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05-19-2014, 05:39 PM   #46
JPT
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Was the K-01 really that much of a gamble? It’s often portrayed as such - as Pentax’s “play” for the mirrorless market - but ultimately it was a low-risk product. All the technology was needed for the K-30 and it didn’t commit them to supporting a new series of lenses or accessories.

Imagine Pentax had addressed all the complaints about the design.
- No viewfinder - add a viewfinder
- Poor grip - add a contoured grip
- Slow AF - add PDAF
- Only one control dial - give it two control wheels
- Not weather sealed - make it weather sealed
- Toy-like design - design it to look like every other camera

This basically describes the K-30, and Pentax made that camera anyway! If the K-01 was to have any reason to exist, it needed to be clearly differentiated from the K-30 and Pentax chose to do this in some interesting and unprecedented ways. I personally found the K-500 to be a very disappointing camera. It makes the usual penny-pinching compromises that Canon and Nikon make with their low-end bodies. The K-01 was something very different. It kept a high quality feel, had a unique look and was available in a kit with a really good prime lens.

Was it a success? I can only say my purchase must have been a success for Pentax. I got it quite early on for around $450 as a body split from the kit lens. I then went on to buy a DA21, a DA40, a DA10-17 and an FA77 to go with it. I don’t think I would have bought these lenses if I had replaced my K20D with a K-5 or K-30.

QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
My brother can carry his Samsung NX with two or three good primes with the same or less bulk than K-01 with just the 40/2.8 XS. There you have the size issue for a size sensitive market, it's the truth.
I know that the NX cameras are said to be pretty good have some nice lenses, but I was interested in using some specific Pentax lenses with the K-01, so that made the camera more attractive to me. Unlike the K-01, investing in NX lenses (or similar) is a one-way switch. I can move my lenses between my K-01 and a DSLR and even if Pentax never makes a K-02, I won’t have lost anything. So it wasn't much of a gamble for me either.

05-19-2014, 07:10 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
And I asked you for a paypal transfer of $10,000 per post. Still waiting. If it was a money-gainer, then why isn't there a K-02? Where are the other XS lenses?
All stuff and supposition. You have no idea, and cannot know, whether K-01 made money, lost money or was a wash, nor even whether Pentax expected K-01 to make money. That you should should boldly write such a one-off product brought Pentax to the edge of ruin - even just a little - reveals much.

JPT rebuts all your assertions in Post #16. But we've been over this ground many, many times already.
05-19-2014, 08:41 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
JPT rebuts all your assertions in Post #16. But we've been over this ground many, many times already.
Huh. The K-30 that JPT uses to 'rebut' my assertion has a successor.

Interesting.


QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
All stuff and supposition. You have no idea, and cannot know, whether K-01 made money, lost money or was a wash, nor even whether Pentax expected K-01 to make money.That you should should boldly write such a one-off product brought Pentax to the edge of ruin - even just a little - reveals much.
It's not bold to say an unprofitable product is not sustainable. It's not bold to say a
1) quickly-heavily-slashed-product with
2) no successor and
3) an abandoned line of lenses which
4) Pentax said didn't sell as well as it hoped
...didn't make a profit.

In fact it's bold to say otherwise.

Last edited by ElJamoquio; 05-19-2014 at 08:48 PM.
05-19-2014, 09:06 PM   #49
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In response to the ElJamoquio's points . . .

1) Slashed to correct a crazy opportunistic pricing policy, perhaps not so dramatic in relation to the product's real cost.

2) The K-01 used the guts of the K-30, which the K-50 used more or less unchanged, so the rationale to update the K-01 alongside the K-50 is pretty weak. Anyway, the K-01 got an extension in Japan, if not a successor.

3) Yep. I always thought those recessed lenses were a silly idea. K- mount should be universal.

4) I think you're being a bit selective with your quotes here. They also said they put it back into production due to demand. It's a case of choosing the quote you want to believe or accepting that all these quotes are hearsay or company spin.

Actually, looking at the second point, there may be a small chance of a K-02 coming alongside a K-50 successor if it has a new sensor and processor. I can hope!

05-19-2014, 09:11 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
In response to the ElJamoquio's points . . .

1) Slashed to correct a crazy opportunistic pricing policy, perhaps not so dramatic in relation to the product's real cost.

2) The K-01 used the guts of the K-30, which the K-50 used more or less unchanged, so the rationale to update the K-01 alongside the K-50 is pretty weak.

3) Yep. I always thought those recessed lenses were a silly idea. K- mount should be universal.

4) I think you're being a bit selective with your quotes here. They also said they put it back into production due to demand. It's a case of choosing the quite you want to believe or accepting that all these quotes are hearsay or company spin.

Actually, looking at the second point, there may be a small chance of a K-02 coming alongside a K-50 successor if it has a new sensor and processor. I can hope!
Heck, I never knew it was actually back IN production. I still thought the K-01 has been out of production for longer than it was IN production.

I think a K-02 is both a good idea and inevitable. Pentax just needs take a while to forget that it got burned with it's last attempt into mirrorless.
05-20-2014, 02:59 PM   #51
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Thank you for the links! I've read through them and didn't really see much detail about the K-01. I might have missed it with my ineffective skimming habits. But thank you for the links, I should follow the interviews more often, and reading them actually makes me a little more brand loyal to support the smaller manufacturing guy.

I've been digging through the forum to find something I've read in the past. I think it's somewhat relevant to the current discussion:

QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
I don't think Ricoh/Pentax is done with Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras, but when the next one comes out, it won't have anything to do with the K-01 (except possibly the brand and lack of a mirror, which would also make just as closely related to the Q).

The K-mount is a huge problem (literally). You can fit an awful lot of camera in a volume 20mm thick, and the K-mount requires more than twice that to be filled with nothing - nearly triple the Fuji's Flange Focal Distance. The SR chassis adds another 10mm block behind that (plus 3mm for the LCD), volume used by other cameras for their main board and tilty/flippy LCD. So, where a Fuji has 17.7mm + 20mm of "guts", the K-01 has 45.46mm + 13mm with the "guts" to the side, displacing the (large) battery forward. Something has to go. Lose the SR and big battery, and you could have a Fuji - but with a massive 'snoot'.

There have been rumblings about a new mount with a much shorter flange focal distance, with a K-mount adapter that only does AF for SDM lenses, similar to EOS-M. I wouldn't be surprised if it happened.
It was discussed in that thread that the image circle of the Q mount limits at 1/1.7".

If I were a manufacturer, I just don't see why I would introduce a new lens mount. Three lens mounts from the same company??? I guess it's not too bad... I just hate having to keep track of all the different designations and limitations:
  • Canon EF mount (EF, EF-S, EF-M),
  • Nikon F mount (FX, DX, CX).
  • Pentax's equivalent is probably (DA/F/FA, DA, Q).
The first two in each series is the same physical mounts, but different image circles/flange differences. The last being a smaller new mount, able to use the larger mount with an adapter.

I think Adam brought it up, the competition has much smaller mirrorless ILC bodies. The Q has to be Pentax/Ricoh's answer. I don't see a k-01 in the future because of the limitations quoted above... which makes me because I think the K-01 is awesome. I can envision two possibilities, but I don't really know if they are feasible.
If there is a new Q like body with APS-C sensor using the Q mount:
  1. increase the snoot of the body to bring the Q lens forward and increase the image size to accommodate the APS-C. Another adapter would be needed to use the K mount, I don't think the current K to Q adapter would work. One issue might be focusing to either infinity or the other end of the spectrum.
  2. don't increase the snoot, but still have APS-C sensor with Q mount. Q mount lenses would be cropped, but some lens are already like that on the Q7. I think you would still need a high pixel density sensor, but maybe not... The current K to Q adapter might work! Seems like a huge waste of sensor though if the Q lenses are used.
05-20-2014, 03:58 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by quimming Quote
Thank you for the links! I've read through them and didn't really see much detail about the K-01. I might have missed it with my ineffective skimming habits. But thank you for the links, I should follow the interviews more often, and reading them actually makes me a little more brand loyal to support the smaller manufacturing guy.

I've been digging through the forum to find something I've read in the past. I think it's somewhat relevant to the current discussion:



It was discussed in that thread that the image circle of the Q mount limits at 1/1.7".

If I were a manufacturer, I just don't see why I would introduce a new lens mount. Three lens mounts from the same company??? I guess it's not too bad... I just hate having to keep track of all the different designations and limitations:
  • Canon EF mount (EF, EF-S, EF-M),
  • Nikon F mount (FX, DX, CX).
  • Pentax's equivalent is probably (DA/F/FA, DA, Q).
The first two in each series is the same physical mounts, but different image circles/flange differences. The last being a smaller new mount, able to use the larger mount with an adapter.

I think Adam brought it up, the competition has much smaller mirrorless ILC bodies. The Q has to be Pentax/Ricoh's answer. I don't see a k-01 in the future because of the limitations quoted above... which makes me because I think the K-01 is awesome. I can envision two possibilities, but I don't really know if they are feasible.
If there is a new Q like body with APS-C sensor using the Q mount:
  1. increase the snoot of the body to bring the Q lens forward and increase the image size to accommodate the APS-C. Another adapter would be needed to use the K mount, I don't think the current K to Q adapter would work. One issue might be focusing to either infinity or the other end of the spectrum.
  2. don't increase the snoot, but still have APS-C sensor with Q mount. Q mount lenses would be cropped, but some lens are already like that on the Q7. I think you would still need a high pixel density sensor, but maybe not... The current K to Q adapter might work! Seems like a huge waste of sensor though if the Q lenses are used.
Not sure what you're saying there... but you can't get a reasonable APS-C image behind a Q flange. It's too close to the sensor and way too small of a diameter.
05-20-2014, 05:20 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Not sure what you're saying there... but you can't get a reasonable APS-C image behind a Q flange. It's too close to the sensor and way too small of a diameter.
hmm... well that's certainly something i overlooked... my bad!

carry on...

maybe if the k-02 uses a K mount, it can be marketed towards the same crowd as Canon SL1? I think that's a better comparison than to other competitor's mirrorless offerings.


Last edited by ppppsssstttt; 05-20-2014 at 05:47 PM.
05-20-2014, 06:15 PM   #54
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Pentax made some poor choices with their mirrorless offerings.

1) Didn't help that they initially charged so much for the K-01 or Q's, once the discounts/firesale began, suddenly not so bad. As a related aside, buydig was blowing out some refurb Nikon J1's last week with a copy of Lightroom 5 for $150. All I really wanted was LR, and the camera was basically a throw-in, but actually not a bad camera, and really good AF, but at its original price? No thanks.

2) One camera too big, the other too small. While it's nice having compatibility with my lenses, the K-01 is very big, and the Q's P&S sized sensor doesn't interest me in the slightest. If Pentax was willing to make new lenses for a new mount, why not just whole hog and make an APS-C camera like Fuji/Sony/Samsung.

3) Price competition with current new and refurb m4/3 and NEX cameras, with plenty of mount adapters and a few other 3rd party lenses available for each.

4) Design over functionality requirements on the K-01. At the very least, a EVF accessory port would have been gladly welcomed.
05-21-2014, 12:54 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Why is there no other $300 1 year old APS-C camera+lens available from another manufacturer?

Actually Canon EOS M reached that same point. Maybe that's why M2 isn't Coming to America

---------- Post added 21-05-14 at 10:05 ----------

The biggest succes with the K-01 for Pentax is probabl that they actually sold all the copy's that where produced. I think that makes it at least a relative succes. You can still find Nikon 1's and Olympus PEN's from almost all types as new old stock since they never cleared the warehouse that was full off them.

I even think that at the sale off 300 $ the K-01 wasn't bleeding money, but surely not bringing in any at a descent amount.
05-21-2014, 05:47 AM   #56
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Just to show that K-01's prices are not exceptional, here are some prices from Japan. I'm using Kakaku.com for these and have chosen a kit rather than body only in all cases.

Pentax K-01, 40XS kit (February 2012)
33,242 yen

Sony Nex 3NL, Power Zoom kit (February 2013)
29,800 yen

Canon EOS M, 22mm Kit (July 2012)
28,357 yen

Canon X-50, 18-55 kit (February 2011)
28,980 yen

Panasonic GF5, Double zoom kit (January 2013)
32,389 yen

Olympus EPL-5, Zoom Kit (September 2012)
33,800 yen

Nikon and Fuji were over 40,000 yen for cheapest APS-C.
05-21-2014, 06:45 AM   #57
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And a k10 goes for 150.

The price isnt exceptional. Going from $850 to $300 (with a $200 lens) in less than a year is unprecedented to my knowledge.
05-21-2014, 07:16 AM - 2 Likes   #58
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What made it look so bad was the unrealistic list price. Nikon has done this with their 1 series and they had similar price cuts. The difference is that Ricoh seems to have learned, while Nikon has not. The GR, K-50, K-5 II, K-3 and 645z have all been introduced at very competitive prices. Something was definitely wrong with the K-01 pricing. When I look at one of those cut open DSLRs they show at trade shows, the number of complex optical and mechanical parts that are not needed for a mirrorless design makes me think cost must be much lower. Camera companies have been living in dream world where they think they can take all that profit for themselves and not pass it on the the customer. The K-01 proved this was wrong. It found it's true price.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone that the K-01 was Pentax's finest hour, but I worry that they will get the wrong message and not try again. That would be a shame, because I think there's a lot of potential if the implementation is right.
05-21-2014, 07:25 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I'm not trying to persuade anyone that the K-01 was Pentax's finest hour, but I worry that they will get the wrong message and not try again. That would be a shame, because I think there's a lot of potential if the implementation is right.
The K-01 burned Pentax's hand. The Exec's that OK'd it (and convinced the board that it would sell for $850) need to forget about the K-01.

Pentax will try again; the market will force them. EVF's will eventually get 'good enough' (they're already pretty good) that Pentax will join the fray.

It's just tough to separate the failure of Pentax's project in the market with a failure of the market.
05-21-2014, 07:41 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
EVF's will eventually get 'good enough' (they're already pretty good) that Pentax will join the fray.
FWIW, In the last 12 months I have heard directly from Pentax Exec (and posted a summary of that conversation HERE) they probably do not believe LED EVF is good enough yet. They see potential in OLED and are committed to 100% passive (OVF) on all dSLR bodies. That might be a significant MILC hurdle holding Pentax back.
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