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01-19-2014, 12:20 PM - 4 Likes   #46
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If a market is saturated and shrinking, there is opportunity for a small player. First, the margins of a small player are not volume dependent. The cost structures that Nikon and Canon have to support with their sales are substantial, and they could easily slip into penny margin territory like computer gear. That is why they are pushing full frame; how to escape from the commoditization of their product line. So you funnel sales upwards with compelling but incomplete or cripple offerings. Damn, I sure don't like the lack of buffer on my D7100, I'll get a D800 or D610 or whatever.

Ricoh is in a different position. They have well appointed low end products with features that are attractive. A pentaprism viewfinder, the kit lenses are quite good in comparison. They watch their costs and distribution costs carefully, and can be profitable on the sales that their products get. They don't match the numbers of Canon or Nikon low end stuff, but they don't have to. It is there to build a base of users who will consider Pentax.

Something like the K3 is interesting in that it forces the big guys to respond in the middle of their market offerings. The funnel upwards now points to Pentax.

There is also market segments where growth would be insignificant statistically but real for a small player like Ricoh. I think the K-3 is a platform to aim at the specific segments. It is capable enough to satisfy at a price that is profitable for Ricoh but not out of reach for the budding enthusiast. In my world spending over $1000 for a camera body is alot of money.

So list the segments. Landscape photography is mentioned, and the Limiteds on the K3 do a very nice job indeed. Wildlife is one where I see people spending real money, and they have a very good base in the K3 from which to build. Other professional endeavors are a bit more complicated. Weddings and studio work will require lots of stuff, but within reach, and far less risky and expensive to develop than a full frame. Sports is another, they are half way there.

So if you were Ricoh, and had to invest to gain market share, what would you do? I would redo the 200mm and 300mm lenses with lightning fast focus motors. The K-3 would handle them. I would release a 70-200mm zoom, fast focus and large aperture and top notch optics. I would do a 200-400 zoom with very nice optics and fast focus. I would make sure that studio stuff works well with Pentax stuff.

Another tough place but needed is video. The K-3 is a good start.

I would take all of this and make it remote viewable and controllable and connected. I want Ricoh to be known for a bug where I can focus, adjust all settings and fire my friends camera who lives in another town, and look at what I took. Then a fix.

I really understand the hesitation about full frame. The potential is to lose badly on it. All these things apply to that but it would cost $1000 more than the aps-c all else being equal.

I find it interesting that there are folks here who got impatient with Pentax and bought a D800 or similar to get what they wanted. Now with the K-3 that decision is in question. For the money it is outstanding. A too expensive full frame pentax with too little lens support would be a waste of money for everyone involved.

It is about taking very nice pictures. Nothing more nothing less. And for Pentax Ricoh to sell you and me what I want to take those nice pictures. Every time I hear someone from Ricoh or Pentax talk, I understand that they get that.

01-19-2014, 02:06 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
I really understand the hesitation about full frame. The potential is to lose badly on it. All these things apply to that but it would cost $1000 more than the aps-c all else being equal.
Indeed. To develop and market a FF camera system is not an easy decision, as demonstrated by the many discussions and healthy debate we see here on PF about this topic.

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01-19-2014, 02:36 PM   #48
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There really hasn't been hesitation over the past year or two. Every time the question has been asked in the past year, the answer is some ambiguous 'wait and see'.

FF Pentax is coming - it's a matter of when, not if.
01-19-2014, 02:50 PM   #49
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Ron, your take on lenses is interesting... I think Pentax, if they were smart, they would embrace a lot of their legacy glass. If say Pentax updated and remade a 50mm f1.2 lens (even if it is manual), if they reproduced a 85mm f1.4 lens, made a 28mm f2.8 DA limited lens, a DA Limited 50mm f1.7, or any number of other lenses, the company would be far better off.

Ever since I have been using Pentax if you want a lens you had better get used to Ebay. As for me, I would prefer not to do that. It's just plain old bad business not to try and marginalize the vintage market.

Business wise this is two fold...1. it caters to the fan base of Pentax 2. It increases the market appeal of Pentax because if Pentax were to increase the number of "extremely good lenses" currently in production, then word will quickly get out.

Just look through the lens database here on the forum, find the legacy glass that has high ratings and that is much sought after 'if they could only find it'..

I am still building my personal lens selection, but the idea to have something to strive for is good for business.

01-19-2014, 03:14 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
If a market is saturated and shrinking, there is opportunity for a small player. First, the margins of a small player are not volume dependent.
Yes, quite true. And it seems they understand it and are ready for it, for all their marketing and production has been tailored as for the times of crises for bigger players.

QuoteQuote:
So if you were Ricoh, and had to invest to gain market share, what would you do? I would redo the 200mm and 300mm lenses with lightning fast focus motors. The K-3 would handle them. I would release a 70-200mm zoom, fast focus and large aperture and top notch optics. I would do a 200-400 zoom with very nice optics and fast focus.
What about 150-450 FF compatible? There is one already made. But not publicised ... yet.

QuoteQuote:
It is about taking very nice pictures. Nothing more nothing less. And for Pentax Ricoh to sell you and me what I want to take those nice pictures. Every time I hear someone from Ricoh or Pentax talk, I understand that they get that.
They know what it is all about. And when users put on the same thinking hat, they suddenly realise that the K-3 is in fact a game- and a mindset-changer. I believe it is the first camera in the dawn of a new age in digital photography, described with slower paced advancement of raw specs sheets and superficial camera specs, but with emphasis on optics and beautiful picture. Photography making a full circle, to rediscover itself again.
01-19-2014, 03:25 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Last Wednesday, January 15th I had a meeting from 14 – 16 o’clock at Ricoh Europe in Amstelveen (the Netherlands). I talked with Thijs Ekelschot (European Marketing & Communication Manager working from Paris) and Michel Sangers (Sales Manager the Netherlands). This is a comprehensive report about that meeting.

For the Dutch Pentax forum users, Carel Dutch Pentaxforum, already had a meeting on Monday about Pentax camera users, forums and community – so this meeting focussed more on the business side of the camera market. There are developments going on with photography as a whole Ricoh has to deal with. They are very conscious of the changes in the current market… one of these changes is the use of mobile phones instead of real camera’s which had a huge effect on the total sales (for all types and brands) – it has been cut in half. In Holland Casio was the first to stop selling camera’s, because there simply wasn’t a market. While the sales of DSLR’s are still very good and the sales of lenses has reached an absolute peak, the market still isn’t stable now. The growth of mobile phones being more and more geared to photography will continue and new techniques and apps will keep creating more options. Mobile phones have now replaced a lot of Point and Shoot camera’s and the newest Sony Xperia Z1 can already be taken for a little dip in the water. The competition in this shrinking marketplace will mean more victims in the near future. It is impossible all camera companies can stay in business if the market continues to shrink by maybe one third in sales in the next two years.

Ricoh Imaging is still trying to integrate all parts of what used to be Pentax, into their total business. Not that it’s unfinished business, but as the only piece of consumer market focus in a untill now completely business to business oriented company, it has a different outlook in this field. It’s clear Ricoh has the ambition of making imaging a strong part of their business and they want to be a force all over the world. Pentax is now truly integrated in their R&D, production, distribution and sales channels that used to be very different for the Ricoh and Pentax camera businesses.

Last year in May I was able to borrow a Pentax 645D from Ricoh Imaging Europe. I showed some photo’s I made then: Aylin Yaren, she is a Freestyler, also playing in the German Bundesliga, freestyle-girl-aylin. Taken with the Pentax-FA*645 300mm/f4.

In 2012 I also had the opportunity to borrow a 645D from de Beukelaer, the Pentax distributor in Holland. I also made a report then: Pentax 645D – User review with 85 photo’s: Pentax 645D, userreview (85 foto's)

Well, however you look at it, the demand for a full frame camera is a fact. We really didn’t spend much time on this. The expectation is a FF camera will be presented, but both gentlemen weren’t allowed to make a statement about this (or maybe not in the loop). They only said it’s to be expected it is on the way. It is clear this isn’t a simple introduction. The market share for FF camera’s is below the 10% if you count all DSLR’s and mirrorless options (including the Sony compact FF) with all sensors like APS-C, 4/3th, 1-inch and the little Q from Pentax, having the smallest sensor. Because Pentax has only a small part of the total market, they can’t expect a Pentax full frame camera to be a resounding sales hit. It would mostly appeal to the current Pentax users, that want to step up a notch (if the price is right for them). As you probably could expect I brought up the subject for a camera with an APS-H sensor inside.

Ricoh Theta360:
They brought this new camera with them. A truly fun thing to use, with one button (or controlled with a smartphone) you can make a 360 degrees picture. It has 2 camera’s to be able to do this.

From left to right: Michel Sangers, Thijs Ekelschot and Ron Hendriks. In the foreground you see some of my work I was able to show and talk about, highlighting my work I make with my set of Pentax camera’s. My work as sports photographer and an exposition about women’s soccer in 2013 was already well known to Ricoh Imaging Europe: Infopage about the Photo Exhibition about womenssoccer
My other work with portraits, studio shoots, projects and webshop photography was not so well known to them. I enjoyed being able to show this too.
The original image can be found here: Original image made with the Theta360
It’s a truly fun camera, unfortunately not on sale in Holland at the time. There have been a few prototypes shown during Photokina in Cologne in 2012, but they looked different. In the end the current design is easy to use and handle. Photo’s from this camera look really good. Ricoh is trying to show their strenght in innovation, by bringing out this new type of product, not previously available in such a good quality.

There have been rumours that Ricoh took the GXR out of production, with all it’s different modules. Until now there hasn’t been an official end of life statement form the head office, so the camera is still available. There haven’t been any new modules introduced in recent years and sales in the Netherlands are minimal. This doesn’t apply to all markets where this camera is sold, in Germany for instance this was a relative hit. The Ricoh GR surely is a popular camera that can stand up to other camera’s in it’s segment. It ‘s a compact camera with a large sensor (the GR has an APS-C sensor with 16 megapixels). Sales numbers are not astronomical, but that also has to do with the camera segment and pricing. In this part of the market Ricoh will surely introduce new models.

The Pentax K-3 is a sales hit and has been sold much better in Europe then was expected at the introduction. This caused a problem, because there have been weeks there was no stock available. Preordered camera’s were leaving stores faster then new stock was coming in. It’s too early to draw conclusions, because the K-3 has only been on the market a few months. Of the K-3 Silver edition there were only 2000 made and 600 have been sent to Europe. These have all been distributed to shops and sales have been great. In Holland only a few can be found, they will find there way to consumers. The Flucard has been specifically designed for Pentax so you can control the K-3 from a smartphone and send your photo’s by Wi-Fi and will be in stock soon. They had a technical challenge getting it to the stores in time for the K-3 introduction. A user review is soon to follow.

Camera sales through large franchises like Media Markt and Saturn will be difficult. In Holland somewhere from 20 to 25% of all sales is made in large stores (like Best Buy or Radio Shack in the US). Pentax would need a model these kind of stores would want to sell, and Ricoh should be able to make some money, otherwise such sales would be pointless. A model like the K-500 and kitlens would be an option, but it’s not clear now if this will happen. Buyers of such camera’s don’t tend to be brand loyal and won’t come back soon for other products like extra lenses or a body upgrade. This is the general picture for sales with other brands at rock bottom prices. A model like the K-50 might be to expensive to sell there. Other distribution channels to local and internet shops is well taken care of in Holland, seeing almost all shops are members of one of two large distributors. This makes it easy for Ricoh Imaging to get to consumers with their goods. Michel Sangers has been working for dozens of years in Pentax sales and has a wide network of contacts. In Belgium this is less organized, but both gentlemen had no knowledge of the status there.

The K-5II(s) is still in production. Kind of unique, because Pentax used to stop producing the model that was being replaced. This was partly due to the limited production facilities for an extra model. Demand for camera’s with a 16 megapixel sensor is falling drastically because of the rise in megapixels in smartphone camera’s. Something I personally deplore, because the sensor for a K-5/K-50/K-01 can make some pretty amazing pictures. But if the market demands >20 megapixels that’s something you can’t ignore.

One of the photo’s I showed them is this picture I made on the first day I got the K-3 Silver. This is the women’s professional soccer player Amber van der Heijde from Purmerend. She play's in the combined Dutch and Belgian women's pro-soccerleague beneleague. Taken with the Pentax FA*85mm/f1.4


Besides the DSLR range and the Q-line there are some compacts. The MX-1 sells reasonably well for it’s segment. The other compacts on sale in Holland are the WG-series, that you can take under water. A segment that is doing ok in the competition with smartphones, because you can take them snorkeling.

We also spent considerable time on market share growth and the feeling in the market about the Pentax brand under Ricoh Imaging. Something that hasn’t sunk in yet at Ricoh is if you have a camera line up you should use them within the company. In the past we’ve seen some commercial images for Pentax being shot with another brand of camera. If you would go through the Ricoh offices all over the world a lot of other brand camera’s will be found. Integration of Ricoh Imaging with other Ricoh divisions nothing to do with their photo activities will take some time and attention. Ricoh can learn something from Canon, where they are very strict about this. They directly replace other brands with Canon owned products (for instance after buying a new product line and adding this to the line up).

Visibility of photo’s made with Ricoh Imaging camera’s, the Pentaxes, is something that has a long way to go. Ricoh is investing in sports sponsorships, but because of the rules about photographing at such events, rarely you see a person with a Pentax camera. That is something Ricoh needs to embrace that they can use the sponsorship money to promote their own name and camera’s and not favour the competition. If photo’s and photographers with Ricoh Imaging camera’s become more visible that will lead to a better known and more accepted brand name.

Within Ricoh Imaging they are thinking about a concept to work with photographers that can promote the imaging division. There is no real plan now and they haven’t decided on a practical approach for this idea.

One of the photo’s I showed them is this picture I made on the first day I got the K-3 Silver. This is the women’s professional soccer player Amber van der Heijde from Purmerend. Taken with the Pentax DA*55mm/f1.4


The professional market for photography is rapidly changing. Press agencies make demands what camera’s can be used by photographers working for them. It becomes commonplace to have images made available by a commercial marketing agency and freelance photographers are not supported and are unable to do their job. Press accreditation is becoming rapidly more difficult to get. The number of photographers is growing absurdly because of the ease of using digital photography. Local council guides are filled with pictures made by residents from a town or village. The local bank starts a photo challenge to gather pictures for their yearbook. Newspapers have less and less money they can spend on photographs. Magazines are disappearing at an alarming rate. Internet news sites don’t pay at all, or maybe a little bit, for the images they use, or only use stock images and pictures from a single agency. Pictures of the family, kids or pets are made at home or you go to some friend that can shoot pictures. In Holland there now are tens of thousands of photographers registered with KvK (Chamber of Commerce) and they all try to earn money in the same marketplace and maybe get thirty or forty bucks for a shoot. The Photo Academy and other education tracks are ‘producing’ about 1.500 new professional photographers every year and they all hope to earn a salary. This is a market where Pentax is scarcely represented. A lot of them walk out the door with a full frame camera made by the competition. The market for these photographers is becoming so difficult that a lot of these photographers will not be able to buy a new camera if their camera is old and broken since they hardly make any money.

The steady stream of replacement camera’s is another issue. You can still make beautiful pictures with a first generation 6 megapixel camera from Pentax. The newer sensors that came to the market recently have brought a lot of enhancements in quality. When the K-5 arrived in 2010 a peak was reached with current technology in APS-C sensor quality. The K-3 is only a sideways improvement with it’s higher resolution, but you only really use it if prints are made in a really large format. The K-3 did bring a jump in quality for all the other electronic components and now puts this camera on the same level as other brand camera’s with comparable specs. A new and faster processor, better light measuring and white balance with the new auto focus module makes the K-3 a complete package. Only in professional sports photography it falls behind a few very expensive camera’s in the market (D4 and 1Dx). Replacements will follow the same timeframe as it used to be in the analog era, where camera’s would be used until they were really worn out. If the camera isn’t broken you don’t have to replace it to get better specs. Camera’s from the same generations as the K-3 will be able to make high quality pictures 10 years from now. The question is if there will be a market where the demands for higher quality photo’s will lead to a newer and far better version of the K-3. This also contributes to the shrinking market for DSLR camera’s. Sale of lenses has peaked because of al these new camera lines with new mounts, like the Q Pentax introduced. It will also shrink fast, because the consumers will not keep buying new lenses, the moment when we just use lenses is getting closer.

Ricoh is active in printing, but unfortunately doesn’t have a consumer (or semi professional photographer) oriented photo printer. That market for A3+ printers is very small and is now served by Canon and Epson. HP was active in the market, but they have pulled out, due to low sales of printers and cartridges. Epson is also seeing a strong decline of revenues. New photographers hardly print out photo’s and only make them for the internet and home use on their monitors. It’s a a good question why there is still a move to higher megapixel counts for camera’s, because sites like Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook really don’t need or use them. There is no indication Ricoh wants to serve this printingsection.

A project I have been running is a beautiful photo book. This will take some time, isn’t finished yet, but I’m still looking for partners that see the value in such a project: Jackie Groenen, Belgian soccerplayer in the German Bundesliga.


Ricoh Imaging Europe is a solid spoke in the wheel of the complete imaging company. With a market share of 30% in Europe of all products it sells this is a major part. This also explains why 600 of the total 2000 of Silver K-3’s were meant for Europe. Ricoh Imaging has the goal to grow and has made a nice start. In North America thousands of sales points have been added in recent years and in India the sales channel has been developing. In short their goal of conquering the world with the power of Ricoh behind them, that has a worldwide presence, is a strong bonus for the camera division. Ricoh Imaging Europe has the ambition to become the largest market for Ricoh camera’s, which is now still Japan.

We’re coming to the end of a solid conversation concerning Ricoh Imaging and their plans with the Pentax brand for the camera business. It is certain Ricoh has the intention to grow in this market and is developing the right products to be succesfull at it. In time a full frame model will be a logical step, but the timeframe is not yet clear. This will depend on trends in the market and the economy. Ricoh wants to be innovative and a high quality brand with their products and in user sentiment. For anyone concerned about the future of Pentax and the K-mount, rest asssured there is no threat on the horizon.

At the close of this meeting I got a very nice gift, the yearbook for Pentax Ricoh. A book that’s been published in Japan for years and is geared to the Japanese users.

This put a last question on the table about the PPG, the Pentax Photo Galery. The yearbook is targeted at the Japanese and the PPG, while being used by European users, is still a part of Ricoh Imaging USA, so I was wondering about a European initiative. Something to look into later, I think….

Ron Hendriks
info@iamphotographer.nl

One off the reasons that there are so many womens soccer images is that I started as housephotographer for the Dutch womenssoccersite www.vrouwenvoetbalnederland.nl a few years ago. I still love to do that, but I'm only active at some events these days.

PS: Many thanks to Eric den Ouden for the translation into English.
Great. Thank's a lot mate!
01-19-2014, 03:34 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I also don't think that the average teenager will keep making a thousend images with their smartphone each month for the coming decade, since you have no serious audience for those images on the long run. Social media sites are overwelmed with number of images and there will be a point that making less images and not sharing your breakfast images will be cooler then sharing them.
I totally agree. The photography camera market breathes, expands and contracts, redefines itself, and it is quite certain that in very near future the P&S Pointless and Shoot mentality won't be a fad.
01-19-2014, 03:44 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Yes, quite true. And it seems they understand it and are ready for it, for all their marketing and production has been tailored as for the times of crises for bigger players.



What about 150-450 FF compatible? There is one already made. But not publicised ... yet.



They know what it is all about. And when users put on the same thinking hat, they suddenly realise that the K-3 is in fact a game- and a mindset-changer. I believe it is the first camera in the dawn of a new age in digital photography, described with slower paced advancement of raw specs sheets and superficial camera specs, but with emphasis on optics and beautiful picture. Photography making a full circle, to rediscover itself again.
Out of curiosity, what do you think is game-changing about the K3? It seems like it is full of incremental upgrades to me, aside from the amazing faux low pass filter.

01-19-2014, 03:57 PM   #54
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However I didn't mention in the report we did had a little talk about lenses. Not to much in the sence off what is coming new, since that would be a pointless question in the meeting.

Since I did a survey here on the forum about what lenses we should get in developement and presented the outcomes to that to Pentax, they do have a clue off wishes in the lens-area.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/16-pentax-news-rumors/161644-salon-de-la-photo.html

So Thijs new about this survey and it was also presented as updated to Ricoh, Japanese delegation, at the Photokina in 2012 about a year later.

Connectivity to thirdparty lensmakers (well we want some more Sigma lenses) is one off the issues spoken about. That is something that Ricoh could address, but that is also very depending on the toplevel of Ricoh Imaging. So we discussed it, but who knows what can happen in the future.
01-19-2014, 04:01 PM - 1 Like   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
Out of curiosity, what do you think is game-changing about the K3? It seems like it is full of incremental upgrades to me, aside from the amazing faux low pass filter.
Game changing from the perspective of the new imaging paradigm and product cycles — much longer product cycles. It is a camera uncompromisingly designed from its pentaprism to the bottom plate, to not likely be updated the next season, or in its second season, but rather in more than 3 years. More likely in 5 years .. if there is a good enough reason for it.

I mean, why does the K-3 have a shutter redesigned for 200,000 accutations (double from K-5's)? The answer is self-evident, but people still think it's merely a cosmetic facelift.

It is a bridge that will inevitable for other manufacturers to cross as well, as year-to-year cosmetic product updates, just to make a new model out of no real substance, cannot be sustained in a shrinking market.

Last edited by Uluru; 01-19-2014 at 04:15 PM.
01-19-2014, 04:03 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Game changing from the perspective of the new imaging paradigm and product cycles much longer product cycles. It is a camera uncompromisingly designed from its pentaprism to the bottom plate, to not likely be updated the next season, or in its second season, but rather in more than 3 years. More likely in 5 years .. if there is a good enough reason for it.

It is a course that will inevitable for other manufacturers to take as well, as year-to-year cosmetic product updates, just to make a new model out of no real substance, cannot be sustained in a shrinking market.
I think this is true. So I guess that an update to the K-3 is due for Photokina 2016 and we all keep wondering what is coming on Photokina this year.
01-19-2014, 04:20 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I think this is true. So I guess that an update to the K-3 is due for Photokina 2016 and we all keep wondering what is coming on Photokina this year.
If then. The K-3 is made to last a long, long, long time. That is why it is so rugged, has a new shutter mechanism, new mirror mechanism, etc.
Crucial new features to it will most likely come through firmware updates, but the hardware alone can set a good photographer for almost forever.
01-19-2014, 04:41 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zygonyx Quote
Thank you for sharing this interesting interview with us Ron.
Did you take the initiative for it ?
I got an invitation.
01-19-2014, 04:52 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
If then. The K-3 is made to last a long, long, long time. That is why it is so rugged, has a new shutter mechanism, new mirror mechanism, etc.
Crucial new features to it will most likely come through firmware updates, but the hardware alone can set a good photographer for almost forever.
My K10D still works and takes fine photographs. I got a K-01 for the novelty and several Q's for the price, but they weren't necessary. If history is a guide I won't buy another dSLR for 5 years. In between I will likely buy one or two $1000 lenses a year, or the equivalent amount in K-mount accessories or Q-mount items.

All those purchases will most likely work with my existing cameras.
01-19-2014, 05:03 PM - 2 Likes   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
It is a bridge that will inevitable for other manufacturers to cross as well, as year-to-year cosmetic product updates, just to make a new model out of no real substance, cannot be sustained in a shrinking market.
I see where you are coming from, but I hope you are incorrect. There are still some issues that need to be addressed, such as the crippled mount, and video recording can also be improved expanded (for example, it could include RAW video recording, which a Canon camera that is 5 years old can do).

I know people on this forum like to say the other manufacturers aren't concerned with things like build quality, and that countless updates are made for no reason, but it's not true of their higher-end products. For example, the 5D Mark II was around for about 4-5 years before an update, and the 7D is looking the same way. And the Canon 1DS Mark II can still destroy almost any camera ever made, from an image quality point of view. I have seen 40"x60" prints from that camera that looked stunning. In fact, all this business about Canon's sensors being of poor quality is nonsense - unless one thinks at leas 25% of all professional photographs they ever see look poor.

I think it's nice that Ron was able to have such a long conversation, and to report in such detail. However, I didn't see anything in it that resembled a plan, or any evidence of moves in a positive direction. I saw the same things they've been saying for years..."we're thinking about doing this, we're looking into doing that, we're talking about maybe researching the possibility of considering this..." I didn't see (if I recall correctly) a single thing that indicated that an action (outside of research) has been taken, of any kind whatsoever. Literally.

I also heard a lot of reasons why they can't be successful, which is loser talk. Maybe they will stay in business, but it is hard to imagine them ever being the leaders of anything. Other than incremental spec-sheet leads. It seems like they act primarily out of fear. Amidst the sea of different, and arguably innovative photography products that have come out in the last 5 years, Almost none of them have had the Pentax name. The ones that have been Pentax products, such as the Q, have been very, very poorly supported.
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