Pentax news from a dealer

Started Apr 27, 2013 | Discussions
birdseed007
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Pentax news from a dealer
Apr 27, 2013

Just been into my local Pentax pro centre to buy a D-BG4 grip for my recently acquired K5 and was chatting to a couple of the staff.  They were saying that they're really noticing a difference with the Pentax company nowadays:

1.  The sales reps are much more visible - the Pentax guy has been at the store twice in two weeks

2.  The products are superb and better built than the equivalent competitors with some really superb quality features

3.  They told me that the rep informed them FF would be next year and compatible with K mount - other than that he wouldn't be drawn.  What they did say was that when they tried to probe the rep about what's coming down the pipe' he just sat there grinning like a cheshire cat actually trying not to smirk but he basically indicated that there are several things coming down the pipe in the near future that are going to blow the public away.  The rep apparently said that in recent years Pentax had become a niche player but with Ricoh backing they were going to be reclaiming the middle ground of photography in both the compact and DSLR arenas.  In short he indicated Pentax are serious about getting back to being back where they were in the film days.

Personally I don't think this is impossible if they can offer better built cameras which undercut the competition.  In the film days Pentax cameras sold in their millions because they felt beautiful in the hand, offered excellent features, were cheaper than Nikon and more compact and portable than either Canon or Nikon.  Nowadays I reckon their advantages are:

Far better built than rival brands (feel beautiful in the hand), weather sealed unlike the competition, are cheaper than both Nikon and Canon and remain more compact and portable than Nikon and Canon.  The reasons I bought the K5 over the D7000:

Metal build compared to plasticky

More compact than Nikon - you can make a camera bigger with a battery grip, you can't make it smaller though

Faster FPS than everything except Sony (handy for catching kids in action)

Price/value for money

Image quality - according to independent tests better than all the competition at the price.

In body stabilisation

Legacy lens compatibility

Lenses generally cheaper than Canon/Nikon

Finally I rather enjoy going against the grain and supporting an underdog!

I actually think even without the forthcoming releases as somebody who only had one lens from Pentax worth keeping so could have switched system with relative ease I still reckon the Pentax was the only one I really fell in love with and I bet I'm not alone.  They're built like a Leica/D4 - just amazing cameras!!

My only beef is the rip off pricing in the UK for the lenses.  As an example I want to buy the Pentax 12-24mm and it's £799 in the UK.  It's £470 for crying out loud even on the high street in the US which is about what I would pay for the Sigma 10-20mm.  I'm lucky I have a Brother in New York and I think he might just be bringing me over a 'present'!!  In all honesty if the difference in price was say £470 in the UK and perhaps £570 equivalent in the USA then I would buy from the UK but I'm just not prepared to pay nearly double, in fact it's not just a case of not being prepared to - I really can't afford to pay £800 on a lens, I'm struggling to justify £470!

It's time for the British middlemen and retailers to stop fleecing us...

Incidentally the D-BG4 has made the K5 feel like a very serious pro level camera indeed - it just feels so right in the hand.

Birdseed007

Nikon D7000 Pentax K-5
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Michael de Ruijter
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 27, 2013

We keep shooting and look forward to the future products with great anticipation and probably wa-a-a-ay too much expectation.

I'm still quite happy though.

I'll say a new mount shouldn't be hard or scary to implement - give it an extremely short registration distance and produce an inexpensive adapter that will enable normal functionality of K lenses. And yes I'm aware of some of the associated design issues, so let's leave that up to the designers.

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Zvonimir Tosic
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Here we go again. A story worth of a song
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 27, 2013

birdseed007 wrote:

Just been into my local Pentax pro centre to buy a D-BG4 grip for my recently acquired K5 and was chatting to a couple of the staff.  They were saying that they're really noticing a difference with the Pentax company nowadays: ...

... The rep apparently said that ...

Here we go again

Pentax's rep back in town again

I'll take him back again

One more time

Here we go again

Rumours will ring again

I'll be fool again, I will

One more time ...

"Here we go again", (by Norah Jones and Ray Charles).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1bDniBj-C8

A much better, mellower substitute for these recurring, never ending threads.

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coaltrain
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 27, 2013

I'm not great with currency conversion, but the DA 12-24 sells for $730US at all the big retailers. I just did a google currency conversion and that comes to $560 euro.

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~Stan~

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anthony mazzeri
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 27, 2013

Next year??

And what exactly does the middle ground in compacts and DSLRs mean? What would be a current example?

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Rod McD
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 27, 2013

Hi,

Look I'm well invested in Pentax and share your enthusiasm for their products, but I think we should be a bit more judicious about believing the language of sales reps........  I'm very confident Pentax will offer products through this year and into next year and every other year.  As to whether "the public will be blown away" we shall see.  I hope they are, but I'm prepared to put it down to sales hyperbole.  On a Pentax FF, well I think all the straws in the wind say K mount DSLR and some time in 2014.  And on IQ, I don't think any brand excels over any other.  They're all capable of delivering great IQ - the choice of brand is more about enjoying the product and how you get your images.

Patience, Rod

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Zvonimir Tosic
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to anthony mazzeri, Apr 27, 2013

anthony mazzeri wrote:

Next year??

It is very likely that they didn't think going the FF route at all, all until the Photokina 2012 (late 2012). Then when others have flooded the market with FFs, and further segmented the market, they have waken up and started seriously thinking about it.

Which is unbelievable, but could be concluded from the Photokina 2012 and CP+ 2013 interviews. I still can't believe they didn't have a contingency plan or something.

And what exactly does the middle ground in compacts and DSLRs mean? What would be a current example?

Their traditional market were advanced amateurs; people passionate about photography. They are the middle ground of photography, so to speak, but not strictly into top pro photography game. To such crowd, Pentax addresses needs quite nicely.

But in digital age, those borders between different user groups are more blurred than ever, and I think addressing the needs of all possible users and attracting as many as possible diverse groups is the only way to be considered a serious market player.

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brecklundin
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ha..ha...funny...
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 27, 2013

that one made me chuckle.  Still, I wanna look at this as a glass half full.  I've been away from shooting for almost a year due to health probs and I see some cynacism but not as much as even just last year.

Of course us longer run Pentaxites can't help but be at least a tiny bit cynical.  After my time away from participating beyond doing a small amount of studio product shooting my eyes tell me, based on what seems just stabilization of the whole company (just a sense no hard info of course) Pentax might have rounded that bend since the aquisition by Ricoh after Hoya's horrible Reign of Terror and marketing spin doctoring.  After that how and anything else seem negative, seriously, Ricoh seems very focused on making Pentax a brand worthy of consideration for all levels of photographers.  Hoya never had any intention of really building the brand they were after Pentax assets beyond the camera division.

Anyway thanks for that creative expression of the underlying cynacism most all of us have.  Very humorous.

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Cosmo Not
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 28, 2013

I dont think middle ground meant their niche, I think it refers ro their market share. In otherwords they plan to surpass all the other small players, all but canikon. They also stated recently a 5 year plan to reach 3rd in the market, it was on a recent thread here. As for the rumors, I am optimistic. I am new to pentax but I find it hard to believe a long standing company would throw away all that history by lying. Photogs are fickle, if you turn on us we will bite you back. A smart company should know if you lie about things it will generate interest today but frustrate us tomorrow. I find it hard to believe they are that desperate, especially with Ricoh's money. On the other hand, I've read many threads saying the same thing, one where they claimed a "new technology" in developement? Even the rumors/news from before I decided to buy Pentax is consistent. I think it's legit, and if I am correct then the prople buying D600s are going to kick themselves in 2014.

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Brad99
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to Cosmo Not, Apr 28, 2013

Cosmo Not wrote:

On the other hand, I've read many threads saying the same thing, one where they claimed a "new technology" in developement? Even the rumors/news from before I decided to buy Pentax is consistent. I think it's legit, and if I am correct then the prople buying D600s are going to kick themselves in 2014.

I think Pentax have it in them to pull out something pretty big.  Even the lowly K-30 is almost as good as FF - just look at the DPR RAW comparisons.  After the K10 bad pattern noise had to be addressed they definitely learned a trick or two that Canon and Nikon haven't (yet) which then  enabled the fine K-5/K5-2/K-30 high ISO performance.  If they have any other tricks up their sleeve they'll walk the FF scene body-wise.  It will all come down to lenses if they are to make inroads sales-wise.

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brecklundin
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My money is still on DSLR as a PLATFORM
In reply to Cosmo Not, Apr 28, 2013

Really other than adding a much improved flash subsystem, making a FF device that is a true computing platform, perhaps even modular leveraging the whole modular part of Ricoh's tech, not much else would be really an innovation to the Pentax family.  I also agree there is no reason to misdirect users because that is how Hoya treated us all, kinda like mushrooms...and you know how you treat a mushroom...keep them in the dark and shovel manure over them.  

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essH
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 28, 2013

birdseed007 wrote:


My only beef is the rip off pricing in the UK for the lenses.

It's time for the British middlemen and retailers to stop fleecing us...

I agree the UK pricing is high - it's been that way a long time. The thing I don't agree on is why the pricing is the way it is - my info is that it is NOT the British middlemen and retailers that are setting the high prices - it's the prices set by Pentax for the supply of the products into the UK (and Europe).

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Simon

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Cane
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 28, 2013

These 'public will be blown away' comments kill me. Pentax waits like 3 years after someone else blows away the public to roll out the same features. I'd be blown away by basic tethering, wifi, articulating screen, better flash....

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BobORama
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to Michael de Ruijter, Apr 28, 2013

Michael de Ruijter wrote:

We keep shooting and look forward to the future products with great anticipation and probably wa-a-a-ay too much expectation.

I'm still quite happy though.

I'll say a new mount shouldn't be hard or scary to implement - give it an extremely short registration distance and produce an inexpensive adapter that will enable normal functionality of K lenses. And yes I'm aware of some of the associated design issues, so let's leave that up to the designers.

Its fantastic that you are so well informed.    I would only observe that making a shallower mount is at odds with a larger sensor, so I suspect they will stick with the K mount on a FF model, as they have 50 years of evidence as to how that works.

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BobORama
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to Michael de Ruijter, Apr 28, 2013

Also the problems with Pentax as a brand are not solved by further isolating engineering decisions from customers, but rather aligning them.   Between the Pentax "stealth marketing" and designing in a vacuum, they nearly killed themselves.

When I call up Pentax and report a bug with the camera, I don't expect "well, that's not a defect, you can still take pictures can't you?"

Each of us needs the camera to handle the work we do, and to dismiss operational issues because the average cat fancier never experiences them... that's stupid when you want to maintain Pentax as a prosumer / pro brand.   Its a pro brand when pros willingly elect to use it.

There is a very palpable sense that the global marketing channel has very little impact on the Japan engineering team, and that for the most part the people we talk to to provide feedback have no ability to effect change.   Its a sick model, and hits at an ineffective organization.   My hope was that this would be taken care of by Ricoh - which seems to have an orthogonal attitude - making products which use the software to maximize the hardware's usability rather than conceal it.

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Zvonimir Tosic
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Only thing I can add to Bob's note ...
In reply to BobORama, Apr 29, 2013

BobORama wrote:

...

When I call up Pentax and report a bug with the camera, I don't expect "well, that's not a defect, you can still take pictures can't you?"

Each of us needs the camera to handle the work we do, and to dismiss operational issues because the average cat fancier never experiences them... that's stupid when you want to maintain Pentax as a prosumer / pro brand.   Its a pro brand when pros willingly elect to use it.

.. Is that Pentax will be perceived as a viable choice once news reporters and paparazzi start using Pentax gear, instead of usual Canons and Nikons (even Leicas – see that guy over there).

There is a very palpable sense that the global marketing channel has very little impact on the Japan engineering team, and that for the most part the people we talk to to provide feedback have no ability to effect change.   Its a sick model, and hits at an ineffective organization.   My hope was that this would be taken care of by Ricoh - which seems to have an orthogonal attitude - making p

Otherwise, I think you are spot on Bob.

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— Edward Steichen

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wll
wll
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to Cane, Apr 29, 2013

Cane wrote:

These 'public will be blown away' comments kill me. Pentax waits like 3 years after someone else blows away the public to roll out the same features. I'd be blown away by basic tethering, wifi, articulating screen, better flash....

I'm a real Pentax fan boy, but I agree 100% .... I'd be blown away by tethering and an articulating screen !

wll

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Cosmo Not
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Re: Only thing I can add to Bob's note ...
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 29, 2013

One thing I think will set in is the great low light AF. This is perfect for paparazzi or candid type work, PI work ect. I looked at the 6D as I believe it matches the new K5s but the pentax was much cheaper. I am curious if they will push this further and corner the market for low light AF. I cant convey how nice it is to not worry about having bright light just to focus. If people really take notice of this it will win over a lot of buyers.

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Ian J G
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Re: Pentax news from a dealer
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 29, 2013

Well, I remember when Apple was on the edge of bankruptcy – now look at them.

In principle, sure they can turn things around, all depends on management and strategy.

Conversely, there's no obvious reason such an outcome is likely to happen.

Though I think being backed by an extremely large corporation like Ricoh does make a very big difference. A company like that is more naturally ambitious and has resources it can use if it wants to.

The Hoya period just wasn't so good.

Ian

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kenyee
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plasticky?
In reply to birdseed007, Apr 29, 2013

birdseed007 wrote:  The reasons I bought the K5 over the D7000:

Metal build compared to plasticky

Interesting that you thought the D7000 was plasticky.  They've come a long way...I thought the D7000 felt fine and it has nice features like dual mem slots.

That said, I'm hoping Ricoh does well and does what works instead of the gazillion color DSLRs

If the GR is any indication, it should be interesting.  I'm just disappointed it won't be available in time for a trip I have next month

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