Pentax has just announced the launch of an updated version of its popular K100D entry-level 6-megapixel digital SLR. Named, with impeccable logic, the K100D Super, the new model is very similar in specification to the existing one, but with the addition of an auto-cleaning function to help keep dust off the CCD.
It works in much the same was as the self-cleaning systems used by Olympus and Sony. It is a two-part system. During manufacture the surface of the CCD is coated with an ultra-fine layer of a Fluorine compound that prevents dust from sticking. Then when the camera is in actual use the actuators that are part of the CCD-shift image stabilisation system are used to vibrate the CCD, usually whenever the camera is switched on or the lens is changed, which shakes any dust particles from the surface. There is a small adhesive strip positioned below the CCD which will catch and hold the dust particles, keeping them out of harm's way.
As well as the auto-cleaning system, the K100D Super adds compatibility with Pentax’s new SDM ultrasonic motor lenses, for faster and quieter focusing. It is also compatible with the new high-capacity SDHC cards. Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, the camera’s ISO 3200 maximum sensitivity is not an addition, since the K100D already had this ability. The K100D Super should be available any time now, at a recommended retail price of £399.