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08-13-2014, 05:56 PM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
The kids have no more idea than anyone else where money is to be made in this sector.


Digital cameras were a 2 edged sword, apart from being the only way forward as the market demands shifted away from film. Digital cameras were a welcome shot in the arm for manufacturers, everybody wanted digital and many cameras were sold. Fabulous.


Film cameras were long lived, models typically having a 10 year life span before a new model was introduced, and they were all much the same, the technology was very much low tech with low investment with low R and D.


Digital sold in huge numbers as people scrambled to buy into the technology. Once that bubble burst and everyone had a digital camera, smartphones unexpectedly came in and swallowed huge chunks of the digital market in point and shoot. This made existing sales forecasts binworthy.


Manufacturers found not only catastrophic collapse in demand due to saturation, but what market there was left was depleted due to the smartphone competition. A double whammy and severe blow to profits.


The only choice then was to convince existing camera owners that they had to upgrade regularly to keep some profits rolling in, so manufacturers have been delivering new products year on year in an attempt to generate new sales ever since.


This in a low tech product might work to the advantage of the manufacturer, but digital cameras are very high tech and the development costs are consequently high as well.


Manufacturers find themselves spending huge amounts creating product after product keeping product life cycles short to keep sales up, and at the same time trying to cap expenditure, while all the time facing a dwindling market.


Its a bubble that is unsustainable, and I see many people suggesting even higher investment in new products as a way forward, while all the time pentax as well as the other manufacturers, has its financial back to the wall, facing ever more meagre profits and a future that can only be described as uncertain.


You only have to look at the position canon have taken. They have ceased point and shoot digital camera manufacture. Theres not enough of a market for them to trade in.


What real options exist.


I don't have a crystal ball but I know about markets and manufacturing.


These are the rules pentax must obey to survive in this market


Consolidate your base.
protect your customers.
don't over extend,
offer innovation that is affordable in development,
diversify into new markets if you can,
protect your market share,
offer products your customers want,
don't be left behind by the competition,
reduce operating costs,
increase operating efficiency,
incorporate new advances,
reduce assembly costs,
increase return on investment


Is it any wonder pentax is under pressure. Im just grateful that Ricoh is so supportive and investing heavily in a truly innovative and well run business with excellent products.
Pentax was left behind after the LX film system. It never attempted to come up with anything remotely called professional after that.

---------- Post added 08-13-14 at 09:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Robert_1 Quote
Pentax was left behind after the LX film system. It never attempted to come up with anything remotely called professional after that.
I should have clarified that I meant in 135 systems, because at the time the 645 and 6x7 where sought after professional systems.

---------- Post added 08-13-14 at 09:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Robert_1 Quote
Pentax was left behind after the LX film system. It never attempted to come up with anything remotely called professional after that.

---------- Post added 08-13-14 at 09:00 PM ----------


I should have clarified that I meant in 135 systems, because at the time the 645 and 6x7 where sought after professional systems.
Typo. I meant to say "were sought after".... not "where sought after"....

08-13-2014, 10:54 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by tlong423 Quote
Hmmm. I have to take issue with that assessment.

Any professional photographer could benefit from professional support. Cameras break - and given that most professional photographers own their own equipment - they are generally not in a position where they can just easily replace their camera or lens and get on with the next assignment. In fact, in my opinion this is THE reason Pentax was never able to compete with Nikon or Canon in the professional 35mm market - they never had their own professional services division.

I remember when I was a newspaper photographer in the late 1980s, and one of my Nikon FM-2 bodies suffered a jammed shutter. I was a card-carrying member of Nikon Professional Services. I pulled the card out of my pocket, called the toll-free number on the back, and explained the situation. I was immediately transferred to a technician who diagnosed the issue over the phone. They then offered to overnight me a loaner body, and they arranged for a FedEx overnight pickup of my busted FM-2. The camera was repaired and returned to me by the beginning of the next week.

Pentax had nothing like that available (if they had, I would have been shooting Pentax, instead).
Depends on what you see as professional, I guess. Wedding photographers AFAIK own their backup cameras for example. And I guess the number of working professionals that do weddings etc. will be higher than those that do news, sports etc. There are plenty of professional areas where Pentax can compete. Personally I think Pentax is great for architectural photography, unless you have the big bucks to buy tilt-shift lenses.


Also, that FM-2 was an awesome camera. I loved it. I wish I still had one.


QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Well, there is a solution. To me at least, the system's worth are in the lenses. If you have some nice Pentax lenses (and those are not kit zooms, but rather Limiteds or similar), it is worth getting a camera for them.

However, would I buy those good Pentax lenses now, as I did several years ago?

Nope. Because then, Pentax inspired more confidence and they were marching strongly, building strong APS-C lineup quickly and showing off new designs constantly. They were very active. Now with Ricoh, lenses are put in the background, totally. They are muffling around, God knows what Ricoh is doing now. That scares me a lot and that means not a single dollar should be spent on Pentax gear excessively, especially current lenses. Only on a camera that can use those lenses I have, and that camera may as well be K5II, which is sturdy, has no known issues, it is good enough for years to come.

Get two of those cameras, use your good lenses, and the life goes on.

PS. To be frank, not a single company right now inspires me to invest into their lenses. Olympus is planning some interesting lenses, and they will be worthwhile looking at in due time. I am not a big fan of Fuji's lenses; to me Olympus makes better quality products than Fujifilm. Sony is scattered all around. Canon and Nikon are DSLR behemoths, and I prefer Pentax to them despite Ricoh's inaudible approach — but I admit, I prefer Pentax because I already have their excellent lenses — delivered and made by Pentax before Ricoh.

So far, to me Olympus and Panasonic are kings of the good quality mirrorless camera plus good quality optics combo. I don't count Q in that category, because half of its lens lineup are fixed aperture toy and lens cap designated lenses.
The problem is that I enjoy doing video, and I hope/fear that I'll have to do more video in future. Pentax doesn't inspire any confidence in that region, as they have not been able to keep even the standard of video the K-5 could produce. When the new camera is not as good as the old camera, you know something has gone wrong at the company. So far my K-5 is doing just fine, and it works well enough for what I do. So no immediate problems. But if Pentax doesn't turn around and start investing in doing video properly (their stills part is really rather good, I'd hope for fewer MP and a proper API, but what I have so far is fine) I don't know what to do. Luckily those mirrorless cameras can all take any lens I currently own, plus pretty much everything else.

Last edited by kadajawi; 08-13-2014 at 11:02 PM.
08-14-2014, 02:28 AM   #168
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I would not be surprised if RICOH suddenly brings out a FF mirrorless body w/ a fixed lens. It will be just like Sony but better. If it has a 28mm f2.0 lens or faster then I would be first in line to get one. Darn RICOH, please layout a plan for us loyal Pentax fan.
08-14-2014, 02:54 AM - 1 Like   #169
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Wow. A lot of talk, all going in different directions.

I do think Nikon and Canon are going to be in a bad way, like how GM was prior to the bailout. Making too many cameras for the market and then discounting them deeply in order to get them sold. Fortunately, it doesn't seem like Ricoh has done that.

Biggest problem with this thread is that it is a bunch of individuals talking about their own individual needs and claiming that the market is going in that direction. I assume there are some who actually know which direction the market is going, but I don't. My guess is that Pentax will come out with a full frame camera, as I don't see much room above the K3 for APS-C. I don't think upper end APS-C is going away and I think Canon and Nikon have made a mistake by not supplying a D300/7D follow up camera.

I doubt mirrorless is in the cards. In interviews Pentax execs seemed to indicate that they were keeping an optical viewfinder on their cameras for the time being.

08-14-2014, 03:37 AM   #170
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Low-end APS-C models will always be in the line-up and there is not much room above the K3, you are correct Rondec. But RICOH wants to be unique that's why I think they may bring out a FF mirrorless in the same styling as the GR ( and it would be a RICOH camera w/ Pentax technology infused-in). Personally, I would rather have an optical viewfinder. We will soon find out what's cooking at RICOH's factory in a few weeks.
08-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #171
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I agree with Rondec, i think Cannikon are in for a rough ride. They've got way more productive capacity than they need. They've focused on a 9% solution, i.e. FF, which most of the marketplace doesn't want, or can't afford. One can only hide the problem for so long by stuffing the shipping channel with unsold product.

Pentax is pretty much another Cannikon wannabe, but with a different slant. Too conservative a company when it comes to making needed changes, however. Worse, Sony and Fuji are taking away the competitive advantage of Pentax in the area of WR construction. As to what Pentax needs to do? They need to cater to the professional crowd in outdoor photography, weddings, event photography and fine art. Write off the NFL sports professionals. Specifics - Solve the wifi connectivity issue and tethering.
08-14-2014, 08:37 AM   #172
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I agree with philbaum, professionals have a history of buying what works for them, not "professional" cameras or "amateur" cameras, just cameras that deliver what they need to turn a buck and feed the family.


If pentax fix those areas professionals are asking for, namely tethering and wifi, they will buy.


Build it and they will come.
08-14-2014, 08:51 AM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
4 out of total of 8 lenses are toy lenses plus a cap lens.
There are currently 8 Q lenses total, including the 07 cap lens.
Apart from the 07, the only toys are the wide 04 and telephoto 05.

08-14-2014, 09:08 AM - 1 Like   #174
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What a good idea to call lenses instead of names like 35mm f2.8 or 55mm f2 or 135mm f3.5, names like 01 02 03 04.


This is a remarkable improvement over that stupid naming system that told you the focal length the aperture and other worthless pieces of information like smc, as if youd ever want to know the focal length or aperture of a lens.


Its much easier to write 02 or 06 short and snappy that's what I want.


Can we call the takumars similar names for consistency, its much better to just call the 55mm f1.8, lens 57, and the 55mm f2, lens 58, and the 135mm f3.5, lens 81, can someone start work on it as soon as possible.


I very much hope that pentax wont rename the excellently named lenses 01 02 03 etc to those ridiculous mm and f numbers names, someone might actually know what the lens is, and we cant have that.
08-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
I think they want to hunker down for the storm. Low inventory, don't over extend. (Canon and Nikon are over extended with huge overheads and inventory, unsold 100D piling over last years 500D; 550D; 600D; 650D, etc) Concentrate only on the Japan market, where they still have presence, history and respect. (don't need to be a global player to be profitable)
I think it's true that Ricoh does not want to become over-extended, like most of the other players (many of whom have lost money or have seen profits rapidly diminish). The simple fact of the matter is that, on many fronts, Pentax is not capable of out-competing its rivals. It can't compete with Fuji on the fast lens front, simply because if Pentax made fast primes comparable to what we find in Fuji's lineup, the Pentax versions would be more expensive. Fuji sells their 23mm f1.4 for around $900. Pentax sells the DA 21 f3.2 for $700. What are the odds that we would ever see a DA* 24 f1.4 for $900? I suspect Pentax could not make a profit selling fast wide angle lenses at Fuji prices, which is why we'll never see such lenses.

Just about the only genre where Pentax can compete is landscape/nature photographer. That's why, on the Ricoh Imaging website, the Pentax K-3 is called "the ultimate field camera." It's not "the ultimate fast lens camera," or "the ultimate candid portrait camera," or "the ultimate sports camera," or "the ultimate gearhead camera." Ricoh would lose money trying to compete in those markets, so Pentax is not allowed to compete in them. Pentax must play to its strengths to survive in a brutal market.

It's no coincidence that most of the complaints about Pentax come from the fast lens and/or FF sensor camp. Pentax has not been catering to their needs and they're unhappy. But that has more to do with how Pentax evolved over the years than any sort of intentional plan and/or negligence. Pentax has long struggled to compete in the AF technology realm, so they've re-orientated their business toward genres where AF tech is not so important. Hence Pentax has done a better job of catering to and satisfying the needs of landscape/nature photographers than candid portrait or hand-hold-in-poor-light photographers. Fast wide angle glass and FF sensors have also been a challenge for Pentax due to the high cost of these items.

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Either come clean, and give up FF (declaring so ) and announce a good roadmap of lenses for apsc (fast lenses; primes in the 24-28mm range; 10-12mm prime; etc) Or go FF which will still be better than a D610 or 6D (SR; good size; no AA filter; smalish Pentax lenses)
Pentax can never renounce FF altogether, because they have to keep their options open going forward. Since Ricoh took over Pentax has been working toward FF, but it hasn't been a priority. "Completing" the APS-C line-up (with a strong orientation towards "field" camera needs) and developing the 645 digital system has so far taken priority. But the FF system is coming. It's just going to take time.
08-14-2014, 09:44 AM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
There are currently 8 Q lenses total, including the 07 cap lens.
Apart from the 07, the only toys are the wide 04 and telephoto 05.
I think most people lump the 03 Fisheye in with the toy lenses. No AF, fixed aperture and no leaf shutter. The only thing that sets it apart is the higher price.
08-14-2014, 09:53 AM   #177
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Pardon me for being obtuse but


If large sensor size were important to the FF user, why does the 645 not appeal, that has an even larger sensor and the images are incredible.


If shallow depth of field were important to the FF user, why does the 645 not entice, that has shallower depth of field than an FF would have.


If low noise were important to the FF user, why does the 645 not enthral, that has lower noise and images are clean.


If the high pixel count were important to the FF user, why doesn't the 645 inspire, that has huge megapixel count.


Im confused, isn't the 645 a FF on steroids?


If the 645 rocks why doesn't it rock your boat FF users.
08-14-2014, 09:54 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I think most people lump the 03 Fisheye in with the toy lenses. No AF, fixed aperture and no leaf shutter. The only thing that sets it apart is the higher price.
And the sharpness (it has given me JPEGs over 5 MB straight out of the original Q).

And the fact that it is one of the few (only?) fisheyes that will focus down to 9cm,
which opens up all kinds of new applications.

And the fact that users here on this forum are selling images from it for magazine and other use.

And by the way, I got mine new for $70, which is less than what people are paying for the toy lenses.
08-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
And the sharpness (it has given me JPEGs over 5 MB straight out of the original Q).

And the fact that it is one of the few (only?) fisheyes that will focus down to 9cm,
which opens up all kinds of new applications.

And the fact that users here on this forum are selling images from it for magazine and other use.

And by the way, I got mine new for $70, which is less than what people are paying for the toy lenses.
For price I did a quick look at Google shopping. It shows a price range of $97 to more than $100 on evilBay.
08-14-2014, 10:00 AM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
Pardon me for being obtuse but


If large sensor size were important to the FF user, why does the 645 not appeal, that has an even larger sensor and the images are incredible.


If shallow depth of field were important to the FF user, why does the 645 not entice, that has shallower depth of field than an FF would have.


If low noise were important to the FF user, why does the 645 not enthral, that has lower noise and images are clean.


If the high pixel count were important to the FF user, why doesn't the 645 inspire, that has huge megapixel count.


Im confused, isn't the 645 a FF on steroids?


If the 645 rocks why doesn't it rock your boat FF users.
But the 645 is a crop sensor...
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