Pentax brand owner Ricoh has revamped the K-3 to announce the Pentax K-3 II, a new K-series flagship DSLR with several features designed to boost image quality, plus built-in GPS, but no flash.
Features include a 24.35-million-pixel imaging sensor, a 27-point AF system, top ISO of 51,200 and continuous shooting at 8.3 frames per second, according to Ricoh.
However, the K-3 II also boasts improved AF and better image stabilisation.
In a statement released tonight, Ricoh added: ‘The Pentax K-3 II delivers exceptionally high-resolution images supported by state-of-the-art technologies including an enhanced shake reduction system — the most highly effective in the K series — and a newly developed super-resolution technology: the Pixel Shift Resolution System.’
Ricoh explained that its Pixel Shift Resolution System captures four images of the same scene by shifting the imaging sensor by a single pixel for each image – before combining them into a single composite image.
Essentially, this gives full colour information for each pixel, similar to technology used by Hasselblad and Olympus.
In practical terms, this would apply only to static images and requires the camera to be mounted on a tripod.
Ricoh claims: ‘This innovative system delivers super-high-resolution images with far more truthful colour reproduction and much finer detail, while significantly lowering the level of high-sensitivity noise.’
The K-3 II will cost £769.99 (body only) and is due out on 22 May.
Key differences of the K-3 II over the K-3, according to Ricoh:
・The addition of the Pixel Shift Resolution System, a new feature created by utilising the SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism
・Upgraded SR mechanism performance, for effective camera shake compensation of up to 4.5 shutter steps
・The incorporation of a GPS module and an electronic compass to log GPS data and use the ASTROTRACER function without the need for an additional GPS unit
・Faster, more responsive phase-matching AF system, supported by the optimized algorithm
・The addition of diffraction compensation to the list of compensation parameters
・The removal of a built-in flash unit
At the time, the K-3 was a bid to pull photographers away from the two biggest-selling DSLR brands, Canon and Nikon.
RICOH IMAGING EUROPE S.A.S is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX K-3 II digital SLR camera. Following in the footsteps of the award winning PENTAX K-3, this new flagship model of the PENTAX K-series promises the highest image quality for DSLR photographers. Designed to be compact and manoeuvrable, this camera offers easy operation and a swift response in the field – meaning you’ll never miss that shot again!
The PENTAX K-3 II delivers exceptionally high-resolution images supported by state-of-the-art technologies including an enhanced shake reduction system — the most highly effective in the K series — and a newly developed super-resolution technology; the Pixel Shift Resolution System.
The K-3 II also features: an APS-C-size CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.35 effective megapixels; an AA-filter-free design for high-resolution image reproduction; a high-performance 27-point AF system; high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 8.3 images per second; and a dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction ideal for capturing shots outdoors.
If that wasn’t enough it even incorporates a GPS module to perform various GPS functions, including accurate recording of shooting locations and simplified, high-precision tracking of celestial bodies, to eliminate the need for an optional GPS unit.
When combined, these outstanding features allow K-3 II users to enjoy advanced, multi-featured photo shooting with a wider variety of scenes and subjects than ever before!
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY:
K-3 II Body only £769.99 K-3 II + 18-55mm WR £849.99
K-3 II + 18-55mm WR & 50-200mm £999.99 K-3II + 18-135mm WR £1,069.99 K-3II + 16-85mm WR £1,149.99 NEW
Available: 22 May 2015
1. High-resolution images
The K-3 II combines an APS-C-size CMOS image sensor free of an anti-aliasing filter with a high-performance PRIME III imaging engine — identical to that in the PENTAX 645Z medium-format digital SLR camera — to optimise the imaging power of approximately 24.35 effective megapixels and deliver sharp, fine-gradation images. It also effectively minimises annoying noise generated at higher sensitivities, allowing high-grade, high-sensitivity shooting even at the top sensitivity of ISO 51200.
2. New-generation PENTAX-original shake reduction mechanism
(1) Upgraded in-body SR mechanism to assure the best shake reduction performance in the K series
The K-3 II comes equipped with a PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism that can be used with any compatible PENTAX interchangeable lens.* Thanks to its new, high-precision gyro sensor, this mechanism assures more stable, effective camera-shake compensation than ever before, with an extra-wide compensation range of as much as 4.5 shutter steps — the widest of all K-series digital SLR models. Even when taking a panning shot, this efficiently controls the SR unit to always produce the best image possible under the given conditions.
(2) New Pixel Shift Resolution System to deliver image resolution higher than the image sensor’s capacity
The K-3 II features Pixel Shift Resolution System,** the latest super-resolution technology, which captures four images of the same scene by shifting the image sensor by a single pixel for each image, then synthesizes them into a single composite image. Compared to the conventional Bayer system, in which each pixel has only a single unit of colour data, this new system obtains all colour data in each pixel. This innovative system delivers super-high-resolution images with far more truthful colour reproduction and much finer detail, while significantly lowering the level of high-sensitivity noise. Recorded images can also be synthesized, either on a computer using the accompanying utility software, or with the camera’s built-in RAW-data development function.
(3) Innovative AA filter simulator to minimise moiré
By applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the sub-pixel level during image exposure, the K-3 II’s AA (anti-aliasing) filter simulator*** provides the same level of moiré reduction as an optical AA filter. Unlike an optical filter, which always creates an identical result, this innovative simulator lets the user not only switch the anti-aliasing filter effect on and off, but also to adjust the level of the effect. This means that the ideal effect can be set for a particular scene or subject.
(4) Supportive shooting functions
The K-3 II’s SR unit has a flexible design that tilts the image sensor unit in all directions. This means the K-3 II can provide a host of handy shooting functions, including auto level compensation; image-composition fine-adjustment; and ASTRO TRACER, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography.
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism: K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions are not available with certain lenses.
** When using this system, the user is advised to stabilise the camera firmly on a tripod. When a moving subject is captured in the camera’s image field, its image may not be reproduced clearly, either in part or as a whole.
*** This function works most effectively with a shutter speed of 1/1000 second or slower. This function may not be combined with some shooting modes, including the Pixel Shift Resolution system.
3. High-precision, SAFOX 11 sensor module with 27-point AF system
The K-3 II features the sophisticated SAFOX 11 AF sensor module with an expanded image-field coverage using 27 AF sensors (25 cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). The centre sensor and the two sensors just above and below it are designed to detect the light flux of an F2.8 lens, making it easy to obtain pinpoint focus on a subject when using a large-aperture lens. Thanks to the combination of a state-of-the-art AF algorithm and the advanced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, this AF system assures a much improved AF tracking performance in the AF Continuous mode, while providing an extra-wide measurable luminance range (–3EV to +18EV).
4. High-precision exposure control with PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System
The K-3 II is equipped with the advanced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, which is supported by an approximately 86,000-pixel RGB metering sensor. This system is designed to optimise the camera’s overall performance, not only by controlling exposure with great accuracy, but also by utilising the data obtained by the light-metering sensor to further enhance the accuracy of autofocusing and white-balance adjustment. It has also expanded the measurable luminance level to as low as –3EV. By detecting the type of scene or subject using the RGB metering sensor, the K-3 II selects the exposure settings that are more consistent with the photographer’s creative intentions.
5. High-speed continuous shooting with a top speed of approximately 8.3 images per second
The K-3 II continuously records as many as 23 images in the RAW format, or 60 images in the JPEG format,**** in a single sequence. This has been made possible through the use of several innovative developments, including: a high-speed, highly accurate control mechanism that regulates the shutter, mirror and diaphragm independently; a damper mechanism that effectively minimises mirror shock; and a high-speed data transmission system incorporated in the PRIME III imaging engine.
**** JPEG recorded pixels: L, JPEG image quality: Best
6. Optical viewfinder with nearly 100-percent field of view
The K-3 II’s glass prism has been treated with a coating that is designed to improve reflectance for a much brighter viewfinder image. With a magnification of approximately 0.95 times, its viewfinder provides a broad, bright image field for easy focusing and framing.
7. Full HD movie recording with an array of creative tools
The K-3 II captures Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/30p frame rate) in the H.264 recording format. It also comes equipped with a stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection and a headphone terminal. The user can even adjust the audio recording level manually and monitor sound pressure levels during recording. In addition to a host of distinctive visual effects available for movie recording,***** the K-3 II also provides the interval movie mode, which captures a series of 4K-resolution movie clips at a fixed interval.
***** When special image processing is required, the frame rate may vary depending on the selected special-effect mode.
8. Built-in GPS module
Thanks to its built-in GPS module, the K-3 II provides a variety of advanced GPS functions, including the recording of location, latitude, longitude, altitude and UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) and direction at the time of shooting. The user can easily access images containing GPS data using a computer, to browse them, check on shooting locations and position data on the screen, or save them.
The user can also take advantage of unique tools, including: GPS log, which keeps track of the photographer’s movement; Electronic Compass, which displays the camera’s direction on the camera’s LCD monitor; and ASTROTRACER, which simplifies the tracing and photographing of celestial bodies by coupling GPS data with the camera’s SR mechanism.
9. Large, easy-to-view 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots
On its back panel, the K-3 II features a 3.2-inch high-resolution LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots and a 3:2 aspect ratio. In addition to its wide-view design, this monitor also has a protective tempered-glass front panel for added durability, and a unique air-gapless construction in which the air space between LCD layers is eliminated to effectively reduce the reflection and dispersion of light for improved visibility during outdoor shooting.
10. Compact, solid body with dustproof, weather-resistant construction
The K-3 II’s exterior casing, consisting of top and bottom panels and front and back frames, is made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy. Thanks to the inclusion of 92 sealing parts in the body, it boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, ensuring solid operation at temperatures as low as –10°C. It also features a dependable, durable shutter unit that withstands 200,000 shutter releases. Despite all these features, the K-3 II has been designed to be compact and manoeuvrable, assuring remarkable operability and swift response in the field.
11. Other features
・Dual SD card slots for memory card flexibility (compatible with SDXC UHS-1 speed class in SDR104 buss speed mode)
・Smartphone-support functions using the optional FLUCARD FOR PENTAX 16GB
・Top-grade DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism for effective elimination of dust on the image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
・HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode with RAW-format data filing
・PENTAX-invented hyper control system for quick, accurate response to the photographer’s creative intentions
・Model dial with a choice of lock mechanism engagement (ON or OFF)
・Compensation of various parameters: lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, diffraction, brightness level at image-field edges, and fringe effect (available in RAW-format processing only)
・The latest version of Digital Camera Utility 5 software is included