The latest in Ricoh’s line of Pentax K-series DSLRs is to arrive in the form of the Pentax KP, it has been announced. Combining a new generation of APS-C-sized image sensor (effectively 24.32MP), the ability to shoot at high ISO sensitivities (up to 819,200) and a weatherproof design, Ricoh appears to be pitching the KP as a versatile tool for photographers working in challenging low-light and/or outdoor conditions.

On the inside, that 24.32-equivalent CMOS sensor is combined with an AA-filter-free optical design, intended to deliver clear and accurate reproductions of texture and gradation. An in-built five-axis shake reduction system hopes to minimise camera shake even during challenging situations – compensating not just for pitch and yaw, but horizontal and vertical shift (common in disciplines like macro photography) and roll. 27 AF points are paired with a new AF algorithm to maximise speed and accuracy, with customisable priority modes – users can pick from focus-priority, release-priority or advance-speed-priority, depending on the situation at hand.

There’s also Pentax’s Pixel-Shift resolution system – a super-resolution technique which involves taking four shots of the same scene, while shifting the image sensor by a single pixel each time, and combining them afterwards for finer detail and colour resolution.

One of the flagship features of the Pentax KP certainly looks to be that super-high ISO sensitivity. This is achieved by combining Ricoh’s PRIME IV imaging engine with a new accelerator unit for high-speed operation and noise-reduction. If it works as intended, Ricoh says that users will be able to reliably get usable shots of night scenes at very high sensitivities – even while just handholding the KP.

The KP body itself is built to be more compact and slim than other Pentax models, while still offering a good helping of durability – constructed out of a lightweight magnesium alloy, it features 67 seals across the body for dust- and weather-proofing down to a temperature of -10°C for outdoor work. On the rear sits a 3.0-inch vertical-tilt LCD monitor and near 100% FOV optical viewfinder.

In a rather pleasing move, carrying on the theme of practicality and customisation, the KP will also feature interchangeable handgrips as standard – reportedly, three different sizes will come with the camera, for the user to change, depending on the day’s requirements.

Other features include customisable controls, an electronic shutter capable of shooting at 1/24,000sec, continuous shooting at 7fps, and full HD video recording capabilities.

The Pentax KP is due to be available towards the end of February this year in black or silver, for £1,099 (body only).