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02-03-2012, 11:48 PM - 1 Like   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wormtographer Quote
More important and to the point: the corollary is that Pentax could not (and can not) afford to make a XP-1 type (re: adapter for K mount lenses) camera. The PR hit would be severe...I can hear people calling for the last nail in the coffin... And the blowback from long-standing K lens owners would be equally as severe.

The take home message is that Pentax has to consider all the possible consequences of their actions (not just potential Amazon pre-sale numbers), and it can't separate itself from it's very unique reality--Unlike Fuji. Sometimes you have to lose a segment of the battle to win the war. And sometimes you lose both, it's happened before--nothing wrong with that. Not to mention moral and ethical ramifications, heaven forbid market-share thinking would run for the hills if it ever did that.

The other reality is that unlike Sony/Olympus/Panasonic (and it seems Fuji)...Pentax does not need adapted Nikon or Canon or Sony (or Fujinon) lenses. So no advantage to Pentax that I can see in porting these adapted cross system lenses.

How many XP-1s Amazon is pre-selling and comparing that with anything Pentax customers do or don't do is probably a conflation. Pentax customers are, in my experience, 100% unpredictable and plain ornery. It seems that XP-1 pre-buyers are quite accommodating and optimistic gentle folk.
Now we are getting some where.

You have brought up a very very good point here.

To ditch a k mount is a huge decision for a company like Pentax. I agree that it would take a leap of faith to do this. It could be the end game for Pentax if they manage to alienate enough existing customers who are heavily vested in the brand. It is not a move for the light hearted, that is for sure.

It would be easy for me to sit here and say that they should ditch it. Yet I stand here and say that they should, because I do want them to be successful. I really do. But, if a company like Pentax has to rely predominantly if not solely on returning customers, it would be terribly difficult for them to grow. In fact, they really have not grown much in recent years. Stagnation is the word that I would use to describe its present state of business.

Consider for a moment a brand like Apple. This was once a company that relied on repeaters. They almost died. But, they came up with iPod, a product that really went beyond brand favoritism. And, from there they managed to produce something that many people cannot live without - iPhone.

I want Pentax to produce a camera that every photographer cannot live without.

I really thought that the entrance into the world of mirrorless was a great opportunity to do this. They almost did it with Q. Few more color schemes and wifi/3G capability, along with very aggressive marketing may have done just that. To me this was a product that almost hit a home run.

Don't get me wrong. I do not hate K-01. In fact, from design aesthetics I think it is very refined. Almost too refined. But, strategically, I felt that they were not brave enough not to ditch a k mount. It would not have been difficult for them to come up with a very small, almost not noticeable adapter that would have accommodated existing k glasses, while allowing other mounts to be compatible in a similar fashion, thus attracting photographers who were already vested in other brands. Not only that, they really could have design very unique and awesome lenses with a new mount while making the body much smaller.

It seems very strange to me that they did indeed gamble by not having a viewfinder. It is almost as if they managed to pick a wrong fight, so to speak. Yes, it would have been more costly, but if they had incorporated EVF and kept the cost below $1,000, I think they will have ended up selling just as much as at $750 without a viewfinder, if not more. In fact, if they were to ditch the k mount with newly designed lenses, the space saving from that move would have allowed them to incorporate EVF.

I am not criticizing the camera. I am just questioning their strategy from a business standpoint. That's all.

Maybe when they do mirrorless FF, they will manage to do it right.


Last edited by Fontan; 02-04-2012 at 12:00 AM.
02-04-2012, 12:12 AM - 1 Like   #167
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Winder, Pentax is a troubled company. We cannot expect it to get back on its feet so soon. Based on the recent announcements, I expect it will take Ricoh a couple of years to figure out what they want to do with Pentax. Few companies are trailblazers and Pentax just isn't one of them right now. It might never be one again.

It's not like other companies are not doing their own stupid moves.

Fuji didn't have the confidence to launch an XPro1 system outright - they tested the water with the X100 first and, fortunately, it was well received, or they would never have got a hint that what people want is a system like XPro1. I still think some of their design choices are a bit exaggerated and they could have toned down the retro style a bit. They'll figure it out in time, maybe. I also wish they would have had IBIS in the XPro1 - that and the lack of a simple EVF (I don't need a hybrid complexity) might keep me away from their otherwise interesting system. But I'm sure they'll sell a bunch.

And Olympus has not exploited MFT to its full potential yet - the OM-D seems the first step in the direction of attracting more discerning DSLR users. They are also waking up. They've been focusing too much on P&S upgraders, IMO. But they now also have the support of all TPMs so that is very promising.

Sony has messed up with their NEX too - I find the style of their lenses horrible, although I like the bodies. Lack of IBIS is also stupid. They need to put out more attractive lenses. Their SLTs look much more interesting - if they would only be able to use K-mount lenses!

Samsung could also be more tempting if they would milk their relationship with Schneider for some cool primes. I actually like their approach the most, it's just that they grow too slow without TPM support. The rumor that they are considering adding IBIS to their bodies is encouraging.

Pentax will wake up too. They have the know-how to put together a camera that is better than anything on the market today - that is what makes it so frustrating to watch them stumbling around. But they'll learn and at least now they are owned by Ricoh, so they are in a better position than they've been for many years in terms of financial stability. Maybe they'll keep tweaking that K-01 until they'll get a real camera from it, or maybe they'll just design something interesting from scratch. Let's hope they get smart management to guide them faster through these times.

Mirrorless seems to be a kind of shock even for those that introduced it. I don't think they fully realized the disruptive potential of these cameras. The next few years will be very interesting to watch. We'll see how markets grow and consolidate. And we'll get satisfaction from seeing our predictions come true.
02-04-2012, 01:46 AM   #168
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Fuji has the luxury of not having a DSLR system to think about. Pentax also has to contend with positioning products within its current line-up. With the possible exception of the X100, Fuji has no such line-up to speak of. While the K-01 holds little appeal to me, I think it makes sense for Pentax, and I understand where they're looking to go. There can be a market for the K-01, especially at such a low price point. Women (which can be a big market, and as untapped a niche as the high end), people who want unique looking cameras etc..

The way I see it, if Pentax had come out with the Fuji X-Pro1, the back-lash would just as be severe. We would see quite a lot of threads saying what are Pentax thinking releasing something that'll set you back at least $2300 that won't even take K-mount lenses, blah blah blah.

Sure, personally I wished it looked more universally pleasing, I wished it had a viewfinder etc.. But at the end of the day, all that means is that it isn't for me and I certainly don't think it is as bad as people make it out to be. The original Olympus PEN and the Panasonic GF1 both came with no EVF's and launched at pretty much the same price point. They had optional (pricey) OVF's for specific primes, and were slightly smaller and had kit-options for primes with more useful FL's than the 40mm XS - but then the K-01 has a bigger sensor and the significant ability to AF with all AF K-mount lenses. That's the trade-off. And it's not a bad trade-off at all.

The way I see it, Pentax is slotting this in as its entry level camera, there are rumors of a K300 in a few months, most likely a spiritual successor to the K200D, then you've got the K5 successor up top. Pretty decent line-up if you ask me. Plus, they all take K-mount. I'd rather have that than have a new mount in the $2K+ price range. I don't expect a Full Frame anytime soon, as I like telling Pentaxians - don't even expect a Full Frame from Pentax unless Sony announces one. Once Sony announces a Full Frame - that's the only time you can start hoping that Pentax might have one in the works.
02-04-2012, 06:10 AM   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Can't you lock the mirror up on the K-r and pretend you have a mirrorless camera? There is not much difference.

.
I assume you are being facetious. The kr does not have nearly the auto focus capabilities in live view or the video capabilities that this camera has. To me, live view on SLRs has been nearly useless to me -- only basically used when I have the camera on a tripod in an awkward position.

Overall, your initial premise seems to doomed to be shot down. Yes, there are many people who were hoping for shorter registration distance, different mount, but looking at the buzz on face book, etc this camera will be the hottest seller for Pentax since the kx's release. The funny thing is (as someone else has brought up in a different thread), when the kx was released, it was shot down by a huge number of people for the things it didn't have (particularly auto focus points) and in reality it ended up being a huge seller.

Steve Jobs always said that you don't ask the public what they want, you make the product and then they figure out that they want it. I think that will be the case here. Show the K-01 with various DA limiteds; the image quality that is available with this sensor and people will want it.

From my personal standpoint, I don't particularly want this camera (although I may get one eventually as a go anywhere camera to go with my primes), but I am awfully glad that Pentax kept the K mount. There has been little development from lens stand point in the last couple of years under Hoya's watch. The only lens I remember is the 18-135 and the DA 35 f2.4. Well, if Pentax ditched the k mount, it really would mean the end of k mount lens development for a long time. As it is, there will be a push to get a bigger variety of lenses out -- some of them more suited to mirrorless, hopefully some longer/faster glass for the classic SLR users.

02-04-2012, 07:48 AM   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShowMeTheMoney Quote
I don't expect a Full Frame anytime soon, as I like telling Pentaxians - don't even expect a Full Frame from Pentax unless Sony announces one. Once Sony announces a Full Frame - that's the only time you can start hoping that Pentax might have one in the works.
Well you had better start expecting then ... Sony's replacement for the A900 (A920) may be out this year (with EVF ?) , or next, or maybe 2014 !
02-04-2012, 07:55 AM   #171
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http://www.43rumors.com/ft5-first-full-size-pictures-of-the-e-m5/

Since the OMD E-M5 is launching in a few days. Here are the pictures of that M4/3 camera with the grip attached.

It will probably still have a below par 4/3 sensor, but I think the camera will sell very well for Olympus. Even with the below average sensor I think this will sell better than the K-01.
02-04-2012, 08:25 AM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I assume you are being facetious. The kr does not have nearly the auto focus capabilities in live view or the video capabilities that this camera has. To me, live view on SLRs has been nearly useless to me -- only basically used when I have the camera on a tripod in an awkward position.

Overall, your initial premise seems to doomed to be shot down. Yes, there are many people who were hoping for shorter registration distance, different mount, but looking at the buzz on face book, etc this camera will be the hottest seller for Pentax since the kx's release. The funny thing is (as someone else has brought up in a different thread), when the kx was released, it was shot down by a huge number of people for the things it didn't have (particularly auto focus points) and in reality it ended up being a huge seller.

Steve Jobs always said that you don't ask the public what they want, you make the product and then they figure out that they want it. I think that will be the case here. Show the K-01 with various DA limiteds; the image quality that is available with this sensor and people will want it.

From my personal standpoint, I don't particularly want this camera (although I may get one eventually as a go anywhere camera to go with my primes), but I am awfully glad that Pentax kept the K mount. There has been little development from lens stand point in the last couple of years under Hoya's watch. The only lens I remember is the 18-135 and the DA 35 f2.4. Well, if Pentax ditched the k mount, it really would mean the end of k mount lens development for a long time. As it is, there will be a push to get a bigger variety of lenses out -- some of them more suited to mirrorless, hopefully some longer/faster glass for the classic SLR users.
I am being facetious.

Looking at Pentax's Facebook page is like polling the NRA members on gun control. You know what the answers will be before they are asked.

Jobs was a market genius. His products combine minimalist style with good taste and a high level of functionality. The K-01 lacks the good taste and it has limited functionality. Pentax does not have the talent pool of Apple. I don't think they are going to be trend setters anytime soon. Fuji on the other hand seems to be following the Apple plan with high quality items for the discerning customer. Fuji is building the Leica for the masses, Apple made the "Computer for the rest of us".

The lens road map looks pretty weak. More budget zooms and a cheap standard prime. One long lens and one DA* Limited zoom that look interesting. Not a single FA lens or a fast prime.

Looking at Amazon again to day the K-01 has fallen down to the #38 spot in Compact System Cameras. 3 day after being announced. #1,450 in Cameras overall. The Fuji is #1 in Compact System Cameras and #8 in Cameras overall.

Seems to be an awful lot of people more willing to spend $1,700.00 on a FR camera with only 3 lenses in the entire world than $800 on a K-01 with a hundred different lens options.

I don't think my initial premise is doomed to be shot down I think the sales numbers will show that legacy K-mount support is at best irrelevant to the success of this camera and is probably one of the reasons that it will fail. I think the sales data will support that. The initial market reaction is warm at best.
02-04-2012, 08:29 AM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShowMeTheMoney Quote
The way I see it, if Pentax had come out with the Fuji X-Pro1, the back-lash would just as be severe. We would see quite a lot of threads saying what are Pentax thinking releasing something that'll set you back at least $2300 that won't even take K-mount lenses, blah blah blah.
I guess they would have said the same thing they did when Pentax released the 645D. The difference being Pentax would be the one sitting on top of the Amazon sales chart and not Fuji. That is not a bad place to be. Pentax can afford to piss off a lot of existing users if it can sell $1,700 bodies faster than it can make them.

02-04-2012, 08:33 AM   #174
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One of my friends, a pro photog, just got the Panasonic GX1. I've already him started down the slippery slope of fast M43 primes - first the 45/1.8, next the 20/1.7 and 14/2.5 or 12/2.

Another one of my friends, a semi-pro, will likely be getting the Fuji X-Pro 1 and the triplet of lenses. Reminds him of his Contax G2

I'm anxiously awaiting my K-02, which I'll mate with my DA Limiteds - 21, 35/40, 70, along with my Super Tak 50/1.4.

Should be interesting the next time we get together with these kits...
02-04-2012, 09:03 AM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcarvalhoalves Quote
This guy has a clue.

Pentax could be succesful if they kept aiming at better (like they did with K-x, K-5), but lately it seems they are aiming at weird (Q, K-01). Not only they are catering for their existing consumer base with K-mount compatiblity, but they are even failing to market the new products to it's existing consumers. They are carving a niche inside their own niche. WTF?
No, he doesn't. Thats all OLD news. Ricoh has already said that they want to rehire those engineers/designers that the morons at Hoya let go. It's a NEW Pentax - seriously!
02-04-2012, 09:13 AM   #176
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Frankly, despite all of the buzz regarding these new bits of kit, I have to say I'm a bit nonplussed. Let me preface that this perspective is entirely a personal one and not to be interpreted as though I am making some authoritative remark regarding the burgeoning market. I am a 3rd generation Pentaxian (though the first to be all-digital), and while I don't dislike the styling of the K-01 and, I find it a bit bulky for its purpose. Even that I could look past for the quality of its sensor, etc. I personally cannot overlook the lack of a Viewfinder electronic or otherwise. I'm actually hoping that they may may be cooking up a hotshoe-mounted EVF, though that may be purely wishful thinking. The Fuji is a stunner, but well and truly out of my price range @ 1700 body only. Finally, I find the Olympus to be (from the snippets I've seen of it) a very sexy looking camera, and functionally right up my alley. Without regard to price (as I'm not certain where it will fall), I am a little dubious about purchasing from a company that has demonstrated some rather questionable business practices in the recent future. The implications of Olympus' business could span from build quality to availability of lenses, etc., to long-term product support, etc. This isn't to say that these are certainties, but I feel they are very real possibilities. For the time being, I'm going to keep my eye on the market and my money in my pocket. *2 cents (non-refundable)
02-04-2012, 09:14 AM   #177
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A couple of posts made statements to the effect that this camera's ability of using K mount lenses would only apply to K5 owners as K-r owners only have the kit lens for the most part. I do not know many Pentax owners anymore but not one of them has a K5 but they all, including myself have multiple lenses. There are those who purchased a K-m/x/r due to price or size or even battery considerations and many are still using K20/30/7 models. Not every one upgrades to the flagship model with each new model release. To those owners this new model offers features that they do not have without having to shell out the money for the K5. And it does things differently than the K5.

Too many assumptions that those on the forum are representative sampling of Pentax or even camera users. Other targets could be a camera for a non photographer spouse that you could borrow if yours is not with you or in for repairs, a camera to be in you car all the times and you can change which lens you keep with it and for young people whose parents or grandparents think they might want to get into photography bigger than the norm but are still not 100% certain.

At first was not the least bit interested in this type of camera but am now more interested in it for video as we are going to be replacing our large prosumer Canon and depending on audio inputs, would be perfect as we both use Pentax cameras and my wife has not intention at the present time to move up from the K10D.

Twelve months from now will give a better indication of the ability of this product and its success It is obvious that each of us have different expectations of what we want or expect. Time will tell. I will continue to monitor info re the video capabilities of the K-01.
02-04-2012, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yochillum Quote
I personally cannot overlook the lack of a Viewfinder electronic or otherwise.
I was excited about the camera, until the specs were out and confirmed the lack of viewfinder.
It was a bit like getting exited about the release of the newest model of your favorite car, and then finding out they built it without a windshield.
I haven't really decided for sure; but I think it's probably a deal breaker for me.
02-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #179
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After many pages of reading imo frankly outlandish and sometimes illogical arguments, allow me to give my take on things.

1) Target market
Let's take a look at the average Pentax user. The majority are price sensitive and would not consider a camera like the Fuji X Pro 1 no matter how terrific the image quality is. So factoring the affordability issue, it makes perfect sense to make an affordable mass market model that appeals to a wider user base beyond the serious enthusiast segment that Fuji is obviously trying to target. Larger volumes also brings per unit production cost to much lower levels and consequently the potential for larger profit. That's why the K-01 has a lot going by way of value proposition - offering a lot more for so little.

2) To keep K-mount or go with a new mount
Those who propose to ditch the K-mount apparently forgot the proverb "don't bite the hand that feeds you". Pentax has a huge K-mount user base, many of whom still use manual lenses. Tapping upon even a small proportion of existing users is a lot cheaper and will yield quicker user acceptance than starting from scratch. It's the greatest assurance Pentax can offer to the longstanding loyal user base that their legacy or current K-mount investment isn't redundant. Forcing existing users to buy into a new mount is asking people to re-invest into a new system alongside the existing gear. No commonality and makes no compelling reason to stick with Pentax when they could just as well go with another brand.

3) Using adapters
Why settle with crippled functionality when one can leverage on existing development from current DSLRs to offer superior functionality with the new camera? People want ease of use and convenience and making things easier is always a compelling reason to stick with the brand.

4) Uncertainty about the future
I seriously don't know why some think that Pentax has lost it's way or don't know what it's doing. Trust me, they know precisely where they stand and how to exploit the gaps in the market and leverage on their existing strengths. Just because we cannot possibly fathom the true state of affairs based on our presuppositions and limited knowledge doesn't mean we're right and Pentax has got it wrong. Unless we're in the trade, most of us will never truly have an inkling of the constraints, insider info or the true picture about the business.

With the K-01, Pentax wants to win over existing users from migrating to other brands; encourage existing users to consider this new camera - commonality of mount and accessories; attract new users to the brand. This is a good thing in the larger scheme of things for Pentax users. More options is always good.
02-04-2012, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #180
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Fuji X-Pro1/Olympus OM-D > Pentax K-01

Seems to me the only people who are loving the Pentax are Pentaxians. I think the only reason its getting so much attention is because of its hideous looks, I mean even if Sigma made a yellow SLR I'd click to have a look.. I think they really missed the boat on this one. Retro design is loved, I don't think yellow cameras the shape of bricks are.. Except maybe in Japan..? :/
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