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. (Some Pentax cameras now are sold under the Ricoh brand name.)
Although it seems as if the most prevalent DSLR camera options right now are aimed at the entry-level portion of the advanced camera market, Pentax hasn't forgotten about the intermediate segment of the market.
The Pentax K-3 DSLR camera is aimed at more experienced DSLR photographers, offering plenty of advanced features, including a 24 megapixel APS-C sized image sensor, a 3.2-inch high resolution LCD, full HD 1080p video recording, ISO settings up to 51200, dual memory card slots, and an 8.3 frames per second burst mode.
Look for the impressive K-3 in either black or silver (with black trim) camera bodies.
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.
Pentax has combined a very nice camera body with some fun and helpful external features in its recently released Pentax K-50 DSLR camera.
The K-50 is very similar in performance levels to the Pentax K-500. The K-50 has a large 16.2MP CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch LCD screen, full 1080p HD video recording, and the ability to use any Pentax K-series interchangeable lenses. The K-50 can shoot at up to 6 frames per second in burst mode.
On the K-50's exterior, you will find 81 seals featuring weather resistance, which is an area where this model differs from the K-500. Another area of difference is the inclusion of Pentax's Color to Order system with the K-50, which allows photographers to order the Pentax K-50 in up to 120 color combinations.
For several years, Pentax has steadily been one of the primary manufacturers of DSLR cameras, providing a mixture of entry-level and intermediate DSLR models.
The company has added another entry-level DSLR to its family with the now available K-500. This camera ha a 16.2MP CMOS APS-C image sensor measuring 23.7 by 15.7 mm, which gives it a significant image quality advantage over most fixed-lens cameras.
The K-500 features a 3.0-inch LCD and a viewfinder, and it can shoot full HD video at three different frame rates up to 30 fps. There's also a good mixture of automatic and manual features with this camera.
The K-500 can run from AA-sized batteries. The K-500 can use any Pentax K-mount interchangeable lens, which is great.
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.
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 type of 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.
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.
9. Pentax MX-1
If you enjoy retro-looking digital cameras, such as those like the Olympus PEN family, you're going to want to take a look at the Pentax MX-1.
The MX-1 is a fixed-lens camera that includes a 1/1.7-inch CMOS image sensor, which will yield better photographic quality than a point-and-shoot camera. Pentax included a 4X optical zoom lens with the MX-1, as well as some advanced manual control options. It can shoot full HD video, and it has an f/1.8 to f/2.5 aperture range.
The MX-1 is available in all black or black with silver trim.
Pentax has been one of the top camera manufacturers for several years when it comes to tough cameras. One of the latest models from Pentax -- the WG-3 -- should be another really good waterproof camera.
This camera is usable in up to 45 feet of water depth and can survive a fall from 6.6 feet.
The WG-3 includes a 16MP CMOS image sensor, 4X optical zoom in an f/2.0 lens, a 3.0-inch LCD screen, full 1080p HD video recording, and six LED macro lights.
The WG-3 is available with or without a GPS unit, and the GPS adds about $50 to the price of the camera. Look for the WG-3 in either green or purple camera bodies, both with black and yellow trim.
11. 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.
12. Pentax Q10 DIL
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.