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Pentax Announce Their First 35mm Full Frame DSLR

The Pentax K-1 is Pentax's first 35mm full frame DSLR and flagship model in the K Series.

|  Pentax K-1 in Digital SLRs
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Ricoh has announced the launch of the Pentax K-1 DSLR. The K-1 is Pentax's first 35mm full frame DSLR and is the flagship model in the Pentax K Series. 

The K-1 has a 36.3 megapixel sensor and Ricoh say that the camera provides the same depth of field as a 35mm film format camera allowing the user to create a fine bokeh more effectively than before. It's dust proof and weather resistant as well as featuring built in Wi-Fi. 

The camera sports a new generation SR II five axis system SR mechanism to give optimal shake reduction performance with all compatible lenses. The K-1 also has a Pixel Shift Resolution System allowing the camera to retain all colour information in each pixel to give images more truthful colouring. 

There is a tilting 3.2 inch LCD monitor that can be adjusted vertically, horizontally or diagonally with a single action. 

The K-1 is set to be available for £1599 body only in April 2016. 

Read our Pentax K-1 Hands-On Preview.

K-1 back

From Pentax: 

RICOH IMAGING EUROPE S.A.S is delighted to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-1 digital SLR camera. Developed as the flagship model of the acclaimed PENTAX K series of digital SLR cameras, this new model features a large CMOS image sensor, equal in size to the full image area of 35mm film, to deliver super-high-resolution images –ideal for photo enthusiasts and professionals.

Equipped with a large, high-performance CMOS image sensor (35.9mm by 24.0mm) and supported by approximately 36.4 effective megapixels and PENTAX-original imaging technologies, the PENTAX K-1 assures super-high-resolution images rich in gradation, with superb highsensitivity rendition. Thanks to its large image sensor, the camera provides the same depth of field as a 35mm film-format camera, and allows the user to create a fine bokeh (defocus) effect more effectively than before.

The K-1 uses a host of the latest technologies from PENTAX. A new-generation shake reduction mechanism effectively reduces camera shake along five axes with a compensation range of five shutter steps. This mechanism also shifts the image sensor unit by a single pixel to ensure superhigh- resolution digital imaging. An extra-accurate exposure-control mechanism is supported by state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology. Within its compact body, the K-1 also provides an array of PENTAX-original features and functions, including a flexible tilt-type LCD monitor that can be tilted to the desired angle horizontally and vertically without deviating from the lens’s optical axis; an Operation Assist Light function to facilitate camera operation in the dark; and an optical viewfinder with a nearly 100-percent field of view.

In addition to an assortment of interchangeable lenses - from old film-era lenses to the latest D FA-series models - the K-1 also accommodates more compact DA-series lenses with a smaller image circle, with the help of its Crop function.

Pentax K-1 without lens

Pentax K-1 Key Features: 

High-resolution, fine-gradation images supported by approximately 36.4 effective megapixels
The K-1 incorporates a newly developed 35mm-format full-frame CMOS image sensor —for the very first time in a PENTAX K-mount digital SLR camera. It also features an AA (anti-aliasing) filter–free design that puts priority on image resolution. Coupled with a high-speed image processing system and the newly designed PRIME IV imaging engine, capable of 14-bit RAW-format image recording, it optimises the resolving power of approximately 36.4 effective megapixels to deliver super-high-resolution, fine-gradation images. It also allows for super-high-sensitivity shooting up to ISO 204800, and produces beautiful, high-resolution images over the entire sensitivity range - all while effectively minimising noise at all sensitivity levels.

New-generation SR II five-axis system
(1) In-body SR mechanism to assure optimal shake reduction performance with all compatible lenses:
The K-1 comes equipped with the PENTAX-developed SR II (Shake Reduction II) five-axis mechanism that enables accurate control of the large full-frame image sensor with all compatible PENTAX interchangeable lenses.* In addition to camera shake caused by pitch and yaw, this new system is also designed to effectively compensate for camera shake caused by horizontal and vertical shift (often generated in macro photography) and camera shake caused by roll, which is difficult to deal with by lens-installed shake reduction mechanisms. It has a compensation range of as much as five shutter steps — the widest of all PENTAX digital SLR models — to expand the limits of handheld shooting. Even when taking a panning shot, this system automatically detects the direction of the camera’s movement, and efficiently controls the SR unit to always produce the best image possible without requiring any mode switching operation.

(2) Pixel Shift Resolution System with a new motion correction function
The K-1 features Pixel Shift Resolution System,** the latest super-resolution technology, which captures four images of the same scene by shifting the image sensor by a single pixel for each image, then synthesises them into a single composite image. Compared to the conventional Bayer system, in which each pixel has only a single colour data unit, this innovative system obtains all colour data in each pixel to deliver super-high-resolution images with far more truthful colours and much finer details than those produced by conventional full-frame image sensors. This system even provides a new motion correction function,*** which automatically detects a moving object during continuous shooting and minimises negative effects during the synthesising process, in order to accommodate a wider range of scenes and subjects.

(3) Innovative AA filter simulator to minimise moiré
By applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the sub-pixel level during image exposure, the K-1's AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator**** provides the same level of moiré reduction as an optical AA filter. Unlike an optical filter, which always creates the identical result, this innovative simulator lets the user not only switch the AA filter effect on and off, but to also adjust the level of the effect. This means that the ideal effect can be set for a particular scene or subject based on the photographic conditions.

(4) Supportive shooting functions
Since the K-1’s SR unit has a flexible design that tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, it provides a host of handy shooting functions, including auto level compensation, image-composition fine-adjustment, and ASTRO TRACER, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography using a built-in GPS module.
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

Flexible tilt-type LCD monitor to accommodate various shooting angles
On its back panel, the K-1 features a newly designed, flexible tilt-type LCD monitor, which can be tilted to the desired angle horizontally, vertically or diagonally with a single action, without deviating from the lens’s optical axis. The user can not only tilt it approximately 35 degrees horizontally and approximately 44 degrees vertically, but also pull it out from its base to view the on-screen image from above, for waist-level photography. This large, 3.2-inch LCD monitor has approximately 1,037,000 dots and a 3:2 aspect ratio, and provides a protective tempered-glass front panel for added durability. In addition to its wide-view design, it also features a unique air-gapless construction, in which the air space between LCD layers is eliminated to effectively reduce the reflection and dispersion of light for improved visibility during outdoor shooting. A new Outdoor View Setting mode allows the user to instantly choose the desired monitor brightness level with a single push of a button.

Newly developed SAFOX 12 with 33 sensor points and full-frame-proportioned AF frame
The K-1 features a newly developed SAFOX 12 AF sensor module with an expanded AF frame covering the full-frame image field with 33 AF sensors (25 cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). The centre sensor and the two sensors located 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 a subject when using a large-aperture lens. Working together with the advanced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, this AF system assures a much improved AF tracking performance when photographing fast-moving subjects.

Upgraded PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, with application of artificial intelligence technology
By combining an approximately 86,000-pixel RGB metering sensor with the new PRIME IV imaging engine, the K-1’s advanced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System performs real-time analysis of the brightness distribution over the image field and the subject’s colours and movement. Based on this data, it then measures the subject’s lighting conditions with great accuracy and optimises the exposure. In addition, by adopting a breakthrough artificial intelligence technology called ‘deep learning’ to its algorithm,* it assesses each individual scene more accurately, and optimises the exposure settings for a given scene or composition.

Easy-to-focus optical viewfinder with nearly 100-percent field of view
Newly developed for its 35mm full-frame design, the K-1’s optical viewfinder provides a nearly 100-percent field of view and an approximately 0.7-times magnification. It comes with a Natural Bright Matt III focusing screen, which is acclaimed for ease of focusing during manual-focus operation and a true-to-life rendition of defocused areas in the viewfinder image. In addition, its transparent viewfinder display makes it possible to superimpose a wide range of photographic data over the viewfinder image.

High-speed continuous shooting with a top speed of approximately 4.4 images per second
The K-1 has a larger shutter unit, which has been newly designed to accommodate the camera’s full-frame image sensor. It also incorporates a range of new mechanisms to provide high-speed, high-accuracy control of the mirror unit, including a damper mechanism that effectively minimises mirror shock. A high-speed data transmission system incorporated in the PRIME IV imaging engine allows the user to continuously record as many as 17 images in the RAW format (or a maximum of 70 images in the JPEG Best format) in a single sequence, at a top speed of approximately 4.4 images per second.

Supportive shooting functions to improve picture-taking efficiency and operational comfort

  • Operation assist light function, which provides LED lights at four different spots around the camera body (above the lens mount, behind the LCD monitor, at the memory card slot, and at the cable switch terminal) to facilitate lens and memory card changes, attachment and removal of a cable switch, and control button operation at night and in poorly lit settings
  • Key lock function, which prevents erroneous operation of the four-way controller and other exposure-related control buttons
  • Smart Function, which allows the user to swiftly choose and set desired functions using just the function dial and the set dial on the camera’s upper panel, without referring to the menu screen on the LCD monitor
  • Control panel customise function, which allows the user to change a listing and/or position of the on-screen menu

Compact, solid body with dustproof, weather-resistant construction
The K-1's top panel and front and back frames are all made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy. Although the camera features a dependable, durable shutter unit that can withstand 300,000 shutter releases (measured under actual shooting conditions) for professional use, its body has been downsized to the minimum, thanks to the incorporation of a newly designed floating mirror structure. With the inclusion of 87 sealing parts in the body, the K-1 also boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, and ensures solid operation at temperatures as low as -10°C. All of these features make the K-1 a dependable, all-purpose performer, even under demanding shooting conditions.

Wireless LAN connection to support smartphone operation
The K-1 provides a host of wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) functions to support the operation with smartphones and tablet computers. By installing the dedicated Image Sync application in a mobile device, the user can remotely check the live-view image, capture still images, and adjust camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity to the desired level through their mobile device. Users can also download captured images, then upload them to their social networking sites.

Full HD movie recording with an array of creative tools
The K-1 captures Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/30p frame rate) in the H.264 recording format, and comes equipped with a stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection and a headphone terminal. The user can also adjust the audio recording level manually, monitor sound pressure levels during microphone recording, and cut down wind noise using a new wind noise reduction mode. In addition to a host of distinctive visual effects available for movie recording,* the K-1 also provides the interval movie mode, which captures a series of 4K-resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) movie clips at a fixed interval.

.Built-in GPS module
Thanks to its built-in GPS module, the K-1 provides a variety of advanced GPS functions, including the recording of location, latitude, longitude, altitude and UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) and direction at the time of shooting. The user can easily access images containing GPS data using a computer, to browse them, check on shooting locations and position data on the screen, or save them.

The K-1 also provides a set of other unique tools, including: Electronic Compass, which displays the camera's direction on its LCD monitor; GPS log, which keeps track of the photographer's movement; and ASTRO TRACER, which simplifies the tracing and photographing of celestial bodies by coupling GPS data with the camera's SR mechanism.

Other features

  • High-grade DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism for effective elimination of dust on the image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
  • Crop mode with a choice of image area from AUTO, FF (Full Frame) and APS-C, to accommodate different types of lenses
  • Clarity control and Skin Tone correction functions, a pair of the latest image processing technologies developed by RICOH Central Laboratory
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode with RAW-format data filing, usable in handheld shooting
  • The The PENTAX-invented hyper operating system for quick, accurate response to the photographer's creative intentions
  • Dual SD card slots for memory card flexibility (compatible with SDXC UHS-1 speed class in SDR104 buss speed mode)
  • 惻Compensation of various parameters: lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, diffraction, and brightness level at image-field edges. Fringe effect compensation is also available in RAW-format processing.
  • Compatibility with PENTAX Image Transmitter 2 tethering software (Software update required from RICOH IMAGING official website)
  • Digital Camera Utility 5 software (latest version) included

Optional Accessories

  • D-BG6 Battery Grip - A battery grip for exclusive use with the PENTAX K-1 camera body. Designed to facilitate vertical-position shooting, it provides a shutter release button, a set of control buttons (AE lock, AF, ISO, exposure compensation, green), a preview lever, and dual electronic dials — just like those provided on the camera body. It also features a dustproof, weather-resistant construction, identical to the PENTAX K-1 camera body. In addition to the dedicated lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, it also accepts six AA-size batteries.


Read our Pentax K-1 Hands-On Preview.

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Photographs taken using the Pentax K-1

Architecture sunriseSea King...going to the next shooting place ;-)UntitledKittiwakesLilly from the parkFlamborough HeadWave ArchitectureCastle Benrath in Duesseldorf , GermanyA Little MillTrivago Building ... Mediaharbour Duesseldorf, GermanyAlhambra GardenLittle Bumble Bee at workThe Wedding ShootCommon Marigold

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pablophotographer 10 1.9k 409
17 Feb 2016 11:36PM
WOW Ricoh/Pentax!

The body reminds me a pack of dynamite sticks and with the lens looks like a bazookas, Bombastic! Must be taking fantastic pictures this boxy monster (which reminds me of the other boxy camera (limited edition) flop they had brought out, I think, this will definitely sell.

RJPhoto 8 16 1 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2016 11:06AM
Want. My hat goes off to Ricoh and Pentax for this. This appears to be the camera I've always wanted (perfect for portraits, landscapes and weddings). I'm currently a Canon user, and will be upgrading this year. I think this Pentax K-1 ticks all my boxes, so could tempt me to switch brands. Only test I need to do is to compare low-light ability and noise levels compared to my current cameras, and if it's as good as if not better, then the rest of the specs have me. The price point is amazing for what you get. I agree with Pablo - this will sell.
19 Feb 2016 10:32PM
Well it has been a long time coming, but it has been worth it.I am an embedded Pentax user, embedded by having 40+ lenses to use on my Pentax bodies. I was very close to getting a D750 instead, having a small amount of Nikon lenses and Nikon Film bodies, but I am glad that the 35mm Pentax digital body has arrived. It is some spec too along with a very good price. I know that there will be a number of my old lenses will be lacking on the demands of 36MP, but then again, I know that there a number of them that will be more than capable of meeting it. I suppose that is due to many of them being so "over engineered" in the first place. The fun will be actually using them on the K-1 to see.
Even if some are lacking in the ultimate resolution, they will still have a certain charm in them and the resultant image..

I can't wait.Grin

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