Pentax is sticking to DSLRs – still has no plans for a mirrorless camera

Apr 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Pentax is sticking to DSLRs – still has no plans for a mirrorless camera

Apr 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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A recent tweet from Japanese photographer Kimio Tanaka, a regular source of Ricoh/Pentax insider info, states that they have no plans to introduce a mirrorless camera in either 35mm or 645 medium formats. This time, it isn’t just a rumour leak. Tanaka says that in this case he is speaking on behalf of Ricoh and is not merely expressing an opinion.

The Google-translated tweet reads…

I’m clear on behalf of Ricoh, but please give up, no sleeves swing.

I’m not entirely sure what the deal is with the swinging sleeves (if somebody is able to explain that, I’d be very grateful), but given the tweet that Mr Tanaka was responding to, the intent is quite obvious. Ricoh has no plans to release an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera.

Ricoh has said as much themselves a year ago, in an interview in Nippon Camera magazine, although plans change when it comes to mirrorless, especially as the rest of the DSLR manufacturers have now all jumped onto the mirrorless bandwagon – even if they’re still producing DSLRs alongside them for a little while.

It does seem very short-sighted now to not at least have some plans in place for mirrorless. But it’s no secret that Ricoh believes users will flock back to DSLRs within a year or two. I find this pretty unlikely, personally. It could be that Ricoh doesn’t really care about the once-great Pentax name anymore, but they’ve responded to that rumour, too (sort of).

Whether or not we’ll get the same response again next year… Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But with companies like 3rd party lens manufacturer, Sigma, abandoning Pentax, the reasons to join the system are just dwindling further.

Sure, Pentax is still making announcements about new lenses of their own, although they are just development announcements. Same deal with camera bodies. Development is being announced, but with no clues as to when stuff will actually be released.

It would be a shame to see them disappear but as the competition races ahead, they’re going to get to a point soon where they won’t be able to catch up.

[via Photo Rumors]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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12 responses to “Pentax is sticking to DSLRs – still has no plans for a mirrorless camera”

  1. zen zit Avatar
    zen zit

    It’s either foolish or pure genius.

    1. Tobias Jo Avatar
      Tobias Jo

      Autism. It can be both genius and fool.

      1. zen zit Avatar
        zen zit

        Autist aint fools.. Nor really geniuses. They just miss adapted to our society. Someone, prolly not autist, at Pentax made that choice.

  2. Erty Qwerty Avatar
    Erty Qwerty

    There is still group of people who prefer dslr, there are Pentax target. Pentax IS releasing new lences. (85 1.4; 50 1.4; 70-210 4…) They could be small but still have their niche. I think Ricoh uses Pentax also to improve themself, for example they used lots of Pentax kp solutions inc their premium compact Ricoh GRIII.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Of course there are. But Nikon and Canon both still seem to be able to keep up with DSLRs while also pursuing mirrorless. They’re not mutually exclusive. :)

  3. Alvin Bartolome Avatar
    Alvin Bartolome

    It maybe Covid19 related. Maybe not. ?

  4. osx holunman Avatar
    osx holunman

    Dslr advantage:

    You can see through darkness with optical viewfinder

    When working with strobe, optical viewfinder has no blackout

    You can manual focus in optical viewfinder more accuracy

    It has real shutter sound, your client will love it

    You have more choice of lens, specially second hand

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Manual focus is only easier with a DSLR if you have a split-prism or macroprism focusing screen. Otherwise, not so much. And it’s easier to see in darker conditions with the EVF of a viewfinder because it can artificially ramp up the gain to make it easier to see (regardless of your exposure). It’s why many people choose to go the ND+Flash route with mirrorless rather than step into high-speed sync territory. As for the lenses… Most of those can be used fine on mirrorless cameras with a suitable adapter, too.

      I love my DSLRs and have over a dozen of ’em, but these aren’t advantages to DSLRs. :)

      1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
        Arthur_P_Dent

        With my Pentax, I can use the whole line of K-mounts without an adapter, and just use a small adapter for the M-42s.

  5. Garthgoyle Avatar
    Garthgoyle

    Maybe they’re like Apple when they mentioned that Android phones are so big and that iPhones don’t need to go that size aaaaaand they had to swallow their tongue coz now iPhones come in bigger sizes.

    I wish Pentax had a camera as small and light as an Olympus OM-D EM5 where I could use all my Pentax lenses. This year I’ll be moving to the OM-D EM5 Mark II so I can bring it on my hikes and backcountry tours. Such a shame, tho. I love the Limited Pentax lenses. So small, lightweight and sharp. Oh well.

  6. JustChristoph Avatar
    JustChristoph

    I’m shortly planning to flock back to a rotary dial landline phone. I’m also giving serious flocking consideration to a sponge on a stick instead of this new-fangled loo paper. It’s got to go out of fashion some time.

  7. g_disqus Avatar
    g_disqus

    They need new GXR. New base body and lens modules, maybe with Sony E or L-mount