Is Pentax Dying?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by stillshooting, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. stillshooting macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I went to a photography store yesterday and the owner saw my Pentax K-10D and asked me whether I wanted that camera or was coerced into purchasing that camera! He also stated that due to pentax not being a major player, they will probably die out. Also, this guy remarked on the merger between pentax and hoya basically being a reslult of pentax owing hoya a lot of money and making it up by merging. I am not sure whether any of this is true. However, his final remark almost scared me: He said that if i am serious about photography (which i am) I should not purchase a pentax lens but rather sell my equipment and move on to either cannon or nikon because they will always be photography standards. Finally he said, "Pentax makes amazing cameras; the K-10D is a great piece of technology, but the brand has little to no following."

    What are your opinions on this matter?
     
  2. Macanadian macrumors member

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    #2
    I'm a Pentax user... If you are just starting out in your field of photography. Stick with the Pentax and not upgrade on any lenses, rent them if you have to or buy used ones.

    Pentax has been slow out of the starting gate for their DSLR camera's. I've held off of buying a DSLR till the K10D showed up. The only new lens I've bought so far has been a 50MM 1.4 lens.

    Once you get to the stage of your career of photography where the Pentax is holding you back. Then switch to another brand. That is what I'm doing.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    ^^Some people are going to argue that this is a bad strategy. Switching brands is difficult. It may not be expensive for you to do so, and it may not be difficult. However, it seems like a waste of time if you know you're going to switch eventually.


    Personally, I don't think it matters which brand you go with unless you need really long lenses, and you need to shoot sports. If that's the case, get a Nikon or Canon. If you're photographing bugs, flowers, family, randoms, friends, buildings, landscapes, etc, I don't believe it matters a lot. As a Pentax owner, you can buy Pentax lenses, or 3rd party. As a Nikon owner, I can buy Nikon lenses, or 3rd party. Sure, Nikon produces a lot more Nikon lenses than Pentax does Pentax lenses. However, if you're the type of person who doesn't mind buying 3rd party lenses, then owning a Pentax hurts you less.

    If you're interested, I only want two lenses right now, and I don't want either of them that badly. One is a Nikon, and the other is a Sigma. The Nikon lens I want is nothing special, and I'm certain there's a Pentax equivalent. The Sigma that I want is available for Pentax K-mount.
     
  4. cube macrumors G4

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    #4
    Hoya has a lot of money. They are the #1 maker of filters. It's obvious they want to go up in the foodchain.
     
  5. Macanadian macrumors member

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    #5
     
  6. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Years ago, in my film days, I was heavily invested in Olympus gear. Lot's of accessories, OM-1, OM-2, OM-4. Then, they just got out of the 35mm film market. Undercapitalized, they couldn't compete as photography shifted almost entirely to autofocus systems.

    Olympus overall is a BIG company, and they'd been making cameras since 1936. Then...poof...no more 35mm. I was abandoned. Switched to Nikon. I figure they (or Canon) are least likely to disappear on me in the future. Pentax...not so sure. No reason NOT to stick with those two long-time photography leaders. More models, more lenses, more accessories, more support, more likely to be in it for the long haul. IMHO.
     
  7. cube macrumors G4

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    #7
    Come on, even if Hoya didn't care, Pentax's is also Samsung's system.
     
  8. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

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    #8
    Just beat me to that - I have two Samsung camera's and I'm very happy.
     
  9. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #9
    I'm going to agree with the post about switching brands being a pain.

    I always used to explain that going SLR (now DSLR) is like getting married -- Unless you have a lot of cash kicking around at one time ... A system takes time to build -- a wide lens, a telephoto lens, a travel zoom, a better midrange lens, a portrait lens, a macro lens, a flash, a second flash. ALL these things depreciate pretty rapidly -- to switch systems can be quite expensive.

    Now, if you never got passed just the kit lens and the on board flash -- then maybe it's more like breaking off an engagement -- and not getting the ring back ;)

    I can't speak to pentax dieing ... but I can speak to the market being dominated by Nikon and Canon -- with Canon having a slight lead. I don't think I've ever shot a sports event and someone shot something other then those two brands.

    It has been my experience that Olympus has really charged the gate with their systems. And digital has made Lieca a lot more available to the masses.

    BUT when you're in the trenches at a Football game -- even as a Nikon user, you are hard to find in a sea of L-glass Canon lenses
     
  10. cube macrumors G4

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    #10
  11. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #11
  12. NEiMac macrumors regular

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    #12
    I dunno, with Samsung using the same mount I'm not sure I would worry to much about Pentax disappearing, you next camera might half to be a Samsung but your lenses should still work. :D If you do wanna switch brands do it sooner then later, it will only get harder to do unless your super rich.
     
  13. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #13
  14. Westside guy macrumors 601

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    #14
    For a couple decades, Nikon was THE pro camera. Then Canon made some good aggressive moves, while Nikon just piddled around... and Canon was able to basically dominate several of the pro areas such as sports photography. Nikon's slow response to Canon's pro digital offerings exacerbated the situation. Now Nikon is the one making aggressive moves, and they're rapidly gaining ground.

    I think this sort of competition benefits all of us.
     
  15. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #15
    I could not agree more.

    I hope this doesn't turn into a Nikon versus Canon debate
     
  16. Steamie macrumors 6502

    Steamie

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    #16
    I don't think Pentax are dying, that being said Canon & Nikon are streets ahead of the other brands in popularity, but thats all it is popularity.
    I'm not going to slag off either brand as I used to work for Canon and if I hadn't bought Pentax I probably would have bought the Nikon D200 or now the D300 (possibly 700). Take what the guy in the shop said with a pinch of salt, he is a salesman in a shop he has no more insider information than what you would find reading internet forum's.... try and find two of them that agree on anything ;)
    If you are a long time mac user, what would you have said 10 years ago if a salesman had told you don't but any more Mac equipment as Dell and H.P are much bigger and Apple will probably die out... you would likely have told him where to go !
    If your worried about investing in lenses then don't, but if you think you can successfully achieve where you want to get to in photography with the Pentax system (including 3rd party) after all you have already invested in that system, then go for it.
    In the end if you become successful enough I'm sure at that stage you could afford to bite the bullet and change systems. :D
     
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #17
    First, if I were you and if it was at all possible I would never return to that store again. Why give that dbag your cash? This is the typical hardware snob who will undoubtedly spend the rest of his life telling people what is good and what is bad without fact or reason in an effort to most likely justify his own purchases. These misinformed and uneducated twits have no place in the world of photography, though they often seem to set up camp regardless.

    RE: Pentax.
    I disagree about renting lenses first of all. I find lens rental is great for a lens you will seldom use, but if it's a lens you believe you'll use, don't waste too much in rental fees.

    I agree that switching brands is a pain and is very pricey. However, if one manufacturer somehow does something that entices you to switch, aside from the bells and whistles you see today, then switch. If there is something that will indeed enhance your skills, ease out your workflow, or just somehow make you get the best shot every time, then switching is worth it. To date, Canon has yet to make me want to switch as Nikon has suited my needs for over a decade.

    Interestingly enough though I will say that I read about the Pentax D20D and if I were in the market to switch, I would give Pentax some consideration. I like what they're putting in the camera and I like the price.

    Is Pentax dying? No more so than the market for P&S cameras. In other words, I doubt they'll die anything soon.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18
  19. gnd macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I don't believe in Pentax dieing either (and that's not because I'm a Pentax guy ;)).
    If anything, they're working with Samsung closer than ever before and Hoya's capital might be just what they need to get that K2D (K200D, K20D ...) out :D
     
  20. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    #20
    The release of the K20D and K200D shows they are still committing - it's not like there has been a lengthy refresh wait causing speculation (think of the Mac mini).

    But also what I like about Pentax is the large past selection of lenses, even if there were to be no future lenses made there is still a great library for a hobbyist to explore from the past.

    I don't see them as dying because in my view they are still staying competitive, I would not say their offerings are lacking behind the comparable Canons or Nikons for example.

    -If it was a company not offering products that have advantages over market leaders and a company that hadn't released a new camera in a while, I'd say they are fading.

    But at the moment I definitely don't see Pentax dying, they're maintaining their position well with good (enticing to me) offerings.
     
  21. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Another vote for Pentax but only because when it comes to lenses designs, their R&D also accommodates Contact Lenses, medical imaging, CCTV systems, surveying optics and Spectacles. They have a reputation for their glass. I suppose those different departments support each other so you have nothing to worry about, I doubt they are going to disappear because they do other things to invest their optical technology into. They just won't be a big player.
     
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    This is a most interesting discussion.

    In the film days, I had a Canon A-1 which was between their F-1 and AE-1 cameras. I have not graduated to the same level in DSLRs yet. Although, I do enjoy going to the store to see cameras as I plan on making the jump in the distant future.

    It seems here in Japan, Canon and Nikon are definitely the dominate players. Sony even has more presence that Pentax in the stores. So when I read the thread title, my initial reaction was yes they are.

    Although from reading this thread, it looks like there may be some life left in them. :) Definitely will have to look closer next time I go to the store.

    If I were to jump into it today, I would probably go with Canon. Like their interface better than Nikon.
     
  23. TheReef macrumors 68000

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    #23
    When I had made up my mind on what brand of camera to purchase the man in the store asks me why I was buying a Pentax - "Is there any reason your buying Pentax?", "We've got a nice D200 over here", a generalized attitude that doesn't help Pentax - much like 10 years ago walking into Harvey Norman - "Do you sell Macs?", "Hah, why would you want a Mac?, let me show you a nice Hewlet Packard over here".

    Buying in bulk from Canon and Nikon stores maximize profits initially, and also continually after bringing the customer into the lens system. Stocking Pentax for some may not make sense business wise. It's not good for the consumer, but at least there is eBay and ordering direct from Pentax - this lack of presence is what may some be thinking of as Pentax dying, but recently I have seen some Pentax featured in "The Good Guys" catalogue here in Australia.
     
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus

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    #24
    Good points.

    if I was new to photography, and wanted to see what is available, Canon and Nikon have the big store presence here in Japan. As I mentioned earlier, Sony has a bigger presence than Pentax. From a customer's perspective, I would go with Canon, Nikon or Sony and would disregard Pentax.

    This is a far cry from back in the 80's when it came down to Canon or Pentax for my 35mm SLR. Pentax had a much bigger presence then.
     
  25. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #25
    it sounds like the store owner maybe got some low end margins from Pentax or maybe he had some equip costs that he had to eat b/c they didn't sell and judging from that attitude, no wonder.

    I would have walked out. not for dissing Pentax, but for overstating his opinion. it's a not to be crossed when you are a store owner - keep your opinions to yourself unless asked. If you had said, "hey, do you dig my camera?" - then he had all rights to pipe off.

    As for the actual question - I don't think so. As someone else mentioned, they have a large range of professional products to help their bottom line so I believe they'll keep going with their models. They may not be the leader, but it still doesn't mean they can't compete or manufacture products which are capable of taking some great photos.

    I have the K100D and love it. I'm looking into new glass, but having a wide range of older lenses to search is beneficial cost wise.

    Go Pentax GO!

    PS. I have nothing really against Nikon or Canon. I ultimately chose Pentax b/c I heard the hardware specs were similar, yet the cost was lower. I did hold a D40 and it felt like a cheap, plastic toy. I'm sure it takes great photos, but I was so disappointed in holding it. My K100 has a metal body so it's quite sturdy...maybe I'm too used to it :)
     

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