Pentax has released a new video with more details about the upcoming new film camera. We reveal these for you here. And we will also share a few videos about this camera and their movie camera project.
This follows their December 2022 announcement that they had plans to develop new film cameras for the first time in many years.
Listening to film camera enthusiasts
In the video, Pentax designer Takeo Suzuki says they got a lot of opinions and suggestions. From there, they were inspired to design a completely new movie camera model, even though some parts could be shared with existing models.
Echoing what he said earlier, Suzuki said Pentax’s goal is to develop a camera that younger photographers will enjoy, making shooting a pleasure. He verified that Pentax does indeed make a manual winding movie camera, pointing out that this is an action “totally unique to movie cameras” that “creates joy and satisfaction in actually manipulating a movie camera.” They currently believe that a lever action mechanism is the best way forward, even incorporating the sound of a ratchet wheel into the mechanism.
My theory to get started
I have noticed that many young people are attracted to manual and mechanical items. I believe they crave tangible things that older people took for granted growing up. In music, it is mainly younger people who are attracted to patchbay and modular synthesizers, with their knobs, cables and sliders. It is the younger people who have largely driven up record sales over the past fifteen years. And young people are also largely responsible for the purchase of old film cameras. Someone even paid more for my Yashica T4 35mm point-and-shoot film camera than I initially paid for it.
I discussed my theory for this on our Nightaxians YouTube podcast #15 a while ago, when we also discussed Pentax’s announcement to release film cameras.
The first film camera that Pentax will release will be a compact camera, not an SLR. However, they think they can use the manual winding mechanism in SLRs and other cameras.
Fixed, non-interchangeable lens
Pentax also looks like they’re keeping it simple at first. The first camera in their movie camera project has a fixed, non-interchangeable lens. Older fixed-lens compacts tended to have some of the smallest, sharpest lenses. If they release this with a wide-angle, wide-aperture lens in a small body, I have a feeling a lot of film people will be very happy.
If you watch the whole video, you might be surprised by one of Suzuki’s confessions. After developing the first manual winding mechanism via 3D CAD drawings, the team enlisted the help of the original film camera engineers. They tried to simplify the design. However, the old engineers said the team was “ignorant”, although it seems this was meant in a friendly way. The teams worked together, resulting in a ratchet wheel handle to advance the film.
However, given the innovations and amazing features that Pentax regularly put into their cameras, I have a feeling we’ll see some surprisingly innovative features in their film cameras in the future. After all, this is the company that also puts in Astrotracer for star tracking, built-in time-lapse mode for in-camera stacking, body illumination, Night Vision LCD, and other features. I discuss some of these in the article Seven reasons why I now use a Pentax K-1 camera.
The Call for Collaboration for the Film Camera Project
“The aim of this project is not only to produce a new camera, but also to create a solid environment in which those who witness this project and film photography enthusiasts can more freely express their ideas, opinions and hopes” says Suzuki. “We would like to play a supporting role in helping to realize this future.”
Previously, Suzuki had also revealed that a Pentax poll indicates that about 20% of people in Japan still use traditional film cameras, not counting disposable or instant cameras.
What is your opinion on designing a new film camera? Share your thoughts in the comments below!