KP On Duty For Pentax
Pentax is quickly becoming the D-SLRs most active supporter as it launches yet another new model. The KP continues the Pentax tradition of packing a lot of features into a compact and affordable body. The KP employs magnesium alloy covers, is fully weather-proofed and also insulated to allow shooting in sub-zero temperatures. The styling is a mixture of retro with modern and a largely dial-based control layout with interchangeable handgrips (there’s a choice of three). The pentaprism-type optical viewfinder provides 100 percent subject coverage and a 0.95x magnification plus it has interchangeable focusing screens. The 7.62 cm monitor screen is adjustable for tilt.
On the inside is a new 25 megapixels ‘APS-C’ format CMOS sensor – which goes without an optical low-pass filter – mated with the latest ‘PRIME IV’ processor. The effective pixel count is 24.3 million and the native sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 100 to a staggering ISO 819,200. In-camera sensor-shift image stabilisation provides correction for camera shake over five axes and for up to five stops, plus the KP has the ‘Pixel Shift Resolution System’ for enhanced colour reproduction and detailing. It also has the ‘AA Filter Simulator’ to help correct for moiré patterns and which also works by shifting the sensor.
Continuous shooting is possible at up to 7.0 fps for a burst of 28 maximum-quality JPEGs or eight RAW files. There’s a single memory card slot for the SD format with UHS-I speed support. The KP has the ‘SAFOX 11’ autofocusing which uses 27 measuring points, 25 of them cross-type arrays. Operating sensitivity is down to EV -3.0 at ISO 100 and area modes are available with employ 3x3 or 5x5 point clusters when shooting with the continuous AF mode. Tracking can be set to one of four subject/scenario modes. Exposure control is based on an 86,000-pixels RGB metering sensor with the choice of multi-zone, centre-weighted average and spot measurements. The standard ‘PASM’ exposure control modes are supplemented with Pentax’s sensitivity-priority and shutter-and-aperture priority options. There’s a built-in pop-up flash which can act as an optical controller for a wireless TTL flash set-up. The camera’s focal plane shutter has a speed range of 30-1/6000 second, but there’s now also the choice of a sensor-based shutter which has a top speed of 1/24,000 second (and also enables silent shooting). Other notable features include multi-shot HDR capture, a multiple exposure facility, an intervalometer (for time-lapse sequences of up to 2000 frames), horizon correction and a dual-axis level indicator, composition correction, and built-in WiFi.
The KP records Full HD video at 50 fps with interlaced scan or 25 fps with progressive scan plus there’s a 24 fps speed mode. Time-lapse movies can be recorded in the 4K resolution of 3840x2160 pixels and using Motion JPEG/AVI compression. The new Pentax D-SLR has built-in stereo microphones plus a 3.5 mm stereo audio input. The Pentax KP is available in Australia now priced at $1499 for the body only, and with a choice of black or silver finishes.