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Pentax announces three colourful new cameras


Pentax Announces Three Colourful New Cameras

As the new cameras launches for this year's Photokina camera show continue, Pentax has just announced a new digital SLR, two new compact cameras and a new lens.

The New Pentax K-r is being marketed as a mid-range digital model, although since the current Pentax DSLR range lacks an entry-level model since the discontinuation of the popular K-m earlier this year it's not entirely clear where the K-r will sit in relation to the existing K-x and flagship K-7 models.

The specification is certainly on a par with its mid-range aspirations. It features a 12.4 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, with Pentax's high-speed PRIME II processing engine providing a maximum shooting speed of 6fps, which is faster than the K-x. It has Pentax's usual sensor-shift image stabilisation and SAFOX IX 11-point phase-detection autofocus sensor.

Other features include a wide-view three-inch LCD monitor with a 921k dot resolution and live view with contrast detection AF, 1280 x 720 pixel 25fps HD video recording, dynamic range enhancement and a 1/6000th of a second maximum shutter speed. It has a range of creative filters and tone controls, as well as the in-camera HDR function from the K-7.

One unusual feature is the ability to draw power from either the supplied rechargeable Li-ion battery or from four AA batteries using an optional adaptor. The camera body is very compact and lightweight for an APS-C DSLR, measuring 125 x 97 x 68mm and weighing 544g body-only, not much bigger than the Panasonic G2. The K-r is available in red, white or traditional black, and goes on sale in October with an RRP of £599.99 in a kit with an 18-55mm DAL lens.

Sticking with the multi-coloured theme, the new Pentax Optio RS1000 features a removable transparent face plate under which users can put custom fascia cards, with the option to print out unique designs. It's a fun idea and will probably appeal to younger users, but underneath the RS1000 is a fairly standard ultra-compact camera.

Features include a 14 megapixel CCD sensor, 4x zoom lens equivalent to 27.5 – 110mm, and a three-inch 230k LCD monitor. It can shoot video at 1280 x 720 resolution and 30fps with mono audio, and has a maximum sensitivity of 6400 ISO. It measures 92 x 56 x 20.5mm and weighs 130g including battery and memory card.

The Optio RS1000 will be on sale from October with a recommended retail price of £119.99.

Rather more interesting is the new Optio RZ10, Pentax's first foray for quite some time into the lucrative long-zoom compact market.

Main features include a 14 megapixel CCD sensor, with a 10x zoom f/3.2-5.9 lens equivalent to 28-280mm. It has sensor-shift image stabilisation and a super-macro range of 1cm.

Other features include a 2.7-inch LCD monitor with 230k dot resolution, 6400 ISO maximum sensitivity and 1280 x 720 HD video recording at 30fps. As usual it includes a range of digital filters and effects, and D-Range contrast enhancement for difficult lighting conditions. One new feature is an in-camera panorama stitching function.

The RZ10 is very compact for a 10x zoom model, measuring 97 x 61 x 33mm and weighing 178g including battery and memory card. It comes in a range of five colours including black, white, violet, lime and orange. It goes on sale on October with an RRP of £179.99.

Also announced today is a new addition to Pentax's range of digital SLR lenses. The new Pentax-DA 35mm f/2.4 AL is a fixed focal length lens designed for use with all Pentax DSLR cameras. With an APS-C sensor size it offers and equivalent focal length of approximately 53.5mm, offering a natural perspective similar to that of the unaided human eye.

The SMC PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL will be available from mid October 2010. Recommended retail price is £179.99


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September 9, 2010, 8:01 pm

Very excited that Pentax is releasing a new SLR, but it doesn&#8217t seem as exciting or original as the older models. There was something about the K10/20 that the newer Pentax&#8217s don&#8217t seem to have.

Still I do want one.


September 9, 2010, 10:40 pm

In terms of where the k-r fits in the lineup, it quite clearly replaces the k-x. It's the same price point, same basic features but with a few upgrades. Annoyingly those upgrades are more than enough for me to really, really want to upgrade. AF-assist beam, 25,600 expanded ISO, and AF points in the viewfinder (something pentax really should have included in the k-x). Oh well, I mostly use spot focusing anyway.

As for the battery option... it's a bit of gimmick, I think most pentaxians will stick with AA's as there are just so many advantages.

iain coghill

September 10, 2010, 4:46 am

A 53mm equivalent lens does not offer "a natural perspective similar to that of the unaided human eye" as you state. Under ideal viewing conditions that would be achieved with the equivalent of a 43mm lens. The reasons why a 50mm lens was incorrectly considered 'normal' for 35mm cameras are partly historical but mainly because the prints you typically got back from Boots were rather small, meaning they were often viewed from further away relative to their size than larger print sizes. I think maintaining this convention to an age where even casual photographers can exercise much more control over final image size is a mistake.


September 10, 2010, 5:08 am

SAFOX IX is in fact a new AF module. Whether it is better than SAFOX VIII will remain to be seen.

@piesforyou - I missed the AF-assist beam - nicely picked up and a very handy addition. I have a K-X and mostly set the focus point manually, but occasionally will bump it or press the wrong buttons and then wonder why it is focussing in the wrong place. Having them light up in the view finder will be handy.

It also has a AF fine adjust function which is new on a camera at this level I believe, although it is one adjust for all lenses unfortunately.

I'm looking forward to the top of the range K-X they are supposed to be announcing soon.

Cliff Smith

September 11, 2010, 12:03 am

I'll be meeting with Pentax at the Photokina camera show in Cologne later this month, so hopefully I'll be able to try out these cameras and any other new models they have coming up.

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