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04-04-2013, 07:46 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
It must be a bit different up here. I see Canon low end dslr's in Walmart, and London Drugs has a very good camera displays at all the stores I've seen. They have a full line of Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony dslr's as well as point and shoots. The last store I was in had some Sigma lenses for Pentax mount. As well there are stores in the larger cities. I'm in the middle of nowhere so I'm stuck with online purchases. I doubt if you would get online purchases if the name isn't at places where people see cameras.
Ah, but you live in Canada. We live in the US and have had to live with Pentax USA. Cry for us.

04-04-2013, 07:54 PM   #17
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“I’m not going to beat you up on full frame, because I’m sure that horse has been beaten. In a way, I don’t really need full frame. I’m super happy with the product that I have. The weight of it, the weather sealing, just the overall size of the product. Maybe somebody needs full frame, but it’s not for me."

Right, so this is kind of consistent with a lot of the research that we’ve done internally and it’s a little bit rewarding, and I guess that’s my big surprise. If you follow what the Internet says and you read the forums, the only way that Pentax is going to survive is full frame. Well, the Pentaxians are saying, “Just keep doing what you’re doing." Let’s work on optics, let’s work on the size of the camera, or the weather resistance, and battery life and resolution and start paying attention to—continue paying attention to—the camera the way it is.
04-04-2013, 08:39 PM - 3 Likes   #18
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new VP wants high-spending enthusiasts to switch to Nikon

QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
“I’m not going to beat you up on full frame, because I’m sure that horse has been beaten. In a way, I don’t really need full frame. I’m super happy with the product that I have. The weight of it, the weather sealing, just the overall size of the product. Maybe somebody needs full frame, but it’s not for me."

Right, so this is kind of consistent with a lot of the research that we’ve done internally and it’s a little bit rewarding, and I guess that’s my big surprise. If you follow what the Internet says and you read the forums, the only way that Pentax is going to survive is full frame. Well, the Pentaxians are saying, “Just keep doing what you’re doing." Let’s work on optics, let’s work on the size of the camera, or the weather resistance, and battery life and resolution and start paying attention to—continue paying attention to—the camera the way it is.
He seems to be saying that if you want full frame you should switch systems. While it is probably true that the majority of users do not want or need full frame, it is also true that the majority of users do not spend much on camera gear. The type of customer who wants full frame is also the type of customer who spends a lot on lenses and other gear. One high-spending enthusiast can generate far higher profits for a company than five or more "typical" consumers who buy a low-end body and one or two consumer zooms. Pentax should focus less on the typical consumer and more on the minority of consumers who purchase the bulk of the more-expensive gear with higher profit margins. This executive seems quite happy to let the high-spending consumers defect to Canon and Nikon. We all know that a lot of high-spending forum participants have followed this path. It's nice that he wants to study them, but he seems hell-bent on accelerating the process.

Ugh!!

Dan
04-04-2013, 09:09 PM - 2 Likes   #19
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There are plenty of high-spending APS-C users, too.

04-04-2013, 09:37 PM - 2 Likes   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
There are plenty of high-spending APS-C users, too.
Yes, that's certainly true, but it misses the point. My point is that the composition of high-spending consumers is very different from the composition of consumers as a whole. The group of high spenders does not just contain full frame advocates, but they are much more strongly represented in that group. For example, it may be that only 10 percent of all consumers want full frame, but perhaps half of the high-spending consumers do. If true, this would have important implications for the profitability of full frame. By not offering a full frame option Pentax may be writing off half of their high-spending consumers.

Dan
04-04-2013, 09:41 PM   #21
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Nice interview deadwolfbones, thank you for doing the piece. Jim hit the nail on the head when he said the B&M stores felt like they got burned with Hoya. Good luck to him getting Pentax products back into the stores.

As for the FF response, that's a little disappointing from my perspective. I'm one of the FF hopefuls, and I'm surprised we weren't more represented. I know we are a smaller population, but past has shown we can be a vocal bunch (though apparently only on the internet?).

Regardless, Pentax HQ is working FF concepts, if they find a good enough niche they'll fill it whether customers currently know they "need" it or not.

Last edited by jeffshaddix; 04-04-2013 at 09:48 PM.
04-05-2013, 05:45 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
Yes, that's certainly true, but it misses the point. My point is that the composition of high-spending consumers is very different from the composition of consumers as a whole. The group of high spenders does not just contain full frame advocates, but they are much more strongly represented in that group. For example, it may be that only 10 percent of all consumers want full frame, but perhaps half of the high-spending consumers do. If true, this would have important implications for the profitability of full frame. By not offering a full frame option Pentax may be writing off half of their high-spending consumers.

Dan

But the problem is that Nikon and Canon have a particularly hard grip on this marked segment, something they have had for decades long before digital. Pentax cannot hope to have the same percentage of their user base to use FF as Nikon and Canon have. In addition the FF segment is single digit percentage of the whole DSLR market. This strongly indicate how few FF cameras Pentax can realistically hope to sell. And I dismiss the notion that Pentax can realistically make an über super FF camera or an FF camera cheaper than anyone else.
However, Pentax appeal to the enthusiast; it is not a default choice. Often bought after research. In fact, many coming from other brands actually find Pentax appealing because they have emphasized the APS format with a very nice APS lens line-up underlining the format strenghts. I don't think Pentax can do the same trick for FF; among other things they don't have the FF lens line-up of Nikon and Canon.
There are in fact no shortage of people switching from FF to Pentax, either totally or complement their FF gear. I do think Pentax enthusiast are equally likely to spend as some FF users from other brands. LBA is widespread among the Pentax fans...

Last edited by Pål Jensen; 04-05-2013 at 05:55 AM.
04-05-2013, 06:00 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
He seems to be saying that if you want full frame you should switch systems. While it is probably true that the majority of users do not want or need full frame, it is also true that the majority of users do not spend much on camera gear. The type of customer who wants full frame is also the type of customer who spends a lot on lenses and other gear. One high-spending enthusiast can generate far higher profits for a company than five or more "typical" consumers who buy a low-end body and one or two consumer zooms. Pentax should focus less on the typical consumer and more on the minority of consumers who purchase the bulk of the more-expensive gear with higher profit margins. This executive seems quite happy to let the high-spending consumers defect to Canon and Nikon. We all know that a lot of high-spending forum participants have followed this path. It's nice that he wants to study them, but he seems hell-bent on accelerating the process.

Ugh!!

Dan
One high spending enthusiast cannot equal multiple new consumers who buy into the brand, and then get provided a path of upgrade in the future.

The way I'm seeing it from reading that is: Pentax should get back to basics on their current cameras and lens lineup and increase the distribution and get more converts over, more new customers - THEN introduce the upgrade path, the FF, the super pro APS-C, etc.

My opinion only, of course.

04-05-2013, 06:14 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
One high spending enthusiast cannot equal multiple new consumers who buy into the brand, and then get provided a path of upgrade in the future.

The way I'm seeing it from reading that is: Pentax should get back to basics on their current cameras and lens lineup and increase the distribution and get more converts over, more new customers - THEN introduce the upgrade path, the FF, the super pro APS-C, etc.

My opinion only, of course.
You have to find a way to attract the new buyers and if you don't have a genuine upgrade path (come on the 645D is NOT a real option in that regard) you will loose a good number of people right out of the gate. The K-x is the model they should be looking at, it was the single best mechanism for getting new Pentax users that Pentax has had in a LONG time. It was inexpensive (thereby competing on cost, unlike what Mr. Malcolm said), it had EXCELLENT specs compared to its competition, it had no real faults or problems, and it was offered in 3 main configurations (18-55, +50-200, & +55-300). Do another entry level camera that kicks the competition on BOTH price and specs and get it out into Costco, WalMart, Target, and even BestBuy and you'll start to get new Pentaxians. Make sure you have a genuine upgrade path with similar reasons to buy and you'll start to move forward. Oh, and fire all your current "marketing" people and replace them with people that have a passion for Pentax like Adam and Heie who have proven records of accomplishment.
04-05-2013, 06:25 AM   #25
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I would assume they are doing that - the entry level camera. There's supposed to be a camera slotted below the k-30 anyways. And the k-30 is practically everything you are saying anyways.

It wouldn't take much to beat the t5i and the SL1, but the D3200 will be tougher target.

It may also be difficult for them to focus on both the FF upgrade path now, as well as producing a good lineup of APS-C cameras and new lenses. In consideration, new users that want to upgrade don't necessarily always upgrade to FF. An enthusiast level APS-C (k-5/D7000/60D) and a pro APS-C (D300, 7D) have shown to be very popular.
04-05-2013, 06:53 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
One high-spending enthusiast can generate far higher profits for a company than five or more "typical" consumers who buy a low-end body and one or two consumer zooms
Your statement is grossly incorrect. The Return on Invested Capital required to justify releasing a FF System cannot be met at such low volumes as a Pentax would generate, though the mark-up would be significantly higher than a high volume camera. Nikon and Canon have enough overall Gross Revenue to invest in the technology and then transfer technology bits into higher volume cameras later in the product cycle. They have enough market dominance in FF to profitably produce cameras in that sector, or at least break even. They have enough capital to also develop top-end lenses for FF - some of which are accessible only to professional users who can lease equipment - and support infrastructure to serve the professional user with the ancillary services necessary to their businesses. Canon and Nikon can design and develop a full suite of system accessories (that can be sold profitably).

Sony hasn't been able to do that - Why would Pentax?

At this time it is not clear to me that Pentax has the volume or will ever have the volume to earn a profit directly from a Full Frame camera system. That doesn't mean they will not choose to intentionally lose money on such a system for 2nd derivative business reasons, but losing money on a product category is a strategic choice - a business risk - not a tactical product decision.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-05-2013 at 06:59 AM.
04-05-2013, 07:12 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Quote
Yes, that's certainly true, but it misses the point. My point is that the composition of high-spending consumers is very different from the composition of consumers as a whole. The group of high spenders does not just contain full frame advocates, but they are much more strongly represented in that group. For example, it may be that only 10 percent of all consumers want full frame, but perhaps half of the high-spending consumers do. If true, this would have important implications for the profitability of full frame. By not offering a full frame option Pentax may be writing off half of their high-spending consumers.

Dan
The needed R&D and production costs for consumer cameras are pretty low. You might be surprised, but camera companies make a lot more profit with consumer products than the "pro" stuff.
04-05-2013, 07:19 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by LamyTax Quote
The needed R&D and production costs for consumer cameras are pretty low. You might be surprised, but camera companies make a lot more profit with consumer products than the "pro" stuff.
Cameras like the D600 seem pretty consumer orientated to me. Even if it is the more demanding consumer. (Aren't those the best type of consumer they can target?)
04-05-2013, 07:38 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by LamyTax Quote
The needed R&D and production costs for consumer cameras are pretty low. You might be surprised, but camera companies make a lot more profit with consumer products than the "pro" stuff.
I think that's what i wrote, isn't it? Is a FF camera system really a consumer product - or more meaningfully perhaps, could a PENTAX FF camera be a consumer product? I don't think so.

Please distinguish between Canon/Nikon camera companies' business models and Sony.Oly/Fuji/ Panasonic/Pentax, who divide the remaining fraction of the market between them
04-05-2013, 08:17 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Cameras like the D600 seem pretty consumer orientated to me. Even if it is the more demanding consumer. (Aren't those the best type of consumer they can target?)
"Consumer-oriented" isn't what I am talking about. A 1Dx is consumer oriented. The consumer is the professional in this case.

The consumer market is about those who buy an entry level to midrange camera + kit every few years or something like that. Maybe with a superzoom.
Pentax currently only covers the upper level of that market with the K30. Canon earns quite a bit by selling XXXXD and XXXD bodies.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I think that's what i wrote, isn't it? Is a FF camera system really a consumer product - or more meaningfully perhaps, could a PENTAX FF camera be a consumer product? I don't think so.

Please distinguish between Canon/Nikon camera companies' business models and Sony.Oly/Fuji/ Panasonic/Pentax, who divide the remaining fraction of the market between them
Yeah I came to read your reply after I had written mine .
FF is far from consumer. Even with the current "entry" models -- because you still need the glass (pricey). The term "enthusiast", "semi-pro" or "amateur" comes to mind.

Strategically, Pentax needs both segments. The mid to upper consumer market is pretty well covered, the K30 is incredibly good in comparison, even. The entry level is currently not present, but that will change soon enough.
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