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Pentax is bringing back film cameras – and that actually makes perfect sense - Mobilemall

Pentax is bringing back film cameras – and that actually makes perfect sense

Pentax is bringing back film cameras – and that actually makes perfect sense

Pentax has made a number of the finest movie cameras ever – and now the basic model might be making a comeback because of a brand new movie digital camera undertaking launched by its dad or mum firm, Ricoh.

Ricoh has launched a brand new ‘Movie Digicam Challenge’ that may contain the “analysis and growth of latest Pentax-brand movie digital camera merchandise”. Should you spent your formative pictures years with a Pentax Ok1000 (above), or simply fancy experimenting with the tactile joys of 35mm movie, that is probably very thrilling information certainly.

Earlier than you begin constructing a darkroom in your shed, there are a few caveats. First, the undertaking is at present on the toe-dipping stage and Ricoh’s statements are somewhat contradictory. For instance, Ricoh President and CEO Noboru Akahane says, “I wish to stress that this announcement doesn’t imply we are going to launch new movie cameras”.

Fortuitously, that seems to be extra a be aware of warning in regards to the undertaking’s problem than an absence of ambition. In a launch video (opens in new tab) (under), Ricoh Product Planner Takeo Suzuki has laid out a roadmap for the movie digital camera undertaking. “We plan to market not one however a sequence of movie cameras,” he says. 

“First, we’ll develop a compact movie digital camera. Then whereas reviewing a spread of applied sciences, we’ll transfer on to develop a high-end compact mannequin, an SLR mannequin, and eventually and hopefully, a fully-mechanical SLR digital camera”, Suzuki provides. Whereas the latter might be some time off, the intention for the primary digital camera will probably be to supply a movie mannequin with a “strong guarantee” that “comes at an reasonably priced value for youthful customers”.

That earlier be aware of warning, then, is just because the corporate continues to be within the early levels of discovering how viable new movie cameras truly are. As Akahane explains: “We additionally understand how tough will probably be to restart the manufacturing of movie cameras lengthy after manufacturing was terminated. In reality, we’re solely on the beginning line proper now”.

Nonetheless, the intention may be very clear – Ricoh and Pentax will “start analysis into growing new Pentax-brand movie digital camera merchandise”. And that might probably lead to a brand new movie digital camera and aftercare providers. However why? The undertaking is greater than a misguided train in nostalgia – given the current resurgence in movie pictures, it is smart for a couple of causes.

On a roll

First, movie cameras have seen a resurgence in recent times. The proof for that is extra anecdotal and cultural than it’s statistical, as there’s little or no information on international movie digital camera gross sales at present. However the impact may be seen within the sky-rocketing price of shopping for movie itself – a pack of Kodak Portra 400 (opens in new tab), for instance, now prices over twice as a lot because it did three years in the past, and it is a comparable story with Fujifilm’s coloration movie.

That is partly a results of Kodak and Fujifilm each underestimating future demand, resulting in shortages which have been exacerbated by provide chain points. However unbiased factories at the moment are rising as much as fill the gaps, and when the ‘Pentax Movie Challenge’ is additional down the street the image ought to (hopefully) be loads more healthy.

Movie cameras themselves are additionally more and more well-liked, as Ricoh and Pentax have famous of their undertaking. In response to Ricoh, that is true “particularly amongst youthful generations, who’re “taking photographs with movie cameras, growing the movie, after which importing pictures in digitalized type to social media websites with out making closing prints”.

However the issue with previous movie cameras is that they are, nicely, previous. This implies mechanical components just like the shutter can break, or they want servicing from a dwindling variety of specialist technicians. Whereas it is very early days, this new undertaking guarantees to make proudly owning movie cameras a smoother expertise, together with after-sales service.

The ultimate motive why Ricoh and Pentax undertaking is smart is that there is no actual competitors, notably from any manufacturers with Pentax’s heritage. The corporate was on the coronary heart of Japanese movie digital camera innovation from the 1950s, introducing trailblazers just like the Pentax Spotmatic in 1960, which supplied TTL (through-the-lens) metering for the primary time so you did not have to hold round a separate mild meter.

Whereas it is unclear whether or not we may finally see a reborn model of the much-loved Pentax Ok1000 SLR, the ‘Movie Digicam Challenge’ is certainly one to look at when you’re eager to hitch the resurgence of 35mm movie cameras.


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