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07-14-2010, 08:24 AM   #16
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In the absence of the unveiling of a completely revamped Pentax lens lineup at Photokina... I think a realistic lens roadmap would be appropriate. That's because the lack of new product over the past couple of years has a number of Pentaxians wondering if they should stay with the system. They need something to give them confidence going forward.

As for me, I don't expect a totally revamped lineup (I don't think any of us realistically can). But if they unveil a number key new products and then demonstrate that there's more to come, I'll feel a lot better. I'm not asking for the moon. Just some solid evidence that Pentax is moving forward and products that I want will be coming. But if they show us an updated K-7 and otherwise continue their silence, the writing may be on the wall.

At that point, the question for me will be do I fill holes in my Pentax lens collection with Sigmas... or stop adding to my Pentax kit and eventually switch systems?

07-14-2010, 08:41 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
are very common in many industries, particularly for businesses that have a small market share and that are growing or taking a new direction.

It's a credibility thing: "We don't have everything you need now but you can be confident that it will be available when you need it."

We took that line at AT&T, as well, but declined to share roadmaps with any but our very largest customers, e.g., global financial organizations. Our competitors were much more aggressive with roadmaps as they were playing catch-up. (You can imagine that this was quite some time ago.)

If Hoya can make a commitment, it would be best if they issued a roadmap. That assumes, of course, that the roadmap is impressive. Otherwise ....
One can argue that M4/3 has been successful in part because of the confidence in the roadmap and a relatively decent execution.

For Pentaxians, the lack of a roadmap, especially when considering core purchasers on higher-margin items, frustrates buying decisions, either softening demand, looking for legacy alternatives, or simply moving to a brand with existing solutions. Tilt-shift lens, anyone? Teleconverter? Fast 35?
07-14-2010, 09:07 AM   #18
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I think Pentax abandoning the roadmap was due to two major factors:

- it made apparent some embarassingly slow product launches (60-250, 645D... Teleconverters? Supertele?)
- after the takeover, hoya was unsure where to go with Pentax

Now that Hoya has committed and put Pentax back on track, they probably have a clearer picture of where they want to go and in what timeframe they can achieve it. I think a new roadmap - with aspiring, yet realistic goals - would give customers of this relatively small brand some reassurance.

On the other hand, you probably wouldn't find an EVIL on that roadmap even if it were planned. Maybe they wouldn't even announce a FF camera before launch. Because of course a planned product generates less of a stir on market entry than an unexpected one.

So I think Pentax won't ever do a full roadmap - at most a lens roadmap for already existing systems (as we had before). This way, they can drop vague hints (for instance, new D-FA lenses would point to a possible FF body in the future) without committing to anything or spoiling the surprise too much.
07-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #19
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It's hard to understand the reason for holding back on new lens information. Maybe it's possible they don't want new glass being the reason for customers skipping out on existing glass? I'd like a strong telephoto lens (and a FA31 ltd ), but I'm kind of wish-washy on the 60-250mm and 300mm (the two most likely candidates).

07-15-2010, 10:11 PM   #20
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Marketers seem to believe that the element of surprise is a major value. Therefore, whether there is to be an upgraded K-7, something in between it and the K-X, a full-frame model, or whatever, they will keep it a secret as long as possible to get the maximum pizzaz from each unveiling. I doubt if they believe that any such new developments are successfully being kept from their competitors.

Personally, I prefer the Roadmap approach, and apply it to bodies as well as to lenses. Let us know what's coming down the Pike so we can plan. The Roadmap is still online at the Pentax site (http://www.pentax.jp/english/imaging/digital/lens/roadmap.pdf), so it's not clear to me that they have totally abandoned it. I'd love to see them pull it back out from under the rug and add bodies to it. If they want to surprise the amateur market with a new line of cameras that not only come in colors but glow in the dark, that's up to them, but many buyers of higher end gear would like to know what's in store for the future and I'm fairly certain they would be no less likely to buy it because of that knowledge.

When you consider that the 645D has been around the shows, blogs and press in prototype form for a long time, it would have to be the world's most extreme example of the opposite of surprise marketing (unless one is surprised that Pentax finally got it together after all). Does that mean that the person with a bunch of 645 lenses and/or an interest in MF digital is likely to be any less interested in having one? Doubtful. Would a surprise announcement have made it more desirable? Again, doubtful.
07-16-2010, 12:50 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonDouglas Quote
Marketers seem to believe that the element of surprise is a major value. Therefore, whether there is to be an upgraded K-7, something in between it and the K-X, a full-frame model, or whatever, they will keep it a secret as long as possible to get the maximum pizzaz from each unveiling. I doubt if they believe that any such new developments are successfully being kept from their competitors.
Don,
We are all speculating so all we have is our opinions. Who knows who is right.

As much as i individually would like to know what pentax's future plans are, I think it would be a huge mistake, particularly for any small company to broadcast their future market strategy and products. It tells the bigger competitors what opportunities Pentax sees in the market place and allows the bigger company an opportunity to compete for that same turf. Also, by committing to a lens or camera roadmap, the company becomes less flexible in its ability to confront a changing technical environment because its now locked up a commitment to its customer base.

I applaud Pentax for attempting to keep their business plans secret. That gives me more confidence in them than if they did otherwise.
07-16-2010, 11:26 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by olenl Quote
I'd like prime aps-c 10mm diagonal fisheye and a circular one.

soon going to buy sigma 10mm anyway though.

I mean, what's the point in fisheye zoom? if i wanted 17mm fisheye I'd just pick rectilinear wide angle lens instead ... the only point in fisheyes is the ability to shoot panoramas in a few shots, and for panoramas I need equal sharpness all over the frame and as little as possible CA along with that, which 10-17 apparently (according to reviews/tests) ultimately fails to deliver ...
A fisheye at 17 is much wider than a rectilinear lens at 17 mm!

It's FOV at 17 is very near the FOV of my 12-24 rectilinear at 12mm, so the 10-17 zoom range of the Pentax fisheye zoom really has its use. I can use it eg at 15mm when the 12-24 it just not sufficiently wide.

The 10-17 does not have a lot of lateral ca on the kx sensor, it did have a lot of PF on my k10 however.

Last edited by tomtor; 07-17-2010 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Added 12-24 to the explanation
07-17-2010, 12:23 AM   #23
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I think manufacturers are struggling to stay ahead of the market. Canon knew HD video would be a selling point, but had no idea it would change the market. Neither did Sony who had just rolled out the A900 and has been sitting on the sidelines watching as HD video has been a big driver for sales. Nikon has also been playing catch-up.

Nikon has been so busy raising the bar for clean high-ISO that they have kind of lost sight of some other key technologies and market demand. A friend of my who has used Nikon since his F-1 is always complaining about the things Canon and Sony offer that Nikon does not. Grass is always greener.

EVIL camera were ignored by all the major players until Olympus and Panasonic stormed the Japanese market with them and took a huge chunk of sales. Pentax and Canon are still watching, but Nikon and Sony are moving in. Samsung thinks this will be a huge market segment.

I think "roadmaps" have been torn up over the last 3 years. If Pentax releases a lens road map with a new D-FA 24-70 f/2.8 then they are pretty much telling everyone they are introducing a full frame body.

Pentax was caught off guard with demand for the 645D. The first production run was sold out before it was in production.

07-17-2010, 03:01 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonDouglas Quote
Marketers seem to believe that the element of surprise is a major value. . . . . . . . .
Although I'm about as far as you can get from a consumer product marketing guru, my experience is in general agreement with your assertion.

Even so, it's interesting that over the last several years, automobile manufacturers have "introduced" new models (particularly those aimed at enthusiasts) long before they materialize in dealer showrooms. Near-production "prototypes" appear in auto shows one or two years before the first example is manufactured for sale, and builders often establish websites dedicated to new models months before a customer can place an order. Two or three years ago I read a piece (I think in WSJ but I'm probably wrong) about this practice, and I remember a couple of the points people were making in support of early introductions:

1) Creating a "buzz" around a new car will develop an enthusiastic customer base and thus ensure high early sales.

2) Controlling the message (especially with a dedicated web site) generates a demand for a new model while managing expectations and preventing disappointment when production actually begins.

However, I recently saw an article (sorry, I can't remember where) that claimed many auto marketing folks are becoming disillusioned with early model introductions for a number of reasons, including:

1) A "buzz" stretched out too long can become a bore, and a new model can become "old hat" before the first one is sold.

2) Early introductions poison interest in exsiting models far too early in their life cycles, destroying demand for and margins on cars that will remain in production and inventory for months if not years.

Frankly, all of these points (pro and con) seem reasonable to me - guess that's why I'm a scientist and not a marketing guy.

Jer

Last edited by Sailor; 07-18-2010 at 07:21 AM.
07-18-2010, 07:51 AM   #25
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And certainly a lack of roadmap allows for more flexibility. As a former Sony user I might still be there with my new compact "A750", but micro 4:3 diverted Sony's road to NEX, possible pellicle designs... everything but an A700 replacement. I'm absurdly happy with the 7-series cam I have now, so thank you Sony!

While I'd like to know Pentax' plans, I appreciate what they offer now and will continue to hope their dreams align with mine. I sincerely hope they are more concerned with their SLR base than Sony. I'd take a short Pentax roadmap, to give me some surety but allow them enough space to realign as needed!

Last edited by jimr-pdx; 07-18-2010 at 07:52 AM. Reason: oopz
07-18-2010, 10:05 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
And certainly a lack of roadmap allows for more flexibility. As a former Sony user I might still be there with my new compact "A750", but micro 4:3 diverted Sony's road to NEX, possible pellicle designs... everything but an A700 replacement. I'm absurdly happy with the 7-series cam I have now, so thank you Sony!

While I'd like to know Pentax' plans, I appreciate what they offer now and will continue to hope their dreams align with mine. I sincerely hope they are more concerned with their SLR base than Sony. I'd take a short Pentax roadmap, to give me some surety but allow them enough space to realign as needed!
As a long time Canon 5D user I was looking forward to the 5DII, but was pretty disappointed with what Canon released. The A900 is a better camera (for me) and I have been looking at moving over to Sony for awhile. The CZ 85mm, 135mm and 24-70 are three best in class lenses. Sony did seem to drop the ball a little bit with the A700. Why discontinue a model before having anything ready to replace it?
07-18-2010, 01:19 PM   #27
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I have heard that new Pentax equipment..specifically lenses and a DSLR body will appear in the Spring of 2011.

I'm sorry, but I can't divulge my source or sources.

I may have said too much already.

Let's just say that I know...and leave it at that.
07-18-2010, 01:21 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
As a long time Canon 5D user I was looking forward to the 5DII, but was pretty disappointed with what Canon released. The A900 is a better camera (for me) and I have been looking at moving over to Sony for awhile. The CZ 85mm, 135mm and 24-70 are three best in class lenses. Sony did seem to drop the ball a little bit with the A700. Why discontinue a model before having anything ready to replace it?
How do you know ..."...The CZ 85mm, 135mm and 24-70 are three best in class lenses..." ?

I haven't noted that in any reviews or tests ?
07-18-2010, 01:32 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I have heard that new Pentax equipment..specifically lenses and a DSLR body will appear in the Spring of 2011.

I'm sorry, but I can't divulge my source or sources.

I may have said too much already.

Let's just say that I know...and leave it at that.
appear as in being available for purchase or just being introduced? so what about photokina? can we hope for some new dslr stuff from pentax?

what does your "source" say?
07-18-2010, 02:04 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I have heard that new Pentax equipment..specifically lenses and a DSLR body will appear in the Spring of 2011.

I'm sorry, but I can't divulge my source or sources.

I may have said too much already.

Let's just say that I know...and leave it at that.

you could at least tell us if you're excited by the prospect.
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