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01-19-2019, 01:53 AM - 12 Likes   #1
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SWPP (Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers) Trade Show, London

Hi all,

I attended the SWPP trade show yesterday and had a good chat with the very friendly Ricoh/Pentax team present. It was encouraging to see them there once again this year as this trade show is focussed on the pro rather than consumer side of photography, showing their ongoing commitment to having a presence in this sector.

There was recognition that last year was disappointingly quiet for Pentax users but the emphasis was on the centenary celebrations coming up this year. The reps expected to attend their global team event in a few weeks where they would be shown the new products (under NDA until release date). But to broadly expect new camera, special edition of something and hints at a new ff lens. Ongoing investment in the 645 was underlined as was the overall commitment to the photography side. Theta is still a growing part of the business.

The point being made around any perceived threat to the Pentax brand from the declining camera market due to smartphones, competitor moves to mirrorless, etc was that Pentax knows its customers, listens and operates in its own market niche at a pace it can sustain. We also reflected on how market penetration is different in different countries. For example, I can feel quite lonely as a Pentax user in the UK, but in places like France and Australia the brand is apparently more dominant, adding up healthier global sales volumes than we might perceive locally.

In summary - 1. No, Pentax isn't doomed. 2. The rumours of shiny new things (both camera and lenses) for the centenary are definitely coming, but anyone who claims to know exactly what they are yet is likely to be fibbing a bit!

We also discussed technical things around flashguns and Cactus triggers - but these all belong in a separate thread.

01-19-2019, 02:02 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Nice report. Did you catch an image of their booth?
01-19-2019, 02:08 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Nice report. Did you catch an image of their booth?
Sorry - no I didn't But was manned by two people with Theta, KP, K1, 645 plus a good selection of lenses on display 'touch and feel' style, not under glass.
01-19-2019, 02:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing the information!

01-19-2019, 05:12 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by HippyHippo Quote
In summary - 1. No, Pentax isn't doomed. 2. The rumours of shiny new things (both camera and lenses) for the centenary are definitely coming, but anyone who claims to know exactly what they are yet is likely to be fibbing a bit!
Here was a lot of criticism due to lots of new models and lenses that happened at Photokima last year. But I'm convinced that Ricoh Imaging is going to pull out some new camera model(s) with state of the art technology, I believe the come back of USB-3 (already used by Ricoh), UHS-II and maybe 4K (4K processing already known in Theta), maybe better AF. New primes will come slowly, I suppose. If this become true, it's going to be pretty good. The reason I believe so is because I believe the K1 was a rampant design in the cartons for long time which explain why some of K1 operation (SD cards) is slow. Eventually, the absent of new camera in 2018 will translate into a significant performance upgrade in the next model(s).
01-19-2019, 07:22 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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I think Biz-engineer's analysis is solid but I wonder about the USB-3. Wouldn't it be better to use USB-C which is becoming almost standard on new computers and phones and is a big improvement over earlier USB standards.
01-19-2019, 07:47 AM - 5 Likes   #7
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QuoteQuote:
Pentax knows its customers, listens and operates in its own market niche at a pace it can sustain.
Exactly what the more knowledgeable on the site have been saying for years.

What does Pentax have that we don't?
A sound statistical analysis of what sells and what doesn't.
Knowledge of the approximate development costs for new product, which they can weigh against the sales possibilities of said new product. They could put out a $1500 flash that was the greatest thing since sliced bread, with a built in radio trigger that can fire multiple flashes with 3 flashes in the box, and it would kill them. Because all of us who don't want that would now be able to buy a camera that meets more of their needs for cheaper. Yet we get all these things where people want something Pentax doesn't make, and project that into more sales and more market share. And honestly, many of these things would kill the company.

Without those two things, everyone on this site explaining what Pentax has to do is just fantasising.

The simple fact that many seem to constantly over look, is Pentax does what's good for Pentax. Their endless rants about what's wrong with Pentax, mostly because Pentax doesn't do something they think they should, don't in any way suggest Pentax should change what they do. (Although they often mean the user should have changed brands 6 months ago and is procrastinating by ranting at Pentax on the forum.) What they do need is the understanding that it isn't Pentax's job to make them happy. It's Pentax's job to make cameras and stay in business. And if the best way for them to do that is to cater to the Japanese enthusiast market and ignore the rest of the world, then that's what they are going to do. And as long as that produces a product I can use productively at a price I can pay, then that's fine with me.

There is nothing more frustrating than someone posting what Pentax has to do based on their own personal needs. Do folks really think that they represent enough of the camera buying public to keep Pentax afloat?. Apparently it's Japan that keeps Pentax afloat.

Many discover they bought the wrong thing, that they didn't do their research, they didn't anticipate their current needs or the direction of their growth. Much of this complaining seems like an attempt to blame their mistake on Pentax.

"Pentax doesn't make this or do that." Pffft. Pentax didn't do this or make that when you bought the camera. Nothing changed but you. What is more counter productive than buying product, and then expecting the company to change to meet your every new need and desire in the future. You buy what you need when you need it. If later you need something else, you buy that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
I think Biz-engineer's analysis is solid but I wonder about the USB-3. Wouldn't it be better to use USB-C which is becoming almost standard on new computers and phones and is a big improvement over earlier USB standards.
I've been looking for a USB-3c drive to take advantage of my new MacBook's USB port. It'a long way from being prevalent. In Canada it's hard to even find it in the stores. Amazon is pretty much your only choice. Right now I'm looking for a portable USB-3c SSD drive to put my Aperture library on. The pickings are pretty slim.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-21-2019 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Keeping it friendly
01-19-2019, 07:48 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
I think Biz-engineer's analysis is solid but I wonder about the USB-3. Wouldn't it be better to use USB-C which is becoming almost standard on new computers and phones and is a big improvement over earlier USB standards.
I think USB-C is only the connector type ( USB-C - Wikipedia ). Speed Definitions and anything else is part of USB 3.x ( USB 3.0 - Wikipedia )

01-19-2019, 08:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HippyHippo Quote
Hi all,

I attended the SWPP trade show yesterday and had a good chat with the very friendly Ricoh/Pentax team present. It was encouraging to see them there once again this year as this trade show is focussed on the pro rather than consumer side of photography, showing their ongoing commitment to having a presence in this sector.

There was recognition that last year was disappointingly quiet for Pentax users but the emphasis was on the centenary celebrations coming up this year. The reps expected to attend their global team event in a few weeks where they would be shown the new products (under NDA until release date). But to broadly expect new camera, special edition of something and hints at a new ff lens. Ongoing investment in the 645 was underlined as was the overall commitment to the photography side. Theta is still a growing part of the business.

The point being made around any perceived threat to the Pentax brand from the declining camera market due to smartphones, competitor moves to mirrorless, etc was that Pentax knows its customers, listens and operates in its own market niche at a pace it can sustain. We also reflected on how market penetration is different in different countries. For example, I can feel quite lonely as a Pentax user in the UK, but in places like France and Australia the brand is apparently more dominant, adding up healthier global sales volumes than we might perceive locally.

In summary - 1. No, Pentax isn't doomed. 2. The rumours of shiny new things (both camera and lenses) for the centenary are definitely coming, but anyone who claims to know exactly what they are yet is likely to be fibbing a bit!

We also discussed technical things around flashguns and Cactus triggers - but these all belong in a separate thread.
Thanks for this update. Its very timely and appreciated!
01-19-2019, 04:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by HippyHippo Quote
For example, I can feel quite lonely as a Pentax user in the UK, but in places like France and Australia the brand is apparently more dominant, adding up healthier global sales volumes than we might perceive locally.
"Dominant" is hardly a word I would use about Pentax in Australia! I have only ever seen a few Pentax shooters while out shooting myself, and the brand has pretty well disappeared from bricks-and-mortar camera stores. However, we do have a good distributer and web-store (CRK), and there are quite a few Aussies on Pentax Forums. I guess it's relative.

What I don't understand about the ILC camera market is why market fraction is so out-of-proportion with quality of product. Pentax gear is pretty competitive with the big guys, and leads them in some respect. If it's just marketing, that's disappointing.
01-19-2019, 05:17 PM - 1 Like   #11
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The OP indicated that in his conversation with Pentax reps the following view came across .

"The point being made around any perceived threat to the Pentax brand from the declining camera market due to smartphones, competitor moves to mirrorless, etc was that Pentax knows its customers, listens and operates in its own market niche at a pace it can sustain."

Good to hear, what more could a consumer want from a company that they patronize...or are considering patronizing.
01-19-2019, 07:11 PM - 3 Likes   #12
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The point Norm was making is that Pentax is going to do what Pentax management thinks is best based on their superior knowledge of their situation. Knowledge that non of us have. Plus, the personal opinions of the "What Pentax should do" crowd get pretty darned repetitive and boring. Its chatter that I can do without.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-21-2019 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Edited with relevance to other deletions and edits
01-19-2019, 07:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larrymc Quote
The point Norm was making is that Pentax is going to do what Pentax management thinks is best based on their superior knowledge of their situation. Knowledge that non of us have. Plus, the personal opinions of the "What Pentax should do" crowd get pretty darned repetitive and boring. Eye wateringly BORING. Its chatter that I can do without.



"Pentax is going to do what Pentax management thinks is best based on their superior knowledge of their situation" ….you really think so Larry? I certainly do..... I got his point.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-21-2019 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Edited to reflect other edits and deletions
01-20-2019, 02:24 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by HippyHippo Quote
We also discussed technical things around flashguns and Cactus triggers - but these all belong in a separate thread.
Could you please create that thread and point us to it from here?

I'm intrigued.

I've been appreciating the efforts by Cactus for a long time now but since the RQ250 project was cancelled I wonder whether they'll be able to keep the momentum. The V6II + RF60X + Pentax-radio system surrogate + cross-brand options are great, but in its current form the system is confined to AA-powered speedlight-based lighting (with exceptions to which better solutions exist) which has its limitations. Surely not everyone will feel limited with that gear, but people who can imagine growing out of purely speedlight-based lighting will probably be more drawn to Godox these days.

P.S.: Many thanks for the update and the overall positive message. I look forward to seeing Pentax what they do best and continue to so for a long, long time to come!
01-20-2019, 08:21 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larrymc Quote
No actually I think he was calling them losers because of what they say over and and over and over ad nauseam and I guess expecting to influence Pentax. Hmmmmm that may be one definition of insanity, don't you think?


Good point but... what do you call the "knowledgeable users" AKA professional guessers that throw the exact same banter in the 180 degree direction? is that not the definition of insanity as well?
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