About their direction for 2019
They’re not the kind of company that can come out with large numbers of cameras. They plan to continue prioritizing cameras and the photographic process with customers in mind. The first topic for 2019 will be the all new GR III.
Quite a lot of the interview was about the GR III, and I’ll just refer you to the thread in the GR III, where I already posted about this. Post #499 of the following thread.
Ricoh GR III – Page 34 – PentaxForums.com
– It’s actually the centenary of the optical company that was the precursor to Pentax that celebrates it’s centenary this year.
– The actual date is in November
– They are considering how to celebrate the event, but cannot share details yet.
– They don’t think that merely putting a 100-year logo on products is what their customers are hoping for. (The implication is they will do something more)
About Q and 645
– Q has been highly valued for it’s compact size by core users. They are looking at the situation with the Q, and it is not accurate to say development in discontinued. (I think this should be taken with a pinch of salt, because in Japan, Q bodies are only available from Ricoh direct, some shops list the lenses as “production ended”, and that macro disappeared from the roadmap)
– Regarding 645, the next model is currently being considered. 645 is a very important product to the company and they are not stopping the line. (Resolute answer)
– The interviewer mentioned that 645 users are worried about the lack of new lenses. They have not stopped development. However, for now their priority is for FF K-mount lenses.
– They have a lot of demands from full frame users, especially for lightweight tele zooms.
– They 85mm on the roadmap has been put back, but it is still coming (the strong implication is that prioritizing the tele zooms pushed back the 85mm).
– The DA* 11-18 is in the final stages of development. They expect to make an announcement before CP+.
– They are also planning a “surprise” for next year. (I take this to mean a lens not on the roadmap, because of the context of the comment)
About FF/MF mirrorless
– They expressed respect for the competing FF mirrorless systems, saying that they have many good points.
– However, they are more interested in serving their customers than following trends. They will listen to user requirements, not be swayed. (This was difficult to understand, but I think this means they are going to stick to their judgement, rather than caving in to peer pressure)
– They seem positive about Fuji’s entry into the MF market, because they think it will draw more attention to the MF market.
The K-1 upgrade
– They are proud of their achievement in clearing the logistical hurdles to making this possible.
– The reaction has been positive.
– (I can’t understand what they say about noise reduction, but it seems that they are aware that opinion is divided on the approach to noise reduction in the K-1 mark II)
– They haven’t seen much development yet, but the reaction was greater than expected. They are currently gathering information. and looking forward to what users do with it.