Pentax rumors: K-5 Silver, compact RZ-18 and mirrorless NC-1 cameras coming next

Similar to the Pentax k-7 Silver, there will be a new Pentax K-5 Silver DSLR that will be announced next month (February 2011).

In addition, there will be a new point and shoot camera Pentax RZ-18 with 3" swivel LCD, 14MP sensor, 18X optical zoom (28-504mm) and a price tag of $300. The camera is expected to be very small in size.

The mirrorless camera from Pentax will be called NC-1. Pentax is expected to release two different EVIL cameras and I am not sure which one will be announced first. The RZ-18 and the NC-1 may be announced at a later date (not together with the Pentax k-5 Silver).

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  • They better make a boatload of those silver K5’s ’cause I want one!

  • Skeptic

    I wonder if the mirrorless camera will come with free oil like the DSLR did?

  • What’s a Pentax?

    A day late and a dollar short, the story of Pentax since 1975. The K mount is a blatant copy of the original Nikon F mount.

    Pentax makes some interesting concepts but is painfully unable to bring them to market. What was the gestation period for the 645D, like six years?

    I’m quite happy shooting my Canon 5D MKII, with inexpensive adapters I can even shoot old Pentax and M42 lenses. The results are great! According to Pentax, full frame DSLRs cannot handle old lenses, …um OK. I haven’t had any problems with my camera either. I believe Nikon and Canon are both bringing out at least two full frame cameras each in 2011, same for Sony.

    What does Pentax offer? A medium format camera with one lens that is very scarce and priced out of the reach of many photographers. Two APS DSLRS that lack focus tracking and some point and shoots. Let’s not forget the slow zooms!

    It’s a shame about the quality control at Pentax. The sensor stains, focus issues, shutter blur, dusty lenses, etc. I’m sure Pentax will get things right someday. You at least have to give Pentax credit for trying.

    Victory in defeat?
    Perhaps that’s a stretch…

    • Alex

      Congratulations! You managed to be wrong on every paragraph 😉
      In the recent years, there were only 2 examples of products with a long gestation period: the 645D (which was postponed, then completely redesigned) and the 60-250 (redesigned). Post-Hoya Pentax already proved they can put the products on the market, in a timely fashion.
      Pentax never said that “full frame DSLRs cannot handle old lenses”. Of course you can use selected old lenses, with good results.
      The 645 lens system has way more than one lens: the “old” FAs are still being made/sold. At least in Japan they are readily available.

      And going back to your first paragraph, “A day late and a dollar short” – where is the Canon’s mirrorless? It’s launch on the market, the shelves full of such products – when did it happen? I completely missed that… Nikon’s as well.

      Canon fanboys. Why do they bother so much to show how “inferior” other systems are?

    • Well, no.

      “The K mount is a blatant copy of the original Nikon F mount.”
      Well, no. Both the original F mount and the K mount have their origin in the Rectaflex mount invented by Telemaco Corsi. Late 40’s, early 50’s.

    • MrRifleman

      i guess the comment about the 645D being too little too late and out of the reach of camera buyers is ignoring the fact that it competes with $20,000 cameras, sold so well that it’s been on backorder since it was introduced, made pentax lots of money, got glowing reviews from pretty much everyone that has used it, and it exists to satisfy those people that already have a boatload of film-era 645 lens. and i hear its pretty nice with 67 lenses on an adapter, too. i never understand how someone can say something so stupid about a company while they just had their best year since they went digital.

  • AS

    Maybe in your humble opinion “What’s a Pentax?”. I wonder if you 5D mark2 has “focus tracking” and by the way, when 5D mark 2 was announced a lot of samples had problems with dead pixels, banding and so on…

    It is pretty clear that you are a little jealous that you could not afford a 645D, I can understand that, but for your information, the camera is compatible with all the old 645 lenses ever made by Pentax (and it has a lot, are quite good and a hell lot cheaper than your FF lenses).

    Anyway, in 2-3 months I will buy a K5 and it will be more than enough for my needs.

    Best regards.

  • @

    I’m afraid I have to agree with “What’s a Pentax?”. I’m a Pentax user myself since a couple of years and to me it looks like Pentax ALMOST manages to release great products every time. K-7 was great in many ways, excluding the inferior Samsung sensor. K-5 is better or as good in every way, but the QC sucks big time. 645D could have taken the MF market but they seem to have dropped the ball again. What, nearly a year after the official announcement they still have ONE single lens. OK, older 645 lenses may work, but they lack for example weather resistance which is important by the brand’s outdoors brand image. And the SDM lenses, oh boy. An AF motor that breaks notoriously often and the company denies the problem completely.

    I will be using my Pentax gear for now, but if I was starting from scratch, I wouldn’t touch it with a stick. Sorry.

    • Alex

      No, the QC doesn’t “suxx”; it’s in line with the competition.
      Do you know even the mighty 1D/Ds MkIII had oil stains on the sensor? Or that the Nikon guru Thom Hogan got a defective D3x? There is no such thing as a perfect product/perfect production process/perfect whatever.
      My stained K-5 will be replaced with a brand new one. It’s an excellent camera (even if not perfect), and I wouldn’t exchange it for other imperfect products.
      My 60-250’s SDM motor works just fine. While I don’t believe a SDM micromotor should be put in such a marvellous lens (instead of a proper, ring-type motor), right now SDM failure rate is similar with the competition’s.

      Btw, the 645D already took over the MF market; almost one year after launch and Pentax still can’t make enough of them.

  • Raphael

    Pentax sells more 645D that they can make, so the camera is a hughe success despite lack of advertising and marketing. Still, it is a waiting list on the product. This shows that the 645D entered the market at the right time. It is the least expensive medium format DSLR with a professional specification and it is weather sealed too. Regarding lenses, half of the 645D sold are without lenses. This means that the buyers already have lenses (old 645 format lenses). But more 645 lenses will be released this year.

    K-5 does a fine job with AF tracking, as many birdshooters and sports photographers already have discovered.

    There are many SDM lenses out there that works. The whole thing is exagerrated over Internet. My SDM lens is 13 months old now and still functioning like brand new, and it is my most used lens. No problems with it whatsoever!

    I am not a believer in 24×35, not as long as top APS-C bodies like the K-5 offers so great image quality.

    As for QC, well Canon invented the back and front focus problem and even their most expensive camera (the EOS 1 DS) has had AF problems, their IS lenses needs servicing after a while because the floating lens elements loose their centering and so on and so on. Grass is not greener on the other side.

  • erh

    it’s not about Pentax’s bodies it’s about the lens.
    K-7 K-5 both are amazing but only limited lens available so far.

    • stanic

      well, those DA limiteds surely do a good job 🙂

    • elho_cid

      I do not understand this comment, sorry.
      Either you are complaining that you don’t have the limiteds, or you have the limiteds, but no spare money to buy other lenses. There is third option, quite ridiculous – perhaps you could refer to limited choice of lenses on the merket. But having unlimited number of lenses is impossible. Not to mention that there are more lenses available than anybody would want to carry when going out picturetaking.

  • Arno

    Don’t forget than Pentax have a new fast focus silent motor, the “DC” on the new 18-135, first tests looks good for the performances.

    I have a K-5, a had a D90 & a D40X in the past. The K-5 in a real pleasure to use and bring a outstanding image quality(80 iso mode is a gem). My favorite digital camera ever !
    And AF performances are better than my D90.

  • Catastrophile

    Pentax is the brand that listens most to its customers (at least among the traditional still camera makers), they maintain compatibility with their old lenses much more than Canon/Nikon/Olympus (not sure about Minolta/Sony), while in the same time try to add new features as soon as possible (shake reduction, live view, video, SDM …etc, video and main-sensor LV were added before Sony for example). In order to implement such new features it is often easier to have a new beginning (ie scrapping old features and compatibilities), but Pentax choose to do it the difficult way, they are the brand that is the least likely to make outlandish or controversial decisions about the design & features of their new products and because of this, something like SDM may initially not work as intended but eventually they will fix it. All this is coming from someone who has never owned anything Pentax but just give credit where it’s due.

  • NotBrandCommitedYet

    How do Nikon and Canon fanboys manage to be both so egotistical and insecure at the same time?


  • yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn

  • The NC-1 sounds cool.

  • Panfruit

    Pentax mirrorless: possibly the first enthusiant-level mirrorless yet? Should be interesting, anyways. 🙂 With the K-5 it seems they can certainly compete with IQ, so what the hell.

  • ~6~

    There are a lot of haters on Pentax in general out there. Forget them then, I love my Pentax gears, the weather seal is phenomenal, I’ve had the chance shooting in the heavy rain for about 3 hours this summer while traveling, my K-7(sold) and the DA* 16-50mm/2.8(sold), I sure didn’t see any Canon or Nikon users out there whatsoever. Yeah, there are people that complaint about the quality control, nothing is perfect out there, we are human, we make human errors; please don’t let RichHigh(pretty stupid man) put ideas and negativities in people’s head about Pentax DSLRs. Well, lets talk about DA* and SDM, I had the pleasure to own every single one of the DA* lenses since they came out, I’ve had not such problem with SDM whatsoever, I don’t believe thats luck, THAT IS QUALITY……
    I am proud owner of the K-5, it definitely puts some Canon and Nikon DSLRs to shame in certain perspective; I do work with a lot of cameras, D7000, 60D, D300s(owned before), D700(owned before), D7000 was having some issues when it first came out, I still encounter the AF problems, not as fast; 60D on the other hand, Canon definitely knock the ball out of the park with its WB, the color it’s produced is awful under the artificial lighting condition; I do enjoy the D300s(AF tracking performance), but the low light isn’t that great; D700 and K-5 are a toss up for me, I ended up keeping my K-5 to accompany with my newly purchased D3s(sickening low light performance and killer speed)… but I can not compare the K-5 and D3s, they are totally in different league.

  • Well I only own a Pentax 67… Part from that beast, I´ve never owned Pentax. BUT, as far as I can tell, they really are THE company for serious photographers. The last three or four releases have been perfect.. Now I´m only waiting for the digital Full Frame small body w large bright viewfinder -the digital Pentax MX. THen Im actually switching to Pentax.

  • For me, Pentax is great with handling and UI. The haptics is just wonderful. If you get a chance pick up any Pentax from the 645N, to the MZ-S to the K-5. I hate multi-mode buttons and menu systems. Pentax is really great with assigning different functions to different knobs.

    And, look into Pentax’s “Green Button”; it gives you a super-easy reset to neutral.

  • Ken

    The reason why I bought the K20D, was because it was the best bang for bucks compared to similar specked cameras. Subsequently v.pleased with the results. The buttons and menu system is more intuitive than Canons, similar to Nikon. I now own the K7, it was worth the upgrade. Highly impressed with the focussing screen. Very easy to manually focus especially on my very fast lenses and minimum depth of field. Cant wait to own the K5. It sounds perfect.

  • Mark

    Maybe Pentax is bringing out a mirrorless or maybe not. I’m not ruling out not buying one. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.

    • Alex

      Most likely I won’t; I’ll stick with their DSLRs for a while.
      I don’t know what to say about this “NC-1”. Certainly, I’d like Pentax to put their best effort into the DSLR line (e.g. more lenses: a long tele, maybe weather sealed Limiteds, a 16-50 f/2.8 MkII with a proper SDM – there is still much to do). But if a mirrorless can bring them money…

      • Mark

        I was just joking about the recent Pentax interview answers (on dpreview).

  • What’s a Pentax?

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    ~ Albert Einstein

    I can’t get over the blatant disregard for reality some of the responders have on here.

    Regarding old lenses being not good enough for new full frame DSLRs, here is an article with Ned Bunnell, president of Pentax USA, dissing legacy glass. A Japanese Pentax official is on record as doing the same.

    I have no qualms about shooting legacy lenses on my Canon 5D MKII. Many old lenses are excellent; even outperforming modern lenses.

    Check out these two MTF charts, one is for a Pentax M42 S-M-C Takumar 50mm 1.4, the other is for a current Canon EF 1.4 50mm. The older Pentax beats the new Canon in center sharpness but loses in corner sharpness. I love shooting old Takumars on my full frame DSLR! The Sony NEX’s have been very popular in part due to the fact you can use about any lens ever made on that system. That’s what I like; I don’t need camera manufacturer telling me what I can and can’t do.

    The MTF chart for the Takumar:

    The MTF chart for the Canon EF:

    Pentax has the most antiquated flash and autofocus systems on the market today. Doesn’t the K-5 have serious problems with its autofocus system under tungsten light?

    K-5 focusing issues here:

    Not to mention the chronic SDM failures, sensor stains, new lenses that are full of dust, shutter blur caused by Pentax’s shake reduction system, etc. More information about these problems are here:

    Sensor Stains:

    Pentax SDM Failures (Built In Lens Autofocus Motor):

    Why would anyone spend good money on a Pentax? It’s the very definition of insanity.

    • MrRifleman

      so what about all the people that had focusing issues with one of the older 1d models (i think it was the mkII?). it’s the reason that when they released the markIV, they advertised the new autofocus system more than any other feature of that camera in an attempt to lure back all the pro sports shooters that jumped ship to nikon. i understand that you want to conveniently disregard that information because it doesn’t support your argument of canon being the best thing since sliced bread.

      • MrRifleman

        sorry, it was the mark III that had all the autofocus issues. although, in checking that out, i found lots of articles stating that even your beloved 5dmkII had autofocus problems, just like that lowly pentax! oh you must feel so horrible, even though you probably never had this problem with your camera, but lots of other people have and even posted on an internet forum about it! (do you see what i’m getting at here?)

  • What’s a Pentax?

    This place is great for a good laugh. I also have a Nikon D700 but I shoot my legacy lenses on my Canon 5D MKII, (The Canon EOS mount is more friendly to M42, M39 and K-mount legacy lenses.) Legacy lenses are a lot of fun to use and deliver some great results. Especially the old Pentax lenses! I recommend using Live View when focusing on a Canon 5D MKII to help prevent mirror slap.

    My posts aren’t about brand snobbery. I do love Nikon and Canon, but if Olympus, Samsung, Panasonic or even Sony made cameras to fit my needs I would use them. I never hear anything about the quality control problems at those aforementioned companies like I do about modern Pentax.

    The Olympus M system was quite stellar in the days of film. I hope to see a full frame Olympus someday. Olympus knows how to make cameras and lenses. I just can’t stand the 4/3 format!

    You get what you pay for, you pay for what you get.
    I’ll pass on Pentax.

    • Alex

      Yes, we’re laughing at your brand snobbery. Even your “name” reeks of it…

  • Arno

    Dear “what is Pentax”,
    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    ~ Albert Einstein”

    La culture c’est comme la confiture, moins on en a, plus on l’étale. (Culture is like marmelade, the less you have, the more you spread it out)
    P. Desproges.

    I have no AF issue with tungten light with my K5… No stains, AF works faster and is more accurate than my D90, but hey, if you said so…
    You’re just a fat troll, spending so much time to prepare a post with some “proofs” of the Pentax problems… I could spend a hour to gather all the nikon & canon problems post in forums, but hey, i have a life, and you know what ? I spend my time making photos.
    Where are your photos, dear “what’s a Pentax ?”‘, i’m sure you have stunning pictures to show with all your great canikon stuff.

  • NewMikey

    @What’s a Pentax?
    “I’ll pass on Pentax.”

    Well thanks a mil for letting us know! That will certainly influence my decision. I am not quite sure why a Canon 5D MKII shooter would be bothered with “inexpensive adapters” nor why you should want to “shoot old Pentax and M42 lenses” with so much L-glass floating around. Nor do I get the link to “a medium format camera with one lens that is very scarce and priced out of the reach of many photographers” for someone as dedicated to FF as you.

    Lets just suffice saying that Canon and Nikon are absolutely great cameras, as are Sony, Olympus and most other brands out there today. Comparing across brands only makes sense if you compare within the same class and when you do, you’ll find little else than small nuances that appear and disappear with every new model coming onto the market.

    If you really want to compare, compare images not hardware. This “mine is bigger, better and more expensive than yours” is just a placeholder for sexual discontent I presume.

  • Arno

    That’s why K5 rocks, please read this :

    (…)t’s truly remarkable that the K-5 retains so much detail in its darkest shadows. Three stops is quite a lot. Certainly, a fine grain has been introduced with the extreme exposure boost, but it looks pretty darn good. Such range used to be unique to $20,000+ medium format digital cameras, and now we’re seeing it from crop-sensor 35mm cameras. The K-5 is evidence that imaging technology is still improving steadily.(…)

  • @What’s a Pentax?

    You put a lot of effort in bashing/trolling Pentax.. Why? Did Pentax do something to you?

    In my opinion all brands have their pros and cons. I was on the edge of switching to Nikon, but I didnt. Nikon has a better AF, but most of the time I dont need a better AF. The K5 is already better than my K10. Pentax has some interesting advantages to me. Weather sealed small bodies, image stabilization in body, good weather sealed DA* 300 F4.. with the k5 also good high iso and DR in a small body. And I forgot all the nice small primes like the FA 31 limited (people compare it to Leica lenses.. and its not as good, but comparable for a lot less money and has AF), FA 43 Limited, FA 77 Limited, DA 35 Ltd, 40 Ltd and 70 Ltd.
    The flash system is not that dramatic. Also the AF is excellent for most people except for sports photographers. You can make great sports photographs but its not reliable enough.
    There are still things I am jealous about with other systems. I would like to see an 1.4x SDM teleconverter (was announced in 2008), 400mm F5.6 (at least some longer DA* lenses) and DA* 28mm F2.8. Also the 105mm macro lenses of other brands are better.

    I would love a Silver K5.. at least when it is not too much more expensive!

  • SN

    Don’t blame “Whats a Pentax”. He is just doing what Canon requires him to do. See, whenever you buy Canon equipment, you have to sign a contract which pretty much allows Canon to control your brain (or pay 4x for the gear). From that point on you are pretty much a zombie. How do I know? Coz, I am the one that got away 😛

  • JB

    Should I buy now or wait for NC-17?

  • Alex

    The silver K-5 is more or less confirmed (i.e. leaked pictures on Pentax Network):

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