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05-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #31
Igilligan
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Thank you Tranq78

QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Pentax is a small company. It doesn't have the financial strength to make many mistakes when it launches a new product. So it has to be a "fast follower" (sorry for the marketing buzzword). I know some of the enthusiasts want Pentax to be more bleeding-edge, but this strategy is much less risky and gives us a product that is more free of bugs and problems.
My point exactly...

05-24-2009, 01:17 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by charlie_lucas Quote
. . . . it was a brave move to reverse the direction taken with the K10D and K20D in the direction of conformity and to try to recapture the distinctive Pentax spirit. I expect it has taken the competition by surprise and I applaud Pentax for having the courage to do it. If the Pentax community shares that enthusiasm and supports the product I believe it could mark a renaissance of the brand we love.
I'm having a blast watching this from the sidelines, both from the "group euphoria" perspective and from a purely academic observation of an attempt to market with relatively scant funds. The buzz is palpable here and, at a lower level, in other brand Fora.

QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
You're analysis is absolutely correct. Pentax has been trying to break paradigms throughout its history. Kind of like Apple in the PC and consumer electronics world, although Pentax has to figure out how to make people want to pay a premium for their products like Apple does. Consumer products is a tough business to be in, especially consumer electronics.
Buzz has value - after all, Pentax does need to eventually sell a lot of these cameras - but they are not yet any Apple. Could happen in the future, but not yet.

QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Pentax is a small company. It doesn't have the financial strength to make many mistakes when it launches a new product. So it has to be a "fast follower" (sorry for the marketing buzzword). I know some of the enthusiasts want Pentax to be more bleeding-edge, but this strategy is much less risky and gives us a product that is more free of bugs and problems.
Pentax needs to focus on their "one big thing" and build a niche reputation around that, then use cash flow from these early victories to gradually expand their market. That is, they need to make people who didn't know it before, believe they need Pentax's one big thing.

The Pentax spirit Charlie refers to can be the one big thing, if done well and repeatedly over a number of years. Think MX - small, robust, almost-pro, innovative -- but not the first in its market; Olympus broke that idea. Trang78 is right - "fast follower" is a good place to be right now.

We often use Subaru as an example of a niche player Pentax can emulate and I believe the comparison is apt. For 20 years Subaru in USA was that weird car with all-wheel drive. Then they were a small SUV for the Northern climes - kind of a regional alternate main-stream grocery hauler. Their National awareness push came with the association with the US Ski Team and marketing the Outback on the Crocodile Dundee idea (make a Soccer Mom or a young urban professional feel different than the average Explorer driver).

Now Subaru is ALMOST mainstream as an engineering leader and "Value for price" company that offers entry-level BMW sophistication for less money.

In ten years I won't be surprised if Pentax/Hoya has built on the K-7 as Subaru did.

And Gus, don't forget Pentax has another body coming this year - could be anything. I don't know whether Charlie is a flack or not (I don't think so), but I've been around for a while. I'm just a guy in St. Louis who can use a few marketing words because I've worked at one consumer services company for 27 years and learned a bit.

At least let's all enjoy the new toy for what it is and try not to project our expectations onto it.
05-24-2009, 02:22 PM   #33
Igilligan
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Oh I'm just playin' with Charlie

I am lovin' the K7 camera, its just some of the cheerleading on the other forum has been too much... sensible folks gone crazy!

I think Charlie is fine Pentaxian and I hope he knows I'm just playin... besides

Sorry Charlie, Pentax don't want fanboys with good taste...
Pentax wants fanboys that taste good!

YouTube - Charlie Tuna Starkist Commercial
05-24-2009, 04:29 PM   #34
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Wow Charlie, it is hard to disagree with someone who is so eloquent in their agreement with a contrary notion.

I really must buy you a drink next time I am in Oxford, which I hope won't be forever. Seriously! I admire this attitude, though mine is no doubt of equal and opposite charge. Heck, where would matter be without anti-matter?

"I saw the spires of Oxford
As I was passing by,
The grey spires of Oxford
Against the pearl-grey sky."

Nothing about bars in that verse but heck, I am good at improvising!

QuoteOriginally posted by charlie_lucas Quote
I found your evaluation to be refreshingly down-to-earth and it certainly cuts-through the pre-launch hype to give a sober analysis of the forthcoming product.
Thank you for that. I must say, though, that I am still waiting for the Pentax camera that does what you say, and doesn't just follow limply behind the competition, as I fear the K-7 does (in the main). I mean, it's a great camera, but doesn't say anything that screams "Pentax".

Quite seriously, I await the 645D with great interest. This might be the defining moment of Pentax. I have faith!

Besides, APS-C sucks, right?

05-24-2009, 04:31 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
Sorry Charlie, Pentax don't want fanboys with good taste...
Pentax wants fanboys that taste good!
Good God man, that brought back memories I was hoping were well and truly repressed. No, i am not going to watch that evil YouTube vid. Not even if you pry open my eyes and feed me milk shots at the Korova bar.
05-24-2009, 09:14 PM   #36
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QuoteQuote:
charlie_lucas: Anyone concerned about Pentax' fading spirit and brand personality, will be rejoicing that the K7 shows a spectacular return to form. It is not just about competitive technology (the K10 and K20 delivered well in that area), but about elegant solutions, attractive design, compact dimensions and sheer pleasure of ownership.

To be brutally honest, the K10 and K20 looked and felt as much at home with the Samsung badge on their Pentaprisms as they did with the Pentax one. They were, to my eyes (and hands), rather bland over-sized, Canikony-style bricks which were technically worthy but aesthetically dull with little to identify them with the elusive Pentax-ness that we all 'feel' but often struggle to put it into words!

The K-m was an encouraging first step in reviving the brand spirit and the K7 is a glorious return to form. I rather think that, next to K7, the Canikony competition is going to look fat heavy, ostentatious and pointlessly complex (which is just what you would have said about Pentax competitors of earlier generations!).

How refreshing it is to see the spirit of MX, ME Super, LX, MZ-5N, DS, et al returning to imbue this new flagship with a special distinctiveness that is unique to Pentax.
Well done Charlie!
05-28-2009, 08:10 AM   #37
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Thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Wow Charlie, it is hard to disagree with someone who is so eloquent in their agreement with a contrary notion.

I really must buy you a drink next time I am in Oxford, which I hope won't be forever. Seriously! I admire this attitude, though mine is no doubt of equal and opposite charge. Heck, where would matter be without anti-matter?

"I saw the spires of Oxford
As I was passing by,
The grey spires of Oxford
Against the pearl-grey sky."

Nothing about bars in that verse but heck, I am good at improvising!
QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
I think Charlie is fine Pentaxian and I hope he knows I'm just playin...
QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Well done Charlie!
Thank you so much for your encouragement chaps!

I must apologise, once again, for impersonating a 'Hoya plant'... I didn't mean to wind anyone up. I am genuinely fascinated by the emotional, as well as rational, appeal of brands and do, in fact, make my living from advising companies about brands and what they stand for. Where it overlaps with my hobby as an amateur photographer, I cannot help but be intrigued; part of the reason why I use Pentax is because I have always been attracted by a brand that stands for creativity before technology (yes, I am also a Mac user!). I can't imagine many people, for example, getting misty-eyed over an old Canon AE-1 like a seasoned Pentaxian would over a well-loved ME Super or MX (just as no one misses an old Dell Latitude like they do an Apple PowerBook!). The only camera brand that comes close has been Olympus, whose OM-1 and OM-2N were, frankly, Pentax in all but name (hence the subconscious tribute paid by the tellingly-named MZ-5N).
What prompted my original post (and a similar thread in 'another place') was a desire to encourage debate about the brand and see how owners felt about the core values that lie at the heart of Pentax. I am heartened by many of the responses and do believe that if Pentax can focus its energies on delivering the special qualities that owners desire, rather than spending money running after and trying to keep-up with, the market leaders, we could see the renaissance of a brand with a truly unique and distinctive positioning.
To be honest, the K10D and K20D left me cold. They seemed to be be aping the technically-ostentatious and oversized products of the market leaders (I even managed to inflame passions in 'another place' by claiming, on its launch, that the K20D had been 'beaten with the K10D's ugly stick'!).
For me, the K7 is refreshing because it represents something of a return to the uniqueness of the Pentax ideology. The fact that it will, inevitably, trail behind Canikony models in many technical areas is fine by me, provided the things that matter most to creative Pentax photographers are there instead. So, while the metering, focusing and burst speed have now simply caught-up with the industry norm, it has the finest viewfinder and rear screen to facilitate superior image composition, the best in-body SR to enable treasured lenses to be used in lower-light and discreet styling and compact dimensions that, with the Limited Edition primes, enable it to be used where other, mainstream, gear would be cumbersome and inept.
This marks a brave reversal from the temptation to chase the rest with the K10D and K20D (no doubt with some coercion from Samsung), to finding a unique white space that Pentax can 'own' and credibly defend in the future.
I am optimistic that, with the K7, the first steps of a Pentax renaissance might indeed have been taken.
05-28-2009, 08:15 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by charlie_lucas Quote
I am optimistic that, with the K7, the first steps of a Pentax renaissance might indeed have been taken.
I do hope this is true.

05-28-2009, 09:46 AM   #39
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Meh. I like the size of my K10D; reminds of my beloved T90.

(Now if it only metered as well...)
05-29-2009, 01:29 PM   #40
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To be quite honest, Pentax cameras never captured my interest until the K10D.

I never saw the Pentax brand as unique (historically) and believe it's not returning to its roots.

For me it was always Olympus breaking away from convention with their Slr then Dslr's.

If it wasn't for the K10D I would have bought a Nikon D80.

Regards

DyLAN
05-29-2009, 08:41 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
To be quite honest, Pentax cameras never captured my interest until the K10D.

I never saw the Pentax brand as unique (historically) and believe it's not returning to its roots.
Mayhaps you're not old enough to view Pentax in that context? They made the first Japanese SLR. They made they the first ever SLR quick-return mirror. The first true penta-prism. First TTL metering system. First (and only) 110 format SLR with interchangeable lenses. First TTL AF system.

QuoteQuote:
For me it was always Olympus breaking away from convention with their Slr then Dslr's.
Olympus did indeed turn the 35mm SLR world on its ear with the OM-1 system. But somehow, their DSLRs haven't been all that impressive (in my opinion).
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