Pentax has introduced several new digital cameras ahead of Photokina, including two follow-ups to its K-5 digital SLR. The Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs are similar digital SLRs that stand as the company’s new flagship models, boasting dustproof, weather-resistant designs and the company’s new SAFOX X autofocus sensor.
Both cameras are very similar to the original K-5, with 16-megapixel sensors that can both reach ISO 51,200. They have the same 3-inch, 921,000-dot screens, the same magnesium alloy bodies, and the same 7 fps burst shooting mode as the K-5, which Pentax released in late 2010. The new AF sensor is the big feature on the two cameras, sporting the company’s broadest range of autofocus at -3 EV to +18 EV and a Select-Area Expansion feature that Pentax claims can track subjects when they move from a selection point. The K-5 II and K-5 IIs seem nearly identical, except the K-5 IIs is built without an antialiasing filter, which Pentax says improves detail resolution (the sharpness of the image, not the numeric resolution of the sensor).
The K-5 II will retail for $1,199.95 body-only, $1,349.95 for a kit with a 18-55mm lens, and $1,549.95 for a kit with a 18-135mm lens. The K-5 IIs will retail for $1,299.95 body-only. Both camera models and all kits will begin shipping in October.
In addition to the new SLRs, Pentax announced two new K-mount lenses for the K-5 II and other K-series cameras. The smc Pentax DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 lens and HD Pentax DA 560mm f/5.6 lens are powerful telephoto lenses for photographers. The former offers an 27.5mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle and a 15x optical zoom range, and the latter has an effective focal length of 859mm. The 18-270mm lens will retail for $799.95 when it ships in November, and the 560mm lens will be available for $6,999.95 in December.
Pentax also announced a new addition to its Q-series of interchangeable-lens digital cameras, the Q10. This follow-up to the original Pentax Q $387.99 at ElectronicsShowplace has a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, a new autofocus algorithm Pentax says can better focus on subjects in low light, a built-in bokeh control function to product SLR-like focus effects, and a shake reduction mechanism to reduce blur. More importantly, the Q10 will retail for $599.95 with a 27.5-83mm (35mm equivalent), f/2.8-4.5 lens, $200 less than the original Q’s price tag. Our biggest complaint with the Q was its high price, so this should help the new version soften the blow.
Both Q and Q10 users will be able to use Pentax’s upcoming 06 zoom lens, a 83-249mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens that will retail for $299.95 when it ships in October. Q users will also be able to use their old Pentax K-mount lenses with the Q-series cameras with the upcoming Adapter Q for K-mount Lenses, which will retail for $249.95 later this year. The adapter will allow only manual focusing, but it will open up users to a much wider range of lenses for the smaller cameras.