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11-09-2014, 05:09 PM   #601
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
First assumption, well, where are the new GXR models?
But my point is a bit different. They will probably want to capture Ricoh customers, Pentax customers and new ones as well; going back into a quirky niche won't help. Perhaps they will call it a Ricoh, but it's not essential.

About the second assumption, indeed I do believe they don't have enough resources to simultaneously grow the K-mount (which I think it's their best option for the moment) and launch a 4th mount, a large sensor MILC product line. Unless they have unused capacity just sitting there, I'm not wrong; they will have to make choices.
And since they're moving slowly with the K-mount, since they had to invest money to increase production capacity for digital cameras - I'd say I'm not wrong


Indeed, we see things differently. You believe a restricted system will work by "performing better" (how would they do that?) and appealing to a small number of people; I OTOH I believe they will have to get more serious than that.

Those patents, and the existing optical designs are not enough. And even if they were, making them into new lenses will take effort; there's a long way from having an optical design, to having a lens on the market.

---------- Post added 10-11-14 at 01:50 AM ----------


Most of the times, losing a battle is just that: you lost and there's no hidden gain waiting for you, later on the road.
I'm not clear on what you're expecting from Ricoh / Pentax.


When I stopped by B&H, I found that they currently list 13 Ricoh (mostly quirky) offerings and 98 Pentax (645, DSLR, Q) offerings.
If we follow your ideas, how would this change?

11-09-2014, 08:26 PM   #602
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IIRC (I can't find the interview) at CP+ 2013 an executive stated Pentax would market traditional cameras and Ricoh would market new technology. Clearly Theta is new technology.

Some kind of MILC with Ricoh-dominant blended DNA I imagine qualifies as 'new technology.' We cannot assume that Ricoh will never commit additional capital to imaging P&E - we only know that during the recent restructuring and construction of the massive China Office Equipment facility Ricoh didn't allocate (much) capital for imaging P&E.

I refuse to believe Ricoh are idiots. I refuse to accept they are capital-constrained (as Nikon at this time appears to be) nor does Pentax appear to suffer from unused P&E (as both Canon and Nikon seem to).

In fact, I believe Ricoh correctly foresaw the current decline in dSLR sales (which I posit will end near the mid-2000's level) and acted accordingly, refusing to allow themselves to be drawn in to a 'land war' with Canon and Nikon.

Some time soon might be a good time to reveal a more vigorous product plan.

Last edited by monochrome; 11-09-2014 at 09:08 PM.
11-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #603
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It's true that developing lenses into finished products will take some development. I wouldn't deny that. But it's interesting that APS-C short-registrations patents have outnumbered K- mount ones in recent years.

How would they make the system perform better? You could ask that about anything they should choose to develop, especially FF K-mount or more K-mount lenses. Pentax has had a reasonably full lineup of good lenses and good cameras for years, but they have never really had a breakthrough product in the digital era. You could argue that the last 20 or more years of K-mount history are a story of sales failure despite huge investment. The GXR looks like a small project in comparison.

I don't want to seem negative about K-mount, though. I just mean to say that if Ricoh enters into anything new, it will entail investment. And that they need to believe they can do it better than others and better than their own record. That applies to K-mount or any other venture.
11-09-2014, 10:13 PM   #604
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what should they do? Maybe they should make some photo quality colour and b/w inkjet printers. that would be different.

11-10-2014, 01:17 AM   #605
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
what should they do? Maybe they should make some photo quality colour and b/w inkjet printers. that would be different.
They do that already. Ok, with laser printers. And maybe not fully photo quality.
11-10-2014, 01:44 AM   #606
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I'm not clear on what you're expecting from Ricoh / Pentax.


When I stopped by B&H, I found that they currently list 13 Ricoh (mostly quirky) offerings and 98 Pentax (645, DSLR, Q) offerings.
If we follow your ideas, how would this change?
Why would they want to change the Ricoh:Pentax ratio? Ricoh has no plans to phase out the Pentax brand...

In the near future, what I expect is most of the effort to be put into the K-mount. For example, launching a new format and associated lenses This is change - just not the "let's throw all we have away and restart from scratch" kind.
After that... who knows. We could see a large sensor MILC, it does sounds likely.
So my position can be summarized in two points:
- K-mount for now (near future)
- new mount MILC requires effort, would affect point 1 if done simultaneously. We might see it later (sounds likely)


JPT, I don't think our opinions are so different. It's mostly down to details and timing.
What I disagreed with was the idea of a Ricoh userbase-targeted MILC which won't require significant investment (enough to impede on other plans).
I'm also a bit wary of the "perform better". Either that's subtle, or expensive.
11-10-2014, 02:48 AM   #607
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If they wait too long, they may miss the train. And what apart of full frame is left to do for Pentax if they ignore video? There won't be significant improvements in the APS-C DSLR sector in terms of stills in the near future.
11-10-2014, 06:08 AM   #608
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I'm also a bit wary of the "perform better". Either that's subtle, or expensive.
I did use the phrase "perform better" at one point, but to be honest I was mainly thinking about the cameras handling better than the competition. I also think that Ricoh lenses have consistently been excellent to the corners without the fuzziness at the edges caused by the heavy distortion correction that most mirrorless manufacturers apply. Come to think of it, I can't remember any review that criticised a Ricoh camera for its lens or handling. Where Ricoh cameras have had trouble in the past was with sensor noise and colour reproduction that isn't punchy enough for some reviewers. Their pricing was also heavily criticised until the current GR came out. The advantages might be subtle, but some photographers are prepared to pay for that.

Anyway, I appreciate being able to have a difference of opinions without it descending into argument! I guess we'll have to just wait and see what comes. I'm pretty open minded, so I'll probably see the strength in whatever Ricoh comes out with. But having invested in mostly DA lenses, and realising that my main limitations are time and ability, a new mount or a full frame camera would have to be pretty spectacular to make me start again.

11-10-2014, 06:18 AM   #609
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Isn't the FF a large enough project? I wouldn't call implementing it "waiting"
Improving video is on a different - smaller - scale, unless we're talking going all way out (cameras and lenses made with video in mind).
11-10-2014, 06:21 AM   #610
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
But having invested in mostly DA lenses, and realising that my main limitations are time and ability, a new mount or a full frame camera would have to be pretty spectacular to make me start again.
You and many alike, I'm afraid! A decade of developing APS-C system only, and denying any FF format is in the Pentax future is a disadvantage now. There are a lot of Pentax customers that chose Pentax for it's excellent APS-C system. Customers that have no interest in an FF upgrade path, otherwise they would not have chosen Pentax in the first place.
11-10-2014, 06:35 AM   #611
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Isn't the FF a large enough project? I wouldn't call implementing it "waiting"
Improving video is on a different - smaller - scale, unless we're talking going all way out (cameras and lenses made with video in mind).
It's not waiting, but it might be too little, too late at this point.


Pentax would be relatively easily able to draw people to their system (well, at least if they had done it 1-2 years ago) by implementing proper SR for video. That was already there, and would have been trivial to accomplish. Maybe not many, but it could easily have been worth it. Instead they chose to alienate video users. You have to be really sure you don't want video (or only under very limited circumstances) to buy a Pentax... even people who might never end up shooting video might look at Pentax thinking... what IF I want to shoot video? I'll be better off with another brand...


I see decent video as a thing their FF camera needs to be able to do... not on a high end level, but at least competitive, with an edge here or there (SR would easily be that!). Video functionality developed for their FF camera can be - to a certain degree - applied to their APS-C cameras and vice versa.


Btw. video people like to use old lenses (they need to manually focus anyway, and old lenses are usually much better for that), but then they don't have any stabilization with other brands where the lens does the job. By having it in body that's quite a nice advantage for Pentax, if they market it right and at the right people. APS-C also appeals to video people, that's what Hollywood uses anyway.
11-10-2014, 06:40 AM   #612
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I did use the phrase "perform better" at one point, but to be honest I was mainly thinking about the cameras handling better than the competition. I also think that Ricoh lenses have consistently been excellent to the corners without the fuzziness at the edges caused by the heavy distortion correction that most mirrorless manufacturers apply. Come to think of it, I can't remember any review that criticised a Ricoh camera for its lens or handling. Where Ricoh cameras have had trouble in the past was with sensor noise and colour reproduction that isn't punchy enough for some reviewers. Their pricing was also heavily criticised until the current GR came out. The advantages might be subtle, but some photographers are prepared to pay for that
Yes, it's what I called "subtle" - which is not the same as "unimportant", but the mass market consumers probably won't appreciate it. Being a Pentaxian I appreciate Pentax (and other brands) "performing better" in a subtle way
Perhaps integrating Ricoh and Pentax can solve the price issue, perhaps it already did? (you mentioned the GR...)

QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Anyway, I appreciate being able to have a difference of opinions without it descending into argument! I guess we'll have to just wait and see what comes. I'm pretty open minded, so I'll probably see the strength in whatever Ricoh comes out with. But having invested in mostly DA lenses, and realising that my main limitations are time and ability, a new mount or a full frame camera would have to be pretty spectacular to make me start again.
I enjoyed the discussion; and it's not like I know their plans (I'm quite confident they're working on the K-mount - the prototype lenses are a strong hint). Indeed, we'll have to wait and see.
I guess I would buy an unneeded (for me) larger format, and new lenses to match.

---------- Post added 10-11-14 at 03:41 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
Pentax would be relatively easily able to draw people to their system (well, at least if they had done it 1-2 years ago) by implementing proper SR for video.
It's never that simple
11-10-2014, 07:10 AM   #613
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Then please explain why the K-3 has a perfectly working SR in live view. You just can't record it, because Pentax doesn't allow it. Pentax gave an explanation, and maybe it is the real reason. But if it is, why don't they listen to customers who understand the reason and say they still want video SR, and that the alternative that Pentax gives is way, way, WAY worse?
11-10-2014, 09:27 AM   #614
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I mean, the "easily able to draw people to their system" part. I doubt just enabling movie SR, even making it noiseless will have such a dramatic effect. Hint: it didn't in the past
But, I'd say they should make it an option.
11-10-2014, 09:54 AM   #615
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I mean, the "easily able to draw people to their system" part. I doubt just enabling movie SR, even making it noiseless will have such a dramatic effect. Hint: it didn't in the past
But, I'd say they should make it an option.
It didn't draw people because no one knew about it, and the camera had in excusable issues like poor manual controls.

But the K-3 fixed some of that and added a probably better suited sensor in the mix. Give it a codec that is as close to lossless as possible (MJPEG) and SR and it could have been a small hit. Video people seem more focused on the job... they might switch brands more easily.

Just look at the attention the Olympus OM-D E-M1 has drawn, and that is despite the small sensor and the lack of frame rates below or beyond 30 fps... which is a huge limitation. Still people wanted it just for the SR. Had Olympus fixed that... (I wonder if the rumors are true and that camera gets 4K).

So the Pentax might not have been a huge hit, but at least some people could have moved there. I know for me the SR in video was a big draw (and the MJPEG), that is what ultimately made me spend more on a K-5 instead of just getting a K-30, which otherwise seemed at least just as good for the most part, and cheaper.
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