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03-12-2010, 08:07 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Uhmm, What then . . . they return to losing money?
Maybe, maybe not. Maybe putting the lens prices up high was enough to put them in the green for a while, but now that they've got all those new pentax owners through the K-7 and K-x and the buzz they've created, if they bring the lens prices back down a bit they'll all be wanting to get some glass, spiking lens sales.

That's what I'd like to think, anyways.

03-12-2010, 09:53 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
Maybe, maybe not. Maybe putting the lens prices up high was enough to put them in the green for a while, but now that they've got all those new pentax owners through the K-7 and K-x and the buzz they've created, if they bring the lens prices back down a bit they'll all be wanting to get some glass, spiking lens sales.

That's what I'd like to think, anyways.
One can always hope
03-13-2010, 12:47 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Pentax of late done a great job of keeping true to their tagline "Be Interesting." Pentax now has the most interesting line of dSLRs, a multi-hued entry level K-x, and small tough pitbull K7, and now the game-changing 645D. Even their recent P&S cameras have utilized interseting shapes and finishes to distinguish themselves. It's a smart strategy. Unlike Sony, Pentax doesn't have the resources to battle Canikon head-on, so they must find and create market niches that they can compete in. That's what Panasonic and Olympus did when they shifted to M43, and it seems to be working for them.

With all of that said, I think the Pentax's next camera will continue the "Be Interesting" theme.

Is FF in a K20d-sized body interesting enough? I'd say no - FF in a K7-sized body is much more interesting.

Is EVIL APS-C interesting enough? Maybe, if they act soon. Samsung and Sony are knocking on the door though, so Pentax would have to move quickly.

Is a weatherproof, APS-C, EVIL with Video and full manual control interesting enough? Maybe.

Whatever the case, I hope that Pentax continues to be interesting...
Great post.

I'm a long-standing Apple fan, and I clearly remember the dark days when the IT press routinely predicted Apple's demise. The parallel with Pentax here is quite obvious, I would think.

It would be interesting indeed if Pentax produced something like an "iPod", by which I mean a product that crosses the familiar market boundaries and creates a "halo effect" for the parent brand.

What might such a product be? After a couple of minutes' thought (not nearly enough, of course), my best suggestion is a camera phone that's a camera first, and a telephone second. This would play well to Pentax's strengths in delivering optics in small, rugged devices, but they would undoubtedly need to partner with Samsung or some other manufacturer to bring such a product to market.

AW
03-13-2010, 01:32 AM   #19
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what would be more interesting than full-frame K-mount sensor module for Ricoh GXR system?
i assume, in that case, there would also have to be Pentax-branded GXR control-module too.
now, that would be really interesting!

03-13-2010, 04:11 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by D W Quote
I have 11 645 lenses
Gosh, so many? Where do you have room for all that?
I never heard of anyone having so many thousands of lenses before!
03-13-2010, 05:16 AM   #21
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My personal feeling is that the next generation after the sequel to the K7 will be a full frame camera. No particular reason, I just think that the sensors will be cheap enough and Pentax won't be able to pass it up. I would say that they will release it with a feature that automatically crops the DA lenses to whatever their image circle is and release the bread and butter zooms 24-70 f2.8 and 80-200 f2.8. Oh well, we can always dream.

I don't think people have paid attention to Canon and Nikon lens prices. The current Pentax prices are pretty decent compared, they just don't offer any low end primes and steer entry level users to consumer zooms. I don't believe there is an 'L' lens that is under a thousand dollars right now. Rather than dropping their prices, I want Pentax to continue sinking money into R and D and clean up their areas of weakness (read SDM and autofocus speed).
03-13-2010, 05:41 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by asw66 Quote
What might such a product be? After a couple of minutes' thought (not nearly enough, of course), my best suggestion is a camera phone that's a camera first, and a telephone second. This would play well to Pentax's strengths in delivering optics in small, rugged devices, but they would undoubtedly need to partner with Samsung or some other manufacturer to bring such a product to market.
That would be the Nokia N95.
03-13-2010, 06:13 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
My personal feeling is that the next generation after the sequel to the K7 will be a full frame camera. No particular reason, I just think that the sensors will be cheap enough and Pentax won't be able to pass it up.
IMO the problem isn't price or not only price.
The problem is: do they have access to it? In the recent past, Sony has been giving to Nikon (and itself of course) exclusivity deals for their sensors.

The K-x is a great camera but how many months after D90? Pentax might have access to a FF sensor right now, but which one? 12Mpix? Sure they'd sell a good number FF cameras if they have that 12Mpix sensor (I mean, almost none), purely for marketing reasons. Stupid I know, but reeal IMO.

03-13-2010, 07:26 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
That would be the Nokia N95.
Or this: Samsung releases AMOLED 12M Camera/Phone: Digital Photography Review
03-13-2010, 08:20 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
IMO the problem isn't price or not only price.
The problem is: do they have access to it? In the recent past, Sony has been giving to Nikon (and itself of course) exclusivity deals for their sensors.

The K-x is a great camera but how many months after D90? Pentax might have access to a FF sensor right now, but which one? 12Mpix? Sure they'd sell a good number FF cameras if they have that 12Mpix sensor (I mean, almost none), purely for marketing reasons. Stupid I know, but reeal IMO.
The 12mp full-frame sensors Nikon has been using aren't produced by Sony. Just the 24mp sensors. So no dice on those, but the 24mp sensors may be a possibility. I recall something about Samsung having designed and produced a FF sensor as well, but not details.

---

All those camera phones are unsatisfying to enthusiasts because they still use tiny sensors, and once you put a larger sensor in it, you need a larger lens, and you start moving away from the realm of pocketability, which just doesn't make for a successful phone in today's market.

As far as a product with an ipod-like ability to capture the market, I really think if Pentax decided to be the first maker of compact-form-factor cameras with normal extend-retract zoom lenses (perhaps with ceramic elements for greater compactness/optical quality?) and larger sensors (at least 2/3, maybe up to APS-C), at a decent pricepoint, they could make quite a splash. Priced competitively against premium compacts like the G11 or that new samsung, a camera like that could win over all those who want a serious tool in a small package but for whom m4/3 is still too big when paired with a zoom lens.

Especially if they make it to the same standards of ruggedness as the W series and continue to show the flair for refined styling we've seen in the latest compacts...

If they also made a budget, stripped-down model that still offered the high image quality of the larger sensor that edged into the $300-and-below compact market, they could probably catch a significant chunk of the compact fixed-lens market, as well as enticing a lot of other buyers who have been looking in vain for just this sort of product for quite a while now.

Of course, Pentax isn't the only manufacturer with the ability to make such a leap. Any of them could, and whoever does it first has the potential to make a killing with it.
03-13-2010, 08:59 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
The 12mp full-frame sensors Nikon has been using aren't produced by Sony. Just the 24mp sensors. So no dice on those, but the 24mp sensors may be a possibility. I recall something about Samsung having designed and produced a FF sensor as well, but not details.
Right, I messed up the details but my point remains...

Last edited by thibs; 03-13-2010 at 09:05 AM.
03-13-2010, 09:38 AM   #27
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What if Pentax were to release another APS-C camera, on the k-7 body, with the same 14 - 16MP count, but with, 8fps, fantastically clean shots up to ISO 6400 good quality to 12800, larger buffer with dual SD slots, faster autofocus, 1080p, tetheering support, optional DFS, and kept the price around $1800? would that be interesting enough to perhaps entice some sports, wildlife photogs to look? Notice I'm not really dreaming for cutting edge specs, just competitive ones. (and the DFS thing thrown in to quiet the astro crowd). I'd buy it, and love it, even for a little more cash than Pentaxes normally sell for.
03-13-2010, 09:48 AM   #28
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With better AF and it will sell like crazy
03-13-2010, 10:55 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuie Quote
What if Pentax were to release another APS-C camera, on the k-7 body, with the same 14 - 16MP count, but with, 8fps, fantastically clean shots up to ISO 6400 good quality to 12800, larger buffer with dual SD slots, faster autofocus, 1080p, tetheering support, optional DFS, and kept the price around $1800? would that be interesting enough to perhaps entice some sports, wildlife photogs to look? Notice I'm not really dreaming for cutting edge specs, just competitive ones. (and the DFS thing thrown in to quiet the astro crowd). I'd buy it, and love it, even for a little more cash than Pentaxes normally sell for.
Except for a couple of minor points, didn't you just describe the Canon 7d?
03-13-2010, 11:07 AM   #30
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What would make Pentax the next Apple, HP or Subaru is some kind of paradigm shift like the iPod or HP LaserJet/InkJet or the Boxer engine and full time all-wheel drive. iPod the hardware, a digital Sony Walkman that untethered music from the tape/CD player, was profitable, but the real money is in iTunes. Printers are profitable (especially to Canon, owner of the patents for the laser engine) but the real money is in the cartridges. Addictive image technology like the Subaru has can be more profitable than "just a car."

In it's time the Spotmatic series introduced enthusiast photography to emerging wealthy consumers. Pentax of course played on Kodak's investment in film, paper, chemicals and technology for free. Pentax created and then exploited a market, just as Apple plays on AT&T's network.

HP created and exploited a market that didn't exist, replacing the typewriter, but they played on Microsoft's investment in software and the Apple/PC capital investment..

In the case of Apple, the iPod/iPhone/iPad technology connects actually and image-wise to the core business, the computers. Pentax buzz would spill back onto fixed-lens cameras, but the cameras need to already be perceived as different, cool and, well, interesting..

What might really do the trick is:
  • an in-camera setting to optimize images for web-posting (on social-networking sites like Facebook)
  • in-camera Wi-Fi connectivity to internet portals
    • distribution through sellers of Wi-Fi access
  • easy, fast, menu-driven photo uploads from the camera
So far it sounds like an iPhone
  • proprietary wireless connection to dedicated, inexpensive, proprietary, co-branded photo printers and proprietary, co-branded photo printing consumeables, both in-store and on a portable consumer printing device, limited to standard-sized prints
  • distinctly "Pentax" design
  • distinctly "Pentax" photo quality through a patented image engine
  • Marketing
Given the new relationship with Kodak there might be a path there

In theory this could all happen but Pentax needs something that would force partners to ally with them rather than make their own products.

Pentax's historical "Apple-ness" can be (if properly marketed) small, innovative, feature-rich well-designed interesting cameras such as MX, LX, MZ-s, Auto 110, or that give great results easily such as MESuper.

Oh well, one can dream.
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