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Ricoh Announces New Full Frame Pentax DSLR

By Anthony Thurston on February 5th 2015

Now this is not something you hear every day. Ricoh, the company that currently owns the Pentax brand, has announced the development of a new full frame DSLR that will use the Pentax K-Mount.


There is no name for the new DSLR yet, but supposedly, it will be shipping by the end of the year. The prototype will be on display at CP+, so if you happen to be in Japan, you can check it out. The only other detail we really have about the camera, at this point, is that it will be compatible with DA lenses through a crop function, and that two newly announced lenses will cover the full frame sensor.

I can’t help but think that this is such an odd move from Ricoh/Pentax. We expect to hear about mirrorless companies developing full frame technologies, not new DSLR full frame systems. The DSLR is dying, or so we are being lead to believe. I find it funny that now, with mirrorless closing virtually every gap, Pentax decided to finally do a full frame DSLR.

[REWIND: Pentax 645Z Review]

It will be a while before we get to see it, but I am curious to see what they bring to the table. If it is ‘just another FF DSLR’ then I will wonder what the point was, but maybe if they bring something new along with it, it may help extend the life of the DSLR against the rising tide of mirrorless systems.

What are your thoughts on Ricoh/Pentax decision to come out with a FF DSLR? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Ricoh Japan]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kevin Sutton

    I had switched 3 years ago. Had they had this product then I wouldn’t have switched. I already had the FF glass. Now I am starting over with Nikon.

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    • Arnold Ziffel

      I did too. Switched to Nikon and then to Canon, but I kept all my Pentax gear and then picked up a K-3 when they came out. I’ll probably always have a special place in my heart for Pentax.

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    • Kevin Sutton

      I had to sell my Pentax gear off to afford my current setup. I like the under dog. For me it was always that damn crop factor with all the ff lenses that did me in.

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  2. Jason Boa

    Interesting if it’s true , not sure about the K mount though they have moved forward with the DA so they will be going back to come forward and will other makers want to start making another lens mount version.

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  3. Stephen Velasquez

    They have a lot of work cut out for them. They need to move fast because they are in 6th place at the moment. They need to drop about 3 bodies and 5 lens to get the ball moving.

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  4. Mark Henry Dela Torre

    If they make this camera a low resolution super high ISO DSLR. A lot of people will be going for it. But if they follow the trend, I am not sure why they build it in the first place since they already have a very good APSC DSLR. They only lack the market to show the people they have a very good one.

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  5. Basit Zargar

    awesome article

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  6. Arnold Ziffel

    Finally. I got to get over to the Pentax forums. I’m sure those guys have soiled themselves…..

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  7. Joe Sharp

    OK Anthony As you talk about the new Pentax full frame you state ” The DSLR is dying, or so we are being lead to believe” now that your talking about a new Canon DSLR “seasoned wedding photographer cry tears of joy, and hardened studio photographer squeal” REALLY!
    Anyone that wanted a 50mp sensor could have had it in a Pentax medium format for the same price as a high end Canon full frame last year. There is allot to like about both companies I have been a Pentax user since the early 70’s and have considered switching many times but I watch all the photoshop tutorials of the guys sliding sliders all over the place to get what I get from the camera. Just because Pentax sells gear for half the price of Canon and Nikon they are not the bad guys.

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  8. John Cavan

    Sadly too late… There will, of course, be much rejoicing in some regions of Pentax land, as I would have done a couple of years ago, but most of us finally gave up and made the switch. I would hazard that the growing presence of FF dSLR cameras has finally made them call this.

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  9. Lane Hatcher

    If they have a modest price point, I can see their market being every camera store employee who is paid a commission and loves ammies and semi-pros, especially those who son’t know the diff between mirror and mirrorless. Those who think FF is the only way to go, with something a little more “substatial” in their hands, might dig this camera. Of course, if it’s overpriced, then it’s probably a definite “huh?” for other than Pentax fans.

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  10. Michael Burnham

    There are the Pentax diehard faithful that will be overjoyed by this announcement but I think if the rest of is its more of a “Huh?” move. There resources probably would be better spent in the mirrorless arena but this still could be interesting addition to the market and something that if its amazing could be worth-while for the company.

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    • John Cavan

      I suspect a big part of this change of heart (Pentax has long dismissed FF as important) is a consequence of now readily available sensors. It’s got to the point that it seems all the major players have quite a few FF bodies available and some clearly aimed at the amateur and pro-am market and the price has dropped. If they don’t show an option there, I suspect they feel, then they may lose new sales and prior loyalists.

      It also fills in a fairly glaring hole in the lineup. They have entry level, semi-pro, then a big jump to medium format. Put a FF in there and the line of bodies makes a bit more sense. Anyways, I’ll be curious to see it, but for me it’s too late, I already made the move.

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