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02-26-2014, 07:31 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Nobody Knows Anything - Luminous Landscape

Michael Reichmann has an opinion on all the vendors across the camera market. No one is particularly spared. Leica probably gets the best treatment. Down at the bottom, he gets around to Pentax - grouped with "The Others, That leaves Phase One, Pentax, Samsung and Leica."
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Pentax is an enigma. Traded first to Hoya and now to Ricoh, it's hard to understand what their product strategy is, if there even is one. Their Q series mirrorless isn't taken seriously, and their DSLRs, while quite nice machines, don't really blaze any new ground. The company has some excellent lenses though.

The Pentax 645D was (is) a great low cost entry into medium format digital, but Pentax never followed up with the new lenses that were needed to support it. Now, it appears that Pentax will be releasing a version with the new 50MP Sony sensor that everyone else is using. If Pentax can keep the camera at under USD $10,000 this could be a win for them, but the sparsity of 645 lenses still haunts them and will negatively impact sales no matter how good the camera itself may be. Release some needed 645 lenses Pentax and you could really gain some traction.



02-26-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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Interesting read, as always, from Michael Reichmann. I should worry, though, that I find myself agreeing with him on so many points because, after all, nobody knows anything.
02-26-2014, 07:54 PM   #3
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K-3 AA simulator is "blazing new ground". He's judging the Q as a camera meant to be serious like all the other MILCs that are trying to be as serious as DSLRs. Obviously he doesn't get the Q.

Last edited by geomez; 02-26-2014 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Forgot the word 'are'.
02-26-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
K-3 AA simulator is "blazing new ground". He's judging the Q as a camera meant to be serious like all the other MILCs the trying to be as serious as DSLRs. Obviously he doesn't get the Q.
I think he was talking about how people generally regard the Q, if they regard it at all. I haven't seen a review of the Q on Luminous Landscape, but then I haven't looked for one lately either.

02-26-2014, 08:49 PM   #5
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When was the last time Pentax had a rational product catalog and strategy? 1968?

Ricoh is simply going to have to spend some serious money,

But I don't think that's the Plan.
02-26-2014, 08:52 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I really agree with him on all points. Innovation means risk. Pentax isnt exactly taking any. In general they release models with features after the competition has already done so. For instance, they just recently released the 24MP sensor K-3. Nikon had a similar camera for more than 6 months already. yes the pentax is better in terms of built, weather sealing and the AA simulator however it is also 6 months behind. Also, as far as the general public is concerned it is not a "Nikon" so it cannot exactly get away with the playing it safe approach. Also I wouldnt consider the AA simulator "blazing new grounds". Its a feature. Its very clever and very useful but not something which redefines photography. To me blazing new grounds is the fuij x100. When you look at that baby you just want to have one. Once you have it you just cannot stop taking photos with. Another example is the Sony A7. Its basically mirrorless with FF sensor, but it really allows any user from any system to mount their lens on it whether MF or AF. Huge potential. They definitely rushed it and in the process created an incomplete system with some design flaws as well. Their mount is completely screwed up and confusing to their user base. Yet they are taking risks and creating products which dont even exist on the market. This is commendable.

He says it himself in the article, Pentax makes great cameras that are fault-less (and slightly better than the competition even) just nothing all that ground breaking...
02-26-2014, 09:14 PM - 1 Like   #7
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At least Pentax was an enigma, and not an enema.
02-26-2014, 09:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
K-3 AA simulator is "blazing new ground". He's judging the Q as a camera meant to be serious like all the other MILCs that are trying to be as serious as DSLRs. Obviously he doesn't get the Q.
Most people don't get the Q. Ricoh should help people understand their products.

02-26-2014, 09:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Most people don't get the Q. Ricoh should help people understand their products.
Lucky for Pentax/Ricoh. All Japanese females understand the product. But the west doesn't.
02-26-2014, 09:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Most people don't get the Q. Ricoh should help people understand their products.
I don't get the Q, but I always assumed that is because I am not its target market. Neat little camera though.


Steve

(...never got the Pentax Auto 110 either...also a neat little camera...)
02-26-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
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There's risk in everything, whether you do something innovative or not. That's why companies develop risk management plans at the corporate level and at the product level. I'm not so sure about Sony, mind you. Their camera strategy seems to be as described by Michael Reichmann, and makes you wonder whether they've undertaken a credible risk analysis, or whether they're going to make the sort of Harvard Business School Case Study that most CEOs wouldn't want to have on their CVs.
02-26-2014, 09:56 PM   #12
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Having read the comments about the "other guys", I would say that Pentax got off light...


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02-26-2014, 09:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I don't get the Q, but I always assumed that is because I am not its target market. Neat little camera though.


Steve

(...never got the Pentax Auto 110 either...also a neat little camera...)
I didn't get the Auto 110 at the time, either, even though, like you, I thought it was a neat little camera then (the Minolta 110 was in the category, too). Having had the Q for a while, I realise that I didn't quite get it either, even at the time I bought it, but I do now. It makes me wish I'd understood the Auto 110 back then, too.
02-26-2014, 10:27 PM   #14
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I know that new threads are usually started - but in this case, I think that it both applies to the topic at hand - and the article does not call out Pentax/Ricoh, but it does apply....

QuoteQuote:
By the end of 2014 the still camera industry will be ripe for full disruption. That disruption, when it comes, won’t be about the parts of the camera (sensor, LCD/EVF, shutter, memory card, etc.), it will come in software.

If I were running a Japanese camera company, I’d move the indicator to DEFCON 2 right now and be looking for a Silicon Valley company that understands imaging software to purchase and help with what will eventually have to be a full rethink at the camera end.

02-26-2014, 10:45 PM   #15
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Thanks for the article(s).
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