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Archive 2012 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras
  
 
deadwolfbones
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p.1 #1 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Ricoh reshuffle sees Pentax take control of cameras: Digital Photography Review


Re-organization of Imaging Systems Business including Digital Camera Business

Tokyo, February 9, 2012 – Ricoh Company, Ltd. (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo, hereinafter Ricoh) announces an organizational change to its imaging system business including security system business and consumer digital camera business.

Since October 1, 2011 when PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY (President and CEO:Zenji Miura, hereinafter PRI) was established, Ricoh managed its global imaging system business under two brands, RICOH and PENTAX. Specifically RICOH brand digital cameras were designed, developed and sold by Personal Multimedia Product Company (hereinafter PMMC), an internal organization of Ricoh, while PENTAX brand digital cameras were designed, developed and
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Feb 09, 2012 at 03:51 AM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #2 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Inevitable, but I wonder if this will be a positive for GXR and other Ricoh cameras.

The Pentax K-01 causes me to shudder some...



Feb 09, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #3 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


I'm not sure this is such a good thing given what the new mirrorless Pentax looks like and given how innovative Ricoh has been with the GXR. I sort of thought Ricoh would be the one to inject originality and innovation into Pentax, not the other way around.


Feb 09, 2012 at 04:37 AM
LightShow
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p.1 #4 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


A little early for April fools...
The move makes complete sense as Pentax has the better brand recognition for camera systems.
Bring on the FF's!!



Feb 09, 2012 at 04:43 AM
deadwolfbones
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p.1 #5 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


I don't think it means all that much re: whose ideas are put forward. It just means that the Pentax brand is being put forward for all Ricoh-backed cameras.


Feb 09, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #6 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Tariq said,

I sort of thought Ricoh would be the one to inject originality and innovation into Pentax, not the other way around.

That's what I thought, too, but what LS and DWB say is also operative—it's interesting times to be a photographer, for sure.



Feb 09, 2012 at 05:13 AM
kosmoskatten
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p.1 #7 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


I am not sure yet, but I don't think it will affect Ricoh camera development adversely.
If it does, then it is a very sad day for me.

Pentax does have better brand recognition, but in that sense I think they are not willing to heavily invest in the full frame market.



Feb 09, 2012 at 05:29 AM
pingflood
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p.1 #8 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Who knows, maybe this will bring a neon yellow GXR.

Speaking of Pentax, I see they are now releasing some lenses that are mirrorless-only. Most Pentax owners keep yapping about how the Pentax mount hasn't changed in ages bla bla, but we now have:

Lenses that require "green button" stop down metering because the camera can't read the aperture setting properly.

"DA" lenses for crop bodies only.

SDM-only lenses that won't work on bodies without SDM.

SDM-only bodies that won't autofocus non-SDM lenses.

And now a "mirrorless" version where you can't use the lenses on SLR K-mount bodies.


And still they take the time to complain about how Canon "screwed" everyone when switching to K-mount, though I can take a modern EF mount lens with IS and all and have everything work fine on a 1987 vintage body, or vice versa.



Feb 09, 2012 at 07:35 AM
genji
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p.1 #9 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Tariq Gibran wrote:
I'm not sure this is such a good thing given what the new mirrorless Pentax looks like and given how innovative Ricoh has been with the GXR. I sort of thought Ricoh would be the one to inject originality and innovation into Pentax, not the other way around.


+1

Mirrorless Exhibit A: Ricoh GXR with M-mount unit
Mirrorless Exhibit B: Pentax K-01

And now Pentax management will be deciding how development resources are allocated!?

I'm praying that Ricoh/Pentax ships a revised GXR body (hopefully with a tilt-screen and integrated EVF) and a 16MP M-mount unit before it all goes pear-shaped.



Feb 09, 2012 at 07:41 AM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #10 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Looking on the bright side, I'm hoping something positive comes of this. How the alignment of these business units works practically is yet to be seen. I used to work for a large high tech firm that was acquired by a much bigger monster high tech firm. Some of the most interesting products of the acquired company lived on, with their design teams intact. Of course some were cast aside, deemed as non-core to the monster company's business.

Beyond the product future, it would surely be nice to see Ricoh GXR / GRD et al cameras distributed in my country / more countries -- maybe with the Pentax alignment that'll happen.

Only time will tell. Hopefully there will be clarifying comments and product announcements soon so we don't have to guess.



Feb 09, 2012 at 08:01 AM
 

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deadwolfbones
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p.1 #11 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


pingflood wrote:
Who knows, maybe this will bring a neon yellow GXR.

Speaking of Pentax, I see they are now releasing some lenses that are mirrorless-only. Most Pentax owners keep yapping about how the Pentax mount hasn't changed in ages bla bla, but we now have:

Lenses that require "green button" stop down metering because the camera can't read the aperture setting properly.

"DA" lenses for crop bodies only.

SDM-only lenses that won't work on bodies without SDM.

SDM-only bodies that won't autofocus non-SDM lenses.

And now a "mirrorless" version where you can't use the lenses on SLR K-mount bodies.

And still they take the time to complain about
...Show more

Are you really serious with this post?



Feb 09, 2012 at 02:44 PM
pingflood
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p.1 #12 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


deadwolfbones wrote:
Are you really serious with this post?


Which particular facts did I get wrong?

edit: yeah, screwed up on SDM-only body, someone said K-01 was SDM only and I didn't bother to check it. The rest stands though.



Feb 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM
deadwolfbones
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p.1 #13 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Well, to begin with, I don't think "most" Pentax users bitch about Canon ditching the FD mount. Some playful ribbing from a few people at times, but obviously most people understand things have to evolve.

But anyway, the fact remains that aside from the newest (as-yet-unreleased) K-01-specific lens, every Pentax K-mount lens can be mounted and used on every Pentax K-mount SLR. Some may lose AF ability (SDM-only lenses, of which there are like two, on older AF cameras), some may only be shot wide open (DA lenses on old manual focus bodies), and some don't cover the full image circle on film (some of the DAs, again—but not all). But all of them can be mounted and used.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Lenses that require "green button" stop down metering because the camera can't read the aperture setting properly."

Anyway, this all seems like a pretty off-topic and pointless thing to complain about.



Feb 09, 2012 at 03:19 PM
deadwolfbones
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p.1 #14 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Not to mention that you're talking about something (some) Pentax users do (talking down Canon for ditching the FD mount) versus something the company Pentax does (evolving the K-mount). They're unrelated subjects, for the most part.


Feb 09, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Lotusm50
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p.1 #15 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


From a business perspective this makes sense. This kind of rationalization reduces cost, can improve customer relationships, and provide better management focus and consistency and complementary product lines across brands. I would have been surprised if they didn't do this.




Feb 09, 2012 at 04:02 PM
pingflood
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p.1 #16 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


deadwolfbones wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by "Lenses that require "green button" stop down metering because the camera can't read the aperture setting properly."

Anyway, this all seems like a pretty off-topic and pointless thing to complain about.


Well, Pentax cripped the KAF2(?) mount so that the camera can't read the aperture setting on lenses with an aperture ring. The green button is used to stop down the lens, take a light meter reading, and open it back up. It is a nifty solution, but a solution to a problem that really ought not to exist in the first place. I have owned and shot Pentax DSLR bodies and found this annoying as hell. Other than that I think their bodies are in general well designed and thought out. The K20D I shot was incredibly intuitive and well put together, with lots of nice features.

Also, the new "XS" lens for the K-01 (and presumably successors) according to the news bit on Pentaxforums loses compatibility with DSLRs and SLRs altogether: "Perhaps the most interesting thing we've learned tonight is that Pentax has plans to take full advantage of the Pentax K-01's mirrorless construction. The new and unnamed SMC Pentax-DA XS lens, pictured above, will extend closer to the K-01's sensor than a normal K-mount lens would. The rear lens elements will be located in the area which would otherwise be blocked by the mirror on a DSLR. "

That really has me wondering what the hell they are thinking over at Pentax. They introduce a mirrorless that is fatter than all the existing ones because they want it to retain K-mount compatibility, then proceed to work on K-mount lenses that won't fit anything other than mirrorless bodies. I think they would have been far better off to make a thinner body, throw in a "free" K-mount adapter, and have a more flexible platform to build on.

Between that and the very confused-seeming marketing of the K-01 (it's got K-mount so people can use existing lenses, but we leave out a viewfinder because we are aiming towards people buying their first non-P&S camera and don't have any legacy lenses nor care about them) I wonder just what the hell Pentax is up to, and as a former Pentax shooter (starting back in the mid-90s with a ZX-M) I get really annoyed at what they are doing with the brand and products.

But, you are right, this is probably not the right place to vent my frustrations.

As for the Canon thing, I still read the Pentax forums since I have been a long time Pentax owner and the topic of "well Canon bla bla" comes up entirely too often, talking about how Pentax has maintained the wonderful compatibility while glossing over the little details like what I mentioned above. I think it gives people the erroneous impression that everything is perfectly compatible and they end up disappointed when things aren't quite what they appeared.



Feb 09, 2012 at 05:02 PM
deadwolfbones
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p.1 #17 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


Well, you make some valid points.

I don't think the strategy of making a mirrorless camera compatible with all K-mount lenses, and then making a series of extreme pancake lenses that make use of the former mirror box space, is necessarily all that dumb, though. Especially for a company in Pentax's position.



Feb 09, 2012 at 05:31 PM
mightaswell
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p.1 #18 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


pingflood wrote:
Who knows, maybe this will bring a neon yellow GXR.

Speaking of Pentax, I see they are now releasing some lenses that are mirrorless-only. Most Pentax owners keep yapping about how the Pentax mount hasn't changed in ages bla bla, but we now have:

Lenses that require "green button" stop down metering because the camera can't read the aperture setting properly.

"DA" lenses for crop bodies only.

SDM-only lenses that won't work on bodies without SDM.

SDM-only bodies that won't autofocus non-SDM lenses.

And now a "mirrorless" version where you can't use the lenses on SLR K-mount bodies.

And still they take the time to complain about
...Show more

Really good points here. It's the same story with Nikon, where in order to maintain "compatibility", many compromises were made. You could write a book regarding the intricacies of compatibility between Nikon lenses and bodies through the years.



Feb 09, 2012 at 06:34 PM
pingflood
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p.1 #19 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


I really don't want to come across as a Pentax-basher, honestly. I held onto my K20D hoping for better autofocus and/or full frame in the next body. When it became clear neither was going to happen anytime soon I jumped ship to Canon, buying a 1DsII which solved both issues in one fell swoop.

Had the K-5 been released much earlier I would still be shooting Pentax, but it took a while to get there and now I am very unclear as to the direction the company is heading in. For now, Olympus is winning me over with the E-M5 which will take over duties as an "everyday" shooter leaving my Canons for landscape and wildlife work.

And yes, the Nikon "compatibility matrix" is something I love to show people when they start yammering about how Nikon unlike Canon kept the mount all these years bla bla

I no doubt would have been pissed as all hell I had been an FD shooter back in the days, but one has to give it to Canon: they really did do an excellent job creating a system that has remained highly compatible through the years.

But now we are entirely off the topic...



Feb 09, 2012 at 06:59 PM
deadwolfbones
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p.1 #20 · Pentax division takes over Ricoh cameras


K-5 AF is drastically improved over the K20D, I have to say (I've owned both), as are most other aspects of it (loss of the SR switch is really my only complaint).

I have no doubt they'll have followups to the K-r and K-5 coming soon, without the Marc Newson styling. And I've heard strong rumors from connected individuals that a FF is indeed coming (with Ricoh's backing). It's a pretty exciting time to be a Pentaxian, honestly.

Edited on Feb 09, 2012 at 07:02 PM · View previous versions



Feb 09, 2012 at 07:01 PM
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