updated 10:00 am EDT, Wed May 20, 2009
Pentax K7 DSLR debuts
Pentax has formally introduced the new K-7 DSLR featuring a 14.6-megapixel sensor and HD video capture capabilities, confirming several details leaked earlier this week. The redesigned CMOS sensor is claimed to offer reduced noise, while four-channel output enables fast captures. Users can select various video resolutions, including 1280x720 and 1536x1024 at 30 frames per second, including with controls for aperture. An external microphone terminal supports stereo recording.
The magnesium alloy body is weather, cold and dust resistant, with 7 percent less volume than the K20D. Users can view the shots from a 3-inch LCD with 921,000 dot resolution, with support for Live View, or through a viewfinder that offers a 100 percent field of view.
Users can capture up to 5.2 framers per second using the new PRIME II processing engine, while the top shutter speed reaches 1/8000 of a second. The camera provides a 77-segment metering system, dedicated AF assist lamp, 11-point autofocus, electronic level and a mirror lock-up.
A dedicated High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode captures three images and automatically combines them in the camera. Users can also add ownership info in metatag data. A variety of exposure settings are provided, along with controls for white balance, color temperature, post-image manual white balance, shadow correction and interval shooting.
The mechanical shake reduction now integrates a sensor that compensates for rotational movement. The company has also improved the dust reduction system, with piezo-ceramic vibration to the low-pass filter. A lens correction function is claimed to electronically adjust for distortion and lateral chromatic aberrations.
An HDMI port serves as an optional output, with options for 1080i, 720p and 480p resolutions. Users can also connect studio flash to a dedicated PC socket.
Pentax also announced the D-BG4 battery grip that doubles the battery life using a rechargeable battery or six AA cells. The grip also offers a vertical shutter-release button, e-dials, AE-lock and a focus button.
New lenses include the smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR and the smc DA 50-200mm F4-F5.6 ED WR. Each features weather-resistant seals for damp conditions.
The K-7 body will ship in July for $1,300, while the D-BG4 battery grip will be available at the same time for $230. Customers can purchase the DA 18-55mm lens for $200 or the DA 50-200mm model for $250.