Ricoh announces the PENTAX KF digital SLR (DSLR) camera. This compact, dustproof and weather-resistant camera, optimized for all types of outdoor photography, provides a host of advanced, user-friendly features, including a bright optical viewfinder, one of the benefits of DSLR shooting.
The PENTAX KF is designed to perform outstanding imaging in a rugged, highly portable body. It provides dependable, cold-proof performance down to temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C), performing superbly in a wide range of weather conditions. While considered a mid-range model, the new camera incorporates an array of advanced functions and user-friendly features usually found only in higher-end models, including a pentaprism-type optical viewfinder with a nearly 100% field of view and an in-body shake-reduction system with a 4.5-shutter-step compensation. It also provides the double e-dial system identical with top-of-the-line PENTAX models, as well as PENTAX-original shooting features, such as the Hyper Program system, which allows the user to instantly switch the exposure mode from Program to Aperture-priority or Shutter-priority without taking his or her eye off the viewfinder.
“With the PENTAX KF, even first-time SLR users can easily and effortlessly enjoy the benefits of SLR photography and explore the entire process of making digital images,” said Ken Curry, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas. “The PENTAX KF is an extension of our PENTAX K-70, sharing many of the same features and proven performance even in extreme outdoor conditions. As the only major manufacturer still producing true SLR cameras and building on our legacy and roots in SLR, high-quality still photography, we’re proud to fill the gap in the market and offer a high-quality, full-featured DSLR for less than $1,000.”
The KF is actually the K-70 DSLR with only a few very small tweaks, the most of which were made as a result of changes in component availability, despite the fact that the company labels this camera an extension of their K-70 DSLR.
The articulating LCD screen of the KF has 1.04M dots instead of the K-70’s 921K dots, which is the major difference between the two devices. The KF weighs 625g (1.4lb), which is 3g (0.1oz) lighter than the K-70, making it somewhat lighter overall. Ricoh does not define exactly what has decreased the internal weight, but has assured us that none of the parts inside have undergone any appreciable functional changes.
The software side has also undergone adjustments. The Satobi, Bleach Bypass, and Cross Processing custom image modes are now available for the KF. Ricoh has also included its limited-edition Kyushu and Katen Custom Image modes, but as we saw when these presets were added to the K-1, K-1 Mark II, and K-3 Mark III earlier this year, you require certain lenses to use any of these shooting modes.
The physical form factor is entirely unaltered from the K-70 aside from those minor adjustments. In fact, if it weren’t for the new KF logo on the camera, you’d never be able to tell the two cameras apart. This indicates that the camera has the same ruggedized casing with a 24MP CMOS sensor inside that has been stabilized (4.5 stops). Additionally, it keeps the uncommon for a DSLR in this class of camera—a pentaprism viewfinder as opposed to a pentamirror.
Ricoh is finally upgrading the supplied battery charger to a USB-C version. This is a good change, but it’s also a curious one because the camera still has a Micro USB port, which makes the included charger more durable than the camera itself. Additionally, Richo now ships the camera with the utility software pre-installed rather than separately on a CD (something it first did with its K-3 III DSLR).
The Pentax KF DSLR will be available in black starting ‘late November 2022’ on Ricoh Imaging’s online shop for $849.95, body only. If you pair it with the Pentax DA L 18–55mm F3.5–5.6 AL WR lens as a kit, it’ll set you back $949.95. Limited-edition ‘Crystal Blue’ and ‘Crystal White’ versions of the KF will also be available exclusively through Ricoh Imaging’s online shop for $899.95 (only 700 of each are being produced).