Pentax Japan has just announced a new model in the MZ line. The picture above was taken from there .
More and better pictures can be found on this site or on this local copy .
The MZ-3 is an evolution of the MZ-5 , with some extra features. At this time it seems that it is only for the Japanese market, but it might be launched later in Europe since the MZ-5 received an European award.
At this point it seems that a very similar camera will be know in the USA as ZX-5n (see this message) and probably internationally as MZ-5n, which makes the next paragraph almost moot. The only feature missing relatively to the MZ-3 is the shutter improvement (the ZX-5n has exactly the same as the ZX-5, meaning sync at 1/100 and maximum speed 1/2000).
If you want to buy the MZ-3 in the USA, B&H might make it available grey-market. Mail them expressing your interest.
If you know Japanese you can read the technical specs here .
If you don't, here is a summary posted to the Pentax mailing list, with some comments by me:
> Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 21:50:41 +0900 > From: Hiroaki UgawaYou can go to the Pentax page and check the archives of the mailing list to follow the discussion so far.
> Hello Dario (and folks), > I visited PENTAX Japan site. According to that page, MZ-3's additional > features are (as you wrote); > Shutter Speeds: > (1) auto: 1/4000 - 30 sec. stepless > (2) manual: 1/4000 - 1 sec. plus bulb Contrary to the Z-line very slow speeds (2 sec - 30 sec) are not available in manual mode. > (3) flash sync: < 1/125 sec. I think this means 1/125 or less which makes sense since the top speed (1/4000) is faster than most others Pentaxs (1/2000) so sync speed should also be faster than the usual 1/100. But this is inferior to the Z-1p. > Exposure Control: > + Memory lock: using memory lock button > (I've heard MZ-5 has this feature as a factory option) One of the big shortcomings of the MZ-5 is solved. Good point. > + Auto-bracketing: using drive lever ("drive" = motor drive?) > - 3 frames of proper/under/over exposures within range > of +4EV (1EV or 1/2EV increment selectable). > - Available in P/Av/Tv mode combined with exposure > compensation, memory lock, flash possible. > Viewfinder: > + DOF Pre-view: > - Electronic preview > - Available in P/Av/Tv mode with holding down a [errata] ^^^^^^^ Available in _ALL_ modes. Also works in "A" position of lens. > "Pre-view" button ( <-- Is this newly added ?) Another one of the big shortcomings of the MZ-5 is solved. Good point. > Dimensions: 135.0mm(W) x 90mm(H) x 61.5mm(D) > Weight: 425g without lens and battery. > Price: 83,000 Japanese Yen (body) > Sales Start: 5 Jul, 1997 > Production: 8,000 unit/month It is not mentioned here, but looking at the picture I mentioned above, the AF/MF selector still lacks a continuous focusing mode (servo in Pentax-speak). Pentax, contrary to the other manufacturers, seems convinced that only the top camera deserves that. So the third big problem of the MZ-5 is still here. > I'm not familiar with MZ-5 specs, however, comparing MZ-3's and -5's, > I found the differences listed above. My favor is the "Electronic > Pre-view." Is this the first camera that has this feature ? Minoltas and Canons have had that for ages. > In its history, PENTAX has been putting emphasis on compact and > popular grade cameras than pro-spec's. PENTAX's _main_ product were > MX/ME, not K2DMD and were ME-Super/Super-A, not LX. So I'm afraid we > can't expect MZ-1 (but I hope we can). > Sorry for my poor English. > Hiroaki Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 10:59:16 +0900 > A couple of added questions, if you do not mind. Do specs say anything about: > 1) Mirror lock up (or 2 sec. shutter delay)? > 2) Flash exposure compensation? Anything other than I listed are same as MZ-5 or not mentioned on that page. Adding to that, MZ-3 has additional: 1) Memory Lock button 2) Electronic Pre-view button 3) Drive Mode Select lever (also used as auto-bracketting select) 4) Focusing Area Select lever 5) modified Dial design to improve operability. Hiro From: OKATANI Takayuki Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 23:27:13 +0900 (JST) Hello forks, BTW, I went to a camera shop in Tokyo today and found a poster advertising the new MZ-3. It included several pictures of the controls of the MZ-3. Surprisingly, the Drive Lever (for the introduced auto-bracketing function) was placed at the left shoulder of the camera (at the same position as the lever for selecting the metering modes on the MZ-5). It seemed that the three metering modes were selected by a lever under the shutter speed dial. A new lever was added for selecting the Spot-/Wide-AF modes and it was placed at the front of the camera (below the preview button). -- Takayuki OKATANI ( email@example.com )