EDIT: Some updates for new information…
Specifications so far I personally think are valid:
– Traditional digital SLR camera.
– 16 Mega-pixel sensor with video capabilities like the K-01
– Weather resistant (Pentax WR).
– Uses AA or rechargeable batteries. Basically the same power system as the K-r.
– ISO range from 100 to 25600.
– Black, white, and blue body panels in the USA.
– 3-inch LCD like existing K-7/K-5/K-01 cameras.
– Dual scroll wheel operation.
– The shutter/mirror system appears to be from the K-r, so 6fps operation and 1/6000th maximum shutter speed (the negative being louder compared to the K-5’s).
I personally like the rugged look, especial since I think it will be able to back up the claim. This will be one of the smallest large-sensor weather resistant cameras out there. The Olympus OM-D is probably the only real competition, but Pentax has it topped in affordable WR glass and the positives of a traditional SLR camera system.
If Pentax completely moves rugged with their entire DSLR line, that is the smartest thing they will do in a long time. This is the type of differentiator they need to sway people from other systems. Seriously, if this gets into retails stores, I could see it being very appealing to the average customers who like the outdoors. I’d like to see all of the lenses in the K-mount line up eventually be revamped to incorporate WR (some would probably have two versions for cost reasons). I saw some talk taht the camera will be offered in Target, which would be a big step for them.
Not having a top LCD is probably going to be a bit difficult to transition to, but the suggested price needed some compromises to work. I also hope they didn’t skimp on the mirror/shutter system and decided to use a k-5 or better shutter in the sound department. I think this might be my K-7 replacement and be the Robin to my K-5 Batman. I’m hoping that the camera will use D-LI90 batteries like the K-7/K-5/K-01 use. Signs currently point to something like the K-r battery setup, which I feel apathetic about. It will mean I need to lug around different types of batteries and chargers for when I attend conventions.
The Newegg link has some higher resolution photos, allowing some helpful details to be visible.
AUTO, SCN, U1, U2, B, M, TAv, Av, Tv, Sv, P, and Movie.
It’s nice to see that lineup is more like the K-5 and anything else. TAv and Sv on the dial are a big plus. I also am glad to see U1 and U2 as separate items. I don’t like how the K-5 handles the 5 offered user modes by popping up a display to select one out of the 5 when the USER mode is selected.
A cheap WR camera body seems to have an unintended consequence. The photos seem to indicate that ports are missing. It looks like the panel is large enough for a mini-USB port and I see one on the other side for the cable release. That probably means no MIC input port and no HDMI…
A Pentaprism with 100% view is a great addition to this level of camera (0.92x magnification).
Newegg lists the release date as 07/09/2012 at a price of $899.95 with a DA-L kit lens. A bit more expensive that I was expecting.