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07-17-2020, 08:24 AM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
But, is it a niche that is large enough to sustain the brand? It has to be sufficiently profitable, or at least there has to be a plan where it appears it will be, for a large, publicly traded corporation to continue to invest in it (or even maintain it).
It is more than 50% of the market. No way that optics are going out of fashion.....

07-17-2020, 08:25 AM - 4 Likes   #152
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
It's all beginning to sound, niche, arty and expensive
I think you're onto something.

A few observations from a long-time Pentaxian:

1) First, as others have said, this is not a bad strategy. Carve out a niche with DSLRs, as Leica has done with rangefinders. It may be the only way a small player can survive. But will the price of Pentax DSLRs eventually mirror that of cameras from the red-dot brand?

2) I'm willing to bet another reason Pentax is doing this is because it lacks the R&D budget to develop a competitive mirrorless system of its own. Frankly, I have always suspected that Leica was in a similar spot when it decided to pursue the luxury market. It simply couldn't compete against the mass-market camera companies from Asia. So it didn't. Harley-Davidson is another example, although I think time has run out for H-D.

3) I realize the line about feeling the optical-viewfinder image in your heart in the Pentax manifesto is pure marketing. But how many photographers that we know - both in person and online - have told you they have problems with EVFs? It's a real thing for many people. Personally, I can go back and forth between OVF and EVF with no problem.

4). Assuming this strategy works, who among us would have predicted a couple of years ago that Pentax would be around longer than Olympus?

Last edited by Biro; 07-17-2020 at 08:37 AM.
07-17-2020, 08:28 AM - 5 Likes   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote

2) I'm willing to bet another reason Pentax is doing this is because it lacks the R&D budget to develop a competitive mirrorless system of its own.

They lack budget for mirrorless because they have used the R&D budget to develop three different digital formats and lens line-ups (four if you include the Q), and two (three with Q) lens mounts......

I cannot for the life of me understand why some think they should develop a system for a crowded, shrinking mirrorless marked where no one is making a profit. Pentax is after all THE Japanese SLR manufacturer. The are even named after the pentaprism. The are plenty of mirrorless offerings out there....
07-17-2020, 08:31 AM - 1 Like   #154
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I was just out taking a few shots of tomatoes and other things growing in the garden with my M-50/1.7 and the K-1 ii and had that happy picture-taking feeling

Using LV to get the best focus with the old M lens was a little distraction. If you should suggest an AF lens that is as joyful to use as the M-50/1.7 - which would it be? The 43 Ltd?

07-17-2020, 08:46 AM - 5 Likes   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by FozzFoster Quote
All mirrorless demands can now go to other brands. We learned Pentax has fully embraced OVF. We learned that if a person was impatiently waiting for a MILC, they can go for other options now, if seriously required. I personally learned that Ricoh is doubling-down on OVF/Limiteds and there will be some fun-to-use cool tech oriented toward what I personally want out of camera.
While I wouldn't rule out a MILC camera from Ricoh, its pretty clear that it won't be branded as a Pentax.
07-17-2020, 09:16 AM - 1 Like   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
...
3) I realize the line about feeling the optical-viewfinder image in your heart in the Pentax manifesto is pure marketing. But how many photographers that we know - both in person and online - have told you they have problems with EVFs? It's a real thing for many people. Personally, I can go back and forth between OVF and EVF with no problem....
It really matters to me and marketing or not, their statement on it, spoke to my love of cameras, rather than planted the idea.


QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
...
4). Assuming this strategy works, who among us would have predicted a couple of years ago that Pentax would be around longer than Olympus?
Among us? Not many, we're definitely a pessimistic group on this subject, which has always struck me as a bit odd.
07-17-2020, 09:20 AM - 3 Likes   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
4). Assuming this strategy works, who among us would have predicted a couple of years ago that Pentax would be around longer than Olympus?
I did. The question is, who believed me?
07-17-2020, 09:22 AM - 1 Like   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
What's wrong with that - cameras that sell? You might say, 'But I don't want a street camera or a 360 degree camera'. But the point is, other people did.

The result is what Ricoh did last year with the Smartvision portfolio is what the other manufacturers have been unable to do - actually make more money. Boards respect that.

Take Olympus, for example.

According to Mistral75's figures, they sell twice as many cameras as Ricoh, and they're completely mirrorless.

But the result? A $150 million dollar loss in twelve months. Let's put that disaster into context. All of Pentax, its employees in Japan, its factories in Vietnam and the Philippines, its IP, was bought for $120 million.

So, which company has been smarter?

And in the case of Canon and Nikon, their revenues have dropped even further since they moved to their new mirrorless platforms. The Canon guy admitted they did not result in a growth in the market or even an arrest in the decline, instead he found each mirrorless sold just subtracted one from their own DSLR sales. That's the worst possible result. And if Canon cannot serve both R and EF mount users (they've basically abandoned EF lens development, for example), how will smaller Nikon and Pentax handle two mounts?
It's not that I object to Pentax being supported by Ricoh's other imaging offerings, but rather the assertion that companies should ask "How can we be more like Pentax?" If you had stated "How can we be more like Ricoh Imaging's Smart Vision?" I could be on board with that.

Canon's EF lens lineup is pretty complete, so it makes sense for them to focus all their resources on developing the R system. And if each Canon R sale is one fewer DSLR sale, that is likely a net win for Canon. New R users are mostly going to have to buy lenses new, as opposed to the thriving EF used market. Good for Canon.

Just out of curiosity, in past years when other companies were zooming ahead of Pentax, were you stating "How can Pentax be more like other companies?"

I strongly agree with Pentax's current tack - I've been on board with Pentax as a niche player who should not try to emulate Canikony for years, despite many folks on this forum disagreeing with that sentiment.


Last edited by luftfluss; 07-17-2020 at 09:29 AM. Reason: typo
07-17-2020, 09:25 AM - 18 Likes   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
But, is it a niche that is large enough to sustain the brand? It has to be sufficiently profitable, or at least there has to be a plan where it appears it will be, for a large, publicly traded corporation to continue to invest in it (or even maintain it).
At one time I ran a very niche little company that specialized in B&W film processing and printing. Everything was done by hand, and I would process to order, which made me very popular with some of the professional photographers in the area. This was in the 1990s, when minilabs were king, and B&W had been relegated to something people read about their grandfathers having done at some point in the dusty past.
My sales volume wouldn't even have registered as a blip in my local market, much less the national or international market.
However, I didn't have a massive supply chain to support, I wasn't paying a huge amount of rent or maintaining a flashy storefront.
And I made money like there was no tomorrow.

Niche players can be very profitable as long as they are careful and reasonable about their goals.

The problem the big players in the camera market are going to be facing is the massive supply chains they have built when the market was booming just a few short years ago. They all have large factories, I suspect Canon, Nikon Sony and probably Fuji have a dozen or more factories and assembly plants between them. These are the beasts that will eat their masters if not kept fed, and in a shrinking market, it get's increasingly difficult to keep them sated. The large players can't pivot rapidly, which is why, as the market is contracting rapidly, we are seeing the two biggest players FINALLY jumping on the only hope of maintaining any sort of growth in the market. Canon and Nikon have to keep selling large volumes of product. If they don't, they will fail. The infrastructure they have built demands it.

A smaller niche player can just keep soldiering on, doing what they do best. They don't have to play the go big or go home game that the industry heavyweights have to play, and in fact would be committing suicide if they tried.

Like the little one man band custom B&W lab that stayed in his niche, didn't try to take on the Walmart one hour photos of the world, and thrived by doing what he did best, Pentax can, and should I believe, stay in their niche, continue to do what they do best, ignore the Goliaths that are punching each other in the face, and pick up their new customers from the people who are tired of being on the hamster wheel that the big guys insist you be on to be one of their customers.
07-17-2020, 09:28 AM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I did. The question is, who believed me?
I wouldn't have, as I generally dismiss the xxx company is doomed talk.

The real question is, can you provide us with your prediction from a couple years ago that Pentax would outlast Oly?
07-17-2020, 09:28 AM - 7 Likes   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
I was just out taking a few shots of tomatoes and other things growing in the garden with my M-50/1.7 and the K-1 ii and had that happy picture-taking feeling

Using LV to get the best focus with the old M lens was a little distraction. If you should suggest an AF lens that is as joyful to use as the M-50/1.7 - which would it be? The 43 Ltd?
I'd go for the D FA* 50/1.4.
In fact I did. If you want a lens that will bring joy to your heart, that is the lens.

As an aside, I had breakfast today with one of my few remaining living photo pals. He is a long time Nikon user, and has consistently questioned my sanity regarding my insistence on buying and staying with Pentax. In fact, I sold him my Nikon F3 and a few lenses when I shifted to Pentax in the late 1980s.
I had mentioned buying the D FA* 85/1.4, and as he is a portrait photographer himself, he was both interested to see it, and also giving me a whole lot of grief over what I spent on the thing.
I took it and the K1 with me to the restaurant (dining in was a bit weird). He picked the kit up, spent about 30 seconds looking at it and said "Ok, I get it now, this is really nice". He commented primarily in the feel of the lens, how tight everything is, how it balances, how everything just falls under the fingers waiting to be operated.
He won't budge from Nikon, but I don't think I will be getting the teasing about my choice of brands any more.
He was genuinely in awe of the lens.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 07-17-2020 at 09:43 AM.
07-17-2020, 09:51 AM - 4 Likes   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I wouldn't have, as I generally dismiss the xxx company is doomed talk.

The real question is, can you provide us with your prediction from a couple years ago that Pentax would outlast Oly?
Here's an example:
QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
About this... I predicted, on the other forum, that the next system to die will not be Pentax K.
Shortly after, Sigma entered the L-mount alliance and decided to put an end to their SA mount. I have to update my prediction: the next system to die will still not be Pentax K.
Aaand... the next system to die will still not be Pentax K.
07-17-2020, 09:57 AM - 1 Like   #163
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07-17-2020, 10:33 AM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Here's an example:


Aaand... the next system to die will still not be Pentax K.
But you didn't specify Olympus... That was the original question, after all...

QuoteQuote:
...who among us would have predicted a couple of years ago that Pentax would be around longer than Olympus?
07-17-2020, 10:43 AM   #165
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btw, folks, have you noticed DPR have caught up with this, and I'd say the edototial in quite balanced - haven't read the comments yet,
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