Ricoh's string of teaser coverage for its upcoming full-frame Pentax DSLR continues today with a new image and a press release - but nothing in the way of concrete information.

Back in February, Ricoh announced plans to develop a Pentax full-frame DSLR (not the same one that was announced in 2001). Per the original announcement, Ricoh was aiming for an end-of-year release, but by September it had updated the launch date to Spring 2016. 

Ricoh's new statement offers precisely no information about the forthcoming 'SRL' camera (we have to assume this is a typo), but does go into some detail about Pentax's corporate history, and comes with a new picture (shown above). The continuing lack of any specification details is a shame, because judging by our quick look at a prototype camera on display at the Photo Plus Expo in New York, it seems that the new camera might offer some interesting features. 

For now though, we can only speculate. Needless to say, we'll continue to bring you news about the forthcoming Pentax full-frame DSLR as and when we receive it. What might 'SRL' stand for? Leave suggestions in the comments.

Press release:

PENTAX New-format SLR Camera


PENTAX has always been a unique brand of camera. Never one to imitate other makes, PENTAX has stuck to its pursuit of original value to create high-performance cameras used and loved by pros and amateur photographers alike.

Let’s look back on the history of PENTAX, going back to its origins at Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. The company was established in 1919 as Asahi Kogaku Goshi Kaisha. It manufactured eyeglass lenses and cine lenses. In 1952, the company began camera production with its Asahiflex 1, the first single-lens reflex camera made in Japan. In 1954, this model evolved into Asahiflex IIB with a quick-return mirror. The Asahi Pentax AP, which came out in 1957, was the first camera to come equipped with a pentaprism—a five-side optical glass element—as well as a quick-return mirror. This was the first time the name PENTAX appeared. These models were followed by many other cameras—exclusively SRL [sic] —equipped with unique features that were the first of their kind, both in Japan and in the world. In 1964, the Asahi Pentax SP was the first SRL [sic] with TTL (through-the-lens) metering. Asahi Pentax ES, launched in 1971, was the first with TTL full-aperture metering and automatic exposure control.

Not all PENTAX cameras used 35 mm film. In 1967, the maker put out the first medium-format SRL [sic] with built-in TTL exposure metering that used 6 cm x 7 cm film. The camera was aptly named PENTAX 6 x 7. A medium-format camera using 6 cm x 4.5 cm film, the PENTAX 645 (1984). Not only did PENTAX mobilize the medium-size camera world with 35 mm cameras, but it also launched the first medium-format interchangeable AF lens camera, PENTAX 645NII (1997), achieving both high-quality pictures and mobility. The camera has been used and loved by photography lovers of all kinds.

As for digital SRL [sic] cameras, in 2003, PENTAX *istD was unveiled as the smallest and lightest weight camera in the world. PENTAX K100D (2006) was well-received as the first PENTAX digital SRL to have built-in image stabilization. The same year, PENTAX K10D was released. It had the same functions as K100D as well as the first dustproof and weatherproof structure, and achieving a reputation for overall excellence in an SLR camera. It received 3 major international camera awards: TIPA, Camera of the Year, and EISA. In the years that have followed, the maker has continued to release unique cameras, such as the digital SRL [sic] with the well-known medium-format 645 mount, PENTAX 645D.

Coming up in spring 2016!

PENTAX is launching a digital SRL [sic] with a brand-new format.