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02-22-2012, 10:17 PM   #91
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Please stop throwing Apple in the mix, it's a very different companie.
I'm pretty sure that almost everyone here bought their Pentax because the like the way they work and what they have to offer, i doubt anyone bought them solely because they thought it looked good...

I'm happy pentax is bold with the design of some of his products, it's very distinctive camera the K-01 and even the Q so hopefully it brings out the name a bit more to the public.

02-22-2012, 10:31 PM   #92
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I'd like to try one just for fun...but two things stop me......in this tiny Metroplex area of over 4 Million people, there is not a Pentax camera in sight.
Secondly, excepting a few days every year we have bright...very bright, sunlight. No viewfinder...no shooting outdoors, not here. If viewfinders weren't important, they wouldn't be trying to put them on most all the new mirrorless cameras coming out...would they?
Regards!
02-22-2012, 10:41 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Please stop throwing Apple in the mix, it's a very different companie.
I'm pretty sure that almost everyone here bought their Pentax because the like the way they work and what they have to offer, i doubt anyone bought them solely because they thought it looked good...

I'm happy pentax is bold with the design of some of his products, it's very distinctive camera the K-01 and even the Q so hopefully it brings out the name a bit more to the public.
I disagree. I think the Apple story is highly relevant because before the colorful products above, people chose Mac because they like the way they worked and what they had to offer. Otherwise, they were boring beige boxes just like everyone else.




It was precisely Apple's decision to make a computer that looked like no other - the original iMac - that started the streak that they are on now. As much as traditional computer users mocked it, others purchased them by the bushel-load. despite the fact that they were overpriced, underpowered, and missing two key features that everyone assumed was necessary for success in the computer industry - expandability and a floppy drive. People who bought the original iMacs were not considered "serious users", more like dilettantes and pretenders and downright fools that didn't know anything about "real" computers.

So Apple had a controversial design that was mocked by traditionalists and lacked key features that were presumed necessary for success. Hmmm...sounds familiar, doesn't it?
02-23-2012, 05:49 AM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I disagree. I think the Apple story is highly relevant because before the colorful products above, people chose Mac because they like the way they worked and what they had to offer. Otherwise, they were boring beige boxes just like everyone else.
Very few people chose Apple based on merit; they chose Apple because of vendor lock-in or specific needs. Even when I used Mac Classics for DTP work, I had a hard time convincing people my PC had higher screen resolution and made layout a lot easier! Very few listened to plain facts - plus ša change! Apple had the software people needed before other systems. You go where the software is.

(EDIT: This is unclear. When I first used an Apple for DTP there was no reasonable competition, but later Aldus software ran on a more capable computer and the advantage was no longer there.)

Likewise I used Amiga for music production since it was miles ahead of both Apple and IBM-PC. I didn't use it because it was bluer or shinier.

Apple sold mostly to niche markets where they developed a lock. This too is not necessarily based on merit, but rather the common tipping point phenomenon about who gets there first. Apple had several innovations before other systems (notably the native graphical interface) that got them a lock in, say, the education market. Then people bought Apple for compatibility with previous products, long after it made far more sense to change.

Later on, sales were based on style and exploitation of the "me-too" false exclusivity. That is indeed the model Pentax seems to be taking recently. And it's just as brain-dead.

I have nothing against Apple trying different things and pushing the envelope. I have quite liked some of their functional designs. For instance, I much prefer the look of the Quadra to any of the other systems you illustrate, which all look like toys for the crib. (No, not the gang hang-out, but the place where babies crawl.) Apart from aesthetics, the design of a machine where the monitor is separate, parts are user-serviceable, redundancy is reduced, etc. is demonstrably superior to the alternatives.

For the record, the model of a computer as a shiny glowing neon toy is dead in the water, a passing fad of those needing a fix of conspicuous consumption. Apple knows this well, which is why they have switched attention to other gadget markets where they can exploit "fashion-conscious" (i.e. gullible) consumers for large margins.

The real trend is the growing invisibility of computers. You could say the same about cameras perhaps, though how it will all pan out is anyone's guess.


Last edited by rparmar; 02-23-2012 at 06:52 AM.
02-23-2012, 06:23 AM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
I'd like to try one just for fun...but two things stop me......in this tiny Metroplex area of over 4 Million people, there is not a Pentax camera in sight.
Secondly, excepting a few days every year we have bright...very bright, sunlight. No viewfinder...no shooting outdoors, not here. If viewfinders weren't important, they wouldn't be trying to put them on most all the new mirrorless cameras coming out...would they?
Regards!
Well people in Texas must be the most inept photographers on the planet if they are unable to use a camera without VF on a sunny day. There are a billion people using cameras without viewfinders on planet earth everyday without problems on sunny days. The most popular cameras on Flickr don't have viewfinders and people manage to take great images on sunny days.
02-23-2012, 07:02 AM - 1 Like   #96
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[apologies to those tired of computer/Apple analogies. My last one - I promise!]

Some good points here, yet I still see some similarities.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Apple sold mostly to niche markets where they developed a lock. This too is not necessarily based on merit, but rather the common tipping point phenomenon about who gets there first. Apple had several innovations before other systems (notably the native graphical interface) that got them a lock in, say, the education market. Then people bought Apple for compatibility with previous products, long after it made far more sense to change.
Sounds familiar to where Pentax is now - a niche market based on real and perceived differentiators (in body IS, smaller than Canikon, weather-sealing, etc...) and lock-in (K-mount).

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Later on, sales were based on style and exploitation of the "me-too" false exclusivity. That is indeed the model Pentax seems to be taking recently. And it's just as brain-dead.
I remember plenty of people loving the colored iMacs because they weren't intimidating, because they weren't designed for the "nerds" that were proud of the arcane knowledge needed to master a computer at the time (drivers and BIOSes and cryptic keypresses that would bring users to screens like this:



Or if you worked in an office...


The brilliance of Apple was in realizing that there was a large group of people that didn't want to become computer experts but did want to get stuff done with them.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I have nothing against Apple trying different things and pushing the envelope. I have quite liked some of their functional designs. For instance, I much prefer the look of the Quadra to any of the other systems you illustrate, which all look like toys for the crib. (No, not the gang hang-out, but the place where babies crawl.) Apart from aesthetics, the design of a machine where the monitor is separate, parts are user-serviceable, redundancy is reduced, etc. is demonstrably superior to the alternatives.
But you sound like an "insider", someone with extensive computer experience (an Amiga? Awesome!) and not afraid of dealing with the intricacies of them to get something done. You are not the target market. And even more critical - you are in the minority. When you look back to the original success of the original Mac, it's design said in so many different ways that this wasn't just another computer:




If anything, with each successive generation, Apple drifted away from the original premise of "unintimidating yet powerful" and back towards "computer-as-complex-sophisticated-tool-requiring-expert-knowledge". The colored iMacs brought them back to that friendly simplicity, with the color as the major visual cue that they were doing things differently.

To bring this back to cameras, there are plenty of people that want to take nice pictures - maybe for a mixed-media art project or for a craft piece or just nice shots of their family and vacations - but have no interest in becoming camera experts. This, in fact, intimidates them:


And so does this:


As photographers, we look at those pictures and think, "yumm, external controls of all the different settings and variables". The rest of the world thinks, "Oh my! I'm never going to learn what all of those buttons do!"

What's so wrong about trying to make it a bit easier or at least more approachable?





It's hard to say yet whether the K-01 will succeed, but I'm pretty sure that Pentax was targeting a group very different than the people on this forum.

I know so many people that feel that they've outgrown a P&S but are intimidated by dSLRs. They want better pictures but don't aspire to be photographers. One friend, a dancer, bought a K-7 against my advice. Two+ years on and she's still more or less a novice. Another, a banker, took my advice and bought the K-x. He's taken a class and his skills are improving, but even the K-x is still an arcane device to him. Another, a nurse, bought a D7000 a year ago. Carries it like a trophy, but too busy snowboarding and surfing to really learn the thing. Had they all asked me today what camera to get, I'd undoubtedly tell them to look at the K-01.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
For the record, the model of a computer as a shiny glowing neon toy is dead in the water, a passing fad of those needing a fix of conspicuous consumption. The real trend is the growing invisibility of computers. You could say the same about cameras perhaps, though how it will all pan out is anyone's guess.
Good point. For most, the camera has been subsumed by the cell phone and the desktop is being replaced by the laptop, the tablet, and the smartphone. But even there people are adding their own backgrounds and silly apps and ring tones. At the end of the day, what's so bad about being less than perfectly rational? What's so wrong about adding some personality to our digital lives? Does it need to be dismissively labeled as "conspicuous consumption"? Can't it also be called "having a little fun"?
02-23-2012, 07:15 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
Well people in Texas must be the most inept photographers on the planet if they are unable to use a camera without VF on a sunny day. There are a billion people using cameras without viewfinders on planet earth everyday without problems on sunny days. The most popular cameras on Flickr don't have viewfinders and people manage to take great images on sunny days.
I don't know......it must just be that all the camera makers want to spend so much more on their cameras to add viewfinders that people don't want or need....you think? I guess that is the same dumb reason auto makers give us those ridiculous windshields....who needs them....right!
Regards!
02-23-2012, 08:40 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by alexeyga Quote
Yep, instead Pentax produced yet to be beaten "I'm so DORK!!! I'm sooooo dorky dork!!! I'm so dork you wouldn't believe how dork I am!!!" camera.

This is slick and stylish:


This... this is embarrassing to say the least:

302 Found

Reminds a lot about this:


Apple's design was successful not because it was so much different, but because these were good, stylish and very well though-of designs.

Good design:


Bad design:


Simple really. Outside of the box thinking is a great thing! But there's a very sensible threshold as to how much "outside" is bold and acceptable. K-01 is faaaar beyond that threshold. As I've said before, visually, K-01 can pass for one of the conceptual prototypes, during the stage of "jiggling with different ideas". But as a final product - never.
In your opinion.

There is no one product (particularly in the camera arena) that will connect with all consumers. The question is if you can get people who aren't interested in an SLR, but want better image quality than they get with their cell phone/point and shoot to move to something like this.

The retro designs that connect with older photographers really hold no particular appeal for younger photographers. Not that they are bad, but they aren't particularly appealing to people who don't have any connection with those original cameras.

Many designs "grow" on you. Initially of questionable desirability, but over time, people get to like them. I think the K-01 falls into this category. (and by the way, I didn't particularly like Apple's see through designs, now or at the time).

02-23-2012, 08:58 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by alexeyga Quote
Yep, instead Pentax produced yet to be beaten "I'm so DORK!!! I'm sooooo dorky dork!!! I'm so dork you wouldn't believe how dork I am!!!" camera.

Apple's design was successful not because it was so much different, but because these were good, stylish and very well though-of designs.

Simple really. Outside of the box thinking is a great thing! But there's a very sensible threshold as to how much "outside" is bold and acceptable. K-01 is faaaar beyond that threshold. As I've said before, visually, K-01 can pass for one of the conceptual prototypes, during the stage of "jiggling with different ideas". But as a final product - never.
If you can't see the similarities between these forms:


And this form:



Then you are blinded by your own pre-conceived notions. All point to mid-century high modern as their inspirational well-spring, geometric and minimalistic forms and shapes, a lack of ornament, an obsessive attention to material and surface, and a desire to be cast in the remake of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
02-23-2012, 09:15 AM   #100
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You miss john's point though. speaking from an experienced photographer standpoint the K-01 is missing a ton of stuff you look for. If OTOH you are the user who wants better quality without complexity the K-01 is a much smarter looking package (smarter than the nex series as well which is awkward to use, or most of the m4/3 (certainly than the OM-d which cool as it is is way too complex for someone looking for easy and isn't hampered by a preconceived notion of how a camera should be laid out like an enthusiast is)
John mentioned a couple of friends who went the slr route in error (dancer etc)
I have the same a friend who is an artist and uses photography as part of large (ie 5-6 foot) paintings. she was looking at slrs i even gave her my old ds to play with. who ended up back at a p/s but is still looking for better image quality
Next time we're talking I'm going to mention this one to her because i think in many ways it's exactly the camera she's been waiting for (in film days she shot an XA and a k1000. mostly the xa and she had the printed images done at a lab - no desire to learn the technical aspects of it - she is however an excellent painter and understands the tech aspects of it completely lol)

it's definitely a radical departure from what we expect (but then again so were a lot of the apple products)

Edit - the post i replied to is gone apparently)

Last edited by eddie1960; 02-23-2012 at 10:03 AM.
02-23-2012, 09:30 AM   #101
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OK. I lied.

Here's how the original iMac was described...

"To my eye, it's far from beautiful, but what matters is this: The iMac is so different from the norm that people will pay attention. And if Apple needs anything these days, it's attention as an innovator.
...
So if the iMac is such a great deal, why is it a bold gamble? And how will Apple make money on it? One dreaded word answers both questions: compromises.

Both Windows machines come with 56K modems, expansion slots (for adding specialized graphics or networking cards) and three-year warranties, compared with the iMac's 33.6K modem, zero expansion slots and one-year warranty. And the iMac lacks a floppy drive.

Wait, did I really say "no floppy"? I did. This is probably the biggest gamble. Third-party vendors will no doubt develop a floppy that will attach via one of the iMac's universal serial bus ports for connecting peripheral devices. (USB is a successor to a range of ports used previously on PCs and Macs.) My guess is that Apple is wrong about home users--most will still want a floppy (or zip drive) and will have to buy an add-on."

Source: The I In Imac | The 'i' in iMac Doesn't Stand for Inferior . . . or Floppy Drive - Los Angeles Times

Also remember that Steve Jobs had just come back, and this was the era where people openly wondered if Apple was going to survive. Even Microsoft put money in ($300M IIRC), probably to prop Apple up and avoid accusations of being a monopoly.
02-23-2012, 09:45 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Originally posted by alexeyga* Yep, instead Pentax produced yet to be beaten "I'm so DORK!!! I'm sooooo dorky dork!!! I'm so dork you wouldn't believe how dork I am!!!" camera.
Sorry Rondec, I can't find alexeyga's original post...

alexeyga's are you 14, seriously.
02-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Here's how the original iMac was described...

"To my eye, it's far from beautiful, but what matters is this: The iMac is so different from the norm that people will pay attention. And if Apple needs anything these days, it's attention as an innovator.
...
So if the iMac is such a great deal, why is it a bold gamble? And how will Apple make money on it? One dreaded word answers both questions: compromises.

Both Windows machines come with 56K modems, expansion slots (for adding specialized graphics or networking cards) and three-year warranties, compared with the iMac's 33.6K modem, zero expansion slots and one-year warranty. And the iMac lacks a floppy drive.

Wait, did I really say "no floppy"? I did. This is probably the biggest gamble. Third-party vendors will no doubt develop a floppy that will attach via one of the iMac's universal serial bus ports for connecting peripheral devices. (USB is a successor to a range of ports used previously on PCs and Macs.) My guess is that Apple is wrong about home users--most will still want a floppy (or zip drive) and will have to buy an add-on."

.
once again a tech head completely mis reads the public lol -
no floppy - visionary,
connections via USB to replace a pile of differing standards - yep same thing
expansion slots- well i'd say 95% of people never upgrade their system they may ad an external periphery - see USB lol

Aside from the crazy colours and see through cases the "ugly" basically defined the parameters for the future of computers

and of course the IBM world has been playing catch up to these ideas ever since

the latest ads for a Toshiba laptop set on a plane crack me up first thing i think is the Macbook air beat them to it buy a couple of years and is still lighter and slimmer
02-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #104
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Wait, did I really say "no floppy"? I did. This is probably the biggest gamble. Third-party vendors will no doubt develop a floppy that will attach via one of the iMac's universal serial bus ports for connecting peripheral devices. (USB is a successor to a range of ports used previously on PCs and Macs.) My guess is that Apple is wrong about home users--most will still want a floppy (or zip drive) and will have to buy an add-on."

Source: The I In Imac | The 'i' in iMac Doesn't Stand for Inferior . . . or Floppy Drive - Los Angeles Times
I was a graphic designer at the time, stuck in a Windows-centric office, and I well remember these reactions. Thanks for posting, I am laughing at the memory! By 1998, floppy disks were already long obsolete. Steve Jobs knew it, and anyone who worked in a field like I did knew it. Software had been coming out on CDs for a few years, and CD-Rs were becoming more common. As I recall, the original iMac did not have a writable CD-R drive as standard, but they were available as peripherals and this may have been available as an option. I know it was an option by 1999, when I purchased one of the second-generation iMacs for home use.

As far as the K-01 being dumbed-down and not for serious photographers; perhaps it's true that un-serious picture-takers really is the target market. I don't know. While I am not a professional, I do consider myself to be a serious photographer - but I do not care to spend too much time fiddling with this or that setting. I like to get the damn shot, thank you very much.

Before I started doing this as hardcore as I do it now, I owned two dSLRs. My very first dSLR was an *ist DL, which I got for the purpose of taking high-quality reference photos for my paintings, and of course for better-quality family photos. I seriously loved that camera. I don't know if the experts here consider that model to be a "dumbed-down" dSLR? I found it very intuitively-designed, without a lot of crap and clutter either on the outside or in the settings interface. I also very much liked the kit lens that came with that camera. Too soon, I was convinced to "trade up" to a Nikon D60. I honestly don't understand the appeal of Nikon, or at least the appeal of Nikon's lower-end consumer cameras like the one I ended up with. The kit lens was absolute crap compared to the one that came with my nice little Pentax; and to my way of thinking, talk about a cluttered camera design! And the problems with clutter and too much going on were compounded after three severe attacks of optic neuritis permanently damaged my eyesight. Unfortunately, I had long since passed on my Pentax to my niece.

I sold my Nikon D60 kit on eBay and used the funds to buy a Pentacon six TL medium format film SLR system camera with its original Carl Zeiss Jena 2.8/80mm lens, which I have been delighted with.


Pretty simple layout here, as you can see. The eye-level viewfinder pentaprism is off to show the screen. It takes stunning photos, but the photographer must meter manually. Is this a dumbed-down camera?
02-23-2012, 11:41 AM - 1 Like   #105
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Another one I use a lot, which also has very simple controls, but which takes photographs which rival the output of many dSLRs to this day:




Is this a dumbed-down camera?
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