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01-14-2009, 04:32 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I kinda like the sound of this but it's economic suicide. It's basically Leica but a little cheaper

I think they could build it and maybe break even on it but the money comes from the bottom end of the market. The Km is dissapointed for me but to a degree addresses the market need (though LV was a massive oversight).

I hope they can do something to pull in some $$$ and free up some cash to refine a few things. The SDm motors have been a dissapointment and QC has slipped but with enough cash they can get on top of it I reakon.
Low cost Leica? Whats wrong with that? Niche is niche. Whats suicidal is trying to compete with the mainstream without committing to the marketing and sales strategy required to make it work.

You just want Pentax to be the same as Nikon and Canon, but thats suicidal. Even Sony are taking a beating financially to break in. Everyone just compares like for like features and buys the big name brand. Besides right now the bottom end is becoming too cheap to be profitable, just like digcams are now.

Most long-term successful niche brands have managed to maintain position by being aspirational not mainstream even if qualitatively the mainstream offer better value.

Canon, Nikon and Sony are like GM, Ford and Chrysler. Leica is Porsche perhaps but Pentax ought to think more like BMW than Nissan or Toyota. BMW has been incredibly successful without ever having made a cheap car or a model range with more than 5 platforms. In fact they built most of their success with just three cars, the 3 series, 5 series and 7 series and it was the 3 and 5 that made them a global brand - and they are still independent and profitable.

The real issue with the camera business is lack of imagination. Every mainstream camera brand is in a rut making the same cameras for the same mass market snappers. Thats why people complain about this feature or that feature because they are all so similar there is nothing else to compare.

01-14-2009, 06:39 AM   #77
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Again, for my own uses i'd love a little Leica style Pentax and the last thing I want is for Pentax to be like Nikon or Canon or i'd just shoot with those brands.

I have this discussion with Roland where I beg for a smaller body and he retorts with "we had one, the istD and even the DS and no one bought them". They release the tank like 10D and they see a clear upswing in fortunes.

I'd kill for a DS styled camera (I can live without the hand grip if needed so more leica like) with a 3in screen, 20D performance, SAFOX iX, external access to wb/iso/etc etc (no menu digging!!) with a big fat viewfinder , I have the feeling you would too but would they sell enough? Pentax are clearly not interested in designing it, they could even re-do a Km and call it a Kms or something and add functionality but I feel they sense they were burned by the istD.
01-14-2009, 07:07 AM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Low cost Leica? Whats wrong with that? Niche is niche. Whats suicidal is trying to compete with the mainstream without committing to the marketing and sales strategy required to make it work.

You just want Pentax to be the same as Nikon and Canon, but thats suicidal. Even Sony are taking a beating financially to break in. Everyone just compares like for like features and buys the big name brand. Besides right now the bottom end is becoming too cheap to be profitable, just like digcams are now.

Most long-term successful niche brands have managed to maintain position by being aspirational not mainstream even if qualitatively the mainstream offer better value.

Canon, Nikon and Sony are like GM, Ford and Chrysler. Leica is Porsche perhaps but Pentax ought to think more like BMW than Nissan or Toyota. BMW has been incredibly successful without ever having made a cheap car or a model range with more than 5 platforms. In fact they built most of their success with just three cars, the 3 series, 5 series and 7 series and it was the 3 and 5 that made them a global brand - and they are still independent and profitable.

The real issue with the camera business is lack of imagination. Every mainstream camera brand is in a rut making the same cameras for the same mass market snappers. Thats why people complain about this feature or that feature because they are all so similar there is nothing else to compare.
As a long time owner 3 series BMWs cars and BMW motorcycles. I would have to say that 3 series was ALWAYS way above the competition (and more expensive too). For years this cars looked better, handled better, performed better than competition, had better recognition in the press. 3 series was nominated best car by Car&Driver 10 times by now.
Almost all this things apply to BMW Motorrad motorcycles. Bikes were unique, with fresh ideas, R and K series bikes had always original design and exceptional reliability and ergonomics.
And although I would love to see future Pentax to be BMW of photo cameras, I can not compare today's Pentax and it's roadmap to BMW in any way.
01-14-2009, 09:43 AM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I have this discussion with Roland where I beg for a smaller body and he retorts with "we had one, the istD and even the DS and no one bought them". They release the tank like 10D and they see a clear upswing in fortunes.

I'd kill for a DS styled camera (I can live without the hand grip if needed so more leica like) with a 3in screen, 20D performance, SAFOX iX, external access to wb/iso/etc etc (no menu digging!!) with a big fat viewfinder , I have the feeling you would too but would they sell enough? Pentax are clearly not interested in designing it, they could even re-do a Km and call it a Kms or something and add functionality but I feel they sense they were burned by the istD.
I think the instant success of the K10D had much to do with the SR feature more than anything else. Sadly, the K10D flame didn't last as more owners discovered something looked good on paper didn't neceassily do well in reality. Pentax has the tradition of producing excellent prime lenses but half baked bodies for many decades. As much as I WANT a small body with SR for a long time, the strip down Km is not very attractive after going through the detail. I guess there will always be next year.

01-14-2009, 09:49 AM   #80
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Why Pentax is Being Cautious

Without deep pockets, Pentax has to be more cautious in its approach. Even deep pockets can get into trouble: Sony shock again? Slump may mean operating loss (AP) by AP: Yahoo! Tech
01-14-2009, 10:57 AM   #81
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How about this for a wow idea - make the firmware of discontinued models open source. Provide a little web page and see what happens. Very little effort to do, but may sway a few people over to Pentax and hence more lens sales. It could also lead to some insight as to what people are really looking for in terms of options that weren't originally offered.

-Brian
01-14-2009, 11:17 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Alan Sugar is an idiot. Most of his low end electronics products have been a disaster.
Ha Ha, remind me which one of you two is the Millionaire Playboy :-)
01-14-2009, 11:37 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by the_int21h Quote
How about this for a wow idea - make the firmware of discontinued models open source. Provide a little web page and see what happens. Very little effort to do, but may sway a few people over to Pentax and hence more lens sales. It could also lead to some insight as to what people are really looking for in terms of options that weren't originally offered.

-Brian
THAT would be awesome!

01-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #84
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Pentax should make two distinct model lines of dSLR cameras..

First would be full-featured bodies with interchangeable K-mount lenses that had every conceivable feature..Cameras that could compete, to one degree or another, against both Canon's and Nikon's flagship models..Included in this line of dSLR cameras would be models similar to the K100, K10D, K200, K20D cameras..

Second, would be a series of niche cameras..

One example that comes to mind would be a very basic digital camera with very bright viewfinders, viewfinders with at least 95% coverage, interchangeable finders (eye-level, waist-level, action--the LX finders come to mind), interchangeable focusing screens that can be easily changed by the user (having interchangeable finders makes changing a focusing screen exponentially easier), lightweight powerful flashes, single shot, or at the most three shot continuous capability, simple white balance controls, etc..Basically, a Pentax LX, but with very simple, very basic digital capabilities..Leave all of the bells and whistles for the full-featured digital SLR's, and to post processing on a laptop, or desk top computer..This type of camera will appeal to the photography enthusiast that is already well grounded in the basics of photography, and likes older manual focus film cameras..

I am convinced that such a camera will sell well..Look at Cosina's success over the past 10 years with the various Voigtlander film cameras that have sold out their respective production runs..

A second niche camera that Pentax could design and market that I am positive would sell like hotcakes would be a camera similar to the above LX-like digital camera, but one that would have a fully functional M-42 screw mount instead of a bayonet K-mount..A camera that would allow for the full functionality of all Pentax screw mount lenses, as well as for those M-42 lenses from other manufacturers that had the same features as the Pentax Takumar lenses..

I know that I would purchase either of the two cameras that I have described should Pentax ever decide to manufacture such a camera..

I am sure that other limited production niche cameras will come to minds of the members on this forum..

Bruce
01-14-2009, 12:47 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
One example that comes to mind would be a very basic digital camera with very bright viewfinders, viewfinders with at least 95% coverage, interchangeable finders (eye-level, waist-level, action--the LX finders come to mind), interchangeable focusing screens that can be easily changed by the user (having interchangeable finders makes changing a focusing screen exponentially easier), lightweight powerful flashes, single shot, or at the most three shot continuous capability, simple white balance controls, etc..Basically, a Pentax LX, but with very simple, very basic digital capabilities..Leave all of the bells and whistles for the full-featured digital SLR's, and to post processing on a laptop, or desk top computer..This type of camera will appeal to the photography enthusiast that is already well grounded in the basics of photography, and likes older manual focus film cameras..
But why de-feature something that does nto influence the shooting experience? 1 shot continuous? Why when 3 is so easy to impliment at no cost to form or function or even production costs.
01-14-2009, 01:46 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewRsoul Quote
Ha Ha, remind me which one of you two is the Millionaire Playboy :-)
Fair enough, but he never invented "pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap either". That was an old saying from the rag trade.

Before Amstrad started making satellite equipment his only truly successful product range was the PCW. I cant count the amount of rubbish they made before then. If AS was going into business for the first time now I think he would struggle massively.

In any event, do you think this is a successful strategy for a camera company like Pentax? Do you just want cheap cr*p?
01-14-2009, 02:13 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by awo425 Quote
As a long time owner 3 series BMWs cars and BMW motorcycles. I would have to say that 3 series was ALWAYS way above the competition (and more expensive too). For years this cars looked better, handled better, performed better than competition, had better recognition in the press. 3 series was nominated best car by Car&Driver 10 times by now.
Almost all this things apply to BMW Motorrad motorcycles. Bikes were unique, with fresh ideas, R and K series bikes had always original design and exceptional reliability and ergonomics.
And although I would love to see future Pentax to be BMW of photo cameras, I can not compare today's Pentax and it's roadmap to BMW in any way.
BMW took a long time to get there though. The E30 got a lot of kudos from touring car racing and the first M3 but it was not really until they released the E33 3 series that sales really took off against mainstream rep cars. I owned two, a 318i and a 328i coupe and liked both very much. I also had an e30 320i but it was pretty flawed to be honest. The Golf GTI was objectively better in most ways.

My point is simply that if Pentax wants to be a niche player then they need to make mainstream cameras sexy and desirable, just like BMW made saloon cars sexy and desirable. Instead of having to spend a fortune on a big jag or merc the 3 series gave you the same refinement and build quality in a small, affordable package. It was sensational market placement if you ask me.
01-14-2009, 03:01 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Fair enough, but he never invented "pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap either". That was an old saying from the rag trade.
It's just a phrase he uses?

QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Before Amstrad started making satellite equipment his only truly successful product range was the PCW. I cant count the amount of rubbish they made before then. If AS was going into business for the first time now I think he would struggle massively.
You missed out the MASSIVE PC revolution, he almost single handedly forced the low cost (granted low quality!!) PC compatible market in the UK. The 1512 and 1640 where a 1/4 the price of the equivilent IBM or Compaq.

QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
In any event, do you think this is a successful strategy for a camera company like Pentax? Do you just want cheap cr*p?
Quite honestly, yes, I think the problem at the moment is as I've said few times, the Pentax brand needs to be 'out there'. For the last 18 months they should have had the cheap SLR with features to beat the Sony's 100/200 and Nikon's D40, the soccer mom generation have been buying in the boat load. That would generate the cash flow to allow Pentax to R&D all these Wow factor units you crave. It's made Nikon a fortune, not to mention the upgraders who out grew it!

Peter
01-14-2009, 03:34 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewRsoul Quote
For the last 18 months they should have had the cheap SLR with features to beat the Sony's 100/200 and Nikon's D40, the soccer mom generation have been buying in the boat load. That would generate the cash flow to allow Pentax to R&D all these Wow factor units you crave. It's made Nikon a fortune, not to mention the upgraders who out grew it!

Peter
The Ds really hurt them, they were convinvced that small cameras were perceived as bad cameras and went BIG right as Nikon twigged that there was a HUGE market for small/cheap so long as it is responsive.

In truth I am not sure Pentax realise just how much they were really hurt by the DREADFUL performance of their models pre-K10D. I am talking AF, shoot to shoot, that squarky AF noise, image review/playback etc etc. The cameras were so terribly slow it was hardly a surprise to see soccer mums leap all over the D40.

The 10D and 20D address the speed issue to a degree and the Km seems to be getting there but the above issues combined with a lack of marketing has really put them behind the 8 ball.
01-14-2009, 03:53 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewRsoul Quote
It's just a phrase he uses?



You missed out the MASSIVE PC revolution, he almost single handedly forced the low cost (granted low quality!!) PC compatible market in the UK. The 1512 and 1640 where a 1/4 the price of the equivilent IBM or Compaq.



Quite honestly, yes, I think the problem at the moment is as I've said few times, the Pentax brand needs to be 'out there'. For the last 18 months they should have had the cheap SLR with features to beat the Sony's 100/200 and Nikon's D40, the soccer mom generation have been buying in the boat load. That would generate the cash flow to allow Pentax to R&D all these Wow factor units you crave. It's made Nikon a fortune, not to mention the upgraders who out grew it!

Peter
The early Amstrad computers were OK but they sold in numbers that were miniscule by todays standards and he went out of the business once the real players like Dell started pushing quality product down the price scale. Now Michael Dell is one of the smartest players on the market.

But the market is already awash with cheap cameras. How are Pentax supposed to undercut companies that can build more product faster and cheaper like Sony or Nikon? The soccer mums already have a whole selection to choose from, and "yet another boring plastic camera" is not going to help Pentax. Besides, the competition is forcing prices down so much there are no margins at this end of the market any more.
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