Pentax has announced the launch of a new Digital SLR camera called the K100D that looks to replace it *ist range.

The new model will offer 6.1 megapixels with a host of advanced technologies including a Shake Reduction (SR) system to deliver high-quality digital SLR photography and user-friendly operation to all levels of photographers.

The SR mechanism is designed to minimize camera shake by oscillating the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the speed of oscillation in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by a built-in sensor. As a result, the system does not require special anti-shake lenses and can be used with almost all existing PENTAX interchangeable lenses.

Also announced today is the PENTAX K110D, an entry-level digital SLR camera, which has all of the features of the K100D with the exception of Shake Reduction. Both models reflect a new digital SLR naming system that references the reverse compatibility that each body has with the legacy of PENTAX K-mount lenses.

The PENTAX K100D will ship along with the smc 18-55mm lens in July 2006 for $699.95 in the US, while the PENTAX K110D will ship along with the smc 18-55mm lens in August 2006 for $599.95.

Pentax in the UK has confirmed that the two cameras will be coming to the UK, however has yet to set a price or launch date.

We will keep you posted.

The feature list for the KD100 includes the following

- 11-point wide-frame AF
- ISO up to equivalent ISO of 3200
- 2.5-inch colour LCD
- Top shutter speed of 1/4000 second
- 19 custom functions to personalize camera operations
- SD memory card compatibility
- Eight distinctive Scene modes to accommodate specific subjects/applications
- Choice of two depth-of-field preview functions (digital/optical)
- Choice of 16-segment multi-pattern metering, center-weighted metering and spot metering to accommodate various photographic applications
- Noise reduction mechanism to reduce digital noise during extended exposures
- Dual power source (two CR-V3 lithium batteries, or four AA-size batteries)
- USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED) compatibility for speedy data transfer to PC
- Choice of image format between JPEG (Best, Better or Good) and RAW
- Five digital filters (Black-and-white, Sepia, Slim, Soft and Brightness) for easy editing of recorded images
- PictBridge compatibility