The (impossible?) Pentax FF mirrorless camera rumor!


The current K-o1 mirrorless and K-mount APS-C camera.

It doesn’t happen often that I get Pentax rumors. But this one is very exciting and at the same time…anonymous. That’s why you should take it with a grain of salt. But I hope this rumor can be read by other (known) sources so that they can confirm or deny it. Here it is:

The new source told us that “Pentax’s new fullframe “might” be a mirrorless, using a newly developed hybrid mount that accepts current K-mount lenses and adds the ability to use newer short flange lenses as well.

Editor’s note: The Pentax FF camera almost became a “myth” in these years. So many time we heard that it would come and…it never came :)

  • Nottroll

    Pentax FF, the Duke Nukem Forever of cameras.

    • MarcoSartoriPhoto

      +1 :)

    • tony

      Well, Duke Nukem got released in the end.

    • pony

      Pentax FF is the Half Life 3 of cameras

      • Rover

        Or The Ghostbusters III of cameras.

  • Mike1

    That’s interesting but don’t use that designer again please.

    • Boris


      I do wonder how such a product can go through full design and release cycle without someone saying “f#ck that’s ugly”.

      • Atlasman


        It worse than that: how can a company with such a long and distinct history think that design alone can make it successful?

      • caver3d

        Yeah, well if you had the camera (as I do) you’d know that there is more substance to this camera – such as, excellent IQ and video, and even focus peaking. Get over it.

  • madmax

    Impossible: Most current, K mount lenses are DA, designed for APSC format and so only an APSC mirrorless camera makes sense.

    • tony

      A good portion of the Ltd. series cover FF.

    • Sören

      If the lenses are designed to exactly suit the sensor the system is “full frame”. µFT for example is also a “full frame” System. Canons Marketing somehow transmuted its meaning to 35mm sensor systems.

      • Izumi

        No, the term ‘full-frame’, or more correctly ‘full-frame equivalent’, refers to a 35mm still camera film frame, ie 24mm x 36mm.
        With the proliferation of sensor sizes among digital cameras, it is used to give a common reference to the field of view of the lens, no matter what the sensor size is.
        Therefore if a lens is called ’28mm full-frame (equivalent)’ you know it is a wide angle lens, or ’75mm full-frame (equivalent)’ you know it is a moderate telephoto.
        Some formats are easy to convert – for APS-C multiply by 1.5, 4/3 multiply by 2, but smaller sensor cameras are almost impossible to work out.
        If the world only had one digital sensor size, life would be easier, but it doesn’t, so it isn’t. Which is probably A Good Thing, as Pooh Bear would say.
        Here’s somethingh for your idle moments: If Pooh Bear (and I mean the original A A Milne one, not the Disney bastardisation) had a camera, what would he have?

  • Guru

    Use it first! It’s a great little cam with simply smashing IQ (you will just sell your mft-garbage); AND THAN, FOR PENTAX: JUST GIVE US A NORMAL, K-5 STYLE FF, AND IT WILL BE ALL FINE!!!!

  • Opps!

    Who ever brave enough to introduce such camera with reasonable price tag will definitely get some good headline ! Even Pentax is putting FF in the interesting looking K01, I would definitely get one :)

  • Ivar

    I asked the pentax salesrep. here in Holland but he could not tel me anything. He did say that ricoh stopped or will soon stop making the Ricoh GXR because of low demand.

  • MdB

    I don’t understand why they are dropping the GXR, of all the mirrorless models that would be most adaptable to FF it would be that, as in basically either a FF M-Mount module or FF K-Mount module (M-Mount is probably better) for legacy lenses would take them all of about 10 minutes to design and put together (total exaggeration) but those looking for a ‘cheap mirrorless FF’ would flock to the thing! Ricoh wouldn’t be able to make enough of them as everyone would want one.

    A K-01 with FF sensor would be a massive mistake. At the very least it needs to have an optional viewfinder. Other than that, well why have the big mirror box? Or at least why have a big thick body to fit a mirror box that is empty. Sure the flange distance, but you can make that with a tube / sleeve – the whole camera doesn’t need to be that fat!

  • Steve

    Sounds like another half based mirrorless solution.

  • Davonroe

    I’ve dismissed every 35mm (I refuse to call it Full Frame ) Pentax rumor in the past. I’d like to see this one come true. I think mirrorless is the best hope for any manufacturer not already in the 35mm game. Anything else would be a “me too” camera, and not enough to make a dent in the Canikon stranglehold.

  • John Maverick

    Please make it short flange to maxiumize lens options. And make the AF comms protocol open. That way the Chinese will build adaptors for every lens system available.

  • Vivek

    Pentax-Ricoh make great niche products with short short lifes.

    I hope they do not use that designer again and ask one of their own experienced techs to design a camera body.

  • Richard

    Full frame is not for point and shoot, rather it is a platform for adapting lenses from Leica M, Contax G to Pentax K pentax screw mount.I would prefer to see a full frame with a finder.

    How about a design after film era Pentax LX + battery grip?

    Without finder, it would be a very bad camera, like K01 just did.

  • Zony

    I would be happy to eat my words, but here they are; Pentax has not and likely will not be on the forefront of camera evolution. The start of such a camera would have began at least a year before the Hoya buy-in. Pentax is about evolution, not revolution.

  • EnPassant

    @MdB: The GXR body is too small for a FF sensor module. Most SLR lenses do not balance well on it. Also the electronics inside the body would need to be updated. Besides; the brand Ricoh will probably only be used for specialized small cameras, so no FF sensor.

    The big failure of K-01 was the missing viewfinder. Add an EVF and it is a quite good camera, if not in same class as K5.

    My hope is that Ricoh GXR and Pentax K-01 will be married together with a built in EVF and a FF sensor.
    Use the module idea from GXR, just keep the sensor in the camera. Using a module connection as in GXR rather than a standard bayonet allow optical constructions with a big rear element close to the sensor (Like on Sony RX1) for sharp corners. Modules for any camera mount could easily be made.

  • Eric Tastad

    Full Frame is a meaningless term. The term 135 format is more correct, as that describes the 24x36mm frame size. The term came around as far as I can tell when you had lenses that were 135 format, and you used those with a smaller sensor, like APS-C, you crop the full image circle.

    In the same way 135 format is full frame to APS-C, 645 is full frame to smaller medium format sensors in many of the digital 645 cameras with crop sensors, and if you use 6×7 lenses, those “full frame” 645 are now cropped relative to 6×7.

    So any system where you use the full image circle could be considered “full frame” and crop would be where you use only a portion of the full image circle (cropping away the extra).

  • Pb

    does it really matter when its digital? you can simply go into APS-c crop mode with those lenses like how the nikon full frames accept nikon APS-c lenses….

  • MdB

    Erm what?! The GXR already has an M-Mount module to take M-Mount lenses, which are FF. It is irrelevant whether the sensor is FF or APS-C in this regard. There is no ‘it’s too small’, if it can fit ANY sensor and an M Mount then it can take a FF sensor by design.

  • Jeff

    Just to be clear… it is not said anywhere that the rumored camera body would look anything like the K-01. That just happens to be the picture the poster decided to tack on to the story.

    There is no chance they would do something similar design-wise with a “full frame” camera. The K-01 is a pretty excellent camera if you don’t care about OVF/EVF (if you do, get a K-30 which is basically a K-01 with a viewfinder.) But clearly the design was never loved/accepted and it was a design call that was made by previous owner Hoya. I would expect a slightly more conservative design from Ricoh (especially on such a high profile release.)

  • Andy

    Someone cant find the forest after getting lost in the trees…

  • EnPassant

    The size of the sensor is definitely not irrelevent. The board and connections for a sensor takes up much more space than the usable area of the sensor. The GXR modules are made for a maximum APS-C size.

    The M-mount and many M-lenses have smaller diameter than the Micro Four Thirds mount, and still barely fits the M-module! So I really have hard following your logic. Especially as I was talking about FF modules for SLR lenses with wider mounts and large diameter lenses…
    In theory Ricoh could make a module bigger than the camera. But because something is possible it doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

  • EnPassant

    Agreed. I could have expressed myself more clearly.
    I was not intending the eventual Pentax FF would have similar design of the K-01. I merely see it as an idea of a DSLR-styled mirrorless camera.

    Add the module idea (without sensor) from GXR allowing different mounts instead of the fixed mount and flange distance. And of course a built in EVF.
    I think such a camera, if made right and at a good price, would be a great success.

    Only question is who will be first with the camera all owners of old legacy lenses are dreaming of? Sony many beleived. But that camera, if existing, will not come until next year. Can Pentax beat Sony on that timeline?
    Leica M, while already here as the first mirrorless FF camera (made for photography)with EVF/LCD focus is disqualified for most because of its price.

  • Mike

    Has anyone tested these Limited lenses on a FF senor? Most FF lenses do well on a crop sensor but show any weakness if they have any on a FF.

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