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08-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by adr1an Quote
So no one can help fill in how Phase 2 leads to Phase 3 "Profit!" ?

I think we've got Phase 1 sorted now - Build an FF Camera Body... but still - two pages since asking.. no one can help shed light on this sticky "Phase 2" point...

Seriously - I would love someone to explain because I feel stupid (well more than usual) not seeing how Phase 1 leads to Phase 3....
you're assuming there is no market except for canon and nikon. There is no reason Pentax can't do a controlled smaller run and sell through at a profit. Ff does not need to sell at kr volume to be profitable. No-one said make a ff and sell it for $2000, we have to assume it would actually sell for as much or slightly more than a 5d or d700 but with unique Pentax offerings (like top fight WR which comes at a much higher price in canikon, and in body SR which canikon don't offer) the comparative would be the release on the k5 where it sold well despite costing more than Nikon and close to the price of the 7d)
I think there is a market if the design is right, more compact sr wr great primes good AF good flash control....(admittedly the flash control and AF as well as the prime engine will all need upgrades but then they do anyway)
aside from the core users who will upgrade (some of whom will buy 2 bodies you can be sure) there will be unhappy canikon users who move over because it appeals to them, there will also be new users brought into the brand because when they walk in a hop they will see a lineup that competes with the others on some level. right now with 2 bodies on display and a few lenses there's nobody even noticing them. Ricoh/Pentax will not win by trying to be leica they have to compete in the broader mass market.
I don't think though that FF will be the first big push, but i bet it's got a timeline already in the back of R&D's minds, and one Ricoh marketing takes hold and direction is clear I'll bet the internal road map will show it- we just won't see the road map. I can see why lens road maps exist but putting out body road maps is suicidal letting the competition know where you are headed. Even a lens road map that is going public should probably have some items not visible as they may tip hats towards other plans

Once again we're back to we're just a bunch of enthusiastic camera geeks talking through our hats until someone clarifies things by making an announcement. We also don't come close to representing the entire Pentax community we're just a vocal demanding never satisfied bunch for the most part

08-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #152
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QuoteQuote:
The problem for Pentax is price. Nikon volumes mean a much lower price (say $650 per sensor) where Pentax's .25% of the volume would translate into a substantially higher price (maybe $1,200 per sensor)
New original Canon sensor for EOS 5DII
Retail price for one sensor: US $949.00
08-05-2011, 10:08 AM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by froeschle Quote
New original Canon sensor for EOS 5DII
Retail price for one sensor: US $949.00
ebay

.
08-05-2011, 10:15 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by froeschle Quote
New original Canon sensor for EOS 5DII
Retail price for one sensor: US $949.00

Given this is retail on a replacement part it's not surprising it costs this much. You can be sure Canon is selling the replacement part to the dealer at close to double what they consider the build cost, then the dealer puts his markup there (which on parts is much higher than cameras, probably a 40% margin based on my past experience) if you built q 5D from replacement part it would cost more than a 645D probably

I would be very surprised if Pentax worked on a FF sensor with Sony for their own cameras and had a batch run done of 3000 or so if it would cost more than $4-600/unit certainly not what a retail part reflects
there is no reason they can't work from an upscale sensor from a sheet of k5 material for instance. there will be a larger reject rate but the economy of scale is already being achieved with that material in mass production for 3 cameras at the moment and possibly a few more next year)

08-05-2011, 10:19 AM   #155
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Thanks Eddie- that does explain things a little - but I think what you outline is a looooong road. And I obviously have no background in the industry - but in my experience in other 'fab' based areas does say that if you do 'limited run' that usually means 'increased costs'.. given the price points that are being thrown around - taking manufacturing costs out and forgetting about R&D for a moment, that wouldn't seem to leave any fat - if any - for Pentax after they've done even the most basic marketing and PoS stuff for it ?

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Once again we're back to we're just a bunch of enthusiastic camera geeks talking through our hats until someone clarifies things by making an announcement....
For a laugh - I read all of a thread that was referenced somewhere - back when the 645D was released. It was more or less a similar 'why wasn't it FF' conversation.. based on the apparent cost difference in sensors... . https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/53108-pentax-645d-revived.html . Man the confusion caused by a translation issue... At one point there - the K20D was going to be the end of the line "with no planned Successor" and people where already gathering the mob and preparing the torches

Thanks again Eddie - appreciate you taking the time to respond!
08-05-2011, 10:40 AM   #156
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Retail price is a fiction. No one pays retail, least of all electronics manufacturers.

Sure Nikon probably pays Sony a bit less than Pentax for their sensors, but it's not as much as some folks seem to think, and there is a point of diminishing returns with volume buying. Sony would like to sell their sensors, but they aren't about to do it at a loss. It doesn't matter how many Nikon orders. At the same time if Sony doesn't offer Pentax a reasonable price, they risk losing that business to Kodak or Samsung.
08-05-2011, 10:42 AM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by adr1an Quote
Thanks Eddie- that does explain things a little - but I think what you outline is a looooong road. And I obviously have no background in the industry - but in my experience in other 'fab' based areas does say that if you do 'limited run' that usually means 'increased costs'.. given the price points that are being thrown around - taking manufacturing costs out and forgetting about R&D for a moment, that wouldn't seem to leave any fat - if any - for Pentax after they've done even the most basic marketing and PoS stuff for it ?



For a laugh - I read all of a thread that was referenced somewhere - back when the 645D was released. It was more or less a similar 'why wasn't it FF' conversation.. based on the apparent cost difference in sensors... . https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/53108-pentax-645d-revived.html . Man the confusion caused by a translation issue... At one point there - the K20D was going to be the end of the line "with no planned Successor" and people where already gathering the mob and preparing the torches

Thanks again Eddie - appreciate you taking the time to respond!
for certain small runs increase fab costs. and the margins that would exist on the canon sensor retailing at 949 would be due to the huge volumes on a product canon makes themselves. so a $1200 estimate (not you i don't think) on Pentax sensor cost may well be correct -AS A RETAIL PART lol

the confusion when the 645 came out seems pretty funny now, i wasn't spending time here then (I was on my second APS-C Pentax just not caught up in the forum - so much for the forum representing a majority of owners, heck I already had 2 bodies in digital before i even came here, i have 3 friends shooting Pentax who've never been here and all of them have at least 1 body)
something about being on a forum makes us all experts at expressing mostly unfounded opinion and then seeing it frequently enough start stating it as fact lol
08-05-2011, 10:50 AM   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
...
something about being on a forum makes us all experts at expressing mostly unfounded opinion and then seeing it frequently enough start stating it as fact lol
Agreed ^^

Also, interesting little analysis done by Falk back then, from that thread:


QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Because the above cost estimate is the best I know of (even if it is mine, I know of no better one in the web ), let me add the figures for FF here:

300mm Wafer: $2500
Chips / wafer: 60 (81 - waste)
Yield rate: 68%
-------------------------
Cost per chip real estate: $61
Cutting, testing, packaging: +50%
-------------------------
Cost per chip real estate: $91
Development: $500,000
Volume: 40,000 (5 models for 2% 10 million DSLR/y)
Development depreciation: $12.5
-------------------------
Total: $103.5

Or, as a rough estimate (+/- 50%): $100 per FF CMOS sensor.
I think he's updated that final since, though, but I'll let him chime in. But it's good methodology either way with dev costs and volume as the main variables to consider.

.

08-05-2011, 10:57 AM   #159
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Oh - I forgot to point out the obvious - There needs to be enough Margin left in this all for the Dealer too.. I know we don't like the concept - but there is a few middlemen in the distribution and marketing chain that probably want their 15% minimum cut... Does anyone know the rough average landed cost of a K-5 ? I presume that would provide some sort of benchmark to what sort of margins the dealers will want...

Curiously - does anyone know the manufacture costs of the K-5 ? or the R&D Budget ? I just think those numbers would provide a lot of insight to this discussion as well - since they should be 'known' to some extent rather than extrapolated - correct ?

If we use those numbers to get to a 'body' - Then it really is purely an argument around Sensor Costs - correct ?
08-05-2011, 11:02 AM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Agreed ^^

Also, interesting little analysis done by Falk back then, from that thread:




I think he's updated that final since, though, but I'll let him chime in. But it's good methodology either way with dev costs and volume as the main variables to consider.

.

I think Falk was pretty close but i haven't seen his updated estimate, certainly his reasoning seemed the most accurate based on available information. and the comment that Canon costing was put out as high because it's in their best interest that we think this is bang on.

the fear of the ccd made me laugh too (no-one seems to be bitching about the ccd now ha-ha)
it actually makes it interesting. if it's easier to build FF in CCD and there is already a good relationship with Kodak would it not be possible to make us all happy with a lower cost FF that is excellent at low iso to say iso 1250-1600. but sells for say 2000 versus 3500 for a high iso cmos hmmmmm, as much as i'd like wildy high iso performance i have to think a lot of the ff base may already have a k5 for that but want the FF for other reasons (who needs iso 25000 for landscapes/portraits etc.)
i still prefer my old tech ccd based k10 at iso 100
08-05-2011, 11:09 AM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by adr1an Quote
Oh - I forgot to point out the obvious - There needs to be enough Margin left in this all for the Dealer too.. I know we don't like the concept - but there is a few middlemen in the distribution and marketing chain that probably want their 15% minimum cut... Does anyone know the rough average landed cost of a K-5 ? I presume that would provide some sort of benchmark to what sort of margins the dealers will want...

Curiously - does anyone know the manufacture costs of the K-5 ? or the R&D Budget ? I just think those numbers would provide a lot of insight to this discussion as well - since they should be 'known' to some extent rather than extrapolated - correct ?

If we use those numbers to get to a 'body' - Then it really is purely an argument around Sensor Costs - correct ?
Retail margins on bodies and kits is lower than you would think. dealer dependent of course with volume affecting cost, but 8-15% margins were the norm on entry mid level when i managed a store, (occasionally lower for that matter) the profit comes in when you sell accessories and warranties (50-90% margin) and lenses a good 25-30 points
we used to try and avoid discounting by bundling in a couple of huge margin accessories when people bought more than a kit and wanted a deal. bottom line was maintained this way.

based on this i would think dealer cost on a k5 is probably now $1100-1150 and originally was likely closer to 1250-1275.
the k5 would have higher margin than the KR to offset lower volumes
add $25 to the cost for the kit maybe $40


edit no idea on current R&D budget but it's irrelevant since i'm pretty certain after October 1st it will increase

I would think any K% replacement/FF model would be be designed with sharing features with an updated 645 at some point in any case. that would spread the cost over models (and it's easy enough to disable software features or limit them. Canon does it all the time
08-05-2011, 01:09 PM   #162
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Maybe my point was not clear and obvious enough. Even if Ricoh/Pentax bought FF sensors now from Canon for retail prices on very low margins, they could start right away producing a compatible FF camera in a reasonable price range. Thus, any price arguments are not really valid.

Last edited by froeschle; 08-05-2011 at 01:16 PM.
08-05-2011, 01:30 PM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by froeschle Quote
Maybe my point was not clear and obvious enough. Even if Ricoh/Pentax bought FF sensors now from Canon for retail prices on very low margins, they could start right away producing a compatible FF camera in a reasonable price range. Thus, any price arguments are not really valid.
I see, you were showing that as a maximum possible upper bound for that sensor cost, with a huge retail cushion built in... and it still works. Good point. (Anyone see any Alpha 900 or Nikon D3X sensors for sale anywhere? Be interested in seeing retail-markup for those...)
08-05-2011, 01:56 PM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I think the numbers are :BS: regarding dSLR users not being interested in primes.
I think his numbers are pretty close. In our camera club, I can count the guys who shoot primes on one hand. A lot of folks have very good zooms, but very few still use primes. In fact, at a recent field trip, I had a prime lens on my K10D and they were all teasing me about getting a "real lens". Actually...even in the film days, I was a bit of an oddity in the club for shooting mostly primes.
08-05-2011, 05:06 PM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I think his numbers are pretty close. In our camera club, I can count the guys who shoot primes on one hand. A lot of folks have very good zooms, but very few still use primes. In fact, at a recent field trip, I had a prime lens on my K10D and they were all teasing me about getting a "real lens". Actually...even in the film days, I was a bit of an oddity in the club for shooting mostly primes.

this i will agree with i hardly ever meet someone using primes regularly even most pros i know shoot a high end zoom more than a prime (but they do have primes they use)
pentaxians are an odd bunch this way as we seem to have a lot of prime users

i know a couple of people that use primes consistently 2 out of the 3 i can think of off hand are pentax shooters
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