Pentax Day & J limited events: Pentax K-3 Mark III MONOCHROME and ASTRO cameras, astro tracker, and more





As I already reported, Ricoh Imaging held several different online events in Japan today – here is the recap:

Q. Is there going to be a successor to the KP or K-70
A. Right now they’d really like us to buy the K-3 III – they were smiling as they said this. However, they realize it’s important to have a more accessible model, because there needs to be an attainable way for beginners to experience a DSLR. Beyond that they didn’t say anything specific, but we can assume there will be a low or mid-range APS-C camera at some point.

Q. What lenses are coming?
A. They started by apologizing that it had taken so long to deliver on the roadmap. They are working on the remaining lenses, but that is not all. They are also working on several lenses that are not on the roadmap, and some of these might come out before the roadmapped items. Reading between the lines, I get the feeling they don’t want to put new things on the roadmap unless they are really sure they can deliver. They asked users for ideas for what lens they’d like, and the 135mm and super telephoto seemed to be the most requested in the Zoom chat.

Q. What about the next full frame camera?
A. For a start, the K-1 II is their full frame model for time being. It is getting a firmware update in December to add a new custom image mode. It doesn’t look like it will be replaced in the immediate future. They talked about how difficult and how long it would take to come out with a model with a new prism like the K-3 III. It sounds like the expectation of a full frame version K-3 III with the prism of K-1 II is the most realistic.

They also have other ideas for cameras like a model with the same body design as the K-1 but a lower resolution to enable faster operation. They also mentioned the idea of a full frame manual model, which could be a lot smaller than the K-1 by removing some of the automation. It was interesting to hear that the designers do really think about some of the more out-of-the-box ideas, like people discuss on the forums.

Other parts of the event today
– A showcase of the DFA21mm Limited. They did this by having five of the developers go out and take pictures with the lens that they think are both good images and that illustrate something the think is characteristic of the lens. This brought up various stories about the development of the lens. Then they asked the audience to vote for the the best set. It was quite a good way to talk about the lens and show that the designers are keen photographers themselves.
– Showing the winners of a photo contest
– A video made with user submitted photos of their cameras. It was done like a 102 version of the Pentax 100 video they did two years ago.
– A giveaway of cool display of the individual lens elements of the DFA21 Limited, like a real version of a lens element diagram in a glass case. The contest itself was a bit of a shambles though.
– The new President Noboru Akahane closed with a speech at the end. It was just a nice closing speech. He didn’t really say much about strategy or anything like that. (PentaxForums)


PENTAX announced at [PENTAX Meeting Online 2021] that it is considering a derivative model of the K-3 Mark III equipped with a monochrome sensor. K-3 Mark III MONOCHROME: Uses a monochrome sensor without a color Bayer filter. Achieves natural resolution and noise-like image quality without Bayer complementation. Ten riff editorial department

PENTAX is considering a model for astronomical objects “K-3 MarkIII ASTORO” and announced at [PENTAX Meeting Online 2021]. To prevent infrared voyeurism? It is a premise to make a pledge that “it will be used only for astronomical photography”. Hα sensitivity is about 10 times, general shooting is not possible. Ten riff editorial department

Pentax will provide a new astrotracer for K-3 Mark III with firmware upgrade in the spring of 2022. The test version will be released on December 7, 2021. No calibration required without using GPS. “Preliminary shooting” detects the actual movement of the star and the sensor shift tracks the star.
* Fisheye lens cannot be used, conventional version O-GPS1 is recommended for wide-angle shooting K-3 Mark III New Astro Tracer:
・ Preliminary shooting is automatically performed before the start of main exposure ・
Tracking celestial bodies from the movement of stars
・ Shooting by timer exposure is possible (valve shooting is not possible)
・ By using interval shooting together It is possible to perform multiple main exposures for one preliminary shot.

What’s the next full-size machine?
-I want to continue selling the K-1 Mark II as a mainstay machine-I’m not in a situation where I can tell you when it will be released. (digicame-info)

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