats off to Pentax!

Much has been shared by the Korean based Samsung group, as to this DSLR design development interrelationship, including their Schneider lens branding of Pentax optics. Our new 2008 MIR site is dedicated to Pentax DSLR users, and, chiefly to the well planned K10D, and K20D, and now K200D Classic Cameras. Comments of users of the smaller K100D, K110D, and K100DS, and earlier bodies, and the various evolutions of the *istD SLR are welcome on the directly linked K10D/K20D Guestbook Forum Advanced User's Group Messageboard. The photography side of MIR (Malaysian Internet Resources, this site publisher) underscores that the KD series of Pentax DSLRs have cemented a Hoya-Pentax systems future among all advanced digital imaging users and professionals. As is shown by the Pentax Corporation's lens roadmap postings on-line, Pentax lens line developments too are stabilizing and innovating toward the very best interests of advanced users. These include well sealed optics and more reasonable prices than other industry leaders.

[--Images of DA star lenses and/or the Pentax DA lens development roadmap--
--An image of the K20D with the K200D--]

Our Pentax Classic DSLR site presents now as the K10D/K20D and K200D SLR Classic Cameras are linked to the best interchanges of their user ideas by the MIR classic cameras Guestbook User-Forum Messageboard. These cameras are considered to be the first Classic Pentax DSLRs well worth such a designation by the MIR site development team. Jay Hart, our US and Norway based Geographic Information Systems Mapping and Natural Resources Media Production Specialist--co-maintainer of the LX Pentax Guestbook Forum--has led this first Pentax Classic Digital Camera site development effort, while others have joined in to offer their observations and contributions. Insightful contributors will be offered maintainer roles in the near future.

We offer next our site discovery pages on the K10D, and K20D while highlighting their past Pentax lineage connections, their well conceived user reliabile dynamic access points, advanced features, functional design qualities, and then move briefly to accent the K200D to conclude our Pentax Digital Classic Camera index pages. From these introductory pages here one can click ahead to the new Pentax Digital Classic camera Guestbook Messageboard, as is open for contributions, comments, and questions. The quality and features of these cameras, in their respective user spheres, have requested this MIR Photography site development. MIR then has a commitment to highlighting the best user information interface available on-line.

We welcome the family of Pentax quality DSLR users here who have patiently waited for the Kaf and Kaf2 mount to press forward in employing an enduring digital camera systems user best interests approach with an equal devotion to fine photography. Keenly, the advanced KDSLR series can use all past Pentax lenses in application, and looks forward to future planned professional Pentax dedicated optics and systems components as building on this considerable Pentax past digital systems strength. Welcome again to another of our Classic camera pages.

(Copyright, 2007-2008, J. Hart ).

INTRODUCTION TO the K10D/K20D and K200D advanced user Classic DSLR Pentax cameras, highlights, features and specifications. [Under development]

Digital SLR and other digital imaging has offered, at its exposure imaging sensor, in camera color media capture, and in camera image processing levels: additional photographic controls and user addressable variables established by emerging technology as standing over and above what had been the aperture, focus, lens focal length, lighting, shutter speed, and film choice variables of a widely accepted past 35mm film systems foundation. Emerging imaging technology has now advanced past these long existing user addressable photographic variables with notable digital camera systems additions ....