Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-12-2017, 06:46 PM   #166
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Bend, IN, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,288
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
RGlasel is right. Whether the standalone camera market is "saturated" or "steady" doesn't change the issue that the only way Pentax could succeed in MILC is to produce something that makes non-Pentax owners switch to Pentax MILC. Pentax would need to beat Sony, Fuji, Oly, etc. on some combination of features, performance, ergonomics, and price. Just creating a Pentax K-mount-compatible MILC isn't going to attract a bunch of non-Pentax owners because non-Pentax owners don't care about K-mount and those MILC owners that want to use older lenses from other brands can already do that.

Introducing a MILC seems like a very expensive and risky move especially given what happened with the Q and K-01.

In contrast, Pentax clearly can produce successful DSLRs and has a decent portfolio of lenses for their DSLRs -- that's their strength. Maybe if DSLRs continue to decline in total sales, there may come a time to switch. And maybe that time will never come if some photographers continue to prefer DSLRs and Pentax continues to make money on that niche.
My view all along has been that MILC would be a defensive position for Pentax, insurance against the lower-tier market {the one currently dominated by Canon Rebels} tilting quickly away from DSLR and into MILC. Much market development is based on photographers staying within a brand; if the lower-tier tilted into MILC and Pentax had no MILC, they would expect to have more trouble getting people to try their upper-tier products.

And, yes, the market may be "steady" but it is never "still"; if nothing else, some of us are constantly shuffling off this earth, and the camera companies are hoping young people will replace us.

04-13-2017, 02:37 PM   #167
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Since that thread is closed, this one has a chance to be king of the hill again.

All I'm going to say is that for a new Pentax or Ricoh mirrorless camera to come out in the new global camera business environment, it has to offer something that isn't already available, either to current Pentax users or to users of other camera brands. There has to be something compelling about it that either displaces what is already on the market or creates a new untapped market.

Pentax has already tried an APS-C MILC that natively supports K-mount lenses. It failed and adding newer sensors and an EVF to a next generation K-01 offers nothing compelling to users of competing MILC cameras or to Pentax DSLR users (who have already decided that they prefer DSLRs). Pentax has already tried a very compact MILC with its own lens mount, the Q system is in suspended animation right now
This kind of thinking doesn't work because it mean you never do anything. And the recent pas show this type of thinking can be easily defeated. Pentax failed on FF digital back in time and now there K1 that everybody love. It failed on SDM and now we have fast DFA lenses.

Sometime the idea is fundamentally wrong but other than Pentax (Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic) have all shown you can make a business out of a mirrorless camera, so Pentax likely can too. Is it worth it? That's another issue...

But for K-01 to work an EVF was mandatory as well as great on sensor AF and maybe the toy like design was not the best possible one. We know the K01 had none of theses features and as such couldn't really sell well.

Has Pentax the willingness to invest the R&D for nice on sensor AF + EVF and a business case for either a new mount or K-mount, that for them to see.

I personnally see a point having many small APSC and FF lenses that wouldn't necessarily win on ultimate sharpness but that could make a same and quite good compact system with the strength to share between your DSLR and mirrorless body keeping all the automation like great AF.
04-13-2017, 10:25 PM - 1 Like   #168
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2015
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,132
QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
This kind of thinking doesn't work because it mean you never do anything. And the recent pas show this type of thinking can be easily defeated. Pentax failed on FF digital back in time and now there K1 that everybody love. It failed on SDM and now we have fast DFA lenses.
yes, i think you are right. Important to make business decisions is to understand why a product failed, and based on the answer decide to stop or correct and continue.
For example, Pentax got burned with they first FF camera and stopped for many years, their first bad experience distorted their view of how things are, and in business, the view should be as close as possible to reality (unbiased) in order to make the decisions right. Same with the K01, they tried the concept, failed and dumped the whole thing instead of use the lessons learned to adapt the product. I can see that Fuji and Sony made bold decisions and had the determination to continue to realize their vision. Pentax stays on what they were doing, focusing on short term finance. But sometimes there are breakthrough tech, and one my miss the boat all together.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
But for K-01 to work an EVF was mandatory as well as great on sensor AF and maybe the toy like design was not the best possible one.
Spot on. The advantage of the K01 is you can use it as a travel camera with K mount ltd lenses you already own, but using its shiny back display outdoors in spring or summer , is just a pain. EVF solves this problem without taking much space.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 04-13-2017 at 10:37 PM.
04-14-2017, 06:00 AM - 3 Likes   #169
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,981
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
yes, i think you are right. Important to make business decisions is to understand why a product failed, and based on the answer decide to stop or correct and continue.
For example, Pentax got burned with they first FF camera and stopped for many years, their first bad experience distorted their view of how things are, and in business, the view should be as close as possible to reality (unbiased) in order to make the decisions right. Same with the K01, they tried the concept, failed and dumped the whole thing instead of use the lessons learned to adapt the product. I can see that Fuji and Sony made bold decisions and had the determination to continue to realize their vision. Pentax stays on what they were doing, focusing on short term finance. But sometimes there are breakthrough tech, and one my miss the boat all together.


Spot on. The advantage of the K01 is you can use it as a travel camera with K mount ltd lenses you already own, but using its shiny back display outdoors in spring or summer , is just a pain. EVF solves this problem without taking much space.
What you say is true about the boldness of others in committing to MILC but that's now in the past. And yet there remains the question of what Pentax should do given both the realities of the K-mount design and the now-established MILC marketplace.

A K-mount MILC body will never be as compact as a Sony or Fuji body. K-mount has too long a register distance (compared to Sony & Fuji), too large a diameter (compared to Fuji), and a bunch of addition mechanical features (aperture lever and screw drive). Anyone looking for a MILC and cross-comparing Sony, Fuji, Pentax, etc. would be unlikely to pick the bulky Pentax. Maybe a K-mount MILC might appeal to a few existing Pentax users as a second body (a niche of a niche), but it won't be competitive in the broader MILC market.

The point is that an adaptation of a DSLR design will never create a competitive MILC system in today's market. Yet for Pentax to start from square-one and design a new mount, new camera(s), and whole line of new lenses would be a huge investment that faces huge risks of failure against the well-established incumbents in the MILC market. There really isn't anything that Pentax has right now that will give them an edge in MILC and thus no reason to think that such a large investment in a new system would be wise.

04-14-2017, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #170
Pentaxian
RobA_Oz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,524
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The point is that an adaptation of a DSLR design will never create a competitive MILC system in today's market. Yet for Pentax to start from square-one and design a new mount, new camera(s), and whole line of new lenses would be a huge investment that faces huge risks of failure against the well-established incumbents in the MILC market. There really isn't anything that Pentax has right now that will give them an edge in MILC and thus no reason to think that such a large investment in a new system would be wise.
I think you are probably correct in this. Nonetheless, the development of a DSLR with a hybrid viewfinder, that combined the best of both worlds, may be a more attractive proposition. This, of course, depends on the technology being available and meeting Ricoh's performance standard, but the K-1 viewfinder could be regarded as a pointer toward such a beast.
04-15-2017, 01:34 AM - 1 Like   #171
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
A K-mount MILC body will never be as compact as a Sony or Fuji body. K-mount has too long a register distance (compared to Sony & Fuji), too large a diameter (compared to Fuji), and a bunch of addition mechanical features (aperture lever and screw drive). Anyone looking for a MILC and cross-comparing Sony, Fuji, Pentax, etc. would be unlikely to pick the bulky Pentax. Maybe a K-mount MILC might appeal to a few existing Pentax users as a second body (a niche of a niche), but it won't be competitive in the broader MILC market.
A niche of a niche can't work ? Sure? So then why K1, why Kp why making lenses in K-mount. All theses things build uppon the Pentax K-mount echsosystem. If the echosystem is good enough for a light/compact DSLR made to hold limited like the KP while overall it is a K3 give or take a few change, many others things can be successfull.

The K mirrorless system, if made has a HUGE benefit over all other mirrorless made is that there already an extensive line-up beating all other mirorless systems existing without involving an adapter. It also provide a nice upsell option for Pentaxians to have a very light body when they want it and a big/serious body when they want it (like K3/K1). It extends the KP concept to the next level by making 450g instead of 700g. By skrinking signifcantly its size. It can also provide nice feature like always seing the exposure/rendering you'll get in the viewfinder, show more information, provide better assist for MF and so on.

Some Pentaxians will love it, other will not care one bit. But it still provide strength to the echosystem. And yes even as mirrorless for new buyers, the Pentax has quite some benefits. No other APSC mirrorless is able to provide you things like DA70 or FA77: small light compact tele prime of high quality. Just look at Fuji 90mm and you'll understand. They where also unique feature back in time like SR, but I agree that except against Fuji, this is no longer a differenciator in mirrorless world. Except that A7II and A7RII are now heavy and big due to that, meaning that you could make an FF K-mount mirorless the size of an A7II just fine. Likely ligther... And you'd have finally a choice fo small prime in FF mirorless as Sony has ONE single small lenses the 35mm f/2.8.

So yes it can be done. It can be done by Canon or Nikon too. The point is doing it first, consolidate your system and to not invest much because well the mount stay the same. You may just want to take care of having 2 lines of lenses in your system: small and big. And we mostly have that already.

To me it is possible to make an FF K-mirrorless. Make it make $1200 at first, so quite an interresting price. Ensure there FF compact kit lenses zoom and entry level (28-75 but collapsible compact version and 70-200 variable apperture collapsible), make sure it get the most of all existing APSC and FF Pentax lenses, make sure it MF everything in K-mount perfectly and likely remove any remaining restriction of working with MF (like the missing coupler). Make it with updated DFA plastic wonder/compact lenses like 24/35/50/85/135 and you'll please not only dedicated mirorless users but also all DSLR K mount users, ASPC and FF.

Make it easy to crop your field of view to choose between FF (for FF lenses and when you want it), APSC to get 1.5x zoom as a zoom button. Master the on sensor PDAF + EVF so that you get perfect AFS and decent AFC.

Benefit of the mirrorless to make it decent at video.

Make it quite more basic than K1, no articulated screen, maybe only 2 wheels and so on so as to give an upgrade path and keep the price low.

If it sell well, make a 24MP APSC version very basic for $700 so you get the entry level covered.

You'd need to advertize it, really. The idea is simple: you want the best possible quality, no compromize? That K1 + DFA* big behemoh including the upcoming DFA* primes. You want very good looking pictures with spice, light and very high quality in a compact package? Go that new mirrorless. Don't be shy to say, that yes maybe the lens isn't perfect wide open on corners but have well know pro photographers say it doesn't matter and show fantastic photos taken with it and explain how they prefer a light system that does 95% of the quality for half of the size/price. Make it trendy, shiny.

This can be done.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 04-15-2017 at 01:51 AM.
04-15-2017, 02:03 AM   #172
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: mid nth coast,nsw
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,821
Yes,it can be....but don't bet your house on it!
04-15-2017, 11:51 AM - 1 Like   #173
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,981
QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
A niche of a niche can't work ? Sure? So then why K1, why Kp why making lenses in K-mount. All theses things build uppon the Pentax K-mount echsosystem. If the echosystem is good enough for a light/compact DSLR made to hold limited like the KP while overall it is a K3 give or take a few change, many others things can be successfull.

The K mirrorless system, if made has a HUGE benefit over all other mirrorless made is that there already an extensive line-up beating all other mirorless systems existing without involving an adapter. It also provide a nice upsell option for Pentaxians to have a very light body when they want it and a big/serious body when they want it (like K3/K1). It extends the KP concept to the next level by making 450g instead of 700g. By skrinking signifcantly its size. It can also provide nice feature like always seing the exposure/rendering you'll get in the viewfinder, show more information, provide better assist for MF and so on.

Some Pentaxians will love it, other will not care one bit. But it still provide strength to the echosystem. And yes even as mirrorless for new buyers, the Pentax has quite some benefits. No other APSC mirrorless is able to provide you things like DA70 or FA77: small light compact tele prime of high quality. Just look at Fuji 90mm and you'll understand. They where also unique feature back in time like SR, but I agree that except against Fuji, this is no longer a differenciator in mirrorless world. Except that A7II and A7RII are now heavy and big due to that, meaning that you could make an FF K-mount mirorless the size of an A7II just fine. Likely ligther... And you'd have finally a choice fo small prime in FF mirorless as Sony has ONE single small lenses the 35mm f/2.8.

So yes it can be done. It can be done by Canon or Nikon too. The point is doing it first, consolidate your system and to not invest much because well the mount stay the same. You may just want to take care of having 2 lines of lenses in your system: small and big. And we mostly have that already.

To me it is possible to make an FF K-mirrorless. Make it make $1200 at first, so quite an interresting price. Ensure there FF compact kit lenses zoom and entry level (28-75 but collapsible compact version and 70-200 variable apperture collapsible), make sure it get the most of all existing APSC and FF Pentax lenses, make sure it MF everything in K-mount perfectly and likely remove any remaining restriction of working with MF (like the missing coupler). Make it with updated DFA plastic wonder/compact lenses like 24/35/50/85/135 and you'll please not only dedicated mirorless users but also all DSLR K mount users, ASPC and FF.

Make it easy to crop your field of view to choose between FF (for FF lenses and when you want it), APSC to get 1.5x zoom as a zoom button. Master the on sensor PDAF + EVF so that you get perfect AFS and decent AFC.

Benefit of the mirrorless to make it decent at video.

Make it quite more basic than K1, no articulated screen, maybe only 2 wheels and so on so as to give an upgrade path and keep the price low.

If it sell well, make a 24MP APSC version very basic for $700 so you get the entry level covered.

You'd need to advertize it, really. The idea is simple: you want the best possible quality, no compromize? That K1 + DFA* big behemoh including the upcoming DFA* primes. You want very good looking pictures with spice, light and very high quality in a compact package? Go that new mirrorless. Don't be shy to say, that yes maybe the lens isn't perfect wide open on corners but have well know pro photographers say it doesn't matter and show fantastic photos taken with it and explain how they prefer a light system that does 95% of the quality for half of the size/price. Make it trendy, shiny.

This can be done.
First, neither the K-1 nor K-P are niche in niche. Both of these cameras have competitive combinations of features (IBIS, pixelshift, astrotracer, high-ISO, rugged bodies, bright pentaprism viewfinders, ) such that a non-Pentax person looking for their first DSLR or looking for an upgraded camera of any brand might be attracted to them. They are not just "here's another body for a shrinking population of Pentaxians." Any new camera body must be judged by it's ability to attract new users to the Pentax brand.

Your own concept seems to require huge costs (new body + lots of new lenses + lots of R&D in AF and video + big ad budget) and yet you want a modest price point and a camera and lenses that are mediocre. Worse, any Pentax FF MILC is going to be bigger than the Sony A7II because of the longer register distance, screw-drive motor, and aperture motor and you think the Sony is too big already. I don't see how an uncompetitive MILC sold at low margin is going attract such huge marketshare that it repays the high costs of the entire project.

Finally, "make it trendy, shiny" is an absurd requirement -- being both practically impossible and potentially wrong. With the possible exception of Apple, there's no company in the entire world that can do this in any repeatable fashion. Practically every consumer goods company in the world tries desperately to make their products trendy and shiny and most fail. Pentax tried trendy and shiny but it did not sell that well. In fact the deeper shift within the entire photography industry is that trendy and shiny really doesn't sell many standalone cameras any more because the types of people who buy trendy/shiny are now buying iPhones.

04-15-2017, 01:07 PM   #174
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 471
Pentax can make a small (between the K-01 and K-5 size body) mirrorless full frame body. They just need the small size zoom lenses to go along with it. Pentax already has the very good performing 28-105 mm f3.5-5.6 lens. All they would have to do is make a 15mm F4 FF lens, remake the 20-35 mm F4 (or 18-35mm F4) with updated optics and coatings and DC motor and a 70-300 mm F4-5.6 (or 100-340mm F4-5.6) also with DC motor. Then they would have a compact (by Full Frame standards) kit that people would be willing to carry.
04-16-2017, 02:41 AM - 3 Likes   #175
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
First, neither the K-1 nor K-P are niche in niche. Both of these cameras have competitive combinations of features (IBIS, pixelshift, astrotracer, high-ISO, rugged bodies, bright pentaprism viewfinders, ) such that a non-Pentax person looking for their first DSLR or looking for an upgraded camera of any brand might be attracted to them. They are not just "here's another body for a shrinking population of Pentaxians." Any new camera body must be judged by it's ability to attract new users to the Pentax brand.
That you point and I respect it... It might attract new users. In pratice the K1 did it a bit, but the KP and other APSC camera didn't. Overall Pentax market shared skrinked in the past years, so what ever couldn't have happened, it actually didn't.

The thing is from external people Pentax isn't sold in most shops and this is worse and worse. In France a good market for Pentax, Fnac stopped few year ago, Darty quite recently to sell Pentax. This is only Canikon.

Pentax differentiators are slowly eroding. Compact ltd line? Look at Fuji, m4/3 prime lenses. SR ? Pana, Sony, Olympus all have it. Size/weight of the body? Well Pana, Sony, Olympus, Fuji all have much smaller body. Ergonomics? Pentax ergonomics are good but there pro and cons like no joystick for AF. FF well Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica... all have it. Grear compatibility with legacy MF lenses? There no way you can beat Sony, Fuji, Pana, Olympus on this. On Sony A7, you cover the whole FF area and thanks to some recent accessory, you can use AF on MF lenses and it is almost as good as current AF lenses.

There isn't something that is outstanding that will make people come to K-mount. The product is great, but not significantly greater than the competition and there no advertisment and there still some obvious weaknesses like AF for action/sport, no strong reseller network, no great video.

Pentax is niche and a new body body like KP is by definition a niche in a niche. They explain it: it is for people with ltds, that want a very compact DSLR. Of course they need to know Pentax, that the limited exist, honestly it mean existing users because if potential client don't do extensive research by themselve, they are much much much more likely to think Fuji or m4/3 or Sony mirrorless for something small with DLSR quality than Pentax. A niche of niche.

K1? Again is niche because K mount as you explained. But it target a sub market: FF. Historically this is about 10% of the market. So 10% of the K-mount market: a niche of niche.

You claim people will all buy theses body because they are very attractive so they start photography with Pentax instead of Canon or Nikon and they switch for theses product. This simply doesn't happen much, if at all. If anything Pentax is even less present in shops and so on and there no way for newcomers in photography to notice them! Theses product are high end too. You don't start with an FF or very advanced and specialized DSLR like KP. You'll start with K70 or KS2. Theses one are there to grab new clients.

Pentax really live on its current echosystem and did it quite wisely by increasing price (before you brought a K3 + DA*16-50 for $1800, no you upgrade to K1 + 24-70 for $3000). But they certainly didn't manage to grow the user base.

My position is we can continue to milk the user base with something different still part of the echosystem of K-mount. By offering a different experience. There lot of reason to have both a K1 or K3 + a K mirrorless if the camera is good.

There no much reason to have both KP and K3. or K70 and K3, no more than to have 2 KP or 2 K3 except for price mostly.

And yes a K mount mirrorless would attract no worse than yet another DSLR in K-mount. It would offer smaller/lighter teles in mirrorless, it would offer a huge echosystem of lenses compared to any existing mirorroless (while on DSLR Pentax is the weakest) and if it does in FF, it would only compete with Sony leaving Fuji/Pana/Olympus in the dust as they can't really go FF.

This isn't a problem of niche of niche or not. This is problem to see if that will work if the product would be nice or not. We will see or not.

Ultmately, like for FF, there no choice. They need to do the R&D and be ready. The goal isn't to loose 90% of the existing user base yet another time when the migration to mirorless will be finished like we did for digital back in time.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 04-16-2017 at 02:55 AM.
04-16-2017, 07:55 AM   #176
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,981
Advertising only increases the cost of the camera and lenses without increasing the value of them. I don't get a better camera, more features, or sharper lenses if Ricoh buys ads, I just get a more expensive camera because I have to pay for those ads. Maybe in the long-term, advertising might boost marketshare, and boosted marketshare might give the company more money to invest in R&D. Of course, advertising might fail to grow marketshare if it makes Pentax not price-competitive or if the ads are simply ignored by skeptical, ad-skipping consumers.


You are right that Pentax' lack of shelf space in physical retail is a problem in selling to novice photographers. Yet Ricoh can't force retailers to carry their cameras, they can only bribe them at some added cost to the camera buyer. I'm not sure how Ricoh can guarantee that retailers will earn $X,000/square foot of space if they stock Pentax but suspect it would be an extremely expensive bribe. Frankly, though, I think all brands will soon be in the same boat because brick and mortar shops are a dead-end business model. Physical retail simply has too much added cost in skilled staff, high-priced urban real estate, demo inventory, etc. Now, it's far too easy for consumers to look-and-feel in the shop and them buy online for the best deal. Moreover, I'd bet that the younger generation is becoming much more comfortable with buying online sight unseen based on product reviews, friends' recommendations, and willingness to return the merchandise.

What's weird is that entry-level camera buyers don't look like an attractive market. Entry-level buyer pick "cheap" low-margin bodies and kit lenses. There's no way Pentax can compete at the low-end against the economies of scale of Canon or Nikon. Worse, I'd bet that most people who buy an entry-level camera never buy a second lens and never buy another body. They try photography, take occasional pictures while their kids are growing up but soon tire of the hobby or realize their smartphone is good enough. Sure, there some people that buy there first camera, fall in love with the hobby and upgrade. But it's not clear that Ricoh can charge enough of a higher price on the K-1 in order to pay-off the losses on selling 10 K-crap entry-level bodies.

To me, Ricoh targets more serious photographers who may be switching, trying different brands of cameras, or jumping straight from iPhone to a "serious camera." The fact that Ricoh is not wasting money on ads and retailers actually helps them with this more sophisticated audience.

Interestingly, all of this discussion of advertising, retail, and entry-level vs. advanced bodies is independent of MILC vs. DSLR.

---------- Post added 04-16-17 at 08:59 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
I think you are probably correct in this. Nonetheless, the development of a DSLR with a hybrid viewfinder, that combined the best of both worlds, may be a more attractive proposition. This, of course, depends on the technology being available and meeting Ricoh's performance standard, but the K-1 viewfinder could be regarded as a pointer toward such a beast.
Now this is a brilliant solution that offers the best of both worlds: bright optical view finder, sensor is kept off and cool until the picture is taken; can be used in MILC mode if needed; provides a chimping-free snapshot review of the image that was just taken, etc.
04-18-2017, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #177
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Advertising only increases the cost of the camera and lenses without increasing the value of them. I don't get a better camera, more features, or sharper lenses if Ricoh buys ads, I just get a more expensive camera because I have to pay for those ads. Maybe in the long-term, advertising might boost marketshare, and boosted marketshare might give the company more money to invest in R&D. Of course, advertising might fail to grow marketshare if it makes Pentax not price-competitive or if the ads are simply ignored by skeptical, ad-skipping consumers.
Like any investment, you see how much you spend and how much you get back. If that investment bring more than it cost and more than other investments, then it is a good investment. Otherwise, it is a bad investment. Already Pentax doesn't sell much and so most of the cost is the R&D and their biggest issues they don't mak enough to invest in R&D. On the opposite, the cost to make and sell one more body is quite small. Maybe a KP once all the R&D is paid cost 150$ and could be sold with a benefit for $400. The asked price is more than $1000, because you need to pay all the engineers a salary.

If you spend even 50$ of marketing per additional unit sold, that mean your cost for a KP is $200 instead of $150. And you may have to sell it to at least $500 to make a profit. Still the asked price is $1000 and even with subtential price reductions to $800 or $600, this is a net benefit for Pentax/Ricoh. This is also beneficial for the end user because basically it spread the high ficed cost of R&D among more units.

But this is worth it if it cost $50 or $100 pe body, not $500 and also this is worth it if you can actually manage to attract more users at all. With innovative products, key differentiators... Not just product that are more of the same (KP = K3 with less feature and tweaked high iso sensor that funily like Fuji has great high iso performance bu need longer exposure time as the same iso that the older bodies).

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
You are right that Pentax' lack of shelf space in physical retail is a problem in selling to novice photographers. Yet Ricoh can't force retailers to carry their cameras, they can only bribe them at some added cost to the camera buyer. I'm not sure how Ricoh can guarantee that retailers will earn $X,000/square foot of space if they stock Pentax but suspect it would be an extremely expensive bribe. Frankly, though, I think all brands will soon be in the same boat because brick and mortar shops are a dead-end business model. Physical retail simply has too much added cost in skilled staff, high-priced urban real estate, demo inventory, etc. Now, it's far too easy for consumers to look-and-feel in the shop and them buy online for the best deal. Moreover, I'd bet that the younger generation is becoming much more comfortable with buying online sight unseen based on product reviews, friends' recommendations, and willingness to return the merchandise.
I think pro like to have some brick and mortar with support and a human relation. I also think that most sales are still made in hypermarkets and generic electronic shop that are still well there. You'll also notice that overall most cities have lot of shop selling lot of different stuff, so the shops are not going away anytime soon. But often right now you need to have both: the shop and the website. Before you had a shop and just to exist was enough. Now you need to have a strategy, be a good seller. But that's it.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
What's weird is that entry-level camera buyers don't look like an attractive market. Entry-level buyer pick "cheap" low-margin bodies and kit lenses. There's no way Pentax can compete at the low-end against the economies of scale of Canon or Nikon. Worse, I'd bet that most people who buy an entry-level camera never buy a second lens and never buy another body. They try photography, take occasional pictures while their kids are growing up but soon tire of the hobby or realize their smartphone is good enough. Sure, there some people that buy there first camera, fall in love with the hobby and upgrade. But it's not clear that Ricoh can charge enough of a higher price on the K-1 in order to pay-off the losses on selling 10 K-crap entry-level bodies.
This is the business model, you first sell something cheap and that work quite well to a prospect at a fair price. You sell it almost at what it cost you plus a small margin. Then some of theses people will become more interrested for various reason and start to buy into your system: more lenses, more advanced camera etc. If you sell only highend gear, you depend on people that are already using your brand (and that started from scratch with low investement), or that were disatisfied with the proposition their own brand had and didn't care to leverage what they already had.

This happen if your product is so much superior and unique that the competitor can't actually compete. If you are similar to the competition for high end gear but you rely on the competition entry level gear to attract new clients you will get only few newcomers and you'll have to bet on disatified people from the competition. That's quite a dangerous game to play.

I mean there are strategy to compensate that: advertisement, make products so unique that people are still willing to pay for it even if they didn't try before. Example is apple or Audi. Pentax isn't there. Pentax hasn't a reputation of premium, luxury, of being better than the competion. Quite the opposite in fact. They get bashed all the time in forum like dpreview and their product while great are not outstanding and have limitations. This will not work for Pentax, not if there not some game changer in the middle. A new high end APSC or FF DSLR like we had dozen isn't a game changer. Doing that just keep the echosystem working and avoid losing people but doesn't create new clients. For now being late for K1 mean that we lost lot of people and gained back very few. For new clients you need a different product, you need advertisement and you need it to be easy and affordable to try your products.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
To me, Ricoh targets more serious photographers who may be switching, trying different brands of cameras, or jumping straight from iPhone to a "serious camera." The fact that Ricoh is not wasting money on ads and retailers actually helps them with this more sophisticated audience.
Objectively Pentax product are not significantly cheaper or better than the competition. They don't cover more niche with a wider variety of products. They are not longer well known or have a better reputation than the competition. People have no reason to switch except if their other manufactuer is particulary bad. But with Canon having the best echosystem, Nikon having the best AF, Pana/Olympus having the smallest high quality ILC, what remain for Pentax to attract people?

There was K30, K50, K70, KS2. Great product at a low price that take the chance to attract new users that may buy a lens or two and then may continue to invest there as the product are good. They are not outstandly better, but they are no terrible neither. They have for themselve some key assets like cheap WR kit lenses, SR, cheap great build quality bodies, a set of small lenses in a compact system. The last advantage is no longer a differentiator because of the mirrorless competition that is offering now a better compromize. WR and good build quality is common in high end so a differentiator only for entry level gear. If you don't sell it anymore, this isn't a differentiator anymore and it isn't anyway an asset for high end gear where everybody does it already. SR is now availabe in half of the market and the other half ensure to have almost all its lenses stabilized so it doesn't really matter. People speak of old K-mount lenses and MF lenses, but again half of the market does that and does it better thanks to mirrorless... You can mount any old DSLR lens on them. Not just Pentax.

The first reason to buy KP or K1 is because you have some K-mount. And I would say some AF K-mount. Otherwise, some Pana/Olympus/Fuji mirrorless are going to be more compact while keeping high quality, Nikon is going to offer you better AF/action/sport and acces to many affordable telezooms for birding/wildlife at good price. Sony/Nikon/Canon all have a solution for a cheaper entry level FF (as low at 850€ for Sony and 1100-1300 for Nikon) and higher end higher value proposition. Better AF, better lens echosystem...

Selling stuff doesn't happen all by itself. If you can't be better, you don't want to advertise, you don't want to try unique or inoovative products, you get exactly what Pentax is: a company that just follow since it had invented the reflex concept many years ago... But that was LOOOONNNNNG ago. At some point if you take no risk, people are leaving. Doesn't say it didn't happen. Pentax didn't go from #1 to the last by acquiring new clients and keeping the old ones!

When I started 5 years ago now. Pentax had cheaper/lighter APSC lenses, it had WR in its entry level and it had SR that was unique and on K5 a 80 iso mode that offered the best performance of all APSC body at that time...

Now if I was to start over I would not do it in Pentax and if Pentax doesn't provide the product I want/need one day I may spend my money on the competition. My father can confirm I took more than one look recently to m4/3, Fuji, Sony... I may not sell my Pentax gear just yet, might keep it for a long time. But at least the lack of value proposition mean the next thousand euro spend on gear is unlikely to be for Pentax, even through I have quite some invested: DA15, DA21, FA31, FA77, F135, HD55-300, DA10-17, K3... And if the competition manage to do better, I may switch.

By itself, I agree nobody care of me alone. But this is repeating story of the past 20 years for Pentax. They don't really attract that many new users with their product, whatever you say. And while there some interresting products that keep the user base from eroding too fast (like K1) or make people invest more, there are more people leaving than comming. And the K1 was a one shot effect that may apply for the next 2 years no more. When everybody that wanted it in k-mount has an FF, they not buy another one except if there something new they really want. Back to innovation again.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 04-18-2017 at 01:41 PM.
04-18-2017, 01:56 PM - 2 Likes   #178
Drop And Give Me 50!
Loyal Site Supporter
Racer X 69's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Great Pacific Northwet
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,842
You guys trying to rewrite War and Peace here?
04-19-2017, 01:50 AM   #179
Pentaxian
gazonk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Oslo area, Norway
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,520
This thread should have been DOA.
For some reason, exactly those threads seem to be the most invincible here :/
04-19-2017, 02:39 AM - 2 Likes   #180
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Blue Ridge Escarpment, North Carolina, US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,451
QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
You guys trying to rewrite War and Peace here?
Ah, brevity and the power thereof, eh?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
aperture, aps-c, aps-c sensor, camera, camera with aps-c, cameras, canon, course, evf, film, format, hip, june, k-01, lenses, light, m-e mirrorless camera, mirrorless, paper, pentax, pentax m-e mirrorless, pentax news, pentax rumors, people, photography, sensor, system, threat
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mirrorless sales collapsing worse than -30% in Japan the homecountry of mirrorless beholder3 Photographic Industry and Professionals 21 04-05-2017 04:58 AM
Difference Between Full Frame (35mm) Sensor & Cropped (APS-C) Sensor richard balonglong Photographic Industry and Professionals 22 06-28-2012 02:20 AM
New K-01 mirrorless camera coming Mister Horrible Pentax News and Rumors 2067 02-21-2012 09:09 PM
Ricoh mirrorless APS-C camera in K mount this year? emr Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 18 11-09-2009 05:50 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:24 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top