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05-05-2013, 03:46 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrbrightside Quote
I'm sure you can look it up yourself. Just google why things are cheaper in the US.
I didn't make the claim. Why should I Google? Linky Proofy

05-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
Selling great looking watches is a way to get the brand name out there without all that support structure that Mono' was talking about. I think the watches are a brilliant idea also because they highlight the engineering/style possibilities of the brands. If the cameras looked anything line those watches they'd sell a boat load a week.
I agree. And I'm amazed how someone can think the little money spent on good marketing are lost, thus better used on other, unspecified areas.
I also doubt Pentax Ricoh are losing money on those watches.

QuoteOriginally posted by mrbrightside Quote
Yes, they should. Most successful international companies do because we're the biggest consumer market. But if Pentax got no market share in the biggest market and doesn't want to increase market share or sales, they charge what ever they want.
Actually it's smaller than Europe and Asia, for ILCs (but the largest for compacts - as consolation ) America is a great country, but there are many areas where they aren't number one
I'm using the CIPA data, by the way.
05-05-2013, 04:47 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
What else is Nikon. Seriously, I see where you are going with this - place yourself between Nikon and Leica. Interesting move. Even more interesting that they feel that they can jettison their entire current customer base. Their pricing does support your contention. Lower prices on bodies and what they consider throw away lenses (Kit zooms) with deals, rebates, etc. and raise prices on the perceived higher-end lenses. Get more Pentax cameras into more hands thereby increasing the user base. This can lead to more room for diversification in camera offerings, greater support from 3rd party vendors, and increase the number who will buy the Pro+ level gear at Pro+ level prices. Just one caution - there are only so many physicians and lawyers who throw stupid levels of money at photography and in my experience Leica, Nikon, and Hassy have that market locked. But I do see where you are arguing they may be trying to go with these moves.
Nikon has ticked off a lot of long time Nikon users with the QC issues on the D600 and D800, their stonewalling on admitting the problems, and then making their customers pay to ship $2000+ cameras back to them multiple times for cleanings and repair. Nikon makes butt ugly primes and uses a solder that will disintegrate after 10 years. There is opportunity for Pentax between Nikon and Leica. Nikon has squandered its reputation and customer good will.
05-05-2013, 05:15 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
What else is Nikon. Seriously, I see where you are going with this - place yourself between Nikon and Leica. Interesting move. Even more interesting that they feel that they can jettison their entire current customer base.
Actually, losing the cutomer base to Nikon is the business risk, but that will happen anyway if they don't do something. To grow you have to take business risk - and make it work.

I do think we have to consider that this is a PRAC decision primarily, not (apparently) a PRI decision. I think Ned cheapened the Brand and has made it nearly impossible to restore form or structure to the USA market without a serious capital infusion over many quarters from Japan. That may be coming - but I'd bet they want to see some progress first.

Tactically, you will see PRAC spend some money later this year on Demonstrators and probably Co-Op Advertising. It has to come from somewhere because it isn't coming from Japan.

Strategically I do believe over the next three to five years they want to be the third major brand, known for construction quality, engineering, ergonomics / well thought out controls and Image Quality. But in the USA they won't give that away any more - we'll have to pay for it.

I also believe they'll make some kind of attempt to target professional use where equipment can be leased and expensed, thus making the actual dollar price less onerous to that category buyer.

In the end the consumer of Pentax may well be limited as are the consumers of Nikon. There are affordable cameras with disabled features that people who aspire to the good stuff can buy. It probably will not be "Craptacular" but more along the lines of the DA35/2.4.

When I think about it, in 1984 I bought an MESuper, M50/1.4 and AF200S kit, which was no cheap camera, but I couldn't ever afford an MX, and certainly not an LX or M35/2 until a year ago, so what's really different about my current thesis from the way Pentax marketed in it heyday?


Last edited by monochrome; 05-05-2013 at 05:30 PM.
05-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I agree. And I'm amazed how someone can think the little money spent on good marketing are lost, thus better used on other, unspecified areas.
I also doubt Pentax Ricoh are losing money on those watches.


Actually it's smaller than Europe and Asia, for ILCs (but the largest for compacts - as consolation ) America is a great country, but there are many areas where they aren't number one
I'm using the CIPA data, by the way.
Asia and Europe are continents which are compromised of many countries.
05-06-2013, 01:06 AM   #81
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Americas is actually comprised of two continents
05-06-2013, 05:48 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Americas is actually comprised of two continents
Which, minus the US and Canada are comprised of pretty much all 3rd world countries with miniscule buying power. Which means the US has a huge chunk of that pie. So the stats you quote don't reflect the US's share of the DSLR market. What we need to see is how many are shipped to the US, China, Japan, Singapore, India, Germany, England, etc etc.

I love how people try to downplay the US market, like it isnt important. I don't understand the motivation. Pentax is scraping the bottom of the barrel, so they should continue to ignore an important market?
05-06-2013, 06:29 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Which, minus the US and Canada are comprised of pretty much all 3rd world countries with miniscule buying power. Which means the US has a huge chunk of that pie. So the stats you quote don't reflect the US's share of the DSLR market. What we need to see is how many are shipped to the US, China, Japan, Singapore, India, Germany, England, etc etc.

I love how people try to downplay the US market, like it isnt important. I don't understand the motivation. Pentax is scraping the bottom of the barrel, so they should continue to ignore an important market?
This isn't a PRI problem. It is a PRAC problem. Though it might not seem like it from my posts on this thread I completely agree with cali92rs - though the USA is not so completely dominant a consumption engine today as it was ten or twenty years ago - it is still the gorilla market in the world, followed by Japan (for another decade or so, after which China rules for 100 years).

My contention is that the Big Box, outsourced-services (low employee count), low-price, internet-sales-targeted Distributor strategy Ned Bunnell installed has horribly damaged Pentax's brand position in the US. Thom Hogan agrees (though who cares what Thom Hogan thinks) and he believes the only answer for Pentax is to go Internet-only globally.

Low price in electronics is perceived as cheap and not trustworthy. When I was 16 NO ONE wanted a Japanese car. Yet forty years later, who makes the quality vehicles now? (Japan, not Germany, apparently - mid-size is actually Chevy Malibu, proving that perception is everything). We know Pentax is much higher quality than most of the cameras and lenses offered by CaNikon but the consuming public doesn't. No one wants a Pentax. There aren't any informed physical sales people to tell the story (because the Dealers were thrown under the bus by Ned and all the Rep's were let go). There's no advertising (because at low prices there isn't enough margin at PRAC). There's not much service (because most service departments were outsourced to third-party contractors like C.R.I.S. and Pentax employees were downsized).

Jim Malcolm has to do something. Every choice he has is negative for someone or something. I beleive he has chosen to increase the margin between what he pays PRI (Pentax Japan) for lenses and what he sells them to Dealers for so that he has cash flow to use to rebuild the brand infrastructure in the US. Any loose advertised pricing agreement constitutes a long-term desire to reposition the brand away from a discount brand towards a premium brand. Though I don't like paying for it, I understand the strategy.

Regarding losing the entire customer base, if the entire customer base is loyal only to price - well then I suppose he may lose the entire customer base (but I doubt that is true nor will it happen).

Unfortunately doing so takes time and at first we will not see visble results (though they can be measured in Denver). When we look back in three years we will see the remarkable change that has occured, but it is much easier to look backward than forward.

05-06-2013, 07:18 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
This isn't a PRI problem. It is a PRAC problem. Though it might not seem like it from my posts on this thread I completely agree with cali92rs - though the USA is not so completely dominant a consumption engine today as it was ten or twenty years ago - it is still the gorilla market in the world, followed by Japan (for another decade or so, after which China rules for 100 years).

My contention is that the Big Box, outsourced-services (low employee count), low-price, internet-sales-targeted Distributor strategy Ned Bunnell installed has horribly damaged Pentax's brand position in the US. Thom Hogan agrees (though who cares what Thom Hogan thinks) and he believes the only answer for Pentax is to go Internet-only globally.

Low price in electronics is perceived as cheap and not trustworthy. When I was 16 NO ONE wanted a Japanese car. Yet forty years later, who makes the quality vehicles now? (Japan, not Germany, apparently - mid-size is actually Chevy Malibu, proving that perception is everything). We know Pentax is much higher quality than most of the cameras and lenses offered by CaNikon but the consuming public doesn't. No one wants a Pentax. There aren't any informed physical sales people to tell the story (because the Dealers were thrown under the bus by Ned and all the Rep's were let go). There's no advertising (because at low prices there isn't enough margin at PRAC). There's not much service (because most service departments were outsourced to third-party contractors like C.R.I.S. and Pentax employees were downsized).

Jim Malcolm has to do something. Every choice he has is negative for someone or something. I beleive he has chosen to increase the margin between what he pays PRI (Pentax Japan) for lenses and what he sells them to Dealers for so that he has cash flow to use to rebuild the brand infrastructure in the US. Any loose advertised pricing agreement constitutes a long-term desire to reposition the brand away from a discount brand towards a premium brand. Though I don't like paying for it, I understand the strategy.

Regarding losing the entire customer base, if the entire customer base is loyal only to price - well then I suppose he may lose the entire customer base (but I doubt that is true nor will it happen).

Unfortunately doing so takes time and at first we will not see visble results (though they can be measured in Denver). When we look back in three years we will see the remarkable change that has occured, but it is much easier to look backward than forward.
What you say makes a lot of sense. That said, according to reports here sales of lenses subjected to incredibly abusive price increases under MAP tanked to near zero following its introduction. Increasing cash flow to have money to pay for sales reps and other things to improve Pentax in the US market is laudable but 0 times 100000% profit is still $0. This new round of price increases can only serve to further diminish Pentax's long-term sales. Their decreases in camera pricing and consumer lens prices when purchased with a camera will increase the pool, but will those folks buy any of the newly over-priced (defined by nearly 0 demand at this price) lenses?
05-06-2013, 07:30 AM - 2 Likes   #85
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No, you're wrong Monochrome.

Jimbo doesn't care if he alienates the entire current Pentax customer base because there isn't one. Look at the market share.

If he cared about keeping what little customer base he has, he would make incremental changes. But incremental changes will not get him where you say he wants/needs to go, so, he is making big drastic changes in the hopes that in three to five years, as you say, he will have repositioned the company here in America to where he envisions it should/could be.

Oh I know, his phone calls and the Pentax Wants To Hear What You Think program contradicts that, but in reality, it was just a ploy. Kind of like sticking your finger in the dike. It'll stem the flow for a bit, but we all know what happens in the long term.

Additionally, raising the prices of lenses right now doesn't benefit anyone but the retailer who will make a bigger profit on his current inventory, which is already bought and paid for. Until current inventory runs out and new product is ordered, Jimbo wont benefit from the increased prices he is going to charge for new stock. But the current inventory has to sell first. The current customer base knows too much and isn't going to buy them at these increased prices, so the only people who will buy them are new users who will equate price with quality and not know any better.

As I said in a post on the lens price increase thread, Pentax is trying to reposition itself as a high end niche camera company, which idea many here have begun to accept by the way, at the expense of it's current customer base.

So the way I see it, is current Pentax customers have one of two options. First, get over it, switch systems and go take photos. Second, hang in there for the upcoming prestige of owning and shooting a perceived high end niche camera system like Pentax down the road.

If you already have a stash of nice Pentax glass, you are positioned nicely to parade around with your Pentax gear in the coming years when/if Jimbo's plan comes to fruition. If not, you have to decide if you want to ride the tide or give up.

Personally, I don't owe Pentax anything, and they don't owe me anything either. I'm a photographer/consumer and will base my decision on where I spend my disposable income with the company that offers me the best value, the most choices, and the opportunity to grow right now. That leaves Pentax, and their current plan out. Come talk to me about switching back in 3 to 5 years when they get their stuff together. But again, none of us owes them a thing, and to suggest we "hang in there" for the next 3 to 5 years, or 20 years, until they are where THEY want to be is just plain nuts.

30 years ago, we all bought American cars because they were better. Not too many bought Japanese cars with the understanding that their dollars and their support for the next 20 or 30 years were going to make someone Japanese company successful in the future and bring to market a better product while we suffered with an inferior product. Today we buy Japanese cars because they are perceived as being better. But none of us were obligated to stick it out until that happened. It was up to them to sink or swim on their own. We started giving them our dollars when they made a better product that suited our needs.

Yup - I'm an American, and it IS all about me. I choose to spend my dollars where they are going to do me the most good today, not tomorrow or in 3 or 5 or even 20 years. I honestly could care less if Jimbo has a job next week, and I highly doubt he would care if I did either. And I really don't care what his plan for Pentax is if it doesn't support what I want to do and how I want to allocate my disposable income right now either. He knows that. Which is why I stand by saying you are wrong, Jimbo doesn't care about the current Pentax customer base. He wants to build a new one, based on his plan of how he wants Pentax to be perceived in the market place 3 to 5 years from now. Good luck with that.

Last edited by wildimages; 05-06-2013 at 07:41 AM.
05-06-2013, 07:53 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildimages Quote
So the way I see it, is current Pentax customers have one of two options. First, get over it, switch systems and go take photos. Second, hang in there for the upcoming prestige of owning and shooting a perceived high end niche camera system like Pentax down the road.
I agree with this line. Nikon is the only choice. C'ya.

I don't care for your snarky tone one bit, though. never have before. Never will in the future.
05-06-2013, 08:06 AM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I agree with this line. Nikon is the only choice. C'ya.

I don't care for your snarky tone one bit, though. never have before. Never will in the future.
I appreciate your newly re-found optimism about Pentax after your call with Jim on the Q. That said, Wildimages analysis, tone or not, seems very accurate. None of the moves I have seen from PRIC have done anything to support, foster, or in any way serve the current users. Every move can be seen as either incredibly stupid or designed to kill off current perceptions and grow an entirely new crop of Pentax buyers who expect the costs to be dramatically higher because they are getting Leica-lite equipment. Higher lens prices, lower entry cost for camera bodies (the K-5II/IIs came out around $500 less than the K-5, the K-30 is now selling from ADs for $499 with 18-55, the fire sales on Q and K-01 cameras, etc.), and talk about commitment to quality all support the contention that they are looking to upbrand themselves.

That said, I fall into the category of people with a lot of Pentax glass who can ride this out for a while. I also own the Q and genuinely enjoy the little camera and am very happy they see it as something they are strongly committed to going forward.

P.S. To give them their due, and this is really Ricoh not PRIC, they have said they will continue to support discontinued cameras and gear on an ongoing basis 2x per year.

Last edited by Docrwm; 05-06-2013 at 10:25 AM.
05-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I appreciate your newly re-found optimism about Pentax after your call with Jim on the Q. That said, Wildimages analysis, tone or not, seems very accurate. None of the moves I have seen from PRIC have done anything to support, foster, or in any way serve the current users. Every move can be seen as either incredibly stupid or designed to kill off current perceptions and grow an entirely new crop of Pentax buyers who expect the costs to be dramatically higher because they are getting Leica-lite equipment. Higher lens prices, lower entry cost for camera bodies (the K-5II/IIs came out around $500 less than the K-5, the K-30 is now selling from ADs for $499 with 18-55, the fire sales on Q and K-01 cameras, etc.), and talk about commitment to quality all support the contention that they are looking to upbrand themselves.

That said, I fall into the category of people with a lot of Pentax glass who can ride this out for a while. I also own the Q and genuinely enjoy the little camera and am very happy they see it as something they are strongly committed to going forward.
I don't like this any more than anyone else, believe me, but I think we should get accustomed to the idea or move on.

I just think I have an insight that isn't being considered, and an appreciation of the amount of time it will take to turn this barge. We will see things from PRAC before the end of the year that we haven't seen in the USA years, but they aren't free - and starting from zero, growth won't look like much for a while, either.

In 2009 I considered selling everything I owned, buying the three FA Limiteds and getting each new high-end Body about 6 months after they appeard. I kick myself every time I think about not having done it because I'll never won those lenses now.
05-06-2013, 08:43 AM   #89
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When I bought into Pentax a few years ago, I did my research and accepted the strengths and weaknesses. The new USA pricing removes one of the strengths, but I see no real movement on fixing weaknesses yet. If USA pricing is now on par with the rest of the world then so should the warranty.

I am not going to jump ship over these changes, but my discretionary dollars are more likely to go into my astronomy hobby than camera equipment now. I won't put more money into Pentax until I have reason to be confident in their USA future.
05-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
When I bought into Pentax a few years ago, I did my research and accepted the strengths and weaknesses. The new USA pricing removes one of the strengths, but I see no real movement on fixing weaknesses yet. If USA pricing is now on par with the rest of the world then so should the warranty.

I am not going to jump ship over these changes, but my discretionary dollars are more likely to go into my astronomy hobby than camera equipment now. I won't put more money into Pentax until I have reason to be confident in their USA future.
That's a reasonable view. Pentax has to prove its position before I buy any more (new) stuff either. But I do think good things are coming.

(And warranty is more complex than just prices in the US - that requires Japan to change manufacturing techniques, etc.).
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