This is directed at DAP subscribers—any interest in any of this gear?
- Nikon AF-S 200mm f/2 VR II . I owned the prior version, not sure if the new one is really any better.
- Pentax K-5 IIs with some or all of the 15/4, 21/3.2, 40/2.8, 35/2.8, 70/2.4 'Limited' lenses. Main interest here is in the lens performance (Ricoh GR has piqued my interest).
- Particular Canon or Nikon lenses?
- Sony SLT-A99? [I am somewhat reluctant as I expect a new model late this year or early next, and camera bodies tend to have a short shelf life for review interest].
I would focus on operational and image quality differences vs Nikon D800E, and a few key Sony/Zeiss lenses, with an eye to a future 36+ megapixel Sony DSLR.
- Samyang 14mm wide angle, or 24mm tilt-shift.
- Something else?
I choose based on a combination of factors (interest, market differentiation, product lifecycle, etc), but hearing the same request independently is most persuasive.
Significant interest expressed in Sony A-99 and Pentax K-5 IIs. Nominal interest in Nikon 200/2 VR II, nominal interest in Samyang lenses.
I’ve given these items some thought and my thinking is to remain focused on the platforms that deliver peak value (Nikon and Canon) and lenses for those platforms. This is the bread and butter that I’ve seen in demand over the years:
Reviewing a new camera system properly is a labor intensive effort, so the proper timing is critical (camera body choice). Stale model = short-term value (for me and for readers). I also have to consider market acceptance and whether I can properly cover new platforms, especially those of 2nd or 3rd-tier players.
My concerns about the Sony SLT-A99 are several. First are cost and system breadth: is there a point to a similarly priced 24-megapixel Sony camera body with modest lens choices versus a 36-megapixel Nikon D800? At similar cost and lower resale value and no professional network and no clear forward direction, it’s not making sense to me as a system for all those reasons. Nor are the best lenses of the caliber available for Nikon or Canon. I might still take a overarching look at the SLT-A99 two good primes (24/2 and the new 50/1.4, waiting to hear from Sony), but more than that effort is unwarranted until and unless Sony raises its game to 36 megapixels or beyond.
My concerns about Pentax are similar: the K-5 IIs looks like a very nice compact DSLR with an unusual set of appealing lens choices (primes), and I’d expect its user interface to be better than a Nikon D7100 (based on my Ricoh GR experience). But with a 24-megapixel Nikon D7100 available with a superb 14-bit sensor, this seems like the wrong juncture to invest more than moderate effort: lens evaluation is labor intensive, and a 12-bit 16 megapixel sensor for Pentax vs 14-bit 24 megapixels for Nikon is not competitive. Makes a lot more sense with a newer model with 24 or 32 megapixes and/or a full-frame Pentax.
Bottom line is why would I want to shoot a 16 megapixel image when I can shoot 24? Or 24 when I can shoot 36? Especially when the system costs are similar and there are fewer choices and lower resale value for the lower-res options. This is why cameras like the Ricoh GR and Sony RX1R offer more interest: they offer substantially different alternatives with unique features. Until and unless the DSLRs from Sony and Pentax can do something clearly superior, why would one choose a 2nd-tier DSLR system? Obviously every system has some strong points, but I’m speaking as a whole about a system.