Impressively compact Pentax KP DSLR sports changeable grips, jaw-dropping ISO 819,200 rating


posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 6:00 PM EDT


If you like mirrorless cameras for their compact nature but still find yourself missing the attachment to your subject that you can only get from a thru-the-lens optical viewfinder, then Ricoh has great news for you today. The company has just launched its Pentax KP DSLR, and it's been designed from the ground up to keep size to a minimum while still offering features like an accurate glass pentaprism viewfinder, twin-dial controls, comprehensive weather-sealing and more. And for bonus points, Ricoh tells us that the brand-new 24-megapixel image sensor in the Pentax KP should allow high ISO image quality that's head and shoulders above past models, to boot.

The Pentax KP debuts quite a few new features for Ricoh's DSLR line, as well as being the company's first sub-frame model to inherit some of the functionality seen previously in the full-frame Pentax K-1. For starters, the KP offers up a clever interchangeable-grip design which allows you to tailor the camera to your tastes with a choice of three different grip sizes, each easily swapped in place with a single socket-head screw using a provided hex key. Up front, the control dial which sits beneath the shutter button now has a vertical orientation to help keep depth to a minimum, while on top the Pentax KP is the first APS-C model to feature the Smart Function Dial that first appeared in the K-1.


The Pentax KP also inherits its uprated Shake Reduction II image stabilization system from the K-1, making it the company's first APS-C model with the current SR II tech. This has a five-axis design and a five-stop corrective strength to CIPA testing standards, besting the flagship K-3 and K-3 II that have a 3.5-stop corrective strength. And that's not the only way in which the Pentax KP outdoes its flagship siblings, either: Ricoh tells us that the new 24-megapixel image sensor in the KP should allow image quality that's very close to that of the full-frame K-1, even when shooting at sensitivities as high as ISO 51,200-equivalent. As a measure of its confidence in this claim, Ricoh has gifted the Pentax KP with a spectacularly broad ISO sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 819,200-equivalents.


Available from late February 2017, the Pentax KP is priced at US$1,100 body-only in the US market. Two body color choices will be available, either black or silver. If you'd like to learn more about this impressive enthusiast-oriented DSLR offering, be sure to read our in-depth and hands-on Pentax KP preview for the full story!


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