ricoh Ricoh splashes out 10 billion Yen on Pentax

Remember Ricoh, the company behind the crazy GXR interchangeable sensor camera and who's known for its GR Digital series of high-end point and shoots? Well, they also happen to make printers and copy machines, but that's beside the point, as the company has decided to further its camera business unit by purchasing Pentax from Hoya.

Remember Ricoh, the company behind the crazy GXR interchangeable sensor camera and who's known for its GR Digital series of high-end point and shoots? Well, they also happen to make printers and copy machines, but that's beside the point, as the company has decided to further its camera business unit by purchasing Pentax from Hoya.

It's actually quite an interesting move, as Ricoh is one of the smallest digital camera makers out there today, although the company has focused on making fairly niche market cameras with somewhat unusual features.

Pentax on the other hand was merged with Hoya – a Japanese optical company- back in 2008. Hoya is known for its high quality photographic filters, but when Hoya merged with Pentax it wasn't its camera business that Hoya was after, but rather its expertise in medical products, such as endoscopes and various other things.

As such, Hoya is now selling off the Pentax camera business unit, something that was expected to happen much sooner. Apparently Ricoh is also getting Pentax binocular and security camera related business units as part of the deal. Judging by the press release Ricoh will also take over Pentax manufacturing plant in Vietnam.

Interestingly the press release mentions that part of the reason why Ricoh bought Pentax is because the company is interested in a small and lightweight interchangeable lens camera system, but we can't see Ricoh splashing out the rumoured 10 billion Yen (about US$124 million) for Pentax's Q-system which was announced recently.

We'll simply have to wait and see how things develop, but hopefully we'll see a stronger product portfolio from Ricoh/Pentax on the DSLR side, as for as much as Pentax has some excellent lenses and some very durable high-end DSLR's, the company has always been a little bit behind the competition when it comes to features.

Source: Hoya (PDF link)