Pentax hints at new DSLR camera

Pentax seems poised to launch a new DSLR but there is no sign of a new ‘Q’ compact system camera on the horizon.

60D PENTAX K5.jpg
Pentax seems poised to launch a new DSLR but there is no sign of a new ‘Q’ compact system camera (CSC) on the horizon.

Pentax Imaging general manager Jonathan Martin said he sees the CSC as a benefit to the market at a whole.

But he added: ‘We also see good opportunity in consumer DSLR… We have less competition in this market… There are clear areas we can develop.’

Commenting on the DSLRs Pentax currently makes, Martin told AP: ‘We have the K5, the KR, nothing in the middle and nothing above it.’

Yet he stressed that, just because CSCs may seem to pose a greater threat to lower-end DSLRs, this doesn’t automatically mean Pentax is set to launch a high-end DSLR.

He underlined the importance of a full DSLR range but remained tight-lipped when asked whether we can expect a full-frame camera.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the United States earlier this month, Martin said photographers can expect ‘exciting’ news over the coming year as Ricoh pledges to invest in areas such as new products and ‘brand awareness’.

Ricoh snapped up Pentax last year in a move expected to see Ricoh make Pentax-branded interchangeable lens cameras and lenses.

The deal was reported to be worth around £78m.

Martin said Ricoh has indicated that it plans to expand Pentax’s camera business and re-hire engineers that Hoya dispensed with during its tenure of Pentax’s imaging division.

‘We are going forward and will be a different company in a year’s time - guaranteed,’ claimed Martin.

Meanwhile, he moved to reassure photographers that the Pentax name will continue in the wake of the brand’s sale to Ricoh.

‘Saying that the Pentax brand name will disappear is very wide of the mark... The Pentax name continues.’

Pentax plans to attend next month's CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging show in Japan, so it seems likely the firm will announce new products there.

CP+ takes place from 9-12 February in Yokohama.

Martin confirmed that, like other camera makers, the Thailand floods has caused a shortage of Pentax DSLR components.

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