Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Could a Company Survive with Mediocre Products and be "Supported" by Fanboys Alone?

There is no upgrade path in the Pentax K system, it is crystal clear!

For any K-5 user, I don't see any compelling reason to "upgrade" to the K-5II. Frankly, the K-5II simply doesn't deserve its name for being the second generation of the original K-5 after two years (but with little and insignificant improvements)!

There is simply no higher ranked and better body. There is no new serious lens announced nor the only new "Pentax" lens is actually a Tamron OEM. Don't imagine for additional secret things and "surprise" by the Photokina, as it is clearly indicated in the announcement and the official press release that the K-5II is the new "flagship"! All the cards have been revealed, as it appears!

And, rational users won't defend every shortcomings of whatever "new" products announced and in fact the lack of commitment and vision by the company and the Ricoh management are rather obvious.

Indeed, majority of the brand fanboys share the following characteristics:-

1. They defend to death for every short-coming of every products and about the system of a particular brand they are using.

2. They become rather uncivilised and inhuman whenever others disagree and point out the hard facts, personal flaming is the natural result that follows! It is just because they actually knew that what others are telling are indeed very true!

3. They praise and praise over again for the "advantages" of a brand, so as to prove that others are wrong.

4. But then they actually rarely buy new items and spend very little. What they are consistently doing is to "support" the brand by mouths!

5. They have a minimal collection of gear and/or just getting very old and obsolete items, they have no need to upgrade (and also like to argue about that, e.g., for what a "good photographer" should be).

6. They do not accept to see how the world is changing for what the competitors in the *same* market are advancing and denying the fact that the Earth is rotating!

And much more similar non-senses and stupidities..

In fact, a company that retain only fanboys but not substantive customers who are buying will come to a dead end eventually. I am sure that if this situation continues, Pentax will soon be doomed!

There *were* yet some richer stereotype fanboys (against most of the poor fanboys now left) in the Pentaxland. Several years ago, when they "suddenly" realised that there was no upgrade path in the Pentaxland nor there would never be Full Frame as it appeared, they jumped ship and have never looked back again! Examples here, as reported before.


Super (Die-hard/Brand-blinded) Fanboys Switched! :-o


Victor Gleim said...

You are a pessimist. What's a purpose of this post? Open eyes of others, blind people?

Anonymous said...

just wait tests of new AF
maybe it will be significant improvement

Anonymous said...

Well, that would also make all those people at pentax forums pessimists based on their declaration of disappointment. This is a fanboy Site, always putting a positive spin on everything except this time.

Even they cannot hide their pain.

Anonymous said...

So, are you encouraging the reader to "jump ship" or not to "jump ship"? What do you suggest?

Anonymous said...

"Pentax is yet the Brand I Love"

Is it a joke ?

DPOAB said...

I was an Apple user LONG before it was cool to be an Apple user. In the 90's I was one of the legion of "Apple Evangelist" who used to hang around CompUSA on the weekends doing system maintenance on floor system and convincing people to buy Macs instead of listening to the idiot sales people.

Pentax is in a similar position to Apple at that time and I see some parallels in their product development. Time will tell if they achieve similar results. Here is what I see:

Product simplicity. Pentax is essentially down to two "regular" cameras - K5 and K30. Think of the K30 as the iMac to the K5 MacPro. It gives people a very clear choice of good and best. Compare that to Nikon. D4, D3X, D800, D700, D300S, D7000, D90, D5100, D3200 and D3100.

Niche and specialty products. The 645D, K01 and Q10 all appeal to very small segments where Pentax has little or no competition. As long as they can make a profit doing this, its a good thing. I was at MacWorld during a Q&A with Steve Jobs and he got a question about apple competing with Dell in the sub-$500 computer market (pre Mac mini). He said Apple could make one but they would lose money on them and then there would be no Apple. He said Apple made a profit on every Mac sold and very few companies go out of business making a profit.

Do something really well. Pentax seems to be doing a great job of being THE camera for the bad weather photographer. Bot the K5 and K30 are being marketed for their weather resistance. It might not be a huge market but if you can get all of it, its a win. Apple has sold the best laptop for almost two decades. Long before people thought Apple was cool working professionals were buying Apple laptops because they were so superior to anything else on the market. Those laptop buyers became iPod buyers, iPhone buyers, etc.

Style. Pentax scored with the colorful k-x and k-r bodies and is following that success with the K30, K01 and Q10. People LIKE colors! Apple made a splash with the original iMac as much for the Bondi Blue color as anything else. Ironically while most computer companies continue to offer lots of colors, Apple has gone back to a very limited range.

I am not overjoyed by the K-5II but I am not dismayed either. Pentax is concentrating its resources and doing a small number of things well. The K-5 is hands down the best APS-C camera on the market. The K30 is an excellent alternative at half the price. The Q10 is a niche product that will sell very well in that niche. All should allow Pentax to continue to exist and continue developing products. And remember cameras are not computers. The "operating system" is light and the "programs" people, places and things. Todays K-5 is going to be compatible with the OS and programs for as long as its batteries and mechanics hold out, no upgrade required.

Anonymous said...

Rice, Former Pentaxian of the year (Lance) may have switched too. Check out his profile on dpreview. Only posts in Nikon now.

Anonymous said...

leica can survive with only rich fanboys left.

Anonymous said...

Bittersweet pain - Sony just announced two new FF's and a nex6 with a supercompact zoom.

FF's are $2800 - ridiculous as d800 is only $200 more.

Amir K aka Razii said...

"FF's are $2800 - ridiculous as d800 is only $200 more."

Why is it ridiculous? Maybe Sony cameras are better. Maybe they have have working AF -- that D800 doesn't. They do have better video though -- that d800 doesn't either.

Fortytwo said...

I thought the K-5II was fake Rice? What happened there? Didn't learn your lesson then? Don't jump to conclusions before the Photokina is over. You might find yourself in the same spot again...

Ying said...

Before any one accuses RH of ripping into Pentax, here's what Pentax Forum has to say about the latest lineup:

Pack up the fanboy-ism and face the fact.

My tiniest hope, is that the reason for no K-3 APSC announcement, means an FF is coming...

Ying said...

Actually, those pictures are fake - the product may be real but the previous released pictures are photoshop jobs.

Ying said...

I remember the fan boys applauded Pentax raising the lens price back in April.
So delusional

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RiceHigh said...

Thanks Ying. Suprisingly, PF is talking about the same things as mine and we finally agree with each other! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rice,
I read your blog from some time and what I can see is you want Pentax to be like others. It can't be. Although it is a company with a big tradition the owner was changed 3 times in last years. It is a pain but it doesn't help a business nor R&D. As a Pentax user I am very glad that the brand still exists and new cameras are promoted. Look for Minolta - great brand.

As to K-5 and K-5II/s I underestand that some of Pentax users want to change the body each time the new one is on the shelf. But look at the automotive market. If you buy a good expencive car you are realy angry if producer changes it for each year. Your investment is not safe in this situation. Your car looses its value and if you want to be up to date you must buy a new one each year. So talking about cars face lifting is a good tactic and everybody accept it.
Maybe K-5 users will not buy facelifted K-5II/s but people who still use K-10/20/7 or K-100/r will. They have an opportunity to have better IQ and probably much better AF than befor. And it is not very expensive so many of them will pay for the new model.
Maight be it is the only way to the brand to survive in crisis time. Belive me or not it is much easier to earn money on very good APS-C than very expensive FF.
Said that I want to admit that I would be very happy if Pentax show a roadmap with FF or APS-H body.


Timofej Nenarokov said...

I think thats you who acting like a fanboy, unsatisfied that there was no fan service this time(just remember K-7 aka the unfinished K-5).

kff said...

if they make 5 lines compact cameras, Q, APS-C (with posibility FF), GXR and 645D then 645D is really flagship. K IIs seems to be well done with improving of image quality, but it is about price, too... It means max. 1.200USD for these days amd max. 1.800USD for FF !!! This is the direction that would have worth ... but is necessary add features for these days: wi-fi remote control/viewfinder and ethernet via HDMI, Radio P-TTL, GPS etc. Maybe Android modul for collaboration with camera. Pentax Ricoh must keep his users but he have to add more new users for image and build quality, attractive price and modern features which concurrent products have and mainly which don't have, yet

kff said...

Maybe some features have to add Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Apple and Asus .... thin and easily foldable univesral device with a larger display ... It is so simply, only add posibility of camera module system with interchangable senzors and lens !!!

Anonymous said...

They have to make a FF body. No they cannot without full complementary set of FF lenses. But they have to make full frame NOW. But there are a few FF lenses. I want FF NOW! No they cannot without the effing effing lenses...

On a related note, the questionable pictures of the false products were actually taken with a Nokia Lumia 920...

Anonymous said...

I have a K7 and a Fuji X10. The new Fuji XE1 gets my pulse racing. The K5II does not.

That sums it up for me. Other companies are releasing exciting new products. Pentax is not.

PeterB said...

The only person making any sense on this otherwise tedious blog is DPOAB.

The K7 was a surprising delight and the camera I chose when moving from film. Everything else put a non intuitive interface between me and the camera. The K7 was lighter, smaller, well built and handled very much like a film camera in so many ways. It has taken me two years or so to really understand and adjust to the differences between APS-C and 35mm film and I will be buying a K5IIs. This an obvious upgrade path for me.

DPOAB makes a comparison between the brand evolution of Apple and Pentax and I think that he is right. I have been using Macs for years and I can see the similarities as well. Both focus on well designed and (most importantly) very well engineered products where core functionality and ease of use drive development. DPOAB quoted Steve Jobs on profitability. I think someone at Pentax must have read the quote as well. Pentax are building a strong reputation for very well designed and manufactured APS-C and medium format cameras for photographers. Their products may not appeal to the legions of gadget boys out there but in my humble opinion that is a good thing.

If Pentax do eventually develop a full frame body and the lenses to go with it I will be as excited as the next man (and woman) to try it out and I may even be able to justify the investment, but in the meantime I am going to enjoy using my new K5IIs, and concentrate on improving my skills as a photographer which after all is the whole point of cameras.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I fully agree - Pentax is D.O.A.
I am coming from ME Super and LX days.
I haven't bought anything from Pentax since K20D - but I have Olympus, Panasonic, Sony Canon - newest stuff.

The K5 is nice, but technically old, the Q is a playmobile, the 645D is not far away enough from Nikon, Sony, Canon.
And when I see a 5,6/560 mm for 7000€, I see no converter, I see a plastic Tamron 18-270 mm and I see all the production-troubles with Pentax lenses and bodys and crazy prices...

Pentax is dead already.
Pentax is only a name myth is no gone with smc!!!

Anonymous said...

560mm 5.6 for $7000 is a joke right?

If Pentax expect us to afford that, why can't we afford a pentax full frame system?

Anonymous said...


You are misunderstanding the signifiance of the K-5 II. I know how camera developments work from the inside of one of the big camera companies (not Pentax). There is a roadmap for new product development. Sometimes there are gaps where there is nothing new happening for too long a period of time. That can be because your new project is too ambitious and takes too long by design, or it is simply not ready when you hoped it would be ready. In either case, to bridge the time to the real new product you tend do a "lifetime extender" for the existing product. The problem is you spent zero time developing on the product you are extending, so you can only do minimal changes. For example, take out the AA filter. Or add an articulating screen. Or take out the color array in front of the sensor like Leica did with the M9-M, etc. You might also use some of the things you are developing for the real new product if they are plug and play. The rest you leave to the marketing folks. Clearly, this is what happened here. They acknowledge as much by only calling it K-5 II. My guess is that the K-3 rumors are accurate, that the K-3 is simply not ready yet but less than a year out, and that clearly they are working on an improved AF for that K-3 and used some of the parts and plugged them into old SAFOX because it's easy to do.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

As I told you 2 monthes ago, it's time to change horses =) RIP Pentax

PeterB said...

To the contributor who thinks that I am a fool. Please take a look at
No dslr, no pixel peeking, no auto focus, no wireless or ethernet via HDMI, no radio P-TTL and no GPS. Less is very often more.

Anonymous said...

Hey, people! Pentax branded cameras can still take pictures, really. If you have a K-5 or K-r or MZ-S, Q, K-01, 645D, P50, LX, K-M, K-10D, K-20D - then you can try ...

Anonymous said...

Have you not been predicting the demise of Pentax now for ohhhhh lets say forever??
Ooooh the shock of a rebadged Tamron branded lens, well this aint any thing new, the 28-200 mmm come to mind? It happens , who cares?
Man you are sounding like such a jilted lover!!!
You have made it your mission to steer people from away from Pentax for years and your surprised, they may have made mistakes for sure, but you have purposely tried to sabatoge them at every turn.
In your eyes Pentax can never do anything right, so like a bad relationship , why do you ever bother staying? Leave already, but you will miss not the brand or gear but the incessant unhealthy unsound complaining!!! And courting drama, you love it!!!
Leave already, move on to somome who treats you right!!
Your paranoia about fan boys is really anyone who questions your unassailable firm believe in always being right and NEVER admitting when you get it wrong!! I am no fanboy I see limitations on the gear, for sure. But I shoot many brands, and they all have their issues, but like I said I am a shooter not a peeper and not a blogger with a mission, and norI do not just have old gear, but I do have loads of gear. So with that I assume I am a fan boy. To Funny!
If you leave the brand , what will that leave you with? With nothing to complain about. Maybe you can go out and take some pictures and and enjoy your new gear... but not likely......

Anonymous said...

Blair Anderson said...

Can a company be suported by Fanboys alone?
Thats called your base, and really what do you bring to the table? Nothing

Anonymous said...

Pentax is so doomed that you can't stop talking about them! ROFL

Anonymous said...

Just got back from looking at all the new Sony's FF's and Nex 6. I am totally floored - as others have mentioned, I think Sony is now the new Pentax - take Canikon head on and release bold new designs which compete directly instead of hiding in niches.

I am going to either start looking to sell my FA Limiteds (31, 43, 77, 100) or get a cheap k30 to tie me over until when maybe a full frame gets released in the future. But I am so tired of doing this.

It is now clear to me that aspc has an expiry date. This is virtually guaranteed as camera phones continue to improve their quality in leaps and bounds.

I posted earlier that $2800 was a ridiculous price for the Sony FF's. However, a K5II with the FA 31 Limited costs about 1200+1100 = 2300. Obviously comparing oranges and apples - but you get the idea. The RX1 with a 35mm lens is 2800. You can do a digital zoom up to 70mm(?) and still have a lot of pixels to record it. Needless to say, the ISO performance is another class altogether.

Maybe Pentax is waiting the 6 months after the Sony release - the rumored delay in order to get the latest FF sensor from Sony. This is a new FF sensor - claimed to be better than the Nikon d800 or d4. If that is the case, Pentax owes its current customers at least a heads up so that we can start saving. Total silence from this company is just so fustrating. I would just love to see a FF Pentax in Apr 2013.

Srg said...

+100... Agree with U, Rice...

But I have not only the Pentax K5 with 31-43-77 and 50-135, but Nikon D800E and Sigma DP1x... and I can switch to other system if necessary and wait... wait... and wait for FF Pentax or hi-q lenses and "eat the fantasies" :))

Daedbird said...

Yesterday I was bummed, to say the least, that we did not get a 24mp APSc K-3.

But today, I think I understand - the 24mp sensor is crap. Look, the NEX 7, which is the purest form of the sensor - no pellicle filter. According to DXOMark, the K5's 16mp sensor is equal to the NEX 7's. Looking at Nikon's 3200 is also equal, and both of those were poorer in low light

So maybe the MP race is stalled? Maybe we should wait for a CCD to reduce rolling shutter?

Anonymous said...

Pentax K-Fullframe is:

+ HD Pentax-DFA 24mm f 2.4
+ HD Pentax-DFA 31mm f 1.8
+ HD Pentax-DFA 55mm f 1.4
+ HD Pentax-DFA 77mm f 1.8
+ HD Pentax-DFA 90mm f 1.4
+ HD Pentax-DFA 120mm f 2.8 macro
+ HD Pentax-DFA 200mm f 2.8
+ HD Pentax-DFA 300mm f 4.0
+ HD PENTAX DFA 17-35mm f 4.0
+ HD PENTAX DFA 28-80mm f 2.8
+ HD PENTAX DFA 50-135mm f 2.8
+ HD PENTAX DFA 80-250mm f 4.0
+ new flash system
+ dethering solution

Ricoh, I am already waiting ONE HOLE YEAR

Anonymous said...

After a long time reading your blog, and very much appreciating the infos, thoughts and rumors you bring us, I think it's time to say thank you!

I don't always share your opinion, but that doesn't matter.
Now don't let the less nice comments of some readers make you angry!

And although I can understand your disappointment about the Photokina Pentax "news", don't take it that badly.
I'm a Pentax fan as well, but we can't force them to do things the way we'd like. Maybe the products we wish for may come some day soon, maybe not.

But then... that is exactly why this site IS FUN! We don'T know the future and we can speculate and dream. :)

All the best & happy photographing,

Ying said...

I'm re-posting this question I asked previous:
- Who is going to buy the K5II?
The IIs will have some merit to it as it's specialise tool. But he K-5, tell me who their intended user base is?

Worse video features, no focus peaking, older image processor than their OWN lower grade line ups.

They shot themslves in the foot, again.

Ned Bunell was force retired... Not sure if dear old Ned had enough and voiced his opinion and got silenced by the top dogs...

RiceHigh said...

Note: All the uncivilised personal attacks are deleted.

Anonymous said...

Whats this?

– Price: $2,100 body only, Body + 24-85mm VR kit: $2700
– 24-Megapixel, full-frame sensor
– 100-6400 ISO (expands to 25,600)
– 1080p video @ 24/25/30, 720p @ 24/25/30/60
– 5.5fps
– 39-point AF, 7 points active at f/8
– Uncompressed, clean HDMI out
– Single DUAL SD card slots
– 100% viewfinder coverage
– 1/4000 max shutter speed, 150,000 shutter cycles
– 1/200 flash sync
– Same weather sealing as the D800/D800E
– 3.2″ 921,000-pixel LCD
– Built-in Flash
– Improved auto white balance
– EN-EL15 battery (Same as D7000 and D800)
– Rated to 900 shots per charge
– Wireless connection to smart phones, apps, etc. possible with WU-1b adapter
– Body weighs 760g (just over the Sony a99 weight)
– Optional MB-D14 battery grip that does not increase frame rate, but allows use of EN-EL15 battery or AAs

The New D600 that has just been announced.who needs a K5II?

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