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08-04-2013, 10:27 AM   #16
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Just took a quick stroll to "www.pentax.com". I was redirected to Ricoh's Pentax site and there are Pentax cameras all over. Look under "Products" and the first thing is you see is a small but tight digital camera line up. Observations:

* The 645D is still listed first.

* The K-500 is missing.

* Pentax cameras have "Pentax" next them in bold text.

* Ricoh cameras don't have a "Ricoh" logo next to them.

Click to the film products section and you will see a huge line up of film cameras and lenses. Same with Sports optics. They can almost seem overwhelming in comparison. Now I'm more curious to know what "Ric-Tax" will do with all those products! That's a lot of what I am guessing is low margin material.

08-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Oh for Pete's sake. Please stop trying to parse doom and despair from a Google Translate of Japanese modest language.

PENTAX IS NOT GOING AWAY. PENTAX IS COMMITTED TO K-MOUNT, Q AND 645. END OF MESSAGE.

....
I don't think the Pentax name is going away, either, but there's no reason to hit people in the head with a stick if they believe otherwise.
08-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
I don't think the Pentax name is going away, either, but there's no reason to hit people in the head with a stick if they believe otherwise.
Oh come on, that's half the fun!

"You... will... comprehend! NOW!" *whack*whack*whack*
08-04-2013, 10:39 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
I don't think the Pentax name is going away, either, but there's no reason to hit people in the head with a stick if they believe otherwise.
Certain posters insist Ricoh is on a path to wipe out the Pentax name altogether. They're entitled to an opinion, and to post it - but after a point (such as once the President of Pentax contradicts their opinion) it is time to stop parsing paragraphs and twisting words looking for news of doom.

But WTH, it is just the internet and I'll never, ever meet this dude anyway.

08-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #20
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Ricoh is a big company and they are not stupid. They have previously stated their intent to compete at the top level in the consumer digital imaging field. The 'Pentax' name is transitioning from an actual brand to just one product line from Ricoh.
If we look objectively at the last couple of years, we see really only one completely new product having been developed and that is the Q system.
All the DSLRs and K-01 have been a re-hash of each other, (re-cycled) product just to have something out on the market at minimal expense (in a slightly different looking shell each time + an interesting makeover from Mr Newson).
This is my opinion, but why do you all think that nothing really new has come out? No real updates to the AF system, not the obsolete flash system, etc. The answer is that Ricoh is obviously developing a completely whole new state of the art system, rooted in the 21st century. This means most likely the general retirement of the K mount, as it really hasn't been competitive in the market since the 1990s. They may retain it for a FF high-end body, but I doubt it, I don't see Ricoh re-invigorating K mount lens development any more. What would be the point if they can instead sell lots of mirrorless cams that are cheaper to manufacture and that's where the market is going anyways (for the 90%). Besides the lens designs are easily ported to another, all electronic mount. Business is business, the future is trending to smaller cams and integrated devices.
That's actually a good thing, it will be interesting to see how Ricoh will differentiate the 'Pentax' label from the competition ..

(pls don't get me wrong - I like Pentax, I have liked for a long time .. just realize Ricoh is in business to make money, and not necessarily to cater to a legacy system of a minute percentage of potential customers .. and I'm sure they will offer a nice adapter!)
08-04-2013, 12:32 PM   #21
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I disagree with the idea that Ric-Tax will retire the K-mount. It's too symbolic of a "Pentax camera". Abandoning the mount would throw away an entire installed base of customers. It would amount to a huge betrayal, loss of trust, result in bad publicity. I think Ric-Tax is proud to say that they have never abandoned the K-mount and that you can use lenses from the 70s when the mount was first introduced. Additionally, I'm willing to wager that Ric-Tax knows there's a significant enough size of customers that still use vintage M42 lenses.

Also, the technical risks of the K-mount have been mitigated. The mechanical and optical designs have been refined and proven over time. Our sample photos in this forum prove it. Starting a new mounting system involves a lot of R&D, risk mitigation, and infrastructure to build. I think the K-mount could be updated to accommodate more intelligence perhaps.

If the "low-medium-high" scale of things continues then I think we'll see the Q line up hold the "low" end of the scale, the K line up will hold the "medium", and the 645 line up will hold the "high". There will probably be a small gradient within each "low", "medium", and "high" too.

If I play arm-chair marketeer then I would say Ric-Tax will have something like this:

* One point and shoot. It need not be a "great" camera - just a "decent" one for snapshots. It's an introduction to the brand for those who want a separate gadget. Don't pour too much sweat into it though. Cellphone cameras will (or already have) devoured this segment. There should be no fear of completely removing this model if necessary.

* One adventure camera. Pentax has their WG series but even this is a threatened species. People are getting braver with their cellphones in Otterbox cases. Still, for the most part, people are more careful with their cellphones today than they would be with a camera at this level.

* One upper end fixed lens compact. The MX-1 is probably the right one for this. This needs to be a "good" camera. Chuck the X-5.

* One Q. I know we like to see a wide line up but I think having two Q's results in internal competition. Focus on the lenses for differentiating. This needs to be a "great" camera.

* Two APS DSLRs. Keep the K-5 and the K-50. They are proven designs that work. This needs to be an "excellent" camera and that has been shown over and over again. I'd chuck the K-500 and the K-01 (or make sure it doesn't resurface).

* Two FF models, similar to the K-5 and K-50 above, with a K-mount. These need to be "superb" cameras. They can simply neutralize Canikon cameras with their IQ. Form, fit, operations, and the K-mount will differentiate this line up and give customers pause. It will let them ask, "Do I really want that Canon, or what about that Pentax? Hey, cool!"

* Two 645 cameras, similar to the K-5 and K-50 above. These need to be "best in class".

I listed some performance levels like "decent" and "excellent" only to signify the expectations of the targeted customers. People buying a P&S will have a different set of expectations than those buying a FF. How many pixel peepers do it with their P&S? Not too many I wager.
08-04-2013, 12:55 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by digital029art Quote
Ricoh is a big company and they are not stupid.
Correct.
QuoteOriginally posted by digital029art Quote
The 'Pentax' name is transitioning from an actual brand to just one product line from Ricoh.
No, Pentax remains an actual brand (but cease to be part of a company name).
QuoteOriginally posted by digital029art Quote
This is my opinion, but why do you all think that nothing really new has come out? No real updates to the AF system, not the obsolete flash system, etc. The answer is that Ricoh is obviously developing a completely whole new state of the art system, rooted in the 21st century. This means most likely the general retirement of the K mount, as it really hasn't been competitive in the market since the 1990s.
Absolutely wrong. The K-mount is here to stay, and even the SAFOX X brings some new things (precise f/2.8 central AF point, -3EV working range with cross-type AF points).
Besides, the K-mount is no more "obsolete" than the F-mount, and I don't see anyone daring to claim Nikon is not competitive, and they should change the mount.
QuoteOriginally posted by digital029art Quote
(pls don't get me wrong - I like Pentax, I have liked for a long time .. just realize Ricoh is in business to make money, and not necessarily to cater to a legacy system of a minute percentage of potential customers .. and I'm sure they will offer a nice adapter!)
Yes, sure, many of those who predict doom&gloom like Pentax; they like it so much they want to see it dead
08-04-2013, 01:18 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
In the interview, Mr. Kwauchi noted the K-01 was cancelled not because of the low demand for that camera, but because demand was too high. Isn't that amazing?
Nobody buys those anymore. They're too popular.

(Apologies to Yogi Berra.)

08-04-2013, 01:22 PM   #24
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I really don't think that's what he said.
08-04-2013, 01:44 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by digital029art Quote
The answer is that Ricoh is obviously developing a completely whole new state of the art system, rooted in the 21st century. This means most likely the general retirement of the K mount
Pentax has repeatedly stated they are committed to the K-mount, Q and 645 - just today, in fact.

Why we persist in these wild speculations of doom is beyond me.
08-04-2013, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #26
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Because they like Pentax...
08-04-2013, 01:52 PM - 2 Likes   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
If I play arm-chair marketeer then I would say Ric-Tax will have something like this:
Just today Pentax said the Q line will maintain Q10 and Q7 as separate cameras with lower and higher capabilities. Pentax has repeatedly said they are committed to three APSc dSLR's. Pentax has repeatedly said FF is real but not soon. Pentax has repeatedly said the value proposition is based on IQ, engineering, ergonomics and small size, not on price. Pentax has repeatedly said the Pentax and Ricoh camera brands will be supported and developed.

I simply do not understand why we persist in making up theories that contradict what Pentax has openly repeatedly stated.
08-04-2013, 02:20 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I just finished reading the broken-English translation of the article translated by Google.

I got a very good feeling that at least from a PR perspective the company has a vision. In summary:

* The Pentax brand name will stay. It will be reserved for "higher end" products like the current K-line, the current Q-line, and the upcoming FF when the technical team figures out all the in's-and-out's.

* There will be a FF Pentax when Pentax/Ricoh and it will come on their schedule. It's not just about megapixels and sensors. There is a whole engine surrounding the sensor to make sure the IQ is good.

* The company is seemingly more excited about the Q-line. There is more room for product growth and market growth. Personally I think we'll see something happen in the Q-line before we see a FF DSLR. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Gotta follow the cash (or potential of it). Given a choice between upgrading from my K-30 to a FF or upgrading my Fuji P&S to a Q I would get a Q but that's just me.

* I didn't see anything (unless I missed it) written about the current of compacts, sports optics, and Ricoh's. Those products may either be too insignificant to mention or may be the first to be rebranded. It's less risky to play with those than a more flagship-like product such as the K-line.

* The company may not be doing "enough" R&D but they're at least doing something as can be evidenced by the transparent shell and cut-away displays of their cameras. You have to admit that those pictures were pretty cool!

* Being a nuts and bolts kind of guy I still don't understand the colors. Then again, it makes for a great marketing splash. I do sort of want a yellow bodied camera.
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Oh for Pete's sake. Please stop trying to parse doom and despair from a Google Translate of Japanese modest language.

PENTAX IS NOT GOING AWAY. PENTAX IS COMMITTED TO K-MOUNT, Q AND 645. END OF MESSAGE.

Ricoh owns Pentax. So what?

As far as colors on K-mount, that is about increasing the installed base of K-mount cameras in the marketplace so third-party manufacturers will have confidence to make accessories and lenses. I personally don't care what they wrap around the K-mount so long as they keep making the K-mount but if it makes some people more comfortable I'd bet they don't make their top line dSLR in colored bodies. After all, K50, K500 and Q are mid-range, entry level and phone-fighter cameras. Color is a feature in those market segments.
Thank you and Mr Kawauchi for informing us.
Better than corporate "bricolage" and intersideral vacuum yet.
08-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
Huh interesting. I guess that just means that they had a single production run or maybe a couple but that's all that was planned at the time. So when it's out it's out... It's good for them but kind of like reverse psychology thing for consumers.
Yes. They've probably believed planned number of units will last them a bit longer, say, up to August this year, but the demand was higher than expected and they sold everything already in April. Nice.
08-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Abandoning the mount would throw away an entire installed base of customers. It would amount to a huge betrayal, loss of trust, result in bad publicity.
I agree. If Pentax were to abandon the K-mount, I would go with Nikon. Sure, my K-mount gear wouldn't magically stop working, but the existing K-mount bodies would conk out at some point and eventually all you would have to choose from is a dwindling supply of used bodies on their last legs.

I would reconsider, if an adapter was available that was 1) affordable, 2) physically small and inobtrusive, and 3) allowed all functions on existing lenses to work as they always had... the "a", the AF, the whole works, AND maintain crop/focal length integrity.

But yeah... I think abandoning the backwards-compatible K-mount would be a very, very bad idea. Not that I think they would be that stupid. But hey... I could be wrong.
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