Video broadcast introducing PENTAX products currently in development
PENTAX has broadcast a video to introduce a selection of the new products currently in development, which were originally scheduled to be showcased at the RICOH IMAGING booth at the now-cancelled CP+ 2020.
In this video, members of PENTAX’s Product Planning Department described a range of models now in development, including the next flagship model of the PENTAX APS-C-format digital SLR series and new interchangeable lenses. A great chance to witness the future of PENTAX!
Please note that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, PENTAX has decided to broadcast a pre-recorded web conference.
1. Flagship APS-C DSLR + New Battery Grip
PENTAX, in the video above, talked about the camera’s optical viewfinder, which is designed to be as good as a full-frame DSLR viewfinder, with a magnification of 1.05x giving a view as good as the K-1, and K-1 II. There is also an improved focus system, said to be as good as the K-1/K-1 II. There is an eye-sensor underneath the optical viewfinder, which will automatically dim the rear screen when the camera is held up to your eye. The viewfinder also protrudes further from the rear of the camera to help keep your nose away from the screen.
Speaking of technology, although Wakashiro did not elaborate on the exact specifications, he did state the the camera would bring enhanced burst shooting and tracking performance, and that users should have “high expectations”.
- Large 1.05x magnification optical viewfinder
- The camera design is said to follow the K-1 design style
- Improved AF performance, with improved AF tracking
- Improved drive control
- New battery grip shown
- Still planned for release by the end of 2020
The new camera will have an available battery grip, with the corresponding new control layout and a custom-tailored ergonomic design.
The camera is still scheduled for a 2020 launch, although Pentax admits that there are some coronavirus-related risk factors in the supply chain that could affect the timeline. However, all efforts will be made to stick to the 2020 launch.
2. HD PENTAX-D FA 21mm ED Limited (tentative name)
The new HD PENTAX-D FA 21mm Limited (tentative name) has a completely different design compared to the previous PENTAX-DA 21mm Limited lens, and the new lens is designed for use with both APS-C and Full-Frame cameras. Features a built-in DC motor and weather resistant (WR).
This will be the first Limited prime lens to include weather sealing as well as a silent DC motor. To see both of these features in a compact lens is no small feat!
The new 21mm Limited is slated for launch in 2021. We expect to see it late in the year, after the HD PENTAX-DA★ 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW.
3. HD PENTAX-DA★ 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW (tentative name)
HD PENTAX-DA★ 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW lens is designed for APS-C cameras, and is weather sealed (AW), and features a “pulse motor” (PLM) and a redesigned optical construction, to give quiet operation. The lens is due to be launched in the first half of 2021. The lens updates the current smc PENTAX-DA★ 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM lens, and is said to give improved image quality.
PENTAX also said that whilst their focus currently is on FF, high-quality lenses, which are quite large, they plan on working on lower cost, more compact lenses in the future.
4. HD PENTAX-D FA★ 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW
During today’s video, Iwasaki talked about just how much effort went into making sure that this lens delivered the absolute highest level of image quality so that it would enable consistent results not only with today’s DSLRs, but also with cameras of tomorrow. This design goal is similar to that of the HD PENTAX-D FA★ 50mm F1.4 SDM AW and HD PENTAX-D FA★ 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW new-generation star lenses.
Three super extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements are used to reduce purple fringing similar to what would be possible with fluorite. When combined with the rest of the new optical design, which makes the lens quite a bit larger than it film-era counterparts, the lens promises to deliver incredible sharpness, but without compromising on bokeh.
As the prototype appears to have been finalized, the coronavirus will not delay the launch of this lens, which remains scheduled for summer 2020. We were told to expect an official announcement very soon.