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01-08-2009, 09:36 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
That is exactly the point of this thread. It's not what we individually would like to see but what do you think Pentax could produce that would make them a viable niche manufacturer. . . .
Not to be fascetious, but the KxxD body IS the niche, at the value/price point.

Pentax needs to clarify (internally adn externally) their PHILOSOPHY and integrate it into bodies, lenses and marketing.

Do nothing that is away from the philosophy. Do everything that extends the philosophy.

Is Pentax an innovator? A glass - specialty designer? A manufacturer? A marketing company (well, no, but can Hoya change them)?

What is Pentax?

Whatever the phiosophy turns out to be, exploit it aggressively and fully.

FWIW, I just had a conversation w/ a friend who asked me what he should do with his 645 and lenses, since he hasn't used them in four years. In this market for used MF gear I told him to use them.

How does some future Pentax philosophy include MF?

01-08-2009, 10:38 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Not to be fascetious, but the KxxD body IS the niche, at the value/price point.

Pentax needs to clarify (internally adn externally) their PHILOSOPHY and integrate it into bodies, lenses and marketing.

Do nothing that is away from the philosophy. Do everything that extends the philosophy.

Is Pentax an innovator? A glass - specialty designer? A manufacturer? A marketing company (well, no, but can Hoya change them)?

What is Pentax?

Whatever the phiosophy turns out to be, exploit it aggressively and fully.

FWIW, I just had a conversation w/ a friend who asked me what he should do with his 645 and lenses, since he hasn't used them in four years. In this market for used MF gear I told him to use them.

How does some future Pentax philosophy include MF?

I think they, being Hoya's executive management, agrees. As they stated in their Q2 financial statement in November along with their initial vision of the value the Pentax brand as it relates to the dSLR marketplace:

QuoteQuote:
Essentially, the products we are now producing and selling were developed last summer or autumn, with a roadmap that lacked strategy in my view. As I said in the previous meeting, we remade a completely new roadmap for the next fiscal year in accordance with the "scrap & build" policy: creating unique cameras of a new and different field, and releasing and commencing the marketing of interchangeable lenses at the same time as new cameras. As for new products for this year, a new single-lens reflex camera K-m model (an entry level high-end model) was launched about two 8 weeks ago, while new compact digital cameras have also been released on a quarterly basis. Next year, we are planning to launch some three types, including minor design change versions, of single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. With a desire to offer cameras which will demonstrate our advantages, as announced in the Photokina held in Germany, we will relaunch ourselves next year as a manufacturer of all-weather cameras which are strong outdoors, highly water resistant, splash-proof, and dustproof, small and light, easily portable and tough (durable).
Also providing the encouraging statements:

QuoteQuote:
As for digital cameras, likewise, the market for compact cameras has halved on a year-on-year basis in the case of some big mass merchandisers, although the decline in single-lens reflex cameras is relatively minor. From a macroscopic perspective, the market for compact cameras appears to be dropping on a year-on-year basis globally, in sales as well as shipments. It seems that single-lens reflex cameras are not dropping much.

Sales of single-lens reflex cameras also trigger those of interchangeable lenses, so we will continue focusing on the former product.
Hopefully, any strategic vision they define will include the priorities which made us current Pentax users.
01-08-2009, 11:12 AM   #18
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And if you continue reading between the lines, he describes the Km as an "entry level high-end model." That intimates that there will be models above (as there are), so likely the K300/K30 would end up being the "minor design change versions."

There is room in that prose for a non-SLR interchangeable camera ("creating unique cameras of a new and different field, and releasing and commencing the marketing of interchangeable lenses at the same time as new cameras."). That would fit in with the small/light/tough as well. I don't see much there indicating a new 645 unless that is the "unique camera" but who knows...

Niche doesn't necessarily mean narrow. It does mean filling a need though, and currently they seem to do that. It just depends if they can determine what their vision is, execute, and see if the market responds.
01-08-2009, 11:40 AM   #19
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It seems reasonable that if Pentax are stepping away from the studio camera and into a rugged all-weather approach, anything they put inside of the body is within philosophy and niche. Within that scope, I would hope to see an all segment line-up of weather proof cameras with an eye on size - compact Km (minor design change adds weather resist), K30 with advanced AF and fps and a K3 with a FF sensor (first all-weather, affordable in-body SR FF camera).

01-08-2009, 11:46 AM   #20
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and some kind of sealed kit lens
01-08-2009, 12:38 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
It seems reasonable that if Pentax are stepping away from the studio camera and into a rugged all-weather approach, anything they put inside of the body is within philosophy and niche. Within that scope, I would hope to see an all segment line-up of weather proof cameras with an eye on size - compact Km (minor design change adds weather resist), K30 with advanced AF and fps and a K3 with a FF sensor (first all-weather, affordable in-body SR FF camera).
Thank you - that is precisely what I mean by a defining design philosophy. You can call it branding, market niche, design philosophy or whatever you want. The idea is when you think you need (xxxxx) you think of Pentax.

Yet they must take care over what they put in (or on) the body so that everything is explained by and contributes to realization of the vision or dsesign phiosophy, not just of the individual line, but also of the entire enterprise. The lens should relate to the body, and one camera should relate to another, in some identifiable, "Pentax" way

Yes, Hoya's recent comments do seem to reveal the beginnings of a strategy (DSLR's, interchangeable lenses, less emphasis on compact) and a philosophy (outdoors, smallish, durable, value, lenses) for Pentax. The emphasis on interchangeable elnses suggests extending the reputation of the glass, and designing the bodies as a glass platform. (The lens takes the picture - the body is a light-tight box that holds the lens a fixed distance away from the capture medium).
01-08-2009, 01:02 PM   #22
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If Pentax would have been like (small, plastiky and expensive) a Canon (xxxD or xxxxD series) or Nikon (D40/60) I wouldn't chosed it because I can not afford a camera like 5D nor D300 or D700 from Nikon (only entry level ones and until K-m was launched , K200D and its predecessors were offering the highest level of features vs. price - nad not only features : ergonomics, more heavy so more stable, more AF points, top LCD, DOF preview, AA batteries, compatibility with old lenses, SR usable with any lenses, focus confirmation working with any lenses and many others,... things that are important to me - many of these things making me to chose Pentax over Canikon - and maybe to other photographers as well).
I only looked once at a K10D and, WOW ! it has a great ergonomics (not mentioning the big viewfinder - I have a K100D) ! K10D (K20D) has the PERFECT shape, volume, weight (more weight helps evem more for a steady shot ) etc. for me, of course. The K100D is very good but K10D is excellent (unfortunately it uses LiIon battery - I like more NiHM being much more cheap and much easier to find - can land , with K100D, even over 600 shots).
If they want a small one, I like the shape of the E-410 Oly because it does not have that grip and , because of that fits better in a camera bag.
Puting apart that dreamy MX I like Pentax's actual cameras (K20D & K200D) like they are now (FF would be good if it would be affordable - ~600 euros a new body -, otherwise I'm not interested).
01-08-2009, 01:07 PM   #23
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Another part of Pentax's philosophy is the emphasis on their prime lens lineup. They are obviously very different in this aspect from almost any other camera/lens maker. This ties in with the desire for the best IQ for your images wherever possible.

They've made some stellar pro zooms in the past, and I'm hoping the future will bode well for this area in the longer focal lengths.

Regards,
Marc

01-08-2009, 01:12 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
Nevertheless, it seems to me that their current offering, in terms of DLSRs, is too close to what the others are doing to be called a real niche.
Not really when it comes to lenses, Pentax made some mistakes, especially with DA16-50, also, the whole story about DA60-250 is not promising at all. That`s the main reason I switched to Canon.

Pentax probably makes the best bodies in its classes but that`s not enough. I wish I could mount EF 70-200 f/4 IS on K10 ......... in my dreams only........

Pentax is a great choice for someone oriented to primes only, but I am not.
01-08-2009, 10:06 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
and some kind of sealed kit lens
Yes, please. It wouldn't do much to market Pentax as the all-weather, rugged choice if they wouldn't have more affordable sealed lens options. Not everyone who's into mountaineering and stuff have the budget for DA*s. They'd rather spend it on their next trip or something.

A sealed kit lens for a good price would make a lot of heads turn. A KxxxD + affordable sealed lens will move a lot of units, I think.
01-09-2009, 03:37 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
and some kind of sealed kit lens
indeed a must
01-09-2009, 09:09 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
Yes, please. It wouldn't do much to market Pentax as the all-weather, rugged choice if they wouldn't have more affordable sealed lens options. Not everyone who's into mountaineering and stuff have the budget for DA*s. They'd rather spend it on their next trip or something.

A sealed kit lens for a good price would make a lot of heads turn. A KxxxD + affordable sealed lens will move a lot of units, I think.
I think the thing about making an *affordable* weather-sealed lens is that the seals have to be *good.* If you seal it off badly, moisture that might sneak in might have trouble getting *out,* and there you could have problems. So it needs some quality control, I'd think. So it might raise the cost rather a lot, depending what it takes to assemble the seals around those zoom and focus rings, especially cause the kit lens telescopes when zooming.

I mean, the kit lens is great for a kit lens, but it's not really something I'd want to see the price raised on. I would have bypassed it rather than buy it if it hadn't come with the kit.

I do hope we'll see more of the lens lineup weather-sealed lenses expand, but I don't really need it: as long as I can get back to where things used to be before everything turned into computers, (ie, walk around without worrying about a raindrop frying the thing,) I'm good, actually.

(and I think Pentax ought to come out with a line of its own focusing screens with some good options for whatever mix of new and old lenses someone might want to use. )

In general, they're going in a good direction for me: that's why I'm here. The K20d, I didn't think I'd be able to afford for a while on my budget, but the fact that they made it let me know they were thinking along lines that are good for me.

(And if it's good for an outdoorsey crowd, it's good for me, seems to be how things work out: things that are solid, but not real beastly, handle well, and basically do everything a film camera could do but be film.

Some *accessories* might really help to play to the strengths of the system: how about a cold-weather battery pack, a line of screw-mount adapters that can ride on an old lens and tell the SR what focal length it is... aforementioned screens for any given purpose.

Maybe a few battery-grip options, even. One with more dedicated controls and customizeable buttons, maybe, onboard storage for more FPS (I'd like to be able to write RAW files to a separate card, myself) something that runs on AA's, for those that don't like proprietary batteries, etc) Ways to 'have it your way' without forcing one to carry stuff you don't need around.

I think the 'niche' has a lot to do with appealing to the old school, too.
01-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #28
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A TC that makes every lens SDM (even MF lenses)... sweet... make me one of those!
01-09-2009, 06:15 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I think the thing about making an *affordable* weather-sealed lens is that the seals have to be *good.* If you seal it off badly, moisture that might sneak in might have trouble getting *out,* and there you could have problems. So it needs some quality control, I'd think. So it might raise the cost rather a lot, depending what it takes to assemble the seals around those zoom and focus rings, especially cause the kit lens telescopes when zooming.

I mean, the kit lens is great for a kit lens, but it's not really something I'd want to see the price raised on. I would have bypassed it rather than buy it if it hadn't come with the kit.

I do hope we'll see more of the lens lineup weather-sealed lenses expand, but I don't really need it: as long as I can get back to where things used to be before everything turned into computers, (ie, walk around without worrying about a raindrop frying the thing,) I'm good, actually.

(and I think Pentax ought to come out with a line of its own focusing screens with some good options for whatever mix of new and old lenses someone might want to use. )

In general, they're going in a good direction for me: that's why I'm here. The K20d, I didn't think I'd be able to afford for a while on my budget, but the fact that they made it let me know they were thinking along lines that are good for me.

(And if it's good for an outdoorsey crowd, it's good for me, seems to be how things work out: things that are solid, but not real beastly, handle well, and basically do everything a film camera could do but be film.

Some *accessories* might really help to play to the strengths of the system: how about a cold-weather battery pack, a line of screw-mount adapters that can ride on an old lens and tell the SR what focal length it is... aforementioned screens for any given purpose.

Maybe a few battery-grip options, even. One with more dedicated controls and customizeable buttons, maybe, onboard storage for more FPS (I'd like to be able to write RAW files to a separate card, myself) something that runs on AA's, for those that don't like proprietary batteries, etc) Ways to 'have it your way' without forcing one to carry stuff you don't need around.

I think the 'niche' has a lot to do with appealing to the old school, too.
I hear you about quality control and all that. I really wasn't intending to push out the existing kit lens Pentax already has. The 18-55 and 50-200 are staples, and they should always be in the lineup. I'm thinking more of a kit lens upgrade (or it could be offered in place of a kit lens, as a package), something along the lines of the 17-70 or 16-45, but sealed. A sealed kit lens itself would be swell, too. New buyers can opt for it in their package for a couple more dollars (of course, they still have the option to choose the vanilla kit lens), and people who already have Kxxs and K200Ds but can't afford the DA*s (or are wary of the DA* 16-50 QC) will certainly eat those up.

I certainly don't know how much sealing will add to the cost, but if Olympus can bring out a 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens for $400 and still make profits for both themselves and dealers, then Pentax can certainly do something like that, too.

Hoya has made statements about committing to cater to the outdoors club with rugged cameras, so I have hopes they'll come out with affordable lenses, too.

Now about your other items, the adapter and screens (if you're thinking split-focus screen) are possibly stuff that Pentax won't do, just because it might get you to buy less new Pentax lenses and get more of old ones. The adapter you mention also seems to have to include some serious circuitry there to determine focal length, I'm not at all sure if it's possible to do...

AAs. It's been a point of contention here and elsewhere.

Personally, I'd rather they have a model (Kxxx line) that keeps AAs, while the upper models could go with proprietary batteries. I find it amazing how Pentax can coax out performance from AAs in their DSLRs, but with live view becoming the norm, I can't see how they can keep AAs there while maintaining the commendable number of photos taken on a set of AAs.
01-09-2009, 07:27 PM   #30
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"I hear you about quality control and all that. I really wasn't intending to push out the existing kit lens Pentax already has. The 18-55 and 50-200 are staples, and they should always be in the lineup. I'm thinking more of a kit lens upgrade (or it could be offered in place of a kit lens, as a package), something along the lines of the 17-70 or 16-45, but sealed. A sealed kit lens itself would be swell, too. New buyers can opt for it in their package for a couple more dollars (of course, they still have the option to choose the vanilla kit lens), and people who already have Kxxs and K200Ds but can't afford the DA*s (or are wary of the DA* 16-50 QC) will certainly eat those up."

That 16-50 may be a bargain at its best, but definitely costs too much to not be *just right.* And assuredly-so. If there's one thing I'd like to be able to plunk down some money on and expect to be able to count on without spending a few weeks inspecting it for where it might be a tad off ans start producing horrid fringing and abberations: it's a top-of-the-line OEM 2.8 zoom. That's where the paid jobs are, not where I want to spend my time as an enthusiast that would rather have a prime on there.

Sale already blown, there, for me, anyway. Wider than I'd need, and shorter than I'd really want. They *could* probably seal off that 17-70 and have just as the Olympus has with the variable-aperture 14-54.. those are already equivalent and price-competetive.

I'd consider one, but I'd rather sacrifice the wide end for steady aperture. Wideness? Not a strength of a cropped-sensor finder or the lenses themselves, and not something I ever cared much for even when I could see well in FF.



"Now about your other items, the adapter and screens (if you're thinking split-focus screen) are possibly stuff that Pentax won't do, just because it might get you to buy less new Pentax lenses and get more of old ones."

That's the kind of thinking that means I don't have a canon or Nikon by now, though. I'm actually talking about not making their customers go to third parties to cut down K1000 split screens, but actually making proper ones *for* both digital and manual focus. Lose the split prism, for instance. Give a nice bright matte circle to confirm autofocus and manually have precision: Leave the microprism collar, for quick and good manual focus. Lose the brightening that's meant to make a kit lens look good in a shop, but rather give full benefit of all these Limited primes and fast zooms. (as in, what I call a 'Ratzeye screen'.)

ie, stop telling us we don't need focus aids and make the darn things right instead of sending us to aftermarket chop-shops.


" The adapter you mention also seems to have to include some serious circuitry there to determine focal length, I'm not at all sure if it's possible to do..."

Couple dummy contacts. People fake it with tinfoil all the time, apparently

"AAs. It's been a point of contention here and elsewhere.

Personally, I'd rather they have a model (Kxxx line) that keeps AAs, while the upper models could go with proprietary batteries. I find it amazing how Pentax can coax out performance from AAs in their DSLRs, but with live view becoming the norm, I can't see how they can keep AAs there while maintaining the commendable number of photos taken on a set of AAs."


AA's have always essentially sucked in photography. Old-school as I am, and hating the possibility of obsolescensce, no. Not missing em too much. Make a battery pack I can plug in with them if I'm going that far off the grid. Otherwise, ....use common cell phone batteries or something.
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