About Pentax Cameras

Pentax Digital CamerasPentax is one of the chief Japanese competitors in a country where the photography industry has always been robust, competitive, and extremely innovative. Despite its presence among some of the biggest innovators in both traditional and digital photography, the company actually got its start in digital photography quite a bit later than the likes of Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, and a wide range of other local corporations. Even so, the cameras currently sold by Pentax are some of the best on the market, especially for dedicated professionals who need a high-quality digital SLR to get the job done.

A Long History of Optical Innovation in Japan

Pentax is a relatively new photography brand in the United States, having only been sold under the actual “Pentax” name for the past 20 years or so. Between 1970 and the 1990s, the brand was imported by Honeywell and sold as “Honeywell Pentax,” and indication that the company had no domestic presence inside the United States at the time. Things have changed quite a bit since then, with Pentax establishing and maintaining a permanent presence in the US toward the end of the last century.

Pentax, despite strong competition from many other Japanese photography companies, was pretty reluctant to come to market with a digital camera. Its brand was strongly associated with professional, film-based photography, and company executives long believed that they could succeed without making a premature shift into the digital space. Partly because of this late transition, the company’s value slipped enough to be acquired by a larger Japanese technology firm in the late 1990s.

When it did finally release a digital camera in 2000, roughly a half-decade after competitors began issuing their own models, it did so in the form of a digital SLR camera. Most companies did release professional models before they created consumer-targeted point-and-shoot models, so this should come as no surprise. The digital Pentax *ist brand of cameras lasted six years, with the last model being released in 2006.

The first point-and-shoot models released by the company were unveiled in 2003, and their number has increased exponentially in the decade since they first came to market. Many models boast megapixel ratings above 10, with a few high-end consumer models touting 12-megapixel capabilities. Today, the company is a consumer leader, and a strong option for professional photographers.

A History of DSLR Success: The Pentax Digital Camera Varieties for Professionals

For professionals who love Pentax, there’s nothing better than the company’s digital SLR camera line. The original Pentax digital Camera, known as the *ist, was the first digital model sold by the company. It was effectively a conversion of the film-based *ist from years past, and was a sensation among professionals.

In 2006, the *ist line of DSLR cameras was retired. The company instead focused on a complete redesign of the camera’s hardware and industrial design, rebranding the overhauled product as the Pentax K Series. In the seven years since unveiling the K Series, Pentax has released a stunning 17 different models with regular updates to the LCD screen, the camera sensor, and things like lens compatibility, flash, and mounts. Its most recent model, the K-5 II, can take pictures of up to 16.3 megapixels. That’s more than most competitors’ DSLR options.

For Consumers, a Tireless Approach to Innovation and Durability

Pentax released its first consumer model in 2003, and has since released a plethora of digital cameras that are as stunning externally as they are in the quality of photos produced. The first digital consumer released by the company for consumers took pictures of just over a single megapixel and included virtually no optical zoom. Today, things are a bit different.

The Pentax Optio series currently comes in several variants to meet a wide range of consumer budgets, including 6, 8, 10, and 12.1-megapixel models for ultimate clarity. The camera’s design is second to none, and its photo quality often receives rave reviews.

A Game of Catch-Up for Pentax and its Digital Cameras

Without a doubt, Pentax was one of the slower companies when it came time to turn away from film and embrace a future of digital photography. In the years since then, though the Pentax digital camera has come to be associated with high quality, solid construction, and stunning design, making it a top choice among both professional photographers and consumers.

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