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05-13-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
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Pentax phasing out DLSRs?

I was at Hunts Photo Video today, just to look around to see what was new. I discussed that I was waiting for the K-5 replacement I am expecting within a year. The sales people were all pretty convinced that after Ricoh bought up Pentax, that they were going to phase out DSLRs and replace them with hybrids like the K-01 and cameras with digital viewfinders like Sony's. I wonder if these people were only trying to encourage me to buy a K-01 or the K-5 they had there or if these rumors are true.

Any thoughts?

PS. I was impressed with the K-01 as a K-r replacement, but would need a lot more performance for it to be a K-5 replacement. Also, technically, the 645D is a DSLR that I am certain that they will continue supporting.

Thanks

05-13-2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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According to Ben on his blog, Hunt's was just added back as a dealer within the last couple months. As such a floor sales person might not be fully aware of Pentax's plans since all they really have available right now is the K-01 and K-5.

In an interview from CP+ the PRI product manager directly and emphatically stated PRI is committed to dSLR's and to 100% VF on all future dSLR models. There are abundant hints throughout this section that there are at least two new dSLR models coming soon, as well as a direct statement from John C that the K-5 will stay in production through 12/2012.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-13-2012 at 11:42 AM.
05-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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I think that the next release coming up is a normal SLR. We will probably find out soon enough.
05-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Seavey Quote
I was at Hunts Photo Video today, just to look around to see what was new. I discussed that I was waiting for the K-5 replacement I am expecting within a year. The sales people were all pretty convinced that after Ricoh bought up Pentax, that they were going to phase out DSLRs and replace them with hybrids like the K-01 and cameras with digital viewfinders like Sony's. I wonder if these people were only trying to encourage me to buy a K-01 or the K-5 they had there or if these rumors are true.

Any thoughts?

PS. I was impressed with the K-01 as a K-r replacement, but would need a lot more performance for it to be a K-5 replacement. Also, technically, the 645D is a DSLR that I am certain that they will continue supporting.

Thanks
I don't think your sales folks have any idea.

I've been a very staunch supporter of the new mirrorless cameras, and am trying to convice myself to buy a Nex 5n to complement the K5, but i have to admit, my K5 is still excellent at what it does, optical vf and all.

There's no chance that Ricoh would disable their new profit center by discontinuing the K5 line. Nikon and Canon are trying desparately not to undercut their dslrs with the new mirrorless, i expect Ricoh will make their mirrorless more competitive, and will "dance" with both kinds of cameras.

05-13-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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Now that Pentax is coming back into stores - as in the brick and mortar type - you will start to see sales people "pretending" to know what is going on. They are supposed to be knowledgeable, but they will show their ignorance. Pay ZERO attention to them, as they start to replace their rumors/bias with facts. It will be a frustrating time no doubt.
05-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
There's no chance that Ricoh would disable their new profit center by discontinuing the K5 line. Nikon and Canon are trying desparately not to undercut their dslrs with the new mirrorless, i expect Ricoh will make their mirrorless more competitive, and will "dance" with both kinds of cameras.
My comment is untainted by actual information, so here goes:

I expect Ricoh-Pentax to aim towards being THE multi-format leader. Their current lines already exceed any other maker. Standard & waterproof compacts; Q, the smallest MILC; the modular GXR system, which could support many formats and mounts; K-01, a full-feature APS MILC; entry-level to prosumer APS dSLRs; the incomparable 645D; and an expected FF Real Soon Now. Now they just need to do some serious marketing of this stuff.

What ain't there: dedicated camcorders; phonecams; bigger MF, like 645-FF or 6x6. And we're not likely to see these, except maybe a deal with some phone maker, and maybe a 645D2, which will depend on sensor supplie(r)s. Assuming Ricoh doesn't pull a Sony, we should see great things in the future.
05-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #7
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I agree with RioRico, except I believe the GXR/Ricoh branded cameras will be absorbed/dead in the near future. At the 2012 CP+ show, the Ricoh stuff wasn't very exciting and didn't generate much buzz. There really isn't too much differences in the Optios and the P/S Ricohs. So it's logical to cease/combine certain Ricoh production lines.

I think Ricoh then took those talented "out of the box" GXR designers and made a place for them inside of Pentax. Then, once those folks were "safe", Ricoh handed over the cameras to Pentax.

That pretty much said everything to me.

I think the Ricoh designers were given new projects inside Pentax and everyone is happy.

I know if I was a GXR designer, and I was offered the chance to work on the K5 replacement or FF camera, I would jump at that opportunity!!!

Pentax has alot going on, and if the FF comes true, all the neat stuff that is going on would make the GXR utterly useless.
05-13-2012, 01:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Pentax has alot going on
I just wish they would reveal some of it soon.

Especially with all the recent impressive DSLR activity by Nikon (D3200, D800, mooted D600) stealing people away from Pentax.

05-13-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My comment is untainted by actual information, so here goes:

I expect Ricoh-Pentax to aim towards being THE multi-format leader. Their current lines already exceed any other maker. Standard & waterproof compacts; Q, the smallest MILC; the modular GXR system, which could support many formats and mounts; K-01, a full-feature APS MILC; entry-level to prosumer APS dSLRs; the incomparable 645D; and an expected FF Real Soon Now. Now they just need to do some serious marketing of this stuff.

What ain't there: dedicated camcorders; phonecams; bigger MF, like 645-FF or 6x6. And we're not likely to see these, except maybe a deal with some phone maker, and maybe a 645D2, which will depend on sensor supplie(r)s. Assuming Ricoh doesn't pull a Sony, we should see great things in the future.
Kudos on your non-tainted summary , seriously, i think its a good one. Reading a little more in the news about Sony, they really appear to lack a firm leader. They laid off a few people, than 6 months later they were all back employed again. They've hired a new CEO, perhaps he'll be allowed to make some big decisions.

Actually, Ricoh/Pentax appear to have a lot more dynamic leadership than Sony - good for them! There is a problem with big companies, they sometimes develop a mindset and culture which is very difficult to change when its needed. On the other hand, Pentax has been thru some hard times and will do whats necessary - thats a big advantage IMO.
05-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
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DSLRs aren't being phased out, and Pentax doesn't inform retailers about plans beyond products that are ready to launch. Photokina should prove interesting

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05-13-2012, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I personally would like to see Pentax return to a position as a top tier lens maker, as they were at one time. The FA Limited designs certainly show that they can still produce great lenses, at a somewhat reasonable price. They have showed that they are still capable of new great lens with the 100 Macro. They have the coatings with their new ghostless. They need to market that. The new DA 35/2.8 also shows that they can also perform at the entry level lens market. In that they have leveled the playing field in terms of the retail price, across both the physical and virtual retailers, they need to give the consumer who is paying for all of this in the end, something worthwhile to purchase while not feeling that they were just mugged.

It would be wonderful if Ricoh/Pentax were to bring back some of the old lens designers as consultants, to sprinkle some more of their pixie dust, imparting their knowledge and skill back in to the company. Not everything is just digital design - there is the judgement factor where by decisions are made in terms of balancing one factor against the others in order to come up with the perfect blend - the magic. That is the pixie dust - and it is learned, just not a set of automagically generated numbers.

At one time, I was consulting for a very well known corporation on a project. We had a problem on a project. In an earlier era there was lots of talent in this discipline available - however no longer. The Chairman of the Board / CEO found a 95 year old past employee (PhD) that he begged to come back to help. He arrived in a wheelchair, dual oxygen tanks and attended by 3 of the world's most beautiful nurses and a full time doctor. He had 200 of the top engineers within the company ready and willing to do what ever, run what ever simulations / test that needed to be done. Week by week he actually grew younger - he was needed (and there really was no pressure on him). He solved the insurmountable problem with a pretty unique design, project was successful with 6 new world records. And his knowledge and insight into the problem area and how he arrived at the design was imparted to a new generation of engineers - that was the black magic - or in Pentax's case - the pixie dust.

I know that all of this takes time, however this reminds me of a developer buying a promising but run down property. They have a decision to make - juice up the rents and then fix the property, or fix up and rehab the property and then up the rents to what they will command.....

05-13-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I just wish they would reveal some of it soon.

Especially with all the recent impressive DSLR activity by Nikon (D3200, D800, mooted D600) stealing people away from Pentax.
Yeah, they have been busy, i think they decided that if they were ever going to exceed Canon's numbers, now was the time.

Got to tell you this little story. A member of my photo club, received his Nikon 16mpx D4 a few days ago, and recently has been sending in photos from his new camera to the clubs website and gushing about how sharp it appears. The photos are nice, but not anything better so far than what i've seen from the K5. He previously had been shooting a D300. So i replied that my existing camera had 16 mpx and wasn't it nice. I relayed about being out last night taking evening shots of a bridge that was a 1/4 mile away, and being able to see the 1" vertical supports on the bridge's pedestrian railing. Even after 15 months of shooting with the K5, the IQ continues to impress me.

Yes, yes i'm sure the D4 has better AF and its low light performance is probably superb, but frankly with a built-in battery grip, its huge and I wouldn't want to carry it around with me. For $4400 more than i paid for my K5, it dang well should have some advantages. (the D800 appears more interesting)

I think if Pentax continues to turn out solid products like the K5 (without some of the introductory problems), Ricoh will do fine with the company.

Last edited by philbaum; 05-13-2012 at 02:28 PM.
05-13-2012, 08:17 PM   #13
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Unless Ricoh suddenly went bankrupt, no I don't think they'll be phasing out DSLRs. Pentax is currently getting into more marketing action in my country, and I doubt they'll suddenly drop their new customers (in a lot of places where Pentax is virtually unknown before)
05-13-2012, 08:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
Pentax is currently getting into more marketing action in my country
Same in Sydney, first time for me to see Pentax K-01 posters plastered all over the entrance of a CBD store (Digidirect)!
05-13-2012, 09:07 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Salesmen make stuff up... all the time.

Their job is to make the sale (or just clock in the hours if they aren't on commission), not to run a public information service. They will tell you anything if it increases their chance to make a sale (or to make you go away if they aren't on commission). To believe anything else is naive I'm sorry. Once you think about what motivates people you can figure out why the say and do what they say and do.

Last edited by twitch; 05-13-2012 at 09:13 PM.
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