San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Pentax added a new entry-level K-series digital SLR to its lineup.
The K100D Super is a follow up to last year's K100D and adds a dust-removal system that combines a coating on the unit's low pass filter and CCD vibration to combat dust.
The 6-megapixel K100D Super also features a CCD-shifting anti-shake technology, a 2.5-inch LCD screen, an 11-point autofocus and light sensitivities to ISO 3200 (available both automatically and manually).
As consumer fascination with digital still cameras (DSC) continues to draw demand toward more and better featured models, camera manufacturers have stepped up their emphasis on delivering d-SLR models that appeal to both eager novices and better skilled photographers.
Sony announced its second digital SLR earlier this month.
The 12-megapixel Alpha 700 will join the original A100, which stays on the market. With body and lens configurations ranging from $1,400 to $1,900, the new A700 is geared toward the budding market for advanced amateurs and enthusiasts stepping up from consumer-level digital SLRs, said Mark Weir, senior product manager, Sony.
The SLR category, long the province of Japanese camera firms with patented lens mounts, has seen a sudden influx of new competition from CE companies with little optical heritage. At the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show, Panasonic announced its first d-SLR in conjunction with Olympus, while Samsung expanded its lineup courtesy of a partnership with Pentax. In both cases, the CE firms went with third-party lens makers (Leica for Panasonic and Schneider Optics for Samsung) to support their d-SLRs.
Pentax will ship a pair of new point-and-shoot digital cameras and a new d-SLR lens to dealers in the next two months.
The 12-megapixel Optio A40 ships this month for a suggested $299. It sports a 2.5-inch LCD screen and a 3x optical zoom lens. It offers a CCD-shifting stabilization system and digital blur reduction in both still and movie modes. It captures MPEG-4 video at VGA resolution at 30 fps. Video can be edited in camera.
While the universe of digital SLRs steadily expands, camera manufacturers are quickly building out a selection of lenses to appeal to photo hobbyists.
Nikon added an updated version of its D40 d-SLR at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show while Panasonic and Pentax announced new lenses to compliment their existing interchangeable lens cameras.
Nikon will ship the 10-megapixel D40x in April.
Samsung recommitted itself to the digital-SLR market with the announcement of the new GX-20.
Due to ship in March for a suggested $1,399 (body only), the 14-megapixel GX-20 is geared toward a more advanced user, a new market for Samsung, pitting it against Nikon and Canon, amongst others, for the enthusiast dollar.
The GX-20 uses the same Samsung-developed CMOS sensor found in Pentax's new K20D. The two firms partnered in 2005 for digital SLR development.
The first fruits of the Samsung, Pentax partnership were announced in the form of Samsung's first digital SLR, the GX-1S.
The 6-megapixel camera, based largely on Pentax's existing d-SLR technology, features Schneider optics and will work with both Schneider and Pentax d-SLR lenses. It will ship in a kit with or without a Schneider D-XENON 18mm-55mm lens in March. Pricing was not finalized.
Pentax will bring a pair of new K-series digital SLRs, including its first d-SLR with a live-view mode, and four new compacts to market this spring.
The K20D will replace the K10D and features a new 14-megapixel image sensor developed for Pentax by Samsung. The two firms entered into a d-SLR co-development partnership in 2005.
The K20D offers a 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000-dot resolution and a live-view mode.