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Old Aug 9, 2012, 1:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mtnman View Post
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 They were superseded by the K200 and the K20 respectively, and it appeared that Pentax had finally adopted a sensible naming system for their cameras.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.)

This is the first that I have seen mentioned and it is very interesting. The naming convention is often times underestimated when referring to brands. Take the auto industry for example. Thank you for bringing this up.
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Old Aug 9, 2012, 1:36 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by hnikesch View Post
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.

I'm starting to get a feel that maybe the switching costs of going to another brand may just be the main deciding factor here. This makes getting the initial purchase so imperative for the first time digital buyer at this level. Once a customer is locked in, it appears as if it will take quite a bit to switch. Forgive me, I'm thinking "out loud" Thank you for your time
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Old Aug 9, 2012, 1:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post

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.

I agree, niche marketing can be tricky. Where a company can be lured into large marketshares by the sheer numbers, they often find themselves in a head on collision with a giant like Nikon or Sony. 90% of the time, the giant will win this contest. I think the key here for Pentax will be to grab a portion of the marketshare without directly challenging the big boys. Great Insight!
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Old Aug 9, 2012, 1:55 AM   #24
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To everyone who participated in this thread, a good heartfelt thank you goes out to all of you. If I did not directly reply to your post, it does not mean the information was not useful. It was most likely so thorough that I had no reply but to shut up and listen.

I had a couple of focus group strategies and this was by far the most informative. My dad was right when it comes to the level of expertise here. I am starting to put this info together over the next couple of weeks. I will post updates of what I've drawn up so far.

Again, Thank you so much for your time and enthusiasm

Clint Logan
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Old Aug 9, 2012, 7:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Trojan_Clint View Post
I'm starting to get a feel that maybe the switching costs of going to another brand may just be the main deciding factor here. This makes getting the initial purchase so imperative for the first time digital buyer at this level. Once a customer is locked in, it appears as if it will take quite a bit to switch. Forgive me, I'm thinking "out loud" Thank you for your time
No the availability of used high quality lenses form the 60' thru 90's is more of a factor because you can inexpensively expand your lens collection. Once a customer is "locked in" is a common factor for all manufactures.


...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DA PLM 55-300, DA 18-135, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 11:36 AM   #26
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Well, I actually shoot two systems right now, a Nikon FF and Pentax.

I have been shooting Pentax since 1969 and always loved their small camera's and excellent lenses, so when I went digital, I purchased a *istDS. That was an amazing camera, no FF or BF, great WB and as I look back, that camera took some fantastic photographs. The only issue I ever had with the *stDS was the AF, which I found to be far less accurate and much slower than my last Pentax film cameras.

I went to the K10D when it came out, then the K20D and found the upgrade in pixels to be very nice, but suddenly with the moving sensor, there were FF and BF issues all over the place. Also, the focus issue was still there, but I did love the color of the photographs, the camera size and weather sealing of the two new Pentax cameras.

I was still having a difficult time with the slow AF with Pentax, so I purchased a Nikon FF camera and two Nikon VRII lenses to go with it. The Nikon would almost focus in the dark and with moving objects such as flying birds, where was no contest, the Nikon was amazing.

The Nikon camera bodies are about on the same level as Pentax when it comes to price, but when it comes to lenses, Nikon really knows how to charge. They think nothing of charging $5,000 for a lens for their FF cameras, so there is a major price gap there, although to be fair, Pentax doesn't have a FF camera with lenses to compare prices to.

I am now waiting to see where Pentax will go with their new Flagship DSLR, but I will not purchase another Pentax unless they fix the AF issue, which is extremely important to me. I have a major investment in Pentax lenses and would really find it difficult to drop Pentax completely, but I have slowed down on my Pentax purchases in the last few years.

As for new customers, I have no idea how Pentax can deal with that, since there presence in Brick and Mortar stores in the US is basically non existent so no new potential customers can ever look at Pentax before buying. Pentax makes great cameras, but very few people even know that they are still in business which is a serious problem when you are trying to sell to general public.

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Old Nov 15, 2012, 7:58 PM   #27
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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 (price, features, durability, etc)?

- For me, image quality. And maybe nostalgia.
- Of course, RE: image quality, I wouldn't have known how good this Pentax k100d was if my dad didn't buy it for me. [When my point-and-shoot camera died, I guess he saw how much I wanted to keep taking pictures of my daughter, so cunningly he bought me a Pentax K100d. Cunningly, I say, because the way he went about was to tell me that he was thinking of using his old Pentax lenses again and asked me what camera to buy that would work with them. When he picked up the camera, he turned around and gave me his big bag of lenses and the new camera and told me to test it out, make sure it all worked, and then show him how to use it. When I went to give him back the camera and lenses, he said, hang on to it a bit longer and use it. That went on for quite a while before I realized that he had bought me a camera.]
- If he hadn't done that, I was lined up to buy my buddy's Canon Rebel as he was upgrading to a Canon XT. If I had bought my buddy's Canon, that would have been it. I would have never used the Pentax and I would have been a Canon user. Not that there is anything wrong with that. And now I am a Canon user anyway with an old Canon 10D.
- But then again, that's like me and Nikon. I picked up a Nikon D70s for cheap to play with high-speed sync flash on the cheap and ended up really liking the autofocus assist light and fast focusing.

In what method is the purchase and delivery of the good right for you (internet, professional camera shop, etc)
- When I buy a new camera, I want to get my hands on it. So for a camera purchase I want to see it in a brick and mortar store.
- For lenses and accessories, I buy from the Internet all the time.

What keeps bringing you back to the Pentax brand for repeat business?
- Lens and accessory investment.
- Image quality.
- Actually, the last new dSLR I bought was my Nikon D5100. It was a choice between it and the Pentax K-r. The thing that made me choose the Nikon over the Pentax was that my main reason for updating my camera was to let me take pictures of my daughter at gymnastics meets. There you are not allowed to use flash so you need faster lenses. I thought it would be easier to get faster glass for the Nikon platform than the Pentax. And I could see that my Nikon D70s was better capable of faster autofocus than my Pentax K100d.
- Actually, long ago I was going to upgrade to the Pentax K200. But I decided to slip in buying the Pentax AF540FGZ. When I turned around to get the Pentax K200, it had disappeared and in my price bracket was the Pentax K-m, which didn't have the autofocus points in the viewfinder, which I use a lot, so I passed on it. Then the Pentax K-x was also missing the autofocus points. So I was about to give up on Pentax when suddenly the Pentax K-r brought the autofocus points back to the entry / enthusiast level camera. Along with the autofocus assist light that is one of the reasons I like the Nikon platform. And they are getting serious about autofocus performance. So I'm back to having hope of upgrading my Pentax K100d again. (Although there are a couple more things I want to get for my Nikon set-up before I put some more money back into my Pentax set-up.)

If there was one word to describe the rationale behind a Pentax purchase, what would it be (price, quality, etc)?
- Nostalgia.
- Yeah, I could say image quality, which is a pretty good thing.
- But Nostalgia is probably a big thing for more. Using Pentax brings back memories of my dad using his Pentax SV. That was the 1st slr I used. Then my dad's Pentax ME Super and then his Pentax Super Program.

! If Pentax is listening . . . I wish Pentax released something like the Olympus OM-D E-M5. I want a Pentax dSLR that looks like my dad's Pentax SV. (Or at least a Spotmatic, KX, or MX. Probably more the MX because of its smaller size.) Complete with a shutter speed dial with all the shutter speeds on it. And the shutter speed dial top plate flips over some how to reveal the more current conventional PASM dial on the other side, if that's what you like. And it doesn't even have to be full-frame! <grin>

I guess, growing up, before all this digital camera stuff, I had always envisioned walking around taking pictures of my kids with my dad's Pentax camera. Not just a camera like it, but his actual camera. Actually, just thinking about it now, I guess since my dad actually bought this Pentax k100d I have that. Complete with his old manual focus lenses. I never really thought about that until now. <grin>

Last edited by tacticdesigns; Nov 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 10:36 AM   #28
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Some great information here. I'm going to throw in something else for you to consider from a business standpoint:
You say you are interested in learning what the pro / semi-pro photographer has to say. You need to be sure you clarify your definitions of those markets. There are plenty of people who want and buy "professional level" equipment but they earn zero dollars from it. Then there are photographers that rely on photography as the main source of income to pay the mortgage and put food on their table. They really are two different market segments. In between you'll find people who, like many on this board (myself included) earn a supplemental income from photography - but that's very different than being a professional (IMO) because it's not the primary source of income.

So, my point is: do not confuse "great photographer" with "professional photographer". If you really want a legitimate market analysis you need to define your terms of professional & "semi Professional" and make sure your survey responses are appropriately classified. Good luck on your assignment!
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