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Old Feb 20, 2009, 8:56 AM   #1
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I am thinking of buying a new Pentax dSLR but I read on another forum (dpreview.com) that Pentax sales are declining & that they may not be around in 5 years. If that is the case it would probably be better to go with a different brand. Anyone have comments on this?
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 9:32 AM   #2
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People have been predicting the death of pentax for decades -- literally. I bought my first SLR camera, an Olympus OM 1 around 1981 or '82. One of the reasons I went with that camera and not the Pentax K 1000 was that Pentax was said not to be doing very well, and might not be around much longer. Almost 30 years later, Pentax is still here, and those same rumors persist.

With that said, the digital camera market is incredibly competitive, and Canon and Nikon are the undisputed 800 and 500 pound gorillas, with every other manufacturer having only a small sliver of market share. (Sony is making waves with some of its new cameras, so before too much longer, the market may be dominated by three gorillas.) Will pentax still be around in 5 years? I have no way of knowing, but there are literally millions of lenses all over the world that fit their cameras, and in my opinion, Pentax DSLRs give great value for the money. I'm still hoping to upgrade from my K100D. IfI had the available cash, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a K20D tomorrow.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 11:44 AM   #3
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I'll have to second what mtnman said. I just bought my 4th Pentax Camera and I'd bet they'll be around for quite some time yet.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 1:53 PM   #4
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Hi jvanwees,

In this economy, unfortunately all companies in all industries are vulnerable. Who would have thought we'd see two of the Big Three US auto makers lined up for government handouts to stave off bankrupcy. I won't claim to have a handle on the economic stability of any of the DSLR mfgs, but Samsung aligning with Pentax has virtually guaranteed the continued development of K mount DSLRs, and few,if any, are predicting doom for Samsung.

The most often cited reasons for adopting the Pentax DSLR system is "bang for the buck" and the backwards compatibility of the lens system. I think these traits will become even more attractive as the economic situation worsens and that puts Pentax in a reasonable position to survive the economic downturn, but I'm learning every day how much I don't know about how people react to our present economic situation, so who really knows?

As mtnman stated, various people have been predicting the demise of Pentax for a very long time -- and none of them have been right so far.

All I can tell you is that personally, I've committed heavily into the Pentax system in the last 4 years and have no regrets. If Pentax were to disappear today, I'd just pick up another K20 (or GX20) body as a spare, and continue shooting, waiting to see what Samsung has up its sleeve for the future.

Scott
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 2:35 PM   #5
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jvanwees wrote:
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I am thinking of buying a new Pentax dSLR but I read on another forum (dpreview.com) that Pentax sales are declining & that they may not be around in 5 years. If that is the case it would probably be better to go with a different brand. Anyone have comments on this?
Well, the dpreview forum talk was also quite "alive" with "talk" that predicted Pentax would come out with a K30 + K300D back in Nov 2008 and there's still no official confirmation of that anywhere such as Cameratown (which I find usually posts advance notice of such things and in several cases proven to be reliable) or the Pentax main site. I'd be far more inclined to dismiss the "talk" of what you noted there. The contradictory part to the 'may not be around in 5 years' is that in just the short time I've read reviews on Pentax cameras from the K100, k10, k20 and k200d + Pentax lenses, those buying the cameras love them and those with the Pentax lenses rave about them (including dpreview). I was quite blown away by how much praise there's been for "Pentax optics" or "Pentax quality" in their lens offerings. The only other thing that's certain is that Pentax will start being called Hoya something in mid-March (there was a slip in my K200D box). Provided Pentax/Hoya maintains their build quality and lens quality, I don't see how they'll bite the dust. A good case in point is Plextor: they were a well-known but comparatively small sliver of the cd/dvd burner market share until 2005, but had carved out a nice niche for themselves since 1990; they did it solely on the fact that all their burners were so well-made they lasted 10-15 years on average and burned so many more cds/dvds than what the modern burners hold up for. Until Plextor very stupidly changed its management and decided to go REALLY cheap but cutting corners on the quality control, people would gladly pay the $50-75 more for their burners because of their quality and longevity. HOWEVER, when Plextor decided to try to fool their loyal customers by producing all these patently defective 712a and 716a DVD burner units, it was only 3 years (from 2005-2008 until they bit the dust (because of customers on average RMA'ing burners 3-8 times to get a good unit--IF they ever ended up with one--AND customers had to pay ALL the return postage for each RMA).

So long as Pentax doesn't suddenly suffer an "idiotic management change" where the organization replaces all the traditional managers that manage by making a quality product + maintaining goodwill, they'll be fine; if they make some sweeping replacement and get manager that "manage" only "on paper" and the "bottom line," then IF that happens, that would do them in in short order.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 3:51 PM   #6
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Who would have thought, 20 years ago, that Minolta would be gone? But the lenses still work on Sony cameras. I can't say that Pentax will be here in 5 years, or that Nikon will still be around (they laid off a bunch of people recently, like a month or two ago?) for that matter.

However, I bought a Pentax *ist DS several years ago when everyone said that Pentax was entering the dSLR market too late and with an ordinary camera, not any better than its competitors. It was predicted they'd never gain enough market share to survive the year. I bought anyway (I liked the feel of the camera and had a bunch of lenses from my film days). Here it is several years later and Pentax still doesn't have a huge amount of market share - but they have a couple of really nice cameras for sale and a larger following than when I bought.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 7:53 PM   #7
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fotografo35 wrote:
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So long as Pentax doesn't suddenly suffer an "idiotic management change" where the organization replaces all the traditional managers that manage by making a quality product + maintaining goodwill, they'll be fine; if they make some sweeping replacement and get manager that "manage" only "on paper" and the "bottom line," then IF that happens, that would do them in in short order.
The management change they need (at least in Golden, Colorado) is a new marketing director who knows what the word means. Products don't sell themselves to people who don't know about them. In this declining economy, you need a big market share to absorb the declines in sales.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 9:48 PM   #8
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penolta wrote:
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The management change they need (at least in Golden, Colorado) is a new marketing director who knows what the word means. Products don't sell themselves to people who don't know about them. In this declining economy, you need a big market share to absorb the declines in sales.
You are Absolutely right Pen!
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 11:44 PM   #9
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Since Pentax makes some great cameras at attractive prices just buy one and get started taking photos.

I expect Pentax will be here in five years, but even if they are not you can get a lot of enjoyment out of your Pentax gear anyway. I agree with Penolta that if Pentax started pushing their products in local stores they would do better, starting with hiring back the reps they let go about a year ago.

One of the biggest camera stores in Minneapolis told me that they have not seen a Pentax rep in over a year.

Tom
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Old Feb 21, 2009, 10:38 AM   #10
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Hello,

'been a while since I posted. (I've been putting the finishing touches on a year-long project I've been working on.)

As for whether to buy Pentax or not . . .

If everyone stops buying Pentax because they are worried that it won't be around, then they won't be around for long. <grin> Kinda a, if you believe it, it will come true thing. (Although, I thought Pentax was just bought out by Hoya? So there is some money behind the company. Isn't there?)

Anyway, I like Pentax gear.

Bought the K100D a couple years back.

Just bought my Pentax 540FGZ flash last December.

Saving up for my Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye lens that I hope to purchase before the year end.

After that I'm lining myself up for a Pentax K200D (or whatever is out at that time.)

So . . . I'm doing all I can do to keep Pentax in business. <grin>!

Take care,
Glen



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