Pentax has today announced the 10-megapixel K10D, the company's first digital SLR aimed at advanced amateur and aspiring pro photographers. Based on Pentax's promotional materials for the camera, it appears to offer a wide range of advanced features in a relatively well-built, weather-sealed body for a remarkably low price –– US$899.95 for the body only in the U.S. Notable features include:
- a 10.04 million image pixel APS-C format CCD (with a 1.5X angle of view equivalence factor)
- in-body vibration reduction that offers a Pentax-specified 2.5 to 4 stops improvement in handholdable shutter speeds and which will work with all current and past Pentax lenses that can be mounted to the camera (lenses from as far back as the 1970s work without an adapter)
- a weather-resistant body (72 separate seals) with a stainless-steel chassis and a shutter rated for 100,000 cycles
- a glass pentaprism viewfinder with .95X magnification and 96% frame coverage
- an 11-point autofocus system; 9 of the focus points are cross-type sensors
- a dust-reduction scheme that comprises an anti-dust sensor coating as well as the ability to shake the sensor to dislodge dust
- 3 frames-per-second continuous shooting with no buffer stall to the limit of your card capacity (the K10D uses SD cards) when shooting JPEGs, and a 12-image buffer when shooting RAW
- compatibility with "super-sonic" motor-driven lenses that are currently under development, according to Pentax
- a weather-resistant vertical grip will also be available
In addition to being available as a body-only, the camera will be sold in the U.S. in a kit with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DA lens for US$999.95. Pentax says the camera will ship "by November" of this year.
Pentax also announced a new 70mm f/2.4 DA Limited "pancake" lens that is just over an inch long and weighs only 4.6 ounces. It will be available in October, 2006 for "less than US$600", Pentax says.
More detailed previews are available at Imaging Resource and Digital Photography Review.