Pentax K-3 III Monochrome Announced
Ricoh announces PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome digital SLR camera
By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Apr 13, 2023
Ricoh announced the Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome digital SLR camera on April 12, 2023. The monochrome version of the K-3 III lacks the Bayer color filter and therefore captures images in monochrome only. Doing away with the color filter increases the sensitivity of the sensor by one stop (lowest ISO setting is thus ISO 200) and results in a finer tonal gradation and sharper images than what one would get by converting a color image from the standard version of the K-3 III to monochrome.
In the US, pre-orders are being accepted at B&H Photo, Adorama, and directly from Ricoh. Sources indicate that the first production run of this camera has already sold out. However, it is not a limited edition model, so pre-orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first served basis.
The camera features three custom image modes supporting black-and-white photography: In addition to Standard mode, it offers Hard mode to produce high-contrast images and Soft mode to create high-key, low-contrast images. Each mode allows minute adjustment of parameters such as tone, key, contrast and sharpness so that users can personalize their images with the desired finishing touch.
Since setting the white balance is not needed, the white balance button has been replaced with a function button. The LCD backlight is white rather than yellowish in line with the monochrome themed lettering on the camera and controls.
It is refreshing to see Pentax do something different with this bold move into monochrome photography where their new camera will be the only new monochrome DSLR on the market. A detailed feature list can be found in our camera database entry.
Discuss this new camera in our new dedicated K-3 Mark III Monochrome forum.
The Pentax K-3 III Monochrome will become available toward the end of April at a list price of US $2199.
The full press release form Ricoh is found below.
DSLR with exclusively-designed image sensor delivers the ultimate in black-and-white photography.
PARSIPPANY, N.J., April 12, 2023 -- Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome camera, exclusively designed to capture black-and-white images. The only monochrome-specific digital SLR camera currently on the market, it captures high-resolution images rich in gradation, enabling users to express a distinct view of the color-rich world in high-quality black-and-white images.
"The concept of a monochrome-specific digital SLR camera attracted a great deal of attention and interest from photographers who participated in an online fan event held in November 2021," said Ken Curry, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas. "PENTAX has since conducted extensive research on the development of a commercial product based on this concept and we're excited to announce it today."
The new model's design is based on the PENTAX K-3 Mark III — the flagship model of PENTAX's APS-C-format series that integrates remarkable imaging performance and a host of advanced features in a compact, durable body — while totally redesigning and optimizing the imaging characteristics by adding a new, monochrome-specific image sensor with approximately 25.73 effective megapixels. A typical color image sensor composes a black-and-white image by converting the color data to monochrome. This new custom sensor does not have to convert the any data because it can reflect the brightness obtained by each pixel in the image, thus producing extra-fine sharpness in images that only the monochrome-specific sensor can deliver.
The PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome features three Custom Image modes exclusively designed for black-and-white photography to provide distinctive finishing touches. In addition to Standard mode, it offers Hard mode to produce high-contrast images and Soft mode to create high-key, low-contrast images. Each mode allows minute adjustment of parameters such as tone, key, contrast and sharpness so that users can personalize their images with the desired finishing touch.
The exterior design of the camera has also been customized to reflect its monochrome capabilities. Design features include white backlight illumination on the LCD data panel, "Monochrome" lettering printed on the upper-left shoulder of the back panel, a menu screen featuring a black-and-white visual scheme as default, and icons printed on buttons and switches across the camera's exterior finished in three shades of gray.
The PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome camera body will be available late April at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets for the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $2,199.95.
| Main features of the PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome |
Monochrome-specific CMOS image sensor
To optimize the quality of monochromatic images, the camera incorporates a monochrome-specific, APS-C-format CMOS image sensor free of an AA (anti-aliasing) filter with approximately 25.73 effective megapixels. Typical color image sensors are designed to receive light passing through red (R), green (G) and blue (B) color filters, so each pixel detects only one color-data component. To compose a monochrome image, color sensors must convert color data into monochromatic data by interpolating the color data they collect. The new monochrome-specific image sensor, however, can faithfully reflect the brightness data obtained by each pixel in the image — without the interpolation process — to produce extra-fine monochromatic expression, in images high in resolution and rich in gradation.
Image quality exclusively designed for monochrome photography
The image quality produced by the original PENTAX K-3 Mark III was thoroughly re-evaluated and totally redesigned to optimize the imaging characteristics of the new monochrome-specific image sensor. The result is highly sensitive expression with a natural bokeh (defocus) effect, rich gradation and extra-fine sharpness — an image only the monochrome-specific image sensor can deliver.
A selection of monochrome-specific finishing touches
The PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome provides three Custom Image modes exclusively designed for monochrome photography to provide distinctive finishing touches. In addition to Standard mode, it also provides Hard mode to produce high-contrast images, and Soft mode to create high-key, low-contrast images. Each mode provides minute adjustment of parameters such as tone, key, contrast and sharpness. This allows the photographer to personalize their images with the desired finishing touch.
Exterior design reflecting the monochrome photography concept
The PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome provides white backlight illumination on the LCD data panel positioned on its upper panel, while featuring "Monochrome" lettering printed on the upper-left shoulder of the back panel. Its menu screen features a black-and-white visual scheme as default, while the SR (Shake Reduction) badge is finished in silver. The icons printed on buttons and switches across the camera's exterior are finished in three shades of gray to assist the users with their camera operation. All in all, the concept of monochrome photography is evident throughout the camera body.
Note: Since the PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome is solely designed for black-and-white photography, some of its features and functions may differ from those of the PENTAX K-3 Mark III. Refer to the specification table for other original features and functions.
| About Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation |
Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd., a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Company Ltd. Is part of Ricoh Group, which operates in about 200 countries and regions.
The company operating now as Ricoh Company Ltd. was originally founded in 1919, under the name Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. and launched its first SLR camera in the 1950s under the PENTAX name. Today, the company continues to produce the heritage-rich, award-winning line of PENTAX DSLR cameras, lenses and sport optics equipment as well as Ricoh's offering of stylish and compact digital cameras, known for their wide-ranging, rich set of features.
For further information, please visit www.us.ricoh-imaging.com
© 2023 Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. All rights reserved. All referenced product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.
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