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08-14-2015, 11:50 AM   #301
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
So -- in order to compete Ricoh needs to solve the Sports/Action problems, invest millions of dollars in a tiny slice of a small market segment, and buy leading professional photographers, all so consumers will ask B&M retailers to compare Canon and Nikon to Pentax - otherwise PentaxIsDoomed™?
Here is One problem. Almost all markets are niche for Pentax or Ricoh products. Wheater it's sports, wildlife, streetcandid, family or you name it. So no area is of special interest for advertising or for showing your quality. And there you have your Pentax media strategy over the past decade.......non-excisting.

08-14-2015, 12:30 PM   #302
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Existing and hopefully (as shown by the ongoing indian market penetration) developping Pentax's business in our world with such an "handicap" is therefore much of a success, and i find it more rewarding and valuable than what the rest of the actors do.
08-14-2015, 02:09 PM   #303
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
So no area is of special interest for advertising or for showing your quality.
Pentax is about the image, and the experience of making the image. That's the niche.

The marketing failure lies in allowing the market to evaluate Pentax on the basis of the CaNikon market definition. If you want the flash sync, fine - stop whining and go get a Nikon. If you must have tracking AF and 10 fps, fine - stop whining and go get a Canon. If you want snob appeal, fine - go get a Leica. If you want an expensive, over-hyped, hipster accessory, fine - stop braying about mirrorless, stop whining and go get a Sony.

If you want the image and the ergonomics and the weather sealing and the Limiteds and the optics and the legacy, sell your other gear and come get a Pentax. But Ricoh has to start telling people they should want the image and the ergonomics and the weather sealing and the Limiteds and the optics and the legacy.
08-14-2015, 03:05 PM   #304
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Here is One problem. Almost all markets are niche for Pentax or Ricoh products. Wheater it's sports, wildlife, streetcandid, family or you name it. So no area is of special interest for advertising or for showing your quality. And there you have your Pentax media strategy over the past decade.......non-excisting.
I don't think I quite understand what you're saying there, Ron. It's quite clear to me that the point of difference established for Pentax products that gets them identified with a niche market segment is the weather sealing and light weight (or compactness) that targets photographers who work outdoors in difficult or remote conditions. That's a fairly specific market segment to be targetting, unlike previous campaigns I can remember, which were very general, such as the "Eyes of Pentax" that identified the lenses as the point of difference (where, of course, it was making a claim that was a lot harder to validate when comparing it to the opposition products).

Nikon's current marketing, by comparison, establishes no individual segment at all, and no point of difference (I Am - All Things to All People) but it's probably successful for them in a perverse way because it lets the individual fill in the gaps and identify themselves with whatever they want to see in a Nikon product. It only works, though, because it's done in a broad saturation campaign, and it can only work like that, ie by spending a very large amount of money.

If you can accuse Ricoh of anything, it's not that they haven't identified their market, let alone not produced a marketing strategy, but that they haven't spent a pile of money on broadcasting it.

08-14-2015, 03:55 PM - 1 Like   #305
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Pentax is about the image, and the experience of making the image. That's the niche.

The marketing failure lies in allowing the market to evaluate Pentax on the basis of the CaNikon market definition. If you want the flash sync, fine - stop whining and go get a Nikon. If you must have tracking AF and 10 fps, fine - stop whining and go get a Canon. If you want snob appeal, fine - go get a Leica. If you want an expensive, over-hyped, hipster accessory, fine - stop braying about mirrorless, stop whining and go get a Sony.

If you want the image and the ergonomics and the weather sealing and the Limiteds and the optics and the legacy, sell your other gear and come get a Pentax. But Ricoh has to start telling people they should want the image and the ergonomics and the weather sealing and the Limiteds and the optics and the legacy.
Sorry, but that's oversimplifying things. "If you want the image"? Millions of pros, amateurs etc. shoot with Canon or Nikon. I can asure you that among them are some excellent photographers that do "get the image".

I mean, what you typed may be fine as a marketing story. But it's not reality, not by a long shot. Not even when it comes to weather sealing, except for the entry-level market. The limiteds are nice, and that could be a reason for someone to choose Pentax. But in all honesty, you can "get the image" with a DA* as well. Or if you're a street photographer, you may want to get the image with a mirrorless system camera.

Pentax has strengths and weaknesses, just like Canon and Nikon. No one is better than the other, and all are perfectly capable of getting the image.
08-14-2015, 03:58 PM   #306
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You should read monocrome more carefully. He did not write what you suppose he did. You may be the oversimplifyer when you remove half his sentence.
08-14-2015, 04:08 PM   #307
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glorfindelrb Quote
You should read monocrome more carefully. He did not write what you suppose he did. You may be the oversimplifyer when you remove half his sentence.
I may not see things as he does, but this is what I choose to make of his post. Maybe I'm missing his point. Could be.
08-14-2015, 04:15 PM   #308
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I may not see things as he does, but this is what I choose to make of his post. Maybe I'm missing his point. Could be.
"get the image " is the idea of Ricoh marketing, not the purpose of the camera itself

08-14-2015, 04:26 PM   #309
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My sense is that money is not the (only) limiting factor in Pentax marketing. From what I can tell, imagination, flexibility, risk-taking, and other factors are just as problematic.
08-15-2015, 01:06 AM   #310
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QuoteOriginally posted by virusn3t Quote
"get the image " is the idea of Ricoh marketing, not the purpose of the camera itself
I still don't quite follow how we got on the subject of marketing, but ok.
08-15-2015, 01:25 AM   #311
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Pentax is about the image, and the experience of making the image. That's the niche.

The marketing failure lies in allowing the market to evaluate Pentax on the basis of the CaNikon market definition. If you want the flash sync, fine - stop whining and go get a Nikon. If you must have tracking AF and 10 fps, fine - stop whining and go get a Canon. If you want snob appeal, fine - go get a Leica. If you want an expensive, over-hyped, hipster accessory, fine - stop braying about mirrorless, stop whining and go get a Sony.

If you want the image and the ergonomics and the weather sealing and the Limiteds and the optics and the legacy, sell your other gear and come get a Pentax. But Ricoh has to start telling people they should want the image and the ergonomics and the weather sealing and the Limiteds and the optics and the legacy.
Local website uses the tag "5 reasons to use Pentax": tough construction, range of APS-C lenses, small size of lenses, choice of colour schemes and IBIS. Beyond the front page for example there is the new KS-2 Sports Collection but this refers not to features but only to sporty body colours. I don't see much about the experience of making an image unless that means "Sharing Life's Adventures" social media stylee using the KS-2's wifi. Thing is, we are all looking at this from the K3 kind of level, i.e. quite serious, whereas Ricoh are taking a much broader view across the whole range with a hefty element of teen/youngster lifestyle stuff included.

I always liked the "field camera" approach which is quite near what it all adds up to, imho, and the use of the 645 to settle the IQ argument once and for all, but they seem to have taken a back seat these days. Probably too retro and upmarket since the K3 and 645 are only elements in a much broader portfolio. I expect those approaches are still there but one would need to drill down to find them. All things to all people ("Sweet Colours") is nearer the mark as of today. The question I'd ask is whether marketing each element in the range as if it has scant connection with any other is a plus or a minus. What does it all add up to?

I suspect that to huge numbers of buyers and anyone under around 30-40, legacy doesn't mean anything. Legacy what?

Last edited by mecrox; 08-15-2015 at 03:21 AM.
08-15-2015, 02:30 AM   #312
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I suspect that to huge numbers of buyers and anyone under around 30-40, legacy doesn't mean anything. Legacy what?
It does mean something but not in the same way. For some, buying into an old respected legacy system has a resonance. Ricoh could use that.
However, if the reasoning (marketing) is 'we're an old brand', then it's dead. Of course. It is just the way you (Ricoh in this case) 'spin' it.

---------- Post added 15-08-15 at 10:30 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I still don't quite follow how we got on the subject of marketing, but ok.
Ron is the culprit here I think.
08-15-2015, 02:46 AM   #313
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Actually, the term "tracking AF" has nothing to do with predicting where the focus should be in the future. Tracking AF means that the light metering sensor is tied into the AF system, so that the AF system can determine if the subject (based on shape, color, etc from the light metering sensor) has moved inside your frame, and if it has, what AF point should be activated to accurately focus on that subject. This way, your subject can be followed across the frame, as demonstrated in the Youtube vid I posted.

Small AF points also help here. Because then there's less of a chance that the active AF point, as determined by the light metering sensor information, focuses on something else. Algorithms may also help here, and settings such as the AF hold option.

I think that you basically need a better predictive algorithm if your lens focuses slower, in order to get the same results, assuming that your subject moves predictably.

Anyway, my niece was on a swing, constantly moving back and forth. I'd say it doesn't get a whole lot more predictable than that. (Or maybe they need to invent swings that only move forward?)
I just haven't had that much problem.

This is with the DA *55 (one of the slowest lenses I have to auto focus).





(on the second photo, there is some loss of sharpness due to my shutter speed being 1/100 second, but the auto focus has no trouble keeping up with my kids riding bikes)...
08-15-2015, 03:18 AM   #314
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I suspect that to huge numbers of buyers and anyone under around 30-40, legacy doesn't mean anything. Legacy what?
I'll give Ricoh/Pentax credit for trying rather hard to bring this younger demographics to use a more serious camera (than that smart phone, action, or compact kind of cameras).

Their K-01, laughed at K-S1, better received K-S2, even Q and Theta can all be seen as attempts to break the vicious circle of the aging SLR demographics.

They may not have earned much success yet, but at least they try harder than does the competition which stops at retro styling. So, it may well be that some day, Pentax lands the next big thing in camera land. Who knows ...
08-15-2015, 04:37 AM   #315
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
It does mean something but not in the same way. For some, buying into an old respected legacy system has a resonance. Ricoh could use that.
I know a professional photographer who is approximately my age (34). She shoots Nikon and she really likes the idea of the Df (don't know if she likes the Df itself, since some think it's not so well implemented), because it feels like a pure old-school photographic tool. These retro cameras are a way to remind photographers of the legacy of a brand, and that does have a certain appeal, at least to some.

Pentax is not the only brand which has a legacy, but bringing out a digital ME Super or something like that may help prospective buyers notice the brand more. For many people, the name "Pentax" is associated with old cameras, and that's part of the reason they are more inclined to buying Canon or Nikon. A camera like this may do several important things: help notice the brand, connect the legacy to modern-day cameras, so that the perception of those other cameras is also changed.

But they have to make it right, and I think that's not easy. If you leave out things like AF, you can make it smaller like the original ME Super, and drop the price. But will it be of interest to enough people? OTOH, if you put more features in, the camera probably needs to get bigger (also because of the battery), and you can make it more expensive, but it won't look like the original anymore. That's probably how you end up with a Df.

Anyway, they should leave out the Marc Newson design and fancy colors.

QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
However, if the reasoning (marketing) is 'we're an old brand', then it's dead. Of course. It is just the way you (Ricoh in this case) 'spin' it.
I sometimes think that maybe Pentax needs to reinvent itself. They have been trying to do that, but maybe they need to make bolder moves, like dropping the K-mount. Right now they're going to release a fullframe with some expensive lenses. But I wonder if it will be successful. The lenses cost about the same as the CaNikon equivalents, yet they have no stabilisation (IBIS will not stabilise the AF and light metering sensor) and from what I've seen, the DC AF motor is still a bit slower. So I don't think we will see a lot of people switching to Pentax because of that fullframe. I see the fullframe as an attempt to satisfy those already with the brand, and keep them from switching (e.g. "playing to the base"). The question than becomes, is that enough of a market for that fullframe line-up. And the second, more important question, is if it is the right course for Pentax in the long run.

OTOH, Pentax could be bold instead of conservative. They could drop the K-mount, go mirrorless, put the old-school brand logo back on the cameras (like on the K-01). True, this would not be revolutionary or anything, but it would attract attention. The logo would also help connect the cameras to the legacy, and the new tech would help make it believable. I really think they could be quite successful, if they do it right. Part of this re-invention could be to include really good wifi support, because I think that's where a lot of brands are still lacking. It should be easy to post a photo on e.g. social media, straight from an app, without first manually transferring the image to the phone.

But they need to understand the market, and use their imagination.

Last edited by starbase218; 08-15-2015 at 04:47 AM.
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