The statement came after a source close to Pentax told Amateur Photographer (AP): ‘I think there will still be a few cameras launched under the Ricoh brand until next year – so there will be Pentax and Ricoh.

‘There will still be some very high-end Ricoh products, and then next year…’

The source added that Ricoh is set to eventually disappear as a camera brand.

However, Ricoh has stoutly refuted the claim.

Kazunobu Saiki, general manager for Ricoh’s European camera business, told AP: ‘This is not true at all. We will provide the digital cameras to meet customer satisfaction – Ricoh-branded and Pentax-branded.’

Pentax UK’s public relations department declined to issue an official comment.

A spokesperson said: ‘I can confirm there are no public or official statements available from Pentax UK at this time.’

AP has learned that this summer will see the launch of the first Pentax cameras produced with Ricoh’s development input.

Ricoh’s takeover of Pentax was reported to be worth around £78m.