Ricoh has already sold out of its Japanese allocation of Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome cameras twice. Clearly, the company’s latest DSLR is extremely popular.
Announced earlier this month, the Pentax K-3 III Monochrome is the only black and white DSLR on the market. Based on the original K-3 Mark III, Pentax’s flagship APS-C camera, the body of the Monochrome version is not substantially different other than a lack of color in the design and the fact that the sensor is only capable of capturing black and white photos.
Clearly, the camera is extremely popular, at least in Japan, since Ricoh has not been able to keep it in stock. While the camera doesn’t start shipping until the end of April, pre-orders have flooded the company to the degree that it’s not going to have any more available for at least a couple of months.
Due to how Japanese businesses are regulated, the camera companies based there appear a lot more transparent about the availability of products than Western audiences are typically used to seeing — it’s why notifications about camera and lens delays are so common. So while it’s unclear how popular the camera is in the United States since companies don’t have to disclose when pre-order limits are exceeded, Japan does.
Because of this, Ricoh in Japan actually apologized that it had run out of its allocation for the country the same day the camera was announced.
“We are pleased to announce that the number of pre-orders for the PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome Matte Black Edition, a monochrome digital SLR camera that is scheduled to be released on April 28, 2023, has greatly exceeded our initial expectations. As a result, production is unable to keep up with demand,” Ricoh said on April 13.
“Therefore, we will temporarily suspend accepting new orders until we have a certain outlook for product supply. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused to customers who have been waiting for this product.”
Five days later, Ricoh announced that it had resumed accepting orders for the camera as it had, apparently, been able to catch production up with orders and would be able to ship out this second allocation by the end of May.
That did not last long. On April 21, Ricoh sold out again.
“We will temporarily suspend accepting new orders at the Ricoh Imaging Store until the next product supply (scheduled for summer 2023) is confirmed. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused to customers who have been waiting for this product,” the company writes.
The Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome DSLR is still available to pre-order for $2,200 in the United States, but given the popularity in Japan, it’s not clear how quickly those pre-orders will actually be shipped to buyers.
Image credits: Ricoh