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08-19-2009, 08:45 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I wouldn't be so smug, I think Olympus is not doing so well. Took a look at the new Pen...very expensive for what seems more like a P+S, no matter what they say. No viewfinder except one clip on for the one of two lenses available or the LCD.

Shutter lag is intolerable.

The 4/3rds system doesn't have much of a draw and in my travels, I've seen one person this year with an Olympus DSLR. Many more Pentax DSLR's seem to be out there from my observations.
Do you have any idea about PEN buzz and sales? And have you used one, or are you just parroting some lame review? There is AF lag, but no serious "shutter lag" - it is on par with dSLR.

Right now u4/3 cameras are the hottest on the market (E-P1 and GH1). There likely will be another one from Panasonic (GF-1 - looks like a slightly larger LX-3) and the E-P2 is rumored to be released before the end of this year.

---

Thursday, August 6, 2009
TOKYO (NQN)--Olympus Corp. (7733) on Thursday revised its April-September group net profit outlook upward by 3 billion yen to 36 billion yen, an 800% jump.

Actress Aoi Miyazaki began endorsing the Olympus campaign in June. Since the firm intensified controls for its digital camera inventory, it has seen improved profitability in its visual operations.

The firm maintained its forecast that sales will drop 22% year-over-year to 420 billion yen. On the other hand, it projects a 41% drop in its operating profit, with the loss narrowing 4 billion yen to 19 billion yen, due to lower material costs. “We have put every expenditure including sales promotions and personnel under the microscope to look for waste,” added Director Hironobu Kawamata.

For the entire year through March 2010, Olympus kept its outlook unchanged. The assumed exchange rates were also maintained at 95 yen against the dollar and 120 yen against the euro.

As for the April-June quarter, sales sank 19% on the year to 205.1 billion yen, and operating profit dropped 35% to 11.3 billion yen. The year-on-year drop was mainly attributed to a stronger yen. On a quarterly basis, however, the digital camera division turned into the black in the last quarter, posting a profit of more than 300 million yen. In the January-March period, the division suffered an 8.8 billion yen loss.


Last edited by nostatic; 08-19-2009 at 09:13 AM.
08-19-2009, 08:48 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Oh **** no. No.

Pentax need more credibility. Not less.

Imagine this: imagine paying $3000US for a K-m. Imagine paying $700US for a kit lens.

Imagine even less functionality, replaced with marketing hype and cognitive dissonance. Imagine no mode dial, because giving users too much choice is like admitting the designers got it wrong.

Imagine having that washed-up hippie and borderline fascist Steve Jobs make the thing.

Imagine a series of products released with no real improvements in functionality - imagine quality, resolution, top shutter speeds, whatever - but being described as new and improved because they've now come in lime green..
Great, another Apple hater.

Sorry, but while you may not like their products, the reality is that they drive innovation in the sector and make some of the best products around. And you don't see Apple posting losses even in this lousy economy. Seems they must be doing something right...

WHether their approach would work for cameras is an interesting question, and the answer would probably be "yes," but it wouldn't yield a "purist-loved" product. But I bet the UI would be slick...
08-19-2009, 08:49 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
Another update, with Amateur Photographer making a follow up call:

I think 2010 will be a big year to determine the future of of Pentax, for good or ill, and Hoya/Pentax is obviously still thinking about what direction to take things. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Hrm, I don't know if that's so much making a *call* as trying to make a story out of something. It seems all Amateur Photographer did here was write a headline that makes that statement sound stronger than it is.

"We may wanna partner with another outfit in the long term" actually isn't saying very much given what's going on, and has been going on, industrywide. These aren't the days when basically you could make cameras if you could build lenses and machine body parts, assemble them and sell them. Now there's all *kinds* of different stuff in there.
08-19-2009, 09:15 AM   #49
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QuoteQuote:
Hrm, I don't know if that's so much making a *call* as trying to make a story out of something. It seems all Amateur Photographer did here was write a headline that makes that statement sound stronger than it is.
Well they did literally make one call , which I pointed out since it added something (not much) new to the other story. I agree with you that they could have done more in depth reporting, but that's a lot to ask for these days

I also think the CEOs statements are too vague to really know what they mean at this point, which makes it an interesting test on how people view the company. Are you a Pentax optimist or a Pentax pessimist? How you read into his statements will probably tell you.

08-19-2009, 09:19 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Do you have any idea about PEN buzz and sales? And have you used one, or are you just parroting some lame review? There is AF lag, but no serious "shutter lag" - it is on par with dSLR.

Right now u4/3 cameras are the hottest on the market (E-P1 and GH1). There likely will be another one from Panasonic (GF-1 - looks like a slightly larger LX-3) and the E-P2 is rumored to be released before the end of this year.
Maybe in Japan, but I haven't seen too much attention in the U.S. I have yet to see one on the street (I see lots of SLRs all the time), and the one on display in Samy's Camera got no attention during my entire recent visit. It has a decent but not electrifying #15 rank on Amazon behind 14 Nikons and Canons, with the K20D and K-7 at #21 and #22 respectively. So I would call the sales decent but certainly not the "hottest on the market".
08-19-2009, 09:31 AM   #51
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Re johnmflores (replying to your whole post, so to save space, I won't quote it

Thing is, you're coming at this from a consumer electronics angle, not from a camera angle. I'd rather Pentax stay a camera brand, not a consumer electronics brand.

You seem to contradict yourself: you claim that Pentax's heritage is worthless, yet that Samsung could use that heritage as a basis for its own line of marketing, like what Panasonic did with Leica.

Few things are as big as Leica in the photographic world. Hell, they invented 35mm photography. They're the grandfather of pretty much all that has come since. It was almost a household name as far as quality cameras were concerned (few households, however, had reason to talk seriously about cameras, so it was never gonna get quite as common as, say, Band-Aid. You know what I mean.)

No way in hell could Samsung pull that off with Pentax. As you said, Pentax is a rather small fish - don't think I don't know that. I can think of one other forum who've I've argued that point with (incidentally, he blocked me, as I was rather...glib, shall we say, in my response to his idea that Pentax should be the "brand for those who're better than everyone else." Since he blocked me, let me take this opportunity to say "Hi, *isteve!")

It was quite a coup for Panasonic and Leica, since Leica had little experience in microelectronics compared to just about any Japanese company one could care to name. However, none of the Panasonic lenses are made in Germany (and discerning Leicanuts know that - that's what caused Leica to make the Summarit line.) Leica's one helluva badge to have. It's like, say, Toyota having the rights to the BMW name.

With Samsung using the Pentax name, it would be more like Hyundai having rights to the Nissan name...

As for Apple: now I ask you to do what you asked of me, and view the product from the outside: what exactly are Apple doing?

As a computing company, they're got a tiny slice of market. Computers are what they started out doing, and in a market sense, bugger-all people use them. About the only market they've cornered is audio engineering. Everything else is PC (or supercomputers, but that's sorta out of the scope of what we're talking about.)

They're famous for under-functional, yet over-priced, audio players. They're famous as a fashion accessory, when you break it down. There's nothing an iPod can do that my Samsung T10 can't do (or I would want it to do.)

The iPhone involved zero end-user choice, outdated technology at launch, all paired with a high price.

It'd be like Hoya making cameras no one cares about, but making the most popular damn filters in the world...waitaminute. It's not doing much god for Pentax, is it?

QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Great, another Apple hater.

Sorry, but while you may not like their products, the reality is that they drive innovation in the sector and make some of the best products around. And you don't see Apple posting losses even in this lousy economy. Seems they must be doing something right...

WHether their approach would work for cameras is an interesting question, and the answer would probably be "yes," but it wouldn't yield a "purist-loved" product. But I bet the UI would be slick...
Great, another Apple fanboi (see how this works?)

Again: what exactly do Apple do? They sell an image, not any products worth anything as near as much as they advertise and sell for.

Everyone wants a Mac, sure, but most don't know what for. Most avoid 'em once they see the price/performance ratio.

Besides, what's the most popular piece of Mac software after the operating system? Microsoft Office 2008. Maybe Pentax should just licence the EF mount.

The UI indeed would be slick. Apple's good at that. But it'd be slick Just For The Sake Of Being Slick™. Or, to put it another way, it'd be like pissing into the wind.

The only reason Apple continues to post profits is that it's a luxury good, a cult item. It does well because every time Jobs' malfunctioning kidneys cause a cranberry-tinged trickle of urine to leak from his body, there're a bunch of shallow, over-monied hipsters waiting outside the iStore to buy iJars of iUrine with iBlood.
08-19-2009, 09:34 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Great, another Apple hater.

Sorry, but while you may not like their products, the reality is that they drive innovation in the sector and make some of the best products around. And you don't see Apple posting losses even in this lousy economy. Seems they must be doing something right...

WHether their approach would work for cameras is an interesting question, and the answer would probably be "yes," but it wouldn't yield a "purist-loved" product. But I bet the UI would be slick...
IMO it's a non American response to an American suggestion on 2 accounts.

1) For much of the globe Apple means little to nothing and like a lot of people won't have a *seriously looking* camera with a Sony or Samsung label on it I think a lot more from outside North America will deride an Apple logo even more.
2) Problem: Pentax' problem is the very poor showing on the American market. Answer: so let's fix Pentax by making it's products more American friendly. I won't get into why I think this very poor performance is due to but the fact remains that Pentax sells little (and at a loss, btw) on that market and has decent market share and gains money in both Japan and European markets. Maybe after the overhaul of the DSLR line things will begin to change for the better!
Just my 2 EUROcents ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Makes more sense to me, really, it seems like no time to dump all the effort already put in just to try selling a camera company at the worst possible time. Even for corporate mentalities, it just wouldn't make sense.

If there's in fact a K200d replacement in the pipeline for this year, it seems that's the time for Pentax to start hitting the marketing, (and starting to expect some profits, maybe) .... when they've got a complete and current camera line to sell.
I agree with that and I see the next 6 to 9 months as the most important in the recent Pentax history. We have to see the K-m upgrade, the mid range camera and what lenses they bring on the market plus the 645D. A beautiful execution of this strategy could bring the DSLR division into a much better place. Let's hope so and let's also hope that the dismal performance of the p&s division won't bury the imaging products results all together.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Hrm, I don't know if that's so much making a *call* as trying to make a story out of something. It seems all Amateur Photographer did here was write a headline that makes that statement sound stronger than it is.

"We may wanna partner with another outfit in the long term" actually isn't saying very much given what's going on, and has been going on, industrywide. These aren't the days when basically you could make cameras if you could build lenses and machine body parts, assemble them and sell them. Now there's all *kinds* of different stuff in there.
If all the *outcasts* of the compact world would enter an alliance at least for the sensor technology or why not even more the compact market could change in a pretty big way. I agree with tr13 that about 3 companies have the technology and the rest have to be happy with the leftovers so why not Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Casio, Fujifilm, Ricoh can make an alliance to produce sensors for compacts? Sort of engine factories that make the same engine for couple of automakers and even the same cars with small visual changes and different logos on them. The would still have the same cameras like they have today but at least it won't be the last year design leftover from Sony or Panasonic.

Regards,
Radu
08-19-2009, 09:34 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
I also think the CEOs statements are too vague to really know what they mean at this point, which makes it an interesting test on how people view the company. Are you a Pentax optimist or a Pentax pessimist? How you read into his statements will probably tell you.
There's that, though of course, people are pretty primed in the blogosphere and industry/trade press to read "Pentax Succeeds Brilliantly at Something: as Will More Failure Come Next Month or Later?" (Especially since the headlines and text are written just that way)

I don't think it *has* to be about optimism or pessimism: corporations are certainly capable of screwing up, especially when someone thinks it'll help get them a bonus this year, but this knowledge doesn't necessarily apply in the ways we might leap to assume. Particularly when trying to draw conclusions about what makes a good camera, or even a good-sized camera company.

If you just look at balance sheets and all, the big boys are losing big, the little guys are losing small, if losing at all.

Pentax actually did make a profit this year when Nikon and Canon actually posted losses. All made big cuts.

See, what I think is, that when we observe companies, we kind of see it like political 'horse race' coverage, where the big two have to seem as 'competitive' as possible, (or else there's no 'story') and all others have to be considered non-concerns.

When it comes to running a company profitably, if you're big, you have to get a return on some pretty huge things. If you're smaller, it's easier in some ways to 'win' where it counts. What if it comes about that the market can't really *support* big Canon infrastructure.... It's like with Ritz Camera: They really dominated the market, until the market changed. Apart from trying to put their money into something *else* (luxury boats) that doesn't do well in a contracting economy, they pretty quickly became *beholden* to a specific popular thing: (good consumer film processing) ...and when that declined, they couldn't bloody well adapt, could they?

08-19-2009, 09:58 AM   #54
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I hope that Pentax can continue relations with Samsung.
Not sure what's going on, but best not to worry too much yet.
Quite a strong statement from Hoya, though.

On a side note, those mentioning Olympus...
The missus just bought one.
Very interesting piece of kit.
Persoanlly, I don't like the grip and shape, but it takes a nice photo and has some good touches to it.

People have been around the Olympus stands for weeks now. You can't walk into a camera shop in Japan without at least a handful people at the Pen stand at any one time.
The catalogues are out of stock, some shops have sold out of cameras.
The K-7 went through this for it's first week of release, but the Pen hype keeps rolling on.

It had an aggressive marketing strategy with a young actress, Aoi Miyazaki, who is very popular.
It's thought of as "cool", and has hit a youngish target audience.
Olympus hasn't targeted the same market as its DSLR sales, and it has worked very well.
OK, it may only be in Japan, like has been pointed out, but an 800% rise in profits can't be ignored.
The Pen has also been the most popular camera on dpreview for a while now.
Doesn't translate in to sales, but the interest is there.
Just giving an insight of mine from Japan.
Anyway, I don't want to turn this into an Olympus debate, but one poster commented on Pentax joining forces with Olympus.
08-19-2009, 10:02 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Great, another Apple fanboi (see how this works?)

Again: what exactly do Apple do? They sell an image, not any products worth anything as near as much as they advertise and sell for.

Everyone wants a Mac, sure, but most don't know what for. Most avoid 'em once they see the price/performance ratio.

Besides, what's the most popular piece of Mac software after the operating system? Microsoft Office 2008. Maybe Pentax should just licence the EF mount.

The UI indeed would be slick. Apple's good at that. But it'd be slick Just For The Sake Of Being Slickô. Or, to put it another way, it'd be like pissing into the wind.

The only reason Apple continues to post profits is that it's a luxury good, a cult item. It does well because every time Jobs' malfunctioning kidneys cause a cranberry-tinged trickle of urine to leak from his body, there're a bunch of shallow, over-monied hipsters waiting outside the iStore to buy iJars of iUrine with iBlood.

Nice rant, but most of it is iBile. Macs are heavily used in various sectors for real reasons, not for wind pissing. But everyone has their own likes/dislikes. That's why there is a market. And in that market Apple continues to post profits and turn out products that make/keep people happy *and* are used to create.
08-19-2009, 10:11 AM   #56
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I think that the best thing that could happen is that Samsung would buy Pentax. That would mean continued K mount support. Samsung has a lot of muscle and would certainly bring new development to K mount DSLRs, including a FF body. I'm just afraid that today Samsung sees K mount and DSLRs as a ball and chain of historical burden and have decided to concentrate almost totally on a different route: hybrids/EVILs.
08-19-2009, 10:33 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Nice rant, but most of it is iBile. Macs are heavily used in various sectors for real reasons, not for wind pissing. But everyone has their own likes/dislikes. That's why there is a market. And in that market Apple continues to post profits and turn out products that make/keep people happy *and* are used to create.
"Used to create." Apart from the fact that sounds like pure Apple marketing (that is what they excel at) I have to ask...what? I've provided more examples than most of the pundits for Apple have.

The market is a little less than ten per cent of the total, in global terms of computing. A good chunk of the global MP3 market, probably. A much smaller chunk than they'd like of the world mobile phone market.

Apple will alway have a tiny market share; it's the basis of their philosophy of marketing. Create an air of exclusivity, of being unique. Reinforce consumers' self-image of being more technologically discerning. Focus on style over substance, form over function. I'm forced to use them where I'm studying, and once you get past the shininess, they're a pretty mediocre computer system.

It might work for a camera company. But would it still be a camera company? Would people take photos with the cameras, or just have them hanging conspicuously around their necks?
08-19-2009, 10:55 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
"Used to create." Apart from the fact that sounds like pure Apple marketing (that is what they excel at) I have to ask...what?
I can only speak from personal experience with industries located in Los Angeles. For digital media creation, Macs are firmly entrenched (eg check the number of works created using FinalCutPro). About the only place they have lagged is in the game biz. In the sciences there is significant presence along with the edu sector.

There also is a vast amount of amateur cultural production created on Macs - beyond their market share.

As for style over substance, I also have a very fast Sager running Vista. Talk about a steaming pile of crap...

No system is perfect, but companies that excel generally have an aesthetic and value both form and function. I do not believe that Apple is all "style over substance" but ymmv. I do know that myself and many colleagues have made our living using Apple products, and some of us actually aren't hipsters. I just need to get stuff done. I find it easier/faster/better on a Mac. For others they prefer windows. No biggie - different strokes.

Pentax actually *does* have an aesthetic (eg the ltd primes). Canikon really don't. This is where Pentax could actually carve out a niche - weather resistant tough cameras with a sense of style.
08-19-2009, 11:01 AM   #59
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One can have all kinds of speculations, but I fail to see what would a Pentax - Apple alliance give Apple? After all, their iPhone is already #1 camera at Flickr!
08-19-2009, 11:06 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
"Used to create." Apart from the fact that sounds like pure Apple marketing (that is what they excel at) I have to ask...what? I've provided more examples than most of the pundits for Apple have.
It's because there's no need to argue with you. You obviously have no clue what you're talking about. You clearly need no assistance in making yourself look like an idiot.

Only a fool would even attempt to engage you in debate.

Regards,
Mike

EDIT: 400th Post! (if it remains... ) ;-P

Last edited by X Man; 08-19-2009 at 11:21 AM.
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