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02-28-2022, 09:18 PM - 25 Likes   #1
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New details on Pentax new strategy - Pentax Co-creation Project

Pentax are announcing their “Pentax Co-creation Project”

This whole message refers to the Japan market only.

This announcement does not cover GR, and that will be communicated later.

Online sales
From April 1, Ricoh will sell on their own online stores and brand stores within the main e-commerce platforms, specifically Amazon, Rakuten and PayPay (What's new this time is that they specify the platforms and they mention they are considering some limited direct sales only items)

Events
Pentax will have regular (as opposed to periodic) online meetings with users
Pentax will have real events and chances to try the products (This time it is clear that there will be some real-world events, as well as just virtual)

Crowdfunding
Pentax will use crowdfunding to offer limited products, enabled by their new “Kobo-style” manufacturing. To start with, these will be the ideas explained at the November 2021 event - variants of the K-3 III (In the last announcement they did not specifically relate the new strategy to the K-3 III models, but we inferred it)

Ricoh Imaging Square
Ricoh is closing both the Tokyo and Osaka Imaging Square operations on March 28. In summer they will open a new location in Tokyo. Repair services are not interrupted. (This is all new)

For all of the above points they promise more details will be forthcoming.

The part that might worry some people is the closing of the Tokyo and Osaka showrooms. It is a shame if the Osaka location does not get a replacement. I can say that the current Tokyo location is convenient in terms of location for me, but it is tucked away in a location with almost no passing traffic. So you wouldn’t find it unless you knew it was there. It is probably a good thing if the new location is better.

Here it is in Japanese. As always beware of machine translation. It often misrepresents the nuance of Japanese.
??????????????????????RICOH IMAGING

I'm guessing you may see interpretations of this announcement on other sites focusing on the closures, but the overall tone of the announcement is the new strategy of getting closer to users and providing more product options.

The most positive thing is that they basically confirm they will be going through with the plan to offer monochrome, astro and manual focus versions of the K-3 III.

Edit: I added some comments in brackets to clarify what is more detailed in this announcement than the last one.


Last edited by JPT; 02-28-2022 at 09:50 PM.
02-28-2022, 09:32 PM   #2
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Thanks for the update.
02-28-2022, 09:59 PM   #3
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It's good to see custom versions of the K3 III are on the way. But I don't have Pentax DA lenses, all my lenses are D-FA. What's the plan for full frame?
02-28-2022, 11:17 PM   #4
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Crowdfunding - sounds nice, but not professional. If they call it built on demand or preorder for something like a monochrome K3iii this may make more sense. The real business need to concentrate on more sales spots and smaller interactive projects, but about lenses… a decision on the standing of MF vs. FF vs. APSC vs. GR…. he past two years looked well, but many things interfere with business these days.

03-01-2022, 12:03 AM - 1 Like   #5
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It's not the first time they did this crowdfunding thing; the V-series binocular and monocular were similarly founded. I guess it makes sense for limited series things.
03-01-2022, 12:11 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Crowdfunding - sounds nice, but not professional.
I bought my Laowa 12mm F2.8 lens via crowdfunding. That was a good deal for both me and the company. And Laowa is not one iota less professional than anyone else in the market.

They are all smaller and crowdfunding with the given financing limits is a very good way to check the feasibility of products with regards to how much and how many people will actually spend money on certain aspects.

In the age of internet where every single fool can spam facebook and forums with a million messages that a new camera is only a good camera when it has three UHS-III slots it is very difficult to listen to your true broader user base who actually spend money instead of just whining as loud as possible. The loudest ones seldom are the most valuable customers.


Ricoh does have the capabilities and skills to be reliable in execution - other than many small DIY crowdfunding projects.

So I do actually prefer crowdfunding by a respectable company better than the current situation.
03-01-2022, 12:30 AM - 4 Likes   #7
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Sony has used crowdfunding to get some unusual projects off the ground. Ricoh has in the past, as Kunzite said. It's not without precedent.

I think it's a good idea for ideas like the monochrome, astro or manual focus camera. People often say they'd want such a camera, but would they really pay for it? Crowdfunding give the company a way of gauging whether people would actually put their money where their mouth is before they commit to developing it.

With a company like Ricoh, you know they aren't some chancer who's going to party away your money and go bankrupt.You also know they have the capability to bring camera to market, so there is very little risk to customers.

03-01-2022, 12:36 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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Ricoh using crowdfunding is an excellent idea, they should have done it before to help with developments. However, crowdfunding doesn't prevent peer influence from people not having "skin in the game", such as folks who are strong Pentax backers in the talks while spending their photography budget on non-Pentax equipment (Loawa, Samyang,).

---------- Post added 01-03-22 at 08:40 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Crowdfunding give the company a way of gauging whether people would actually put their money where their mouth is before they commit to developing it.
Exactly. There has been too many times Ricoh asked customers what they want, Ricoh made what Pentaxians asked for and when Ricoh released it Pentaxians who previously said they wanted a Pentax FF actually bought a Sony A7.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-01-2022 at 12:42 AM.
03-01-2022, 03:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Pentax are announcing their “Pentax Co-creation Project”

This whole message refers to the Japan market only.

This announcement does not cover GR, and that will be communicated later.

Online sales
From April 1, Ricoh will sell on their own online stores and brand stores within the main e-commerce platforms, specifically Amazon, Rakuten and PayPay (What's new this time is that they specify the platforms and they mention they are considering some limited direct sales only items)

Events
Pentax will have regular (as opposed to periodic) online meetings with users
Pentax will have real events and chances to try the products (This time it is clear that there will be some real-world events, as well as just virtual)

Crowdfunding
Pentax will use crowdfunding to offer limited products, enabled by their new “Kobo-style” manufacturing. To start with, these will be the ideas explained at the November 2021 event - variants of the K-3 III (In the last announcement they did not specifically relate the new strategy to the K-3 III models, but we inferred it)

Ricoh Imaging Square
Ricoh is closing both the Tokyo and Osaka Imaging Square operations on March 28. In summer they will open a new location in Tokyo. Repair services are not interrupted. (This is all new)

For all of the above points they promise more details will be forthcoming.

The part that might worry some people is the closing of the Tokyo and Osaka showrooms. It is a shame if the Osaka location does not get a replacement. I can say that the current Tokyo location is convenient in terms of location for me, but it is tucked away in a location with almost no passing traffic. So you wouldn’t find it unless you knew it was there. It is probably a good thing if the new location is better.

Here it is in Japanese. As always beware of machine translation. It often misrepresents the nuance of Japanese.
??????????????????????RICOH IMAGING

I'm guessing you may see interpretations of this announcement on other sites focusing on the closures, but the overall tone of the announcement is the new strategy of getting closer to users and providing more product options.

The most positive thing is that they basically confirm they will be going through with the plan to offer monochrome, astro and manual focus versions of the K-3 III.

Edit: I added some comments in brackets to clarify what is more detailed in this announcement than the last one.

How will affect us here in the Philippines? Will there be an online store for other Asian countries? Thanks
03-01-2022, 03:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by totsmuyco Quote
How will affect us here in the Philippines? Will there be an online store for other Asian countries? Thanks
If you don't buy from Japan I don't see how it would affect you.
03-01-2022, 03:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
If you don't buy from Japan I don't see how it would affect you.
Ahh Okay. So the channel is only if you buy something with different specs. All the rest remains in the regular channel. Thanks
03-01-2022, 04:21 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by totsmuyco Quote
How will affect us here in the Philippines? Will there be an online store for other Asian countries? Thanks
I think Ricoh has basically said that standard versions of cameras and lenses would be available worldwide via normal distribution channels. This is only going to be a targeted plan for the Japanese market.

My guess is that there will be avenues where folks abroad can order from Japan, if there is a custom version of a camera that they want, but they won't be available through their local markets.
03-01-2022, 04:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
(...)

Crowdfunding
Pentax will use crowdfunding to offer limited products, enabled by their new “Kobo-style” manufacturing. To start with, these will be the ideas explained at the November 2021 event - variants of the K-3 III (In the last announcement they did not specifically relate the new strategy to the K-3 III models, but we inferred it)

(...)
Thank you very much for this very helpful summary. Concerning the six K-3 Mark III variants to be launched in the framework of crowdfunding projects, they are stating more specifically that they will begin with the one of the six that was the most popular among the Pentaxians who took part in the 27 November meeting, as revealed by the survey they were asked to fill in after the online meeting, aren't they?

Do you / does anyone happen to know which one it was?
03-01-2022, 04:45 AM   #14
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Shame that there is no change for abroad, would not mind meetings and crowdfunding in EU. One can hope that if it works for Japan, Ricoh will decide to move more aggressively in EU or USA. Still I hope if something will be put on Amazon then it will be available for worldwide shipping.
03-01-2022, 05:00 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Thank you very much for this very helpful summary. Concerning the six K-3 Mark III variants to be launched in the framework of crowdfunding projects, they are stating more specifically that they will begin with the one of the six that was the most popular among the Pentaxians who took part in the 27 November meeting, as revealed by the survey they were asked to fill in after the online meeting, aren't they?

Do you / does anyone happen to know which one it was?
Mistral75 - You're right. Now I read it again, they do say the most popular model. So they won't offer all of them from the start. Sorry for the inaccuracy.

That makes sense, because if you offered all the models at once, it would split the crowdsourcing backers and lead to none of them gaining enough support.

It's difficult to say which one was most popular, because they did both a poll during the Zoom event and asked the same question in the subsequent survey. The result of the poll was visible on the screen. Looking at my own summary of the event (because I've forgotten by now!) the monochrome one and the jet black model were most popular. But I do remember that there was not much in it and some of the others gained almost as many votes (maybe the astro model was next). So the result of the survey is anyone's guess.
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