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The great outdoors awaits the 24.3-MP Pentax KP DSLR

Create: 01/25/2017 - 23:42
Pentax KP

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dust-proof and weather-sealed for outdoor photography
  • 24.3-MP APS-C CMOS sensor with top ISO of 819,200
  • Different hand grips included

While there are many digital SLRs that are made to operate in all kinds of conditions, Ricoh Imaging is marketing the Pentax KP as a camera for all seasons.

The Pentax KP has a 24.3-MP APS-C CMOS sensor that is linked to the Prime IV image-processing system. There is no low-pass filter, which is being seen increasingly these days. The ISO range is 100 to an astounding 819,200. Whether the top of the range is a usable ISO will remain to be seen.

Being a Pentax, the KP can accept all KAF lenses through KAF4, as well as older manual-focus K-mount optics

Its styling continues what was established by the full-frame K-1, with its pyramid-like pentaprism and large textured knobs. Unlike the K-1, the Pentax KP will be available in silver, as well as black.

The camera is both dust-proof and weather-sealed and can operate in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius).

“We designed the PENTAX KP to appeal to the world’s most discerning outdoor photographers, who will appreciate its rich and powerful feature set and rugged, compact design, whether they are shooting a landscape on a trek in Patagonia or capturing an eclipse,” said Kaz Eguchi, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas, in a press release announcing the Pentax KP.

The Pentax KP has a true pentaprism (not pentamirror) viewfinder, which should provide for a brighter viewfinder image and boasts a 100% field of view. There also is a 3.0-inch tilting LCD monitor for Live View and reviewing photos and video and navigating menus. It is not touch-enabled.

Many of the knobs and dials appear to be oversized, which should make it easier to operate while wearing gloves.

MANUAL, ELECTRONIC SHUTTERS

The Pentax KP is fitted with both electronic and manual shutters with the manual shutter topping out at 1/6,000 and the electronic shutter offering speeds as quick as 1/24,000. Exposures can be as long as 30 seconds, plus B. The Pentax XP offers mirror lockup, and it also has a built-in pop-up flash.

The camera has five-axis Shake Reduction and Pixel Shift Resolution, in which four photos are taken in succession and are merged into a single image.

This Pentax camera again is useful for astrophotography and can be linked with the accessory GPS module that allows the camera to keep in sync with star movements.

Photos can be recorded as quick as seven frames per second as RAW and JPG. The maximum resolution for video is Full HD 1920 x 1080i at 60 frames per second in 16:9 aspect ratio. There also is a regular HD 1280 x 720 video option. The maximum length for any video recording is 25 minutes. There is an input jack for an external microphone, as well as a Micro-USB port.

Built-in WiFi allows easy transfer of images to a smart device.

GETTING A GRIP

One interesting features is the removable hand grip. Three different sized grips – small, medium and large – will be included so that the buyer can select the one that best fits their hand.

An optional battery grip also is available. It holds a second battery and also has a shutter release and dials for shooting portraits.

The body is 5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0 inches (132 x 102 x 76mm) and weighs 1.41 pounds (640 grams).

The Pentax KP, available in black and silver, is expected to begin shipping Feb. 25 for US$1,099.95 (body only). At this time, it's not being sold with a kit lens, although that might change as its debut approaches.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.