Another video interview, this time with Mr. Wakashiro of RICOH IMAGING product planning department, gives us a bit more information about the forthcoming “flagship” APS-C DSLR. There’s talk of “a number of original ideas” that “unfortunately, we can’t talk about.”
In a previous video, PENTAX told us that it was making the optical viewfinder (OVF) THE differentiator that would set its DSLRs apart from competitors. It is therefore no surprise that the optical viewfinder on the new model is presented as “one of the most important features of this new flagship model.” It is “WOW! Definitely much clearer and broader” (about 10% brighter) compared to the OVF on the PENTAX KP, with the subject appearing “much larger and clearer” (with a magnification of approx. 1.05X). This is made possible thanks to the use of a brand-new extremely difficult to manufacture and exceptionally high-refraction glass pentaprism, the design of which started way back in 2017 — and this material “has never before been used in a camera.” Concerning this OVF, Mr. Wakashiro shares with us that “I feel that my dream has finally come true.”
Next is talk about how compact the new model is, with special attention paid to the shape and size of the grip so even large hands will feel comfortable holding it. We are told that the designers and engineers “created a mockup of the camera, then shaved off the clay bit by bit until we finally came up with the right shape and size for hands of different sizes.” They “repeatedly tried this process by trial and error” because “it’s extremely difficult to design a camera that provides both a compact, easy-to-hold body and outstanding operability.”
The position and shape of the control dials were optimized, and it was difficult designing the focus point lever, “positioned in a location where it wouldn’t interfere with the position of the electronic dial just above it, or the AF button below it,” and “its position was carefully adjusted and optimized at the micron level.”
The newly-developed smooth-action shutter unit has a “wonderful feel… It requires very little pressure, because it goes down so smoothly… I really love this shutter release action.” We learn that this is because the engineers chose a leaf switch mechanism. They also paid a lot of attention to the return action after shutter release and designed a new mirror-driving mechanism to minimize the impact caused by the mirror’s swing-back action.
Then, there’s a larger than usual top LCD status panel which makes it clear and easy to read the shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation info.
The new model has improved image quality over the entire ISO sensitivity range thanks to newly designed components, including the image sensor, imaging engine and accelerator unit. This gives “better performance in terms of resolving power and in high-sensitivity photography.” PENTAX is hoping that the new model will break the common perception that APS-C SLRs are inferior to full-frame SLRs.
If you have 24:13 to spare, view the video below.
Mr. Wakashiro also introduced a imited edition silver version of the K-1 II, but phewww, no other colored versions are planned. The new model will also be available in a silver version.
Wait, that’s not all. I belive that this musyhave been info that was accidentally divulged by the interviewer because the interview was abruptly terminated just after this scoop was revealed: There are two (2) memory card slots!
Last words: “I’m speechless!”