After much speculation, rumours and out-and-out teasing, Ricoh has finally lifted the veil on the Pentax K-1, a full frame DSLR. The camera does not have an AA filter. It does have a CMOS sensor with 36.4-effective-megapixels.
The camera has a compact, high-performance weather-sealed and dustproof body.
SR II Shake Reduction is a newly refined and highly sensitive five-axis shake-reduction system, says the company, one that is capable of reducing camera shake with a compensation range of up to five exposure steps. SR II also facilitates an AA Filter Simulator, which effectively eliminates moiré effect without the need for an anti-aliasing filter, while increasing sharpness and overall image quality.
Tthe new SAFOX 12 autofocus mechanism features 33 autofocus points.
A newly-designed optical viewfinder boasts a bright, nearly 100 percent field of view.
A new Flexible-tilt LCD monitor can be positioned to the desired angle horizontally and vertically – 35 degrees of horizontal and 44 degrees of vertical adjustment can be achieved; the LCD panel can even be laid flat up or down.
Operation Assist Lights are 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. A Smart Function dial 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 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.
The new PRIME IV imaging engine is capable of 14-bit RAW-format image recording and helps deliver shooting up to ISO 204800.
The Pixel Shift Resolution System 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 colour data unit, this innovative system obtains all colour data within each pixel. It incorporates a new motion correction function, which automatically detects a moving object during continuous shooting.
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.
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.
The SAFOX 12 AF sensor module features 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 f/2.8 lens, which the company says makes it easy to obtain pinpoint focus on a subject when using a large-aperture lens.
The K-1’s Real-Time Scene Analysis System performs near-instant analysis of exposure, colour, movement and other factors. Combined with a breakthrough artificial intelligence technology called deep learning, Ricoh says the K-1 instantly optimizes settings for even the most difficult shooting situations.
Newly developed for its 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.
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 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.
• 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.
• 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;
• 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;
• HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode with RAW-format data filing, usable in handheld shooting
• Dual SD card slots for memory card flexibility (SDXC UHS-1)
• compensation of lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, diffraction, and brightness level at image-field edges, and fringe effect compensation is also available in RAW-format processing;
• compatibility with Image Transmitter 2 tethering software (software update required);
• Digital Camera Utility 5 software included.
The D-BG6 Battery Grip is an optional accessory, designed to facilitate vertical-position shooting with the K-1. 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. It also features dustproof, weather-resistant construction. In addition to the dedicated lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, it also accepts six AA-size batteries.
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.
The Pentax K-1 camera will be available in April.