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05-07-2012, 10:41 AM - 1 Like   #1
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What camera should Pentax build to advance the brand?

I often read on here that Pentax will not greatly increase their marketshare by trying to out-Canon Canon or Nikon. Basically, that Pentax must differentiate itself from them to be successful. I agree with this logic. He's the camera I think could be a hit:

digital version of the K1000, styled as such
Full frame with a low-ish pixel count.
un-crippled K-mount so you can use your old glass with aperture rings with no stop-down metering needed
shutter speed controlled by a metal dial on top with markings for the all the shutter speeds
metal construction with faux-leather covering

So basically, capitalize on all the retro-mania that people are digging lately with cameras. People are going crazy over the retro style of the Olympus OM-D E-M5. People like the Sony NEX-7 for it's rangefinder styling. Even more so for the Fuji X100. What do people think of for a retro Pentax? I think it's got to be the K1000. I would definitely buy this camera over a similarly priced Canon 5D Mk II.

You've got full frame cameras and you've got retro styled cameras. But unless you've got Leica budget, you're not going to get both.

What camera do you think Pentax could build to really advance its market share?

05-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #2
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Except the K1000 was an after-thought, dumbed too far down, that sold poorly at first. It became a sales success and then a l;egend only after school photography departments adopted it - on a price, not features basis - as their preferred light-tight box.

Far better such a basic FF camera should emulate a KX or KM.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-07-2012 at 05:49 PM.
05-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
I often read on here that Pentax will not greatly increase their marketshare by trying to out-Canon Canon or Nikon. Basically, that Pentax must differentiate itself from them to be successful. I agree with this logic. He's the camera I think could be a hit:

digital version of the K1000, styled as such
Full frame with a low-ish pixel count.
un-crippled K-mount so you can use your old glass with aperture rings with no stop-down metering needed
shutter speed controlled by a metal dial on top with markings for the all the shutter speeds
metal construction with faux-leather covering

So basically, capitalize on all the retro-mania that people are digging lately with cameras. People are going crazy over the retro style of the Olympus OM-D E-M5. People like the Sony NEX-7 for it's rangefinder styling. Even more so for the Fuji X100. What do people think of for a retro Pentax? I think it's got to be the K1000. I would definitely buy this camera over a similarly priced Canon 5D Mk II.

You've got full frame cameras and you've got retro styled cameras. But unless you've got Leica budget, you're not going to get both.

What camera do you think Pentax could build to really advance its market share?
That would be a cool camera, but are people in significant number REALLY going crazy over retro stuff? It seems like that are a small group of hipsters that say something is cool, and those people get press saying that such-and-such is cool, but does that really translate into mobs of people buying products? (Which as soon as they do, the hipsters will then say that whatever it was is "over" and onto something else -- hipsters want to be niche.)

The biggest thing Pentax can do to gain market share is get back into stores -- just get the brand out there. (They are doing that now, it seems.) Secondly, they need to be super-reliable, and they haven't been. They need a reputation that Pentax cameras always work, period. They need to work on that. And they need to continue to come out with innovations before others at a lower price point -- bang for your buck. They seem confused on this one at the moment. In short, they need to regain their identity or create a new one. One that it is not Canon or Nikon.
05-07-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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I don't think there is one camera that would revitalise the brand, it's more about a line of cameras along with dedicated consistent frequent marketing. marketing has been next to non existent for a very long time now (well before Hoya) dd in that essentially it's been a 2 camera line for quite a while. Presence at retail is the third item needing addressing. the third won't come without changes to the first 2 though. That being said supposedly there will be 4 dslr going forward that addresses 1 significant shortfall (particularly if the 4th is FF because then they are a full range brand). #2 we probably won't see anything serious until #1 happens so this fall. with 1 and 2 coming into play #3 will also fall into place. then it;'s down to execution. you don't need to make the best camera to become the biggest brand (Canon consistently proves that). I think a distinct piece that gets loving press would help with #2 though (so say an LX digital or something else that echoes the past but is wholly modern and different from the other guys - I don't actually think they need to echo the past but lately that has been a sure road to successful launches look at the x100/x1pro and OMD

05-07-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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The main benefit (IMO) of something like a K1000 is its ruggedness and thinner dimensions, both of which would be very difficult to replicate with a digital. I would like to see a FF, in particular a nice simple cheap model, however I couldn't see myself buying it. I am invested in crop lenses, and prefer smaller things these days (ala the Q)
05-07-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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I think it's critical to get out the 2 entry level models (WR and No WR as rumoured) having something to compete with the canikon on the shelves but with features/design that makes it distinct (like the WR for instance) the vast majority of sales come in the 2 entry level models for any brand and that is where market share comes from. without penetrating that market most other things won't make a huge difference to the brand.
If at the same time the Q/Q2 and K-01 can hit the same shelves it makes a big difference. Taking the 645 out of the equation (since the vast majority of dealers will not have one on the floor) a line that has Q, K-01, K entry, K entry WR, K5 replacement, K FF gives 6 bodies for a pentax zone - 3 times what they had pre Q a year ago. even a smaller volume conservative shop would likely end up with 3-4 of those on the floor. The retail rule is 80 % of your sales come from 20% of your product. but having been there you need more than 2 products for this to work
05-07-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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I think Pentax has been and is doing just fine without our advice. If you want to run things at Pentax, bye the company.
05-07-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldphoto678 Quote
I think Pentax has been and is doing just fine without our advice. If you want to run things at Pentax, bye the company.
I wouldn't call losing more than half their market share numbers in a little over half a decade doing well myself. OTOH if you are referring to quality i agree what they have put out in general has been excellent (and in the case of the k5 class leading)
but threads like this are just meant for fun. most of the gearhead section is filled with wild speculation and wants.....on every type of forum

05-07-2012, 12:08 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
Except the K1000 was an after-thought, dumned too far down, that sold poorly at first. It became a sales success and then a l;egend only after school photography departments adopted it - on a price, not features basis - as their preferred light-tight box.
Wow that is just so full of assumptions. As a former head of a photography department, and opening a darkroom in a new school, I can tell you, based on my sample of one, you're dead wrong. It was the exact lack of features that we wanted. The needle matching exposure makes it really easy to explain and demonstrate exposure with the relation ship between shutter and aperture. The all manual operation meant the student has to come to terms with every aspect of the operation, exposure etc. The depth of field guides on those old 50's made understanding depth of field a snap, and any picture a pro could take with a more feature laden camera, a student could learn to take with a K-1000 and know more because of it when they were done. To get an A in my class you had to d professional quality work on the at least one of the 7 grade 10 assignments. Using a K-1000 it was demonstrated that that was possible hundreds of times. Not to mention the ruggedness in student hands.

If Pentax came out with a K-1000 D , FF with no bells and whistles but rock solid, I'd love it. Auto bracketing? For lazy people. HDR? I can do that in PP. JPEGS? I don't need no stinkin jpegs. Just make a base camera. I'll even do my own match the needle style exposure. Does anyone here understand how easy it is to under (or over) expose one or two stops when you're needle matching? No buttons to push, no dials to turn? If Pentax wants something really special, I say, go dirty and cheap and FF. Let the Nikon and Canon fanboys pay for all the gadgetry that most people never use.
05-07-2012, 12:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Wow that is just so full of assumptions. As a former head of a photography department, and opening a darkroom in a new school, I can tell you, based on my sample of one, you're dead wrong. It was the exact lack of features that we wanted. The needle matching exposure makes it really easy to explain and demonstrate exposure with the relation ship between shutter and aperture. The all manual operation meant the student has to come to terms with every aspect of the operation, exposure etc. The depth of field guides on those old 50's made understanding depth of field a snap, and any picture a pro could take with a more feature laden camera, a student could learn to take with a K-1000 and know more because of it when they were done. To get an A in my class you had to d professional quality work on the at least one of the 7 grade 10 assignments. Using a K-1000 it was demonstrated that that was possible hundreds of times. Not to mention the ruggedness in student hands.
normhead - you are correct in principle and, to a point, in fact. As I stated from experience on a school board, teachers adopted the K1000 because of its simplicity - and its price. Add to the K1000 a self-timer and Mirror-Up lever and you have a KM Add a mechanical Judas window aperture readout and you have a KX. Perhaps the Judas window is a luxury. I submit the MLU and timer aren't. Everything else you believe beneficial on a K1000 is also true of the KM and KX.

My daughter learned photography as a vocation, as it is taught in our public school district, became Senior Student in the Journalism program (meaning she ran the program with faculty guidance), attended college on a half-scholarship for journalism and is now employed full time in media (though as a Producer for a broadcast network news division). She learned photography on K1000's and K lenses and printed in wet darkrooms. Her final "task" in High School was to specifiy the bodies and lenses when our school district converted to digital (because of the savings in paper and chemical printing costs and for digital-file-sumbission for the Yearbook and Newspaper). The K1000's were put into storage and the darkrooms closed. She was allowed to keep a dead K1000 that Eric restored.

She continued this path in college, during which she attended an intense 6 week B&W mostly-landscape for-credit seminar in Abiquiu, NM (Ansel Adams / Georgia O'Keefe) which required a fully-mechanical film camera, tripod, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 100mm lenses, O2 and Y2 filters and 20 rolls each of TMAX and Tri-X. Class half-day, shoot landscape half-day, print at night.Of note for this discussion is the portfolio brief, which included night photography and a self-portrait.in landscape. For her needs the additional mechanical features (MLU and self-timer) were essential.

She took my KX instead of her K1000. I intentionally didn't suggest a K2 (electronic Seikosha stepless shutter, Exposure Compensation) or K2DMD. In fact, if you look closely, many K1000's have a bump on the top where the (omitted) KM battery check button is normally found.

I maintain the K1000 was an afterthought by Pentax. It did not sell well at first. A KM or KX would be a better teaching choice but the K1000 was selected on price and the best was made of the decision.
05-07-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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Just to be clear, I didn't mean that this theoretical camera would really be stripped of all modern convenience like TTL metering, Tv and Av modes, autofocus, etc. I just meant that the K1000 styling would make it stand out amongst its peers.
05-07-2012, 01:06 PM   #12
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I disagree, if Pentax went the retro route, they would just be following Fuji & Olympus (and Leica to an extent I guess)
05-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
A KM or KX would be a better teaching choice but the K1000 was selected on price and the best was made of the decision.
In your course maybe, not in mine. The difference being, my course existed.
05-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #14
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There is enough interest in a more sophisticated FF camera (with features and specs surpassing the K-5) to warrant the development of a higher-end FF camera that would attract more enthusiasts and professionals users to the brand. There would certainly be enthusiasts who would love and appreciate a stripped down K1000D-like FF camera, but it should not be the only FF Pentax releases (not everyone's cup of tea, particularly as a flagship or professional use camera). The K-01 is already here and a morph between the retro look of the X10/X100 and a modern MILC. Pentax needs a good answer to the D800 and 5D MkIII IMO.
05-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
I disagree, if Pentax went the retro route, they would just be following Fuji & Olympus (and Leica to an extent I guess)
which still differentiates them from canikon and sony of course

I don't think it needs to be retro design but i think a pretty stripped down FF at a low price has a market. AV/TV/TAV/M/X/B modes, MLU and timers of course,WB, auto bracket because there are times you want it. Good AF and TTL/PTTL forget the rest of the stuff (video, hdr .......)
build it like a tank. so K1000 is a relatively apt description , but I think KX is closer (personally i still want an LXD, and I want the LX metering system - I will allow for AF despite the fact that I will rarely use it)
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