Pre-Photokina 2010: Pentax has announced the K-r, its latest mid-level DSLR. Initially sitting above the K-x in the range it offers more angular, K-7-esque styling. It offers 6 fps continuous shooting and HD movie recording and regains AF-point illumination in the viewfinder. It also features a high-res 920k dot (VGA) LCD display and the ability to shoot at up to ISO 25600. Unusually for a Pentax at this level it uses an rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack but can be used with AAs via an optional adapter. We've had a chance to get to grips with the K-r and have prepared a brief hands-on article discussing its features and additions.

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Press Release:

Compact, lightweight, multi-features... It’s the mid-range digital SLR camera

PENTAX Imaging Systems announces the launch of its latest digital SLR camera – the K-r.  Encased in a compact, lightweight body, this new model combines simple, user-friendly functions with a wide array of advanced features, designed to enhance the fun and excitement of digital SLR photography.

Developed to be a mid-range model targeted at digital SLR novices and family users, the PENTAX K-r offers an assortment of features and functions that make it easy for everyone to effortlessly capture the high-quality images people expect of a digital SLR camera.

In addition it comes equipped with a host of handy tools that help create more personalised, creative images, including:

  • high-quality image reproduction with approximately 12.4 effective megapixels
  • HDTV-proportion movie recording
  • high-speed continuous shooting at approximately six images per second
  • super-high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 25600 (via a custom function)
  • a large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch high-resolution colour LCD monitor

The K-r boasts outstanding performance and versatility, almost the equivalent of more advanced digital SLR cameras, while allowing the photographer to easily deal with different photographic requirements.  Its dual-power-source design offers a choice between the standard rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a set of AA-size batteries. 

It is also compatible with the IrSimple™ high-speed infrared data transmission system for wireless data transfer to IrSimple-compatible devices, and for swift image data exchange. 

What are its key functions?

  • High-quality, true-to-life image reproduction: The K-r incorporates a new-generation CMOS image sensor with approximately 12.4 effective megapixels. It also features the high-performance PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II imaging engine to ensure accurate and high-speed data processing equal to that of upper-level models
  •  Compact, lightweight body: Despite the incorporation of the large 23.6mm x 15.8mm image sensor, the K-r sports a compact, lightweight body, thanks to a trim, stainless-steel chassis, a downsized in-body shake reduction mechanism, and state-of-the-art, high-density packaging technologies that ensure space-efficient positioning and layout of the camera components
  • High-speed continuous shooting at approximately six images per second: The shooting mode records as many as 25 images (in JPEG recording format) in a single sequence at a maximum speed of approximately six images per second — the fastest of all entry-class models
  • High-precision AF system: The K-r’s high-precision, wide-frame SAFOX IX autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) for pin sharp focusing. Spot beam is also available for difficult lighting situations.
  • Bright, clear optical viewfinder: Thanks to the combination of PENTAX-original finder optics and the renowned Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen, the K-r’s viewfinder offers a bright, clear subject image at 0.85X magnification and a 96% field of view
  • Large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch LCD monitor with wide-view design and approximately 921,000 dots: High-resolution colour LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots.  Its wide-view design assures a clear view of the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically
  • Versatile dual-power-source design: Powered by a standard rechargeable lithium-ion battery or four AA-size batteries using optional AA Battery Holder D-BH109
  • PENTAX-original SR mechanism for sharp, blur-free images: Features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, producing sharp, blur-free images even under demanding conditions prone to camera shake; compatible with the full range of Pentax lenses
  • Innovative image-processing functions to produce distinctive photographic expressions: Custom image function for distinctive finishing touches/ Versatile digital filter function/ Cross process mode with three options/ Upgraded HDR (High Dynamic Range) function
  • High-speed infrared data transmission system: The first PENTAX digital SLR camera equipped with the IrSimple™ high-speed infrared data transmission system
  • High-quality, HDTV-proportion movie recording at 1280 x 720 pixels and at 25 frames per second: True-to-life movie clips in 16:9 high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels) at a frame rate of 25 frames per second

In addition it has...

  • DR (Dust Removal) mechanism, to shake dust off the CMOS image sensor
  • User-friendly layout of essential control buttons and levers, all positioned on the camera’s grip side for quick, effortless access by the photographer
  • Auto Picture mode, for effortless, automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode, even during Live View shooting
  • Eleven scene modes, including a new Night Scene HDR mode
  • Versatile white balance control, featuring a new CTE mode designed to emphasise the dominant colour components of the captured images
  • Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA-,DFA- and FA Limited-series lenses)
  • PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, with RAW-data processing and browser applications

The PENTAX K-r will be available from October 2010
Recommended Retail Price:

  • K-r + 18-55mm DAL - £599.99
  • K-r + 18-55mm DAL + 50-200mm DAL - £699.99

Pentax K-r specifications

Price US
• $799.95 (body only)
• $849.95 (with 18-55mm DAL)
• $899.95(with 18-55mm DAL + 50-200mm DAL)
• $999.95 (with 18-55mm DAL + 55-300mm)
• £599.99 (with 18-55mm DAL)
• £699.99 (with 18-55mm DAL + 50-200mm DAL)
Body material Plastic on stainless steel chassis
Sensor • 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS sensor
• Primary color filter
• 12.4 million effective pixels
Shake Reduction Sensor-Shift type
Dust reduction • Image sensor moving mechanism and SP coating
Image sizes • [12M] 4288 x 2848 pixels
• [10M] 3936 x 2624 pixels
• [6M] 3072 x 2048 pixels
• [2M] 1728 x 1152 pixels
Image formats • JPEG (Conforms to Exif 2.21), (Best, Better, Good)
• Compressed RAW ( PEF )
• Non-compressed RAW ( DNG )
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Lenses PENTAX K, KA, KAF, KAF2 and KAF3 mount lenses
FOV crop 1.5x
Focusing • 11-point wide autofocus system, 9 cross-type (SAFOX IX)
• TTL Phase matching
• 11-point or 5-point Auto, Select or Center
Focus modes • AF-Auto
• AF-Single
• AF-Continuous
• Manual focus
AF assist Dedicated lamp
Shooting modes • Program AE
• Sensitivity-Priority AE
• Shutter-Priority AE
• Aperture-Priority AE
• Metered Manual
• AutoPicture mode
• Portrait mode
• Landcscape
• Macro
• Moving object
• Night scene portrait
• Flash off
Picture modes • Bright
• Natural
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Vibrant
• Monochrome
• Reversal Film
• Bleach Bypass
Scene modes • Night Scene
• Surf & Snow
• Food
• Sunset
• Kids
• Pet
• Candlelight
• Museum
• Stage Lighting
• Night Snap
• Night scene HDR
Metering modes • Multi-segment metering
• Center-weighted metering
• Spot metering
Metering • TTL open-aperture 16-segment metering
• Exposure range: EV 1-21.5(Standard Output Sensitivity 200 50mm F1.4)
AE Lock Can be allocated to AF/AE-L button by Menu.
AE Bracketing • ±0.5EV to ±1.5EV (1/2 EV steps)
• ±0.3EV to ±1.0EV (1/3 EV steps)
• ±0.7EV to ± 1.0EV (1/3 EV steps)
Exposure compen. ±3 EV (1/2 EV or 1/3 EV steps)
Exposure steps • 1/2 EV
• 1/3 EV
Sensitivity • Auto (selectable range)
• Manual : 200-12800
• Bulb Mode: up to ISO 1600
• Expandable ISO 100 - 25600
• 1EV, 1/2EV or 1/3EV steps
Shutter Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed • 30 to 1/6000 sec
• Bulb
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten Light
• Fluorescent Light (W, D, N, L)
• Flash
• Manual setting with WB fine adjustment
Movie mode • AVi (Motion JPEG)
• 1280 x 720, 25fps
• 640 x 480, 30/25fps
• Three quality levels
• Built-in mono mic
• Movie processing including Custom Image, Cross Process and selected Digital Filters
Viewfinder • penta-mirror type
• Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen
• Field of view approx. 96%
• Magnification approx. 0.85X (with 50mm F1.4 lens, infinity, -1m)
• Diopter adjustment approx. -2.5 - +1.5m
LCD monitor • TFT color LCD monitor with anti-reflective coating
• Brightness and color adjustable
• Wide angle view
• 3.0 inch
• Approx. 920,000 dots
Live View • TTL by Image sensor
• Enlargement (2X, 4X, 6X in case of AF mode, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x in case of MF mode)
• Grid pattern, white/black out warning display, Histogram
• AF: Contrast detection + Face detection / Contrast detection /
Phase difference detection
Flash • Built-in retractable P-TTL pop-up flash
• Guide number: approx. 16 (Standard Output Sensitivity 200/m)
• Angle of view coverage: 28mm wide-angle (35mm equivalent)
• Flash Exposure Compensation: -2 EV - +1EV (1/2EV steps)
• 1/180 sec flash-sync
External Flash • Hot shoe, sync-speed: 1/180 sec.
• Wireless-sync with PENTAX dedicated flash
Flash compensation -2.0 to +1.0 EV
Drive modes • Single-frame
• Continuous (Hi, Lo)
• Self-timer (12s, 2s)
• Remote control (0s, 3s)
• Interval up to 999 pictures
• Auto bracket (3 frames)
Continuous shooting • Hi speed: 6fps - 25 JPEG, 12 RAW
• Lo speed: 2 fps - until card is full or 36 RAW
Remote release • InfraRed remote (optional)
• Instant or with 3 sec delay
Custom functions 22 custom-programmable functions available
Preview Optical / Digital preview
Playback mode • One Image
• Index (4 or 9 or 16 or 36 thumbnails)
• Enlargement (up to 16X, scroll available)
• Image Rotation
• Folder view
• Slideshow
• Histogram
• Bright/Dark area
• Calender
• Resize
• Trimming
• Index
Digital filter
(Rec Mode)
• Toy Camera
• High Contrast
• Soft
• Star Burst
• Retro
• Extract Color
• Custom
• Fish Eye
Digital filter
• Monochrome
• Posterisation
• Color
• Soft
• Pastel
• Watercolor
• Sketch
• Brightness
• Toy Camera
• High Contrast
• Soft
• Slim
• Star Burst
• Retro
• Miniature
• Fish Eye
• Extract Colour
• Base Parameter Adjustment
• Custom
Menu languages • English
• French
• German
• Spanish
• Swedish
• Dutch
• Italian
• Russian
• Portuguese
• Danish
• Finnish
• Polish
• Czech
• Hungarian
• Turkish
• Japanese
• Korean
• Traditional Chinese
• Simplified Chinese
• Greek
Connectivity • USB/Video
• USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED)
• Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats
Storage SD or SDHC card
Power • D-LI109 rechargeable Lithium Ion
• Four AA (lithium, alkaline, and rechargeable Ni-MH) batteries with optional D-BH109 adapter
• Optional AC adapter
Battery life (CIPA Standard) • 470 shots with D-LI109
• 1000 shots with AA
Dimensions 125mm x 97mm x 68mm (4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
Weight (no lens) 598g (20.5 oz.) with D-LI109 battery, 625g with AAs

Additional Images