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04-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #166
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And do you know if they started or not?
We are "estimating" how long it would take in order for them to visibly act (e.g. having new products on the market, expanding their distribution network, getting 3rd-party lens makers to make every lens in K-mount etc) but we're pretty much clueless, thus in no position to make such "estimations". It really is about our wishes, instead reality. And then we feel they failed us; after all, there's no chance that we would be at fault.
Sorry, I won't fall into this trap - as I know this phenomenon quite well. But you're quite a level-headed person, you shouldn't either.

04-20-2013, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #167
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OMG. Some of us are really trying hard to get worked up into quite a lather. Sure, Pentax USA may have made a few ill-advised (or ill-informed) statements. But many (not all) of the posts in this string reflect a complete naivete about corporate mergers and development time for new products. We've been sitting in a room and talking to ourselves without any real information to back up our conclusions.

Now, the last sentence in my previous paragraph also points to a legitimate beef many of us may have with Pentax: The need for improved communication. Many of the suggestions for the way Pentax should communicate its middle- and long-term strategy are quite good. But those who believe Pentax is in trouble because we haven't seen enough new product since the acquisition by Ricoh, or because they're not getting eough information to suit them, need to understand these things take time, particularly in the current global economic climate. One to two years is unrealistic. Many corporate integrations take five years to really complete.

That doesn't mean it'll be five years before we see the fruits of the Ricoh-Pentax combination. Already, the new Ricoh GR gives us a great glimpse of the future. And one more reminder: Those who don't think Ricoh is the right company to nurture Pentax should begin looking into Ricoh's copier business. It wasn't an overnight thing, but Ricoh took on the big boys - including Canon - and beat them soundly.

Let's wait for the communication from Adam. But, even if it's not what we want to hear, it wouldn't put me off buying another Pentax or Ricoh camera if I liked it. In fact, I may preorder the GR this weekend.

Last edited by Biro; 04-20-2013 at 09:29 AM.
04-20-2013, 09:41 AM - 4 Likes   #168
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Half Empty
No roadmap
No full frame
No competitive mirrorless
Poor communication
Not Nikon
Not Canon
Not Olympus
Not Sony
Not Panasonic
Not Fuji
Not Leica

Half Full
Best entry level DSLR (K-30)
Best APS-C DSLR (K-5ii/s)
Great APS-C fixed lens compact (GR)
Competitive enthusiast compact (MX-1)
Unmatched prime lineup (DA/FA Limited)

Most importantly, mine still work and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
04-20-2013, 09:58 AM - 1 Like   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Not Nikon
Not Canon
Not Olympus
Not Sony
Not Panasonic
Not Fuji
Not Leica
= 3/4 full

04-20-2013, 10:03 AM   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Half Empty
Most importantly, mine still work and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
You should see my poor K7 and GRIII... let's just say their resale value has been cosmetically diminished... but that's about it.
04-20-2013, 10:23 AM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
[snip]

That doesn't mean it'll be five years before we see the fruits of the Ricoh-Pentax combination. Already, the new Ricoh GR gives us a great glimpse of the future. And one more reminder: Those who don't think Ricoh is the right company to nurture Pentax should begin looking into Ricoh's copier business. It wasn't an overnight thing, but Ricoh took on the big boys - including Canon - and beat them soundly.

Let's wait for the communication from Adam. But, even if it's not what we want to hear, it wouldn't put me off buying another Pentax or Ricoh camera if I liked it. In fact, I may preorder the GR this weekend.
I agree with you that Ricoh sound like an excellent and very resourceful company. However, what you say about the new GR rather proves a point I made earlier: we have no idea whether it is a glimpse of the future or the Ricoh brand's last ever camera. I too may well buy one, but the only people who can tell us that it is a glimpse of some wonderful things to come rather than a last hurrah, as some speculate, simply are not saying and so long as they continue in this way - a bit of light one-off marketing, nothing heftier - they are (imho) digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole.
04-20-2013, 10:24 AM   #172
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Position and Potential Motivation = Hope

I probably don't have as dire an outlook as some folks.. Possibly because I (think I) see two things: Potential in Ricoh in it's size, revenue and cash position, and possible motivation for the Pentax purchase.

Ricoh, like a lot of large business that may see their main business model forcibly changing because of disruptive technology, is looking for businesses to buy, grow and nurture to give them a revenue stream in the decades to come for the period of time after their current main cash cow has changed or gone away. IBM is one of the great modern examples of how this works.

They invest now and strategically move those business into position to do that. Immediate profit is not the main priority - future revenue and profits are.

I think that's their motivation. I think Pentax is one piece in that game for Ricoh, one business they want to grow. If so, it may mean great things for the Pentax brand.

I think their strategy looks slow-footed and a bit clumsy at this point, but that could be forgiven for another quarter or two. IMO.

.
04-20-2013, 10:36 AM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I agree with you that Ricoh sound like an excellent and very resourceful company. However, what you say about the new GR rather proves a point I made earlier: we have no idea whether it is a glimpse of the future or the Ricoh brand's last ever camera. I too may well buy one, but the only people who can tell us that it is a glimpse of some wonderful things to come rather than a last hurrah, as some speculate, simply are not saying and so long as they continue in this way - a bit of light one-off marketing, nothing heftier - they are (imho) digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole.
It would a sound stupidity to put GR under Pentax name just for the sake of it.
GR is a Ricoh cam, no need to change it: that's a name known, they should keep it.
Ricoh CX might be kept too. Others though, no need (PX, Gxxx etc.), Pentax brand wouldn't change a thing, marketingly speaking.

04-20-2013, 10:45 AM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
. Even the staunchest Pentex supporter has to admit that they are way behind the likes of the D7100/D4 when it comes to autofocus.
Some people say otherwise, pointing to tests at very low light or with very obvious AF targets, that show Pentax has good AF.

I don't agree, of course - I don't care about focusing at night or focusing on a test chart - I'd rather have the Nikon AF any day.
04-20-2013, 12:01 PM - 2 Likes   #175
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I too am starting to see a bit of frustration with both Ricoh and Pentax USA. Ricoh has been in place for about 18 months now and ..... not much. Yes, Pentax USA has a new manager who is doing some things a bit differently, however beyond that..... what? I do know that marketing plans take some time, however this is not rocket science. To do something different, you need to start somewhere and start to make some inroads.

So, what could they do? Well, let's see..... Pentax has a current design set ready to go, the K30, K5II and K5IIs, all of which are weather sealed. Create a WR Outdoor kit, the body and the 18-135WR lens. All are in production, and the bugs have been worked out. Select a moderate sized outdoor marketer/retailer with a stellar reputation. I'll just choose REI as an example - there are others out there. Get them in the stores, and provide both technical and sales support for each store. Where are you going to get technical and sales support for a reasonable set of retail stores with wide geographical footprint. Last year, Pentax went looking for folks to support retail locations for the holidays. Do just the same. Where is the current Pentax demographic user base - retired. I am sure that they can find a couple of retirees per store that are already very savvy about photography in general and Pentax specifically. Add to their training. What do these old guys have that Pentax USA lacks - knowledge and enthusiasm! Just look around this Forum. The ability to close and engage customers, listen to what the customer wants, and then explain how Pentax can deliver and meets their needs.

Initially take it slow, 10 stores in a focused geographical region. Set it up, support it and see how it goes. Make needed adjustments as recognized. Wash and repeat. Also, have a supply of additional lenses, that can be parachuted in from a central location next day, just in case someone needs a 31Ltd, 100Macro, or whatever... Let, them right in front of the customer pull out their smart phone, and submit a drop shipment (FedEX/UPS or ??) in the next day (to either the store or the customer's home/office)- and then Perform & DELIVER. You have to show that Pentax is not a one trick pony, that you - the customer, wants a dSLR, that additional product(s) are available.

These are not terribly new ideas or suggestions. Parts have been kicking around here for quite a while. So, there is the plan.

This is not hunting for the Higgs boson . This is marketing 101 - table stakes, basic blocking and tackling. It is just like selling soap.

So, Pentax - what are you going to do? The ball is in your court.

04-20-2013, 12:07 PM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I too am starting to see a bit of frustration with both Ricoh and Pentax USA. Ricoh has been in place for about 18 months now and ..... not much. Yes, Pentax USA has a new manager who is doing some things a bit differently, however beyond that..... what? I do know that marketing plans take some time, however this is not rocket science. To do something different, you need to start somewhere and start to make some inroads.

So, what could they do? Well, let's see..... Pentax has a current design set ready to go, the K30, K5II and K5IIs, all of which are weather sealed. Create a WR Outdoor kit, the body and the 18-135WR lens. All are in production, and the bugs have been worked out. Select a moderate sized outdoor marketer/retailer with a stellar reputation. I'll just choose REI as an example - there are others out there. Get them in the stores, and provide both technical and sales support for each store. Where are you going to get technical and sales support for a reasonable set of retail stores with wide geographical footprint. Last year, Pentax went looking for folks to support retail locations for the holidays. Do just the same. Where is the current Pentax demographic user base - retired. I am sure that they can find a couple of retirees per store that are already very savvy about photography in general and Pentax specifically. Add to their training. What do these old guys have that Pentax USA lacks - knowledge and enthusiasm! Just look around this Forum. The ability to close and engage customers, listen to what the customer wants, and then explain how Pentax can deliver and meets their needs.

Initially take it slow, 10 stores in a focused geographical region. Set it up, support it and see how it goes. Make needed adjustments as recognized. Wash and repeat. Also, have a supply of additional lenses, that can be parachuted in from a central location next day, just in case someone needs a 31Ltd, 100Macro, or whatever... Let, them right in front of the customer pull out their smart phone, and submit a drop shipment (FedEX/UPS or ??) in the next day (to either the store or the customer's home/office)- and then Perform & DELIVER. You have to show that Pentax is not a one trick pony, that you - the customer, wants a dSLR, that additional product(s) are available.

These are not terribly new ideas or suggestions. Parts have been kicking around here for quite a while. So, there is the plan.

This is not hunting for the Higgs boson . This is marketing 101 - table stakes, basic blocking and tackling. It is just like selling soap.

So, Pentax - what are you going to do? The ball is in your court.

Absolutely outstanding! Yes, they did do something like that for Christmas and that was brilliant. Combine that with your idea (Bass Pro Shop comes to mind too BTW - broader appeal) and you have a real way to establish a niche AND broaden your base of users at the same time.
04-20-2013, 12:18 PM   #177
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
We've been sitting in a room and talking to ourselves without any real information to back up our conclusions.
When my company was acquired by a smaller competitor the first thing the combined management teams did was find a string of quick wins to market under the new banner. Then there was a dark period during which the old management and systems were replaced by the new owners - but we still maintained a public face, introduced new products, communicated, motivated the sales force and customers and at least acted as if there was a hand guiding a path forward.

Beginning in about a month we will see a long series of groundbreaking new product introductions that are completely the new company. Yes, it took much longer then anyone envisioned when we were acquired. The difference is we kept reaching out and reminding our customers we were a real force, not a gradually eroding brand.

Maybe I've gotten discouraged by the Forum threads - probably so. But I can't help thinking I need to see something more than the GR at the corporate level from Pentax Americas telling me what the brand strategy is - who Pentax is or aspires to be - how they plan to be that - what that means for future products. It all just feels fragmented and disorganized.

If they're building a company for 2033 that's great!! Tell me how you will enrapture GenX and GenY and let me decide as a Baby Boomer what is the right reaction for me with that information. If you really are going to build a "third brand" going after a slice of the "full-line, full-service" market GREAT!! Tell me that, back it up with actions even if they're just discussions about your plan.

If accurate, Rockville Bob's experience today is very troubling: Pentax - a No Show.

[EDIT] See the linked thread. Per Rockville Bob Sunday morning - the Pentax Rep's flight was canceled out of Boston. The in-store salesman was just plain wrong about no Rep visiting Ace Photo in two years.

This silence is really frustrating. We're not talking about conclusions, we're talking about suppositions. I don't have the money to invest in two brands nor the time to wait without something concrete to hope for.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-21-2013 at 10:22 AM.
04-20-2013, 01:12 PM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
If accurate, Rockville Bob's experience today is very troubling: Pentax - a No Show.

This silence is really frustrating. We're not talking about conclusions, we're talking about suppositions. I don't have the money to invest in two brands nor the time to wait without something concrete to hope for.
Thanks for posting the link to that thread as I don't normally read much in this section. All I can say is.....wow......
04-20-2013, 01:18 PM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I too am starting to see a bit of frustration with both Ricoh and Pentax USA. Ricoh has been in place for about 18 months now and ..... not much. Yes, Pentax USA has a new manager who is doing some things a bit differently, however beyond that..... what? I do know that marketing plans take some time, however this is not rocket science. To do something different, you need to start somewhere and start to make some inroads.

So, what could they do? Well, let's see..... Pentax has a current design set ready to go, the K30, K5II and K5IIs, all of which are weather sealed. Create a WR Outdoor kit, the body and the 18-135WR lens. All are in production, and the bugs have been worked out. Select a moderate sized outdoor marketer/retailer with a stellar reputation. I'll just choose REI as an example - there are others out there. Get them in the stores, and provide both technical and sales support for each store. Where are you going to get technical and sales support for a reasonable set of retail stores with wide geographical footprint. Last year, Pentax went looking for folks to support retail locations for the holidays. Do just the same. Where is the current Pentax demographic user base - retired. I am sure that they can find a couple of retirees per store that are already very savvy about photography in general and Pentax specifically. Add to their training. What do these old guys have that Pentax USA lacks - knowledge and enthusiasm! Just look around this Forum. The ability to close and engage customers, listen to what the customer wants, and then explain how Pentax can deliver and meets their needs.

Initially take it slow, 10 stores in a focused geographical region. Set it up, support it and see how it goes. Make needed adjustments as recognized. Wash and repeat. Also, have a supply of additional lenses, that can be parachuted in from a central location next day, just in case someone needs a 31Ltd, 100Macro, or whatever... Let, them right in front of the customer pull out their smart phone, and submit a drop shipment (FedEX/UPS or ??) in the next day (to either the store or the customer's home/office)- and then Perform & DELIVER. You have to show that Pentax is not a one trick pony, that you - the customer, wants a dSLR, that additional product(s) are available.

These are not terribly new ideas or suggestions. Parts have been kicking around here for quite a while. So, there is the plan.

This is not hunting for the Higgs boson . This is marketing 101 - table stakes, basic blocking and tackling. It is just like selling soap.

So, Pentax - what are you going to do? The ball is in your court.

Putting Pentax in REI makes TOO MUCH SENSE!
04-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Putting Pentax in REI makes TOO MUCH SENSE!
See what I mean? We're just regular people who do this as a hobby (for the most part) and we have better fresher, more creative ideas than the same old same old guys in Denver. I've been writing about this for years.

You might remember my posts last year about the K-01 not even being on the pentaximaging website - at least the GR is up and featured DAY ONE - that's one small step in the right direction, but why on Earth should I have to point that out as a win?
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