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Cameras, Pentax and Samsung together

Cameras, Pentax and Samsung together

Seoul (South Korea) – Japan’s Pentax and Korea’s Samsung have decided to join forces to gain competitiveness in the fast-paced digital camera market. The two partners will collaborate on the design of new technologies for digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras with interchangeable lenses, a type of camera typically aimed at photography enthusiasts and professionals.

The goal of Pentax and Samsung is to marry the skills of the former in the field of optics with those of the latter in the field of electronics. The technologies developed within this partnership will be used by the two companies to build next-generation digital SLR cameras: the agreement provides that each of the partners will continue to market these cameras under its own brand.

The one between the two Asian companies is the third technological marriage to have affected, within a few months, two producers active in the digital photography sector. Recently both Olympus and Panasonic as well as Konica Minolta and Sony have teamed up in the development of technologies and components for SLR cameras.

With these partnerships, the leaders of the digital camera market are trying to consolidate their dominance in the medium-high end of the market, where competitiveness is lower and profit margins higher. It should also be emphasized that most of the technologies developed for SLR cameras are progressively used in consumer devices: and technology, together with the quality of the optics, is the only weapon with which historical brands of photography and electronics giants can hope to counter the myriad of manufacturers who are now competing for the low-end market.

According to some estimates, the digital SLR camera sector is growing rapidly: from 2.7 million units sold globally in 2004 to 4.5 million this year and 5.5 million in 2006.

Along with rivals such as Canon and Nikon, Pentax is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of digital SLR cameras. Samsung currently only sells models without a reflex system. The cooperation between the two companies began in the first half of 2003 for the development of high resolution cams for videophones.