In a bit of reshuffling in the digital camera world, the Japanese company who owned the Pentax digital camera business is selling it to Ricoh.
Hoya purchased Pentax in 2007, primarily to get access to its medical technology, and has today confirmed that it will sell the Pentax Imaging Systems products to Ricoh – who is better known for its printer and copier business. As part of the deal, Hoya will hold onto the rights to manufacture and develop products for the medical field. The deal is apparently worth ¥10 billion (£77.3 million).
Neither Pentax nor Ricoh are major players in the digital camera market and since Hoya purchased Pentax in 2007, it has failed to make any significant inroads into the market. Pentax is currently the tenth largest digital camera brand by shipments with just 1.5 percent of the market. Ricoh is an even smaller player in the digital camera world and will hope the purchase of Pentax will give it more expertise – especially in the DSLR area, where it currently has no presence.
Only last week Pentax announced the launch of the world’s smallest interchangeable camera, the Pentax Q, which slimmed down the sensor as well as the body. Ricoh has its own interchangeable system, with the modular GXR range.
The smart move would be to see Ricoh combine both digital camera brands into one but whether this is under the more recognisable Pentax brand or the less-well-known Ricoh brand remains to be seen.