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10-08-2015, 05:56 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Why is Ricoh even bothering with a FF?

I'm relatively new to photography so maybe it's just my lack of experience and knowledge talking, but I really don't understand why ricoh is wasting any time and money at all on a FF. pentax FF isn't going to be groundbreaking to where canikons will switch. I'm just speculating here but how many aps-c users will upgrade to the FF? Maybe half? And I think that's a very optimistic guess. Pentax has some of the best apsc cameras available, an the best MF camera available so why not focus on what they're good at? Maybe work on an affordable MF camera priced the same as canikons FF cameras. A camera like that can be pentaxs offer to the professional photographers instead of another option for a FF.
its almost 2016. people like spending money on new technology. why not work on something like a stellar mirrorless camera that wirelessly tethers with a tab? something where you can edit your pictures on the spot.
Offer a pro package where you can control your whole system, flashes, camera, editing- all on the tab- on location. Maybe it's just me but I don't see a point in playing follow the leader when you can be the leader. Why play catch up with companies like canikon? And who cares about a pentax ff anyhow? The people on here. Maybe a few thousand people? Seems like a big waste to me.


Last edited by Another dyemention; 10-08-2015 at 06:17 AM.
10-08-2015, 06:03 AM   #2
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See:

"So what would turn you off from buying the new Pentax FF"...or any of the other FF threads :-)
10-08-2015, 06:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
See:

"So what would turn you off from buying the new Pentax FF"...or any of the other FF threads :-)
I meant more along the lines of why is ricoh even bothering to make a ff? Just think they should focus their rescources elsewhere. Something state if the art. Industry leading. Not just more of the same thing that's already out there. Sure maybe pentaxs ff will have some other features. Big deal. Nothing that's going to change the industry. People will say "oh look. Pentax made a FF. Cool. "
Just my opinion but what do I know?
10-08-2015, 06:31 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
I'm relatively new to photography so maybe it's just my lack of experience and knowledge talking, but I really don't understand why ricoh is wasting any time and money at all on a FF. pentax FF isn't going to be groundbreaking to where canikons will switch. I'm just speculating here but how many aps-c users will upgrade to the FF? Maybe half? And I think that's a very optimistic guess. Pentax has some of the best apsc cameras available, an the best MF camera available so why not focus on what they're good at? Maybe work on an affordable MF camera priced the same as canikons FF cameras. A camera like that can be pentaxs offer to the professional photographers instead of another option for a FF.
its almost 2016. people like spending money on new technology. why not work on something like a stellar mirrorless camera that wirelessly tethers with a tab? something where you can edit your pictures on the spot.
Offer a pro package where you can control your whole system, flashes, camera, editing- all on the tab- on location. Maybe it's just me but I don't see a point in playing follow the leader when you can be the leader. Why play catch up with companies like canikon? And who cares about a pentax ff anyhow? The people on here. Maybe a few thousand people? Seems like a big waste to me.
Although I rather agree with some of what you say, since I have no interest in FF myself, and don't really need some kind of ludicrous virility symbol either, my guess with FF is that Ricoh are simply looking to the future. There's not a lot more in it than that.

Over the next few years, it may be that APS-C cameras, and especially the DSLR ones controlled by Canon and Nikon, will become such a cheap 'n' cheerful commodity that they will hold no business attraction to a company like Ricoh. Ricoh is one of the smaller camera outfits and usually this means making your money out of niches and much more upmarket products. The "low margin high volume" stuff is left to the big boys, while the smaller outfits take the reverse approach.

It's a fair guess, though only a guess, that the last redoubt of the venerable DSLR will be on FF. Lesser formats will go modern and mirrorless or succumb to smartphones. So Ricoh somehow have to move their business out of this danger zone. My own preference is for mirrorless since it is mostly what I use. So why no serious mirrorless camera system from Ricoh? Many see it as the future. No one outside Ricoh knows and I'll admit it's pretty baffling (as I think you probably feel too).

So I see a move to FF as an attempt by Ricoh to take the whole of their camera business upmarket. The driver is the need for good margins and profits. Of course, who knows what Ricoh plan and really think. But the assumption has to be that they do have a careful plan put together by those with long experience of such things, because the alternative is that they don't know what they are doing.


Last edited by mecrox; 10-08-2015 at 06:46 AM.
10-08-2015, 06:32 AM - 3 Likes   #5
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People will spend their money on a Pentax FF instead of moving to Canon or Nikon, although a good number have already done that. As for they aren't going to make any money, Pentax makes money on smaller volumes than an other camera companies. They seem to decide how many they can sell, start up production line, pick a magic point to stop production, and then sell off what they have left, and they seem to be able to make money on relatively small numbers of cameras. And people already migrate from Nikon and Canon to Pentax, so why wouldn't they continue to do that with the FF? You're assertion that no one but current Pentax users will buy the Pentax FF, I guess you didn't notice what happened when Pentax released the 645z. And how do you know the FF isn't going to be "state of the art,industry leading"... there are many things like faster AF that seem to be possible on FF and not on APS-c.

Your point seems to be that Pentax is going to make the same thing that's out there. That's funny because, Pentax has always said, they aren't going to release an FF unless it has some industry leading unique features. So, you're a year or two behind the news cycle in your analysis.

If you start from the view point that Pentax or anyone else is going to release something not as good as what others release, then insert any company not just Pentax, where can you go from that? I fully expect Pentax to release an FF with pixel shift, that in the right circumstances will blow even the 645z out of the water. You just wait and see.

Last edited by normhead; 10-08-2015 at 07:22 AM.
10-08-2015, 06:43 AM   #6
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There's been a continuous demand from 'Pentax Users' for a long time. They have wanted a traditional FF DSLR plus a lens system to go with it in order to get more IQ in a range of situations where aps-c is seen as a compromise. The frustration has been that Canon and Nikon, and more recently Sony, have already offered that. But the 'Penrax Users' want the FF quality in a special Pentax package that includes all the highly valued assets we appreciate .... Value, quality build, WR, SR etc etc. They don't want to jump ship because they value those aspects above the FF IQ gain. But only for so long .....

Your post raises the question of exactly who are these 'Pentax Users' .... There's some evidence that Ricoh struggles somewhat to clearly identify this as well. Are they a die-hard (and slowly dying) bunch of old film camera users who dream of getting their bigger viewfinder back as they peer through their K and.M series primes with ever-decreasing eyesight ....or are they 'your' new breed of tech savvy gadget freaks who are looking more toward connectivity aids and the latest in AF and EVF features .... ?
10-08-2015, 07:17 AM   #7
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I'm sure pentax FF will be better than the other companies comparable models. Just like the k50 is in between the d5200 and 7200 but priced the same as the d3200. I'm not saying the pentax ff won't lead the ff industry. I'm saying why bother catering to such a small percentage of professional photographers when you can cater to a much bigger crowd? The crowd that isn't yet photographers. I could not tell you of one single person I know that would ever own a ff camera. But I do know of quite a few people tht own d3200s or canon rebels. Nor could I tell you of anyone that owns a desktop other than me and my 67 year old dad. But everyone I know owns a tab. Even my mom. I haven't owned a desktop or laptop for over 4 years until I bought my k50 and had no way of editing the pictures. My whole point isn't that pentax can't compete but why bother competing with canikon in a portion of the photography industry that caters to professionals?

Sure maybe the whole mirrorless + tab idea would be cumbersome to an already established photographer. But my brother would love it. My wife, my sister, the lady at work. The guy at Starbucks with his wool scarf and corduroy pants sipping his latte. The people that walk Ito bestbuy looking for something to spend their money on would love it. They are the ones To cater to. There is no industry or competition for something like that. Look at sony and their mirrorless cameras. They have the market cornered. What do you think would've happened if they decided to make a FF dslr and compete with the well established canikon FFs? That is my point.
10-08-2015, 07:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
I'm sure pentax FF will be better than the other companies comparable models. Just like the k50 is in between the d5200 and 7200 but priced the same as the d3200. I'm not saying the pentax ff won't lead the ff industry. I'm saying why bother catering to such a small percentage of professional photographers when you can cater to a much bigger crowd? The crowd that isn't yet photographers. I could not tell you of one single person I know that would ever own a ff camera. But I do know of quite a few people tht own d3200s or canon rebels. Nor could I tell you of anyone that owns a desktop other than me and my 67 year old dad. But everyone I know owns a tab. Even my mom. I haven't owned a desktop or laptop for over 4 years until I bought my k50 and had no way of editing the pictures. My whole point isn't that pentax can't compete but why bother competing with canikon in a portion of the photography industry that caters to professionals?

Sure maybe the whole mirrorless + tab idea would be cumbersome to an already established photographer. But my brother would love it. My wife, my sister, the lady at work. The guy at Starbucks with his wool scarf and corduroy pants sipping his latte. The people that walk Ito bestbuy looking for something to spend their money on would love it. They are the ones To cater to. There is no industry or competition for something like that. Look at sony and their mirrorless cameras. They have the market cornered. What do you think would've happened if they decided to make a FF dslr and compete with the well established canikon FFs? That is my point.
Oh my god, another mirrorless freak. I can't believe I got sucked in again.

Does Sony have pixel shift? SO why is mirrorless, which takes the same picture with different technology, better than pixel shift, which enables you to use 4 times the light, in a given image, reducing noise and increasing resolution? Do you want a different body, or do you want a better image? To me, mirrorless vs pentaprism and mirror is a fluff issue. It just doesn't affect IQ. It's about who looks good. A fashion statement. Not an issue for the serious photographer. You might use either, it doesn't matter. I still want to know who gives me the best image, and this Sony 42 MP backlit sensor with pixel bleeding is not a step forward.

10-08-2015, 07:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
but I really don't understand why ricoh is wasting any time and money at all on a FF. pentax FF isn't going to be groundbreaking to where canikons will switch.
They are not wasting money, they are building a device they hope to make money by selling. They waited a long time before moving ahead on this project, that indicates to me they were cautious and not sure of it, but they did go ahead. Only time will tell if that was the right decision.

I think you have a few things wrong:
QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
I'm just speculating here but how many aps-c users will upgrade to the FF? Maybe half?
More like 10% if numbers from other companies are accurate. Perhaps a little more at first because of pent up demand.
QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
Maybe work on an affordable MF camera priced the same as canikons FF cameras.
That would mean reducing the price by at least half. Not sure that is possible. But the major issue is the size of the camera. 645 is BIG and no amount work is going to make FF size.
QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
Maybe it's just me but I don't see a point in playing follow the leader when you can be the leader. Why play catch up with companies like canikon?
That is because you think there must be a leader and a follower. I don't think Ricoh looks at things that way, they just want to make money by selling cameras.
QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
And who cares about a pentax ff anyhow?
Maybe more than you think, or maybe no one. Who really needs any camera when it comes down it? But I think it will sell well anyway.
QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
pentax FF isn't going to be groundbreaking to where canikons will switch.
Possibly not, but how do you know that? And even if it is not, so what? They don't have to be the market leader, they just have to make and sell cameras at a profit. And apparently they think they can do that with a FF.

There were lots of threads like this two years ago, with many complaining that no FF should be made as it might bankrupt the company and Pentax should stick to APS-C. So you are a little behind the times on this. FF is coming and lets all hope it was/will be a good move for Ricoh.
10-08-2015, 07:30 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I'm not saying pentax is late to the game or doesnt deserve to play the game or even that they can't compete. I'm saying they're playing the wrong game. Why work on a car that gets better gas mileage when you can make a car that runs on... Idk.... Vegetables? Why work on better tires when you can make a hovercraft? Ok maybe that's getting carried away. I know only so much can be done with cameras. So why not put all your recourses into a MF (that you're already the industry leader with) that can compete with a nikon FF? Who will want a dusty old full frame when you can have a MF that is even better? Oh, and it's made by pentax? Why doesn't nikon have this? Time to jump ship.

---------- Post added 10-08-15 at 07:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Oh my god, another mirrorless freak. I can't believe I got sucked in again.

Does Sony have pixel shift? SO why is mirrorless, which takes the same picture with different technology, better than pixel shift, which enables you to use 4 times the light, in a given image, reducing noise and increasing resolution? Do you want a different body, or do you want a better image? To me, mirrorless vs pentaprism and mirror is a fluff issue. It just doesn't affect IQ. It's about who looks good. A fashion statement. Not an issue for the serious photographer. You might use either, it doesn't matter. I still want to know who gives me the best image, and this Sony 42 MP backlit sensor with pixel bleeding is not a step forward.
Because only you and other photographers care about this. This is my point.

---------- Post added 10-08-15 at 07:32 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Oh my god, another mirrorless freak. I can't believe I got sucked in again.

Does Sony have pixel shift? SO why is mirrorless, which takes the same picture with different technology, better than pixel shift, which enables you to use 4 times the light, in a given image, reducing noise and increasing resolution? Do you want a different body, or do you want a better image? To me, mirrorless vs pentaprism and mirror is a fluff issue. It just doesn't affect IQ. It's about who looks good. A fashion statement. Not an issue for the serious photographer. You might use either, it doesn't matter. I still want to know who gives me the best image, and this Sony 42 MP backlit sensor with pixel bleeding is not a step forward.
And I could care less about mirrorless. I love my dslr and will never change over.

---------- Post added 10-08-15 at 07:39 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
They are not wasting money, they are building a device they hope to make money by selling. They waited a long time before moving ahead on this project, that indicates to me they were cautious and not sure of it, but they did go ahead. Only time will tell if that was the right decision.

I think you have a few things wrong:

More like 10% if numbers from other companies are accurate. Perhaps a little more at first because of pent up demand.

That would mean reducing the price by at least half. Not sure that is possible. But the major issue is the size of the camera. 645 is BIG and no amount work is going to make FF size.

That is because you think there must be a leader and a follower. I don't think Ricoh looks at things that way, they just want to make money by selling cameras.

Maybe more than you think, or maybe no one. Who really needs any camera when it comes down it? But I think it will sell well anyway.

Possibly not, but how do you know that? And even if it is not, so what? They don't have to be the market leader, they just have to make and sell cameras at a profit. And apparently they think they can do that with a FF.

There were lots of threads like this two years ago, with many complaining that no FF should be made as it might bankrupt the company and Pentax should stick to APS-C. So you are a little behind the times on this. FF is coming and lets all hope it was/will be a good move for Ricoh.
I'm hoping it will be everything everyone hopes for. I'm not knocking it or anyone wanting to buy it. I'm just curious really. And I wasn't into photography two years ago so I am Johnny come lately to all this. This topic is just relevant again since the ff is only a few months away.

---------- Post added 10-08-15 at 07:47 AM ----------

And I don't think Ricoh is making any mistakes. The full frame will sell well and it'll do how them and everyone else is expecting it to in sales. It's all just my opinion but it seems like a small company that doesn't need to compete with the bigger ones would have the freedom to take the industry by storm and surprise everyone with an innovative new product. But that also means taking chances. Which for a small company, is much more risky. So maybe in the end, ricoh decided to play it safe for now.

---------- Post added 10-08-15 at 07:48 AM ----------

And I wasn't trying to be negative or knock anyone. I'm just straightforward and say what I say.

Last edited by Another dyemention; 10-08-2015 at 07:49 AM.
10-08-2015, 08:11 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
I'm saying why bother catering to such a small percentage of professional photographers when you can cater to a much bigger crowd? The crowd that isn't yet photographers.
I can think of a few reasons...
  • Because the professionals are where the money is -- how many people buying low- to mid-range APS-C DSLRs never buy any new bodies or any more lenses beyond the kit? Especially important with the ILC market as a whole in decline
  • Because going after the bigger crowd requires more resources devoted to marketing and distribution that Ricoh may not want to commit -- at least here in the USA, they don't seem to run advertisements for their cameras and they're no longer physically present in the big-box stores, or even in any of the smaller camera stores by me -- Canon/Nikon/Sony have a huge advantage there (someone upthread already mentioned Ricoh doesn't want to play the "high volume, low margins" game)
  • Because getting professionals on board now should help build their brand recognition to the point where marketing to the masses becomes easier later on, should they decide to (get them out of "they still make cameras?" status in the collective consciousness)
10-08-2015, 08:18 AM   #12
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You guys really want Ricoh to become as popular as, say, Canon? You get a great value for your money from Ricoh now because it is an underdog. If it was on top, my guess is that they too would have higher prices and create a product line with stupid artificial limitations like Nikon does.
10-08-2015, 08:26 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I probably should stay out of this, but...

1st, to Norm's point about mirrorless, I'm with him. I don't want one. I can see the case for one, though, and I'd disagree it's about a fashion statement. A very good fried of mine, and he's a respected professional, shoots an A7R because he gets great impages with it, and it's very compact for travel. He also has a Nikon D800 and a Canon APS-C so he's basically running 3 systems (he can afford to because he gets his lenses free as a rep for a third-party lens maker). Mirroless seems the domain of Sony, Fuji and Olympus right now. Pentax dipped their toe with the K-01 and a follow-on might work, provided they choose a camera design instead of a fashion designer next time.

2nd, people WILL switch if the right gear is available. This same pro loved Pentax in the film days and would consider switching, I think, if his sugar daddy made k-mount lenses. They don't right now but that may change if Pentax market share starts moving up again. Other pros will switch in a minute if it's a better tool that helps them make money, and when the pros start switching, others will follow. My guess is it's going to be awhile, though, as the first iteration sounds geared towards landscape photography, maybe architectural/product photography, not the cameras consumers see (i.e. sidelines of the Superbowl).

3rd, having a ff upgrade option will, IMHO, help drive up APS-C sales as some buyers aspire to upgrade at some point and don't want to invest in glass in a system that doesn't allow it. When I returned to photography after several years in the wilderness, I had to think pretty hard about what system to buy. I finally chose the K-10 because I already had legacy glass from the film days. Had I not, I very likely would have gone Canon BECAUSE they offer a ff option that I could upgrade to later without obsoleting heavy investments in glass. I'm glad I chose Pentax, but I have a hard time believing I'm the first and only buyer who struggled with this decision and most of the others had no motivation to choose Pentax so went the other way.

None of this may matter in the long run. The market is changing. Phone cameras continue to improve. The number of images being captured is astronomical compared to just 15 years ago. Everyone and their mother is snapping away and maybe the whole DSLR market will disappear due to pocketable cameras. I'm betting not, and I think Pentax is doing the right thing to position themselves for the long haul.
10-08-2015, 08:31 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scintilla Quote
I can think of a few reasons...
  • Because the professionals are where the money is -- how many people buying low- to mid-range APS-C DSLRs never buy any new bodies or any more lenses beyond the kit? Especially important with the ILC market as a whole in decline
  • Because going after the bigger crowd requires more resources devoted to marketing and distribution that Ricoh may not want to commit -- at least here in the USA, they don't seem to run advertisements for their cameras and they're no longer physically present in the big-box stores, or even in any of the smaller camera stores by me -- Canon/Nikon/Sony have a huge advantage there (someone upthread already mentioned Ricoh doesn't want to play the "high volume, low margins" game)
  • Because getting professionals on board now should help build their brand recognition to the point where marketing to the masses becomes easier later on, should they decide to (get them out of "they still make cameras?" status in the collective consciousness)
I think they pretty much answers it perfectly. And I guess that's what I was curious about. Funny though, your last statement. At the last music festival I shot, I had a conversation with someone. They asked me what camera I had and I told them a pentax. The conversation was:
"Oh, wow, that's some old school shit"
I said I just bought it last year.
They said "oh, they make digital cameras,"
I said yes, nice ones too. And proceeded to go over the whole sales pitch. I told him that pentax had a full frame coming out next year as well.
His reply was "huh? What's that?"
I explained and he said "oh" and looked kind of confused.
Then it was the same question I always get "how many megapixels is that"
I told him 16 and I get the shocked and confused look of "why would you buy a camera that only has 16mp?"
I always get a few people over a weekend asking if I'm using a film camera since I'm shooting a pentax.

Anyhow, those do sound like very logical reasons and a good move on ricohs part if that's how they are thinking.
10-08-2015, 08:35 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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Depends on your viewpoint and a lot of other factors that all need to be considered. Some like me have no need for a FF camera, so we are not a target for Ricoh.
I am old.....born the same year fire was discovered.....and almost burned down my cave dwelling.....so I don't have a long future ahead where I might become a famous Pro. APS-C suits me well. There are others like me that for various reasons are content as things are.

However, a couple of years ago when I had my little downtown studio, I would have bought a Pentax FF without a doubt. So they missed one sale, and many I know have gone to Canon or Nikon since. Sometimes you just need to stop the bleeding.

Damn those were fun times! Did I need a FF? Not really, but I would have bought one if it was a Pentax.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35763648@N05/albums/72157631360478088

Others want to have the best, either for need or greed. Bragging rights are very important to some. If I was younger it would be an advantage to go FF and build a system, and no doubt any here will do just that in the coming years. I think Ricoh is thinking ahead and even if sales don't skyrocket, they will certainly add to future sales in both cameras and lenses.

I tend to think of what a wise old guy told me when I was a kid in High School and worked part time in a shoe store. It was the best shoe store in town and carried a wide and popular selection that others couldn't match. The owner was very aggressive and business oriented and when I mentioned one day that "we have no real competition".....he replied..."If a man in China buys a pair of shoes from some other store, it is a pair of shoes we didn't sell."
In today's world that is even more significant...that guy in China can buy from anywhere on the globe. It is important to have what he wants or needs.

Regards!
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