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May 16, 2012

Ricoh denies their cameras will disappear in 2013

Amateur Photographer UK has received a statement from Ricoh Europe denying that Ricoh-branded cameras will disappear in 2013. The Ricoh Europe comment was triggered by a comment made to AP UK by a "source close to Pentax". (via Ricehigh)

In previous official announcements, it was said that Ricoh cameras would move under Pentax and that in the USA market, Ricoh cameras (except for the industrial-strength ones) would be under Pentax control.

From the short comments made to AP UK above, it is hard to decipher the situation. It is possible that the (newer?) camera models would be baptized under the Pentax brand. So you could have the GR-D and GXR lines continue as the Pentax GR-D and Pentax GXR. A Pentax GR-D sounds more photography-sexy than Ricoh GR-D to the average consumer/photographer who is not intimately familiar with Ricoh's camera history.

Unless there is a specific reason to do so (think Aiwa and Sony), usually the "victor" assimilates the brand they purchased (think Sony and Minolta), although in this case, the roles are layered, since Ricoh bought Pentax, but Pentax is a decidedly larger photography brand and presence. I don't think there is a specific reason to keep two brands of cameras. The average consumer associates Pentax with photography a lot more than Ricoh, isn't that one of the main reasons Ricoh bought Pentax?

This perhaps may not please some of the Ricoh camera fans, who went with Ricoh because they didn't find what they were looking for in the other brands. But Ricoh has bigger aspirations in the digital camera market, and if they had been able to do it on their own, they wouldn't have bought Pentax.



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