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10-28-2014, 07:50 AM   #706
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
So you're saying it's slower focusing than it's competition, and noisier?

Did you try the Nikon D3300. I tried a D3200 once and found it neither faster focusing and definitely not quieter, but hey, things can change. This is the first time I've heard of a Pentax described as noisy.
My wording wasn't very clear and I see how you could read it that way. I'm not talking about the speed of focusing. I'm talking about the noise produced by both the screw drive AF motor with the kit lens and the shutter sound. I agree that the shutter sound on the K-5 and K-3 cameras is very quiet, but the shutter sound on the K-50 is completely different and the K-S1 is just as loud.

As for focusing speed, the autofocus on the K-S1 is like the K-50 in phase detect mode, so adequate against the competition I think. The contrast detect autofocus in live view mode is great. It's greatly improved over the K-50 and feels as quick as phase detect, on static subjects at least.

The reason I think noise is important for this level of camera is that a lot of targeted consumers probably don't know a lot about the technical aspects of the camera. They are likely to spend a few minutes handling very similar looking cameras (usually displayed with the kit lens) and make their decision based on things like weight, appearance, noise and of course brand awareness. My brother-in-law is a good example. He chose a D5100 over a K-30 and his main reason was he didn't like the loud noise the Pentax made. Pentax have done a good job of making the K-S1 cameras small, distinctive and improved their brand image (commercials and marketing in Japan). Noise is the main remaining pain point, in my opinion.

10-28-2014, 08:29 AM   #707
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
My wording wasn't very clear and I see how you could read it that way. I'm not talking about the speed of focusing. I'm talking about the noise produced by both the screw drive AF motor with the kit lens and the shutter sound. I agree that the shutter sound on the K-5 and K-3 cameras is very quiet, but the shutter sound on the K-50 is completely different and the K-S1 is just as loud.

As for focusing speed, the autofocus on the K-S1 is like the K-50 in phase detect mode, so adequate against the competition I think. The contrast detect autofocus in live view mode is great. It's greatly improved over the K-50 and feels as quick as phase detect, on static subjects at least.

The reason I think noise is important for this level of camera is that a lot of targeted consumers probably don't know a lot about the technical aspects of the camera. They are likely to spend a few minutes handling very similar looking cameras (usually displayed with the kit lens) and make their decision based on things like weight, appearance, noise and of course brand awareness. My brother-in-law is a good example. He chose a D5100 over a K-30 and his main reason was he didn't like the loud noise the Pentax made. Pentax have done a good job of making the K-S1 cameras small, distinctive and improved their brand image (commercials and marketing in Japan). Noise is the main remaining pain point, in my opinion.
I dunno about Canon kit lenses.
What I know is CAnon also have stupid cheap micro motors ( la SDM) but in the noisy fashion.

Just try a Canon 50/1.8, you'll get back to a Pentax screwdrive pretty quickly.
10-28-2014, 09:11 AM   #708
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It just isn't a big deal. Pentax has clearly decided that the US is an after thought. If cameras sell here, that's fine, but their focus is Asia. This camera is targeted for Asia and the advertising campaigns are well designed.
I don't believe they're quite that disinterested in the west. I just think at this time investing in the west isn't their #1 priority. Later, when they have a larger global market share, that may change.
QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
If the K-S1 sells or doesn't sell in the US or Europe, it won't be because of a poorly photoshopped image.
I entirely agree with that, but it does indicate an embarrassing lack of attention. It's really unfortunate because I think Denver is making some strides building a reputation and brand image. Something like this (and a couple toher irritating issue) don't help.
10-28-2014, 09:43 AM   #709
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The west to realize, Pentax isn't just going to invest money here unless they see an opportunity for return on investment. This isn't a we're going to buy our way into the market" proposition. This is, the if you guys don't realize the value our product represents we'll sell to those people who do situation. The investment thing is going to be pay as you go. If they make money here, they'll spend money here. And no one has a clue as to what it will take for that to happen. Clearly a great product isn't the answer. If we are to look at Nikon and Canon having an inferior product for most of their sales, with high end product that is unaffordable to most users, at very expensive prices, but more advertising, is the way to go. So far Pentax has chosen not to go that route.. but if they want to compete with the guys who do... that should be the plan. So far Pentaax has stayed with quality products, great cost to performance and solid well built cameras. But, that is very old school.

10-28-2014, 10:51 AM   #710
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
So far Pentaax has stayed with quality products, great cost to performance and solid well built cameras. But, that is very old school.
Wondering whether that strategy works in the west any longer. Have we gone too far down the 'cheap disposable stuff that gets huge marketing dollars until the next fad arrives' path?

I suspect most who use Pentax do not buy into that, so the attitudes on this forum might be different than the general population. I bought Pentax (and stay) because it feels solid and well built with no intention of changing just because 'the next great camera' gets released by someone else. I would rather learn to use the current gear better than get a new set.

But I know lots of people who change cameras (and brands) every time a 'new thing' gets released. I've not noticed it has made any particular improvement in their work though.

If Ricoh is not willing to play the 'next new thing with huge marketing dollars game' are they going to be successful in the western market? Maybe they know that and are not willing to spend the money into a shrinking market when they have better opportunities elsewhere.

No particular point, just speculating..............
10-28-2014, 11:00 AM   #711
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Ricoh may be waiting for things to move on the distributors/stores/B&M side before investing too much for nuthin'
10-28-2014, 11:21 AM   #712
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The Boston Consulting Group (who they?) just issued a list of the top 50 most innovative companies in the world. Only two Japanese companies make the list, IIRC - Toyota and Hitachi. Thus none of the traditional Japanese imaging outfits. In the top ten are Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Sony and Amazon. Maybe these companies currently account for 95 per cent of all photography on the planet? They make the equipment, provide the software for it or own the gateways out onto the net or in the case of Amazon, the gateway to retailing. In a way, I guess it doesn't really matter what Ricoh do. All the traditional camera companies are being reduced to suppliers of commodity hardware now. Enjoy it while it lasts, I reckon, because it's hard to see that it will last. The winner really is Uncle Sam, given how many of those companies are American. Software owns hardware.

My impression is that the Pentax brand is more popular in Europe than one might suppose, particularly in France. If Ricoh walked away from Europe, they might be walking away from a chunk of income. In any event, if Ricoh exited from the USA or Europe, or both, I think it would be game over. We'd never see them come back in again, assuming they continued with their camera business.

Last edited by mecrox; 10-28-2014 at 11:27 AM.
10-28-2014, 11:32 AM   #713
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
If Ricoh is not willing to play the 'next new thing with huge marketing dollars game' are they going to be successful in the western market? Maybe they know that and are not willing to spend the money into a shrinking market when they have better opportunities elsewhere.
The Canon / Nikon product churn is required to support large capital outlays for Plant & Equipment built to meet peak demand, which has passed. In their business model expensive advertising and marketing is required to support product turnover, which keeps the factories churning out new product. Price competition requires low profit margin at high volume, which is fine as long as volume stays high. In this kind of business model the USA especially (and to a lesser degree Europe) has been a critical market due to it's consumerism.

Suddenly Americans aren't such consumers any more, or they aren't consuming the same products (Smartphones instead of compact cameras). At first (2013) Canon and Nikon stuffed the channel and discounted aggressively - now they're stuck with unsold models in stores that are two generations old. They'll soon need to decide whether to change their business models altogether.

Ricoh did not follow suit in 2013, and chooses not to use that business model. To the extent the high-volume, low-margin business model is required to gather significant market share in USA - they won't.

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
My impression is that the Pentax brand is more popular in Europe than one might suppose, particularly in France. If Ricoh walked away from Europe, they might be walking away from a chunk of income. In any event, if Ricoh exited from the USA or Europe, or both, I think it would be game over. We'd never see them come back in again, assuming they continued with their camera business.
Ricoh will not walk away from Europe, nor from the USA. They'll continue to slowly develop the markets in the model they choose, but will avoid making a large, specualtive investment that cannot be productive. Alternatively they'll incrementally grow the brand over a long time horizon.

They'll be fine.

10-28-2014, 12:06 PM   #714
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
If Ricoh walked away from Europe, they might be walking away from a chunk of income. In any event, if Ricoh exited from the USA or Europe, or both, I think it would be game over. We'd never see them come back in again, assuming they continued with their camera business.
I cannot see them actually walking away from ANY market. Especially N. America or Europe. As Monochrome says they have their own way of doing things and though it may seem disappointing to fans when there is nothing to 'brag' about, it might be a more sustainable model than the one used by more consumeristic business models.

Things are changing, though attitudes might only change generationally but I can see the beginning of a new trend where people value solid products they will keep longer as opposed to buying this year's model every year. For gear heads wanting a new camera every year this might be a real let down but I think it is a far better model than current wasteful consumerism.

The end result should be great photography not the 'next great camera'.
10-28-2014, 12:13 PM - 1 Like   #715
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Things are changing, though attitudes might only change generationally but I can see the beginning of a new trend where people value solid products they will keep longer as opposed to buying this year's model every year. For gear heads wanting a new camera every year this might be a real let down but I think it is a far better model than current wasteful consumerism.
Wouldn't it be a kick in the pants if my grandchildren came to respect my KX film camera (a gift made to me in 1977) because it was so durable, repairable instead of disposable - and therefore Green? And if Ricoh correctly (as one of the world's leading Green companies - really, look it up) correctly got in front of the curve making higher quality, longer lasting photographic gear?

* No.

I haven't smoked anything in 40 years.
10-28-2014, 12:32 PM   #716
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
* No.

I haven't smoked anything in 40 years.
Maybe time to start.
10-28-2014, 12:32 PM - 1 Like   #717
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
The Boston Consulting Group (who they?)
There's an interesting tie-in with subsequent discussion here. The Boston Consulting Group did a major study for the British motorcycle industry some years ago, at the time it looked to be all over for them as the Japanese juggernaut rolled over them (and the Americans and Italians). Subsequently, Triumph has come back in a big way under new ownership (of the name nothing else was left by then) and even Norton has produced a few specialist machines. The Italian comeback has been less miraculous, but broader.

The point is, declaring all is lost just because a company pulls out of one major market may be premature, to say the least. Triumph is an inspiration to any company that wants to enter or re-enter an industry, but it isn't the only one. In a less spectacular way, Peugeot is planning a comeback in North America in the next couple of years, after staying away for two decades. Be of good cheer (who said that?) because there's good reason for it.
10-28-2014, 04:57 PM   #718
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Fiat, Audi, Bugatti... I guess that's all I can think of right now.
10-28-2014, 05:41 PM   #719
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
There's an interesting tie-in with subsequent discussion here. The Boston Consulting Group did a major study for the British motorcycle industry some years ago, at the time it looked to be all over for them as the Japanese juggernaut rolled over them (and the Americans and Italians). Subsequently, Triumph has come back in a big way under new ownership (of the name – nothing else was left by then) and even Norton has produced a few specialist machines. The Italian comeback has been less miraculous, but broader.

The point is, declaring all is lost just because a company pulls out of one major market may be premature, to say the least. Triumph is an inspiration to any company that wants to enter or re-enter an industry, but it isn't the only one. In a less spectacular way, Peugeot is planning a comeback in North America in the next couple of years, after staying away for two decades. Be of good cheer (who said that?) because there's good reason for it.
Interesting. I found a quote from the chairman or former chairman of Triumph who said that to be a successful exporter a company needs four key strengths: "efficient manufacturing; innovation; quality; and brand recognition.'If you don't have those four characteristics, you are dead in the water. You don't try to sell something based on price alone.'" To this one might add a fifth, not having the Yen hanging round your neck since that cannot help the Japanese camera companies who are all in the export business. So I suppose it's possible that the most successful camera company of the next 20 years doesn't exist yet, but when it does it might come from a country which finds it easier to foster innovative than Japan and which is not lumbered with a difficult currency if you are an exporter. Triumph do seem to have been a big success story. I'm sure a company like Ricoh is very, very aware of all this stuff even though I doubt the chairman rides a Triumph Rocket III Roadster
10-28-2014, 06:18 PM   #720
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Wouldn't it be a kick in the pants if my grandchildren came to respect my KX film camera (a gift made to me in 1977) because it was so durable, repairable instead of disposable - and therefore Green?
Film processing chemicals aren't so "Green", however, especially when they end up in the sewage system.

---------- Post added 10-28-14 at 08:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
So I suppose it's possible that the most successful camera company of the next 20 years doesn't exist yet, but when it does it might come from a country which finds it easier to foster innovative than Japan and which is not lumbered with a difficult currency if you are an exporter.
Well, the Philippine peso and Vietnamese dong are not "difficult" in that sense,
so guess what might be "the most successful camera company of the next 20 years"?
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