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01-09-2016, 05:20 PM   #1
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Why Ricoh should put the K-1 on hold!

Unless ofcourse the camera is absolutely ready.... If there is still work to do on the camera then I think they should reconsidder!


Here is my look on this subject.

Ricoh Imaging is a small company. They have limited resources. Wheater this is engenering power, production facility's, advertising knowledge or sheer budget ($$ you can only invest once).

K-1
There is a lot of work done on making the K-1. There are people waiting for this camera. There are promises made. But still. If the camera is ready, but not yet in production. Then there is still a moment to think about this. Putting the K-1 in production means investing a lot of money. If I would make just a wild guess on this. You plan to make a production run of say 25.000 camera's. For this you spend money on making your production plant ready. You put out orders for materials to make those camera's. You spend time on training staf. You start working on a plan to promote the camera and make those sales. If I make an estimation on this........You spend at least 25.000.000 $ on this K-1 before even one camera leaves the factory to go to a customer. This investment is for the production to come, and all expenses made in development are not in this and just part of this years fiscal numbers. You have to start to invest those 25.000.000 $ to get a step to your customers and put the K-1 in shops.

VR
The coming hype for 2016 and very likely some years to come is Virtual Reality. Buying a smartphone that works great with your new Virtual Reality glass is a thing that is going big. For that there is a need for content. Game makers are going in. Movie makers will do that soon. Many company's would like to see if there is some market to fill. Ricoh is already one of them. The Ricoh Theta S is a content maker for private use (basicly it is a gadget for consumers) to make content people can show on those new VR glasses. For Ricoh as an early player in this field, there is a market to win. You can also wait and see how others take it from you.

How to invest?
I would invest these 25.000.000 $ in the Theta project:
  • The Theta S is a great little cam. It is a Consumer product. It makes nice Footage, but not on a professional level. That in itself is not a problem. There is a lot of market for people who are willing to spend their $$ on a great gadget as the Theta S.
  • The Theta S should be on sale in stores where people will buy their new smartphone and their first Virtual Reality glass. That means the Theta S should be in stores where there are now mostly no products of Ricoh Imaging. That are many more stores then currently camera stores are left over.
  • There should be a new and even better performing Theta model for consumers this year. This is a project for developing a camera with better sensor performance. Building on the current Theta.
  • There should be a professional grade Theta in development to make market this year. Professional image quality that can be used in projects for company's that want to earn money in Virtual Reality. This maybe can be made build on the knowledge build with the Theta S, but ofcourse for better IQ you need bigger sensor surface.

I think when investing their money in VR there is a bigger chance to make money. Even a lot of money when done right. Setting up new sales channels for Theta, making some dust and wind to Let people know that Theta is the camera they are looking for, setting up production (you have a lot more inventory for such a project) and developing new projects will break those 25.000.000 $.......


I think this would be the wise way to procede the camera business. With 645Z, a nice aps-c K-mount line and the Theta there is a great portfolio. Investing in K-1 fullframe would be a project for when money is coming back in the company from the investment in Virtual Reality!


Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 01-09-2016 at 05:27 PM.
01-09-2016, 05:27 PM   #2
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Or they can proceed with FF and work on what you would like done. If one is almost ready for production and the other is early stage of development then a smart company would proceed with the ready to go and bring in funds while developing the second product. Ricoh is not a poor company.
01-09-2016, 05:29 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Or they can proceed with FF and work on what you would like done. If one is almost ready for production and the other is early stage of development then a smart company would proceed with the ready to go and bring in funds while developing the second product. Ricoh is not a poor company.
Ricoh Imaging is a small company that has to fund their own operations.
01-09-2016, 05:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
There should be a professional grade Theta in development to make market this year. Professional image quality that can be used in projects for company's that want to earn money in Virtual Reality. This maybe can be made build on the knowledge build with the Theta S, but of course for better IQ you need bigger sensor surface.
How about a Full Frame Theta, with two K-1 sensors in it? Would that make you happy?

01-09-2016, 05:35 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Ricoh Imaging is a small company that has to fund their own operations.
Ricoh Imaging is part of the Ricoh Group that has an annual revenue of almost $20 bn. They currently probably have more money on their hands for future developments than their market share would suggest.
01-09-2016, 06:02 PM   #6
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Ron,
Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more. With the stated release of the K-1 this spring, they've certainly already geared up their production/manufacturing facilities and are probably producing cameras as we speak (or, I should say, "type") right now. The bulk of the Ricoh's investment on this endeavor has already been spent for the planning and design of the camera and production facilities, as well as the related DFA full frame zoom lenses already under production or soon to be under production. To halt that effort now would be like you paying to have a house built and deciding to stop the project before the carpets are put in, yet paying for the work to that point, and finally, not moving in.

Also, Ricoh is a huge company - if they are serious about their consumer camera sector, they have the deep pockets to do so.

I think their Theta project is them being a little indulgent and having a little fun with their resources. Hopefully it will pay off for them. I see that Nikon is getting into that game as well.
01-09-2016, 06:06 PM - 5 Likes   #7
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What a load of rubbish. The OP is suggesting that Ricoh Imaging should abandon their K-mount development plans (and their customers), betting everything on some potential fad. Pentax survived many hardships, because in essence their products were sound. But "experts" here would bury them in a day or so.

The FF is happening, Ron; there's nothing you can do to stop it.
01-09-2016, 06:07 PM   #8
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The DSLR market is small change for all players, including Canon. GoPro, king of all environment wide angle, extreme sports action cameras, took huge losses last year. Any money put into R&D into this market such as Ricoh Theta S and m15, Ion Snapcam, Polaroid Cube, Kodak Pixpro SP360, and the just announced Nikon KeyMission 360 are essentially competing for the same specialty market as GoPro. It's the underwater, drone based, helmet mounted, dash cam video market.

Video is not Ricoh's forte, but the R&D does trickle down to other technology that is shared in other applications on other products.

Kodak spent billions inventing and then developing digital imaging technology and look what it did to their bread and butter.

Ricoh recognizes that there is an end game if they do not offer a FF DSLR. Many aspiring photographers and institutions buy into Scanikony because they know they can aspire to FF one day. The 645D and 645Z medium format is too huge a jump and no one would start with a Pentax APS-C system so that they can upgrade their camera body one day to medium format. But with a K-1, it represents that Pentax is not a specialty company, and that they are serious in keeping system loyalists from start to finish.

And in terms of VR (virtual not vibration), I've spoken with one of the pioneers in this field, Remington Scott, and he's told me they have hit a road block with the whole nausea inducement from the user. No doubt that issue will be remedied eventually, but it takes a government to send people to the Moon, and it takes corporations, like Disney, that have an abundance of resources to "invest" in research and development. Sony has been an innovator for years, but struggle to stay in the black as the clone wars rage with counterfeits and copyright theft from one particular country under the shield of their government.

This post was not made in China.

01-09-2016, 06:22 PM - 5 Likes   #9
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01-09-2016, 06:40 PM   #10
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01-09-2016, 07:20 PM - 3 Likes   #11
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Ron wouldn't say that if they were working on APSH sizing.
01-09-2016, 07:21 PM - 5 Likes   #12
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I'm really concerned about you. This is so irrational it worries me.
01-09-2016, 07:35 PM - 1 Like   #13
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There is no conflict for resources between Theta and K-mount. Theta is not developed by Ricoh Imaging, but another division. It's only marketed by Ricoh Imaging. It also doesn't compete for production space with K-mount, because it's made in a Ricoh factory in Shenzhen, China - not the Philippines or Vietnam.

I happen to agree that Ricoh should capitalise on the Theta with some better models, while the 360 fad still had some legs, but they'll do both.
01-09-2016, 07:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Ricoh Imaging is a small company that has to fund their own operations.
But they have mommy Ricoh to go to if they have a plan.
01-09-2016, 08:01 PM   #15
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You say Ricoh is a small company, but they had huge banner ads at the stadiums of two Italian soccer games I watched today: Roma - Milan and Fiorentina - Lazio. It was a bit strange to see that, but I was happy about it. They just need to add Pentax!
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