Friday, March 31, 2023

Pentax K1 Mark III: What Ricoh Should Do Next

Pentax K1 Mark III: What Ricoh Should Do Next
March 2023, Carl Garrard

As I put the finishing touches on my K3 Mark III part IV and V articles, I wanted to take a quick break and discuss what I think should be Ricoh's next move. Slowly over the last eight years or so Ricoh has done a decent job bringing in modern optic full frame lenses for their apex full frame cameras. From ultrawide to macro to super telephoto, they have at least one Pentax branded lens representing each category with their zooms, and they also have a few choice primes being sprinkled in there as well. While modern lens lineup isn't that robust, there are many used options from the full frame film days as well. The point being, Ricoh have enough lenses to support a K1 Mark III as is, and it wouldn't take much for them to kick out a few more choice full frame modern optics either. With that said, I'm not fortune teller but if there was a way to bet in Vegas on what Ricoh are working on currently, I'd throw my money down on a K1 II successor. 

In fact, I'd double down on that bet if I could in that Ricoh have been working on this camera for quite some time now. Their K3 Mark III was a big deal for them, and it shows that the engineers not only have talent, but are capable of making a very high performance machine from within the cauldrons of Pentax that can compete with the very best from the big two makers.

So here's a bulleted-list of where I think Ricoh are currently and will definitely go next with the K1 Mark III:

  • 45.7mp Sony fab sensor (BSI most likely, maybe stacked)
  • New Prime VI processor or dual Prime IV processors
  • Safox 13+ 101 point autofocus system w/new AF module
  • Improved Optical Viewfinder with .76x magnification (surpasses D850) and improved translucent overlay
  • 7fps or faster continuous autofocusing frame rate
  • Revised menu system
  • Touch screen interface
  • Redesigned and upgraded rear LCD (either no tilt or improved design like the K70/Kf)
  • Refined and simplified external controls (ex. S.FN button similar to K3 Mark III)
  • Addition of AF joystick (and battery grip with identical controls)
  • Improved Live View Interface and features
  • Improved Video features/performance
  • Improved Battery Life
  • SR II IS system
  • Improved hand held hi-res mode
  • Improved astro-modes
  • 400K rated shutter mechanism
  • USB-C Charging capable

This is a list that is not only feasible and likely, but also one that will make it a formidable force to deal with on the camera market. This list ticks off a lot of boxes for it fanbase and addresses area's of improvements needed to justify a new model. While some speculate otherwise, I have no doubt that Ricoh are working hard behind the curtain on their next flagship camera. 

They have already made the dream APS-C DSLR for its users, and although they may work a little slower than other makers, they certainly have shown to surprise on multiple fronts. The five new principles Ricoh have announced will not stop at the K3 Mark III, they will continue on even through a market under a bit of duress. 

So keep the faith Pentaxians (and future Pentaxians), Ricoh aren't going to stop at the K3 Mark III- even if they are very tight lipped on the subject.

Stay focused.



  1. No tilt would be terrible, and I also don't see the Kf/K70 screen as an improved design. The tilt mechanism on the K1 / K1 II is the best I've every used on any camera.

  2. I love the tilt screen on the K1.