Ricoh gives update on development of new Pentax film camera

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Ricoh Imaging Co. Ltd. provided its third status update on the PENTAX Film Camera Project, first announced in December 2022, has shifted to the next stage in the development of a new PENTAX-brand 35mm half-frame film camera product, scheduled for launch in the summer of 2024. The price has not been announced.

The company has announced the camera have a manual zone-focus system with a hand-wound film advance lever and rewind crank. The proposed camera will be held vertically, resulting in a half-frame format where two images are captured side-by-side in a single frame. (Shades of the Yashica Samurai!)

According to the update:

“While digital cameras are the mainstream of photography today, the PENTAX Film Camera Project is designed to challenge the development of a new film camera, responding to the growing popularity lately of film photography among younger photographers. The project has been in the research stage, during which time we tried to overcome a broad range of difficult and complicated issues. These included the procurement of the parts needed for film cameras; rediscovering the skills and technologies unique to film camera production; and the status of film manufacturing, stocking and distribution and the availability and infrastructure of film development facilities, both in Japan and overseas. After this stage, we decided that all requirements had been met for the actual development of a new film camera.

“During the research stage, we received many valuable pieces of advice and suggestions from film camera enthusiasts around the world. We will try our best to develop a film camera that will satisfy their expectations. Development is now underway, and we expect to make an official announcement in the near future.”