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Old Jan 15, 2010, 8:55 AM   #1
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Default Pentax KX # 3 is sales in Japan

Pentax KX is number 3 on the best seller's list in Japan.

This camera has a lot of features that appeal...only wish Pentax advertised more, but I suppose the advertising budget isn't large.

http://translate.google.com/translat...112_16184.html
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 9:45 AM   #2
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Pentax KX is number 3 on the best seller's list in Japan.

This camera has a lot of features that appeal...only wish Pentax advertised more, but I suppose the advertising budget isn't large.

http://translate.google.com/translat...112_16184.html
Overall, I'd say Pentax (Hoya) is struggling. Overall, they slipped from number 3 in total DSLR market share with Panasonic moving up to number 3. And no one outside of the big two, controls more than 10% of market share. So while the KX is a winner, clearly Pentax has to come up with something more to keep from losing more ground, as nothing else in the line is setting the world on fire. With the certain influx of micro 4/3-micro APC cameras that are likely coming, it could be another tough year for the smaller DSLR makers.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 10:07 AM   #3
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i think they need to offer a pro camera. something for those with a k-7 wanting to upgrade to can sink some money in.

beyond that, having a full line will take some of the buyer trepidation away, as those that are thinking of delving into digital photography may be put off by investing in a line without a true pro body.

i also think they should have continued their partnership with Samsung and got into the NX-EVIL mount, maybe offering a rangefinder-esque body (ala ep/gf) and a few lenses to help round out that line.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 10:11 AM   #4
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It seems from that page that Japan uses the metric system when counting megapixels.

Note that Sony is nowhere to be seen. Sony Alphas do poorly in Japan, but very well in China, Europe and Latin America.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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Definitely an interesting subject. First, I agree - the KX is an outstanding product. For the general photographer moving up from digicam to DSLR the KX is probably the best buy on the market this year.

But, I agree with rjsseeney - on the whole Hoya/Pentax has a big mountain to climb. DSLRs aren't like digicams - they need to keep the momentum going - be able to keep the people that bought the KX upgrading and buying new lenses AND get more people interested in switching from other brands to Pentax for mid level cameras.

I'm not sure what the answer is. But I think I disagree with Dustin. I don't think a pro camera is the way to go for Pentax. There are just too many barriers. First and foremost is - the rank and file Pentaxian appears to be very budget conscious. That's not a bad thing at all. But true professional caliber cameras and professional caliber lenses are expensive. Now - actual professionals can afford expensive gear. The problem is - those pros are shooting other systems now. I don't think Pentax can do what Sony did - push out pro style bodies and lenses and operate at a loss till they build momentum. I just don't think there are enough people in Pentax who want to pay for $3000 bodies and $1800 - $4000 lenses.

I think the next step is clearly to build on the K-X. Replace the K-7 with what they learned from the K-X. Get a camera that truly competes with the Canon & Nikon mid level semi-pro cameras. They need something that competes with the 7D and 300s.

Even full-frame is kind of tough for Pentax. They've been pushing their lens design toward APS-C. Producing full frame would require them to start developing full frame lenses again. That's a lot of R&D money on the risk people would buy it. Remember, they're pushing smaller/lighter at the lower end.

All in all -if I were a betting man I would bet Hoya would sell off Pentax to Sony, Nikon or Canon within the next 3 years. They've got some great technology but I think it will be tough for them to get market position.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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I'm not so sure Sony, Nikon or Canon would be interested in Pentax. So, I wouldn't make that bet. I'm not so sure they're not continuing their partnership with Samsung, either. I haven't seen any announcements to that effect. Just because you don't see a new Samsung model that's the same as the K-x or K7, or don't see a new Pentax model that's similar to the newer NX10 [yet], doesn't mean they still aren't jointly developing products.

Also, Pentax has announced a medium format 645D more than once in the past. Although it's been delayed more than once, unless I missed an announcement stating otherwise (and I may have), the last press release about it targets 2010 (this year) for it's release:

http://www.pentax.jp/english/news/2009/200905.html

Not everyone needs a camera for high speed sports shooting, and if they may be trying to develop products for niche markets in other areas.

Of course, that's just speculation. We'll have to wait and see what Hoya has planned as time passes.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 11:33 AM   #7
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Also, Pentax has announced a medium format 645D more than once in the past. Although it's been delayed more than once, unless I missed an announcement stating otherwise (and I may have), the last press release about it targets 2010 (this year) for it's release:

http://www.pentax.jp/english/news/2009/200905.html

Not everyone needs a camera for high speed sports shooting, and if they may be trying to develop products for niche markets in other areas.
I don't know that medium format is enough for them to grow market share. With full-frame camera's approaching if not equaling medium format quality, I don't know if that's a big enough market to make a difference to increase market share. I think micro 4/3/micro apc is the new growth market, and that the DSLR business in in the process of flattening out. You've got fewer and fewer people needing DSLR's with some of the recent advances in P&s, and I don't think the serious photographers are upgrading with every new product cycle, with further flattens growth. Nikon and Canon will be ok (for now) simply because they are the biggest and offer the best variety and full product lines. Olympus and Pany will likely be ok too (for now) because micro 4/3 is proving to fill a need many have been wishing for. That leaves Sony and Pentax in a tough spot. I'm not sure i get sony's plan of releasing so many similarly featured DSLR's, but at least they have a full line and can show somewhat of an upgrade path for those who want it. Pentax on the other hand doesn't really own any niche, or have any must have feature, or the visibility or name recognition of the rest. Availability is also not very good, as you won't see them in many stores, which I think leaves them on the outside looking in, despite having a very good product.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 11:40 AM   #8
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There's nothing that says a company has to grow market share either.

As long as they can figure out how to make a profit and sustain the business, then they could target niche market areas without growing market share. ;-)
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 12:01 PM   #9
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... All in all -if I were a betting man I would bet Hoya would sell off Pentax to Sony, Nikon or Canon within the next 3 years.
I read an interview with a Hoya exec that siad the purchase of Pentax was a mistake, and they're looking for a buyer. Some companies in China and Korea are interested, but a Japanese company owned by Chinese or Koreans? I don't think that will go well. Too much cultural difference.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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Like most similar interviews, there were a number of translations and interpretations. ;-)

Here's one news blurp about it:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUST15448620090818

I still think Samsung would be the most likely partner for the long run, Korean or not. They already have a history of jointly developing products, and Samsung has been gaining a lot of market share in the point and shoot niche.

Just because the new K-x is using a Sony sensor (versus a Samsung sensor as used in the K7), doesn't mean that this relationship has been dissolved, as some of the earlier Pentax [and similar Samsung] models also used Sony sensors.
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