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

Started Dec 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,294
Re: Myths die hard

moving_comfort wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

You're saying that FF Pentax should do better against FF Nikon than crop Pentax does against crop Nikon? How could that possibly happen??

I outlined it already - the numbers in aps-c DSLR are skewed heavily by the massive numbers of entry-level aps-c bodies Canon/Nikon sell in places like Target, fueled by huge advertising budgets and promotions. You don't see FF cameras in nearly as many point of sale locations. We could very well see 1/8 or better ratio to Nikon, especially the first year of release. If they have the lenses.

Yeah, that could happen if they had the lenses. What are the odds of them having the lenses, in that first year? That question is easy to answer: there's no chance, it's impossible. Your hypothetical cannot happen.

The discussion was originally centered on the body, it showing a per-unit profit (which it would.) The lenses are a different issue with which you and I actually partially agree on.

My point is that the profitability of the body is dependent on the investment in lenses.  Per-unit costs don't matter if you only sell a few units.

But I wouldn't say it's impossible. They could possibly offer two f/2.8 zooms and a new prime the first year, which would be huge & generate a lot of excitement and (probably) sales, even before the FF body was introduced.

It would generate excitement and interest, but that is a very different thing from actually making it competitive with Nikon's offerings.  And the latter state is what's necessary if you want your sales scenario to happen.  The initial offering would certainly sell some to users of this forum, but to succeed against the big two even as well as our crop cameras do, they're going to have to be as solid a system as our crop cameras and lenses are, and that won't come until years later.

If they had started in 2010, with one to three new lenses introduced per year - we'd have a stable of FF lenses now that would have been selling the whole time, and an FF body could be introduced into a more lens-rich environment in 2014.

Yeah, they probably should have announced lens intentions first.

Even if it could, I doubt that the ratio between a FF Pentax and a D610 is going to be any better than a K-3 vs a D7100. Even at that level people mostly are discerning buyers.

It isn't just the initial investment, either. The only way to move it from a very narrow niche product which serves no function but to put a footmark in Nikon's territory, to where it's a real mainstream competitor, is to continue to make a whole series of further development investments in one lens after another, none of which can pay for itself until about three product generations later, because volume sales don't happen until the whole range is available to buyers.

You've sort of outlined the chicken-in-egg problem Pentax faces. Real FF body sales may not take off until they have a good fleet of FF lenses, but they can't sell a good number of FF lenses with only aps-c buyers currently in the fold, so ramp-up is hard.

In other words, ramp-up involves losing money.

No. The ramp-up (if done that way) involves a ROI that probably wouldn't be fully satisfied until after the FF body appears. That's not the same thing as 'losing money.'

I don't know if you've noticed this, but even popular camera systems have a difficult time being profitable enough to support themselves.  Look at Olympus -- everybody loves their cameras, but they were bleeding cash for years.  I think this idea that you can be profitable now, with a marginal product made as part of a long-term push for future position, is a fantasy.

It's kinda obvious they're really not doing it that way, though, unless they plan to release a FF body in 2016 or later. (All this assumes they plan to even stick with DSLR & K-mount.)

Maybe that's why they aren't doing lenses first... they're considering different mount options.  Rumor has it they built a prototype where the viewfinder and mirrorbox are part of an interchangeable module.

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Pentax Q Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +4 more
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