Digital Photography Now -  
22nd May 2006
Pentax K100D DSLR features anti-shake image stabiliser CCD
by Ian Burley

A pair of new Pentax DSLRs are announced today, one with an integral anti-shake system, but you'll have to wait for the 10 megapixel model sneak-previewed at PMA

Head on view of the new Pentax K100D
This is the new Pentax K100D, image stabilised, DSLR. Its cheaper K100D sibling looks identical but lacks the moving sensor anti-shake system of the K100D

Official Pentax press releases and data sheets.
Discuss the K100D on the DPNow discussion forum.
Pentax joined the DSLR anti-shake club today, with the introduction of a moving-sensor anti-shake system in its latest DSLR announced today. This is the new six megapixel Pentax K100D, echoing the Pentax K1000 film SLR that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Pentax has also announced a cheaper but similar specification K110D that makes do without the anti-shake feature.

Pentax celebrates the 30th anniverswary of their K1000 film SLR this year.
The new K100D pays homage to the 30 year old Pentax K1000 film SLR

At the Orlando PMA trade show just over three months ago Pentax teased showgoers by displaying a prototype DSLR but only revealed that it would be launched in late summer/early autumn and that it would feature a ten megapixel sensor. Well, it’s not late summer, so if you lust after extra megapixels, you’ll have to be patient a while longer.

Today's news isn't about the mysterious 10 megapixel Pentax model previewed at PMA three months ago, but it looks a sure cert that it too will sport an anti-shake solution like the K100D's.

Interestingly, the new K100D eschews the eccentric *istDx branding that has been worn by its DSLRs since the introduction of the original *istD model back in February 2003.

Cut-away view of the moving sensor anti-shake system in the Pentax K100D
This cut-away view of the moving sensor anti-shake system in the Pentax K100D shows the two electromagnetic actuators that dynamically manipulate the position of the sensor.

Even more interesting is just how the moving-sensor anti-shake system relates to the similar-sounding Konica Minolta system featured in their Dynax and Maxxum-branded DSLR models before Konica Minolta handed over its DSLR business to Sony. DPNow asked Pentax for some explanation. According to Pentax, their system was developed by Pentax. There was no outright denial that the Pentax system has any common parentage with Konica Minolta’s, but if there is any, it’s not apparently influential enough to prevent Pentax from saying their system is their own.

The next obvious question is just how do the Pentax and Konica Minolta systems compare. We’re still waiting for an answer on that – we’ll let you know as soon as we find out. However, like the Konica Minolta system, gyro sensing works dynamically to respond to camera movement as a photo is taken and moves the sensor to minimise the otherwise inevitable motion blur. Up to two stops of benefit is claimed, which is similar to the performance of Konica Minolta’s system. Like Konica Minolta's system again, a key benefit of the moving sensor arrangement is its compatibility with practically all lenses that can be fitted to the camera body.

Other key aspects of the K100D include the retention of 4x AA battery or 2x CRV3 cell power configuration, a digitally displayed depth of field preview option, a new steel chassis and fibre-reinforced engineering plastics housing, replacing the *istD series’ mainly plastic construction, 2.8 frames per second continuous shooting for five frames in ‘best quality’ mode, USB 2.0 High Speed connectivity, SD Card slot and penta-mirror TTL viewfinder system.

Pentax America indicates the Pentax K100D will ship with the smc 18-55mm lens during July priced $699.95, while the K110D will ship at the same time for $100 less.

The new Pentax K100D fitted with the new low profile 21mm wide angle lens.
The new Pentax K100D fitted with the new low profile 21mm wide angle lens.

Pentax also confirmed the new DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited lens, another item previewed at PMA, will ship in July priced $549.95.

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