When it comes to photography, PENTAX has been around for quite some time, though I don’t think it’s quite as popular a name as that of Canon or Nikon. Their cameras are in fact just as good or better than most and what’s really neat about PENTAX in my opinion is the fact that every one of their interchangeable lens cameras can make use of the same lenses they’ve been making for years, so if you’ve always owned a PENTAX, your old lenses will work as well with new bodies as they did with old bodies. On that note, if you have a collection of old PENTAX lenses and you’re in the market for a new DSLR, check out the new 24MP PENTAX K-3.
The PENTAX K-3 is the latest in their lineup and features a 24MP sensor, which is the highest in their lineup, a light sensitivity of ISO 51200, in-body image stabilization, the World’s first anti-aliasing simulator, full HD movie recording, high speed 8.3 frames per second continuous shooting mode, and an optical viewfinder with nearly 100% field of view. That’s only scratching the surface of what the new K-3 includes.
Of course one of the best features here though that PENTAX has been including lately with many of their cameras is the fact that the PENTAX K-3 is weather-resistant which means you’ll be able to shoot almost anywhere without worrying about damaging your equipment.
The PENTAX K-3 will be available for purchase online at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and retailers nationwide in November 2013 for a suggested retail price of $1,299.95 for body only and $1,699.95 for the kit including the DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 WR zoom lens. For more information, check out the official specs and press release below.
1. High-resolution images produced by a brand-new sensor with approximately 24 effective megapixels and a new imaging engine
The K-3 is equipped with a new 24 megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor (23.5mm×15.6mm) with approximately 23.4 effective megapixels. By coupling this sensor with a newly developed PRIME III imaging engine with high-efficiency noise and image processing capacities and an anti-aliasing filter-less design, the K-3 delivers high-resolution, fine-gradation images. It also offers a top sensitivity of ISO 51200, for the photography of detailed images even under extremely poor lighting conditions.
2. PENTAX-original SR mechanism reduces moiré as effectively as an optical anti-aliasing filter
– In-body SR mechanism
The K-3 features a PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism that can be used with any compatible PENTAX interchangeable lens.** Thanks to the addition of an SR-dedicated servo controller and an increase in the magnetic force driving the SR unit, this mechanism assures more stable, effective camera-shake compensation than ever before.
– The World’s-first, innovative anti-aliasing simulator function***
Newly developed for the K-3, the anti-aliasing simulator**** applies microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the subpixel level during image exposure, generating the same level of moiré-reduction effect as an optical anti-aliasing filter. Unlike an optical anti-aliasing filter that always creates the identical result, this innovative simulator allows the user not only to switch the anti-aliasing filter effect on and off, but also to adjust the level of the effect. This allows the user to set the ideal effect for a particular scene or subject.
– User-assisted shooting functions
The SR unit’s flexible design, which tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, enables the K-3 to offer a host of handy shooting functions, including auto level compensation, image-composition fine-adjustment, and ASTRO TRACER, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit.
** Lenses compatible with this mechanism: K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2-, and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses, (with adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with adapter). Some functions may not be available with all lenses.
*** World’s first interchangeable-lens camera to carry this functionality as of October 2013.(Based on RICOH IMAGING COMPANY’s research)
**** This function is most effective with a shutter speed of 1/1000 second or slower. This function is not available during HDR shooting.
3. High-speed continuous shooting with a maximum speed of approximately 8.3 frames per second
The K-3 continuously records as many as 22 images in the RAW format or 60 images in the JPEG format***** in a single sequence, at a maximum speed of approximately 8.3 images per second. This has been made possible through the use of several innovative technologies, including a high-speed, high-accuracy control mechanism that regulates the shutter, mirror and diaphragm independently; a damper mechanism that effectively minimizes mirror shock; and a high-speed data transmission system incorporated in the PRIME III imaging engine.
***** JPEG Recorded Pixels:L, JPEG Quality:???
4. Full HD movie recording with creative tools
The K-3 captures beautiful Full HD movie clips (Full HD-1920×1080, 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p & HD 1280×720, 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p) in the H.264 recording format, which assures flawless, high-quality movies even with fast moving subjects. It also comes equipped with a stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection and a headphone terminal. The user is also able to adjust the audio recording level manually and monitor sound levels during microphone recording. In addition to a variety of creative special-effect modes,****** the K-3 also provides an upgraded interval movie mode, which captures a series of 4K-resolution movie clips (3840 x 2160 pixels) at a fixed interval.
5. Newly designed SAFOX 11 AF module with 27 auto focus points
The K-3 features a new SAFOX 11 AF module with an expanded image-area coverage using 27 AF sensors (25 cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). The center sensor and two sensors just above and below it are designed to detect the light flux of an F2.8 lens, making it easy to obtain pinpoint focus on the subject when using a large-aperture lens. This newly developed AF module is highly light-sensitive and covers a wide AF working range of –3EV to +18EV. Since the AF module takes data from RGB light sensors into account to optimize AF operation, the K-3 also provides such advanced functions as high-accuracy auto-focusing during the shooting of fast-moving subjects, and the zone-select AF mode to automatically select the best possible in-focus point within a designated nine-sensor zone.
6. High-precision exposure control with new PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System
The K-3 is equipped with the newly introduced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System that consists of an 86,000 pixel (approximately) RGB light-metering sensor and improved algorithm, which allows it to not only control the exposure with extreme accuracy, but also to utilize the data taken in by the light-metering sensor to further enhance the accuracy of auto-focusing and white balance adjustment. This has expanded the measurable minimum luminance level to as low as –3EV. By detecting the type of scene or subject using the light sensor, the K-3 also can not only select the exposure settings that are more consistent with the photographer’s creative intentions, but also make more precise distinctions between the main subject and the background to improve the accuracy of flash discharge level.
7. Optical viewfinder with new optics, to provide a nearly 100% field of view and a larger, brighter viewfinder image
The K-3’s glass prism has been treated with a new coating that was designed to improve reflectance, resulting in a much brighter viewfinder image. The eyepiece optics have been completely redesigned to assure an approximately 0.95-times viewfinder magnification to provide a broader image field, making it easier for the photographer to confirm the subject’s focusing status and compose the image.
****** When special image processing is required, the frame rate may vary depending on the selected special-effect mode.
8. Smartphone-support functions*******
By installing the optional FLU CARD for PENTAX 16GB memory card in the K-3, the user can release the K-3’s shutter, check the live-view image, shift the AF sensor point, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone.
******* This software supports smartphones operating on iOS6 or later and Android 4.2 or later.
9. Large, easy-to-view 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots
On its back panel, the K-3 features a newly designed 3.2-inch high-resolution LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots (in a 3:2 aspect ratio). In addition to its wide-view design, this monitor also features a protective tempered-glass front panel for added durability, and a unique air-gapless construction in which the air space between LCD layers is eliminated, effectively reducing the reflection and dispersion of the light to improve visibility during outdoor shooting. During playback, the K-3 even allows the user to check recorded images at life-size magnification.
10. Compact, solid body with dustproof, weather-resistant construction perfect for outdoor shooting
The K-3’s exterior casing is made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy. Thanks to the inclusion of 92 special seals in the body, it boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, assuring solid operation at temperatures as low as -10°C. It also features a dependable, durable shutter unit that can handle some 200,000 shutter releases. Despite all these features, the K-3 has been designed to be compact and maneuverable, assuring exceptional operability and swift response in the field.
11. Other features
– Dual SD card slots for memory card flexibility (compatible with SDXC UHS-1 speed class in SDR104 bus speed mode)
– DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism for effective elimination of dust on the image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
– HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode with RAW-format data filing
– PENTAX-invented hyper control system for quick, accurate response to the photographer’s creative intentions
– Mode dial with a choice of lock mechanism engagement (ON or OFF)
– Redesigned, resized grip for steady, comfortable hold of the camera
– Compensation of various parameters: lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, brightness level at image-field edges, and fringe effect (available in RAW-format processing only)
– Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN memory cards
– Compatibility with USB3.0-standard interface accessories, with HDMI (type D) terminal
– Newly designed Digital Camera Utility 5 software included, to provide upgraded programs and enhanced overall performance
D-BG5 Battery Grip
Exclusively designed for the PENTAX K-3, this optional battery grip accepts six AA-size batteries as well as the standard lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It provides an extra set of shutter-release, AE-lock, AF, ISO, exposure-compensation and green buttons, as well as a preview lever and dual electronic dials to facilitate vertical-position shooting. It features the same dustproof, weather-resistant construction as the K-3 body.
O-FC1 FLU CARD FOR PENTAX 16GB
Newly developed for the PENTAX K-3, this SDHC memory card offers wireless LAN connection to a compatible smartphone. Via a designated Web browser, the user can inspect a live-view image, release the K-3’s shutter, shift the AF sensor point, and check images recorded on the card using the smartphone screen.
O-ST1401 Camera Strap
This versatile camera strap measures four centimeters wide and 50 centimeters long — a very functional length when the photographer wants to wrap it around a hand or wrist. It comes with a PENTAX logo, and offers a choice of black or red version.
Note: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice.
DENVER, CO, October 7, 2013 – Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (Ricoh Imaging) is pleased to establish a new standard of performance with the debut of the PENTAX K-3 advanced enthusiast DSLR. As the Premiere DSLR in Ricoh Imaging’s robust and full-featured APS-C lineup, the PENTAX K-3 brings unparalleled technology and advanced specifications presenting photographers with a solution that raises the bar while removing limitations.
Elevating standard performance, the PENTAX K-3 boasts a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, incredibly fast 8.3 fps (frames per second) frame rate, innovative selectable anti-aliasing (AA) filter technology and outstanding HD video performance; all while giving demanding photographers dual card slots for quick and easy image recording and seamless wireless remote capture and image transfer capabilities.
“Ricoh Imaging has made an investment to ensure that our product lineup features the most complete and capable APS-C offering in our history,” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Imaging. “This goal was realized with the introduction of the K-3. Its unmatched feature set and revolutionary technology set a benchmark of excellence that raises the bar for the entire APS-C category.”
Housed in the PENTAX K-3’s sleek and ergonomic body is a host of cutting-edge technology including the innovative and proprietary selectable AA filter which allows photographers to toggle anti-aliasing functionality on or off using the lauded PENTAX SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism. This breakthrough in imaging technology empowers photographers to retain greater control of image output while eliminating the need to commit to supreme resolution or superior moiré control by providing both options in a single camera body. Also new to the PENTAX K-3, and the APS-C category, is the PENTAX FLU SDHC memory card that delivers wireless connectivity with unprecedented functionality to a compatible PC or connected device via a web browser. Using this advanced technology, photographers are able to perform a variety of functions including inspect a live-view image, release the K-3’s shutter, shift the AF sensor point, and check images recorded on the card using any connected device with a web browser. And, thanks to its SD card-based, internal placement the PENTAX K-3 retains its weather-resistant, moisture-tight capabilities with no protruding devices preventing door closure.
The K-3 also features an enhanced video recording experience including the ability to change from still image to video recording with the flip of a dedicated switch to capture full HD movie recording in H.264 format. The K-3 comes equipped with a headphone terminal and stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection. The user can also adjust the audio recording level manually and monitor sound levels during recording. In addition to a variety of creative special-effect modes, the K-3 also provides an upgraded interval movie mode, which captures a series of 4K-resolution movie clips (3840 x 2160 pixels) at a fixed interval.
Rounding out the new and advanced capabilities offered in the PENTAX K-3 is a newly designed autofocus module, SAFOX11, which boasts 27 AF sensors and high light-sensitivity, covering a wide AF working range of –3EV to +18EV. Finally, the new Real-Time Scene Analysis System features an 86,000 pixel RGB light-metering sensor and improved algorithms that further enhance the accuracy of exposure, white balance and auto-focusing.
Pricing and Availability
The PENTAX K-3 will be available for purchase online at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and retailers nationwide in November 2013 for a suggested retail price of $1,299.95 for body only and $1,699.95 for the kit including the DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 WR zoom lens.
The PENTAX K-3 Premium Silver Edition* will also be made available in a limited quantity with only 2,000 units being offered worldwide. This limited-edition model features a silver body with a silver BG-5 battery grip designed exclusively for the K-3, making it a perfect match for the silver HD PENTAX DA Limited lens series, which is designed for unrivaled image rendering. This special package also includes an exclusive leather strap and silver D-BG5 battery grip. The PENTAX K-3 Premium Silver Edition will be available for purchase online at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and retailers nationwide in November 2013 for a suggested retail price of $ 1,599.95.
The PENTAX FLU SDHC 16GB memory card and D-BG5 battery grip will be available for purchase online at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and retailers nationwide in November 2013 for a suggested retail price of $ 99.95 and $229.95, respectively.
To learn more about Ricoh Imaging’s unmatched lineup of APS-C DLSRs and lenses as well as other Ricoh Imaging products, please visit www.us.ricoh-imaging.com.
* The specifications of this limited-edition model are identical to those of the PENTAX K-3.