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09-18-2013, 04:59 AM   #2641
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I see one more option, in the realm of 645.

A. Now we have 40MP 645D. Keep it in the lineup. It's 1.3x crop, I believe, and is a good option.
B. A new model may have a 60MP MF sensor, at 1.1x crop, which is currently available. A top of the line MF camera.
C. Why not use the same new image processor, same body and tech, and not make a 645 ... but with a state of the art current 135 format FF sensor inside? This one priced quite competitively and is a viable (another) FF solution.

I think (C) is a better solution than crop the image of a 60MP sensor in camera (B) which is so much more expensive. And it expands the appeal of the 645D system.
Option C would mean a heavy crop, is that indeed what you suggest? And slow because of slow mirror mechanics (but if you lock up the mirror of course).
Option B is lot better But if keeping a heavily cropped 645, better have a modern CMOS than an old CCD, sure.

09-18-2013, 05:09 AM   #2642
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A FF sensor in 645 would not work well as lenses would be slower then on other FF system, much larger and wide angle options would be limited.
For the price of Pentax 645 25/4, you can get Nikon D800 + 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/4.
09-18-2013, 05:20 AM   #2643
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
A FF sensor in 645 would not work well as lenses would be slower then on other FF system, much larger and wide angle options would be limited.
For the price of Pentax 645 25/4, you can get Nikon D800 + 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/4.
There are plenty of 645 lenses on eBay for a faction of the price of a good FF lens.
09-18-2013, 05:28 AM   #2644
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
The trouble is that the entire camera biz is a minute cottage industry compared to automobiles or IT. Even those offer only a limited range of custom options but at least I don't have to wait too long or pay too much because they can be assembled from plants in my part of the world using components made in their millions by companies with huge investment budgets. Now imagine you lose most of the economies of scale and have to ship the stuff around from somewhere in the Philippines on, comparatively, a shoestring budget. Goodbye to your margins unless you are shipping to Japan and SE Asia. Most folks just won't wait a couple of months for what is often a fairly impulse purchase, imho.
Yes, I would have thought so too. But then Pentax came with the built-to-order colouring. Of which I also thought it would blow all margins. I guess they did some smart outsourcing there, which is something they can do with other parts as well. And which in fact, they already have been doing for years now (with great success) with their printers and copiers.

09-18-2013, 05:38 AM   #2645
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
There are plenty of 645 lenses on eBay for a faction of the price of a good FF lens.
I doubt you can find a 25mm 645 lens for cheap on ebay.
09-18-2013, 06:04 AM   #2646
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
There are plenty of 645 lenses on eBay for a faction of the price of a good FF lens.
You just killed your own concept.

Pentax makes little money on bodies compared to lenses in long-term ROI.

You sell bodies to sell lenses, not have the consumer buy them off eBay.
09-18-2013, 06:09 AM   #2647
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Yes, I would have thought so too. But then Pentax came with the built-to-order colouring. Of which I also thought it would blow all margins. I guess they did some smart outsourcing there, which is something they can do with other parts as well. And which in fact, they already have been doing for years now (with great success) with their printers and copiers.
Yes but the Pentax build to order is dealer controlled and you have to wait a long time unless you live in Japan and perhaps points east. Is it really worth the hassle with a 500-buck camera if you live in France or Germany? I really do have my doubts. It's no substitute for a well-specced, competitive offering in the first place. People aren't stupid and they won't pay to bling-up something which is sub par to begin with. What's the easy option? You walk out of a store with a new D5200, because it has them piled to the ceiling on special offer. If you're talking about customizing an expensive high-end job, well OK that's different but so far this is not what Pentax have offered. On their UK site, for example, you can bling up your Q via a dealer. They are plenty of pre-made coloured bodies for the K50, surely enough to satisfy the market.

Anyway, we'll see. I'll admit I am down on all this at the moment because of the huge levels of fantasy and wishful thinking on these forums compared to a) the verbiage from Pentax spokesmen which could mean just about anything, and b) what actually happens on the ground (very little). I was looking at the BCN results for August recently. Pentax is hardly mentioned. I think their bestseller is a K30 in at #45 or something, probably because it's cheap. The reality at the moment is that they have no presence and no captivating products two years after Ricoh appeared. It's becoming really tempting to walk away from what's beginning to look like a non-event, especially when one looks at what else is around.

Last edited by mecrox; 09-18-2013 at 06:23 AM.
09-18-2013, 06:32 AM   #2648
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Yes but the Pentax build to order is dealer controlled and you have to wait a long time unless you live in Japan and perhaps points east. Is it really worth the hassle with a 500-buck camera if you live in France or Germany? I really do have my doubts. It's no substitute for a well-specced, competitive offering in the first place. People aren't stupid and they won't pay to bling-up something which is sub par to begin with. What's the easy option? You walk out of a store with a new D5200, because it has them piled to the ceiling on special offer. If you're talking about customizing an expensive high-end job, well OK that's different but so far this is not what Pentax have offered. On their UK site, for example, you can bling up your Q via a dealer. They are plenty of pre-made coloured bodies for the K50, surely enough to satisfy the market.
It comes down to delays (or lack of) and price (if at all). Apple has (still do? dunno) let the customer customize their ipods when bought from their website. Limited custom that is, custom engraving on the back. Still, lots of people did it, I did it for my wife and she was VERY happy because of this. Business also love this kind of things (you may call those gimmicks and I'd understood).
It really depends on what you can customize and what you lose doing this (money, time to get the object etc.)

09-18-2013, 06:44 AM   #2649
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The color system works because:
- it's done for higher volume cameras (K-50 level)
- it takes almost no R&D effort (just to decide the color, and make sure it's strong enough)
- it takes no extra production effort, i.e. it keeps exactly the same production process except tracking of different colored (but otherwise identical) parts.
There's no outsourcing involved compared with the "standard" bodies.

OTOH, to build a feature customized camera would be a much bigger effort, and I doubt people would pay more for not having a top LCD

I don't like the idea of a "FF" 645D; the result would be a larger "FF" camera using much more expensive slow-ish lenses (and no, those on eBay don't matter). Doesn't solve a problem, but introduces many. Can't work.
09-18-2013, 07:06 AM   #2650
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
It comes down to delays (or lack of) and price (if at all). Apple has (still do? dunno) let the customer customize their ipods when bought from their website. Limited custom that is, custom engraving on the back. Still, lots of people did it, I did it for my wife and she was VERY happy because of this. Business also love this kind of things (you may call those gimmicks and I'd understood).
It really depends on what you can customize and what you lose doing this (money, time to get the object etc.)
Customization could be a real strength of Ricoh opposite their competition going forward. If you really get your supply chain issues figured out well, much can be done that previously you couldn't.

Case in point since you brought up Apple:
A bought a Mac mini a few years ago and asked for a BTO machine. Ordered it on their website on a Sunday night (Monday in Asia). It was assembled on a Tuesday in China. Shipped the next day and was delivered to my doorstep on a Thursday morning. Three and a half days to have a custom computer built in China and delivered to me. If Ricoh can get anywhere near this type of timing they could truly be different than the others.
09-18-2013, 07:06 AM   #2651
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The current custom colour system is done by retailers who log in using an ID. The customer's choice is then UPS'd to the retailer. Returns are borne by Pentax.

What could be customizable?

Colours
Top LCD
Articulating rear LCD
Touch screen rear LCD
Sensor
Manual switch configurations
WR

A base body type could be selected first and maybe even a mirrorless option with an EVF. BTO creates all sorts of options.
I'm not sure this wast type of customization is good as it can create hundreds of different specified models, and make beta testing much more difficult.
IMO It's better to create a few different specified models that include the stuff. But it can be made by limit the configuration used when ordering the cameras (to maybe 3-4 different specified models). Fi choosing non-WR allow no top LCD and fixed LCD without touch and 24MP. Choosing WR only allow for top LCD and articulated touch screen with 32MP or fixed LCD without touch screen with 24MP.

Extra colours and other external customization is OK to have unlimited, as they do not affect testing.

Last edited by Fogel70; 09-18-2013 at 07:23 AM.
09-18-2013, 07:21 AM   #2652
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Customization could be a real strength of Ricoh opposite their competition going forward. If you really get your supply chain issues figured out well, much can be done that previously you couldn't.

Case in point since you brought up Apple:
A bought a Mac mini a few years ago and asked for a BTO machine. Ordered it on their website on a Sunday night (Monday in Asia). It was assembled on a Tuesday in China. Shipped the next day and was delivered to my doorstep on a Thursday morning. Three and a half days to have a custom computer built in China and delivered to me. If Ricoh can get anywhere near this type of timing they could truly be different than the others.
I forgot about BTO computers for a second. Your right. If it works for computers, then surely would for cameras too. That does mean the customizable parts need to be engineered to support that first. And that takes lots of time. It would be one of the few good excuses for being a no-show since ~October 2011 onwards.
09-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #2653
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Would not something like this be cool :



09-18-2013, 08:02 AM   #2654
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The current custom colour system is done by retailers who log in using an ID. The customer's choice is then UPS'd to the retailer. Returns are borne by Pentax.

What could be customizable?

Colours
Top LCD
Articulating rear LCD
Touch screen rear LCD
Sensor
Manual switch configurations
WR

A base body type could be selected first and maybe even a mirrorless option with an EVF. BTO creates all sorts of options.
I don't think BTO does, at least with cameras. Of the things on your list, the only thing which is sensibly customizable is the colour. Everything else can be covered by instead by purchasing cameras A or C in the range rather than camera B. A touch screen (or not) is integral to the camera's operating system and you really don't want to mess with that. WR is an important premium selling point, especially for Pentax. Breaking it up into customizable parts devalues that and may well mean that it is harder to upsell customers to your better, higher-priced products (K500 -> K50, etc.). As for sensors, the only thing to customize really is AA filter or not. A bigger sensor means a different model of camera with different electronics inside it.

Think what setting up a production facility like this would cost. Then add on the cost of huge, highly advertised front-end websites. You could probably also wave goodbye to a chunk of B&M business too, since some stores would consider an in-house BTO operation most unwelcome competition.

Ricoh bought Pentax for $125 million or so. It looks as if the product pipeline was empty so add on the same again for R&D and generally getting the outfit going again. Now throw a few hundred million or so for a completely new factory, distribution system, complete redesign of all products to allow parts to be modular and so capable of BTO assembly, and then add the front-end BTO operation. Has anyone so far seen any indication that Ricoh is prepared to spend a tenth of such a sum on Pentax? It would make perfect sense to do many of these things behind the scenes, in the sense of investing in modern design, assembly and distribution systems but to make it BTO for the customer is a vastly different and much more costly thing. Pentax is a very, very small outfit. They need a few products selling in the shops. They need a few people who know who they are. Walk before you can run.
09-18-2013, 08:16 AM   #2655
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Has anyone so far seen any indication that Ricoh is prepared to spend a tenth of such a sum on Pentax?
Maybe if Ricoh are so scrooge-like, someone should start a new hybrid K-mount camera (or K-mount full-frame) as a Kickstarter project
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