Pentax rumored to announce several new DSLRs and a new compact APS-C camera


Pentax is rumored to announce several new DSLR cameras (as early as this month, as many as 5 new DSLRs) which will be priced between $400 and $2000. I am not sure if one of those will be the long awaited full frame camera, but the $2000 price tag is just too high for an APS-C based camera (the full frame Nikon D600 costs exactly $2000). In addition, Pentax will introduce also a new compact APS-C based camera similar to the new Nikon Coolpix A which will be priced at around $700 ($400 cheaper than the Coolpix A). Maybe this will be the Ricoh GR Digital V camera that is rumored to have an APS-C sensor?

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  • Pete

    Nikon should have priced it right to begin with. Might cost quite a few customers.

    • waterengineer

      You mean (also) that Nikon should have built it right the first time and put an optical viewer in it, along with a short, fast zoom, in addition to a much lower price………

      • Lardinio

        Absolutely! Just too expensive, and for me undesirable with that fixed lens. I’m sure it’ll work for others though.

      • Redstart

        A fast zoom? Try one of Ashton’s favorites and leave the primes to photographers.

      • Marc

        This thread is about Pentax, go complain @nikonrumors :p

      • No

        Optical viewfinder? Ugh….

      • Nawksi

        I don’t mind the prime. It’s the f/2.8 I don’t like.

        And it needs an EVF, not an OVF. Realistically, only Fuji is going to offer a decent OVF on these small cameras. I’m not sure if anybody else can do a “Hybrid VF” without breaking some sort of Fuji patent.

  • Tony Bologna

    looks like the Ricoh acquisition was the best thing to happen to Pentax in a long time.

  • xc1427

    The new APS-C compact may be the new GRD V ?

  • wilt

    Nikon is on drugs with the price of the Coolpix A

    • ke

      It’s about the same price as all the other apsc sensor compacts.

  • Marc

    I doubt Pentax has the resources to launch 5 new dslrs and a new compact. Maybe 2 something under the k30 and a full frame. Then there would be 5 dslr’s k20, k30, k5 II, K5IIs, K3

    • I think there will be 2 different types of DSLR, the rest will be just variation (with, without AA, etc.)

      • Marc

        so k20 k20s k30s k3 and k3s (probably not k20 though. Too much like K20D, so K300)

        • mike

          K-1, K-1s FF Cameras
          K-3, K-3s High end APS-C
          K-m/x/r replacement

    • Ricoh and Nikon have almost identical market cap. Nikon has a project 11% growth over the next 5 years. Ricoh has a 43% projected growth. Nikon is expected to earn $.46 per share next quarter. Ricoh is expected to earn $1.12 per share. Pentax may have been resource constrained under Hoya but they are not now.

      • Alex

        You are right that Pentax Ricoh does not work under the same constraints as under Hoya; but, constraints still exists. Any strategy should in the end target profitability, so Ricoh can’t just pump insane amounts of money, to grow their capacity up to Canikon levels.
        I also doubt Pentax Ricoh can launch 5 new, different DSLRs + 1 APS-C compact simultaneously. More likely, the announcements will be spread during the year – assuming the rumour is true. Or, as PhotoRumors said below, it’s actually 3 DSLRs and the compact (even so, it would be quite a stretch IMO).
        By the way, apparently this rumour doesn’t have a source…

        • Ricoh does not break out Pentax separately in its financials but the indications are that Pentax is at or near break even – maybe a slight profit, maybe a slight loss. In any case, Ricoh bought Pentax to GROW the brand, unlike Hoya who bought Pentax for the medical instrument business. THe fact that they retained the Pentax brand and put their own camera division under Pentax leadership says a lot.
          Assuming the 5 camera rumor is true I see it breaking out as:

          645D II
          K-3 Full Frame
          K-30 replacement
          K-01 replacement
          Fixed lens large sensor “rangefinder”

          • Alex

            I agree (with the first part); it’s just that I don’t expect a sudden growth, but a steady, gradual one. We’ll see.

  • Camp

    It’s Pentax. They’ll screw up the APS-C compact with Hello Kitty styling.

    • I assume you are referring to the K-01. Have you ever used one? Its an excellent camera and based on the reactions I get from real live people actually seeing it and holding it, there is nothing wrong with the design except that it didnt translate well in pictures.

      • ke

        Ergonomically the k01 is messed up. It’s not just a styling issue.

        • mypobox

          ke is so right. the k-01 is a heavy, awkward, slow piece of junk that took really nice pictures when it could focus. which was rarely consistent.

          • mervis

            And your experience with it is what???


            So, just another internet jerk talking out his a$$.

          • with last firmware – it’s fast

        • funny I shot with mine all weekend and had no issues. And I was at a bar. Eating wings. And Drinking. A lot.

  • Paul

    I hope the APS-C compact will be good for video. Manual controls, frame rates and mic input would be nice.

    • kadajawi

      I hope they drop that stupid digital image stabilization they used in the K-30 and K-01. It is so awful that video usually looks better with the stabilization turned OFF. The K-5 used the actual sensor shift stabilizer, and it works amazingly well. My videos, handheld, look like I got a shoulder rig or something else to stabilize. With some more practise it may even look like a steadicam setup, at least those budget ones. I can get smooth video, while walking, with a 50mm.

      • Zurich Int

        There is no “digital image stabilization” on K01 and K30.

        • kadajawi

          Oh there is. Not when taking photos, there the sensor is shifted around. But when taking videos that is deactivated, instead the video only takes a part of the sensor and shifts that part around. Problem is the rolling shutter effect gets worse… The video also gets light streaks when you shake the camera, though the video stays stable. Basically you get everything that you would get when shaking the camera, but without the shaking part that distracts from these effects. That makes it so much worse.

          I was considering both, K-30 and K-5. After having shot about 10 seconds with the K-30 I put it away, tested the K-5 and bought it. I’d say the K-30 is useless for video. And videos I have seen from the K-01 look just the same. You can only shoot those cameras with stabilization turned off.

    • kadajawi

      K-01 is different from the K-5 though. The K-01 is a designer item. They tend to be not that functional. The actual DSLRs though seem to have been designed and built by actual photographers. Can’t say that of Canon…

  • Prosumer grade is A okay

    5 dslrs? Hmmm…
    Well, the company doesn’t really have a true entry level cam. So, there’s One camera down.

    The medium format 645D is due for an update too. But that would have to grossly exceed $2000. I know Pentax was recently selling a 645D without a infrared filter; an infrared filterless cam (of a smaller format) might be an option on the horizon perhaps? Two down…

    A higher megapixel APSC to replace the K-5ii and K-5iis? There goes three and four…

    Maybe something a little more Ricoh derived for number 5?

    I’m sceptical that a fullframe cam would be released at $2000 from Pentax. I’mean their modus-operandi seems to be to introduce products at hugely inflated prices, then chop the price to less than half of the original within a year. Like the Q, K-01, and K-r were. But hey, lets hope! A full frame sporting the K mount for camera number 5? Fingers crossed.

    • Cynog ap Brychan

      Perhaps they’ve changed their strategy. The K-5 II and IIs were launched at pretty reasonable prices. One can but hope.

  • Z.T.

    This “news” contains in it a strange lack of logic: why wouldn’t a supremely spec’d APS-C DSLR camera, for example, be priced higher than a lame FF DSLR? So a convertible sports car shouldn’t be priced higher than a van, or a truck? A camera is not sensor alone; it’s a sensor, plus everything else.

    • El Aura

      Because clarity in a product line in regard to which product is better makes it easier to upsell people.

    • sio

      there’s no such thing as a “supremely spec’d” APS-C DSLR. they’re all budget rubbish.

  • Sky

    I don’t see how 2000$ is too high for APS-C camera. Make a titanium body shell, lots of photographic features (like always in Pentax), long shutter life, and a very deep buffer (eg. 8 FPS shooting for 5 seconds) – it’ll be easily good enough for 2000$. The ultimate APS-C DSLR.

    • keirinrcr

      Except that they already have that (trade a Titanium shell for Magnesium shell) in the K5 II/IIs, or, even with the original K5, and for less than $1300.

      • Sky

        Pentax got ultimate DSLR? No, not yet at least. Think basically of Nikon D4 with APS-C sensor (not that D4 is ultimate DSLR, not at all, but that’s quite close). Noone tried something like that yet, so it’d be good to see an attempt.

        • Twaddler Belafonte

          I’d prefer an E-M5/NEX-7 monstrosity with a full-frame 36mpx sensor and a 35mm f/2 lens.

          • Sky

            well, there’s always someone who prefers portability over ergonomic design and quality. Nothing new in that 🙂

  • bjrichus

    Whatever else they are, if the modern Pentax SLR body design group are involved, they’ll only come shaped like a random collection of Lego bricks and be in vile clashing neon colors. Lets hope that Ricoh (I used a 35mm rangefinder from them in the 1970’s and pretty darn good it was too), have put some design sense rather than “fashion” sense into Pentax…

    • kadajawi

      Ahem, no? Have you ever touched their DSLRs? Yes, they may be colorful, but they have the very best ergonomics of all the brands. These things rest in your hand (despite the small size) like no other, the buttons are placed exactly where they should be, and they are all there.

      I tried a D7000 (I own a K-5), and immediately missed pretty much everything I use all the time. Those features I would have to look around in menus etc. It feels very much like an entry level camera to the K-5, despite being bigger and heavier.

      And don’t get me started about Canon, I don’t know what they were smoking/thinking when they designed their cameras. Makes no sense at all.

      The Lego camera was designed by a famous industrial designer. It was actually quite a good idea (the grip of a NEX camera is a bit… small, and then there is a huge lens hanging in front of that thin metal plate, except for the pancake these cameras were out of balance), and it does look great IMHO. Bold, designerish. What was missing were the lenses that extend into the mirror box, because then you’d get a camera with great balance, which in the end isn’t bigger than the counterpart from Sony. The big drawback though is that you can’t use adapters to mount pretty much every lens ever made, like you can with the mFT cameras and to a lesser degree the Sony NEX line of cameras.

      • BP2012

        Agree. I always shoot concerts with my K-5. Why? Because of ergonomics. With camera in one hand and beer in the other 🙂 I have a very good percentage of successful shots. Everything could be set with two fingers only, the other three are enough for the grip and other hand is free for everything else including beer. I would like to see some Nikon guy to do that.

        • Mike1

          I also love to hold my K5 with one hand, with the battery grip and a pencake lens. Mostly for fun, but it’s so well balanced I seldom miss a shot.

        • Deividas Kavoliunas

          I was sad when first time saw a K7/K5 design and I was dissapointed when I held it for the first time. It was a step back in terms of ergonomics after K10/K20 design. I wish my K5 was in K20 body. Try it for yourself if there’s a possibility and you will understand. I mean body +bat grip of course.

      • bjrichus

        See my answer to Rob, above. Good for you – they are NOT for me.

      • bjrichus

        So the Lego camera is now discontinued. If it’s so good, why end it?

    • Im going to assume you dont own a Pentax DSLR or a K-01 because no one who owns them complains about the design.
      The K-5 is by far the best “feeling” camera I have ever owned, used borrowed or otherwise handled. I can use it without thinking. It is incredibly balanced and with the BG4 grip it works perfectly with long fast glass. Add in the fact that you could beat someone to death with it and then take pictures of their thieving face and it is an excellent camera.
      I hear all the time about how terrible the K-01 is but never from K-01 owners. And as I said above, I just spent a weekend drinking and partying with my K-01 and never had an issue with how it handled. And NO ONE who said “cool camera, can I try it” thought it was big, bulky, heavy or hard to handle.

      • bjrichus

        K-01? You need huge hands and not to be worried about ergonomics to like it. Or like garish and obvious design ploys. However, that is just my own view of them (and yes, I have held one). Just because *I* think they are a joke, doesn’t mean you must.

        If it works for you, great for you.

        • kadajawi

          Funny, I don’t have big hands but always though something like the NEX-5 with an 18-55 was a bit awkward to hold. Let alone the 18-200. I would still go with one of them though because of the adapters.

      • 57thStIncident

        I have a K-01, and the aesthetics part of the design aren’t a problem for me, I actually kind of like it, have a yellow one. What I *don’t* like – the buttons on top seem to be arranged more for appearance than ergonomics, and the rubber flap arrangement for the SD card door isn’t great either.

        I think Pentax needs a compact zoom for a camera like this that can take advantage of the empty mirror box and possibly collapse for storage as well.

        AF was particularly problematic when the camera was first released, though improved considerably with firmware updates. Considering the improvments I’ve seen with the Q/Q10, I expect that if not K-01, any similar successor will probably improve further. I don’t think Pentax should give up on this idea, but perhaps the next one should be a bit more conventionally styled, as the modern design look was a turnoff for many.

        Supporting a ricoh-compatible accessory EVF would quiet more critics though many would possibly rightly say that a camera that large could include one built-in.

  • ageha

    Any rumors when the press event might be?

  • kadajawi

    5?!?! That’s more cameras than they usually release in… like 5 years?! One thing that I love about Pentax is that there were no artificial limitations in the cameras. The K-30 is as good a camera as it can be, given the budget. They didn’t try to slow it down or to remove features in firmware just so people will get it, and after a year have to upgrade because they have outgrown it (I’m looking to you, Canon!).

    If they release 5 (!) DSLRs how are they going to differentiate them? They already said there won’t be a K1000 sort of minimalistic camera for photography students/lovers of the good ol days.

    But of course I’m very curious and excited about what will happen, though I won’t be buying a new Pentax anytime soon. Just replaced my *istDs from 2004 with a K-5 end of last year, and couldn’t be happier. Next camera 2020 then…

  • FMJ

    my source told me 5 colors variation of 1 DSLR, LOL…..

    but actually, i am really looking forward to see Pentax stepping in FF DSLR.

    • Twaddler Belafonte

      Having fun color choices is a good thing.

  • Nawksi

    I doubt Pentax will release 5 new DSLRs, but perhaps they’ll release an AA filter free version of 2 new DSLRs, which means it will release 4 new DSLRs.

    The 5th one may be a budget model.

  • Karol Wojdyna

    As a former Pentax devoted user (still using my LX!) I am very unhappy of a lot of activities they did during last several years that led the company from a leader to a market outsider.

    They concentrate on marketing matters instead of improving some issues always concerning their products. And the most important would be auto-focusing. It is very unreliable regardless what you shoot with – old analog MZ or top-of-line K-5 – it fails to focus sometimes in conditions that Canon or Nikon could cope with easily 20 years ago! Yes – I know most Pentax SLRs gives you much more good shots that any Canon SLR – unless it fails to focus – then you WON’T make any – good or bad shot – at all. How many years more do they need to learn how to make AF working right?

    Somebody claims that K-01 was not bad but just we just not appreciate it as never held in hands. I did. I am used to K-20, know K-5 well and when touched K-01 first time COULD NOT find many functions where i expected and needed. Is it really the right way? AF was SO unreliable, that my wife’s toyish Samsung mirrorless NX100 just kills it.

    So – what were they thinking? Unique of it mirrorless? Choice of colours of DSLRs? Tinyness of Q-series? Do they think Pentaxians were really waiting for it? We needed FF no more than a year after Nikon D700. We needed reliable focusing in APS-C DSLRs. It has been years and Pentaxians still did not get those. Third party manufacturers do not bother to support Pentax anymore – flashes, triggers, other accessories – limited or not available. Most of us switched brandalready. The minority still hopes and is being dissapointed on and on and on. So – where you up to, Pentax?

  • Mark

    A weather sealed version of the Coolpix A for less $ would be great.

  • LeJeff

    The 2000$ camera might be a FF one with the 24MPix Sony chip (well known from the Nikon D600), but fittet with the 645 mount for medium format lenses. This will result in high quality pictures and get a boost in selling thes optics. In addition it explains the ongoing decrease of the 645D price (6000$ now).

    LeJeff, Berlin & Cologne

    • 57thStIncident

      I don’t see anyone wanting to use relatively large, expensive, and slow 645 optics on a 36×24 sensor. The 645D is already cropped vs. what these lenses were designed for.

  • dan

    when we can have a full frame pentax

  • Kossi

    At the moment I have Canon 1000D (yes I know, it is not good) and the first item on my shopping list is new camera. K-5 II S or K-5 II seems good and I’m sure those are good inaf for me. I have no problem if autofocus is not fastest of the market, my first lenses are anyway some manual focus lenses witch I use in my pentax ME super right now. And it is not autofous, megapixels, lens or camera witch make good photos. At least not without photographer. So anyway I wait couble of months is there possibility those pentax rumored new models puts K-5 II price down! ;D Sorry if I miss this English spelling, I’am still learning this f****** hard language!

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