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01-03-2013, 09:56 AM   #121
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Nice to hear that, thanks for posting.
I don't expect to be easy, and it will take time - but things are moving forward, it seems.

01-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
It's good to hear that he states "that it is a challenge with having reps swing by, making sure everything is functional, batteries charged and all that". That shows at least there's some thought into logistics of the NA Pentax support. I'd have been disappointed if he just gave a stock answer about it.

Pentax NA's game has been increasing, with more and more ads popping up, and more and more reviewers/magazines covering them. It's a good thing to see.
Oh yes, he was very aware that you can't just dump cameras into stores and make money. It very much costs money to put on a show, and to support it. Probably why they are focusing more on smaller, specialty stores to gain momentum as well perhaps test what works and what doesn't. IE: Stores with Blue or White K-30s sold more than the just the Black ones on display.. etc.
01-03-2013, 12:26 PM   #123
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Good job Kryscendo! I'm glad you talked about the store representation, as that was something I forgot to ask Jim about in my conversation with him.

All of these recent conversations and full frame discussions made me go back to my recording/notes from my conversation with him (I recorded it to make sure I could quote him accurately, something I learned from my uni newspaper days. I will not be posting the recording anywhere). Here is a snippet from my conversation with Jim that I forgot about:

QuoteOriginally posted by Jim Malcolm:
We understand where the market was one year two years ago, and the decision not to participate in the full frame market allowed us to focus and get really high quality into the APS-C world and really focus on that market segment and make outstanding cameras.

Honestly in the last two years and really in the last year that full frame segment has evolved.
And then from there he said he would work with Japan team to provide a translation of that Japanese article that everyone is arguing about in another thread.

What this tells me is that the decision not to go to full frame and instead focus solely on APS-C was a calculated one. And look at the results: the K5, K30, K5II and K5IIs are all near tops in their respective classes, and definitely punch above their weight against the Canikony triad.

This also shows me that if Pentax ever decides to focus on full frame, they will probably make similarly top-flight cameras.
01-03-2013, 01:06 PM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
Good luck!

I wonder how many other PF members get their 15 minutes with the big boss man. So far I count 3 (me, Gabriel, and now Kryscendo).
lol...I sent an e-mail and never got a response... ;-(

Did you mention that clerks at a large camera store have been turning sales away from Pentax once the clerks realize that you know what's happening...

01-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #125
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Has anyone asked about the plans for upgrading the flash system?
01-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by asw66 Quote
An API for firmware hacks, and active support for developers.
We wish
01-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #127
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Oh god, i forgot to talk to him about an open-source firmware :/
Darn.
PS : About that japanese full frame article, he said that the translation is taking longer because of the holidays...
01-03-2013, 02:27 PM   #128
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Thanks for your feedback Kryscendo. Jim does sound like a character, and a great asset to the company.
FF will be a top end model - no stripped down, cheap version. That, I like.
645D remains a committed project to show off what Pentax can produce in the larger format market. That too, I like.
Q system expansion sounds good to me as well - This is Pentax's novel micro system that should start to take off in places outside Japan.
Looking forward to the future.

01-03-2013, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by GabrielFFontes Quote
Oh god, i forgot to talk to him about an open-source firmware :/
Darn.
The answer to that it's obvious - a polite refusal. There's no way Pentax would make their firmware open source, too much effort, little or no benefit.
Android would be your best bet, that's if you want a terribly slow, bloated, battery draining OS on your camera. I don't see that happening either.
01-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #130
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kryscendo Quote
Just finished up with Mr. Malcolm. Cool dude. Very passionate about photography because right away, he gives off the impression that he's been there and done that.

I simply touched based with the things I felt important. Rough paraphrases here, please don't quote.

I have a Q, I like the Q, thanks for keep supporting the Q with new lenses. "Oh yes, keep an eye out this year for more new lenses." He particularly mentioned the pin hole lens that was featured on the lens roadmap.

I mentioned that I like the 645D system and to keep advertising it, showing it off with big sexy lenses in the trade shows. "Yup, we love our 645 system and will continue to champion it around at shows. I've shot Hasselblads in the past, etc." Pretty cool that he 'gets it' when it comes to the 645D. It's an exceptional camera, not meant for the masses, but what it offers is very alluring. He mentioned also to look at the Pentax Photo Gallery specifically for 645D shots.

I also mentioned how I would like to never see Marc Newson again. He had a good laugh and said "Either you love it or you hate it."

Next I brought up FF and just glossed over it and said to him, "Look, you guys have been hearing this for a while, and I think you making one that is a true full frame rather than these odd entry-level full frame cameras is important." I mentioned how I'd rather have a 7D over a 6D, and he basically acknowledged the brief feedback I had.

Lastly, I discussed other sales opportunities, namely that I work at Best Buy and some customers really get excited when I bring up the website and talk about the camera. Partly because it looks bad ass on paper and in specs and all. The other part because it is WHITE OR BLUE. This was something that he replied back that was certainly an asset to Pentax and asked how important is it to have the product in store and I just replied that it is paramount. I mentioned how I have sold a Nikon D7000 over a Canon 60D or vice versa because of which one we had in stock at our store at that moment in time. He assured me for the moment, Pentax would be focusing on specialty camera stores but that larger stores "Like Best Buy are the next, logical step." and that it is a challenge with having reps swing by, making sure everything is functional, batteries charged and all that.

Over all, very impressed with him. I feel very confident about the products so I didn't dwell on them too much. Over all, pretty happy that he's been doing these.
Thank you for sharing those informations!
He really keeps things realistic, but he also seems excited about where the brand might be going after Ricoh.
01-04-2013, 04:21 AM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
The answer to that it's obvious - a polite refusal. There's no way Pentax would make their firmware open source, too much effort, little or no benefit.
Android would be your best bet, that's if you want a terribly slow, bloated, battery draining OS on your camera. I don't see that happening either.
Agreed. It'd be nice though.
01-04-2013, 04:23 AM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Thanks for your feedback Kryscendo. Jim does sound like a character, and a great asset to the company.
FF will be a top end model - no stripped down, cheap version. That, I like.
That's not exactly what I understood.
What I understood is that they did plan for a top of the line FF model but that 6D/D600 changed the game and so they wonder how to move now.
They may end up with a different plan.
01-04-2013, 11:13 AM - 1 Like   #133
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Had my phone call this morning. I didn't learn any secrets, but felt very listened to and came away with a positive impression.

Things we talked about:
  • Flash system. Nothing I he could tell me in the works, but Jim knows that Pentax is behind. He wasn't aware of Metz's reverse-engineered-pttl models, and I mentioned that I think these basically saved Pentax for anyone interested in advanced automatic flash but aren't really enough.
  • Customer communication. I mentioned that Metz engineers will respond to technical questions with technical answers, but that Pentax customer service usually responds with "Pentax Japan doesn't tell us that". He said that that kind of answer is going to stop, and that he's hired someone who is fluent in Japanese (imagine that!) to serve as a technical liason to the Japanese headquarters.
  • Weather-sealed normal prime. Again, nothing in the works, but he shares the interest, which is a good sign. Jim says he too prefers to shoot with primes, so I think that Pentax tradition is in good hands.
  • Hackability. I brought up CHDK and Magic Lantern and mentioned how these are great drivers of a subculture of enthusiasts. Open firmware or even Android would be very interesting to me, although a good open SDK for tethering and hardware hacking and such would be a nice start. He responded that it was an interesting idea but that they were very far away from it even being possible. Fair enough I just wanted to get that out there.
  • Fate of APS-C when full-frame arrives. I don't mind all y'all who want full frame getting what you want, but with today's technology, I'm very happy with APS-C and one reason I've stuck with Pentax is the continued development of high-end APS-C models like the K5-ii. With full-frame in the lineup there's a temptation to put all advanced/enthusiast features in the full-frame camera and push APS-C only to the mass consumer market. Response was that they're very aware of the importance of the following they've built with the current system and that they won't abandon it. Also mentioned 645D for people who want a bigger sensor system.
01-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #134
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I do think that Pentax is on to something here. With the 4 phone calls that we know about - so far, it appears to me that a lot of information has been provided in a pretty open manner. It sounds and reads like the folks who have been contacted - have all had very different perspectives, concerns and their own points of view. That said, a lot of information has come out, that does tend to explain what we have been seeing on the part of Pentax Japan. I particularly like the latest tid bit about the customer service - Japanese speaking person to serve as a technical liason to Pentax Japan.

I was somewhat sorry to read about the Tethering SDK. To me, that would be low hanging fruit, very easily implemented and would align Pentax with both Canon and Nikon where third party utilities provide the PC/Laptop base with a fairly advanced user interface. The CHDK interface might be a bit too far, but does serve as a very large feature set (ideas) that Pentax could select from.

Not that the printed press interviews have not been worthwhile - but this essentially bypasses the middle and gets Pentax talking with the actual users.

I wonder if the Australian distributor - Kennedy, along with Pentax Canada & Europe will initiate something similar. It appears that the Pentax distributor in Singapore has been very proactive with providing early access to new camera bodies. If this new trend with Pentax, this forward leaning approach - a bit more aggressive and open is certainly welcome - and hopefully will pay dividends to all concerned.

The other aspect to this that has struck me is the wide ranging and diversity of the questions and topics - well at least what has been posted.

I hope the calls continue and more are posted.


Last edited by interested_observer; 01-04-2013 at 03:08 PM.
01-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #135
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Mattdm,

Excellent topics you chose for your conversation and excellent report as well. Good signs coming from PRIAC in particular Jim's comment about not using "Japan hasn't told us." That signals a huge change in corporate culture.
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