Opinion: Pentax Has Apparently Realized That DSLRs Can Capture Video

If the word on the street is to be believed, we may be blessed with a Pentax APS-C DSLR that’s designed for videography.

2020 has thrown many curveballs at us, but nobody saw this one coming. Pentax is apparently working on a new APS-C DSLR that will be video-forward. Over the last few years, we have seen some incredible developments in the world of cameras and their video capabilities. The GH5s is legendary, the new Sony a7s III is perhaps the best on the market for 4K. The Canon EOS R5 can shoot 8K and so on. In the past, Pentax has rivaled perhaps an 80s camcorder when it comes to video capabilities. Still, apparently, Pentax feels left out, and they want a piece of the video action too. Let’s talk about this totally bizarre piece of Pentax APS-C DSLR speculation after the break.

Pentax has never been known for video. For me, Pentax cameras have always been photography-forward, and I adore that. Yes, many Pentax cameras can shoot 1080p video, but it’s a bit naff to be honest. I appreciate not having pages of video menus to scroll through in my Pentax cameras. If the news that was posted on Pentax Rumors is accurate, this may still be the case. A dedicated Pentax APS-C DSLR was not on anyone’s radar, but it’s what we might get. Making a dedicated video camera and preserving their other stills-centric cameras would be ideal. Honestly, I can’t help but be excited to think that Pentax might be starting to wake up. Sure, they won’t make the leap to Mirrorless, but this is at least something.

What Do We Know So Far?

Pentax APS-C

So, what do we know about this new video-forward Pentax APS-C DSLR? Absolutely nothing. Yep, that’s right. All we know is that someone on the up and up whispered in somebody’s ear and mentioned the words Pentax, DSLR, APS-C, and video. Now, this new Pentax APS-C camera for video should not be confused with the new APS-C DSLR for stills. This is another camera we don’t know much about, other than it might land this year. One thing I will say about Pentax is that they know how to keep their secrets under lock and key.

What Will the Pentax APS-C DSLR for Video Need to Look Like?

Pentax APS-C

Let’s get back to the Pentax APS-C DSLR for video. I have to give props to Pentax for sticking to their guns when it comes to DSLRs. I still prefer DSLRs over Mirrorless cameras. EVF’s give me terrible headaches, and EVF’s still can’t beat an excellent optical viewfinder. Pentax might be behind the times, but they should be applauded for doing what others aren’t. They have found a niche market, and it’s working. They sit in the corner silently, and they just get on with it. People have been talking up their demise for years. However, they keep on keeping on.

Pentax’s IBIS Is Excellent

Most Pentax DLSRs feature Shake Reduction (IBIS). You can see this denoted on the K1 II as SR in the bottom left corner.

Pentax has some fantastic features in their cameras that would serve videographers well. The IBIS system used in cameras like the KP, the K70, the KS2, and others is excellent. Any new Pentax APS-C DSLR will need to employ their IBIS system. Pentax has mastered IBIS in DSLRs, and in many cases, their stabilization outperforms new Mirrorless models that feature IBIS.

Autofocus Will Be Key in a New Pentax APS-C DSLR

Pentax APS-C

A good friend of mine and I were talking about a potential Pentax APS-C DSLR for video. We both agreed that downsampled 1080/4K will be better than the line-skipping 1080 modes we’re used to. 4K should be the minimum at this stage of the game, though. There would be a need for more than one or two frame rate choices too. Massive improvements in autofocus technology need to happen, and upgrades are apparently coming with the new stills based APS-C camera. Speculation suggests that the new cameras might feature an AF system similar to Nikon’s D500 system. Now, this might not sound like much, but to us Pentaxians, it will be akin to going from a Geo Metro to a supercar. If this is true, we can only assume that it will make it into a video-based camera.

Another area Pentax will need to improve upon will be preamps. Audio output from Pentax cameras to date has been shockingly bad. If Pentax wants this potential video camera to have any sort of chance of catching on, they cannot skimp in the audio department. Other updates such as a fully articulating screen, UHS-II sd cards, and excellent battery life need to come as well.

For many, this news might not be that exciting. However, this is huge news for Pentaxians. For many years, Pentax users have been dying for a camera that can capture gorgeous video, and now that might finally happen. What do you think about this news of a potential Pentax APS-C DSLR for video? Let us know in the comment section below.