For Pentaxians—Pentax camera users, to us laymen—today is a day foretold in prophecy: the day the full-frame DSLR became a reality.
Parent company Ricoh has just issued a press release, making its future DSLR intentions crystal clear. A full-frame, Pentax-braded DSLR is on its way, and better still, it will arrive in 2015. Along with the information-poor release, Ricoh also posted a photo of its mockup, giving rabid fans an idea of what the planned camera might look like.
To us, it looks more or less like a mashup of the company's K-3 APS-C DSLR and its 645Z medium format digital, both excellent machines.
The only details that Ricoh has made public are that the new 35mm digital camera will maintain compatibility with K-mount digital and film lenses, it will have a crop feature for DA lenses, and it's under development now for launch by the end of 2015. The announcement was accompanied by the unveiling of two full frame-compatible zoom lenses, which will be released in March.
Existing full-frame designated lenses in the Pentax lineup include the D FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro, the D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR, and the legendary trio of FA Limited primes. Several DA lenses (APS-C) may also cover a full-frame image circle, including the 200mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4 telephoto primes. Currently, the company does not offer a full-frame normal zoom in the vein of Nikon and Canon's 24–70mm f/2.8 professional lenses.
Ricoh will be showing off this new Pentax full-frame DSLR at CP+, and we'll be sure to get a closer look when we land in Japan next week.