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08-19-2009, 02:51 PM   #76

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QuoteOriginally posted by Camera lucida Quote
Is there any sense in Pentax tying up with Sigma at some time in the future?
it wont happen. and what for exactly? sigma makes its big money selling lenses. Pentax has no need to partner with another optics company.

08-19-2009, 02:55 PM   #77

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
so slow at what exactly?

since we are all playing the speculation game. I hope for a future Kodak alliance. no real reason, just would be cool.
Further more Pentax worked a lot of time with Kodak on larger than FF sensors and will put one in 2010 in the 645D. I don't know how many are aware of the the Kodak FF CCD sensor that is rumored in the Leica M9 next month. If real it won't be a high ISO, high fps machine but I think something special at lower ISO.

08-19-2009, 03:24 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
and what would that have to do with Pentax? there is a reason Pentax stopped using the Takumar name and switched to Pentax with the K mount. brand recognition.
Brand image. If Pentax maintains a line of cameras and developed a line of lenses for other mounts, some consumers would think that any Pentax lens would work on any Pentax body, especially with Pentax's current reputation for backwards compatibility. Having that not be the case would tarnish the Pentax brand.

On the other hand, if the K-mount is abandoned, the Pentax brand could be used for all lenses. Could be, but this wouldn't be a good idea. The Pentax brand still has some market value; Hoya could sell that brand to a company that is better with electronics. Again, if some lenses don't work with the bodies there would be problems for both the lens company and the body company. If Hoya established a Pentax brand for third-party lenses now, the value of the brand for later sale would be diminished. If the Pentax company does not produce DSLR bodies, there would be no confusion because interchangeable lenses are a non-issue; however, the low-cost of the Pentax cameras would tarnish the brand of Pentax lenses.

I proposed the Takumar name for several reasons. One, I expect that Pentax still owns the Takumar name. Two, many photographers who have been around cameras for over 35 years may well remember Takumar as a premium brand of lens, which is precisely what the new lenses would be. Three, those who remember Takumar are more likely to appreciate that a camera body is more of an accessory to a camera lens rather than vice versa, and would therefore be more likely to understand a branding strategy along the lines of "Lexus" for "Toyota." Pentax's products since the autofocus days have ranged from amazingly good to amazingly disposable. My idea for Takumar would be to become a premium third-party brand rather than a competitor for entry-level sales. (Hoya could sell current entry-level designs to Tokina.) Four, if "Pentax" cannot be used, something must be, and from the top of my head "Takumar" seemed best. Admittedly, I might be biased towards the Takumar brand because I rather enjoy using the Takumars I own.

I'd be happy to hear any other suggestions.

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
nobody knows who Pentax is now...
Yet you claim brand recognition as a reason to use the Pentax brand.

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I really hate these Pentax 'oh no!, what if?' threads.
So why torment yourself by reading them?

Personally, I enjoy playing with these ideas. Figuring out business generally as well as specific businesses that I am familiar with entertains me. I appreciate your comment about brand recognition; do you find my argument about image to be persuasive?
08-19-2009, 03:29 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
What if Pentax started making third-party glass? Hoya is an optical company, after all, so why not let Hoya's photographic company produce more photographic optics?
If they did that they should compete with Carl Zeiss more than Sigma. Release the Limited and the "*" lenses in other mounts. However, I don't think its such a good idea. It is a competitive market; people buy third party lenses a save money. The exception is Carl Zeiss but this segment is minuscule and there can't be much volume or profit it it....

08-19-2009, 04:23 PM   #80

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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.I've used one, have you? There is shutter lag...too much, IMO. What do you base your 'opinions' on ?


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.I've traveled in the states and Canada this summer...I've seen one Olympus.

Hottest thing on the market ? Better tell Canon and Nikon.

Last edited by lesmore49; 08-19-2009 at 08:51 PM.
08-19-2009, 04:38 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I've used one, have you? There is shutter lag...too much. I spoke to the Olympus Rep about it. Hope I didn't gore your ox.
My ox is fine. I own an E-P1.

Shutter lag is insignificant for my uses. AF lag can be an issue depending on how you shoot. It isn't a dSLR and demands a different approach.

Consider the relative sales volume of Canikon and Olympus. Factor in the G1/GH1 and I believe that Canikon is very interested in what u4/3 is doing. You can dismiss it as a glorified p&s, but Canikon will do that at their own peril. I will bet money that they are working on APS-C variants of EVF.

E-P1 is a different tool. I get a very different look out of it that either p&s or dSLR. Better for some, worse for others. Relevance determined by the individual and the market.
08-19-2009, 05:32 PM   #82
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I like the quote "Long after the cost is forgotten the quality remains".
I think that this applies to the K7 and the LTD glass. Play to your strengths!

Also, the apple thing. I work with proper IT Engineers(the ones with bits of paper that say "Engineer"), guess what they all run at home? linux or OS X. Guess what displays they all replace their dell cheapos with at the office? Apple.

Why? because they don't need to constantly f&*k around with it to get it to work and if they need to script something for it..... they can. (oh! and it's pretty).
"Long after the cost is forgotten the quality remains"

For all of those "cheaper is better people", go buy a "great wall motors" 4wd/suv and cross the simpson desert with it! Come and post again if you ever make it back to civilisation.

08-19-2009, 06:18 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
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.
The PEN is hardly the reason for the increased profit during that quarter - it only hit the stores in late June. I'd attribute a profit increase to the Styluses and the E-620. Not to say the E-P1 doesn't seem to be doing quite well...

QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
Keynote is a massively better program than powerpoint - the transitions are more professional and it is much more flexible.
As boring as the Mac vs PC arguments are for someone who's been a Mac user for 22 years, this is such a great point. Forget about the "creative" software, if you're like me, then you're forced to spend a lot of time preparing presentations for client meetings etc. And once I discovered Keynote, that time actually became bearable, almost enjoyable. All the talk of style over substance seems to come from people without a clue, who have spent a very limited amount of time on a Mac. Once you actually use them for work, you start to realise just how good they are.

As for Pentax... I don't see any immediate concerns. Hoya has already invested $1 billion and been forced to take another $122 million in losses. They obviously want to turn it around and at least get their initial investments back. Selling the company now would most likely force them to take massive write-offs. I think the optics line of thinking could very well be what they have in mind as well. Pentax already has a fairly developed and very good lens lineup. As much as we would like certain lenses currently not available, they can cater to a broad variety of users and needs. The big costs thus won't come from lens R&D, and provided the lenses sell well enough, they should be turning a quite nice profit there.

(This could also be the reason why we've seen massive price hikes on specific lenses: they simply were unprofitable at their previous price points and Hoya/Pentax were forced to either increase prices or seize production).

Developing new and competitive cameras is where the bulk of their R&D costs will lie. For such a small brand, it might not be possible to continue to develop their own cameras, and we just might see a reversed case of badge engineering, where Pentax slaps its brand onto SLRs made by another manufacturer, with a few tweaks to make it more "Pentax". This is similar to what Fujifilm did (although they put their own sensor into the cameras), but the difference is of course that Pentax has a unique mount, hence, they can't just buy cameras from another brand, they need an alliance.

At the very least, they'll need a long term partner for the sensors... Fujifilm, Sony, Kodak...?


08-19-2009, 06:21 PM   #84
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Fujifilm makes the cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by Steelski Quote
Samsung may really not have a choice. their point and shoot reputation is really good (image quality aside, I think their cameras are amongs the best designed and functionally unique). But their DSLR cred is really terrible. If they want both ends of the market, then the Pentax name is there for the taking it sounds like.
There are other companies that Pentax could be interested in partnering with.

Philips, (maker of the Pentax full frame sensor in the prototype K1)
Kodak, (maker of their prototype 645D)
Fuji, (not liklely as they are part of Mitsubishi group...... who also has NIKON)
Toshiba, (a Semiconducter partner maybe)
I believe Fujifilm is the designer and maker of the Finepix S5 DSLR. I do not see them as being affiliated with the Mitsubishi Group. Fujifilm would be a great fit if they believed they could turn a profit from the Pentax product line. They do have their own distribution network tied to their film products which might be useful. I am sure one of the reasons they elected to use the Nikon mount was the huge lens owner base they could sell into. Fujifilm is also the largest maker of television camera lenses and they have great expertise in lens design and manufacturing as everyone knows.
08-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #85
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Not sure if a well known Japanese company has ever been purchased by S. Korean co.

QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
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.
It is my impression that there would be somewhat of a culture clash for Pentax to be sold and run by Samsung. The people, talent, etc. behind Pentax are all Japanese. If they just sold the brand name, rights to K-Mount, patents, etc. and fired everybody, this could possibly work. But Samsung would then want to put their name on the products. What everyone claims they liked about Pentax would actually be gone. Just a mount left.

It was easier for Minolta to merge into Sony without this obstacle.

There is actually real people with pride and corporate culture behind these companies.
08-19-2009, 06:42 PM   #86
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On a related note, the E-P1 might well be a good camera (haven't tried it), but what it is first and foremost is a case of great marketing and specifically positioning. By leveraging the heritage of the PEN brand, Olympus is carving out a very nice position for themselves as the "small interchangeable lens cameras".

You can be very profitable with a market share like Olympus and Pentax, the trick is to have a niche where you can charge a slight premium for what you bring to the table. This is classic Competitive Strategy stuff. Canon and Nikon will be profitable simply because of their shares. They are mass market brands who live by sheer economy of scale. Sure, they have expensive cameras and lenses, but the bulk of their profits will come from the millions of entry level DSLRs (and P&S:s) they sell. Sony is pretty much also-rans stuck in the middle. They bring very little unique to the table and thanks to other divisions covering up for their SLR division losses, they can pour money in to try to buy market share. This is not a viable long-term strategy, however, as Sony isn't looking all that great anymore in terms of finances. But brands like Pentax and Olympus simply cannot afford to play the same game.

Olympus have been struggling with the 4/3 system. My bet is they will drop it in less than five years' time to focus on m4/3. Simply because with that, and the PEN association, and the clever positioning of the E-P1, they build a strong and coherent brand that - while it might only be relevant to 2% of the market - will allow them to charge a premium.

Pentax needs this as well, desperately. I do think they have a couple of aces up their sleeve that they could use. First, they're the only brand with weather sealed kit lenses as well as weather sealed cameras at an entry-level pricepoint (well, they used to have them at least...). There should be a rugged camera amateur/enthusiast niche that they could target fairly easily. Probably only a couple of percent of the total market, but position the brand clearly as this and you can charge an additional $30-50 per kit lens and an additional $50-100 on the entry level body. Should be enough to turn a profit. Second, they're the only brand with a broad range of designed for digital (APS-C, specifically) primes. I wrote elsewhere that full frame is not going to take over the camera market anytime soon for a number of reasons, and thus most people will be looking at APS-C cameras. A lot of them will want primes... And I bet that every single Ltd lens that Pentax sells has a pretty high profit margin (at least 10%, probably higher).

There's also potential to combine the two. Pentax could be the rugged brand, offering solutions no matter whether you're in the jungle (weather sealed) or in the urban jungle (Ltds who can take a beating by an enraged junky you've just photographed without permission). Focus on three lens lineups: entry level WR (upgrade lenses such as 10-17, 17-70, 55-300 - should require minimal R&D funding), DA* and Ltds, focus on a small number of cameras, three at the most (entry level weather sealed, priced near or slightly below EOS 500D/D5000, K-7 and perhaps one in between - if at all necessary - don't overestimate the need for many bodies!).

They still need someone to sell them sensors, but a lot of Pentax financial woes could probably be solved with clever marketing.

08-19-2009, 06:48 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photomy Quote
It is my impression that there would be somewhat of a culture clash for Pentax to be sold and run by Samsung. .
Naw, not like there is any history between Korea and Japan...

That said, the Chinese are now running call centers for Japanese companies. If there is money to be made, it is amazing how past transgressions can be (temporarily) overlooked.
08-19-2009, 07:12 PM   #88
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I disagree

QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Not only that, I think that Samsung really wants to be like Sony...well, the old Sony that had profits

The problem is that while Samsung has money, they don't have the brand association with consumer electronics that Sony does. They are far further along than they were a few years ago, but at least in the states Samsung isn't uttered in the same breath as Sony, Panasonic, Canon. But I think that is their goal.

The question is whether or not Pentax gives them a leg up assuming they in fact want to compete in the dSLR sector.

Maybe Samsung will just look for a movie studio to buy instead
Samsung is now the leader and ahead of Sony in many consumer electronics categories, especially anything to do with LCD screens and sensors. Go into a Best Buy and take a breath of the reality of today. Things change. A small example. Pioneer, which was the leader in bringing plasma displays to the market announced this year they are leaving the business.
08-19-2009, 07:16 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photomy Quote
Samsung is now the leader and ahead of Sony in many consumer electronics categories, especially anything to do with LCD screens and sensors. Go into a Best Buy and take a breath of the reality of today. Things change. A small example. Pioneer, which was the leader in bringing plasma displays to the market announced this year they are leaving the business.
True. But look at cameras and camcorders. Or audio devices. Or game systems. Or movie studios

Like I said, Samsung has made strides, but they still are not perceived to be a player on par with Sony. For "TV" screens, yes. But for other categories they aren't there yet. "Handycam," "Cybershot," "Walkman," etc. That is brand recognition. While some is based on the past, consumer perception lags behind current innovation. And sometimes the better player loses (eg beta).

And you mention "sensor" to most consumers they'll look at you funny and ask about their garage door opener.
08-19-2009, 07:54 PM   #90
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Quit worrying about Pentax. The company with real problems is Nikon. It's all history by the time we talk about it:

YouTube - Hitler rants about D3x

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