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02-26-2015, 02:57 PM   #1
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How many FF could Ricoh Imaging sell....

This is a difficult one, since we know little about the new camera. But lets make some thinking about that. We do have lots of info about the current state of Pentax in the total market.

CIPA figures:
http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-2014_e.pdf

In 2013 the salesnumbers for dslr where 14 million units and just uder 10 % of them where Full Frame. In 2014 the number stocks at 10,5 million, but the average sales price went up. So it is to be expected that this in part comes from a larger marketshare for Full Frame. Maybe even not only the % went up, but even the actual salesnumber in units went up. The number of cameramodels with a full frame sensor went also up over the past year en in the ending of 2013.

So maybe the marketshare for Full Frame went up to 15 % over the past year 2014. Maybe we will see some actually figures about that in the near future.

The marketshare for Pentax in this segment would be around 1,3 - 1,5 % for dslr. In Japan a lot more, but not for the rest of the world, wich is 90 % of the market.

So depending of the camera Ricoh Imaging will bring to market we can expect more or less sales. The more futures inside, the more attractive it gets, but the increasing price would deminish sales very quickly (coming close to zero at the price of a Leica M camera).

The camera market is still very changing. With a decrease over the past year in sales of 25 % (for dslr) we can expect the market to be even slower in 2015 then it was in 2014. Expecting the market to be down to 80 % of last years sales isn't unrealistic.

So how would this new FF camera have impact on the Pentax sales and marketshare?

- My guess is that currently the sales for Pentax camera's is slowing down. Simply because there are people saving their money for the newly announced FF. Not spending money to be able to buy the camera when it really reaches the market.
- For the marketshare of Pentax that is not so good at the time, but for the potential sales of the FF this is a good thing.
- Pentax lost a lot of customers over the past 3 years. Marketshare went down and the total market is smaller now then in 2012. In the interview with the Ricoh Imaging reps at CP+ they are talking about hoping for Pentax users that left the brand to come back to the K-mount.
- Looking at the competition, what they offer and how they price their FF offerings, I think it is safe to say that a camera priced at max of 80-90 % of the D750 would probably make the most sales. A cheaper camera probably won't attrack customers back to K-mount, since it maybe doesn't offer all on futures, while a more expensive camera would scare of the on average less spending Pentaxians (cheapskates if you wish).
- You also have the.....just lets buy the camera crowd. This is in current economics a smaller groupe then some years ago.
- There is a portion of people that would buy the FF, but maybe haven't bought any K-mount dslr over the past years (maybe being less in to photography or using other or multiple brands) but still have some nice K-mount lenses from times ago (the F* and FA* lenses) that would be great to use on that new FF body.

So how would this work out?
- If the camera market goes down to 80 % of last year then the dslr market goes down to 700.000 units a month (remember the camera has not been completed, so only some months will be left over this year).
- If the market share for FF keeps growing, due to entrylevel users going to mirrorless or just their new iPhone then the marketshare could grow to be anything between 15 % and 20 %.
- If Pentax still has the 1,4 % marketshare and of them 15 % would be going to the FF market if the price is just right for them.
- If there is a nice group of owners of old lenses, mostley in Japan that would buy the new FF camera.
- If people who left the K-mount in the past year would return (not very likely in my opinion).

Then the camera would make sales when coming to market at the right price offering the right futures of:

  • 1500 pieces to the current usergroup each month
  • 1500 pieces to the ownercrowd of lenses at the start for like 3-6 months
  • maybe a few to photographers who left the brand over the past years.


Ofcource there will be a run for the new camera at start, but those are salesnumbers that are temporary and not there for years to come. At start there would be a larger sales option. I think that if Ricoh Imaging can make a productionline running for the new Full Frame at between 1500 and 2500 camera's a month and make a profit at selling it at max 90 % of a D750 then this would work out fine. If the camera is like 20 % more expensive then the D750 or even more, then I guess that salesnumbers would be cut in half easily.

Can Pentax's marketshare grow due to the FF offering over the coming year and 2016? Well maybe a little, but probably each FF body would mean one aps-c body sale less. It's like with 645Z. You make sales, but it doesn't show in marketshare numbers.


Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 02-26-2015 at 03:04 PM.
02-26-2015, 03:01 PM   #2
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Well one thing that does make it hard to figure out is Canon and Nikon have had FF for some time so they have already gotten models and passed on another to wait for one a couple years down the road. For Pentax users who have been wanting one this is a exciting time as we currently have zero, and so the % will be pretty decent. I think it would be lower for the 2nd FF that comes out unless it can all of a sudden brew morning coffee or something as well.
02-26-2015, 03:11 PM   #3
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Total Uninhibited Speculation

There are so many conditionals in your analysis that it borders on is mere speculation. We simply aren't in a position to know anything. I doubt they'll sell very many in North America if rumors that the initial release will be limited to EU and Japan are correct. I think K-S1 really hurt Ricoh Imaging-US. I'd bet 80% of shipments go to Japan, 15% to EU and we get a small allocation for crazy enthusiasts. Ricoh doesn't have the infrastructure in NA to support a true professional camera so they won't waste units of production on us..

My wish and my guess is Ricoh offers everything the D810 has except flash sync improvement priced List 15% below D810 List.
Wildly Speculative Wild Card - I speculate unbeknownst to us the 360 and 540 FGZII have embedded flash sync and P-TTL coding improvements just waiting for the shutter controls to match - that will be revealed in coming months (there is a major FW Upgrade for 645Z and K-3 rumored), and this will be a major feature upgrade of the K-2. Hopefully such FW Upgrade will also address the flash delay on the K-3.

I speculate the camera will be a fastcamera based on 645Z processor and bus technology.

I speculate the List Price will be higher than the current discussion and the price will hold at the street level for several quarters. I predict there will be K-3II to fill the price gap and K-3 will replace K-50. K-S2 will become the new consumer line leader.
Again - the above is 100% speculation and has no real probitive value.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-26-2015 at 03:20 PM.
02-26-2015, 03:17 PM   #4
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10 000 units is my guess. I assume it is a D810 competitor priced accordingly.

02-26-2015, 03:24 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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IMO, it doesn't matter. As long as they sell enough to stay in business, it's all good. And I'm sure they will given the success of the 645Z and the community's desire for an FF.

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02-26-2015, 03:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
There are so many conditionals in your analysis that it borders on is mere speculation. We simply aren't in a position to know anything. I doubt they'll sell very many in North America if rumors that the initial release will be limited to EU and Japan are correct. I think K-S1 really hurt Ricoh Imaging-US. I'd bet 80% of shipments go to Japan, 15% to EU and we get a small allocation for crazy enthusiasts. Ricoh doesn't have the infrastructure in NA to support a true professional camera so they won't waste units of production on us..

My wish and my guess is Ricoh offers everything the D810 has except flash sync improvement priced List 15% below D810 List.
Wildly Speculative Wild Card - I speculate unbeknownst to us the 360 and 540 FGZII have embedded flash sync and P-TTL coding improvements just waiting for the shutter controls to match - that will be revealed in coming months (there is a major FW Upgrade for 645Z and K-3 rumored), and this will be a major feature upgrade of the K-2. Hopefully such FW Upgrade will also address the flash delay on the K-3.

I speculate the camera will be a fastcamera based on 645Z processor and bus technology.

I speculate the List Price will be higher than the current discussion and the price will hold at the street level for several quarters. I predict there will be K-3II to fill the price gap and K-3 will replace K-50. K-S2 will become the new consumer line leader.
Again - the above is 100% speculation and has no real probitive value.
Very very true, that speculation is large part in my story.

To be on the actual real world site. There is nothing so efficient as a 100 % fully running productionline that makes a product that sells within weeks/months. So introducing the camera to the Japanese market first (or at least making it available the most) would be one trick to do that. It has been done with the 645D in 2010 that came to Europe at least half a year later. Having a larger production running for a short time makes sales, but probably doesn't make a profit.

If Pentax is smart they price the camera right at the first introduction and announce (and keep) that price at that level for at least 24 months. A way they did with 645D and probably also with 645Z.

At a price as D810 I have serious doubts about the potential this camera could have i the market.
02-26-2015, 03:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
At a price as D810 I have serious doubts about the potential this camera could have i the market.
But that is what Ricoh will be selling.
02-26-2015, 04:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
But that is what Ricoh will be selling.
Wel they can always try. Looking into just One large shop overhere the D810 is number 6 in sales of FF camera's.

At 3.000 to 3.500 euro I expect the New FF camera to sell in the same numbers as did K-S1 overhere.

02-26-2015, 04:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote

At a price as D810 I have serious doubts about the potential this camera could have i the market.
Everything so far suggest to me that this is exactly what the cameras is. It is also the only FF camera that make sense in the Pentax line-up filling the hole between the k-3 and the 645z.
Frankly, Pentax have no use for customers that are not willing to pay for an FF camera. They do not have a user base to support a volume FF model - it is simply not realistic. Besides, a "cheap", me too body would not attract a single new user to Pentax. A more advanced model at least have the potential to do so, as well as to appeal to the Pentax enthusiast....
02-26-2015, 04:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
- If people who left the K-mount in the past year would return (not very likely in my opinion).
I think there will be a good number who will return IF the camera performs well and they don't have the QC issues. Nikon is vulnerable to a competitor like Ricoh who builds high quality cameras, but Ricoh has to get moving on the glass as well.

I think Pentax said they projected to sell 10,000 645D units a year when it was launched and they sold a good bit more than they expected. The 645z is also selling well past this mark. The FF DSLR is going to sell well in North America with the right marketing.
02-26-2015, 04:30 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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The number is small. Very small. As it has been for ten years now. Otherwise the business cas could have been made years ago.

The K-3 will likely outsell it 10-1. The K-S2 20-1. Likewise the Q. I wouldn't be surprised if the 645Z outsells it since that camera is quite unique in its segment.*


* All numbers pulled directly out of my butt. Do not make financial decisions based on them.
02-26-2015, 04:37 PM   #12
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A lot depends on what the technical part of the deal looks like. For me a basic body -much like an old film body - with some key improvements would be enough if that would keep the price in reasonable level. Most of those extras though are software basedand dont really rise the cost as many of them already exists in APS-C bodies. From the plastic brick we have seen some things can be assumed; it will have at least most of the functions K-3 has. I'm hoping for a price around D750's wth features closer to D810.
02-26-2015, 04:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
IMO, it doesn't matter. As long as they sell enough to stay in business, it's all good. And I'm sure they will given the success of the 645Z and the community's desire for an FF.
This ^^^. If they can make a profit selling a camera with 1.5% market share all is good. They don't need to be Canon or Nikon, they just need to see a profit on what they are doing.

Brand loyalty may not be as firm as some here would lead us to believe. If you are a gear fan of a particular brand, sure you wear the hat and t-shirt and brag up your team. But for many the image is important, not the gear. And those folks typically hang out on fine art sites rather than gear sites, so they are not posting here. I know great photographers who would struggle to tell you what lens they are using, and that would be 'lens' singular because they only own one, but still take better pictures than I do. I know great photographers that dumped $1,000s of Canon gear and moved to Nikon because they wanted the D810 and 36MP. The cost was immaterial, brand loyalty was non-existent, because Nikon had something they wanted. I know photographers (maybe not great) that buy a different brand every year or so because the sales droid told them this was the best one to get. So if Ricoh delivers a strong contender with a good value proposition they will attract both new users and old users back.
02-26-2015, 05:08 PM   #14
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By October 2015, the Sony 36MP chip would have been on the market for over 3 years (Nikon D800 announced Feb 2012). Then the 36MP Sony A7R was announced Oct 2013, then D810 in mid 2014.

By the time Pentax gets around to using a [Sony] 36MP chip in it's FF, 36MP FF will be 3.5 years old, and there would have been a million or two Sony or Nikon 36MP FF's sold already. I imagine the unit cost of the 36MP chip would have come down a lot over those 3.5 years, so an aggressive price could be quite possible for the Pentax camera. D750 pricing for a 36MP FF?
02-26-2015, 05:27 PM   #15
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What percentage of the smart phone market does Apple have? It doesn't matter because they have 89% of the profit.

Apple's iPhone commands record high 89% of smartphone profits while Android plummets to record low
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