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10-04-2012, 10:39 AM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Well, Pentax didn't stay in business, so even by your suspect theory it was unsuccessful. Pentax the company is dead. What Ricoh will do with Pentax the brand remains to be seen, but if they do something successful, it is Ricoh that will be successful and responsible for that success.
They didn't just fold up and go out of business, all employees let go -- stop being silly. They were bought -- lots of companies get bought for all sorts of reasons. Many are doing well and so get bought, and many others are not doing well and get bought also. Being acquired by itself says nothing of success or not -- only of being acquired. And I didn't even mention Pentax, just said you can be successful without dominating market share. Is Leica unsuccessful? All non-market leading brands unsuccessful? What are you talking about?

If I sell something and make a living at it, but don't dominate the global market, am I unsuccessful? One has nothing to do with the other. You can even be dominant and lose money, right? It may not be sustainable, but it happens all the time.

10-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #152
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Well, Pentax didn't stay in business, so even by your suspect theory it was unsuccessful. Pentax the company is dead. What Ricoh will do with Pentax the brand remains to be seen, but if they do something successful, it is Ricoh that will be successful and responsible for that success.
The Pentax Corporation that Hoya bought (in a Board driven hostile takeover) was not the Pentax Camera company. No major camera brand (that I know of - Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Kodak, Samsung or Sony) other than Leica (associated with Panasonic) - exists as a free-standing company - they're all part of a larger conglomerate imaging company that has access to capital and can spread imaging R&D costs across numerous applications.

Pentax may actually be better off as part of Ricoh than it was as part of Hoya and than it was a part of its own imaging products conglomerate since Ricoh seems to need the patents and the imaging technologies to exploit in its B2B divisions.

Last edited by monochrome; 10-04-2012 at 05:39 PM.
10-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
And I didn't even mention Pentax, just said you can be successful without dominating market share. Is Leica unsuccessful? All non-market leading brands unsuccessful? What are you talking about?
This thread is about Pentax - if what you say does not apply to Pentax, it is off topic and irrelevant - I just assumed the contrary - that it is on topic and relevant to Pentax. Did I make a mistake?

What are you talking about when you mean success?

Does a diminishing market share mean you are successful?
Are you a successful camera company when third party lens manufacturers abandon your mount to dedicate resources to other systems?
Are you a successful company when you get bought and sold in pieces?

What are you talking about? By what kind of measure was the Pentax company successful?

As for Leica, it almost went bankrupt. It survives now, but I wouldn't call it successful. Already its product designs are impacted by threats of FF MILCs. They were talking about offering the pure rangefinder experience and how great that experience is and now they are forced to come down to earth and modernize their cameras by adding LiveView, manual focus assist, and movie capabilities. We'll have to see if the changes they make will keep them alive, but I don't see many reasons to call them successful just because they are still around.

Success means that you have made it - you have reached a position where you can relax, at least for a while. Canon has reached that state. Nikon too. Pentax had that position many decades ago. Ricoh have never even been there in this market segment.
10-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Ricoh have never even been there in this market segment.
That's why i never quite understood the enthusiasm when Ricoh took over...they've always been a middle of the road brand when it came to photography. Yes, they may be world-beaters when it comes to office copiers. But I am not convinced that it will translate well into photo realm.

10-04-2012, 05:55 PM   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
That's why i never quite understood the enthusiasm when Ricoh took over...they've always been a middle of the road brand when it came to photography. Yes, they may be world-beaters when it comes to office copiers. But I am not convinced that it will translate well into photo realm.
Because:

A) Hoya sucked, and they are not Hoya.

B) They are seen as only having dabbled in the photo market (recently), so that's not a knock.

C) The cameras they do make are innovative.

D) They have well-managed their main business in the office world.

i.e. they seem to know what they are doing...
10-04-2012, 06:28 PM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Because:

A) Hoya sucked, and they are not Hoya.

B) They are seen as only having dabbled in the photo market (recently), so that's not a knock.

C) The cameras they do make are innovative.

D) They have well-managed their main business in the office world.

i.e. they seem to know what they are doing...
Good points.

E) They have deep pockets

F) Their stated goal is to aggressively grow their camera business
10-04-2012, 07:14 PM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Good points.

E) They have deep pockets

F) Their stated goal is to aggressively grow their camera business
Yes. In terms of pockets, I believe they are comparable to Canon and larger than Nikon.

I wasn't knocking them off before, btw - just stating a fact. To be successful with Pentax, they have to work hard. It does sound like they are working on something. I just hope it's an inspired product, given the time it takes them to get to even talking about it.
10-04-2012, 07:18 PM   #158
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It will take:

1. Deep pockets
2. Commitment
3. Strong Products
4. Aggressive Marketing
5. Patience
6. Improved Service
7. Patience
8. Patience

10-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Success means that you have made it - you have reached a position where you can relax, at least for a while. Canon has reached that state. Nikon too. Pentax had that position many decades ago. Ricoh have never even been there in this market segment.
As I stated earlier in this thread - the apparent success of Nikon and Canon may not quite as good as many think. My feeling is that Canon is in the better position of the 2. Nikon has it's own issues.

Thom Hogan is currently posting an insightful series of articles about Nikon DX (APS-C) which are well worth reading Thom Hogan's Nikon Camera, DSLR, Lens, Flash, and Book site and http://www.bythom.com/stateofdx2012.htm. There are two points Thom is making that I think really inform the Pentax discussion on this thread:

1. Holes in a lens line up can really hurt you (see the comparison table that Thom has posted) - I think Pentax is in a much better position in this regard, particularly with the Limited Primes
2. Having Full Frame camera choices (and Nikon has some excellent ones) does not mean that customers upgrade from APS-C (DX in Nikon speak). Thom's commentary on this is particularly interesting - it seems that Nikon APS-C camera users are not necessarily upgrading to Nikon Full Frame - in fact if anything they are switching to m4/3 or other sensor/camera size bodies.

This APS-C to Full Frame upgrade issue is particularly interesting in light of the discussion on this thread.

I had a Nikon D200 (APS-C) camera and lenses, and sold them and swapped to Pentax for the reasons that Thom outlines in his articles:
1. The Pentax K-5 sensor is all I need (although I will be very tempted to purchase a K-5IIs with further sensor detail and clarity)
2. The Pentax K-5 is a small, weather sealed body, and ideal for travel
3. Pentax has a range of high quality small and pancake prime lenses (the Limited lenses predominately) which are ideal for travel and light camera kits

In many ways I prove Thom's analysis - a Nikon DX user that swapped away form Nikon due to holes in their body and lens offerings, that did not meet my evolving needs.

The Pentax combination of a high quality and relatively small, light weight weather resistant camera body with small high quality lenses is still a compelling value proposition.

The Olympus OM-D is selling very well because it offers much the same value proposition.

Nikon may be in more trouble than most people realize.

I will be interested in your comments, and how you think the analysis affects Pentax once you have read Thom's articles on Nikon DX (APS-C)

Ross

Last edited by NZ_Ross; 10-04-2012 at 08:08 PM.
10-04-2012, 08:56 PM - 1 Like   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
Nikon may be in more trouble than most people realize.
I think that's an exaggeration. Hogan forgets that APS-C cameras can use FF lenses without any penalty other than size. In other words, FX lenses can serve as DX lenses (although the reverse really isn't true, as very few people are going to what to use DX lenses on an FX camera). I do think, however, that Nikon's neglect of DX is an opportunity for Pentax to gain a stronger presence in APS-C DSLR. The APS-C market is still much larger than the FF market. As intense as the FF mania may appear right now, $2,000+ places FF beyond the reach of many photographers who nevertheless want a DSLR experience or who have invested in APS-C lenses and will need a new APS-C camera every three to five years. I know several photographers, one a former pro, another semi-pro, who shoot with Nikon DX cameras who don't pay attention to all the new cameras coming out and largely indifferent to FF and mirrorless. Not all photographers are obsessed with gear, or with the measurebation sites which overstress numerical valuations. Nowadays, all the APS-C and FF cameras are so good that the differences between them are not significant to those photographers who are already doing great stuff with the gear they have. My sister, who makes $10,000+ a year on her photography, shot with a D2X for six years. She toyed with the idea of moving up to FF, but because she had already invested in DX glass, she opted instead to upgrade to the D7000, and she's been very pleased with her choice. And my understanding is that many of her Nikon owning friends did likewise. When Hogan writes about real demand for DX/APS-C, I suspect he's right. We don't hear much about it here on PF, but that's partly because people tend to complain most about what they don't have. On Nikon you get a choice of both, and the majority of Nikon shooters are choosing DX.

I think Pentax is on the right path with their emphasis on APS-C. The trend is toward smaller cameras, and Pentax fills that need within the DSLR space. Not everyone cares for EVFs or for cameras quite as small as the tiny mirrorless devices. With the market as large as it is, there is plenty of room for multiple formats; and there's no reason why consumers must be corralled either into mirrorless or FF.
10-04-2012, 09:09 PM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
When Hogan writes about real demand for DX/APS-C, I suspect he's right. We don't hear much about it here on PF, but that's partly because people tend to complain most about what they don't have. On Nikon you get a choice of both, and the majority of Nikon shooters are choosing DX.
I think you hit the nail on the head with that comment Greg

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I think Pentax is on the right path with their emphasis on APS-C. The trend is toward smaller cameras, and Pentax fills that need within the DSLR space. Not everyone cares for EVFs or for cameras quite as small as the tiny mirrorless devices. With the market as large as it is, there is plenty of room for multiple formats; and there's no reason why consumers must be corralled either into mirrorless or FF.
And also smaller lenses I think - and Pentax is very strong in that space.

Thanks for the thoughtful comments Greg. I also clicked through to your photoblog - I like your work - stunning scenery
10-04-2012, 10:27 PM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
Thom Hogan is currently posting an insightful series of articles about Nikon DX (APS-C) which are well

...

In many ways I prove Thom's analysis - a Nikon DX user that swapped away form Nikon due to holes in their body and lens offerings, that did not meet my evolving needs.

The Pentax combination of a high quality and relatively small, light weight weather resistant camera body with small high quality lenses is still a compelling value proposition.

The Olympus OM-D is selling very well because it offers much the same value proposition.

Nikon may be in more trouble than most people realize.

I will be interested in your comments, and how you think the analysis affects Pentax once you have read Thom's articles on Nikon DX (APS-C)
I see Nikon's plan for APS-C as crystal clear, and the D7000 exemplifies it, merging the D90 and D300 lines together 2 years ago.

The D600 was in Nikon's plan for a long time, and APS-C is being relegated to the entry to middle tier where only super-zooms and cheap normal primes are required. You will never see pro-caliber DX lenses, or fast specialized DX primes because Nikon (and Canon) are clearly funneling their advanced users to FF and/or all their readily available advanced FF glass (that works on DX).

There may be a small market left of "pro-APS-C" birders that Pentax can now fully claim but I doubt it's big enough for Canon and Nikon to be bothered maintaining yet another camera line. I believe the D600 and 6D replace the former pro DX/APS-C bodies in their SKU inventory, and the upcoming D8000 and 70D will replace them in function.
10-04-2012, 10:31 PM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by illdefined Quote
There may be a small market left of "pro-APS-C" birders that Pentax can now fully claim but I doubt it's big enough for Canon and Nikon to be bothered maintaining yet another camera line. I believe the D600 and 6D replace the former pro DX/APS-C bodies in their SKU inventory, and the upcoming D8000 and 70D will replace them in function.
So, in your opinion where does that leave Pentax?
10-04-2012, 10:44 PM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I think Pentax is on the right path with their emphasis on APS-C. The trend is toward smaller cameras, and Pentax fills that need within the DSLR space. Not everyone cares for EVFs or for cameras quite as small as the tiny mirrorless devices. With the market as large as it is, there is plenty of room for multiple formats; and there's no reason why consumers must be corralled either into mirrorless or FF.
With Canon or Nikon, buying APS-C/DX is a gateway to FF with all their advanced glass being FF. with Pentax you're being corralled into APS-C with no room to grow.

Like APS-H, APS-C sensors on FF mounts was always a forced compromise to begin with. as FF becomes more readily available, consumers will either yearn for the full DSLR experience with huge FF OVF and sensor, or the smaller, high-tech MILCs that are the fastest growing segment in the industry. APS-C DSLRs will still be around as entry to semi-"prosumer" models, but both the high-end and low-end user now have better, more flexible options.
10-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by illdefined Quote
With Canon or Nikon, buying APS-C/DX is a gateway to FF
That was my first impression too, but when you look at Thom Hogan's analysis that is not what he is saying
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