Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele...

Started Dec 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,230
I repeat, 'pro' market is for marketing, for visibility
3

John_A_G wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

My point is - Ricoh/Pentax doesn't have the luxury of all those high margin items without the professional base to consume them. So, they have to pick their battles.

There's a common, ongoing misconception that the 'professional base' represents a significant number of sales - it doesn't. It's tiny, and getting smaller. It's a fraction of the enthusiast base.

It is your ASSUMPTION that is wrong. You have zero empirical evidence.

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It's arithmetic.

The Chicago Sun-times, second largest paper in the Chicago area, which is one of the top three markets in the US, just laid off it's entire photography staff - and that amounted to 28 people. Say there's another 30 at the Tribune, and then it drops off precipitously as the circulation gets smaller, so maybe there are 100 total employer-subsidized PJ's in the Chicago area. Multiply that by the top 15 markets (and there are going to be less employed at the papers in the lower half of that 15, but...) and we have around 1500 PJ's in the top 15 markets in the US. Let's be (very) generous and estimate 25 staff PJs on average in the next 30 markets, and we have another 750 employer-subsidized journalists. That's maybe 2300 PJs in the top 45 media markets in the US.

So if we estimate that Canon gets half and Nikon the other half (it's probably more like 70-30, but..) and the papers buy a new FF camera for an individual PJ on average once every three years, we have Nikon for example selling 1150 / 3 = 385 cameras per year to the PJs that make up the top 45 markets in the US.

Now consider that Nikon made 30,000 D800's per month in 2012 - that's just the D800, not D600, D4, not Canon 5D,6D,D1 -  and you see how the enthusiast FF market utterly dwarfs the 'pro' FF market.

Now the additional kicker - that's camera sales, to pros, in the top 45 markets. Cameras are high-turnover items compared to $4000+ telephotos. A news organization can buy one telephoto every decade and share it among staff (as the Mpls Start Tribune did,) or they can rent them - so the attrition rate for these lenses is going to be much less even than the anemic camera-body sales to pros in these markets.

UPI, AP? Maybe down to 500 photographers employed between them. Probably less, now, and how many of that shrinking number needs to buy a new $4000+ telephoto each year? AP shares equipment like that, Getty will loan out a telephoto when needed...

Sigma/Tamron do not need the pros to make volume. If they had to depend on pros only for long-telephoto sales, there would be no long-telephoto lenses.

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....

As a small player, they can't compete in all segments and succeed - no different than any other type of market. I think they need to embrace the roll of a niche provider - the key to their future is betting on the "right" niche. Canon and Nikon can hedge their bets. I don't think Ricoh can - they need to decide in the next year what market they want to pursue

'niche' is the death-embrace they find themselves in, but it's almost by default, due to the circumstances and motivations of their parent companies the past 5 years.

The questions we have to ask are: Is K-mount part of Ricoh's long-term plans? If it is, how can it survive in a shrinking aps-c DSLR segment only? Are the actions of 3rd-party manufacturers a canary in the coal mine, a dismissal of this strategy?

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niche is not a death embrace. trying to be competitive in all market segments when you don't have the same capital or market reach as the competition is.

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Which is why you may want to concentrate on your bread n' butter - K-mount - and you can't expect to continue to sell K-mount aps-c DSLRs in the same volume you did as recently as 2010 in 2014, 2018, 2020.

If they want K-mount to thrive, or even survive, they'll need an FF body. Arguing against this just seems like spitting into the wind.

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Here are a few of my favorite things...
---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/95095968@N00/sets/72157626171532197/

 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
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