Ricoh to reveal new pixel/sensor shift technology for the Pentax full frame DSLR camera

Next week Ricoh/Pentax will have a technical presentation at the CP+ show for a new "super-resolution" technology based on pixel/sensor shift by using the sensor's image stabilization. While Hassleblad (H5D) and Olympus (E-M5 Mark II) have used similar solutions in their cameras, the Ricoh/Pentax implementation will be slightly different. This new "super-resolution" tech will be implemented in future Ricoh/Pentax cameras, including the just announced Pentax full frame K-mount DSLR camera.

Here is more information on the Hassleblad and Olympus pixel/sensor shift implementation:


This information was twitted by the Japanese photographer Kimio Tanaka (via digicame-info).

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  • TinusVerdino

    super resolution is coming. Once you put it on a 50mp FF chip you could make 125 to 200mp images (depending on the method).

    • SimenO1

      Great, now i can photograph everything with a fisheye and zoom in post processing to tele. No more need for more then one lens :p

      • duck

        Nice, but currently the new Nikon glasses can only resolve 20~30mp on the 36mp sensor (per DXO Mark results)

        • SimenO1

          Zooming from fisheye was 100% true, but 99% joking. Its a possibility but rarely a good one.

  • Frank

    Pentax in 2015 – one home run after another 😀

    • peevee

      Which “one”?

      • Alex Lau


        • peevee

          645d is like 5 years old, what do you mean “in 2015”? Even 645z is from 2014. Not that many bought it either, and now with Canon (and soon Sony and Nikon) having the same 50 mpix in smaller and cheaper body and much cheaper and brighter lenses, the sales will practically end altogether.

  • Cynog

    I’m already saving for this. Just make the autofocus as good as my D810!

    • SimenO1

      I scooped up four bargain Pentax FA lenses this weekend. Now i will be saving for this, if i dont stumble upon more bargains.

      Many people dont know that their 10-20 year old Pentax lenses suddenly became more valuable. FA lenses are sold almost for free.

  • Arn

    Wow, il Oly can make a 40mpxl with a 16mpxl sensor, how much for 36mpxl ?

  • Zos Xavius

    This is great, but for only scenes where nothing moves. Some OM-D shots I’ve seen with foliage show blur where the leaves are moving. In landscapes this might work well though where some blur in the leaves is usually a result of a longer shutter anyways. Given their composite mode in the K-3 they might have some something in software that counters this. Really excited to see what this new camera brings!

  • Tittan Dropkick Kittelsaa

    This is one of the best news since sliced bread! Can’t wait to get a FF Pentax!

  • sasa208

    Now if it also comes with an large optical finder with super accurate focussing aid AND with (or the abillity for) great lenses.. they blow Canon and Nikon out of the water

    • SimenO1

      The new 70-200 certainly look stellar on paper. I guess they will launch a stellar normal zoom too with the FF camera.

    • booh

      Optically, not much to worry about, but take a grain of salt on the focus part. It had never been Pentax’s strong point since the film era. On the other hand, they don’t have enough motorized SDM lenses to enable the full potency of even the K-3.

      A comfortable and intuitive-to-use camera it will definitely be, though.

    • Cinekpol

      I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Even tough Pentax got more lenses than any mirrorless system on a market – they’re still far behind Canon and Nikon, or even Sony A-mount for that matter, with plenty of holes in their full frame line-up. It will take a while to fill them in for a system than any more serious CaNikon users might consider switching to. And the fact that Pentax uses odd focal lengths really does not help them with getting customers from other systems.

      • SimenO1

        Its at least a four fold market. New Pentax lenses, older used Pentax lenses, new 3. party lenses and older 3. party lenses. Pentax have a few holes in only one of the categories.

        But name one system that got all sorts of lenses right from the start.. 😉 I can easily live with some 3. party or older lenses. I just think its enriching the market compared to having a brand new mount starting from scratch like Nikon 1 or Sony FE.

        • Cinekpol

          First of all: Don’t up-vote yourself. It’s pathetic.

          Secondly: But 3rd party manufacturers release fewer and fewer lenses for Pentax K. Heck: Zeiss left K-mount completely while ago.

          And the “all sorts of lenses” is not a black and white dichotomy – never was, never will be. Distance between Pentax and Canon systems is enormous when it comes to shooting with full frame lenses.

          I did mention mirrorless mounts already, but they’re not really relevant as this is going to be a DSLR, competing with DSLRs, not lower market segment but rather the highest one. And film-age lenses do help, but are very troublesome for various reasons (lack of warranty and autofocus being two most obvious issues).

          • Daedbird

            While third party lens makers may have been reducing their offerings of K-Mount, they all have histories and knowledge of the brand, and could easily make their current lenses K-Mounts.

            Sigma has a program where you can get your Art and Science lenses converted, and has always stated that when Pentax offers a FF, they would look at what they offer.

            Zeiss you say? Well I remember when they left those years ago, and I thought ‘big deal’ as they only offered manual focus lenses anyway.

            Who knows what Tamron is doing – they are the only third party I worry about.

            As for your final point, I don’t know what you’re smoking, but you should really put the pipe down. Older AF lenses are no problem concerning AF. My K-3 loves my FA* 85mm, F 50 1.7, Tamron 70-200 2.8 and Sigma 170-500. While finding a repair place is slightly more difficult (Tamron and Tokina both said the lenses I sent them were out of production and no longer could be worked on) there are third party repair places like KEH….besides the first thing I don’t think of when buying a used lens is “where will I get this repaired if it breaks”

          • Cinekpol

            “and could easily make their current lenses K-Mounts.” – could doesn’t mean they are offering their lenses on K-mount. We’re talking here about facts, not “if”s and “could”s

            And yes, people care about Zeiss glass, regardless if you do or not – it’s another obstacle in transitioning between systems.

            And AF works, I never said it doesn’t, just nowhere near as good as it does in latest lenses made for modern cameras. Same with warranty – you might be fine with buying lenses without warranty – many people are not, just like they are not fine with buying 3rd party glass (especially if we’re talking here about possible CaNikon converts – they’re more cautious about 3rd party class than anyone else is).

            It really got nothing to deal with your personal preferences and impressions, it’s about the grand scope of a market and whatever Pentax got any chances to “blow Canon and Nikon out of the water”. The brutal reality is that they don’t. Not in the current state of K-mount.

          • Daedbird

            What does ‘nowhere near as good as it does in latest lenses’ mean? Have you even tried older AF lenses on the K-3? I have, and it keeps up with any modern lens I throw on a D7000 or D7100.

            I have older F, FA, and third party lenses, built during the film era, and they are quite fast on the K-3.

            And back to third party – Sigma has basically said that if Pentax releases a full frame, they will expand their full frame lenses to Pentax. And whether or not Zeiss offers K-Mount won’t determine whether or not Pentax’s FF will sell.

            Your comments rub me the wrong way because you overemphasize your points with adjectives. ‘nowhere’ and ‘troublesome’ well I don’t think things like the ability to use legacy lenses have ever been a problem on a K-mount, in fact it is its strength compared to other brands, which is why I think the FF can outsell the first generation of the a7….

  • Old Doc

    Thank you for Hassleblad !!
    ROTLF !!!

  • So if the Olympus E-M5’s 16 megapixel sensor can create 40 MP pixel-shifted files, might we expect 60 megapixel capabilities from a 24 MP Pentax system? 0r 90 megapixel files from a 36 megapixel Pentax system? That’d be nuts!

    I could really go for a FX + DX Pentax system. K-3 + K3FX = so much win, especially considering the abundance of Rokinon glass for fast-aperture landscape photography…

    • SimenO1

      Mp count would depend on the method used. In theory its no limit to how many times one can overlap the images with slight offset but in practice its limited to lens resolution and diffraction. Im not shure how many Mp would make sense but it certainly looks effective on Olympus EM-5 mark II up from 16 to 40 Mp.

  • Spy Black

    You can do the same thing with any camera using PhotoAcute software.

    • SimenO1

      By random movement of the image? I cant imagine that will be as good as precise pixel shifting.

      • Spy Black

        It’s the same exact process.

        • SimenO1

          How do you pixel shift exactly 1/2 pixel manually? Kick a tripod leg and assume its exact?

          • Spy Black

            You work with multiple images. That’s what the camera is doing in-body, it’s creating multiple images and interpolating data from it. With PhotoAcute you do the same thing with multiple images taken in the same place. You don’t even have to be on a tripod, as a matter of fact, you can’t for it to work correctly.

  • jojo

    Seems to suggest they’re not going to be using the latest high MP sensors?

    • Zos Xavius

      its supposed to be 36mp right now.

      • SimenO1

        I know the rumor sites say so, but im not convinced. It seems ilogical to choose a three years old sensor, when the new Sony 50 Mp probably will ship half a year before the Pentax FF.

        My guess is that Pentax will launch TWO FF cameras this year. One with the new 50 Mp sensor, and one with the new 20 Mp sensor anticipated for Nikon D5. Both sensors from Sony.

        • Narretz

          It doesn’t seem too far-fetched that Sony will continue to produce FF sensors from 24 – 50MP, which could also include a new 36MP sensor. Especially since the lower treshold will definitely rise in the future (24MP is already quasi-standard)

        • well, the Sony 50MP sensor is also just a rumor and not a solid one

        • Daedbird

          I think if Pentax is looking to keep prices down, going with a tried and true sensor like the 36mp makes sense……I really hope for an MSRP of $1,999

  • Lephotographeur

    Im curious about this system. Would be could with a souped up 24Mpixel sensor, with iso like Nikon D3s (or better) and the ability for this “high res mode”, then it would be the best camera yet. Pentax has history of having great ISO with high Mpixels and fast FPS.. Im a Nikon guy now but im considering a switch.. 🙂

  • Narretz

    Assuming I have no FF DSLR and no lenses of any kind. What would make me choose Pentax over any other brand (Canon, Nikon, maybe Sony)?

    • Daedbird

      It all depends what you shoot, how you shoot, and what feels right to you. I chose Pentax for its weather-sealing at the time the K10 was on the market. I preferred its FPS constant mode as opposed to the burst modes of others, and its wireless flash integration when the others had none.
      I stay with Pentax because of its ergonomics, the way it handles white balance, the support of legacy lenses, and its build quality.
      Some people like one brand over another. I can’t stand Canon’s menu format, but millions use it every day. I don’t like Nikon’s NR handling. Sony’s FE line looks promising, but the AF and lenses native to the mount are scarce. FujiFilm looks compelling, although the lens prices are a premium.
      Price, lens options, handling – we still have to see what the FF Pentax has….

  • CHD

    This article looks incorrect. Pentax pixel-shifting will produce Foveon-like picture (full RGB per pixel), not to increase resolution (Pentax does not see the benefit of more resolution by this way).

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