This is not an official headline but that is what it seems like after the released a white version of their very-entry-level DSLR, the Pentax K2000D. Already the K2000D – in black or white – is a departure from Pentax’ previous strategy for DSLR cameras. Until the K2000D, as one of the smaller camera makers, Pentax provided more feature-rich cameras than similarly priced competitors. The height of this was the K200D which sells for under $600 and features a weather-sealed body. The K200D is a tiny DSLR with a stabilized 10 megapixels sensor, a 2.7″ LCD and 5-point autofocus system. The only exceptional feature of the K2000D is its battery-life up to 1650 shots using 4 AAs. Among their higher-end models, Pentax has the best viewfinders for several years. When the Nikon D300 and Olympus E-3 came out just a few months apart, they made 100% coverage viewfinders much more affordable. Pentax has yet to follow.
Hopefully Pentaxians will see a K30D and K300D before the end of the year. These two models could bring new features which are not really needed by anyone – as the K200D and K20D are fantastic cameras already – to appease marketing requirements and improve product perception. Seriously though, there are probably ways DSLR companies, including Pentax, could innovate with useful features as well. I would really not be displeased if Pentax came out with identical-bodies cameras similar to the K20D but with different sensors: one keep-up-with-the-megapixels model and an ultra-high-ISO cropped sensor DSLR with low megapixels count, say ISO 25600 at 6 megapixels. Another problem to tackle would be dynamic range, at least to give a competitor to the Fuji Finepix S5 Pro.