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Old Jul 31, 2012, 3:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Trojan_Clint View Post
- In a market that is dominated by the heavy hitters of Canon and Nikon, what characteristics of the Pentax brand are appealing to you the consumer
My main reason for choosing Pentax was that I had 3 old Pentax film bodies and about 5 lenses. I decided the lenses would be a good starting point to move to digital and a digital Pentax body would work with my old lenses. It goes beyond old lens working, Canon and Nikon to a degree can do that but with Pentax they work easily (mostly without adapters) and the camera menu system supports easily using the old lenses. It is easy to change between old and new lenses, just swap the lens, no menu items to change etc.. I have purchased several new auto focus lenses and have also purchased several used old (garage sale 70's version) Pentax lenses at very good price. It can become a hobby just looking for old lenses. Many of the old lenses are also of great quality.

- In what method is the purchase and delivery of the good right for you

In Michigan the only option is Internet purchase for Pentax

- What keeps bringing you back to the Pentax brand for repeat business?

All my stuff is the main reason but the Pentax user community on the web is a close second. I frequent several good Pentax related sites and the problem solving and equipment information available is amazing. I use Canon for point and shoot cameras and the support available from users on Pentax forums is much better. This forum is kind of unique here it's more about the photography and the friendship of the group than the brand but the brand is the rallying point that keeps it more intimate.

- If there was one word to describe the rationale behind a Pentax purchase, what would it be (price, quality, etc)?

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Old Jul 31, 2012, 9:17 PM   #12
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First let me say that I Purchased my first and only DSLR (k-x) only 2 years ago. When I began my search I did all the usual research. I visited local camera shops, Electronic chain stores, and the big box stores. No one had Pentax. It wasn't until I was doing some research into DSLR reviews that I came across Pentax. I had an old K-1000 (completely manual, film SLR) back in the 80's. I had long ago sold that equipment so I was starting from scratch. I was however familiar with the brand, and felt very comfortable ordering the camera on-line sight unseen. Which is really not my style. I should also state that I am a hobby level photographer. Any really good shots I get are dumb luck..

- In a market that is dominated by the heavy hitters of Canon and Nikon, what characteristics of the Pentax brand are appealing to you the consumer (price, features, durability, etc)?

I am very involved with my sons Boy Scout troop and wanted a DSLR that would use "AA" batteries because on long trips (7-10 days) I don't often have access to electricity to recharge batteries, but can take extra "AA" in my pack or in a pinch I can steal them from my flashlight. I was also very impressed with the in camera image stabilization rather than in each lens which I assumed would help reduce the lens costs. I didn't care for the larger camera bodies from N & C so the smaller body size was a definite plus. At the time of my purchase the price point on the k-x was better than N & C of similar configurations. However one of the main reasons I decided on Pentax was the availability of old lenses. Every Pentax lens from the late 60's early 70's will fit and work on the current DSLR bodies. They may not be automatic, but I picked up a 135mm portrait lens (from the 70's or 80's) on e-bay for $25. It works great and you can't beat that value.

- In what method is the purchase and delivery of the good right for you (internet, professional camera shop, etc)

I am a hands on shopper... That being said I ordered my k-x on-line because it was not available in stores for handling. I did however explore N & C in stores.

- What keeps bringing you back to the Pentax brand for repeat business?

Brand familiarity and features I value.

- If there was one word to describe the rationale behind a Pentax purchase, what would it be (price, quality, etc)?

Value.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 12:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trojan_Clint View Post
Ok that's a very interesting point. Pentax offers the compatibility to pre-digital equipment. Now this may not be useful to someone who has entered the market at the film to digital shift, but to those that were already in the hobby/profession, this would make a big difference. To your knowledge, does the competitors in Canon and Nikon offer this same feature?
Canon switched their mount completely back in the film days, so not all of their lenses will work on the modern digital cameras. Nikon offers different capabilities - their basic cameras can't use certain old lenses, while the more expensive cameras can. I'm not sure of all of the details. Sony can use the Minolta Maxxum lenses, but not earlier than that.



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Ok, just a follow up question to this, if Pentax's main competition offered the equivalent weather sealing at a equal to lower price, would you consider switching? Or has the familiarity (or connection) to the brand made you loyal enough to stick with it the brand regardless of the money you would hypothetically save?
It's not the camera where the expense is, it's in the lenses. I've added enough expensive lenses to my kit that it would cost me way too much to sell what I have and buy equivalent lenses. Pentax has some unique offerings (the small limited lenses) though the other manufacturers are starting to offer some similar ones. And in general, lenses with anti-shake built in weigh more, if the same quality. I'm tiny and can't manage any more weight than what I have now. So I'm not likely to switch.

I did use my department's D7000 camera once. I thought the pictures I got with the better of the two lenses I used comparable to what I could get with the K5 and a similar lens (both use the same sensor). I did find the controls disorienting though. I don't think that, in itself, would stop me from getting one, like anything else I could get used to it.

P.S. I prefer to handle things before I buy. Most of the cameras I've bought locally (the K5 from Samys as they matched Amazon's price). And I'm one who's easily influenced - I went to the K7 tour (I already had bought one) so that I could look at both the DA*200 and DA*60-250. I was looking for something between 135 and 300. I ended up buying the DA 10-17, DA*200 and DA*300, all because I really loved how they handled and discovered that the DA*300 was better than my A*300 - not hugely so, but having AF was sure nice. I didn't need the DA* but after handling it I didn't (and still don't) have any regrets about buying it.

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Old Aug 2, 2012, 10:36 PM   #14
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In a market that is dominated by the heavy hitters of Canon and Nikon, what characteristics of the Pentax brand are appealing to you the consumer .

My K10 was my first SLR (so I had no lens investment), I decided on it because of it's similar feature set to other camera's at a similar price point, but robust construction and internal stabilisation swung me Pentax's way

In what method is the purchase and delivery of the good right for you (internet, professional camera shop, etc)

Personel contact is always preferred, but finding a shop locally to service my needs is increasingly difficult, so I used whatever means is required.

What keeps bringing you back to the Pentax brand for repeat business?

My current investment in gear, and that there isn't anything dramatically better than what I have, in my price range, to make me jump ship.

If there was one word to describe the rationale behind a Pentax purchase, what would it be (price, quality, etc)?

There is far too many variables to be covered by one word, but, "Competitiveness" in whatever segment of the photographic market you intended to enter may be wide enough.

Good luck.

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Old Aug 3, 2012, 10:13 AM   #15
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When I bought my first dSLR, the *istDL, it was the cheapest one I found with kit lens at the time. I knew the Pentax brand (my father had a Program Plus) and I trusted it to be quality. The fact that Pentax has stuck with the K mount for so long adds additional appeal for me. I like that I can go out and find older manual lenses that have great quality and use them on my K20D. I upgraded to the K20D a few years ago when the price dropped as the new models were coming out and it seems to me that Pentax has made a commitment to improve their cameras and compete with the bigger names out there. I like that I'm usually the only one in the crowd with a Pentax camera when everyone else is sporting a Nikon or Canon, makes me feel different. As far as brick and mortar vs online, I go with price and convenience and for me online is more convenient for getting what I want. The local camera shops tend to sell for a lot more than I can get online. I don't always go for the absolute cheapest price I can find, I'll still stick to a retailer with verified track record of quality as well. When I bought my DA 55-300 lens I bought from B&H at a higher price but established retail quality. Thankfully I've not had to call in my waranties yet so we'll see how that is if it happens (knock on wood).
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Old Aug 3, 2012, 4:28 PM   #16
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In a market that is dominated by the heavy hitters of Canon and Nikon, what characteristics of the Pentax brand are appealing to you the consumer?

When I bought my first DSLR, the K10D, it had everything I was needing, in-body stabilization, legacy lenses and the best bang for the buck. I have moved to the Km and then the Kx. Pentax has fallen behind the curve in two areas, articluated LCD and really usable live view, that prevent me from upgrading.

In what method is the purchase and delivery of the good right for you (internet, professional camera shop, etc).

Internet. There is not a store that carries Pentax within hundreds of miles.


What keeps bringing you back to the Pentax brand for repeat business?

Since the Kx, there has been no repeat. I wait in vain, as Pentax produces niche cameras like the Q and the K-01 for the above stated features. As others have stated, there is no way to change systems at this time due to ridiculous lens prices.

If there was one word to describe the rationale behind a Pentax purchase, what would it be (price, quality, etc)?

Bang for the buck, Pentax still offers the best value in DSLRs, but they are behind with regards to features now common in all other DSLRs.

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Old Aug 4, 2012, 1:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
- In a market that is dominated by the heavy hitters of Canon and Nikon, what characteristics of the Pentax brand are appealing to you the consumer (price, features, durability, etc)?
1. Feature set compared with Nikon / Canon who cripple their lower priced cameras to encourage buyers up the chain to buy a camera with the features they require. Note even the superb new US$3,000 Nikon D800, currently being feted for it's superb Dynamic Range, amongst other assets, only matches the K5 in that area, both around 14 EV (of course with a 36MP FF sensor it can do a bit more with it, but that's besides the point).
2. In-Camera Stabilisation. This not only means lower priced top end lenses (since they do not require in-lens stabilisation) but smaller, lighter lenses and one would assume lens longevity.
3. Size.
4. WR
5. Be Different. This is attractive to mavericks like us ! I don't buy with the crowd if there is something equivalent in another brand.

Quote:
- In what method is the purchase and delivery of the good right for you (internet, professional camera shop, etc)
Camera & Lens Purchasing
I have bought all of my large ($ wise) purchases from the same local shop, luckily over here they are very price competitive with on-line prices. Indeed when I bought my first Pentax (the K7) it equaled the very lowest on-line price I could find in the USA. Since then I have bought 2 K5s and a Q. The first K5 I didn't buy at a reduced price, I paid US$1,500 for it and it was more expensive at the time than the Nikon D7000 - it's equivalent in the Nikon range. I bought the second K5 when it hit US$900 as I needed two bodies for shooting paid events and the K7 was failing in lighting conditions the K5 wasn't.

Quote:
- What keeps bringing you back to the Pentax brand for repeat business?
Same Reasons I bought Pentax in the first place. I love Pentax, but not so much as to deny myself a better product if one exists for what I require of a camera and lenses.

Quote:
- If there was one word to describe the rationale behind a Pentax purchase, what would it be (price, quality, etc)?
Feature set (for all cameras across the range) compared with it's peers.

In the Future
I will probably buy the replacement for the K5. I may buy a Pentax FF if they bring one out with the specs I am looking for. I will be buying a Nikon FF for shooting birds as the lack of long Pentax lenses is crippling in this field - both birding and Full Frame cameras are very big fields that Pentax have ignored for too long. The togs in those sectors are usually big spenders who buy the best lenses (often one lens costing much more than the camera they are fitted to and many times the price of a K5) and I have seen many Pentaxians move on because of the lack of an upgrade path to FF (full frame) and the lack of long lenses (500/600/800) and high quality AF TCs to work with those lenses.
I will definitely be keeping at least one K5 (or it's replacement) and my favourite lenses (43, 77, 15 and Zeiss) so will be running two systems for 2013.

Marketing
As mentioned Pentax must attract the younger photographers. i think this is very difficult when most will not want to be seen as being different from their peers - mainly buying Nikon/Canon. Though the range of different coloured bodies available in entry priced cameras, the Q and the K-01 are all appealing to younger buyers.
If rumours are to be believed and we have a new Pentax FF as well as a new flagship APS-C camera on the way then Hoya are addressing two areas of weakness. The road-map indexed 560mm maybe too late arriving for many though.

In the UK I saw Pentax had upped their game in a very positive way with their marketing, using a well known TV star posing with a Pentax. There was also a superb viral video that went around on YouTube and FaceBook. Another great strategy. For younger buyers these are much more effective marketing tools than a list of specifications on a page in a photographic magazine. That is for the higher end cameras and lenses.
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC

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Old Aug 7, 2012, 6:29 PM   #18
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Looks like an interesting survey, and a good springboard towards your assignment.

In a market that is dominated by the heavy hitters of Canon and Nikon, what characteristics of the Pentax brand are appealing to you the consumer?[/COLOR]

In-camera stabilization, weather-resistance, backwards compatibility with legacy (cheap) lenses.

In what method is the purchase and delivery of the good right for you (internet, professional camera shop, etc).

Only one local camera shop (ritz), and they don't sell Pentax. So internet works fine for me.

What keeps bringing you back to the Pentax brand for repeat business?

Pentax cameras & lenses give me the image appearance & quality I desire.

If there was one word to describe the rationale behind a Pentax purchase, what would it be (price, quality, etc)?

Hard to put it in one word, but quality would be a good one...
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 10:33 PM   #19
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Here is this fairly long running thread over on the other Pentax Forum that addresses one of your questions...

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Old Aug 8, 2012, 10:41 PM   #20
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I've been out of the country for the past week, and so I'm chiming in rather late. I hope my input will be of some value, though i suspect others have already discussed the characteristics that brought me to Pentax.

When I first jumped from a cheap digital P&S to a “serious” digital camera, I bought a Panasonic FZ30, an EVF superzoom. It was a very nice camera, with a sharp lens that went from fairly wide to very telephoto. But there are many compromises that are inherent in the design of superzooms, the biggest one being that they all have very small sensors. After using the FZ30 for a while I found that I wanted the image quality and the shallow depth of field that only a large sensor can provide. I considered in-body image stabilization to be critical, and at the time, only Pentax and Konika/Minolta offered that. Canon and Nikon made excellent cameras, but their image stabilization was (and still is) lens-based, not in-body. Pentax cameras were priced very competitively, and received very good reviews. After doing fairly extensive research, I bought a Pentax K100D, and was very pleased with it. For the price, it was a great camera. Eventually I upgraded to the K20, and just recently made the jump to the K5. Each time I have been delighted with the improvement in performance and image quality. My wife also bought into the Pentax system, first with the K200D, then upgrading to the K7. Very attractive pricing was a major factor in our decision to go with Pentax, but Pentax cameras are no longer significantly less expensive than comparable models from Canon, Nikon, or Sony.

Like many others I gradually built up my lens collection, which would make it very expensive to switch. But I’m very happy with the performance of my Pentax gear and with the image quality it produces, so I’ve never been tempted to jump to another system. But I will say that Pentax’s marketing strategy utterly baffles me.

Their naming system is not just irrational; it borders on utterly insane. Early on they introduced the istD. What sort of a name is that?!? Then they topped themselves by introducing the *istD. Who thought it was a good idea to put an asterisk in the name of a product? If you wanted to find information on that camera, many search engines mistook the asterisk for a wildcard, making it very difficult for interested customers to find the information they wanted.

Then Pentax introduced the enthusiast-level K100, and the professional or advanced amateur level K10. They were superseded by the K200 and the K20 respectively, and it appeared that Pentax had finally adopted a sensible naming system for their cameras. But of course, that was not to be. The K200 was replaced by the Kx, which was then replaced by the Kr. The K20 was replaced by the K7, which was then replaced by the K5. Now they have just introduced the K30, and while it appears to be a superb camera, I have no idea where it falls in their lineup. As a dedicated customer, I find it very difficult to follow which model has replaced which, since the naming system appears to lack any sort of rhyme or reason. I suspect that more than a few potential buyers have become baffled by the wacky naming system, and decided to go with another brand. (But in fairness, many other manufacturers also have confusing naming systems.)

Pentax makes very good cameras, but I often think their marketing is not just ineffective; it seems downright counterproductive! I hope these thoughts are of some value in your project.
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