Pentax has never made a full-frame DSLR before. But this new camera, the K-1, looks like it was worth the wait.
Pentax has actually been thinking about building a full-frame DSLR for a while now. Actually, it scrapped initial plans to enter the market a staggering fifteen years ago, then only showed off a prototype of this camera last year. But it certainly looks the part.
The new camera is built around a 36.4-megapixel full-frame sensor, tucked away inside a magnesium alloy body that's claimed to be weather-resistant and dust-proof. The rear screen is interesting: The 8cm display use a mechanism that allows it to be viewed at different angles while always sitting on the lens' optical axis. There's also five-axis in-body image stabilisation, which both shifts the sensor and combines images to sharpen photographs.
In terms of all-important numbers, the camera shoots with an ISO up to 204800, top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec, and at a continuous rate of up to 4.4 frames per second. Not too shabby.
Oh, and the most important number: Price. When it arrives in April, the camera will cost $US1,800 ($2,509), which seems competitive compared to similar cameras offered by Canon and Nikon. We'll have to wait and see how it performs alongside them.