Visit MPB Visit MPB Visit MPB

SLR digital camera

John Walker
Posted 14/01/2002 - 18:55 Link
Is Pentax going to introduce a digital SLR camera that takes K mount lenses?
Posted 17/01/2002 - 09:24 Link
Hi John,
Pentax did have a digital SLR planned, but unfortunately development was cancelled due to high costs.

With all the other manufacturers having Digital SLRs out, or planning them it seems unlikely Pentax would miss out on this part of the market for much longer.

The problem is all the manufacturers keep their cards close to their chest so we're unlikely to know anything about any digital SLR from Pentax until a month or so before its release.
Technical Assistant
Pentax User Magazine
John Walker
Posted 17/01/2002 - 19:38 Link
Posted 20/01/2002 - 12:43 Link
We can only hope that Pentax adopt its low cost but excellent performance policy (as per MZ30, MZ7 and MZ5N) to future digital SLRs.
A new digital SLR from Pentax needs to accept K mount lenses, produce 5/6 megapixel images and cost under 1000.
I am sure other manufactures will achieve this within a couple of years.
Friendly Regards
Posted 21/03/2002 - 23:11 Link
It all depends what you want to do with the images, but before I get anywhere near ready to buy a digital SLR it will need a full size chip and a resolution of over 10 megapixels. I was once talking to a scientist and in a rough guess we estimated that the average Kodachrome slide probably had an equivalent resolution of 50 megapixels. Then I bought a Pentax 645n and the goal posts moved again...
Best regards, John
Posted 14/06/2002 - 16:46 Link
I'm gagging for a Pentax digital SLR,
and one that is 1:1 ratio...

Major disappointment when they canceled the MZ digital, must be problems with the CCD as Contax which uses the same chip experienced teething problems and was late to market.
(and price)

Waiting to see how the new technology Foveon sensors will shake up the market too.

6 mega pixels will do me : )

Only problem with the MZ digital was it was a bit on the large size (I like my cameras compact)

..but we shall wait and see what develops at Pentax..
I love cameras ending in -tax
Posted 24/11/2002 - 20:54 Link
News on the JCTN :

October 17: Pentax plans to market lens-interchangeable digital SLR next spring:
Pentax Corporation (new name for Asahi Optical) is planning to enter lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera market next spring probably, according to the company.
The camera will use APS-format size CCD image sensor, in stead of 35mm format size , so as to make the camera price lower, less than Y300,000 ($2,500) and the body more compact.
Simultaneously the company will shift more to digital cameras, accordingly number of 35mm SLR and compact photo cameras will be reduced gradually.
Regarding Pentax market share in Japan, the company has 12% share in 35mm SLR market, 25% in compact flash cameras, and 40% inmedium format cameras.
Posted 09/12/2002 - 22:45 Link
I'm just hanging out[B] for a digital SLR from Pentax - with Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Sigma all offering tempting models - I don't know how much longer I can hold out.

I really want to be able to retain all my Pentax lenses though - what a pain it would be to start from scratch. Anything from 6 to 12 Megapixels would suit me - MUST HAVE A MICRODRIVE SLOT - there ; I feel a bit better now.

Where are those pills ....

Barry Raynel Photography
Tauranga, New Zealand
Posted 11/12/2002 - 09:44 Link
Thanks clover - that's some interesting news. I was just beginning to give up on the digital SLR front. It is just not worth the cost to switch brands (as much as I like the Fuji S2 and Nikon D100), well for me at least.

If Pentax are listening... some features that would be great:

* Record priority. i.e. when your previewing an image you just half press the shutter to switch straight to record. My little Canon S30 does this very nicely - no mode changing.

* Optional live LCD preview. Most digi-SLRs seem to miss this out. Just flick the mirror up and provide a preview. It's useful for over-the-head photography in a crowd. Add to that live histogram too for getting the exposure just right.

* Microdrive support. Well, that goes without saying.

* Options for disabling sharpening, noise adjustment etc. For snap shots, dare I say it , I just shoot in JPG mode, and like no sharpening in-camera. I always, always, always edit the images in Photoshop before printing.

* Colour space choice plus some kind of RAW mode.

* Anti glare, anti scratch covering over the LCD. Obvious but not always done.

* Rubber eye cup/surround for those of us who have to wear specs all the time.

* All the same fittings as standard Pentax SLRs (flash guns, flash leads, remote shutter release, lens). Though I half expect them to use the new MZS style shutter release.

* Firewire, not USB. But then, Pentax already went that route with the first aborted attempt. (Saw the image of it in the Pentax User magazine. Very nice)

* Oh yes, and the usual massive battery life, and near zero shutter release time!! The AF speed on the Z1 I have not beaten. I've tried the Canon EOS3 and EOS50e and both are way behind... If Pentax want me to try the new camera on my run-very-fast kiddies then I'm available

For me the weight of the Z1 is superb - I prefer it to my MZ5 that weighs hardly anything. The Z1, egonomically, is fantastic, the best thing I've used so far. The weight is good too, especially when you have a hunky f2.8 lens on the front.

Having said that, I have not dared try an MZ-S just in case I like it too much...

FYI, APS film size is 30mm x 17mm as opposed to 36mm x 24mm. That gives you a les multiplier of just 1.24, so a 50mm lens will appear as a 62mm, and a 28mm lens will appear like a 35mm lens. Now in my mind that's pretty excellent compared to the Fuji S2 multiplier of 1.53, the Canon D30 multiplier of 1.60, and the Nikon D100 multiplier of 1.50. (Please correct me if I am wrong here...)

Oh yes, anyone know what happened to the pre-production models?

(For gallery, tips and links)
Posted 10/01/2003 - 10:02 Link
Just to add some more thoughts...

It was good to see the announcement in the PU mag that arrived yesterday The price seems to have a large variance, but still, that sounds reasonable.

It would be nice if Pentax could provide for upgradable CCD chip/module for all those who are picky about the sensor size. Obviously tonnes more money, but then there are some that need it. For me, I don't mind, I'd rather have an excuse to get a super wide angle.

The reader's letter in the mag (sorry, can't remember the name and I don't have the mag with me here) seemed a bit extreme: to sell their MZ5N & MZS just because the new digi-SLR won't have full frame! Having had a Canon S30 for some time with not-very-wide angle lense but being able to stitch 180 and 360 degree panoramas together seemlessly has been better than I'd hoped.

Consider these price and lense multiplier facts: Canon D60 2200srp (1800) = 1.6x, Canon 1D 5500srp (4000) = 1.3x, Canon 1DS 7000srp = 1.0 (full frame). If you don't believe me, take a look here:

Now the Pentax having a multiplier of 1.2 (for APS) and at the prices Pentax suggest seems very, very attractive. Don't knock it

Regarding imaging noise - that's not such a big problem. Even my S30 can produce usable images at 800ASA when filtered with (It works really nicely with scanned images too - takes the grain out of my Nikon Coolscan IV scanned Fuji Provia.)

One of my main concerns is AF response speed and shutter lag which becomes important for action (not such a problem for landscapes, macro, and studio work).

Just wonder what the feature list is.... Still, not long to wait now.

...and if Pentax would like me to do a review, please contact me
(For gallery, tips and links)
Posted 28/02/2003 - 09:33 Link
Well, the new digi looks very cool (though quite how you're meant to say the name is a mystery "asterisk-ist D"?? )

Thought the first press release had an interesting point that made me chuckle:

11. 2.5-frame-per-second high-speed motor drive
The high-speed motor drive winds the film at a speed of 2.5 frames per second. The user can select either single-frame advance or consecutive advance with simple pushbutton operation. It also simplifies film loading and rewinding operations.

Looks like I'll have to start saving... unless (uh-hem) Pentax want to loan me a preproduction one to do beta testing and debugging (my line of work - hint, hint).

(For gallery, tips and links)
Posted 28/02/2003 - 11:13 Link
Ooops! :0

Should have read it more carefully... there is the *ist ,and the *ist D. Found some bigger pictures of the *ist (35mm film that obviously needs rewinding - see my previous post):

Regarding the *ist D:
Which mentions a 1.5x lense multiplier. Pretty excellent stuff. So that means my newly acquired 20-35mm would serve me well as a 30mm-52mm.

(For gallery, tips and links)
Posted 19/03/2003 - 12:58 Link
Just for all those hopefuls out there

The *istD will have a multiplier of 1.5x. That means a 20mm lens will behave like a 30mm. Ah yes, and a 300mm is like 450mm - great for wildlife. ( and

Still anxiously awaiting further specs (ISO ratings, features, and of course - price).

Excellent points I've gleaned so far:
* HyperManual and the separate wheels for Tv & Av - I just love this on the Z1.
* AA cells - great as 2000mA NiMH are so cheap now
* Microdrive support

From what I've seen of the images, the controls look very well placed... time to start some serious saving

(For gallery, tips and links)
Posted 28/03/2003 - 02:42 Link
ughh it's got Canon style thumb wheels..
where are those MZ3 type dials gone?
I love cameras ending in -tax
Posted 28/03/2003 - 09:51 Link

Canon thumb wheel - urghurgh! Makes me go all shivery at the thought!

If you look carefully, the "wheel" is appears to be the focus selector (around the OK button), to choose between auto, spot, and selected.

The aperture wheel is on the top right corner of the back - in the same place the Z1/Z1p have it. The shutter wheel is horizontally aligned, in front of and below the shutter release.

IMHO, that's a really comfortable arrangement... just want to try it out for real

And just to clarify a couple of things I've said earlier in this thread (so there are no misunderstandings):

* The focal length is always the same, it is just the angle of view, and hence the "effective focal length" that is 1.5x that of a 35mm camera.
* If you want to see how Fuji/Olympus/Kodak view this: - there are some other technical aspects to having a smaller sensor.
* Regarding Canon AF - yes, I know it's fast in the real world and the timings look good, but it just seems sluggish in comparison to the Pentax AF. Maybe it's something to do with the algorithm that zeroes in on the correct focus.

Looking at the price war between the Canon 10D and the Sigma, I wonder quite where the Pentax will arrive? And also whether Pentax support and firmware updates will be responsive to the consumers' comments

There - said it...
(For gallery, tips and links)

Add Comment

To leave a comment - Log in to Pentax User or create a new account.