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09-17-2013, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #2611
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
cali92rs: Fallacy of the single cause
IMHO products like the K-5 (up to date, not stop gap) are part of the solution to increase the market share. It can't be a single product, nor two or three; but a constant stream of competent, well-placed products. This must be supported by marketing, production, distribution and support; basically they must work to improve on every area.
If thats the case, then I think they are really in trouble. They have had a couple years now to put their products in our face and I have yet to see any improvement between Ricoh and Hoya. Confusing website, no TV or B&M presence, etc. Unlike developing a top of the line DSLR, tHose are things they couldve done right out of the gate when buying Pentax. Advertising and marketing are low hanging fruit that doesnt take 2 years.

09-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #2612
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Again you're singling out pieces from the puzzle. Advertising? It doesn't make sense to pour lots of money into it, before it's really needed; every piece must be sized accordingly, so everything would fit. And no, it can't be "done right out of the gate", it's not that easy.

Signs of improvement are talked about in this very forum. Their new additions to their website, going in India, getting back in stores, advertising... not as dramatic as you (probably) want, but it's happening.
09-17-2013, 02:32 PM   #2613
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
If thats the case, then I think they are really in trouble. They have had a couple years now to put their products in our face and I have yet to see any improvement between Ricoh and Hoya. Confusing website, no TV or B&M presence, etc. Unlike developing a top of the line DSLR, tHose are things they couldve done right out of the gate when buying Pentax. Advertising and marketing are low hanging fruit that doesnt take 2 years.
I think what Pentax has done with the K5 and since K5, confirms the thought they had a good plan. They also knew they cannot be dependant on the K-mount line alone. So the Q was launched soon after the K5, K-r was on the market too, 645D too. Then K-01 a year ago, and K-30.

However, Ricoh did interfere in those plans, at least indirectly. Pentax system camera manager told in the interview they have planned a true entry level camera all along, but it came out only a few months ago, as the K500. Why it was stopped before? Restructuring of the camera division, I presume, which allows for no extra cost. It was also reasonable to surmise the K3 with 20PM+ sensor was planned to be introduced in 2012, 2 years after the K5, but the K5II was presented. Ricoh's interference is obvious, because they have rather upgraded a well received camera like the K5 than risked with a new one they didn't have enough time and money to polish up — time lost in restructuring.

And because they didn't do it in 2012, they've most likely decided to do it in a year's time, or late 2013, when the new image processor is due to come anyway. Thus to us, it all looks like a slow motion with no real oomph.
09-17-2013, 03:15 PM   #2614
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I think what Pentax has done with the K5 and since K5, confirms the thought they had a good plan. They also knew they cannot be dependant on the K-mount line alone. So the Q was launched soon after the K5, K-r was on the market too, 645D too. Then K-01 a year ago, and K-30.

However, Ricoh did interfere in those plans, at least indirectly. Pentax system camera manager told in the interview they have planned a true entry level camera all along, but it came out only a few months ago, as the K500. Why it was stopped before? Restructuring of the camera division, I presume, which allows for no extra cost. It was also reasonable to surmise the K3 with 20PM+ sensor was planned to be introduced in 2012, 2 years after the K5, but the K5II was presented. Ricoh's interference is obvious, because they have rather upgraded a well received camera like the K5 than risked with a new one they didn't have enough time and money to polish up time lost in restructuring.

And because they didn't do it in 2012, they've most likely decided to do it in a year's time, or late 2013, when the new image processor is due to come anyway. Thus to us, it all looks like a slow motion with no real oomph.
And now they are more friendly to most loyal customer wallets who always buy the very newest camera. Not only best price=performance camera, but best price=performance brand in long run.

09-17-2013, 03:24 PM   #2615
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
You're brilliant! One K-5x for me please! Such a thing would have 48mp. No wait, a K-5iii/s-Mx, I would prefer to see the monochrome image in the vf.
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09-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #2616
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K-50/500 are reboxed K-30. Made in a very conservative mold that is designed to appeal to more people rather than appear audacious. THey may well do the same thing with the K-5 replacement but improve the AF, CPU and Sensor. I would expect the latest Sony 20MP sensor with on-board PDF. This would also offer a mirrorless design possibility too.

I've been predicting their FF offering will just be a crop mode on a mirrorless 645D MK2. This could be a compact camera about the size of a D800 with a grip attached and yet be 60 to 80MP. They're going to have to do those sensor sizes at least because you can bet that a 54MP FF will be coming for Nikon and/or Canon very soon. You get 54MP when you create a FF sensor using the same pixel density as a APS-C 24MP sensor so that has to be next.. or perhaps a 45MP camera based on a 20MP APS-C sensor tech will be next as it probably offers better IQ and maybe the on sensor PDF.
09-17-2013, 04:07 PM   #2617
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
If thats the case, then I think they are really in trouble. They have had a couple years now to put their products in our face and I have yet to see any improvement between Ricoh and Hoya. Confusing website, no TV or B&M presence, etc. Unlike developing a top of the line DSLR, tHose are things they couldve done right out of the gate when buying Pentax. Advertising and marketing are low hanging fruit that doesnt take 2 years.
Actually, they've started fixing each of things things you mention over just the last several weeks. Just off the top of my head:
  1. Understand they've spent the last 18 months completely focused on Japan
  2. They advertise extensively on Japanese television
  3. They've (reportedly) rationalized the manufacturing processes, as evidenced by Build-to-Order colors and the new, simpler bodies. BTO will be a hallmark.
  4. They've openly published their "5 Reasons to Own Pentax" with which we may not agree, but at least we know.
  5. They've placed a significant, Full-Page ad in the current Popular Photography
  6. They've revamped the .jp website and established a global visual schema and theme for Pentax
  7. Ricoh Imaging Americas has extensively reworked the US website, made it faster to load, more logical, aligned the schema and theme with Japan, made the content topical, done a much batter job of featuring new products on day-of-announcement (same with the remaining global region sites).
  8. They're starting on-the-street demonstrations in US cities (much more to come on that as fall comes)
  9. They've introduced a whole host of product improvements and extensions this year - nearly one new thing each month.
  10. So far we've only seen the consumer story. The enthusiast / semi-pro story is hinted at with the redone DA Limiteds, the rumored K-3, as-yet unknown flash specifics and rumored lenses rising from the Roadmap (xx~70/2.8?). The top tier will likely be different from consumer and will feed right into FF (which likely IS coming, but a bit later).
Part of Ricoh's strategy seems to be constant, iterative improvement of products they know work rather than big, splashy new products that are "Beta-tested" by the early adopters (Sensor stains on the first K-5's, for instance). We are accustomed to 40 years of Pentax and the "Next Big Thing" that will save the company. Well, doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is insane. Ricoh is doing something different.


Their time horizon is seven years. Ours seems to be seven weeks. Dissonance is never comfortable.
09-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #2618
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
..[*]So far we've only seen the consumer story. The enthusiast / semi-pro story is hinted at with the redone DA Limiteds, the rumored K-3, as-yet unknown flash specifics and rumored lenses rising from the Roadmap (xx~70/2.8?).
:
It is 18-70/f2.8. Watch the roadmap, it's hinted there, but rather watch the announcement this autumn.

18-70/2.8 is Pentax APS-C close equivalent for one for the most famous Canon lenses, 24-105/4 for FF. I think it's a very smart, very good move, and it somewhat proves they do build a pro APS-C terrain.

As for the rest I agree; it was about damn time Pentax changed the futile and desperate Hail Mary pass strategy. It never worked.

09-17-2013, 06:15 PM   #2619
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Agreed ... they are going to milk the "K-5" cash cow at least a third time (K-5, K-5ii/s, K-5iii/x ? with more MP +) ... buys time to better set up the next wave generation(s) ... J

I've been saying this since they released the K-50 and K-500 (even in this thread).. glad someone else caught on!

There is little reason for them to call it anything but K-5 mark iii or the like... they just spent a lot of money lining up the K-5xx naming scheme when they could have just kept the K-30 out there and released the K-3 (which of course they didn't).
09-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #2620
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The K5 had quality control problems. Serious ones. The K5II and s seem to have a much better reputation and build. As mentioned, it isn't some majestic release with a 50-50 chance of success that will work. It is good solid products that sell. The K50 and 500 are a great example of this, very solid well featured products that work well and are inexpensive. I do think that Ricoh is a bit slow, but they need something that works well out of the box. A couple of months makes a huge difference in the end product.

If you look at Nikon and Canon, they have price lines. The low end stuff, to the high end, in increments. They upgrade each line every few years, taking technology that was developed for the higher end and trickling it down through the product offering. I'm certain that they have optimized their production between lines as much as possible. If I go in a store, or on amazon or something similar, I can find a decent camera for my price range. Pentax doesn't have that, but they started. They seem to announce something every couple or three weeks, and have done so for the last while. We are almost due for another one. Each one fills a need that someone has been asking for. My needs haven't yet been filled, but I expect it will. I don't want a K50 or K500. The Q7 is a possible. The flashes are great but not for me. The HD limiteds are tempting, and I may go for them one day. The next iteration of the apc-s is what I'm waiting for and will buy. A tc is a buy. After that we shall see. There are holes in their offerings that I suspect will be filled competently. The only question is how long someone is willing to wait.

For me, I've looked at what I shot this year with the decent lenses that I bought. DA300 and a 12-24 wide. I'd like longer, and have choices. There are a few things that I really want improved, the K5iis almost does it, but not quite. But I can take very nice shots with what I have, and am doing so. Buy what you need based on rational economic decisions. Then take photos, lots of them. Anything anyone comes out with in the coming months is going to be a slightly marginal improvement, welcome but marginal. I hope Pentax surprises me with excellence, but excellence describes the market alternatives, so they have to.

All I can say is that it is a great time to be in the market. Everyone is beating each other with steel pipes for a market advantage. We benefit. A K-3 released earlier this year probably would have been eclipsed by the Nikon and Canon releases, now the bar is set and I suspect Ricoh-Pentax will match or better them. Something equivalent to the Canon and Nikon apc-s offerings with better IQ and better processing would be nice, plus fixing some of the shortcomings of the K5 series. These goals aren't out of reach. I don't want them to hurry. The K5 I bought became the outstanding camera body that it is after Pentax Canada went through it and finished what the factory should have done. Ricoh seems to have learned that lesson.
09-17-2013, 06:31 PM   #2621
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
I've been saying this since they released the K-50 and K-500 (even in this thread).. glad someone else caught on!

There is little reason for them to call it anything but K-5 mark iii or the like... they just spent a lot of money lining up the K-5xx naming scheme when they could have just kept the K-30 out there and released the K-3 (which of course they didn't).
That would kinda explain why the new ad lacks any number designation in the promotional images:

5Reasons to choose PENTAX | RICOH IMAGING
09-17-2013, 06:31 PM   #2622
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Again you're singling out pieces from the puzzle. Advertising? It doesn't make sense to pour lots of money into it, before it's really needed; every piece must be sized accordingly, so everything would fit. And no, it can't be "done right out of the gate", it's not that easy.

Signs of improvement are talked about in this very forum. Their new additions to their website, going in India, getting back in stores, advertising... not as dramatic as you (probably) want, but it's happening.
Advertising is the main reason, IMO, that Ricoh bought Pentax. To further push their massive printer/copier etc. buisinesses. I think people were mistaken when they thought Ricoh's deep pockets would be available. They seem relatively cautious with regards to thier products, I expect a slow and steady approach, but good products will come. We may need some patience.
09-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #2623
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I think what Pentax has done with the K5 and since K5, confirms the thought they had a good plan. They also knew they cannot be dependant on the K-mount line alone. So the Q was launched soon after the K5, K-r was on the market too, 645D too. Then K-01 a year ago, and K-30.

However, Ricoh did interfere in those plans, at least indirectly. Pentax system camera manager told in the interview they have planned a true entry level camera all along, but it came out only a few months ago, as the K500. Why it was stopped before? Restructuring of the camera division, I presume, which allows for no extra cost. It was also reasonable to surmise the K3 with 20PM+ sensor was planned to be introduced in 2012, 2 years after the K5, but the K5II was presented. Ricoh's interference is obvious, because they have rather upgraded a well received camera like the K5 than risked with a new one they didn't have enough time and money to polish up — time lost in restructuring.

And because they didn't do it in 2012, they've most likely decided to do it in a year's time, or late 2013, when the new image processor is due to come anyway. Thus to us, it all looks like a slow motion with no real oomph.

There's a lot of supposition in this account of events, which is fine, but I don't think this is a likely explanation. What I see is pretty much business as usual - the low-end DSLR is released on a roughly 1-year cycle and the high end on an 18-month cycle. The only deviation from this is the delay of the K-30, K-5II and Q10, due to the earthquake/flooding situation in 2011. This in turn meant their successors appeared to come sooner than usual, especially the Q7. But basically, there is no significant change under Ricoh.

Why on earth would Ricoh delay releases of good products? I don't see what is wrong with the simple explanation that a camera takes 18-24 months to produce, and Hoya didn't have much in the pipeline. It would make sense for them to try to reduce expenditure on R&D if they were trying to make the division look more profitable for sale. If this is the case, we should start seeing cameras from post-merger Ricoh/Pentax right about now and their true direction will become clearer.

As for cali92rs' comment about lack of marketing, that doesn't seem at all accurate for Japan. TV ads and increased store presence started very soon after the merger. There are numerous accounts on this forum of Pentax cameras starting to appear in American specialist camera stores too, so Pentax doesn't seem to be idle in the US either. However, It would be extremely wasteful to pay for TV ads aimed at the mass market in a country where the product is not on the shelves where the mass market shops.

The really interesting question for me is how the cameras above the K-50 will be positioned. The K-5II is being described by the press in Japan as "lower mid-class" and I cannot believe Ricoh is satisfied with that representing the top end of the line-up. So, I have a feeling that the top end camera will be more expensive and advanced than the K-5II - more like the Nikon D300 was. That leaves space for another camera between the K-50 and the hypothetical K-3. Since there has been no successor to the K-01 yet, I wonder whether it will be replaced by a small, nicely-designed K-mount camera, to be used with the just-renewed limited lenses. I suppose an alternative would be just to continue with K-5-type cameras. But I think it's reasonable to expect two cameras by the end of the year.
09-17-2013, 06:54 PM   #2624
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
.. That leaves space for another camera between the K-50 and the hypothetical K-3. Since there has been no successor to the K-01 yet, I wonder whether it will be replaced by a small, nicely-designed K-mount camera, to be used with the just-renewed limited lenses. I suppose an alternative would be just to continue with K-5-type cameras. But I think it's reasonable to expect two cameras by the end of the year.
The whole DSLR idea needs some refreshment, it's boring as hell, and both Nikon and Canon don't have small enough and beautiful enough lenses to go with a simpler and more retro look.
That what you noted above were my thoughts too. A small retro-looking camera, made for primes and small zooms. Something that isn't a blobby DSLR, but something that shows both Fuji and Oly how small retro cameras are done. Let is have 20MP+ and a new engine, it will blow our socks off.
With such a camera, if it sports a nice, classic pentaprism too, flash can be placed on the left, in the Leica X2 / Pentax MX-1 style. But like with everything else, this is just our user's fantasy.
09-17-2013, 10:51 PM   #2625
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
.

As for cali92rs' comment about lack of marketing, that doesn't seem at all accurate for Japan. TV ads and increased store presence started very soon after the merger. There are numerous accounts on this forum of Pentax cameras starting to appear in American specialist camera stores too, so Pentax doesn't seem to be idle in the US
That doesn't surprise me regarding advertising in Japan. Pentax/Ricoh seems to be VERY japan-centric based on the products they sell there which aren't available elsewhere in the world.

As for an American presence. ..ummm not really. A few stores in St Louis carry Pentax. One store in San Diego carried a Q and I don't recall any stores in LA that carried any Pentax DSLRs.
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