Pentax unveiled the first in its GR series of cameras, which will be high-performance compact digital cameras. Equipped with an APS-C-size 16.2-megapixel image sensor (without low pass filter), the camera will be launched under the Ricoh brand in late May.
Other key features of Pentax’s latest offering include an 18.3mm (28mm equivalent) fixed focal length F2.8 lens, an ISO range of 100-25,600, a 3.0-inch LCD monitor, up to 4fps continuous shooting, 1080p movie capability at 24, 25 or 30fps, 12-bit Raw in DNG format and a built-in 2-stop ND filter. The GR will be the smallest ever APS-C-size camera, and is expected to sell for about 99,800 yen (US$1,008). Global digital camera shipments are forecast to decline 11% to 87 million units this year, facing stiff competition from smartphones. But demand for high-end models is growing.
Pentax Ricoh was established in October 2011 when Ricoh Co. acquired the Pentax brand and digital camera business of HOYA Corp. The GR camera is the first model since the two brands merged. The company held “GR Touch & Try” events prior to the market launch on May 11 in Tokyo and on May 18 in Osaka.