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10-11-2010, 05:31 PM   #16
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If you really want to have a real discussion on this, the problem isn't with the low sales volume of Pentax, the problem is that the camera stores are all disappearing. And why are they disappearing? Because many people have the attitude of "I'll check it out in the store and then buy it online to save a few bucks". Well congratulations, you saved a few bucks, and now the camera stores are all gone. You got exactly what you paid for.

It's really not a big deal though, we don't need retail jobs here in the United States. We can all make a living through I.T. and manufacturing jobs. Oh wait, we don't have those any more either, because we wanted everything cheaper. Now 90% of the things we buy are made in conditions we would find appauling, and consider to be drowning in human rights violations. I suppose we can all go work for WalMart, they seem to take really god care of their employees and the cities they inhabit. The rest of us can get a job in "The Great Internet Warehouse". That ought to lead to a high standard of living for the United States.

My point is this:
The next time you walk into a store to check out a product, and you are about to walk out to save 20% online, remember that doing so will cost you 40% in the long run.

-steve

10-11-2010, 05:34 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
If you really want to have a real discussion on this, the problem isn't with the low sales volume of Pentax, the problem is that the camera stores are all disappearing. And why are they disappearing? Because many people have the attitude of "I'll check it out in the store and then buy it online to save a few bucks". Well congratulations, you saved a few bucks, and now the camera stores are all gone. You got exactly what you paid for.

It's really not a big deal though, we don't need retail jobs here in the United States. We can all make a living through I.T. and manufacturing jobs. Oh wait, we don't have those any more either, because we wanted everything cheaper. Now 90% of the things we buy are made in conditions we would find appauling, and consider to be drowning in human rights violations. I suppose we can all go work for WalMart, they seem to take really god care of their employees and the cities they inhabit. The rest of us can get a job in "The Great Internet Warehouse". That ought to lead to a high standard of living for the United States.

My point is this:
The next time you walk into a store to check out a product, and you are about to walk out to save 20% online, remember that doing so will cost you 40% in the long run.

-steve
That may be the issue where you are. However, I haven't even ventured to downtown Chicago, and have been to seven brick and mortar camera stores. Finding thriving, standing stores is not an issue here.
10-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #18
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When I was first shopping for a DSLR a couple of years ago, photographer friends advised me to either get the Canon or the Nikon, whichever handled better. So I went to the only local photography specialty shop in town intending to do just that. I checked out the entry level C and N models.

They also had the Pentax lineup. The K200D was so much more enjoyable to operate, and I dug the unconventional engineering approach (in body shake reduction, weather sealing, AA's). I would not have bought the Pentax without that experience.

Last time I was in the store, They had no current models - a few old bodies and lenses. I asked if they carried or could get the DA40. The sales person said they didn't carry Pentax P&S cameras any more.

Sad.
10-11-2010, 07:39 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
If you really want to have a real discussion on this, the problem isn't with the low sales volume of Pentax, the problem is that the camera stores are all disappearing. And why are they disappearing? Because many people have the attitude of "I'll check it out in the store and then buy it online to save a few bucks". Well congratulations, you saved a few bucks, and now the camera stores are all gone. You got exactly what you paid for.

It's really not a big deal though, we don't need retail jobs here in the United States. We can all make a living through I.T. and manufacturing jobs. Oh wait, we don't have those any more either, because we wanted everything cheaper. Now 90% of the things we buy are made in conditions we would find appauling, and consider to be drowning in human rights violations. I suppose we can all go work for WalMart, they seem to take really god care of their employees and the cities they inhabit. The rest of us can get a job in "The Great Internet Warehouse". That ought to lead to a high standard of living for the United States.

My point is this:
The next time you walk into a store to check out a product, and you are about to walk out to save 20% online, remember that doing so will cost you 40% in the long run.

-steve
I understand your point and I try to buy from local stores whenever I can. Heck, I even try to buy American products when I can but that's getting harder - not only because there isn't as much made here anymore but also because a lot of American companies (like the automakers) don't make the type of product I want anymore.

For Pentax, I have to go to B&H and Adorama in New York - good thing I work in the city. But I bought my Olympus micro four-thirds kit at a local camera store here on the Jersey Shore. It was nice not only being able to support a local mom & pop business but (unlike most big-box stores) dealing with sales people who knew what they were talking about.

In addition to being a photography enthusiast, I am also a motorcyclist. And there's a lot of the "shop and learn local but buy on the Internet" going in that hobby as well. Especially when it comes to things like helmets and riding gear. My brother is like that - the bottom line is the bottom line. I try to tell him and others that you should buy from the guy who spent the time educating you about a product, making sure you were getting the right size, etc. Otherwise, in the future you'll have no choice but to take your chances ordering a product sight unseen.

Now, I feel a bit bad for Rory, who apparently is quite prepared to support a local camera shop... but can't find one dealing with the cameras and gear he wants. I hope he finds what he wants in Chicago. But if he has to order via the Internet, he has the right idea: B&H, Adorama or Amazon - unless a Chicago store does e-commerce.

10-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #20
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20% of $1300 is not a trivial amount, especially when you consider tax is 9% in CA. If you want to pay upwards of 3-400 more for a camera, go ahead. I certainly won't. Stores like Wolf camera suck anyway.. They don't carry quality gear, they don't have knowledge, so where is the buying experience? It's the same reason I won't buy anything at Best Buy.

I try to buy locally grown food as much as possible, but it comes to electronics I'm an Amazon guy hands down.
10-11-2010, 07:57 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by qtopplings Quote
20% of $1300 is not a trivial amount, especially when you consider tax is 9% in CA. If you want to pay upwards of 3-400 more for a camera, go ahead. I certainly won't. Stores like Wolf camera suck anyway.. They don't carry quality gear, they don't have knowledge, so where is the buying experience? It's the same reason I won't buy anything at Best Buy.

I try to buy locally grown food as much as possible, but it comes to electronics I'm an Amazon guy hands down.
I agree with this. If the price difference was maybe $50-$100 for a camera, I would probably buy locally, but it is MUCH more than that. When I bought my K10D, I saved $200 by buying it from Amazon, if that difference had been smaller, I would have bought it locally for sure. Same thing when I bought my K110D earlier, almost $200 difference.

Luckily there are several shops in my area that carry Pentax, but the price difference is just too great to justify. I just checked Amazon vs. the local store, and amazon is more than $200 less for a K7 with Kit lens..

Last edited by Stratman; 10-11-2010 at 08:02 PM.
10-11-2010, 08:04 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by qtopplings Quote
20% of $1300 is not a trivial amount, especially when you consider tax is 9% in CA. If you want to pay upwards of 3-400 more for a camera, go ahead. I certainly won't. Stores like Wolf camera suck anyway.. They don't carry quality gear, they don't have knowledge, so where is the buying experience? It's the same reason I won't buy anything at Best Buy.

I try to buy locally grown food as much as possible, but it comes to electronics I'm an Amazon guy hands down.
I'm not arguing that at all. I agree with Wolf. They have teenagers that don't seem to care. I know that's a vast generalization, but it's true the majority of the time. I'm speaking of high quality camera shops that don't carry Pentax. The guy at Calumet, who was very helpful (tried looking in the computer for anything they may have at other stores around the country he may be able to transfer in for me to try) basically told me it was the worst selling line they had. Olympus 4/3 and Sony both beat it easily. Now for a 4/3 camera to be outselling Pentax at a high end camera store is pretty sad to me.

FWIW, their prices on everything else I saw were right in line with everything else.
10-11-2010, 08:20 PM   #23
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Actually I have to agree a bit here. Up till recently we did have several actual camera stores here locally. Half were mall stores, the rest were local, but even when you went they never had anything in stock most of the time anyway. You'd go in looking there and they'd have maybe 2-4 cameras on the shelf, all Nikon or Canon and that would be it. Anything else was a "special order" and they wouldn't just order it so you could see it. You had to actually be buying it for them to order it.

FYI, my local WALMART and TARGET actually carry more DSLR's than the 2 remaining non-chain local camera shops and while the sales clerks know very little about the cameras that they sell the same can actually be said for the guys at the mall store, the local Best Buy etc.

Part of the reason I buy a lot of things online now isn't just price, though that is a factor of course, it's because the stores in this area really suck in terms of what they offer and they always have.

When we went to buy our new window AC we went to several places looking. Maybe 1 guy in 10 in terms of the sales clerks actually knew something about the units we were asking about. The install guy knew what he was doing, but the salespeople were clueless and in one case a manager sent a sales clerk away from us, from a $400-600 potential sale because we were actually taking the time to ask a few questions about the 3 units we were most interested in. He was "too busy" she said to be answering our questions like that and she basically indicated that we should shop online, compare units and only then come back to the store to pick one up.

First, he was not busy. The place was empty of customers when we went. There was a ringing phone, but there were several sales clerks besides this guy to answer it. What she wanted the guy for I don't know, but she clearly did not want this guy to be actually answering questions about their units and when we asked her where we could get some help choosing she shrugged and mumbled something about the internet.

For the record this was a major department store's appliance section where I would assume the staff had quotas to meet. I was absolutely flabbergasted to realize that we were in no way going to be helped unless we wanted to ring up right then and walk out with a unit. The only thing I can think is that either that sales person was completely unqualified to be selling AC's and she knew it or maybe she thought we just didn't look like we were going to spend enough for it to be worth her while?

We were there buying a window unit, not a central AC so maybe that was it, but still we ended up spending like $500 somewhere else that day and that's still not something to sneeze at I wouldn't think.

I wish I could tell you that this experience isn't typical of the stores in my area, but I can't. Fact, real customer service is a dying thing in most of the stores I go into. There are few sales clerks available, less stock, and yet prices are soaring on everything. A lot of the food stores here are actually going to a self-serve model with the cash registers. Getting actual help, asking questions, having someone to ring you up in person it's almost the exception now.

I don't like it very much. The whole reason I go to a store versus buying online is to get personal service, to have options, and to touch the object I have in mind, see it up close. If I don't have those options than I have to wonder why shouldn't I buy online versus supporting my local retailers?

They actually seem to think it's far easier to send me out to figure out what I want to buy online than to actually pay and train their people to answer a few questions. They clearly don't want to stock anything on the shelves that they don't know will sell almost immediately, and usually no matter what they sell the brands are confined to one or two choices.

It's hardly worth going to local stores to shop anymore. It's not that I don't want to give them my business. They just don't even act like they want it. They don't want to risk any $$$, put any work into getting it.

I'm not going to reward businesses like that. The few stores I do still support here? They're the ones actively courting my business, treating their customers like they care. Giving me reason to shop there again and again. Say what you will about Target, Walmart, big box stores, chain groceries and the like. I actually have more of a selection and more sales clerks there in those stores working to sell me what I need than I do at my local non-chain stores.

I do appreciate stores like B&H, KEH, etc. I don't have anything even remotely like that here. I wish, but I will often also shop at Amazon and I won't even think twice about it given my options here.


QuoteOriginally posted by qtopplings Quote
20% of $1300 is not a trivial amount, especially when you consider tax is 9% in CA. If you want to pay upwards of 3-400 more for a camera, go ahead. I certainly won't. Stores like Wolf camera suck anyway.. They don't carry quality gear, they don't have knowledge, so where is the buying experience? It's the same reason I won't buy anything at Best Buy.

I try to buy locally grown food as much as possible, but it comes to electronics I'm an Amazon guy hands down.


10-11-2010, 09:59 PM   #24
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How can I assure all you poor hard done by discriminated against Americans that you're not alone on this planet re: sating your basic needs when Pentax equipment is your choice?

Not only are the basic cameras becoming harder to find, but then comes the list of supporting gear, bits and pieces that every DLSR deserves to make it useful above that of a P&S.

It's not just shops (retailers) abandoning the good ship P either...
It's core manufacturers too.

How many times have you tried to buy such things like a fully-coupled set of Extension Tubes in K mount lately? Either genuine P brand or 3rd party would do - but note I did say fully-coupled.

(I could go on with my own list of accessory items here, but I know many of you already have your own long lists)

And don't forget to snap up a new Zeiss lens in K quickly if wanting one - before they become extinct.

Then I read somewhere recently that Tamron has decided to quit development on new K lenses, yes unlike Z they'll probably keep making their old designs, until...? so enjoy the current range to eternity won't you.

And it isn't only America where we have to wait for several months until Sigma gets around to even manufacturing a handful of a new lens in K to supply back orders (think the recent round incl 8-16 UWA, etc).

Yes I do mean that same Sigma that sells many of their same lenses in N or C mount with juicy features like HSM and/or OS for the same retail price as their neutered K mount equivalents without.

But I guess, as lepers, we deserve to be thrown the scraps.

.R.
_ "Floggings will continue until morale improves." - Anon.
10-11-2010, 11:56 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hypocorism Quote
Then I read somewhere recently that Tamron has decided to quit development on new K lenses...
Sad, just sad. I've posted my observations in previous weeks in a different thread, but it seems that Pentax has no real interest in (at least) the U.S. market, in general. They don't even really try to advertise here in the states, aside from the occasional page in magazines like Popular Photography. No television advertising, whatsoever... and while stores like Target online and Walmart online sell a couple of Pentax products you can't find them in any of the stores.

I find myself in constant conflict, as half of me knows that Pentax has basically abandoned the U.S. market and I am constantly questioning whether or not I want to continue to support a brand which does not support us. Everyone else I know has a Nikon, or a Canon. I get tired of trying to defend the Pentax brand, especially in light of the fact that they have raised prices so furiously in the past few years.

Products like the K-5 make me think that maybe I can hang in a little longer, but seriously, this whole thing is getting really old. You could make a Pentax commercial for broadcast on U.S. stations in which a Storm Trooper walks around with a white K-x grabbing photos for the Rebel Alliance and I bet that would put the name "Pentax" in the heads of a lot of people, but it's like the company just does not care. I'm not saying that particular commercial would be especially cheap to produce due to royalties, but at least make SOME effort to actually sell the products you manufacture!
10-12-2010, 12:40 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by TiminyCricket Quote
Sad, just sad. I've posted my observations in previous weeks in a different thread, but it seems that Pentax has no real interest in (at least) the U.S. market, in general. They don't even really try to advertise here in the states, aside from the occasional page in magazines like Popular Photography. No television advertising, whatsoever... and while stores like Target online and Walmart online sell a couple of Pentax products you can't find them in any of the stores.

I find myself in constant conflict, as half of me knows that Pentax has basically abandoned the U.S. market ....
Yes, yes, and yes to all you say.

However.... coming from a small remote island that's always been a minority market second class citizen blip on the global horizon as far as these things go (and still is), I can't honestly say that I'm not totally unfamiliar with it - or didn't see it coming for you folk over the pond.

Welcome America to being a minority market in the global scheme!

I suspect that Pentax, like many other brand owner~mfgrs, might just have its beady eyes poised on grabbing a decent slice of the rapidly expanding China and India regions - that's 2.5 bn potential camera buyers for the uninitiated - which makes the grand old has-been US's 310m customer base insignificant, petulant, and not even worth bothering with.
And hence that region is where their focuses [sic] will be increasingly directed. (note; only speculating here, no insider info but I intend to dig deeper into this theory, it just seems plausible to me - surely Hoya won't let the brand die)

If that's the case you can shove all your bombs up your bums, they just ain't gonna help you out of this shithole we self-gratifying western imperialists dug ourselves into. And that's a fact.

Perhaps the prophetic words of a Willie Nelson song apply here:
- "T'was the time of the preacher.. in the year of 01.."

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 10-12-2010 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Comment.
10-12-2010, 02:27 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by qtopplings Quote
20% of $1300 is not a trivial amount, especially when you consider tax is 9% in CA. If you want to pay upwards of 3-400 more for a camera, go ahead. I certainly won't. Stores like Wolf camera suck anyway.. They don't carry quality gear, they don't have knowledge, so where is the buying experience? It's the same reason I won't buy anything at Best Buy.

I try to buy locally grown food as much as possible, but it comes to electronics I'm an Amazon guy hands down.
Your right, it's not. Nor is 20% on the price of a television, or for that matter your fall wardrobe. But the long term cost to your wealth of that short term 20% savings is staggering. The value of the US dollar is dropping. Unemployment is through the roof. The US trade deficit for the month of July was 42.8 Billion, and that was actually a considerable improvement from the month before. Manufacturing jobs have all but left the country. Do you really think we would still be in this recession if we were a self sufficient country?

Everybody keeps wanting more for less. At some point it will come back around to bite us all in the ass. Don't worry though - you won't really feel the effects until your brother is sleeping on the couch because he cant find a job, despite his considerable experience and college education. If that isn't an obvious or immediate enough example for you, then just take a look at US prices for Pentax lenses over the last couple of years. Now you are paying 40-60% more, and you have no choice but to buy online. Don't worry though, the rest of the products you buy will increase that same 40-60% really soon, no matter where you buy them. I sure hope you invested that $300 you saved on a camera 5 years ago wisely, because you are going to need it to fill your stomach and your gas tank.

I do agree on one thing though, Wolf Camera sucks. Go to a real camera store.
10-12-2010, 02:47 AM   #28
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I am fortunate to have a brick and mortar camera store nearby and purchased my 7d and lenses from them in store. Unfortunately they don't carry Pentax in store but are knowledgeable about them and sell them online. It is invaluable to take each camera and actually play with them in person taking shots to compare etc. That alone is worth more to me. Fortunately they are competitive with online sales. I was initially going to get a 5d M2 instead of a 7d but after comparing did not see the 5d's resolution being worth the AF and speed of the 7d as well as the more modern movie mode. I inquired about K5 and will buy from them if all reviews check out and it is competitive with 7d.

Pentax needs to get one camera and some lens examples in these stores to compete. The store does not keep massive stock onhand but enough that you can line up a D700/5d2/7d/d300s and use them all to make your choice, nothing beats physically using the camera to let your gut know which to take home.
10-12-2010, 03:28 AM   #29
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I am not certain what this thread has turned into, seems like an extended rant but for many Americans, internet shopping is the way to go for a lot of things. I live in a rural area, the closest camera store is over an hour's drive away. They have little in stock and seem to cater to entry level users, even when it comes to Nikon/Canon. The last time I stopped in, they had a kx in stock and the highest end Nikon they had was a D90. They were able to order in equipment for me if I liked, but then I would have to drive an hour back and forth again to pick it up.

It would be better, much as I dislike them, if they could get at least a kx in Walmart. Sure, the local sales people don't know anything about cameras, but that doesn't stop Canon from getting their rebels in there or Nikon from sticking a D3000 in the store either.
10-12-2010, 04:14 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hypocorism Quote
Welcome America to being a minority market in the global scheme!
[sputters, eyes wide] "But...but...no! Can't be We're Americans: we have credit (or, well, we used to have credit.)"

Seriously, I was thinking the same thing: that Pentax's indifference to the US market was a sign of the declining importance of the US consumer. In fact, it may be a portent of things to come but, at this moment, it seems simply a corporate idiosyncrasy: for some reason, Pentax seems content with it's success in Asia and Europe and disinclined to pay serious attention to the western hemisphere.
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