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09-24-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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Why doesn't Pentax get respect?

I took a long weekend in Las Vegas and picked up a couple photography mag's.

I get the feeling that the industry doesn't respect Pentax as a top shelf camera.
Why is that??

09-24-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluebronco Quote
I took a long weekend in Las Vegas and picked up a couple photography mag's.

I get the feeling that the industry doesn't respect Pentax as a top shelf camera.
Why is that??
I guess:
- Not enough market share
- Not enough presence in shops
- Not enough marketing budget / adds etc

- Bert
09-24-2009, 10:56 AM   #3
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I don't know that i'd go so far as to say that Pentax doesn't get respect. But the fact of the matter is it's not a top tier player.

It's a brand that has a loyal following amongst photographers and is respected for its heritage, but it definitely isn't a market share leader. Given this weaker position, it's very hard to find pro level support and accessibility to rental gear, etc. This makes it a much harder choice for the working photographer.

That's not to say that cameras by any other brand than the big 2 aren't respected. At the end of the day, I tend to view the images and respect the artist behind the lens then the camera that they're using to capture it.
09-24-2009, 11:11 AM   #4
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I get respect when I'm out shooting. People don't stop to talk to the canikonians, but they stop to talk about Pentax.

09-24-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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In the end, respect comes down to the final product (photographs) produced. This is true both for the photographers and their equipment.
09-24-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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It wasn't always that way. I do think Pentax took a path in the mid eighties that led them down a hole they had a difficult time getting out of. Yes, they have released very good lenses and a good body or two during the 80s and 90s, but overall they went from terrific build quality to many items based on cheap plastic. The consumer market saw through it and Pentax sales and revenue plummeted. They also dropped their 645/67 pro lines rather than quickly moving those to digital.

With the K line, FA ltds, DA ltds and to a lesser extent the DA*s, the product has become more appealing once again. If they release the 645d and fix marketing and quality control, there is no reason why they can't become a large player once again.
09-25-2009, 09:44 AM   #7
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Its too bad Rodney Dangerfield is dead. Pentax could have hired him as a spokesman. Now that woulda been a hell of a fun advertising campaign.
Rodney standing there talking to his Pentax camera commiserating on how neither of them ever get any respect... ROTFLMAO!
But what am I talking about? Pentax doesnt do advertising campaigns. They count on US to sell their cameras for them.

Mike

Last edited by MRRiley; 09-25-2009 at 09:56 AM.
09-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #8
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Honestly, I couldn't give a hoot what brand people have, it's the output that matters. I definitely don't immediately respect someone because they have some brand of kit. I should hope most people think that way

In terms of the overall picture though, it boils down to numbers - since less people shoot with Pentax less great images are made with Pentax so less images means less exposure yadda yadda yadda

09-25-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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The whole thing is just like the Windows vs OS X debate. In reality there is no debate. It is all a matter of preference and the way I see it use whatever you want just as long as you get the outcome you want. The reason I use and recommend Pentax is the fact that you can use any of their K mount lenses on the bodies. From everything I've been told you can't do that with all of the other brands of cameras.
09-25-2009, 11:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluebronco Quote
I took a long weekend in Las Vegas and picked up a couple photography mag's.

I get the feeling that the industry doesn't respect Pentax as a top shelf camera.
Why is that??
Horrible marketing, and they usually release the wrong products at the wrong times. They've always done it, except that in the past, they were one of the best camera brands. Now, all that Pentax has got going for it is the backwards-compatibility, which their marketing department doesn't even make a big deal out of.

The lack of a full-frame body is also hurting potential professional sales.

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09-25-2009, 11:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluebronco Quote
I took a long weekend in Las Vegas and picked up a couple photography mag's.

I get the feeling that the industry doesn't respect Pentax as a top shelf camera.
Why is that??
it is just like every other product, the magazines concentrate on what has market share, not capabilities.

look at any photo magazine article on post processing. Just once I would like to see them give other than photo shop commands to edit an image.
09-25-2009, 12:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Horrible marketing, and they usually release the wrong products at the wrong times. They've always done it, except that in the past, they were one of the best camera brands. Now, all that Pentax has got going for it is the backwards-compatibility, which their marketing department doesn't even make a big deal out of.

The lack of a full-frame body is also hurting potential professional sales.
Adam

I disagree, first of all to have horrible marketing implies that they actually have marketing!

As for products at the wrong time, there I would agree. now, like then, pentax seems to be suffering from the M disease (my term for it) where they make everything super small. Chasing the compact niche market just about destroyed them in the 1980's.

Where is olympus today? at the bottom of the pool with the rest of the 4/3 bodies.

In terms of where they are going and where they have come from, I think that backwards compatability has saved them, because they do not have a wealth of lenses to offer BNIB.

If their marketing actually would wake up and take notice, their biggest liability as a serious player right now, is lack of lenses.

The K10, K20 and K7 are all top rate bodies, coupled largely with consumer level lenses, and only a sprinking of excellent new primes.

No lenses for sports, wildlife, and no real fast tele zooms. No pentax TC, ..... and many of their lenses are made to give the same FOV as the most popular film lenses, all in an effort to make them smaller.

Look at the range of lenses for the A series, or even F and FA series. I wish they still made them. and upgraded the coatings.
09-25-2009, 12:33 PM   #13
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Price might also be a factor, arn't Pentax tradtionally quite expensive? I remember back in the day although I wanted an LX I couldn't quite afford it so I got a FE2 instead. Backwards compatibility is certainly very nice, and I benefit from it, but I have to wonder how much that really appeals to 20-somethings who expect ultra-quick AF?

One thing I think is that Pentax' sales & marketing operations are not very slick or up to date. For example I just bought a Canon Pixma printer - and I registered it and was sent to a nice thing of Canon printing freebies and they now have my email address and some online ink finder thing. There was also a survey in there. So a) Canon will send me email marketing b) they've found out information about me to add to their user database and c) if I need more ink I might keep buying from them.

Now when I bought my K7 none of that happened - no survey (ie Pentax are not informed about their purchasers), nothing ongoing, no relationship building. So although I installed the Pentax Digital Utility, there's nothing in there that maintains the relationship. No website with K-7 tips. Just... nothing. Nothing smart, ie nothing that builds an ongoing relationship with the consumer which they can control, which sales & marketing requires in the 21st century. Gimme the job dammit

In terms of their actual marketing, I've seen some smart stuff by them (for example the Optio ads are all over flickr) but I wonder if their marketing department actually measures ROI for their placements, both online and traditional. Retail-wise you need eyeballs and footfall for the products (ie volume of people exposed to the products in shops) and I have to say there don't seem to be many shops showing their stuff. Perhaps they need to re-evaluate the way that they distribute their product through resellers, give dealers more incentive and/or add some marketing incentives in there by redesigning the dealer levels (ie if you sell X/annum then we'll give you Y/annum to use for Pentax-specific marketing).

Last edited by Nass; 09-25-2009 at 12:45 PM.
09-25-2009, 01:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluebronco Quote
I took a long weekend in Las Vegas and picked up a couple photography mag's. I get the feeling that the industry doesn't respect Pentax as a top shelf camera. Why is that??
You know what? This applies to some other parts (should I say many? ) of the world as well. Pentax was once well repected, but I think that was the Spotmatic era. After the M series, Pentax has been going downhill. Why?

- Unable to compete with C/N for the pro segment? You know, human is superficial. You get respected if you are well dressed, you eat well, you wear an expensive watch, you drive an expensive car, the list goes on. This is just the way people are generally.

- Most people know little outside their domains. I have come across many people knew little beyond their own gears, some even don't know what they have, yet they looked down on other brands like they knew everything. If you are good, show them your great shots and they will shut up, quietly... Ignorance is bliss.

I am sure there are many more reasons, but lunch time for me now, and the lack of respect because I use Pentax doesn't bother me a single bit. It is the lack of my photographic imagination that bugs me a great deal. Okay what should I have for lunch now?
09-25-2009, 01:28 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Price might also be a factor, arn't Pentax tradtionally quite expensive? I remember back in the day although I wanted an LX I couldn't quite afford it so I got a FE2 instead.
You are correct and incorrect at the same time.

price is a factor, I'm certain that if the K7 was double the price there are some people who would buy it just because it was more expensive, not that I'm suggesting anything here.......

also, your example is just wrong in a couple of areas.

Pentax's are traditionally the best value for the money. It has been this way ever since I can remember.

and specifically, The LX was equivelent to the Nikon F or what ever the pro body was of the time, not the FE2, the other nikons were previously sold as nikormat, but that did not command the same respect as a nikon body so they changed it.
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