Re: Why I think Pentax is doomed

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bruce, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 18:39:02 -0500, Rich <> wrote:
    >Nikon, Canon and to a much lesser extent, Sony look to dominate the DSLR
    >realm. Period. Olympus will shortly move completely away from DSLR's to
    >interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras like the E-P1, though they will
    >probably save the basic DSLR shape. Panasonic has already done this.
    >Pentax has no place. Aside from selling a handful of DSLR's to die-hard
    >and "in short supply"Pentax fans, they have no real place in the higher-
    >level camera realm. They don't impress very much. They have no niche
    >and they can't compete with C-N-S.
    >
    >This, from "Luminous Landscape" kind of sums it up:
    >
    >http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/k7-hands.shtml
    >
    >I have a confession to make. I found the Pentax K7 to be a competent
    >camera.
    >
    >That's a confession?
    >
    >Well, it is in a way because it goes toward explaining why I don't have a
    >lot to say about the K7's image quality or its overall appeal. It's a
    >competent camera and does a lot of things well and not too many poorly.
    >Image quality is fine, but not exceptional, and maybe a bit noisier than
    >some.
    >
    >But therein lies its failing in my eyes. The camera isn't compelling for
    >any reason. In marketing terms it doesn't appear to offer a USP (Unique
    >Selling Proposition). Almost every aspect of the camera is competent, and
    >there are only a few failings. But it also doesn't really excel at
    >anything. It isn't the fastest, the sharpest, the highest resolution, the
    >smallest, the lightest, the fastest focusing, or have the fastest frames
    >rates.
    >
    >In other words, the Pentax K7 is like a middle child who gets lost in the
    >shuffle in a large family, between the cute young ones and the mature and
    >smarter older ones, or the really attractive sibling that garners all of
    >the attention.



    I think you're right. Pentax had a brief period when their DSLRs sold
    well, with the K10D holding first place in Japan's best seller lists
    for almost a year.

    But it has all been downhill since then. The K20D was a minimal
    advance on the K10D, and the K7D does no more than fix some of the
    K20D's deficiencies but at a very high cost. Even with all that
    expense, the K7D is sadly inferior to the Nikon and Canon "prosumer"
    DSLRs - cameras that the K7D fails to compete with.

    The partnership with Samsung has gone sour - to the point that Pentax
    won't even state who makes the sensor for the K7D. Samsung seems to
    have given up on DSLRs altogether.

    The low-end Pentax DSLRs offer nothing special either, and are
    undercut on price by Sony, a brand that offers nothing special in
    terms of technology or ability, but at least offers low prices.

    Here in the UK, the biggest retailer of DSLR cameras, Jessops, has
    stopped selling Pentax products altogether - this in a market that has
    been traditionally very strong for Pentax.

    So there won't be many first-time DSLR buyers choosing Pentax, nor
    prosumer DSLR buyers, nor anything in between. Now Samsung has fallen
    by the wayside, Pentax knows it needs a new partner to share
    development costs, but who on earth would want to partner Pentax now?

    So yes, you are right: Pentax is probably doomed, and confirmation
    will come over the next year when new Pentax products will be few and
    far between.
    Bruce, Oct 8, 2009
    #1
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  2. On Thu, 08 Oct 2009 00:59:14 +0100, Bruce wrote:
    > The low-end Pentax DSLRs offer nothing special either, and are
    > undercut on price by Sony, a brand that offers nothing special in
    > terms of technology or ability, but at least offers low prices.


    The image stabilisation is one of those special features, offered before
    by Sony/KM.

    > Here in the UK, the biggest retailer of DSLR cameras, Jessops, has
    > stopped selling Pentax products altogether - this in a market that has
    > been traditionally very strong for Pentax.


    Pentax increased prices significantly in Europe, while they dropped
    service quality. They were significantly cheaper before, both on
    recommended prices and despite of much lower market share even on
    street prices - gone by now.

    One of the other unique features is the long term backwards
    compatibility of all K-mount lenses ever around.

    But is that enough, especially when Pentax does focus on APS-C only?

    On the other hand, what's special about Nikon? No very special mount
    suited for the AF area, not to speak of the digital one. But that's more
    the pro league, going full format again.

    Canon is its major competitor.

    But Pentax still offers a nice range of prime lenses, where the others
    do focus on zooms.

    Does this change picture quality? Hardly, maybe due to photoshopping.

    But I'm not sure about any long term guess for CNOPS...
    Martin
    Martin Trautmann, Oct 8, 2009
    #2
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  3. Bruce

    John Turco Guest

    Bruce wrote:

    <heavily edited for brevity>

    > The low-end Pentax DSLRs offer nothing special either, and are
    > undercut on price by Sony, a brand that offers nothing special in
    > terms of technology or ability, but at least offers low prices.
    >
    > Here in the UK, the biggest retailer of DSLR cameras, Jessops, has
    > stopped selling Pentax products altogether - this in a market that has
    > been traditionally very strong for Pentax.
    >
    > So there won't be many first-time DSLR buyers choosing Pentax, nor
    > prosumer DSLR buyers, nor anything in between. Now Samsung has fallen
    > by the wayside, Pentax knows it needs a new partner to share
    > development costs, but who on earth would want to partner Pentax now?
    >
    > So yes, you are right: Pentax is probably doomed, and confirmation
    > will come over the next year when new Pentax products will be few and
    > far between.



    I said it before, and I'll say it again: Kodak needs to purchase
    Pentax. Then, this hybrid outfit could do something to challenge
    the Nikon/Canon DSLR hegemony...or, at least, overtake Sony (which,
    itself, benefited from the acquisition of Minolta's technology).

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Paintings Pain and Pun <http://laughatthepain.blogspot.com>
    John Turco, Oct 31, 2009
    #3
  4. Bruce

    John Turco Guest

    John Navas wrote:
    >
    > On Sat, 31 Oct 2009 00:31:15 -0500, John Turco <>
    > wrote in <>:
    >
    > >I said it before, and I'll say it again: Kodak needs to purchase
    > >Pentax. Then, this hybrid outfit could do something to challenge
    > >the Nikon/Canon DSLR hegemony...or, at least, overtake Sony (which,
    > >itself, benefited from the acquisition of Minolta's technology).

    >
    > Pentax is now just a division/brand of Hoya. It's been widely
    > speculated that the camera business, which isn't strategic to Hoya, will
    > be sold off. If so, Kodak probably makes sense as a potential buyer,
    > but Samsung probably makes even more sense, since it's already partnered
    > with Pentax. However, whether or not the Japanese government would
    > approve that kind of foreign acquisition is an open question.



    That would be palpably hypocritical of Japan's leaders, in my opinion!
    In 2008, they allowed Panasonic - the world's largest manufacturer of
    consumer electronics equipment - to absorb Sanyo, which is the planet's
    most prolific producer of digicams.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Paintings Pain and Pun <http://laughatthepain.blogspot.com>
    John Turco, Nov 23, 2009
    #4
  5. Here in the UK, the biggest retailer of DSLR cameras, Jessops, has
    stopped selling Pentax products altogether - this in a market that has
    been traditionally very strong for Pentax.

    So there won't be many first-time DSLR buyers choosing Pentax, nor
    prosumer DSLR buyers, nor anything in between. Now Samsung has fallen
    by the wayside, Pentax knows it needs a new partner to share
    development costs, but who on earth would want to partner Pentax now?

    So yes, you are right: Pentax is probably doomed, and confirmation
    will come over the next year when new Pentax products will be few and
    far between.
    Teraposa Lunodas, Nov 24, 2009
    #5
  6. Bruce

    Jack Guest

    snip

    Why should anyone care if Pentax goes out of business. There are more
    than enough camera companies left.
    Jack, Nov 28, 2009
    #6
  7. Bruce

    John Turco Guest

    Jack wrote:
    >
    > snip
    >
    > Why should anyone care if Pentax goes out of business. There are more
    > than enough camera companies left.



    Being the owner of a Pentax K100D, >I< happen to care.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Paintings Pain and Pun <http://laughatthepain.blogspot.com>
    John Turco, Dec 30, 2009
    #7
  8. Bruce

    rwalker Guest

    On Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:15:24 -0600, John Turco <>
    wrote:

    >Jack wrote:
    >>
    >> snip
    >>
    >> Why should anyone care if Pentax goes out of business. There are more
    >> than enough camera companies left.

    >
    >
    >Being the owner of a Pentax K100D, >I< happen to care.


    My two favorite cameras are both Pentax. Neither is a 35 mm. or
    digital. At one end is my Pentax 67 medium format SLR, and at the
    other is my Pentax Auto 110 SLR. Sadly, it doesn't look like I'll get
    to use the Auto 110 much longer, since no one is making 110 film any
    more. I may try my hand and slitting 35 mm. film and reloading the
    cassettes.

    My dream Pentax at the moment is this:

    http://www.photographyblog.com/news/pentax_645_digital_in_2010/

    Of course, if and when it appears, I'll probably need a second
    mortgage to afford it.
    rwalker, Dec 30, 2009
    #8
  9. Bruce

    dj_nme Guest

    rwalker wrote:
    > On Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:15:24 -0600, John Turco <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Jack wrote:
    >>> snip
    >>>
    >>> Why should anyone care if Pentax goes out of business. There are more
    >>> than enough camera companies left.

    >>
    >> Being the owner of a Pentax K100D, >I< happen to care.

    >
    > My two favorite cameras are both Pentax. Neither is a 35 mm. or
    > digital. At one end is my Pentax 67 medium format SLR, and at the
    > other is my Pentax Auto 110 SLR. Sadly, it doesn't look like I'll get
    > to use the Auto 110 much longer, since no one is making 110 film any
    > more. I may try my hand and slitting 35 mm. film and reloading the
    > cassettes.
    >
    > My dream Pentax at the moment is this:
    >
    > http://www.photographyblog.com/news/pentax_645_digital_in_2010/
    >
    > Of course, if and when it appears, I'll probably need a second
    > mortgage to afford it.


    The way that the project seemed to get dumped when Hoya took over does
    not bode well for the digital 645. :-(
    dj_nme, Dec 30, 2009
    #9
  10. Bruce

    rwalker Guest

    On Thu, 31 Dec 2009 00:22:19 +1100, dj_nme <>
    wrote:

    >rwalker wrote:
    >> On Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:15:24 -0600, John Turco <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Jack wrote:
    >>>> snip
    >>>>
    >>>> Why should anyone care if Pentax goes out of business. There are more
    >>>> than enough camera companies left.
    >>>
    >>> Being the owner of a Pentax K100D, >I< happen to care.

    >>
    >> My two favorite cameras are both Pentax. Neither is a 35 mm. or
    >> digital. At one end is my Pentax 67 medium format SLR, and at the
    >> other is my Pentax Auto 110 SLR. Sadly, it doesn't look like I'll get
    >> to use the Auto 110 much longer, since no one is making 110 film any
    >> more. I may try my hand and slitting 35 mm. film and reloading the
    >> cassettes.
    >>
    >> My dream Pentax at the moment is this:
    >>
    >> http://www.photographyblog.com/news/pentax_645_digital_in_2010/
    >>
    >> Of course, if and when it appears, I'll probably need a second
    >> mortgage to afford it.

    >
    >The way that the project seemed to get dumped when Hoya took over does
    >not bode well for the digital 645. :-(


    Oh, I hadn't heard that part of the story. My actually owning one was
    a pipe dream anyway.
    rwalker, Dec 31, 2009
    #10
  11. Bruce

    John Turco Guest

    rwalker wrote:
    >
    > On Wed, 30 Dec 2009 00:15:24 -0600, John Turco <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Jack wrote:
    > >>
    > >> snip
    > >>
    > >> Why should anyone care if Pentax goes out of business. There are
    > >> more than enough camera companies left.

    > >
    > >
    > >Being the owner of a Pentax K100D, >I< happen to care.

    >
    > My two favorite cameras are both Pentax. Neither is a 35 mm. or
    > digital. At one end is my Pentax 67 medium format SLR, and at the
    > other is my Pentax Auto 110 SLR. Sadly, it doesn't look like I'll get
    > to use the Auto 110 much longer, since no one is making 110 film any
    > more. I may try my hand and slitting 35 mm. film and reloading the
    > cassettes.


    <edited for brevity>

    By coincidence, I also own an Auto 110 and two of its lenses.
    They were handed down to me, by a relative, in May of 2006. A
    couple of months earlier, I'd bought a Pentax ZX-60 kit (35mm
    film SLR).

    Although, I've never used either camera, the ZX-60's bundled lens
    (28mm F3.5-80mm F5.6) has been mounted on my K100D, ever since I
    got the body-only DSLR (in September, 2008).

    Then, again, I didn't snap a single shot with the K100D, during
    all of 2009; it last saw action, on June 3, 2007.

    I have several Kodak P&S digicams, including a pair of "bridge"
    types, such as the P850. It's become my favorite digital device
    of all, as it's the right blend of sophistication and size.

    The P850's image quality rivals that of the K100D, itself...and
    without the latter's bulk and weight, which tend to discourage
    casual picture-taking, somewhat.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Paintings Pain and Pun <http://laughatthepain.blogspot.com>
    John Turco, Jan 14, 2010
    #11
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