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08-15-2015, 07:56 AM   #1
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My Informal Poll

We are still on our summer road trip, but I am in a KOA campground with good wi-fi, so I thought I would post this.

Throughout this year's trip (Colorado Springs, Cody, WY, Rocky Mountain NP, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton NP) I have been doing an informal poll by looking at the brand name on everyone's DSLR camera. In these highly photographed places there have been a lot of DSLRs!

During this time, I have seen exactly ONE Pentax - mine!

Now I know Pentax has a small market share, but I did expect, out of the many, many cameras I have seen to see at least one that wasn't mine. After all, somehow they have to stay in business.

Just a casual observation.

08-15-2015, 08:08 AM   #2
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Did the same on my Yellowstone trip in 2013. Kept a tally sheet.

But I did better than you, found an elderly gentleman with a k-x who unfortunately did not speak English. And a fellow with a k-7. When I asked him what his camera was he replied it was the new Pentax he thought, maybe k-5? Even though it said k-7 right on it. I suspect he had borrowed it for the trip, he definitely did not know how to use it.
08-15-2015, 08:59 AM   #3
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A couple of years back, during the government shutdown, I went to shoot at Rocky Mountian NP. But as the park was closed due to the shut down there was no entering the park, so I attended the protest being held at the entrance of the park. I was the only one there with a Pentax camera. The funny thing about it was in talking to one of the many people there taking pictures, a gentlemen approached me and we started chatting, I told him I was wanting to photograph the park. He asked what camera do I use, "Canon, Nikon?" I told him, "PENTAX" the conversation then ended and he turned and walked away. I was dumbfounded!
08-15-2015, 09:27 AM   #4
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Ever since I saw my first thread like this, I've always tucked this in the back of my head while traveling. For all of the Mt Rainier hikes, trip to Cannon Beach, two trips to Mt St Helens, and visits to a local park that has a serious flower garden, the only Pentax action I've seen is mine, and a single K1000 two weekends ago. I've had a couple convos with people shooting, and it's about 50/50 with surprise that I'm not shooting a film camera -- lol. That tells me two things. The marketing sucks (we already know that), and that these people didn't do much research when making their choice. When I bought my first (K-50) I knew tons about all of the brands from reading. I will say that I was heavily influenced by my best friend's K-10D (because I got to use it), and these same people were probably in the same boat, having used similar models owned by people they knew.

08-15-2015, 09:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
We are still on our summer road trip, but I am in a KOA campground with good wi-fi, so I thought I would post this.

Throughout this year's trip (Colorado Springs, Cody, WY, Rocky Mountain NP, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton NP) I have been doing an informal poll by looking at the brand name on everyone's DSLR camera. In these highly photographed places there have been a lot of DSLRs!

During this time, I have seen exactly ONE Pentax - mine!

Now I know Pentax has a small market share, but I did expect, out of the many, many cameras I have seen to see at least one that wasn't mine. After all, somehow they have to stay in business.

Just a casual observation.
Good, but sad observation.

When I go to events or highly photographed places...same deal...I'm usually the only one with a Pentax DSLR. Mostly I see Canons, then a lesser number of Nikons. But on the other hand I rarely see Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus or the other brands.

Usually Pentax is the third most common brand, I see after Canon and Nikon. But that's not saying much as Canon seems to absolutely dominate the North American market...then Nikon as second, but significantly behind Canon.

I wonder what the DSLR market will look like in 5-10 years. Canon will still be around, quite probably Nikon. Not sure about the remainder. As you say Pentax and the rest will have to somehow stay in business.
08-15-2015, 10:26 AM   #6
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I've already ran into people at this anime con with Pentax cameras. A K7 and a Q
08-15-2015, 11:03 AM   #7
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On a recent visit to BC (Squamish - Whistler) I spotted a K-3ii, K-30, K-01, Q and X-5!

(they were my partner's, my son's, my daughter's and my own)
08-15-2015, 11:16 AM   #8
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Last night I went to balloon festival with a meetup group, mostly notions and canons, a Panasonic m43, but no Pentax. But I did run into a guy with a K-5 sporting an 18-270, he said his son and nephew were there somewhere, both using Pentax, and I did see one with him later, so I saw two last night. I had my K-50 with a fisheye lens on it on live view and a lady was raving over it, wondered why her camera couldn't do that.

08-15-2015, 11:39 AM   #9
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In Europe, we see Pentax products in the field, of course not as many as Canon, Nikon and Sony. I can see that the presence of Pentax products in the field differ from country to country. It seems more related to how much commercial efforts was done by Pentax (before Ricoh) in each country, rather then related to product features. Where Pentax was more visible, we also see more people with a Pentax camera.
08-15-2015, 11:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
It seems more related to how much commercial efforts was done by Pentax (before Ricoh) in each country, rather then related to product features.
Pentax or possibly the local distributor / retailers.

I have been in several camera stores where the owners were Pentax fans and loved to talk about the cameras. But sadly none of them actually carried Pentax in the store anymore. They loved Pentax, but had to sell Canon & Nikon to stay in business. One in particular had an enormous selection of 645 and 6x7 Pentax gear but all used, nothing new.
08-15-2015, 12:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Pentax or possibly the local distributor / retailers. I have been in several camera stores where the owners were Pentax fans and loved to talk about the cameras. But sadly none of them actually carried Pentax in the store anymore. They loved Pentax, but had to sell Canon & Nikon to stay in business. One in particular had an enormous selection of 645 and 6x7 Pentax gear but all used, nothing new.
Well, of course if the dealer does not promote Pentax, sales don't happen. I thought in the 4Ps of marketing, one of the Ps is about the distribution channels. How to explain the Fuji got so much presence on the shelves?
I asked the dealer here, he told me that Fuji sales is calling him on a regular basis to update him on product road maps, but Pentax nope, and when they were still selling Pentax cameras, the after sales service of Pentax was incredibly bad, so they decided to stop Pentax.
08-15-2015, 12:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I thought in the 4Ps of marketing, one of the Ps is about the distribution channels.
People
Product
Price
Placement

I have also seen 'Promotion' so maybe you have 5 P's. But promotion (as in advertising) is not as important as People. When someone walks into a store with little prior knowledge it is the person in the store that steers the customer to a particular brand. It can be very in your face or very subtle. But a simple "I really like the way this model fits in my hand", is often all you need to close a deal.

But what I meant is that Pentax does not do international marketing, to my knowledge they never have. That has always been handled by the regional distributors or retailers. So countries that had a good distributor who continued to sell the product and work with retail dealers have a higher percentage of Pentax gear on the ground. In the USA, Pentax for whatever reason mostly stopped active promotion and through management initiatives alienated most / all of the retail dealers when Hoya bought them. Maybe it would not have made any difference anyway but I have been in too many stores that "used to carry Pentax but stopped" to believe there was no consequence to those policies.
08-15-2015, 12:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertwalker Quote
A couple of years back, during the government shutdown, I went to shoot at Rocky Mountian NP. But as the park was closed due to the shut down there was no entering the park, so I attended the protest being held at the entrance of the park. I was the only one there with a Pentax camera. The funny thing about it was in talking to one of the many people there taking pictures, a gentlemen approached me and we started chatting, I told him I was wanting to photograph the park. He asked what camera do I use, "Canon, Nikon?" I told him, "PENTAX" the conversation then ended and he turned and walked away. I was dumbfounded!
was it a nikon guy?

i was shooting at the most popular location in death valley last year, before dawn there were at least two dozen photographers all over the landscape... they had little regard for each other, i saw no pentax cameras and no mirrorless of any kind.

this fat nikon shooter was conversing with a lady he'd just met there: "i'm going to shoot this sunrise at f/16, just because i can"
08-15-2015, 02:24 PM   #14
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On my travels in various parts of the world, I see Pentax maybe once or twice a year. I didn't even see one in Japan a couple of years ago. I think I saw one Pentax in my two months in Germany recently, and none in two months in Tenerife.
08-15-2015, 03:34 PM   #15
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My wife and I do quite a bit of cruising, out of 1,000 to 2,000 people on a cruise ship, where everyone is on holiday and presumeably wanting to take pictures, often I seem to have the only Canon on the ship. Although once one of the ships photographers spotted my Q and said- nice camera those.
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