Around about the time of the terrible tsunami in the Indian Ocean, I wrote an article for The Luminous Landscape called "The K-1000 of Digital SLRs," referencing Pentax's near-deathless distilled-to-its-essence intro SLR that so many people learned to shoot with in numberless photography classes over the years. The occasion for that article was Pentax's *ist DS, which I'd just bought at the time. If you haven't read that article, the first few paragraphs especially—about the kind of camera company Pentax has traditionally been—may be worth checking out.
But the phrase might be even better applied to Pentax's newest, a sub-20-oz. DSLR available with (the K100D) and without (the K110D) built-into-the-body Shake Reduction. Not to sound like the proverbial broken record, but in-the-body vibration control has become a must-have feature for me personally, as it suits my chosen style of working so well.
Two other facts bear pointing out with regard to Pentax's latest: first, that the other Pentax DSLRs have the best viewfinders of all the introductory DSLRs; and second, that despite Nikon getting most of the credit for this, Pentax actually has the best back-compatibility of any of the cameramakers, period, when it comes to lenses. You'll be able to put 6x7 lenses and 1950s screwmount lenses on the K-100D; you can use K lenses, M lenses, A lenses; the modern autofocus Limiteds fit, as well as all the FA lenses; and Pentax has so far released more APS-C primes than any other manufacturer, not to mention the inevitable selection of zooms. I had a 1970s vintage 28mm ƒ/3.5 K lens on the *istDS, and it was easy, and a pleasure, to use.
Here's the press release for the new camera, which I'm sure interested parties will be able to read all about in the days and weeks to come on all the gearhead sites.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON