Pentax intros K50 and K500 entry DSLRs, Q7 mirrorless camera

When it rains, it pours -- we knew Pentax was due for new interchangeable lens cameras, but it just surprised us by unveiling three of them at once. The mid-range K-50 and entry K-500 DSLRs at the front of the pack represent slight upgrades to the 16-megapixel K-30 on the inside, with both gaining a higher ISO 51,200 sensitivity and Eye-Fi card support. They mostly differ on the outside. The K-50 keeps the K-30's weather sealing, lithium batteries and extreme color customization; the K-500 caters to the budget crowd by going without weatherproofing, running on AA batteries and shipping only in black. Both bodies are available in stores this July, starting at $600 for a K-500 with an 18-55m kit lens and $780 for a similarly equipped K-50.

The smallest camera of the bunch, the Q7, may be the most intriguing. While the mirrorless body still shoots at the 12.4 megapixels of the Q10, it upgrades to a larger 1/1.7-inch sensor that delivers a big performance boost -- sensitivity has jumped to ISO 12,800, and there's faster autofocusing to boot. Pentax also touts a faster shot-to-shot time, better image stabilization and Eye-Fi support. The Q7 will cost the same $500 in kit form as its ancestor does today, although photographers will have to be patient when the tiny camera doesn't hit retail until August.

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PENTAX RICOH IMAGING BREAKS TRADITION WITH SERIOUS SPECIFICATIONS AND SERIOUS COLOR

PENTAX enhances product offering with two new cameras and two new lenses

Denver, CO (June 12, 2013) - PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today introduced the PENTAX K-50 DSLR featuring advanced functionality beyond its mid-level classification. Ideal for photographers looking to transcend traditional DSLR offerings, the PENTAX K-50 combines a uniquely advanced feature set with a consumer-friendly price tag and 120 color combinations to meet an important additional demand of the creative consumer: personal style.

Rivaling many cameras higher in class, the K-50 boasts a long list of advanced specifications not found in other mid-level DSLRs. Beginning with its 81 weather seals, the K-50 incorporates PENTAX's long-standing heritage of weather-resistant products making cameras that extend shooting environments to wet, rainy or snowy conditions. Building on this leading advantage, the K-50 features high-speed continuous shooting at approximately six frames per second, super-high-sensitivity shooting at ISO settings up to 51200 and high-precision SAFOX IXi+ autofocus with accurate subject tracking, guaranteeing crisp images even when in low-light or with a fast moving subject. Additionally, the K-50's 100% field of view viewfinder, innovative shake reduction system, four optional interchangeable focusing screens and a fast shutter with the ability to shoot at speeds up to 1/6000 of a second enable photographers to push the boundaries of high-speed shooting while providing total confidence that their vision is framed accurately and captured in complete focus. And, with new Eye-fi SD card compatibility built in photo and video sharing a breeze! Users can enable automatic transmission of images and video to a smartphone for rapid sharing and even select their favorite images and re-size them before transmission.

The K-50 is available in 120 brilliant and eye-catching color combinations and sets a new standard in the customization of electronics. PENTAX's Color to Order™ system takes advantage of a newly architected supply chain management system that is built to empower consumers to design the product they want.

"The K-50 introduces features that raise the bar in the mid-level DSLR class," said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICA. "Not only do the hardware and software specs outclass competitors, the Color to Order system is an industry first making it a truly unique offering among a sea of similarity."

PENTAX has also strengthened its weather-sealed lens lineup with the debut of two new lenses; the smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6AL WR, and smc PENTAX-DA L 50-200 F4-5.6ED WR. The addition of these two lenses expands PENTAX's extensive line of weather-sealed lenses which offer a wide variety of focal lengths and shooting perspectives ensuring there is a lens appropriate for many different shooting and weather scenarios.

Also introduced today is the PENTAX K-500, an entry-level DSLR that augments PENTAX's DSLR lineup by including advanced features uncommon to the entry-level class. Ideal for families and casual photographers with rigorous demands, the K-500 features a 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor, fast continuous shooting, high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 51200, 100% field of view, in-body shake reduction, and an advanced auto focus module. Operating on four AA batteries, the K-500 guarantees ultimate flexibility and accessibility to a power source when travelling or in remote locations. In addition, the K-500's wide selection of simple user-modes and creative tools enable limitless personalized expressions while its intuitive ergonomics and menu layout make the K-500 approachable and comfortable to use.

Both the K-50 and K-500 are built around PENTAX's acclaimed K-mount system. Thanks to the lasting commitment PENTAX has made to the K-mount photographers are able to use any of the 25 million K-mount lenses that have been manufactured over the life of the mount. Access to this wide a selection is unparalleled and opens up many new perspectives for photographers encouraging boundless creativity.

Pricing and Availability

The K-50 DSLR is available to order today in a choice of 120 color combinations at pentaximaging.com and retail outlets nationwide in July 2013 with a suggested retail price of $699.95 for body only, $779.95 for the kit including DA-L 18-55mm WR lens and $879.95 for the dual lens kit including the DA-L 18-55mm WR and DA-L 50-200mm WR lenses. The K-500 DSLR will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in July 2013 with a suggested retail price of $599.95 for the kit including the DA-L 18-55mm lens and $699.95 for the dual lens kit including the DA-L 18-55mm and DA-L 50-200mm lenses.

PENTAX RICOH IMAGING EXPANDS COMMITMENT TO Q-MOUNT CAMERA SYSTEM

Available in 120 color combinations, the Q7 ensures there is a camera for every taste and style along with features and settings to match

Denver, CO (June 12, 2013) - PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announced the fun and highly capable Q7 compact system camera. Available for order in 120 eye-catching color combinations through PENTAX's Color To Order™ system, the Q7 gives creative control to the consumer with a complete system of interchangeable lenses, filters, viewfinders, and fun smart effects and digital filters enable truly limitless creativity.

Setting a new standard in the imaging industry, the Q7 incorporates a growing trend among consumer products: customization. With an expertly architected supply chain management system designed around Color To Order, consumers are empowered to integrate individual style, personality and taste into their camera sparking the creative process even as their order is placed. Joining the already successful Q10, the Q7 features an upgraded 1/1.7 inch, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, high sensitivity shooting up to ISO 12800 and enhanced Q ENGINE with faster response time during start-up and shooting time, the creativity continues as beautiful, sharp images are captured.

"Don't be fooled by the Q7's small size and 120 color combinations," said Jim Malcolm, executive vice president, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING. "As the smallest and lightest compact system camera in the world, this tiny gem is packed with serious specs and capabilities including a number of digital filters and smart effects."

Weighing in a just 7 ounces, the Q7's compact body enables easily poket-able portability while the fun filters and assorted lens variety inspire the casual photographer to elevate their creativity. With 19 smart effects and filters and seven lenses, a retro look and feel can easily be applied in-camera with the ability to layer different effects for greater expression and better image quality than cell phones ever dreamt of. Additionally, with the Q7's enhanced Eye Fi SD card compatibility and built-in menus, users can now edit, re-size and share photos instantly.

Also introduced today is the 07 Mount Shield lens. As the seventh member of the Q-family lens mount, the 07 lens produces a truly unique and timeless visual effect, comparable to the original pin-hole camera-with a fixed aperture of F9 and a focal length of 11.5 mm (or 53mm in 35mm format), for an extra-ordinary image with distinctively velvety edges. Featuring a focusing range of approximately 0.7-2m, still life shots and macro photography are given a beautiful dream-like look and feel. Weighing a mere 8 grams, the 07 Mount Shield lens is extremely small, resembling a tiny Q series body cap making it an ideal lens for pocket-able fun, and travel photography.

Pricing and Availability

The Q7 kit with 02 zoom lens is available to order today in a choice of 120 color combinations at pentaximaging.com and retail outlets nationwide in August 2013 with a suggested retail price of $499.95. The 07 Mount Shield lens will be available for purchase online and at retail outlets nationwide in July 2013with a suggested retail price of $79.95.

Engadget HD Podcast 353 - 06.12.13