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07-12-2013, 09:08 AM - 3 Likes   #16
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@Everyone (rather than half a dozen Multi-quotes): I have no earthly idea what is going on.

I'm just an amateur photographer in the midwest USA with a few 40-year-old film camera bodies and some lenses. I don't even make the correct buying decisions - I need a lesson in Behavioral Economics so I'm nudged to stop buying K-01's full price pre-order and three Q's because they're only $189 when I actually only release a shutter two or three dozen times a week. I mean, jeez, what horrible economic decisions to have $10,000 worth of legacy photographic equipment when I could have a Sony Nex-something for just a few hundred. Maybe the Adminsitration can get people like me a workshop or something.

OTOH, unless we are convinced the 279th largest corporation on earth is made up of ignoramuses who know nothing about how to make things, market them and earn profits doing it, there has to be a rational, positive explanation for this behavior.

Maybe they're teaching Pentax people how they became the 279th largest corporation on earth. I mean, really, Pentax has done such a great job growing its market, marketing its products, leading the industry and all that since the days of the screwmount, right? 2010 didn't happen overnight.

Maybe they're converting excess B2B (office machine) manufacturing space to camera and accessory manufacturing space. Takes time.

Or maybe, just maybe, the laws of compounding tell us that 15% growth from a tiny base is insignificant - nearly invisible - so at first people wonder what the He** is going on - but your revenue doubles every 5th year. Then doubles again. Then doubles again.

Then - WOW - 15% growth is some real numbers!!! Look at that! Pentax!!! Number three with a Bullet -> !! Who'da thunk???

Of course, you have to start, and you have to get attention, and you have to have the assets and processes in place to back up the claim or everybody will laugh and say, "Hah! See? Told 'ya."

So News Vacuum.

But hey, I don't know. I'm just some guy on the internet.


Last edited by monochrome; 07-12-2013 at 10:35 AM.
07-13-2013, 05:21 AM   #17
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Since the beginning of the year, we have had the GR, Q7, K-50, and K500 announced and released right? Before that was the mx-1 and Q10. Am I missing any others? I think it's been a rather eventful time period. In the same time span, how many Nikon and Canon products have been announced?
07-13-2013, 05:38 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by theperception2008 Quote
Since the beginning of the year, we have had the GR, Q7, K-50, and K500 announced and released right? Before that was the mx-1 and Q10. Am I missing any others? I think it's been a rather eventful time period. In the same time span, how many Nikon and Canon products have been announced?
Pah, old news. People already got used to it. Pentax better get ready to release a new product every week, otherwise certain people will never be happy.
07-13-2013, 06:08 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by LamyTax Quote
Pah, old news. People already got used to it. Pentax better get ready to release a new product every week, otherwise certain people will never be happy.
Isn't the GR backordered still? How is the CoolPix A's stock status? I think I forgot about the lens cap lens, and a flash prototype under glass. And this year we should receive an update to the high end APS-C camera as well and several lenses on the road map. So far Pentax and Ricoh have exceeded predictions (from another thread, Japanese Magazine 2013 Predictions) and I think are on their way to a record breaking year. The GR has been getting rave reviews from all around, it's stock status is a result of that. People are converting to Pentax because of the camera and the TAv mode as well. I would say personally that Pentax has been doing a rather good job. I remember a time not too long ago when many were happy to see an entry level camera announced just because it meant the K-mount was going to continue and management hadn't killed off the photo division...


P.s. Anyone notice that the Pentax is Doomed and the K-mount is dying threads have kinda ceased from around the web?


Last edited by theperception2008; 07-13-2013 at 06:10 AM. Reason: added post script.
07-13-2013, 06:31 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by theperception2008 Quote
Since the beginning of the year, we have had the GR, Q7, K-50, and K500 announced and released right? Before that was the mx-1 and Q10. Am I missing any others? I think it's been a rather eventful time period. In the same time span, how many Nikon and Canon products have been announced?
The Q7 is a Q/Q10 with a larger sensor
The K-50/500 is a different body for the K30
The MX-1 is an Optio by another name.
The GR Digital is just another Ricoh compact.

The issue here is NEW, not warmed over marketing-engineering.

Ricoh wants us to believe we are getting "new" and you can say 100% accurately that these are in fact - *New*- ,but once you peer behind the curtain you realize they are not. It's not that impressive coming from a company that is telling us they want to be the "third" camera company after Canikon.

The only thing that is new, has come from the Hoya brain trust.
Ricoh is milking it and being one of the "Certain people", I am calling them out for it.
I'm not buying the Ricoh propaganda.
07-13-2013, 06:31 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by theperception2008 Quote
P.s. Anyone notice that the Pentax is Doomed and the K-mount is dying threads have kinda ceased from around the web?
Don't forget three WG-III's

As I read it the people asking (correctly) are the ones who want enthusiast gear. Pentax Ricoh has done very well in the (high volume) consumer space recently.
07-13-2013, 06:43 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Don't forget three WG-III's

As I read it the people asking (correctly) are the ones who want enthusiast gear. Pentax Ricoh has done very well in the (high volume) consumer space recently.
Yes. I agree.

However (with all respect that is due), pitching to the consumer space, is the fastest way to the bottom.
It may help your bottom line in the short term or where you want to stay in the long term.

If Pentax becomes a consumer brand, and in doing so becomes the third camera maker behind Canikon - <slow clap> - great for Ricoh.
I'm going to be happy for them to achieve their goals.
Let them abandon competing on a world class stage as they can compete with all the no names from China, Korea and everywhere else.

Ah, Pentax alongside Aiptek, Kodak-rebadged compacts and the China-Cameras-du-jour.

If Ricoh wants to be the Walmart/Sears/JCPenney/KMart of the camera world and pitch to the Honey Boo Boos, be my guest.

When we are not getting innovation and product that has been shown, we are already dealing with a second tier company.
07-13-2013, 06:57 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Yes. I agree.

However (with all respect that is due), pitching to the consumer space, is the fastest way to the bottom.
It may help your bottom line in the short term or where you want to stay in the long term.

If Pentax becomes a consumer brand, and in doing so becomes the third camera maker behind Canikon - <slow clap> - great for Ricoh.
I'm going to be happy for them to achieve their goals.
Let them abandon competing on a world class stage as they can compete with all the no names from China, Korea and everywhere else.

Ah, Pentax alongside Aiptek, Kodak-rebadged compacts and the China-Cameras-du-jour.

If Ricoh wants to be the Walmart/Sears/JCPenney/KMart of the camera world and pitch to the Honey Boo Boos, be my guest.

When we are not getting innovation and product that has been shown, we are already dealing with a second tier company.
LaurenOE, I'm sorry if i came across as impolite, I was not trying to point out anyone as it's fair to say one can change opinions.

I agree that the K-50 and K-500 are not new but more repositioning of product lines. True Innovation usually comes in the form of flagship releases as seen in past models. All I am saying is that once the high end APS-C model is released, new innovative technologies will be present. I don't have any inside information, but from seeing how Ricoh has moved in the past, the rebranding of the company I think was an essential part to organize product releases and future development. Ricoh is more about the gradual evolution of products that they attempt to tailor to photographers (Ricoh GRD series, and firmware updates).

I don't think they want to compete as the rebadged Kodak, but they still have to have a multi-tier product line. The K-50 and K-500 establish that. Nikon and Canon recycle tech from high end cameras and bring them down to their consumer ones. Maximize one's equity and supply chain. It's just my .02 nothing more.

07-13-2013, 07:04 AM - 2 Likes   #24
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LaurenOE:
You got it wrong; Pentax needs the help of the consumers to build tools for enthusiasts. Without volume, without the money from products like the Q-series, K50/500, GR, they can do nothing.

And you're not "calling them out for it"; you're trying to punish them mostly for imaginary reasons. Complaining about successful products, then saying some nonsense about Aiptek&co... a most unreasonable stance, unfortunately too common in Pentaxians-land.

I understand your frustration, but still, being unfair won't help anyone.
07-13-2013, 07:27 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
The Q7 is a Q/Q10 with a larger sensor
Increasing the size of the sensor is arguably the most meaningful upgrade you could make to a camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
The K-50/500 is a different body for the K30
Not the most exciting upgrade, but the new body allowed them to make a cheaper, non-WR variant. I guess that's the only reason they did it.

QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
The MX-1 is an Optio by another name
It's significantly better than any Optio I've seen and a move upmarket. Ricoh/Pentax is one of the only companies that doesn't feel the need to flood the market with dozens of cheap point-and-shoots and superzooms.

QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
The GR Digital is just another Ricoh compact
Definitely aimed at enthusiasts. One of the most well received cameras I can remember. A huge upgrade over the GR Digital.

I'm also impatient for some higher-end stuff, especially lenses, but I can appreciate that Ricoh/Pentax has been pretty active so far this year.
07-13-2013, 08:06 AM   #26
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Folks. Give me one example, where a company made cheap products and worked their way up to the luxury market - while retaining the same "brand".
Very few companies can pull that off.
Some have, but the products were always quality to begin with, and were honest.

On the other hand, the world is filled with companies that found it was too hard to maintain their high standards and fell to an eventual destruction of their brand.

Pentax is in the throes of the latter, in that Ricoh is racing Pentax to the basement.
The argument about "needing" a wide consumer base to expand into other areas is moot and is exactly the marketing-double-speak that destroys a brand.

Again, show me a single brand that pulled this strategy off successfully, while maintaining the same "brand".

Most companies have to create a "luxury" brand to capitalize, and it appears that Ricoh is using Pentax as the "fodder".
Colored cameras, selling to mass retailers - so that in 5-10 years the brand that will appeal to upscale will be - Ricoh.

If Pentax has limited brand recognition, Ricoh is even less when it comes to the camera world and would make more sense in 5-10 years to build into the luxury brand.

Ricoh is going to throw Pentax under the bus, and they are doing it now as we speak.
Ricoh is destroying the Pentax brand.
Nothing that Ricoh is making now will be sought after on eBay in 10 years after production - at a higher cost - than it was, when it was in production and new.

When I can't get enthusiast based products from Pentax that have been shown, it's pretty easy to realize what is going on.

Problems integrating manufacturing operations
Brand reposition
Market change

Take your pick, it's not doom and gloom per se, but Pentax as we knew it in Ricoh's hands is not working out the way I thought it would.

When Pentax was aligned with the medical optics folks and the other high-tech parts of Asahi Optical Co (AOC) and even with Hoya, they were aligned with top quality engineers and visionaries.
Sure Hoya may have been shutting things down, but at least almost all of what we are seeing now, came from the AOC and Hoya brain trust.

With Ricoh, we got a printer company with a dismal camera brand.
I'm thinking this is not going to work for Pentax enthusiasts in the long run.
07-13-2013, 08:27 AM   #27
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And you continue to be unfair.
Pentax didn't made a half step towards the cheap product company you're talking about. As JPT said, the Q just got better; and the K-30, prettier. They even made the $7000 560mm lens, a product Hoya cancelled; is that "cheap"? And, do you think it was made for the K-50? A $7000 lens for a $600 camera?

Realistically speaking, you can only complain about their speed. The direction they're going is the complete opposite of the one in your posts.
07-13-2013, 08:37 AM   #28
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While I see the logic in your thoughts Lauren, I think if Ricoh wants to expand in the market, by default they need to expand on the Pentax brand. As you said, Ricoh isn't very recognizable, however, Pentax, by itself, couldn't have survived without changes. Therefore, by your definition, Pentax is no longer the same 'brand' whether their long term plan is to first expand the lower end market to increase the cash flow and then increase their enthusiast market presence, or they are simply throwing Pentax under the bus and hope the Ricoh name become the 'luxury' name. I think it's still too early to tell what is going to happen.

While the K-500 and K-50 are very boring products, that strategy is low risk. It's good a marketing tool. Even without innovations, it still performs favorably against competitions so it allows the Pentax brand to stay relevant in the market. I think I would be more worried about your scenario if we suddenly see a bunch low end products. While coloring doesn't seem to be a huge deal in the West, it is great marketing tool in the Asian market. Heck, if it wasn't for color choices for K-x I might have listened to friend's advice and got Canon as my first DSLR.

I think in longer run, I'm a bit more worried about Sony becoming too successful. Once they reach that point, as a sensor provider, they only give others hand-me-downs. Hopefully there will be other sources for it.

Disclaimer: I don't share the same desire for FF and I don't make a living with photography so I'm sure I'm not as antsy as you hardcores.

Last edited by ruggiex; 07-13-2013 at 08:44 AM.
07-13-2013, 09:04 AM   #29
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I see the logic as well, it's just that it can't be applied to Pentax By the way, people who are usually more informed than the average are not panicking, I wonder why...
Sony is using a different, brute force approach. "Flood the market with products and hope they sell in large quantities". With the market in a slight recess, would it work?
07-13-2013, 09:11 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Pentax is in the throes of the latter, in that Ricoh is racing Pentax to the basement. The argument about "needing" a wide consumer base to expand into other areas is moot and is exactly the marketing-double-speak that destroys a brand.
While I'm inclined to agree that making cheap products is not the way to go, I don't see any evidence that Ricoh is doing that. Nor do I agree that the lack of any "new" high-end DSLR indicates a race to basement. On the contrary, it can easily be construed as evidence of how seriously Ricoh takes the brand. Ricoh knows that there are serious issues that have to be resolved in order for Pentax to become a credible competitor with Nikon and Canon. The most serious of those issues is AF. In the last PF interview, Pentax said that their development team wants to be number one in autofocus. That's not going to be easy. If it were easy, Pentax would've fixed the problem years ago.

There are any number of reasons why Pentax has shrunk from being a major player in the camera business back in the late seventies and early eighties to being the marginal player they are now; but the number one reason probably relates to autofocus. They were two years late to AF party and they've never been able to keep up with Canon or Nikon. And it's not like this is intentional. Pentax's top executives and engineers didn't get together in 1987 and say they wanted to have an inferior AF system to the competition. They just haven't been able to get it done, regardless of intentions. Fixing this problem is going to take time. People who want something new and compelling are going to have to be patient. But won't having a system with competitive AF be worth the wait?
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