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07-04-2013, 05:46 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Ha! You are obviously at the heart of Pentax's target market.... the sucker who has to have every color.
Oh, they clearly made the K-01 just for me. To paraphrase an unkind review I read over a year ago:

The only people who will buy the K-01 are:
1) Eccentric artists
2) Camera collectors
3) Pentax diehards

(1) Artist: debatable. Eccentric: guilty as charged. (2) I have a box of old Pentax film bodies. (3) Did I mention the box of old Pentax film bodies?

Also, despite my initial reservations about the lack of a viewfinder, I found (to my surprise) it to be liberating and really enjoyable. So, since Pentax went out of their way to make the (nearly) perfect camera for me, it would have been downright rude not to own several!

07-04-2013, 05:46 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
So, the K-01 comes in "Bumblebee" (yellow), "Stormtrooper" (white), "Smurf" (Blue).....

...am I alone in thinking that the Black and Silver releases were mistakes, they do not fit the theme?

"Darth Vader" & "Robocop"?
07-04-2013, 05:47 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
In regards what Pentax sells in Japan, we have no real clue.
I was enjoying looking at all the Pentax 67 lenses still sold through the Pentax web store in Japan, and other stuff I thought it was discontinued looong ago. But they are still making it.
And while we in the West try really hard to get our hands on the Pentax Q 01 prime lens in basic silver, anywhere, they have it available in Japan right now, in all Q7 colours (and perhaps in a few more)!

We are a total outback!
Indeed, what we see in the west is a fraction of what they have in Japan - not just for Pentax, mind you, but for any camera line/manufacturer (and, honestly, if looking at Tokyo......everything else also non-camera related).

It was therefore very odd, however, that it was impossible to lay my hands on the MX1 when it was out in Japan - simply not enough units to go around wasting on expo-models and in-store stock, it was ripped away. Same with the GR when that came out.
07-04-2013, 05:51 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
So, the K-01 comes in "Bumblebee" (yellow), "Stormtrooper" (white), "Smurf" (Blue).....

...am I alone in thinking that the Black and Silver releases were mistakes, they do not fit the theme?

..."Black Friday Black" and "Yerp". As in the day when suddenly people wanted to buy a K-01, and (coming from a 'Murkin) the only place you could buy a silver one.

07-04-2013, 05:59 AM - 1 Like   #50
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I really honestly cannot grasp the idea. How does a coloured tool help me do my job? I understand how better IQ does that, better AF performance, lenses, flashes, etc. But colours? Apply it to any other tool and it becomes obvious how strange this really is. I've never entered a hardware store to see walls filled with all the same types of hammers, but with different colours.
07-04-2013, 06:01 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
LOL! Of all the demands from users to pick from, they chose this one. Now I'm absolutely sure they have never ever visited Pentaxforums.
Or, they targeted a population not typically on pentaxforums?

This camera coming out on the domestic Japanese market sounds like Ricoh has exactly done their homework: if they can make a profit on the camera, and then target a niche which no other system targets, then they're good.

I'd say that the K-01 in the "Smurf" and "Bumblebee" version are spot-on for a part of the Japanese market: more "fun" than the "retro-hip" offerings from competition, yet not infantile either, while offering great quality, it's something that I can easily picture a tweenager or a business-woman from a well-off family pull out of her purse to take picture of her friends (with bunny-ears) in an izakaya.

Actually, I do not need to simply picture that, I saw it happen (with the bumblebee) twice two weeks back in Tokyo (once, I admit, was in Nabezo in Shinjuku, and not in an izakaya). Plus, while "fun" it's a "real camera" - even though most may not ever take the 40/2.8Xs off, it keeps the mount alive and some will buy new lenses.

Given the almost orgasmic enthusiasm we saw on Pentaxforums regarding the mock-up spoof "Spotmatic D" that somebody posted just a minute ago, I'd say that Ricoh exactly did their homework, realized that "those guys on Pentaxforums want retro-hip, not fun, so let's not market this camera to that crowd"

I think that in one of the interviews with the executives from the company, they said that they wanted to enter a market only if they could transform it by being different - no need to go in to become "just another of the same". Like the K-01 or not, but they tried exactly that. And, it seems that the K-01 works in some markets, and not in others - works in some colors (the "fun" ones) and not in others (the "retro-hip black and silver" ones). The smart thing to do is, then, to target those markets/colors, and retire the rest.

And loo and behold, by releasing this "Smurf" K-01 in Japan only, they created scarcity-attractiveness, chatter about it, regrets that it's not sold overseas, a bit more attention to the brand, ....

Yeah, the K-01 never appealed to many, and that's OK. The K-30/50/5/* exist for a reason. And if the "pentaxforum-market" becomes big enough, who knows, perhaps we'll see exactly a Spotmatic-D one day
07-04-2013, 06:03 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
I thought it was agreed long ago that I'm not in my right mind...
Sighs, even without the Smurf K-01, you beat me. Jealous!

As for you being in your right mind, are you /really/ asking that question? And here, of all places?

Statistically, my friend, in this crowd you're downright normal
07-04-2013, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
Oh, they clearly made the K-01 just for me. To paraphrase an unkind review I read over a year ago:

The only people who will buy the K-01 are:
1) Eccentric artists
2) Camera collectors
3) Pentax diehards

(1) Artist: debatable. Eccentric: guilty as charged. (2) I have a box of old Pentax film bodies. (3) Did I mention the box of old Pentax film bodies?

Also, despite my initial reservations about the lack of a viewfinder, I found (to my surprise) it to be liberating and really enjoyable. So, since Pentax went out of their way to make the (nearly) perfect camera for me, it would have been downright rude not to own several!
I must confess to owning more than one K-01 also (couldn't resist), although you do beat me comfortably. I'm not a Pentax diehard (come from Olympus OM), and I aggressively sell out of the gear I don't use (had tons of OM gear, when I switched to AF/Kmount, everything went away) so I do not fit any of the two last categories.

With what passes for "art" today, I guess that even a toddler with a bucket of mud is an "eccentric artist".....I've, at least, been one of those.

Like THoog, I had reservations about the no-viewfinder, the quirky look, ...., and initially got a Q while keeping the K10D around. I realized that the no-viewfinder was an occasional relief and not at all constraining for what I do - and that the speed of the Q (buffer size, ...) was almost enough for me, and so, I bought into the K-01 as replacement for the K10D. Yeah, the K-01 is also "nearly perfect for me".

Plus, and this is a plus, the K-10D was "my camera", nobody else in the household thought to pick it up and use it, too intimidating, too big, too heavy, too "pro looking".

The K-01, on the other hand, rarely gets an idle minute. Minimal instructions of the form "check it's on P, hit the green button", and everybody is an "eccentric artist". One may or may not like Mark Newsons design, but it is disarming and inviting to non-photo-geeks

07-04-2013, 06:15 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by blacknosugar Quote
"Darth Vader" & "Robocop"?
Thing is, the black isn't "fully black and stealth" and so doesn't do much of a Darth Vader impression.....
07-04-2013, 06:25 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
Or, they targeted a population not typically on pentaxforums?

This camera coming out on the domestic Japanese market sounds like Ricoh has exactly done their homework: if they can make a profit on the camera, and then target a niche which no other system targets, then they're good.

I'd say that the K-01 in the "Smurf" and "Bumblebee" version are spot-on for a part of the Japanese market: more "fun" than the "retro-hip" offerings from competition, yet not infantile either, while offering great quality, it's something that I can easily picture a tweenager or a business-woman from a well-off family pull out of her purse to take picture of her friends (with bunny-ears) in an izakaya.

Actually, I do not need to simply picture that, I saw it happen (with the bumblebee) twice two weeks back in Tokyo (once, I admit, was in Nabezo in Shinjuku, and not in an izakaya). Plus, while "fun" it's a "real camera" - even though most may not ever take the 40/2.8Xs off, it keeps the mount alive and some will buy new lenses.

Given the almost orgasmic enthusiasm we saw on Pentaxforums regarding the mock-up spoof "Spotmatic D" that somebody posted just a minute ago, I'd say that Ricoh exactly did their homework, realized that "those guys on Pentaxforums want retro-hip, not fun, so let's not market this camera to that crowd"

I think that in one of the interviews with the executives from the company, they said that they wanted to enter a market only if they could transform it by being different - no need to go in to become "just another of the same". Like the K-01 or not, but they tried exactly that. And, it seems that the K-01 works in some markets, and not in others - works in some colors (the "fun" ones) and not in others (the "retro-hip black and silver" ones). The smart thing to do is, then, to target those markets/colors, and retire the rest.

And loo and behold, by releasing this "Smurf" K-01 in Japan only, they created scarcity-attractiveness, chatter about it, regrets that it's not sold overseas, a bit more attention to the brand, ....

Yeah, the K-01 never appealed to many, and that's OK. The K-30/50/5/* exist for a reason. And if the "pentaxforum-market" becomes big enough, who knows, perhaps we'll see exactly a Spotmatic-D one day
Professionally, I've stopped using my Pentax gear completely now. I had to. Dispite the black tape over the Pentax-logo, one of my clients said: "Pentax?! But aren't they the ones with all the happy coloured cameras? You're kidding, right?" Ashamed I told them it was a mistake and went to my car to get my "serious" camera. A 5DmkII, which I dislike using a lot. Next time the K-5IIs stays at home.

That's what they're destroying right now. Pentax was famous for their excellent primes, great optics, durability and high IQ. Now, they're becomming known for their Walt Disney gear. They'll have a hard time shaking off that reputation. Just like they had a similar bad time shaking off the reputation of being "cheap". The cheap-label is still sticking sometimes.
07-04-2013, 06:25 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I really honestly cannot grasp the idea. How does a coloured tool help me do my job? I understand how better IQ does that, better AF performance, lenses, flashes, etc. But colours? Apply it to any other tool and it becomes obvious how strange this really is. I've never entered a hardware store to see walls filled with all the same types of hammers, but with different colours.
I agree completely with you: if you're in the picture-taking business, then a "coloured tool" doesn't do one iota to help you do the job.

Ricoh is, however, not in the picture-taking business...they're (in this case) in the camera-selling-business. I'd bet dimes to donuts that a "coloured tool" helps them in their camera-selling-business in the markets where that tool is available.

Clavius, you're thinking about a camera as a "tool". Let me therefore ask you, do you have a car? What color is it? How does that color (over, say, any other color) make you a better driver.....? Why aren't you driving a military jeep, they'll get you from A to B, and are reliable to boot?

I think that the problem that many are having is, that they're thinking about a camera as a "photo making tool", and so think that buying it is "with the head only".

A camera is a tool, most certainly, and I think that you will agree that the K-01 is competent as such, in that there're great pictures made with it.

But, it's not exclusively a tool - like your car, it's to some degree an extension of your personality, or at least a reflection of it. You bought it not /only/ for rational reasons, although you may try to think of it as such.

The target market of the K-01 doesn't buy "military jeeps" solely as tools, they buy a red sportscar, or a yellow SUV because they /also/ buy with their hearts, and the object - for whatever reason - attracts them.

And, if Ricoh manages to tap into that correctly........
07-04-2013, 06:28 AM - 1 Like   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I really honestly cannot grasp the idea. How does a coloured tool help me do my job? I understand how better IQ does that, better AF performance, lenses, flashes, etc. But colours? Apply it to any other tool and it becomes obvious how strange this really is. I've never entered a hardware store to see walls filled with all the same types of hammers, but with different colours.
OK, but to turn the question around, how is a black camera a more effective tool than a white one? Why is any product sold in a variety of colours? People have personal preferences.

Clearly the K-01 is not the huge embarrassment that some commenters would like to think, but I don't think we should overstate how successful it has been in Japan. I haven't seen many people using them and it had the same kind of price drops as the rest of the world. In Japan the problem was always more to do with the weight than the design. Almost every Japanese person I've handed my K-01 to has commented on the weight.

It's interesting that the K-500 was not released here, so I think this is intended to fill that low-end space for a while. Personally I think the K-01 is a nicer product than the K-500 - a K-50 minus the AF lights and the WR. And despite its idiosyncrasies, amongst mirrorless cameras, the K-01 has top class IQ, the widest range of native lenses and the longest battery life. I think those are very significant plus points.
07-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Professionally, I've stopped using my Pentax gear completely now. I had to. Dispite the black tape over the Pentax-logo, one of my clients said: "Pentax?! But aren't they the ones with all the happy coloured cameras? You're kidding, right?" Ashamed I told them it was a mistake and went to my car to get my "serious" camera. A 5DmkII, which I dislike using a lot. Next time the K-5IIs stays at home.

That's what they're destroying right now. Pentax was famous for their excellent primes, great optics, durability and high IQ. Now, they're becomming known for their Walt Disney gear. They'll have a hard time shaking off that reputation. Just like they had a similar bad time shaking off the reputation of being "cheap". The cheap-label is still sticking sometimes.
Thank you for bringing that perspective to the discussion, that's very interesting.

It's definitely a fair point to be vary of. I guess that it goes to show that some people have "small minds" and can't fathom that the same company can cater to multiple markets.

One would wonder if that'd be the dichotomy between the Pentax brand and the Ricoh brand?

Just like Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda are one and the same (and, essentially, the same car chassis and engine is sold under all three brands, but with slightly different looks and equipment and /very/ different price-tags)?
07-04-2013, 06:31 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
OK, but to turn the question around, how is a black camera a more effective tool than a white one? Why is any product sold in a variety of colours? People have personal preferences.

Clearly the K-01 is not the huge embarrassment that some commenters would like to think, but I don't think we should overstate how successful it has been in Japan. I haven't seen many people using them and it had the same kind of price drops as the rest of the world. In Japan the problem was always more to do with the weight than the design. Almost every Japanese person I've handed my K-01 to has commented on the weight.
Interesting. Last I was in Japan, I saw the K-01 quite a lot. Not as much as "anonymous classic SLR-looking camera", but in two different restaurants I saw one taken out for a snapshot, and on my afternoon off work walking around in Hibiya park, I saw a handful alone. Mostly bumblebee - or were those just the ones I noticed?

Strictly unscientific, of course. I'm of the impression that it has had "moderate success" in Japan, but it's clearly not "the iPod of the camera world"
07-04-2013, 06:33 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
..."Black Friday Black" and "Yerp". As in the day when suddenly people wanted to buy a K-01, and (coming from a 'Murkin) the only place you could buy a silver one.
Well, in that case the "Stormtrooper" should be renamed "the Elusive", for in my neck of the woods it was possible to get the silver - but impossible to get the white

I'm much surprised that we haven't seen a candy-floss pink one yet, though....for the same market as the Smurf.
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