Pentax camera users have been hoping for a full-frame DSLR since the earliest days of digital photography. At last, the wait for one is over. Pentax parent company Ricoh has announced it will show off a new, 35mm sensor camera body at Japan’s CP+ event that starts on Thursday, alongside two new full-frame-ready lenses. The new camera is expected to hit the shelves before the end of 2015.
A full-frame K-mount DSLR was hinted at as far back as 2001 but failed to materialise as Pentax chose instead to focus on its line-up of crop-sensor DA-series lenses. The new – as yet unnamed – full-frame camera body will reportedly support these lenses, too, by means of a built-in crop function.
Despite the lack of a compatible body, Pentax has maintained a number of full-frame compatible lenses in its line-up over the years, including its FA- and D FA-series lenses and many of its Limited-series lenses. The newly announced lenses include a 70-200mm F2.8 lens ($2 299/R26 600) and a 150-400mm F4.5-5.6 lens ($2 499/R29 000), both of which are weather-sealed and offer manual-focus override, tripod collars and silent autofocus.
Ricoh has released an image of a concept design of the forthcoming camera and will show off this body at this week’s event in Japan but says the final go-to-market design might differ slightly from it.
It looks likely the full-frame camera will include in-body stabilisation as favoured by Pentax in its crop-sensor cameras. This removes the need for image stabilisation in each lens and means even older lenses benefit from shake reduction.
There’s no word on pricing for the new camera, but we expect it to cost between R20 000 and R30 000 as Pentax cameras tend to be moderately cheaper than their Canon and Nikon counterparts.