Rumoured Pentax FF : follow classic mz5n

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
noshea
Junior MemberPosts: 39
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Re: Rumoured Pentax FF : follow classic mz5n
In reply to Petroglyph, 9 months ago

Petroglyph wrote:

Barry Pearson wrote:

noshea wrote:

Let's start from the facts that:

a) Ricoh does not have the resources to throw at FF that SoCanikon does

Ricoh is larger than Nikon

For year end 2013 Ricoh had a market cap of around 135.3 billion yen and did 1.9 bn yen of sales in 2012/13 and an EBIT margin of 4%. Just under 7% of revenues came from its 'other' division, which includes cameras.

Stock market oriented analysis of Ricoh is dominated by the prospects for the copier/scanner etc. business, which accounts for almost all other revenue.

Nikon has a market cap of 705 billion yen, did sales of around 1 billion yen (EBIT margin 5%). Of sales, 74.4% came from its imaging segment, which is dominated (if not completely) by cameras, judging by its 2013 Annual Report.

So, Ricoh is indeed the bigger company by market cap and by overall sales but are polar opposites in terms of what they earn a living from and where their priorities lie.

Realistically, in the near term Nikon's future depends on growing its already meaningful share of the prosumer and upmarket camera market, whereas Ricoh's depends on the copier/scanner market. While this does not prevent Ricoh from throwing more money at its camera division the cut-throat market in cameras means that Ricoh's only realistic reason to invest heavily in the camera division would be because it wants to go from sub-scale to scale, or because it thinks it can make high margins by exploiting particular niches, while not needing to expand market share greatly. From the perspective of people who know where Ricoh and Nikon sit in the cameraworld foodchain, only the latter seems plausible.

For Ricoh, incremental spend, using existing good platforms (Pentax, Ricoh), would bring modest benefits in terms of market share and margin (see my first post). Hardly an exciting story, but several companies like Ricoh and Olympus have held onto their small-in-the-scheme-of-the-company camera divisions in apparent defiance of an economic logic that would suggest that they should sell to a specialist, like Nikon. The given excuse for selling might be imaging synergies across the business but I suspect this is just as much a case of ‘culture beats strategy’; there is room in the boardroom for an attachment to heritage, after all!

Anyhoos, my point is that I think Ricoh’s bigger size is indeed a guide to what they will spend on FF, but I draw the opposite conclusion. The investment will be modest in relative and absolute terms for Ricoh, which is not to say that the results of that investment can’t be spectacular, if you’re into quirky high-end cameras!

IBIS is a must. Otherwise so many K-mount FF lenses wouldn't have image stabilisation.

I suspect the K-3 body is already big enough. But I doubt if 24 MP is enough - that sounds like a cop-out.

If they can keep IBIS wonderful, but I haven't missed it as much in my D3 and non-VR pro Nikon zooms much at all - I have very few images suffering from obvious camera shake and I stay within sensible ISOs. It's a definite advantage for telephotos. My workaround would be to have a crop-sensor K3 as well, so you get the magification effect as well as the IBIS.

I think Ricoh recently said they plan to use the K3 body for a future FF offering.  (Maybe I imagined it).  My impression of Ricoh is they are swinging for the fences every time now, they'll use the best sensor they can obtain and are probably prototyping the 36MP with plans to use whatever improvements Sony can make by the time of launch.  Same sensor in a digital LX? hmm, if they get the pricing correct they'd sell a bunch of those.

Cheers.

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