Pentax reveals new details about its upcoming film camera

Pentax released a new video with more details about its upcoming new film camera. We will reveal these here for you. And we’ll also share a couple of videos about this camera and their Film 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 states that they received many opinions and suggestions. From that, they were inspired to design a completely new film camera model even though some parts might be shared with existing models.

Repeating something he said previously, Suzuki said that the goal of Pentax is to develop a camera that younger photographers will enjoy, making taking photos a joy. He verified that Pentax is indeed making a manual-winding film camera, pointing out that this is an action that is “totally unique to film cameras” which creates “joy and satisfaction of actually manipulating a film camera.” They currently believe that a lever-action mechanism is the best way forward, even incorporating a ratchet wheel sound in the mechanism.

My theory for getting hands on

I have observed that many young people are attracted to manual and mechanical items. I believe they crave tactile things that older people took for granted growing up. In music, it’s younger people that are primarily attracted to patchbay and modular synthesizers, with their knobs, cables and sliders. It’s younger people that have largely driven up the sales of records for the past fifteen years. And younger people are also largely responsible for purchasing old film cameras. In fact, someone paid more for my Yashica T4 35mm point-and-shoot film camera than I initially paid for it.

I discussed my theory for this during our Nightaxians YouTube podcast #15 a while ago when we also discussed Pentax’s announcement to release film cameras.


The first film camera Pentax will release will be a compact camera, not an SLR. However, they believe that they will be able to use the hand-wound mechanism in SLR and other cameras.

Fixed, non-intechangeable lens

Pentax also looks like they are initially keeping it simple. The first camera in their Film Camera Project will have a fixed, non-interchangeable lens. Older fixed-lens compacts typically had some of the smallest, sharpest lenses. If they release this with a wide-angle, large aperture fixed lens on a small body, I have a feeling a lot of film people will be very happy.

Surprising admission

If you watch the entire video, you might be surprised by one of Suzuki’s admissions. After developing the initial hand-winding mechanism via 3D CAD drawings, the team called upon the original film camera engineers for assistance. They were attempting to simplify the design. However, the old engineers said that the team were “ignorant,” although it seems that this was meant in a friendly manner. The teams collaborated, resulting in a ratchet wheel lever for advancing the film.

However, given the innovations and amazing functions that Pentax regularly puts in their cameras, I have a feeling that we might see some surprisingly innovative features in their film cameras going forward. After all, this is the company that also puts Astrotracer for tracking stars, 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 I now use a Pentax K-1 camera.

The call for collaboration for the Film Camera Project

“The goal of this project is not only to produce a new camera, but to create a solid environment in which those that witnesses this project and those who love film photography can more freely express their ideas, opinions and hopes,” Suzuki says. “We would like to play a supporting role to help realize this future.”

Previously, Suzuki had also revealed that a poll taken by Pentax indicates that approximately 20% of people in Japan still use traditional film cameras, not including disposable or instant cameras.

What are your opinions on how to design a new film camera? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Author Profile

Renée Bourke

Renée has carried out many celebrity interviews for us from boybands to hanging backstage at showbiz parties. The Aussie stars acting credits include Home and Away + Across The Pond.


Leave a Reply