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09-18-2014, 09:04 AM   #1
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what the -S 'series' might mean

While the interview's English comment on S models being 'superior' can be taken with a dose of salt, the concept of innovation comes up often in print and chat. That is an interesting concept, having a camera line where trying new concepts is more of a priority. Don't risk the base line of cameras but learn by doing on a different track. That could mean more frequent FW updates, maybe modular 'test firmware' sets that prioritize different things. It could explain why the body looks like different parts are integreted with 'seams' that spawned a few threads on the 'net. Other than lens seals nearly all buttons could be weather protected by a right-side membrane that could even include a tacky (and thicker?) grip on the right side. Maybe even R.Pentax has not fully worked out the possibilities this could bring.

Or maybe comments that sound good in interviews vanish when the microphone is turned off

We shall see what develops, but it's another intriguing element that the K-s1 (and Q-s1) bring to the virtual table. I'd be willing to be part of a group that takes a chance or two but yields more user data for future cameras. As long as I can choose an OVF that is

09-18-2014, 09:08 AM   #2
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The whole idea seems to be to have a separate product line that appeals to audiences other than die-hand Pentaxians and experienced photographers. So the Q-S1, for instance, is meant for people who see their camera as a fashion item, while the K-S1 is meant for people who want premium image quality moving up from a smartphone, etc.

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09-18-2014, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Many here do like the black DSLR with big lens concept, either from nostalgia, habit, or because we don't know any better. But I suspect any company that has done honest product research will have come to the conclusion that the stodgy DSLR is a dinosaur and so are it's users. So how do you move forward into new, far bigger and more profitable, markets without alienating your existing customer base? Two product lines, maybe?

Easier for Ricoh to do this than Canon or Nikon because the entrenched Pentax user base is not particularly significant, compared to the potential gain in new users. So feed the 'old guard' enough to keep them from leaving completely while working hard on your new customer base.

I'm not sure that this is a 'good thing' for old dinosaurs, but I suspect it is the smart thing for Ricoh to do.
09-18-2014, 09:59 AM   #4
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We're seeing a little less stodgy from Pentax. Perhaps it's because they serve the Japanese market pretty heavily where cute sells, but we get some color nonetheless. Plus, silver bodies on flagships look great and the Prestige edition K3 is very attractive. I'd like to see more Prestige edition at product launch next time - though that's not a marketer's approach, I'm sure. Still relatively conservative - it's not pink or chartreuse, but attractive.

KS-1 looks interesting, less intimidating, and is still capable judging by the specs. They need to market that camera better than past efforts, though.

09-18-2014, 10:21 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
They need to market that camera better than past efforts, though.
^^^ Agree. I suspect part of the problem is that corporate culture is business to business driven. That still takes marketing but a different kind. I think they are still trying to figure out this whole retail consumer thing as far as marketing is concerned. Maybe they do better in Japan but rather pathetic in the US. Of course there is no point marketing if there is no product in stores so maybe it is just chicken / egg.

I think they are working on a different time line that we are. And that might be the B to B model as well. No real reason or need to bring out new products annually or at trade shows. Just so they have a new or upgraded model when the lease runs out. I suspect in 10 years they will be a real player in the camera market but I'm not sure whether many of the 'old guard' will still be around. They seem to be re-inventing Pentax rather than just doing the same old thing a little better.

Change is painful and not all of their customer base will stay with them. On the other hand I've tried Canon and Nikon and did not like them. Where else do I go?
09-18-2014, 10:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
^^^ Agree. I suspect part of the problem is that corporate culture is business to business driven. That still takes marketing but a different kind. I think they are still trying to figure out this whole retail consumer thing as far as marketing is concerned. Maybe they do better in Japan but rather pathetic in the US. Of course there is no point marketing if there is no product in stores so maybe it is just chicken / egg.

I think they are working on a different time line that we are. And that might be the B to B model as well. No real reason or need to bring out new products annually or at trade shows. Just so they have a new or upgraded model when the lease runs out. I suspect in 10 years they will be a real player in the camera market but I'm not sure whether many of the 'old guard' will still be around. They seem to be re-inventing Pentax rather than just doing the same old thing a little better.

Change is painful and not all of their customer base will stay with them. On the other hand I've tried Canon and Nikon and did not like them. Where else do I go?
I think you've pretty much got it.
09-18-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
DSLR is a dinosaur and so are it's users.
Nah, we are not dinosaurs. We are a bunch of old people who smell of sour food and are going to die before our next high-end camera purchase.


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09-18-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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The innovation could see a line of reliable products with short runs. It's Ricoh's sandbox to experiment. If they want to try something radically new then we may see it in the S series. The LEDS are a good example. If it goes wrong then that's OK. The production run was short. Cut your losses. Otherwise, we may see some features trickle upward. If they experimented with LEDS in the K-3 and it went wrong then they ruined a premium product and the value of the brand. Ricoh is also stuck because the production runs may be longer term. I'm totally OK with that approach.

Who knows ... we may see a long line of S series cameras with new bells and whistles running alongside a P series (pro?, semi-pro?) that's a bit more conservative. Maybe even the fabled FF will be the first K-P1?

09-18-2014, 12:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Nah, we are not dinosaurs. We are a bunch of old people who smell of sour food and are going to die before our next high-end camera purchase.
Ouch. Just had hot dogs for lunch. With sauerkraut and pickled beets............ Homemade sauerkraut and pickled beets......
09-18-2014, 12:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Nah, we are not dinosaurs. We are a bunch of old people who smell of sour food and are going to die before our next high-end camera purchase.


Steve
Sez you. I'll come to your memorial and capture all three of your remaining friends with my contemporary camera.
09-18-2014, 01:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I'll come to your memorial and capture all three of your remaining friends
There are THREE??!! (Happy dance!!!)


Steve
09-19-2014, 05:38 AM   #12
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I have no particular fondness for the big DSLR. That's where I ma now, because that's the tool that offers me the quality and control that I need to get to an end result. If Pentax wants to stuff that into a smaller purple colored package, I'm there. Well, provided the benefits outweigh any abandoning my K-mount if needed and the savings account provides.
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