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04-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #721
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
This misses the point. Instagram were there first and have established enormous market share growth. This is what Facebook have bought and there is no equivalent. Re-implementing the software will not convert the existing customers.

Projections show that market share for phones in the photography sector will continue to go through the roof. Point'n'shoot cameras are dying. Likewise, tablets will cannibalise laptop sales. In both cases mobile apps are the winners for mind share.

Facebook is very likely getting their money's worth.
Agreed. Instagram has massive share in the phone market and the android version coming out solidified that

04-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #722
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I'm not intelligent enough to understand what you're going to say.

But for a photo company. it is excatly us the Universe does revolve around.

Some companies already got the call and understand they have to specialize in order to compete (e.g., Zeiss on optics, Sony on sensors, Basler on machine vision etc.). But the bulk of the photo industry didn't understand they are all going to disappear. Camera (modules) will be ubiquitous and not sold standalone by the consumer anymore. Mobile phones are just one example. Cars, doors, medical devices etc. are others. And using lens array technology, mobile phones will soon beat APSC cameras in image quality (because they'll have a larger overall sensor surface -- 3x3 mobile phone chips beat it). The bulk of the photo industry can't become phone, car, door manufactureres. Even the sensor and optics supplier niches are well populated (think of what Sony for Apple, or Zeiss for Nokia were able to do).

So, it is a few professionals and a larger number of enthusiast photographers who have photography as a hobby what all remaining photo companies will revolve around. Very easy.


Btw, what are "having fun" and "over-inflated egos" have to do with each other? But I already said, I'm not intelligent enough to understand what you're going to say.

Please; your intelligence far surpasses mine. And that was a very good response I enjoyed reading.

I'm not ready to envision a pro photographer doing weddings with an iPhone regardless of its capabilities, and people feeling like they need a pro-like camera, will imitate the professional look. It's the same reason people still buy simple amp tube amp circuits and guitars designed and basically unchanged from more than 50 years ago. It's all about what having fun by fulfilling your ego is all about.

In other words, we sell Fender guitars and other high end models to guys that will never make it out of their bedroom. Why? Because they want something that makes them feel professional. They figure, if they have the pro gear, they will become pro players. As advanced as digital technology has become, and how realistically similar a solid state device can mimic the sound and feel of a tube amp, only a small portion of people will buy into it. Sure, they might initially, but once people blow their wad and smoke their cigarette, they go back to buying Strats, Les Pauls and tube amps, while their cheap (or expensive) modelling convenience collects dust because they no longer play it, and they can't sell it because no one wants to buy it. Object to this all you want, but our business (instrument retail) thrives on this principal. Being in Nashville, we cater to many professionals, but the bulk of our customer base spending money on the most expensive stuff in the store is some guy you've never heard of, and most likely never will.

Again, a small phone will be capable of many things, but I don't expect to see anyone mounting a Zeiss lens on a Blackberry. And beginners wanting to look and feel the part of being a serious photographer (inject ego here) will continue to buy in the like image of the serious cameras.

Don't get me wrong, the technology out there and what is sure to come is producing some amazing stuff, and there's no doubt compact size and ease of use has its appeal. It's just there are many people seeking to move beyond that and enjoy having manual controls you can get to quickly instead of endlessly scrolling through an integrated menu.

Last edited by oklahomakid93; 04-11-2012 at 09:43 AM.
04-11-2012, 09:33 AM   #723
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QuoteOriginally posted by oklahomakid93 Quote
Self-awareness is often too tall an order for someone to realize they should get only what they need and not what they want, even if the "niche only" company offers a cool product that outperforms a rival from a big brand.
"Should"? Says who? I don't actually need any imaging device at all. But I also don't need chocolate. That doesn't mean I think I should stop buying either. Happiness matters.
04-11-2012, 09:55 AM   #724
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QuoteOriginally posted by drougge Quote
"Should"? Says who? I don't actually need any imaging device at all. But I also don't need chocolate. That doesn't mean I think I should stop buying either. Happiness matters.

My point exactly. Our buying behavior isn't based on what we need or what's practical. It's about what we WANT, and as always, we want it NOW. After all, happiness feeds my over-inflated ego.

Well said, Sir!

04-11-2012, 10:03 AM   #725
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QuoteOriginally posted by oklahomakid93 Quote
My point exactly. Our buying behavior isn't based on what we need or what's practical. It's about what we WANT, and as always, we want it NOW. After all, happiness feeds my over-inflated ego.

Well said, Sir!
Some of us make a living off of photography and don't want gear, but need specific gear, to make an image happen.
04-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #726
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
This misses the point. Instagram were there first and have established enormous market share growth. This is what Facebook have bought and there is no equivalent. Re-implementing the software will not convert the existing customers.

Projections show that market share for phones in the photography sector will continue to go through the roof. Point'n'shoot cameras are dying. Likewise, tablets will cannibalise laptop sales. In both cases mobile apps are the winners for mind share.

Facebook is very likely getting their money's worth.
Exactly. When I saw the news about the acquisition I was not at all surprised by the purchase price. Instagram is huge, and the fact that it's been offered as a free service misses the point: it has deeply entrenched mindshare in the market. FB could roll their own, possibly even superior (though that's dubious when facebook is involved) product, but the ol' Z-berg wants to be able to sleep at night, and assuming control of such an established product probably made good sense.

Now, whether the social web in general is a bubble waiting to pop is something else altogether...
04-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #727
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I think there is also a point missed here... In regards to Instagram and other strange merges and take-overs. Companies are looking for growth and to integrate consumers that they normally would never reach by forcing them to use the purchasing companies services. ie to use instagram you now will need a facebook acount (probably to be implemented soon).
Pentax issue here is that for every 20 consumer lost (dead or otherwise) they can only generate 1 new customer to take thier place. ( or whatever the actual numbers are )
My first Pentax 35mm was a birthday gift to me that was recommended by the sales person because of price and picture quality. I am sure that Pentax didn't make much money on this entry level camera. however fast forward 30 years and I am still a Pentax customer.... sounds like thier marketing plan on getting me hooked worked pretty well.....
Whatever Pentax plan is, We all need those new customers that starts off with a inexpensive low profit camera, some of them might realize they Love taking foto's and still be here 30 years from now.
If Pentax can't get a new pool of customers that are excited to use the Pentax brand, Pentax will not have the sales to support manufacturing costs, and us exsitsing Pentax users will end up in an even worse situation that now.

And @drougge: I agree, I will probably have 100,000+ photos that I will never sell or make money off, But when I look at them they make me happy... so for me Happiness is the only thing that matters when it comes to my gear, as I don't NEED any of it....
04-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #728
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Some of us make a living off of photography and don't want gear, but need specific gear, to make an image happen.

You're right, but I was referring to a post made earlier about a company's desire to market less expensive "niche" items, thus ignoring an important constituency. And it's not only the professional photographer that needs high quality gear, but the photo enthusiast that wants to enjoy the benefits of what higher end equipment offers. I know, it's about the photographer, but I was making a point based on a company making a decision to ignore the serious and professional and cater to people wanting something fun and cheap, which I rebutted would be company suicide for Pentax.

Sure, offer an inexpensive, well performing product, but don't ignore the professional, either. That is, unless Ricoh is playing Russell Crow in 'Gladiator' when he tells one of his generals warning him of the archers hitting his own men that the losses are acceptable. If that's the case, then don't hit up B&H, Adorama and B&M stores. Go after Wal-Mart and Best Buy. They'll probably do okay there for a while until those customers further flock to using their iPhone that take pictures rivaling their line of offerings. Shoot, they already take pretty damn good pics. Then once that happens, what then? You can't fall back on your once dedicated base of professionals and serious enthusiasts because you ran them off when you ignored their best interests and figured "right now" was better than forever.

I want a tool I can rely on with the ability to extend to the demands I expect from a camera and system of lenses. I don't want a toy. I know, I'm a tool, and I talk like I still play with toys...But ultimately Ricoh will have to decide what's most important, and I fear if they choose the flavor of the month, it will ultimately end up costing them.


Last edited by oklahomakid93; 04-11-2012 at 10:37 AM.
04-11-2012, 11:06 AM   #729
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QuoteOriginally posted by oklahomakid93 Quote
In other words, we sell Fender guitars and other high end models to guys that will never make it out of their bedroom. Why? Because they want something that makes them feel professional. They figure, if they have the pro gear, they will become pro players.
That's an interesting psychological observation / analogy.

I think it would be difficult to say which percentage of enthusiast photographers buy their stuff to feel more pro. Probably not so many in Pentax land. For Canikon, I'm less sure

For me personally, I use gear which is fun to use. And fun with the results I get. The K-5 is a good example for such gear. It simply is more fun than using an iPhone to take a photo. That's the initial motivation for the hobby to. Any maybe, some reward in terms of acknowledgement for the rare good photography.

In that respect, photography may be easier than music.

That's like with cars. Some buy cars to look important, others to have fun driving it (my case) and a third group because they need to move from A to B

I think your retail experience causes too much emphasis on one group while there are several. We're not all equal.
04-11-2012, 11:26 AM   #730
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Some of us make a living off of photography and don't want gear, but need specific gear, to make an image happen.
Yep, but then you just buy the gear you need and write it off. If one brand doesn't serve your needs you move to another. Nothing new there. Lots of guys I Know who shot Hassy and Nikon systems in Film days waited for digital options quite a while and many moved to Canon with the 5D launch. Nikon lost a lot of share to Canon in the beginning of the digital age. Most kept their Hassy systems and would rent backs when they needed a pure digital output at that point. the ones making the most money have bought up to newer digital bodies and lenses
If a tool is needed for the job you buy it and amortize the cost over many jobs, If you can't afford the cash outlay up front but have a reasonable prospect of steady income then you lease the product and write the lease off against the income.
Pentax's history at the pro level was always been the medium format stuff which was never cheap. they never really had a strong share of the 35mm pro market the LX system was certainly a very capable system when compared to the Nikon F and Canon A systems but it came to market too late to win enough share and crippled Pentax
04-11-2012, 11:28 AM   #731
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Yep, but then you just buy the gear you need and write it off. If one brand doesn't serve your needs you move to another. Nothing new there. Lots of guys I Know who shot Hassy and Nikon systems in Film days waited for digital options quite a while and many moved to Canon with the 5D launch. Nikon lost a lot of share to Canon in the beginning of the digital age. Most kept their Hassy systems and would rent backs when they needed a pure digital output at that point. the ones making the most money have bought up to newer digital bodies and lenses
If a tool is needed for the job you buy it and amortize the cost over many jobs, If you can't afford the cash outlay up front but have a reasonable prospect of steady income then you lease the product and write the lease off against the income.
Pentax's history at the pro level was always been the medium format stuff which was never cheap. they never really had a strong share of the 35mm pro market the LX system was certainly a very capable system when compared to the Nikon F and Canon A systems but it came to market too late to win enough share and crippled Pentax
When you say "Pro" in the context of old Pentax film gear you appear to mean Studio and not really "Pro" in the true sense. I knew many "Pro" non-studio photographers in the 70s who were VERY happy with their Pentax camera and lens setup.
04-11-2012, 11:39 AM   #732
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
If a tool is needed for the job you buy it and amortize the cost over many jobs, If you can't afford the cash outlay up front but have a reasonable prospect of steady income then you lease the product and write the lease off against the income.
Actually anyone can afford equipment that gives totally profesional results these days. You'll be suprised how many profesional photographers that use run-of-the-mill mid level gear.
The professional nomenclature on photographic equipment has mostly lost its meaning.
04-11-2012, 11:43 AM   #733
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
That's an interesting psychological observation / analogy.

I think it would be difficult to say which percentage of enthusiast photographers buy their stuff to feel more pro. Probably not so many in Pentax land. For Canikon, I'm less sure

For me personally, I use gear which is fun to use. And fun with the results I get. The K-5 is a good example for such gear. It simply is more fun than using an iPhone to take a photo. That's the initial motivation for the hobby to. Any maybe, some reward in terms of acknowledgement for the rare good photography.

In that respect, photography may be easier than music.

That's like with cars. Some buy cars to look important, others to have fun driving it (my case) and a third group because they need to move from A to B

I think your retail experience causes too much emphasis on one group while there are several. We're not all equal.

Not entirely different. Our business was founded in 1976 on the premise of providing professional session players a store that opened before their 10 o'clock sessions. That brought us credibility with a solid base of customers with needs, not dis-similar to a professional photographer. Today, professionals still rely on us for addressing their demands. However, there's also a large amount of people coming to buy a guitar in Nashville, because somehow, it's got to be better....I still get amused by that...More importantly, the majority go for the bigger, most recognizable name brand. They don't care if another brand is less expensive, yet out performs the name brand. And I'm pretty confident this is not consistent only in the instrument retail side of things.

Consider this: When you think of an electric guitar, what comes to mind? Most will say Gibson and Fender. When you think of a DSLR, I'd be hard pressed to imagine anything other than Canon or Nikon flashes before their eyes. And I want to ask you another question. Would Sony be selling more Alpha 900s if they would have kept Minolta as the brand name? My guess is yes. On a parallel field, Fender recently decided to offer a Squire guitar without the Squire logo. They look just like American Fenders. As a result, we sell a lot more Fender Squire's than we used to, because a lot of people had a problem playing something that had Squire on the headstock.

We all are different, but we're still pack animals consciously and subconsciously following trends set forth by others and made popular. We're all pretty similar, despite our proclamations of individuality and uniqueness. That means I'm a lot like you; I'm just more dumb and probably not as good looking. But as we enjoy a nice discussion, we're both sharing on a forum among many other Pentax enthusiasts. Think about that for a minute.

I also love my K-5, and bought into Pentax years ago because (well, my step-dad had an awesome film Pentax), but never had any doubts regarding their ability to make a damn good camera for someone serious about photography. I have to use mine for my job, and knew I could rely on both the K-7 and K-5 thanks to the very good reviews and long time understanding of Pentax being a serious camera company. Yes, it's not Gibson or Fender, but it's Gretsch and Rickenbacker. They'll never outsell Canon or Nikon, but photographers still hold them in high regard. Should Ricoh end up settling on affordable niche products, then who really knows what will happen. I do know that I will have to choose a different brand when it's time for me to upgrade or retire my K-5. And I'm sure I am not alone in my thinking.
04-11-2012, 11:45 AM   #734
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
When you say "Pro" in the context of old Pentax film gear you appear to mean Studio and not really "Pro" in the true sense. I knew many "Pro" non-studio photographers in the 70s who were VERY happy with their Pentax camera and lens setup.
But at the same time non studio pros were rapidly moving to the Nikon F system and the Canon F1 System. Up until the late 60's lots of newspaper work was still done with TLRs for that matter. 35mm was always viewed as the "good enough" system but MF was where you went to get quality. Pentax' Medium formats were not the Studio cam option though (that was always hassy or mamiya or even large format) Pentax was a great field camera.Still is the 645D is still not the best studio camera but it's tough to beat as a field camera (and really is a unique medium format the closest being the wildly overpriced S2 using the same sensor at 3 times the price)

The LX was a fantastic response to the canon and nikon system cameras but it didn't arrive until 1980, by that point Nikon was launching a 3rd generation system camera (the Nikon F3
Canon was on the verge of the 3rd generation of the F1 system
Pentax was 10 years to late to this game, likely complacent because they had the huge share and had beaten the other 2 to the million user mark easily. Nikon and Canon OTOH were forced to look for a Niche they could exploit, they found it and they did.
When the AF era Dawned Pentax never came out with a system variant while Nikon and Canon continued to build pro level cameras(the Nikon F5 is still the pinnacle of pro film bodies if you ask me)

Don't get me wrong most of the last 40 years I've been a Pentax shooter, but I did have a foray into Nikon with an F system in the late 70's. If i needed a FF camera for something i was going to make money on I would already own one. I don't but I would like one. So I will wait for it to come from Pentax rather than run yet another system. Hopefully it will be the digital update of the LX system
04-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #735
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
But at the same time non studio pros were rapidly moving to the Nikon F system and the Canon F1 System. Up until the late 60's lots of newspaper work was still done with TLRs for that matter. 35mm was always viewed as the "good enough" system but MF was where you went to get quality. Pentax' Medium formats were not the Studio cam option though (that was always hassy or mamiya or even large format) Pentax was a great field camera.Still is the 645D is still not the best studio camera but it's tough to beat as a field camera (and really is a unique medium format the closest being the wildly overpriced S2 using the same sensor at 3 times the price)

The LX was a fantastic response to the canon and nikon system cameras but it didn't arrive until 1980, by that point Nikon was launching a 3rd generation system camera (the Nikon F3
Canon was on the verge of the 3rd generation of the F1 system
Pentax was 10 years to late to this game, likely complacent because they had the huge share and had beaten the other 2 to the million user mark easily. Nikon and Canon OTOH were forced to look for a Niche they could exploit, they found it and they did.
When the AF era Dawned Pentax never came out with a system variant while Nikon and Canon continued to build pro level cameras(the Nikon F5 is still the pinnacle of pro film bodies if you ask me)

Don't get me wrong most of the last 40 years I've been a Pentax shooter, but I did have a foray into Nikon with an F system in the late 70's. If i needed a FF camera for something i was going to make money on I would already own one. I don't but I would like one. So I will wait for it to come from Pentax rather than run yet another system. Hopefully it will be the digital update of the LX system
You guys are awesome. I've learned more right here than my prior years of trying to read what was available about Pentax and photography in general. I'm sorry my long-winded rants can become rather redundant, but I really enjoy being on this forum.

Thanks again, and keep the discussions burning!
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