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08-04-2013, 05:25 AM   #1
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Pentax is there to stay, Mr Kawauchi reassures

In the latest interview (click here for Google translation), Mr. Kawauchi from Ricoh Imaging stated, in short:

Pentax is there to stay.

In his own (translated) words:
– Yes, Pentax will always exist at the product level,
– In the future, in the professional field's name is still a Pentax.

Thus I believe we can at least relax regarding those two issues, especially in the wake of recent website address changes. Personally I'm glad to hear that clear confirmation.

However, I have understood from the interview that some non-system, *compact* cameras are still under question re exact branding. They may be branded either as Pentax or Ricoh. Which isn't any news, really, because that same issue was stated a while ago.



08-04-2013, 05:34 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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Let me get this straight. Ricoh meant what they unambiguously said a few months ago when they bought Pentax?

Yeah, right. Why should I believe that instead of the baseless fears of some dudes on an internet forum?
08-04-2013, 06:05 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by asw66 Quote
Let me get this straight. Ricoh meant what they unambiguously said a few months ago when they bought Pentax?

Yeah, right. Why should I believe that instead of the baseless fears of some dudes on an internet forum?
All right. Sorry, you are not quite right, because the website addresses and Pentax product branding might have continued to exist, and even expand. But Ricoh has not chosen that approach of product branding.
And that was disturbing. Also, redirection to Ricoh Imaging may be a confusion to many, because consumers are generally not interested in a holding company, but in product branding. We have compared it to automotive industry, etc., which all have a highly evolved product branding, self-awareness and marketing strategies.
Camera manufacturers aren't still up to scratch to compare with them.
08-04-2013, 06:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
We have compared it to automotive industry, etc., which all have a highly evolved product branding, self-awareness and marketing strategies.
Camera manufacturers aren't still up to scratch to compare with them.
Automotive companies are perfectly capable of brand confusion,
maybe worse than what we see from camera companies.

Look at General Motors' problems with Saturn, Geo, and so on,
or "Chevy" labels on Daewoo products.

08-04-2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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One interesting info:

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?

Presuming he is responsible and not making things up, this sheds some light to an interesting developing strategy Ricoh has. Based on personal observations, I have speculated long ago K-01 was cleverly but quickly designed to be a pilot / test project, definitely capped up in resources and investment time, but important to bring Ricoh some first hand telemetry readouts from the field.

08-04-2013, 06:24 AM   #6
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That is somewhat surprising - I then wonder if he meant the demand was high in Japan, or worldwide..
08-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Automotive companies are perfectly capable of brand confusion,
maybe worse than what we see from camera companies.
Look at General Motors' problems with Saturn, Geo, and so on,
or "Chevy" labels on Daewoo products.
Not all car manufacturers and brands are equally smart, though. But generally speaking, their marketing is highly evolved.
08-04-2013, 06:31 AM   #8
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John Carlson said, "The planned production run of K-01 was completed." He did not say K-01 was discontinued.

08-04-2013, 06:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
One interesting info:
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?
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.
08-04-2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
– In the future, in the professional field's name is still a Pentax.
But we don't know what he means by "professional field".

Is it the 645D only or does it include the K-line also ?
08-04-2013, 08:34 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NickLarsson Quote
But we don't know what he means by "professional field". Is it the 645D only or does it include the K-line also ?
'Professional' is often marketing code for full-frame in the DSLR space. Interesting.
08-04-2013, 09:01 AM   #12
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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.
08-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #13
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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?
I find it strange that they dumped the price as much as they did on K-01, if demand was too high.

But maybe he is just saying that after they dumped the price, demand got higher than they anticipated. So in reality they dumped the price too much.
As K-01 had a limited production run, they could have made more money on it with less aggressive pricing.
08-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #14
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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.
08-04-2013, 10:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
* 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.
This proves you do understand the colors A cheap way of making "marketing splash" and attracting more customers, with no other effort than logistics.
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