Pentax full-frame bombshell: 'reference' camera to go on show at CP+

Pentax full-frame D-SLR

Pentax is calling this a 'reference' camera and has not yet finalized the specifications or even the product name. It does say, however, that the new camera will have full, 35mm size image sensor and that it will use the company's K-mount interchangeable lens system.

CP+ is a major annual photography show. Originally called the Japan Camera Show, it's been taking place since the 1960s.

Pentax already makes a range of APS-C format DSLR bodies and lenses, and says that the new camera will be able to use existing DA-series interchangeable lenses using an 'image-cropping' function.

There is no word yet on any full-frame lenses for this camera, but although Pentax is no longer one of the main players in today's DSLR market, it has a long and successful history in 35mm SLR photography and has a wide range of older film lenses to draw upon.

Unlike Canon and Nikon, Pentax also has considerable experience in the professional medium format market, and when we reviewed the Pentax 645Z we gave it a 5-star rating.

Pentax full-frame launch date

Pentax says the new camera is currently under development with an anticipated launch by the end of 2015. Currently, Canon and Nikon are the only full-frame DSLR makers, and the arrival of a new brand in this arena would certainly shake things up.

Details are scarce, but this would appear to be different to the new Pentax APS-C DSLR 'reference camera' announced for CES in January.

It's unusual for a camera maker to announce new models in this way, but this could be Pentax's way of getting a foot in the door when a finished product is still some way off.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.