Sunday, February 24, 2008

Owning a Pentax DSLR is more like being part of a family.

Kazmir "Kaz" Zysk is Territory Manager in Canada. He was part of the Pentax group at the PMA08
This "Bobcar" was at the PMA08 and it was seen all over the street of New York. Now that's good advertisement.

It was just a little over a year ago that we started to hear about a new K10D DSLR that Pentax was about to introduce. I owned Pentax cameras all of my adult life, and after reading about the camera on every website I could find, I knew the camera would be a hit. Pentax used to be known by everyone that had anything to do with photography. They were at the forefront of the 35mm revolution. As a young boy, I remember walking to the camera stores in Montreal (That’s my birth place but I now reside is Sunny California.) and looking through the display windows, just imagining how it would be great if I could afford a new Pentax Spotmatic. I would spend countless hours reading every small Pentax ads in every magazine. Yes, I was obsessed.

Many of the improvements and innovations, of Pentax in particular, were envisioned by Herbert Keppler who first worked for Modern Photography and later for Popular Photography. He was one of the first American to realized that “Made in Japan” for cameras meant good quality at a reasonable price. Of course, German cameras were the elite camera makers at the time, but the prices were exorbitant.

In the past two or three decades or so, Pentax kind of took a back seat to Nikon and Canon. I don’t exactly know why, but ask most people younger than thirty years old, and you’ll find out that most had never heard of Pentax until recently.

Here in the United States, Pentax was at a standstill until after the Pentax K10D was introduced. Now with the K20D announced, there is a big buzz in the photographic world about the newest DSLR from Pentax. It boasts a new CMOS sensor with 14.6 megapixels and great images even at high ISO up to 1600 and beyond. Like its predecessor, the K10D, it has advanced features only found in camera costing two to three times more. It will be another success, and even bigger than the K10D.

It took about six months or more for magazines to test and write about the K10D after its introduction. It took the photographic world by surprise, in my opinion. As of this writing, the K20D is not in stores yet and Popular Photography and Shutterbug magazines have already published articles about the K20D with the camera featured on the cover. Could this be the same Pentax Company that everyone was ignoring a year ago? I’m afraid it is.

Maybe, we have to thank one person for that, at least here in the United States. It seems that as soon as Mr. Ned Bunnell was promoted to President of Pentax USA, things started to change. Full page ads started to appear in magazines, Pentax presence at trade shows increased, the Pentaxians site was created, a new Pentax Professional Services Program was instituted, etc. Changes are everywhere at Pentax USA. John Carlson has videos about Pentax DSLRs on “You Tube” and so on. I don’t know Mr. Bunnell personally, but I had a chance to shake hands with him at the recent PMA08 in Las Vegas. For a man in his position, he seems to remain very accessible. He even has a blog site and actually takes the time to post articles fairly often. Mrs. Michelle Martin, who is the Media Contact for Pentax USA, has her email and phone number posted with every Pentax announcements and press releases on the Pentax Website. She actually answers her phone and emails. Try to reach people with the same position at Canon or Nikon!

Congratulation Mr. Bunnell for leading Pentax in a new direction and thank you for having a staff that is available and helpful. Owning a Pentax camera is not a “cash and carry” proposition, it’s more like joining a family or being amongst friends. When you purchase a Pentax DSLR, you get all those benefits on top of owning some of the best DSLR cameras on the market for the price.

Ned Bunnell is President of Pentax USA.

I guess you could classify me as a die hard Pentaxian. I’m proud of it.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque
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