Pentax doesn't offer quite as many cameras as some other major manufacturers, but the company includes some very interesting models, ranging from point and shoot cameras to entry-level DSLR models to advanced DSLRs. The best new Pentax cameras listed here have been released in the past 18 months.
As part of Photokina 2010, Pentax has announced a new DSLR camera aimed at advanced amateur photographers, the K-5. The Pentax K-5 includes a 16.3MP CMOS image sensor, high sensitivity ISO settings, 1080p HD video capabilities, a 1/8000th second maximum shutter speed, and a 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD.
The K-5 II will include a 16.3 megapixel image sensor, a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD, an optical viewfinder, a popup flash, and full HD video capabilities. The K-5 II can accept a variety of interchangeable lenses, too.
The latest DSLR camera from Pentax, the K-30, provides some extremely powerful features, building on the success that Pentax has enjoyed in the past several years in the prosumer DSLR market. You can find the K-30 in a black, white, or blue camera body with black trim.
The K-30 has a 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor, which gives it good low light capabilities. It also includes a 3-inch, high-resolution LCD, 1080p HD video capabilities, and six frames per second shooting. Pentax DA interchangeable lenses will fit the lens mount on the K-30.
Pentax also fully weather sealed the K-30, protecting it from most types of weather and allowing it to work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this doesn't mean that this DSLR is usable underwater.
The Pentax K-r DSLR camera is a high-speed performer, as it includes a 1/6000th maximum shutter speed, and it can shoot up to six frames per second. Additionally, the K-r includes 12.4 megapixels of resolution with its high-performance CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD, and HD video capabilities up to 720p. The K-r even can run from four AA batteries, with the AA battery pack. Pentax is now offering the K-r in black, white, or red.
Pentax hopes that it has successfully found a niche with its entry-level K-x DSLR camera. The K-x offers 12.4 megapixels of resolution, a 2.7-inch LCD, and HD video capabilities. For a DSLR, the fact that the K-x runs from four AA batteries is unique, as is having the DSLR camera body available in several different colors, including a limited-edition rainbow model. The K-x is an award-winning camera as well.
Last year's Pentax Q digital interchangeable lens camera was only the beginning for this company in the DIL market.
Pentax now has introduced a second DIL camera, the Pentax K-01.
The K-01 isn't quite as small as the Q, listed below, but it still looks like a very interesting camera, especially because it can accept any Pentax K lens. As far as I can decipher, this is the first DIL camera that can accept lenses originally made for DSLR cameras.
Obviously, carrying a DSLR-type lens mount makes the K-01 a bit bigger than other DIL cameras. Still, the K-01 is smaller than many DSLR cameras.
7. Pentax Q DIL
Count Pentax among the manufacturers who have added digital interchangeable lens (DIL) cameras to their product line alongside the company's DSLR cameras.
Because of the mirror-less design for the camera's interior, DIL cameras are smaller than DSLRs. However, they use a different lens system than DSLRs, meaning lenses cannot be shared between the two types of cameras.
Pentax's first DIL camera is the Pentax Q, which is currently available for sale in white or black. Japanese photographers had access to the Q for a few months before photographers in the United States. The Q offers a 12.4MP CMOS image sensor, 1080p HD video, a 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD, a built-in flash, and five frames per second capabilities.
The Pentax Q10 DIL camera is a great-looking camera that remains small while being able to make use of interchangeable lenses. In fact, you can use either Pentax Q-mount lenses or K-mount lenses (with an adapter).
The Q10 can shoot at 12.4 megapixels of resolution and at five frames per second in burst mode. With a CMOS image sensor, the Q10 performs well in low light, shooting at an ISO up to 6400. You can shoot full 1080p HD video with this model, and it's available in red or silver camera bodies, both with black trim.
9. Pentax X-5
Pentax has long been famous for its high-end film SLR cameras and now its Pentax DSLR cameras. However, since its acquisition by Ricoh, Pentax has been trying to branch out with a few different models, including some DIL models, as well as some advanced point and shoot models.
One of the latest cameras from Pentax is an ultra zoom model that looks like a DSLR but is actually a fixed-lens camera, called the Pentax X-5.
The X-5 offers a 26X optical zoom, 16MP of resolution, a 3.0-inch LCD that swivels, and 1080p HD video capture.
You'll find that the X-5 costs less than $300, offering a pretty good value versus other ultra zooms. The X-5 is available in a black or silver camera body with black trim. (Don't confuse the X-5 with the DSLR model from Pentax, the K-5, listed above.)
With the Pentax Optio RS1500, you can change the look of the camera at any time with a new faceplate, a new lens ring, or a customizable skin, such as the skin shown here feating the Green Lantern.You'll find 14 megapixels of resolution, a 4X optical zoom lens, 720p HD video capability, and a 3-inch LCD screen with the Optio RS1500.
The RS1500 is an upgrade to the Optio RS1000, which was released late in 2010 and could accept various skins. Pentax designed the RS1500 to be easier to customize than its predecessor.
Thirteen may be the lucky number for Pentax, as its recently released 13th generation of tough digital cameras, the Optio WG-2, is already an award winner.
TIPA named the WG-2 as a winner of the most rugged compact camera award recently. Two versions of this model are available, the WG-2 (pictured here) and the WG-2 GPS, which costs about $50 more and contains a built-in GPS unit.
The WG-2 has 16 megapixels of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, and a 3.0-inch LCD. Pentax includes six small LED lights around the lens, allowing you to add plenty of light to almost any close-up scene, no matter what kind of environmental conditions in which you end up shooting photos.
You'll find some great "tough" features with the WG-2, which is available in red with black trim or an all-black camera body. This camera can be used in up to 40 feet of water depth, which is one of the best performances among compact waterproof cameras. It's also usable in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can survive a fall from 5 feet.