Pentax Debuts HD-Capable K-7 DSLR Camera

Only days after Sony introduced a trio of new entry-level Alpha DSLR camera, Pentax has delivered one of its own -- though, this one is definitely not low-end. Aimed to take on the likes of Nikon's D300 and Canon's 50D, the Pentax K-7 features a 14.6MP CMOS sensor and is the first Pentax DSLR to shoot HD video.

The mid-range device is fully compatible with every Pentax lens ever made (ever!), and it boasts a new, compact chassis that's built to be banged up. There's also a 77-segment metering system, an HDMI port with selectable output resolution (1080i, 720p, 480p, and auto), a dedicated AF-assist lamp, dedicated Mirror Lock-up function, in-camera Lens Correction function and a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture mode that snags three images then combines them in camera to widen the exposure gamut. Finally, Pentax is simultaneously launching the smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR and the smc DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR lenses, both of which include weather-resistant seals to handle damp, inclement conditions.

The camera will ship in a body-only model for $1,299.95 this July, with the accompanying D-BG4 battery grip stickered at $229.95 and the lenses at $199.95 apiece.

The most significant features of the Pentax K-7 that have never been offered before in any K series digital camera, and in some case any camera, include:

  • A compact, magnesium alloy body that is one of the smallest in the advanced photo enthusiast category to reduce bulk and allow users to travel light while maintaining durability and build quality (seven percent smaller than the K20D and up to 25 percent smaller than other cameras in the same class).
  • A new 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor rebuilt from the ground up to minimize noise, adds four channel output for fast image capture, and the ability to capture HD quality movies. It is the ideal combination of resolution and file size, allowing very large (poster size and larger) prints and cropping flexibility.
  • A new 77-segment metering system quickly and accurately determines exposure for even the most complex and dynamic lighting situations.
  • HD Movie capture features adjustable quality and resolution settings, aperture control, as well as mechanical Shake Reduction, and an external microphone terminal for recording stereo sound.* The K-7 will capture video at the default standard of 1280x720 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio (equivalent to 720p), 1536x1024 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio, or 640x416 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio (equivalent to VGA quality), all shot at 30 frames per second.
  • An HDMI port with selectable output resolution (1080i, 720p, 480p, and auto) offers high resolution playback of images and video on modern high definition TV’s.
  • A Dedicated AF-assist lamp further improves autofocus response and accuracy in low light conditions.
  • An Electronic Level function ensures that images have truly level horizons to minimize post-capture editing.
  • An innovative in-camera Lens Correction function that electronically adjusts for Distortion and Lateral Chromatic Aberrations to maximize image quality with DA series lenses.
  • A dedicated Mirror Lock-up function eliminates image blur due to mirror movement during long exposures.
  • A High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture mode captures three images then combines them in camera to widen the exposure gamut to bring out detail in all exposure areas of images.
  • A composition adjustment feature in Live View allows minor shifts in the framing and composition of images using the Shake Reduction mechanism without having to physically move the camera. This feature is ideal for tripod use.
  • A programmable embedded copyright function preserves artistic integrity and image ownership during capture via a keypad that may record ownership in meta tag data.

Tags:  DSLR, camera, HDMI, PENTAX, K-7