Pentax has confirmed that it is launching a new mid-range DSLR camera to go up against the Nikon D5000 and Canon 500D.

The new model, called the Pentax K-7 will include several new user-friendly features, including video recording, high dynamic range (HDR), and automatic horizon correction, however cost more than both the cameras from Canon and Nikon in the UK.

The new camera will feature a 14.6-megapixel sensor, ISO 100 to ISO 6400 settings and the company's PRIME II imaging engine, an upgrade of the original PRIME. Users will also get high-speed continuous shooting at approx 5.2 images per second.

Elsewhere users will get "Live View", video recording mode and the 77-segment multi-pattern metering system greatly improves light-metering accuracy.

By accurately analysing various types of data (such as the image’s composition and format between upright and horizontal, and the subject’s distance and magnification) transmitted from the sensors in the camera body Pentax says it has created a system that greatly improves the accuracy of exposure control.

On the video front you'll get 1280 x 720 pixels and 30fps movie recording at HD-television proportions although you will be able to record at 640 x 416 pixels, 1536 x 1024 pixels, or 1280 x 720 pixels at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The K-7 is also equipped with an HDMI terminal and an external microphone input terminal.

However, if you thought the Canon 500D was expensive, you'll struggle to find the K-7 appealing either. In the UK the body only will cost £1199.99, compared to a US price of $1299.95 a staggering £362 price difference.

The kit lens (18-55mm) offering will set you back £1229.99. Those looking to push the boat out even further can opt for a double kit lens 18-55mm + 50-200mm version at £1329.99.

The new model will be available at the end of June beginning of July.