In a move that should help corner the outdoor adventure segment of the DSLR market—and possibly the astrophotography market as well—the Pentax K-30 was introduced last night.
Note: Adorama is now accepting pre-orders for the Pentax K-30. Orders will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until the order ships.
One of the biggest worries DSLR users have is that their gear can be easily destroyed by dust, rain and cold. The new Pentax K-30 DSLR is weather, dust, and cold resistant with an eye-catching design, offering a 16MP APS sensor and new AF system. Featuring a ruggedized body that's sealed against water, dust and cold (to 14 degrees farenheight), the K-30 is an enthusiast-level camera that offers features that should meet the needs of the most demanding users. These include a 6 fps burst rate, a top shutter speed of 1/6000 second, a 16MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor, a glass pentaprism and optical viewfinder with 100% field of view, and interchangeable focusing screens. Pentax says it has changed the autofocus system and claims a noticeable performance improvement. Unique among DSLRs is an Astrotracer mode, which Pentax says will eliminate star trails when photographing nighttime skies.
Pentax K-30 key features:
- 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 81 weather seals
- ISO range 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
- New SAFOX IXi+ AF module
- 11 focus points, 9 with cross-type sensors
- Glass pentaprism finder; 0.92x viewfinder magnification
- Interchangeable Pentax Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screens (options include cross-lined and scale types)
- Up to 6FPS burst rate in JPEG format
- Video: up to 1080p at 30/25/24fps, 720p at 60fps; h.264 compression
- Shake reduction
- Astrotracer mode to eliminate light trails in astrophotography
- Auto picture and scene modes
- 11 custom settings include visual effects filters
- 3-inch LCD with 921 dot resolution
- 77-segment multi-pattern metering
- Dust removal shakes dust off CMOS sensor
- JPEG and RAW image capture
With challenges to the DSLR category from large-sensor compact cameras with interchangeable lenses, manufacturers are striving to differentiate DSLRs by adding never-before-seen features, and the Pentax K-30 shows how these necessary innovations can benefit the consumer. Pentax claims that whether you are climbing a snowy mountain, riding on Maid of the Mist in Niagra Falls, shooting in the Sahara or shooting the Milky Way, the Pentax K-30 is designed to deliver no-compromise image quality while letting you concentrate on getting the shot without worrying about getting your camera mucked up.
The Petnax K-30 will be available in July for $849.95 body only in Black, Blue, and White or $899.95 including the standard 18-55mm kit lens.
New 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Along with the K-30, the Pentax-DA 50mm f/1.8 was also announced. With the angle of view equivalent to a 76.5mm lens in 35mm format, the 50mm is considered a medum telephoto lens. It is small and light, and features rounded diaphragm blades for natrual looking bokeh (out of focus). The lens surface is treated with Pentax Super Protect SP coating, which is said to repel dust, water, grease and other substances, making it a good companion to the K-30.
The Pentax-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens will be available in July for $249.95.
For details about both products, read the Pentax press releases:
PENTAX Introduces New K-30 Digital SLR Camera
Featuring weather resistant capabilities, new mid-level DSLR is the perfect creative companion for active travel and outdoor photographers
Denver, CO (May 21, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announces the introduction of its new weather and dust resistant digital SLR camera – the PENTAX K-30. Ideal for photographers with active outdoor lifestyles, the new PENTAX K-30 combines a compact, lightweight body with many advanced features found only in higher end DSLR camera models, such as a weather, dust and cold resistant body, a glass prism optical finder with 100% field of view, state-of-the-art autofocusing, and full HD video recording capabilities.
“No detail was overlooked when designing the dynamic new K-30 to be weather resistant,” explains John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX. “Every seam, every button, every hinge has been weather sealed for adventure-proof creative photography. Whether enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking in the Rocky Mountains or on vacation cruising along on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, photographers can stop worrying about weather conditions and start focusing on capturing the perfect shot.”
In addition to its versatile weather-proof capabilities, the new K-30 offers features including high-speed burst shooting at a maximum speed of six images per second, a high-speed shutter unit with a top speed of 1/6000 second, and convenient dual electronic dials for quick, fingertip access to exposure control and several Auto Picture and scene modes. Coupled with an ergonomic grip that provides firm, comfortable control of the camera, and a sporty, functional design, the K-30 assures dependable, flawless performance in the field. The new K-30 is available in three body colors: Crystal White and Crystal Blue, with brilliant, glossy finishes reminiscent of the finish of an exclusive sports car; and Black, for a traditional SLR look. It is also compatible with all PENTAX K-mount lenses.
Major features include:
Weather resistant design ideal for travel and outdoor photography
Featuring 81 seals set in its compact, lightweight, portable body, the K-30 is built to be weather, dust and cold resistant with proven functionality in sub-freezing temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). Its exterior has been designed to be both sporty and functional for active outdoor photographers – a large grip provides a firm, secure hold of the camera; a low-profile pentaprism housing for reduced height; and a rounded, soft-rubber casing for a solid grip of the camera during vertical shooting.
Newly developed SAFOX IXi+ Autofocus (AF) module for improved autofocus performance
The K-30 features the new state-of-the-art SAFOX IXi+ AF sensor module, which assures responsive, high-precision autofocus operation by incorporating a diffraction lens to minimize chromatic aberration in accordance to the characteristics of each individual lens. A dedicated sensor also factors the light source into its calculations at the time of shooting. Additionally, 9 of its 11 focus points have cross-type sensors to capture subjects in sharp focus, while a spotbeam assists the AF system during low light situations. The K-30’s AF algorithm has also been upgraded in all areas for efficiency and accuracy. A new expanded area AF function allows the sensor module to continue to track a moving subject in AF select mode, even when it moves out of a pre-assigned auto-tracking area, by assessing distance data collected by neighboring focus sensors. This greatly improves the accuracy and speed of detecting moving subjects during autofocus shooting, and autofocusing performance when using a telephoto lens.
High resolution, low noise, true-to-life image reproduction
The K-30 incorporates the latest 16 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with a large image-capturing area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm. It assures high speed image data readout to deliver super high resolution, rich gradation digital images with approximately 16.28 effective megapixels. This image sensor is coupled in the K-30 with the PENTAX “PRIME M” imaging engine for outstanding full 1080p HD movie clips (1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second), in addition to outstanding still image capture processing. The camera also minimizes luminance noise at low sensitivities, while offering a wide sensitivity range between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 (ISO 25600 maximum when expanded via a custom function).
Optical finder with 100% field of view
Despite its compact body, which is smaller and lighter than traditional mid level DSLR camera models, the K-30 comes equipped with a glass pentaprism finder featuring a 100% field of view and approximately 0.92X maximum magnification (with a 50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity) to cover the entire field of view for easy focusing and framing. Since its viewfinder delivers a clear view of the subject even in the brightest sunshine while also eliminating parallax, the K-30 responds efficiently and reliably to demanding applications and subjects, such as landscapes requiring delicate, high-precision framing, and sports scenes where the timing of shutter release is critical. The K-30 also accepts interchangeable PENTAX Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screens to facilitate manual focusing operation. Optional focus screens include cross-lined and scale types, to accommodate more specialized applications.
High-speed burst shooting at approximately six images per second
When photographing sporting events, concerts or wildlife, the K-30’s high-speed burst shooting function comes in handy, allowing the photographer to capture active, fast moving subjects in a series of images at a maximum speed of approximately 6 frames per second (in JPEG format).
Advanced Live View shooting
Thanks to the latest CMOS image sensor and PRIME M engine, the K-30 offers a clear, true-to-life Live View at a smooth 60 frames per second. It also features a focus peaking function during live view to improve manual focusing speed and accuracy. Live View on the K-30 also offers a choice of three grid display patterns including a Golden Section overlay, and detailed information overlay if desired by the photographer.
High quality video recording
The PENTAX K-30 features full HD video recording to capture high quality movie clips in 1080p resolution (1920x1080 pixels). The efficient h.264 compression format offers a choice of frame rates (30, 25 or 24 frames per second) at 1080p, or up to 60 FPS at 720p, to accommodate user specific applications. Video recording options are flexible, allowing the photographer to select aperture or shutter exposure control, while PENTAX Shake Reduction helps stabilize captured video. Users may add creative artistic effects to recorded clips using various Custom Image modes or record subjects in a series of video clips with the Interval Movie Shooting mode.
User friendly Auto Picture and Scene modes
The K-30 features the PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode, which analyzes a scene then automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode from Portrait, Landscape, Macro as well as others. This allows the photographer to concentrate on image composition and other creative elements while leaving more technical settings to the K-30, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness. The K-30 also offers 19 creative Scene modes, including Night Scene Portrait, Pet, Backlight Silhouette, and more, to simplify photographing unique subjects and scenes that often require uncommon camera settings.
PENTAX Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism for sharp, blur free images
The PENTAX K-30 incorporates the PENTAX-developed SR mechanism, which effectively reduces blur due to camera shake by approximately four shutter steps. Usable with all PENTAX compatible lenses*, including those produced for film format SLR cameras, this mechanism produces sharp, blur free images even under demanding conditions that are prone to camera shake, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark without flash illumination, or capturing landscapes in twilight. The K-30's SR system also offers several other useful features to assist the photographer during shooting, including an Automatic Horizon Correction function to assure high precision image framing and effortless adjustment of horizontal alignment, a Composition Adjustment function to allow minute adjustments of image alignment horizontally/vertically/axially, and an ASTROTRACER mode to eliminate light trails during astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit (available separately).
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: PENTAX 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.
A selection of image processing tools for creative, personalized expression
The K-30 features a Custom Image function, which allows the user to easily and quickly select the desired finishing touch for a particular image. Choose from 11 custom settings including Bleach Bypass that creates a dramatic visual effect similar to that used in motion pictures, and Cross Process to produce fanciful, eye-catching images boasting dramatic colors. The K-30 also offers a choice of 19 creative digital filters including Miniature, which transforms an actual scene into what appears to be an image of miniature models. These filters add distinctive visual effects to captured images producing creative, artistic images without the need for a computer. The user can further expand the creative possibilities by applying multiple filters and processing modes to a single image.
Choice of two power sources
In addition to the included lithium ion battery capable of capturing approximately 480 images with a single charge**, the K-30 can also be powered by four AA-size batteries using the optional D-BH109 AA Battery Holder. Since AA batteries can be easily obtained almost anywhere around the world, there’s no worry about battery shortages, even when shooting for an extended period of time or in remote locations.
** Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, using the D-LI109 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery with no flash discharges.
Additional features include:
Large, wide angle viewable 3-inch LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots of resolution
77 segment multi-pattern metering system for accurate light measurement
DR (Dust Removal) mechanism to shake dust off from the surface of the CMOS image sensor
PENTAX-designed Hyper control system to assure fast and flexible response to the photographer’s creative intentions
Dynamic range expansion function to compensate for blown out (overexposed) and muddy (underexposed) areas of an image
Retrieve and save RAW data from buffer memory for a just-recorded JPEG image
RAW/Fx multi-function button for on-the-fly switching of image file formats, as well as for assignment and instant recall of other specific functions
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX (RAW processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) included
Pricing and Availability
The new PENTAX K-30 will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in July 2012 with a suggested retail price of $849.95 for body only, and $899.95 for the kit including the DA L 18-55mm zoom lens.
PENTAX Introduces smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Medium-Telephoto Lens
Compact, lightweight autofocus lens designed exclusively for PENTAX K-Mount interchangeable-lens digital cameras
Denver, CO (May 21, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announces the introduction of its new smc PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 medium-telephoto autofocus lens, which is designed exclusively for use with the company’s K-mount interchangeable-lens (ILC) digital cameras. Thanks to state-of-the-art optical design technology from PENTAX, the lens’ image coverage is optimized for PENTAX K-mount ILC cameras to deliver sharp, clear images from edge to edge. With a sleek, modern look and a lightweight body, the new PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens was designed with versatility and flexibility in mind and is ideal for photographers of varying levels, from amateurs to professionals.
“The new PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens is ideal for photographers interested in portraiture and general photography,” explains John Carlson, Sr., Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION. “The lens measures just 1.5 inches long and weighs only 4.3 ounces, making it small enough and light enough to accompany photographers on all kinds of outings.”
When mounted on a PENTAX K-mount ILC camera body, the PENTAX-DA 50mm f/F1.8 lens delivers a focal length of 50mm or 76.5mm in the 35mm format. The lens’ f/1.8 maximum aperture and round diaphragm blades enable it to produce a natural “bokeh” (out-of-focus) effect, which gives the blurry elements in an image a softer, rounded and more pleasing appearance. Additionally, the f/1.8 aperture makes it possible to increase camera shutter speed when photographing in poorly lit conditions, which minimizes camera shake and helps eliminate blur.
For extra preventative measures, the front surface of the PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens is treated with the company’s original SP (Super Protect) coating, which repels dust, water, grease, and other substances that may adhere to the surface of the lens. The protective coating promotes trouble-free use in all kinds of shooting situations.
The PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens will be available July 2012 with a retail price of $249.95.