Pentax will begin marketing the world's cheapest and lightest digital single-lens reflex camera in early November for 95,000 yen, about half the price of an existing digital SLR camera from the firm.
The latest move to cut prices of digital SLR cameras is certain to prompt Canon Inc, Nikon Corp and other players in the industry to follow suit in a race to lower prices, according to sources familiar with the industry.
While Pentax plans to release a digital SLR camera selling for about 70,000 yen in 2005, Canon and Nikon have also started developing even cheaper models, the sources added.
Measuring 125 x 92 x 66mm and weighing 505 grams, the Pentax *istDS is the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR and features 6.1 million pixels, according to company officials. The latest model will be manufactured at a Philippine subsidiary at a monthly pace of 20,000 units.
Increased use of common parts and larger parts procurement volumes have helped Pentax reduce the price from slightly less than 200,000 yen for the existing digital SLR camera, the officials added.
The company intends to sell a combined 100,000 units for the two models by year-end in Japan and elsewhere.
The race for lower prices will further push global shipments of digital SLR cameras, which are expected to jump 130% on the year to about 2 million units in 2004 in a market dominated by Japanese manufacturers, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association.
From NEAsia Online