Why are there no more Pentax reviews?

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Why are there no more Pentax reviews?

Postby Gordon Laing » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:03 pm

Hello everyone, you may have noticed an absence of Pentax reviews recently. Here's why...

Most publications including Camera Labs, request products from the manufacturers which are loaned for the review period, then returned. There are normally dedicated PR teams to look after such requests and dedicated loan stock for journalists.

When a publication is based in a major city, like London, this works very well, as all the manufacturers are all well-represented, and you can normally get hold of pretty much anything you want. There's a pecking-order with publications, so depending on where you rank, you may need to wait your turn, but you'll normally always get the product you want to test eventually.

Camera Labs relocated from London to a remote part of New Zealand several years ago and the situation is very different out here. There's much less loan stock available, and several manufacturers don't have their own offices here, and instead use local distributors.

Some manufacturers pay their distributors to service publications, but others don't. Of those that do, some take a very local stance and will only loan products to what they consider to be local publications. Others see sales as a priority and will only loan a product to a publication when there's literally no more customers waiting to buy it.

This is the problem with Pentax right now. I'm in touch with Pentax USA, Pentax UK and Pentax Australia, but none will loan products to publications outside of their own countries. There's no Pentax office in NZ, so they use a distributor which has been happy to loan us products to test in the past, but recently has prioritised sales over reviews. So if they have, say 10 orders for a K-7, and only ten cameras are received from Pentax, they will sell them all. Often there are back-orders waiting some time to be fulfilled, and they have priority.

As time goes on, demand for a particular product of course drops-off and some spares may become available, but several months in this business is a lifetime, and there's no commercial point in Camera Labs reviewing a product that's a few months old. Believe it or not, even a few weeks makes a big difference in page impressions and revenue generated.

So that's the problem with Pentax right now. We’re based in a very remote part of the World where stock of anything but the most popular products can be hard to come by - and right now Pentax's representatives down here are prioritising sales over reviews.

I do try my best to source kit, and I hope you'll agree that compared to publications based in London and major parts of the USA we actually manage to get most reviews of major products done in a timely fashion. I could of course relocate to a more populated region, but then I love the scenery here and believe it makes for better-looking and more interesting reviews.

So is this the end for Pentax and Camera Labs? It is unless they change their policy and either provide the local distributor with budget to service publications like ourselves in a timely fashion, or simply send product out from one of their major offices. Other manufacturers have supplied me with kit from overseas, including Asia and London, so it is possible and it does work. It's really just up Pentax now.

An on-going issue is which sales region is actually responsible for Camera Labs? I'm British, but am based in New Zealand publishing reviews which are mostly read in North America. Like most English language websites though, we have readers all over the world, and ideally there should be a division of every company set up to deal with the needs of global publications – but the fact is, most still take a very local view.

That said, this same issues faces all camera manufacturers we work with and every one apart from Pentax has figured out how to accommodate us. The bottom line is I’ve contacted all the offices and they're unwilling to supply us review models – at least not until they’re too old to be relevant to a web-based publication. So it’s stalemate as far as I’m concerned, but as you’ll know from my existing Pentax reviews, I do appreciate their work, and indeed was a passionate Pentax SLR owner myself many years ago.

If you are in contact with a representative of Pentax, perhaps you’d like to suggest they may be interested in finding a way to work with us – after all, we may be based in a remote part of the world, but our ranking is stronger than many in the more populated regions.

So if you'd like to see Pentax reviews return to Camera Labs, please drop them a line to explain why they should work with us again. I've done all I can for now.
Last edited by Gordon Laing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Slick3358 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:18 pm

Thank you Gordon for your explanation of the problem at hand. I think that many viewers and members of Cameralabs.com don't realize the complexity and work that goes into a website like this.

This explanation adds to my point about Pentax. I am a strong follower of the Pentax line, many people have seen that, however I do get discouraged by their product availability. Here in Canada, I myself am limited on where I can find Pentax products and I live in a very well populated city. Everything must be ordered and shipped.

Thank you again for all your hard work at Cameralabs Gordon. We do appreciate it. I will contact Pentax and explain the importance of working with Cameralabs.

Postby kimchi » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:56 am

I tried for some time to purchase a Pentax, but couldn't find one anywhere (in Seoul) to try out. I've seen a guy with one and asked him where he got it - japan. If a popular review/forum site such as this can't get hold of Pentax and some Olympus (eg - E30) than what chance have consumers got?

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Postby rei_vilo » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:11 pm

Bonjour Gordon,

In other places too, there's a lot of improvement for Pentax PR :? .

Remember the open letter I published in this very forum for a preview of the Pentax K-7 :?:

I hope Hoya would consider the true potential of the Pentax brand and allocate appropriate resources to it, including gear for CameraLabs :wink: .

Happy New Year :)
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Why are there no more Pentax reviews?

Postby rdettogni » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:31 pm

Hi Gordon,

Sorry I did not pay attation to this mensage before send my request.

Thanks anyway!!!!

rei-vilo`s review is pretty good and he also tested some lenses!!!!

Postby Canon 500D » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:20 pm

I enjoy watching the video tours
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Postby arvydas007 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:51 am

Nevertheless the Pentax K-x is a real star and its low light capabilities are great!

I love my K-x too, use to spend a lot of time on Camera Labs

Postby kiwi.jono.wilson » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:38 am

Understand what you are saying Gordon, and I will send an email to someone at Pentax (not that I expect a response but hey if the get enough...).

I think your reviews are very well structured and balanced within a review. I have often come here in the past. Its a pity there are no more Pentax reviews because this does destroy the overall balance for me (even if I had not purchased Pentax in the end).

Thought, briefly, that I could loan you my K-x for a review but I'm loving it so much I would not like to lose it for even a week!



Postby rei_vilo » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:53 am

Bonjour Jonathan,

I tried myself and send mails to Pentax France and Pentax Japan. With no success so far :(

So I wrote my own Pentax K-7 User Review on Camera Labs forum and launch a website dedicated to Pentax gear.

The Pentax K10 User Review received more than 54,600 visits and the Pentax K-7 User Review is around 8,600 visits. The reviews of the DA* SDM lenses sum 61,600 visits.

All figures are as August 1st on Camera Labs forum, and counting :wink:

My approach is the average user's candid point of view. All features don't work the first time :oops: , so I try again :roll: till it works.

But I don't plan to review the 645D because I can't afford it :!:

Best regards,
Last edited by rei_vilo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Razvan » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:31 am

Pentax PR & marketing are the worst I ever saw...can't blame their decissions really. In my country their prices are insanely high.One of the many,many examples is that the K7 is 50% more expensive than the Canon 50D.
They can't release good quality lenses with large apertures at decent prices,like the other brands have,so it's a dead brand after my opinion.


Postby wrconley » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:14 pm

Hi Gordon,
I wish you would find a way to review the new Pentax K-7. IMHO it's the best camera (for the money) out there. Better than canikons. I see you are having difficulty obtaining one; I was afraid you didn't like them and would not review them but I can see why you wouldn't want to spend the money.... unless you need a GOOD camera. <grin>

Postby Gordon Laing » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:30 pm

@wrconley, the ball's entirely in Pentax's court. If they want their products reviewed, they need to supply them. Every other camera company supplies me with products to test from all over the world. It's just Pentax that either can't work it out, can't be bothered to, or simply doesn't want to work with Cameralabs. It seems a daft decision considering their position in the market and the fact my earlier Pentax reviews have generally been positive.
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Pentax .. tra lal la lal

Postby tombell1 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:55 am

Sorry to hear the problems you are having. I must say I always appreciate you (IMHO) unbiased and photographer friendly reviews ....there is however the downside of continually being reminded of Wakatipu and the Remarkables .... lived in NZ a lot in the 70's and 80's and occasionally since ... when i first went there were practically no restaurants with a license ... but i still loved it.

Keep up the good work.

I keep going with Pentax but it is not always easy!!!

Postby Bob Andersson » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:16 pm

Hi folks,

A conversation developed in this thread which was esentially off-topic. As a result I've split out a number of posts which can now be found in the thread Split from "Why are there no more Pentax reviews?". If you were part of that conversation then please continue there. Thanks. 8)

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Absence of Pentax reviews

Postby Liam009 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:06 pm

Thanks for the explanation Gordon.

Maybe Pentax's new owner will promote a change of heart.

Although Pentax's DSLR lineup is small in comparison to others, they seem to be pretty good.

I'm using a Fuji F20 at present, but thinking of upgrading to something with more control.


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