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02-18-2010, 02:54 PM   #16
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Pål Jensen;

Not true. When Hoya announced a year or so ago that the 645D project was being revived, the Hoya exec, at that time, stated that it would be a Japan only release, as their market research led them to believe that they would sell only about 200 cameras in the US.

So far, I have heard nothing from Hoya/Pentax to contradict that statement. I've heard lots of speculation and rumors, but nothing from Hoya or Pentax. The only thing coming from Hoya/Pentax is the mysterious silhouette that appeared on the Pentax Japan website a week ago.

The only thing statement that can be attributed to a Pentax or Hoya employee is an off-hand comment by Ned Bunnell, President of Pentax USA, at the launch of the K-7, that the next camera from Pentax would be the 645D. Many went into fits of apoplexy, thinking that this meant that it would be available in the US. It was hardly an official product announcement.

They might sell it only in Japan for the same reasons that they continued to sell the 645Nii film camera in Japan until last year, long after it had been withdrawn from other markets.

This is not to say that it will never be sold the US. They may sell it only in Japan for six months or a year, as a trial run. Stocking inventory, spare parts and training repair technicians in such a camera will be expensive, not to mention the lenses that they have to be able to deliver on day one.

Perhaps we'll know on 3/11, which is the date on the Japan website.

02-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #17
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Going off info I was told from a gent who's quite high up in the Pentax distribution chain and definately would know the 645D will be at least available in Australia at an undefined date.
02-18-2010, 04:03 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Paul dont be so silly. Pentax is much more succesful in the us, uk, france, and others outside of japan. Releasing the 645d exclusivly in japan would be a huge marketing failure that not even a monkey would make. They are going to announce it in japan first but for a reason. Besides everything gets announced first in japan now days. Sorry for errors. Typing on my zune.
Agree that these products get typically announced in Japan first, but I think Pentax has more success in Japan than other countries.
My opinion, but just from an observation.
02-18-2010, 05:45 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Pål Jensen;

Not true. When Hoya announced a year or so ago that the 645D project was being revived, the Hoya exec, at that time, stated that it would be a Japan only release, as their market research led them to believe that they would sell only about 200 cameras in the US..
This was not an official statement from Hoya or Pentax, but an off-hand comment from a US Pentax rep who at the time almost certainly hadn't faintest idea about it's release date or price. It was also filtered through a journalist and based on the assumption that the camera costed in the same leage as other MF DSLR's ($15 000+?) and hence, couldn't sell more than 200 units in the US.
Generally Pentax reps do not have the faintest idea about products, their price and their marketing years in advance. Usually they don't know anything until the official product number with data and price and an embargo date emerges.
It is anyhow amazing how this "not for US" rumor can be turned into "only for Japan". That said, I'm sure it will hit the shelves in Japan first, as usual. How much it sells in japan may have an effect on when it hits the rest of the world as I would assume that the production run is somewhat limited. Depending on the price, there might be some distributors who may not want to carry the camera, but the assumption that Pemtax plan to keep this a Japan only product is highly unlikely and financial suicide; I think they need to sell every camera they can.


Last edited by Pål Jensen; 02-18-2010 at 05:59 PM.
02-18-2010, 05:52 PM   #20
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John Carlson, product marketing and support manager at Pentax USA.

Here's the interview with John Carlson, product marketing and support manager at Pentax USA, published March 4th 2009.



PMA: Pentax revives medium format digital camera plan (update) news - Amateur Photographer - news, camera reviews, lens reviews, camera equipment guides, photography courses, competitions, photography forums


Wednesday 4th March 2009
Chris Cheesman
Pentax has revived plans to launch its long-awaited 645 Digital medium-format camera, four years after a mock-up was first shown.

The camera will go on display at the Photo Imaging Expo show in Tokyo later this month, said John Carlson, product marketing and support manager at Pentax USA.

He told Amateur Photographer that the 645 Digital is expected to go on sale in Japan.

However, it is unclear whether the camera will be sold in Europe.

And Carlson told us that it will not be marketed in the United States because Pentax predicted it would only sell 200 units there.

We understand that Pentax Japan has decided to aim the camera at the high-end market, so it seems unlikely it will be an affordable, enthusiast-level, model.

Last year, Pentax appeared to have scrapped development of the camera.

A press report in Japan had suggested that 'developments of the new camera body introduced on various occasions, as well as the SMC Pentax-D FA645 55mm f/2.8 will be virtually discontinued'.

Only a dummy version of the camera has been shown to journalists - paraded at numerous trade shows since it was first mooted at Tokyo's Photo Imaging Expo show in March 2005.

At the time of writing, no-one from Pentax Europe was available for comment at PMA.
02-18-2010, 06:11 PM   #21
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Whats being said filtered through Amateur Photographer magazine:

1) Carlson is representing the Pentax importer in the US; a Pentax rep. He has nothing to do with Hoya or Pentax Japan.

2) The camera is to be sold in Japan
Meaning: pretty obvious. They make the camera. It must be sold somwhere. Why not Japan?

3) Unclear weather it will be sold in Europe.
Meaning: We (AP) have no idea; we haven't been able to get to get a comment form those who knows (Hoya/Pentax).

4) Carson thinks he can only sell 200 units in the US and hence won't market it.
Meaning: He has no idea what it will cost but if costning the usual MF digital money they are not interested (and who can blame them?).

5) We understand that Pentax Japan has decided to aim the camera at the high-end market, so it seems unlikely it will be an affordable, enthusiast-level, model
Meaning: We (AP) believe (but have no idea since we haven't spoken to Pentax/Hoya) it will be targeted at the high-end market, cause thats where all the other MF DSLR are targeted.
Fortunately, we do have official Pentax statements in this regard saying the camera is targeted at the amateur, not pros, and that the same amateurs will find both the camera and lenses affordable.

I suggest forget this article.
02-18-2010, 06:41 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
This was not an official statement from Hoya or Pentax, but an off-hand comment from a US Pentax rep who at the time almost certainly hadn't faintest idea about it's release date or price. It was also filtered through a journalist and based on the assumption that the camera costed in the same leage as other MF DSLR's ($15 000+?) and hence, couldn't sell more than 200 units in the US.
Generally Pentax reps do not have the faintest idea about products, their price and their marketing years in advance. Usually they don't know anything until the official product number with data and price and an embargo date emerges.
It is anyhow amazing how this "not for US" rumor can be turned into "only for Japan". That said, I'm sure it will hit the shelves in Japan first, as usual. How much it sells in japan may have an effect on when it hits the rest of the world as I would assume that the production run is somewhat limited. Depending on the price, there might be some distributors who may not want to carry the camera, but the assumption that Pemtax plan to keep this a Japan only product is highly unlikely and financial suicide; I think they need to sell every camera they can.
No. I can't find the link, but the one I'm thinking of was a very high-ranking HOYA executive in Japan, who made the public announcement, about a year ago, that Hoya had given Pentax the green light to finish the 645D and actually bring it to market. This guy was Japanese and lived in Japan. In fact, this is just about the only official public announcement that has actually come from a Hoya employee about the 645D.

AFAIK, the only other confirmed public statement by a Hoya or Pentax employee regarding the 645D was Ned Bunnell's offhand remark at the K-7 launch in the US.

I don't put any stock in reports that someone spoke with an unnamed Pentax regional sales rep, or someone who heard from his brother in law, who just returned from Japan.

They've had Japan-only before. Right now, only Japanese customers have the full range of color combinations for the K-x. The US only gets four. They just announced a few more for Europe, but none for the US. Lenses for the 645Nii only went out of production within the last year, yet they haven't been sold in the US for years. I don't think it would be financial suicide.

Now, I'm not trying to say that I have any reliable knowledge that it is or isn't going to be sold in the US or Europe. I just know that the only CONFIRMED public statement that I have heard from a Hoya/Pentax employee, was that it was to be sold only in Japan. Of course, if it sells well, anything can change. If there is a groundswell of demand, they could easily change their minds.
02-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #23
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I think it was more cost effective for them to run events themselves just as they did the K7 and with the internet and forums like this WOM is the best advertising they can get especially from hardcore Pentax users to potentially new life long users.

Regional campaigns are somewhat more "cosy" how many users from the other manufacturers actually get to be met and greeted by the president of their region and actual professional users of the equipment who can answer questions regarding real world experiences? One? *Pentax*

Now if only they'd do a few in Canada

02-18-2010, 07:54 PM   #24
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Don't know elsewhere. But I think 645D will be a big thing for our local Pentax distributor here in Singapore. Now they are working on some strategies to push the camera to the pro market where Pentax brand has been lagging for many years.
02-19-2010, 12:00 AM   #25
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So Pentax doesn't want to be singled out again at the Japanese show for failing to show up Samsung. What's sad is that probably means there isn't another lens to be announced, no new APS-C or 135 format body, no new anything, except the 645D.

Thank you
Russell
02-19-2010, 12:12 AM   #26
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This is amusing. So many people with their panties in a wad over a camera they will never own and in most likeliest of cases, will never ever even see, other than online. Seriously, what difference does it make if Pentax releases this only in Japan and probably will only ever release a couple hundred of these? I think once everyone sees the price on this (don't get your hopes up for a sub $10k body), they will go back to appreciating their $1000 K-7 which they waited and waited to buy once the price came down.

But then again, for a true fan boy, just knowing the 645D is somewhere out in the world makes it easier to sleep at night.

Jason
02-19-2010, 12:51 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
This is amusing. So many people with their panties in a wad over a camera they will never own and in most likeliest of cases, will never ever even see, other than online.
you're too near-sighted. In 2-3 years a lot of us will by these cameras.
02-19-2010, 12:53 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
you're too near-sighted. In 2-3 years a lot of us will by these cameras.
That is assuming there will be many more made than Pentax has suggested and the re-sale value will tumble. Maybe 3-4 people here, but not "many".

Jason
02-19-2010, 02:26 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
That is assuming there will be many more made than Pentax has suggested and the re-sale value will tumble. Maybe 3-4 people here, but not "many".

Jason
Let's see. Maybe 2-3 years is too optimistic, but think of this: Pentax is not going to be alone here, competing only with the studio MF camera guys. Nikon has been rumored for a long time to come with some larger sensor camera. Somewhere down the road, Kodak gets competition from at least Sony in the sensor department, and these cameras will become no more difficult to build than, and in the same price range as current FF cameras.
02-19-2010, 04:57 AM   #30
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My disappointment is that there won't be any new lenses -- even WR versions of existing lenses. I personally won't get a medium format digital in the forseeable future -- not really even interested in full frame, but I'd like to see some new lenses filling in the gaps.
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