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05-15-2011, 09:35 AM   #1
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Pentax DSLR market share

I'm just returning from 5 days at Disney World. I saw about a gazillion Canons and Nikons, quite a few Sonys, and only one (!) Pentax DSLR besides my own. I didn't expect to see lots of Pentax cameras, but only one? Kind of depressing, really.

05-15-2011, 09:41 AM   #2
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Heh, yeah that's my experience as well. I actually try and talk to whoever I see using Pentax, but that's quite rare. But I really think it's gaining popularity (I've seen more this year than probably the last 2-3 years combined).
05-15-2011, 11:16 AM   #3
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Some guy came up to me yesterday while I was shooting my daughter's soccer game and asked me what I was using. I told him it was a Pentax K-r. He kinda grunted and then mumbled something about anyone who used Canon was his sworn enemy (hopefully not taking that too far, but I'm glad I didn't have a Canon!), and I kinda gleaned from that comment that he was a Nikon user. So even though he seemed thoroughly unimpressed, I guess it was one of those "the enemy of your enemy is your friend" kinda things because he didn't take any swipes at my K-r (literally or figuratively).
05-16-2011, 03:50 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ccd333 Quote
Some guy came up to me yesterday while I was shooting my daughter's soccer game and asked me what I was using.
This is such an interesting phenomena. It seems we adopt 'badges' to display our identity and to proclaim our group membership. We want a worthwhile identity (we want to be someone of consequence) and we need to belong to a powerful group (we need the protection and comfort of the group). In this process we align our thinking and values to conform with the group (groupthink).

When someone adopts the 'badge' of a small but distinctive group he is declaring his distinctive nature, his individuality and strength. He is strong and sure enough to function outside the comfort of a large group. He refuses to be confined by groupthink.

So take comfort, you are no ordinary person.

05-16-2011, 05:11 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
I'm just returning from 5 days at Disney World. I saw about a gazillion Canons and Nikons, quite a few Sonys, and only one (!) Pentax DSLR besides my own. I didn't expect to see lots of Pentax cameras, but only one? Kind of depressing, really.
How many Leica's did you see?
05-16-2011, 06:02 AM   #6
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you need to consider that Disney world is not necessairly where you would see serious photographers. Most people with a DSLR at disney probably have the kit lens attached and use it like a P&S.

I would be willing to bet most pentax users actually know a little more than that, because if you picked pentax, chances are you knew enough to read the features and understand what you wanted. That level of education puts you above 95% of all DSLR purchasers, who picked nikon or canon because of the brand name only
05-16-2011, 06:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
I'm just returning from 5 days at Disney World. I saw about a gazillion Canons and Nikons, quite a few Sonys, and only one (!) Pentax DSLR besides my own. I didn't expect to see lots of Pentax cameras, but only one? Kind of depressing, really.
...you'll get used to it, really.

In the 2 and a half years of shooting with Pentax, the only other Pentax DSLR that I've ever seen in the field was actually mine, in the hands of another forum member that I had sold to earlier!
05-16-2011, 06:56 AM   #8
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I was at the zoo last week and saw 3 others with Pentax out of about 10 total DSLRs I noticed.

We didn't do the secret handshake or even wink at each other. Probably because I was shooting film. If I brought my DSLR they surely would have put their knuckles forward for a friendly tap.

05-16-2011, 07:21 AM   #9
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I used to count the pentax's I saw when I went out, but then gave up because it wasted my time.

As I posted earlier, most people in tourist areas are simply that, tourists. since tourists outweigh serious photographers about 100:1 don't worry.

I had the real payback come when I was in prague, taking some shots on the charles bridge, a couple of years ago.

I noticed someone with a camera watching over my shoulder and looking at my check images that popped up on the back of my K10D. Eventually his curriosity got the better of him and he asked why by shots were so much better than his. He held up his canon
05-16-2011, 08:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
I'm just returning from 5 days at Disney World. I saw about a gazillion Canons and Nikons, quite a few Sonys, and only one (!) Pentax DSLR besides my own. I didn't expect to see lots of Pentax cameras, but only one? Kind of depressing, really.
That was my case last year when we went to Disney. I am the only one with a Pentax in my son's soccer games. Lots of Canikons with the cheap (low consumer model). It does not bother me at all.
05-16-2011, 08:59 AM   #11
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Until recently, I was the only person I knew in Richmond who shot with Pentax DSLRs. However, a couple weeks ago I managed to convince a friend of mine to buy a K-5, and she loves it. Unfortunately, that only makes two Pentaxians in a sea of Canikons and a few Sony cameras here and there. Local camera shops are mostly devoid of anything related to Pentax (although there are some promising locally-owned ones that I haven't checked out yet), and a few people working in one particular store somehow didn't know Pentax even made DSLRs! The Optio point and shoots are relatively popular here though.

Then again, I don't have an issue with this, it makes me feel more unique. I dealt with this when I shot with an Olympus E-420 before getting my K20D; I'd only met one other person who shot with an Olympus (an E-510).
05-16-2011, 11:18 AM   #12
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I think, unless something very drastic should change, that we'll continue to see the numbers of Canons and Nikons above all other available brands for some time. Still, I don't believe this forebodes the demise of Pentax or any other "lesser used" brand in the near term.

I guess I find these type of threads somewhat confusing. Do they pop up because some feel the need to feel validated in their choice of brands? Or does using a more "unique" brand like Pentax lend a certain cachet to one's image? Perhaps the lack of observed Pentax users really does create a fear that the brand will disappear by the end of the year? As I said, it leaves me confused as to why this so often comes up. I know that as humans, many adore status, want acceptance, love to be viewed as better and unique ... But as cool as our cameras are, however nice they may be, they are just tools used to accomplish a goal: namely creating photographic images.

It's the images that matter; our Pentaxes (or whatever else one ends up using) are just a means to an end. Or so it is with myself, anyway.

YMMV of course; and very likely does based on how often topics like this come up
05-16-2011, 12:41 PM   #13
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While I do appreciate the free psychoanalysis, I assure you the reason for my starting this thread is simply that I was surprised at how few Pentax cameras I saw. My impression was that market share is a few percent, but what I observed was much less than that (I understand that Disney goers are not a perfect cross section of photographers, etc.). I do think this is cause for concern (not panic) -- I forgot to mention that I also saw one Olympus -- you know, the company that has announced that they are no longer going to make entry-level DSLRs. I wonder if they are going to stay in the DSLR market at all in the long run.

I didn't see any Leicas. Last I checked Leica doesn't produce what is arguably the best-value entry-level DSLR on the market.

I agree that most Pentax users know a little more, if only because the average person is unaware that Pentax exists. But I'm not sure it's a good thing for the brand's future to fly so far under the radar (little presence in camera stores, etc.).
05-16-2011, 03:16 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by baj Quote
While I do appreciate the free psychoanalysis, I assure you the reason for my starting this thread is simply that I was surprised at how few Pentax cameras I saw.
The psychoanalytical reaction is almost inevitable. Again and again it happens that this question is asked, on this and our sister forums, with varying degrees of angst and despair. Your question is the latest installment in a history of similar questions.

This raises the question, why? Why not just accept that we have bought into a niche product? You knew that, didn't you, when you made your purchase decision? Why do so many people display so much concern?

You gave one answer, that you are concerned about the longer term viability of your chosen brand. But a great number of niche products survive and prosper.

Having read this question so many times it began to occur to me that there was a deeper process taking place. And the explanation ties into the related phenomena of the fiercely tribal loyalty that so many camera owners display. So while you give a rational answer it doesn't explain the deeper, underlying process which seems to be at work here.
05-16-2011, 04:46 PM   #15
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Honestly, I don't pay any attention to what other people shoot with, and I don't expect others to pay any attention to what I shoot with, and generally my expectation is met.
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