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09-28-2015, 04:04 PM   #676
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
It looks like most the 645Z shooters are also Canon owners.
I had not noticed that. Well, brand loyalty is fine. And a very good point about the service centers. Reviews of the 645z seem uniformly good, but at that price point you expect / deserve quality service and that is lacking, at least in the USA.
QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
And Ricoh had a lot of 645 lenses in inventory . . . . .
Also a very good point. Like I said, pushing out the 645z was a brilliant strategic move. The other guys might catch up eventually but it made them a lot more cautious and likely sold Ricoh some of that warehouse full of MF glass

09-28-2015, 05:44 PM   #677
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
It looks like most the 645Z shooters are also Canon owners. I bet they'd sell and use Canon's MFD in a heartbeat with Canon's pro service centers and all.
That might not be true for everyone, familiarity and comfort is very powerful when it comes to products.
09-29-2015, 12:53 AM - 1 Like   #678
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People don't read and don't listen. I already wrote that in 2014, Sony cranked-up their 300mm wafer fab line for silicon imagers. That means that the cost of full frame (24x36mm) image sensor is and is going to drop to the cost level of APSC sensors a few years ago. In other words, the full frame cameras are going to become the new mainstream, affordable cameras. The D610 and 6D and Pentax entry into FF area is a bold confirmation of this trend. I predict that within about 2 years, entry level full frame cameras (mirroless or DSLR) prices will drop to about 1200 euros or less. The so called "pro" camera of two years ago, are going to become the average consumer product. Pentax waiting to enter the FF was a good decision from PENTAX, but by the mess of the Ricoh acquisition, they did not include the development time in their FF introduction decision, so, they screwed-up their market entry by 2 years. The right time for Pentax full frame introduction was at the time of the D750 introduction. Pentax just lost about 30% of their business.
09-29-2015, 05:02 AM - 1 Like   #679
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
People don't read and don't listen. I already wrote that in 2014, Sony cranked-up their 300mm wafer fab line for silicon imagers. That means that the cost of full frame (24x36mm) image sensor is and is going to drop to the cost level of APSC sensors a few years ago. In other words, the full frame cameras are going to become the new mainstream, affordable cameras. The D610 and 6D and Pentax entry into FF area is a bold confirmation of this trend. I predict that within about 2 years, entry level full frame cameras (mirroless or DSLR) prices will drop to about 1200 euros or less. The so called "pro" camera of two years ago, are going to become the average consumer product. Pentax waiting to enter the FF was a good decision from PENTAX, but by the mess of the Ricoh acquisition, they did not include the development time in their FF introduction decision, so, they screwed-up their market entry by 2 years. The right time for Pentax full frame introduction was at the time of the D750 introduction. Pentax just lost about 30% of their business.
I really expected to see a Pentax FF at Photokina 2014. That was the perfect time. There were still holes in the FF market. Its not just increased production of wafers. For years there was a shortage of silicon pure enough for wafers. The more impurities in the silicon the more defects you had in wafers which drove up cost. About 5 years ago several new plants came online producing pure silicon and this helped drive down the raw materials cost and improve yields.

09-29-2015, 05:43 AM   #680
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Probably the largest population of full-time professional photographers in most countries are wedding photographers.

No wedding photog I have ever seen uses sports cameras like the 1Dx or D4s. It's all 5D3 or D700 or D800.
I happen to know of one wedding photog who uses 1DX for wedding , and his 5D3 as his backup.
09-29-2015, 09:45 AM - 2 Likes   #681
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
People don't read and don't listen. I already wrote that in 2014, Sony cranked-up their 300mm wafer fab line for silicon imagers
When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nall. There is no direct relationship between the cost of manufacturing a digital camera sensor and the sales success of a particular format. If the OEM cost of a 24 x 36 sensor is close to the cost of the sensor for smaller formats, it doesn't mean FF camera sales will overtake APS-C camera sales (or 1/2.3 for that matter). Who makes a camera buying decision based on the lowest cost per square mm of sensor?

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The so called "pro" camera of two years ago, are going to become the average consumer product
Has it occured to you that average consumers may not want to buy cameras with the same features as "pro" cameras currently on the market?

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Pentax just lost about 30% of their business.
You were able to determine this how? What FF business would Pentax have today if they had entered this market when the D750 was released?
09-29-2015, 11:28 AM   #682
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
You were able to determine this how? What FF business would Pentax have today if they had entered this market when the D750 was released?
Just looking into this. Since it is an interesting question. The D750 of Nikon was on exposure on Photokina and on sale almost directly. So that is now a little more then one year.

For Pentax in this time on sale where K-5Ii and K-5iis, but both were probably not in production any more. So just sales from inventory and both modes sold a lot less then thè original K-5. Also out of production and on sale where K-30 and Ķ-50, getting cheaper over time and clearing storehouses. The K-3 came in november 2013 to the market and was already getting cheaper. The K-3 Silver and Gunmetal did have some trouble to got sold out, but did. The launched K-S1 from Photokina was a desaster and didn't get much sales. The new camera models are the K-S2 and K-3ii. I don't think the K-3ii sales are great and we won't see a special model like Silver or so since selling those would be hard. The K-S2 is a nice camera to follow the steps of the K-50.

At the moment overhere K-50, K-S1, K-S2, K-3 and K-3ii are still in shops. So the K-30 got sold out at last.

http://www.cameranu.nl/nl/c722/digitale-cameras/pentax

Next to those also the 645D was on sale. Looks like it maybe still is, but not sure about that. The 645Z is on sale and it looks like to have a market.

So how would a 24 megapixels full frame Pentax K-1 fit in to this story. Well probably that would have been the best selling model if the price was right. So a K-1 with all the internals of K-3/645Z and priced at 1.999 euro that would have made it good for Pentax.

Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 09-29-2015 at 11:48 AM.
09-29-2015, 01:23 PM   #683
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nall. There is no direct relationship between the cost of manufacturing a digital camera sensor and the sales success of a particular format. If the OEM cost of a 24 x 36 sensor is close to the cost of the sensor for smaller formats, it doesn't mean FF camera sales will overtake APS-C camera sales (or 1/2.3 for that matter). Who makes a camera buying decision based on the lowest cost per square mm of sensor?
You are perfectly correct, as you wrote, the is no direct relationship between the cost of manufacturing a digital camera sensor and the sales success of a particular format. The relationship between the two is indirect, there are other elements, including the price elasticity of demand, which is most likely non-linear.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Has it occured to you that average consumers may not want to buy cameras with the same features as "pro" cameras currently on the market?
Thanks for making the distinction, cameras targeted at pros are designed differently, with specific features. What I meant was in fact that the expectations of consumers have increased, some of the characteristics of the "pro" camera are offered to consumers. I wrote my sentence in response to Nicolas claiming that pro cameras did have a popup flash (stating the D610, 6D, 5D and 7D etc). So, when reading earlier post, my point was in fact that the so called D610, D750 and even 5D and 7D are mostly targeted at consumers, and for pros, I was considering medium format such as Pentax 645z, Phase One, Mamyia and D4s and 1Dx. And since there seem to be no contradiction, between what I wrote and what you wrote, I also started my message with "people don't read and don't listen" :-)

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
You were able to determine this how? What FF business would Pentax have today if they had entered this market when the D750 was released?
Good question. What I had in mind are the notion of product life cycle (PLC) and the net present value calculated from discounted cash flows. Please consider a product having a life cycle of 4 years (I estimate that currently, FF DSLR cameras have a longer life cycle compared to APSC DSLR cameras, for instance the 5DII had a life cycle of approx. 4 years), add an delay of 18 months for the product introduction, that's 1.5/4 = 37.5% (30% was optimistic). Marketing talk is about the early adopters, mainstream and laggards. Pentax skipped the early FF adopters (5D, D700 etc) but they've eaten some of their mainstream as well, because the sales of FF cameras really started to take off somewhere during the life of the 5DII, that was released in 2008, already seven years ago. Pentax enter the market when Pentax are ready with their resources and when they exhausted the sales of their APSC line, which is a good thing, but success come from two things: offering the right product and offering this product at the right time, enter the market at the right time (when customers minds have been educated to certain features that they think they need, offer the product in line with expectations) and then, selling is a peace of cake ! But enter the market too early or too late, then the efforts (costs) of selling increases way beyond what the product costed to manufacture.


Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-29-2015 at 03:05 PM.
09-29-2015, 02:57 PM   #684
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Probably the largest population of full-time professional photographers in most countries are wedding photographers.

No wedding photog I have ever seen uses sports cameras like the 1Dx or D4s. It's all 5D3 or D700 or D800.
The photographer for our daughter's wedding used a D4. Not sure of her backup though it might have been a D700.
09-29-2015, 04:58 PM   #685
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Well, you can go to work in a Ferrari, but it's not likely to get you there any faster than a lesser car.

How is a D4 better for a wedding shoot than say, a D810?
09-29-2015, 06:28 PM   #686
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well probably that would have been the best selling model
You are probably right, but for a different reason. The vast majority of Pentax cameras and lenses are sold to people who have owned Pentax products in the past. Anything significantly improved from what those people currently own or previously unavailable except in a different brand is likely to be a best-seller. The K-S1 was targeted at people without any Pentax experience and as you said, it wasn't a best-seller.

The cost of switching to a different brand of photographic equipment is much greater than the price differential for equivalent products, so a new Pentax FF camera doesn't have to have a price advantage compared to other brands. It just has to be affordable to enough customers with Pentax experience to justify the expense of bringing it to market. It also has to be close enough in features and performance to those other brands to overcome any jealousy felt by Pentax owners towards owners of other brands. Otherwise, Pentax owners will stick with what they have. A Pentax FF camera would have to have a huge feature advantage compared to Canon or Nikon to convince those owners to switch. Even if Pentax FF bodies were free to Nikon or Canon owners, it wouldn't be enough to convince them to switch.

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
in fact that the expectations of consumers have increased, some of the characteristics of the "pro" camera are offered to consumers
This is only potentially true if you only look at consumers of interchangeable lens cameras, which is rapidly becoming a niche market. The expectations of the other billions of camera users have dropped so low they think an iPhone camera has "pro" features.
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
full frame cameras are going to become the new mainstream, affordable cameras
What you seem to be missing is that most of the customers for "pro" level cameras are not professional photographers. If the market for FF interchangeable lens cameras was restricted to customers who need a FF camera to earn their living, Nikon, Canon and Sony wouldn't have invested in new FF models. Canon and Nikon would just keep making enough of the old, classic models to replace any that get worn out or lost. Since there is no existing base of FF Pentax users, Ricoh would be foolish to develop their own. The current market for FF cameras consists primarily of consumers who equate "full frame" with "pro". If you make FF average, those consumers will want something "better."
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Marketing talk is about the early adopters, mainstream and laggards
If you understood more about marketing, you would realize that DSLRs are mature, aspirational products and the four year product cycle you are extrapolating to a Pentax FF camera is based on adding new features to a well-established product category in order to get current owners of DSLRs to move up to higher-value products instead of waiting for what they currently own to become obsolete or inoperable. A new entrant into this type of market can release their offering at any time during the life cycle of a competitive product (which are staggered anyway, it isn't as if the entire camera industry releases new versions of the same category of product all in the same year).
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
enter the market too early or too late, then the efforts (costs) of selling increases way beyond what the product costed to manufacture.
This would only be true if a 24 x 36 sensor allowed photography that simply isn't possible with other sizes of sensor and every manufacturer of FF cameras is capable of offering the same features to all customers.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that FF cameras don't appeal to a mass market. Even if Canon included a free smartphone with every 5D, they aren't going to ever sell 500 million of them. The only reason the ratio of FF to APS-C sales has changed over the past few years is because virtually everyone in the world who wants a DSLR has one, so there aren't enough new DSLR consumers buying entry level APS-C cameras to keep up with the existing DSLR owners who want to upgrade to FF because it makes them feel like they are better photographers. It doesn't matter how cheap FF cameras become, it won't result in a boom in stand-alone camera sales.

To get back on topic, the only way Ricoh loses out on FF business by delaying its release is if current Pentax owners who had serious intentions to buy the FF camera finally give up and spend their money on a competitor's system. I'm sure a few of those people exist, but not enough of them to make it worthwhile to produce a FF camera in the first place. That applied a year old and it still applies today.
09-29-2015, 08:53 PM   #687
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
Well, you can go to work in a Ferrari, but it's not likely to get you there any faster than a lesser car.

How is a D4 better for a wedding shoot than say, a D810?
It can focus quicker on a runaway bride!

---------- Post added 09-30-2015 at 02:01 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Just looking into this. Since it is an interesting question. The D750 of Nikon was on exposure on Photokina and on sale almost directly. So that is now a little more then one year.

For Pentax in this time on sale where K-5Ii and K-5iis, but both were probably not in production any more. So just sales from inventory and both modes sold a lot less then thè original K-5. Also out of production and on sale where K-30 and Ķ-50, getting cheaper over time and clearing storehouses. The K-3 came in november 2013 to the market and was already getting cheaper. The K-3 Silver and Gunmetal did have some trouble to got sold out, but did. The launched K-S1 from Photokina was a desaster and didn't get much sales. The new camera models are the K-S2 and K-3ii. I don't think the K-3ii sales are great and we won't see a special model like Silver or so since selling those would be hard. The K-S2 is a nice camera to follow the steps of the K-50.

At the moment overhere K-50, K-S1, K-S2, K-3 and K-3ii are still in shops. So the K-30 got sold out at last.

http://www.cameranu.nl/nl/c722/digitale-cameras/pentax

Next to those also the 645D was on sale. Looks like it maybe still is, but not sure about that. The 645Z is on sale and it looks like to have a market.

So how would a 24 megapixels full frame Pentax K-1 fit in to this story. Well probably that would have been the best selling model if the price was right. So a K-1 with all the internals of K-3/645Z and priced at 1.999 euro that would have made it good for Pentax.

Ron, honestly, you are making too much sense. PF cannot endure this.
Of course you are right — Ricoh simply cannot comprehend that it cannot sell cheapo cameras like K-S1 with less features and with ultra-odd looks at a price previously held by their own APS-C flagship! Now, to compensate for K-S1 failure and for K-S2 better absorption in the market, they are devaluating K-3 below the zone of common sense.

That's the problem: once a company over-exaggerate the value of one inferior product, then a company must suffer and under-valuate its premium product — only one left to sell. And Ricoh thinks that's a strategy?!

No wonder you sold all the Pentax gear recently. In nothing else, Ricoh should read more such stories like yours, and pull their heads out of sand they've been stuck for the last 4 years. One more ingenious stunt (*) like that hey will fall below 3% of the DSLR market. Then how will they justify any new development of anything relying on what userbase?

* First stunt was the featureless K-01 sold at premium intro price. Second was postponing of the K-3 for a year and issuing K5II instead (when everyone thought Ricoh may be working on an FF). That was mismanagement of expectations. Third was the K-S1 — mismanagement of both looks and pricing. K3II, again, pulls the same trick as K5II, but this time with worse results because same trick cannot work twice. Current mismanagement of the FF project is on the good track to be the fifth, and most likely final stunt, to help them completely retract from the market. Because the FF is both mismanagement of expectations, and an open problem with sincerity of the brand about its promises. With these problems lined up together, we notice an odd pattern of a total miscommunication and misunderstanding of the market, strange play with new products which are but rebadged old with a new price, something which has never been present in Pentax alone, but has emerged with Ricoh's ownership.

Last edited by Uluru; 09-29-2015 at 09:17 PM.
09-29-2015, 11:32 PM   #688
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
The cost of switching to a different brand of photographic equipment is much greater than the price differential for equivalent products, so a new Pentax FF camera doesn't have to have a price advantage compared to other brands.
I read you post and you provide valid market specific elements while I was mostly generalizing. One thing where I'm completely wrong is I assume zero cost of brand switching. That's true that the cost of switching to another brand is higher if , for instance, the Pentax FF system components are not priced too differently from competition. There's also brand loyalty, what we like in a brand etc... the interchangeable lens camera market in indeed not as free as it seems.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
It also has to be close enough in features and performance to those other brands to overcome any jealousy felt by Pentax owners towards owners of other brands.
That's clear, unless competition offers much better feature, perf. or price than Pentax, it is hard to justify the spending to switch to another brand, except is we anyway have to buy new lenses and new camera as we would do if we would switch. That situation depends on per user, depending on what he already has in terms of FF compatible lenses. If I would not already have a few FF lenses, I'm not sure I would not switch. Some Pentax users have nearly no FF compatible lenses in K mount, some other users have a lot of FF film era lenses... It's not black and white, I agree.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
A new entrant into this type of market can release their offering at any time during the life cycle of a competitive product
Yes anyone can enter a mature market, but this seldom result in success except if the new entrant offer a radically different product / value in which case (Sony with the A7), customer already being engaged would switch. I remember of success and failure when in my marketing function. What worked was radical product change to beat the mainstream offerings, in other cases we failed to penetrate the market, even with better value proposition, customers were used to and content with their current supplier, so they find all kind of objections to avoid the cost of changing from one supplier to another. Unless the Pentax FF system is a radical departure from Canon and Nikon offering, nobody from Canon and Nikon will switch to Pentax. The Pentax FF quantities will be limited to Pentax user base, Pentax being stuck in that low market share channel, and the only way to generate revenue in the channel is the price the FF high, in which case the cost of switching to another brand might not be higher than the cost of upgrading to a Pentax FF system.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
It doesn't matter how cheap FF cameras become, it won't result in a boom in stand-alone camera sales.
Ah! Lets take the Nikon's actual case. I know a number of Nikon APSC users who did not want to spend the amount of money for a D800/D810, however, when Nikon introduced the D600, D610 and D750, a lot of them upgraded with one of these camera models. There is psychological price threshold, something like $2000, that the average citizen in USA, Europe and Japan, can afford. No matter how you turn it, a full frame (like our former 24x36 film standard) priced at less than $2000 becomes affordable to a lot of people. I believe Nikon did a good job at crafting an offering that address the most of their serviceable market. Sony A7 was case of offer low price, FF sensor camera in a small body and it kind of worked...

To sum this up, I think that there are generic strategies that generally work and domain specifics that mitigate their successes or failures. The difference being using domain specifics approaches (tactical) to fight against global trends is much harder then having a pertinent strategy to begin with. That being said, there only a few stars out there and a lot more dogs in survival mode. I can see the difference between working for a top 10 industry player and third tier player, the top 10 players bet more on strategy less on tight cost daily executions, the last tier are struggling forever with survival tactics.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-29-2015 at 11:41 PM.
09-30-2015, 03:05 AM   #689
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I read you post and you provide valid market specific elements while I was mostly generalizing. One thing where I'm completely wrong is I assume zero cost of brand switching. That's true that the cost of switching to another brand is higher if , for instance, the Pentax FF system components are not priced too differently from competition. There's also brand loyalty, what we like in a brand etc... the interchangeable lens camera market in indeed not as free as it seems.


That's clear, unless competition offers much better feature, perf. or price than Pentax, it is hard to justify the spending to switch to another brand, except is we anyway have to buy new lenses and new camera as we would do if we would switch. That situation depends on per user, depending on what he already has in terms of FF compatible lenses. If I would not already have a few FF lenses, I'm not sure I would not switch. Some Pentax users have nearly no FF compatible lenses in K mount, some other users have a lot of FF film era lenses... It's not black and white, I agree.


Yes anyone can enter a mature market, but this seldom result in success except if the new entrant offer a radically different product / value in which case (Sony with the A7), customer already being engaged would switch. I remember of success and failure when in my marketing function. What worked was radical product change to beat the mainstream offerings, in other cases we failed to penetrate the market, even with better value proposition, customers were used to and content with their current supplier, so they find all kind of objections to avoid the cost of changing from one supplier to another. Unless the Pentax FF system is a radical departure from Canon and Nikon offering, nobody from Canon and Nikon will switch to Pentax. The Pentax FF quantities will be limited to Pentax user base, Pentax being stuck in that low market share channel, and the only way to generate revenue in the channel is the price the FF high, in which case the cost of switching to another brand might not be higher than the cost of upgrading to a Pentax FF system.


Ah! Lets take the Nikon's actual case. I know a number of Nikon APSC users who did not want to spend the amount of money for a D800/D810, however, when Nikon introduced the D600, D610 and D750, a lot of them upgraded with one of these camera models. There is psychological price threshold, something like $2000, that the average citizen in USA, Europe and Japan, can afford. No matter how you turn it, a full frame (like our former 24x36 film standard) priced at less than $2000 becomes affordable to a lot of people. I believe Nikon did a good job at crafting an offering that address the most of their serviceable market. Sony A7 was case of offer low price, FF sensor camera in a small body and it kind of worked...

To sum this up, I think that there are generic strategies that generally work and domain specifics that mitigate their successes or failures. The difference being using domain specifics approaches (tactical) to fight against global trends is much harder then having a pertinent strategy to begin with. That being said, there only a few stars out there and a lot more dogs in survival mode. I can see the difference between working for a top 10 industry player and third tier player, the top 10 players bet more on strategy less on tight cost daily executions, the last tier are struggling forever with survival tactics.
One can slice and dice this in minute detail but the effects are perhaps limited to mainland Japan? Where I live (and I suspect through much of Europe and perhaps North America too) Pentax has a presence so modest that they could launch a 120mpx solid gold chicken tied to a space rocket and not all that many beyond existing Pentax owners would pick up on it enough to go "wow, interesting, chick it out". Marketing, sir, marketing, endorsements, relations with retailers, brand ambassadors who command the respect and esteem of their peers. Without a bit more of that one is just counting grains of sand. I really hope Ricoh use the arrival of an FF to announce some overseas service centres (or, anyway, boosted pro support stuff) and a general upping of the game of Making Your Presence Known. Otherwise, the new FF may be a camera that does well in Japan but kind of disappears in the rest of the world because it was never given a chance to appear in the first place. Everyone wants it to do well but likely it'll need a little help.

Last edited by mecrox; 09-30-2015 at 04:13 AM.
09-30-2015, 03:10 AM   #690
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Unless the Pentax FF system is a radical departure from Canon and Nikon offering, nobody from Canon and Nikon will switch to Pentax. The Pentax FF quantities will be limited to Pentax user base, Pentax being stuck in that low market share channel, and the only way to generate revenue in the channel is the price the FF high, in which case the cost of switching to another brand might not be higher than the cost of upgrading to a Pentax FF system.
There's an implication here I strongly disagree with: that the Pentax user base is limiting, while 'stealing' Canon/Nikon users is enabling. But it's the other way around.
The mistake here is considering the user base as a static concept. We only have X users, X being a small quantity, there's nothing we can do about it so we have to find something else. Nope. There is something that can be done: grow X. Grow the user base. It's not a short term solution but it's the best.

The trouble with stealing Canon/Nikon users is that you have to offer them something significant over what they already have, and that's a very difficult task. Except for people e.g. preferring a lighter DSLR, Pentax' ergonomics etc.
The same mechanism means it's much more easier to keep your current customers (because they would only migrate if they perceive they would get something significant over what they already have).

In this light, it makes less sense to ask if the FF would be a radical departure from Canon and Nikon offering. Is it a radical departure from Pentax offering? And the obvious answer: nope, it can't be, that would make us unhappy. It has to be a Pentax - because that's what we were waiting for - and it has to be "better" in some ways. That's all.
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