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07-25-2013, 06:03 AM   #31
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QuoteQuote:
You suggest that Pentax should just stick with APS-C DSLRs only? What a refreshing thought amonst all the FF noise...
This "FF will doom Pentax" reminds me at moments of an attitude of die hard pacifists, who refuse even to think about getting a nation ready for some form of defence, because they don't believe in violence. It is as damaging and extreme an attitude for the wellbeing of a nation as being a die hard aggressor.

That is how I perceive "APS-C only" lobbyists. They are slaves to the certain format, of photography and thinking, are not open to the possibility of a progress of photographic experience, real interests of a variety of users, and their own future — which can be called future for the nation only if there is enough existential choices within.


Last edited by Uluru; 07-25-2013 at 06:14 AM.
07-25-2013, 06:11 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Nikon's and Canon's approaches, which are identical, and just xeroxing each other
or are they Ricohing each other? I mean really - was that intentional?

As to FF, Pentax can and will release a FF camera, but it's time is somewhat determined by a new fab, or Sony's supply of sensors (and willingness to sell them to Pentax), will require considerable engineering investment as well as significant ongoing investment, both in the form of developemnt costs and planned losses on the product line as sales do not initially cover costs for MANY quarters (several years).

The question is is not whether but when Ricoh chooses to make the commitment. The answer we can not possibly know. I suspect the conditions will not be right until we are in the midst of the next global recession, at which time Sony and other intermediate parts suppliers might just have excess capacity and more willing to negotiate.

Don't forget Canon and Nikon are experiencing involuntary inventory build as they run production lines faster than output is purchased (make things while you have money, because later you might not have money). If Nikon subsequently dramatically slows orders of sensors and intermediate assemblies, and begins to net-liquidate stock, Pentax can act as a slack buyer.

Think mid-2015. (There I go again. Thinking like a business. Oh well, I just can't help myself.)

Last edited by monochrome; 07-25-2013 at 06:23 AM.
07-25-2013, 12:32 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
If Nikon subsequently dramatically slows orders of sensors and intermediate assemblies, and begins to net-liquidate stock, Pentax can act as a slack buyer.
Mmmm....

I suspect that sensor orders are on a design-build model where pre-sale leads to production. There is likely no "inventory" or "off the shelf" in the classic sense.

Then the costs are stepped where the next cycle of purchases gets less and less until a "floor" is reached.

It's a B2B demand to supply, not supply and demand market.

Therefore I suspect Pentax will need to buy in at x volume for y period at a minimum, major funding up-front, time of delivery very regimented, and all other components (lenses) ready to go at the outset. The body is the easy part. The lenses are the hard part because that is all internal commitment and resources coming straight out of the shareholder's equity.
07-25-2013, 12:37 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Mmmm....

I suspect that sensor orders are on a design-build model where pre-sale leads to production. There is likely no "inventory" or "off the shelf" in the classic sense.

Then the costs are stepped where the next cycle of purchases gets less and less until a "floor" is reached.

It's a B2B demand to supply, not supply and demand market.

Therefore I suspect Pentax will need to buy in at x volume for y period at a minimum, major funding up-front, time of delivery very regimented, and all other components (lenses) ready to go at the outset. The body is the easy part. The lenses are the hard part because that is all internal commitment and resources coming straight out of the shareholder's equity.
The only other option is that one customer (Nikon or Sony) can't sell there number off camera's at the same level as the ordered number off sensors and thus would be looking for a subcontractor.

07-25-2013, 01:38 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Canon didn't replace the 7D because they didn't have a better sensor to stick in a sequel.
Maybe, we'll never know the real reason. But did Pentax get a better sensor the the K5's ? Question unanswered AFAIK.
07-25-2013, 02:57 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote

And it is more likely that Pentax can grab 10% of the FF market faster and sooner than 10% of the APS-C market, using same amount of energy. If they do FF, just several percents, APS-C will follow.
...but 10% of FF market would not make an FF entry profitable. FF is about 6% of the DSLR market so 10% of the APS market is totally different proposition....
07-25-2013, 03:03 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
That is how I perceive "APS-C only" lobbyists. They are slaves to the certain format, of photography and thinking, are not open to the possibility of a progress of photographic experience, real interests of a variety of users, and their own future — which can be called future for the nation only if there is enough existential choices within.

Couldn't the fixation on FF be just as well regarded as "slaves to certain format, of photography and thinking etc" as you put it? After all, FF is an old film format. A format that was the smallest you could use in order to get good enough results. This is not the case anylonger. One of the advantages of digital is that you are not locked to old film formats but can get great results with even smaller formats. This is indeed to go new ways in photographic experience instead of being locked in the old film world thinking. Larger formats are only progress in some senses; regress in others. It is a step sideways more than anything.
07-25-2013, 03:53 PM   #38
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Myself, I'd be much more interested in an APS-C camera with some clever wifi connectivity and a really first-class app for IOS. Topaz Labs have just launched Lens Effects, with dial-in filters for a host of things. Every time one of these programs comes out - and eventually they'll likely get "good enough" for most folks - the case for hauling sackfuls of pro gear around is weakened if you're a hobby photographer, Shoot to RAW and add those artful touches in post. If Ricoh worked to establish a rep as the most IT- and software-savvy of the main players, they might well bring more folks on side than ever they will with FF. And there'd be no risk of waking up with an awful headache in the intensive accountancy ward after climbing into the FF ring to duke it out with ruthless industry heavyweights.


Last edited by mecrox; 07-25-2013 at 04:01 PM.
07-25-2013, 03:57 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Couldn't the fixation on FF be just as well regarded as "slaves to certain format, of photography and thinking etc" as you put it? After all, FF is an old film format. A format that was the smallest you could use in order to get good enough results. This is not the case anylonger. One of the advantages of digital is that you are not locked to old film formats but can get great results with even smaller formats. This is indeed to go new ways in photographic experience instead of being locked in the old film world thinking. Larger formats are only progress in some senses; regress in others. It is a step sideways more than anything.
No, it isn't the same because we already have an APS-C range, and historically a very strong presence in 135 format film market.
Thus "FF lobbyists" aren't proposing anything unnatural. They don't seek abandoning of APS-C.
In fact, Pentax is now in the same situation as Nikon in 2007 or Leica in 2008.Both Nikon and Leica had more commitment to their historic legacy and were therefore more awarded and respected.

Audaces fortuna iuvat —Fortune favours the brave.
07-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
or are they Ricohing each other? I mean really - was that intentional?

As to FF, Pentax can and will release a FF camera, but it's time is somewhat determined by a new fab, or Sony's supply of sensors (and willingness to sell them to Pentax), will require considerable engineering investment as well as significant ongoing investment, both in the form of developemnt costs and planned losses on the product line as sales do not initially cover costs for MANY quarters (several years).

The question is is not whether but when Ricoh chooses to make the commitment. The answer we can not possibly know. I suspect the conditions will not be right until we are in the midst of the next global recession, at which time Sony and other intermediate parts suppliers might just have excess capacity and more willing to negotiate.

Don't forget Canon and Nikon are experiencing involuntary inventory build as they run production lines faster than output is purchased (make things while you have money, because later you might not have money). If Nikon subsequently dramatically slows orders of sensors and intermediate assemblies, and begins to net-liquidate stock, Pentax can act as a slack buyer.

Think mid-2015. (There I go again. Thinking like a business. Oh well, I just can't help myself.)

That would be a liturgical death for Ricoh, and Pentax in particular.

When times are tough, most companies get rid of the 'expenses' and give the steering wheel in accountant's hands. First thing they do is axe the marketing expense and R&D.

Bleep! Plainly wrong! A typical accountant-style self entrenching perspective.

In times of crises, good marketing have an extra reach, stimulates people's imagination in the wake of otherwise bad news from all around, and together with extensive R&D and commitment to innovation creates a place to thrive otherwise impossible to conquer in times when everyone is ready to market something.

If Ricoh has ANY marketing wisdom, and I hope they do, they will hit with GR-like smart guerilla attacks *right now*, and not wait for times when accountants in other companies give their marketing depts green light because accountants feel comfortable to step out of trenches.

Many good companies were lost because of that — not because products were bad, but because their management didn't dare to be brave and take necessary risk to advance and stimulate people's imagination. I tell now, at this very moment, Fuji is braver in that respect and lo and behold after the so called crisis end: everyone will talk about Fuji's X system and those adorable retro looking cameras. People will love them despite their flaws.

Thus the crisis was .. for whom? Ricoh and Nikon, but not for Fuji? Any crisis is only a matter of perspective.

I'm only afraid that because Ricoh won't (*) have guts to play their own brave and visionary act when it was silently expected of them to do, that their bold statements will yield in nothingness.

Invigorate people in rough times and they are your faithful in times of prosperity too.

_
* For some reason: not strong in R&D, too much wait and restructure, starting games from scratch, lack of good marketing ideas, waiting for too many constellations to align to act finally, etc. — those are all possible reasons.

Last edited by Uluru; 07-25-2013 at 05:21 PM.
07-25-2013, 05:22 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
No, it isn't the same because we already have an APS-C range, and historically a very strong presence in 135 format film market.
Thus "FF lobbyists" aren't proposing anything unnatural. They don't seek abandoning of APS-C.
In fact, Pentax is now in the same situation as Nikon in 2007 or Leica in 2008.Both Nikon and Leica had more commitment to their historic legacy and were therefore more awarded and respected.

Audaces fortuna iuvat —Fortune favours the brave.

The 135 format film market has gone to APS. FF has about same share of the market as medium format had in the film days. Ideally, Pentax should make every camera type and lens on the planet. But the question is whether it is sustainable or not.
The difference between Pentax and Nikon or Leica is that Nikon had the pro and serious amateur market cornered; ie those who are willing to spend (a lot) on the equipment. Leica exclusively have customers willing to spend. Pentax don't and didn't. The high spending Pentax customers used medium format. This explains Pentax current line-up and the fact that the expensive Pentax K-mount lenses are as rare as hens teeth....

Whining about Pentax lens prices is nothing new. There were whinings abou the price of the 43 Limited back in '97. It was a joke it was said. There was much whining about the price of the FA* 200/4 macro in its day in spite of the fact that it costed one third of what you fetch for this lens on e-bay. The FA* 85/1.4 was way to expensive. Not to mention the FA* 80-200/2.8.

Last edited by Pål Jensen; 07-25-2013 at 05:47 PM.
07-25-2013, 05:59 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Mmmm....

I suspect that sensor orders are on a design-build model where pre-sale leads to production. There is likely no "inventory" or "off the shelf" in the classic sense.

Then the costs are stepped where the next cycle of purchases gets less and less until a "floor" is reached.

It's a B2B demand to supply, not supply and demand market.

Therefore I suspect Pentax will need to buy in at x volume for y period at a minimum, major funding up-front, time of delivery very regimented, and all other components (lenses) ready to go at the outset. The body is the easy part. The lenses are the hard part because that is all internal commitment and resources coming straight out of the shareholder's equity.
Indeed. And you validate my point perfectly. In a period of slack demand from Nikon, could Pentax better negotiate terms for a comparatively smaller number of sensors?

(All other questions such as lenses being equal - IOW, lens designs are complete, production is ramped coincident with sensor supply).

Last, a company such as Ricoh finances this kind of investment out of cash flow, not equity.

Last edited by monochrome; 07-25-2013 at 06:12 PM.
07-25-2013, 06:09 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Indeed. And you validate my point perfectly. In a period of slack demand from Nikon, could Pentax better negotiate terms for a comparatively smaller number of sensors?.
But FF isn't only about a camera body, but a long term commitment to a format. That is a tremendous step. You need a dependable and competitive source of sensors, a complete lens line-up, preferably a camera line-up as well, and a competitive update path for the cameras, and lastly and most importantly, you need customers.
07-25-2013, 06:11 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
That would be a liturgical death for Ricoh, and Pentax in particular.

When times are tough, most companies get rid of the 'expenses' and give the steering wheel in accountant's hands. First thing they do is axe the marketing expense and R&D.

Bleep! Plainly wrong! A typical accountant-style self entrenching perspective.

In times of crises, good marketing have an extra reach, stimulates people's imagination in the wake of otherwise bad news from all around, and together with extensive R&D and commitment to innovation creates a place to thrive otherwise impossible to conquer in times when everyone is ready to market something.

If Ricoh has ANY marketing wisdom, and I hope they do, they will hit with GR-like smart guerilla attacks *right now*, and not wait for times when accountants in other companies give their marketing depts green light because accountants feel comfortable to step out of trenches.

Many good companies were lost because of that — not because products were bad, but because their management didn't dare to be brave and take necessary risk to advance and stimulate people's imagination. I tell now, at this very moment, Fuji is braver in that respect and lo and behold after the so called crisis end: everyone will talk about Fuji's X system and those adorable retro looking cameras. People will love them despite their flaws.

Thus the crisis was .. for whom? Ricoh and Nikon, but not for Fuji? Any crisis is only a matter of perspective.

I'm only afraid that because Ricoh won't (*) have guts to play their own brave and visionary act when it was silently expected of them to do, that their bold statements will yield in nothingness.

Invigorate people in rough times and they are your faithful in times of prosperity too.

_
* For some reason: not strong in R&D, too much wait and restructure, starting games from scratch, lack of good marketing ideas, waiting for too many constellations to align to act finally, etc. — those are all possible reasons.
180 degrees wrong. Only levered companies view a crisis with fear and hand off to the finance department. Strong companies tell the finance department to find the money to buy their weak competitors during a crisis, or they consolidate market segments and expand market share dramatically by INVESTING during the crisis when everyone else is pulling back.

Sure, they give back some share when the economy recovers, but never all of it. As for Fuji, it is easy to be brave when there is pent up demand for consumer toys. We'll see who has courage during the next downturn.

After all, aren't we supposed to buy low and sell high? I believe RICOY has risen about 80% in the last 12 months or so. ($36 - $60).
07-25-2013, 06:20 PM   #45
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Pentax is getting a lot cheaper lately, new or second hand ones. It's a fact that more people are going for either smaller cameras or other brand dSLR cameras. Pentax used to be value for money, then the price hikes w/ Hoya and Ricoh really hurt the sales I think. Sooner or later we'd see pre-Hoya prices or even lower due to lack of sales.

And look at how the second hand market prices w/ Pentax stuff, only very few lenses are still holding their values.
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