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07-10-2013, 08:42 PM   #376
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Ricoh priced the GR they way they always have - released at the realistic street price instead of an unrealistic list price that immediately gets discounted* - and it will stay there for 18 months. There's no motivation to "wait six months until the price comes down" before you buy this camera.

The surprise might be - similar to Pentax adopting Ricoh's generous FW Update Policy - that Pentax adopts Ricoh's Pricing Model for its future new releases.

It isn't magic - it is just a business philosophy, implemented as a pricing strategy..

* which unrealistic Dealer Agreement supposedly supports smaller B&M stores, but it backfires when large retaillers immediately discount heavily; then you get the attempted infuriating UPP
/
It's that, plus more. Volume ordering, sharing tech and thinning cost among an army of products. Now let's apply same strategy to FF cameras and yes, it is possible to see a very similar play. It is quite possible that when they come with an FF, it will not be just one camera.

07-10-2013, 09:06 PM   #377
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The starting price for an FF sensor but supporting electronics pushes $700 alone. The sensors apparently push $400 just for the silicon imprint.

By the time you add it all in you're well above $1,400 body alone. Now you need to add profit, distribution, marketing, etc.


Great explanation of why Pentax hsn't done a FF yet and actually might not do one any time soon.

But never expect logic, reality, the facts of business and the requirement of a profit to convince anyone.
I wonder where and when that information about price comes from. FF sensors must be being produced in large quantities now, so that is bound to lower the cost.

I know there are many ancillary business costs, but these are presumably built into the cost of products already on the market.

Nikon D600 ($2,000) - Take away the cost of the mirror, prism and associated paraphernalia. Add cost of EVF.
Sony RX-1 ($2,500) - Take away the Zeiss lens, add the EVF and bear in mind that the RX-1 has no direct competition, so Sony has been able to price it as they wish.
Pentax K-5 II ($800) - Even if you add the somewhat dubious $700 to this, it is still under budget.

I think a sub-$1,500 FF mirrorless camera is entirely possible.

Note - my prices are crude currency conversions from the Japanese in-store prices, using 100 yen to the dollar. I haven't checked to actual dollar retail prices. Prices for D600 and K-5 II are body only.
07-10-2013, 09:44 PM   #378
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I wonder where and when that information about price comes from. FF sensors must be being produced in large quantities now, so that is bound to lower the cost..
/
Don't waste your breath. No one here has any clue about sensor volume purchasing and economy of camera making.
All of us are wild guessing, yes, because we have nothing else left to chew on. Our reality, and the reality Ricoh Imaging is facing, are not same.
07-10-2013, 11:30 PM   #379
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Indeed, all we have are the prices of existing products, which we can use as a reference. We might assume they're exaggerated for whatever reasons, and that those reasons would soon disappear. I wouldn't do that, though.
Regarding the "cheap" FF DSLRs, I would note again that both 6D and the D600 had a higher launch price than the Sony A850.
And the FF NEX is rumored to cost between $3000 and $4000 (no idea how reliable, though)
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
NEX is very popular in Asia while a more traditional SLR style works in North America. Europe is about 50/50 but has a much larger installed DSLR user base.
In 2012, for the Japanese market, Sony had 7.1% of the DSLR market and 20.1% of the MILC market (according to bcnranking). Nex is indeed popular, but they sold more SLTs.

07-11-2013, 12:31 AM   #380
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QuoteQuote:
In 2012, for the Japanese market, Sony had 7.1% of the DSLR market and 20.1% of the MILC market (according to bcnranking). Nex is indeed popular, but they sold more SLTs.
Correct. And this is now the the fourth or fifth time, where Aristophanes has made up something about markets in his brain, but where the exact opposite is true.

So, what Uluru expressed so well...
QuoteQuote:
Don't waste your breath. No one here has any clue about sensor volume purchasing and economy of camera making.
...is also applicable to camera markets. And mabye even to our speculations on what Ricoh will do, could do, or has done

After Ricoh's autumn announcements of bodys along with a lens Roadmap (both is purely speculative and freely invented though, I have to admit , but hopefully not unlikely), we will be in a much better position to speak up again then, I'm sure.

Even the direction or steepness of the next wave of lens price adjustments is purely speculative. At least I am mentally prepared to be surpised in one direction or the other.

All these autumn events will be much more worthy to yield threads receiving hundreds of postings, because they seriously affect both us customers, as well as the future of the Pentax system.

Whereas an org name change doesn't affect neither our, nor Ricoh's well-being and prosperity, really.

Last edited by Frater; 07-11-2013 at 04:56 AM.
07-11-2013, 02:38 AM   #381
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frater Quote
After Ricoh's autumn announcements of bodys and a lens Roadmap (both is purely speculative and freely invented though, I have to admit , but hopefully not unlikely), we will be in a much better position to speak up again then, I'm sure..
/
/
One statement, we can hopefully hold onto, is the word by Ricoh CEO, during his presentation three months ago.
Namely, Ricoh has recognised that both Q-mount and K-mount offers by Pentax brand are weak (his own choice of words — although they are selling well and making profit, according to him), thus Ricoh wants to significantly strengthen the offer for both mounts.

Q10 is now accompanied by Q7 — two Q bodies in the market at the same time. I suspect that will be a common strategy for the Q mount.

For K-mount, we now have new K500 and K50. Which is basically same thing. I expect no less than 2 (two) more K-mount bodies to come by the end of the year. In other words, a K5II replacement for all enthusiasts, and a body above it — a pro level APS-C DSLR. Unlike now, then the K-mount offer will start to make some sense and can grab some more attention and gain momentum.

For the FF, I don't dare to speculate because it's a futile sport. No one has a clue how Ricoh will answer the the question of the FF.

Last edited by Uluru; 07-11-2013 at 02:47 AM.
07-11-2013, 03:45 AM   #382
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I think it's better to have an exact quote:
QuoteQuote:
<Other>
- Sales are increasing thanks to the addition of PENTAX sales.
- Both PENTAX K-30,PENTAX K-5 II SLR cameras and PENTAX Q10 mirror-less camera are selling well.
- These cameras were released after PENTAX joined the Ricoh Group. Especially the PENTAX Q10, a mirror-less camera, performed well and got No.1 share in the mirror-less category in Japan last November.
- The camera business is still weak and we will step up our efforts to increase sales.
- Operating income in the Other category decreased in the 4th quarter because we appropriated the negative legacy of the camera business to structural reform cost.
- The just introduced high quality compact camera "GR", launched in April has been well received.
Source: http://www.ricoh.com/IR/pdf/essence_text_1304.pdf
07-11-2013, 05:34 AM   #383
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I wonder where and when that information about price comes from. FF sensors must be being produced in large quantities now, so that is bound to lower the cost.

I know there are many ancillary business costs, but these are presumably built into the cost of products already on the market.

Nikon D600 ($2,000) - Take away the cost of the mirror, prism and associated paraphernalia. Add cost of EVF.
Sony RX-1 ($2,500) - Take away the Zeiss lens, add the EVF and bear in mind that the RX-1 has no direct competition, so Sony has been able to price it as they wish.
Pentax K-5 II ($800) - Even if you add the somewhat dubious $700 to this, it is still under budget.

I think a sub-$1,500 FF mirrorless camera is entirely possible.

Note - my prices are crude currency conversions from the Japanese in-store prices, using 100 yen to the dollar. I haven't checked to actual dollar retail prices. Prices for D600 and K-5 II are body only.
Most costs are extrapolated, but all sensors are essentially made the same way. The photolithography process requires 2.45 more cost per chip for FF than APS-C due to the original wafer size. You cut 2.45 more APS-C chips off the same wafer as FF; it's just a function of geometry. Therefore the yield is lower for the FF and the rate of defects affects a much larger % of the volume.

It's been estimated that an end-of-life APS-C sensor is about $40-$70 while a new model comes in around $110...the early adopter price. So add at least 2.45x for FF, then more for lower yield due to defects and the raw cost of an FF sensor starts at about 4-5x an APS-C. That's what you build your camera around.

All the supporting electronics like buffers and data paths play a role as well, maybe 20% more compared to APS-C. More data requires more circuits and that also has an impact on the physical size of the unit, not to mention battery power. Now add video which is a must have to reach the broadest possible market.

So just to get the sensor on a circuit board out the door FF sensors are 4x to 6x APS-C.

And those costs work the other way. APS-C is prohibitively expensive for a sub-$100 digicam on sale at the local drugstore.

Volume will cause costs to come down, but you still cannot get away from the 4-6x greater cost when the oven door opens. It's baked in to the fundamentals of the technology.

That means the market bifurcates on sensor size/cost. FF will secularly be well above $1,000 while APS-C can come in well below. Models in the sub-$1,000 category make up well over 80% of all dedicated camera sales. A camera is a household necessity to many but there are disposable income limits. So even if they could make a $1,500 mirrorless, the reality is it's not a large market to spread the cost around. Add in the cost of a new mount and complete lens line-up overhaul (like Fuji....whose camera division is also bleeding red ink), and you have caution signs everywhere.

I said bifurcate but in reality it's got more divisions than that. We have m43 and CX/1" making inroads. the chase in the market is on at the lower end for volume sales. Mirrorless FF at $1,500 a unit will have 1% of the consumers that a $400 mirrorless will draw. Which one makes the hands-on assembly line more efficient? Add in the demand for lenses for the $1,500 "system camera" and you have to spread out even more cost across more products than the $400 unit where the average consumer will maybe buy a kit +1 other lens. They won't demand a huge variety of lenses so you as a company don't have to go there.

I think the real trick for Pentax is getting their flagship APS-C bodies below $1,000, creating market space for the eventual FF DSLR. I also think Pentax needs to work their K-mount into a very small form factor, low-end unit, smaller even than the K-x and Canon 100D. And that body with a kit lens will have to come in MSRP at US$499.

Personally I think Pentax should be looking at splitting their DSLR bodies into a big zoom, big feature line, K-50/K-5/K-3. What we have now.

I also think they should take the mini-form factor of the smallest possible APS-C DSLR and pair that with a combo of cheaper primes (50/1.8 and 35/2.4) and the DA Ltd's. This is a system camera to challenge Fuji and Canikon and even NEX. The prism and mirrorbox are not that prohibitive to design compactness; it's all the other features that expand the volume.

07-11-2013, 05:51 AM   #384
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Q10 is now accompanied by Q7 — two Q bodies in the market at the same time. I suspect that will be a common strategy for the Q mount.
I don't think these two bodies will be in the market together for long. In fact the Q10 has already disappeared from some stores in Tokyo. I've been hoping to get the double zoom kit on the cheap, but not with much luck.

The only reason the Q7 came so close on the heels of the Q10 is the 2011 earthquake. The Q10 was originally due in spring of 2012, not September. I actually heard a Pentax rep saying that. So having the two cameras in the market simultaneously is accidental. Personally, I think there will be a body above the Q7 eventually, probably bringing back the magnesium body, a better screen and who knows what else.
07-11-2013, 06:00 AM   #385
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Nikon D600 ($2,000) - Take away the cost of the mirror, prism and associated paraphernalia. Add cost of EVF.
.

What do you think the mirror and prism cost?. $10?
07-11-2013, 10:49 AM   #386
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
So just to get the sensor on a circuit board out the door FF sensors are 4x to 6x APS-C.
That's pure conjecture, nobody really knows the cost except the camera makers who buy or make them.

Anyway, if Pentax can build a 645D (and this sensor costs thousands) and sell only a few thousands a year and be happy with it, why not a FF? That's certainly not by lack of know-how.
07-11-2013, 11:21 AM   #387
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QuoteOriginally posted by ManuH Quote
Anyway, if Pentax can build a 645D (and this sensor costs thousands) and sell only a few thousands a year and be happy with it, why not a FF? That's certainly not by lack of know-how.
Lack of profit.

Remember that Pentax have an installed user base willing to pay from their 45 years medium format presence...
07-11-2013, 11:30 AM   #388
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The 645D is a different story. Pentax was able to share as much as possible (including the SAFOX IX+ AF) with the K-5, while still getting a very modern (by DMF standards) camera. A DMF by definition is a low volume, high margin product; everything worked in their favor.
A FF would play in a much more competitive market... they won't get away with 11 AF points and only 3 new lenses launched in 3.5 years.

But shouldn't we discuss this on the dedicated FF section?
07-11-2013, 12:04 PM   #389
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QuoteOriginally posted by ManuH Quote
That's pure conjecture, nobody really knows the cost except the camera makers who buy or make them.

Anyway, if Pentax can build a 645D (and this sensor costs thousands) and sell only a few thousands a year and be happy with it, why not a FF? That's certainly not by lack of know-how.
Because with FF you need a big slew of lenses to keep any demand going, or everyone will just buy into a Canikon system. With the 645D Pentax can roll out only a few core lenses because this is not a walkaround camera for a consumer/prosumer market.

That's why Sony has such a timid FF offering. And why Sony cut all FF products for 2 years, and why they are bleeding red ink.

And it's not conjecture about the yield of the sensors. Google it. It's very well known with numerous articles on the subject. The yield issue also led to Canon's creation of APS-H to reduce the costs to photojournalists and even likely to the new EOS-M sensor size. Even a slightly smaller sensor dramatically increases yield, so when you're building cameras for specified price points, you start with your sensor.

The real issue for Ricoh/Pentax is the future of K-mount and especially how to keep the momentum going for APS-C when the over US$1,500 camera market is going FF. (And you can find used pro FF D700's going for under US$1,500...yet another point of competition.)

Changing company names tells us nothing about any strategy save that Ricoh has been only a compact camera maker for the last 20 years with limited distribution. Pentax = K-mount and getting that moniker into BOTH APS-C and FF is the future wrangle.
07-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #390
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Pentax or Ricoh - probably not in the future...

Greetings! Typically, I browse through here, searching to expand my limited knowledge base of digital photography. I do remember back when Pentax was a revered brand in photography. Nikon was #1, and very costly. They wanted to be known as "the professional's camera," and they were. But, Pentax was next. I probably sold three Pentax SP500's and K-1000's for every Nikon. Canon...who heard of them? All that began to change when Pentax entered the 120 roll film market. By then I was no longer selling camera gear. In summary - even during the end of the film era, Pentax was fading as a brand. However, Pentax quality was never in doubt.

Now, during all the talk...I heard no mention of "the future." We all know that cell phone manufacturers are racing to have a 20 megipixel camera in their phones, including an easy-to-use version of Photoshop Junior. With the exception of some very high-end models for expensive working photographers...the camera as we know it, film or digital, is probably on the road to extinction. Text or call your buddy, take a pic, process immediately, then upload to a web site, share with friends...and also pay your rent...all from one device, all within minutes. How long it will take, and what the toll will be on existing companies...that's the part where we will have to wait and see.
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