New review contradicts Ming on autofocus

Started May 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
BingoCharlie Contributing Member • Posts: 849
Re: New review contradicts Ming on autofocus

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:


The science of money says that a lower price assumes higher sales.  Nikon presumably did not see their A model as a big seller but more as a tentative sashay into the territory where Ricoh lurks.  So they might be happy enough to take reasonably good margins on small volume.

I refute the idea that Nikon "just happened" to make their A model and "very co-incidentally" it also "just happened" to be very like the GR when it was announced.  Also I place little regard for the Nikon A being to market earlier and therefore the assumption that Ricoh was copying "the A".

Ricoh is a bigger company than Nikon but we all know that Nikon is a bigger camera company than Ricoh and probably even Pentax-Ricoh combined.  Nikon is a company of high regard and presumably has the technical skills and r&d backing to design and make a camera to market much quicker than Ricoh can do.

I repeat my earlier allegations (my opinion only) that when Ricoh bought Pentax Nikon saw a potential dagger being pointed at it's dslr market (I can here "silent" laughter at this improbability from across the internet ... "they are all dear mates!").  In any case Nikon might have thought it a good idea to take the model market right up to the "cheeky" new revitalised Pentax-Ricoh company.  What better way to do this than bring out product aimed squarely at Ricoh's bragging machine?  Not only do industrial insiders know more than even the most up to date "spy" sites but also the GR type might have been a "fair guess" anyway. But it is hardly surprising that Ricoh remains tight lipped on it's planned models with the opposition capable of aceing every new model before they can get it to market.

See the demise of the GX model when Panasonic made it very clear that it owned the "LX" type and would market successive models with newer and more extensive features quicker to market than Ricoh could ever manage. Funnily enough the rate of release of the LX slowed remarkably once Ricoh pulled the plug on the GX.

However Nikon would not know the final release price of the GR and priced the A model on the high side to allow the price to be reduced if necessary.  They are bound to sell all the A models that they made, just how long it takes to sell at what price and in what quantity probably defines the fate of the "A2".  Ricoh on their hand have responded by starting the GR at a more keen price that makes the initial pricing of the A look rather silly and if it only was to be a small volume product then it might be harder for Nikon to reduce its RRP.  Especially if Ricoh decides to keep this type-market to itself and follows and price drops on the A with similar price reductions on the GR to keep the relative price difference margin intact.  If Ricoh intends to fight for this product then I guess it is known to have deeper resouces to do so than Nikon has.  In any case the GR is Ricoh's technical showpiece piece de resistance, the Nikon A is a "popular camera" sideline for them. By the same token Ricoh's more aggressive start price shows that it really wants to sell more GR cameras than GRD's and this will probably be in the USA for starters.

What concerns me more is that the reviews so far have not really delved very far under the hood of the GR and so far there seems to be a bit of "nice camera, takes great pictures, that is all we need", but there is not anything much more than an acknowledgement that there is a camera-engine of some sort inside.  I agree that is what the popular market wishes.  "Twist the dials and take more images."  On the other hand long term involved users know that what Ricoh does offer is something much more deeper and "more professional" if I can say this without offending others.  Only a dyed-in-the wool Ricohite can really understand what I mean - if this make me a "fanboy" then I am a fanboy.  No disrespect for the Nikon A it is no doubt the perfect camera for those that might choose one, but to seriously base the choice on captured images alone is to miss the whole point that the pleasant experience of using the tool and actually crafting the image is just as important as the image itself and makes trumped up issues such as "reds" and focus-speeds pale by comparision.

I am still awaiting the reviewer who dares explore under the hood of the GR, if you are not into the Ricoh way then you might take one look and shudder at the depth of settings available and just limit yourself to comparing the "bleeding-obvious" (with respect) to everybody.  In truth the only person really qualifed to properly test any new Ricoh camera is someone already used to the Ricoh firmware.  Anyone else must spend quite some time learning the intricities - far too long for any review publishing deadline.  Therefore we must get endless debates on the basis that a Ricoh is just like any other camera.  They are not.

I need my GR soon as I despair that no popular reviewer will do anything more than some empirical testing of colours, lenses, external controls, etc, and then pass off what else the Ricoh can be set to do for the photographers enjoyment as "complex menu system".  Far too complicated and unique, baffles the reviewer, so how can they explain this esoteric system to those with short attention spans that are quickly bored once the image details are covered. Sorry but all the evidence makes this seem true.  For those that think otherwise lets have a debate on just how deep and flexible the Rioch firmware actually is.

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Tom Caldwell


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Tom Caldwell

Tom, that's one of the best, most thoughtful and persuasive posts I've seen on these forums in a long time.  You had me right up until you decided to spike the football.

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