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03-01-2019, 03:20 AM - 59 Likes   #1
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My Report from CP+ 2019

This year I was able to go to CP+ on the Friday rather than the Saturday. I was hoping that a weekday would make it easier to get around and see things. It was, but still got busy after midday. The nature of the crowd is a bit different on the Friday. There seemed to be more pros, industry people and elderly people. On the other hand there were fewer couples and casual visitors in general. I guess it is what you would expect of a weekday.



The Ricoh Imaging Booth
The Ricoh booth was the same size and position as the previous year, but the layout was different. The space was divided into three zones with the GR at the front, Theta in the middle and Pentax at the back. There stage area and a small gallery behind it. Overall there was quite a lot to see. Youíve probably seen the revised roadmaps and 85mm mock-up already. The 85mm had a black plastic disk where the glass should be, but a staff member told me this is normal procedure because they donít want people spying on the optical formula. The booth was busy the whole time I was there.

GR III
The first thing I did was to queue up for a bit and try out the GR III. As a user of the very first GR Digital model, Iím very happy about the smaller dimensions than the GR II. Because it has more weight in it, it has a better feeling of solidity. There is still a huge amount of customisation available. The touch screen is very responsive, and I was pleased to find that you can use the screen one handed with your thumb without too much difficulty - no need to adjust your grip. One aspect I had not heard mentioned before was manual focus. I found this easier and more intuitive now, because the circular wheel around the D-pad can be used for this purpose. Itís still a bit fiddly, but better than up/down buttons. Overall the GR III was every bit as good as Iíd hoped for and Iím going to buy one.



KP Custom Model
So far the coverage of this seems completely to have missed the point. These two guys are proposing the idea of a kind of a sub-brand offering bespoke customisation. The KP they are showing is just an illustration of this idea. Theyíve even made up a logo for the brand. They are experimenting with the kind of tweaks and tuning that car/bike enthusiasts do to soup up their machines. They realize these will never be mass produced as mainstream cameras, but they are trying to gauge interest. That KP in his hand has a cool replacement mount made of some shiny grey carbon material. It was quite interesting. They were very keen to speak English to me, and seemed to love the fact I was still using a K-01.



Theta Z1
While the whole booth was busy, this part seemed to be busiest, perhaps because it was so small. They had small explanatory presentations and some deconstructed Z1s. Itís really impressive how they use prisms to package so small. The little OLED screen looks cool too. Iíd like to see one on a K-mount camera in future.

Pentax 100-year Anniversary
Given that most of the recent releases have been Ricoh products, Pentax was a bit overshadowed by the GR II and the Z1 this time, but they did have reasonable amount of space, with a counter to try out the new lenses. A number of the presentations focused on Pentax and the new lenses in particular. There was also promotion for Pentax 100. Between presentations they were showing was a nice video on the screen with people holding a selection of Pentax cameras over the years. The images changing timed to drum beats. It was bright and cheerful and I hope they make it available online soon. They said they are not planning a specific anniversary model. Their new models will be forward looking, not commemorative. For the celebrations, there will be events around the world in the months leading up to the actual date in November.

Other manufacturers
I looked round all the other manufacturers. The tone of their stands were much the same as previous years (bland corporate), and they are all pretty much the same as each other. Now that all the companies are primarily pushing mirrorless mounts, it feels like they are coming out with near-identical systems. The only thing that differentiates them is FPS, bitrates and so on. The galleries show that all of these cameras are capable of taking fantastic images to be displayed at any reasonable size. So what sets anyone apart now? It seems to me that Ricoh/Pentax is really the only company that is making cameras that feel different to use. As Pentaxians, I think itís time to stop wishing that Pentax would emulate the other makers and appreciate Ricoh/Pentax for its own strengths.

From my own perspective it was quite a good CP+. IĎm totally positive about the changes to the GR III. Also a new standard zoom for APS-C is something I would potentially be very interested in, so I'm glad it was added to the roadmap. And most of all, I think both Ricoh and Pentax remain unique brands that I can happily associate with.

03-01-2019, 03:28 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
This year I was able to go to CP+ on the Friday rather than the Saturday. I was hoping that a weekday would make it easier to get around and see things. It was, but still got busy after midday. The nature of the crowd is a bit different on the Friday. There seemed to be more pros, industry people and elderly people. On the other hand there were fewer couples and casual visitors in general. I guess it is what you would expect of a weekday.



The Ricoh Imaging Booth
The Ricoh booth was the same size and position as the previous year, but the layout was different. The space was divided into three zones with the GR at the front, Theta in the middle and Pentax at the back. There stage area and a small gallery behind it. Overall there was quite a lot to see. Youíve probably seen the revised roadmaps and 85mm mock-up already. The 85mm had a black plastic disk where the glass should be, but a staff member told me this is normal procedure because they donít want people spying on the optical formula. The booth was busy the whole time I was there.

GR III
The first thing I did was to queue up for a bit and try out the GR III. As a user of the very first GR Digital model, Iím very happy about the smaller dimensions than the GR II. Because it has more weight in it, it has a better feeling of solidity. There is still a huge amount of customisation available. The touch screen is very responsive, and I was pleased to find that you can use the screen one handed with your thumb without too much difficulty - no need to adjust your grip. One aspect I had not heard mentioned before was manual focus. I found this easier and more intuitive now, because the circular wheel around the D-pad can be used for this purpose. Itís still a bit fiddly, but better than up/down buttons. Overall the GR III was every bit as good as Iíd hoped for and Iím going to buy one.



KP Custom Model
So far the coverage of this seems completely to have missed the point. These two guys are proposing the idea of a kind of a sub-brand offering bespoke customisation. The KP they are showing is just an illustration of this idea. Theyíve even made up a logo for the brand. They are experimenting with the kind of tweaks and tuning that car/bike enthusiasts do to soup up their machines. They realize these will never be mass produced as mainstream cameras, but they are trying to gauge interest. That KP in his hand has a cool replacement mount made of some shiny grey carbon material. It was quite interesting. They were very keen to speak English to me, and seemed to love the fact I was still using a K-01.



Theta Z1
While the whole booth was busy, this part seemed to be busiest, perhaps because it was so small. They had small explanatory presentations and some deconstructed Z1s. Itís really impressive how they use prisms to package so small. The little OLED screen looks cool too. Iíd like to see one on a K-mount camera in future.

Pentax 100-year Anniversary
Given that most of the recent releases have been Ricoh products, Pentax was a bit overshadowed by the GR II and the Z1 this time, but they did have reasonable amount of space, with a counter to try out the new lenses. A number of the presentations focused on Pentax and the new lenses in particular. There was also promotion for Pentax 100. Between presentations they were showing was a nice video on the screen with people holding a selection of Pentax cameras over the years. The images changing timed to drum beats. It was bright and cheerful and I hope they make it available online soon. They said they are not planning a specific anniversary model. Their new models will be forward looking, not commemorative. For the celebrations, there will be events around the world in the months leading up to the actual date in November.

Other manufacturers
I looked round all the other manufacturers. The tone of their stands were much the same as previous years (bland corporate), and they are all pretty much the same as each other. Now that all the companies are primarily pushing mirrorless mounts, it feels like they are coming out with near-identical systems. The only thing that differentiates them is FPS, bitrates and so on. The galleries show that all of these cameras are capable of taking fantastic images to be displayed at any reasonable size. So what sets anyone apart now? It seems to me that Ricoh/Pentax is really the only company that is making cameras that feel different to use. As Pentaxians, I think itís time to stop wishing that Pentax would emulate the other makers and appreciate Ricoh/Pentax for its own strengths.

From my own perspective it was quite a good CP+. IĎm totally positive about the changes to the GR III. Also a new standard zoom for APS-C is something I would potentially be very interested in, so I'm glad it was added to the roadmap. And most of all, I think both Ricoh and Pentax remain unique brands that I can happily associate with.
Thanks for the report - very informative.
03-01-2019, 03:36 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for this detailed and illustrated report.
03-01-2019, 03:39 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Thank you, as always I appreciate your insights.
The part about KP Custom is particularly interesting, how everyone else missed that? I guess they couldn't be bothered to ask. (I do expect some Japanese sites, and maybe Dave Etchells in his interview to do it).

03-01-2019, 03:45 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
(...)
The part about KP Custom is particularly interesting, how everyone else missed that? (...)
Because Ricoh Imaging's communication on this was misleading?

RICOH IMAGING to Exhibit 2 Reference Product at CP+ 2019 Camera and Imaging Show | RICOH IMAGING
03-01-2019, 03:55 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Excellent report, @JPT - thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. It's really nice to hear positivity about the brand, encouraging that the Ricoh stand was busy, and interesting to note your thoughts re the other brands and mirrorless.
03-01-2019, 03:58 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
From my own perspective it was quite a good CP+. IĎm totally positive about the changes to the GR III. Also a new standard zoom for APS-C is something I would potentially be very interested in, so I'm glad it was added to the roadmap. And most of all, I think both Ricoh and Pentax remain unique brands that I can happily associate with.
Thanks for the honest report. We need more of that.
03-01-2019, 03:59 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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The more I hear about the GR III, the harder the waiting becomes! Tx for a great report!!

Wim

03-01-2019, 04:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
The part about KP Custom is particularly interesting, how everyone else missed that? I guess they couldn't be bothered to ask. (I do expect some Japanese sites, and maybe Dave Etchells in his interview to do it).
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in this case they were the wrong thousand words. Thanks to @JPT for providing the useful words. Sometimes nothing is as good as actually being there.
03-01-2019, 04:44 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteQuote:
as pentaxians, i think it’s time to stop wishing that pentax would emulate the other makers and appreciate ricoh/pentax for its own strengths.
+1000
03-01-2019, 05:04 AM - 3 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
As Pentaxians, I think itís time to stop wishing that Pentax would emulate the other makers and appreciate Ricoh/Pentax for its own strengths.
+

The edit form says to me that only +∞ is too short......
03-01-2019, 06:17 AM   #12
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I'll endorse the prevous two comments totally

Many thanks @JPT for the report.

I retract some harsh words on another tread about the KP customisation - if it's part of a largely independent venture encouraged by Ricoh, that's torally different from meaningless cosmetic changes from Ricoh
03-01-2019, 06:22 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
(...) The 85mm had a black plastic disk where the glass should be, but a staff member told me this is normal procedure because they donít want people spying on the optical formula. (...)
I wonder why other vendors are less shy than that...


Source: 【イベントレポート】【CP+2019】EOS RPが人気のキヤノンブース - デジカメ Watch



Source: 【イベントレポート】【CP+2019】ニコンブース続報。Zレンズ6本のモックアップを発見 - デジカメ Watch
03-01-2019, 06:39 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
I'll endorse the prevous two comments totally

Many thanks @JPT for the report.

I retract some harsh words on another tread about the KP customisation - if it's part of a largely independent venture encouraged by Ricoh, that's torally different from meaningless cosmetic changes from Ricoh
I think it's a good idea, in line with tuning houses for cars etc. I like the new look on the table, with the wood grip etc.
03-01-2019, 06:42 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
(...)
The part about KP Custom is particularly interesting, how everyone else missed that? I guess they couldn't be bothered to ask. (I do expect some Japanese sites, and maybe Dave Etchells in his interview to do it).
Digital Camera Watch were apparently quite surprised by the hiatus between project substance and official communication: 'Prior announcement was about one model only but, when visiting the booth, various variations of KP Custom were lining up. It seems that the public relations manager didn't know about this, perhaps it might be a convincing attempt from the planning staff.'

【イベントレポート】【CP+2019】男の趣味空間に並ぶ「PENTAX KPカスタム」を見てきた - デジカメ Watch

Google translation

Note also the playing cards with brand logos...



...and the jumble of mechanical equipment: motorcycle, cameras, wristwatches.




Digital Camera Watch said the exhibition felt like the space where one would practice their hobby.
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