On the Launch of the Pentax K-1 Full Frame

Notes From Our Talk With Ricoh Imaging Americas President Jim Malcolm and More
February 18, 2016 at 10:18 am  •  Posted in Gear & Reviews, New Products, News & Events, Press Release by

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The Pentax K-1

The arrival of the Pentax full frame has been anticipated for years, and now it’s finally happening! The long-awaited camera will be released in the first half of April. The other day we spoke with Ricoh Imaging Americas President Jim Malcolm about the K-1.

He gave us a tour of the camera, and its feature set and price point are certainly competitive. There are some great user-friendly touches—LED illumination that you can turn on when you’re in the dark and a 3-dial combination allowing for quick adjustments.

But the extended wait for this camera can’t be totally swept under the carpet, so we asked Malcolm what he wanted to say to loyal Pentaxians. He said he had a two-word answer: “thank you.” Malcolm explained that he felt lucky to work with some of the most loyal, enthusiastic and opinionated photographers, and he appreciates their confidence in holding out for the Pentax full frame while the company worked to restore Pentax to its heyday. He believes the delay for the full frame has allowed them to create a better product for users, a product that will be worth the wait. Time will tell.

The K-1 is scheduled to hit the market in the first half of April. In addition, Ricoh announced the release of the following lenses and accessories: the D FA 28-105 mm lens, the D FA 15-30 mm lens and the D-BG6 grip. If you’d like more details, see the Ricoh Imaging Americas press releases below.

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The Pentax K-1

 

Press releases by Ricoh Imaging Americas

Ricoh defines full-frame benchmark with new PENTAX full-frame DSLR offering
PENTAX K-1 camera offers innovations not available in any other DSLR

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation has announced the PENTAX K-1 full-frame digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. The K-1 combines the performance of a full-frame sensor with unique, user-friendly PENTAX technology and convenience features loved by professional and serious amateur photographers the world over.

The foundation of the PENTAX K-1 is its large, full-frame image sensor. This AA-filterless CMOS sensor with 36.4 effective megapixels sets the stage for ultimate creativity, facilitating super-high-resolution images rich in gradation and superb in high-sensitivity rendition.

Built around the full-frame sensor is a compact, high-performance weather-sealed and dustproof body with features only found in PENTAX cameras. “The K-1 is a blend of advanced, full-frame performance with the kind of features and advancements that PENTAX users have come to know and love,” said Jim Malcolm, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “As a result, the K-1 creates a solution for full-frame shooters that is unique in the industry.”

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The Pentax K-1

Within its compact body, the PENTAX K-1 features several advanced technologies that help the photographer to produce top results in a wide variety of challenging conditions. 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.

In addition to a long list of technological advancements, the PENTAX K-1 also features a number of convenience features, making camera operation fast and easy. Designed to move in ways never before imagined is the new Flexible-tilt LCD monitor—a first for any DSLR camera. This rugged yet highly adjustable display can be positioned to the desired angle horizontally and vertically, making it easy to shoot at challenging angles. 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 15-30 mm f/2.8 ultra-wide angle zoom lens and the HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 compact, lightweight zoom lens.

Pricing and Availability
The PENTAX K-1 camera will be available April 2016 at Canadian retail outlets nationwide for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,499.99.

Main Features
1.  High-resolution, fine-gradation images supported by approximately 36.4 effective megapixels
The K-1 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.

2. New-generation SR II five-axis system
•    In-body SR II mechanism assures optimal shake reduction performance
The SR II (Shake Reduction II) five-axis mechanism 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, it effectively compensates for camera shake caused by horizontal and vertical shift, as well as camera shake caused by roll, which is difficult to deal with by lens-installed shake reduction mechanisms. Even when taking a panning shot, this system automatically detects the direction of the camera’s movement, and efficiently controls the SR II unit to always produce the best image possible.
•    Pixel Shift Resolution System with a new motion correction function
This system uses 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 synthesizes them into a single composite image. Compared to the conventional Bayer system, in which each pixel has only a single color data unit, this innovative system obtains all color data within each pixel. It incorporates a new motion correction function, which automatically detects a moving object during continuous shooting.
•    Innovative AA filter simulator to minimize moiré
By applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor, the K-1’s AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator provides the same level of moiré reduction as an optical AA filter.
•    Supportive shooting functions
Since the K-1’s SR II 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 AstroTracer, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography using a built-in GPS module.

3. Flexible tilt-type LCD monitor to accommodate various shooting angles
The K-1 features a newly designed, Flexible-tilt LCD monitor, which tilts horizontally, vertically or diagonally with a single action, without deviating from the lens’s optical axis. 35 degrees of horizontal and 44 degrees of vertical adjustment can be achieved; 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.

4. Newly developed SAFOX 12 with 33 sensor points and full-frame-proportioned AF frame
The SAFOX 12 AF sensor module features 33 AF sensors (25 cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). The center sensor and the two sensors located just above and below it are designed to detect the light flux of an f/2.8 lens, making it easy to obtain pinpoint focus on a subject when using a large-aperture lens.

5. Upgraded PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, with application of artificial  intelligence technology
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.

6. Easy-to-focus optical viewfinder with nearly 100-percent field of view
Newly developed for its 35-mm full-frame design, the K-1’s optical viewfinder provides a nearly 100-percent field of view and an approximately 0.7-times magnification. A Natural Bright Matt III focusing screen allows ease of focusing and a true-to-life rendition of defocused areas in the viewfinder image.

7. High-speed continuous shooting with a top speed of approximately 4.4 images per second
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.

8. Supportive shooting functions to improve picture-taking efficiency and operational comfort
•    Operation assist light function, which provides LED lights above the lens mount, behind the LCD monitor, at the memory car slot, and at the cable switch terminal to facilitate fast and easy operation 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 customize function allows the user to change aspects of the on-screen menu.

9. Compact, solid body with dustproof, weather-resistant construction
Constructed of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy with the inclusion of 87 sealing parts in the body, the K-1 also boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction.

Other Features
•    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

Pentax K-1 D-BG6 Battery Grip

Pentax K-1 D-BG6 Battery Grip

Optional Accessory
•    D-BG6 Battery Grip
This battery grip is designed to facilitate vertical-position shooting with the PENTAX K-1 camera body. 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 the 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.

The HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30 mm f/2.8ED SDM WR lens.

The HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30 mm f/2.8ED SDM WR lens.


Ricoh announces HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30 mm f/2.8 lens for new PENTAX K-1 full-frame DSLR

Weather-sealed, ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, ideal for landscapes and nightscapes

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation has announced the HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30 mm f/2.8ED SDM WR lens. This new lens is designed to work seamlessly with the full-frame sensor of the new PENTAX K-1 camera, also announced today.

When mounted on the PENTAX K-1 camera body, the lens covers a focal-length range from 15 mm ultra-wide-angle to 30 mm wide-angle.(Note: with a PENTAX  APS-C-size digital SLR camera body, the lens covers a focal-length range from 23 mm to 46 mm.) Its exaggerated ultra-wide perspective and state-of-the-art optical design enable capturing high-resolution, dynamic, sweeping views of subjects, ideal for landscape photography. Treated with PENTAX-developed HD Coating, the lens produces well-defined, fine-detailed images with ample light levels even at the edges of the image field, while effectively reducing chromatic aberration and distortion to a minimum.

Its large f/2.8 maximum aperture is also well-suited for photographing nightscapes and starry skies. The built-in SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) provides quiet, high-speed autofocus operation.

Pricing and Availability
HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30 mm f/2.8ED SDM WR lens will be available in April 2016 at Canadian retail outlets nationwide for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,999.99.

Main Features
1. Exceptional imaging power
When mounted on the PENTAX K-1 35-mm full-frame digital SLR camera body, the lens provides an ultra-wide-angle focal-length coverage from 15 mm to 30 mm. Its exaggerated perspective helps the photographer produce spectacular landscape photographs. With a 30 mm focal length at the telephoto end, the lens is also well-suited to portrait and street photography.

2. State-of-the-art optical design
The zoom lens incorporates three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements and three aspherical optical elements in its 18-element, 13-group optics to deliver high-resolution images rich in contrast even at the edges of the image field, while effectively minimizing chromatic aberration, distortion and coma.

3. Large-aperture zoom lens, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8
Since this zoom lens provides a maximum aperture of f/2.8 over its entire zoom range, it is versatile enough to be used for many different subjects and scenes, ranging from sweeping landscapes to nightscapes and starry skies. Despite its ultra-wide-angle perspective, it can capture the subject with an excellent bokeh (defocus) effect on the background. Even in macro photography from its minimum focusing distance of 28 centimeters, it can capture subjects with a well-defined sense of depth.

4. Built-in SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor)
The incorporation of a new-generation SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) assures that this zoom lens provides quiet, high-speed autofocus operation, letting the photographer react swiftly to all types of subjects.

5. Weather-resistant construction
Special seals applied throughout the lens body provide this zoom lens with dependable weather-resistant construction, effectively preventing the intrusion of water into the lens interior. By pairing it with a weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, the photographer has a durable, dependable digital imaging system that performs superbly under demanding shooting conditions — even in the rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

6. HD Coating to improve image description
The lens is treated with high-grade, multi-layer HD (high-definition) coating. Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this PENTAX-original coating assures higher light transmittance and less reflection to deliver bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions such as backlight.

7. Other features
・Quick-Shift Focus System for instant switching from autofocus to manual-focus operation, by holding the shutter-release button halfway down and turning the focus ring after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system.
・Rounded diaphragm with nine blades produces a smooth, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.
・SP (Super Protect) coating applied to the front surface of the lens to effectively repel water and grease.

The HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens

The HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens

Ricoh announces 28-105 mm lens for new PENTAX K-1 full-frame DSLR
Compact, lightweight and weather-sealed lens offers popular zoom range, an ideal companion to the new PENTAX K-1 full-frame DSLR

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation has announced the HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens. This new, compact and lightweight zoom lens provides the most frequently requested focal-length range for general photography, from wide angle to medium telephoto.

This versatile zoom lens is designed to cover the large full-frame sensor found in the new PENTAX  K-1 camera, incorporating state-of-the-art optics and high-performance optical elements. When mounted on the K-1 camera body, it delivers high-resolution imaging power, and is an ideal every day-use lens for the new camera.

Pricing and Availability
The HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens will be available in April 2016 at Canadian retail outlets nationwide for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $699.99.

Main Features
1. Standard zoom lens covering most frequently-used range
This standard zoom lens accommodates the image circle of a 35 mm full-frame image sensor, and covers focal lengths between 28 mm wide angle and 105 mm medium telephoto. By incorporating the latest optics and a number of high-performance optical elements, it retains a sufficient brightness level even at edges of the image field, while effectively compensating for aberrations. It delivers high-resolution images by optimizing the imaging power of the PENTAX K-1 camera’s approximately 36.4 effective megapixels. Its compact, lightweight body and excellent cost performance make this lens a perfect companion lens to the PENTAX K-1.

2. Excellent image resolution, complementing the PENTAX K-1 full-frame digital SLR camera performance
With 15-element, 11-group optics, this zoom lens incorporates two high-precision aspherical optical elements, one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical element and one anomalous-dispersion glass optical element to deliver bright, sharp images with minimal chromatic and spherical aberrations. The optics are designed to deliver ample resolving power for the large, high-pixel image sensor, producing well-defined, fine-detailed images.

3. HD Coating to improve image quality
This lens is treated with the high-grade, multi-layer HD (high-definition) coating. Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this PENTAX-original coating assures higher light transmittance and less reflection to deliver bright, high-contrast images that are free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions such as backlight.

4. Quick-Shift Focus System
This PENTAX-developed system allows for flawless, delay-free switching from autofocus to manual-focus operation, after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system.

5. Weather-resistant construction
This lens features a dependable weather-resistant construction with eight sealing parts to effectively prevent the intrusion of water into the lens interior. Paired with a weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, it creates a durable, dependable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in rain or mist, or in locations prone to water splashing or spray.

6. Other features
・SP (Super Protect) Coating applied to the front surface of the lens to effectively repel water and grease.
・Rounded diaphragm to produce a smooth, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.
・Built-in DC motor to assure smooth, quiet, high-speed autofocus operation