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Gear Reviews

Pentax to develop new APS-C and Full Frame DSLRs

By Anthony Thurston on April 26th 2013

In a DSLR world dominated by Nikon, Canon, and Sony the little guys such as Pentax must sometimes changes things up in order to gain any market share.  In a recent interview with PCPop a Chinese website, Pentax’s Managing Director, Tomoyoshi Shibata revealed that the company is currently working on a new professional level APS-C DSLR that will be released alongside a new full frame DSLR that will be “different from any other full frame DSLR on the market”.


Details of this new full frame DSLR have not been shared as of yet, in fact nothing has even been officially announced, but this seems to be a bold move on Pentax’s part. I mean if they are truly aiming to make a full frame DSLR that is different from other full frame models from the other manufacturers this can only be a good thing for the industry. We can only speculate as to what will make this new full frame DSLR different from others, but given Pentax’s history let’s all hope he is not just referring to a rainbow of color options. Haha

What do you guys think? Could Pentax really have a game changing DSLR up their sleeve, or is it all talk?

[via ubergizmo]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Paul Robinson

    Unless Pentax has a new secret digital capture technology I don’t see how they could have what they are calling a game changer. This could be interesting to see how it all pans out.

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  2. Les Moyle

    I shoot with both Canon and Pentax. The Pentax is a way better camera for ease of use (Canikon could take a leaf out of Pentax’s book to learn how to build a menu system) and the dynamic range is fabulous.
    I am so looking forward to the FF Pentax that I will probably get one in a heartbeat if it is anywhere near as good as their current high end APS-C models.

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  3. Hannu Siika-aho

    One thing that is not often tested is shadow noise at base ISO. Pentax is perhaps the best in this department.

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  4. Rafael Steffen

    This will be interesting to see if they can produce a better AF system.

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  5. Janetius

    I have used Pentax SLR film camera and enjoyed. Moved to Nikon when i moved to digital. My love for Pentax has not gone out of my mind. I would say Pentax doesn’t compete competitively in the digital era. I am waiting for the Pentax ff models to refresh my younger days photographic memories.

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  6. Richard

    I was never a fan of pentax. I havent used one in years and years but when I did, I found the shutter was very inconsistant. I dont know if they still are or not though

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    • John Cavan

      Read the reviews of any Pentax dSLR over the last number of years and I think you’ll find that their cameras consistently come out very highly rated.

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  7. Kevin R. Whitley

    Would welcome a game-changer to the 35mm market, but I don’t expect it from Pentax. Even their medium format offering (645D) is too close in performance (not just megapixels) to the Nikon D800E to seriously consider for the price differential.

    I’ll be happy to eat my words though, should they prove me wrong!

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    • Ken

      Full Disclosure: My first dslr was a Pentax K100D back in 2006ish and I currently still shoot with a Pentax K20D that I’ve had for 3 or 4 years. I am not a professional photographer and I never will be.

      Here’s my view on Pentax. They make excellent products that are very competitive in comparison to Canon and Nikon’s products. For everyone up to the enthusiast level, I don’t think they will ever be able to tell the difference between pictures taken with a K-5, D7000, or 7D. The reason people don’t buy Pentax is because the “pros” don’t buy Pentax, and for that reason I don’t think Pentax will able to steal marketshare from the big two.

      Where I think Pentax has found its niche is with photographers such as travel and landscape photographers, where the fully sealed compact body of the K5 is very attractive versus the larger equivalents from canon and nikon. (Think about having to pack everything for hiking/camping, large camera gear is the last thing you want to lug around). This brings me to my prediction for this new FF dslr thats “different” from everything else on the market:

      I didn’t translate the original interview but assuming he used the term “DSLR” that rules out any mirrorless (rangefinder style or something like the NEX) or translucent mirror design (Sony SLT design). So if it is a conventional “dslr” the only thing in my eyes that can set it apart is a compact FF body meant to compete with the D600/6D. So think of a K-5 style body with a 35mm sensor. Full dust and water sealing (unlike the D600/6D which are “weather resistant”). Again this will appeal to the landscape photographers that want a small, light camera, with the dynamic range of a FF sensor.

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    • Kevin R. Whitley

      Absolutely, true – and as I have both the 5D Mark II and newer 6D (backup and behind the scenes camera), I certainly appreciate the lighter weight and more compact nature of the 6D. That being said, what usually sets landscape photographers aside from people like event photographers is their end product is often printed on a massive scale. Dynamic range is great (and needed), but if you’re making sacrifices that drastically impact final output resolution, you’ll suffer for it.

      This is why I lug in far more camera gear than is comfortable (offset by ultralight camping gear), to avoid making compromises to the final work of art. For this same reason, I’d prefer a higher resolving sensor, even if it comes in a LESS weather sealed/ergonomic case and weighs more. Despite the risks, inconveniences, cost, weight, etc of it all – that’s why I’m looking to Phase One for my next rig. This is also why I would WELCOME a viable alternative to this path should it present itself. :)

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    • John Cavan

      I don’t know that I’d compare the 645D to the D800E. As with going from compact to APS-C or APS-C to FX, there is a change in look to the image and it is no different when going FX to MF as in your example. Sadly, though, Pentax was too late for me, I made the switch from the K-5 to the D800 because I got tired of waiting. Shame, really, as Pentax makes a superb camera.

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