News:Pentax announces the Pentax K-r DSLR

? Dual-battery ? 12.4-million-pixel DSLR ? 6fps continuous shooting

Pentax has unveiled a new DSLR, the Pentax K-r, that slots into its range between the Pentax K-x and Pentax K-7. Sharing the same 12.4-million-pixel count of the entry-level Pentax K-x, the Pentax K-r boasts a maximum continuous shooting rate of 6fps, faster than either existing Pentax DSLRs. The manufacturer claims this rate can be maintained for up to 40 high-quality JPEG images or 7 raw files (PEF or DNG).

Though it will be supplied with a rectangular, rechargeable D-Li109 lithium-ion battery, the Pentax K-r can also accept four universally available AA batteries with the optional D-BH109 adaptor. This will allow Pentax K-r users will be able to use their cameras in remote areas for extended periods when it?s impossible to recharge lithium ion batteries, but AA cells are available.

Like the Pentax K-7, the Pentax K-r features a fixed 3in 921,000-dot LCD screen and is Live View enabled, with contrast detection AF and face detection technology. A new mode enlarges the free-roaming Live View focus area as shutter release is depressed and automatic focusing takes place. Video recording is also possible, with a choice of two resolutions, 1280×720 pixel at 25fps or 640×480 pixels at 30fps or 25fps. Movie footage is saved as AVI (Motion JPEG) files to SD or SDHC media at one of three quality settings.

Pentax?s sensor-shifting image stabilisation system (Shake Reduction), which is claimed to extend the safe hand-holdable shutter speed by up to 4 stops, is also present. The same system is employed to remove dust from the Pentax K-r?s sensor.

The K-r uses Pentax?s SAFOX IX AF system, which has 11 points, 9 of which are the cross-type. It also has 16-segment metering, with multi-segment, centreweighted and spot metering options. Shutter speed may be set in the range 30-1/6000sec and exposure compensation is available to ±3EV.

Extra illumination can be provided by an external flashgun in the hotshoe or the built-in flash, which has a GN 12m @ ISO 100. In standard mode the top flash synch speed is 1/180 sec, but the Pentax K-r has a high-speed flash mode to allow synchronisation at faster shutter speeds.

Images are processed using the Pentax Real Image Engine (PRIME) II, the same engine as in the Pentax K-x and a collection of filter effects including Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Extra Color, Soft, Starburst and Fisheye can be applied to images at capture or post-capture. Multiple exposures, with up to nine images being superimposed, may also be made.

The K-r?s native sensitivity range runs from ISO 200-6,400, which may be extended to 100-25,600. This means the maximum sensitivity setting is one stop higher than the ISO 12,800 peak of the Pentax K-x and two stops higher than the ISO 6,400 top setting of the K-7.

Pentax will be selling the Pentax K-r in red, white or black. While the black version will be available body only or in two kits with the DAL 18-55mm or the DAL 18-55mm and DAL 50-200mm, the white and red versions will only be available as in single lens kits with the appropriately coloured DAL 18-55mm lens.

The camera goes on sale mid October: fitted with the 18-55mm DAL at £599, and in a dual lens kit that includes the 18-55mm DAL and the 50-200mm DAL at £699.

Read all our Pentax stories here.

Pentax press release

Pentax press release

Compact, lightweight, multi-features…

It?s the mid-range digital SLR camera

PENTAX Imaging Systems announces the launch of its latest digital SLR camera ? the K-r. Encased in a compact, lightweight body, this new model combines simple, user-friendly functions with a wide array of advanced features, designed to enhance the fun and excitement of digital SLR photography.

Developed to be a mid-range model targeted at digital SLR novices and family users, the PENTAX K-r offers an assortment of features and functions that make it easy for everyone to effortlessly capture the high-quality images people expect of a digital SLR camera.

In addition it comes equipped with a host of handy tools that help create more personalised, creative images, including:

? high-quality image reproduction with approximately 12.4 effective megapixels

? HDTV-proportion movie recording

? high-speed continuous shooting at approximately six images per second

? super-high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 25600 (via a custom function)

? a large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch high-resolution colour LCD monitor

The K-r boasts outstanding performance and versatility, almost the equivalent of more advanced digital SLR cameras, while allowing the photographer to easily deal with different photographic requirements. Its dual-power-source design offers a choice between the standard rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a set of AA-size batteries.

It is also compatible with the IrSimple? high-speed infrared data transmission system for wireless data transfer to IrSimple-compatible devices, and for swift image data exchange.

What are its key functions?

1. High-quality, true-to-life image reproduction: The K-r incorporates a new-generation CMOS image sensor with approximately 12.4 effective megapixels. It also features the high-performance PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II imaging engine to ensure accurate and high-speed data processing equal to that of upper-level models

2. Compact, lightweight body: Despite the incorporation of the large 23.6mm x 15.8mm image sensor, the K-r sports a compact, lightweight body, thanks to a trim, stainless-steel chassis, a downsized in-body shake reduction mechanism, and state-of-the-art, high-density packaging technologies that ensure space-efficient positioning and layout of the camera components

3. High-speed continuous shooting at approximately six images per second: The shooting mode records as many as 25 images (in JPEG recording format) in a single sequence at a maximum speed of approximately six images per second ? the fastest of all entry-class models

4. High-precision AF system: The K-r?s high-precision, wide-frame SAFOX IX autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) for pin sharp focusing. Spot beam is also available for difficult lighting situations.

5. Bright, clear optical viewfinder: Thanks to the combination of PENTAX-original finder optics and the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen, the K-r?s viewfinder offers a bright, clear subject image at 0.85X magnification and a 96% field of view

6. Large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch LCD monitor with wide-view design and approximately 921,000 dots: High-resolution colour LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots. Its wide-view design assures a clear view of the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically

7. Versatile dual-power-source design: Powered by a standard rechargeable lithium-ion battery or four AA-size batteries using optional AA Battery Holder D-BH109

8. PENTAX-original SR mechanism for sharp, blur-free images: Features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, producing sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions prone to camera shake; compatible with the full range of Pentax lenses

9. Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions: Custom image function for distinctive finishing touches/ Versatile digital filter function/ Cross process mode with three options/ Upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function

10. High-speed infrared data transmission system: The first PENTAX digital SLR camera equipped with the IrSimple? high-speed infrared data transmission system

11. High-quality, HDTV-proportion movie recording at 1280 x 720 pixels and at 25 frames per second: True-to-life movie clips in 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second

In addition it has…

? DR (Dust Removal) mechanism, to shake dust off the CMOS image sensor

? User-friendly layout of essential control buttons and levers, all positioned on the camera?s grip side for quick, effortless access by the photographer

? Auto Picture mode, for effortless, automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting

? Eleven scene modes, including a new Night Scene HDR mode

? Versatile white balance control, featuring a new CTE mode designed to emphasise the dominant colour components of the captured images

? Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA-,DFA- and FA Limited-series lenses)

? PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with RAW-data processing and browser applications

The PENTAX K-r will be available from October 2010

Recommended Retail Price:

? K-r + 18-55mm DAL – £599.99

? K-r + 18-55mm DAL + 50-200mm DAL – £699.99

Read all our Pentax stories here.