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09-09-2019, 02:02 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Hoya didn't know that solenoid was going to be a reliability issue.
Reliability testing is an important cost of industrialization. If Hoya didn't know about the reliability issue of the solenoid they skipped the testing.


QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
At sales of ten thousand units, that's six hundred thousand bucks - ten peoples' salaries
Yes you are right, ten people salaries compared to designing two different camera models which involves 150 people salaries, new product numbering, different bill of materials, different camera assembly procedure at the factory, a whole new set of camera model inventory shipped to retailers. Where's the saving? To me, at 10 000 units per model, it's not worth bothering of having hardware differentiation, just make 1 hardware and 3 sets firmware match the prices/features depending on customer segment.

---------- Post added 09-09-19 at 11:08 ----------

So in theory you are right about the benefit of hardware separate hardwares for optimal cost of the hardware. I'm referring to other costs that increase when sales volumes are going down. And the fact that Tamron and Sigma stop making lenses with a K mount is just the evidence that the hardware customization itself is less costly than just having the product in stock + maintaining in catalog and customer service.


Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-09-2019 at 02:09 AM.
09-09-2019, 02:22 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Yes it does makes sense, especially if you consider that the supposedly cheaper solenoid costed a lot more of damaged the reputation for Pentax. And I tell you that the reason of failure of solenoids in Pentax cameras isn't due to the cost of solenoid but the failure of Pentax reliability testing when introducing that new part in camera designs. Typical engineering/quality process failure: the purchaser found a new solenoid cheaper, Ricoh/Pentax decided to go for the new part without taking the time to test it's durability. Do you think they would have decided to save $2 and have lots of cameras fail in the hands of customers after 10K photos? How would that work with a K1 or a 645Z kind of cameras? Reliability has nothing to do with cost, some components cost only 1 cent and are extremely reliable. Bottom line is, reliability is a thing and cost of hardware is another thing. There are components that cost $1 cents and last 11 years average without failure.

Anyway, given smaller volumes and higher prices of cameras in 2019 (higher prices because of lower volumes), the approach of the past of saving $2 on parts doesn't make sense anymore. Saving money on unit cost of hardware doesn't work in 2019, saving money on R&D clearly increase the bottom line, because the most unit cost of cameras happens to be caused by (Units sold)/(R&D+SG&A)
My understanding with regard to the solenoid issue is that Pentax was using the same solenoid, but that the seller changed the specifications slightly on it compared to the one in the past. I don't think it was for any cost savings that the part was switched. But I could be wrong, there are others who are much better versed in this than I am.
09-09-2019, 02:28 AM - 3 Likes   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Reliability testing is an important cost of industrialization. If Hoya didn't know about the reliability issue of the solenoid they skipped the testing.
One hundred percent in agreement here. Safety/reliability/those things that don't have an associated ROI are always the first to go out because "what's gonna happen it's the same thing but cheaper". Why it wasn't corrected or acknowledged is a different thing.


QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Yes you are right, ten people salaries compared to designing two different camera models which involves 150 people salaries, new product numbering, different bill of materials, different camera assembly procedure at the factory, a whole new set of camera model inventory shipped to retailers. Where's the saving?
I have to disagree here... considering Pentax's team size, I would be willing to bet money on the Camera Design Team being something like a dozen people. The sensor is Sony-bought, half the components are generic and interchangeable with other cameras, and the body design itself is most likely the work of a single person to avoid a platypus/design-by-committee feeling.

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
just make 1 hardware and 3 sets firmware match the prices/features depending on customer segment.
Making hardware the same and locking the software would mean that in a week everyone would have the cheapest camera with a hacked rom, full stop. I know I would, if only out of the outrageousness of the situation.
09-09-2019, 02:48 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
One hundred percent in agreement here. Safety/reliability/those things that don't have an associated ROI are always the first to go out because "what's gonna happen it's the same thing but cheaper". Why it wasn't corrected or acknowledged is a different thing.




I have to disagree here... considering Pentax's team size, I would be willing to bet money on the Camera Design Team being something like a dozen people. The sensor is Sony-bought, half the components are generic and interchangeable with other cameras, and the body design itself is most likely the work of a single person to avoid a platypus/design-by-committee feeling.



Making hardware the same and locking the software would mean that in a week everyone would have the cheapest camera with a hacked rom, full stop. I know I would, if only out of the outrageousness of the situation.
Clearly there are different hardware components in each camera body. The shutters are the most obvious thing. The ones in the K5/K3 models sounded completely different from the ones in the K30/K50/K70 models -- better damping and softer sound. The same I'm sure with many other items.

Overall, there is clearly considerable mark up on cameras, though. Pricing doesn't equal cost of components plus R and D -- at least not until fire sales at the end of a product's life cycle. And the profit per unit on upper end models is (should be) higher than on lower end models.

09-09-2019, 02:55 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Clearly there are different hardware components in each camera body. The shutters are the most obvious thing. The ones in the K5/K3 models sounded completely different from the ones in the K30/K50/K70 models -- better damping and softer sound. The same I'm sure with many other items.

Overall, there is clearly considerable mark up on cameras, though. Pricing doesn't equal cost of components plus R and D -- at least not until fire sales at the end of a product's life cycle. And the profit per unit on upper end models is (should be) higher than on lower end models.
Of course, my point is that they are similar/well understood tech so designing or selecting the shutter for K-3iii won't take half a year of 5 people's full time jobs. Putting the dampeners on a software lock would be hilarious AND preposterous, though
09-09-2019, 04:07 AM   #36
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Why don't they just scrap all camera models and be done with it? After all , if 3 camera models are dragging you down then perhaps you do not belong in the game to begin with.

I'm just being facetious folks, hold back with those flamethrowers please.
09-09-2019, 04:56 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
This would suggest FF cameras are only commercially better for the makers if they make >600% of the profit contribution compared to a APSC/mFT camera. Now talk about ripping customers off.
Nope, that interpretation is not valid.

You're assuming taht FF, as a market, has to be as profitable in absolute terms as APS-C. That's not the case.

Per unit sold, I'm pretty sure FF is more profitable, but that's opinion. Still, there's demand for FF, so even if its total market revenue is not as high as APS-C, it's a market demanding products and manufacturers will cater to it.
09-09-2019, 06:47 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
Making hardware the same and locking the software would mean that in a week everyone would have the cheapest camera with a hacked rom, full stop.
Encryption can be pretty solid these days. I'm not aware that it is common to crack a sim card... You'd have a standard camera hardware, with a chip card slot for unlocking the camera features based on the price you paid. Imagine, a 645z locked to 50 000 shutter count for hobbyists like me, and unlimited shutter count for the professionals who pay the full price.

09-09-2019, 07:26 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Encryption can be pretty solid these days. I'm not aware that it is common to crack a sim card... You'd have a standard camera hardware, with a chip card slot for unlocking the camera features based on the price you paid. Imagine, a 645z locked to 50 000 shutter count for hobbyists like me, and unlimited shutter count for the professionals who pay the full price.
This has to be sarcasm.

In any case, that would be as ridiculous as cars all coming with a V8 engine, but only 4 cylinders work in the basic model. Also, unlocking the turbo is 5000€ more. Also, ALSO, the car stops working after 50000 km.

EDIT: https://www.engadget.com/2013/07/22/sim-card-hack. Take one copy of whatever "key" the company makes, break it and copy it into all the other versions. Problem solved.
09-09-2019, 08:01 AM   #40
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So today there are 171 ILC models (filtered for just apsc,ff, mft) out there and still forums are full of people who do not seem to be satisfied.
09-09-2019, 08:17 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
So today there are 171 ILC models (filtered for just apsc,ff, mft) out there and still forums are full of people who do not seem to be satisfied.
Owning new shiny gear is pleasurable, until the day you shoot what you shoot to realize that the gear is well good enough, until... the day you get THAT $1000 shot and you wish you had that 645z instead of a K1.
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