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05-10-2007, 12:53 AM   #1
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The Big Question...

Since hearing the news about corporate decisions being made by Pentax, how do we feel about these moves and are Pentax going to be a stronger more focused company as a result? I would really like to hear your impressions in regard to this event. We are the ears, eyes and pulse of the company and our feedback is important.

Thanks
Ben


Last edited by benjikan; 05-10-2007 at 01:02 AM.
05-10-2007, 12:56 AM   #2
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I dont know how I feel, the only thing I want is to stabilize situation and focus on developing and selling DSLRs and lenses. This situation is not helping anyone, neither Pentax nor customers.
05-10-2007, 01:15 AM   #3
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Quote from Tokyo-np.com

Here is a translation from Tokyo-Np.com:


東京新聞:3年後に営業利益100演~に ペンタックスが統合代替案:経済(TOKYO Web)

With the management integrated problem of HOYA, Pentax
the camera manufacturer by the fact that rationalization of management
such as suspension of digital camera development for the professional
is advanced as an integrated alternative solution, on the 10th, it
became clear to set the enterprise value improvement step which
designates the concatenated operating profit of 3 years later as
approximately 10000000000 Yen. It announces on the 11th. As for
Pentax, the schedule which explains improvement step to
????? group and HOYA of the asset management company which
is the head shareholder. Whether you can obtain understanding of
????? and the like which supports the integration with HOYA,
it becomes the focus. With improvement step, at digital single-lens
reflex camera business, for the professional you suspend the
development of the type, devote to for the first middle class person.
You endeavor to the rearrangement of the section whose profit is low
to in addition to, the medical equipment and digital single-lens
reflex, have the management resource 3 sections of optical part
concentrate. The concatenated operating profit of 2007 March period
with the possibility of 5500000000 Yen, 3 years later aims toward the
enlargement nearly of 2 times from present condition. (Cooperation)
05-10-2007, 01:19 AM   #4
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Just received e-mail from Pentax France

Pardon her English, but it seems that the new DSLR's launch as I stated earlier is going ahead as planned..Whew, that is at least some good news. Ben...

Here is the e-mail:

Ben;

Yes, I saw this site seems very serious indeed!! I'll keep you updated, should I get any news from the director, but they are all in a meeting today, so there is very little chance I get an answer. Anyways, I told Philippe on the phone 2 minutes ago, he will ask about this. But for once, they will be presented the new compact cameras generations to come for 2008, and the new DSLRs as well, so for sure, this is not a decision for today, and I will let you know if they meant digital middle-format or not (this could be analog as you said).

Talk to you later!
Carole

05-10-2007, 01:37 AM   #5
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Personally, I don't really mind if they'll drop the middle format digital project or not as I am not planning to invest on such a system... BUT, I know many plp that are collecting glass for that camera for the last 2 years now. I don't think such a turn a few months before the final release of the camera would be appreciated much. More likely it will be taken as a betrayal...

More over I am wondering what on earth is serving a leak like that one.... Have they lost their minds at HQs? They make everything they can to upset their happy customers....

Last edited by celetron; 05-10-2007 at 01:44 AM.
05-10-2007, 01:58 AM   #6
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I agree...

QuoteOriginally posted by celetron Quote
Personally, I don't really mind if they'll drop the middle format digital project or not as I am not planning to invest on such a system... BUT, I know many plp that are collecting glass for that camera for the last 2 years now. I don't think such a turn a few months before the final release of the camera would be appreciated much. More likely it will be taken as a betrayal...

More over I am wondering what on earth is serving a leak like that one.... Have they lost their minds at HQs? They make everything they can to upset their happy customers....
I don't know if it was a leak. I think when one sells a corporate headquarter, it is big news. Imagine the value of the real estate in downtown Tokyo. Someone has to act as the vendor of the property. Once that decision is made, it becomes common knowledge. "Property for Sale."

Ben
05-10-2007, 02:00 AM   #7
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in my opinion, as they are "almost done" with 645D - they need to keep it.

Even if it is sold/maintained with a loss, it will pay off in having it for the marketing reasons only. They need a flagship camera, and IMO this should be it, unless it is really crap/ the camera is technically worse than the competiton and as expensive.

For the rest - I am glad that they are trying to focus and keep the camera business going, if anything this was a good sign that Hoya was to off the camera business, so I guess some other people within the company disagreed.

IMO there is a good few years for DSLR business to do well and Pentax can certainly prosper if they exploit the market, product wise they are in an excellent position. They have a minute market share, and they still turn a profit!... well if they grow it can only get better, (assuming proper management)....

so good luck to Pentax and let's hope both DSLR's and 645D survive. As for compacts - kill the "mee too" lines and keep the waterproof ones as a nich if they can afford, and work on the uniqness of that product further.
05-10-2007, 02:09 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
I don't know if it was a leak. I think when one sells a corporate headquarter, it is big news. Imagine the value of the real estate in downtown Tokyo. Someone has to act as the vendor of the property. Once that decision is made, it becomes common knowledge. "Property for Sale."

Ben
I am not referring on the HQ offices selling but on the 645 and the compact cameras. If they have any such plans they should announce it and explain what would that serve the company best and not let it come out before that and make everyone speculating with what ever they might come up with...

05-10-2007, 02:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Since hearing the news about corporate decisions being made by Pentax, how do we feel about these moves and are Pentax going to be a stronger more focused company as a result? I would really like to hear your impressions in regard to this event. We are the ears, eyes and pulse of the company and our feedback is important.
Well, I hope Pentax remains a viable platform, particularly since I have just re-invested in that platform with my first digital camera.

On the other hand, I am not a "proud Pentax owner", any more than I am a "proud Trimble owner". The camera is a tool for me, not an object of affection. It is a very nice tool (and so is a Trimble GPS), but Nikon, Canon, et al make very nice tools as well.

So, I do hope Pentax survives and continues to offer competitive DSLR's to the market. If they don't remain competitive and a significantly better tool comes along that will noticeably improve my results, then I will probably switch platforms. If they don't survive, then I will probably run my K10D until it is dead or a significantly better tool comes up in another platform. Then I'll sell whatever Pentax stuff I have and move on. The monetary difference in doing that is simply part of the cost of the hobby.

And really, when you compare photography to competitive shooting, downhill skiing, flyfishing, etc... it really isn't that expensive. A K10D body, two good quality zooms, and a 540FGZ flash would run you about $2000 or a bit less. Lots of people would want primes only, many more lenses, etc. But really, if money was really tight and you had to choose to make do for a while, most people could pick a couple of lenses to get 'er done with.

Now look at the cost of a new pair of downhill skis, bindings, boots, and poles. Not to mention the associated clothing. That will get you pretty close to $2000 right there and you haven't even gotten to the ticket window yet.

Anyways, from my perspective, as long as Pentax remains competitive in the DSLR market and can meet my pretty simple needs, I'll stick with Pentax. Not out of fan loyalty, but because Pentax products have performed well for me in the past and give me good value for dollar.

If I was a professional or very serious amateur, I might very well think differently.
05-10-2007, 02:30 AM   #10
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Since last night i read at least two threads on different forums discussing that article with not so flattering comments. Pentax suddenly became a strong player in the DSLR market and made some enemies.

What I am trying to say here is that Pentax plp should be more careful on their moves and their communication policy against their customers, since every other brand fanboy right now is looking for any possible chance to hurt Pentax reputation... Mind that most of the people bought the K10 are not pros but armatures that don’t know much about photography. If pentax allows a speculation to be consolidated and which implies the company is about to lose its strength or that K10 is a camera with no future ahead most of these customers will get panic… It doesn’t really matters if K10 fulfils more of their expectations or not they will start looking elsewhere…

Last edited by celetron; 05-10-2007 at 04:17 AM.
05-10-2007, 04:11 AM   #11
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To me, it seems like this whole debacle is centered on the imaging division. Hoya wants the medical division, and thats about it. While medical may be the heart of the company, imaging is the soul. When it became clear to the board that Hoya couldn't care less about imaging, they scrapped the deal and ousted Urano. Now, the board is taking a long, hard look at how it can sustain the imaging division independently (and profitably).

If you look at the camera division, you have three different segments: compact, SLR, and MF. If you want to boost profits while maintaining the imaging division, you have to jettison the under performing segments (basically, what Hoya wants to do to the entire imaging division).

Compacts: don't make money and aren't competitive. Pretty well everyone else makes a better product. Dead weight. Cut it.

Medium Format: strong historical base in this field, and the 645D looks like its almost ready for launch. Offers a unique and truly professional "flagship" line. Unfortunately, the Kodak 31mp sensor cant be cheap (what does the H3D-31 cost? $25k?), and for the price range that Pentax would need to market the 645D at, it simply isn't economically viable. Pentax can't afford to sell this model at a loss. Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be (yet...).

dSLR: 2 entry to mid level bodies, with 2 more scheduled for release in the near future. Products are highly competitive, arguably best-in-class. Lens demand far outstrips supply. 15 lenses currently in production, with 5 more due by the end of this year and at least 5 more in 2008. Currently operating at a profit.

I think its clear which of these three areas anyone would choose to direct their attention to. It will be rather interesting to see over the next few months what direction Pentax takes this. Will they be content to remain a small time player, or will we see their DSLR line get a shot in the arm as resources from compact and MF get reallocated? Will Pentax stick with APS-C, or will we see an APS-H or even FF sized sensor in a Pentax camera in the future? If they do decide they need a FF camera, will we see the DA* lineup postponed in favor of a D FA* series instead?

Ugh. My head hurts, its 4am, and I have a bus to catch in 2 hours. Maybe I should finish packing instead of speculating on an industry I really know little about... I'm not even going to proof my rambling, I apologize if its completely off base or inaccurate...
05-10-2007, 04:44 AM   #12
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I "feel" we need to stop placing so much emphasis on, and reading so much into, all these articles and announcements. Pentax is a fairly sound corporation with money in the bank, reasonably strong sales, and relatively robust profits. At the same time, it has considerable assets to build on in multiple markets. If Pentax were not so profitable with so many assets, companies like Hoya would not be so enthusiastic about a merger with this company. Pentax is clearly seeking ways to increase profits and reduce losses, which is nothing new since the company has obviously done so in the past by adding and discontinuing products. Instead, there is simply greater emphasis on profit/loss at the moment due to the ongoing ambitions of Hoya. Pentax seems to be moving in the right direction. It's business decisions appear sound. The company has had moderately good success with the K100D and K10D, with the release of additional models planned within the next few months. Press surrounding the company and it's products have been positive overall. In the end, the company faces challenges (what company doesn't), but none of that seems to involve doom and gloom for Pentax.

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05-10-2007, 04:45 AM   #13
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As pointed out in the article I referenced from auspiciousdragon.com on the Leica M8, the capabilities of a 10 Mp DSLR now equate to a MF camera and if Pentax WERE to dump the 645D, then their best survival opportunity will be to concentrate on this segment of their business model-which is their strongest. If they add 2 more DLSRs with higher pixel counts and improved feature sets (Any hints here, Ben?) and fix the AF issues with the K10D, keep adding to the lens lineup with intelligent choices that give us unique and usable options, and solve their supply demand logistics then they will survive.
I look on their current actions as smart business moves to prevent a hostile takeover by Hoya that WILL destroy the company, so am not overly concerned. Let's stop spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) and wait this out, okay?
Rob W
05-10-2007, 06:37 AM   #14
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Folks, what everyone seems to be missing about the Pentax camera business is this: The DSLRs or even compacts are not the big mover re. profitability. The blame is on 'camera components' pricing having dropped, and Pentax seems to be in the 'camera components' business - in other words, supplying stuff to other makes.

At least the company statements about their earnings cited this as a drag on their camera operation's profitability.
05-10-2007, 07:15 AM   #15
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I sincerely hope to stay with Pentax. I appreciate what the Pentax company has done for photography and photographers in general around the world. I appreciate that I can buy a 30 year old Pentax lens for relatively little cost (although demand has pushed prices up) and it will work on the most modern Pentax Digital.
What ever the out come is I sincerely thank the Pentax corporation for this.

I, like most, really have absolutely no idea what is going on with issues such as Hoya , selling HQ and etc - but I wish the current board the best in their corporate battle as I assume they believe they are doing what they feel is best for an old traditional Japanese company and what is best for Pentax consumers. The only other help I can offer is I put down a deposit on a Pentax 16-45mm Lens.

I also hope that serious photographers from the Nikon, Canon and Olympus camps do what ever they can to support the survival of Pentax as it is in their interest to have a viable Pentax putting pressure on, to further develop the digital SLR camera and lens.
I suspect those in the other camps making disparaging remarks and gloating are just those weird looking nerds with their 350d rebels and kit lens strutting around like pros (Gotta let a bit of bitterness out).

Anyway Pentax - although I think there are more important things to pray for; My prayers are with you - Good Luck.
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