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10-20-2014, 11:24 AM   #601
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Multiple sources:

A Nail in the DX Coffin? | byThom | Thom Hogan

Others have commented similar. We'd be lucky if the FF market at bodies over $2,000 broke 10% of unit sales.
So this is excluding D610, 6D and Sony a7 since they are below $2000. Well my gues is that we then are talking about a marketshare below 5 %.

10-20-2014, 11:28 AM   #602
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I'm probably alone in this but I think the best way to tackle that balancing act is to take a pair of bolt cutters to the high wire and end it. Caution makes sense but after repeating "we are studying the market" for year after year, all credibility is gone. Now, another round of the old mantra just makes Ricoh look shifty and indecisive. If FF isn't on the cards, that is absolutely fine by me. There are plenty of FF cameras out there for those who do want one and plenty of other things Ricoh could do and do excellently, too. The FF question clogs up everything, including every interview Rich give, leaving the impression of rabbit in headlights: unable to move one way to FF, or another way to a modern mirrorless mount, or forward with a refreshed APS-C line, or a jump into quality video, and so on and so forth. One almost wants to say "For god's sake, guys, just make up your minds and move on, one way or the other, while you still have some customers left."
Easy to say, impossible to do. They are not thinking this year or next year. Statements such as "we are not going to do FF" come back to haunt you 5 years down the road when FF sensor is the standard and APS-C is only in P&S cameras. No company makes such statements. Things change and no one wants to go back on their (official) word. Rumors and so on are not official. Official is a press release announcing a product, anything else is rumor.

FF camera is inevitable from Pentax. 2015? 2016? 2020? who knows but it will come. Maybe no current Pentax users are left but no way are they going to say NO it is not going to happen.
10-20-2014, 12:14 PM   #603
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Maybe no current Pentax users are left but no way are they going to say NO it is not going to happen.
Hey now! Don't underestimate my inertia and apathy.
10-20-2014, 12:52 PM   #604
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Multiple sources:

A Nail in the DX Coffin? | byThom | Thom Hogan

Others have commented similar. We'd be lucky if the FF market at bodies over $2,000 broke 10% of unit sales.
it's hard to imagine thom hogan being open-minded; this is a guy who thinks that nikon users don't want manual focus... and he could be right.

with the d810 costing an extra $1k over the a7r, with little to no gain in p.q., sony is free to set prices where they want... mirrorless is a lot cheaper to produce than dslrs.

when canikon/pentax step into the 21st century, and start producing ff mirrorless/evf cameras, we'll see the prices for ff drop quite a bit.

so the ff vs. crop sensor market share differences could be radically different in five years, because everyone is back to selling the same thing.

10-20-2014, 01:13 PM   #605
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
so the ff vs. crop sensor market share differences could be radically different in five years, because everyone is back to selling the same thing.
There is still scope for something disruptive to happen. Like technology that allows sensors to have a signal to noise ratio significantly higher than they currently do, thus suddenly bumping the low-light DxOMark score of future high-end APS-C's into current 6D or D610 FF territory. Of course FF would also benefit from such tech advances, but such new tech may put cameras into the position where, regardless of format, they can all perform noise free at 24MP and ISO 12800 in future. Hence for all practical shooting purposes neutralising low-light performance as a differentiating factor between APS-C and FF.
10-20-2014, 01:27 PM   #606
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Multiple sources:

A Nail in the DX Coffin? | byThom | Thom Hogan

Others have commented similar. We'd be lucky if the FF market at bodies over $2,000 broke 10% of unit sales.

Some interview - maybe a Sony one - said that FF was the only portion of DSLR's where the market was getting bigger.

I wonder which sells more - Canon/Nikons' best-selling FF or all of Pentax SLR's combined? I know we can't answer that, but it'd be a useless factoid.
10-20-2014, 01:35 PM   #607
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Easy to say, impossible to do. They are not thinking this year or next year. Statements such as "we are not going to do FF" come back to haunt you 5 years down the road when FF sensor is the standard and APS-C is only in P&S cameras. No company makes such statements. Things change and no one wants to go back on their (official) word. Rumors and so on are not official. Official is a press release announcing a product, anything else is rumor.

FF camera is inevitable from Pentax. 2015? 2016? 2020? who knows but it will come. Maybe no current Pentax users are left but no way are they going to say NO it is not going to happen.
We'll have to disagree. My impression is that in this case, failing to give a clear lead has cost Pentax a very great deal. Generally, folks don't mind yes or no but they do mind indecision. There might be a reason for the indecision, but they still don't like it. There are plenty of ways of saying not right now or not for a few years without being so vague as to be meaningless. Or you can turn things around and say, as Fuji and Olympus do from what I've seen, that the entire focus right now is on APS-C or M43 and that and nothing else is what we're excited about. It gives a lead. In addition, not everything is a rumour. Those prototype lenses behind glass at Photokina, for example, were put there for some purpose but as they weren't fully labelled they just encouraged rumours (I'm not suggesting this was deliberate but looking at the result). Customers tire of rumours and highly oblique answers in interviews which they eventually perceive as indecision, move on and then you've lost them - imo.

Last edited by mecrox; 10-20-2014 at 01:55 PM.
10-20-2014, 02:04 PM   #608
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
We'll have to disagree. My impression is that in this case, failing to give a clear lead has cost Pentax a very great deal.
I don't necessarily disagree with you. In an ideal world it would be great for a company to say "we will do this next year and this the year after, and so on". But in the real world that is not going to happen. But I think the truth is that Ricoh did not (until a relatively short time ago) know whether they were going to go FF or not. In fact it's likely they were not 100% sure they would still be in the camera business at this point. Had the k-3 flopped would they have dropped DSLRS?

It's not possible to give your customers any direction if you do not know yourself what is going to happen. When they said "we are evaluating the market" that was the truth. I'm not sure even now if they will pull the trigger on FF, but I think ground work is being laid with new lenses and so on. Those lenses will be just great on APS-C if there is no FF camera, but if there is one the initial work has been done.

I agree 100% this has cost Ricoh customers, but if you really think about it has it cost them any more than if they had said "NO FF"? Those that want FF would then leave, right? But in reality those that really wanted or needed FF have already left. Outside of the microcosm of this forum (and other forums) practically no one has ever heard of Pentax. They know that. So losing customers is simply not an issue. With the market share they have any real growth has to be new customers so keeping the old ones happy is not a consideration. That's not nice, but it's just business.

10-20-2014, 02:48 PM   #609
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I don't necessarily disagree with you. In an ideal world it would be great for a company to say "we will do this next year and this the year after, and so on". But in the real world that is not going to happen. But I think the truth is that Ricoh did not (until a relatively short time ago) know whether they were going to go FF or not. In fact it's likely they were not 100% sure they would still be in the camera business at this point. Had the k-3 flopped would they have dropped DSLRS?

It's not possible to give your customers any direction if you do not know yourself what is going to happen. When they said "we are evaluating the market" that was the truth. I'm not sure even now if they will pull the trigger on FF, but I think ground work is being laid with new lenses and so on. Those lenses will be just great on APS-C if there is no FF camera, but if there is one the initial work has been done.

I agree 100% this has cost Ricoh customers, but if you really think about it has it cost them any more than if they had said "NO FF"? Those that want FF would then leave, right? But in reality those that really wanted or needed FF have already left. Outside of the microcosm of this forum (and other forums) practically no one has ever heard of Pentax. They know that. So losing customers is simply not an issue. With the market share they have any real growth has to be new customers so keeping the old ones happy is not a consideration. That's not nice, but it's just business.
It's a standard axiom in business that it's harder to get a new customer than to hang onto a current one. I agree with mecrox, Ricoh's stance has been where they've created the perception, intended or not, that they are playing games with their customer base. That's rarely, if ever, a good thing to do.
10-20-2014, 03:23 PM   #610
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The perception is such that, if they would officially launch a Pentax FF with several lenses, and even if they would be available at B&H and other stores, people would say "Yeah, right... there is no FF, it's one of Adam's April 1st jokes".

Perception is rarely fair to Pentax. As I said, they started talking about the FF 2 years ago; before that, it was "no FF for now". It's reasonable to believe that Ricoh Imaging, having long term plans with Pentax, approved the development of the FF line - while Hoya, wanting to sell Pentax to the first convenient buyer, didn't.
10-20-2014, 05:37 PM   #611
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
We'll have to disagree. My impression is that in this case, failing to give a clear lead has cost Pentax a very great deal. Generally, folks don't mind yes or no but they do mind indecision. There might be a reason for the indecision, but they still don't like it. There are plenty of ways of saying not right now or not for a few years without being so vague as to be meaningless. Or you can turn things around and say, as Fuji and Olympus do from what I've seen, that the entire focus right now is on APS-C or M43 and that and nothing else is what we're excited about. It gives a lead. In addition, not everything is a rumour. Those prototype lenses behind glass at Photokina, for example, were put there for some purpose but as they weren't fully labelled they just encouraged rumours (I'm not suggesting this was deliberate but looking at the result). Customers tire of rumours and highly oblique answers in interviews which they eventually perceive as indecision, move on and then you've lost them - imo.
I agree that there is no need to be ambiguous if Ricoh has no intention of making a FF camera. They could act like Olympus and Fuji and simply advocate their format. This is what they did for many years, but as Kunzite said, the message has changed now and is accompanied by hints on the roadmap and with the lenses they showed at Photokina.

So, if they are going to release a FF body, why not just say so? When an individual moves to another brand, it's a little sad, but we see just as many if not more welcomes as goodbyes. On the other hand, if a retailer decides to stop stocking Pentax because they have a storeroom full of K-5IIs, K-3s and DA* lenses that they can't sell, that is pretty catastrophic for Ricoh and Pentax as a brand. Would anyone buy a DA*16-50 if they knew a full frame camera was coming within a year?

So, I'm surprised they are even saying as much as they are. It makes me think it's pretty close at hand.
10-20-2014, 06:37 PM   #612
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I agree that there is no need to be ambiguous if Ricoh has no intention of making a FF camera. They could act like Olympus and Fuji and simply advocate their format. This is what they did for many years, but as Kunzite said, the message has changed now and is accompanied by hints on the roadmap and with the lenses they showed at Photokina.

So, if they are going to release a FF body, why not just say so? When an individual moves to another brand, it's a little sad, but we see just as many if not more welcomes as goodbyes. On the other hand, if a retailer decides to stop stocking Pentax because they have a storeroom full of K-5IIs, K-3s and DA* lenses that they can't sell, that is pretty catastrophic for Ricoh and Pentax as a brand. Would anyone buy a DA*16-50 if they knew a full frame camera was coming within a year?

So, I'm surprised they are even saying as much as they are. It makes me think it's pretty close at hand.
JPT, those are good points and I agree that there's a risk to current business when tipping your hand too much. OTOH... when you go out of your way to be so vague that, for practical purposes, you say nothing while appearing to say something, you run the risk of your customers feeling overly neglected and maybe even disrespected. That's not good for business, either.

As for camera bodies, I doubt they lose many interim sales when the prices are certainly half or less of a potential FF body. And everyone knows that it will take perhaps double or more the current K-3 price to buy a FF body when released. As for lenses, I agree something like a DA* 16-50 becomes a tough sell with a FF body looming but are they selling many now anyway?
10-20-2014, 06:56 PM   #613
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I just disagree about the comments from Rondec
QuoteQuote:
I can't say that any of the camera companies are sitting pretty right now. Sony's is probably in the best shape,
Sorry butSony is loosing Millions of $$$ including their Imaging business (Sensor are not part of that business.) One day the axe will come down.
10-20-2014, 08:20 PM   #614
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I agree that there is no need to be ambiguous if Ricoh has no intention of making a FF camera. They could act like Olympus and Fuji and simply advocate their format. This is what they did for many years, but as Kunzite said, the message has changed now and is accompanied by hints on the roadmap and with the lenses they showed at Photokina.

So, if they are going to release a FF body, why not just say so? When an individual moves to another brand, it's a little sad, but we see just as many if not more welcomes as goodbyes. On the other hand, if a retailer decides to stop stocking Pentax because they have a storeroom full of K-5IIs, K-3s and DA* lenses that they can't sell, that is pretty catastrophic for Ricoh and Pentax as a brand. Would anyone buy a DA*16-50 if they knew a full frame camera was coming within a year?

So, I'm surprised they are even saying as much as they are. It makes me think it's pretty close at hand.
My point is that this has been going for on a long time now. The notion that the "FF? Yes No Maybe" saga has been going on only for two years is fanciful. Furthermore, the idea that lots of buyers would instantly pass over the existing APS-C lines if they heard that an FF was imminent is also wide of the mark. The popular theory is that an FF product at the top of the tree increases your sales at the lower end by offering a halo product and maybe for some buyers an upgrade path, not reduces them. If the retail trade started to return Pentax APS-C products because a Pentax FF was imminent on the grounds they believed they could no longer sell them, then the only conclusions would be that a) Pentax had failed to managed their trade accounts properly by stuffing the channel with soon-to-be-obsolete equipment; and b) that no Pentax products sell to new buyers, only to existing owners. This is surely rather bleak.

The current consensus suggests that FF has maybe around 10 per cent of the market, and the more expensive it is the lower that percentage slides. A buyer might more likely pass over the APS-C-only lenses, yes, but if Pentax are really worried about that then it tells us that their foray into APS-C-only lenses was ill-advised and should have ended years ago and, further, that they are busy selling us stuff they know full well we would not and should not buy if we had a choice. On this reading, barely a year ago they issued newly revised DA Limited lenses knowing full well that a lot of people who bought one might end up regretting it rather soon. That's a terrible reflection on the company and enough to cross them off many a buyer's list, never to be trusted again - but, as I said, I don't think any of this is the case at all. The vast majority of camera buyers are not in the market for FF and probably never will be. It is simply too expensive, period. If it wasn't, Canon and Nikon would long ago have stopped making any DX lenses, but in fact they still do, pretty darn good ones in some cases from what one reads and in the case of Nikon they are frequently asked to produce more of them.

This isn't what happens when you have some fiendishly clever master plan. It's what happens when you've spent too long being indecisive. However you look at it, the company gets hit in the reps. In my view, Pentax would have lost less and been better off reputationally if they had been more candid about it a long time ago. I don't expect many folks to agree with me, least of all the last one or two Pentax fanboys remaining in the wild whom God preserve (you are not they). But it is what I think. If an FF camera appears, then it will all be water under the bridge anyway. But it is still an if. We've been here before.

One small anecdotal point: a week ago, I sent my camera dealer a list of my Pentax gear and asked for a trade-in valuation. The value offered was far higher than I had anticipated. This doesn't suggest that my dealer (a full-on Pentax Pro retailer with the entire range of products in the shop) sees Pentax FF as meaning that existing APS-C equipment is about to take a complete bath, if there is to be an FF. And, in fact, I would be very surprised if he didn't know. He hasn't remained in business for so many years by not keeping his ear to the ground.

Last edited by mecrox; 10-21-2014 at 02:05 AM.
10-20-2014, 08:23 PM   #615
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Would anyone buy a DA*16-50 if they knew a full frame camera was coming within a year?
I wonder what would be some sure signs out there in the marketplace that Pentax was about to release a FF?

Retailers clearing stock of expensive APS-C lenses like the DA* 16-50? Big price drops or 'extra value bundles' on the K-3? Appointment of new high-end resellers?

What happened out in retail in 2007/2008, when Nikon moved from being an APS-C only brand and began to offer FF? How did that transition work out in the marketplace? [I wasn't paying attention at the time].
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