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11-09-2011, 09:39 AM   #46
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I think many have interpreted the OP question as applying to the corporate entity and its position in the industry, not to the products we use and how (well) we use them.

There are of course real concerns with certain product features: AF, SDM, QC, FF, etc (all those acronyms!) that can impact both our personal usage and the corporate competitive position. The corporate position DOES impact us, or so we think -- like if Pentax had a 25% market share instead of 5%, and kept good profit margins, then they should have more money to invest in fixing the AF-SDM-QC problems -- but Pentax probably won't reach that market share UNTIL those problems are resolved. Vicious circle! More aggressive marketing (including in-store product placement) would help.

Pentax currently occupies some relatively narrow market niches. With more offerings in a larger market, we hope to see Pentax products live up to the promise of their superb designs. What's wrong with Pentax? Nothing that a pile of money can't cure.

11-09-2011, 07:07 PM - 1 Like   #47
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I Agree

Hi Rico,
I agree with your analysis and do understand that the underlying intention of the question was "How can Pentax be better?" or at least some variation of that position.
But several posts seem (to me, anyway) to indicate an underdog mentality or a desire for more pride, prestige, acceptance of our favorite brand.
So I made an ham-handed attempt to snap back, and if it offended anyone, I'm sorry.
But we have nothing to hang our heads about, and that's my point.
If a Canon, Nikon or any other brand-user hasn't (or won't) taken the time to understand the quality of the photographic tool WE CHOOSE to use, then they are the less for it.
I have a fair working knowledge of other brands and some of their merits and flaws. Should I then sneer at their users? Of course not. It's a choice and just as I don't knock their choice, I won't tolerate them knocking mine.
Maybe my position in this is a bit more aggressive or pro-active than the norm. I certainly won't apologize for that.
Knowledge is power.
Ignorance is weakness.
If I am insulted by someone who clearly doesn't have the background to make critical statements about my camera choices, they are in for a long, hard day. I hope many Pentaxians choose to react in a similar manner.
JMO
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 11-09-2011 at 07:12 PM.
11-10-2011, 06:52 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
What's wrong with Pentax? Nothing that a pile of money can't cure.
This is really the right answer, what remains to be seen is how much of their money Ricoh wants to devote to it. Mostly i find nothing wrong with Pentax, but there are areas for improvement. In many areas I find them better than the big competition (or I would be shooting with the competition). I don't personally care if they are as big as the competition, but if they can grow the brand the additional capital certainly can't hurt with more offerings becoming available.I didn't choose Pentax because I like being the underdog (though it's not a position i mind being in) I chose it because the ergonomics of the camera were right for me. I've shot with both Canon and Nikon in the Digital age. Canon is just to poorly laid out for me (and when i went digital i was less than impressed with the offerings) Nikon would be my second choice and in a lot of ways I find it functionally similar. I did when I moved back to Pentax in film days as well when I bought my MZ5, and I could have gone Nikon then but the Pentax seemed the better value for me. (I had shot both brands previously)
11-10-2011, 09:36 PM   #49
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I was down in FL recently and realized I had left one of my SD cards at home (shame on me ) I walked into a camera store, which was plastered with Canon/Nikon banners everywhere, with my K-7 and limited 40 lense attached. The salesman immediately came over and wanted to look at it given he had heard great things about the limited line. He told me that they don't sell Pentax because it has no name brand recognition. Even though it's consumer entry level DSLR's have beaten those by Canon and Nikon, it's a hard sell. I hope Pentax/Ricoh get their act together.

11-11-2011, 10:22 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hi Rico,
Knowledge is power.
Ignorance is weakness.
I have read most of the posts in this thread and find many of the arguments and discussion points rather interesting and quite honestly reflecting on individual experiences. One observation I find that those (like some forum members here) who own Pentax and C (or N) brand are more knowledgeable about their selection of cameras and features than those who own just the C or N brand. Many of them (those who only know C&N) use the DSLR as if it is a P&S and firmly believe that the picture quality will improve if they have a better (expensive) camera. Yes, they do upgrade every so often but always seem to stick with the super-zoom; much to the delight of the sales people.

QuoteOriginally posted by t3swept Quote
I was down in FL recently and realized I had left one of my SD cards at home (shame on me ) I walked into a camera store, which was plastered with Canon/Nikon banners everywhere, with my K-7 and limited 40 lense attached. The salesman immediately came over and wanted to look at it given he had heard great things about the limited line. He told me that they don't sell Pentax because it has no name brand recognition. Even though it's consumer entry level DSLR's have beaten those by Canon and Nikon, it's a hard sell. I hope Pentax/Ricoh get their act together.
It is true in North America, Pentax sales is too low to support the infrastructure similar to the two big names. However, I do find it a bit of different in Japan where almost every camera store I walked into have stock and shelf space for Pentax, Sony, Casio, Ricoh along with C and N. I have also seen a fair share of people holding k-x, k-r and k-5 in the public (and in tourist areas) along with the similar C and N brands.
11-11-2011, 12:45 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
It is true in North America, Pentax sales is too low to support the infrastructure similar to the two big names.
My nearest cam.stores are a small chain in Carson City and Reno Nevada that *did* carry some small assortment of Pentax gear the last time I looked (but that was a couple years ago). Mostly I'm in big-box stores where Pentax is non-existent (although the Best Buy in Carson City *might* have had a couple Pentax items).

But in every WalMart, CostCo, Staples etc store, for every dSLR on display, there are one or two dozen P&S's. These aren't just Canon and Nikon, but Fujica, Kodak, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony. (My other just bought a Nikon S4100 from such a display.) Those names are known because they can be seen.

Brand consciousness feeds on VISIBILITY. Pentax-Ricoh should IMHO first get some Optios on display in the big boxes, make the Pentax name VISIBLE. Maybe with a slogan on each package like "PENTAX: From 1919 To Tomorrow" or some other reminder that Pentax isn't some newbie wannabe cam.maker. And maybe with a little Glorious History page in each user manual, and a More Products page showing that an upward migration path exists: Optio to Q to K-series to 645D. NO OTHER MAKER CAN MATCH THAT!

Grab their eyeballs, and their credit cards will follow.
11-11-2011, 01:08 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My nearest cam.stores are a small chain in Carson City and Reno Nevada that *did* carry some small assortment of Pentax gear the last time I looked (but that was a couple years ago). Mostly I'm in big-box stores where Pentax is non-existent (although the Best Buy in Carson City *might* have had a couple Pentax items).

But in every WalMart, CostCo, Staples etc store, for every dSLR on display, there are one or two dozen P&S's. These aren't just Canon and Nikon, but Fujica, Kodak, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony. (My other just bought a Nikon S4100 from such a display.) Those names are known because they can be seen.

Brand consciousness feeds on VISIBILITY. Pentax-Ricoh should IMHO first get some Optios on display in the big boxes, make the Pentax name VISIBLE. Maybe with a slogan on each package like "PENTAX: From 1919 To Tomorrow" or some other reminder that Pentax isn't some newbie wannabe cam.maker. And maybe with a little Glorious History page in each user manual, and a More Products page showing that an upward migration path exists: Optio to Q to K-series to 645D. NO OTHER MAKER CAN MATCH THAT!

Grab their eyeballs, and their credit cards will follow.
This is good marketing strategy from a channel perspective. the main flaw prior to this is the optio lineup has been less than inspiring. The ricoh lineup though has had some real winners. maybe they can come up with an inspiring 4 model lineup that can compete in the big boxes and back it up with marketing. The real issue is that you pretty much have to buy your way onto big box floors through a variety of offers like display funding, ad funding, spiffs, long terms etc and that stuff costs money
11-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
But in every WalMart, CostCo, Staples etc store, for every dSLR on display, there are one or two dozen P&S's. These aren't just Canon and Nikon, but Fujica, Kodak, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony. (My other just bought a Nikon S4100 from such a display.) Those names are known because they can be seen. Brand consciousness feeds on VISIBILITY. Pentax-Ricoh should IMHO first get some Optios on display in the big boxes, make the Pentax name VISIBLE.
Big box stores, W@lmart in particular, have the rather shady business practice of telling their suppliers what their customers are going to pay for a product. This sum often barely covers material, production, and operating costs. (i.e. "If you want W@lmart to carry your Optio, this is what our customers will pay for it; make it happen.") This was the case with Rubbermaid, and when the material costs for the resin used in their products went up, they were faced with a tough decision: either loses W@lmart as a vendor, or cut production costs to the point that they were able to meet W@lmart's anemic price point. And of course all the other big box stores, not to be undersold by W@lmart, wanted the same pricing. What's a company to do? A large company like Canon, Nikon, or even, yes, Casio can justify selling at a small loss to W@lmart in order to maintain brand recognition, Pentax is not so lucky.

Meanwhile on the specialty store front you've got Ritz/Wolfe Camera, a company that has filed for bankruptcy and walked away with millions of dollars in free merchandise from Canon and Nikon wanting to sell your cameras "on consignment" as it were. Would you deal with those guys? Well, that's the real question, and the dilemma Pentax has faced for the past twenty years since the golden era: Brand recognition, or fiscal solvency? They have definitely paid the price for not paying the price. Personally, I think they missed a step along the way after the K1000's success and again at the dawn of the digital age, but I'm glad they are still hanging in there. I think Ricoh will help the brand reclaim much of what has been lost

[editorial note: I have changed the 'a's in the name of a certain big box store to '@'s. I refuse to support them by auto linking to their site.]


Last edited by maxfield_photo; 11-11-2011 at 03:08 PM.
11-11-2011, 02:43 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by t3swept Quote
I was down in FL recently and realized I had left one of my SD cards at home (shame on me ) I walked into a camera store, which was plastered with Canon/Nikon banners everywhere, with my K-7 and limited 40 lense attached. The salesman immediately came over and wanted to look at it given he had heard great things about the limited line. He told me that they don't sell Pentax because it has no name brand recognition. Even though it's consumer entry level DSLR's have beaten those by Canon and Nikon, it's a hard sell. I hope Pentax/Ricoh get their act together.
I was at Christian Photo in Des Moines (a large and nice camera store) looking at some camera bags & I happened to have my K-x with me, which caught the eye of one of the sales guys. He said something to the effect of "great camera!" and said they used to carry Pentax & he thought highly of their gear, but Pentax pulled their factory rep for the area a few years ago and they haven't been able to carry it since then. So I thought that was kind of strange.
11-11-2011, 03:51 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
Big box stores, W@lmart in particular, have the rather shady business practice of telling their suppliers what their customers are going to pay for a product.
I wasn't thinking of W@lly's as a good place to start -- CostCo and BestBuy maybe, they seem to carry less crud, and they have fewer stores, so less product would need to be placed. This preserves being able to say, "PENTAX: Too good for W@lly's!"
11-11-2011, 06:29 PM   #56
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Todays newspaper insert from Black Camera (a fairly big canadian chain with no pentax AFAIK) ALL OLYMPUS ON SALE
hahaha like that will help with 20+ yeas of hiding losses
not one thing advertised was temptin (low ens canikon and sony in addition to Oly)
11-11-2011, 06:30 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I wasn't thinking of W@lly's as a good place to start -- CostCo and BestBuy maybe, they seem to carry less crud, and they have fewer stores, so less product would need to be placed. This preserves being able to say, "PENTAX: Too good for W@lly's!"
Crap Kodak is too good for wallies As far as I'm concerned - and maybe if they avoided it they wouldn't be in the crapper now
11-11-2011, 06:59 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Todays newspaper insert from Black Camera (a fairly big canadian chain with no pentax AFAIK) ALL OLYMPUS ON SALE
hahaha like that will help with 20+ yeas of hiding losses
not one thing advertised was temptin (low ens canikon and sony in addition to Oly)
I think it would be a mistake if Pentax/Ricoh would target those retail outlets such as Costco, Walmart and Bestbuy to push their products, as people shopping there are mostly looking for bargain prices and the low-end models. Blacks Camera belongs borderline to that category as compared to other stores such as Henrys, Aden, Vistek etc. I believe they do have the k-r but they don't carry the Pentax Q. Unless they have the trained staff with knowledge specific to Pentax products, it is harder to sell when there is none.
11-11-2011, 08:44 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I think it would be a mistake if Pentax/Ricoh would target those retail outlets such as Costco, Walmart and Bestbuy to push their products, as people shopping there are mostly looking for bargain prices and the low-end models.
The goal here wouldn't even necessarily be to make a profit on the Optios, but just to BE VISIBLE, to have the Pentax name displayed noticeably. W@lly's would IMHO be a bad venue; I haven't observed many customers actually looking at digicam offerings there. BestBuy is rather glutted with choices so it's hard to stand out there. Of the big boxes I've seen, I'd say that CostCo and Target are likely prospects. Maybe Fred Meyers too (they invented the superstore).

One problem with W@lly's, besides their being a slimy operation, is that cameras are located off on the side in back somewhere. CostCo puts cameras along a main aisle near the front of the store -- much more visibility. I'm sure the marketing works have noticed such details and will place products accordingly.
11-12-2011, 03:52 PM   #60
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With the exception of a Canon Powershot S2, my first digital camera, I have always used a Pentax. 2 film SLRs and the ist DS (looking for an upgrade from it now and thinking Kr?). Not too many stores carry Pentax stuff but I have no problem ordering electronically from places that do. I love when people look at me and my Pentax while they use the Canikon stuff. Not interested in names and all that but quality bang for the buck. I love the way I can use old glass on a new body. I did a photo tour of the universities library yesterday. I was the only person there shooting Pentax. I walked in and everyone had fancy overkill zoom lenses. I put down my bag and pulled out an old Chinon 28mm 2.8 and was able to take one clear shot whereas everyone else had to take multiples. I got some great photos and some so-so ones (my fault as the darkness and long shutter with no tripod made for some fuzzy shots). The AF doesnt matter to me as I do not use it at all. The clarity and quality of the shot is all that matters to me and for that, its my Pentax. The more I use it, the better they get.

I will say this though, most of the people with the expensive Canikon kit seem to never take their cameras out of auto. Drop $600+ on a DSLR and never use it to the fullest. I usually laugh.
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