2023 was a very good year for Pentax and Pentaxians

And a great year for Pentax Forums!

By cjfeola in Photo Industry News on Feb 4, 2024
2023 was a very good year for Pentax and Pentaxians

For Ricoh Imaging and Pentax, 2023 was a very good year. And that made it a very good year for Pentaxians and Pentax Forums.

Parent Ricoh Company repeatedly cited the Ricoh Imaging division’s camera business as a profitability bright spot in an otherwise tough time for the office products and imaging giant. The shock spring release of the Pentax K-3 III Monochrome generated an avalanche of press and the better part of a year of back-orders, capped off by the Monochrome being selected as Japan Historical Camera of 2023 by the Japan Camera Foundation.

Pentax K-3 III Monochrome

The Ricoh GRIII, meanwhile, also managed to sell as fast as Ricoh Imaging could make them. Indeed, when Japan’s giant Yodobashi Camera Store — similar to B&H Foto & Electronics and Adorama in the United States – listed its Top 10 Best Selling Compact Cameras last month, the Ricoh GRIIIx Urban Edition was number 9, the Ricoh GRIII was number 6, and the Ricoh GRIIIx was number 1. And on fellow Japanese giant Mapcamera's December best sellers list, the GR IIIx was third, behind the Sony a7c II and the Nikon Zf. 

Besides the Monochrome, Ricoh Imaging/Pentax introduced the Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic, the HD Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4, the K-3 III Monochrome Matte Black Edition and the GR III Diary Edition. They also became the official US Kenko distributor, announced the Pentax WG-90 tough compact camera would ship in 2024, and gave more details on the Pentax Film Project. And the company kicked off 2024 with the unveiling of the finished Pentax Film Project prototype, announcing that they intended to have it on sale soon.

The K-3 III Monochrome in particular created a press storm. It’s the only available monochrome DSLR. And the other widely available monochrome digital cameras — the $6,195 Leica compact, fixed lens Q2 Monochrom, and the $9,195 interchangeable lens rangefinder M11 Monochrom — are 3 to 5 times more expensive.

Note that all of this covers the health of the business, which is a profit bright spot according to parent Ricoh Company.

2023 was also a great year for Pentax Forums. In midyear we relaunched the automated digest of top content based on factors such as thread replies and likes, which had been on a brief hiatus since November 2022.  We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community on this initiative. We also started offering a curated newsletter as a basic e-mail, called "Best of Pentax Forums", with hand-picked content from the forum and beyond that might otherwise go unseen, as well as special photo challenges and posts.

In November we  officially launched the Best of Pentax Forums Newsletter on a new platform called Substack. We moved to Substack to take advantage of that platform's advanced advanced formatting tools that go far beyond the capabilities of our legacy e-mail platform, such as an online version of each newsletter. Our goal is to provide convenient and easily readable summaries of homepage content, as well as links to top forum threads, every Wednesday.  The newsletter is available for free to all existing forum members (please create a forum account first if you don't already have one).

Our K-3 III eBook received 5 content updates in 2023, expanding not only in terms of content but also convenience, with features such as internal and external content links. 

And a particular shoutout to the moderation and systems teams, who blocked more than 80,000 spammers in 2023. They are the unsung heroes who do enormous work to keep the forums useable.

Toward the end of the year we held a Limited lens giveaway, which we hope to repeat again in 2024!

We look forward to seeing you on Pentax Forums and beyond throughout the new year.

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