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23rd September 2008
Photokina 2008 - Samsung denies Pentax take-over bid
by Ian Burley

We’re concentrating on our own cameras, Samsung insists

There is considerable interest in Samsung at this year’s Photokina. The electronics giant has made a multi-billion dollar bid to acquire SanDisk, one of the largest flash memory manufacturers, and one of the companies that brought us the compact flash and SD memory cards.

Samsung Photokina press conference
Speculation arose during the Samsung Photokina press conference that the company’s mood for acquisitions might spread to Pentax. Meanwhile, although there were no DSLR announcements, Samsung has unveiled a very attractive looking compact camera with a 10x extra wide to telephoto zoom with an equivalent range of 24-240mm.
There was no further comment on Samsung’s previously declared intention to follow the example set by Panasonic Lumix and Olympus to bring to market a non-DSLR interchangeable lens system camera.


HZ1 compact HD wide superzoom

It won’t be available until after Christmas, but Samsung’ new HZ1 compact stole the show at Samunsg’s press conference. The HZ1 is a respectably slim and small compact digicam that packs a 10x Schneider Kreuznach zoom. What makes the HZ1 special is that its zoom widens to a generous 24mm equivalent view.

As is becoming standard with many medium to high end compacts, the Samsung HZ1 is equipped for HD movie recording and incorporates a battery of anti-shake measures.

No plans for Pentax acquisition

Samsung speakers referred to Pentax several times during the press conference as ‘our partner’ but without once mentioning the Pentax name. It’s not much of a secret that the acquisition of Pentax by Hoya a couple of years back has not been particularly smooth, which has fed speculation that Samsung would be a better alternative to Hoya’s ownership. However, the top brass from Samsung emphatically denied that they had even discussed a potential take over of Pentax with Hoya.

Incidentally, Pentax has launched a new budget DSLR here at Photokina, the K2000D, but Samsung has not announced an equivalent.

All quiet on the Samsung ‘hybrid’ system camera front

When asked for further details on the recently revealed news that Samsung will bring to market a cross between a DSLR and a compact camera in 2010, similar to the Micro Four Thirds concept from Panasonic Lumix and Olympus, we were surprised by the response that there was nothing further to say and that Samsung was concentrating fully on developing its compact camera range.

However, one Samsung speaker did say he believed all the DSLR camera manufacturers were now working on similar projects to develop smaller and lighter cameras with interchangeable lenses.

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