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Ricoh buys Pentax to build interchangeable lens camera business

By dpreview staff on Jul 1, 2011 at 09:21 GMT

Hoya has sold the Pentax camera division to Ricoh. The Pentax Imaging Systems Division will be spun-out as a new company and its shares transfered to Ricoh on October 1st. The deal will also include the Pentax camera manufacturing subsidiary in Vietnam. A public announcement from Hoya explains that Ricoh is looking to build a consumer cameras business and wanted Pentax's interchangeable lens camera technology, lens technology and sales channels. Its plans for the business specifically include the interchangeable lens camera market. Hoya will retain the other Pentax businesses, such as medical devices, that it gained in its 2007 takeover. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Japanese business paper Nikkei Business Daily reports a price of about 10 billion yen ($124.2 million).

Click here to download Hoya's statement on the sale

Comments

Total comments: 216
123
moji
By moji (6 months ago)

!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
angehua
By angehua (Jul 13, 2011)

last 30yrs,I still keep many pentax M/AF lens,eg.AF85mmmF1.4 which I think is TOP PERFORMER,as old days RICOH also using K mount,will RICOH able to produce and challenge NIKON DSLR with high ISO and low noise ? fast AF SPORT 3D FOCUS better than CANON ? than you will be THE CHAMP,plse don't disappint us.

0 upvotes
Tom Stone
By Tom Stone (Jul 10, 2011)

Ricoh had such a terrible reputation for quality during its earlier SLR days that they would be smart to retain the Pentax brand and drop Ricoh entirely.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Jul 8, 2011)

This is a smart move. First of all, it's just pennies. Second, as far as I know, Ricoh has no distribution, sales or repair infrastructure in the US. Using Adorama as the distributor and CRIS for repair is an odd arrangement at best. If I were Ricoh I would continue what they're doing but re-brand everything Pentax since the Spotmatic was, for many years, the poor man's Nikon F, at least until the OM-1 came along.

0 upvotes
MikeG602u
By MikeG602u (Jul 9, 2011)

" Pentax since the Spotmatic was, for many years, the poor man's Nikon F, at least until the OM-1 came along"

My 1st SLR was a Spotmatic II, the Nikon F was out of my youngster wage range. Then in 78 I decided I had to move up to Nikon, now the F2. But again the Nikon was out of my range as a relative newlywed so I got the next best thing a Nikon FE (aperture control/DOF is everything). But I still used my Pentax too. I still have both and they still work like the champ SLRs they are - meter batteries are now a non issue. Now thanks to DSLR sensor tech catching up to film quality, last Oct it was time for me to again upgrade but again had to fit in my budget & the 1st DSLR I looked at was a Pentax but in the end found the Nikon D3000 was exactly what I needed - limited bells whistles & switches. But Pentax will always be in my heart. [I got my 1st camera in 55 & when a teen had a Yashica Rangefinder]

On the OM-1. I have a friend who feels abut it like I do Pentax :-)

0 upvotes
Neloy Sinha
By Neloy Sinha (Jul 7, 2011)

Ricoh people please take care of the orphan!We are only the end stage users. So we should not feel bad about this merging business. We have no say in the board room. This is a survival strategy for both the buyer & the seller.Brand fulfils our ego and affordability. For a photo- grapher it is only to be there at the right moment to freeze for others. Instruments play a role, but it is the wo/man behind.Digital photography is improving in leaps & bound. In this rat race naturally there will be some casualities, don't brood over them.Pentax was already surviving under a surrogate mother (Hoya). Here, look at it it, as a change of foster home, otherwise it was bound to perish.So I believe "Brand Pentax" is lucky to get a Richie Rich for next few years. But Pentax has a tradition & die hard cult followers. So the brand is going to emerge as a Sphinx and rein the photography world in the coming years.Once upon a time I had a wish to put my hand on a Pentax LX, but that is another story.

1 upvote
niaaa
By niaaa (Jul 6, 2011)

So I just bought this Ricoh XR-6 at a garage sale today. I was hoping to find both a fisheye and macro lens. Is there any other brand, such as Pentax that has those lenses for my camera? Thanks in advance.

0 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Jul 6, 2011)

I am wondering if we will see:

* GXR modules designed by the Pentax wizards
* A full-frame 35mm K-mount GXR module with aperture control, manual focus confirmation light, and screw-drive autofocus
* A waterproof GXR system
* An X100 competitor from Ricoh/Pentax
* Ricoh cameras marketed in Canada finally

0 upvotes
skogflått
By skogflått (Jul 6, 2011)

I found a Pentax commercial on youtube. Gives me the creeps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gWDewkkkAI

1 upvote
lcsjk
By lcsjk (Jul 5, 2011)

My first 35mm was a Ricoh fully manual, including manual focus and a 35mm lens. Cost me $12 at a pawn shop. Still is as good as new but relegated to the film shelf. Ricoh added color to the focus barrel for people range, and on the aperture ring and shutter speed for normal outdoor shooting with ASA 25. I could not afford a light meter, but I soon learned to estimate focus, light and shutter settings, by deviating from the color indications. Little innovations like this are what has defined the Ricoh brand.
The slides were superb and still compare with the Minolta and Pentax SLR's. My first Pentax was the Pen-F half-frame, but I made a lot of out of focus pics. My present K-7 is great, but, unlike the Minolta Maxxum, does not allow me to over-ride the program mode to take darker or lighter pics.
I think the Pentax name under Ricoh technology will be a strong contender to Canon and Nikon.

1 upvote
grahamdyke
By grahamdyke (Jul 5, 2011)

Me thinks that Ricoh were already on the way down and this is a desparate last attempt to revive their fortunes. Pentax needed a Sugar Daddy, but instead they got a Tail to Wag The Dog...

1 upvote
Reflexio
By Reflexio (Jul 5, 2011)

As long as all my old M lenses still work, I don't care what they call the new camera!

1 upvote
bilmenot
By bilmenot (Jul 5, 2011)

I was shooting film and using Nikon mainly, I switched to DSLR recently and my first model is K20D because of the bargain clearance sales, I loved Pentax since then. It build like a tank with good handling and weather resist, I can't get this quality from Nikon and Canon at the same class level, and I am quite satisfied with the image quality. I 'upgraded' to K7 lately and I really love this camera, and waiting for the K5 to drop price... I also like Ricoh although I do not own any, it is an innovative company who design unusual cameras. Both Pentax and Ricoh have root in photography, unlike some company that know nothing in photography, they just buy things from others and stamp their name on it, I hated to see that !!

2 upvotes
Wing Nut
By Wing Nut (Jul 4, 2011)

This does not bode well for the Pentax brand. As it stands Pentax is estimated to have about 1.5% of the digital camera market; Ricoh, even less. For a company to be successful, they have to generate revenue through sales. It is this revenue that will eventually be reinvested in R&D and growth. Consumer digital camera's is not Richo's core business. Pentax seems to be getting tossed around like the proverbial hot potato. As an investor, I can't see how 2 very minor league players can come up with the resources to significantly impact the market. Perhaps, if Pentax had been purchased by Samsung, I would have given better odds for success.

1 upvote
nosnoop
By nosnoop (Jul 5, 2011)

1.5% includes P&S, where Pentax only maintains a small presence. Pentax does much better if you only consider DSLR; where profits can be made.
And you prefer Samsung? This would definitely means the end of the Pentax brand. At least now, both Hoya and Ricoh has agreed to continue to use the Pentax brand and increase the value and awareness for the brand.
And this can only be good news for Pentax users.

6 upvotes
WordsOfFarewell
By WordsOfFarewell (Jul 4, 2011)

I see this as a very happy event for all Pentaxians. Hoyas management just downright killed the brand by raising prices for lenses and subsequently bad sales (at least in Germany sales went down quite severly), only to mention one mishap.

As a longtime Pentax user (Super ME) I really hope that Ricoh will finally let Pentax pick up a reasonable Full Frame camera project; something like the D700 or 5D Mk II, I've been waiting for Pentax to release a FF for years now. Getting FF is the only reason why I would switch to Nikon or Canon in the coming years.

Selling consumer class stuff like the Q may get them profits in the short run but if I recall correctly a venture like the 645D was quite a success as well opening up a whole new type of customer so why not go FF as well?

3 upvotes
senn_b
By senn_b (Jul 4, 2011)

"Getting FF is the only reason why I would switch to Nikon or Canon in the coming years."

So I'm about to do too ..

Furthermore, I think despite the huge success of K-5 on technical ground, Pentax's commercial policy is a real disaster, and it's long term intentions are just unreadable.

1 upvote
sedentary_male
By sedentary_male (Jul 4, 2011)

Hoya media release in English :

http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/news/latest/d0h4dj0000001fv8-att/d0h4dj0000001fwi.pdf.

0 upvotes
SM7
By SM7 (Jul 4, 2011)

I hope this results in more competition on the market dominated by C&N and to a lesser degree Sony.

1 upvote
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Jul 3, 2011)

Looks like Hoya kept all the bum stuff. LOL

0 upvotes
thinkfat
By thinkfat (Jul 3, 2011)

$124 million. A bargain price for such a well known brand.

3 upvotes
Jovan Nikolic
By Jovan Nikolic (Jul 3, 2011)

Do not panic. This is good news for Pentax users.

7 upvotes
Feace
By Feace (Jul 3, 2011)

Take a look a this:

http://www.ricoh.com/release/2011/0701_1.html

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 3, 2011)

The Pentax brand remains. Ricoh themselves has stated so already.

3 upvotes
Hari baskar
By Hari baskar (Jul 3, 2011)

Pentax is a solid brand.... Hope there will be no name change

Hari baskar
http://www.Harris-photography-tips.com

2 upvotes
2manyCameraz
By 2manyCameraz (Jul 2, 2011)

The Pentax brand is in no danger. Only Sony had the EGO problems big enough to nix the multigenerational brand power Minolta & Konica carried. I imagine it all started in the mailroom of Minolta, where Sony's future president vowed to destroy them... and there was also a beautiful receptionist, whose heart belonged to another.

1 upvote
Michele Kappa
By Michele Kappa (Jul 3, 2011)

Bad Sony bad... :/
but anyway, I hope this will not happen with Pentax - heritage, not brand that is.

2 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Jul 3, 2011)

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY Sony A-55!!! The firmware could use a good hacking, but it was more affordable than the Pentax K5, so I went for it, plus for 500-700 I got a full suite of Minolta lenses... 100 bucks for a 50mm f1.4 prime? Are you kidding? phenomenal value.

But Ricoh has a great heritage. I love their website, very photography oriented. Okay, I love their web designers. They also answered some of my crazy e-mails politely, unlike Pentax. :(

0 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Jul 3, 2011)

wow I have two accounts here.

0 upvotes
EXX
By EXX (Jul 3, 2011)

This is NOT true. Sony could not use the Konica-Minolta name, because the brand still exists as an independant company. Konica-Minolta only sold its camera division. They still make imaging devices, like copiers and printers.

0 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jul 3, 2011)

Exx: Ricoh also only buys the camera division, Pentax medical and other parts still belong to Hoya.
(Not sure what arrangement Konica-Minolta had - maybe Sony really had to change the name.)

0 upvotes
EXX
By EXX (Jul 4, 2011)

Yes, but will Hoya keep the Pentax name for those products? AFAIK, Sony was not allowed to use the Konica-Minolta brand name.

0 upvotes
2manyCameraz
By 2manyCameraz (Jul 2, 2011)

Okay I think this is a good thing, Hoya was fumbling Pentax IMHO, the Pentax Lo iQ being a prime example. Why do you think it sold so CHEAP 142mil can't buy me a Sigma SD1, let alone a camera company. J/K

Think of it this way, I have a Ricoh GR1 in one hand and a Pentax Espio Mini (UC1) in the other hand... which would you like? Ricoh has been a great camera company for a long time, and they got beat down many times for playing it safe. Whoever is running the brand now ain't got that problem... Let's see what they can do.

0 upvotes
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (Jul 2, 2011)

Oh well .. another new (exciting??) chapter in Pentax's life and, to a degree, those of us involved with Pentax either through usage (me) and/or retail (me) :D

Cheers,

Jack

1 upvote
princewolf
By princewolf (Jul 2, 2011)

If Ricoh has any sense, PENTAX brand will remain. They would be unwise to remove it. An even worse feat would be to name it Ricoh-Pentax.
Ritax/Pencoh/Penritaxcoh/Ripencohtex.
It's not a good thing.

3 upvotes
Michele Kappa
By Michele Kappa (Jul 2, 2011)

As a new Olympus user and newbie amateur photographer, I'm happy to see that competitiveness in the photo industry seems "sane". I'll explain: All photographic companies try their best to offer HQ products - not necessarily innovative (e.g. Olympus), but nonetheless top class (e.g. Canon) and highly professional (e.g. Hasselblad). Everyone has its share.

The SLR has had one essential change: analog to digital. However, esthetics and much of mechanics have remain unchanged for several decades.

So I'm actually glad that Ricoh, as an innovative photo company "picked up" Pentax. Even if the trademark "Pentax" vanishes, as long as Ricoh continues to support & listen its users, sustaining the huge Pentax photographic history and heritage, I don't mind.

I'm only hoping this acquisition will strengthen innovation in digital photography. Both photographers and the photo industry shall benefit from that. So more and more beautiful pictures will be shot by each one of us in the future.

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Jul 2, 2011)

Ricoh will get the Pentax name, sort of like Lenovo buying the IBM personal computer business and also get the IBM name for its computers. The parent company also retains the IBM name for the mainframes and other products. Hoya will get the Pentax brand name for the endoscopes that the medical division makes, and Ricoh will get the Pentax name for the cameras and lenses it will now make.

0 upvotes
Michele Kappa
By Michele Kappa (Jul 2, 2011)

Actually Lenovo bought the IBM personal computing business and changed it to Lenovo. However, the build and material quality have remained inaltered - pretty high that is.
If Ricoh maintains the Pentax heritage, I'm confident that renaming the Pentax to Ricoh would be just this - a name change, and nothing else; as for nostalgia I also miss Minolta, but in that case Sony swallowed it and left nothing behind. Let's hope that shan't be the case. :)

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jul 2, 2011)

guys ! why are you sorry for pentax? ricoh as far as their pro cameras go is one if not THE most innovative camera company out there.

look at the grd series and the highly innovative gxr

also the user interface of those cameras is the best i ve ever seen, they are built like little tanks

combine this with the tradition of pentax and the sensor sizes they offer, and you might get the best camera system ever.

i think thats great, lets wait two years or probably they introduce themself to the market with something outstanding ?!

5 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (Jul 2, 2011)

I too don't understand why is everyone like "Oh, no! Pentax is doomed! We all gonna die!"
Look at Sony that bought Minolta and making some nice cameras now.
And Ricoh have the means to make this deal work. At least they are trying to invent something new, not just grow over evaluated megapixels like others.

5 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jul 2, 2011)

yes ! !
and finally the 645 modul mockup for the ricoh gxr makes sense.

and please ricoh make a grd4 that exactly looks and functions like a gr1 

when they make a pro gxr with exchangable sensors from mFT to real 645 they gonna rule the earth :)

2 upvotes
expoboy52
By expoboy52 (Jul 2, 2011)

My first SLR was a Pentax Spotmatic II with several Takumar Super-Multi-Coated lenses. Every time I scan a slide taken with that camera, I'm amazed at the incredible quality of those Takumar lenses. I've always associated Ricoh with "me-too" camera designs; certainly not an innovator like Pentax. It will be very sad if the Pentax nameplate disappears.

2 upvotes
PentaxNick
By PentaxNick (Jul 2, 2011)

There's no way Ricoh is a me too company, they are one of the most innovative of any. Take the GRD range, the GXR modular system, the GXnnn cameras or even the CXn range. Also think back to film days - the XR1 (my first SLR), the XR5 or the GR1 compact range. Always ahead of the game, particularly in ergonomics and quality.

1 upvote
thanasaki
By thanasaki (Jul 2, 2011)

It is sad that the destiny of a serious and successful camera maker like PENTAX, a co-founder of the japanese camera-wonder, has to be passed around, like a "cheap hooker". I always liked this company, ever since I used thier excellent Takumar lenses in the 70's

8 upvotes
steve131
By steve131 (Jul 2, 2011)

Ricoh have paid that amount of money for the Pentax 645D system.
The rest will probably be quite negligible ......

0 upvotes
depscribe
By depscribe (Jul 2, 2011)

My first SLR was a Ricoh Singlex (one found this out by removing the brand name on the front, which said "Sears" and was held on by doublestick tape), which came with a 50mm f1.4 lens and a 135mm 3.5. preset telephoto, case, and BC fanfold flashgun for $159 from Sears & Roebuck. It was a clone of the Nikkorex F, had the dreadful Copal Square shutter (but did have X sync up to 1/125). Terrible camera in every regard; I've avoided Ricoh ever since. That was, though in 1965. Maybe it's time to forgive them.

Naaaahhhh.

2 upvotes
ezradja
By ezradja (Jul 2, 2011)

My first SLR was Ricoh (A100), my first auto focus SLR was Pentax (KX-50). humm ... disclaimer: I am Canon user now ...

0 upvotes
newpictaker
By newpictaker (Jul 2, 2011)

I am glad I sold my Pentax and didn't fully invest in their system.

0 upvotes
Evgehni
By Evgehni (Jul 2, 2011)

I wish them succes as revious Pentax camera owner

1 upvote
dynamicwd
By dynamicwd (Jul 2, 2011)

it's shud to be...

0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Jul 2, 2011)

Minolta is now Sony, Pentax will be Ricoh, who's next?

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 2, 2011)

If Nikon doesn't begin to invest in new mirrorless systems in a hurry they will be bought by Epson in few years. (I wish it was true)

Both Canon and Nikon need to stop living in 1980s and realize that its much faster and much more transparent world we live in today. (they need to reallocate some funds from marketing to R&D in a big hurry)

When was the last time they did something innovative for consumer market? (we are not talking pro, because you will not survive on pro business only) Majority of new systems and ground breaking feature came from Olympus in past 8 years, and it shows in today's market share.

3 upvotes
TakisL
By TakisL (Jul 2, 2011)

My first film SLR was a Minolta 7000. My last a Minolta Dynax 7. The king died. Long live the king...

0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Jul 6, 2011)

Vadimka, you 've said it all. However, we 're not here to soar and moan for Canon and Nikon... Nikon lost the train from 05 and started to catch up with competition (Canon) some 4 years later, while Canon loses contact with things sitting on the throne of arrogance... I think that Panasonic showed them how business have to be done designing cameras from the beginning w/o carrying a heavy tradition

0 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Jul 2, 2011)

I was looking at the Q concept the other day and wondering why didn't they do that with a 1.7" sensor instead. So Ricoh has now bought Pentax for their ILC technology?

Q the GRD IV ILC - I want. And a K mount unit for my GXR - I'll want that too. So then I'll get a K-r for all those new K lenses and eventually ditch the Nikon DSLR and lenses...

In the non-ILC category, the Pentax Optio and Ricoh CX range (and Optio W and Ricoh PX) occupy the same space so wll they merge together? Ricoh Optio maybe? Ricoh likes 'X' names though.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Jul 2, 2011)

Well, Hoya bought Pentax for not that much money, and now they are getting rid of it, while they can make a profit from it - pretty sane business tactics.

From the press release it is evident that Ricoh is interested in using the 645D technology for documentation purposes, in addition to getting back into the SLR side of things. Sounds that Ricoh is aiming for complete office solutions here, thus an area where Ricoh has lots of knowledge of.

If the Pentax brand will continue to live on, that's another matter. As many here has pointed out, Pentax is a fairly small operator, just as a lot of other camera companies, like Hasselblad (whose cameras are made by Fujifilm), or Mamiya, that seem to do OK, if not brilliantly!

It is feasable that some other company, like Samsung, in turn gobbles Ricoh up, in due time.

It is as always, interesting times ahead!

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 3, 2011)

Ricoh has said in no uncertain terms, that the Pentax brand name will be used/carried on.

0 upvotes
Matthew888
By Matthew888 (Jul 2, 2011)

I wonder if we will see Tokina and Kenko branded lenses released for K mount again?
They stopped at the time that the Hoya group merged with Pentax.

1 upvote
vegwolff
By vegwolff (Jul 2, 2011)

I think what I was trying to say was... These are two innovative companies with long histories in camera production. Let's hope both the Pentax and Ricoh names continue well in to the future.

2 upvotes
vegwolff
By vegwolff (Jul 2, 2011)

At one stage in the eighties, Ricoh had a substantial SLR camera system. The system included six SLRs, (Pentax K-mount,) which included two with solar panels to recharge the batteries. There were fifteen lens', including the first interchangable auto focus 50mm, a bellows unit, various adaptors and teleconverters, and also two auto flash units, plus other attachments. That was of course in the days of film, when cameras worked for us, unlike now, when one just about needs a masters degree to work them. Ricoh was innovative and, in many ways, ahead of it's time. In this day of computerised cameras, and electronics companies moving in to the photographic realm, tradition still does have a place, albiet continually shrinking. I can only hope Ricoh will look at their, and Pentax's history and learn from it, while at the same time using the innovation they they once had (and may still do?) to advance positively into the future with sensible, ergonomic and usable design.

4 upvotes
Luis Eugenio
By Luis Eugenio (Jul 2, 2011)

Just hope they keep the PENTAX brand.

6 upvotes
LWW
By LWW (Jul 2, 2011)

My Pentax allegiance started with Ricoh XR7's in the early 1980's, I still have all 3 and they work, so its not as though they are new to the marque. One positive aspect from this will be an exodus off the naysaying knowledge boxes that frequent the forum.

3 upvotes
Simeon Walker
By Simeon Walker (Jul 3, 2011)

Ah the XR7, my first SLR, a lovely thing. My sister has it now and it works as well as the day it was new, a very long time ago!

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jul 1, 2011)

Ricoh, thanks for the Q.
Announced a week before the major acquisition, it only means that a long shelved project by Pentax was in fact resurrected and pushed forward by a new buyer, who wants a head start of advantages for itself, and capitalise as much as possible on its investment.
Q release date outside Japan is late September/October, just in time when the deal between Hoya and Ricoh will be finalised.
Negotiations in purchases like this last for months, and no new major camera *system* is released without buyer knowing exactly what they get with it.
Ricoh is Q's fairy godmother. They wanted it.
Q would probably never see the daylight under Hoya. If Pentax Q is a sign of new ideas and visions coming from Ricoh, then I applaud their dedication, to gather as much innovation and new products under the brand name of Pentax.
 Hope there'll be more shelved projects, ideas and products now resurrected.

6 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (Jul 1, 2011)

Hope that the Q is not Ricoh idea or my K-5 is my last Pentax camera.

0 upvotes
sfa1966
By sfa1966 (Jul 2, 2011)

Lots of speculation dressed up as cold fact. Pentax have been working on the Q-mount for 5 years, they say, and resurrected work due to the backlit sensor tech becoming available and reliable. I doubt that any of this is "new vision" on the part of Ricoh.

Sure, every M&A deal has a long period of due diligence. And, yes, as a result of that, Ricoh would have known of the Q months ago. And maybe Ricoh did stipulate as part of the negotiation that the Q had to be released prior to the acquisition.

But what if they did that so that it was clear to the world that they (Ricoh) had had nothing to do with the Q. That gives Ricoh the option of killing the project with a clear conscience ("it wasn't our idea, shareholders!") should it prove to be the abject failure that many (perhaps including Ricoh themselves) predict it will be.

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jul 2, 2011)

SFA1966, your reply is full of contradictions.

Pentax was an entity within Hoya. Hoya approves certain moves or disapproves them. Now with Ricoh as an owner, Pentax is still an entity. But Ricoh may have given a green light to Q, whilst Hoya was holding it. 5 years have nothing to do with all this; it's just a visionary statement on Pentax part, which can be interpreted too as "Geez, it was Ricoh who finally, after 5 years since its conception, recognised and loved this great idea".

Timing is crucial here and reveals lots of things. It shows they had to release something, before other big companies (Nikon, Canon) introduce their mirrorless systems. Better to be early with a novel approach than late, isn't it?

And if they had released it and then killed afterwards just to show the world it was not their child, as you suggest, then the Ricoh better not take you as their consultant, for they'd burn tons of money on futile contracts, and the most stupid form of "marketing".

0 upvotes
sfa1966
By sfa1966 (Jul 2, 2011)

No contradictions at all, ZT. Hoya invested 5 years, and thus lots of engineering hours into the Q. Far from having "nothing at all to do with this", as you state, that massive gestation time would impact on the price Ricoh have had to pay to acquire Pentax's IP (Hoya will surely have negotiated some return on their 5-year investment), which price in turn needs to be explained to Ricoh shareholders.

But what if Ricoh requested Hoya never release the Q, as part of their negotiation? That would have killed Q in the womb. We (Joe Public) would never have heard of it. But that leaves Ricoh as having paid for 5 years of engineering for nothing, and to explain that to their shareholders. Embarrassing: particularly as the Q *is* a novel concept and *might* be successful (at least initially).

So, having paid big bucks for the idea anyway, maybe Ricoh thought the best course was get Q to market during Hoya's tenure, where (if it fails) it does so with least possible downside.

0 upvotes
2manyCameraz
By 2manyCameraz (Jul 2, 2011)

I'd like to split this arguement 50/50. Let's say that Ricoh knows a thing or two about point and shoot cameras, smaller sensor digital cameras, and taking risks. But I agree that the Q's announcement was timed to create a little distance between Ricoh and the Q so if it fails, Ricoh can spin out the "Pentax GQ" the old guy's design enhanced by Pentax and Ricoh's new synergy and blah blah blah.

Ricoh is Pentax's fairy godmother, I think, and now that HOYA is out of the picture we will see Pentax going more niche', more quality, and less color choices.

What is going on with Japan and endoscopes, btw?

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 1, 2011)

I noticed how some people are predicting Ricoh to fail because its hard to beat Canon and Nikon in DSLR market. I will even go as far as saying its impossible, becaue DSLRs will no be a driving force of photo market in few years. Mirrorless systems and others like it are the future and its begining to become very apparent. (and Canon and Nikon have none at this point)

If you look at the most educated photo market in the world, which I'm afraid is Japan and review its number for Entry Level DSLRs sold last year (why entry level because its where the money is) you will see the following picture:

Two leading Canon models Kiss X4 and X5 (Rebels in USA) got 16.4% of market share;
Two leading Ninok models D3100 and D5100 got about 18% of market share;
Olympus E-PL1/2 and Panasonic GF2 got 17.2% (not too bad) and if you add another 5.5% that Sony NEX5 got, you will end up at 22+%.
What also shocking is that Canon and Nikon line is mature and Mirrorless is fairly unknown (2 years running)

2 upvotes
KAR-I
By KAR-I (Jul 1, 2011)

Honestly, Image quality of the mentioned models isn't extraordinary comparing to that of Pentax !

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 2, 2011)

Perfect for Ricoh. Now they will be able to combine their innovations with Pentax sensor, processors and lenses and create a new winning camera system.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jul 1, 2011)

I get the feeling that people think Ricoh is just some rinky-dink niche camera maker. That is not true at all. Consider that they made $740 million in profits last year on $20 billion in sales and are expecting to triple profits by 2014.

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 2, 2011)

Not on cameras, they didn't.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jul 2, 2011)

Yeah, mostly on business machines. But the point is that Ricoh has money and resources. More than many "real" camera companies. So I am just saying people shouldn't dismiss them so quickly.

Fwiw, Canon makes a heck of a lot of their money on Copiers, too.

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 2, 2011)

Yes, Canon does, but they are also a vibrant, dominant camera company. Ricoh is not even a footnote in camera statistics.

0 upvotes
p-dub
By p-dub (Jul 6, 2011)

Which is why they bought Pentax, onlooker: to have somewhere to invest their profits made elsewhere in order grow the camera side of their business. And now that they own Pentax, they are certainly much more than a "footnote" in the DSLR market.

0 upvotes
00112233
By 00112233 (Jul 1, 2011)

As far as I know this is good news. Hoya is a manufacturer of filters and such. Ricoh is a manufacturer of cameras and such. So logically Pentax is better of with .............. yes you guessed it: Ricoh!

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Jul 1, 2011)

Digital cameras of the dlsr kind. Konica-Minolta tried and failed. Pentax tried and presumably eventually had to sell the wedding dress. Panasonic and Samsung couldn't be bothered. Ricoh did not even try, until now. I guess Ricoh got a bargain. Pentax might be down to her underwear.

Pentax fans might think it the end but Ricoh was smart enough not to stick their financial chin out until now and truly they make great cameras. Some people think them quirky, others call this innovative.

In any case the Ricoh company survived somehow and had enough resources to raise the money to buy Pentax company camera assets outright. Of course they are a stupid company, who would want to buy a lame duck?

Look forward to one great camera company guiding another great camera company's future.

Sure they are hard to find but you have to look for your better mousetraps.

They are not going to be in every corner store next to the mobile phones.

4 upvotes
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