updated 11:30 am EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
Pentax launches K-r budget DSLR
Pentax on Thursday brought out an upgrade to its least expensive DSLR. The K-r directly tackles some of the issues with the earlier K-x and focuses on image performance first: it now shoots at up to ISO 25,600 (up from 12,800) and at up to 6FPS for 25 shots in continuous mode (up from 4.7). High dynamic range shooting is better with a new night-focused mode, and the shutter speed has climbed to 1/6000th of a second.
Some of the more functional isues have also been addressed, such as the long-awaited addition of a focus point indicator in the viewfinder and the option of using either a lithium-ion battery pack or AA batteries. The preview LCD is better with a three-inch, 921,000-pixel image. Pentax also obeys the IrSimple standard and will transfer its photos to any device that supports the infrared link, including another K-r.
Pentax is winnowing its choice of colors for the initial launch of the camera but will still have black, red and white models for an October launch. A body-only version will cost $800, while a version with an 18-55mm kit lens will cost $850. Two kits add secondary telephoto lenses, starting with a $900 set that adds a 50-200mm lens and a $1,000 set that goes for a longer-reaching 55-300mm lens. In sync with the new cameras, a new 35mm f2.4 prime is launching to give photographers a cheap option for brighter and faster shots. It arrives at the same time for $220.