Pentax just announced the 36.4-megapixel K-1 full-frame DSLR camera. The $1800 camera body is weather-sealed and dustproof. It features an AA (anti-aliasing) filterless design that prioritizes image resolution, as well as the new PRIME IV imaging engine, which is capable of 14-bit RAW-format image recording. The K-1’s unique full frame sensor and imaging engine design also allows for super-high-sensitivity shooting up to ISO 204800, producing beautiful, high-resolution images.
SR II Shake Reduction is a newly refined and highly sensitive five-axis shake-reduction system that is capable of reducing camera shake with a compensation range of up to five exposure steps, allowing photographers to freely move and compose – and to focus on their subjects, not the gear. SR II also facilitates other advanced PENTAX-unique features such as AA Filter Simulator, which effectively eliminates moiré effect without the need for an anti-aliasing filter, while increasing sharpness and overall image quality. Key to great autofocus performance on the K-1 is the new SAFOX 12 autofocus mechanism with 33 autofocus points, assuring fast and accurate autofocusing, even in the most demanding shooting situations. A newly-designed optical viewfinder equipped with the famous PENTAX Pentaprism boasts a bright, nearly 100-percent field of view. A Natural Bright Matt III focusing screen allows ease of focusing and a true-to-life rendition of defocused areas in the viewfinder image.
The K-1 has a larger shutter unit that easily accommodates the camera’s full-frame image sensor and provides high-speed, high-accuracy control of the mirror unit. 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.
The K-1’s advanced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System performs near-instant analysis of exposure, color, movement and other factors. Combined with a breakthrough artificial intelligence technology called deep learning, the K-1 instantly optimizes settings for even the most difficult shooting situations.
The PENTAX K-1 also features a number of convenience features, including a new Flexible-tilt LCD monitor — a first for any DSLR camera. The display can be angled 35° horizontally and 44° vertically. The LCD panel can even be laid flat up or down. The 3.2-inch LCD monitor features a tempered-glass front panel for added durability, a unique air-gapless construction effectively reduces reflection, and a new Outdoor View Setting mode allows the user to instantly choose the desired monitor brightness level.
Other significant firsts include the K-1’s Operation Assist Lights — small, white LEDs that facilitate camera operation in low-light environments, making it easy to change lenses, swap memory cards and adjust back-of-camera controls, and a Smart Function dial that allows photographers to easy select frequently-used functions without going into the LCD menu.
Current PENTAX lens owners will appreciate that they can incorporate their APS-C lens collection into their new PENTAX K-1 full-frame camera kit by utilizing the K-1’s Crop Mode, which offers settings in-camera for either APS-C or Full-Frame sized shooting, regardless of the attached lens. There is also an “auto” mode that detects the lens type and sets the camera accordingly.
Upon launch, PENTAX is offering 12 full-frame compatible lenses, including two new models being announced concurrent with the K-1 camera: the HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm f.2.8 ultra-wide angle zoom lens and the HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 compact, lightweight zoom lens.
- Wi-Fi operation allowing camera control and image transfer to tablet or smartphone via the free ImageSync app
- Full HD movie recording at 1920 x 1080 pixels in the H.264 recording format
- Built-in GPS module and electronic compass
- High-grade DR II (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 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)
- 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
- High-resolution, fine-gradation images supported by approximately 36.4 effective megapixels
- The D-BG6 battery grip is designed to facilitate vertical-position shooting with the PENTAX K-1 camera body
- In addition to the dedicated lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, it also accepts six AA-size batteries.
Pricing and Availability
The PENTAX K-1 camera will be available April 2016 for $1,799.95.