Pentax will release two compact film cameras in Spring 2024, according to comments made by a Ricoh representative in France this weekend.
Yazid Belmadi, a promotions manager at Ricoh Imaging France, told a French photography podcast the cameras would be “high-end in terms of technical specifications but not in terms of price”.
Pentax announced late in 2022 it was looking at producing film cameras again, and has since confirmed that it would start with a manual-advance film compact camera.
This, however, is the first time a timeline of the camera’s development has been made public, and also the first time two different cameras have been mentioned.
In the interview, Belmadi also said that SLR cameras would follow the release of the compact cameras.
The podcast, for the French website Faut Pas Pousser Les ISO (Don’t push the ISOs) was recorded ahead of the Salon De La Photo event in Paris, being held this week (5 to 8 October). (Ricoh Imaging is the parent company which now owns the Pentax brand.)
A transcript of the conversation about Pentax film cameras was published on Pentax Forums, and translated into English.
Belmadi said: “Last December we announced the launch of a film camera project. Of course, the project is still on track. It will see the light of day in spring 2024 with the arrival of two cameras.
There seems to be a very strong demand for film cameras – Yazid Belmadi, Ricoh imaging france
“As far as the type of film camera that will be released next spring is concerned, it should, as a first draft, be two compact cameras, high-end in terms of technical specifications but not in terms of price. They will be relatively affordable. It’ll be a first draft, two compact cameras, followed by SLRs, of course, which are the cornerstone of this type of cameras.
“Since we announced this project in December 2022, we’ve had a lot of feedback from retailers and potential consumers who have told us how impatient they are to see these products arrive. There seems to be a very strong demand for film cameras.”
Until now, firm details on Pentax’s film camera plans had been relatively scarce.
In May this year, a video interview with designer TKO revealed the first camera to be released would have a fixed, non-interchangeable lens and would not be based on any compact camera Pentax had produced in the past but would be
In the podcast, Belmadi also drew comparisons to the current compact camera development and the return of the Ricoh GR series.
“As with the GR series, the project to release film cameras is the fruit of extensive consultation with a number of players in the photo industry, particularly Japanese consumers, since experience has shown us that it works quite well when you make products in response to consumer demand, as they are those primarily concerned,” he said.