Pentax today announced the K-3, the new flagship of the Pentax K digital SLR camera series. Pentax has long been known for developing cameras with incredible image quality, and outstanding construction, among a host of other features. Click here if you’re interested in ordering one for yourself.
The full Press Release below:
Mississauga, ON – October 7, 2013 – RICOH IMAGING CANADA INC. is pleased to announce the introduction of the PENTAX K-3 digital SLR camera. Developed to be the flagship of the PENTAX K digital SLR camera series, this new model features a host of advanced functions and user-friendly features to optimize image quality, operability and maneuverability under demanding shooting conditions in the field.
The K-3 offers an array of outstanding features, including high-resolution image reproduction with approximately 24 effective megapixels; a 27-point AF system; high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 8.3 frames per second; high-precision exposure control with a newly designed 86,000 pixel RGB light-metering sensor; a new, 3.2-inch high-resolution LCD monitor; and an optical viewfinder with the largest, brightness subject image in its class. The new anti-aliasing simulator — a highly innovative function developed specifically for the K-3 — allows the user to effectively minimize moiré without actually installing an optical anti-aliasing filter in the camera, providing a choice of filtered or filter-free shooting for a given scene or subject. The K-3 also offers greatly-enhanced movie-recording features and smartphone-accessible functions. The time-proven dustproof, weather-resistant body construction ensures dependable, flawless performance in the field.
At the launch of the K-3, the PENTAX K-3 Premium Silver Edition* will also be launched, with a limited run of just 2,000 units worldwide. This limited-edition model has a silver body with a silver D- BG5 battery grip, making it a perfect match for the silver versions of the high-performance Limited- series lenses, designed for unrivalled image rendition. This special package also includes an exclusive leather strap and a spare battery.
1. High-resolution images produced by a new sensor with approximately 24 effective megapixels and a new imaging engine
The K-3 is equipped with a new APS-C-size CMOS image sensor (23.5mm×15.6mm) with approximately 24 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-free design, the K-3 delivers high-resolution, fine-gradation images rivalling those of anti- aliasing filtered sensors with much higher resolutions. It also offers a top sensitivity of ISO 51200, for the photography of detailed images even under extremely poor lighting conditions, and to simplify handheld shooting of nightscapes.
2. PENTAX-original SR mechanism to reduce moiré as effectively as an optical anti-aliasing filter
(1) 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.
(2)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 to not only 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.
(3)User-assisting shooting functions
Thanks to the SR unit’s flexible design, which tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, the K-3 can offer a host of handy shooting functions, including auto level compensation, image- composition fine-adjustment, and ASTROTRACER, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit.
3. 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 calculation 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.
4. High-precision exposure control with a new PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System
The K-3 is equipped with newly introduced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System that consists of approximately 86,000 pixel 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 can not only select the exposure settings that are more consistent with the photographer’s creative intentions, but also it can make a more precise distinction between the main subject and the background to improve the accuracy of the flash discharge level.
5. High-speed continuous shooting with a maximum speed of approximately 8.3 images 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.
6. 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 is designed to improve reflectance, resulting in a much brighter viewfinder image. The eyepiece optics have been completely re- designed 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.
7. Full HD movie recording with creative tools
The K-3 captures beautiful Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/30P frame rate) in the H.264 recording format, which assures flawless, high-quality movies even with fast moving subjects. It also comes equipped with a stereo microphone terminal for external microphone connection and a headphone terminal. The user can even 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.
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, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone.
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 sealing parts 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) ・Re-designed 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.
* The specifications of this limited-edition model are identical to those of the PENTAX K-3.
** 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 as an 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.
****** When special image processing is required, the frame rate may vary depending on the selected special-effect mode.
******* This software supports smartphones operating on iOS6 or later and Android 4.2 or later.