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06-20-2013, 07:05 AM   #466
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Apple makes such even more expensive by dragging thier feet and obfuscating hooks into their API
Really? I've developed for several platforms, including iOS, and the iOS APIs appear to be pretty well-documented to me.

06-20-2013, 07:40 AM   #467
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
Well, except for the fact that GoPro is using Sony imaging sensors (Sony IMX117 according to this tear down) So a decent chunk of the money still ends up in Japan.
But they're killing Sony's videocam market.

Sony is a company I luv to hate. When they bought up their media empire they lost their way and various arms of the company have been at war with each other for decades. Sony Computer vs. Media led to ridiculous copy protection, and Sony Silicon is selling product to competitors of Sony Video and in the process gutting Sony video (at the lower end).

Sony is going from being an electronics giant to being a commodity back-end supplier. While there's good margins now, the future is lower margins and lack of value added. that said, I have been impressed with Sony Imaging (cameras) R&D efforts with the RX100 and RX1.

Odd company.
06-20-2013, 07:51 AM   #468
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The reason a company such as Pentax chooses to work wtih Eye-Fi as a stopgap measure is it is expedient to pay a fee to receive access to Eye-Fi's software engineering (which is already sunk cost) and Eye-Fi sees an opportunity to sell more cards.

Nothing is ever as transparent and easy as we seem to think on these Forums, especially if, in fact, there is a major shift in consumer wallet penetration going on as we type. Companies don't just lie back and take it - they try to fight off the conpetition somehow.
One of the hallmarks of Japanese corporate culture is to be incremental, not make big leaps. That's not a universal feature but it's a normative quality. It has its virtues, mostly seen in the automotive industry.

Problem is, it also leads to very slow uptake of "not invented here" ideas. Sound familiar, Apple fans?

All the major Japanese electronics manufacturers are deeply suspicious of non-DoCoMo, non-Japanese smartphones and mobile OS's because they are the largest consumer electronics surge in the last 20 years and put the primacy of software above hardware. And it's not like the Japanese cannot do software (Nintendo), but that they have trouble adopting to external forces. So we have Panasonic and Sony and Fuji each coming out with their own Wi-Fi or BT variants at various times, or other proprietary connections. Their brand men like to think their customers are as loyal to the brand as they are.

So Eye-Fi is a timid step towards a more "open" structure when a $6 chip and some software is all that is needed.And neither is very expensive given the volume of unit sales. All the effort going into any Eye-Fi could easily have gone into in-body Wi-Fi.

Japan Inc. is having trouble creating demand in a wired world. It's a real problem for their industrial machine and engineering culture. It's great when they play to their strengths (Ricoh GR) but terrible when they ignore market shifts ($0.99 apps).
06-20-2013, 11:52 AM   #469
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
Really? I've developed for several platforms, including iOS, and the iOS APIs appear to be pretty well-documented to me.
Yet Apple must approve and, at least according to PRAC, they didn't as regards RAW export to iPad for use in PP (Apple is concerned about tablet battery life). So someone has to engineer software that sends RAW over a local wireless network to a horsepower device and limit Wi-Fi to jpeg (or at least allow a choice) - which is precisely what a Eye-Fi Pro X2 card does. Rather than engineer ROM software Pentax co-developed easier Eye-Fi card linking built into its new cameras.

An Eye-Fi Mobi card is optimized to easily link to a phone or tablet and only transfers jpeg - and does that instantly (from personal experience).

I do not believe this is the final step - I believe it is a temporary step to buy time.

Aristohanes - is a Wi-Fi main board chip $10 or $6? In the last 24 hours you've quoted both costs. And either way, that is a fair hunk of money for a device whose build cost is less than $300. At that build cost a company is searching for pennies to save.

Supposing they make 500,000 K500/K50 units. $10 is $5,000,000 - a fair hunk of money for a company the size of Pentax. How many units opportunity cost are missed by omitting W-Fi? (alternatively, how many additional units are generated adding Wi-Fi?).

Again, you write in absolutes - balck and white- Pentax did or didn't do right or wrong. Business is rarely so cut and dried - there are value judgements and business risk/reqward decisions, and limits to available capital. The most important decision is the marginal decision, the decision between the last two equally important items that can be done with the l;ast few dolalrs of capital. One or the other must be chosen - both cannot be done.

Where was Wi-Fi in the ordered set of investments that Pentax could make with the scarce capital allocated for these cameras? I certainly don't know - but beans are important and bean counters have jobs to do too.


Last edited by monochrome; 06-20-2013 at 11:57 AM.
06-20-2013, 03:07 PM   #470
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I sincerely doubt the cost of adding a WiFi chip is even close to $6, your $5,000,000 seems a bit rich. I'd also like to see the figures on estimated camera sales for the k50/500... 500,000 would be great, but I doubt Pentax are currently achieving those figures... their K30 sales in Japan last year were less than 60,000 its all well and good pulling numbers out of thin air, but it means nothing with some level of reality.
06-20-2013, 04:03 PM   #471
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
I sincerely doubt the cost of adding a WiFi chip is even close to $6, your $5,000,000 seems a bit rich. I'd also like to see the figures on estimated camera sales for the k50/500... 500,000 would be great, but I doubt Pentax are currently achieving those figures... their K30 sales in Japan last year were less than 60,000 its all well and good pulling numbers out of thin air, but it means nothing with some level of reality.
What were their global sales of K30, annualized (not June - December)? What is their unit cost amortized over the planned total production run? What is the total cost allocated to Wi-Fi, including development, parts sourcing and assembly? What is their expected margin per unit, including the cost allocated to Wi-Fi, and does adding that cost increase the price charged to Distributors? Would the required retail price increase alter the planned unit production run? How would any changes in total planned production affect profitability of the K50/K500 combo?

None of us really knows anything about real costs and real marketing decisions. We just think Pentax makes stupid decisions, then we make up some BS to support our assertion. If others can make things up then so can I.

Posters who are so assertive about thier information would do better to show me links to real data and real info or else my guess is as good as any other. Alternatively, posters might learn proper use of subjunctive conditional.
06-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #472
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Posters who are so assertive about thier information would do better to show me links to real data and real info or else my guess is as good as any other. Alternatively, posters might learn proper use of subjunctive conditional.
I hate to state the obvious, but you are in the 2012 Japan sales of mirrorless & SLRs thread. If you read the first post, you will find some links to real data.

Alternatively you might learn the proper use of a fantasy forum...
06-20-2013, 06:06 PM   #473
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
Alternatively you might learn the proper use of a fantasy forum..
Read Post #2. A camera company is a profit-making business (or it isn't a camera company for long). We continually ask Pentax to be different here. But when they are different we criticize them for being different.

I've been down this road before and it always ends this way. People here want what they want without regard to reality.

06-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #474
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
I hate to state the obvious, but you are in the 2012 Japan sales of mirrorless & SLRs thread. If you read the first post, you will find some links to real data.

Alternatively you might learn the proper use of a fantasy forum...
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Read your own post — we are well into 2013, not 2012. There is no real data yet apart from projection, speculation and assertion. Thus in posts we are waging whether certain claims make sense or not related to newly introduced cameras that will sell well into 2014.
06-20-2013, 06:40 PM   #475
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Yet Apple must approve and, at least according to PRAC, they didn't as regards RAW export to iPad for use in PP (Apple is concerned about tablet battery life). So someone has to engineer software that sends RAW over a local wireless network to a horsepower device and limit Wi-Fi to jpeg (or at least allow a choice) - which is precisely what a Eye-Fi Pro X2 card does. Rather than engineer ROM software Pentax co-developed easier Eye-Fi card linking built into its new cameras.
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When Apple releases Aperture for iPad, and when Adobe releases Lightroom for iPad, then we'll also see more features coming from Pentax Ricoh in their higher end cameras. That would signal that Apple is now ready with their iPad for much more serious stuff without fear it will reflect bad on battery life.

iOS7 is a clear step in that direction, for what was visible in the WWDC 2013 preview of the iOS7, Apple has managed to gain a lot re power consumption and power management. Now full multitasking is possible, no limits per number of browser windows, more demanding UI elements are possible, etc.

OS X and iOS are tightly connected, and improvement in one reflects in the other. The new OS X Maverick is fantastic re power management, so we can expect more powerful apps coming for iPad too.

Last edited by Uluru; 06-20-2013 at 06:49 PM.
06-20-2013, 07:59 PM   #476
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Tablets are the wrong platform for RAW but the right platform for everyone who doesn't use RAW.

Most DSLR shooters do not use RAW, and many who do, also shoot JPEG when appropriate or more functional.

The casual digital darkroom is going to be tablet-based because that's the market displacing PC's. The power user market will still use Aperture/LR or similar on a desk/laptop, but I suspect that market is not a high growth mark.

Regardless, DSLR's will sell into both camps. Currently the DLSR only talks to a PC by walking an SD card over to say hello, and cannot talk well at all to a mobile OS without a third party like Eye-Fi at considerable higher cost and bothersome set-up, questionable subscription (cloud) tie-ins. It just seems like an afterthought than a market necessity, and ii does not relate well to the way people are using tech. But because cameras come from Japan and tablets do not, Japan Inc. isn't getting the problem solved and camera sales are stalling and money is being lost.

There's a profound disconnect.
06-20-2013, 08:15 PM   #477
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Regarding WiFi, there's more to it than just popping in a chip. For example, I imagine making an antennae for a weather-sealed all-metal body isn't a trivial task.
06-21-2013, 12:37 AM   #478
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Tablets are the wrong platform for RAW
Right now. But not in 5 years (probably earlier).
06-21-2013, 12:51 AM   #479
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Regarding WiFi, there's more to it than just popping in a chip. For example, I imagine making an antennae for a weather-sealed all-metal body isn't a trivial task.
Yes, I am sure there are plenty of gotchas along the way to doing it right.

However, I do wonder whether wifi isn't a bit of a sideshow. If people want a tight connection between their camera (or any other similar device) and their smartphone, tablet or PC, why should they be expected to put up with an operating system on the camera (or other device) that is completely different from the one on their smartphone, tablet or PC? So I imagine the real pressure on the camera-makers is to produce modern new touchscreen operating systems with, perhaps, a move to bigger LCDs on the camera back in order to interface with them. If some camera-makers are kvetching even at the cost of introducing wifi, then writing a modern new touchscreen OS is clearly far beyond them. I guess the chances are high that within a few years, many camera companies may have caved in and be running customized versions of Android.

It's a pretty stark choice: get with the programme or go out of business. But we are now in a world of tablets, touchscreens, ubiquitous wifi and the 99 cents app. From that POV, a camera is just another hardware device which should interface as easily as a printer, wireless keyboard, external HD or any other peripheral. I'd imagine that the camera companies must be having some bad headaches at the moment. They are being saddled with potentially crippling costs just to staying treading water at a time of rapid change. On the other hand, they know that if they don't step up, Apple and Samsung are out there waiting for them to fail.

Anyway, enough of Armageddon. At the moment what this comes down to is that a camera company which can't get its head around wifi, which is just the tip of the iceberg, is really saying that it can't get its head around the modern world at all.
06-21-2013, 01:28 AM   #480
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Samsung just launched their new Android-based MILC. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole; it's useless for photographic purposes.
Pentax should keep making photographic tools, not silly gadgets with Facebook and Angry Birds.
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