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02-06-2009, 11:22 AM   #46
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I think that pricing on the K2000 is much more reasonable for the demographic they're going after. If you'll notice, they're essentially announcing body only pricing for the K2000 here too.

02-06-2009, 11:32 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by nakey Quote
i'm not saying it's a bad grip, it's that i want the e-dials and green button. no point having the vertical release when i have to go to the camera's release just to meter and change exposure...
That would be nice, but I'm just saying that it's still nice to have, especially for the low price. If I'm shooting portraits I tend to check and adjust the metering mostly at the start of the shoot, but other than an occasional histogram check not too much after that. So the vertical shutter release is still very useful to me. But more vertical controls would be nice, no argument there from me. Anyone complaining about the lack of external controls may not be happy with the K200 anyway, and would probably be better off using a K20 or K10.
02-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
there are more poor people than rich

i would rather have the photographer base be watered down with the few rich people trying out a new toy, than completely washed out with a typhoon of soccer moms and what not.

as for teaching poor kids, thats what the pawn shops, school inventory, and ebay are for.

and for the kids with slightly more scratch, entry level stuff.


back in the day, when someone started out with film, did they buy the most expensive colour slide film? NO, and did professional slide film ever drop in price? eh?

Besides Pentax already was the "cheaper" option, now its pretty much free!
Well, Gooshin, the fact is that the rich people buying the fancy cameras with all the bells and whistles is what *makes loading down what's supposed to be a working tool with expensive nonsense* what you mostly *get* when you plunk down for a 'Professional-grade' camera... also it means that these precision instruments exist in enough quantity to be even *obtainable at all* in some regards.

Yes, with film, you can put a Super Program or an AE-1P in in someone's hands, and a decent lens, and someone can more or less get the same results as the 'Pro' cameras of the day, ...if you can work around it not being the most durable or nice-by-degree-with-actually-useful-if-expensive stuff.

Of course there were always differences, and generally worth the money if you could afford them, ...nowadays you pay for bells and whistles if you just want something analagous to aperture and shutter speed controls.

'Soccer Mom' cameras from back in the day, actually, (Really 'football dads, to be honest) are exactly the kind of thing you'd own, starting out, if not the likes of Nikkormats and Canon FT types and K1000s. You'd *put* the good slide film in there, you'd *put* the decent glass on there, and as long as you could get the shot, you'd get the shot, more or less the same as a thousand dollar body would deliver.

You could work around it, and if it wore out, at least you were shooting all the while.

It's a little different from 'OK, I pay for this to be a full-frame video camera for no apparent reason, or I get to deal with fewer controls and actually-inferior images and such.'

It's kind of like with bicycles, you're a courier, you don't need the twelve hundred dollar Cannondale, you replace certain parts on a beater, remove the unnecessary, and you *go faster.* You don't go halfway to the race bike via stuff made complicated with a lot of unnecessary 'features' that have a way of demanding compromises from where it counts or that might go wrong or get in the way.


Since things have gone digital, (and to a lesser extent with AF and plastic and computers, but at least everyone had the same 'sensor,' still,) you can't really do that. The cheaper stuff actually doesn't work as well. Doesn't last as long, and actually gets in the way of the process *more.*

There was always a notion that you could get something pretty solid and basic and get the job done. When you bought a more expensive camera, it was often to have *fewer* bells and whistles, (Auto exposure used to be basically just a thing that 'turned the dials for you' without any real calculation involved) just better construction, quality control, a nicer finder, things that take precision manufacture like interchangeable finders, a faster flash synch if you like that sort of thing, and stuff like that.

Obviously, things that are mostly just about software are cheaper than adding mechanical parts and all, but.

Certainly, if Pentax came out with a camera model that really focused on keeping it simple, Stripped down, maybe, but able to perform where it counts, they could once again be making the top student and hobbyist camera out there. However-many point AF? *toss.* One. Superlative one. Eight frames per second? *toss.* Gimme two and a half. That happen *right* when I blip the shutter release.

Good glass and precision mechanicals have *always* cost money, but hey, most of the money in, say, selling trucks, is in the options. People like options. Maybe you want your duallie with the heated seats and the big exhaust pipes and nav system, but if you make one of those, you can also make a farm truck with the rubber floor mats and the pie-plate hubcaps that's just as solid and will get a job done.

As for teaching, I'd sooner be teaching film old-school. Kids taking classes, even getting 'degrees in photography' are working against people expecting results instantly, and trying to do it on occasional spurts of student loans and parental largesse or lucky breaks.


With all this talk about models and features, and most especially performance where it counts, sure, Pentax needs to stay competitive, but apart from common-sense things other brands have forgotten, like sticking a couple O-rings between your *computer* and the *outside world it's meant to interact with,*

It's really about the glass.

They keep making *old school-solid glass* like the 'Limiteds' and give reasonable assurance there'll be something to stick on behind em, they'll make what money there is to make from 'serious' photographers.


Also, solid, and affordable glass. for those not so well-endowed or profit-making,

Then they're there.

They're in a position to make, not just 'Ignorant consumer' cameras, but 'Serious beginner' cameras. (which incidentally tend to make great backups for anyone. ) No one, as it stands, is actually doing this right now.

This is how 'Old Pentax' got to be a name everyone knew, and tended to respect, even if they chose other devices to play papparazza with.
02-06-2009, 11:53 AM   #49
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"Perceived value" is a critical aspect of marketing and sales. By dropping the price of the K20d too low, they take the brand into different territory. There is a different between "budget" and "cheap." If they go for "cheap" they'll be toast. They exist because they have value and are different. And their perceived value is high, with the limited primes pointing towards "something better."

02-06-2009, 12:07 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
"Perceived value" is a critical aspect of marketing and sales. By dropping the price of the K20d too low, they take the brand into different territory. There is a different between "budget" and "cheap." If they go for "cheap" they'll be toast. They exist because they have value and are different. And their perceived value is high, with the limited primes pointing towards "something better."
That much is simple marketing psychology: unfortunately, people would rather feel they're getting a 'deal' on an 'expensive' thing than buy the 'cheaper' thing.

Kind of why the 'List Price' was invented, ...till people kinda learned to ignore it. Certainly, Nikon seems to be getting some mileage out of having celebrities wave point-and-shoots around the kind of parties that don't exist to most people, ...Canon actually does better in my little world by sponsoring PBS programs about photographers who just happen to use Canon and be good at their job, ...still a bit removed from the world of the price-conscious, though.

And, now that I've ranted a little more, I do remember back in the day, when I was maybe dressed a little too much like Pat Benatar, if anyone came up toting an LX, well, they weren't cheap, weren't common, weren't in widespread use among people you'd see elbowing each other on TV or whatever, but they did get respect, for the most part, not cause they were any better or worse than the very-similar F-1Ns and F3s out there. Just, quality stuff. Remarkably small for the day. And.... The assumption tended to run that no poser would be bothering to carry one. They didn't really interest the tech geeks, and didn't have the brand-status of Nikon, nor the 'Yes, shorter lenses actually fit this and I have fast glass and both my kidneys' attitude of Canon folks at the time.... but people knew a nice finder and body when they saw one.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 02-06-2009 at 12:30 PM.
02-06-2009, 01:08 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote

So if pentax wants to level this playing field, they need to ditch the $100,000 annual minimums and do whatever Canon and Nikon do, which is NO minimums to keep your established franshise viable for the moment... It could change, they too could impose new minimums, but Pentax following Olympus concerning 100K Minimum made BOTH of their product lines DISAPPEAR in my tiny half million person sized county.
You need to look carefully at what moves Pentax has done in the last year to see where they are heading. You are wrong about the other manufacturers having no minimum. As a matter of fact Canon, Sony, and Nikon have much higher minimums than Pentax.

Pentax made two significant changes this last year. They let all of their field sales people go. They also turned over all small dealers to several distributors they set up. Pentax handled both of these changes with the finesse of a bull in a china shop and created more bad will than good. If those two changes had been handled professionally and they were followed up with the proper fixed pricing they are now starting they would be well on their way to becoming the preferred brand by brick and mortar stores.

By mishandling the first two changes they have made the transition into a fixed price item much more difficult but it can still be pulled off with proper marketing. In theory a B & M should be able to buy from a Pentax distributor at a low enough price with no minimums and sell at the fixed price so their profit margin is greater than the B & M can make on any other brand. This would only work if Pentax is willing to force the larger stores to sell at the fixed price. The larger stores would be willing to go along with this as long as everybody sticks to the pricing. They make more money on what they sell because they are buying at a longer discount and don't plan on stocking anything anyways.

The first time Pentax let's somebody like Prodigital 2000 to sell below the fixed price the whole thing falls apart. My feeling is Pentax marketing does not have the guts to stick to the plan so I expect it to fail but I wish them well. A class operation like B & H or Adorama will agree to go along with Pentax until somebody starts cutting prices online.

This plan can work. I know because I've seen it work with other products. Establishing a products personality is more important than price or features and needs to come first. Needless to say it needs to be followed up with product with features that fits the personality. That is the real challenge facing Pentax.
02-06-2009, 01:22 PM   #52
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All four threads merged into one since the main theme is surrounding the recent price drop of pentax products.
02-06-2009, 02:42 PM   #53
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So why exactly can I find Nikon & Canon Brand new locally and Not Pentax?

I'll reconfirm the Canon and Nikon franshise info this weekend. I forgot about Sony also pulling the $100,000 yearly minimum to keep your old Minolta franshise up and current when Sony took over. BUT, Sony has a store some 20 miles from me, a sony outlet. Never been, but if I wanted sony dslrs I suppose thats where I'd find them and they'd be touchable?

MY city lost its old timer asahi pentax rep on April 1st 2008, then surprisingly we got a new one several months later. I discussed with him a couple months ago the quality control problems with 16-50mm SDM. He suggested I buy one locally and the local dealer could then continue to replace it with another one until I was happy. My local dealer, whose out of business now as of Jan 31st wanted full retail plus fees to special order it, unless I wanted to buy their overly handled store demo. Clearly $300 more than I could get it online and then play the exchange it for a better sample game with someone like B&H made more sense than special ordering locally. You know full price plus two or three or more trips to store.

Anyways I have no dealers locally that stock Pentax brand contrary to PentaxUSA website claims otherwise, so it'll be interesting to see how this new marketing concept works out for them. You know, raise K20D price above where it was a week before before instant $100 rebate promo started so now it costs more than $549 or $689 or $742 ect...






QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
You need to look carefully at what moves Pentax has done in the last year to see where they are heading. You are wrong about the other manufacturers having no minimum. As a matter of fact Canon, Sony, and Nikon have much higher minimums than Pentax.

Pentax made two significant changes this last year. They let all of their field sales people go. They also turned over all small dealers to several distributors they set up. Pentax handled both of these changes with the finesse of a bull in a china shop and created more bad will than good. If those two changes had been handled professionally and they were followed up with the proper fixed pricing they are now starting they would be well on their way to becoming the preferred brand by brick and mortar stores.

By mishandling the first two changes they have made the transition into a fixed price item much more difficult but it can still be pulled off with proper marketing. In theory a B & M should be able to buy from a Pentax distributor at a low enough price with no minimums and sell at the fixed price so their profit margin is greater than the B & M can make on any other brand. This would only work if Pentax is willing to force the larger stores to sell at the fixed price. The larger stores would be willing to go along with this as long as everybody sticks to the pricing. They make more money on what they sell because they are buying at a longer discount and don't plan on stocking anything anyways.

The first time Pentax let's somebody like Prodigital 2000 to sell below the fixed price the whole thing falls apart. My feeling is Pentax marketing does not have the guts to stick to the plan so I expect it to fail but I wish them well. A class operation like B & H or Adorama will agree to go along with Pentax until somebody starts cutting prices online.

This plan can work. I know because I've seen it work with other products. Establishing a products personality is more important than price or features and needs to come first. Needless to say it needs to be followed up with product with features that fits the personality. That is the real challenge facing Pentax.


02-06-2009, 03:24 PM   #54
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Canon/Nikon are the market leaders and I'm sure they kick in some money towards advertising promos w/ stores. That's probably why you see a lot more of them.
Usually the best advertised widget (might not be the best) wins and the least advertised good widget ends up having a following of fans. This is similar to PC vs. Mac and Windows vs. OS/2.
That said, Nikon/Canon do have good gear, albeit more expensive than Pentax gear. I do agree w/ regken on the mishandling of the Pentax field sales personnel and the 100K minimum killing off any support in the smaller shops...
02-06-2009, 07:57 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
The first time Pentax let's somebody like Prodigital 2000 to sell below the fixed price the whole thing falls apart. My feeling is Pentax marketing does not have the guts to stick to the plan so I expect it to fail but I wish them well. A class operation like B & H or Adorama will agree to go along with Pentax until somebody starts cutting prices online.

This plan can work. I know because I've seen it work with other products. Establishing a products personality is more important than price or features and needs to come first. Needless to say it needs to be followed up with product with features that fits the personality. That is the real challenge facing Pentax.
It's worth noting in all of this that there was a 2007 Supreme Court ruling in the US which overturned the 1911 rule which made minimum prices unenforceable.
02-06-2009, 08:30 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
It's worth noting in all of this that there was a 2007 Supreme Court ruling in the US which overturned the 1911 rule which made minimum prices unenforceable.
Yes, that ruling is what makes it possible for companies like Sony to start programs like "SURE".

It is interesting that Beach and buydig have already dropped the K20D price $75 lower than Pentax set and the program has only been out for a day or two. Let's see how fast, if at all, Pentax reacts to this challenge. If they don't react, they can count this program a failure also.
02-08-2009, 12:29 PM   #57
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Now here's the question: where do I get a body-only K2000?

Last edited by ballgofar; 02-08-2009 at 02:34 PM.
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