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12-04-2013, 08:23 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Even since we started doing regular interviews with Pentax they've been getting a compilation containing such requests. Of course they can't/won't act on most of it, though.
It makes complete sense if they can't act on everything... but at least on majority or bigger things the community wants.
I guess will be nice to see the PentaxForums as a gateway for Ricoh to feel the pulse of their customers.

Interviews are nice and a great way to pass info, but usually you are limited by time and notes (if they take any). A place where they can go back to and revisit those ideas is nice to have (without "clutter")... I think.

12-04-2013, 08:25 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
It makes complete sense if they can't act on everything... but at least on majority or bigger things the community wants.
I guess will be nice to see the PentaxForums as a gateway for Ricoh to feel the pulls of their customers.

Interviews are nice and a great way to pass info, but usually you are limited by time and notes (if they take any). A place where they can go back to and revisit those ideas is nice to have (without "clutter")... I think.
The other problem with interviews, especially semi-spontaneous ones, is the lack of truthfulness and a glut of political answers, where they mostly pretend to answer something, but upon closer analysis, they aren't.
12-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #18
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Just my own experience as a DSLR noob, I went to dpreview often before plunking down a couple hundred bucks on a camera - it was actually their review on the k-x that convinced me to go with Pentax (that and my first film SLR was the trusty k1000). I understand that on some level, the professionals and the experienced might find their reviews derivative and/or uninformative and/or completely useless. But to those who are trying to find some foothold into the expansive world that is DSLR photography (aka, people who aren't on this forum), they're a great resource. And given the explosion of DSLR buyers, if they championed Pentax's work, it would be a real boon to Pentax's sales.
12-04-2013, 08:37 AM   #19
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dpreview, whatever its faults, is virtually always one of the top hits in search engines for camera stuff -- so what it says matters if only because so many people will read them first.

Like innivus, their K-x review convinced me to buy Pentax in the first place.

12-04-2013, 08:38 AM   #20
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@innivus The information in their reviews is very useful, but they need to actually put the reviews out first.
12-04-2013, 08:46 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by innivus Quote
I understand that on some level, the professionals and the experienced might find their reviews derivative and/or uninformative and/or completely useless.
Many of them are actually testing in person, or via their own peer circles in the business. Luckily, Canon and Nikon have rental programs, too. The real test, as so many even say here, is how it actually performs in your hands, your lenses, your own conditions.

I'm still waiting for Ricoh Germany to get any floor samples anywhere of the K-3. They released four onto the German forums, which are being hoarded from friend to friend there, so if you don't know anyone, you're SOL. Not a good showing if the manufacturer can't even get test samples out there to the general public through their dealer network.
12-04-2013, 08:59 AM   #22
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Regarding third-party lens makers releasing in K-mount (or any Pentax mount) the issue is the total installed base of K-mounts currently in the marketplace. istDS bodies count as much as k5II bodies. Sigma and Tamron have limited production resources and make production allocation decisions the same way any other company does - what use of our production "capital" will yield the highest return the fastest.

They will manufacture a broad K-mount line when there are enough installed K-mounts in the marketplace to suggest they will sell a certain number of lenses to existing users. It will take more than the sum of K5II and K3 sales to move the needle.

Regarding Ricoh, marketing and DPReview (as owned I believe by Amazon), DPReview will pay attention to Pentax differently when paying attention to Pentax differently serves their specific business needs. Yes, DPR is a business. RICOH is committed long-term to the Pentax camera brand. RICOH views cameras as a growth opportunity within a company that really has few other growth opportunities - they're already #1 in copiers - how far above #1 can they grow?

Historically RICOH has reinvested cash flow from current operations into current operations to create incremental, repetitive growth. When they are starting small, 15% of small is small, but compounding over time has a parabolic effect. 15% of a larger number is a LOT more units (and revenue). 15% of a LARGE number is a LARGE number, but it takes time to let compounding work. That's why RICOH's goals are expressed in the intermediate term, 5 - 7 years, not i year goals.

RIAC (actually, all 5 regional divisions, plus the distributors) will have significant cash flow to reinvest into marketing somewhere down the road; not right away, but also not never. For now, B&H and Adorama and Amazon are creating cash flow at the Division level (RIAC) and that is good. New niche lenses are good, Competitive camera bodies (K#) are good - the next one will have better flash sync and incremental improvements elsewhere, and that is good. A K-mount Full Frame is good. Q is good. 645 is good. Taking little corners of the total camera market from Canon, Nikon and everyone else becomes 10% of the market - and becomes enough cash flow to sustain real brand marketing activities, but it won't happen today or tomorrow. When it does happen DPR, Sigma and Tamron will change their business decisions because it will be in their interest so to do.

RICOH will invest Capital where they have skill, expertise and patents - in manufacturing processes, to reduce costs, improve QA and QC, permit feature innovation, enhance brand identity (weather sealing and build-to-order custom colors) and anything else they're doing that we don't see. The key is we don't see it so we possibly think they aren't doing it. They ARE doing it, very aggressively and actively.

RICOH's plan is coming together. We're going to wake up one day two years from now and think, "Wow! How did that happen?" In the interim I suggest we view these products and small skirmishes (DPR questions) as single steps in a long process. They're all part of the deal and all to be expected.

Last edited by monochrome; 12-04-2013 at 05:16 PM.
12-04-2013, 09:00 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Just a thought... if they do visit the forums as often as you leave to believe, should we have a dedicated place where we can put "requests" for upgrades (firmware or hardware) and wish lists for future equipment!?
I was thinking a dedicated place will be much easier to go trough for them then be all over the place. I guess heavy moderation will be a good thing to weave out the off topic remarks!?
There is such a dedicated place: "Dear Pentax"

12-04-2013, 09:10 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
There is such a dedicated place: "Dear Pentax"
Too much clutter... my thinking was more of a dedicated forum with threads for each camera... and heavily moderated to keep it clean and easy to go trough.
12-04-2013, 09:21 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Regarding third-party lens makers releasing in K-mount (or any Pentax mount) the issue is the total installed base of K-mounts currently in the marketplace. istDS bodies count as much as k5II bodies. Sigman and Tamron have limited production resources and make production allocation decisions the same way any other company does - what use of our production "capital" will yield the highest return the fastest.

They will manufacture a broad K-mount line when there are enough installed K-mounts in the marketplace to suggest they will sell a certain numebr of lenses to existing users. It will take more than the sum of K5II and K3 sales to move the needle.

Regarding Ricoh, marketing and DPReview (as woned I believe by Amazon), DPReview will pay attention to Pentax defferently when paying attention to Pentax differently serves their specific business needs. Yes, DPR is a business. RICOH is committed long-term to the Pentax camera brand. RICOH views cameras as a growth opportunity within a company that really has few other growth opportunities - they're already #1 in copiers - how far above #1 can they grow?

Historically RICOH has reinvested cash flow from current operations into current operations to create incremental, repetitive growth. When they are starting small, 15% of small is small, but compounding over time has a parabolic effect. 15% of a larger number is a LOT more units (and revenue). 15% of a LARGE number is a LARGE number, but it takes time to let compounding work. That's why RICOH's goasl are expressed in the intermediate term, 5 - 7 years, not i year goals.

RIAC (actually, all 5 regional divisions, plus the distributors) will have significant cash flow to reinvest into marketing somewhere down the road; not right away, but also not never. For now, B&H and Adorama and Amazon are creating cash flow at the Division level (RIAC) and that is good. New niche lenses are good, Competitive camera bodies (K#) are good - the next one will have better flash sync and incremental improvements elsewhere, and that is good. A K-mount Full Frame is good. Q is good. 645 is good. Taking little corners of the total camera market from Canon, Nikon and everyone else becomes 10% of the market - and becomes enough cash flow to sustain real brand marketing activities, but it won't happen today of tomorrow. When it does happen DPR, Sigma and Tamron will change their business decisions because it will be in their interest so to do.

RICOH will invest Capital where they have skill, expertise and patents - in manufacturing processes, to reduce costs, improve QA and QC, permit feature innovation, enhance brand identity (weather sealing and build-to-order custom colors) and anything else they're doing that we don't see. The key is we don't see it so we possibly think they aren't doing it. Theyn ARE doing it, very aggressively and actively.

RICOH's plan is coming together. We're going to wake up one day two years from now and think, "Wow! How did that happen?" In the interim I suggest we view these products and small skirmishes (DPR questions) as single steps in a long process. They're all part of the deal and all to be expected.
I agree with everything you said especially the part about Ricoh making decisions that will give them the highest return on their investments. Only problem with that is that they had already been producing and selling their 1.4 teleconvertor for the Kmount for some time and then they stopped. What reason could there be to stop a limited annual run on a product they already had all the tooling for other than they were influenced by forces outside the company?? I know this is a big speculation but a company just doesn't give up a part of market share unless they see NO value in continuing. Yet Sigma continues to add new lens offerings for the K mount. This doesn't make sense at all. Why would they give up sales of their 300mm 2.8 to K mount owners when they didn't have to? The combination of their fast 300mm and their 1.4 teleconvertor is prized among wildlife photographers. Canon and Nikon have these. Pentax doesn't anymore. Sigma was our only option and they gave up that market share for what reason???
12-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
I agree with everything you said especially the part about Ricoh making decisions that will give them the highest return on their investments. Only problem with that is that they had already been producing and selling their 1.4 teleconvertor for the Kmount for some time and then they stopped. What reason could there be to stop a limited annual run on a product they already had all the tooling for other than they were influenced by forces outside the company?? I know this is a big speculation but a company just doesn't give up a part of market share unless they see NO value in continuing. Yet Sigma continues to add new lens offerings for the K mount. This doesn't make sense at all. Why would they give up sales of their 300mm 2.8 to K mount owners when they didn't have to? The combination of their fast 300mm and their 1.4 teleconvertor is prized among wildlife photographers. Canon and Nikon have these. Pentax doesn't anymore. Sigma was our only option and they gave up that market share for what reason???
The reason probably has something to do with fixed cost. Every product generates a fixed cost whether it's inventory, promotional material, or people needed to manage or sell the product. Heck, SAP gurus will tell you that just maintaining an SKU in the computer has a "cost". When volume is low enough, the fixed costs don't justify the product's existence because the variable margins don't overwhelm the fixed portion.
12-04-2013, 10:01 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
The reason probably has something to do with fixed cost. Every product generates a fixed cost whether it's inventory, promotional material, or people needed to manage or sell the product. Heck, SAP gurus will tell you that just maintaining an SKU in the computer has a "cost". When volume is low enough, the fixed costs don't justify the product's existence because the variable margins don't overwhelm the fixed portion.
Well heck! gotta agree with you on that but it is I believe a short term, short sighted bean counter view of economics. Still that is the typical reality of most corporate financial decisions. But it isn't good for Pentax owners who want to do bird photography with a light, sharp, fast lens....
12-04-2013, 10:31 AM   #28
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DPReview is why I bought the K-5. Their reviews clearly showed me that for what I wanted at the time, the K-5 offered the most bang for the buck. My guess is that thier review of the K3 will rate it higher than the Nikon D7100 which they recommend for Christmas shoppers. Maybe just coincidence that the Pentax K-5II is the camera listed on their Christmas list. A very good camera but what if their review rated the Pentax K-3 higher and less expensive. Would it have been the recommended camera?
I am guessing Nikon outflanked Pentax at DPReview and if I were the marketing manager who provided DPReview with the K-5 to test - I would be in their face.
12-04-2013, 10:33 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
The reason probably has something to do with fixed cost. Every product generates a fixed cost whether it's inventory, promotional material, or people needed to manage or sell the product. Heck, SAP gurus will tell you that just maintaining an SKU in the computer has a "cost". When volume is low enough, the fixed costs don't justify the product's existence because the variable margins don't overwhelm the fixed portion.
QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
Well heck! gotta agree with you on that but it is I believe a short term, short sighted bean counter view of economics. Still that is the typical reality of most corporate financial decisions. But it isn't good for Pentax owners who want to do bird photography with a light, sharp, fast lens....
It is neither short-sighted nor bean counter. Just as water flows to its natural level, capital flows to its most efficient use, the place where it has the highest marginal return. To force capital to do otherwise is a recipe for long-term decline . . . sort of like what happened to, well, Pentax. Without being snarky, if you want to shoot birds today you have other options. You have chosen to wait. I argue you will be rewarded if you do.

And all that cycles back to the installed base of K-mounts, which drives every decision Ricoh makes for Pentax. Colors on entry and mid-range? Does it sell more K-mounts? (we don't care what is wrapped around the mount - just get more K-mounts out there). K-500 for US and EU only? Does it sell more K-mounts? (K3) Halo APSc DSLR? Does it sell more K-mounts? Halo 24x36 DSLR? Does it sell more K-mounts?

There is some magic number of installed K-mounts at which 3P makers can sell their lenses to us. We don't know what the number is, nor how to get to it - but you can bet Ricoh knows, and you can bet they know because they've asked, and you can bet they've shared the outline of their business plan with the 3P makers so when certain targets are hit plans can be made.

Trust me. You will be happy.
12-04-2013, 11:18 AM   #30
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Is this going to end-up into a Pentax is doomed discussion again!?
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