Monday, May 31, 2010

Lens Shootout: DA* 16-50/2.8 Vs Sigma 18-50/2.8 EX Vs Tamron SP 17-50/2.8

http://www.pentax-forum.net/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25

(in Slovenia, Google Translated English Page Here)

I think the review article is self-explanatory and the posted pictures speak themselves. Just go measurbate and compare! Good luck!

For Those Who Think the DA 17-70 is the Fastest SDM Lens in AF..

First, see this:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewcgq9tmPfw

Then, this comparison (on the AF motoring speed alone):-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1ap2OjrfVQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jdcpsf1Qas

Well, this time, I blog, YOU decide! (I just don't make any comments!)


Read Also:-

AF Speed Difference of K-m Vs K20D

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Official Pentaxian of the Year Has Gone Nikon/D700!

An unofficial Pentaxian just wondered and asked and Lance has kindly answered:-

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=35445339

Reason(s)? Just because Lance wants and needs a Full Frame, which Pentax lacks! :-o :-( That's what Ned Bunnell could do nothing for stopping the official Pentaxian from buying another brand! (and might eventually switch completely!) ;-D

Last time, Lance still told us that he just didn't want a D700 after hands-on trial just because he considered that it was still too large and heavy. But now..?! I think he simply couldn't resist and help himself afterall! >:-|

Update: Lance has started dumping the APS-C DSLR and lens system(s)! Just see his this recent reply post:-

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=35451600

Quoted, "Well, there is no APS C that is a comparison in IQ or build to the 24-70 f2.8 Nikon lens that delivers the results. This is a true pro grade lens. This is the type of lens that I asked this very forum about, about 12 months ago. I wanted to know if anyone would be interested in a lens of this very calibre but only a few said they would be. Here is my original question:

http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=32537062

Most poo pooed the idea, which is fine, but I wanted such a lens and teamed with FF in the form of the D700, it works."

Well, when Lance thinks that how perfect his D700 + Nikkor 24-70 would be, I bet he just hasn't read my blog and seen this shootout (A850 + Sigma 24-70/2.8 Vs D700 + Nikkor 24-70/2.8) yet! The A850 simply wins hands down in terms of resolution and picture quality, even just with a Sigma! So? ;-D

Besides, I've heard in the wild from different sources that the D700 will soon be replaced by Nikon by the end of this year. So, I really feel very lucky for Lance that he has been able to get his "perfect" Nikon Full Frame body just right before that he will not be able to buy it anymore, when it is discontinued! Lol.. :=D


Last (but yet quite recent) Story:-

Super (Die-hard/Brand-blinded) Fanboys Switched! :-o

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hoya Founder's Grandson Calls Pentax Acquisition "Failure", Seeks Reforms

Hoya Founder's Grandson Calls Pentax Acquisition "Failure", Seeks Reforms, Bloomberg News reports:-

http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-27/hoya-founder-s-grandson-calls-pentax-acquisition-failure-seeks-reforms.html

via PentaxForums Discussion Thread

Friday, May 28, 2010

645D Vs 5D MkII Vs K-7 (Full Size Samples Measurbation)

http://ganref.jp/magazine/dcm/mag/10_06/645d/
(in Japanese)

I won't "spoil" the results this time! :-) And also as the original author don't make any comment of his neither. Just go download and measurbate yourself and draw up your own (same or different) conclusions!


P.S. This is the 500th Post at my Blog. Since my Blog was launched 3 years and some months ago, my posts have been read for nearly 1.5 million times up till now. Thank you for reading and your continuous support! :-)

Canon/Sony Considers to Acquire Pentax??

CanonRumors has heard from a "good-source birdie" that both Canon and Sony are interested to purchase Pentax for some (maybe different) reasons! (via 1001 Noisy Cameras)

So, if that really happens, the brand Pentax will probably disappear, just like the fate of Minolta after Sony bought it! :-(

Btw, I had made the Canon-Pentax marriage long time ago, see this.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Full-Size 645D Samples

http://ganref.jp/magazines/index/1/0/368
(Page in Japanese)

I think this time the samples look better and undoubtedly better than those official "examples". Still, I think the digital sharpening for particular jpeg samples is just a bit too much to my taste. But it now seems that the 645D still has some good IQ, yet fortunately.

Nevertheless, I still await for portrait samples from the 645D.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How to Resolve the K-x Battery Problem?

Last time I talked about the features and performances of different models and designs of AA battery chargers. However, I still see that K-x users are yet asking (me or not) that how to completely resolve/eliminate the K-x battery problem. So, I would write more about my own solution in this blog entry.

First, you need to update the firmware, to version 1.01. It is better (actually less buggy and more tolerable) but it does NOT eliminate the problem(s) totally!

So, what's the problem actually? What's the cause? Well, if I have to tell you, the fault and source of problem is PENTAX! It is just because they chose the wrong battery solution for an actually power hungry device and application! So, it is just a battery issue more than a camera body issue, if I have to say..

Their stubbornness is actually unexplainable. IF they disregarded the AA batteries in the K-x, the K-x will perform better, more reliable, be made smaller and be considerably lighter when it is loaded and ready to shoot! WHY NOT?

After all, my advice to the final "solution" to the battery problem faced by many K-x users are as follows:-

1. Use *Traditional Type* high-capacity NiMH AAs from renowned brands: Renowned brand products like Energizer and Panasonic do have better quality, usually. The country of origin does also matter, say, my experience is that batteries made in Japan are better than batteries that made in China, even for the same brand.

And yes, I am saying choosing Traditional Type over those LSD (Low Self-Discharge) Type! LSD batteries like Eneloop etc. have more memory effect than Traditional ones and they do have lower overall capacity, although their charge can be kept a bit longer.

2. Use Intelligent Battery Chargers: Don't use timer control chargers as K-x will not satisfy with the batteries charged by those chargers! And, usually when K-x thinks that the batteries are depleted, they are actually only less than half-depleted for the total charge inside them. So, to recharge those batteries, intelligent chargers are essential.

3. Charge Twice, Not Just Once: More intelligent chargers still do not charge batteries to full capacity with one charging cycle, say, only less than 90% something for the first charge. Charge twice and you would probably get a 95% fully charged batteries and you will have more chance to get a green indicator shown in the the K-x for longer!

4. Decreasing the charging current by stages if your battery charger is allowed to do so: I set my Maha charger to Fast Charge for the first cycle. I often do not need the quick charge regarding the time required. But I do need its ability to eliminate the memory effect better - so I still opted Quick Charge for the first charge. Then, I switch my Maha charger to Slow Charge, re-insert my batteries and let it complete the charge with a smaller current and then finally entering into trickle charging (automatically). So, for my above charging procedure, the charging current is changed from 1000mA to 300mA and then to 50mA, in three stages. The best result is achieved.

5. Last but not least, recharge the batteries with small current when you are going to shoot for longer and after you have put aside your camera/batteries for a period of time: Unlike Lithium rechargeables, no matter you use Traditional type or LSD batteries, they do discharge somehow after a week or so anyway. As the K-x is so sensitive to the voltage and the fullness of the batteries, it does still help to re-charge. However, since memory effect does exist, slow charging with small current should be a better practice (in particular if your battery charger does not have the "re-freshing" function) and Not using LSD type is preferred.

But, still, I just wish to ask again: For all these Troubles, WHY STILL AA? Pentax, answer us, please! (And, Are You Actually Listening??)

Monday, May 24, 2010

If You Were Pentax, What Would You Do Now? (Poll)

If You Were Pentax, What Would You Do Now?
Free polls from Pollhost.com
Since Pentax does have very limited resources and Hoya has been very cost conscious, I suppose Pentax cannot do them all at a time. Do choose the way/option that Pentax should go and do it first. The (right) thing that you think Pentax should give it the priority should receive your vote!

Update (5-27): There are 351 votes received so far in about 72 hours. Just let me have a quick summary on the results up till now..

The Full Frame group wins (by a fraction) this time! For most of the Pentaxians who've voted, in 40%, want a new Full Frame DSLR from Pentax. The next group is 37% of the people who still want Pentax to concentrate on APS-C and make better DSLRs in the 1.5X crop factor. And not to my total surprise, the poll also proves that there is always a potential market for the EVIL, there are 17% of the people just want an EVIL from Pentax!

And then, the remaining two choices are actually the minorities. both in only 3%, respectively. The funniest thing is that the results show that there is no difference for Pentax going digital MF from rather just sitting there and wait to die! :-o Lol.. ;-D

Last but not least, if you haven't voted, you can continue to make your choice here. It would be interesting to see if the results could be changed later! :-)


Read Also:-


Can Pentax DSLRs be Made Thinner?

Now, Everyone Has EVIL Except the Big Boys! ;-)

645D ISO / Lens Tests (All Full Size Samples)

See:-

http://www.nippon-camera.com/s_pentax645d.php
(in Japanese)

I think this time these samples look better. Colours and sharpness are better. And the 3d feel is exceptional. Sometimes I just wonder why those Pentax official samples do suck, and as usually!? ^:-0

SDM *Body* Issue!?

Look at what this Pentaxian, who has both the K20D and K-7 bodies, reports about the SDM *body* problem that he faces!

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/101639-very-strange-supersonic-drive-motor-problem-anyone-experience.html

Really strange! It seems that the SDM is actually very buggy and totally unreliable, not only for the lenses that are so easy to die, but also it will become usable or unusable with SDM lenses on different bodies! Very terrible after all! :-( >_<


Read Also:-

The SDM Petition Online

Friday, May 21, 2010

NX10 Shootouts (Vs K-7, GF-1, EP-1 and EP-2!)

Today, I have done some searches and found the following:-

1. NX10 Vs K-7 Vs EP-1: JPEG/ISO Test

http://www.optyczne.pl/122.6-Test_aparatu-Samsung_NX10_Jako%C5%9B%C4%87_obrazu_JPEG.html (in Polish)

Well, it seems that the pictures produced from any Samsung sensor camera suffer from either noise or loss of details, especially when ISO goes up. :-(

2. NX10 Vs GF-1 Vs EP-2: Full Detailed Shootout! (User Friendliness, EVF and LCD Qualities, IQ, AF Speed, Colour Accuracy, Exposure Accuracy and Flash Test, etc.!)

http://unwire.hk/2010/03/22/gf1-vs-ep2-vs-nx10/ (in Traditional Chinese)

3. NX10 Vs GF-1: JPEG/ISO Test

http://blog.paran.com/payton/35887908 (in Korean)


Explore Yourself!

Can Pentax DSLRs be Made Thinner?

First, look at the thickness difference between the smallest/lightest old film AFSLR and the current "smallest" DSLR of Pentax:-



My K-x measures about 63mm from flange surface to the back of the rear LCD panel, whilst my MZ-30 measures only 48mm from front to back (protruding part excluded). Actually, I believe you can see the big difference from the photos above.

Recently, I am very interested in getting the Samsung NX10. It is just because I still found my K-x is just too big and heavy, especially when I am on a business trip (when I already have all my documents and my notebook/netbook computer). As the NX10 is equipped with an APS-C sized sensor but its size/weight is significantly reduced and is actually much comparable to my micro-4/3 Pana GF-1, which has just a much smaller sensor (50% less in light receiving area when compared to the APS-C).

I think Samsung has been absolutely right in concept for making a compact and really lightweight APS-C EVIL and system. Recently, I have test driven the NX10 for several times. Whilst I like many of its design and features it offers, one thing that I am still not convinced with it, or with any Pentax DSLRs using a Samsung sensor, is that its produced Image Quality is somehow lacking/lagging behind. Unnatural colour rendition is a problem, in particular for the skin tones, which is actually very important for portraits - one of my major daily photographic needs. And more so for the obvious higher noise of the Samsung sensors, which IMO is a real problem.

In fact, I did find that the ISO 400 of my GF-1 is more or less something similar to the ISO 800 of the NX10 which in fact could be looking even a bit worse than what I can get at ISO 1600 with my K-x. :-(

So, could the Pentax DSLRs using the old K-mount be made thinner? I suppose Yes, possibly. If a film SLR like my MZ-30 can be made at 48mm for its overall thickness, why not a Pentax DSLR? What Pentax needs to add in is the CMOS imager, with Shake Reduction module and the back colour LCD monitor. Would that 1.5 cm difference be just too much? Anyway, the SR module would be the most space-consuming part there, I believe. But however, do note that for film SLRs, there is also space required for the film pressure plate at the back cover.

Well, if Pentax can further minimise their DSLRs, for its size, weight and overall dimension of a lens+body combo would be like this..



..which can even be a full frame DSLR! Then, I am almost sure that if they can make it, they will gain much of the DSLR market share! Just imagine if a Full Frame (Pentax) DSLR just looks and feels like my above which is just at around 400g which is ready to use with Lithium battery (but not AAs, which is large, heavy and of low performance!) and SD card, then!?


Reference:-

Camera Mounts & Registers

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Samsung NX10 Second Impressions and ISO Check

Further to my last first impressions on the NX10, I've tried it further and more in-depth, again, for almost an hour this time.

Below are my further findings:-

1. The Samsung 18-55 kit lens is very sharp, from corner to corner, even near wide opened. Without any doubt, it is sharper than any of the Pentax 18-55 lens ever made, version and generation regardless! (But then WHY Pentax has been unable to make a sharper lens?!)

2. I am not satisfied with the colour accuracy of the standard "picture wizard" (i.e, the colour mode). But however, I couldn't find any other picture wizard that I am satisfied with for the colour accuracy! :-( Just like the K-7, it looks somehow strange and unnatural for something after all and the taste is similar! Outdoor skin tones are strange and reds are not "concretely" and accurately reproduced. As long as colour accuracy and naturalness is concerned, I am sure that my K-x is better here. I do have the feeling that the colour rendition is like what I see on a calibrated monitor which is inaccurate by itself, that is, by no means the colours could be very favourable, but just with less errors.

3. However, interestingly, under each colour mode, the user can change in the first setting for the colour tendency of the image tone. You can choose as many colours for the tendency as you like! It is not just limited to blue or yellow, or green or magneta for most DSLRs. Instead, you can choose almost any colour you like, say, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, cyan, magneta and so on! :-o (Amazing?)

4. The shutter lag of the NX10 is a big joke, if the Panasonic GF-1 is already a joke (as I think it is)!

5. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the NX10 is large and easy to view - much larger than that of my GF-1, but not brighter. But it is also dull and displayed image looks flat and it lacks contrast. The most mysteric thing is that the LiveView finder image is obviously coarser. When compared to playback image in the *same* EVF, the image looks much finer, despite the contrast is the same which is just low.

6. The 30mm pancake lens is astonishingly sharp, even near wide opened, say at f/2.8. In fact, I consider that it is just sharper than a FA 31 limited and it weighs only a fraction of the 31 Limited and do does its size and most importantly its cost! So, if you just use the FA 31 Limited on a Pentax APS-C DSLR with a Samsung sensor, WHY NOT just choose the NX?? (Not even to mention the inferior production quality and QC of the FA 31 Limited for those units made in Vietnam currently.)

7. The 30mm pancake looks good on its own for its outlook. But when it is put onto the NX10, it forms an ugly combo, which just like a black piece of small charcoal in hands! :-( With the 18-55 kit, it looks better. So, I think if I am getting the NX, I shall get its White Limited Edition.

8. The video is in the less popular MP4 (MPEG 4) container format in H.264 encoding. Similar to the AVCHD, it requires huge processing power and fast machine if you are going to playback the video clips on a PC. As with other cameras, the video playback at the camera is smooth. But for universal smooth playback on any newer PCs, I still would prefer the Motion JPEG format, like what the K-x offers (the only format) and like what the GF-1 could be selected, as an option. Do note that the MPEG 4 is the only format availabe for the NX for video recording. So, there is no choice! :-(

9. Unlike my Girl Friend, there is no Continuous AF available during video recording even I selected the C-AF option, which I think only applies to still shooting anyway. To re-focus, one has to press the DoF preview button at the right hand side near the lower side of the mount, using the finger of the right hand. The re-focusing is fast, silent and responsive - fast better than what the K-x can do and similar to the CDAF performance of the GF-1, once again.

10. Last but not least, below is a quick ISO comparison, from ISO 100 to 3200, 100% cropped, pictures taken with everything auto (except ISO of course!), in "Standard" colour mode with default parameters, 18-55 kit @ 35mm, EXIF preserved:-


ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200
(Click to Enlarge, in a Separate New Tab/Window)

So, you can judge from the above for the noise level and the image details of the images produced by the NX. I won't comment further as such.

For further review articles and full size samples, I recommend to check the 1001 Noisy Cameras' NX10 review summary page (which is updated from time to time).

Last but not least, it seems that a new global firmware update for the NX10 would be available soon. Let's wait and see if it could do some miracles, or not!

Update (5-25): Samsung has released the new firmware version 1.15 for the NX10, see the following link for the detailed information and instructions for updating:-

http://www.samsungimaging.net/samsung-to-release-firmware-updates-for-nx10/

The added features and told improvements are as below:-

- Added EVF selection function on the AMOLED displayed menu.
- Added MF Asist On/Off selection function.
- Added MF usage function while using K-Mount Adapter.
- Improved Auto White Balance function of Low color temperature condition.
- Improved SD Card Read/Write speed.
- System stablization


Other Articles:-

Pentax Standard Zooms Shootout (Single Infinity Scene)

Samsung NX is Around the Corner?

K-7 Have Been Launched One Year. But Then..

One year ago, the K-7 was announced and launched. I helped Pentax to make an unofficial full product launch release 1 day+ before and actually more than 1 month before for the pre-notice.

Now, one year has elapsed. What Pentax/Hoya has gained with the K-7? What achievement has they made with this K-7 "flagship"? Is the K-7 a successful model? Has it helped Pentax? Is it the real honour for we fellow Pentaxians? Which model is actually most important for Pentax throughout the year and keep the brand alive and keep Hoya in (DSLR) business with the brand Pentax?

Well, I think most of us have the clear answers for the above questions, objectively. Obviously, it is not the K-7!

Whilst Pentax has just told us officially that the K-7 replacement or upper class model is coming, I hope Pentax/Hoya should and could do it right and could success this time! ..instead of another failure. But they should act faster and in a more accurate way in response to the market needs and trend. In fact, we do not really need Pentax/Hoya to tell us everything or anything on what they will do. If you are having a more careful mind, actually guessing and knowing their next move is not that difficult, provided that they have decided something. For instance, I was able to predict the K-7 model would come to an end last time when they launched the K-7 Silver Limited, three months ago back to February! =Victory=

Official 645D Production Sample Images Are Out

See:-

http://www.pentax.jp/japan/imaging/digital/medium/645d/ex.html
(in Japanese)

First, there is no sample by the new kit prime. Second, there is no portrait sample. Isn't that the 645D is targeted to be a studio camera? Why no portrait??

Nevertheless, I am completely not impressed with the Image Quality, Colour Accuracy and Exposure Accuracy of all those samples. Image look dark, colours look dull and unfavourable whilst greens look too ex-exaggerated than real. Digital sharpening is just too obvious and they are actually like those pictures from a P&S when you look into the pictures at full size! Just a total disappointment, if I have to say..

Do note that the samples are now made with firmware version 1.00 as shown in the *main* EXIF tag. Which means that they *should* be coming from a production 645D. I hope Pentax/Hoya this time do not cheat like what they did previous times with their K-7 and K-x when they were just launched. But then, on the other hand, if those samples are really from a production unit, then it is really worrisome!

In fact, just a few days ago when I saw this hands-on report and video, I suspected that the 645D was still half-baked. Why? There was nothing useful demonstrated but actually this demonstration and the "findings" of that hands-on are of no difference from anyone handles any newer Pentax DSLR! There is actually nothing in-depth nor anything useful about the 645D for this "pre-production" unit and demo! (So, I just opted not to report that and include the link here last time when I saw it.)

Lastly, I think I just want to air this out: IF the IQ of the 645D is just like this, why Pentax/Hoya needed to waste the time and resources to put out such crap? And at that price tag, who would buy such a crap (possibly..)? Frankly, they should concentrate to make a Full Frame K-mount DSLR instead. Or, even just to make an EVIL first, in order to secure their market position and share! :-(


Recent Related Articles:-


What True IQ Should be Expected from a 40MP MF DSLR?

645D and Lens Delayed!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Focusing Issue with the DA 17-70/4 SDM

Recently I have seen four user reports by four different owners of the DA 17-70 about the inability of completing AF with the lens in the range of 50 to 70mm, in a Chinese forum. Direct links are as below:-

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=875053

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=875053&page=1#pid10272648

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=871324

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=871324&page=1#pid10221635

(Above: First Three Posts are in Traditional Chinese, the Fourth is in English)

So, what's going on? What happens for those lens units? What causes the problem? Design issue(s)? Quality issue(s)? Or Both??


Previous Related Articles:-


SDM Issue Strikes Again - This Time DA 17-70

The SDM Petition Online

SDM Reliability Issue

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Who Will Use This New Sensor?

According to the latest report from the K-Rumors, a new Samsung APS-C sensor has once been leaked at the official Samsung site:-



Just look at the specs and it can be seen that it is a higher speed sensor which has a much higher frame rate and now it supports Full HD 1080p video recording at 60 fps. The pixel count has been reduced slightly, though. But I am just somehow worried about the 8-channel output on the Image Quality of the Still Images. Why? It was proven that the increase of the data output channels of the original Samsung 14.6MP sensor used in the K20D to the newer version of the "same" 14.6MP sensor used in the K-7 from 2 to 4 DOES HAVE adverse impact on the Image Quality, that is, the IQ of the K-7 (sensor) could be worse!

So, who will use this new sensor? Pentax? For the K-7 replacement? For the coming higher grade body above the K-7 (which was told by the Managing Director of Hoya Europe just weeks before)? Or, if this sensor will just be used by Samsung themselves as it seems that the Samsung/Pentax partnership and collaboration had been come to an end since Samsung developed and launched the NX on their own.

Let's wait and see.. I guess things will be cleared up before the Photokina, by September.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What True IQ Should be Expected from a 40MP MF DSLR?

Thanks to Peter Zheng at RiceHigh's Free Pentax Discussion Group, I've revisited the following two Japanese links to the sample images produced by the 40MP Mamiya 645DF:-

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/review/newproduct/20091208_334045.html

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/review/special/20090907_313117.html

via http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ricehigh_pentax/message/738

When these are compared to the sample images from the Pentax 645D Beta, the difference is just like night and day! :-( (Even we just compare the small sized pictures - we have never seen any full sized Pentax 645D samples released and published so far btw! But WHY??)

How come this could be? The sensor size and pixel count of the two cameras are nearly the same, possibly with the same sensor used inside actually.. How come?? (I really scratch my head hard this time!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

645D and Lens Delayed!


(Images' Source: Japanese Impress DC Watch)

http://www.pentax.jp/japan/news/announce/20100512.html
(in Japanese)

Once again, as that happened for times in the past for Pentax, the excuse of "demand is more than expected" is used - Oh, no, that Typical Old Pentax comes back again! :-(

But how come they only know this when there is only a few days left for the original targeted on-sales day, i.e., May 20? :-0


Last News:-

645D Delivery Re-confirmed, Street Price JPY 763,200

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

K-x Rainbow (Limited Edition)

Yet another Special Edition of the K-x! Again, 1,000 units will be sold.



Source:-
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20100511_366226.html
(in Japanese, Google Translated Page Here)


Read Also:-

K-7 Limited Silver

NX10 Brief Hands-on Impressions


(Image Source: Samsung Imaging)

Played and shot with the NX10 twice at shops and below are my brief impressions:-

1. Body is comfortable to hold (obviously better than my Girl Friend), feel solid and it is yet compact (for the body only). With the 30mm Pancake lens, the overall small size is maintained;

2. The back LCD display is glorious, high resolution, bright and contrasty, but it is not so for the EVF, which is still good to acceptable, but not a Wow;

3. I like the seamless automatic operation of the EVF which is turned on and off automatically with sensor detection;

4. AF is really fast, it is quite fast and is on a par with my GF1, if not faster;

5. Image quality is good, colours are exaggerated but looks solid. In-camera JPEGs just look sharper than what I could see with the K-7. Noise control seems to be a bit better than the K-7, but yet still a bit noisy at ISO 400/800 and up;

6. The (US)$200 something K-mount adaptor is just a JOKE! It does no more than my $30 adaptor which I purchased from my local radio shacks. It loses both AF and automatic Aperture Control for any K lenses with such an adaptor! The aperture level has a loose control without any f-number marking (but only a wide opened position) for the user to change the aperture of a Pentax digital/DA lens which has no aperture ring. That means that the user will have no idea on what actual aperture he is choosing practically. How dare Samsung could make such an useless adaptor and dare to ask for that price for such a purely mechanical tube? I guess they just have forgot all those Chinese made "cheap" m43 adaptors that are widely available over the net! And they do also forget that Olympus made an 4/3 to m4/3 adaptor that retain both AF and AE for the old 4/3 lenses!

7. In MF mode, or when an adapted lens is used, I have not been able to figure out how to use a similar function as the Focus Assist of my GF1 with the NX10. As such, MF is not as accurate as what I can achieve with my GF1;

8. With the kit zoom 18-55, the camera looks more bulky. The Samsung NX 18-55 is not smaller than the Pentax DAL 18-55, I compared them side by side. And, it uses a larger 58mm thread filter (against the 52mm of the Pentax kit);

9. The Samsung lenses, for both the 30mm Pancake and the NX 18-55 are very sharp, though. I have no problem with its corner sharpness even at wide opened on the NX10, which is quite good comparatively and more than acceptable indeed. (better than both the Pentax 18-55 WR on K-7 and DAL 18-55 on K-x! :-()

10. The prices of the NX10 kits (with 30mm or the 18-55) are not expensive. They are sold at around (US)$750 for what I can get. But if I want a smaller camera, especially when I want a standard zoom, the GF and EP m4/3 cameras are smaller and lighter.

Overall, I think the NX10 is a good EVIL camera. You may like or may not like the colour response of it for that Samsung taste, i.e., cooler and more exaggerated colours, especially for the green and blue colours. But, it does have a larger APS-C sensor which has slightly higher resolution and with slightly better noise performance, too. With the 30mm Pancake, it is just a light and compact setup with everything in it (flash and EVF). The operation of the EVF is seamless (in contrast to the stupid manual operation of my GF1 with the optional EVF on it - the worst is that the on/off button is also placed at a rather inconvenient position! Damn! >:-().

I have not tried the video recording for the NX10, but I don't believe that it would have any special problem. I expect it should be at the same level as my GF1. But anyway, I may try it next time and verify if my guess is right or wrong..

If you want an alternative EVIL and system, the NX10 would be your choice. But if you just want to use your K lenses on an EVIL, the NX is clearly having no advantage, nor the original Samsung adaptor is worth to buy. Just forget about it, those Chinese made K to NX adaptors would be available later anyway, at only a fraction of the cost - if you are still getting a NX later, or already have it now.

Now, Everyone Has EVIL Except the Big Boys! ;-)


(Picture Source: PhotoRumors.com)

Sony's EVIL, the NEXes, finally arrive!

http://photorumors.com/2010/05/10/here-is-the-sony-nex-3/

Olympus has EVIL, Panasonic has EVIL, Samsung has EVIL and finally Sony also has the EVIL! And maybe Ricoh also has an EVIL.. (But I would say Ricoh's GXR is an EVIC - Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Cameras! ;-))

Now, it leaves just the big boys like Canon and Nikon don't have such an EVIL! So, the logic now becomes the big boys don't need, won't make and won't sell any EVIL.

So, is Pentax a big boy then? Congrats, Pentax! ;-D

Btw, I guess Pentax's APS-C DSLR system is just so strong that they don't need any Full Frame cameras nor an EVIL system! :-o


Latest Related News:-

AP believes that Pentax believes in EVIL

My K-Mount EVIL is Here!

Will Pentax Go Micro 4/3? (Very Unlikely, I Bet

Monday, May 10, 2010

Super (Die-hard/Brand-blinded) Fanboys Switched! :-o

The most surprising and dramatical thing and news recently in the Pentaxland I believe is that two of the most Radical Blind Brand Fanboys have SWITCHED! ..To Nikon!

*isteve:-
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=35213895

Richard Day:-
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=35260321

Now, even the (Only) Official Pentaxian of the Year is looking at the Nikon system:-
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=35249725

And, this reply from Peter Jonkman is really funny (but yet very true!):-
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=35251727

Quoted, "Lance, thank you for posting this. Please also forward the link to Ned Bunnell. If I were Pentax, I'd be scratcing my head now. I mean --- the founder of LBA (at least the acronym emoticon - smile) and one of the biggest Pentax advocates is thinking about moving to Nikon. Just right after *isteve went to the other camp too. The rats are leaving the sinking ship emoticon - grin"

"I have been seriously considering the Canon EOS 5D MkII because of the short registration distance. A Nikon would render most of my precious M42 lenses useless. There's no substitution for full frame - once you have seen the large and bright viewfinder and noisefree images then there's no way back.

However, I'll just wait for the coming Photokina. September is very close; they better come up with something serious or my 26-year relationship with Pentax will come to an end this year. Too bad, as Pentax makes the best bodies with regards to the user interface, IMHO."

After all, what's been happening recently? What's wrong with those fanboys? Or, what's going wrong with Pentax actually?! Why even those die-hard super fanboys who are so completely blind brand loyal have switched?! In fact, Steve and Richard are two typical showcases for total blindness for brand defending as well as the consistent offensiveness of them (for attacking other people who just mentioned anything "negative" to Pentax or even just to mention or suggest other brands) over these several years when they have been with Pentax. But yet, they switched completely almost overnight!

Wow, my "dearest" Steve and Richard, well done, I still have to say! Your hard and non-stopping works and wonderful works for protecting the brand (and attacking the others) these years must be highly praised! I take my this last opportunity to put my deep appreciation, as from a Pentaxian, here! Bye, guys, and there yet will be another two "die-hard" Nikonians and brand guards anyway! (Until next time they switched to Canon or Sony or any brand else, suddenly! ;-D Maybe again after several years or not forever?!)

Now, what wait for our watch for the coming show is that: Will our Official Pentaxian Lance B switch? Hey Ned, now it's Your Take!! (To do something immediately and urgently to retain the Only Pentaxian (at least whom is officially recognised!) from switching!! And to avoid the Crisis!!)

Well, life is really full of surprises. And sometimes reallife shows are even far more entertaining than those dramas and films that are actually unreal! :-o :-)

Update (5-30): Lance has purchased the D700 finally!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

AA Battery Chargers Fully Compared (4 Models)



This time I compare four battery chargers of mine. They are all portable compact ones that are ideal for travelling. First, their actual characteristics and designs are compared:-

Features and Characteristics
Panasonic BQ-395TH
Camelion BC-0905C
Energizer CHCC-UK
Maha Energy PowerEX MH-C401FS
Made in
China
China
China
Taiwan
(Number of) Batteries that can be charged
4 AAs / 2 AAAs
4 AAs / 4 AAAs
4 AAs / 4 AAAs / 2 9Vs
4 AAs / 4 AAAs
Intelligent Charger?
Yes No, Timer
No, TimerYes
Number of Charging Channels 1
4
2
4
4
Number of Detection Channel(s) 21
2
4
4
What is Detected? 3Negative Delta VBattery InsertionBattery Insertion
Negative Delta V
Charging Current and Voltage (for AA) 42200 mA @ 1.5V (Maximum 6)
250 mA @ 2.8V
360 mA @ 1.4V
1000 mA / 300 mA Selectable @ 1.6V
Trickle Charge 5No, Not Specified
No, Not SpecifiedYes, 50 mA
Yes, 50 mA
Extended Power Plug
Yes
No
No
Yes
Car Adaptor
No
No
No
Yes

Next, I compare the actual performance of them, according to my practical experiences:-

Actual Performance
Panasonic BQ-395TH
Camelion BC-0905C
Energizer CHCC-UK
Maha PowerEX MH-C401FS
Practical Charging Time Required for a Set of 4 x 2650 mAh Energizer NiMH
~ 3 Hours
~ 10 Hours
~ 8 Hours
Fast Charge: ~ 2 Hours
Slow Charge: ~ 7 Hours
Practical Charging Time for 2 x AAs
~ 1.5 Hours 6No Difference
No Difference
No Difference
Cut-off Accuracy 7Average
Not Applicable
Not ApplicableGood
Fullness of Batteries 7Average
Not Good
Good
Very Good
Self Discharge Rate of Charged Batteries 8 Average
Low
Low
Fast Charge: Average
Slow Charge: Low
Cancellation of Memory Effect 9 Average
Poor
Average
Fast Charge: Good
Slow Charge: Average

Well, let me explain some of the terminologies and performance aspects I have mentioned above in the following:-

1. Number of Charging Channels: That means the number of individual batter(ies) that can be charged independently at the same time. For example, the Camelion charger can adopt four batteries but it has only two charging channels, which means that batteries must be charged in pair, i.e., at least two at a time.

2. Number of Detection Channels: It is referred to the detection ability and indication that the charger provides to show the battery status. The Panasonic charge has only one indicator with a Green LED, either not lit on (no battery), flashing (during charging) or lit on (charging completed).

3. Detection Method: The intelligent chargers can detect the "Negative Delta V", which is simply the change in voltage of the battery that is being charged and when there is a negative change in the voltage, the charger will believe that the battery has been fully charged or almost fully charged. As for "Battery Detection", the charger just detects if a rechargeable battery is inserted and also if it is properly inserted or if it is defective.

4. Charging Current: The higher the charging current, the shorter the charging time will be. The simplified maths for calculating the total charging time required is indeed easy. Assuming everything is linear, it is simply to divide the rated mAH capacity of the battery by the charging current. For example, a 2200 mAH battery charged in the Panasonic charger at 2200 mA rate will require 1 hour to complete.

5. Trickle Charging: It means to continuously charge in small current after the battery has been fully charged, so as to maintain its full charged status.

6. The Panasonic Charger has an interesting design. Its *total* maximum charging current seems to be limited at what is rated. Just say if you charge one battery it can be completed in one hour, but two will then be two hours and then four requires four hours! So, this "fast" charger is not always a fast one, especially when the user has to charge four batteries at a time and everytime (case of charging batteries for the Pentax "AA" DSLRs).

7. Cut-off Accuracy and Fullness of Batteries: When the cut-off accuracy is good, the batteries are almost full per charge. If premature cut-off of charging takes place, the batteries can still be charged until they will reach their full capacity, ultimately. To check, just take out the freshly charged batteries after cut off and re-insert them into the charger to see if charging starts again but without cut-off again within a short period.

8. Self Discharge Rate of Charged Batteries:-

I think this is self-explanatory. But one thing interesting to point out. With those LSD (Low Self Discharge) NiMH like the Eneloop and AlwaysReady etc., the discharge rate could be lower, comparatively. However, I found that those LSD batteries seem to have more memory effect than traditional ones. Moreover, all LSD batteries do have lower mAh capacities than traditional ones, too. So, I now end up with using Energizer non-LSD high-capacity NiMH batteries (8 nos.) for my K-x, which seem to be the best compromise.

9. Cancellation of Memory Effect:-

Theoretically, NiMH batteries have no or little memory effect. Memory Effect refers to the rechargeable battery's capacity is being limited only to the difference in capacity between the last time when it was re-charged and to what it has just been charged again. So this delta is really small, resulting in low capacity of the battery as there is a memory developed and stored in it already.

NiMH used in K-x suffers very much from this phenomenon as the K-x actually requires high power and with just lower voltage, the camera will show battery depleted and the camera is cut off. Actually, there is still a lot of charge left inside those "depleted" batteries as believed by the K-xes (they are not enough to drive the K-x, anyway). When the user takes those "depleted" batteries for recharge (actually the batteries can still be used in a lot of other devices (or even for previous Pentax DSLRs like the K-m!), memory effect will still be developed after some time.

Some battery charger manufacturers claim their designed charge pulse patterns can help to eliminate the memory effect and erase the stored memory. They do this by discharging the batteries while the batteries are charged. Maha Energy actually is one of them who claims this feature of their PowerEX chargers. I verify that it works for the fast charge mode better but in slow charge mode, I don't see a clear advantage there. The weakest charger in eliminating the memory effect is the Camelion, from what I experienced, which even cannot recharge the batteries used in my K-m well, I think.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In fact, the K-x camera is just the most demanding electronics device that I have ever used and owned that push the limits of NiMH batteries and maybe even more on the chargers! For my K-m and K100D etc., the situation is not that worst and critical actually! Same rechargeable batteries charged using the same chargers yet produces very different results and instability in my K-x bodies! The K-x is really so power hungry, especially when LiveView or Movie Recording are used. In fact, I would still insist it should have adopted rechargeable Lithium as its power source (as on Day One I "complained" about it) but unfortunately Pentax hadn't! :-(


Read Also:-

Better K-x Rechargable Solution? Is the NiZn Safe?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Full Frame Shootout: A850 Vs D700 (Resolution and ISO etc.)

Seen this nice shootout report at a Taiwan forum with plenty of side-by-side sample crops and it would be very interesting to see how a 24MP Full Frame sensor is compared to the 12MP one, both made by Sony:-

http://www.mobile01.com/topicdetail.php?f=254&t=1542849&p=1
(Text in Traditional Chinese, a Google Translated page can be found Here)

It seems that the A850 wins the D700 hands down at the low ISO with its much higher resolving power and the amount of details retained. As for the high ISOes, the tester/author says that the breakeven point is at ISO 800, which is already better than what I expected for the A850.

Enjoy measurbating! Pentax will possibly use the A850 sensor if they are going to make a Full Frame DSLR! I don't think they will use the D700 sensor anymore, unless Sony won't sell them the newer 24M one, or, they need to go really cheap.


Read Also:-


Old Question: Will there be a Pentax Full Frame DSLR?

Full Frame Mini Shootout - D700 Vs 5D

AP believes that Pentax believes in EVIL

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/pentax_wont_rule_out_mirrorless_camera_news_297728.html

Well, just believe it or not! Time will tell~


Read Also:-


Interview with the Managing Director of Pentax Europe, Mr. Hiroshi Onoda

My K-Mount EVIL is Here!

Will Pentax Go Micro 4/3? (Very Unlikely, I Bet)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Interview with the Managing Director of Pentax Europe, Mr. Hiroshi Onoda

The original interview is posted here:-

http://www.pentaxeros.com/index.php?ind=news&op=news_show_single&ide=135

(Babelfish translated article for the interview can be read Here)

Our the *Only* "Pentaxian of the Year" (2008), Mr. Lance Blackburn, has posted also some of his comments and guesses over the DPR, most of which I think are quite sensible and it's worth to take a look:-

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=35222396

(N.B. "The other forum post" as quoted by Lance is this one. It seems that Lance has been very careful for not mentioning the PentaxForums at the DPR! ;-) Commercial competition is just so cruel, anyway!)

So, it's Official now! Let's wait for that higher model (above the K-7, or simply a K-7 replacement - the K-7 successor is going to be stronger than the K-7, right?).

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Shootout Again! 86 Vs 85s



Well, since I have a K-mount EVIL now, it's time for measurbation!

Candidates:-

1. K-GF1 + FA 43/1.9 Limited: MF with Focus Assist, ISO 100, Nature "Film" Mode with Default Settings, Av Mode, Matrix Metering (No Exposure Compensation), Shot with 2-second Self-Timer;

2. K5D + FA* 85/1.4: MF with Focus Indication, ISO 100, Portrait-Studio Picture Style with Default Settings, Av Mode, Matrix Metering (No Exposure Compensation), Shot with MLU and Cable Release;

3. 5D + EF 85/1.8: Single-mode AF with Central AF Point, ISO 100, Portrait-Studio Picture Style with Default Settings, Av Mode, Matrix Metering (No Exposure Compensation), Shot with MLU and Cable Release;

All Cameras were mounted on a Sturdy Tripod; All Large Samples with EXIF Preserved.

Measurbation A: In-Focus Shots:-

Aperture
GF1 + FA 43 Limited
5D + FA* 85
5D + EF 85
Wide Opened
2
Not Available
2.8
4
5.6
8
11
(Above: Click to Download Large Images. Warning: Very Large Files!)

Measurbation B: Out-Focus Shots (Objects at Infinity but Lenses Focused at about 2m):-

Aperture
GF1 + FA 43 Limited5D + FA* 855D + EF 85
Wide Opened


f/2
Not Available
f/2.8
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
f/11
(Above: Click to Download Large Images. Warning: Very Large Files!)

Well, as usual for my recent mesurbation tests, I won't provide any further comments myself. Go inspect, measurbate, compare, observe yourself, provided that you have the bandwidth and time! ;-D

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