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05-01-2012, 11:41 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Decisions like the K-01 are usually made top down: Somebody in Ricoh High Command said we need a body designed by a fashion designer, and its got to take Pentax Limiteds. Then that somebody hired Newson, who did a wireframe of his concept, the poor long suffering Pentax engineers, would have had to stuff the innards in any way they could.
Although the decisions to move forward are made from upper level corporate officers, sometimes the genesis may come from a special projects group, or something of the sort. I have worked with special projects groups that had to develop concepts to sell to the upper level corporate officers. I was sometimes surprised that some projects were given the go ahead, and how "hands-off" upper mangement was during further development. Of course, if a project like that succeded, upper management would spin the tables and take all the credit.

It seems like Pentax has a history of taking a lot of pride in the aesthetic decisions it makes concerning camera shell design. Wasn't the K-m/K-x/K-r the first dSLR's to be offered in colors other than black, grey, or silver? I can imagine engineers and marketers collaborating on the K-01. The engineers explaining what was possible with practically everything that had already been developed. The marketers explaining that a high profile industrial designer was necessary to come up with a stylish shell to take advantage of everything that had already been developed. Newsome's fee aside, I am sure that the K-01 was a fairly economical model to bring to market. I would think that upper management tuned into the economics and splash that could be created with something as unique as the K-01.

Last edited by lammie200; 05-02-2012 at 12:01 AM.
05-01-2012, 11:50 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by lammie200 Quote
sometimes the genesis may come from a special projects group,
There is a saying: "A camel is a horse designed by a committee."
05-02-2012, 02:59 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
I wonder if one day will see the powerpoint slides they used to convince the decision makers.
I think it would have been pretty simple proposal:

Engineer: Make a mirrorless camera based around the K-mount, K-5 sensor, improved imaging engine and video capability
Decision Makers: That just sounds like a DSLR camera without a mirror. <turns to marketting rep> What would you suggest?
Marketting: <insightfully> Don't make it look like a DSLR camera without a mirror?
Decision makers: <turns to engineering> So how do we ensure it doesn't look like any other cameras?
Engineer: <sarcastically> Get someone who knows nothing about cameras to design it
Marketting: Great idea!!! There is this hot shot Aussie designer, Very hip. Does furniture mostly.
Decision makers: Approved.
05-02-2012, 03:46 AM   #19
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I think the discussion was more around the idea that Pentax needs to release a mirrorless camera, other than the Q, but wanted to separate themselves from the others out there (NEX, NX). There clearly were two separate decisions. One was to bring in Marc Newson. This is actually not that strange a decision, considering the history that Pentax has with releasing strangely colored cameras in the past. Marc is told "design a camera that the 'cool' people will want to buy and use." The second decision is a controversial one: whether or not to keep the k mount. I think this decision came down to three things. First of all, Pentax didn't feel they had resources to support another mount (and Hoya wasn't willing to allocate anything more). Second, they felt that the market for mounting old, manual focus lenses with shorter registration distances was actually fairly small and covered already by the existing mirrorless cameras out there. Third, they hoped that current k mount users would read the tea leaves as being a sign of continued, on going support for the k mount, rather than an indication of a transition to another mount (aka the E mount with Sony).

12-22-2012, 08:04 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
I wonder if one day will see the powerpoint slides they used to convince the decision makers.
I suspect there was copious amounts of Sake involved.
12-22-2012, 09:10 PM   #21
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Regardless of how they arrived at the decision (I like the Sake suggestion), the camera made it to market. I think that Pentax was somewhat shaken by its somewhat non acceptance (or at least slow acceptance). This, I believe has driven that its a one-off camera model and not a line statement from Pentax, and the price slashing. I am hoping that Pentax is backing into a run away success here. The low price, coupled with the K5 sensor and pancake thin lens will draw more new folks into the Pentax line, that will hopefully pay future dividends.

Look at their current line up of camera models that the K5 has spun off, which now range in price from $300 to $1200. The 4 of which that are still in production, have to have the vast majority of their R&D already amortized, and other than manufacturing costs (parts & labor - production lines already setup and trained), these models have to have be generating a relatively high profit margin. That has to be a blessing to management and Ricoh. I hope that they realize a new business development model from this, along with a view and understanding of pricing (and apply it to their lenses).

It was most certainly not their original intent, but they may have backed in to this current situation.

12-23-2012, 09:25 PM   #22
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I'm actually seriously considering buying another K-01 body. Not because I need it.... just to have it as a backup. Just to give Pentax my money with the hope they'll keep producing weird, strange, and out-there cameras that are an absolute joy to use.

I love my K-01. I'm warming up to my Q. My K-x is an old friend. I WANT Pentax to make more of these type of "well, why not give this a try" decisions... they just REALLY need some guy to talk sense to them on initial pricing.

12-24-2012, 07:33 AM   #23
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According to snap sort the k01 is still approx 30% smaller than my K30 even - definitely has something to do with my thoughts about getting one

That and video, although focus peaking during recording would have been good

12-24-2012, 07:51 AM - 1 Like   #24
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I don't understand some people ... maybe I guess is just me.
K-01 is a great camera. Not considering the looks (some will like it more than others - personally I love it), I think the camera is pretty much flawless for what was built.

As to people complaining about the controls layout ... have we became so lazy that we can't move our fingers 1 inch more to the left or right?
You adjust to the camera and you enjoy it for what it is.

And if you don't like it, maybe it is not for you ... move on to something else. Is that simple.

I applaud Pentax for making this camera and for being bold and different.
12-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
"You know the Saab automobile, right? Well, it's like that, but with a camera."
Actually the industrial designer that created the first Saab also designed the first Hasselblad.
Sixten Sason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nikon bodies are designed by another car designer:
Giorgetto Giugiaro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
12-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #26

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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I can't help but think that Marc Newson is the President of Hoya's brother in law. The K-01 smacks of nepotism.
I love this one. It is full off creativity as is the K-01. You probably would match perfect with a yellow brick!

I do wonder sometimes how products that reach the market without succes (wich is for the K-01 at the original price) get from design true marketing without anyone thinking about future succes. I love my K-01 and use it for many things. When you know how it works and what limitations to considder it is a perfect imaging machine.
12-24-2012, 02:15 PM   #27

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QuoteOriginally posted by 53bicycles Quote
Actually the industrial designer that created the first Saab also designed the first Hasselblad.
Sixten Sason - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nikon bodies are designed by another car designer:
Giorgetto Giugiaro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And the Zeiss/Yashica Contax RTS was designed by Porsche.
Contax RTS - Camerapedia

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