Following is the text of the Amateur
Photographer interview at Photokina with
Mr. Zenichi Ohkura, Director Camera Division, AOC.
This interview was published in the 7 October
The AOC International Sales Department has
confirmed that this interview
can be taken as an official statement.
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Amateur Photographer, 7 October 2000
ZENICHI OHKURA, DIRECTOR CAMERA DIVISION
In an exclusive
interview with the director of Pentax's camera division, AP's Carry Coward-Williams and
Damien Demolder were able to
glean a little more information on the new camera and the path Pentax is taking for the
future. Though additional information concerning the specification of the new model is
confidential, we were able to establish that this does not mark the beginning of a new
range of cameras from this company. Thus it would seem that the model, which spent a
year-and-a-half in development, will take the prefix MZ or Z. This leaves a choice of the
camera being called the MZ 8 or 9, or the Z2.
Mr Ohkura tells us
that this new model will compete with the high-end, but not top-end, current models of the
other major camera manufacturers, such as the Nikon F100. When questioned about a future
35mm SLR to compete with the likes of the F5 or EOS 1V, he told us that Pentax is not
interested in working on 35mm models in this arena. It seems that Pentax will be
concentrating on improving the handling and features of its 645 models to compete in the
top-end AF SLR market. 'Photographers at this end of the market are interested in
high-quality images: Mr Ohkura explained, 'and they will get it from the 645 format.'
Pentax aims to attract more 35mm users to the 645 system by making the transition far
easier in terms of the way the cameras handle and the functions they provide.
Mr Ohkura was also
able to confirm that Pentax is working on a system to reduce vibration in lenses, similar
to Canon's Image Stabilisation , system and Nikon's Vibration Reduction system, but he was
not prepared to reveal when we might see this technology in a production-model lens. There
was no comment on systems for internal lens motors either, but if the new 35mm camera is
as well specified as the company claims, and if the company intends to compete with
existing high-end semi-pro models, you can be sure the release of these technologies
cannot be far off.
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(*) I believe MZ-8 or 9
designations - as supposed by Amateur Photographer's editors - to be nonsense, as the new
SLR is undoubtably placed well above the current MZ-3. For that reason, it could be named
either MZ-2 or MZ-1. (Dario)
20 Oct. 2000: now we know
the new camera is called the MZ-S, where S probably means Super. This was another possible
designation, already discussed between AOHC members about one year ago, after some rumors.
Info kindly posted by Protege srl