The new flagship of their PENTAX K digital SLR camera range, the Pentax K-3 is a beefy looking affair, packing an APS-C-size CMOS image sensor (23.5mm×15.6mm) serving up approx 24 megapixels.
Onboard can be found a 27-point AF system, backed by high-speed continuous shooting peaking at a decidedly nippy 8.3 images per second.
Pentax promises ‘high-precision exposure control’ courtesy of their spanking new 86,000 pixel RGB light-metering sensor, while accompanying the optical viewfinder is a 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots, protected by tempered-glass.
ISO tops out at a gloom-illuminating ISO 51200, while full HD movies can be rattled off at 60fps.
The camera is also dustproof and weather-resistant, and comes with dual SD card slots and a USB 3.0 port.
Available in black or limited edition silver, the Pentax K-3 will be parading into stores from November, priced at £1,099.99 body-only, £1,199.99 with the DA L 18-55mm WR lens, £1,349.99 with the DA L 18-55mm WR & DA L 50-200mm WR lenses, and £1,449.99 with the DA 18-135mm WR lens.
The K-3 Silver Limited Edition will be banging out for £1,399.99.
Here’s the press release:
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. Press Release
The new flagship of the PENTAX K digital SLR camera series, featuring an array of new technologies including a new anti-aliasing simulator
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch 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 optimise image quality and performance when shooting outdoors.
Designed for top performance, the K-3 provides 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 images per second; high-precision exposure control with a newly designed 86,000 pixel RGB light-metering sensor; a new, large, 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 minimise moiré without the installation of 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.
The PENTAX K-3 Premium Silver Edition* will also be simultaneously launched—but in a limited run of just 2,000 units around the world. This limited-edition model has a silver body and silver 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.
* The specifications of this limited-edition model are identical to those of the PENTAX K-3.
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 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. It also offers a top sensitivity of ISO 51200, for taking detailed images under 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 an 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.
(3)User-assisting shooting functions
The SR unit’s flexible design, which tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, is one reason why the K-3 can 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 as an interchangeable-lenscamera 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. 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 centre 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 optimise 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 utilise 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 can also make more precise distinction between the main subject and the background to improve the accuracy of 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.
***** JPEG Recorded Pixels：L, JPEG Quality：★★★
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 designed to improve reflection, 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.
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 mic 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.
****** 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, 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
l,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) on its back panel. In addition to its wide-view design, this monitor also features a protective tempered-glass front panel for added durability, and a unique 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 sealed 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 manoeuverable, assuring exceptional operability when shooting outdoors.
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 centimetres wide and 50 centimetres long — a very functional length when the photographer wants to wrap it around a hand or wrist. It comes with a PENTAX logo, in a choice of black or red.
Note: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice.
K-3 body £1,099.99
K-3 single + DA L 18-55mm WR £1,199.99
K-3 body + DA L 18-55mm WR & DA L 50-200mm WR £1,349.99
K-3 Premium + DA 18-135mm WR £1,449.99
K-3 Silver Limited Edition £1,399.99
Available from November 2013
About Ricoh Imaging
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY LTD is a leading supplier of recreational and professional imaging equipment, with a long standing brand heritage in both Pentax and Ricoh branded products. Its product range is extensive and includes state of the art digital SLR, medium format, interchangeable lens system (mirror less) cameras, zoom and outdoor compact cameras and an extensive range of high performance lenses and accessories. In addition, it has a wide range of binoculars, suitable for a variety of activities. Ricoh Imaging UK Ltd successfully distributes its products through a number of channels, including independent camera shops, mass merchandisers and national multiple retailers – both on and offline. Ricoh Imaging UK Ltd is a subsidiary of RICOH IMAGING COMPANY LTD of Japan.