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Pentax's unnamed digital SLR.  Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Pentax EI-3000 and unnamed digital SLR - exclusive pics! (UPDATED)
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, February 13, 2001 - 10:53 EST)

Pentax shows an upcoming digital SLR and an EI-2000 successor at PMA...

Pentax is showing two interesting upcoming digital cameras at PMA 2001 in Orlando. First up is a digital SLR which, similarly to the Contax camera we described yesterday, will feature a 35mm frame-sized CCD image sensor. As we mentioned in that article, a 35mm frame-sized sensor offers multiple benefits such as greater light capture per pixel (and hence decreased noise), as well as true wide-angle possibilities due to the lack of a focal length multiplier.

The new SLR has yet to be named, but some other details have been unveiled. The body design is based along the same lines as Pentax's MZ-S 35mm SLR camera, and is compatible with the Pentax KAF2 lens mount, as well as allowing use of Pentax 645- and 67-system lenses with an adapter. The full frame CCD sensor will have a resolution of 6 megapixels, and the whole package along with DSPs, etc., is being developed in cooperation with Philips Electronics.

Thanks to the similarity with the Pentax MZ-S, the unnamed digital SLR will also be compatible with MZ-S accessories such as the BG-10 Battery Grip, CS-105 & CS-130 Cable Switches, TS-110 Release Timer Switch, and AF360FGZ Dedicated Flash Unit...

Unnamed Pentax Digital SLR
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's as-yet unnamed SLR digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 


Also being shown at the show is the Pentax EI-3000 digital camera. Aimed at the prosumer market, the EI-3000 is an evolution of the EI-2000 first shown at PMA last year, which was designed through a cooperation with Hewlett-Packard. As with the previous camera, the EI-3000 is to be a product of both companies and will be marketed by both through separate channels (although it is interesting to note that Pentax never actually sold the EI-2000 in the USA after having shown it at PMA last year).

The EI-3000 is almost identical to its elder sibling, with one very noteable change - where the EI-2000 featured a 2.24 megapixel frame-transfer CCD image sensor, the EI-3000 will replace this with a 3.43 megapixel frame-transfer CCD sensor. If you're not familiar with frame-transfer CCDs, they offer improved image quality because unlike a standard CCD which reads off the image row by row, a frame transfer CCD features a larger area into which it transfers the entire image off the sensor area in one go, allowing less time for charge to escape and the image to be adversely affected... In the interests of saving a little time whilst we're at the show with which to find more products to tell you about, we're going to add the EI-3000 to our digital camera database on our return. In the meantime, look at the EI-2000 specifications for an idea what to expect from the EI-3000!

Pentax EI-3000
Pentax's EI-3000 SLR-style digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's EI-3000 SLR-style digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's EI-3000 SLR-style digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's EI-3000 SLR-style digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's EI-3000 SLR-style digital camera. Copyright (c) 2001, Michael R. Tomkins, all rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
 

UPDATED 2001-10-24 14:11ET: Pentax has today announced that it has cancelled plans to commercially produce the digital SLR camera shown above.

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