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distant.star

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Pentax Gets New Owner
« on: July 01, 2011, 02:59:01 AM »
From Reuters:

TOKYO, July 1 | Fri Jul 1, 2011 1:53am EDT

(Reuters) - Japanese optical glassmaker Hoya said on Friday it would sell its Pentax camera business to copier and printer maker Ricoh in a deal that will go through on Oct. 1.

Hoya did not disclose how much Ricoh would pay for the business, but the Nikkei business daily said earlier it would be about 10 billion yen ($124 million). ($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen)
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Pentax Gets New Owner
« on: July 01, 2011, 02:59:01 AM »

bycostello

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2011, 04:27:35 AM »
with sony and olympus already snapping at Nikon and Conon's heals.. could make for some interesting product development...

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2011, 10:25:50 AM »
the Nikkei business daily said earlier it would be about 10 billion yen ($124 million). ($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen)

In 2007, Hoya bought Pentax for $1 billion.  Now they're selling it for 12% of what they paid?  Probably incorrect, but if true, ouch! 
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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2011, 02:28:32 PM »
I've seen it said that Pentax is pretty well on the way out.  This could very well mean that it will become just re-branded cameras.  I hope not.

We see people who comment all the time about how easy it must be to design and build high end digital cameras, but it is very difficult and requires a huge investment which Hoya apparently is not willing to spend.

bvukich

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2011, 02:53:08 PM »
with sony and olympus already snapping at Nikon and Conon's heals.. could make for some interesting product development...

Not in DSLR sales.  If I remember correctly from the last sales numbers I saw, Nikon & Canon combined are around 85% of sales.  That's a small slice of pie left for everyone else.

If you're talking P&S and bridge cameras, that would be much closer to the truth; there are a lot of players in that market though.

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2011, 02:53:58 PM »
the Nikkei business daily said earlier it would be about 10 billion yen ($124 million). ($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen)

In 2007, Hoya bought Pentax for $1 billion.  Now they're selling it for 12% of what they paid?  Probably incorrect, but if true, ouch!
Not unheard of in business. Where I work in my "day job" they bought another company before the economic situation, and sold it after. The difference in loss is comparable, but someone decided it was the best thing to do.

$124M isn't much in absolute terms. If I can just get a multi-rollover lottery win I could afford it... :D
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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2011, 02:59:33 PM »
Not in DSLR sales.  If I remember correctly from the last sales numbers I saw, Nikon & Canon combined are around 85% of sales.  That's a small slice of pie left for everyone else.

If you're talking P&S and bridge cameras, that would be much closer to the truth; there are a lot of players in that market though.
There seems to be a trend in the press to count "interchangeable lens cameras" as a group and work units out as a market share. No surprise that shows Sony/Olympus/Panasonic growing at the expense of Canon/Nikon. The big question is therefore are "mirrorless" cameras going to kill DSLRs, and where things go from there. I wouldn't expect any quick change whatever happens.
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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2011, 02:59:33 PM »

bvukich

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2011, 03:27:37 PM »
Not in DSLR sales.  If I remember correctly from the last sales numbers I saw, Nikon & Canon combined are around 85% of sales.  That's a small slice of pie left for everyone else.

If you're talking P&S and bridge cameras, that would be much closer to the truth; there are a lot of players in that market though.
There seems to be a trend in the press to count "interchangeable lens cameras" as a group and work units out as a market share. No surprise that shows Sony/Olympus/Panasonic growing at the expense of Canon/Nikon. The big question is therefore are "mirrorless" cameras going to kill DSLRs, and where things go from there. I wouldn't expect any quick change whatever happens.

Until there is fast and accurate CD AF, there's no way mirrorless will kill DSLRs.  I could see it taking a significant bite out of the low-end market though (granted, that's where most of the sales are).  And if someone does come out with a large sensor (APS-C or larger) mirrorless, with really good lens support, and AF at least as good as low end DSLRs; I could see it being absolutely devastating to the low-mid end DSLR market.  Maybe even as second bodies for pros with less demanding AF needs (wedding/event).

kubelik

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2011, 03:35:16 PM »
There seems to be a trend in the press to count "interchangeable lens cameras" as a group and work units out as a market share. No surprise that shows Sony/Olympus/Panasonic growing at the expense of Canon/Nikon. The big question is therefore are "mirrorless" cameras going to kill DSLRs, and where things go from there. I wouldn't expect any quick change whatever happens.

I don't think small-body interchangeable lens cameras are going to kill DSLRs, but I do think they are going to eat into both the DSLR and P+S market considerably.  these cameras are now cutting down into the price range of high end P+S cameras as well as entry level DSLRs, with an incredibly small form factor and most of the things that anybody would want out of an entry-level DSLR (and sometimes more).

we're probably 3 to 5 years out from Canon feeling threatened enough to drop a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera but I think it'll get there.  I think they'll complement high-end DSLRs rather than replace them, I think big-body owners would love to have something that takes their glass in a smaller size that they can haul around for fun when their 5D-series cam is just too big and awkward.

overall, it depends on the economy.  if the economy gets cranking again with lots of folks having disposable income, the high end market will thrive as it did in the mid-2000s.  if the economy stays sluggish, people will gravitate toward cheaper solutions / not purchasing anything at all.

Until there is fast and accurate CD AF, there's no way mirrorless will kill DSLRs.  I could see it taking a significant bite out of the low-end market though (granted, that's where most of the sales are).  And if someone does come out with a large sensor (APS-C or larger) mirrorless, with really good lens support, and AF at least as good as low end DSLRs; I could see it being absolutely devastating to the low-mid end DSLR market.  Maybe even as second bodies for pros with less demanding AF needs (wedding/event).

from what I've heard about the latest olympus m4/3s cameras ... the AF is getting there.  I think the rebels are going to see some major change over the next few development cycles.

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2011, 04:36:30 PM »
from what I've heard about the latest olympus m4/3s cameras ... the AF is getting there.  I think the rebels are going to see some major change over the next few development cycles.
For one-shot focus, it isn't getting just there. It has got there. The recent Panasonic models were already "DSLR fast" and the new batch from Olympus announced yesterday are claimed to be even faster. I think one shot AF speed is no longer an issue, at least in the m4/3 camp. I don't know how NEX or others will compare.

Mirrorless' weakness is still when you need depth tracking AF. There was an interesting Patent from Olympus that might provide that, with some other tradeoffs. Otherwise if one-shot can get any faster, they might be able to brute force their way into it. Note the mirrorless AF speed comes as much from the lens as the body, like with SLRs. The thing is they are making fast focus speed a design choice, which isn't so much the case in SLR land. There may be a cost to Olympus' faster focus lenses though, as their earlier lenses achieved the faster focus in part by using a design where only one optical element moves. There may be a trade off for optical quality here.
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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2011, 02:07:59 PM »

Very astute, N.

Further reading on the subject suggests Hoya is not selling all they bought in 2007. There is a big medical segment they are retaining.



the Nikkei business daily said earlier it would be about 10 billion yen ($124 million). ($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen)

In 2007, Hoya bought Pentax for $1 billion.  Now they're selling it for 12% of what they paid?  Probably incorrect, but if true, ouch!
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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2011, 06:58:11 AM »
from what I've heard about the latest olympus m4/3s cameras ... the AF is getting there.  I think the rebels are going to see some major change over the next few development cycles.
For one-shot focus, it isn't getting just there. It has got there. The recent Panasonic models were already "DSLR fast" and the new batch from Olympus announced yesterday are claimed to be even faster. I think one shot AF speed is no longer an issue, at least in the m4/3 camp. I don't know how NEX or others will compare.

Mirrorless' weakness is still when you need depth tracking AF. There was an interesting Patent from Olympus that might provide that, with some other tradeoffs. Otherwise if one-shot can get any faster, they might be able to brute force their way into it. Note the mirrorless AF speed comes as much from the lens as the body, like with SLRs. The thing is they are making fast focus speed a design choice, which isn't so much the case in SLR land. There may be a cost to Olympus' faster focus lenses though, as their earlier lenses achieved the faster focus in part by using a design where only one optical element moves. There may be a trade off for optical quality here.

We'll --> http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2011a/nr110630ep3e.html

They have a little star next to the text "World's fastest AF" and it states at the bottom, that it is their own test with the subject at 1m and lens set at infinity. The DOF is quite enormous then and theres not much to focus. And I've seen some videos with Olympus guys pressing the touchscreen and stating that that is the world's fastest AF. The problem is that when they do that, they're pressing the screen in the same place all the time, so the camera doesn't even have to refocus - and based on that they say that?! That's just rediquilous. Any other camera is just as fast focusing on the same non moving object over and over again. And I've seen many videos of tests, where the EP3 can't really focus or focuses slow, which is quite the opposite of what the Olympus representatives say.

Therefore I don't think that these type of cameras will threaten DSLR market very soon.



BTW, what does this selling of PENTAX say about it? That it can't cope with the competition and is sort of "bailing out" and giving itself away to someone who can invest more money, because alone it can't keep up?

ronderick

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2011, 09:54:50 PM »
Came in late here...

Anyways, I'm quite surprised that Ricoh decided to make this plunge. My overall image is that Ricoh is a company that pretty much sticks to what its good at, and at this moment its the GRD series.

It's quite rare for a camera company to be so focused on a line of compacts, but I must say that they do have a solid fanbase (in fact, there are fans who flew to Japan just to take part in their GRD event...).

With this addition, Ricoh would have acquired lines from DSLR all the way to Pentax 645D. I just want to see how Pentax is going to incorporate these assets (Maybe a new Ricoh-Pentax brand?).

PS: Maybe Canon was aware of Pentax being up for sale - remember the rumor a few months back about Canon thinking of purchasing a medium format camera company?)
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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2011, 09:54:50 PM »

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2011, 12:43:22 AM »
Ricoh is a large  imaging company, heavy in industrial and pffice copiers / printers.

Financially, they do not have a lot of cash, since the copier business is no longer a cash cow.

Here is a June 29 2011 press release.  I wonder if they actually expect Pentax to turn the company around? I expect that their cameras may be marketed under the Pentax name, since it is a more reconizable name for Photography products  than Ricoh.

*************************************************

Announcement regarding Call for Voluntary Early Retirement

Please be informed that at the Group Management Committee (a decision-making body of Executive Officers) held on June 29, 2011, Ricoh Co. Ltd. decided to put out a call to personnel for voluntary early retirement as follows.
 
1.   Reasons for The Proposal
Against a background of increasingly severe global competition, the Ricoh Group needs to take firm steps to improve profitability, including cutting fixed costs. Under the current midterm business plan, one of the principal initiatives is HR optimization, whereby those who would seek opportunities outside the group would be supported with an early retirement package as well as outplacement assistance when looking for a new career elsewhere.
 
2. Outline of Call for Voluntary Early Retirement
Number of personnel that may elect voluntary early retirement:
 Approx. 1,600 among Ricoh Co. Ltd. and Ricoh group companies in Japan
 
Application period:
 July 1, 2011 to October 31, 2011
 
Date of retirement:
 August 1,2011 to November 30, 2011
 


3. Future Outlook
Expenses, such as special retirement payments, that arise from this voluntary early retirement program are projected to total approximately 23 billion yen among Ricoh Co. Ltd. and Ricoh group companies in Japan.
In addition to this program, Ricoh Group, on a global basis (including in Japan), will continue to implement measures to optimize its human resources such as by decreasing the number of personnel (through natural attrition on a global basis, including in Japan, whereby new personnel will not be hired to replenish retiring personnel and prior hiring decisions will be reexamined), undertaking internally businesses that were out-sourced to external parties and relocating personnel, such that the personnel headcount would be reduced in the aggregate by approximately 10,000 persons on a group-wide basis.
.
.June 29, 2011

Ricoh Company, Ltd

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 04:54:16 AM »
With this addition, Ricoh would have acquired lines from DSLR all the way to Pentax 645D. I just want to see how Pentax is going to incorporate these assets (Maybe a new Ricoh-Pentax brand?).

PS: Maybe Canon was aware of Pentax being up for sale - remember the rumor a few months back about Canon thinking of purchasing a medium format camera company?)
I don't think it somehow connected to Pentax. They have only one medium-format camera and this, let's say, has very average quality, so can't be anyhow compared with Hasselblad, for example.

BTW I can't imagine any way how Ricoh can add value to Pentax products. So no ideas how this can be a good deal for Pentax. Moreover, Ricoh has difficulties mentioned in thread here, so Pentax should a saving ring for Ricoh and not vice vera.

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Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 04:54:16 AM »