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01-28-2014, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #16
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If you look at the industry/press buzz they seem to think the K3 is a game-changer. While the big boys play with budget full-frame bodies Pentax has refined and nearly revolutionized the APSC format. It's including features formerly only seen on cameras 3X this price, and doing it in a smaller, refined body while doubling down on the WR and new coatings for existing lenses (which are still optically damned good). FF is kind of a fetish - it's really not necessary for 90% of photographers. The files are already large enough to crop efficiently.

You build on your strengths. You don't win the race by chasing the other guys.

Would it be interesting to see Pentax release a full frame camera? Sure. A retro design? Maybe a FF mirrorless which looks like an LX would be awesome, but it must contain a very good, fast, and accurate EVF if it's going to be as useful as a K3...

So far so good with Ricoh.

01-28-2014, 07:22 AM - 1 Like   #17
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What is the unique strength of a Honda Accord? Was it the same thing 38 years ago?

Last edited by monochrome; 01-28-2014 at 07:51 AM.
01-28-2014, 07:40 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I can probably consider myself a fan of Pentax cameras. But I am worry about the brand, and how it stand out in the crowd to survive.

The strengths of Pentax that make it unique, are slowly gone....
1. Smaller DSLR - gone, not considering the mirrorless, it is not the smallest DSLR anymore.
2. Weather seal - gone, many have gone this route, the new Fuji's X-T1 is weather seal, even the Sony A7 is.
3. K-mount - access to thousands of cheap, old lenses, gone, mirrorless essentially make a 'universal' mount;
4. In-body stabilization - OK, I give PENTAX this.
5. buttons, wheels, ease of access - gone, look at the direct controls these new cameras got.
6. "Best in value", long gone.
7. SMC? gone, everyone have one and even now we replace it with that stupid "HD" designation.

Video certainly not the best, flash system not the best, ISO performance no longer claim the best in APSC (like K5), ergonomics is a personal things.

What else is left? The K-3, the only really special, shock the camera world worthy thing about it is the sensor-shake AA filter thing.

No, this is not a PENTAX is doom thread.... seriously what exactly is our unique point?

We are like that boy in the class who is not doing very bad, but not very good either, do everything in moderate... usually very quiet, may sometime surprise you with some innovations but not really ground breaking either... we just kind of hang around in the middle, always playing catch up.

I guess just one of those day when you see other camera company brings out exciting product and all your camera company brings out is a teleconverter they promise 5 yrs ago....
What the h---???

Are you saying that there is a camera out there that beats the K3 or K5 in all features? How much does this camera cost?

Or are you saying that Pentax does not have a camera lineup so that they have at least one camera with at least one feature that beats all the other cameras out there?

There's a hundred things that they could not be the best at but they don't need to be the best of everything to have best camera or one of the best cameras or a camera that someone would want and love.

Digital technology has progressed far enough that comparing size or ISO performance, FOR EXAMPLE is becoming moot, because those capabilities are now exceeding need. The K5/K3 are small enough that any smaller will be difficult to operate; any higher ISO performance and you're basically trying to shoot in the dark.
01-28-2014, 07:42 AM   #19
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See my signature... I've preached it for a long time!

01-28-2014, 07:53 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
I don't think that Pentax wants to be unique any longer . They've been unique for ten years and how has that served them with their market share?
Being unique kept the tiny company, that was repeatedly battered by hostile takeovers and under-marketing, alive. If it ain't broken, then don't fix it. And the innovative Pentax products of yesterday surely were NOT broken. Otherwise there wouldn't be such loyal fans about. The only thing that they desperately needed to fix was their marketing.



QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
So I think they're done with being the unique underdog. They must think that "going mainstream" might actually allow them to go mainstream. And I don't blame them. Why continue doing the same thing if doing the same thing isn't working?
Yeah, why keep a patient hooked up to a life support system if that life support system doesn't enable them to dance they hokey pokey right away?

So, if they are adjusting their product line up to conform with the mainstream, then what would be the next step for them? Discontinuing the 645D-line? Yeah, that would surely fit into the sheep-strategy.

Seriously, only the giant companies like Canikon can afford to dictate what their users should buy from them. It works for that type of customer well. But smaller brands need to entice users to buy their products by being different. If they are just like Canon or Nikon, but with less choice and more expensive, then why not just buy Canon or Nikon instead?

Last edited by Clavius; 01-28-2014 at 08:00 AM.
01-28-2014, 08:24 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Seriously, only the giant companies like Canikon can afford to dictate what their users should buy from them. It works for that type of customer well. But smaller brands need to entice users to buy their products by being different. If they are just like Canon or Nikon, but with less choice and more expensive, then why not just buy Canon or Nikon instead?
I've written 100 times - they cannot and will not compete head-to-head with Canon and Nikon, and they know it. I think it is a given that Ricoh will introduce modern manufacturing methods and processes to Pentax to save costs and improve quality. In some cases that might make products look similar on the outside to other products - machine optimization being what it is - while retaining a distinct Pentax chanracter on the inside. In some cases familiar 'symbols' such as SMC have outlived their economic and technical utility. Patents may have expired; capital machines may have worn out. Ricoh may have installed new machines to do new things with new names that, while unfamiliar to us may actually be better than the old ways.

Ricoh hopes Pentax will be the third camera company by being the alternative to Canon and Nikon. The question, of course, will be how they define alternative characteristics. Apparently alternative will not be a strictly low-price strategy. Rather the strategy seems to be value based on more features and higher quality at a price point than Canon and Nikon offer, in a traditional camera package. Sony seems to offer new ideas and untested new technology in a non-traditional camera package, built to use everyone else's lenses. Fuji is making great new lenses with questionale camera packages. Olymous seems to be trading on its past.

They're all alternatives. It will be interesting to see which strategies succeed, but I wouldn't bet against Ricoh, which is twice the size of Nikon and half the size of Canon..
01-28-2014, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #22
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Pull up from the MILC fray



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01-28-2014, 08:32 AM - 2 Likes   #23
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There is absolutely nothing special about my Rav4, but I bought it anyway, it has a nice large space in the back where I can isolate my grumpy dog. For pure driving, I love my little Kia Sportage 2002 4x4, which can practically go anywhere an ATV can go.

Or as I posted in another thread, there are a thousand reasons to buy a camera. No particular camera comes close to filling a fraction of those needs. There are always more reasons for not buying a camera than for buying it. Right now, optical IQ is probably 4x5 or 5x7 view cameras fitted with scanning backs. But don't try and do sports or wildlife with it.

So, for people like me, we don't have to know why. We just have to know we have one, and we like using it. But I'm willing to bet, if I could think of every reason I like my Pentax gear, and posted it, someone else would have a different set of reasons, just as good as mine and some of them different.

And really, I could think of every reason why I should like something , and as happened when I briefly used a D800 this summer, the reasons went out the window, and I just thought this camera doesn't inspire me, and what I need most is inspiration.

So that's what Pentax has. It inspires some people. To want to refine it more than that is navel gazing. The whole is larger than the parts. The most important part of the Pentax niche or the Canon niche or the Nikon niche or whatever niche will never be completely definable. Some people like Snickers bars, some people like Mars bars, why dwell on the formula?

01-28-2014, 08:34 AM   #24
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Competing with the MILC players isn't any easier

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I've written 100 times - they cannot and will not compete head-to-head with Canon and Nikon, and they know it.
But you could make the case that they do so now, with aps-c, and remain profitable.

I think the bigger problems may arise when they try to compete directly with Fuji, Panasonic, Samsung, Olympus, and Sony, because to do so they may need to basically start over with a new mount.
01-28-2014, 08:59 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Ricoh hopes Pentax will be the third camera company by being the alternative to Canon and Nikon. The question, of course, will be how they define alternative characteristics.
But that's what they were. How are they going to keep it that way if they start mimicking Canon and Nikon?


QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Apparently alternative will not be a strictly low-price strategy. Rather the strategy seems to be value based on more features and higher quality at a price point than Canon and Nikon offer, in a traditional camera package. Sony seems to offer new ideas and untested new technology in a non-traditional camera package, built to use everyone else's lenses. Fuji is making great new lenses with questionale camera packages. Olymous seems to be trading on its past.
Here you've clearly defined how each smaller company sets itself aside from the two big boys and the rest. Sony is now the innovater. Fuji with it's optics. I'll add Leica and Zeiss for their Optics and quality engineering. And Olympus isn't really doing anything anymore. Except for Pentax, that was the vaguest unique feature I've ever seen. IMHO, they're doing the same as Olympus.

Pentax used to be the innovater. Or, at least, they were innovating enough for the others to copy the features that Pentax pioneered. (SR, WR, compactness, backwards compatibility, etc...) So what is it going to be now?
01-28-2014, 09:02 AM   #26
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This is going to turn into a traditional FF thread
01-28-2014, 09:09 AM - 3 Likes   #27
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I don't mean any offense to anyone, but I don't see the point in worrying about it. Pentax has been around since 1919. Ricoh didn't buy Pentax to kill it off.

There's no "special strengths" of Chevy or Ford cars, Dell and HP computers, Sunbeam toasters, Frigidaire refrigerators, Whirlpool dishwashers, Sony TVs, etc etc etc... People still buy 'em. You might argue there's more technical development in photography than a dishwasher, and you'd be right. But I doubt most people buy a Canon or Nikon because it's the latest, greatest whizbang toy. I think they buy it because 1) they're familiar with it, and 2) Wal-Mart carries it.

From what I've seen, the Pentax name is slowly getting more exposure than under Hoya, and Rome wasn't built in a day. As long as they keep building quality products and don't do something monumentally stupid, I think they'll be around for many years to come. Regardless, there's no point in fretting about it. What will be will be. If Pentax poofs out of existence, I'll sell off my gear for whatever I can get out of it and go Nikon. Otherwise, I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it.

IMO, there are 2 sensible options:

1) If you're not happy for whatever reason, sell your Pentax gear and buy something that will make you feel good.
2) Take some damn pictures with your Pentax & be happy.
01-28-2014, 09:52 AM   #28
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What I see is that Pentax tends to offer a little more bang for the buck. Offers nicer features (fps, dual control wheels, weather sealing, penta prism viewfinder) at a price point where Canon/Nikon are protecting their upper end cameras. They do offer several tiers of sealed lenses, whereas most brands reserve sealing for expensive glass. Renaming SMC is not a problem, since most of the people buying Pentax now have no history with the naming nomenclature of Pentax anyway. In body image stabilization, mid priced primes with awesome builds and small size are things that other brands are lacking as well.

Pentax should continue to build to their strengths -- and then work hard to get their cameras available to the public. There is no reason that anyone who actually picked up a K30 or a K50 would then buy a D5200. It just wouldn't happen. But few people actually pick up their cameras. This is the struggle in an age where many people buy over the internet.

I don't really buy that full frame changes anything, because I don't really think that most people buy a D5200 or K30 wondering if someday they will be able to use their gear on full frame. Maybe at the K3/D7100 level they do, but most people want a more responsive camera with which they can take photos of their kids. They aren't going to buy primes or manual focus lenses. They will shoot with kit lenses and maybe a Sigma telephoto they picked up for 80 dollars on e bay.
01-28-2014, 10:00 AM   #29
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A friend of mine just purchased a K-50. She did so after looking at competing products from Canon and Nikon. The points for comparison were build, features, and price. In short, the full value proposition.

Pentax may be doomed but it is not due to any deficiency in the product.


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01-28-2014, 10:06 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There is no reason that anyone who actually picked up a K30 or a K50 would then buy a D5200.
Or actually compared the feature sets.

You are absolutely correct, though. The Nikon product is nice in the hand, but the K-30/50 is nicer. There is also the matter of the superior viewfinder on the Pentax. (D5200 is pentamirror and like looking down a tube.)


Steve
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