Ricoh(Pentax) FF - issues and strategical opportunities

Started Jul 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Yanko Kitanov
Senior MemberPosts: 2,680
Ricoh(Pentax) FF - issues and strategical opportunities
Jul 7, 2011

The recent Pentax acquisition resulted in many FF threads.

I am an experienced M&A consultant and a photographer at the same time, so I would like to share my opinion on this matter.

I hope if you've grown tired of all the FF threads you will just forgive me for starting another one. I have answered in a recent FF thread so I will use a certain part of what I wrote there in this post

To have a FF body a company needs to get many things right, to mention just a few of them - the appropriate AF system - speed, accuracy, consistency, C.AF.

To have a FF body a company needs to have the appropriate lens line up to get the full potential out of current FF sensors (30+MP ?) - this means fast, high resolution lenses with good contrast and colour rendition, not to mention - lacking any AF issues. All the way from fish-eye to super telephoto.

To have a FF body a company needs tethering support and third party producers (lenses, lighting, accessories) support. Also flash system - a modern flash system is always a big advantage and a dated one is a disadvantage of course.

Canon and Nikon have met these requirements and they have FF systems. Sony is working hard on these.

What does Pentax do in these terms? The AF system is behind the competitors, noticeably and visibly. The lens line-up is dated and no matter that some of these are really good lenses they are not on pair with the Canon's L glass or Sony's Zeiss glass both in terms of resolution and in terms of corrections.

Pentax does not develop its software anywhere near Nikon's or Canon's proprietary solutions.

Pentax is not supported any more by third party producers due poor ROI of theses producers and the poor ROI is due to its poor ranking in terms of sales - Very far behind the market leaders.
Pentax has a dated flash system.

I am not trolling or insulting Pentax - I use Pentax myself and like it, I am just being realistic regarding FF.

I would really love a FF Pentax, but then I would love some good lenses for it WITH SANE PRICING - the current outdated, but expensive line is comparatively overpriced for it is imho.

Yes it is not a simple process to get all this right, but I believe it is very rewarding in terms of sales strategy.

What I mean is - Pentax has no FF, but has perhaps the best in terms of IQ APS-C DSLRs (together with Nikon). Canon has excellent Pro FF cameras with exquisite L lenses, but has quite mediocre APS-C cams with lower IQ and quite average cheap APS-C lenses. What happens? People see the excellent Pro gear from Canon and don't see any such gear from Pentax and they react - they believe that Canon is the producer with the best quality and buy as crazy the crappy EOS xxxD and xxD while not even taking a couple of hours to compare them with the Pentax APS-C cams, as they see no reason doing so.

Now back to the big picture - no matter the excellent FF Canon cams and the great L series these result some 20% of their sales and have poor ROI, but their marketing effect is massive - the crappy already low CoS APS-C sell with great ROI and excellent economies of scale, because as noted above people buy them like crazy, since they just see that most Pros walk around with the Canon brand on their necks, socks, underwear, etc.

So should Ricoh(Pentax) try this?

Well no matter my experience in management consulting and M&A I lack the information and the research to give any conclusive advise in such a difficult industry, but I know that just for the marketing’s sake this option should not be easily dismissed, no matter what will the issues Ricoh and Pentax will have to solve on their way.

The industry clearly shows - FF is always a huge cost centre, but no matter what the actual revenue centre will be – APS-C, mirrorless or advanced P&S the presence of a Pro level FF system with Pros actually using it and advertising it will greatly benefit the sales of all product lines. Top 3 - Canon, Sony and Nikon are a good support for this point.

Have a great day/evening!
Kind Regards,
Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow