Pentax gonna Pentax: 100th anniversary flagship camera is an APS-C DSLR

Pentax teases 100th anniversary flagship camera… a K-mount APS-C DSLR
(Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

Ricoh Imaging has given us the first glimpse at a brand new flagship camera to commemorate its 100th anniversary. And, in the most Pentaxy move imaginable, it's an APS-C DSLR. 

The camera is scheduled for launch in 2020, and will be exhibited at the Pentax Meeting 100th Anniversary Special event taking place in Japan on 21 September.

• Read more: The best Pentax cameras in 2019

We know very little about the camera, not even its name, though the company may well reveal more details at its event. However, we can determine a few things from the official images. 

The Pentax 100th anniversary camera features a top LCD panel and image stabilization

The Pentax 100th anniversary camera features a top LCD panel and image stabilization (Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

The form factor looks like a cross between the Pentax KP and Pentax K-70, with a grip that is slightly less pronounced than the latter, but it's sleeker and more svelte than either predecessor. 

It incorporates both a rear joystick and a top LCD panel, but its rear screen does not tilt or articulate. The gold "SR" on the front of the camera confirms that it will possess Shake Reduction image stabilization. 

With regard to specs, it would be nice if Pentax could improve on the 24MP sensors in its existing APS-C lineup, though we may not see a massive jump the way we did with the 32.5MP sensor inside the Canon EOS M6 Mark II

A more ambitious burst rate would be appreciated for a flagship camera, and of course it's pretty imperative these days to include 4K video – 120fps is probably a bit of an ask, but 60fps would be appreciated.

The rear of the Pentax 100th anniversary camera features a joystick, but a fixed LCD screen

The rear of the Pentax 100th anniversary camera features a joystick, but a fixed LCD screen (Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

With Sigma abandoning the K-mount, the future prospects for cameras using the mount is a little less than rosy – and it's also symptomatic of the mirrorless curve that Pentax is willfully falling behind. 

It was only a couple of months ago that Ricoh asserted DSLRs will make a comeback: "after one or two years, some users who changed their system from DSLR to mirrorless come back to the DSLR again."

It's certainly a far cry from Olympus, which celebrated its own 100th birthday earlier this year by releasing two mirrorless flagships (a limited edition silver Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and an all-new Olympus OM-D E-M1X). So it's certainly brave of Pentax to stick to its DSLR guns, with what appears to be a dying mount, but Pentax wouldn't be Pentax if it did things any other way. 

Read more: 

Ricoh executives think mirrorless photographers will soon return to DSLRs
Bad news for Pentax users: Sigma to end production of Pentax K-mount lenses
The best Pentax lenses in 2019: our top lens suggestions for your Pentax camera

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.