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03-17-2010, 11:22 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
This is all nice and true. What I call K-7 mark II.

But will it create new markets for Pentax or justify to keep the development staff who did K-7 and 645D over the past few years? IMHO, no.

Again, I differentiate between K-7 successor (a game changer) and K-7 upgrade (a game keeper). *istD, K10D, K-7 and 645D have been Pentax' game changers to date. Esp. K10D.
K20D was K10D Mk II.

03-17-2010, 11:47 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Again, I differentiate between K-7 successor (a game changer) and K-7 upgrade (a game keeper). *istD, K10D, K-7 and 645D have been Pentax' game changers to date. Esp. K10D.
Might be a month or two off, but the dates I could dig up from the web are;
K10d - released Sept 06
K10d Grand Prix - released June 07
K20d - released Jan 08
K20d Titan - released Mar 09
K-7 - released May 09
K-7 Silver - released Mar 10

Taken from my post on the FF thread...

"If you look at the past Pentax release schedule, it looks like Pentax should have a replacement for the K-7 in about 6 months (if using their previous history to map their strategy is accurate). Who knows what it will be, FF or APS-C but it would be nice to see FF.

I am puzzled as to why the K-7 Silver is coming out so early compared to when other "limited" came out (it's about 4 months early). I'm presuming that the release of the replacement for the K-7 will not be early, otherwise we would see something in May or June."

The 645d may have put the schedule out of whack, and presuming they are deciding to keep the same schedule, we should see something shortly. I would be surprised to see it be FF, but then again, they did leverage the K-7 development for the 645d...
03-17-2010, 11:52 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Is it rational for Pentoya to do this before they've built a professional service network? When you spend that much for the camera, as a (hopefully) money-making tool, you're buying more than just the camera -- you want a safety net too.
They may need to do this, which is another reason they would want to wait until at least next year to release a full frame system.

However, the reason I mentioned competing with Leica instead of Sony, Nikon or Canon is because the Leica M9 is more of a luxury consumer product at this point
than a pro product, although pros can and do use it for their work.

In the long and short term, I don't see how Pentax stands a chance against the specs and pro service offerings from Nikon and Canon. I believe they can, however, find a nice niche with a certain type of consumer that loves quality images but doesn't necessarily need the highest frames per second or other tech specs. Sort of like Leica, but cheaper. Or if you want to put it a nicer way, more affordable.

For this type of consumer, customer service would be big, but "next day pro service" wouldn't necessarily be essential.
03-17-2010, 01:16 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Is it rational for Pentoya to do this before they've built a professional service network? When you spend that much for the camera, as a (hopefully) money-making tool, you're buying more than just the camera -- you want a safety net too.
QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
They may need to do this, which is another reason they would want to wait until at least next year to release a full frame system.

However, the reason I mentioned competing with Leica instead of Sony, Nikon or Canon is because the Leica M9 is more of a luxury consumer product at this point
than a pro product, although pros can and do use it for their work.

In the long and short term, I don't see how Pentax stands a chance against the specs and pro service offerings from Nikon and Canon. I believe they can, however, find a nice niche with a certain type of consumer that loves quality images but doesn't necessarily need the highest frames per second or other tech specs. Sort of like Leica, but cheaper. Or if you want to put it a nicer way, more affordable.

For this type of consumer, customer service would be big, but "next day pro service" wouldn't necessarily be essential.


The 645D isn't really about profit, it is about cash flow and reputation. I smell the beginning of a brilliant, if risky strategy by Hoya:
  • 1st release in Japan because they already have much better support in the home market and large base of 645 users
So, having consolidated EU into France (where Pentax has a strong following and large market share), second wave release in EU, because:
  • Building support on Pentax France relationships is easier
And
  • North American release dates still "maybe," because
They have to build support from scratch - no USA distribution, no USA reps, no USA "presence.".




Two observations:
  • Low 645D price isn't just a high volume play - it is possible because they don't need to build into the camera price full pro support costs (which are as much sales commissions for one-to-one sales as the cost of quick-turn service and rental market) the way Mamiya and Hassy do.
  • What support network they do build will be oriented at a near-pro but not Nat. Geo / AP / SI pro service level. Once support is built, USING 645D CASH FLOW, support network and new technology can be leveraged to a similarly game-changing price/features FF camera for outdoor enthusiasts and less time-sensitive professional markets (see Marc Langille) - LATER
  • R&D expenditures, if properly managed, can be leveraged up and down the product chain to spread costs over larger number of units. This is classic business growth strategy and management. I am very impressed.
They won't compete with Canon and Nikon, but they will peel off some users who pay for but don't need the Professional support network.

645D is the tip of the spear. Hoya is using technology leverage to generate cash flow, using the cash flow to rebuild the hollowed-out infrastructure and resserving capital for proper long-life items e.g. P&E.

I'd bet in 3-5 years there are Pop Photo articles about the amazing return of Pentax.

03-17-2010, 02:19 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gus Quote
3 questions à Pentax France sur le 645D - Focus Numérique

Rough summary (answered by Mr. Yazid Belmadi):

1st Question - After all the wait for the 645D, why just a Japanese launch?
A. Excluding Japan, there are no official decisions to launch the 645D in other countries. We need to evaluate the potential of different markets before making commitments.

2nd Question - Will you be requesting the sale of the 645D in France
A. Pentax France would naturally like to offer the product on the local market but we need to measure the cost of such an operation. Such a product would necessarily mean the setup of a PRO service and a dedicated distribution network.
We hope we'll have a nice opportunity to present the 645D at the 'salon' of medium format in the month of June. It would be a good opportunity to 'collect' the opinions of primary medium format users and to get a feel of the market at the European level.

In the 3rd question, he mentions that the price of the 645D + 55mm would be around 10,000 Euros if it's ever offered.

4th Question - After the medium format, everybody's waiting for a full frame SLR. Is this planned?
A. We're currently studying the possibility, but prefer not to make any comments at the moment.

So there you go, still no full frame in the pipeline (unless I'm reading it wrong).

5th Question also asks about 'compact lenses market' (meaning micro 4/3rds and the likes). The reply mentions that Pentax is monitoring that market very closely. But as with the full frame question, there are still no comments.
Thanks for the info. A fine read
03-17-2010, 03:30 PM   #36
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Too often when i read discussions like this, I see little consideration given to the labor resources it takes to design and build a new camera.

A small company like Pentax doesn't have unlimited resources to simultaneously commit fully to the design and mfr of more than one camera at a time (in my estimation - Canon or Nikon could, but not Pentax)

When Pentax committed to the 645D, they had to have made a calculation that the 645D would add more to their company's future than putting a FF out in an already crowded market niche. They knew they could undercut existing MF manufacturing costs to a large degree and could apply K7 technology at little cost.

At this point in time, they could commit to putting out an updated K7, call it the K7s if one wants to imitate Nikon, OR they could put out a FF camera and let the existing APS cameras age longer. They can't do both a FF camera and a K7 upgrade at the same time with any kind of efficiency.

I think it makes sense that they do an APS sensor upgrade to the K7, that will come out this fall 2010. And then possibly an FF sensor camera in 2011, unless the FF market has tanked by that time :-)
03-17-2010, 07:31 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
That's a straight-forward feeling.

I felt the same until you actually posted it and I saw it printed

Now, I am wondering how that can be...

In order to generate profit, Pentax needs a new product which would Pentaxians make upgrade and/or attract new users.

The expected K-? in between K-x and K-7 is nice but doesn't do this.

And there aren't many options for an Uber-K-7 in APS-C:
- Newly developed Uber-AF?
- A video mode challenging the RED camera?
- 18MP?
- Even higher fps?
- The 15MP Exmor sensor?

Only the last option is likely. But it will only extend the life span of the K-7. Would be a K-7mkII, not an upgrade camera.

With better viewfinder, video, faster fps, a rugged magnesium body, faster AF etc., Pentax has already played its card to upgrade a K20D-like camera.

If Pentax wants sales, they need to offer a camera beyond the K-7, at about $500 to $1000 extra. What other than FF can this be?

But you're right, we may not see a K-7 successor this year. A minor upgrade, maybe. But no successor. And FF next year. If this is true, rumors should spread around the time of photokina though.
I think you're on to something. Essentially, folks like me that want a FF dSLR are at the point where we aren't going to spend any more on "upgrades" to the compromise APS-C format. The cost difference is shrinking (which is rapidly rendering the APS-C compromise unnecessary, since that was THE reason for it to begin with), and two incremental APS-C upgrades will cost as much (body-wise) as one switch to a FF body, won't deliver as much increase in IQ as the FF upgrade, and won't deliver the big viewfinder and uncropped angles of view of a FF upgrade. I for one won't be buying any more APS-C cameras, since incremental upgrades to a format I never wanted to begin with is not something I'm willing to spend any more money on. If Pentax doesn't make a FF dSLR, then those who want FF will start buying Canon/Nikon/Sony gear, and Pentax loses customers. Such losses likely will be permanent, since once one starts buying glass in another mount they likely won't ever be switching back. Not only (as you said) does Pentax need to encourage upgrades or attract new users, they need to stop bleeding off their loyal customer base to Canon/Nikon (and in some cases Sony) for want of a FF dSLR.
03-17-2010, 10:23 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Too often when i read discussions like this, I see little consideration given to the labor resources it takes to design and build a new camera.

A small company like Pentax doesn't have unlimited resources to simultaneously commit fully to the design and mfr of more than one camera at a time (in my estimation - Canon or Nikon could, but not Pentax)

When Pentax committed to the 645D, they had to have made a calculation that the 645D would add more to their company's future than putting a FF out in an already crowded market niche. They knew they could undercut existing MF manufacturing costs to a large degree and could apply K7 technology at little cost.

At this point in time, they could commit to putting out an updated K7, call it the K7s if one wants to imitate Nikon, OR they could put out a FF camera and let the existing APS cameras age longer. They can't do both a FF camera and a K7 upgrade at the same time with any kind of efficiency.

I think it makes sense that they do an APS sensor upgrade to the K7, that will come out this fall 2010. And then possibly an FF sensor camera in 2011, unless the FF market has tanked by that time :-)
Saying that Pentax is a small company is like saying that Minolta is a small company... it isn't the case anymore...

Pentax is as dead as Minolta and doesn't exist anymore as a company, they are a trademark and the company is named Hoya now. Look up Hoya and tell me if it can be considered a small company.

Pentax can be big if Hoya wants to (read: if Hoya thinks they can develop this side of their business and up their investments).

03-17-2010, 11:51 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
Saying that Pentax is a small company is like saying that Minolta is a small company... it isn't the case anymore...

Pentax is as dead as Minolta and doesn't exist anymore as a company, they are a trademark and the company is named Hoya now. Look up Hoya and tell me if it can be considered a small company.

Pentax can be big if Hoya wants to (read: if Hoya thinks they can develop this side of their business and up their investments).
Pentax is also the name of PHOTO DIVISION of HOYA.
03-18-2010, 12:23 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
Pentax is as dead as Minolta and doesn't exist anymore as a company
Are you sure that Minolta is dead? Who are these guys, then? KONICA MINOLTA Global

Minolta is alive and well, they have just sold their camera division to Sony.
03-18-2010, 12:25 AM   #41
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QuoteQuote:
folks like me that want a FF dSLR are at the point where we aren't going to spend any more on "upgrades" to the compromise APS-C form
Nail, head, hammer.
I am quite happy with my K20 at the moment, although the 654D would be nice, (way out of my price range) and a FF would be very nice thank you. There is no way Pentax can tempt me to part with my hard earned for another upgraded aps-c. And lets face it that's all that is left for them to do. Even a brand new aps-c is only going to be an upgrade from an existing model. The same as the K20 was an upgrade from the K10 and the K7 is an upgrade from the K20. There is really no where left to go. So my thought is that there will be improvements on existing models but no completley new model until Pentax releases the FF.
03-18-2010, 12:56 AM   #42
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Here, we are all making assumptions that we are the "targetted" customers for companies like Hoya-Pentax that we should have a product that suites our needs. I agree that most of us here have owned the APS-C camera for years and that it is about time that we should see a FF camera. Things have changed over the last few years (in fact last decade). The global economy has shifted to Asia where there is new found wealth over there in the last economic boom. The "marketing" battle ground for Pentax to survive is to entice customers in the far east as most of them now have the money to buy in and moving up from P&S camera. This is no different from cell phone and netbook evolution. The product trial and marketing has to be over there where people are more willing to try new things.

Having said that, I do think that the next upgrade will be minor enhancement on K-7 followed by another minor enhancement on K-x; then a FF will be in the cards. Of course, this is just my humble opinon, nothing to substantiate.
03-18-2010, 02:56 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
Are you sure that Minolta is dead? Who are these guys, then? KONICA MINOLTA Global

Minolta is alive and well, they have just sold their camera division to Sony.
What's the difference for our purpose? I thought we were on a photography forum...
03-18-2010, 04:08 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Too often when i read discussions like this, I see little consideration given to the labor resources it takes to design and build a new camera.

A small company like Pentax doesn't have unlimited resources to simultaneously commit fully to the design and mfr of more than one camera at a time (in my estimation - Canon or Nikon could, but not Pentax)

When Pentax committed to the 645D, they had to have made a calculation that the 645D would add more to their company's future than putting a FF out in an already crowded market niche. They knew they could undercut existing MF manufacturing costs to a large degree and could apply K7 technology at little cost.

At this point in time, they could commit to putting out an updated K7, call it the K7s if one wants to imitate Nikon, OR they could put out a FF camera and let the existing APS cameras age longer. They can't do both a FF camera and a K7 upgrade at the same time with any kind of efficiency.

I think it makes sense that they do an APS sensor upgrade to the K7, that will come out this fall 2010. And then possibly an FF sensor camera in 2011, unless the FF market has tanked by that time :-)
Pentax almost always maximizes their R and D spent on a body by giving an update to that body (aka the K10 to K20 upgrade) and then following it with a new design. I just don't see them dropping a full frame sensor in the K7 body and I also don't see them pitching the design. It makes a lot more sense for them to improve auto focus, work on some real ring driven lenses and behind the scenes prepare what lenses they will need to launch a full frame camera. That's all I am expecting this year, anyway.
03-18-2010, 04:09 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
The global economy has shifted to Asia where there is new found wealth over there in the last economic boom.
It belongs to Genaral Talk. But no, the global economy hasn't shifted to Asia. China/India provides cheap labour to the West, within facilities set up from our money. That's all. Even them counting billions, they still don't have the puchasing power of the West. That may change in the future (likely) or not.

As for the photographic markets, North America + Europe + Japan accounts to 75% of the global market (2007 figures), while Asia (w/o Japan) accounts to 17% only. Asia may grow faster, but it doesn't matter yet.

Europe alone is twice as big as China + India + Korea + Indonesia + Philippines + Vietnam + Malaysia + Pakistan + Taiwan etc.
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