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03-09-2009, 05:04 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Soooo...what sort of "innovation" are we looking at here?

Any ideas? I mean, any ideas that aren't pointless gimmicks - "Oooo, they should get rid of the optical viewfinder!!!"?

Has anyone stopped to think that the reason Canon and Nikon are on top isn't because of some vast conspiracy or because the majority of people are idiots, that it might be because they've got some good features?

Fanboyism will get us nowhere.

And massive "innovation" could well be as suicidal - probably more so, in my opinion - than simply doing something the others do.

People are afraid of change. Newness (or "novelty" if you will - same Latin root).

If Pentax puts out a touchscreen camera, or one that's 1/4" thick...no one's gonna spend $1800 on it just to try it out.

Frankly, I have no ideas, except for go full-frame, up the FPS and advertising...but that's bad because that's what Canon does, and where are they in terms of sales and popularity?
Pentax are 10X smaller than Canon. They dont have the marketing or R&D budget to compete head on. If they made models like Canon and Nikon, no-one would have any reason to buy the Pentax version because that WOULD be seen as a left field purchase. People need a REASON to go out on a limb like that. Without in camera SR and weather sealing and prime lenses, I doubt Pentax would still be alive.

What is it about "niche" that people dont get? There is plenty of room in the market for niche players to fill the gaps in the ranges that the big boys will deliberately miss because they will not achieve the require volumes. Its about making cameras for the mass market (Canon, Nikon, Sony) vs. making cameras for the specialist and niche market (Oly, Pentax, Fuji).

Samsung are also mainstream, but as an electronics manufacturer, its much easier for them to follow Panasonic into the EVIL market than to try and build SLRs. I expect Sony to follow suit before their SLR business tanks. Soon, SLR will be a niche....

The trick is to identify your niche and then exploit it. If you cant see past the specs of existing competitors cameras or imagine what that niche is, then you are either too wrapped up in what Canon and Nikon are doing to think outside the box, or you are simply not a niche buyer - you are a mainstream buyer with mainstream needs and you should jump ship to a mainstream manufacturer. Nothing wrong with that. It means you are normal.

But what on earth is this to do with fanboyism? I'm tired of Canon fanboys masquerading as Pentax customers complaining about Pentax "fanboys" that dont want Pentax to do what Canon do.

I may like Pentax but that does not make me a Pentax fanboy it makes me a customer. If I went on a Canon forum and started screaming for Canon to introduce SR and weather sealing or compact primes THEN I would be a Pentax fanboy.

03-09-2009, 06:20 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Without in camera SR and weather sealing and prime lenses, I doubt Pentax would still be alive.

.
but steve - how about this...

why not consider in camera SR and weather sealing as pentax's 'niche'.. or pentax's 'edge'.... now imagine those 2 features in a canon 5d type camera (faster af , better noise,etc)...


i'd say that would not only ensure pentaxs survival (not that i am in any way saying they are doomed).. but would do a damn fine job of shooting them towards head of the class...

and by head of the class, i dont mean in terms of units sold - agreed they dont have the manufacturing capacity to compete on a units sold basis - but in terms of the best gear avaivable.. it would be a world beater...


and thats not just my opinion, as an existing pentax user.. but thats the opinion of a number of pro-tog canon users themselves..
03-09-2009, 06:39 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenG Quote
but steve - how about this...

why not consider in camera SR and weather sealing as pentax's 'niche'.. or pentax's 'edge'.... now imagine those 2 features in a canon 5d type camera (faster af , better noise,etc)...


i'd say that would not only ensure pentaxs survival (not that i am in any way saying they are doomed).. but would do a damn fine job of shooting them towards head of the class...

and by head of the class, i dont mean in terms of units sold - agreed they dont have the manufacturing capacity to compete on a units sold basis - but in terms of the best gear avaivable.. it would be a world beater...


and thats not just my opinion, as an existing pentax user.. but thats the opinion of a number of pro-tog canon users themselves..
What is it about 10X bigger R&D budget you dont get? Are Pentax supposed to make a camera BETTER than Canon's with MORE features for LESS money AND make a profit selling 1/10 as many just because you want one?

Please - get some grip on reality - this is a camera business not a candy store.
03-09-2009, 06:47 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
What is it about 10X bigger R&D budget you dont get? Are Pentax supposed to make a camera BETTER than Canon's with MORE features for LESS money AND make a profit selling 1/10 as many just because you want one?

Please - get some grip on reality - this is a camera business not a candy store.
relax buddy you getting a tad wound up there.. its only cameras we are talking.... you need to get a grip there on your chair, you getting a tad too excited here..

and why would pentax need 10x bigger r&d budget for a camera that already exists? they not reinventing the wheel.. they not coming up with a totally new concept and innovation....

you seem to believe that pentax are so far behind everyone else that they need a 10x bigger r&d budget to make what the others already have??
I have a little more faith in pentax than that...

take whats there and add pentaxes SR and weather sealing... = winner..!!

now steve, either debate properly or rather not repond.

there is nothing to be gained in a discussion about cameras by you replying to me in an insulting or rude manner. rather stick to the topic at hand, than try insult and attack me ok?


Last edited by StephenG; 03-09-2009 at 08:56 AM.
03-09-2009, 06:50 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Soooo...what sort of "innovation" are we looking at here?

Any ideas? I mean, any ideas that aren't pointless gimmicks - "Oooo, they should get rid of the optical viewfinder!!!"?

Has anyone stopped to think that the reason Canon and Nikon are on top isn't because of some vast conspiracy or because the majority of people are idiots, that it might be because they've got some good features?
Now that's just plain crazy talk! Honestly, though, I get tired of reading the "Canikon" bashing/whining. It's not like they are some evil monster corporations forcing inferior product upon people; they actually produce good cameras and lenses that a lot of folks appreciate. Check out Nikon's 14-24 zoom which is probably one of the best wide angle lenses every constructed. Check out Canon's new tilt/shift lenses (especially the 17mm which will make for an incredible architecture shooting setup paired with a 5DII or 1Ds2/3). Neither of those really have any direct competition.

QuoteQuote:

Fanboyism will get us nowhere.

And massive "innovation" could well be as suicidal - probably more so, in my opinion - than simply doing something the others do.

People are afraid of change. Newness (or "novelty" if you will - same Latin root).

If Pentax puts out a touchscreen camera, or one that's 1/4" thick...no one's gonna spend $1800 on it just to try it out.

Frankly, I have no ideas, except for go full-frame, up the FPS and advertising...but that's bad because that's what Canon does, and where are they in terms of sales and popularity?
Yeah, it's a tough road ahead. Just playing follow the leader by issuing a FF camera (when Pentax has clearly focused on crop sensor glass) and new lenses and nothing else seems doomed to fail. I see talk about higher FPS and better AF, but that really requires a great selection of long glass to really have an impact...

I think the niche approach is probably the only viable one for the DSLR segment. Small, rugged, weather sealed (with weather sealed primes available) sounds like a great product. Question is how many who want one would actually BUY it.
03-09-2009, 08:34 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
What is it about 10X bigger R&D budget you dont get? Are Pentax supposed to make a camera BETTER than Canon's with MORE features for LESS money AND make a profit selling 1/10 as many just because you want one?

Please - get some grip on reality - this is a camera business not a candy store.
Personally, they don't have to match or exceed what Canon does, but they could at least show improvement on key marketing points like AF speed and FPS. For example, I think a lot of Pentax users will upgrade their DSLRs should Pentax release a KxxD with 4-5 FPS and improved AF. It doesn't have to be class-leading, but it should at least show improvement. Coupled with unique features Pentax already has (SR and sealing), and you can get a good portion of those people still holding on to their K10Ds and earlier DSLRs to upgrade, and even get some others interested.

I believe there are a lot of people with old Pentax DSLRs who still hold on to them because they don't see much value in upgrading. For some, it is, after all, the same 3 FPS and SAFOX VIII Pentax has in the higher 2 of their three DSLRs (I think the K-m does 3.5 FPS?). The sensor is already there, and Pentax can get much mileage out of that still, so I would hope they're working on other aspects of the camera now.

I do believe Pentax SLRs once went to 4 FPS (PZ-1P, I believe), so it's a matter of finding better algorithms to quickly process incoming data than it is a mechanical limitation. Faster AF would possibly need a better AF motor (at least for screwdrive lenses), but I guess part of it can be remedied with better AF algorithms, too.

An affordable line of sealed lenses (f/4 constant zooms comes to mind) would also greatly help Pentax in entrenching itself in the take-it-anywhere niche.

I understand fully how Pentax does not have the budget the big ones have, but even just a semblance of improvement on specs, even if not class-leading, would help silence the critics. I'm not asking for FF, and I'm not asking for 51 AF points and 8 FPS. A modest bump should be reasonable to ask, right?

And lenses. Affordable sealed lenses, please!

Pentax does a lot of things right. The Limiteds, backwards compatibility with old lenses, SR (something I couldn't live without now), and weather seals (I can't stress enough how envious my officemate feels when he has to pack up ASAP at the slightest hint of rain and I don't). I'm hoping they can further capitalize on weather sealing, since that seems to be a really good selling point now, seeing all the waterproof digicams that came out in the last PMA. Kodak, GE, Canon, and Panasonic all felt the need to release one, and that's in addition to the mainstays Olympus, Pentax, and Vivitar.
03-09-2009, 08:39 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by jay Quote
Finally! Someone I can agree with!
It would be suicide for Pentax to produce a full-frame camera. No lenses, no sensor, no marketing niche. And in this economy? Pentax needs to innovate -- not bandwagon with the big boys.
If I were Hoya, and the Pentax marketing people wanted Pentax to produce a full-frame camera, I'd ask for their resignations by the end of the day.
That's perhaps why they're skipping right over FF and going to MF, as per many of the other current threads in this section.
03-09-2009, 10:26 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
But what on earth is this to do with fanboyism? I'm tired of Canon fanboys masquerading as Pentax customers complaining about Pentax "fanboys" that dont want Pentax to do what Canon do.
Ladies and gentleman, I do apologise to the Party for my insulting dissidence.

In my defence I do not believe that I am Canon fanboy, although I realise that being a Canon user is the greatest crime one can commit, and this mud'll stick. However, I wish to state for the Court that I do not believe it is such a great crime to mention Canon.

I shall book myself in for the next firing squad, if there are no trains going to the labour camps today.

You know what? Shag it, Godwin's law:

"Ein Reich! Ein Volk! Ein K-mount!"

Does anyone here actually have any of this so-called innovation? I'd like to see some, instead people flinging around w@nkphrases like "Pentax needs to INNOVATE"? How? And are there gonna be any innovations that actually help take photos?

How are they gonna innovate with such a tiny budget? What is their niche, exactly? Primes, yes. Good idea. That's a good niche. They're already doing that (and incidentally, about seven non-Pentaxians care). Weather sealing - is Pentax the only one doing this? Or - shock! horror! - do other camera companies have weather sealing as well? Good lord, Pentax had better stop using it.

If Pentax creates the new novelty camera - say, it's stabilised by a set of ring-laser gyros (there's some free innovation for ya, right there) - it won't be worth a peanut in a sewage treatment plant if no one knows about it.

Of course there's the danger of the new camera being compared to Nikon's and Canon's offerings, but it's not like that hasn't been happening for, oh, the last forty years.

That's where the marketing comes in. See how far Pentax gets if it shoots all its budgetary wad on designing the new ubercamera and twelve people buy it.

But, god forbid I suggest Pentax sell more cameras. Pentax isn't for people. It's for smug elitists who don't need tripods because the massive ***** that owning a Pentax gives you means you are a tripod. No, really. I'd rather sound like a brand traitor than a Pentax Ken Rockwell. It's for people with the same mindless, aching allegiance Apple fans have for Steve Jobs.

We are not meant to question the Pentax. We are only to swear loyalty to the Pentax, and love the Pentax forever. We do not judge the Pentax. The Pentax judges us.

Pentax won't be the next Leica. We don't have the cachet for it, cachet that needed to be started at least thirty years ago.

Yes, I sound like a brand traitor. But I don't want Pentax to sit on its laurels. I wouldn't like it to squander all its cash away on a series of pointless adventures in camera design.

What I am proposing is, yes, for Pentax to travel down the well-worn path, at least for a bit. It will cost a bit, to be sure. But doing what others have done is still cheaper than figuring out how to fit those ring-laser gyros in there or genetically engineering optically-transparent bacteria to eat the dust off the sensor (the innovation! IT BURNS!!! Man, I'm just handing innovation out like earplugs at a Nitro concert).

QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Now that's just plain crazy talk! Honestly, though, I get tired of reading the "Canikon" bashing/whining. It's not like they are some evil monster corporations forcing inferior product upon people; they actually produce good cameras and lenses that a lot of folks appreciate.
To get back to the whole Nazi thing, as Nietzsche said, "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you".

Wait. I hear someone knocking at the door.

Lithos! Open up! We know you are in there

Oh, crap, the Gestapo!

We know you have be writing anti-Pentax sentiments!

Oh, lordie, tell my family I love them.

We have a warrant for your arrest!

Except my brother, he can go to hell.

03-09-2009, 10:38 AM   #54
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The K is there, supposedly

The discussion kinda got far away from the starting point. Nobody seems to have noticed that there was another clip from the PMA where this same Swedish reporter tells (in Swedish) that he's been told by Samsung that the NX has a K-mount, but that they would refuse to confirm this and some other details on-camera.
03-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #55
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The same reporter rephrased himself at fotosidan.se.
"Den informationen vi fick var att det skulle finnas en koppling bakåt till GX20, alltså att man ska kunna använda K-objektiv."
For non native speakers: "The information we got was that there shall be a connection backwards to the GX20, in other words, that we should be able to use K-mount lenses"

This sound a lot more credible than the original statement IMO.
03-09-2009, 11:24 AM   #56
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Very solid hint

Looks like Pentax has a trick or two up thier sleeve. I like it. Also the video of the X70 showed it as much more quality than I had expected (build zoom speed etc).

My thoughts are from those comments that Pentax realized the DSLR market while strong is a bit stale, and could use some new out of the box ideas.

They did a great job of making me very interested.

Summer for camera companies is going to be very interesting in general. I think all of the major competitors are lining up for summer.

This is good good good, and really postitive for Pentax.

Carl
03-09-2009, 11:43 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
And...heres a guess...

High level of "on the trail" autonomy (multi SD cards, high capacity battery etc).

Imagine being able to add a "custom grip" which could contain a high capacity battery pack, GPS, built in high 128 GB SSD etc). to enable the cam to go 3-4 days away from backup and electical supplies.

Add what you like to this list, it could be fun..... what "outdoor" accessories would you want?

So basically I expect an upgraded K20D (faster, less noise, better AF) but in a seriously tough but compact body.

And instead of relying solely on traditional camera outlets and magazines, they could advertise in lifestyle (skiing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, sailing) magazines. No-one likes "rugged stuff" more than outdoors folk.
very smart thinking, *isteve -- let's hope you're on to something
03-09-2009, 11:44 AM   #58
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Lithos, those double-plus ungood statements have been duly noted by the Party. Time to go hide amongst the proles.
03-09-2009, 12:15 PM   #59
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Mmmmmhhh...

Not sure why it's not so clear to everybody as it is to me:

Pentax IS already a niche player, and a talented one BTW.

What's Pentax niche?

Photodogs.
People who understand why fixed lenses exist, and don't think "what a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a fixed lens, instead of a zoom".
People who pays attention to actual imaging and does not compare a list of features to decide which dSLR to buy.
People who uses all time other modes instead of the green mode.

That is a clear niche. Canon and Nikon are addressing this niche poorly. Only Oly (whose lenses range is limited and is severely lacking in fixed lenses) could be seen as an actual competitor.

Canon and Nikon do their business elsewhere: either full pros or people who buy Canikon because of the brand, those who will wave the camera in front of friends but will never use it in manual mode.

All serious photographers I know (including some who switch brands depending on the use) admit that Pentax and Oly do better in the entry and prosumer level than do Canon/Nikon at the same price range.

At the risk of sounding repetitive: Pentax has a legacy and a strength of brand that allows them to cultivate a strong niche, in spite of being tenfold lower in size to Canon or Nikon. Size matters for some things, not for all things.

Once more, my usual example: Apple (paramount niche player) is sitting on top of a huge pile of cash. Yet they continue being a niche player, probably on purpose. Microsoft is sitting on top of an even bigger pile of cash. Now if you compare the size of both companies, an the size of their cash piles, it is obvious that Apple is outcompeting Microsoft.

The core issue is not money or size; the core issue is to set up a clear target and fulfill their needs, so that they remain loyal customers. Thus far I think Pentax is succeeding; I hope they continue doing so.

To put a personal example:

I am lusting after getting the limiteds for a longtime already. My budget does not allow me at this time, but when it does, you can bet I will purchase them. How many users in my style (amateur photographers), customers of Canon or Nikon, do you know that would be ready to pay such amount for several fixed lenses?

In my case, nobody.

Last edited by cateto; 03-09-2009 at 12:31 PM.
03-09-2009, 01:11 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by cateto Quote
Mmmmmhhh...

Not sure why it's not so clear to everybody as it is to me:

Pentax IS already a niche player, and a talented one BTW.

What's Pentax niche?

Photodogs.
People who understand why fixed lenses exist, and don't think "what a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a fixed lens, instead of a zoom".
People who pays attention to actual imaging and does not compare a list of features to decide which dSLR to buy.
People who uses all time other modes instead of the green mode.

That is a clear niche. Canon and Nikon are addressing this niche poorly. Only Oly (whose lenses range is limited and is severely lacking in fixed lenses) could be seen as an actual competitor.
I do believe Canon users are quite aware of fixed lenses. If you go to any of the serious Canon shooter forums (like FM and POTN) you'll find quite a few people going gaga over the "holy trinity" of primes: 35L, 85L and 135L. Hell, they offer THREE different 50mm AF lenses from $90 or so to $1k+. They have the incredible 14L II, and a huge pile of other primes all the way up to 800mm. Not only expensive ones either. The 50/1.8 is $90 usually, the 35/2 around $250-ish, the 85/1.8 $300-something... yes, Canon users do know primes. In fact, even the lowly Rebel users tend to pick up the 50/1.8 since it's a nice cheap piece of glass with pretty good optics. Trust me, they're not ALL running around with the cheap kit lens.

QuoteQuote:
Canon and Nikon do their business elsewhere: either full pros or people who buy Canikon because of the brand, those who will wave the camera in front of friends but will never use it in manual mode.
I have plenty of friends (non-pros) who shoot both Canon and Nikon (as well as Pentax) because they like what the brand has to offer. And there are plenty of people who use it in manual/Av/Tv mode just like Pentax has plenty of users who leave it in "dummy mode" with the kit lens on. Honestly, how many K2000/Km buyers do you think get it for the Limited primes vs how many just use the kit lens and let-the-camera-figure-it-out mode? Clearly Pentax was aiming for the later considering they won't even let you select which AF point to use.

QuoteQuote:
All serious photographers I know (including some who switch brands depending on the use) admit that Pentax and Oly do better in the entry and prosumer level than do Canon/Nikon at the same price range.
The 40D is getting close in price to the K20D. The K20D has higher res and probably better overall IQ, while the 40D has great autofocus and higher frame rate. One isn't plain "better" than the other.

Really, this entire post of yours reeks of snobbery -- as if every Pentax user is a sophisticated seriously skilled camera user, while the Canon and Nikon guys buying anything less than a pro camera are just unwashed clueless morons who have no idea how to use their gear.

It ain't so.
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