Here it is ladies and gents, well at least those of you who are loyal to Pentax, your new king is here. Pentax has now announced their newest flagship camera, the Pentax K-5 II and IIs. As Nikon did with the D800 and D800E the only difference with the two new Pentax cameras is that the IIs doesn’t have an anti-aliasing filter.
The company has also developed a new AF, LCD screen and a high quality CMOS sensor for the the K-5. The camera also has the expected awesome features that Pentax cameras usually have like Shake Reduction and weather resistance (which is understating the ability as seen in videos online). More on the camera and additional details will follow.
The sensor is a similarly spec’d 16.3mp sensor but in this case its a bit more sensitive. The default resolution is ISO 100-12800 but it is additionally expandable to ISO 80-51200. This is the same as the original K-5 and is the most sensitive ISO still in an APS-C camera. I cant say if the image quality has improved but its quite ambitious of Pentax to put these numbers on paper even if they dont offer an improvement of the previous model. The camera can now save 14 bit DNG RAW files as well as it can do in camera HDR with jpegs.
The camera is still 7fps with a 100% viewfinder but it claims to have to broadest AF EV range (-3 EV to +18 EV) in its class. With the 11 point AF the camera can now shoot 30 jpeg images in a 7fps burst compared to 22 of the previous camera.The biggest most eye catching detail of the new K-5 camera is the missing anti-aliansing filter of the IIs. Nikon “redesigned” the AA filter in the D800E but it looks like Pentax has removed the filter altogether. This as we know with cameras that do not have the AA filter provides sharper images with higher overall resolution at the cost of possible aliasing and false color. Once again at the time of announcement we have not seen how this camera works or how much of an improvement this offers but for those who need the extra sharpness it’s worth it. This feature alone will make users of other cameras a bit jealous because only Nikon and now Pentax along with other high end cameras like Leica or medium format cameras offer a model like this.
The camera comes with an air-gap-free lcd with 921,000 dots which is said by Pentax to provide a better experience in bright direct sunlight. They have also added a coat of anti-glare film on top of making the lcd screen out of a unique resin later that alleviates reflections. There is also a built-in electronic level with a tilt scale on the display.Battery life is spec’d to be 980 shots per charge and Pentax has added a RAW / Fx button on the camera that can be programmed.
I know Pentaxians have been waiting for this camera for awhile and in writing this I had the original K-5 specs next to the II specs side by side. I am a Nikon guy but I also get extremely excited over every single camera that comes out because every single company has something that I wish my Nikon had. With that said I want to say that I left out a lot of information from this news post because the K-5 already has it. For example the 16.3mp sensor is the “same” on paper, we don’t know how improved the sensor is in the new camera compared to the old because at this point we have no proof. The missing anti-aliasing filter in the IIs is the single most exciting feature of this camera period, if this doesn’t interest you I think you should wait and see some reviews before jumping aboard the II train. If you know more than I do and if I missed a better feature please please let me know in the comments and / or hate mail.
The new flagship Pentax K-5 will run you $1,199 for body only and $1,349 for the 18-55mm kit, $1,549 for the 18-135mm kit. The IIs will cost you an easy $1,299 for the body only and in my opinion is a steal at this price (if it is done properly).
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