Pentax unveils the K-r entry-level DSLR today. As a step-up to the K-x, the new DSLR will offer higher burst shooting rates and infrared data transmission.
The K-r will offer a higher-resolution 3.0-inch 921k-dot LCD in addition to a 96% optical viewfinder. It uses a new 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor measuring 23.6x15.8mm with a PRIME II image processor. Like the K-x, the K-r's maximum shutter speed is 1/6000 second.
The K-x enjoyed some praise from critics as a low-cost DSLR with comparatively good performance. Users experienced some problems with battery life using various types of AAs and rechargeables, as well as with the battery indicator. Pentax seems to have addressed these issues in the K-r. Where the K-x can only accept four AA batteries, the K-r uses a dual power source offering a choice between a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack or four AAs using an optional AA battery holder accessory.
Continuous shooting tops out at 6 fps for up to 25 JPEGs, a spec Pentax claims as the fastest in its class. The K-r has an 11-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors and an AF assist lamp for help in dim light. Pentax claims that the AF algorithms have been upgraded and that AF operation in Live View will be much improved thanks to the new sensor.
The K-r will wirelessly transfer data via a built-in IrSimple high-speed infrared data transmission system. With compatible infrared equipment, images can be transferred to the web by a cell phone and image data can be exchanged between two K-r cameras. Pentax even includes a "simple match game" that can be played with two K-r cameras.
The K-r shares many features with the K-x including 720p HD video recording in a wide 16:9 aspect at 25 fps, sensor shift image stabilization, and 18 in-camera special effect filters. The cross processing mode offered in the K-x has been expanded for the K-r to offer more creative control over the effect.
Pricing and availability
The Pentax K-r will make its way to store shelves in October and will cost $849.95 initially as a kit with 18-55mm lens. A kit with 18-55 and 50-200mm lenses will cost $899.95, and a kit with 18-55 and 55-300mm lenses will cost $999.95. Body only, the K-r is priced at $799.95. Like the colorful K-x, the new K-r will be offered in white, black and red color options.