CP+ 2016 Conclusion and Booth Tour
Why this was such a special show for Pentax
After a busy four days, the CP+ 2016 camera expo has closed its doors. For Pentax fans, this show was arguably one of the most significant events of the decade. Ricoh Imaging finally released the Pentax K-1 full-frame DSLR, a long-awaited camera that was the subject of wild speculation and some very emotional discussions on our forum. Unsurprisingly, Ricoh made this camera the star of their exhibit; it even went as far as completely omitting displays for other K-mount bodies, the 645 digital system, and the ultra-compact Q-mount system. The Ricoh booth did feature Pentax sport optics, the Theta 360, and the outdoor WG series, however.
Here's a summary of what we learned at this year's CP+:
- The K-1 was challenging to develop as it required new hardware in key areas
- K-1 development slowed APS-C and Q-mount product development somewhat, but those product lines remain a key part of the Pentax lineup
- Five new D FA lenses are planned for release in "2017 or later"
- An APS-C wide-angle zoom and a Q-mount telephoto macro lens remain roadmapped for "2016 or later"
- Ricoh engineers plan to maintain an APS-C flagship in the Pentax lineup, since this format lends itself to compactness and speed
- The D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 is finally being launched after delays due to optical optimizations
- B-grip is partnering with Pentax to make a special Pentax-branded strap system
- Sigma and Tamron refused to comment on the K-1, and neither manufacturer currently plans to expand its K-mount offerings
- Additional technical details about the K-1 were revealed in our CP+ 2016 interview
Most importantly, though, the launch of the Pentax K-1 will put an end to the countless speculative threads and thus allow many Pentaxians to go back to what matters most: taking pictures!
It will be interesting to see how the K-1 is received by the larger photographic community once it starts shipping and getting reviewed. The fact that Pentax is now one of only three manufacturers offering a full-frame DSLR should inherently continue generating a good deal of long-term buzz.
A video tour of the Ricoh Imaging booth follows.
See below for additional stills from the show; click on any thumbnail to enlarge and browse:
Stay tuned for more Pentax expo coverage next week, when we will be visiting WPPI in Las Vegas.