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05-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #1801
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I agree that the MX-1 is a solid camera release, and the GR an outstanding coup. But I'm not following you: Ricoh should have thought more outside the box, but you use the GXR as an example of them...thinking too far outside the box?

A system camera isn't complex until it comes time to produce a volume of lenses. Ricoh has already shown, with the GXR, that they're happy to use someone else's lenses for their cameras--which makes sense, because cameras are where the money is these days.

I guess I'm not understanding what's so difficult about the "system camera."

The difficulty for Ricoh was that, it seems, they desperately wanted to try system camera development, and knew they were too small a player to introduce all new lenses in a new mount. They wanted to play big game, yet they knew they were small. And out of vanity started a futile project.

To me, GXR was a waste of resources — it was dead before it was launched. It is one of those concepts that any sane CEO would scrap before a penny went into it. It would be much better if they had developed more robust and meaningful fixed lens compact cameras instead — or expand on GR philosophy — that may attract a variety of users.

But they didn't. So instead of being leaders in a really good and interesting market segment, they needed to catch up with Leica X1/X2, Fuji X100/X100s, Nikon Coolpix A, even Sigma, etc. and allow others to define rules and expectations.

When you're last to the game, only one strategy works — a desperate fight with low prices

Now they come last to the game and define themselves — what a surprise! — with ridiculously low prices. With some people still thinking whether to get Nikon over GR despite Coolpix A being almost $300 more expensive in the West, only confirms the fact that Ricoh came last and that established tastes, expectations, prejudices and brand stigma they can only fight with — prices. Pretty much the same exhausting job and "strategy" Pentax must do in the system camera market.

One more problem — Prejudices are strong, the perception of the brand is low

The perception of the brand is so low at the moment that even if Pentax comes out with a FF fixed lens compact that blows the RX1 to dust and is $1000 cheaper, people would still believe it's a shaky value and that Sony is a safer bet. You'll need an army of more brainy bloggers and vloggers like Blunty to try to reassure folks Pentax is a safe bet and much better value.

The Ricoh camera division and Pentax story is a story about two losers with poor, shortsighted management, who did not encourage serious investment in areas where those companies were the strongest. But it's a story with a hopeful twist and some lessons learned .. let's see what the few next chapters will reveal.


Last edited by Uluru; 05-29-2013 at 08:37 PM.
05-30-2013, 12:12 AM   #1802
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GXR is unique product and real breakthrough...But Ricoh is too weak in marketing of GXR. GXR + A12 M mount is real and outstanding alternative (cheaper, by the way, than Leica) to any other products for M-mount. By the way, with very good IQ. With higher IQ than NEX could with M-lenses.
05-30-2013, 12:14 AM   #1803
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We are close to June... Deep silence from side of Pentax...
05-30-2013, 12:16 AM   #1804
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
GXR is unique product and real breakthrough...But Ricoh is too weak in marketing of GXR. GXR + A12 M mount is real and outstanding alternative (cheaper, by the way, than Leica) to any other products for M-mount. By the way, with very good IQ. With higher IQ than NEX could with M-lenses.
I can confirm that. I know a person that uses the GXR with M module and it seems fantastic.

Lets just hope this technology will not just disappear but somehow ends up in an exciting new PRI product.

05-30-2013, 01:01 AM   #1805
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
The difficulty for Ricoh was that, it seems, they desperately wanted to try system camera development, and knew they were too small a player to introduce all new lenses in a new mount. They wanted to play big game, yet they knew they were small. And out of vanity started a futile project.

To me, GXR was a waste of resources it was dead before it was launched. It is one of those concepts that any sane CEO would scrap before a penny went into it. It would be much better if they had developed more robust and meaningful fixed lens compact cameras instead or expand on GR philosophy that may attract a variety of users.

But they didn't. So instead of being leaders in a really good and interesting market segment, they needed to catch up with Leica X1/X2, Fuji X100/X100s, Nikon Coolpix A, even Sigma, etc. and allow others to define rules and expectations.

When you're last to the game, only one strategy works a desperate fight with low prices

Now they come last to the game and define themselves what a surprise! with ridiculously low prices. With some people still thinking whether to get Nikon over GR despite Coolpix A being almost $300 more expensive in the West, only confirms the fact that Ricoh came last and that established tastes, expectations, prejudices and brand stigma they can only fight with prices. Pretty much the same exhausting job and "strategy" Pentax must do in the system camera market.

One more problem Prejudices are strong, the perception of the brand is low

The perception of the brand is so low at the moment that even if Pentax comes out with a FF fixed lens compact that blows the RX1 to dust and is $1000 cheaper, people would still believe it's a shaky value and that Sony is a safer bet. You'll need an army of more brainy bloggers and vloggers like Blunty to try to reassure folks Pentax is a safe bet and much better value.

The Ricoh camera division and Pentax story is a story about two losers with poor, shortsighted management, who did not encourage serious investment in areas where those companies were the strongest. But it's a story with a hopeful twist and some lessons learned .. let's see what the few next chapters will reveal.
I think you're being a bit harsh with this analysis, although there are some points that I agree with. Ricoh undoubtedly had sufficiently deep pockets to do a bit more with the GXR than they chose to (an integrated EVF comes to mind as something that might have helped, earlier on). They didn't, which either makes them timid about their product or conservative in investing in a niche market.

Sony isn't timid or conservative, but it certainly has been haemorrhaging cash on its electronics divisions in the past few years, so whose is the better business strategy? If Sony does go under or at least decide to divest itself of the major loss-making parts of its business, how will this period of its history be viewed: as a company that failed in a bold attempt to recreate greatness in product development, or a company with a catastrophic blind spot that led to inevitable failure?

I think, though, that Pentax and Ricoh are giving conflicting signals with their recent pricing strategies. The recent lens pricing suggests that Pentax is aligning itself with the market leaders, while the GR pricing suggests Ricoh is offering itself as a value for money brand (I don't think there's any way you can portray an $800 point-and-shoot camera as "cheap", even if it is a niche product within that category).
05-30-2013, 02:04 AM   #1806
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
We are close to June... Deep silence from side of Pentax...
It's not even the 31th of may! You are so impatient.

05-30-2013, 02:06 AM   #1807
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
It's not even the 31th of may! You are so impatient.
What? Was something supposed to happen in June?

I'm having trouble keeping up with all the we-want-new-rumours-threads.
05-30-2013, 02:11 AM - 1 Like   #1808
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
What? Was something supposed to happen in June?
Probably someone heard about someone that read on RHs blog that someone had heard of someone having a dream about Pentax releasing a camera in a month with U in its name.

Isn't that roughly the state of the rumor mill right now?

05-30-2013, 09:32 AM   #1809
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
What? Was something supposed to happen in June?
Same thing supposed to happen every month... Pentax taking over the (photographic) world
05-30-2013, 09:36 AM - 2 Likes   #1810
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
Probably someone heard about someone that read on RHs blog that someone had heard of someone having a dream about Pentax releasing a camera in a month with U in its name.

Isn't that roughly the state of the rumor mill right now?
More months with "U" in them ... July, August, Septumber, Octuber, Novumber, Decumber, etc. ...
05-30-2013, 12:05 PM - 7 Likes   #1811
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I'd prefer that Pentax engineers work on improved AF and flash support with APS-C than FF with the same old AF and flash.
05-30-2013, 12:13 PM   #1812
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Think anything will actually be released this year on the DSLR front? April came and went, rumors buzzed around and came to nothing. Before there were leaks and such, but so far nothing at all. I liked it when I could blow the Nikon guys away with my camera that did crazy ISO range and dynamic range, but I can't do that any more. It makes me sad.
05-30-2013, 12:14 PM   #1813
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I'd prefer that Pentax engineers work on improved AF and flash support with APS-C than FF with the same old AF and flash.
+1 and then some
05-30-2013, 12:32 PM   #1814
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I'd prefer that Pentax engineers work on improved AF and flash support with APS-C than FF with the same old AF and flash.
Hear, hear!
05-30-2013, 12:37 PM   #1815
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I'd prefer that Pentax engineers work on improved AF and flash support with APS-C than FF with the same old AF and flash.
WR primes with quick shift, anyone?
Bueller?
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