Ricoh introduced this week its Pentax KF-70 APS-C senor-based digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera with advanced shake reduction and AF for under $1,000.

The compact, dustproof and weather-resistant Pentax KF-70 camera weighs 1.4 pounds (625g), which is 0.1oz (3grams) lighter than the previous K-70 model. The new camera has been optimized for all types of outdoor photography offering a host of advanced features including a high-bright optical viewfinder.

The company calls the Pentax KF-70 “an extension” of the existing K-70 DSLR model that brings some minor enhancements through some component changes.

The Pentax KF DSLR will be available later this month for an $849.95 suggested retail for the body only in black, or bundled with a Pentax DA L 18–55mm F3.5–5.6 AL WR lens for $949.95. Limited-edition “Crystal Blue” and “Crystal White” versions will also be available exclusively through Ricoh Imaging’s online shop for $899.95. The company will only produce 700 units of each special color edition.

One of the bigger differences in the KF version is the inclusion of a higher resolution (1.04 dot) articulating LCD display.

The camera also brings some improvements in software, with the KF-70 now adding three new custom image modes including Satobi, Bleach Bypass and Cross Processing. The company’s special-edition Kyushu and Katen Custom Image modes are also available with the camera when using supporting lenses. Also, utility software will come loaded in the camera.

Like the K-70 model, the KF-70 is said to have a similar rugged body design and a stabilized (4.5 stops) 24.2MP CMOS APS-C sized image sensor. It also uses a pentaprism-style DSLR viewfinder instead of a pentamirror type.

The new KF-70 version also now offers a USB-C battery charger, while the camera body continues to include a Micro USB port.

The Pentax KF-70’s other main features include 24.24 megapixel super high resolution ISO setting up to 102400 using a high-speed 14-bit image data readout, combined with an AA-filter-free optical design. Ricoh couples a high-performance accelerator unit with the high-speed PRIME MII imaging engine to effectively minimize noise at all sensitivity levels while capturing richly gradated, fine-detailed images even at its top ISO sensitivity setting.

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In-body shake reduction system using for challenging shots such as using a telephoto lens, shooting low-light scenes with ambient light only, or photographing sunset scenes. The camera features a high-accuracy gyro sensor that provides a compensation effect of 4.5 shutter steps, similar to top-of-the-line Pentax models.

In panning shots the sensor mechanism automatically detects the direction of the camera’s movement and controls camera shake.

Furthermore, the system uses Pixel Shift Resolution with motion correction to capture four images of the same scene by shifting the image sensor by a single pixel for each image, and then synthesizes them into a single, composite image.

Then a switchable Anti-Aliasing (AA) filter simulator is used to minimize moiré by applying microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the sub-pixel level during image exposure. This is said to provide the same level of moiré reduction as an optical AA filter.

However, the AA simulator can be turned on or off to adjust the level of the effect to the current photographic conditions.

Additional special shooting functions include using the multi-directional titlable image sensor to provides a host of additional, special shooting functions, including ASTROTRACER to simplify advanced astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS2 GPS Unit; and Auto Horizon Correction and Extra Sharpness functions, the company said.

A high-precision SAFOX X Auto Focus sensor module provides responsive AF operation with 11 sensors including nine cross-type sensors in the middle. The AF module is said to produce pinpoint focus on the subject at a minimum brightness level as low as -3 EV. It also offers highly accurate AF tracking performance for moving subjects.

Also featured is a 77-segment multi-pattern metering system for high-precision light metering and Dust Removal mechanism to remove dust from the surface of the CMOS image sensor.

Also included is a high-speed shutter unit of up to 1/6000 seconds, and high-speed continuous shooting function at a top speed of approximately six images per second. A self-timer function is compatible with the continuous shooting function.

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By Greg Tarr

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