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06-13-2008, 07:31 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I may be the minority but I agree 100% with Ned's assessment. Pentax does not need a pared down low cost model. The approach to offer feature laden cameras that caters to varying photographic skill level is a sound approach applicable for the present.

Yes, but I think his statement regarding entry level SLR as merely P & S cameras is very inaccurate. I see nothing wrong with a $450 Pentax body, with reasonably priced lens's. These entry level buyers are likely to be brand loyal as their needs and skill increase.
The more I think about Ned's interview, the more I am shaking my head. He says: "Pentax had great success with the K1000 in the ’70s and ’80s, as the photography student’s first SLR, when it was time to upgrade, many of them moved up to another brand. So we never gained a long-term relationship with these customers." That is a very untrue statement. How many Pentax users on this board had K1000 cameras. I did, and mine was used and beat on, but I loved it. When I was ready to move over to a DSLR from my Sony P&S, I would have definately gone with Canon or Nikon if not the experience with my old film K1000. Also, had my only option been a $1300 istD, I would have bought the EOS. The $600 ist DS fit my budget, and that's what I got. I have since purchased the K100d, K10D, and K20D.
So in conclusion, I feel that Ned's statement is either naive, or he is trying to not let the cat out of the bag in regard to a new model coming out. At the same time, what else could he say...."gee, we only have 2 models because that's all we can afford to market and develop". That would sound worse I suppose/ My opinion, I think Pentax needs the 20, 200, 2000, and a K1d. People invest in systems, and they always look to move up.

06-13-2008, 09:16 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
...
You want a travel unit and are now forced to look at Oly. I wanted fast AF and wound up buying a Sony A700. I'm not giving up my K10D but running two systems is not an ideal answer, workable but not ideal.
...
Ken

Ken,

How is your A700? I considered getting one a little while back, but I ended up foregoing it and just used the $ to get some good Pentax glass instead...

I have heard and read that the A700 AF lock-on speed is class-leading, but that the IQ often leaves something to be desired, particularly at high ISO. Can you comment on that, or better yet, post some shots taken with the A700? Thanks!


.
06-13-2008, 11:00 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I may be the minority but I agree 100% with Ned's assessment. Pentax does not need a pared down low cost model. The approach to offer feature laden cameras that caters to varying photographic skill level is a sound approach applicable for the present.
While I may agree with you, the vast majority of buyers will look at 2 things: (1) megapixels; and (2) cost. I have yet to hear a sales person talk about the advantage of DOF preview and how it might be more useful than 2 MP's or having 'Canon' slapped across the body, as an example. And people who buy an entry level Nikon and like the results will stick with Nikon (as an example) when they decide to upgrade. By not participating in the entry level, Pentax is effectively eliminating potential relationships before they happen in a good number of cases.

Given the choice, I'd go for a K200D before a D60 or a Rebel XS, but someone who doesn't know what they're missing will save a few bucks and go for the most obvious "feature" (MP's or cost) whether it has a real-world advantage or not.

That said, Pentax have made their decision on how to approach the market and time will tell whether it's successful or not.
06-14-2008, 03:49 AM   #19
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I fully agree with what you said PENTAX K, well put, it's exactly what I was thinking while reading through this thread.

I have a K1000 for the fact it was an introduction to serious film photography for me in 2002. It only made sense to carry my old lenses from one body to the next, I was enthusiastic when I read that the K mount remained intact.

What choices did I have when considering PENTAX a year ago, well the K110D, K100K & K10D. My budget wasn't that big; I had about $800 to burn and the K10D was slightly out of my range. What was I thinking when I decided on the K100D - well, I wanted the SR that was a definite. For $649 before tax I felt I made a good choice - I bought a middle range unit only to want to upgrade later. A little annoyed the K100D Super came out months later and included SDM compatibility.

The two key points, a majority of first time 'amateur' photographers and perspective buyers are deciding first off on price and second on features.

I talked to a friend at work yesterday and explained all the basics of settings of how a lens works to camera function. I then explained the difference between in-body stabilization and the extra cost of going with lens stabilization. He clearly stated he wanted something under $1000 CDN or closer to $800 and knew prior that lens stabilization is going to cost more in the long run. Pentax IMO is the only one to offer what I think would be decent but they still have a few quarks that prevent me from saying "Buy PENTAX without question". I did mention Sony and Oly as contenders.

That said, offering a SLR at the right price point and features that will appeal to first time buyers is what sells. Why do you think the Nikon D40 6.1MP and D40X 10MP are still among the TOP 2-3 SLR's sold through Amazon. A)They have the name to back it B)They've been on the market over a year and the price is low so people will grab it.
My friend is switching to a digital SLR soon, she's buying a Nikon as she has a film Nikon body which sees very little if no use - her reasoning is "Because Nikon is the Best" with no more mention than that, just blind truth.

If I could have have a small "entry level" 10MP camera with weather sealing or not, SR included, selling at around $550-600 that's an easy choice for me as I can look at the rest of the product line and say yeah, if I like this camera I'm definitely going to upgrade. Heck, I can't wait for Sept to see what's new because I have that 'entry level' camera that a business would like to see their customers upgrade from. It's like leasing a car and waiting for the next model to trade in - if you like the cheaper version (Features and Service) you often upgrade to something better.

-Greg

06-14-2008, 04:54 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Ken,

How is your A700? I considered getting one a little while back, but I ended up foregoing it and just used the $ to get some good Pentax glass instead...

I have heard and read that the A700 AF lock-on speed is class-leading, but that the IQ often leaves something to be desired, particularly at high ISO. Can you comment on that, or better yet, post some shots taken with the A700? Thanks!


.
Those are loaded questions and not easily answered. There are things I like better about the K10D but AF is certainly not one of them. The IQ at low ISO settings is about the same as the K10D, better resolution, not as clean. Really a toss up. Starting at ISO 800 the A700 takes the lead, cleaner throughout and more detail. ISO 3200 is very usable. I like the K10D better for static shots but when it comes to event shooting there is no comparison. I've been going out to the trotter track and practicing on them as they train. The AF lock and tracking are nothing short of amazing even with the old lenses I'm using.

I'm still learning the camera so nothing to post at this point. When I get some shots up on pbase I'll send you a PM.

Ken
06-14-2008, 07:12 AM   #21
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Pentax's current position in the DSLR wars is a difficult one. Fundamentally Pentax was very late in introducing a DSLR vis-a vis it's competitors. This has huge long term consequences as far as brand building, market share, pricing and technical expertise.

Indeed I find there are very close parallels with the disk drive industry where success favors the company that is quicker off the block in bringing a product to market. By being first, it can command a price premium, capture market share quicker, achieve break even production volumes quicker & thereby enjoy lower unit costs and recoup the initial investment faster.

By the time the competitor has played catch-up, the market leader can afford to reduce the selling price to undermine competitor's pricing, market share penetration and competitor profits; or introduced a better and newer upgraded version that leaves the competitors playing catch-up technically or left with excess inventory that is overpriced and unsold. That certainly has been the experience of Canon.

It is very difficult for Pentax to "keep up with the Joneses" with the likes of Canon and Nikon simply because it just doesn't have the market share nor corporate profits to begin with to play this game. This certainly applies to the budget DSLR segment where the market leaders need the sales volume to maintain marketshare. They want the PnS crowd to migrate to DSLRs as margins are better and they can afford to employ loss leader tactics to retain market share.

Even though their entry level DSLRs are priced low, they may continue to show a profit because they got the production numbers which equates to lower unit costs. Not so for Pentax who has still some way to go in making up the numbers in market share penetration and who can't match the likes of competitors like Sony in brand marketing. Hence the Pentax approach not to go this route is sound business strategy imo.

Today, there is little by way of brand loyalty because for the most part a lot of today's products are actually quite similar in spec and functionality and because today's consumer would just as easily switch brands and cameras in a heartbeat. While in the past many would faithfully stick with a favorite brand, today it is not un-common to hear of people switching brands (aka jumping ship) or having more than one brand. One only need to look at the members on this and other forums to bear evidence of this.

To end on a positive note, I cite the example of my observation of Pentax in Singapore. There are few stores where one can actually find a Pentax DSLR whereas if I wanted a Canon or Nikon, I can find one almost everywhere 24/7. Yet the number of Pentax users is surely growing in an environment where there is little by way of product availability nor marketing. This I attribute to having a product that is the best bang for the buck. It has attracted others to switch to Pentax. In my assessment, Pentax's sternest competitor is not Canon or Nikon but... Sony.
06-14-2008, 07:44 AM   #22
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If Pentax doesn't offer an entry level DSLR to compare with the D60 and the Rebels they are in trouble. I was in playing with the D60 vs a K200d and I was impressed with the Nikon. Now I am familiar with Nikon ergos so I didn't have an adjustment period to use the camera.

The D60 feels pretty nice and has a surprising degree of functionality and programability. It also has flaws, no non AF-s lenses, no in body SR etc. but it was far more responsive than the K200 and felt every bit as well built. After playing with the Nikon the Pentax felt blocky and slow in comparison. Id I were buying now it would be a tougher decision. If Nikon ever releases a VR AF-s normal prime the D60 would be an amazing travel cam.

The Canon felt like a toy, but was still pretty reasonable.
06-14-2008, 08:05 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxkat Quote
why buy a new camera? Get a used DS. Unless you need more resolution or want to do action its a great little camera.

No SR, but then the olympus doesn't have that either.

Pentaprism viewfinder almost as good as the old Super A/ME supers. Great for manual focusing. Small, compact, takes AA batteries.

Perfect travel camera. A lot of friends don't even realise its and SLR until I start changing lenses!

I laugh at all the poor reviews when it came out now. Its a cult classic IMO.
And I will third it, my DS and K100D with 35mm or 50mm (MF) primes are small and light weight, very handy and quite capable cameras. It would have been nice to see Pentax either retain the K100D super in the line priced to compete with the D40 or introduce a very slightly modified K100Ds to continue competing in the very bottom part of the market.

And I'll add, that if you check amazon, the K200d is in the top 10 bestselling DSLR cameras, and the K20D is in the top 25, at least when I checked this morning.

06-14-2008, 08:40 AM   #24
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Most Not True.

I cannot see how the K200D is better in features and specifications than the entry level DSLRs of C and N such as D60, 450D or even the new EOS 1000D, although it is true that the K200D is priced higher which is the only true statement which I can see. In contrast, the reverse is true.

Also, to make a P&S DSLR actually is not quite easy. At least, the camera or system itself needed to be performing accurately enough to let the jpegs to be usable directly out of the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by XMACHINA Quote
Nothing groundbreaking, but for those among us who have been speculating about the possibility that Pentax will be offering an "entry-level," low(er)-priced, compact, light-weight, digital equivalent of a K1000 to compliment those wonderful pancake lenses, you might want to note this part of the interview:
PRM: The Pentax K1000 was “the” student camera in the 1970s and ’80s. Are there any plans to try to recapture the younger market?
NB: I don’t think it’s relevant to compare the K1000 to what’s happening in the digital marketplace today—times are different. And, despite the fact that Pentax had great success with the K1000 in the ’70s and ’80s, as the photography student’s first SLR, when it was time to upgrade, many of them moved up to another brand. So we never gained a long-term relationship with these customers. With that in mind, we’re taking a different approach this year.

If you look at the K200D, which is priced at $799, we are clearly not positioning this as a bare-bones entry-level camera. While other companies are releasing lower cost DSLRs, they are very limited in the advanced features they offer. They’re really point-and-shoot cameras in an SLR body. What we tried to do in the K200D is to combine easy-to-use shooting modes and advanced camera features, all in one body, rather than going just for a price point. Our feeling is that someone who is new to using a DSLR can explore and expand their photography skills with our K200D. And as they become more accomplished as a photographer, they’ll appreciate all the advanced features they can take advantage of in the K200D, rather than having to buy a new camera body.
It would appear that the K200D is, and will remain for some time, your entry level Pentax DSLR. You may resume, without reservation, your consideration of the Olympus E-420 with the 25mm pancake.

I know I'm going to.

Photo Reporter - Photography Industry News

-XM
06-14-2008, 09:03 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
I cannot see how the K200D is better in features and specifications than the entry level DSLRs of C and N such as D60, 450D or even the new EOS 1000D, although it is true that the K200D is priced higher which is the only true statement which I can see. In contrast, the reverse is true.
You may have missed something then, indeed although it seems the only thing you do very well is being unhappy just about anything.
06-14-2008, 09:11 AM   #26
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OK, *ist DS fans:

I've considered acquiring an *ist DS (DS2 actually) for entirely different reasons. I've never touched and *ist, but I've (briefly) handled an E-410. The weight of the diminutive lithium-ion battery used in the E-410/420, compared to that of 4 AA batteries, makes for a dramatic difference.

But if you put the *ist suggestion in the context of the larger discussion: Pentax won't make a dime from the sale of used cameras. And I'm not clear on what makes Pentax so unique, if one is to believe Bunnell, as to not need a true entry-level model the way their competition obviously believes they do.

Again, if Bunnell's denial is not to be taken at face value, then obviously Pentax's ideas about the entry-level tier are consistent with those of the other manufacturers. Bunnell indicated otherwise, perhaps for the reasons suggested, and I'm making the choice to believe what he said.

If I'm wrong, I'll survive.

-XM

Last edited by XMACHINA; 06-14-2008 at 04:15 PM.
06-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #27
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For once I have to agree with RH. When I went from Nikon to the K100d it stood in an unique positon relative to the cameras of the other manufacturers. The K200 is right in the middle of the pack, it has some interesting features but so do each of its competitors.

The K200d is a great camera, but for an entry level buyer there are options that are as good for far less money.
06-14-2008, 09:43 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by XMACHINA Quote
If I'm wrong, I'll survive.

-XM
I don't think you are wrong. My guess is there will be a lot of surprised and dissatisfied people when the full direction is revealed. The days of Pentax being the "Best bang for your buck" are over. The new slogan will be something like "A different approach to photography and it's going to cost you". Pentax can't afford to follow the crowd and it seems they have realized this.

Don't hold your breath waiting for faster AF because I don't think it's coming. Low light metering is another matter. That may improve dramatically. Higher resolution, better DR, and cleaner images at low ISO settings will become the marketing buzz words.

That all may sound crazy and suicidal but reading between the lines of all the statements from Pentax officials points in that direction.

Ken
06-14-2008, 12:53 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote
And I will third it, my DS and K100D with 35mm or 50mm (MF) primes are small and light weight, very handy and quite capable cameras. It would have been nice to see Pentax either retain the K100D super in the line priced to compete with the D40 or introduce a very slightly modified K100Ds to continue competing in the very bottom part of the market.
I agree, having no "K1000D" at the moment they should have kept the K100D for the time being and sell it to compete with D40/rebel Xsi etc.
06-14-2008, 02:50 PM   #30
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I think most of us forget the period right before the introduction of K20D and K200D when the stock of older cameras was depleted and the factories were in process of retooling for the new ones. The simple fact is that Pentax HAS NOT THE FACILITIES to produce more cameras. They need to either invest in new factories or stay in a upper market with larger margins than the "very entry level" since they cannot make more than a certain number of units. All depends on how much Hoya wants to invest although I cannot help to think that Pentax is a very favourable position right now considering the alliance with Samsung for sensors and the rest of electronics in a camera and the fact that Hoya is arguably one of the largest optical glass producer in the world. And the Hoya input is visible IMO in the 6 different lenses launched from january. A more conclusive hint for the future may be the next lens roadmap. If there will be many additions and most of them D(F)A Ltds and D(F)A*s then it is obvious that a upper class body is next and maybe Pentax will resign to a niche market position.
Otherwise IMO to launch a K2000D as an entry level camera means automatically to upgrade the K200D to better specs especially in Mp count (12 maybe) and fps + buffer size. So we're looking at 2 new cameras not one if they are not done simultaneusly. All depends on how bad Samsung wants a biggers slice of DSLR pie and if they are so desperate to make a FF sensor only for bragging rights they better be ready to make a new CMOS 12 Mp APS-C sensor for the K200D succesor. This way Pentax could move all the K200D guts in a new smaller/lighter/simpler body and cram in the weather sealed body at very least a new sensor + a new gen Prime processor + larger buffer.

Radu
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