So Ricoh* have let their secret plan out of the bag – build a DSLR that can massively undercut the competition’s upgrade cost by being upgradeable. The deal they offer, anticipated to be announced for all regions where Pentax has retailers, is to send your Pentax K-1 (Mk. I) camera in to their workshops, and get the latest hardware added and your camera sent back. No statement has been made on whether the same upgrade policy can or will be applied to future camera releases from Pentax/Ricoh.
In what some people are calling a US $50 upgrade due to the price difference currently seen in some markets between the Pentax K-1 and Pentax K-1 II, the cameras will be fitted with a new main board that has an additional “Accelerator Unit” chip that improves noise performance by approximately 1 stop. Additionally, upgraded cameras will be capable of producing hand-held pixel shift images rather than requiring a tripod to use this feature.
Due to the added noise control by way of the Accelerator Unit, the highest available sensitivity has been increased to ISO 819,200 – I previously reviewed this high ISO using samples for the Pentax KP.
Imaging-Resource has dubbed the K-1 II the “first upgradeable DSLR”. How do you think the competition will respond to this new business model? Leave a comment!
All images in this article are assumed to be promotional images from Ricoh.
* Ricoh is the Japanese multi-national company that bought and merged with Pentax and now maintains “Pentax” as a brand name for higher end cameras, including all DSLRs. Ricoh was in the recent past mostly known for selling office supplies, but has also sold cameras since the 1950s.
To find out more, read my Pentax K-1 vs. K-1 II ISO 12,800 noise reduction comparison