Pentax K-5 DSLR camera now official

Pentax has officially confirmed the launch of the Pentax K-5 at Photokina in Germany on Monday.

The new interchangeable lens digital SLR camera will cost £1199.99 and come with an 18-55mm WR kit lens.

"Encased in a compact but solid, functional body, this new model comes equipped with a host of advanced photographic tools for the easy creation of great pictures, while delivering high standards of image quality, data processing speed and operability," say Pentax.

The new K-5 uses the PENTAX K-7 as the base before adding a few tricks of its own.

That means it comes with a new high-speed, low-noise CMOS 16.28 effective megapixels image sensor with the company's PRIME II imaging engine.

It also offers an extra-wide sensitivity range between ISO 80 and ISO 51200 (when expanded via a custom function) and full HD-proportion movie recording at 1920 x 1080 pixels to expand the boundaries of high-quality visual presentation.

Adding other improvements and refinements — such as a faster autofocusing speed, an upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function now usable in handheld shooting, Pentax claim this is a "better camera" all-round.

The K-5 will be available from mid-late October 2010.

Pentax stat that it's key features are:

1. High-resolution, low-noise, true-to-life image reproduction

The K-5 incorporates a newly designed CMOS image sensor with a wide image-sensitive area measuring 23.7mm by 15.7mm. It assures high-speed image data readout much faster than that of previous sensors. By coupling this image sensor — equivalent in performance and data processing speed to the image sensor incorporated in the PENTAX 645D medium-format digital camera — with the reliable PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II imaging engine, the K-5 produces super-high-resolution, rich-gradation digital images with 16.28 effective megapixels, while suppressing annoying digital noise to a minimum.

2. High-speed continuous shooting at approximately seven images per second

The K-5’s high-speed continuous shooting mode records as many as 22 images in a single sequence at a maximum speed of seven images per second.

3. Responsive, high-precision AF system

The K-5 features a new-generation, wide-frame SAFOX IX+ autofocus system with 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). This sophisticated AF system has completely redesigned optics, and factors the light source at the time of shooting into its calculations to improve the accuracy of autofocus operation. It also offers a choice of shutter-release options — between focus priority and release priority in the AF.S (single) advance mode, or between focus priority and speed priority in the AF.C (continuous) advance mode. The K-5 is also equipped with a spotbeam projector to assist the AF system in poorly lit locations.

4. Compact, solid, functional camera body

Despite its compact dimensions, the K-5 is built to be exceptionally solid and durable, with a body of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy, and a chassis of high-rigid stainless steel. Thanks to the inclusion of 77 special seals in the body, it also boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, assuring reliable operation even under harsh environment and at temperatures as low as -10°C. It also features a reliable shutter unit that provides a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and  tested to 100,000 shutter releases.

5. Bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view

The K-5 features a pentaprism finder with a nearly 100% field of view and at 0.92-times magnification (with a 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity) to provide a better view of the image field and improve the accuracy and speed of focusing and image composition. It also comes with the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen to assist the photographer with manual-focus operation.

6. Effortless Live View shooting

Thanks to a new image sensor and a more sophisticated algorithm, the K-5’s Contrast AF mode assures better performance and greater focusing speed than before during Live View shooting.   With the addition of a Golden Section display, the K-5 offers a choice of three different grid patterns to facilitate image composition.

7. PENTAX-original SR mechanism with user-assisting options

The K-5 features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates the adverse effect of camera shake by 2.5 to 4 shutter steps, to produce sharp, blur-free images.

8. Recording of Full HD-proportion movies (1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 frames per second)

The K-5 captures beautiful, true-to-life movie clips in 16:9 full HD proportions (1920 x 1080 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second. The K-5 also provides greater possibilities in visual presentation in movies, especially through the application of custom images and digital filters.

9. Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions

Custom image function for distinctive finishing touches: letting users easily select the desired finishing touch for a particular image.

Versatile digital filter function: The K-5’s digital filter function allows the user to process recorded images in a variety of creative ways and produce highly individualized visual expressions without requiring a computer.

Cross process mode with three options: The K-5 features the unique cross process mode, in which the camera automatically shifts photographic parameters for each exposure to create eye-catching images with unique, dramatic colours.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) function: The K-5 features the HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures, without requiring a computer.

In addition it has…

Electronic level function, with a newly added tilt confirmation tool

Extended-exposure NR (Noise Reduction) function, with a choice of Auto, On and Off modes

High-sensitivity NR (Noise Reduction) function, with a camera-dependent Auto mode and a user-adjustable reduction level control for different sensitivity settings

RAW/Fx button, for single-action switching of image file format

Large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch wide-view colour LCD monitor with 921,000 dots

77-segment multi-pattern metering system for extra-accurate light measurement

DR II (Dust Removal II) mechanism

Long battery life, for recording of 1,100 images with full recharge

User-friendly Hyper control system, to flexibly and accurately respond to the photographer’s creative intentions

Dynamic-range expansion function, to compensate for both whitewashed (overexposed) and black-out (underexposed) areas

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

CTE mode, to automatically adjust the white-balance level to emphasize primary colours of sunset scenes

Attachment of copyright credits on recorded images

D-BG4 Battery Grip (optional) for extra power supply with an exclusive rechargeable lithium-ion battery or six AA-size batteries

Colour-specific control buttons/dials for easy recognition and quick access, based on the universal colour design

PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package