Pentax have released information on a very interesting new 10MP DSLR, the Pentax K10D. Here are some of the major features.
This is clearly a direct competitor for the Sony A100 (same price, similar features) and will give the Canon Rebel XTi, Nikon D80 and even the Canon EOS 30D stiff competition. The world of sub-$1000 DSLRs is clearly hotting up, which is great for consumers and will no doubt drive prices further down and increase features. The only problems will be which one to pick!
Canon's EOS 30D is still a great camera, but the 8MP sensor is starting to look a little small and Canon must be working on increasing the pixel count to at least 10MP soon. There have been rumors of a 40D (essentially a 30D with a 10+MP sensor and dust resistant sensor), but the 30D has only been around for 6 months and whether a 40D will appear sooner (this year) or later (PMA 2007) is anyone's guess, but I think there's no doubt that there will be such a camera at or before the PMA show in February 2007.
One nice feature of the Pentax K10D is the ability to use almost any lens Pentax has ever made from early screw mount lenses to K-series manual focus lenses to medium format lenses, though some do need an adapter.
The full specs can be found on the Pentax K10D Specifications page.
Here's a copy of the Pentax Press Release
PENTAX ANNOUNCES K10D DIGITAL SLR WITH TEN MEGAPIXELS, SHAKE REDUCTION AND
GOLDEN, CO. (September 13, 2006) PENTAX Imaging Company announced today the PENTAX K10D digital SLR camera with 10.2 effective megapixels and a host of advanced technologies including a PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system and a weather- resistant body.
Designed to deliver high-quality digital images and responsive operation for advanced photo enthusiasts, the K10D features an array of PENTAX innovations in image capture and camera functionality.
The most significant features in the K10D include:
A PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system that effectively offers a 2.5 to 4 stop advantage for sharp, blur-free images even under difficult shooting conditions, such as macro and telephoto photography or low light settings without a flash. 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 built-in sensors. As a result, the system does not require special anti-shake lenses and can be used with more than 24 million PENTAX lenses produced since 1964.*
*Lenses compatible with this mechanism are the PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and
KAF2-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses
(with an adapter). Some functions may not be applicable with certain lenses.
A newly-developed Pentax Real IMage Engine (PRIME) designed exclusively for PENTAX digital SLR cameras to produce well-balanced, true-to-life images. In order to meet the performance requirement in handling 10 megapixel data, PENTAX also incorporated a new high performance 22 bit A/D converter to quickly transfer images with accurate color tones and richer gradation from the CCD to the imaging engine.
A new Dust Removal (DR) system incorporating PENTAX-original Special Protect (SP) coating to help keep the CCD surface dust-free, and a shift mechanism to shake dust off the CCD.
A dependable dust-proof, weather-resistant body construction featuring 72 seals throughout the camera to allow photographers to continue shooting even in dusty or rainy environments.
"Advanced photographers will not find another 10 megapixel digital SLR that offers
features such as a weather-resistant body, shake reduction, and great ergonomics, at any
price, " said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company. "With
the K10D introduction, PENTAX is now able to offer digital SLRs for two important users -
the first time SLR customer who can buy the K100D and now the K10D for the more advanced
PENTAX also announced the smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited lens, designed for exclusive
use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras and featuring an ultra-thin pancake design and
uni-focal, medium-telephoto optics. With a medium-telephoto perspective, this new lens is
ideal for many applications including portraiture and landscape. The high-performance
optics ensure outstanding image quality, and provide distinctive visual expression.
Materials used for this lens are selected for optimum holding comfort and operability, and
the new lens is designed to be extremely thin and lightweight, for go-anywhere portability
for casual, day-to-day snapshot photography. Click here to jump to the DA 70mm Fact Sheet
The K10D body will ship by November 2006 for $899.95 (body only), and as a kit with the DA 18-55mm lens for $999.95. The D-BG2 Battery Grip will ship at the same time for less than US $190.00. The PENTAX DA 70mm lens will ship in October 2006 for less US $600.00. or $999.95 with 18-55mm lens