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Pentax flags premium APS-C DSLR

Ricoh has announced it will launch the Pentax K3 III, a new flagship APS-C DSLR, in February next year, with a price tag around the US$2000 mark.
Ricoh has made a firm commitment to stick with DSLR cameras even as the other camera manufacturers turn to mirrorless technology, and the new K3 III underscores that strategy. The highlight spec for the new camera is an ISO range from 100 to 1.6 million, which points to a camera which will have outstanding low-light capabilities. This will be aided by an improved five-axis image stabilisation system delivering 5.5 steps of compensation.

It will have an anti-alias filter simulator which can be turned off or adjusted adjusted. It’s a hefty piece of gear, with a body-only weight over 800g.

Other features include:
– 26-megapixel CMOS sensor;
– 12 fps continuous shooting;
– Viewfinder with 1.05x magnification;
– Video at 4K(3840×2160, 30p/24p); Full HD(1920×1080, 60p/30p/24p);
– Dual SD memory slots;
– 1620K dot touchscreen (fixed);
– Shutter speeds 1/8000 sec to 30 secs.

The video below introduces the camera, but is also a bit of a manifesto from Ricoh on its commitment to, and belief in the superiority of, the optical viewfinder. It might be on to something. For the foreseeable future there will be a group of photographers – both old and new fogeys – who will prefer the analogue image delivered by a DSLR viewfinder. If Canon and Nikon move away from developing cameras for those people, especially at the higher end where this new Pentax seems to sit, then there’s potential to capture a significant niche.

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