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01-12-2011, 12:39 AM   #46
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One indirect measure

Just look at the after-market lens price on EBay, one can easily gauge the relative popularity of the Pentax brand in general. Two examples:

Despite the release of 645D, the 645 lenses have not increased dramatically in prices.

In contrast, second-hand 35mm Pentax camera lenses have been priced out of hand (relative to the original price). If you check out relatively rare MF lenses, they are in very good demand. Looking at changes, the prices are significantly higher than those a few years ago.

So are we in danger? Probably not.

01-12-2011, 03:19 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by yyyzzz Quote
Just look at the after-market lens price on EBay, one can easily gauge the relative popularity of the Pentax brand in general. Two examples:

Despite the release of 645D, the 645 lenses have not increased dramatically in prices.

In contrast, second-hand 35mm Pentax camera lenses have been priced out of hand (relative to the original price). If you check out relatively rare MF lenses, they are in very good demand. Looking at changes, the prices are significantly higher than those a few years ago.

So are we in danger? Probably not.
Well in most parts of the world you can still not buy a 645D. Production of the 645D is small in numbers.
01-12-2011, 04:29 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It certainly makes sense for Pentax to get the kr and kx into stores, but eventually, a lot of professional and upper end hobby photographers end up ordering on line, unless they are lucky enough to have a local dedicated camera store.
That is exactly what I was thinking.. those models would be the ones. Then Pentax does not have a huge SLR range like Nikon or Canon. Even in countries where there is not a lot of (if any) online ordering, Pentax can either be found only in dedicated camera stores, or not at all. I spent almost a year in Libya, and in every electronic store that sold SLRs, there was Sony, Canon and Nikon mainly, and dealers never heard of Pentax, just like they never heard of Caribbean islands or many other places !
01-12-2011, 08:43 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by PTXAV8R Quote
Even in countries where there is not a lot of (if any) online ordering, Pentax can either be found only in dedicated camera stores, or not at all. I spent almost a year in Libya, and in every electronic store that sold SLRs, there was Sony, Canon and Nikon mainly, and dealers never heard of Pentax, just like they never heard of Caribbean islands or many other places !
Pentax has not a worldwide delivering system for reselling.

01-12-2011, 08:56 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by yyyzzz Quote

Despite the release of 645D, the 645 lenses have not increased dramatically in prices.
have you looked at the FA 645 lenses they have skyrocketed to insane prices in many cases more than they were new (and they were never cheap)
Pentax needs to get some new or reworked for digital lenses out for the 645 soon.
I was considering grabbing a 645 af pentax and getting rid of my bronica, but i waited too long, they are now priced out of my reach. I may get a 67 but the size is a consideration as well

Not that i'm complaining it is a sign that Pentax is doing better in the market than a long time

the 35mm lenses are another story m42's hav gone crazy as canikon users seem to have discovered they work with their cameras
I'm sure evil is having an effect on the kmounts for the same reason
the a/f/fa jump though is due to sales of pentax dslrs so also a good sign
(if you aren't a cheapskate like me hunting for bargains)
01-12-2011, 09:03 AM   #51
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as for the distribution issue years of marketing neglect and the increasing dominance of online retailers in the camera sector is the reason you don't see Pentax in stores. it's low market share means if you have to budget your dollars for floor stock you will focus on the big 2 where 80 % of your sales will come from
It's nice to see things like the store within a store at willoughby's in NYC as it means Pentax is working on creative ideas within the limited promotional budget they have to get presence in bricks and mortar store. I would imagine this is currently a prototype and depending on the financial returns it will go further afield.
If on the other hand you live somewhere served by best buy and walmart and either have no camera stores or only one decent one don't expect them to be all over Pentax, they develop their big box competition strategy by focusing on the canikon stuff people can't get at a big box, but benefit from the exposure its given
01-12-2011, 09:49 AM   #52
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Marketing can come in a lot of packages, and still be very effective. I will be buying that FujiX100 in March when it comes out.....a victim of their very effective Marketing on a Shoestring Budget. If you have something unique, and do some very nice self praise, you can work wonders.......people are already standing in line for the X100....I'm one of them, and I don't even like small cameras!
Regards!
01-15-2011, 04:19 PM   #53
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Jeff - for what its worth: I'd bought (and still own and use) a Contax 645 system which I payed about $20K for 10 years ago - right before Kyocera scuttled it (one of the best medium format cameras ever made imho) - so I understand your concerns. From my view - Pentax accounts for about 25% of net sales for Hoya: http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/investor/fs20101105_2e.pdf - and they're pretty popular here in Japan, and have a lot of products (including DSLR) that are hot items (e.g. a red/blue/purple/pink/etc. DSLR). I've researched enough lately to come up with the confidence in them (at this point in time) to invest about $15K in the last week on a new 645D system. However there's no guarantee in this economy that they (or Canon or Nikon for that matter) will be around next year - you always have to just take that risk.


QuoteOriginally posted by Jeff Charles Quote
I checked the sales rank (in electronics) of the K-5, the D7000, and the 7D on the US Amazon website. I had expected the ranks of the cameras to be close, but they are not.
K-5 body - #4,914
K-5 with 18-55 - #17,649

D7000 body - #696
D7000 with 18-105 - #303

Canon 7D body - #209
These figures tell me that the K-5 is not selling nearly as well as its competition in the US. Of course, K-5 sales outside the US may be better.

Inadequate sales could affect Hoya's willingness to keep funding Pentax DSLR development. This is just speculation, because I don't know the actual sales figures and whether they are meeting Pentax's targets.

I am selling stuff and putting money aside to buy a new DSLR in the spring, and the K-5 is at the top of my list. The apparent poor sales of the camera concern me. They certainly have nothing to do with the quality of the camera, but they may have other implications.

I'd appreciate comments and perspective.

Jeff


01-15-2011, 04:46 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoltMan Quote
Jeff - for what its worth: I'd bought (and still own and use) a Contax 645 system which I payed about $20K for 10 years ago - right before Kyocera scuttled it (one of the best medium format cameras ever made imho) - so I understand your concerns. From my view - Pentax accounts for about 25% of net sales for Hoya: http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/investor/fs20101105_2e.pdf - and they're pretty popular here in Japan, and have a lot of products (including DSLR) that are hot items (e.g. a red/blue/purple/pink/etc. DSLR). I've researched enough lately to come up with the confidence in them (at this point in time) to invest about $15K in the last week on a new 645D system. However there's no guarantee in this economy that they (or Canon or Nikon for that matter) will be around next year - you always have to just take that risk.
Thanks for your POV. Your response and others have provided the perspective that I asked for in my OP: I've taken Pentax's longevity off my list of concerns .
01-15-2011, 07:12 PM   #55
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I think the biggest thing in Pentax favor is that fact that over the last couple of years they have consistently made good, if conservative choices. Their cameras have quietly gained a lot of awards. Now, it sounds like they are getting ready to jump into the EVIL market, which could definitely give them a good splash in the news for awhile.

It is still frustrating to see them play second fiddle to Nikon/Canon. I read outdoor photographer magazine and the most recent issue had a full page spread introducing the Nikon D7000. The next page had a paragraph commenting on the release of the K5. Maybe if they advertised a little more they would get more coverage, but shouldn't really need to do so.
01-16-2011, 09:49 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
as for the distribution issue years of marketing neglect and the increasing dominance of online retailers in the camera sector is the reason you don't see Pentax in stores. it's low market share means if you have to budget your dollars for floor stock you will focus on the big 2 where 80 % of your sales will come from
It's nice to see things like the store within a store at willoughby's in NYC as it means Pentax is working on creative ideas within the limited promotional budget they have to get presence in bricks and mortar store. I would imagine this is currently a prototype and depending on the financial returns it will go further afield.
If on the other hand you live somewhere served by best buy and walmart and either have no camera stores or only one decent one don't expect them to be all over Pentax, they develop their big box competition strategy by focusing on the canikon stuff people can't get at a big box, but benefit from the exposure its given
My local BestBuy has the Canon 7D, and lower models. For Nikon they carry the D7000/kits. They have the D7000 with a 18-105mm kit lens, plus the 55-300mm in stock! Now BestBuy also Carry Pentax but not in my local stores, order online only. So folks will not be able to pick up and hold a K-7 or K-r, next to lesser more plastic feeling entry level Canon or Nikon. The D7000 and Canon 60D (its polycarbonate as the K10/20), 7D feel as well made and are bigger, which us USA folks as a majority like. I personally prefer the feel of my K20d with grip than without and over the K-7 sans grip. Pentax losses here, not having exposure in stores. I was sold on my K10D (GX10) by the feel of it in my hand over the Sony A100! And there is probably little reason for BestBuy to stock Pentax unless the price is more competitive. Do you know how much I can get the D7000 and 18-105mm plus 55-300mm lens for, I can drive 4 miles and pick it all up for $1799. Now Pentax can't even compete on price!

Now my local BestBuys also carry all kinds of flashes, lens, everything you need to keep you happy with your D7000 or Canon 60D and at the store. The D7000 is kinda like the K20D in size and feel but not quite as nice. And not quite as nice as the K-5. That being said...

The Nikon/Canon system have extensive support systems in the USA. You can buy a flash at Walmart if need be. Speaking of which Walmart carries Nikon and Canon entry level dSLRs.

Pentax has done well the past year or so. Neb B has said in so many words or IMO, that Pentax can't afford to at this time compete in stores with Nikon/Canon. Now IMO the masses will over look Pentax. So Pentax must grow slowly through exposure on the internet. The K-x was a giant step in the right direction. The K-5 is like the second stage of a rocket taking Pentax up to where it wants to be. However Pentax also needs to take advantage of the cost savings of having very little over-head by not being in stores, by being lean and mean. This means even though a K-5 might be worth $1700; to compete and grab even more sales from Oly, Canon, Nikon bring the price down to a level where you make some money, but sell more. Speaking of the USA only. This puts more people into a Pentax system and those people buy glass, flashes... and are there in a few years to upgrade to another Pentax! DPR, and many others have suggested the K-5 is over-priced. Having seen how big and heavy and how the Canon 7D surly cost as much if not more to make than a K-5, and seeing how the D90 (its solid) probably cost almost the same as a K-5 to manufacture. Nikon and Canon selling high-end sports gear put a lot of money into research especially for AF performance, which DPR said the D7000 has a more versatile AF system compared to the K-5? Seeing how Pentax enjoys many cost savings by not having overhead here in the USA... But my guess is the peak of the bell curve for the K-5 is around $1250, and the sooner they get there the better. Those living in the USA go take a look at what Nikon gives or Canon for around $1700 at your local BestBuy and how much support there is for those systems (if there is one by you and ...). I am a Pentax fan, I just as SDM, see this well thought out pricing number as wrong and that it can hurt Pentax in the USA. I feel the same about the K-r BTW. DPR sums it up well for the USA market -

" The K-5 is a no-brainier upgrade from a K-x or earlier Pentax DSLR, but obviously, for users of other systems it is harder to justify, and price is only part of the reason for that. Importantly, Pentax has some way to go before it can market a system as complete as those offered by Canon and Nikon. That's not to say that the system itself is at all restrictive"

Yea us Pentax folks will buy, some fence jumpers, but to really grab some market share in the USA read the above again If you read this far, have a great day out to take some pics.
01-16-2011, 11:06 AM   #57
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We all lament that Pentax has sparse availability in traditional photo shops but most people don't really know how the photo trade really is about. The reality is Canon and Nikon as the long time market leaders and volume sellers means that any photo shop worth mentioning would naturally want to carry the two brands. If they don't carry, they run the risk of loss of sales to their competitors who do.

When dealing at the retail level, without exception the Canon and Nikon sales people would try to commit the photo retailer to a certain monthly quota in stock. For example, let's say, Store A would be offered Nikon goods worth on paper $150,000 every month. But the selling price for the said goods offered to Store A is $100,000. So with a monthly commitment of $100,000 every month, if Store A can sell the entire stock inventory for that month, it stands to make $50,000. If the sales staff are slacking and aren't pushing the goods, it makes a smaller margin or worse, barely break even.

Now under such a situation to meet the monthly sales quota, you will often find Store A adopt the following sales tactics to force a sale:

- adopt heavy discounting to move inventory
- pressure or sway customers to buy or switch to the brand (so if someone walks into Store A and asks for less prominent camera like a Pentax, the approach would be to play down Pentax and push the brand leaders) So while Store A might have a couple of Pentax cameras on the shelves, it might tell the customer "Oh, we carry it because a few people ask for it but really it can't compare to Canikon because of blah, blah, blah reasons"

Camera shops like any business are there to make a sale. Stores will stick with volume sellers because that's where the numbers are and money is to be made. For a brand like Pentax with a small market presence, it does pose a challenge to get retailers to commit. Established brands could well offer longer credit terms and other incentives and trade allowances.

A combination of pressure to push volume sellers, not wanting to commit to more inventory from another brand, possible cannibalization and sales fragmentation, issues of staff product knowledge, etc. makes it a real challenge for penetration at a retail level. Is it any wonder Store A might be reluctant to carry anything but the market leaders. It is one thing to heighten brand awareness whether above or below the line when the real battle for Pentax is decided by sales at the retail level.
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