Full frame, finally: Pentax K-1 launches alongside 15-30mm, 28-105mm lenses


posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 6:00 PM EDT


Pentaxians, your patience has just paid off in spades! Ricoh Imaging, the company behind the Pentax brand name, has today officially announced its upcoming, full-frame Pentax K-1 DSLR -- and it looks to be a mighty impressive debut.

Based around a 36.4-megapixel full-frame sensor, the Pentax K-1 sports a brand-new body that's just as rugged as we've come to expect from the company's high-end models. Filling the gap between the APS-C sensor-based K-3 cameras and the medium-format 645Z, the magnesium-alloy Pentax K-1 has a comprehensively weather-sealed and freezeproof design.


And that's doubly-impressive given the presence of the most unusually-versatile LCD articulation mechanism we've ever seen. Able to tilt significantly in any direction and even to rotate somewhat, the Pentax K-1's 3.2-inch display is mounted on four struts that let it stand proud of the camera body. Beneath, hidden LEDs can illuminate the rear-panel controls to let you see what you're doing after dark, and these are mirrored by additional LEDs above the lens mount and beneath access panels to help you see your way through lens, cable and card changes as well.

Performance, as you'd expect from such a high-res full-frame camera, is more modest than that of the Pentax K-3, but nevertheless the K-1 is capable of 4.4 frames per second at full resolution, or 6.5 fps with an APS-C crop. And sensitivity spans a very wide range indeed, starting from a base of ISO 100-equivalent and topping out at ISO 204,800-equivalent. Add in a new 33-point SAFOX 12 autofocus system and a five-stop, five-axis Shake Reduction system and the Pentax K-1 has likely got Pentaxians reaching for their wallets.


But how much will you pay? Once it goes on sale this April, the Pentax K-1 is expected to list for US$1,800 or thereabouts, body-only. Want to know more? We've been hands-on with the K-1, and we've just published our in-depth Pentax K-1 preview. Check it out now, and find out if it's time you gave your full-frame Pentax glass a new life in the digital age!

Alongside the camera itself, Ricoh has also launched two brand-new optics, both full-frame and intended for use on the Pentax K-1 body. (Although they will of course work just fine on your subframe DSLR or film camera, if you wish.) The HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm f/2.8ED SDM WR lens is an ultra-wide zoom with a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture, an 18-element, 13-group optical formula, and a new Supersonic Direct-drive Motor for autofocus. It also includes weather-sealing and Ricoh's Pentax HD coating, and ships this April priced at US$1,500 or thereabouts. The HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens, meanwhile, is a compact travel zoom with a 15-element, 11-group optical formula, HD coating and quick-shift autofocus. Priced at an affordable US$500, this optic too will ship from April 2016.


Pentax K-1 Hands-on PreviewBuy Now