Pentax camera lying on books (Pic: Gülşah Aydoğan/Pexels)
Ricoh Imaging has said it wants to return to Pentax film camera production, but has not made a firm commitment yet (Pic: Gülşah Aydoğan/Pexels)

Ricoh Imaging has rowed back on the news that it would be releasing two 35mm Pentax compact next spring, saying they have not yet decided if they will release such a camera.

A representative of Ricoh Imaging France told a photography podcast in September that two cameras would be released in 2024 and that they would be “high-end in terms of technical specifications but not in terms of price”.

Pentax had confirmed it was looking into making new film cameras in late 2022, with a high-quality compact camera emerging as the most likely model to start with.

Yazid Belmadi’s interview with French photography site Faut Pas Pousser Les ISO (Don’t push the ISOs) was the first time two cameras had been mentioned. Kosmo Foto was one of several outlets which followed up the story after an English translation of the interview was made.

But in the last few days, Ricoh has responded with an official statement:

“We found information on several websites regarding our film camera development. This included two compact film cameras for Spring 2024 as mentioned by a colleague working for Ricoh Imaging Europe. This is not our official remark, nor is it based on any fixed information. We are indeed challenging the development of a compact film camera; however, we have not yet decided whether or when we will launch such a product.”

Ricoh Imaging had released regular updates on the possible return of Pentax-branded film cameras throughout 2023. In May, they said the camera would have a fixed lens and not a zoom, and would have manual film advance.

Ricoh Imaging had said that the roadmap for a film camera project might also include new SLR models, but no further information on them has come to light yet.

The last Pentax film model to be released was the *ist SLR, which was produced between 2003 and 2006.

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Stephen Dowling
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1 month ago

Considering the vast number of not-expensive 35mm film cameras that used to be available, why does it seem so difficult to release just one camera anymore? I realise that the market is small and economies of scale won’t apply in the same way, but is the development/manufacture _that_ expensive and difficult? Other than Leica, it seems that any new film cameras brought to market nowadays are not much more than “reloadable disposables” – with no autofocus, possibly no motor advance – and with expensive price tags, considering the sh*t hunks of plastic that they are. I don’t know – just… Read more »