What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

Started Apr 17, 2011 | Discussions
jamesm007 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,663
What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

The below from the Hoya Share Holder meeting is what Hoya thinks of us in the USA and Europe. We will never see high value like before with their current plans. Lens such as the DA18-135mm (poor value) will not be so uncommon for Pentax. I say this because they have not made one new (non-macro) flash in over 5 years, have made no new AF system (only tweaked them) in years. The K-5 is keeping Pentax in good financial shape. In the very near future Pentax will not enjoy such a commanding lead in the semi-pro market that's IMO. When Pentax has no sensor lead they will have to have a body with the AF and flash abilities of others. Moreover they won't be able to capture as many ship jumpers and will have to rely on long term users.

I can't see or touch a K5, K-r, DA18-135mm. And with the DA18-135mm WR the only way to know if its good or bad is to buy one. If its as bad as Photozone shows should I keep it?

From Hoya Share Holders Meeting -

"There are some sales channels that allow us to expect growth in terms of quantity but do not contribute to earnings because cameras are sold at discounted prices. We have maintained our prices by avoiding these sales channels. So we restrict sales channels in areas including Europe and the United States, and we do not sell large volumes of cameras but are enjoying growth in income."

http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/investor/d0h4dj00000014ze-att/d0h4dj0000001cj5.pdf

Other than the K-5 has Pentax grown any better overall as a dSLR company compared to last year? Lens, flashes, availability in stores (even if far from home)?

Pentax does not have the resource to innovate and is making a mistake by not trying to capture as many new users as possible for its future. Hoya only seems to care about this quarters and next quarters profit. That's fine but what about long term. Lens such as the DA18-135mm WR and cameras with QC problems will be the norm. Moreover put off prospective buyers of the Pentax system.

Rant because the DA18-135mm WR at its price should have been a decent lens and not show tremendous CA/PF and soft corners (not deep corners but into the frame softness). There is a reason for this.

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GPGeneralPhoto
GPGeneralPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 2,154
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

That quote sounds like they want to keep the sales volume low and keep the price high. Ideally they should be at the point where the supply curve crosses the demand curve, but it seems to me they are well below the volume needed to cross the demand curve. But that's just a guess.
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wildkat2 Contributing Member • Posts: 899
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

I remember when every computer maker was racing to have the cheapest system. First it was the sub-$1000, then the sub-$500, then sub-$300. Everyone said Apple was doomed because they were not trying to compete in these markets. Instead Apple kept their prices where they could produce a good system and a good profit. Companies making a profit rarely go out of business.

The k-x brought a lot of new users to Pentax. So far the k-r has not done as well but its early.

The K-5 kept a lot of people from jumping ship and has brought some converts and first time buyers. Much of the attraction of the K-5 is its outstanding weather resistance. WR bodies require WR lenses. Pentax now has four solid choices in WRs plus all of the DA* lenses. Best guess for the next WR would be the DA 55-300. Add the new Sigma WR lenses and there are a lot oc choices.

I think they are positioning themselves very well to be a leader in the WR market. This plays to strengths and minimizes weaknesses. Strobes are clearly a major weakness for Pentax but not many people need a strobe in bad weather. If they do, the built in wireless capability might actually become a strength. The overall smaller lens selection is minimized by the relatively large number of WR lenses - if you want to shoot in the rain, it doesnt matter how many non-WR lenses a system has. And dont forget that the W60 and W90 have introduced a lot of people to Pentax. WHen the move up to or add a DSLR, they will probably at least consider Pentax.

The 645D will bring a lot of high end cache to Pentax and may have a halo effect on the DSLR line. Unfortunately there is almost no crossover so it is a limited impact.

As for the AF system, I am not sure how much that matters outside of sports and Canon seems to have that market pretty well locked up. Even for nature photographers (the WR crowd) Im not seeing how critical ultra fast autofocus is (birding comes to mind but a lot of that is CIF).

I would love it if a K-5 cost $400 and Limiteds were $100 each. But if that meant that Pentax ceased to exist, that would not be in my best interest. I wish Pentax would team up with Yonguno to create a P-TTL version of the YN 560 and a P-TTL passthrough version of the RF-603s. Better, work with Pixel to make a P-TTL version of the Knight. Not quite CLS but a big improvement. But if that impacted long term profits in a negative way, it would not be worth it.

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paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,379
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

jamesm007 wrote:

Hoya only seems to care about this quarters and next quarters profit. That's fine but what about long term. Lens such as the DA18-135mm WR and cameras with QC problems will be the norm.

This is all too plausible.

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glanglois Contributing Member • Posts: 987
US and European channels?

I'm curious. Which channels are avoided in US and Europe?

Are we talking about the Walmart/Sam's Club/Costco channels? I think that one of them had pallets of K-X late last year but otherwise I don't see Pentax deals there. Walmart, I've found, is a rather expensive place to buy Pentax gear.

Balancing prices and profits is hard. There are no rules. Markets vary by place and time and demographics.

There is a strategic component - pricing to get more initial customers to buy into the system. OTOH, it's hard to be a winner here if most low-end buyers never take the next step into camera-brand lenses and flash. I suspect that most K-X first-time kit buyers never get another Pentax lens. This makes it hard to set K-X pricing based in large part on add-on sales later.

I wish it were as simple as "set low prices and get little profit now to make lots more money later". The Kodak film monopoly isn't a useful example here, nor is the razor analogy.

The part of the announcement that was of more interest is the note that the camera operation finally moved into the black in Hoya's third quarter ending in December. IIRC, it's been common wisdom here and in the Other Forum that Pentax cameras have been profitable for quite a while.

Shows how few people read these announcements carefully. I think the news they got such joy from referred to "Pentax" being profitable - meaning the entire operation including the large medical division.

Nor did the Q3 statement suggest that cameras would be profitable in Q4, just that they hoped that they "aim" to show a profit for the year as a whole. If profits were large enough in Q3, they could make a loss in Q4 and still be OK for the year.

They speak of Q4 being a tough season. Makes sense in general but more so this year as new models from other makers are bringing in a lot of revenue for those others in the January-March period. It's not clear that the October-December Pentax excitement continued through March of 2011.

We'll find out in a few more months .......

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Jim Radcliffe
Jim Radcliffe Forum Pro • Posts: 11,976
Pentax Ltds are a bargain....

wildkat2 wrote:

I would love it if a K-5 cost $400 and Limiteds were $100 each. But if that meant that Pentax ceased to exist, that would not be in my best interest.

The same wish and argument holds true for Leica. The M9 body costs $7,000 and this is with no lens. Their lenses cost stupid amounts of money but their lenses are the best in the world.

After being a Leica user I find the cost of the Pentax Ltds to be a bargain. And also coming from using Canon gear.. (5D MII) they are still a bargain compared to L glass.

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Yamin Tedja Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

Pentax does not have the resource to innovate and is making a mistake by not trying to capture as many new users as possible for its future. Hoya only seems to care about this quarters and next quarters profit. That's fine but what about long term. Lens such as the DA18-135mm WR and cameras with QC problems will be the norm. Moreover put off prospective buyers of the Pentax system.

Pentax is slow to innovate and rarely come out with breakthrough products. There is nothing really special about pentax product right now besides having smaller size dslr body and also, they are really stingy on features on some of their products. I think there are a lot of new idea that pentax can come up with but I just don't know why their new product development is so slow and what they can come up with is new color for dslr body and superhero themes for compact camera, what's up with that?.

And why does hoya had to have lot of resource to innovate? Just look at what other camera manufacturer is doing, like swivel lcd, mirrorless camera or even full frame compact camera like Leica M9 and do the same but better. I think pentax need better management and more aggressive product delevopment than what they currently have right now.

Holger Bargen Veteran Member • Posts: 4,111
Re: US and European channels?

Glanglois wrote:
"I'm curious. Which channels are avoided in US and Europe?"

Here in Germany you'll find cameras not only at classical photo dealers but also at extremely low budget shops - but if you search for Pentax you'll find them mostly at Pentax premium dealers - and always at a price level near the list price.

I once looked around for a 60-250 mm lens - and found an marketplace shop at amazone US that told that the customers should ask for the price as Pentax did not want them to publish their low price. It seems so as if there are strong mechanisms at work which try to avoid a price drop of Pentax products.

When I made my decision for Pentax about 30 years before I received top products for a low price. The price-performance ratio of Pentax became worse since Hoya is the boss - but not because products became worse!

I do not like that. But on the other hand I am happy with Hoya and Pentax together that Pentax is successful in the camera market. If they enjoy selling and building cameras - they will also enjoy carrying on to make the products better and I will be a happy customer for many years.

I made bad experiences with K5 as an early buyer of a product that was not fit for selling - but now I know that I will hardly find a better camera than my K5 and I also gave the advice to buy a K5 and a 60-250 mm lens for the company I work at.

Hoya, please keep on making Pentax a top brand! The offer of a good software to control the K5 from a computer would be a great next step (I really miss that programm!).

Best regards
Holger

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Yamin Tedja Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: Pentax Ltds are a bargain....

Jim Radcliffe wrote:

wildkat2 wrote:

I would love it if a K-5 cost $400 and Limiteds were $100 each. But if that meant that Pentax ceased to exist, that would not be in my best interest.

The same wish and argument holds true for Leica. The M9 body costs $7,000 and this is with no lens. Their lenses cost stupid amounts of money but their lenses are the best in the world.

After being a Leica user I find the cost of the Pentax Ltds to be a bargain. And also coming from using Canon gear.. (5D MII) they are still a bargain compared to L glass.

Can you imagine if pentax come out with something like Leica M9 but in pentax me super body and have the same sensor and specs and priced only around $1000? Why pentax cannot make something like that?

Jim Radcliffe
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Raphael Mabo Senior Member • Posts: 1,164
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

I notice with interest that when the 18-135 was released, we had many postings here from happy users. Now that Photozone has had one for test, this suddenly has changed.

This is very interesting. When users looks at the images and founds them to be good, they are happy. When they look at a test chart with numbers and the numbers shows something poor, then the previous images are suddenly bad ones...

Pentax is a niche player and they need to make most of the niche they are in. They don't have the financial resources to compete head to head with Canon or Nikon, so they need to compete by offering something different. Different lenses, bodies with different features. I say that the K-5 is well worth the money. It is a terrific camera and the AF is on pair with the competition in it's class. It is by no means a poor performing AF.

Selling at discount prices just to get out cameras is a bad idea. Pentax needs to be profitable.

Apple tried to sell at discount prices and having a mass-market appeal, to compete with the PC compatibles and selling as many computers as possible. This nearly killed the company and they had to brought back Jobs to save the company! Now, with their exclusive offerings they are earning more money than ever..

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Yamin Tedja Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

Raphael Mabo wrote:

I notice with interest that when the 18-135 was released, we had many postings here from happy users. Now that Photozone has had one for test, this suddenly has changed.

Happy users will still be happy because they don't know the difference, they just use the image without a thorough analysis.

This is very interesting. When users looks at the images and founds them to be good, they are happy. When they look at a test chart with numbers and the numbers shows something poor, then the previous images are suddenly bad ones...

Not really, user who thinks that the image is good will think that it is still good because their requirement and standard is lower than what expected from photozone test.

Pentax is a niche player and they need to make most of the niche they are in. They don't have the financial resources to compete head to head with Canon or Nikon, so they need to compete by offering something different. Different lenses, bodies with different features. I say that the K-5 is well worth the money. It is a terrific camera and the AF is on pair with the competition in it's class. It is by no means a poor performing AF.

Why pentax has to be a niche player? it used to be one of the big player in photo industry. Why they don't have the financial resources as canon and nikon right now if they used to be as big as canon and nikon in the old days.

Selling at discount prices just to get out cameras is a bad idea. Pentax needs to be profitable.

Selling at the right price is the key, not overpricing, pricing have to be decided based on what the competition are selling on similiar products. If other manufacturer can make profit, why pentax cannot be profitable by following other manufacturer pricing?

Apple tried to sell at discount prices and having a mass-market appeal, to compete with the PC compatibles and selling as many computers as possible. This nearly killed the company and they had to brought back Jobs to save the company! Now, with their exclusive offerings they are earning more money than ever..

We're not talking about pc anymore, when we are talking about apple we are talking about ipod, iphone and ipad, there is a lot innovations in those products and they an sell them at a premium because no other competition has the same product appeal, that is what pentax have to follow.

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Russell Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 12,617
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

jamesm007 wrote:

From Hoya Share Holders Meeting -

"There are some sales channels that allow us to expect growth in terms of quantity but do not contribute to earnings because cameras are sold at discounted prices. We have maintained our prices by avoiding these sales channels. So we restrict sales channels in areas including Europe and the United States, and we do not sell large volumes of cameras but are enjoying growth in income."

http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/investor/d0h4dj00000014ze-att/d0h4dj0000001cj5.pdf

Assuming there are a lot of people like me that will wait until the price drops when the new camera comes out, or simply not buy, the above will put a lot of pressure on the next camera to be a lot better than the last. The K-5 seems to be an OMG camera compared to the K-7, so its sales are probably pretty strong. If the camera had only been a marginal improvement, you can bet people would have bought the K-7 until again, the K-5 price dropped with the introduction of a new camera. The next camera is going to have to be an OMG, camera compared to the K-5 to allow Hoya to continue a high price for the body, and I think that is going to be pretty hard.

About the only thing Hoya can do in response is increase the time between the introduction of new cameras. With a two camera line up, that will just end up with people jumping to another brand as the Pentax system falls behind the competition.

I think Pentax will try to keep the price high until the beginning of the second Christmas season. I think at that point they will drop the price and try to keep the price as close to the initial drop as long as possible. I think it would be smart of them to hold off announcing the next camera until fall of the next year and then release the camera in time for Christmas. At that point most of the stock of the older camera should be gone, so the only option would be the newer camera.

I know there are a lot of big camera expos and announcements are expected then, but I don't think that is a good sales policy for the smaller players to follow. I think they should announce new products at the traditional times when people spend money, beginning of winter for most western countries and New Year for the eastern.

Thank you
Russell

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mgm2 Contributing Member • Posts: 519
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

This is old news and merely suggests that they are not going to sell thru channels that can't make them a profit. It makes sense to me as profits are the life blood of any business.

steephill Veteran Member • Posts: 9,861
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

How about the 645D then? Isn't that innovative enough for you? Where is the Nikon or Canon equivalent?

You accuse Pentax of being stingy with features in some of there products. They only have two DSLRs in the market so how do you propose that they differentiate between them if not by feature count?

Please explain how Pentax is meant to innovate without resources. They don't manufacture sensors so there isn't any leeway there, they are dependent on what they can buy in the market.

You mention mirrorless so surely you have seen the many rumours about 2 new mirrorless systems in development?

Do some homework about the relative sizes and market shares of Pentax, Nikon and Canon. That will tell you why Pentax can't afford to sell cheap. The Hoya takeover came about because Pentax was losing money with its previous pricing strategy, it just didn't have the volumes to support cheaper prices. R&D costs money and that has to come from profits.

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Yamin Tedja Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

steephill wrote:

How about the 645D then? Isn't that innovative enough for you? Where is the Nikon or Canon equivalent?

Ok lets talk about 645D. I think 645D is a breakthrough in digital medium format because of the pricing but the features can certainly be improved. 645D should have movie mode, maybe 1080p HD or higher so it can become a professional movie camera also. And it should have faster continuous shooting capabilities like 6-8 fps so it can also be used for sports photography. ISO should be up to 6400 and instead of dual SD slot, why not put one SD and one CF because some pros use CF and flash X-sync should be faster than 1/125, maybe 1/500 second. I know that Nikon or Canon does not have 645D equivalent but they have full format camera. I think if pentax can make medium format camera as big as D3X or 1DS and have about the same performance as those nikon and canon camera and the price is similiar then it can kill D3X and 1DS. And if pentax can make a full format camera in K5 body, it will hurt D700 and 5d mark ii.

You accuse Pentax of being stingy with features in some of there products. They only have two DSLRs in the market so how do you propose that they differentiate between them if not by feature count?

I am fine with K5 features. The features that I think are lacking with KR is top lcd and vertical grip. I believe pentax should have 1 more camera body in between K5 and KR feature wise.

Please explain how Pentax is meant to innovate without resources. They don't manufacture sensors so there isn't any leeway there, they are dependent on what they can buy in the market.

So what if they don't manufacture their own sensor. Nikon also buy Sony sensor and Leica buy Kodak sensor. Innovation does not come from sensor alone.

You mention mirrorless so surely you have seen the many rumours about 2 new mirrorless systems in development?

Pentax should release mirrorless system yesterday, it is long overdue. And I wish that mirrorless body come with full frame sensor and priced around $1000, but maybe not.

Do some homework about the relative sizes and market shares of Pentax, Nikon and Canon. That will tell you why Pentax can't afford to sell cheap. The Hoya takeover came about because Pentax was losing money with its previous pricing strategy, it just didn't have the volumes to support cheaper prices. R&D costs money and that has to come from profits.

Well, I know that pentax has smaller market shares than nikon or canon but why? Why is pentax market share is small? They used to be a big camera maker, maybe as big as Nikon or Canon. And why pentax become smaller now? What happen? bad strategy? lack of innovation? slow to adapt to new technology? bad marketing? And now the strategy is to sell their product at much much higher price than the competition to get more profit? what if the people cannot afford the product? or think that pentax products is overpriced? If not enough people to buy the product, how come pentax make money? I am saying that pentax should sell all their product cheaply, but the price should comparable with what the competition has to offer.

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Jimbob Productions Veteran Member • Posts: 3,776
Hi James

How's things?

When companies talk of regions and markets they rarely equate that to countries or people - so don't take it to heart.

I guess what Pentax were getting at is that with the state of the world economy, rather than produce a lot of cameras and lenses that won't get purchased - they'll withhold until things look a bit more positive.

You don't always need to sell in high quantities - it's all about supply and demand.

Pentax reduced the amount of stock they held in US retail chains and really dodged a bullet with the Ritz/Wolf issues. Same in the UK with Jessops. Other companies really got burned.

Russell Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 12,617
Re: Hi James

Jimbob Productions wrote:

Pentax reduced the amount of stock they held in US retail chains and really dodged a bullet with the Ritz/Wolf issues. Same in the UK with Jessops. Other companies really got burned.

Poor old Nikon got burned so bad during that time that they captured another 8% of the world market. Pentax being smarter went from a 10% share of the world market to 5% and then down to 3% in that same period. Dumb old Nikon, you should have saved 40 million instead of making 100 million and who knows how much in future lens sales.

Thank you
Russell

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newmikey Veteran Member • Posts: 5,002
Me thinks they're not far off the mark

Selling in the European superstores like Mediamarkt or Saturn will likely do nothing for Pentax, besides forcing them to compete at the level of Canon's and Nikon's plastic fantastics.

They sound smart, choosing their battles wisely. The mass stores thrive off short runs of el-cheapo models which can be sold to the unwary public by salespeople who don't know a dishwasher from a digital camera to begin with.

(Overheard lately at a Mediamarkt superstore: salesperson explaining about The Canon 1000D "No ma'am, this is a professional model the wedding photographers use as well")

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belrosevj
belrosevj Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

Pentax is not a perfect system. If one does not like the Pentax System just sell it and move on to whatever camera system one fancies. It is not like someone put a gun to your head to buy a pentax system.
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CANIKONTAXIAN Contributing Member • Posts: 629
Re: What Hoya thinks of the USA and Europe

In 2010 Pentax dropped to 1.5% down from 1.7% in 2009.
1.5% meaning of every 100 cameras sold in 2010 Pentax sold 1.5.
Not even two per hundred, just 1.5 cameras sold per 100 !

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-15/sony-nikon-narrow-gap-to-canon-with-new-digital-camera-models.html

"Sony Corp. (6758) and Nikon Corp. (7731) narrowed the gap to Canon Inc. (7751), the world’s largest camera maker, last year after introducing a new lineup of models.

Sony, the world’s second-biggest camera maker, controlled 17.9 percent of the market, improving from 16.9 percent a year earlier, researcher IDC said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News yesterday. Nikon had 12.6 percent compared with Canon’s 19 percent, which remained unchanged from a year ago.

Worldwide camera sales jumped 10 percent to 141 million units last year, helped by the introduction of new models and economic growth in markets such as China. To win new customers, Sony and Samsung Electronics Co. are among companies unveiling devices that eliminated the need for a mirror in professional- grade cameras, where Canon has the lead.

“Sony’s and Samsung’s launching new mirror-less digital cameras helped them obtain more market share,” said Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

Samsung had 11.1 percent of the market last year, improving from 10.9 percent. Kodak Co., Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and Casio Computer Co. were among manufacturers who lost market share last year, according to the data.

In the market for cameras with interchangeable lens, or single lens reflex cameras, Canon controlled 44.5 percent of the market, followed by Nikon with 29.8 percent and Sony with 11.9 percent, according to the data.

Following is the table for worldwide digital still camera shipments by vendors from IDC Japan in an e-mail release yesterday.

Worldwide Digital Camera Market Shares by Vendor

Vendor 2010 2009

Canon 19 19
Sony 17.9 16.9
Nikon 12.6 11.1
Samsung 11.1 10.9
Kodak 7.4 8.8
Panasonic 7.6 7.6
Olympus 6.1 6.2
Fuji 4.9 5.4
Casio 4 4.7
PENTAX 1.5 1.7
Vivitar 1.2 0.7
Other 6.7 7

jamesm007 wrote:

The below from the Hoya Share Holder meeting is what Hoya thinks of us in the USA and Europe. We will never see high value like before with their current plans. Lens such as the DA18-135mm (poor value) will not be so uncommon for Pentax. I say this because they have not made one new (non-macro) flash in over 5 years, have made no new AF system (only tweaked them) in years. The K-5 is keeping Pentax in good financial shape. In the very near future Pentax will not enjoy such a commanding lead in the semi-pro market that's IMO. When Pentax has no sensor lead they will have to have a body with the AF and flash abilities of others. Moreover they won't be able to capture as many ship jumpers and will have to rely on long term users.

I can't see or touch a K5, K-r, DA18-135mm. And with the DA18-135mm WR the only way to know if its good or bad is to buy one. If its as bad as Photozone shows should I keep it?

From Hoya Share Holders Meeting -

"There are some sales channels that allow us to expect growth in terms of quantity but do not contribute to earnings because cameras are sold at discounted prices. We have maintained our prices by avoiding these sales channels. So we restrict sales channels in areas including Europe and the United States, and we do not sell large volumes of cameras but are enjoying growth in income."

http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/investor/d0h4dj00000014ze-att/d0h4dj0000001cj5.pdf

Other than the K-5 has Pentax grown any better overall as a dSLR company compared to last year? Lens, flashes, availability in stores (even if far from home)?

Pentax does not have the resource to innovate and is making a mistake by not trying to capture as many new users as possible for its future. Hoya only seems to care about this quarters and next quarters profit. That's fine but what about long term. Lens such as the DA18-135mm WR and cameras with QC problems will be the norm. Moreover put off prospective buyers of the Pentax system.

Rant because the DA18-135mm WR at its price should have been a decent lens and not show tremendous CA/PF and soft corners (not deep corners but into the frame softness). There is a reason for this.

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