Monday, September 20, 2010

The Pentax K-5 arrives, along with a new 18-135mm DA lens.

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The no-nonsense approach of Pentax is great. The same body as the K-7 but a new sensor and a bunch of new improvements. The K-5 will also utilize the same vertical grip (D-BG4) as the K-7. The new sensor is  a 16.3 megapixels (Sony) CMOS sensor with a sensitivity of  ISO 80 to ISO 12,800 with an improved noise reduction. It is also expandable to ISO 51,200. The capture rate is  a respectable 7 FPS. Yes!!! the AF has been improved and promises great results. It uses a new 11 points SAFOX-IX+ Autofocus system with dedicated AF assist lamp and light wavelenght sensor. It is going to be more responsive than any of the previous Pentax DSLRs. We asked for it, we are finally  getting it.

The video capture is 1080p HD video @ 25 FPS.  Like the K-7, it has a stereo connection for external stereo microphone.  This is a full 1920 x 1080 pixels in a full HD proportion of 16:9. Shutter speed/focus priority is available  during AF-C mode. The K-5 offers native support for both PENTAX PEF and Adobe DGN 14 bit RAW files. The built-in HDR function has been improved with more blending modes and better image alignment for handheld HDR shots.SDXC memory card compatibility is available via firmware upgrade.

Like previous Pentax flagship models, the K-5 retains a fully weather sealed and coldproof design that makes Pentax an exceptional value compared to other brands. It has all the same features that the K-7 has plus the features listed above. The K-5 will ship in October with an introductory price of $1,599.95, but we all know that the street prices will vary. Although still branded as a "prosumer" DSLR by Pentax, the K-5 has features normally found only on the most costly of professional cameras.  Yes, many will be disappointed  because the K-5 is still an APS-C DSLR,  but this new sensor produces better images than any film 35mm camera ever produced and this Full-Frame mania is absurd (In my opinion, of course). It was adopted only because the 35mm film camera images on the negatives are 24 x 36 mm in size (Image circle). Most DSLRs were built so that the vestige of 35mm film camera lenses could easily be used with a DSLR design parallel to the 35mm film cameras. If you want a large sensor for ultimate bokeh or image quality, get a Pentax 645D. Today's APS-C sized sensors are so improved and efficient compared to early sensors, that it makes sense to use them and build cameras that are small enough to carry all day without fatigue.
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Pentax also introduces a new lens. The Pentax DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR lens. Wow, that's a mouth full! In 35mm format, this is the equivalent of 27.5mm - 207mm.  That's a zoom ratio of 7.5 times. This is a weather-resistant lens and complements the Pentax weather resistant DSLRs. This zoom lens has a DC motor built into the lens, assuring a fast and smooth autofocus operation. The lens incorporates Extra-Low Dispersion glass element, a hybrid aspherical element and a glass molded aspherical element in it's optic. The diaphramg is completely rounded, producing excellent bokeh. The front element is coated with Pentax's Super Protect coating, repelling dust, water and grease.  That's a great all around lens.

The lens is prices at a very affordable $529.95, and like the K-5, the street price will likely be lower. When purchased with the K-5 kit, the lens only adds $150.00 to the k-5 price.

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