Photokina report - pentax interview

Started Oct 16, 2008 | Discussions
Michael Ho Junior Member • Posts: 38
Photokina report - pentax interview
1

News/Gossip.

Amateur Photographer UK quoted in their Photokina report supplement "Informer" - in 18 October issue this week, that Pentax is again considering manufacturing their digital medium-format system.

They have already developed the technology to deliver the 40-50 megapixel system. This was quoted by Toshiaki Iue, Vice President of Sales and Marketing to selected journalists. It all depends on the market research indicating if there is a big enough demand for such a model before commiting to manufacutring it. It would be Iue's preference to forge ahead with it, as a similar product is not available from either Canon or Nikon. If the research indicates that it isnt a commercial option then they are poised to go develop a FF DSLR. And that means going against against Canon and Nikon, and by Iue's own admission Pentax would be on the back foot.

He did not commit to a time frame, but recognised they needed to act quickly. Only one from the above could be produced in the short term - but in the longer term if things went well, both could be eventually produced. He said Pentax was open minded about producing a Micro Four Thirds model, but feels the K-m addresses that market (apparently the 'm' stands for mini).

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jackbw Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Market research -- why only now?

I wonder why they didn't do their market research BEFORE they finished R&D?

About a month ago I visited a pro photographer's studio to take a look at the Pentax 645N he was selling. He said he's been waiting for 2 years for that 645D and can't wait any longer. I didn't buy his 645N; apparently he didn't notice that his gorgeous FA 80-160mm F/4.5 lens was already infested with fungus. The guy has moved on with a Canon FF. Looking at his work displayed on the walls I got the feeling he was some big shot photographer who could have easily afforded a 645D.

JAKIE Regular Member • Posts: 134
Never going to happen

There will be no Medium Format Digital Camera from pentax.

Sorry to once again be the bearer of Bad (Reality based) News to this Happy go Lucky Forum, But It just wont happen.

The only 100 to 1 shot you have of it happening is if all the following take place soon.
Samsung Buys Hoya - Pentax Outright in a Non Cash. Non stock Deal.

The world Economy Not only recovers But all bad debt is forgiven and All inflated assets and prices return to Early 90s levels.

And if somehow, Pentax isn't one of the DSLR manufacturers That are likely to cease to exist in the near future.

Another way it could happen, and this is even Less likely. Is if Pentax announces they hit the lottery for one Billion $ and That they will subsidize all future Losses with those Winnings.

Or that they are out of the DSLR / P&S market Tomorrow and will solely concentrate on Only the Medium Format Digital Camera and They have figured out away to sell it for 1500$ or less.

Hoya is Hemoraghing money from the Pentax division. Go to - http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/index.html

and read any of the Financial Reports, Quarterly Reports. Sales figures etc.. That are all there for anyone Literate enough to read - by the way, they are all In English!

The Medium format Digital camera is a moral booster, Pet dream For the few remaining Pentax Japan Employees thats it. Think of it as a concept Car that runs on Salt water, Just isn't going to happen, but a Fun Idea none the less.

But, so as to not sound like a troll to those who think any critisism is a personal attack, I will make you a guarantee. If Pentax makes a Digital medium format camera in the next 2 years, I will Purchase it for you

Happy Dreaming - My offer stands for 2 years -

steephill Veteran Member • Posts: 9,861
645D for me

I am getting to that stage in life when I can afford big boys toys. I don't need it, just want it.

-- hide signature --
Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,185
Re: Market research -- why only now?

I wonder why they didn't do their market research BEFORE they
finished R&D?

Pentax has been adrift for the last several years, especially during the Hoya aquisition. However, that's now behind them, so they can focus and plan more effecitvely - assuming the current global financial crisis doesn't dissuade Hoya from their commitment to the Pentax imaging division. IMO there is a market for the 645D, provided the image quality is significantly better than FF can deliver. Full frame would be, again IMO, a financial sink-hole for them.

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geoffcole Senior Member • Posts: 1,550
Re: Market research -- why only now?

jackbw wrote:

I wonder why they didn't do their market research BEFORE they
finished R&D?

Do a search on this forum for '645D' and again for '645D 18MP' and you'll find that two years ago give or take a few months, Pentax was showing working prototypes of 645D cameras with 18MP sensors. These got delayed/deferred almost at the last minute to allow fitment of a 31MP sensor because the competition was demonstrating DSLRs with 10MP APS-C and 24x36mm sensors which would have seriously eroded the advantage of the medium format digital.

Fast forward, and the 645D project kept getting deferred -- first because Pentax needed to focus on getting the K100D and K10D out the door, then because of the Hoya acquisition, and then again for the K200D, the K20D, and the Km. During that time of course megapixel counts have continued to race ahead -- which IMO meant that market conditions probably did not have enough stability to warrant introduction of the 645D.

In summary, most of the R&D on the body was probably completed two years ago with tweaky updates along the way. Sensor R&D on the other hand probably leveraged off Pentax' effort to design its own CMOS sensor for the K20D in order yo not be held hostage to Sony release and shipping plans. All that was left was the right market conditions to release it...

Cheers,
Geoff.
--
http://geoffcole.smugmug.com/

WarrenKK
WarrenKK Contributing Member • Posts: 697
Re: 645D for me

Me as well. I hope my lens aren't gettin moldy.
--
WarrenKK

PetPeeve: posting a 800x600 to show anything other than how soft my lens is or why I need new glasses.

jeffkrol Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Re: Never going to happen

They have already made one and there are people who have used it...
I assume you mean produce one commercially...
I'll send you my mailing address next year so you can send me one...
................................
Pentax operations incurred a ¥134 million (1.32mil US) operating loss during
the period.Contributing to this situation were the structural reforms
we implemented to lay the foundations for future growth,business
strategy reviews and organizational revisions,asset revaluation losses,
and the amortization of goodwill that arose as the result of the merger.
--
360 minutes from the prime meridian. (-5375min, 3.55sec) 1093' above sea level.

'The exposure meter is calibrated to some clearly defined standards and the user needs to adjust his working method and his subject matter to these values. It does not help to suppose all kinds of assumptions that do not exist.'
Erwin Puts

yesman12 Contributing Member • Posts: 930
Re: Never going to happen

Where do i sign up to your generous offer of a 645D
--
A picture is worth a thousand words but talk is cheap.
Best regards
Nick

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JAKIE Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Never going to happen
-- hide signature --

The offer was for the op making the claims and "the I spoke to a rep who told me" type claims, that proliferate the forums
But to keep it fair I will extend the offer to you, as a bet.

If they commercially produce a medium format digital camera, that is NOT some half assed digital back type that goes on a film camera, then I will buy you one too.

However if they don't you owe me my DSLR of choice, and I will even keep it a reasonable in price model, Think Advanced amateur.

Care to put your money where your mouth is? Or have you suddenly become unsure of the rumors you spread of somebody using it etc... and iincomplete misleading financial figures.

P.S. Here are some memorable quotes you neglected to add

"Sales of cameras decreased from last year. This is because the market is now confronted with a price war, and single-lens reflex cameras have come close to saturation point. Under such harsh conditions, Pentax, which has only a small market share and lacks brand strength, has suffered the most severe damage over the last six months."

"Examining players in the camera industry, consumer electronics companies have entered the single-lens reflex camera market and adopted an aggressive approach in order to gain share in the compact cameras sector. The former balanced camera industry no longer exists, and the struggle for survival is expected
to become even more intense among a dozen companies"

"Q: What are the forecast figures of Pentax in the 2Q?

A: (CFO Ema) The forecasted growth rate for Pentax as a whole will show a decrease of 18.5% on a year-on-year basis in the 2Q. The breakdown is: a 20% decrease in IS, a 38% decrease in OC,"

"While a manufacturer of compact cameras using mainly plastic lenses have been riding high and expanding their share in the low-end market this year compared to the last, in view of glass lenses we faced severe market conditions, and it seems that glass lens market is not growing but rather shrinking."

Etc.....

jeffkrol Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Re: Never going to happen

JAKIE wrote:

No, I liked your original bet....
Or have you suddenly

become unsure of the rumors you spread of somebody using it etc...

If you haven't heard, the Pentax 645D was shown at the Tokyo Photo Show and was a working fully functional model...September looks good to me..

Well he was wrong about Sept. but when was a release date really that firm anyways.
http://forums.photographyreview.com/showthread.php?t=31034

There is one other person who (warnining unverified rumor) who stated that they had been a tester and 2-3 fully functional models existed.
The 645D was, by Hoya/Pentax admission, much more than vaporware...

and iincomplete misleading financial figures.

Incomplete maybe but as you stated earlier someone w/ half a brain could find more info

P.S. Here are some memorable quotes you neglected to add

"Sales of cameras decreased from last year. This is because the
market is now confronted with a price war, and single-lens reflex
cameras have come close to saturation point. Under such harsh
conditions, Pentax, which has only a small market share and lacks
brand strength, has suffered the most severe damage over the last six
months."

"Examining players in the camera industry, consumer electronics
companies have entered the single-lens reflex camera market and
adopted an aggressive approach in order to gain share in the compact
cameras sector. The former balanced camera industry no longer exists,
and the struggle for survival is expected
to become even more intense among a dozen companies"

"Q: What are the forecast figures of Pentax in the 2Q?
A: (CFO Ema) The forecasted growth rate for Pentax as a whole will
show a decrease of 18.5% on a year-on-year basis in the 2Q. The
breakdown is: a 20% decrease in IS, a 38% decrease in OC,"

Decreases in growth figures, though disturbing when negative, are errr misleading without the initial figures they are subtracted against... What if the -18% was following a year of +50%. Then the 2 year net is +32%...
ALL figures are misleading taken out of context, including yours.

"While a manufacturer of compact cameras using mainly plastic lenses
have been riding high and expanding their share in the low-end market
this year compared to the last, in view of glass lenses we faced
severe market conditions, and it seems that glass lens market is not
growing but rather shrinking."

Etc.....

Global and includes Hoya products as well as in the harddrive platters ect...

-- hide signature --

360 minutes from the prime meridian. (-5375min, 3.55sec) 1093' above sea level.

'The exposure meter is calibrated to some clearly defined standards and the user needs to adjust his working method and his subject matter to these values. It does not help to suppose all kinds of assumptions that do not exist.'
Erwin Puts

JAKIE Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Never going to happen
-- hide signature --

So do you want the bet or NOT, I am 100% certain that PENTAX will Not produce a 100% Digital (Not an add on that gets attached to a film camera)Medium Format camera and bring it to market in Two years.

You seem to think otherwise, So put your money where your mouth is !

As to your ananlysis of the Facts presented at the Pentax meeting from this summer that clearly show a huge drop in sales, Who cares what the previous year were or the year before that. But since you do, they were horrible as well, Pentax has never had more then 3% market share for DSLR's, add to that Pentaxes own predictions for FY08 and FY09 that call for continued Drop in sales, Revenues and market share, The closing of No fewer then 3 Japaneese and Chinese Factories and other offices, and the Pentax Stated View of Outsourcing any component they cant bring the costs down on and that spells - NO MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA.

You can also factor in, that the ever affordable FF sensor effectively killed the Medium Format camera. I would go so far as to say that FF is the New "Meduim Format" for all Intents and purposes.

Medium format sat on the sidelines as better and more affordable FF sensors came to market and passed it by. Currently there are four sub $3000.00 Full Frame DSLRS available with many more to follow, which means continued dropping prices.

Medium format may, in a perfect world have better IQ, I dont know, I never used one, saw one or know anyone who has, but for 99.%+ of all Photographers and 99% of All Pros, Unless Pentax can produce a sub $3k Medium Format or even sub 5K for that matter, they are just wasting their time. their limited resources are better spent on improvements to what they have or developing a FF model, which has 95%+ Parts commonality to their existing products.

Yes, there are a miniscule % of pros who will spend 20K to 40K on a Medium Format camera, but for that same $ the avge pro can get a full set of lenses,Every accessorie they might ever need and a handfull of sub $3K FF cameras. With which they will get 99% of the IQ of Medium format.

But As I said I will give you Two years so thats well into F10' for the market to recover. So take the bet or Put your tail between your legs, Choice is yours

Good Luck!

Greg Lovern Senior Member • Posts: 1,583
Tail between your legs

JAKIE wrote:

So take the bet or Put your tail between your
legs, Choice is yours

It appears you are the one who put your tail between your legs, by retracting your original offer.

Greg

-- hide signature --

Brand loyalty is a character flaw.

Mousehill Veteran Member • Posts: 7,539
ditto,

a 645D is a sure sell to me. Finally time to use the glass I've laying around again
--
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Capturing time that will never be the same

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http://www.pentaximaging.nl

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JAKIE Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Tail between your legs

Greg Lovern wrote:

JAKIE wrote:

So take the bet or Put your tail between your
legs, Choice is yours

It appears you are the one who put your tail between your legs, by
retracting your original offer.

Greg

-- hide signature --

Maybe you should re-read the offer!

The original offer still stands to the Op, it was intemded for, that is why I used the Word YOU, as in I will Buy YOU one.

The offer was was never removed, or modified. I even went so far as to offer the other Know it all an almost identical deal, Which I will know offer to you as well, since he chickened out. Seems to me For all the certainty Forum Fanboys Espouse, Nobody is willing to put their money where their mouth is! - Are You?

To make it 100% clear to you if Pentax brings to market a 100% Digital Medium Format Camera in the next TWO years, (not a Digital back or a display Demo, prototype or trade show display) - I will buy it for you! - Period - End of Discussion - If they Dont you have to buy me My DSLR of my choice, and I Will even keep it down to an advanced amateur model (mid Level)

Now put up or shut up, or go tuck your tail

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