Saturday, December 20, 2008

Miserere's Musings on the White K2000

by Miserere


On the tail-end of Yvon's survey, I'd like to say a few words about what I think about the white edition K2000; not because my opinion is better than anyone else's, but because Yvon has let me use his soap box :-)

Before I begin, I would like to point out the results of another poll conducted independently on PentaxForums.com; these were the results as of today at 21:30 ET, with 312 votes:

Great idea, I have to get one! 134.17%
Nice idea, I might add such a design to my collection one day. 7022.44%
I won't buy it, but I embrace that it will attract new customers. 18057.69%
It might sell out to trendy girls, but as a photo enthusiast and Pentaxian I feel embarrassed. 3812.18%
Pentax is digging it's own grave! Nobody will buy such a DSLR. 113.53%

The bottom line from this poll is similar to Yvon's: less than 16% of the respondents think it's a bad idea; everyone else agrees with it to some extent. More importantly, I think, is that almost 58% think it's a good idea even though they won't buy one themselves. Why do I think this is important? Because the people who hang out in camera forums are very enthusiastic about their hobby, and are generally advanced amateurs, or aspiring to be through their learning and interactions in the fora. These are not the people Pentax are targeting.

This camera, which I will call the K2000W from now on, is clearly designed to appeal to those who value cool looks and trendiness. I suspect the average technology user thinks along these lines when they enter an electronics store: I want to buy a piece of techware (mp3 player, laptop, phone, camera, etc.), and I have a certain amount of money to spend; I'm sure just about all brands make similar products, so I'm simply going to choose the item that looks the best that's within my budget.

There's nothing wrong with this approach, and it is true that most major brands offer items of similar quality at the same price range, so why not choose based on appearance only?

By now you can imagine what my opinion is: I think the K2000W is a good idea. (If you want to read my full opinion of the K2000/K-m model, you can find it here.) The only problem I see is that the camera won't be sitting on shelves at major stores, and it's there where it would really attract buyers, sitting amongst a sea of dull, black cameras. But hey, if Pentax can somehow bring it to the attention of potential buyers through internet advertising, then their plan can still pay off. Of course, the other way it can pay off is if Pentax users buying an entry-level camera for a loved one (especially if it's a teenager or a woman) buy a K2000W. After all, the best exposure is seeing people with this camera out on the streets and at gatherings. You can be sure that if you're at a party and someone has a white DSLR, people are going to be asking the owner about it.

Oh, and it's a well-known fact that Pentax were thinking about women when they designed this camera. And there is nothing the matter with that. It's not that women are less intelligent or less capable than men, it's mostly about women having smaller hands and, generally, being a lot less crazy about gadgets (toys?) than men are. Women are also more practical in general (that's just my opinion), and are more likely to want a camera that just takes pictures and needs little messing about with, and is also easy to handle. You'll notice that the K2000/K-m has all controls on the right hand side; that was a very deliberate decision. Having all buttons and wheels on the right makes it a lot easier to use the camera with just one hand, which is something P&S shooters are used to. Another thing they're used to is being able to choose different colours for their cameras. Are you starting to see a trend? The K2000/K-m is a bridge camera between two worlds, and if it manages to attract people who are currently using a P&S and thinking of upgrading, then Pentax has succeeded in it's goal. If offering a white version attracts even more buyers, then even better. After all, if Pentax makes a few extra bucks in these tough economic times, it's a good thing for all of us.
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