Pentax has announced its new flagship SLR, the K10D. The new model combines a 10.2MP 23.5mm x 15.7mm CCD with a range of more advanced technologies - including the Pentaxu2019s Shake Reduction (SR) system.

Pentax has announced its new flagship product, the K10D digital SLR camera. The new model combines a 10.2MP 23.5mm x 15.7mm CCD with a range of more advanced technologies – including the Pentax?s Shake Reduction (SR) system.

A newly developed A/D converter designed to convert a large volume of data more accurately and swiftly has also been added, as has a new imaging engine designed exclusively for the K10D.

The K10D comes equipped with a new Dust Removal (DR) system to keep dust off the CCD surface, a Pentax-original exposure system for more accurate image reproduction, and a dust-proof, water-resistant body construction. The camera will hit stores this November priced approximately £799 (body only).

SUMMARY OF KEY FEATURES

Shake Reduction mechanism

The K10D is equipped with the PENTAX-developed SR system, which aims to effectively reduce camera shake for sharp, blur-free images. This mechanism shifts the position of the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the shifting speed in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by a built-in sensor. Pentax claims that this mechanism offers a compensation effect equivalent to two to four shutter-speed steps. As a result, it does not require special anti-shake lenses, and can be used with almost all existing Pentax interchangeable lenses (K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645 and 67system lenses with an adapter)

A/D converter for image data conversion:

The K10D incorporates a A/D converter, which faithfully converts the analog data collected by the CCD image sensor into digital data. With the highest resolving power (22 bits, or 4.2 million gradations) among all existing digital cameras, it offers a digital-conversion capacity 1,024 times greater than conventional 12-bit, 4,096-gradation A/D converters.

Newly designed PRIME imaging engine:

Designed exclusively for Pentax digital SLR cameras, Pentax says that this new imaging engine ?produces well-balanced, true-to-life images through efficient control of CCD signals, saturation, brightness, white balance, sharpness and contrast.? Its new memory (DDR2: Double Data Rate 2) also serves to enhance speedy image processing and high-speed data transfer.

Dust Removal system

Applied to the CCD surface through a vapour deposition process of a fluorine compound, the Pentax-original Special Protect (SP) coating removes dust and stains from the surface. In the next step, dust that still remains on the surface will be shaken off when the SR system shifts the CCD at high speed. The dust that is shaken off the CCD will fall onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit, reducing the possibility of its returning to the CCD surface.

Original exposure system:

Hyper Program function:

The K10D’s Hyper Program function allows the user to switch to Shutter-Priority AE (Tv) mode or Aperture-Priority AE (Av) mode from the Program AE mode, with a turn of the electronic dials on the grip (one on the front for index finger control, and the other on the back for thumb control). To return to the Program AE mode, press the green button positioned next to the shutter release button.

Hyper Manual function:

When shooting in Metered Manual mode, a single push of the green button allows the user to instantly set the proper exposure for the subject.

Sensitivity-Priority mode:

The K10D features a new Sensitivity-Priority AE (Sv) mode, which is designed to automatically select the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for a user-selected sensitivity. The sensitivity can be shifted instantly (in 1/2 or 1/3 steps) by turning the electronic dial. Since this mode eliminates the need to recall a menu screen for sensitivity changes, it is hoped that the photographer can react more quickly to changing photographic conditions.

Shutter and Aperture-Priority mode:

A further mode offered by the K10D is Shutter & Aperture-Priority AE (TAv) mode, which is designed to automatically select the most appropriate sensitivity for a user-selected shutter-speed and aperture combination.

Dust-proof, water-resistant construction

The K10D boasts a reliable dust-proof, water-resistant construction, with special seals applied to 72 different parts of the camera body, including the shutter release button and switches/levers/dials. This body makes it possible to use the K10D in the rain or in dusty location.

Enhanced viewfinder

Featuring a glass pentaprism, the K10D’s viewfinder offers a 96-percent field of view and 0.95-times magnification improved viewing and framing. This is coupled with a Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen.

Compatibility with supersonic motor-driven lenses

The K10D is designed to be compatible with supersonic motor-driven autofocus lenses (currently under development), which are expected to provide smoother, quieter autofocus operation than conventional lenses.

Auto sensitivity control up to ISO 1600

The K10D’s auto sensitivity control function automatically sets the optimum sensitivity up to ISO 1600, based on data such as the subject’s brightness level and the lens’ focal length. For specialised applications, the sensitivity can be set manually from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Continuous shooting at approximately three images per second

To trace the movement of an active subject or capture a sequence of the subject’s expressions, the K10D offers a continuous shooting mode that allows the photographer to capture a series of images at a maximum speed of approximately three images per second. In the JPEG recording format, the user can take unlimited images in succession until the capacity of the SD memory card runs out.

Reliable shutter unit

The K10D’s shutter unit is designed to withstand nearly 100,000 releases, whilst assuring high-precision operation over the entire shutter-speed range – up to a top speed of 1/4000 second. It also features a flash synchronisation speed of 1/180 second for more versatile flash photography.

11-point wide-frame AF

The K10D’s SAFOX VIII autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to automatically focus on the subject with precision, even when it is positioned off centre. The in-focus sensor point is automatically super-imposed in red in the viewfinder for at-a-glance confirmation.

Extra-large, wide-view LCD monitor

The K10D incorporates a 2.5-inch colour LCD monitor on its rear panel. Its wide-view design allows the photographer to check the monitor image from 140 degrees both vertically and horizontally, ensuring image viewing even from a diagonal position. With approximately 210,000 pixels, it also offers digital zooming of playback images up to 20 times.

Improved rechargeable batteries

The K10D features new, larger-capacity lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, which can capture approximately 500 images when fully recharged.

Additional features

Choice of 16-segment multi-pattern metering, centre-weighted metering and spot metering to accommodate various photographic applications

High-rigidity stainless-steel chassis

32 custom functions to personalise camera operations

Extended bracket function to capture three images of the same subject at different contrast, saturation, sharpness or white-balance levels

Compatibility with conventional SD memory cards and newly introduced SDHC memory cards

Choice of two preview functions (digital/optical)

Simultaneous recording of RAW and JPEG images

Manual fine adjustment of white balance

Day-by-day folders to simplify the arrangement and search of recorded images

Six built-in digital filters (Black-and-white, Sepia, Slim, Soft, Brightness and Colour) for easy editing of recorded images

Remote shutter release from the front and back sides of the camera using optional remote controller

PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 3 RAW data processing software and PENTAX PHOTO Browser 3 browser software, included on the accompanying CD-ROM

Compatibility with PictBridge, DPOF, Exif Print and PRINT Image Matching III systems

Weight: 235g (without battery)