UPDATE: Ricoh has released a video of the Pentax K-3 Mark III Jet Black Limited Edition – a DSLR so overflowing with darkness that Darth Vader and Batman will be fighting over it.
The Pentax K-3 Mark III is already one of the best Pentax cameras, and obviously a goth paint job isn't technically going to make it any better. It does, however, make it infinitely cooler – and "cool" isn't a term that anyone has used about Pentax cameras for a very long time.
The all-black markings, indicators and details will no doubt make this a lot more tricky to actually use, but hey – you're going to look great doing so. Check out the video above and see if you'd like to join the Dark Side.
ORIGINAL STORY (24 Mar 2022): A crowdfunding project has been listed in Japan for a new Jet Black Limited Edition variant of the Pentax K-3 Mark III, with only 232 cameras expected to be produced. The price of the camera is ¥300,000 yen (approximately $2,460 / £1,860 / AU$3,270), and will include a traditional woven Sanada-imo hand strap.
The Pentax K-3 Mark III is apparently on the verge of taking many forms, with no fewer than six different variations of the DSLR in development by Ricoh that include a model optimized solely for astrophotography, a manual focus model, plus a version with a modified shutter release button for faster shooting with a shallower shutter stroke.
Ricoh Imaging, owner of the Pentax camera brand, has been ambitious lately in its prospects to expand the product line of the K-3 Mark III with derivative models equipped with a monochrome sensor, challenging the likes of Leica with its popular black-and-white-only models such as the Leica M-10 Monochrom.
The translated listing that has been posted to Japanese crowdfunding site, ubgoe, describes a camera where rather than simply leaving areas unpainted, everything from the Pentax logo to the strap rings are specifically colored black.
"Instead of simply reducing the number of painted and printed areas, we are replacing it with 'black'. By sticking to these small details, a true black body that blends into the darkness has been realized.
"Although it is difficult to mass-produce this Jet Black model due to the complicated manufacturing process, we thought that there would be people who would definitely be interested in it, so we planned it.
"The other day, a fan meeting of Pentax was held, and when we conducted a questionnaire survey on the five models in the planning stage, we decided that Jet Black was the most popular, and chose a method that can be delivered to everyone, albeit in a small number."
The sale of the Jet Black Pentax is being implemented as an "all-in method", meaning that sales will go ahead regardless of whether the target value of ¥10 million yen (approximately $82,200 / £62,302 / AU$109,813) is reached, with refunds issued where necessary. The closing date is midnight on 27 April 2022, with delivery dates expected sequentially from the end of July 2022.
It is unclear as to whether the product will ship to areas outside of Japan, or whether the product will become available at a later date in other regions. We will update this article with information as and when it becomes available. Fingers crossed that those of us overseas will be able to get our hands on this absolutely stunning, gothic-style camera.