Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR Officially Announced

The K-3 Mark III APS-C flagship comes with several new and advanced features

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Mar 31, 2021

Ricoh has on March 30, 2021 announced the Pentax K-3 Mark III APS-C digital SLR camera. This new APS-C Pentax flagship boasts a slew of new and advanced features not seen before in a Pentax DSLR, or in DSLRs of other brands for that matter. In the US, the camera can be preordered starting on April 6 and the list price at launch is US $1999.95.  European pricing is similar, at  €1999/£1899. The camera shoud begin shipping towards the end of April. 

Click image to enlarge

Two limited-edition kits, one black, one silver, will become available in addition the camera-only package. These kits are priced at US $2299.95, and will include a grip, a dedicated leather strap and a spare battery.

There's a lot that's new, so here's a cheat-sheet to some of the features:

  • 25 Megapixel BSI CMOS Sensor with High Data Readout
  • PENTAX SR (Shake Reduction System): 5.5 Stops on 5 Axis [ Dedicated SR Button: Auto, Panning, Off ]
  • ISO: 100 to 1,600,000
  • SAFOX 13: 101 Auto Focus Points with 25 Cross Type and improved AF-C subject tracking
  • Flash X Sync Speed 1/200 sec
  • Viewfinder Magnification 1.05x with improved Diopter Adjustment (-4.0m to +1.0m)
  • Accelerator Unit II with increased Signal-to-Noise Ratio
  • Touchscreen LCD with af, af + select, af + select + shoot
  • 12 Frames Per Second Continuous Shooting
  • Dual SD Card Slots with (Slot 1 with UHS-2 Compatibility)
  • 800-Shot Battery Life (According to CIPA Standards)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Ricoh have provided a nice description of the key features, and the spec sheet can be found in our forum and discussed here.  We have also updated our camera database and camera comparison page with the full K-3 III specifications.  Stay tuned for US pre-order links!

Theta Z1 51GB Announced

Theta Z1 upgraded to 51GB internal memory

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Mar 28, 2021

On March 25, 2021 RICOH announced an upgrade to their top of the line 360 degree camera, the Theta Z1, now available with an internal storage of 51GB. Like the previous (19GB) model the new model features a resolution of 23 MP (3360 x 6720 pixels). The spherical image is captured by two lenses and two 20MP back-lit one-inch sensors.

Select key features of the Z1 (both models):

  • 23MP spherical photos with one press of the shutter button
  • RAW support (Adobe DNG)
  • 360-degree photos can be posted directly to Facebook and other social media or shared elsewhere via the theta360.com web site
  • 4K spherical video with tree-axis image stabilization
  • 4-channel microphone
  • The camera can be operated remotely with a smart phone

A comprehensive list of specifications can be found in our database here.

Coming in 2021: HD Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW Lens

A modernized version of the popular premium zoom

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 26, 2021

Leading up to CP+ 2021, an upgraded version of the DA* 16-50mm zoom was just announced. Like its predecessor, this new version is designed for the APS-C format, but features a pulse motor (PLM) for high-speed AF operation in still-image shooting and smooth AF tracking operation during movie recording. The aperture control is electronic meaning that this new lens has a KAF4 mount without mechanical coupling to the camera. The lens coating has been upgraded to HD, and we expect the optics to be all-new.

Press Release

2021.02.25

HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW (tentative name), high-performance Star-series lens for PENTAX APS-C-format digital SLR cameras

RICOH COMPANY, LTD. and RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. are pleased to announce the development of the new-generation high-performance Star-series lens, the "HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW (tentative name)" designed exclusively for APS-C size digital SLR cameras.

This new lens is the latest model of PENTAX's new-generation Star series. In developing this series, PENTAX conducted an extensive review of its in-house standards, particularly in regard to resolving power, to pursue its ultimate goals: top-class image quality, large aperture, and exceptional dependability and operability. Currently in development, this lens is designed to deliver the highest level of performance, and to be regarded as the ideal standard zoom lens for the PENTAX K-3 Mark III, the new flagship of PENTAX's APS-C-format digital SLR lineup. PENTAX plans to make a public announcement of this product shortly. Please look forward to the announcement and market launch.

  • Product name: HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW (tentative name)
  • High-performance Star-series model providing excellent resolution even at open aperture
  • PENTAX K-mount covering the image circle of an APS-C-format image sensor
  • Large-aperture, standard-angle zoom lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8 (fixed) and an angle of view between 24.5mm and 76.5mm (in the 35mm format)
  • KAF4 lens mount corresponding to electromagnetic diaphragm-control mechanism
  • Pulse motor (PLM) for high-speed AF operation in still-image shooting, and smooth AF tracking operation during movie recording
  • AW (All-Weather) structure to prevent intrusion of dust and rain for use in demanding shooting conditions
  • Minimum shooting distance of 0.4 meters
  • Market launch: Scheduled for the 2021

Note: Model name, design, and specification and market launch schedules is all tentative and subject to change without notice. Price will be announced at later date.

HD Variants of FA 31mm, 43mm, and 77mm Limiteds Announced

Refreshed classics with rounded aperture blades and modern lens coatings

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 25, 2021

Today Ricoh Imaging officially announced an updated version of the iconic trio of Pentax FA Limied lenses.  The new HD Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited, HD Pentax-FA 43mm F1.8 Limited, and HD Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited have been upgraded with the modern HD coating, rounded aperture blades, and Super Protect coating for the front element.  This promises reduced aberrations, smoother bokeh, and added durability. 

Visit our in-depth review of the DA-series HD vs SMC Pentax Limiteds to get a sense of what to expect from these new lenses.  We will of course post in-depth reviews once they become available.

HD Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
$1049
HD Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 43mm Limited F1.9
$599
HD Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 77mm Limited F1.8
$799

Our lens database has been updated with data for these lenses.  Like their predecessors, all will be available in both black and silver. Physically, these lenses are also identical to their predecessors, with the exception of the engraving.  Therefore, they will not be gaining additional features such as weather sealing, as was previously rumored. 

Because they use screwdrive autofocus and have aperture rings, the new HD FA Limiteds will work with all Pentax DSLRs and film SLRs.

All three HD FA Limited lenses are already available for pre-order in the US, though a specific availability date has not been provided.  In terms of price, the HD version of the 31mm is $50 more expensive than the SMC version, but the price of the 43mm is unchanged, whereas the HD 77mm is $100 cheaper than the SMC 77mmTherefore, in the long term, we expect pricing for these lenses to be very similar to what we are accustomed to.

See also:

Pentax K-3 III Release Delayed Past CP+ 2021

Supply chain issues mean the camera can't be released on schedule

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 18, 2021

When Ricoh officially revealed the key specifications of the highly anticipated Pentax K-3 III flagship DSLR, it provided a tentative release date in late February 2021, coinciding with the virtual CP+ 2021 trade show.

Unfortunately, today Ricoh announced a delay to the camera's release because "product parts are delayed": likely a supply chain issue related to the pandemic.  Although a new release date estimate was not provided, the company promised an update in the near future.  This means that the wait for photographers who have been eagerly awaiting this camera isn't quite over yet.

Despite this delay, it appears that the design and specifications of the camera have been finalized.  We have previously gone hands-on with the K-3 III and can report that the latest iteration of the camera's firmware feels production-ready and is far more refined than earlier prototypes.  There will be a virtual touch-and-try event over Zoom (likely in Japanese only) for CP+ attendees interested in a personalized Q&A session about the camera.

In the meantime, don't miss the K-3 III's full specifications, as well as the teaser content released by Ricoh over the past several months.

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