I post three quick samples of mine here, I think the pictures speak for themselves!
1. Original photos were created directly out of the camera in (default) 3 Star JPEGs in 16MPs;
2. Whole pictures were downsized to 1024 pixels in width and then lightly re-sharpened;
3. Central crops of the pictures are in 100%, no post processing of any was applied, i.e., pure and mere cropping;
4. Click to Enlarge to view Samples in Full. All EXIF preserved.
5. Lens used was the oldest designed DA lens of the 16-45 zoom at close-up/macro range, handheld.
By the way, this photo was underexposed owing to the white flower but I did not apply the necessary +ve exposure compensation with the Centre-weighted metering I used. Nonetheless, I am almost sure that the 77-segment metering will suffer from the same in that situation. After all, a quick retouch on the brightness/tone curve of the picture could save it (although the image quality would not be as good, compare it to the first picture):-
Update (2-1): A Large-sized Image is uploaded for a far away wide-angle outdoor scene, so as to give you a better impression on the colour rendition and IQ of the K-5 JPEG image, click on the following image to Enlarge (a new tab will be opened):-
My K-5 Impressions after the First 1,000+ Shots (Somewhat Detailed)
NEX E30/3.5 Macro Quick Samples (Large + Full Sized)
Some Macro Photos to Share (DFA 100 on 5D)
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I post three quick samples of mine here, I think the pictures speak for themselves!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Here is a quick pure textual first review of mine. So, please don't ask me for any picture, sample nor any supporting test data, as there is none! Bear in mind everything could be subjective and not scientific, but then I am trying to be as objective as I could be when writing these! ;->
1. Focus Accuracy and Speed
The AF speed is fast and responsiveness is good when the lighting level is good (and of course the object is at least somehow contrasty). But when lighting level is dropped and especially when there is yellow light, it is noticeable that the camera needs to think for more time before the AF motor starts to move. I am sure that the K-r does not have such a delay and the difference is quite significant. However, the AF focusing accuracy of the K-5 under yellow light is obviously better and it is just more reliable. Nonetheless, if I had a K-r and set a -10 focus adjust, the AF is clearly more snappy than the K-5 and the K-r wins here! :-o
Btw, here are two Youtube videos which show the AF speed and performance of K-5 in good daylight, the first is with the DA18-135 DC and the second demo is with the DA*55 SDM, presented by the same Japanese K-5 user:-
K-5+DA18-135 DC AF Speed Demo:-
K-5+DA*55 SDM AF Speed Demo:-
2. Metering and Exposure Accuracy
The 77-segment metering of the K-5 is pure junk, I am afraid, as what I've commented before for times each time I used it (I meant for both the K-7 and K-5). It is as worse as (or even worse than!) the old 16-segment metering system of my 2003 *ist D, which I hated much about its erratic metering. Once again, the K-5 "77"'s behaviour is totally unpredictable and it tends to under or overexpose the picture in large amount with great errors without any good enough reason! And the underexposure tendency is actually higher and the error is even large. Really Damn It! In fact, the 16-segment metering of the K-r is far mature although it still by no means can be called intelligent, when it is compared against other truly intelligent metering systems of the Nikon and Canon.
Now, I've switched back to Centre-weighted Average (CWA) metering with my K-5, which yet to be quite good and reliable and this one is indeed more accurate and consistent than the CWA meter of my K-r. When it is used with the AEL, automatically (I set AE to be locked by default when AF is locked and use the central AF point only for most of the time) or manually (to override the former by first pressing the AEL button), my K-5's utter stupid crappy 77-segment metering problem is completely resolved! :-o But then still the sad thing is that I lose completely a modern metering system and I have come back to the old days decades ago when I first learned to shoot! :-(
3. Image Quality
(i) Colour Response
The K-5's colour is more "pure" than the K-r, which depending on whether one would like it or not, one could call the colours "fake" if liked and it could be more Disney looked, no matter how I fiddled with the Custom Image profiles and settings for my own "preferred" colour response.
(ii) Dynamic Range
DR of the K-5 is actually not really superior as highlights are easily clipped. There is not enough DR tolerance and highlight headroom above the mid-tone, which I believe it is just worse than the K-r which is doing a better job for this aspect. It is therefore it is not a good news for those who don't want much post processing and does not want to shoot RAW nor those who want to "expose it to the right". As I told here from my various researches before, most of the DR of the K-5 is at the shallow side, which means that the K-5 is a camera which is very suitable to be underexposed when taking pictures. And now I finally know that why the 77-segment meter likes to underexpose the pictures for many occasions whenever it likes! ;-p "Yes!" "The pictures can be saved!" :-o
(iii) Noise Performance and Noise Reduction/Processing
The K-5 is the true low-light camera ever for its superb high ISO performance. Set everything at Auto including the high ISO NR. With the default Auto ISO selected up to ISO 3200, the low noise level, colour and details retained are all amazing and it is indeed very impressive. Consider that the sensor has 16MP in just APS-C size (which is only 44% area of the 135 full frame), I must praise Pentax has done a really great job here. The K-5 clearly outperform the K-r from ISO 800 to 3200 in this regard of which is yet better than that of my NEX-3 (16MP Vs 12MP Vs 14MP Sony CMOS sensor with the same gene, I believe).
4. P-TTL Accuracy
With only the built-in flash I have used, the reported P-TTL overexpose issue at higher ISO is found to be real. I programmed the latest firmware 1.12 in my K-5 shortly after I'd purchased it. The strange thing is that this problem is more obvious with older Pentax FA lenses than the DA ones. Up to ISO 1600, I can see at least a +0.5 exposure difference (overexposure) than when it is at ISO 100 with my FA lenses (primes or zooms), such that manual negative (-ve) exposure compensation is a must. (Maybe at ISO 800 a -ve 0.3EV flash exposure compensation is always required.) The problem is made worse here as K-5 is rather weak at the highlight side where it is easy to clip. But the tricky thing is that for and with DA lenses (primes or not), the problem seems to be not as noticeable and severe.
5. Mirror/Shutter Jumping and Disorder (a battery related issue, I bet)
I experience three times of double shutter actuation amongst the first 1k-shot use of my K-5. All these happened when I used a third party replacement-type battery and when the outdoor weather is a bit cold (10 deg. C something) and when the battery voltage is at extreme level (two times for just fully charged and one time when the yellow battery warning indicator was seen). Lucky that I haven't experienced the same problem with my original Pentax battery. So, I think other manufacturers like Sony and Canon have been doing the right thing to prohibit the use of 3rd party batteries with their newer firmwares.
In fact, this problem actually is not an uncommon one with my K-x, when new Li batteries (with higher voltage) or NiMH batteries (with much lower voltage of the type) were used and when it was used in the same colder weather in Winters.
I think my K-r is the most stable Pentax body for escaping from this problem so far. This double shutter actuation issue only happened once for my 8k+ shot use of it, IIRC (or maybe two at most).
Nonetheless, the K-5 mirror disorder is a widely report issue. In the course of watching the AF speed demos by the above user, I so happened to notice that he had his K-5 mirror jumped crazily for what he also uploaded for videos to show what happened, here they are:-
Maybe the above user just used his K-5 to do the AF for too many times but without firing the shutter so that the camera finally decided one day that it should fire back all the shutter counts that it should have fired (but had not been fired by the user!)! ;-D =_="
With that infamous problem of the K-5 (which were widely and mostly reported in the last Summer), I actually dared not to buy a grey market K-5 as I really need one-year warranty of it and am required to wait for the next Summer to come, before I could know if my K-5 will go nuts or not in the field, despite that the grey market goods are more than US$100 cheaper! :-(
Okay, I would opt to stop here this time and maybe if I have more to say later, I shall post back and write the next part.
Well, some might be interested on what are my judgement on the build and user friendliness of the K-5, which I think is trivial. I always give almost full marks there. When it comes to all these and customisation of a camera, the Pentax deigns are always well thought and carefully designed, and with the best ergonomics.
1. Real but old:-
Via OGL @ DPR Forum back to 2006, reminded by Mirrorless Rumors recently.
2. Imagined, maybe mostly based on the above:-
Via PF Post Here.
3. Imagined too, I think:-
4. Look Real and should be Leaked:-
Via the Chinese Xitek Forum, Credit by OGL at My Blog.
It is rumoured that the K-01 will soon be announced on Feb. 2, together with the world's thinnest APS-C prime, the 40/2.8 XS, which probably to be the kit lens of the K-01. But also mind you that the K-01 is probably the world's thickest mirrorless ILDC btw! :-o
Friday, January 27, 2012
From DSLR Magazine @Twitter (Spanish) via Mirrorless Rumors.
From Google Translation and Quoted:-
"For the K-mount SLR like, and probably the same flange distance. No viewer!"
"The new Pentax CSC will be somewhat smaller than Kr, and is not sure-win-at once a beauty pageant."
"The new CSC will use the mount Pentax "K" classical optics compatible with their current SLR. You do not have eye-level viewfinder."
So, just believe these or not, for a K-mount, ugly and not-so-small mirrorless camera body but without a viewfinder to come! :-o
See what Photo Rumors reports, I guess that they have a source to the insider information.
Quoted and my own remarks, one by one as follows:-
- The camera is designed by a famous designer
- The new 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens is less than 1 centimeter thick and my understanding is that it will work only with the new K-01 body
- The Pentax K-01 and the 40mm lens are covered with some kind of rubber-like material for better grip
- The K-01 will have an external mic output for video recording
(In Japanese, Google English Translation Here.)
The estimated street price of the new kit is at 70k Japanese Yens, which is roughly equal to $900 US Dollars.
N.B. There has been no standard zoom single lens kit but only either standard prime single lens or standard prime + zoom dual lenses kit since the Q was first marketed and for the time being. So this seems to be the right thing to do marketing wise, although it is just a bit late IMHO.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
20X zoom lens from 28mm wide, 16 megapixels (1/2.3"?) CCD, dual shutter release buttons, one for horizontal and one for vertical shooting:-
I am not impressed with that black on silver design which looks odd to my eyes, at least.
In this post, I am going to brief about a new method and the general procedures to calibrate (focus adjust) the AF accuracy of the (Pentax) DSLRs which are equipped with the Live View function.
Before going on, there is something to note about the Live View function (called "LV" thereafter) of those Pentax DSLRs, the aperture in the LV is controlled automatically by the camera body, in doubled f-stops per step from wide opened, according to the brightness level as metered, but NOT according to the set Av by the user nor by the camera in Program mode. Just say for example that a F1.4 Pentax prime is mounted onto the K-5, the stepping is from wide opened and then to f/2.8 and then to f5.6 and then to f/11, as brightness rises. This is different from other ILDC cameras and systems like the Sony NEX, which always stopped down to the exact set Av no matter how.
So, here we go, the following are the detailed procedures which I have designed and recommended. Read in full and strictly following these for the best results:-
1. First of all, we need to find an ideal AF target. Find something that is flat in surface, with white background and dark but coarse *irregular* patterns, which shows the highest contrasts which are easily distinguishable, like this:-
I focused on the "Kleenex" words. On the other hands, objects with coloured patterns are not recommended so as to avoid the effect of Chromatic Aberration of a lens that might exist, e.g., red colour would front focus more for some lenses.
2. Mount the camera body with the lens you want to calibrate/focus adjust on a sturdy tripod. Put it in the environment that you want it to focus correctly, e.g. at a particular subject distance and the light source you used. For the sake of standardised calibration basis at my side, I put the object at a distance at about 2 metres from the camera and used an artificial light source at about 5200K to simulate the natural daylight.
3. Turn on the Live View of the camera, do the Live View CDAF, observe the focus scale. Repeat the CDAF three times to see if focus arrives at the same position. If it is (as it usually does), note down the exact position of it, take the picture and then switch off LV. Check if the picture is correctly focused (it usually is).
N.B.1. If the lens does not have a focus scale, stick on some marks by yourself.
N.B.2. Do observe about the aperture chosen by the LV by watching through the lens from the front which is according to the brightness level as what I have briefed in the beginning. If you want the lens to be wide opened for the calibration, the lighting level is required to be turned down a bit so as to make it!
For illustration purpose, say for example, I achieved the LV CDAF focus with a perfectly sharp picture with the lens focused at this position, according to the focus scale of the lens:-
4. Go to the Custom Menu number 26 for "AF Fine Adjustment", select "Apply One" and you should see the "Unset" setting if the lens has not been calibrated before. Do note that the camera only supports Pentax lenses with an identifiable lens ID for the Pentax F series AF lenses or later.
5. Do the Phase Matching AF (PMAF) and see if it is front or back focused in comparison to what the Live View AF has determined. Do the PMAF for several times until the AF motor doesn't turn anymore.
If it is front focused, like this, key in a negative (-ve) value for the focus adjust:-
Otherwise, if it is back focused, like this, key in a positive (+ve) value instead:-
6. Key in the compensation focus adjust values by trial and errors until the PMAF completely agrees with the LV CDAF, i.e, turn on the LV mode, did the AF and then switch back to PMAF and re-do the AF, the lens focus ring should NOT turn, anymore.
So, we did it. Below are the results for some of my Pentax AF primes. I've noted that all my zoom lenses (no matter DA or FA) do not require any focus adjust before they were accurate but fast primes would. This may be owing to the lack of a f/2.8 AF sensor in any Pentax DSLRs, including the K-5. Thus, focus adjust by individual lens is essential and crucial:-
|Lens||Focus Adjust Value as Measured||Conditions|
|FA 28/2.8||-2||2m, 5200K, f/2.8|
|DA 35/2.4||0||2m, 5200K, f/2.4|
|FA 43/1.9||+5||2m, 5200K, f/1.9|
|DA 70/2.4||-5||2m, 5200K, f/2.4|
|FA 85/1.4||0||2m, 5200K, f/2.8|
|DFA 100/2.8||0||2m, 5200K, f/2.8|
Good luck and happy measurebation! I hope that you would get razor sharp images with your Pentax primes (which are mostly capable of when focused correctly) after calibration with my above method! :-D One final reminder: Forget about all those "45 degree" inclined chart methods, which is not going to help you to do the job but would just create more confusions! Believe me.. The Live View will tell you the truth, really! Try it out by yourself! :-)
K-5 and K-r Debug Mode Unleashed, Finally!
K-x Debug Mode Tutorial - AF Adjustment
Finally, I am Done! :-D
Part 1 of 2:-
Part 2 of 2:-
Quite interesting, although the videos are old. As seen in the videos, the camera manufactured is the F70 which belongs to the old F line of the Nikon AF SLRs, which were all made in Japan in the past.
Leica Lenses Manufacturing Process
A Virtual Lens Plant!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Tried it at the Sony showroom and then immediately decided to buy a K-5! ;-D
1. Not too big and heavy and is comfortable to hold.
2. Build quality is nice, body felt solid, except the flash.
2. Built-in flash is rather flimsy, especially when it is popped up or during being opened. Closed flash still has some slight play which I don't like (against what every K-5's closed tightly)!
3. Shutter lag is more noticeable than my NEX-3, i.e., double shutter actuation is indeed noticeable and can be heard.
4. Image saving requires rather long time per picture. (Unsure if it saved RAW+ but the waiting time is really rather longish!)
5. The Tri-Navi operation system and interface is difficult to use! At least I couldn't adapt to it on the first run! I hate that the selection range is long for the parameters but there is no facility and any means to reset the value and do the homing.
6. Don't have any high expectation on the EVF! No matter what it is stated on paper, it is YET an EVF! Refresh rate, dynamic range, colour rendition and accuracy are all old problems!
I didn't test on the IQ, as I only had one spare SD card with me but which I brought for use in testing my new K-5 which I wanted to buy and I did not want to take the risk of messing up the image file numbers. But anyway, after the above quick test and play, the NEX-7 was already kicked out of my wish list and in fact it is about (US)$130 dearer than a K-5.
With the K-5, which is my 10th DSLR/ILDC ever purchased:-
No major problem as tested and used for two days, except a big dot of dust inside the focusing screen that is visible from the finder, which I believe is a gift from the factory. AF seems to be fairly accurate under both tungsten and white light, at different lighting levels but consistency is less good at lower light. Anyway, I don't find any noticeable difference in the actual performance between firmware 1.01 (which was programmed out of the factory) and the latest 1.12. Nevertheless, I might still complain later and quite likely! Sure will let you readers know if I find something! So, stay tuned~ ;-)
Pentax is the Biggest Enemy of Herself!
Latest Family Photo of My Pentax Gear! ;-D
Poll: Will You Buy the K-5 Right Now?
Friday, January 20, 2012
via Jimmy Yen's Blog (Chinese)
So, the lenses to be offered in X-mount are:-
• 14mm (21mm equivalent) super wide
• 18-72mm f/4 (27-108mm equivalent) image stabilized zoom
• 23mm f/2 (34mm equivalent) wide
• 28mm f/2.8 pancake design (42mm equivalent) normal
• 12-24mm f/4 (18-36mm equivalent) image stabilized zoom
• 70-200mm f/4 (105-300mm equivalent) image stabilized zoom
Seems to be quite nice for the lineup and I do like much the focal lengths of the two primes in 23mm and 28mm which are my favourite AoV in 35mm and 43mm of 135 film equivalent, which both Pentax lacks in the current DA lens line.
The PMA @ CES has passed, the next and more important event for displaying new products is the Japanese CP+, this is especially important for Pentax Ricoh as the new K-mount mirrorless should be announced there by that time:-
Well, unlike what happened at the CES, a quick search to the exhibitors reveals that Pentax Ricoh and Ricoh will have separate booths. So, this sounds better as the two brands should work independently. Btw, I am not really interested in those Ricoh products in particular the GXR.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The Japanese Digicame-info has posted their learnt insider information. It should be noted that they had good past track record for the accuracy of such leaks or "rumours" with high accuracy, as they do have some good and reliable sources and information providers:-
(in Japanese, Google English Translation Here)
It is essentially a K-mount DSLR without a mirror and optical viewfinder, which are both removed and deleted. With the exact weight and dimensions disclosed, the reliability this piece of information seems to look even higher. The size and weight are not particular small figures and all are actually close to the K-r. And, instead of an OVF, there will be an EVF, but whether it is internal or external is yet uncertain.
Btw, I really don't like the name of K-01, which looks cheap and redundant for the zero before the last digit. Does Ricoh plan to name their upcoming cameras in the series as 01, 02, 03, 04 and so on?! (which IMHO is plain stupid and unimpressive!) >:-o
After all, it's time for me to buy the K-5, really, provided that it could pass my own Quality Check. It seems that the death of Pentax DSLRs and line is pushed closer (and virtually declared or at least hinted) with the introduction of such a camera! Too bad.. But the scaring policy of the RP does work! What a marketing! :-o
Poll: Will You Buy the K-5 Right Now?
Pentax is the Biggest Enemy of Herself! (When a Simple but Annoying Design/QC Problem Could Persist for 8 Years!)
Honestly telling you folks, back to May of the last year I pre-ordered my K-5, but shortly afterwards I went to the shop to get my new camera, I opened five boxes of brand news goods, all of them suffered from the same problem of the above! To the left, right, upward or downward! Damn it! I then tested the AF of those units, which was not that accurate under white fluorescent source with my DA35/2.4. So, I gave up and cancelled the order and got my deposited money back. :-(
Recently, I have looked at the K-5 again. Actually, I have just gone to yet another two different shops to purchase it (again) and checked *seven* different brand new units, but then all of which are also having the central red dot shifted in an unacceptably obvious way, to different positions, i.e., none of them is in the dead centre! So, I've given up again, with much disappointment! >:-|
I shall try to find another shop tomorrow and this is the last chance I would give Pentax and myself for a K-5. I shall first check those infamous Pentax issues like the red dot shift, AF inaccuracy, electronic level mis-alignment etc. If I am lucky enough to find one, just in case, I shall grab it, otherwise Pentax has lost the chance of earning a potential customer's money, once again!
Even if they have successfully earned the money for some others, will the suffered users be satisfied? The above looks awful and ugly afterall and this "small" thing and problem just show how loose and lousy the Pentax QC could be and they gained their bad reputation and bad impressions from the users once again. More importantly, the lack of their basic ability to review the designs of their cameras for the well-known and long-lasting problems is the main evil here!
At the end of the day, I must say that Pentax is actually the biggest enemy of herself. She has done a lot of things to harm their own benefits these years. Or I should say they have NOT taken any necessary action and done the improvement works they should had done, and long time ago! SAD!
As for my own statistics on this particular same problem, below are the gear I have had and whether the red dot was shifted or not:-
1. *ist D (1st copy): Yes
2. *ist D (2nd copy): No
3. *ist D (3rd copy): Slightly
4. *ist DS (1st copy, Silver): No
5. *ist DS (2nd copy, Black): Yes
6. K100D: Yes (Adjusted back to centre under Warranty but the service centre attempted for three times. They told me that the task was very *difficult*! :-o)
7. K-m: N/A (as there is no red dot illumination)
8. K-x: N/A
9. K-r: No
10. Next? Yes? No??
Okay, in order to collect more data, here is a poll to see if how far this problem exists and affects the users for the "current" Pentax DSLRs, namely, K-5 and the K-r (which has been discontinued anyway):-
N.B. Multiple Selections are allowed If it is a Yes Case.
1001 Noisy Cameras have just reported this breaking news!
Well, whilst this was expected, it is too sad to see that has happened after all! :-(
Kodak Seems Wants to Do Something to Show Off the Values of Their Patents!
See what Photo Rumors reports, for Kodak has filed cases for suing both Fuji and Samsung recently.
Well, does this help them to survive? I am afraid not, frankly!
Wall Street Journal Reports Kodak Bankruptcy Soon to Happen
Years ago, I proposed a K1000D. Finally, we'll have this very soon:-
Via Photo Rumors.
Glad that finally at least one camera maker has some close mentality as me! :-D However really sad that she is NOT Pentax! :-(
And, if the rumoured info is going to be true, the 5-axis body-based image stabilisation system will overshade the Pentax SR's 3 axis one which has been highly praised by some Pentaxians on its theoretical uniqueness.
Whilst this retro-designed and lightweight plus compact body was really what I wanted, the OM-D actually deviates one important thing from my original basic idea of the marketing approach, i.e., it will not be cheap anyway, my bet! :-o
Lastly, as basically I am also a m-4/3 user with minimal setup (which I rarely used since purchased), I might be interested on the OM-D and may buy it later depends on what it will be priced and how it will perform in real. Let's see! (Also, with my first DC was being an Oly, I think I do have some little sentiment on the brand, too! ;-p)
N.B. Since the source of the picture is being unknown, do bear in mind that it *may* be fake!
Ten Things that I Want Ricoh to Do for Pentax
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
This is off-topic but it's really amazing and fantastic, for a recent 147 maximum break in the latest Haikou World Open 2012! :-o Go watch yourself if you are interested. :-)
But speaking of those 147 snooker breaks, the following set the world record, for the faaastest 147 break ever achieved! After watching it and then back to the above, Macro Fu actually did it rather slowly~ ;->
By the Chinese technology company Superpix. It is called the SP8AC08:-
Via the Chinese Xitek Forum.
A browse to their product list reveals that they used to build only small sized sensors but suddenly they have made an APS-C in 6um for the pixel size! :-o
Anyway, it is always good to see more players entering into the market for producing sensors such that there are more choices, for the manufacturers and ultimately for we end-users and customers.
As for the specified Dynamic Range (DR) performance in 65dB, it is not too bad as it is equivalent to a maximum of 10.8 EV steps for the DR.
Monday, January 16, 2012
See what AP UK reports, via 1001 Noisy Cameras.
The flipping monitor is nothing appealing, frankly. If Ricoh is really to make this K-mount module, they should make it to at least supporting some kinds of automatic functions of which those K-mount Pentax lenses are capable of. Otherwise, a cheap $20 K-to-M mount adaptor will just do it, as GXR M-mount module has been already there for quite some time now.
Similar to the last ePhotozine report, a new Pentax DSLR was hinted but nothing was disclosed, i.e., nothing was talked about and thus nothing is concrete, of course! :-o
(in Japanese, Google English Translation Here)
The dealer firmly told the buyer that the K-5 had been discontinued. The potential buyer then called Pentax to verify, he got an answer that was denying. So, who is telling the truth? He just wonders himself.. If I were him, I would buy the conspiracy theory that someone would try to hide the secret but the distribution channels should not as I could find no reason that it would do anything good to them by doing so! ;-)
Nonetheless, he has not yet bought his K-5 yet, even he wanted much of it! :-o Too bad Pentax has probably lost one of her potential customers, once again! :-(
Poll: Will You Buy the K-5 Right Now?
Hearsay and Rumour: K-5 Has Been Discontinued (Also! :-o)
Further to my last report on the four recent official Pentax interviews, here is a missed one with the higher Pentax official at the CES. The ePhotozine interviewed the General Manager of Pentax UK, Mr. Jonathan Martin, as follows:-
Below are some important or unimportant excerpts, depending on what one would interpret or interested in (and my comments follow each):-
"When Ricoh set out to buy Pentax, they said they wanted to grow the DSLR market, and fill in the gaps where there are any."
We all heard about that, but that is in past tense! Yes, they wantED!
"The K-r has finished it's final production run, which means that no more are being made, however stock is still shipping to dealers until the end of Feb/Mar, and dealers will still have stock available for people to buy after this.
While I do not know timelines, it is inevitable that a camera company would introduce a replacement for a product that is profitable and selling well."
K-r was discontinued but there is no fixed time frame for its replacement! :-(
"2012 is going to be a very exciting year, and that news is already out there, [referring to the mirrorless camera], although we can't go into details. Also we will be looking to grow strongly in the Digital SLR market."
"To be competitive in the Digital SLR market you need a full range of cameras, for example Canon and Nikon have a range of 4 cameras from entry level to professional. I can't give any more details however as the timeframe for future products is unknown."
Still, no Pentax official has ever told anything about the rumoured new Pentax mirrorless and whilst no time frame is confirmed for the future DSLR product(s) even with the confirmed discontinuation of the K-r. So, how to make a 4 hierarchy product line like C and N do when now there is only ONE camera in the family, i.e., the K-5?! >:-o
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Now, you can see how many Pentax bodies and Pentax lenses that I actually have! ;-D
And, the mode dials of the cameras were actually put on by me myself! Well, if you want to do it like me, a punch and glue are required:-
Below are the new different packages of the latest Pentax gear! :-D The colour coding is: Grey for MX Black, White for MX Silver, Blue for K-7 Black, Purple for K-7 Silver, Pink for K-5 Black and finally Green for K-5 Silver~ The cameras came in kits, all K-7s came with primes and K-5s came with zooms and yet MXes came with primes again~~
Last but not least, do note that in the above group photo(s) that there are six bodies (i.e. two MX, two K-5 and two K-7 bodies) and six FA 43 limited lenses but only four DA 18-55 WR and then only two M 40 pancake lenses. Why I acquired them in this way? :-o Just because only FA lenses have the FULL backward and forward compatibility with ALL Pentax bodies ever made but the DA lenses will not work on old film bodies (so four is enough even for matching one body with one lens! ;->) and then the M lenses work on all Pentax DSLRs in a rather handicapped way, with the crippled K-mount. Thus, I do not buy more as they are NOT completely compatible, i.e., with old M or K series Pentax lenses on *any* Pentax DSLR, wide open and real-time metering are actually both NOT possible! >:-(
Pentax' Toy Policy Will Continue After Ricoh's Take-Over in October!
My K-r Toy Story! ;-D
Supported Pentax DSLR Functions with Different Pentax Lenses
Friday, January 13, 2012
Pentax Interview/Disclosure Galaxy (All Official: Pentax Germany, Pentax UK, Pentax USA and Pentax Ricoh Japan!)
1. A further look on what Pentax Germany posted at the Google+:-
"Dieses Jahr wird das Poster größer werden müssen." = This year the poster will have to be bigger.
First via Blog reader franky and then human translated by Blog reader Mistral75.
It might hint that a new Pentax interchangeable lens camera body would be added this year.
2. Pentax UK posted something at the Facebook:-
We can confirm that Japan has now ceased production of the PENTAX K-r. However, it will continue to be available to purchase in Europe until at least May.
Customers and users of the K-r can be assured that, as with all Pentax SLRS, future lens introductions will be compatible with the K-r body.
We can also confirm that rumours about the K-5 discontinuing are untrue."
I do find that the above message clear and precise.
3. IR has had an interview with John Carlson of Pentax Imaging (USA) at the CES:-
Go read the interview yourself, and of course it is in English. But I do have some negative impressions on what are being answered and the way JC took in answering the questions, i.e., the negative or tricky words and phrases that John likes to use, as usual:-
"Whether we have the resources to do something in between those, I'm not in a position to say." "That's one where the production is finished with that product. I hesitate to call it "discontinued", because there is still product in the channel." "As far as what's on the road map, it's not something that I'm able to share." "As far as when something's going to be released for the 645, I'm not sure."
Btw, what "channel" are those K-r stuff still distributed in the US? Even B&H, the largest US dealer of photographic gear, has listed it discontinued for quite a while. Do a quick search over there and we can see a full page of discontinued K-r items plus the last item of O-GPS1 that is "temporarily out-of-stock". After all, I just wonder what John still wanted to play down?! >:-[
Last but not least, I am really tired of the marketing BS about the "decent image quality" of the Pentax Q or alike, which is helpless and is just BS, after all!
Update: Have just come across this funny but actually very well put post by a Pentax user at the DPR forum and would like to share it here. I think it's a must read, since that guy writes and summarises things far better than me! :-o
A brief summary for the lazy one: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: DPR
Anyway, it's sad to see that many Pentax users who responded in the thread were actually pissed off! >:-(
4. Next, I'd like to give you all something more authoritative, DC Watch has just interviewed the head of marketing and product planning of the Pentax Ricoh Company at the Japanese headquarters!
(in Japanese, Google English Translation Here)
This time we get more useful information, in particular, here is what the PR Japanese head talks about the K-mount (and my own translation):-
The interviewer asked about if there is any development of new lenses in K-mount. The PR head answered that they would concentrate on the development of new lenses for the Q system first as it is easier to make compacter lenses with the smaller sensor size of the system and that a pocketable zoom can be materialised as such. In 2012, they would develop new telephoto lens for the Q.
The interviewer chased the Pentax head that many Pentax users did want much for new K-mount lenses. The head then answered that the development would be continued, mainly focused on the minimisation of lenses and new types of optics would be developed. But they would need more time as more resources were required since it was more difficult. He further asked the users to be patient and wait for longer.
After all, I like the way which the Japanese PR manager answered the questions than what JC did. I think that Japanese guy has been more sincere and honest in answering those questions and most importantly in a straight-forward way of which the message contained is clear without any ambiguity, not even to mention that he should know more about the PR future than what JC knew. Indeed, I would rather see Ned Bunnell was interviewed than finding JC (whom IR liked to contact) but it seems that we could rarely see Ned anywhere publicly in the light these days.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
(Updated: Click Above to Download a Larger Poster!)
Source: Pentax Germany @ Google Plus
Via: Chassimages Pentax Forum
Btw, does it have a larger version? :-(
A (Pentax) Camera Catalogue Collector
Pentax SLR Cameras 1952-2008
Major Canon Cameras 1930 to 2010
Changes to V1.12
- Corrected --- When O-GPS1 is mounted on the K-5 and taking a picture of starry sky with long exposure tracing by ASTROTRACER function, a band of light green noise rarely occur on image depending on photographic condition.
*Contents of [Version 1.11] will be also updated.
And now, it is clear that the K-r has already completely been abandoned and the support by Pentax for the model has ended. If this O-GPS1 bug exists when it is attached to a K-5, K-r should suffer from the same problem as the astrotracer algorithm(s) used should be the *same* for *both* cameras for what it is embedded in the last firmware revision of the 1.11.
But after all, what I feel disgusted about the case is that the O-GPS1 supports only two K-mount DSLR models, i.e., the K-5 and K-r, why Pentax Ricoh should suddenly drop the support to the K-r? If I am a K-r user who has purchased this expensive GPS unit, I am really much pissed off, undoubtedly! >:-[
The K-5 seems to have been discontinued and there have been various signs of Ricoh is planning to abort the DSLR lineup. E.g., both K-r and K-5 have been discontinued with low profile but no replacement model of any is given. Moreover, there has not even any plan or just a roadmap disclosed. Plus, the new Ricoh chief said in a recent interview that the mirror and all the mechanical parts are just evils which cause many problems and he does tend towards to make mirrorless instead of reflex, even for the FF and 645D, for what is being serious considered! :-o
Now, I understand why the new Pentax Ricoh head said that the PR planned to make every upcoming Pentax camera to be 100% coverage for the view-finding, even for entry level models. I have been really stupid enough for not being able to interpret the clear message that was contained and brought out. Well, if all the cameras will be mirrorless and they can only offer LiveView, will the viewfinding coverage be smaller than the full 100%?! :-o
Now for us old Pentax K-mount reflex users, at just the "low" price of $1000, would you opt to grab maybe the last Pentax DSLR body ("flagship" or not!) right now? And here is the poll. Of course, if you are already a K-5 owner, this poll may not be too meaningful to your true case. But still, you are welcome to opt! Okay, let's go! :-)
There is no "stand report" for Pentax Ricoh so far at the DPR, but if you are interested in the latest photographic products news of the other manufacturers and brands, click the DPR link below. I think the stand reports are nicely compiled:-
It should be noted that the old PMA has been over and now the CES is the old PMA, as combined. So, when some Pentax "supporters" are arguing that the CES show is "unimportant", just think about if the PMA was important or not. Btw, the following is quoted from the introductory post at the front page of the DPR:-
"This year's CES is the most significant yet for the photo industry (since what remains of the old PMA show is now part of CES), and we've already seen some major announcements from camera manufacturers. As usual we will be providing frequent and detailed coverage of product announcements at CES as well as a live 'from the show floor' report."
Nonetheless, I am still waiting for the stand and live show report for Pentax Ricoh by the DPR. But it seems that they are not really interested. But it could be a chicken-n-egg problem after all - If/When there is nothing interesting to report at the booth, why should they bother? >:-o
CES Pentax News and One Rumour
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Further to the previous reports by some K-5 users, I've seen yet another same report today by another K-5 guy:-
Well, I just wonder why that lens release button of the K-5 should be more easily broken than the other Pentax DSLRs?! :-o >:-| If not, why we have not seen similar reports for the K-r, say, which is sold far more than the K-5, certainly.
Nevertheless, once again, this strange K-5 quality and reliability issue is verified.
First, we should look at this. It is a meeting room hired by Pentax at the CES2012:-
It is a small room with closed door and next to the toilets, via DPR post here. When I first looked at the picture, I was nearly mistaken that Pentax had hired oneof the toilets! :-o
As for the Pentax booth, there is no picture posted, but it is described as follows:-
" I found out the pic above IS a Pentax meeting room (Very bad location btw!) But they do have a real booth in hall D. Still the Booth is tiny, barely bigger than 3rd party small time makers such as BlackRapid, Bowen and "Noritsu" "
Update: Thanks to Blog reader ERR, we have a picture of the sad little Pentax Ricoh booth:-
Btw, for what I've learnt so far, there is no particular new product of any on show at the Pentax booth, but there is a rumour though. See this:-
via DPR forum post here.
This is actually a pure text rumour that I would classify, i.e., everyone could create and say something like this! >:-(
The doubt is: IF it is true, why not take a photo of it, as it is just a public show and exhibition after all! :-o
Well, even what is talked is true, I am really want a viewfinder for the K-mount mirrorless (if any!)! No matter it is electronic or optical..
But with all the recent "extraordinary" marketing and really poor PR of the Pentax Ricoh (examples are about the discontinuation of the K-r (and possibly also the K-5) without any replacement announced!), I am really starting to much worry and doubt about the future of the Pentax brand and particularly about the survival of the Pentax SLR system in K-mount! >:-(
Via the first look report from the DC Fever:-
(in Traditional Chinese, Google English Translation Here)
There are five full-size original samples posted, all EXIF preserved (of course):-
(Click to Download, Warning: Large Files)
My initial impression is that the colour response looks somehow strange to my eyes. As for the "superior" image resolution, I just can't see any big difference against the other 16-18MP APS-C cameras here. I do see some optical imperfection, though. So, once again, I think the lens is the bottle neck for higher resolution, but not the sensor! Furthermore, I have to say that "a new APS-C sensor approaching full frame IQ" is just a marketing BS after all. Well, could the DoF (Depth of Field) be changed with the same *APS-C sized* sensor? And can the diffraction limit be ignored/overridden??
Update: 1001 Noisy Cameras write that the samples can be found at Fuji's own official website and there are a total of nine of the complete set:-
When the Sensor Outresolves the Lens.. (How Meaningful is a 24MP APS-C Sensor?)
When the Diffraction Limit is Reached..
More Fuji X-Pro 1 Details and New Features
Fuji X-Pro 1 Family Official Product Pictures First Leaked
Monday, January 09, 2012
Had a short trip to Budapest, the Capital of Hungary, for only 3 days during Christmas and would like to share some of the photos taken in the trip.
Budapest is actually comprised of two parts: At the Western side of the Danube River, it's the Buda, where contains more historic buildings and is the older downtown. At the opposite/Eastern side of the River, it's the Pest, the commercial and political centre and it's the downtown with newer facilities (of course there are also many historic buildings at the Pest).
Places visited, in roughly the same order I went there, including Váci utca(street), Danube River, Chain Bridge, Fisherman's Bastion, Matyas Church, Royal Castle/Palace, Hungarian Parliament Building, Great Market Hall, St Stephen's Basilica, Hero Square and Szechenyi Thermal Bath. Some of the historic sites and buildings are really old enough, e.g., for over five hundred years.
Supposingly, Budapest should be quite nice a place to visit for sight-seeing and picture-taking. But however, the weather in Winter times are usually cloudy and misty, and with some random light rains, too. And at around zero degree throughout the day, it is somehow cold. Things could get worse with the winds, which is not rare. Still, I think it is yet a nice place to visit and maybe in Summers it will be better. Goods and services are not too expensive and people are in general quite nice. Foods are somehow delicious. As for the spoken language for communications, most of the younger people could understand and speak English acceptably and at hotels and major shopping venues and restaurants etc., there should be little problems..
Camera gear used was my K-r with a DA 16-45 lens put on it, for most of the times. In rare occasions, I changed my lens to a DA 70 Limited but actually it was not essentially required, particularly for the type of scenery shooting and for those record-purpose shots.
After all, below is the full album. Or, you'd better first view the Slideshow Here.
Enjoy! (And please just don't blame me for the crappy snapshots of mine! ;->)
P.S. I did take some random videos with my K-r on the trip, but I've been just too lazy to put it neither up to my YouTube nor Photobucket accounts!~
Information source from an unpublished article of the French printed magazine Response Photos.
Via DCView (in Traditional Chinese, Google English Translation Here)
Here are what's special:-
1. New unique type 6-colour filter per pixel APS-C sized sensor in 16MP, pixels are not in Bayer arrangement, no Anti-aliasing filter is required;
2. Separate AF sensor and detection (not sensor image contrast detection type, I think);
3. Optical viewfinder's Angle-of-View automatically couples with the lens mount for its focal;
4. Optical viewfinder now has electronic display information overlaid, i.e., the best of both world.
Fuji X-Pro 1 Family Official Product Pictures First Leaked
Sunday, January 08, 2012
With the newly released PK Tether 0.6 software, I have successfully opened the debug mode of my K-r, in only 2 painless steps! My hats off to Tomasz, the software author!
1. Connect the USB and turn on the camera;
2. Run the software (which requires no installation at all - Nice!) and just click the "Camera debug mode On" button at the lower right hand side. That's it and it is done! :-D
As Usual, the Debug menu for the AF adjustment is located between the Setup menu Tab 4 and the Custom menu Tab 1:-
Here it is and looks. The New Tab is called the "Test Mode":-
Go to the item "AF Test" and here we go:-
Do the adjustment as it was with any previous Pentax DSLRs, everything is actually the same.
When it is done, remember to disable and leave the debug mode. You can now do it in-camera as there is a menu item for that (look back the above):-
I have not done any AF adjustment as my K-r is accurate by itself by all means - but only under Daylight, but not Tungsten. So, the Debug is not going to be of help anyway! So, again, Pentax must be "bashed" and it's all their own fault!! >:-(
Last but not least, other functions of the PK Tether works like a charm with my K-r and I have not encountered any problem. But anyway if you do find some software issues when you use it, I do encourage you to report it to the author so that he could investigate and make further debug and improvement in due course.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
Finally, someone did it! :-o Here it is, we should thank Tomasz, especially for all those K-5 and K-r users!
It is said that now Debug mode of *any* Pentax DSLR can be activated, including K-5, as this is re-confirmed by Tomasz in his reply in the comments section of his post, i.e., K-5 is fully tested.
So, go get the software and try it yourself. Enjoy! :-)
P.S. The Mac version of the software has not been successfully built yet, as told.
P.S. 2 As for other older Pentax DSLR models, the Debug mode menu can be opened in-camera: Method Here and Full Tutorial Here.
Update (1-9): Go onto the Next Part:-
Successfully Open the Debug Mode of My K-r! :-)
Friday, January 06, 2012
I have seen very recently quite some readers and Pentaxians here claimed that they were much interested in the new Fuji mirrorless X-Pro 1 (instead of the Pentax Q). So here is the latest news from the Mirrorless Rumors, just in case if you're really interested:-
The annual report from the BCN has been out, which shows the sales results and ranking of the top DSLR and ILDC models in Japan for the last year of 2011:-
(in Japanese, Google Translation to English Here)
There are two tables and one chart which illustrate the key information. The first table shows the top selling 20 interchangeable lens bodies, regardless of whether it is a DSLR or a ILDC. It can be noted that Pentax K-r is ranked at 12, of which the share to the number of total units sold in the last year at Japan is at 3.0%.
I myself do contribute to that 3% sales as my K-r gold/brown edition was ordered in early January last year from Japan.
A quick add-up on the top 20 models reveals that the total number of market share is in 83.8% only. If the same figures of the years 2009 and 2010 are compared, it can be observed that in this year the other models outside the top 20 do have got more shares than what the other less popular models did as in the past. So, what does this imply? It simply hints that the competition has become more vigorious and the choice of models by the consumers have been diversified.
Next, let's look at the second table, which shows the 10 top selling models of ILDC and the market share of them when only ILDCs' sales are counted (DSLRs are not counted this time). It can be seen that the top 10 models already occupy 81.2% of the ILDC market and thus the crowd of the remaining ILDC models only share the remaining slice of the pie in 18.8% only.
At this point, we Pentaxians would ask, for what we are interested in, where is the Pentax Q and how Pentax has performed with the Q system? As we can learn from the above, Pentax and the Q does not appear in the chart. So, let's go on to look at the third graph then, which shows five brands in the legend, from top to down is: Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Nikon and Pentax. The legend actually lists the brands by the ranking of them in terms of the sales. Besides, the vertical axis of the chart shows the market share in % and the horizontal run shows the months of the year:-
Now, we have the conclusion about the sales trend of the ILDCs in 2011: Olympus has still been the market leader, followed by Panasonic and Sony. It is particularly mentioned that the sudden drop of Sony's sales from October was owing to the flooding in Thailand when the Sony Thailand factory was forced closed and thus affecting sales owing to the shortage of supply of new goods.
As for Pentax, the Q has sought less than five percent of the market in recent months and the sales of Nikon 1 is rising, close to about ten percent in December.