Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fuji X10 is Around the Corner



via http://photorumors.com/2011/08/27/fuji-x10x50-detailed-specs-leaked/

The list of leaked specs are as follows:-

  • Bright, high resolution, Fujinon f/2.0-2.8 lens
  • Manual 4x optical zoom lens (7.1 - 28.4mm*)
  • Optical zoom viewfinder
  • 12 MP 2/3 inch EXR CMOS sensor
  • EXR Processor
  • Manual shooting modes
  • RAW capabilities
  • Up to 10fps
  • Retro design with magnesium alloy body
  • Full HD 1080p movies with stereo sound
  • Manual pop-up flash
  • Dedicated hotshoe
  • High contrast 2.8″ 460k LCD monitor
  • 1cm super macro mode
  • Motion Panorama 360 degrees
  • Auto Bracketing Functions
* The 135 film equivalent focal and angle-of-view is about 26 to 104mm according to my own calculation based on the sensor size.

The above highlighted features just blow the Pentax Q out of the water, as it has none of these and there is nothing comparable! :-(

Next, look also at the (just leaked) top and back views of the X10:-



via Photo Rumors

And two additions to the specs:-

  • High Speed Contrast Detection Auto-Focus
  • High Sensitivity – Up to 12,800 ISO Settings (Up to 3200 ISO in Max Resolution)

  • Oh well, the Q is in trouble water again, deeper and deeper! :-o

    Don't believe it? It is rumoured that the X10 will be sold at about half of the price of the Q basic prime kit. So, what will you choose, if you just need such an advanced P&S? Okay, let's vote!

    Advanced DC Selection: What Will You Choose?
    Pentax Q
    Fuji X10
    Canon G12
    Sony NEX-C3
    Panasonic GF3
    Olympus E-PL3
    None of the Above!
    pollcode.com free polls


    Update (8-31): Below is a size comparison of the X10 against his big brother X100:-


    (Source: http://blog.livedoor.jp/e_p1/archives/51733468.html)

    Seems not to be small anyway..

    More Q Samples (Daylight Mostly)

    They are continued to be posted at the Japanese Yaotomi's Blog lately:-

    http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/walk/



    More: http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/walk/2011/08/pentax-q-01-standard-prime-1.html



    More: http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/walk/2011/08/pentax-q-01-standard-prime.html

    Full EXIF data are preserved for these samples this time. I note one interesting thing about the setting is that now the blogger (Yaotomi) has used fixed aperture at f/3.2 for many of his latest photos. I bet this would be the optimal single setting he's discovered, as wide opened will not be the best for the optical performance of the lens whilst closing down further the resolution is inevitably affected by diffraction (real-world proof here). In addition, shooting outdoor with relative too large a f-number/aperture is also impractical after all. (He seems to know well how to use his camera tactically, so as to avoid the pitfalls of it! Nice done, guy!~)

    Besides, the colour rendition of the Q could look awful, just look at this example for the "blue" sky colour, which is terribly grey-n-darkish and unrealistic:-



    And, I am not impressed with the Dynamic Range (DR) of the Q, which just looks rather limited for most of the contrasty outdoor scenes and samples that I have seen, e.g.:-



    See also the previous "leaked" Q samples by this Pentax guy and it is not difficult to observe about the low DR of the Q:-

    Large Size Pentax Q Sample Photos Plus Hands-on Movie Review Posted by Pentax Insider

    Btw, we can continue to keep a close eye on Yaotomi's blog as he seems to be one of the first retailers whom was given a Q and was allowed to post those "user" full samples.

    Still, I recommend you to compare those lately posted samples, against those few samples of the latest Pentax P&S DC model, which I've lately acquired, for finding any IQ difference. Note that both the Q and my WG-1 GPS are using the same 1/2.3" sized sensor, which is a CMOS and a CCD one respectively, though. I do like more the colour rendition and response of my WG-1 than the Q so far. Yes, the WG-1 is more noisy for its pictures, but the texture feel is also stronger!

    New DA21 (Measurbative) Lens Test on K-5

    See: http://www.optyczne.pl//index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=234

    (Google-translated English test report here)

    The summary and sample pictures page is at the 11th page.

    Well, the test results mostly coincidence my practical (limited) experience with the lens, i.e., the (barrel) distortion is obvious and the image corners are not sharp. The small size and the high quality build of the lens have made it a joy to use, though.

    Nonetheless, the test mentions about the accurate focus of the lens on K-5, which I found the opposite with my K-x when I used the DA21 lens, when mis-focusing often occurred, in particular when the lens was used wide opened and for close objects.

    Finally, for what it is not mentioned, I particularly like the colour rendition of this lens, which represents much the old Pentax taste and natural style, which might be the true reason for why this lens (the resolving power is not, for which it lacks of, at least not across the whole frame).


    Read Also:-

    RiceHigh's Subjective Ratings on Pentax AF Lenses on Pentax DSLRs 2011

    MZ-S Silver Limited

    See this post at the Xitek forum today that reminds me of this excellent film body of Pentax once again!


    (Above: An unusable combination - DA15 Limited Lens on MZ-S Silver)



    And, below pictures are of my black-coloured MZ-S:-


    (Source: "Film is Dead"! ;-))

    Also, one picture of my MZ-30 Silver:-


    (Source: Can Pentax DSLRs be Made Thinner?)


    Read Also:-

    Silver K-5 and DA Limited Lenses Announced

    K-7 Limited Silver

    Why Should a Pro SLR Not Have a Built-in Flash??

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    More Pentax Q YouTube Videos

    First, a seems-to-be official Q "introduction movie":-


    (URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbZ_aHI6p3k)

    At 2:00, it is demonstrated that the bokeh (out-focus characteristic) is completely software controlled, of which this camera function is named as BC which is printed on the mode dial, where BC stands for Bokeh Control.

    Next, an unofficial Q test video, taken and edited much like the foreplay of those Japanese AVs in a much similar way and style! Even the background music is alike. Oh, well.. ;-D


    (URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EDmigOQqxw)

    I am not impressed with the colour output of the videos, but digital filters were applied for many of the clips anyway..

    Nonetheless, it can be seen that the Q simply failed to focus well for the video recording. Maybe the user manual focused by himself, or the AF (if any!) hunted a lot, or quite possibly there is simply no AF function during video recording! Anyway, we shall know it very soon, for the availability of AF under movie mode, which was not yet confirmed for the last time.

    Besides, below are two more earlier Pentax Q videos about the operation of the camera. But for the sake of interest for some who might not be aware previously, here they are:-


    (URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZxCMizYjNY)


    (URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRbi_zEK5GI)


    Read Also:-

    Pentax Q Low ISO Daylight Real-World Samples

    Pentax Q High and Low ISO Full Size Samples

    Official Pentax Q Samples are Out!

    Artificial "Fake Bokeh"

    Large Size Pentax Q Sample Photos Plus Hands-on Movie Review Posted by Pentax Insider

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Pentax Q Low ISO Daylight Real-World Samples (w/ "01" 8.5mm/1.9 Prime)

    http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/walk/2011/08/-pentax-q-with-01-standard-prime.html

    A few selections (Key EXIF are printed on lower left corner of the pictures):-



    CAs are obvious.. Resolution is considerably low.



    The green colours are not quite natural, resolving power is as weak..



    Flare control is average.



    Right hand side of the frame is blurry.

    (Click to Expand in Full for All)

    Frankly, the overall IQ seems to be just so-so, not better than that of my WG-1 or even worse, which also has a 1/2.3" (but CCD, not CMOS) sensor!


    Last Part:-

    Pentax Q High and Low ISO Full Size Samples (Unofficial)

    More K-to-Q Adaptor Product Images

    Further to the last official K->Q adaptor news, there are some more product photos of it posted by different people at the Internet recently:-

    1. DA 40 F2.8 Pancake + Adaptor on Pentax Q:-



    via DPR Post Here

    It can be seen that the K-Q Adaptor can use DA lenses, as there is rough aperture control from "0" to "7", at least the aperture of a DA lens can be stopped down, although the exact f-number is not known. This is exactly the same design as the K-to-NX adaptor of Samsung, no difference. And the adaptor itself is a pure mechanical dongle all in all.

    2. Pentax K 1000 F8 on Pentax Q (via the Adaptor, of course):-



    via http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/used/2011/08/post-69.html

    Well, how would you use a lens with an effective focal/Angle of View at 5600mm but with an relative slow aperture speed of f/8 by the way?! :-o

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Pentax Q High and Low ISO Full Size Samples (Unofficial)

    http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/used/2011/08/pentax-q-2.html

    Samples from ISO 125 to 1600 are available. Besides, the "01" standard prime is tested from f/1.9 wide opened to f/8, in 1/3 steps. Key EXIF info are reserved.

    A few selection of the more representative ones (Click on for FULL Photos):-


    (ISO 125, 8.5mm, f/8)


    (ISO 125, 8.5mm, f/2, f/4 & f/8)

    You can see by yourself if diffraction is a real problem for limiting resolution with such a small-sized sensor.. (Hint: Look at the image centres for the word "LUPICIA" and Compare!)

    So, one BIG question for the implication: Do the Q users need to stop down the lens during a bright day in order to make proper exposure for their photos?? :-o


    (ISO 1600, 8.5mm, f/2.2)


    (ISO 500, 8.5mm, f/2.2)


    Last Related:-

    Official Pentax Q Samples are Out!

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    A77 Vs K-5 Head-to-Head High ISO Measurbation (1600 and Up)



    Look at: http://bbs.chengme.com.cn/viewthread.php?tid=16504261

    (Simplified Chinese, Google Translation to English Here)

    The lenses used on the A77 are the new Sony DT16-50/2.8 and the old cheap Sony DT35/1.8. The lens used on the K-5 is the DA35/2.4; Other settings: Auto WB, direct-out-of-camera JPEGs; focal fixed at 35mm, f/4 for shots at ISO 6400 and below; No re-touching of any except cropping or downsizing:-

    1. Crops

    ISO
    A77
    K-5
    1600
    7716501600.jpg, 7735181600.jpg

    k535241600.jpg
    3200
    7716503200.jpg, 7735183200.jpg

    k535243200.jpg
    6400
    7716506400.jpg, 7735186400.jpg

    k535246400.jpg
    12800
    77165012800.jpg

    k5352412800.jpg
    16000
    77165016000.jpg

    Not Available
    25600
    Not Available
    k5352425600.jpg

    51200
    Not Availablek5352451200.jpg


    2. Downsized Large "Original Full" Pictures (in 6MPs)

    ISO
    A77
    K-5
    1600
    DSC00628.JPG, DSC00640.JPG

    IMGP3042.JPG
    3200
    DSC00631.JPG, DSC00642.JPG

    IMGP3043.JPG
    6400
    DSC00632.JPG, DSC00644.JPG

    IMGP3045.JPG
    12800
    DSC00637.JPG

    IMGP3047.JPG
    16000
    DSC00638.JPG

    N/A
    25600
    N/A

    IMGP3052.JPG
    51200

    N/A
    IMGP3053.JPG

    Happy Measurebation! Please come back and let us know what you've discovered! I haven't done my own complete measurebation yet as I am too hurry to report this test! ;-D

    Official Pentax Q Samples are Out!




    http://www.pentax.jp/japan/products/q/ex.html

    (in Japanese, English Here (machine-translated))

    All the posted sample images are RAW converted in-camera, as indicated and all the four samples were taken at f/2.8 near wide-opened (possibly by one f-stop closed down of the lens for somehow better optical output of the lens but yet NOT to stop down further so as to avoid diffraction, which affects the final resolution).

    Do note the underexposure tendency of this production Q nonetheless, I just can't think out why the second girl face photo should require a +EV of 1.3 stops as the exposure compensation factor! >:-o

    As for the bokeh we see, I am not sure if it is created with the Fake Bokeh Filter, a built-in software function of the Pentax Q.

    Pentax Will Have More Choices for Their Upcoming Q Sensors!

    Sony has designed new 1.12 um pixel pitch CCD sensors in even smaller size of 1/2.8", 1/3.06" and 1/4", via latest report at the Image Sensor World.

    So, the "good" news is that Pentax can have more new choices in making their upcoming Q bodies and they could be made even smaller! If any and if not the Q system will be a marketing tragedy otherwise! And more importantly, they don't have to wait for another five years before they finally could find a sensor that is small and "good" enough! :-o

    As in the above Sony spec sheets, the new 1.12um IMX sensors are designed and intended for use in smartphones with "high" performance and "superior" IQ. But Pentax can use it anyway, as they are just the one who always did things with extraordinary braveness and with great surprises to us and shocked the world! ;-D (But honestly and frankly many of those are just plain stupid, completely meaningless, utmost rubbish and utter non-sense, just see the recent K-to-Q adaptor which they've created! >:-[)


    Previous Related:-

    Pentax Q Has Been Designed for Five Years!

    Heart of the Pentax Q - Sony IMX078CQK Imager

    How Large a Sensor that Pentax Could Put Into the Q?

    Sony A77 and Pentax K20D are Looking so Alike!

    Well, sometimes a picture worths a million words.. And two pictures worth more than two million words and so on! Action! ;-D











    N.B. Picture Sources: Imaging Resource:-
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA77/AA77A.HTM
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/K20D/K20DA.HTM


    Oh well, the ex-Pentax engineers should have been with Sony now, my bet! :-o


    Related:-

    The Very Different Fates of Two ex-AOC Top Optical Engineers

    "Photo Odyssey 2011"

    A Blog reader of mine, Mr. Moritz Schwertner, a German (relatively new) Pentaxian, has dropped me an email for an alert about a new photo website he and other five photographers (Pentaxians and Canonians mostly) have set up:-

    http://www.photoodyssey2011.com/

    Here are some excerpts for an introduction of their website:-

    "I am writing to you because of my Photo Project.

    We're currently six photographers, all set in different countries. On January 1st 2011 we started a photographic Adventure called "Photo Odyssey 2011" in which we post at least one new daily picture each day, circuiting around the order.

    We've got plenty of amazing stuff, and three of us are even Pentaxians just like you!

    There's a lot to discover, like the Shooting for our local Audi Centre for whom I've shot a quick Session for the newly announced A1 (only with a Pentax K20D mind you ;-) ).

    Well, if you're interested, let me know! I would really feel honored if you could do that for us!

    Here's the homepage: http://www.photoodyssey2011.com

    And some Infos:

    - 6 Photographers based in 6 different Nations
    - Tomasz Michalski, Poland (Pentax)
    - Manu Schwingl, Egypt (Canon)
    - Pascal Stingl, Switzerland (Canon)
    - Moritz Schwertner, Germany (Pentax)
    - Jorge Toro, Mexico (Pentax / Sony / Nikon)
    - John Behrends, USA (Pentax / Pentax 6x7)

    Monthly changing Guest Photographers from different countries aswell!

    We're currently preparing our first ever public photographic Challenge.
    Starting August 31st we will accept Pictures regarding a still to be defined theme from any photographer who'd like to showcase their work. Rules to enter our Challenge can be found when it gets public on our page on August 31st at 20:00h (CET)."



    With my view that they are not anything commercial (at least at this moment) for what they have set up and I do like many of their photos which look really nice, I do not mind to make a free promotion for them here (for once)! ;-)

    Go have a look, or even participate, and enjoy! :-D

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Official Pentax K to Q Convertor/Adaptor is Coming! :-o

    http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20110825_472562.html
    (Babelfish English translation here)

    The demonstration/product show will be carried out on 3rd and 4th of September, the tentative official name is the "KQ Adaptor". The title of the show is "surprise". Yes, I am really surprised! Or, I should say I am shocked or even frightened!!

    With a 5.6X multiplying factor and an image circle of 1/nth of the original 135 Full Frame K-mount format no matter in diameter and in area, I just can't imagine what resolution can the K-mount lens give and what result is delivered after the adoption! :-o

    I hope NOT such *nonsense* of Pentax should continue, even after the takeover by Ricoh! Really too bad.. >:-(

    New NEX-5N Full-Size Sample Photos (w/ Zeiss 24 and SEL 18-55)

    NEX-5N + Zeiss 24:-

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/carl-zeiss-sonnar-e-f-1-8-24-za-t--sample-photos-17255

    Click on the "High-Res" links to download the full-size original photos with EXIF.

    NEX-5N + SEL 18-55:-

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/sony-alpha-nex-5n-sample-photos-17261

    The firmware in camera is said to be pre-production version, but its number is 1.00, as I've just checked.

    Seems to be quite sharp for the Zeiss lens (but the kit lens is not that bad neither, btw). The colour rendition of the Zeiss lens does look somehow better, too. But IMHO, it is not going to beat down my NEX-3 with Pentax FA primes on it. A previous illustration photo of my gear:-



    (Original Post: My New APS-C K-mount ILDC!)

    When the Sensor Outresolves the Lens.. (How Meaningful is a 24MP APS-C Sensor?)

    As we all have known, Sony is making a new 24MP APS-C sensor and now markets their new NEX-7 and A77 with this new sensor.

    I have been wondering since the first rumour was leaked, do the lenses and optics keep up with the (much) increased high resolution of the sensor? I have got no answer about this not until the MTF charts and figures of the new E-mount Zeiss lens are out. Look at these:-


    (Source: http://sonyalphanex.blogspot.com/2011/08/sony-nex-carl-zeiss-24mm-sonnar-e-mount.html)

    So, at a moderate MTF figure of 50%, this US$1,000 luxury lens in APS-C resolves (only) 40 lp/mm (line pairs per millimetre), for most of the image borders (7mm and outwards). Translating into the 24mm length for the horizontal resolution of the APS-C sensor, it means that the horizontal resolution of the lens is 960 line pairs in total, at about an averaged MTF of 50%.

    We all know that a 24MP 3:2 sensor is roughly about 6,000 x 4,000 in pixels. But don't forget that it is a Bayer sensor, of which the physical layout and colour filtering looks like this:-

    G R G R
    B G B G
    G R G R


    The above is for 12 *physical* pixels. To have two perfectly resolved vertical line pair (i.e., a black line adjacent to a white line) with perfect alignment (such that there is no ambiguity in the received colour information), four pixels in a line which run horizontally are required.

    Hence, now divide 6,000 pixels by 4 which yields 1,500 line pairs as resolved by the sensor with a perfect MTF, i.e., 100% (theoretically, putting aside the Dynamic Range and S/N limits of the sensor and image processing). Now, it's time to recall the MTF50 line pair resolution figure of the Zeiss lens. It resolves only at about 960 line pairs in 24mm for an APS-C sensor!

    The Conclusion? The sensor out-resolves the lens, and by much! Do note also that the above best optical resolution figure is obtained at f/8 stopped down, the situation could be made even worse with the smaller pixel pitch size of the 24MP APS-C sensor of which the diffraction limit occurs at only about f/5.6.

    After all, I just wonder why Sony/Zeiss did not make a lens with higher resolution since the image circle has been shrunk. It is noted that the resolution and MTF figures of this expensive "much desired" Zeiss 24mm APS-C lens is not much better than a typical Pentax prime, e.g., the FA28/2.8, check these Photodo figures to compare (unfortunately, the original MTF charts were deleted).

    Ironically, the matching sensor resolution in APS-C for the current optics is simply a 12MP sensor in 4,000 x 3,000. It is because 4,000 / 4 is 1,000 which is exactly what a possibly best prime could deliver in term of the maximum resolution in APS-C! Not even to say the noise performance of such a lower pixel count sensor undoubtedly would be better - exactly the same case for the 12MP K-r Vs 16MP K-5 as long as noise is concerned (and that the *actual* image resolution of the K-5 is not exceeding the K-r by that much).

    At the end of the day, sometimes I just wonder: marketing always overrules engineering, that is a sad thing after all.

    Last but not least, if you're still not satisfied with my theoretical calculations of the above, anyone can verify if what I've said is true or not by looking at more of those *real-world* tests and samples, here is a first very useful comparison and shootout made by the IR, see:-

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA77/AA77A.HTM

    Just scroll down to the IQ section and judge on the sample crops by yourself. I am sure that you can decide!


    Read Also:-

    When the Diffraction Limit is Reached..

    K-m Olive Vs 5D Pixel Peeping

    NEX-7 Quickly Jumped to the Top 3 Best Selling Camera at Amazon, Pentax Continues to Decline..



    Look at what Photo Rumors reported for yesterday's top selling camera at Amazon. Today, the NEX-7 is at the third place.

    Yet a quick check to the Amazon chart reveals that the best Pentax stuff on list is the K-5 body (only), at #50, whilst the K-r different kits are declining to the end of 50s, near 60.

    People may then argue that it's only the Amazon. No problem, we could have another chart to verify the situation:-

    This is the latest Japanese BCN ranking for the whole country of the last week, indeed the situation is very similar. The best selling Pentax offers are the K-r kits, which are ranked equally at #42.

    So, Pentax sales are actually declining over time and that the down trend is clear at present. :-( In order to get back some market share, it's time for some new models and stuff! Right? :-D

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    When Size Really Matters, What's the Point of the NEX-7 Now?

    The NEX-7 is announced, the new excitement seems to have been over already, as the previous leaks about the new Sony stuff have already contained most of the key information.

    It is a bit disappointed to learn from the official information that the NEX-7 whilst is not too heavy (but just a bit, in 350g with battery and memory card), I'm afraid that its size is just a bit too large.

    In 12cm wide, 7cm tall and about 4.3cm thick, I think whilst it is yet relatively small when compared with DSLRs, I am almost sure that no one would call it small for an ILDC! :-(

    Another look at the product images and comparison at the Alpha Mount World that the NEX-7 is really much larger than the NEX-5. Whilst the NEX-7 does contain also the additional EVF and built-in flash plus the hotshoe also in an "all in one" package, I am afraid its size is just too bulky after all:-




    So, similar to what I asked the last time about the micro-4/3, IF size really matters, what is the point of the NEX-7 now? Just some food for thought anyway. Also considering that the new Zeiss 24mm/1.8 E-mount lens is considerably large in size as well..

    Update (8-25): Look at this (official Sony?) demo video and we can have a better idea about the sizes of the NEX-7 and new lenses when they are put in hands:-


    (URL: http://youtu.be/a-sFeGaVqQ0)


    Related:-

    If Size Really Matters, What's the Meaning of Micro-4/3 Now?

    Related Posts

     
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