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02-27-2012, 05:57 PM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Thing is the market can't afford Leica or the new Fuji. for the entry level they are too expensive.
Those were just examples of different. I don't think Pentax needs to do anything innovative in the area of MILC - others have already paved the way. At this stage, they just need to try and produce a more refined product than the competition.

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
over on the how to market the K-01 Snostorm (Scott) had some good ideas despite the fact that he doesn't want one.
Good products sell themselves. Needing a strategy for sales is in itself an admission of having an issue building a compelling product. And is the K-01 really a competent camera for allowing beginners to capture family moments? Do we expect it to be more competent than its K-x/K-r predecessors and, in particular, more competent than the competition? Can it do AF-C better than Canon Rebels? If not, why would then a parent buy it, when Canon, the brand they already know, is already offering them a better product?

QuoteOriginally posted by isaacc7 Quote
The k mount is Pentax's strength, why do anything else if you are Pentax?
I think Pentax's strength is in designing competitive optics and cameras with good build, good features, and good ergonomy. They just need to build on that. The K-mount is irrelevant to any new customer and I think it's now their main weakness, not their strength.

QuoteOriginally posted by isaacc7 Quote
Or to put it another way, what could Pentax do at this point that would make people desert the canons and nikons of the world?
They can and should build a high end MILC system that makes SLRs look like a burden to carry around - that is the reason why Canon/Nikon users are purchasing cameras like the X100 - because they give them great IQ in a compact, stylish package. The K-01 makes SLRs look good, so it doesn't really help with that - it's just a product that remained in the pipeline oblivious of how the market is changing.

02-27-2012, 09:14 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote



I think Pentax's strength is in designing competitive optics and cameras with good build, good features, and good ergonomy. They just need to build on that. The K-mount is irrelevant to any new customer and I think it's now their main weakness, not their strength.
I disagree. The only reason I have ever used a Pentax camera was to use the lenses they make. Granted, it's been a few years since I've used a smaller camera like that, but Pentax's designs have yet to sway the market in any significant way. Why do you think another Pentax camera with a different lens mount would be any more appealing to the public at large than the rest of their cameras?

QuoteQuote:
They can and should build a high end MILC system that makes SLRs look like a burden to carry around - that is the reason why Canon/Nikon users are purchasing cameras like the X100 - because they give them great IQ in a compact, stylish package. The K-01 makes SLRs look good, so it doesn't really help with that - it's just a product that remained in the pipeline oblivious of how the market is changing.
But they are making a high quality MILC, it's called the k-01. It actually is smaller than SLRs, and it has a design that no one else has and I'm not alone in thinking it is "stylish". It actually does fit your criteria, it just isn't the camera you want. Ultimately, that is your entire critique; they did not make the camera you want. They did make the camera I want, so Pentax has not screwed up in my eyes and I have yet to hear anything to the contrary that doesn't add up to "I'd never use that camera..." Half the people on this forum are saying that they'd never use the camera and Pentax is stupid and doomed for making it because no one will want to use it. Of course the other half of this forum consists of people saying that they like it and do want to use it, do you see the same disconnect I do? I'm not saying you're wrong for not liking the camera, I am saying you're wrong that Pentax has somehow screwed up because the camera is unlikeable. People like it. Whether it is a blockbuster camera only time will tell but I have a feeling that if they sell as few as 100,000 like the x100 did they will probably be disappointed with the sales. My point is that the k-01 satisfies some people's wants in a camera no matter how much you dislike it. All of this talk of "Pentax shouldn't have released the k-01" rubs me the wrong way because the implication is that I, and many others, are just wrong, or at least not as smart as some others because we like a camera that doesn't look like a NEX , GH2, or an x100.


In my mind, Pentax released the right camera. No one else has made one like it, and that's the reason I haven't bought any other interchangeable lens digital cameras. Going on and on about what Pentax should have done grates. The subject of this thread is whether people outside of this forum like the k-01. It's pretty clear that some do. Pentax can't make everyone happy with each camera, that's why they make different cameras... If you don't care about the K mount, then the world of cameras is at your disposal, pick one you like.
02-27-2012, 09:47 PM   #168
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Marc Newson designs the new modern classic camera
"Designed by Marc Newson, the K-01 from Pentax is the most photogenic camera I've seen in awhile. Until now, the design-driven segment of mid to high-end cameras has been dominated by vintage-inspired units like the gorgeous Fuji X Series. Newson's signature style distinguishes the K-01 from the rest with a design that's simultaneously modern, classic and timeless.
...
The K-01 is not only a beautiful object, it's also a powerhouse of a camera packed with high-performance features. The large APS-C sized CMOS sensor captures 16 megapixels for exceptional image quality and also supports full 1080p HD video capture. The heft of the camera and sound of the mechanical shutter lend a tactile quality that combined with the 3 inch high-res LCD screen make taking pictures a joy.

Fans of Newson will appreciate his signature on the bottom of the camera body and the use of his favorite shade of yellow on the rubberized grips. For those less bold, there are black and white and all black versions available."

Pentax K-01

Design-led? Actually, I think the Pentax K-01 means business
"Pentax launched a new mirror-less interchangeable lens camera today: the K-01. It's bigger than we're accustomed to in this breed of camera - in size it's definitely no match for the cute and quirky Pentax Q, a camera that certainly had its stumbling points, but isn't being replaced by the K-01 - and the line is that it's a design-led camera aimed fashionable-types, and possibly a younger market. Given its looks, I'd certainly vouch for it being design-led, but I think that Pentax has a lot more going on with this camera than just a niche market of fashionistas and trendy-types.
...
No, the K-01 isn't as pocktable as other mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras, but it is smaller than your average dSLR, and that 40mm pancake lens is tiny. In the K-01 you have the beginnings of a compromise between camera size and sensor size; between pocketableness and image quality. This incarnation might be design-led, but who knows where any more K-0 series cameras might lead."

Design-led? Actually, I think the Pentax K-01 means business | Pixiq
02-28-2012, 01:15 AM   #169
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Well argued and I'd agree with most of your points.
K-01 is certainly not a 'slam dunk' win in the MILC segment of course.

There are a few points that I beg to differ on though.

1. The point 'n' shoot upgrader - wants something cute, small, and functional. Add to that looks/style (some don't care) and the promise of better photos (ie. DSLR level).
The latter is so prevalent in the local forum I am in "I want a camera that can take DSLR quality photos"; "I want a camera with good high ISO performance so that I can take photos of my kids in pitch darkness" ; "I want a camera to take better photos of my child" .
add minor point to the above... without being too expensive or foreboding/complicated like a DSLR ("cause I am a nob"; "cause I am a woman"; etc)

All these point to a uninformed perception that a DSLR IS the solution to better photos and the layman wants a piece of that without the associated complications (composition; technique be damned)

Looks/style is subjective and K-01 may well attract some.
DSLR like performance, the K-01 certainly appears to have given its selling proposition of DSLR lenses and APS-C sensor.
Then to top it off, it looks more like a big pns so it does not scare away the pns upgrader.

Yes, small is in and the layman associates small camera = high tech = high technical prowess of the company.
Then again, K-01 has that smaller than anyone else 40mm pancake, so that puts it back on the "high tech/ prowess" consideration for the layman.

Over here, young girls like to carry around those odd looking Fuji Instax cameras to get the instant gratification of an instant photo. So its anyone's guess on what styling works and what does not.


2. The lens connoisseur - good to have their business to a point. Do they ever really buy native lenses with their 'higher than thou' preference for exotics
Anyway, at the prices of their exotics, they can well afford a RD-1; M8; M9 and/or GXR/NEX.
So this segment of the market is pretty much closed to Pentax at this point of time (ie. late to the MILC game)
Ricoh has this covered with GXR too of course.


4. DSLR users looking for a backup camera - The best option is usually a like lens system, so that there is no duplication of the equipment carried.
Too bad for Canikon folks, the lenses are all so big and heavy that they crave for a smaller/compact camera as backup.
Pentaxians on the other hand can really leverage on the smaller/simpler but equally capable K-01 and smaller primes.
The existing pool of folks are a viable market too. Why not?
I for one may not need a K-01 right now, but I am contemplating a 2nd K-mount body to mount a UWA (DA15ltd) or portrait lens (77ltd) in half a years time when I'm no longer paying early adopter price for the K-01.
I can use my K5+3 lenses, plus G3 with 1-3 lenses; or just K5+K01+3 lenses. So it does save more space for me to stick to Pentax and K-01.




QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
That's a good and fair analysis. Since I can't remember if I've explained my perspective properly in this thread I will do so, on the basis of the potential markets for such a camera.

The K-01 should be compared to other cameras with MFT and APS-C sensors. It doesn't take a genius to notice the IQ improvements with these over a point and shoot. Indeed, I received some images from a nice tropical island only yesterday. A friend was looking for a step up in quality, and is now very happy with her Olympus PEN E-P3 (after seeing what I did with my PEN).

Will the K-01 shoot a nicer image than MFT? Yes, if you compare it to older models, but not noticeably for most users. However, the new Olympus OM-D has been tested to have 2 EV dynamic range improvements (!) and 2 stop IBIS improvement (!) over the E-P3. It looks like images from this camera are going to be equivalent or better than the K-01. Until the next model. Swings and roundabouts.

Let's look at the four MILC markets.

1. The point 'n' shoot upgrader wants something cute, small, and functional. Likely they do not want a viewfinder. For them the tiny Olympus E-PL3, with great video and tilt screen, is one good choice, alongside options in Panasonic, Sony, etc. The K-01 is large in comparison and larger still with a zoom lens. One may argue that small differences in size don't matter but, sorry, the market says otherwise. Slim is in.

2. The lens connoisseur wants to be able to mount Leica M, Nikon, strange video format, and other lenses on a capable digital body. And they want to do is for less than six grand, though likely they are not too price sensitive (or how would they have accumulated all that glass?). The K-01 doesn't work for them, since it is restricted to a single lens mount.

3. Rangefinder addicts want the look & feel and direct control of a rangefinder and don't mind paying for workmanship. Fuji is catering to this market, but the solid metal build of the Olympus PEN series has attracted some Leica users as well.

4. DSLR users looking for a backup camera, something smaller for those times when size matters a lot. Of this group, only Pentax users will choose the K-01 since no-one else will get their lenses to work. This group tends to care a lot about nit-picking IQ (hey, I do too, in appropriate contexts), ergonomics, and having a proper viewfinder. It seems to me the K-01 fails on all but one of those counts. Why not simply buy a K-5 and get a vastly superior photographic experience? Besides, the K-01 appears to change key ergonomic aspects of the camera, breaking compatibility with previous models. That makes for a poor choice as a backup.

The icing on this inedible cake is that Pentax will be releasing lenses compatible only with the K-01, simply to make the system smaller. Pentax have snuck a fourth mount in the back door! Why did they not design a smaller mount in the first place? They could then have released a coupled K-mount adapter, just like what they are doing for their toy camera, the Q. Or they could have simply joined the MFT Consortium and start selling quality glass to that market. They had two years to do this before the MFT vendors themselves caught up. Either way would have made infinitely more sense than trying to design a new system to compete head-on.

And how does this new system compete? To be fair, I will consider those aspects traditionally considered to be Pentax strengths, to see how these are being leveraging to gain market share and build brand identity.
  • Weathersealing? A win for the Olympus OM-D. Sealed flash too. Where is Pentax with that?
  • Ergonomics? A win for the Olympus OM-D with two dials and mucho customisation.
  • Compact size: A win for practically everyone except the rangefinder clones and the K-01.
  • Aesthetics? Well, the Olympus PEN and Fuji series have it all over the competition. Panasonic if you want your little camera to look like your DSLR. Sony if you want to look tres moderne. Pentax if you want a brick with some curves thrown in from a different design brain altogether.
  • IBIS: A win for Olympus and Pentax, with the former leaping ahead with their new 5-axis system that works also for video and stabilises the viewfinder. Once again, Pentax have been resting on their laurels while others innovate.
  • IQ: A win (we will graciously assume) for the K-01 alongside the OM-D, if by IQ you mean high ISO and high DR. (There's a lot more to it than that!)
  • Price: The glut of second-hand MFT bodies ensures that system wins. But those who wait might find the K-01 deeply discounted before long.

Pentax has dropped the ball. Their "design-oriented" approach to making something "different" is an admission that they have given up the field to the competition. [End sports analogies.]


02-28-2012, 06:52 AM - 1 Like   #170
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Couldn't agree more, Issaac7. Mine's on order, and in YELLOW, just to make my point more emphatically--it is a great fit for ME. Which is exactly why i bought my K20D a while back. My major criterion was, how does it fit with what I own? Will it complement my stuff? Extend my stuff's usefulness? Compatibility with my lenses (10-17. 16-45, 18-55WR, 50FA, 55-300, plus Tamron 90MACRO), K-5-ish innards, and goodies like HDR and focus peaking make it irresistible...for ME. I honestly don't care how many others like it.
02-28-2012, 07:31 AM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Good products sell themselves. Needing a strategy for sales is in itself an admission of having an issue building a compelling product. And is the K-01 really a competent camera for allowing beginners to capture family moments?
.
What Flippin planet do you live on????? I spent 25 years in retail and I can tell you good products do not sell themselves, good marketing sells products and in many cases bad ones as well. If you have a great product if you don't market it properly it will sink (think Beta which was hands down a better format than VHS as one example)
Marketing can make very mediocre products high demand. Just look at Bose. at best their product is mediocre (christ they use paper cone drivers) they sell the stuff for easily 3-4 times what it is worth and it's down to marketing and a dedicated training system for how to present the product to the customer. For the Salespeople selling it (alongside some truly great stuff at the same price that sells at about 1/3 the rate of bose) there are tons of jokes about the sound, but every one of them presents it because the customer comes in with it in mind and a good demo sells it. present the better product at the same or lower price use the same demo techniques and at least half those customers walk who would have bough the Bose. Personally i wouldn't buy any Bose Product but I sold tons of it.
Marketing is key to selling a product successfully and if you think otherwise then the marketing people have sold you very efficiently

Pentax's weakest link has been marketing. Olympus's strongest link since m4/3 has been marketing. Sony marketing has been mediocre for a long time now and their strength comes from the brand image they built last century. If they still marketed as effectively they would be a much bigger threat to Canikon.
Fuji has done an amazing job of Niche marketing with the X10/100/pro making them a hipster must have despite the fact that for many of these people they are truly the wrong camera for their needs.
Look at the success of Lomography .... crap plastic cameras sold buy the bucketload now an empire with B&M stores all over the world. and these same plastic cameras couldn't be given away previously in the film era are now selling for at least double what they are worth
02-28-2012, 09:07 AM   #172
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^^^What Eddie said!^^^

30 years in retail myself, and I just about coughed up my coffee when I read LC's quote:
QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Needing a strategy for sales is in itself an admission of having an issue building a compelling product.
02-28-2012, 10:13 AM   #173
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Good - Better - Best: Until we agree on What is Good . . .

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Just look at Bose.
Well I guess I should stop bragging on my 1983 301's then.

The first step is to determine what your target market defines as good, because until you know what is good you can't define better and best.

From my days as an English major:
  • Good = Standard
    • A standard is not necessarily universal, but it should be accepted as owning the core desireable values of a surveyed group. Society establishes standards to increase predictability and efficiency of social interaction. Since we already agree on a standard we can "discuss" the remaining few variables.
  • Better = Conditional
    • Humans are competitve pack animals - essentially wolves. We need a leader, and to be led, so we order ourselves by rank, usually by determing merit. Social ordering is preferable to physical confrontation, so we measure ourselves against an agreed standard. In such an ordered meritocracy some form of measureable and repeatable scoring system (such as a standard) allows indivduals and groups to make choices by ranking candidates instead of fighting.
  • Best = Superlative
    • If we are going to order candidates it stands to reason there will be a penultimate candidate who/that scores the highest according to the ranking system. One fault of the English language is that this "winner" is frequently the labeled "The Standard'" as in a Standard lens.
Marketing attempts to alter the "Standard" and then order a product's qualities against the altered (more favorable) standard.



Pentax products are described here in a huge range of labels, ranking from Best (lenses) to Abject Failure (Q, K-01). Reasons the K-01 in particular, and Pentax product offerings in general are ranked so widely here:
  1. Pentax doesn't know its Standard, or perhaps hasn't amended its definition to meet the changed Standard of the current market.
  2. Members here assume a universally understood and accepted definition of Good, then rank all candidates against that Standard, finding Pentax lacking. Unless every member here shares that Standard we're never going to agree. This often leads to the, "Well FFS then go buy a Canon/Nikon/Fuji/Sony/Oly rejoinder."
  3. Ricoh and Pentax have their Standard(s), have a plan to merge them and compete, and it is rational and can be well executed - BUT - they haven't revealed their competitive strategy to us yet. We, as emotionally invested members of this society, are confused and discouraged because we cannot "order" Pentax on merits according to its Standard, nor can we oreder ourselves within the grater equipment consumer market as Pentax users. IOW they aren't marketing.
My belief is #3. That is a failure of marketing, not of planning, design, peoduct or positioning.

I think the K-01 is intentional within the Pentax ethos - but although I like the camera and have mine on order, I really don't know where it fits (and where that places ME) in Pentax's order. They haven't told me, through marketing, how they think I am supposed to order myself by the merits of the K-01. I have my own idea, but it is a chellenge to maintain an identity without group support (Pentax marketing) in the face of all this negative noise. If the K-01, good as it may be at producing great images and video, doesn't make me feel good about who I am and who Pentax is, how much longer do you think I will stay with Pentax?

Am I an accomplished amateur with a discerning eye for design and a sense of value?

Am I a hipster/fashonista to be exploited by yellow rubber?

Am I a P&S'er stepping up or a dSLR'er stepping down or an early adopter with foresight (yes to all three)?

Am I a SoccerMom without the jack to own a real camera?

Am I a serious photographer or someone whose opinion is not considered by serious photographers, rendering my opinion moot? (I have been PM'ed here that I am not a serious photographer merely because I defend the K-01).

Am I a discerning, cost-aware buyer who understands the cost/quality output ratio is in my favor?

Am I (as I postd elsewhere) just kinda quirky and weird, so why shouldn't Pentax be kinda quirkly and weird, too? (There's a strong case to be made for this choice).

It is truly uncomfortable to not know where I stand and to not feel where the product I have selected fits in the order of things. (I already have all these lenses just doesn't seem to stand on its own).

And I call BS on the "Its a tool": argument - because that is your own ordering system.

Pentax - Ricoh - answer these questions!! - get your act together and start making a case for why you do what you do. It really isn't that hard to sell the lenses I have - and once I sell them what hold do you have on me?

02-28-2012, 10:51 AM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I think the K-01 is intentional within the Pentax ethos...
I'm still debating this one in my mind because I think the K-01 made a lot more sense when Pentax and Ricoh were competitors. Now, it would seem like the more logical camera would be an APS-C/K mount variation on the GXR. I don't mean this as a knock on the K-01, btw. I'd love to have one with a 12-24 for a walking-around camera.
02-28-2012, 03:26 PM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
If you have a great product if you don't market it properly it will sink (think Beta which was hands down a better format than VHS as one example)
VHS went mass-market and won because you could record a longer program on a single tape. Beta went upmarket and courted a smaller, more elite potential customer. It was not marketing in itself that killed Beta, it was the lowest-common-denominator phenomena in a market that could support only one format.

The video format wars might also be used as an example of a bifurcation in a chaotic phase space. But, anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Just look at Bose. at best their product is mediocre (christ they use paper cone drivers) they sell the stuff for easily 3-4 times what it is worth
I doubt Bose has ever made a product worth buying. They succeed by marketing an inferior product as "different" or better through "design".

From the responses here, it seems that a good number of people are happy with Pentax doing the same. I am not.

That really is the bottom line.
02-28-2012, 03:34 PM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Good products sell themselves. Needing a strategy for sales is in itself an admission of having an issue building a compelling product.
Tell that to Betamax.

edit: ah, I see this was covered.
02-28-2012, 03:53 PM   #177
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote



I doubt Bose has ever made a product worth buying. They succeed by marketing an inferior product as "different" or better through "design".

From the responses here, it seems that a good number of people are happy with Pentax doing the same. I am not.

That really is the bottom line.
Again with the "People that like the k-01 are idiots" idea. The k-01 isn't worth buying but we have been tricked by the yellow color to like it? Really? There is zero possibility that Pentax has made a really nice video camera, or perhaps the design appeals to people that don't like their cameras looking like a science experiment? You don't like it, therefore Pentax has stooped to trying to fool people to move the paperweights. Using your judgement to determine that the camera is inherently inferior leads to the obvious conclusion that you think the people that do like it are fools, or just stupid. Get over yourself. Your opinion of what makes a nice camera isn't any more true than anyone else's. If people enjoy using the camera because of its clean layout, or the feel of it, or even the quietness of it, are they stupid because they don't realize they are using an inferior product?

What people are happy about is that Pentax has made a camera that appeals to them, is that really so hard to understand?
02-28-2012, 04:07 PM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I doubt Bose has ever made a product worth buying. They succeed by marketing an inferior product as "different" or better through "design".

From the responses here, it seems that a good number of people are happy with Pentax doing the same. I am not
There you go again, Robyn.
02-28-2012, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I think the K-01 is intentional within the Pentax ethos - but although I like the camera and have mine on order, I really don't know where it fits (and where that places ME) in Pentax's order. They haven't told me, through marketing, how they think I am supposed to order myself by the merits of the K-01. I have my own idea, but it is a chellenge to maintain an identity without group support (Pentax marketing) in the face of all this negative noise. If the K-01, good as it may be at producing great images and video, doesn't make me feel good about who I am and who Pentax is, how much longer do you think I will stay with Pentax?
The other possibility is that you are really over thinking this. When you ascribe totemic meaning to the objects in your life, you're in trouble. I am going to modestly suggest that if you are worried about proper tribe assignment based on the camera you buy then we are well outside the bounds of photography. As such, I'd be surprised if Pentax spent much time worrying about your idea, they were too busy designing photo equipment.
02-28-2012, 04:32 PM   #180
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There is no king camera

There have been several posts that detail why the k-01 is a mistake/won't sell/is just a stupid idea. Categories are made and then it's pointed out that the k-01 doesn't fit into those categories. Shouldn't be a surprise really, if you start out with the idea that the k-01 is bad, the categories you are going to come up with will only reinforce that idea. In essence, they are reasons you have for not buying the camera.

Here's a thought, instead of picking arbitrary categories and cramming people into them just to declare the k-01 inferior or DOA, why not listen to why some people do want the camera and think about that "category?" What you'll find out is that most people won't fit into a neatly mapped out arbitrary category. The only category they fit into is the people that like the k-01 category. The truth of the matter is that no camera is going to please everyone. Not coincidently, this is why camera companies don't make one camera. Pentax has made a camera that they think will appeal to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Sure, some might like it because they can get it in yellow. Of course others will like it because of the video functionality, or the quietness, the button placement, the lens system, the feel, or even, and I know this is crazy, the images it makes. There are a lot of reasons why someone might like it, and there are a lot of reasons why someone might not like it. For those of you that don't like it and are wedded to the Pentax system, there are more cameras to come! If you don't like it and you don't care about the Pentax system, why are you here?

The k-01 is just another option for photographers. It's going to suit some people. Why is this a problem?
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