Pentax’s Brand-New Film Camera Will Launch This Summer

Pentax Film Camera Project

Pentax’s Film Camera Project, which was first announced in December 2022, is moving on to the next stage of its development and is scheduled to launch in summer 2024.

The camera — which is expected to be a fixed-lens, hand-winding, compact model — is now actively in development and out of the research stage.

“During the research stage, we received many valuable pieces of advice and suggestions from film camera enthusiasts around the world. We will try our best to develop a film camera that will satisfy their expectations,” Pentax says.

“Development is now underway, and we expect to make an official announcement in the near future.”

The camera’s name is still yet to be announced, but Pentax says its launch schedule is projected for summer 2024. It’s not clear if “launch” means availability or simply announcment of all final details, but it does not seem out of the question that the camera will be in the hands of customers sometime later this year.

Pentax also confirms that it will feature a hand-wound film-advance mechanism that uses a winding lever and a rewinding crank and it will feature a manually set zone-focus system.

“While digital cameras are the mainstream of photography today, the PENTAX Film Camera Project is designed to challenge the development of a new film camera, responding to the growing popularity lately of film photography among younger photographers. The project has been in the research stage, during which time we tried to overcome a broad range of difficult and complicated issues,” Pentax says.

“These included the procurement of the parts needed for film cameras, rediscovering the skills and technologies unique to film camera production, and the status of film manufacturing, stocking and distribution and the availability and infrastructure of film
development facilities, both in Japan and overseas. After this stage, we decided that all requirements had been met for the actual development of a new film camera.”

PetaPixel understands that this camera required expertise from engineers that had already retired from the industry to come back and provide insights as well as parts that required special manufacturing, as they are no longer actively produced.

“The cameras that Ricoh is currently working on are compact cameras with fixed lenses that cannot be replaced. It will be a very important model only for the first film camera in this project,” Pentax’s Takeo Suzuki said last year. “Although there are some parts that have been reused, we are considering almost completely new ones.”

In short, it was no small task to create a camera that, by all other measures, is significantly less complicated than modern digital cameras. Expect Pentax to provide more detailed information on the camera in the next few months.

Image credits: Pentax