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01-20-2022, 03:31 AM - 3 Likes   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by kwb Quote
The original word, 工房, is where artisans work to design and produce things. A workshop, a studio, an atelier. The message I get from reading the Japanese press release is that they'd like (us to think that they want) to listen to and talk to customers like artisans would to their clients to create things together. Greater customization, product ideas from customers, maybe smaller batches.
I hope this means custom ordering a Pentax camera like this is on the table:




...oh look, my wallet just flew open.


QuoteOriginally posted by BarneyL Quote
Leica discontinued the program few years ago, though. Looks like the artisan style, made to order manufacturing didn't pay off for them.
I'll point out I know a few photographers who sprung for such customization whom actually used the cameras, they were wonderful to behold. The funny thing was a lot of them paid not to have the Leica branding/markings on their cameras, also nonstandard frame-lines were popular and custom grip materials designed for enhanced durability, matte Black was also a popular body finish choice for many, some sprung for thick Titanium plating.


Last edited by Digitalis; 01-21-2022 at 07:38 AM.
01-20-2022, 03:37 AM   #32
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I will wait and see what really happens.
01-20-2022, 03:50 AM - 1 Like   #33
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You are on social-networkng page :P But I get it more or less as I do not have FB or IG account or on any other "now popular" portals or services.
01-20-2022, 04:17 AM   #34
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Digital Camera Watch's report on this announcement:

"Ricoh Imaging will be reborn": President's message released. Strengthening Web sales and advocating "workshop-like" manufacturing - Digital Camera Watch (English translation of the Japanese original text)

Their report is mainly paraphrasing the press release.

01-20-2022, 04:26 AM   #35
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If the translation of course is reasonably right, it looks like Ricoh wants to sell directly to customers and shut down the retail stores distribution of their camera's and lenses. Studio style manufacturing reads to me as building camera's and lenses to order so no more batches, but build on demand. This certainly will increase prices. One base chassis of a type of camera were you can build in anything you want, if you want a flippy screen, they put it in, want a OVF digital overlay, you name it... It is a bit like how the car industry is building their models. No more standard models. Fascinating!
01-20-2022, 04:43 AM - 2 Likes   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
If the translation of course is reasonably right, it looks like Ricoh wants to sell directly to customers and shut down the retail stores distribution of their camera's and lenses. Studio style manufacturing reads to me as building camera's and lenses to order so no more batches, but build on demand. This certainly will increase prices. One base chassis of a type of camera were you can build in anything you want, if you want a flippy screen, they put it in, want a OVF digital overlay, you name it... It is a bit like how the car industry is building their models. No more standard models. Fascinating!
I doubt they can become that advanced. I think the six K-3 III models and the process to arrive to which to make and the JLimited experience is more likely. Ie a base model with small tweaks. Flippy or not is a whole'nother level and basically becomes making indivudual camera models which I don't think is possible. They could of course make more modular bodies and parts to cater for customization but this *always* means complications and less optimised models.
01-20-2022, 05:39 AM - 3 Likes   #37
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Firstly, there is nothing in the announcement today about what they'll do overseas. However, I can say how they do the fan engagement in Japan currently, and you can rest assured it is not reliant on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

If you are a Japan resident, you can sign up for a Ricoh Photo ID on their website. You don't need to buy anything as far as I know, but it is the login for their store. I got mine when I first bought a lens from them and have been registered since then.

Ricoh sends out an email newsletter every Friday with a few topics included. This is mostly pointing to something newly uploaded to their website (things you can access now). It also advertises their in-person and online events. Incidentally, this is why they often put a new article up on Fridays, because they want something to link to in the newsletter.

A few times a year they do some kind of survey and the invitation to complete the survey is in the email. The survey itself is behind the Photo ID login, so I wouldn't be able to share the link with everyone on the forum. They also send out an email every Wednesday, which is just plugging something on the online store. They wanted me to buy a 16-50 PLM this week - dream on!

Anyway, that is how they do it over here, and I'm happy I don't have to follow their Facebook to access. Do they currently do something like this in other countries?

01-20-2022, 05:49 AM - 1 Like   #38
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In Poland there was a Pentax "photographer" website that was something similar - a place to share photos, with users and staff choosing best, news and promotions of Pentax and RI - such stuff, sort of company managed forum but it was removed two or three years ago. Sadly, that included Polish brand ambassadors, I think they canceled this program too.


I think there is no "user engagement" of any sort currently in Poland, webiste is prety much dead and even newsletters are not sent anymore - I was a user since I got K-50.

On the other hand Polish facebook account of Pentax/Ricoh is pretty lively - even though I do not have account on FB I check it from time to time as Pentax Poland is a patron of events like photography workshops and stuff. Yesterday was portrait photography workshop where Pentax (not RI, Pentax!) was a patron together with Epson, there was even possibility to test new Pentax gear. But it is all centered around FB.
01-20-2022, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #39
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I think this should have happened 5 years ago. It has been my opinion Ricoh/Pentax haven't had the scale to plug along, doing what they have been doing. Yes, prices will go up, but I think the price of K3iii already reflects this reality. Personally, I already struggle to see tech in that camera to reflect the price compared to what I paid for my K3ii. It is also a strategy by which they can keep models alive in the marketplace for more years. So rather than a new body every year, we will see Limited versions of K3iii (monochrome etc), before we get to see a new APS C model.


As for FB/Instagram vs. their own "channel". I totally understand the aversion towards FB etc. But for Ricoh to build their own international community ... Well, that will take time and require quite an effort from them. If not, it will end like a sad, abandoned place. So Big Mack and others might have to cut back on the FB/Instagram resentment, if they want Ricoh to have some success with this. I think you guys underestimate how many people it will require to build and run this internet community (programmers, moderators, content creators). FB/Instagram offers a massive shortcut.
01-20-2022, 07:32 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
I doubt they can become that advanced. I think the six K-3 III models and the process to arrive to which to make and the JLimited experience is more likely. Ie a base model with small tweaks. Flippy or not is a whole'nother level and basically becomes making indivudual camera models which I don't think is possible. They could of course make more modular bodies and parts to cater for customization but this *always* means complications and less optimised models.
I think they can become that advanced and do it easiy, because on a larger scale with their office automation they already do. One thing that is sure is that photographic equipment, not including Theta, will become a separate entity. That was one of the options they told us about last year and they seem to have confirmed that they are going that way. It means that Ricoh Imaging must make profit will it survive. Interesting!
01-20-2022, 09:55 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by H. Sapiens Quote
As for FB/Instagram vs. their own "channel". I totally understand the aversion towards FB etc. But for Ricoh to build their own international community ... Well, that will take time and require quite an effort from them. If not, it will end like a sad, abandoned place. So Big Mack and others might have to cut back on the FB/Instagram resentment, if they want Ricoh to have some success with this. I think you guys underestimate how many people it will require to build and run this internet community (programmers, moderators, content creators). FB/Instagram offers a massive shortcut.
Yes and no. From pro PoV (I am IT sitting in web development) FB/IG offer one shortcut: platform, and while it is huge one as you get website, mobile apps, communicator etc. it is also as big of a trap. FB is not worldwide, China = no FB. So you need two platforms. You still need moderators, content creators, photographs etc for FB and second platform. Third and fourth too (I suppose Weibo/Weechat or maybe Renren/QQ) if you want FB/IG duo equivalent.

It also ties you to not only platform, but also its demographics. You are dependent on people who are using FB. And younger people are moving away from it which means you can be left with older generations and no access to new customers unless... you get yet another platform.

Also it limits the way you can present yourself and your ideas and to communicate. Webpage is open for everyone, FB need you to be registered to do anything.


Going FB only for client communication is not as easy as it looks like and requires a lot of thought and preparation. And I saw companies with heaps of money backing away from FB as main communication channel. Sure, they still keep presence and their FB accounts are pretty alive but it is not main channel to present ideas. It is more of an info board pointing to their own websites, blogs etc.
01-20-2022, 10:12 AM - 1 Like   #42
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Less is more. Ricoh going shopless to market mirrorlesslessness? (cameras that's lacks the mirrorless feature are called mirrorlessless cameras, cameras that lack the lacking of a mirror).
01-20-2022, 11:27 AM - 1 Like   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by jersey Quote
And I saw companies with heaps of money backing away from FB as main communication channel. Sure, they still keep presence and their FB accounts are pretty alive but it is not main channel to present ideas. It is more of an info board pointing to their own websites, blogs etc.
Yes, but that is the heart of the matter: Heaps of money. I would love see Pentax make a portal with tons of inspiring stuff. But anyway, I never suggested a FB-only strategy. To me and a lot of people FB, youtube and Instagram are mostly search engines, complimenting Google, but offering the possibility of interacting with others with similar interests. Pentax building a community around around their own site - maybe in Japan, the rest of world, I don't see it happening.


I recently considered applying for a job as a content creator with a (ahem) sex toy internet shop. Turns out they are 12 people dedicated to making content, SEO , keeping up with tech trendsetc. This is not 12 people to make posts on FB. It is because they recognize they have to be present on several platforms and making different kinds of content in order to meet different kinds of customers. I know sex is quite a success, but this is not a huge, global cooperation. And Pentax are even not on their level.
01-20-2022, 11:56 AM - 1 Like   #44
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Nothing really new in the announcement, the gradual reduction in physical stores in favor of online activities started long ago with Pentax, it certainly reduced costs but also took its toll in Pentax market share. With shrinking camera market, further reduction of costs is needed.
01-20-2022, 12:09 PM - 2 Likes   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlhawes Quote
Rather glaring omission in the gentleman's remarks: they have no plans to actually implement customer support, which I see as their weakest point, and the only reason I have resolved that wouldn't buy anything from them ever again.
Mmmm? It contributes nothing to the subject of the thread.
Is there somewhere written "useless venting" in the thread subject ?
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