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09-17-2014, 11:06 AM   #256
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Euh... ricoh has taken Pentax in 2011, not in 2013 as mentionned in the paper....
That's not a detail....

09-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #257
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
First, there's an interesting interview on CNET with Jim Malcolm of Pentax in North America. Just published today. Presumably at Photokina. He makes for a much better interview subject come spokesman than the Japanese staffers who usually appear in this role. He confirms the "lost generation of buyers" during the move to digital which is part of the problem of market share today, I'd have thought. There are far more things than this in the interview, however, so let's not allow that to colour the whole picture. A price cut is mentioned, for example. Interestingly, Mr Malcolm has pushed K-mount APS-C out of the picture in what he says, intentionally or not. The article's headline reflects that. The news is the Q and the 645. Thing is, you'd think that the classic APS-C line accounts for the majority of Ricoh's turnover. Perhaps that's wrong or a change is in the offing, in the form of a move away from what folks have always taken to mean "Pentax" as in Pentax = K-mount = DSLR? Or at any rate, less of an emphasis on it. Anyway, the stress is on small but profitable, not large plus rock-bottom deals.

Pentax seeks turnaround with tiny Q, giant 645 cameras - CNET
Interesting. Thx for sharing. Note that the emphasis on the Q and the apparent de-emphasis of the K-mount may say more about the reporter and what he thinks will be of interest to readers than about Malcolm's thoughts on the matter. Malcolm may have talked at length about the K-mount but the reporter (Shankland) may have left most of it on the cutting room floor.
09-17-2014, 11:28 AM   #258
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Did anyone notice that a q-s1 body costs less than a q-7 body (in Holland €349 vs €399) so Pentax is finally going for the right side of the market with the q. (to compensate they have raised the kit price so a q-s1 + 5-15 costs about the same as a q-7 +5-15. €449. But there is still something missing. wifi so you can share with it quickly. Why did they not add flucard integration?
09-17-2014, 11:38 AM   #259
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Why did they not add flucard integration?
Q is optimized for Eye-Fi with card-sensing native menus. Jim Malcolm even openly referred to Eye-Fi in his interview with CNET today.

09-17-2014, 02:58 PM   #260
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I don't understand why those who want a "full frame" digital camera don't just go out and get one.
I shoot full frame all the time with my Spotmatic F. It uses a replaceable image recording system that's good for 36 shots.

Then I camera-scan the stored images with my K-30 and a macro lens.

When lovingly used together I have my "full frame" and "digital" system!
09-17-2014, 03:03 PM - 1 Like   #261
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Outside of Japan, Pentax has already lost probably 80% or more of its enthusiast user base (film era Pentaxians) since the K10D.

I cannot quite quote a source for it, it is based on Google Trend search term analysis (Pentax vs. Nikon, latter one about stable) and market share analysis (seems to have dropped from 6% to 1.5%). Partly replaced by users appreciating the value of Pentax entry level SLRs. But the number of former Pentaxians I meet in other fora is astonishing

But Pentax has lost enthusiast users in two waves: first waiting for a convincing upgrade to the K10D (K-5 was too late); second waiting for FF, mostly giving up around D700 and D800 release dates.

Given the amount of investment in good FF glass required to fully utilize a FF high resolution body and the period of time between jumping ship and Pentax' likely FF release, I am almost sure that these users won't come back.

It really has to attract new users. The only way I can imagine how to do it with my limited imagination is an aggressively priced multi-aspect 44x33 sensor mirrorless with K mount (long K registration distance, K would allow for a 0.8 crop image circle with not too fast lenses too). And work the K mount market up again from there. Otherwise, it looks pretty damn as a dead end road Pentax is stuck in to me. Nothing but a significant investment would do it for Ricoh, just another FF from Pentax won't do it anymore, it is too late now.
Maybe we are already seeing how Ricoh plan to attract new users in the form of the K-S1 and the Q. This is taking what they already have and wrapping it in a package whose keynotes are new buyers, young and from Asia. This is not going after the "enthusiast market" at least as it used to be (and with something of a Western bias). Perhaps Ricoh think they've lost that one now, not least because they have no wish to match the spending required to become an international techno-wow outfit like Samsung or Fuji let alone Canon, Sony or Nikon with a marketing budget to match. Even if Ricoh launch the unicorn FF camera, it might be much more in the style of the K-S1 rather another solemn box designed to go up against Canonikon. Ricoh haven't a hope of succeeding with that and I am sure that they know it. They can, however, walk right past this approach and design cameras to appeal to a the kind of audience who may not know much about Pentax at all and don't much care for ye big black box so often on offer elsewhere. The few new lenses Ricoh are coming out with suggest that too. They are not O M Gaaaad (TM) fast, high-end offerings of a Fuji or Sigma kind. They are serviceable but not great lenses designed for convenience for those who want something much better than the smartphone/compact axis without getting too serious or breaking the bank.

Of course this scenario may or may not succeed. But it seems a viable one to try, anyway. it does not require awesome investment which I suspect is something we will have to accept. Big big money is not going to happen. Big overhauls aren't likely to happen either. It's likely much more cost-effective to tidy up the APS-C catalogue here and there but otherwise let it run its course and when it is no longer profitable - for these new kinds of buyer - then it will be allowed to fade out, most likely in favour of a mirrorless solution. A question here, however, is whether high spending by the other companies plus rapid industry change forces Ricoh's hand far sooner than they might wish. This might put Ricoh right up against it: the price of staying in the market at all is spending more than you want to. Video, for example, is one little thing they may be underestimating. Software and comms for the Just Gets It brigade may be another.

The old Pentax is well and truly gone in my reading. There's a new one now and it is shaping up to be a different kind of company. They already have their halo product, the big draw if you like for those with deep pockets or simply dreams and aspirations, in the 645 system. When it comes to putting up headlines, FF these days cannot match that - or so perhaps Ricoh hope.

All just speculation. But then I quite enjoy it.

Last edited by mecrox; 09-18-2014 at 02:59 AM.
09-17-2014, 03:09 PM   #262
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
First, there's an interesting interview on CNET with Jim Malcolm of Pentax in North America. Just published today. Presumably at Photokina. He makes for a much better interview subject come spokesman than the Japanese staffers who usually appear in this role. He confirms the "lost generation of buyers" during the move to digital which is part of the problem of market share today, I'd have thought. There are far more things than this in the interview, however, so let's not allow that to colour the whole picture. A price cut is mentioned, for example. Interestingly, Mr Malcolm has pushed K-mount APS-C out of the picture in what he says, intentionally or not. The article's headline reflects that. The news is the Q and the 645. Thing is, you'd think that the classic APS-C line accounts for the majority of Ricoh's turnover. Perhaps that's wrong or a change is in the offing, in the form of a move away from what folks have always taken to mean "Pentax" as in Pentax = K-mount = DSLR? Or at any rate, less of an emphasis on it. Anyway, the stress is on small but profitable, not large plus rock-bottom deals.

Pentax seeks turnaround with tiny Q, giant 645 cameras - CNET
Interesting Information there:

"The turnaround concentrates on profits, not on revenues that don't necessarily mean profits. That's meant some disruption not just to Pentax but to its sales channel, too".

"We're very attractive compared to what Canon and Nikon have," Malcolm said. "Our competitors have high volume. We still have low volume -- but high margins."

'the medium-format machines will give pros a way to stand out from the herd of full-frame shooters': "It's that distinction that pros are looking for."

If FF means High Margins Ricoh will build it, if not they won't...the 'herd' of full frame shooters reference does not make it sound like FF is considered a 'good' thing?
09-17-2014, 04:16 PM - 1 Like   #263
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
It really has to attract new users. The only way I can imagine how to do it ...is ...mirrorless ... And work the K mount market up again from there. ... just another FF from Pentax won't do it anymore, it is too late now
I disagree. By the same argument just another mirrorless will be too late too.

Ricoh need oars in the water if they want to paddle upstream, not drift down-river with the current. A FF in the lineup gives them options they would simply not have without FF being there - for marketing, for new user acquisition and old user retention, for expanding lens sales, for entering new market segments, etc.

09-17-2014, 04:30 PM   #264
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
First, there's an interesting interview on CNET with Jim Malcolm of Pentax in North America. Just published today. Presumably at Photokina. He makes for a much better interview subject come spokesman than the Japanese staffers who usually appear in this role. He confirms the "lost generation of buyers" during the move to digital which is part of the problem of market share today, I'd have thought. There are far more things than this in the interview, however, so let's not allow that to colour the whole picture. A price cut is mentioned, for example. Interestingly, Mr Malcolm has pushed K-mount APS-C out of the picture in what he says, intentionally or not. The article's headline reflects that. The news is the Q and the 645. Thing is, you'd think that the classic APS-C line accounts for the majority of Ricoh's turnover. Perhaps that's wrong or a change is in the offing, in the form of a move away from what folks have always taken to mean "Pentax" as in Pentax = K-mount = DSLR? Or at any rate, less of an emphasis on it. Anyway, the stress is on small but profitable, not large plus rock-bottom deals.

Pentax seeks turnaround with tiny Q, giant 645 cameras - CNET

Second, Google trends

Google Trends

Not good, perhaps, but neither are searches for terms like Fujifilm. One has to remember that if interest in cameras is falling generally then all the main brands will suffer. Interesting when one starts feeding in terms like M43, mirrorless, full-frame digital SLR and so forth though what the outcome means in terms of ringing tills and actual sales is another matter. Thanks to Falconeye for mentioning Google Trends, I vaguely recall using this before but had forgotten all about it.
Okay, but remember that Google is not the main search engine in many parts of Asia, including Japan and China. The same is true of looking at Flickr statistics. It's a really minor thing in Japan.
09-17-2014, 05:28 PM - 1 Like   #265
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I've been to Photokina today and spoke with a lot of people from a lot of companies. I expressed that I had hoped to see an FF model from Pentax and multiple times I got extremely encouraging hints that the FF model is coming.

Additionally, one just needs to look at the size of the new "mystery" zooms to realise that these cannot possibly be just APS-C lenses.

In summary, while I was disappointed to not see an FF model at Photokina, I think it would be a huge surprise if the FF model weren't released sometime in 2015. People actually agreed with my statement that if the release is much more delayed then they might as well not do it at all.

P.S.: I had the pleasure and honour to meet Mr. Hiraku Kawauchi and Mr. Kazunobu Saiki in person and talk to them for a while. They are extremely polite and kind gentlemen who took time to listen to me. It took a moment to get my point fully across but they were so kind and made sure that they understood what I had to say and I very much thank them for that.

Last edited by Class A; 09-17-2014 at 05:45 PM.
09-17-2014, 05:44 PM   #266
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Ok, I may have spread a bit of negativity now.

The strong point of Pentax is they know a thing or two about making cameras which are fun to use. They have a future if they play smart enough. What I wanted to stress though is that having an FF too won't be enough anymore for Pentax at this moment in time. Which doesn't mean they shouldn't still go for it.
09-17-2014, 05:53 PM   #267
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Ok, I may have spread a bit of negativity now.

The strong point of Pentax is they know a thing or two about making cameras which are fun to use. They have a future if they play smart enough. What I wanted to stress though is that having an FF too won't be enough anymore for Pentax at this moment in time. Which doesn't mean they shouldn't still go for it.
Thanks for the clarification - makes me smile again.
09-17-2014, 05:58 PM   #268
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
having an FF too won't be enough anymore
Of course. FF by itself will not be a 'magic bullet' for Pentax. But it gives them options, especially if the camera itself is of high quality.

It will then be up to them to act intelligently on those options. That's where things may not work so well for them.

Even if they produce the best FF in the world, if they price it astonomically high, fail to market it, and fail to support it well (new Pentax eco-system add-ons like tethering, some modest level of enhanced pro support and outreach, new lenses etc), then going FF may not in fact help Pentax much more than just another good APS-C release would.

---------- Post added 2014-09-18 at 11:36 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
extremely encouraging hints
I hope that from now until early 2015 we continue to receive more and more of these 'hints'. If enough such snow-flakes fall, we might be able to build ourselves a real snowman soon.

And thanks for the Photokina report. Did you get to have a play with the new Samsung NX-1?
09-17-2014, 06:45 PM   #269
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Ok, I may have spread a bit of negativity now.

The strong point of Pentax is they know a thing or two about making cameras which are fun to use. They have a future if they play smart enough. What I wanted to stress though is that having an FF too won't be enough anymore for Pentax at this moment in time. Which doesn't mean they shouldn't still go for it.
Agreed. At least they are tremendously consistent. Who would have guessed going through the changes - Pentax, Hoya, and now Ricoh, and so amazingly steady in lateness to the game. Ultimately, putting out a very good product - many days late, and now so many millions of dollars short. The photographer-centric interface is the real saving grace.
09-17-2014, 06:51 PM   #270
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They had the chance to release a FF and supply a kit of limited special edition lenses a couple of years ago but they blew it due to the D800, and subsequently the D610 and D750.

I believe that mirrorless will be the only way they can make a profitable entry into that format from here. Using Fuji's tech as a guide they might just pull off something. Pentax has a unique opportunity in that they can start afresh and develop a new line of lenses, but I don't think they'll have the courage, to be honest.

The stated aim to run a parallel line of new tech based products may be the key (although I would have expected Ricoh to have their name on that line).

But when you consider how easy it would be to prototype a product using 3D printing these days, I suspect they have a lot more functioning testbeds working in the background than we can imagine.
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