Sunday, May 31, 2009

First Unofficial Full Size K-7 Samples, Firmware Version 0.35

See the latest samples posted by the "What Digital Camera" online:-

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/galleries/sample-images/pentax/12155/1/0/pentax-k7-pre-production-dslr-sample-shots.html

10 full size original samples are posted, plus a cropped one at ISO 1600. Various ISO speeds were used for those shots, from ISO 100 to 1600. As we can see from those 1600 shots that were made under a bright day with adequate exposure, the noise are well controlled (although the Dynamic Range can be more limited, as it should be).

The exposure accuracy seems to be good with the new Matrix metering system. All photos were shot with the Matrix mode with no exposure compensation. Quite some of the scenes are of high contrast and the image mode was set to high contrast too, but yet exposures were well taken so that most highlights and shadows are well preserved.

As for other image quality aspects, you'd better pixel peep and judge yourself!

The lenses used were the DA*50-135 and the DA 14.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mr. Blurry Cameraphone Posts More K-7 Samples

If you view Mr. Blurry Cameraphone's Blog regularly, you would have noticed that he has posted more pre-production K-7 samples in his blog site, further to his last ones more than one week ago:-

1. Mr. Blurry Camera's family photos and his lovely son:-

http://ivyjopy.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!9C2325683F4C3B9C!11142.entry


Photos taken with the FA 31 Limited on a Pre-production K-7 with Firmware Version 0.2. Judge the image quality yourself but all photos look nice to me and they do show good colours, sharpness, bokeh and white balance. And, the exposures are mostly accurate too - IF these were taken with the supposed "fool-proof" Matrix metering system with Zero Exposure Compensation, then it would be a very good news! Anyway, since no EXIF is preserved, I cannot verify this further.

2. K-7 on the Sea!:-

http://ivyjopy.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!9C2325683F4C3B9C!11081.entry

Want to see how sea water is splashing on the K-7 camera? Look there!

Enjoy! And I hope Mr. Blurry Cameraphone will get a production K-7 very soon and I am sure he will post more sample photos.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Impress DC Watch K-7 Preview is Out

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/review/20090528_170340.html
(in Japanese)

Many product photos, K-7 with some Pentax lenses, the D-BG4, size comparison against the K20D, screen shots of different user menu pages and etc. are there!

Shutter sounds under the single advance mode and the continuous advance mode were also recorded and posted (and my measurbation results are in Italics):-

Single: http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/static/k7shutter/tansha.mp3

Sampled System Time Lag: 76 ms (from the completion of shutter release pressing to the starting of exposure)

Continuous: http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/static/k7shutter/rensha.mp3 (paused for a short period of time after each five shots sequence)

Sampled System Time Lag: 67 ms (from starting of mirror-up to starting of exposure)

Sampled Actual Frame Rate: 5.28 fps


Well, I must say once again that the system responsiveness is very good!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Official K-7 Promotional Video / Ad ?

Look! Its Nice!



If it is intended to be official, then Pentax's marketing is back, finally! I found that they have been non-existent for the last two decades, almost! :-D

I do hope that they should state not just "HD 720p Video" as the K-7 does do more than that, i.e., 1024p Video, despite that its aspect ratio is rather uncommon for video, in 3:2.

Sample Video Clips of the K-7

Here comes two new sample video clips from the K-7 Beta at YouTube:-

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBl3oLvRCZ8

(Original Source: http://image.popco.net/Review/DCA/PENTAX_K-7/movie/IMGP0055-5.swf
Somehow slow to download and it may not be able to playback continuously - I tried several times and sometimes it was okay.)

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CxSBGV_KI0

Well, my impression is that the video quality is just so-so, with some video blocks that are quite visible (especially when you have seen the original Korean Shockwave Flash file). The problem maybe owing to conversion loss, though. But I can see much jumpiness in the second video clip, which this time possibly would not be a YouTube or conversion problem, then.

Btw, I just tried both the Canon 500D and Panasonic GH1's video function yesterday. The GH1 video is the best and as well expected. Its CDAF (Contrast Detection AF) is obviously faster than the 500D. And most importantly, everything with the GH1 is real time and automatic, including the AE, which are both operated silently without any noticeable sound as claimed (I tried it at the Panasonic showroom where was quiet). But, I still miss the power zoom of a DV camera and so do the variable speed power zoom control, too. Besides, the video of 500D is also quite good in quality and I think it is marginally useable for the focus control - which the user needs to press the AEL button to do CDAF each time when it is required. Depending on the lighting condition and the contrast/pattern details of the subject/object, it will finish faster or longer. I have tested the 500D at two different shop for its video mode. In most cases, it required about 3 seconds to achieve the focus. In optimal situations, 1 to 2 seconds might be possible.

Anyway, I would still think that holding a DSLR for video shooting is just uncomfort and somehow strange, nor the "video camera" would be stable enough for final good results. This can be seen in both the above sample video clips as well. And, isn't that the K-7 has built-in image stabilisation system (aka SR), but frankly I can't see that in action in both of the above. And in fact, as far as video quality is concerned, I'm afraid that my 4 years old Sony 3CMOS DV camera easily blows most DSLRs away, even they are claimed to be in HD quality or even Full HD. Not even to mention the differences in operation convenience and usability.

Now, let's look back to the K-7 video function, I have heard that K-7 firmware 0.2 would allow the command of CDAF during video recording whereas the newer version 0.34 has disabled the CDAF once video recording has started (it would do once beforehand automatically, though). Whilst no body would know what the future final production firmware will do at this moment but I must say if there is no CDAF in video mode, then this will be a big missing - WHY all K-7 users have to do MF when the camera is capable of doing the CDAF under the video mode? As for the AF noise issue, the user will decide himself! Pentax should also note that it is now a standard feature in the competition for all other latest DSLR video cameras in the market. Just please don't let alone the K-7 to be lame in this regard! Please..

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Lens Roadmap Revamped? (5 New Lenses? Leak?)

SPY photos come again! It seems that brilliant Pentax/Hoya marketing is in action!

DFA* 20mm F2.8 SDM? DFA 645 25mm F2.8?

DFA* 50mm F1.0 SDM?

DA 135mm F2.8 Limited?

DA* 400mm F4 ED[IF] SDM?

DFA lenses come back again!? Preparing for a Full Frame Body and System???

Why that guy covered the lens images with his finger(s)? .. IF he is just a "spy"? ;-D

Update (5-27):

Hot discussions have been instigated in a thread started by me at the PentaxForums which points to my this blog post. People have been wondering if these pictures are fake or not and some do insist those are.

Whilst I am neutral to the realness of these "leaks", I do have some internal filters set up within myself for what I post at my blog. If you have been a reader of mine for long enough, you could actually find that I have actually been 99% accurate and correct for what I reported! ;-D And I usually do not post those rumours that I could not believe or just found them fake myself.

To be even more objective, I have compared the above four "leaked" pictures against the last officially published roadmap dated March 3, 2009, which is most updated one by now.

For your easy reference, I copy again the link to the above mentioned roadmap as below:-


(Click to download the roadmap pdf file from Pentax's website)

After careful inspection on the positions of the new lenses, bullet colours of those (orange for DA lenses, blue for DFAs, purple for DAs), fonts and distortion, neighbourhood lenses/gridlines (both vertical dotted ones for focal lengths and the thick horizontal separators) and etc., I actually find almost no "discrepancy" of the "leaked" roadmap!

The only suspicious thing is only about the DA*400 F4 lens, beside which in the left neighhourhood I should see portion of the DA*300 F4 block, or it should be positioned higher or lower owing to the typesetting conflict with the neightbouring lens, but I cannot see any of such. However, this doesn't necessary mean that it is fake, maybe it is just that Pentax have changed the typesetting.

In contrast, the insertion of the the DFA*50 F1.0 lens looks almost real to me! :-) The DFA 645 55mm standard lens has now been shifted to a lower position underneath the new DFA*50.

So, if I had to bet for the realness of this "leak", I would say it is true - by my best judgement.

Any more sensible counter arguments this time? :-))

Sunday, May 24, 2009

K-7 Machine Gun Demo, Timing Measurbations and Size Comparisons

A Korean site has done an excellent K-7 preview with posted Flash videos which record the continuous shootings of the K-7 in Hi and Lo modes and that of the K20D.

1. Direct link to the video of Continuous Hi mode of the K-7 is as follows:-

http://image.popco.net/Review/DCA/PENTAX_K-7-pre/flash3.htm
(A new browser window will be opened)

I have saved the sound track of the above as wave file here. After some measurbations (detailed explanation on the methodology here), I found that the average time duration between two consecutive shots is 0.19675 sec as sampled. As such, the measured actual shooting rate is about 5.08 fps in this case.

I also note that the continuous shooting rate is not absolutely constant through out the whole continuous shooting period, i.e., sometimes slightly faster and sometimes relatively slightly slower. But anyway in average and as sampled, it is close enough to the specified rate of 5.2 fps. The actual number of shots in a chain before buffer overthrown is counted to be 46 frames, which is more than what has been specified (of 40 frames in a chain maximum). It maybe just because of the slight lower actual shooting rate, so more frames in a chain can be stored. As for the reason for a lower rate, it depends on the battery power condition, ambient temperature, complexity of the scene to be recorded, shutter speed and speed of the SD card used, etc.

2. Direct link to the video of Continuous Lo mode of the K-7 is as follows:-

http://image.popco.net/Review/DCA/PENTAX_K-7-pre/flash4.htm
(A new browser window will be opened)

Wave file here: http://www.geocities.com/ricehigh/blogger/K-7/K-7_3fps.wav

The measured average duration between two shots is: 0.30867 sec

Hence, the measured actual shooting rate is: 3.24 fps, which is still slightly less than the specified rate of 3.3 fps.

The averaged system time lag of the K-7 from this sound file is 64 milliseconds (I took two samples, both at 64ms), which is fairly short, and is the best I have ever seen for a Pentax DSLR! It is well expected because if the system time lag is not shortened, it is impossible to achieve a higher frame rate! For an idea on what this is actually meant, compare to the performance and measured figures by the Imaging Resource of other DSLRs here. And, now the K-7 is comparable to the Canon 20D/30D (65ms) but yet is still a little bit longer than the 40D/50D (59ms), see the posted "shutter lag" figures here.

I suspect this to be the best system time lag figure obtainable with the K-7 as very possibly AF function is disabled by the tester when he meant to test the continuous shooting mode.

Now, let's look at how the K20D can perform and is compared:-

http://image.popco.net/Review/DCA/PENTAX_K-7-pre/flash5.htm
(A new browser window will be opened)

And the wave file is as below:-

http://www.geocities.com/ricehigh/blogger/K-7/K20D_3fps.wav

The measured average duration between two shots is: 0.35175 sec

Thus, the average shooting rate is: 2.84 fps.

System time lag is measured to be 120 ms.

Again, the K20D is slower than specified for the shooting rate and is actually obviously slower than the K-7's Continuous Lo mode, even though it is just observed by feeling without any measurement. The system time lag of the K20D is almost doubled - that what I have been criticising about all the Pentax DSLRs for years (but then I was bashed by the fanboys each time and every time I pointed out this *fact*!)

Last but not least, I heard from different beta testers that the beta K-7 they tested were with firmware version 0.2 of which the Continuous Hi mode is locked. It seems that new firmware of higher version is being distributed (but not to all beta-testers as some of them have already returned their K-7s to Pentax).

As another reference, the system time lag of the K-m was mesaured to be 114 ms by me previously, which is still faster than the K20D by this comparison.

Well, I would give Pentax a "Well Done!" remark for being successful for significantly shortened the system time lag of a Pentax body so that they can achieve a higher frame rate (beside that they needed to find a faster sensor and achieved faster processing).

In the second part of the Preview, they have made some interesting side comparisons with the K-7 against a number of DSLR bodies, namely: Canon 450D, Nikon D80, the K20D, K100D/Super and Fujifilm S5Pro, from different angles of view. The K-7 does look compact, slim and smart and actually much smarter than all others IMO. The closset thing to the K-7 is the K100D, so the K-7 is really compact. Nice!

Edit (5-26): Machine Gun Demo of the K-7 (5.2 fps) Vs Nikon D3 (5.0 fps) at YouTube!

Very obviously, the K-7 gun fires more silently than the D3 but my feeling is that the D3 is just firing faster. Really? I shall measure it later when I have the time! Stay tuned.

Edit (5-30): A "cleaner" portion of the sound track with relatively less unwanted background noise is captured and the measurbation results are as follows:-

Actual frame rate of the K-7 (Beta) in the video clip: 4.2 fps (Only! What? Unstable Frame Rate?? What caused it???)

Actual frame rate of the D3 in the clip: 5.03 fps

Well, sometimes we should not look down at human "feeling"! I have seen on the net that I am not the only one that felt that the D3 is faster. Whilst human feeling is subjective, it could still be quite sensitive! Usually minor difference can be detected!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Public K-7 Product Show Completed Today at Tokyo



See the product show live report by the Japanese Impress DC Watch:-

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/dslr/2009/05/23/10904.html
(Text in Japanese)

In addition to the photos of the show and venue, various photos of the K-7 body and lenses are posted, as well as a detailed size comparison against a K10D brought by the reporters from different angles of view. The battery compartments of the K-7 against the K10D are also compared. Btw, the reporters actually use a K-m to record the show, just check the EXIF of the report photos.

But possibly owing to the new-type influenza (H1N1) found in Japan recently, the show is not as crowded as expected and sterilising fluid needed to be applied to the K-7 and gear from time to time! :-(

Nonetheless, the reporter writes that for those who have tried the K-7, they were all surprised by the silent shutter and the compactness of the body.

Besides, it is told that manual exposure control is not possible under the Movie mode, nor AF can be done once the movie recording is started, as such MF is a must if the user wants to adjust the focus. Nonetheless, during movie recording, the aperture can be changed manually via buttons. (Well, the Canon EOS 500D can do AF at all times during the Moive mode, even though it is slow and hunts but it is still there!)

As some of you may have already known, I have pre-ordered my K-7, ten days ago. I shall test drive the K-7 once production units arrive, probably late June or early July. Of course, if it is not going to pass my preliminary hands on test, I shall cancel my order at once. If it passes my first test, what I plan to get are the body, the kit lens 18-55 WR and also the DA 15 Limited to supplement the wide angle. Well, I believe that the DA 15 is a high quality but yet very compact and lightweight wide to ultra-wide angle prime, which is unique in the market and I do buy the design concept as well as the marketing idea of it actually.

There exactly are my planned-to-buy gear at the show!



As you may also know, my two main gripes about almost all Pentax DSLRs are their inferiorly performed and inaccurate AF and metering systems. Let's wait and see what will happen when I have handled one! I shall report back shortly after as soon as I can. Well, I bet the new SAFOX VIII+ AF system should be able to pass my quick test but frankly I still have not much confidence in the Pentax metering system even for what I have seen from the latest recent official samples of the K-7, as well as what I have learnt from the testers of the beta K-7 and their comments.

Finally, product seminar(s) for the K-7 is also reported and a transparent demo model of the K-7 is also displayed:-



Other Japanese Live Shows are scheduled to be carried out from May 24 to July 4 at different cities of Japan (reported previously). The Osaka one has been cancelled owing to the recent more serious new-type influenza incidents in the region.

Edit (5-27): The Show is recorded at YouTube:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsMvSeqJNuI&NR=1

Feel for it just like Live!

Friday, May 22, 2009

First High ISO Shootout: K-7 Beta Vs K20D

Someone at the largest Chinese photo forum, Xitek Forum, has posted a shootout for the noise comparisons of the higher ISO speeds of the K-7 Beta (firmware version 0.2) against the K20D:-

http://forum.xitek.com/showthread.php?threadid=628798
(Text in Traditional Chinese)

Three pairs of full sized full resolution sample photos at ISO 1600, 2500 and 6400 are posted, EXIF preserved!

It is stated that no Noise Reduction of any kind was applied.

I notice that the K20D photos were converted using the Adobe PS CS3 whilst the K-7 Beta ones are direct in-camera Jpegs, though.

I won't make further comment on the image quality and noise level differences at this moment. You'd better measurebate and judge yourself. Just wish to mind you that the K-7 Beta was still having a beta firmware of verison 0.2, which would just be something that is still not quite mature.

Mr. Blurry Cameraphone Posted K-7 Beta Sample Photos

@ http://ivyjopy.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!9C2325683F4C3B9C!11040.entry
(Text in Simplified Chinese mixed with English)

Those samples look nice to me: colours, image sharpness, dynamic range and skin tone are all good.

Well, this guy is still working for Pentax, even he was the first person on this planet who leaked the K-7 secret. But then he is also a Pentax staff as well. Maybe now he has even been promoted to the head of marketing department of Pentax Shanghai or even Pentax China! ;-D

Thursday, May 21, 2009

POLL: Will You Get the K-7 ?

Okay, after all the buzz, it's time to make your decision! ;-) The question is: Will you get the K-7?

WILL YOU GET THE K-7 ?
Yes
No
Undecided
If you don't see the "Results" button, Click Here.

P.S. This is the first time I raise a Poll here at my Blog, please participate! :=)

P.S.2 You will see the Results after making your Vote. Some of you may not be able to see the "Results" button that is adjacent to the "Vote" button. If this is the case, just click on the link in white text above (at the lower right portion of the above poll box).

The Best K-7 Site So Far! (Its Official!)



Start Here!:-

http://www.pentax.jp/japan/imaging/digital/slr/k-7/feature.html
(in Japanese)

It contains all the detailed information about the K-7, with full size original sample photos and a complete FAQ, too!

Wow, the Firmware Version 1.0 is out! Look the EXIF of those official sample photos! But unfortunately, I am still rather unconvinced that all the four samples required +ve exposure compensations from +0.3 to +0.7EV, no matter for Centre-weighted Average or the New 77-Segment Matrix Metering is used! (What? Oh, Nooooo...!)

Edit (May 23): Someone at the PentaxForums has discovered that the posted official samples were actually just made with a Beta K7 with Firmware Version 0.2 only:-

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/60913-k-7-image-samples-japan-7.html#post608532

Well, the poster indeed has a very careful mind. In contrast, I did simply naively trust that the images are from production K-7 with Firmware Version 1.0 without any doubt as it is shown in the basic EXIF field of all the pictures. In fact, the prefix of the DSP and CPU firmware versions is simply the firmware version programmed in the body afterall (see here to learn why from my previous debug mode screen captures of my K100D).

So, why is this serious contradiction and discrepancy?? Well, there are *only* two possible reason, as below:-

1. The EXIF fields were edited after the images had been taken;

2. It was really using the production firmware 1.0 but that production firmware had a bug, with both the DSP and CPU version numbers not yet updated as contained in the final version of the firmware.

So, which case is more likely? You judge yourself! (To me, I think the former scenario is most likely - which just implies integrity problem of those Pentax staff or even Pentax themselves as a whole afterall! Too bad.. Why was this needed?? REALLY *Stupid*!!)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The electronic level(ling) meter is wonderful, handy and useful! The Automatic Levelling (by the SR system in conjunction with the electronic level sensor) is just a Miracle!!

All the above pages are in Japanese (of course, it is the Japanese official Pentax website). If you don't read Japanese, its time to Google Translate!

Enjoy! Again, I hold no responsibility of any kind for any CBA caused thereafter!! ;-)

Edit: One More!

K-7 Special Site (Japanese):-

http://www.camera-pentax.jp/product/

3 different K-7 Wallpapers in different sizes can be downloaded here!



Last but not least, as announced in the Japanese press releases (here and here), initial production quantities of the K-7 body, DA 18-55 WR and the DA 50-200 WR are 20,000, 14,000 and 5,000 units per month respectively. The gear will be made available at Japanese home market in fall June.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Leaks, Expected Prices, Etc.

A Czech site has published "another" specs of the K-7:-

http://www.fotoradce.cz/fotoaparaty/pentax-k-7-cislo1799
(Automatic Google Translation Here)

And, two more new K-7 photos are published:-



Well, the specs are more or less the same as what I have told and there are some more little details which I have not included and vice versa, e.g., the Guide Number of the built-in flash, which is 13m at ISO 100. The X-sync speed remains at 1/180th second! :-(

It is told that the suggested price of the K-7 Kit with the 18-55 WR is 1200 EUR with 19% VAT included, here.

And as for the latest expected street price of the K-7 (body?) at this moment, "tigrebleu" has reported here that the price as advised by his Canadian dealer is about (US)$1,400.

This is actually exactly the same as what I estimated with the basic information provided from another reader of mine on April 23.

Edit (5:00 p.m.): Official German Catalogue Leaked!

See: http://www.glanzbilder.org/2009/05/20/pentax-k-7-specs/


(The above linked directly to the original source.)

So, any new info? Yes, here they are:-

- LCD monitor is with Anti-Reflection (AR) coating;
- HD movie at maximum resolution (1536 x 1024 pixels / 30 frames) can be recorded up to 25 minutes or with a maximum file size of 4GB;
- External microphone-in for movie recording is stereo type;
- Shake Reduction up to 4EV protection;
- RAW is 12-bit;
- X-sync re-confirmed at 1/180 s;
- RTF: P-TTL, GN 13 (m @ ISO 100), angle of coverage: 28mm, 135 equivalent;
- Self-timer: 2 or 12 sec. delay; IR remote control: 0 or 3 sec.;
- 37 Custom Functions;
- In-camera image editing for aspect ratio (3:2, 4:3, 16:9 or 1:1 (square)) and fisheye effect, etc., in addition to the 16 digital filters for image processing.

Edit 2 (6:30 p.m.): A Picture of the Magnesium Alloy Outer Shell!



Edit 3 (9:00 p.m.): B&H also has K-7 published with price and expected arrival date before any official announcement appears!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/622079-REG/Pentax__K_7_SLR_Digital_Camera.html

Body Price: US$1,200; Arrival: July
(Edit 5-21: The Price has been changed to $1,300!)

Edit 4 (9:45 p.m.): Scanned copy of the K-7 Specifications page from an English official catalogue surfaced:-

http://www.priyantha.nl/tweakers/pentax/K7/K7_press_6.jpg

New Info: Video is Motion JPEG in AVI

Edit 5 (10:00 p.m.): K-7 Announced and Previewed at Dpreview!:-

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0905/09052003pentaxk7dslr.asp

(10:05 p.m.): The official teaser countdown timer has reached zero again at pentaximaging.com but the website has been down since then and is still unable to access up till now! (10:15 p.m.)

(10:30 p.m.): from DPR Preview:

"Custom Function 18: Slow Shutter Speed NR - 1: Auto, 2: Standard"

WHAT?? STILL *Forced* Dark Frame Subtraction for long exposure as there is NO "Off" *Option*!!!???

And, Custom Function 36 shows that AF adjustment and fine tuning is still available.

Edit 6 (11:00 p.m.): Imaging Resource K-7 Preview has been out:-

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/K7/K7A.HTM

Official Teaser Counter Reset!

They have added 15 hours! And people wonder.. What happened?

"It only feels like forever."! ;-D

Anyway, it is only just more than half day to go. Feel calm, guys. And wait for the great moment! :=)

In the meantime, just read my unofficial specs, which are subject to be changed without any official notice! ;-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Pentax K-7 Hands On Report!

Go Read!:-
http://www.pentax-fans.com/blog/
(Text in Simplified Chinese)

Wow, another kit lens has surfaced! It is the 50-200/4-5.6 WR! Some more detailed operations and new functions of the K-7 are briefed, with screen captures of those relevant menu pages!

Besides, more real K-7 stuff are triggered since my last post on the K-7 images and details. These include some "real" photos (that are not those for official press releases or Ads) and an interesting and useful to-scale size comparisons against the K20D and K-m as well as Canon, Nikon and Olympus DSLR bodies, as below:-





(All the above are directly linked to the sources)

Enjoy!

Edit (5-20): One more K-7 pic here:-



And, the writer of the hands-on report has made some additional remarks on his hands-on test and some supplemental information about the beta K-7 he handled is given:-

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/603068-post138.html

Anyway, the flash X-sync is re-confirmed to be at 1/180th second, unfortunately. Let's see if the coming official announcement will show a higher speed (which production model will have) but it is not that likely, IMHO.

The Pentax K-7 is Here! Finally!

The Countdown in My Unofficial Teaser is Now Over! The Pentax K-7 is Here! Finally!!



Above:
7 Photos of the K-7, Kit and Grip! ;-D


K-7 Specifications:-

Camera Name: Pentax K-7
Body Material:
Magnesium Alloy Outer Shell on Stainless Steel Chassis
Body Reliability:77 Places Sealed, Cold-Resistant: Can be Operated under Temperature at -10°C
Sensor:
New Version of Samsung 14.6MP CMOS APS-C Imager in 23.4 x 15.6mm (Aspect Ratio 3:2), 4 Data Channels Readout
Dust Removal:New DRII System, Low-Pass/Anti-Aliasing Optical Filter Placed in Front of Sensor is Capable to be Moved in High Ultrasonic Frequency; Featuring also the Dust Alert System to the User
ISO Speeds:ISO 100-3200, 6400 Available on Expansion (to be Set via Custom Function)
Image Processing:
Newly Developed PRIME (Pentax Real IMage Engine) II Image Processor for High Performance and High Speed Still Image and Movie Data Processing; Better-Quality Images with Richer Gradation and More Accurate Color Rendition
Mount:
Pentax KAF2 (Crippled K-mount, Support Both Body Driven "Screw-Type" AF KAF and SDM KAF2/KAF3 Lenses)
Viewfinder:
Optical Type, Glass Prism, 100% Image Coverage, 0.92X Magnification
Focusing Screen:
New Natural-Bright-Matte III Focusing Screen, Improved Manual Focusing Accuracy
Shutter:
1/8000th second Top Speed, X-Sync=1/180s, 100,000 Shutter Actuations Durability
Continuous Shooting Modes:Continuous (Hi):-
JPEG: 5.2 FPS: Until 40 Frames;
RAW(PEF): Until 15 Frames;
RAW(DNG): Until 14 Frames

Continuous (Lo):-
JPEG: 3.3 FPS: No Limitation, until Card Full;
RAW(PEF/DNG): Until 17 Frames
Live View:Yes: Real-time, On-display image Confirmation, Activated by One-touch Dedicated "LV" button at the Thumb Position; Continuous Shooting Possible Under the LV Mode (Without Breaking the LV Mode and Exposure will be Adjusted Automatically and Continuously Via Automatic Diaphragm)
Live View AF Options:
Contrast Detection AF with Face Recognition Option
Other Preview Options:
Optical Preview; Digital Preview
Movie/Video Recording:
Movie/Video with Mono-Audio Recording (with Built-in Microphone), Supported Video Modes: 1280 x 720 Pixels (16:9 Standard High Definition), 640 x 416 (3:1.95), 1536 x 1024 (3:2), All Modes at 30 Frames Per Seconds
Top Monochrome Status LCD:
Yes, with Electro-Luminescence (EL) Backlight
Rear Colour LCD Monitor:
3.0", 640 x 480 Standard VGA Resolution, Approximately 920,000 Colour Dots, 170° Degrees of View both Vertically and Horizontally
e-Wheels Control:
Front and Rear Wheels
Green Button:
Yes, Directly Under the Rear Wheel
Exposure Modes:
Green Mode, Hyper Program (P), Sensitivity Priority (Sv), Shutter Priority (Tv), Aperture Priority (Av), Shutter-Aperture Priority (TAv), Hyper Manual (M), Bulb (B), X-Sync (X), User and Movie
Metering System:
New 77-Segment Multi-Pattern Metering System, which Divides the Frame Equally in 7 x 11 Segments, Vertically and Horizontally Respectively; More Advanced Algorithm for Higher Exposure Accuracy
Metering Modes:
Evaluative, Centre-Weighted Average, Spot;
Selected via Dedicated Metering Mode Level at Camera Top
AF System:
New SAFOX VIII+ AF System, Layout Same As SAFOX VIII (11-Point, 9 Crossed); Improved in Speed and Accuracy
Focusing Modes:
AF-S, AF-C, MF; Via Dedicated Focusing Mode Selector Level
Dedicated AF Button:
Yes
Dedicated AF Point Selector:
Yes: Central, Auto and User Select
Built-in Flash (RTF):
Yes, Manual Pop-Up
Built-in AF Assist Light:
Yes
Orientation Sensor:
Yes
Shake Reduction:Pentax Original SR System which is Capable of Compensation Shakes in Up/Down, Left/Right and Rotational (Clockwise/Counter-clockwise) Directions
SR Activation:
Preset by Camera in Different Modes or Manually Activated/Deactivated by the User via System Menu
Image Tone Modes:
Seven Modes: Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Monochrome, Muted (for Delicate, Subdued Colours); Actual Effect Previewable under LV or Digital Preview Mode
Image Parameters:
Saturation, Hue, Contrast, Sharpness, Filter Effect, Toning, Key and Contrast Highlight/Shadow; Actual Effect Previewable under LV or Digital Preview Mode
White Balance Presets:
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light, Tungsten Light, Flash, CTE (Emphasizing the Colours of Sunset Scenes) and Incandescent-Tinted Fluorescent Light
Manual White Balance:
Yes: Manual Measurement, Presets and Fine-Tuning (for Green Vs Magenta and Blue Vs Amber)
Supported Colour Spaces:
sRGB (Default) and AdobeRGB
Other Features:HDR (High Dynamic Range) Mode (One Composite Image from 3 Exposure Bracketed Images), Dynamic Range Expansion, Auto Distortion and CA Corrections, Multiple Exposures, Copyright Credits Attachment, Dedicated RAW Button, 16 Digital Filters
Controls Around Shutter Release:
Optical/Digital Preview; Two Separate Buttons for ISO Speed Selection and +/- EV Compensation / Top LCD Panel Backlight/Illumination
Direct Control System for Basic Functions:
With the Four Ways / "OK" Buttons for WB, Flash, Drive and Image Tone Mode / AF Point Selection Activation
Standard Digital Controls:
Play/Delete (at Upper Left), Info/Menu (at Lower Right)
Dedicated One-Touch RAW Button:
Yes
PC Sync Socket:Yes
IR Remote Control:
Yes, Front and Rear Receivers
I/O Ports:
Left: DC In, PC/AV, HDMI Out, Mic In; Right: Cable Switch Connector
Battery:New Type High Capacity Rechargeable Type D-LI90, 7.2V/1860mAh (Nominal), Support up to 980 Shots Without Flash
Storage Media:
SD and SDHC Cards
Dimensions:
130.5(W) x 96.5(H) x 72.5(D) mm (5.1 x 3.8 x 2.9 inches)
Weight:
670g (22.9 oz.), Body Only (Without Battery and SD Card)
750g (26.5 oz.), Loaded and Ready (With Battery and SD Card)
Software:Pentax Photo Laboratory (with SILKYPIX RAW-data processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory), Pentax Photo Browser and Two Other Utilities
Kit Lens:
DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AL WR (Water/eather Resistant)
Optional Accessory:
Vertical Battery Grip D-BG4, Weather-Sealed and Cold-Resistant, Support Either Another D-LI90 or Six AA Batteries, Provision of Extra Shutter-Release Button, Preview Lever, e-Dials, AE-Lock, Green Button and AF Button

Remarks:-

1. Factory Specifications are Subject to Change Without Notice! ;-D

2. All the Stated Improved Performances and Accuracies are as Claimed By Pentax which are Yet to be Verified by the End-Users in the Coming Days!! :-0

3. (Personal:) I have Pre-Ordered the K-7!!! :-)

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Site to Inhale the Web for Hot Topics

Here is the site Addict-o-matic.com where you can just enter a few key words for the current hot topics that you are interested in and then you will get all the returned results from various automatic searches on feeds (Web 2.0) and news on the web (Web 1.0).

For example, if you want to know about the latest news and updates on the Pentax K-7, just key in "Pentax K-7" in their front page and it will be directed to:-

http://addictomatic.com/topic/Pentax+K-7

Then, you will get all the up-to-the-minute results as returned in the above link, which is also bookmarkable. (Well, many returns will directly or indirectly point to my Blog, though! :-))

I highly recommend this website and engine, which is highly modern, and probably is the best web-tool for any people who are suffered from any serious LBA (Lens Buying Addiction), CBA (Camera Buying Addiction) or even WBA (Web Browsing Addiction)! Good luck!

Well, the website is called "Addict-o-matic", that simply means Automatic Robot for your Addiction! Isn't it? Really nice! (My Thumb Up)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flickr Pentax K-7 Images Pool

A good collection of nearly all the K-7 images (or other related images in the story) published so far since the first Mr. Blurry Cameraphone image surfaced, leaked or not, official or unofficial, real or unreal/hoax:-


(http://www.flickr.com/groups/pentax-k-7/pool/)

Two interesting size comparisons of the back of K-7 against those of K20D and K-m can also be found.

Enjoy in the meantime before this Countdown Reaches Zero, Very Soon! A bit more relieving now? ;-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog - 500,000 Page-Views Recorded

Today, my StatCounter has recorded 500,000 Page-Views/Loads at my Blog, since March 2007.

I think this is really a milestone event for My Blog, and in the history of the Pentax Internet Community as well. It is because internet websites which reaching this traffic volume can generally be considered as "Large Sites". :=)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who likes my Blog and especially those who are recognizing my works from time to time and giving me your valuable encouragement and support! Thank YOU! Frankly, I won't be working so "hard" without YOU!

Ironically, but honestly to tell, I must also thank those stupid but radical brand fanboys who have to attack and bash me to death for every opportunity anywhere without any rest. But they have indeed also given me some opposite "negative" "drives" for doing even more researches and tell the hard facts and truths to the world! :-o

Whilst one of the main themes and goal of making this Blog is for hoping Pentax to do better and be able to eliminate all the evils in their lately produced digital gear in the recent years, it seems that Pentax have finally done something far better and right this time with their upcoming K-7 (which I shall disclose all its details when My Unofficial K-7 Teaser Ends on May 19). Of course, the actual field performance and accuracy of the camera is yet needed to be verified.

I bet without the force and voices of so many sensible Pentaxians who actually want Pentax to survive or even win over the game/battle/competition, I think Hoya/Pentax could have already quitted their camera business without such strong aspirations and demands from the Pentaxian community!

Of course, I shall continue to keep up my works and I think my "die-hard blind brand loyalty" to Pentax will remain unchanged and will not be cooled down in the foreseeable future! ;-D

Stay tuned, and I am looking forward to seeing my Blog expands to 1,000,000 Page-Views/Loads Count very soon in the future.

Read Also:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog - Two Years

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog - One Year

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unofficial K-7 Teaser is Here!

PENTAX NEW K-7

2009.5.19 @ RiceHigh's Pentax Blog

Breakthrough‧Revolution‧Classic



Updated‧Stylish‧Tasty!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Official New K Teasers Up and More Leaks Coming!

See http://www.camera-pentax.jp/
(in Japanese)

As for the promotion graphics, it was leaked on April 22 already, as I reported it already. I previously translated that slogan of the promotion as "- The Successor for the Pride of Renowned Gear -", which it looks as if Pentax/Hoya is quite proud of and confident in the new camera body, i.e., the K-7.

Japanese Impress DC Watch has also reported the news:-
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/dslr/2009/05/08/10785.html
(in Japanese)

The scheduled times and venues of new product "seminars" are shown in their summary table. The seminars are for free admission and more importantly, it is told that people can try the new K(-7) body! And by that time, we can know more about the new K-7, for sure! - the Japanese media will report it fast enough. So when? The first seminar will be held at the noon of May 23rd at Tokyo. So, we shall know more! They tell, I report! :-D

Anyway, on May 21st we shall see the official specs. (or earlier, if there is leak(s)!)

Exciting? :-)

Edit: The official Chinese Pentax site has also made the announcement!

http://www.pentax.com.cn/product/slr/newk.html

And, one more new image (for the right side view of the "new K") is published:-



Edit 2:
Edit 4:


EL Screen? Nice if True!


(All leaked pictures are directly linked to the sources - Check the link properties yourself if you wish.)


Edit 3:
New Teasers also appear in Sweden, Canada, Germany and USA! View the official Pentax webpages:-

http://www.pentax.se/

http://www.pentaxcanada.ca/

http://www.pentax.de/de/news/1160/foto_news.php (Recruitment of Ten Internet Testers)

http://www.pentaximaging.com/ (Count Down for the New K)

http://www.pentax.es/home.htm (That was the first count down meter by Pentax but the image of the "New K" is not the K-7! Just a K20D, I think.)

And, Pentax UK has nothing yet! (What are they doing?)

Edit 5:

Really funny! But I have to tell that that K-7 with vertical grip image is *Real*!!

Edit 6:

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Notice: I Shall (Re)move My Yahoo Geocities Webpages and Articles Soon :-(

As some may know, Yahoo Geocities is now dying and they will close down later on this year. When any Yahoo Geocities user login to their frontpage, the following "important announcement" will be displayed:-

"After careful consideration, Yahoo! has decided to close GeoCities later this year.

You can continue enjoying your GeoCities service until then, and when we close, we'll make it easy for you to transition to Yahoo! Web Hosting. You don't need to change a thing right now — we just wanted you to let you know about the closure as soon as possible. We'll share more details this summer. For now, please visit the help center for more information."

As such, I have to decide if I shall keep my Geocities Website, Pages and Articles (all more or less about Pentax gear and general technical articles on DSLR photography). In fact, I have tolerated for long the very bad services, poor system reliability, system and software bugs of the Geocities as well as the really inferior Cost to Performance/Service Ratio and inferior, ridculous, crappy and non-existent customer service! And that's why they are now dying now and will die soon! I have no intention and motivation of any kind to move to the even more expensive Yahoo Web Hosting service and particular with all those adverse past track records of the Yahoo Geocities, I think I can easily make the *right* decision this time and not any Yahoo paid service anymore! NO, absolutely, NOT!!

In fact, my free Google and Photobucket services have served me far well than what Yahoo Geocities have been giving me so far. For years Geocities have on-and-off messed up many of their basic services like website stats, data loss, download/upload errors, control interface bugs/display errors but they have been charging me rather relatively a lot of money for their very limited but problematic services. In fact, they had even increased the service charge up to nearly 50% without giving their users reasonably enough time of prior notice.

In the past few weeks, I have been unable to login my billing page at http://billing.yahoo.com which is just something somehow worrisome and much annoyed. I reported that serious system error after it had been persistent for days but they have been ignoring all my fault reports and repeated requests for checking (Yes, I just asked them to check, not even hoping that they could resolve their problem immediately). Now the amusing thing is that they have simply ignored me totally after several crappy, useless and totally a waste-of-*my*-time copy-and-paste email conversations through their Yahoo Geocities customer "support" "personnels" (but I would say they are just human *robots*!).

There are more of those ridiculous cases on how Yahoo Geocities sucks, indeed. A quick Google will return all those reports of some of those poor victims. Most case are very similar and they are all in common for the ridiculousness and all are just jokes (but many of those are just even worse than mine), here is one funny but sad example:-

Quoted for what the site owner and yet another Yahoo Geocities Victim writes, "As you probably know, it is rarely accessible and slow to load. The old www.paperfolder.org link was defunct for a long time and now seems to have been replaced by an adult website - I have nothing to do with this. I have written several emails but these have been ignored. Totally. I would recommend you either email and complain but they will ignore you anyway. I have now changed service to another company who are making a much better job of running the website, unlike Yahoo Geocities, who in my opinion couldn't find their backside with both their hands."

Well, I really cannot imagine if my DSLR and Pentax related pages are turning into Adult pages some days even though I have been paying them monthly and when you click on the links!(? :-o) Okay, now, let me talk back about my website and articles.. I shall try to migrate some of my more important and popular Technical Articles such as those on the Camera Light Metering, Theroies and Bases, K-mount Metering and Exposure Bases, General Flash Exposure and Metering, P-TTL Working Principles and Limitations, or, maybe my once "famous" and popular K100D "Special" Measurbation Review and other short/quick experiments with Pentax and DSLR gear (see some more of those at the "My Other Links" section in the right hand side column of my this Blog) and so on.

Of course, I shall try to move and maybe somehow re-write those as "new" technical articles at my Google blogspot.com Blogger Host, which have been found to be very good and reliable in most aspects and it is just for "Free"! Nevertheless, I think this will consume me a lot of TIME and I cannot make any commitment at this stage. But since Yahoo/Geocities have been pushing my tolerance limit once and once again with what they are doing, I think I have to cut the service and cancel my paid account as soon as possible. This time, it is really rather ridiculous and dangerous that now I am even not be able to log into the billing page at Yahoo!? And more so for their poor and "don't care" attitude in treating my this case as rather casual and "nothing at all"! :-L I have to say again that I am really much annoyed by them!!

Last but not least, I apologise for any inconvenience caused and I take this chance to thank all those of my readers who have read my pages for these few years since 2005 and particularly for those who have given me their/your kind support and generous comments and encouragements when they (you) sent me the kind words over these years! :-) Thank YOU!

In addition, be prepared to see some deadlinks at my Blog, no matter for some simply html pages for sub-articles/summary tables and some linked pictures as well when my Geocities account is removed! But, I shall try to fix those one by one if and when time allows and also I should find a new web host for the service. IF you have any good web hosting service/company to recommend, please kindly drop me a comment here, to my this Blog Post! Thanks much in advance! :-)

As a reminder, if you find any of my those Geocities articles useful and wish to save a copy at your PC(s), just free feel to do so and you will help to use up those expensive but limited Geocities bandwidth that I have bought, for the last time! I guess I shall cut my Geocities account within this month, once I have the time to ftp all my files overthere and sit down and think how I should migrate my old works, which is just quite a headache for me! :-(

Monday, May 04, 2009

My 7th Pentax SLR Body?

Pentax Spain website has published a historical diagram of all Pentax SLR bodies (and "standard" lenses) prior to the K-m:-


Copyright 2008 (c) Asahi Optical Historical Club
Source URL: http://www.pentax.es/historiapentax2008.jpg


Ah, that's really a great family photo! Well, I have had only six of them:-


Well, what will be my 7th Pentax SLR body? This One? ;-D

K-7 - 2009

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