Does Ricoh's lack of roadmap mean there is no roadmap?

Started Feb 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 35,622
Re: Does Ricoh's lack of roadmap mean there is no roadmap?

Andrewteee wrote:

I have to admit I don't understand the desire for the non-camera units. IMO they don't increase the appeal of an already fantastic photographic tool and I don't they would sell very well. I buy cameras to take pictures and nothing more. For storage, I have my computer as well as numerous backups.

The commercial numbers game says that although such units could be produced they would certainly be very low volume and therefore very expensive. Consequently Ricoh would have to factor in an even llower sales rate to break even and they would be even more expensive. Note how a clip on evf - any clip on accessory - is relatively expensive because it does not necessarily sell with every camera body. Lens units by themself are relatively expensive as well for much the same reason.

I'm not trying to denigrate anyone else's wishes, I just think that as a matter of practicality and business sensibility these non-photographic units would have little appeal.

Agreed - their retail pricing would kill them dead in the water. They practically give away cheap serviceable printers there days.

If that is the case, does Ricoh shelf the GXR system - still build and sell units but not release anything new? Or does it continue to update the existing units to current specs every 18-24 months?

An interesting problem. If they merely started to upgrade the sensor on existing lens units then I think that those that bought them would soon become wary of investing in them - especially those that had been around for a while. The only commercial sense I can make out of it would be for them to make (say) an A16 50mm f1.9 non-macro and reduce the price of their current 50mm macro unit and keep selling it in parallel. In this way user of the current module would still have a use for it and it would continue to perform as well as it ever did. In this way Ricoh could increase their effective range of modules without rendering the existing modules obsolete. Some time down the track when stocks of the present A12 50mm module were runnng low they might make a new batch with a 20mp sensor?

Or does Ricoh both update existing units and continue to release new ones (the stated plan was to release 2 new units per year)? If they release new units then will they also update existing units over time?

See above - once they have the basic range of focal lengths covered they will be re-issued with enough subtle twists to make them not exactly directly competitive with previously released modules. So you can have a macro 50mm on A12 or a fast non-macro 50mm on A16.

I have no inside knowledge of Ricoh's planning and will be as surprised as the next man when we discover what they actually will do.

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Tom Caldwell

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