Originally posted by NaClH2O I do work in manufacturing, in fact Japanese manufacturing. Many of our Japanese suppliers do not have sequential serial numbers, many other systems are in play. Some are date/time based, some are location/assemby line based etc. We have no way of knowing if Pentax uses any of the above or some other system. It may even be that Pentax S/N's are sequential, but for the entire pentax camera line including P&S cameras. The generation of serial numbers is a closely held secret in many Japanese companies.

NaCl(unfortunately you cannot use serial numbers to try to determine the # of K-5s produced w/o knowing the S/N system used)H2O

No more need to estimate production numbers: I have verified through Pentax Japan that the official production volume of the K-5 is indeed, as others have stated, 18,000 units per month (

????????????K????????????PENTAX?K-5?????PENTAX). Assuming the K-5 had been in production for 3 months (from September to week 50) before the manufacturing issue was found, that means a total of 54,000 units in the affected time period. That means my estimate was in fact an underestimate and Pentax could quite possibly lose even

*more* than I calculated.

As for the serial number conundrum, true we cannot know how it really works without asking Pentax themselves, but there are plenty of clues lying around that give a pretty good idea. All known K-5s, K-rs and the final produced K-xs for the affected period occupy the same 150,000 serial number sequence, while all previous Pentax DSLRs since the K10D (besides special editions) fall within distinct, chronological sequences, with contemporaneous models overlapping (check the serial number database). Thus I think it is a reasonable assumption to say that the numbers are linked to a general production time period, even if the exact distribution method between contemporaneous models is unknown.

Anyway, we can definitely rule out the idea that the serial number sequence includes P&Ss. It is a mathematical impossibility for the K-5 to account for more than 1/3 of serial numbers, when at least 2 cameras are definitively known to greatly outsell/produce it in the same time period: W90 and I-10, let alone the other Optios, the K-r and however many remaining K-xs were produced in that time.

The 150,000 estimate from counting serial numbers still looks like a very reasonable estimate for total Pentax DSLR production in the 3 month period following the introduction of 2 new models, with the K-5 taking up roughly 1/3 of that.