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Ricoh Acquires Pentax to Create Interchangeable Lens Camera Company
Hoya has sold their Pentax camera arm to Ricoh. Their Pentax Imaging Systems arm will be spun-off as a new operation while all shares transferred over to Ricoh as of October 1st. The deal also includes the Pentax camera creation subsidiary located in Vietnam. A general statement from Hoya explains how Ricoh was looking to create a consumer cameras operation and sought the Pentax interchangeable lens camera expertise, lens expertise and sales avenues. It has plans for the operation to specifically include an interchangeable lens camera operation. Hoya is keeping the other Pentax operations, such as the medical apparatuses, that it acquired in the 2007 acquisition. Terms of the transaction were not released but the Nikkei Business Daily, a Japanese business paper reports the deal was around 10 billion yen ($124.2 million).

A final deal is projected to be completed by the beginning of October of 2011, after which point allowing Ricoh to pursue its dreams of interchangeable lenses along with "creating and developing value-added ancillary services that promote viewing, storing and refinishing images and utilize images as exchange of ideas tools." There is no information on exactly which interchangeable system Ricoh will select, be it a a home-grown system based upon existing Pentax technology or becoming a part of the Micro Four Thirds standard which is already flourishing.

Click to download Hoya's Statement in a PDF Version

Although Ricoh's name is more well known for its line of office products than its cameras, they began manufacturing cameras 1936, since that time they have acquire a loyal following of hobbyists, and became one of the first digital camera innovators (although in reality they continue with more innovations more than the credits they receive on their behalf). Into the 1990s Ricoh had been recognized for producing high-end 35mm luxury compact cameras featuring high quality optics. In today's marketplace, Ricoh manufactures a range of high style large zoom compact cameras which includes water proof and shock proof models, plus their unique GXR camera, a system that employs combination interchangeable lens and sensor units that substitute for customary bayonet lenses. updated article Apr 4, 2011

Ricoh Compact Digital Knowledge BaseRicoh Compact Digital Camera Knowledge Base
Ricoh cameras reached their zenith during the 1950s with over 1 million cameras being sold by 1954 in Japan. Ricoh introduced many variations of the original Ricohflex, including numerous cameras with the Ricohflex label. Other cameras were announced including the Diacord during 1958, the Ricohmatic during 1959 plus the Auto 66 during 1960. Ricoh persisted in making SLR film cameras before switching to digital camera designs in 2007. Since then, Ricoh has mainly stayed with compact digital consumer grade cameras.

Ricoh 35mm Digital Camera Knowledge BaseRicoh 35mm Camera Knowledge Base - In 2009, Ricoh released the Ricoh GXR, an interchangeable lens camera without bayonet. The GXR is an interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses are changed by using a slide-in mount system to attach camera units to the body. The lens, image sensor, and image processing engine are integrated into the camera units so the body itself does not contain an image sensor.