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10-28-2014, 09:43 AM   #706
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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   #707
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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   #708
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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   #709
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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   #710
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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   #711
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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   #712
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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   #713
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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   #714
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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   #715
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Fiat, Audi, Bugatti... I guess that's all I can think of right now.
10-28-2014, 05:41 PM   #716
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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   #717
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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"?
10-29-2014, 12:15 AM   #718
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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.
The guys that I know that brought Pentax all brough a K30 in fact. They did it because of the very interresting price on one side and the very high level of performance on the other side. WR, good high isos, fair price. They did compare on the internet to get the best products (and Pentax is very well positionned on this topic) and for 1-2 I given then adivce. And of course my father is a long time Pentaxian. I didn't choose for that but for the very interresting offering the K5 was back in time.

Out of all the persons I know, one brough one Fuji (for high end compact: Fuji X20), one brought some Olympus to go all over the world and get a very small package, 4 brought one K30, 1 brought one Nikon, I don't know what model. He is the one that is least impressed by his gear.

We are all engineers, this might be that, but more and more people are checking reviews on the internet and price and choosed based on that. Pentax is well positionned for this.
10-29-2014, 12:51 AM   #719
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote

We are all engineers, this might be that, but more and more people are checking reviews on the internet and price and choosed based on that. Pentax is well positionned for this.

Well, my brother would be the perfect counter example. Yeah, engineer too. No, doesn't care the crap.Known brand, good price, sold.
Doesn't care the heck about any photographic modes but will probably insist he knows better than you how it works inside

Oh, and he will usually buy stuff he nothing about without asking anyone advice. Guess he would look bad or something.
10-29-2014, 04:39 AM   #720
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Full Frame in the Nikon world

I don't want to hijack the thread or divert the topic away from Pentax. But the following data may be interesting towards the question how important FF is within the DSLR world now. As this data cannot (yet) come from Pentax, I think the following may apply to this thread.

Reikan FoCal, a computerized tool to fine tune AF calibration for Nikon and other vendors, has published the usage proportions by camera for its tool.

It is a safe assumption that only enthusiast and pro photographers (like wedding etc.) care enough for AF fine tuning to purchase and use said tool. Therefore IMHO, the usage proportion is a good measure for FF adoption among enthusiast and pro photographers in the Nikon world.

This is the graph:


The top two bands (orange and gray) and bottom two bands (light blue and orange again) are APSC (D300/D300S/D7000/D7100) and together amount for roughly 20%, about 80% being FF.

With the D800 being over-represented because of its notorious left AF point issue, one may still say that maybe 2/3 of enthusiast and pro photographers in the Nikon world use FF, partly or exclusively. E.g., there already seem to be twice as many D810 than D7100 users.

One may of course argue that FF users shell out more money to buy said tool. But the same holds true for lenses and accessories, meaning the direct and indirect business revenue charts by camera model within Nikon corporation will likely look the same as above graph!

This leaves the entry level market (D3xxx and D5xxx series which runs between $500 and $750) as the only one left for APSC, with little or no indirect sales triggered by it. And this segment already sees stiff competition from mirrorless and enthusiast compacts.

I think this leaves no options for what Pentax has to do next ...

Last edited by falconeye; 10-29-2014 at 04:47 AM.
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