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Pentax’s new $500 film camera prioritizes style over quality

The Pentax 17 film camera resting on rocks in front of a waterfall.
That is one quirky-looking camera. | Image: Ricoh Imaging

I used to lambaste the very idea of half-frame cameras when I was a college student obsessed with medium- and large-format film (who wants even less resolution than 35mm?), but electing to shoot film today is already a conscious decision to compromise quality for the sake of experience and style.

Who needs resolution when you’ve got vibes? That’s what Pentax seems to be saying with its new Pentax 17, a film camera that takes half-size pictures and looks about as timeless as an old beater you scored at some dude’s estate sale. But the $499.95 Pentax 17 (launching later this month) is a totally new camera, one that, in 2024, takes the so-hot-right-now 35mm format and shoots smaller pictures for the sake of fun and making film photography…

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