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08-09-2013, 01:04 PM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Our difficulty: we don't know what Ricoh's vision is and we probably won't know for a couple of years. It will only become clear looking back at a new and growing family of products (and also at where and how they are sold, which will be an important part of it)
Ricoh's vision is to be the "third" camera company over the internediate term. They are understandably somewhat opaque about the strategy and tactics they will employ over shorter time horizons to realize that vision.
QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
In the meantime, the coloured cameras with their custom builds, the Q and the choice of a 28mm lens (rather than 35-45mm, e.g.) for the new GR show that Ricoh has deeper roots in Japan and perhaps in Asia generally than it does in the West. That, at the moment anyway, is part of their vision.
Ricoh's use of color on camera bodies has a philosophy, goal and a tactical approach.
  • The philosophy is to convince P&S consumers a traditional-bodied camera need not be boring black - and thus to encourage users of ALL brands of compacts to step up to Pentax.
  • The goal at Ricoh is to adhere to the fierce iconoclastic history of the brand - and a 28mm fixed-lens street camera fits the mold well without cannibalizing Pentax.
  • The goal in K-mount is to increase the installed base of K-mounts in the marketplace so third-party lens and accessory makers are encouraged to produce in K-mount and in Pentax electronic and shoe specifics (as in flashes). Ricoh Imaging doesn't care what is wrapped around the K-mount so long as lots of new K-mounts get sold into the marketplace. Colors stimulates additional purchases of a dSLR in an existing Pentax household, K-mount camera gift-giving, as well as attracting new customers.
  • The goal in Q-mount is to establish Q as the interchangeable-lens bridge between Compacts and dSLR's that combines joy of photography with (much better) image quality for personal, household use than is readily available in fixed-lens bridge cameras and m43 compacts.
  • Custom colors may well become a manufacturing hallmark of Pentax and Ricoh branded cameras over time, the key being over time.
Ricoh seems to be working on the brand-defining base things right now as well as manufacturing processes that are invisible to us: They're working on the first-things, setting up for the bigger volume push. We'll see the next-things later, and that will include the Full Frame. The brand-defining fisrt-things are, so far:
  • Personalization (colors, custom grips at the high-end like the GR, made-to-order manufacturing processes)
  • Quality construction values
  • Value based on features, not on price alone
  • Ergonomics
  • Inventive engineering
    • IBIS
  • Image quality
  • Weather Sealing
None of that rules out an eventual Full Frame sensor, but it may suggest that a Pentax or Ricoh Full Frame camera might take a non-traditional approach to wrapping something around the sensor. I believe Ricoh does not seek to make Pentax a third choice of CaNikon - CaNikonTax. I believe Ricoh intends to make Pentax the choice instead of CaNikon.

Discuss amongst yourselves.


Last edited by monochrome; 08-09-2013 at 06:12 PM.
08-09-2013, 01:04 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
I doubt Pentax can make money with a FF venture, and I think Pentax knows that.
Just look at this forum (or even my local Pentax one)
Pentaxians are generally pretty 'smart' and smart with their money (ok, if I was not politically correct, I'd use the word 'cheap' ) , as well as knowing that they can do pretty well with their current gear (I'll be politically correct and use the term 'skilled' ) .
This contrasts very much with what I see from Canikony forums, where the advice is always "Go XXX and no need to look back" or other similar "good advice"

Pentax won't make much money with its 'fans' sticking to age old *istD or the best of the best K200 when the FF is released.
So many want to pick it up for bargin prices during the end of the product lifecycle.


I'll be happy to see a Pentax FF, and I'd certainly get one (either upon release or within 1 tier of price drop ... see I'm cheap too)
But I won't count on them coming up with one.

Those who want FF NOW, I suggest just look to a 2nd hand 5D, 5DII or D700 and end the pain.
There will be trade-offs, but at the prices that those cameras are at now, don't think there is much to complain about.
However, IMO, they can only give that shallower DOF look for a similar FOV compared to what APS-C can offer now.
Resolution.... there is a far more powerful option in a smaller package (Foveon)
Well, I will use the word cheap. Of course, many Pentaxians are not cheap. But, as a group, we have a global reputation as being extremely tight-fisted. It wasn't that many years ago that even this website was populated by many Pentaxians who were, on balance, only interested with how many more years they could get out of their classic Takumars and *ist or K100 bodies. We don't hear from those people all that much these days. But the reputation will take a long time to wear off - just as it's going to take time for Ricoh to convince the world that Pentax is truly a major player once again. But that doesn't mean that both won't happen. Myself, I have four Pentax bodies and all the lenses I will ever need. I can bide my time and see how things play out. But I'm not really putting any more money into Pentax right now. Full frame? I hope those who want it get it - and are delighted with the product. Myself, I can't be bothered. I'm having too much fun with APS-C and micro four thirds.
08-09-2013, 02:23 PM - 1 Like   #33
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Some of us are indeed cheap and have limited budgets.

But think of it, does Chevrolet make the Corvette to make money? I can assure you it doesn't. Same with other brands and their top premium products. They make those for prestige, to apply new technologies that get then watered down to their more consumer oriented products.
But mostly, it's so that the brand name gets better recognition. So that when you buy that little compact Chevy, you know you're buying from the same guys that make the Corvette.
People who buy Canon, Nikon and Sony point and shoots know they're not buying top of the line equipment, but they can say at least that they are buying the brands that the pros use. That's why Sony has little Carl Zeiss lens on their better point and shoots. That did make me buy one many years ago, and I've taken tons of pictures with it, until I recently got the DSLR bug.
Knowing that the brand you are buying also makes premium products creates a bit of confidence - it's a totally placebo effect, but it works. So even if Pentax/Ricoh lose money with the FF, it will likely help them sell more consumer cameras.

I don't have money to buy a FF and I probably don't need it anyway. So I have stayed away from these threads... just wanted to give a bit of the perspective from someone on the lower end of the market...
08-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Ricoh's vision is to be the "third" camera company over the internediate term. They are understandably somewhat opaque about the strategy and tactics they will employ over shorter time horizons to realize that vision.
I don't see that as a vision, more as a goal. The vision is creating the means (products, etc.) to get there. In fact as a goal it's almost a by-product of the vision.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Ricoh's use of color on camera bodies has a philosophy, goal and a tactical approach.
Personally, I don't really buy the reasons you give. This and the Q strike me as something of more appeal in Asia than in the West, and the four-week wait for your customized Q is a bucket of cold water on something which is a bit of an impulse purchase. The colour idea is very neat but only up to a certain level of camera. Above that, no. 100 or so custom colour variations might shift more Qs and possibly a few more K30s (though I doubt it - just a few suffice, I expect) but it wouldn't shift any more KIIs. And, again just my thinking, there is no way on earth the Q can credibly be positioned as the leading bridge between compact and "bridge" cameras (which now increasingly means phones) and DSLRs. The Q has fine qualities but it isn't up to such a challenging job and this will become more apparent if or more likely when the usual suspects sort out their mirrorless offerings to combine quality with value for money. There's clearly going to be a shakeout in that arena and I'd guess that the surviving cameras will be lean, mean, very keenly priced machines. If the Q had a 1" sensor, I'd agree.

I take your point about the 28mm on the GR. I know that 28mm is something of a Ricoh thing with a long pedigree. However, I'd guess that Western buyers beyond the street crowd (a minority, perhaps) might be more interested in a 35mm all-rounder. I don't see this as cannibalizing Pentax sales - Just a guess.

Your list of brand-defining things looks spot on, especially image quality (above all), ergonomics and integrity of build.

08-09-2013, 02:44 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Some of us are indeed cheap and have limited budgets.

But think of it, does Chevrolet make the Corvette to make money? I can assure you it doesn't. Same with other brands and their top premium products. They make those for prestige, to apply new technologies that get then watered down to their more consumer oriented products.
But mostly, it's so that the brand name gets better recognition. So that when you buy that little compact Chevy, you know you're buying from the same guys that make the Corvette.
People who buy Canon, Nikon and Sony point and shoots know they're not buying top of the line equipment, but they can say at least that they are buying the brands that the pros use. That's why Sony has little Carl Zeiss lens on their better point and shoots. That did make me buy one many years ago, and I've taken tons of pictures with it, until I recently got the DSLR bug.
Knowing that the brand you are buying also makes premium products creates a bit of confidence - it's a totally placebo effect, but it works. So even if Pentax/Ricoh lose money with the FF, it will likely help them sell more consumer cameras.

I don't have money to buy a FF and I probably don't need it anyway. So I have stayed away from these threads... just wanted to give a bit of the perspective from someone on the lower end of the market...
You are right, of course, but there is a lot of expense that goes into doing full frame right. To have a complete lineup takes a lot of devotion in lenses and accessories. Nikon and Canon have a lock on the market, and car companies can make money without having a Corvette in their lineup. Pentax's niche might just be APS-C. Only time will tell.
08-09-2013, 03:07 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
But mostly, it's so that the brand name gets better recognition. So that when you buy that little compact Chevy, you know you're buying from the same guys that make the Corvette.
Maybe that is already covered by Pentax still making medium format cameras that cost around 10,000 dollars?
08-09-2013, 03:47 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I don't see that as a vision, more as a goal.
Well maybe not, but Pentax believes the products are the goals and the marketing decisions are the tactics. Everything else I wrote comes to me straight from senior Pentax employees during the Q Users Conference Call.

Vision is where you see yourself in several years
Goals are what you need to do over one to three years to get there
Tactics (or Objectives) are what you do over shorter periods to realize your goals.

Goals and Objectives can be measured quantitatively. Visions are less quantitative and more qualitative, though they can be measured somewhat.

Last edited by monochrome; 08-09-2013 at 05:55 PM.
08-09-2013, 04:01 PM   #38
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QuoteQuote:
Ricoh's use of color on camera bodies has a philosophy, goal and a tactical approach.
QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Personally, I don't really buy the reasons you give. This and the Q strike me as something of more appeal in Asia than in the West,
And that I think is the basis for the disconnect. It seems more and more that Ricoh is fine tuning things for a different market. Perhaps they feel their future is Asia not the western market. Which makes a lot of sense since the market is not as saturated or brand entrenched as other areas.

08-09-2013, 04:32 PM   #39
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I'll take a neon pink Pentax full frame, if that's what it has to be. Nothing a can of black spray paint can't fix.
08-09-2013, 04:33 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
And that I think is the basis for the disconnect. It seems more and more that Ricoh is fine tuning things for a different market. Perhaps they feel their future is Asia not the western market. Which makes a lot of sense since the market is not as saturated or brand entrenched as other areas.
Yes, that's rather my thinking. It ties in with what monochrome said about "senior Pentax employees" wanting to "establish Q as the interchangeable-lens bridge between Compacts and DSLRs". It might make sense as a goal at least in Japan and perhaps Asia too, but in the West? There cannot be much chance of that. Ricoh don't have the distribution in the West even to try that on the market and as time ticks by while they build it that little sensor in the Q may look more and more exposed before the onslaught of CX cams and above from the usual suspects. So when Ricoh talk about their plans, where is their vision really concentrated? Still, that's just me. It's good that Pentax are able to figure out what they'd like to do in, say, a five-year frame. I'd imagine they hadn't been able to do that properly for a long while before Ricoh acquired them. If there is an announcement in September, as some predict, we will know more then.
08-09-2013, 04:45 PM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
So when Ricoh talk about their plans, where is their vision really concentrated?
And that vision does not have to be a single one. Different markets, different products or at least different focus. I think the Q and the multi-colored cameras are designed for the home market, it was something they could do with the existing infrastructure. I don't know about UK but in the states they could have come out with something that made D7100 look pathetic and would still not have made any headway because they have no infrastructure or market presence here. Best product in the world will flop if no one knows about it. So they work on k-5II, k-50, k-500, nothing dramatic just engineering improvements and tread water while marketing and distribution get their act together. As you say, all will become clear eventually. But then what will we have to complain about
08-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
So they work on k-5II, k-50, k-500, nothing dramatic just engineering improvements and tread water while marketing and distribution get their act together. As you say, all will become clear eventually.
Yes, that is a lot of what I understand. They're doing first things now, laying foundations. Those actions are different in the USA than even in Canada, and certainly than in the EU. In the USA I believe they simply must come to an understanding of Dealer Credit and reasonable Dealer Minimums before they'll get any kind of meaningful Dealer Agreements. What happened to Nikon and Canon at Ritz Camera has Ricoh very skeptical.

They also don't understand American consumer habits - buy it and return it for a refund on a whim. That just doesn't happen in Asia - consumers are too proud.

Pay attention to the demonstrators in local markets this Holiday season. As recently as early May there was a plan to contract for 90+ well-trained product demonstrators for use in local markets. They have to be in a store or somewhere.

I don't believe we should simply discount colors and Q as Asia only tactics, though. Those are part of the consumer strategy globally, not necessarily for enthusiasts. We'll get our bodies and lenses, but first there has to be consistent cash flow from the bottom of the product pyramid.

Last edited by monochrome; 08-09-2013 at 06:15 PM.
08-09-2013, 06:52 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
[*]The goal in Q-mount is to establish Q as the interchangeable-lens bridge between Compacts and dSLR's that combines joy of photography with (much better) image quality for personal, household use than is readily available in fixed-lens bridge cameras and m43 compacts.
.

How is Q going to catch m43 in IQ, much less surpass it, unless they radically enlarge the sensor? They just bumped Q up to 1/1.7'', which finally matches the Powershot P&S!
.

08-09-2013, 07:34 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

How is Q going to catch m43 in IQ, much less surpass it, unless they radically enlarge the sensor? They just bumped Q up to 1/1.7'', which finally matches the Powershot P&S!
.
They do not have to either match or surpass M43 in quality, just offer enough for those who wish to move up from a point and shoot. These folks are probably not interested in large prints or the least bit concerned with M43/cropped sensor vs FF or IQ far surpassing what a pro had 4 years ago. They want a fun, compact decent camera. They are unlikely to become members of this forum or any other photo forum either. Not saying that serious photographers will not buy and use them but the bulk of consumers will not be photographers but foks who wish to take photographs of their trips, friends families and themselves.
08-09-2013, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
They do not have to either match or surpass M43 in quality, just offer enough for those who wish to move up from a point and shoot. These folks are probably not interested in large prints or the least bit concerned with M43/cropped sensor vs FF or IQ far surpassing what a pro had 4 years ago. They want a fun, compact decent camera. They are unlikely to become members of this forum or any other photo forum either. Not saying that serious photographers will not buy and use them but the bulk of consumers will not be photographers but foks who wish to take photographs of their trips, friends families and themselves.
Got it in one. Combination of more fun than 4/3 and better IQ than compacts.
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