Friday, August 31, 2012

Pentax K-z/K-s/K-300 - What Should It Be?




Click to Enlarge.

The K-z has a maximum of 120 millions of colour combinations whilst the K-s has 480. But then the K-s has 20 body colours while the K-z has only 12. The K-z, if it is true, is obviously re-using the K-r body, as what can be seen.

On the other hand, some people from Europe told me that this camera would be called K-300 instead of K-z, which is no good for German, AFAIK.

Unless this is a hoax, everything should be true but yet (previously) undecided, IMHO.

Price Cuts of 645D, Q, K-01 and K-30 in US

See the official announcement that has just been issued by Pentax Imaging:-

http://www.pentaximaging.com/about/press/283

Via: Post @ Pentax Forums

The price cuts for the 645D, K-01 and the Q are quite significant.

On the other hand, I can only see similar major price cut for the 645D only at Japan, in 100,000 Japanese Yens, which is yet very close to the US1,200 rebate in the US. See:-



It seems that the 645D would be replaced very soon and Pentax is trying to clear its stock as fast as possible.

Improved DIY SDM Repair Method!




Read: http://forum.xitek.com/thread-1055994-1-1-1.html
(in Chinese, with diagrams)

Actually, the method is more or less the same as the original DIY method but now the "CRC" Contact Cleaner is applied in addition (and then doing the massage) which does help even more, as it is told and confirmed.

After all, the OP has saved $250 (1500 RMB) repair fee as officially quoted and now his DA*16-50's SDM is revived and has been operating smooth and flawlessly! Congrats, man and well done! :-D

Thursday, August 30, 2012

DA35/2.8 Macro Limited Special Version


(Above: The Special Version Vs the Standard Version Side-by-Side; Click to Enlarge.)

Full Story: http://history.hatenablog.com/touch/entry/20101107/1289135202
(in Japanese, Google English Translation Here.)

Well, sometimes small and compact lenses are not welcomed and the design had to be changed! :-o ;->

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Last Published Lens Roadmap Had Only New DA Lenses, Why Expected Full Frame?!

Re-read: http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/pdf/lens_roadmap.pdf

Via: http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-pentax-da-lens-roadmap-2012-to-13.html

So, dear Pentaxians, please wake up and don't dream and imagine anymore! :-o I now realise one fact, finally, asking for a 135 full frame body and system from Pentax is just like asking FF from Pana and Oly, frankly! :-\ At the end of the day, Pana and Oly are only producing 4/3 cameras, which is the same case of Pentax for being only APS-C for the K-mount, maybe forever! >:-(

On the other hand, what new Pentax lenses will get on show in the Photokina? I've heard that a new DA18-210 WR DC lens and the DFA645 90/2.8 should be released as planned, whilst the DA560/5.6 will be delayed.


Related:-

Pentax Q-mount and 645-mount Lens Roadmap till 2012/13 or Later

Pentax Body SR Would Have More Degree of Freedom?

Read this recently Pentax patent, the Pentax SR system is adding axes!

http://www.google.com/patents/US8208032

Btw, there is a body diagram for illustration purpose, but don't imagine too much for an upcoming "new" body. Look:-



Well, actually it is an *ist D, just! Just compare yourself!



(Credit: http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/bodies/ist_D/ist_d.html)

What is This Smaller Camera?


(Click to Enlarge)

This picture has just been uploaded at an old thread at the Russian Pentax forum back to May, in an updated/edited post today.

So, what is that smaller camera? Is it just a blurred K-x/K-m? Or, the K-300?! :-o

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Dreaming: Pentax Strikes at Photokina!

Having thought too much about those upcoming new Pentax stuff these days, so have just made a dream early this morning, call it ridiculous or plain stupid if you like! :-o Yet to share anyway..


1. K-300 - 16MP basic (cheap) model, old sensor, no WR, no remote switch socket, no microphone input for video. Treat it as a K-01 with the addition of the old Penta-mirror finder found in the K-x/K-r but with deletion of the stereo mic input;

2. K-5N - with the new 16MP Sony sensor (likely the one used in the NEX-5R) and new SAFOX X, 21 AF points, finally! (9, crossed, 12 linear), slightly higher frame rate at 7.5 to 8 fps, flipped monitor screen:-


- - -
|
+
+ + |
|
+ + + |
|
+ + + |

- - -

3. K-3/K-S - with the somehow old Sony 24MP APS-C(!?) sensor, and new SAFOX X, S model being variant without anti-aliasing filter to be marketed at a later stage, lower frame rate (~4.5 to 5 fps), flipped monitor. Last time the MZ-S model reminds me of the S letter hints the end of the line, and hopefully! Btw, the K-S is said to be priced at 1400 Euros - same original (high) price as the K-7 when it was first sold.

4. 645DN - replaced with a new 49 x 37mm 50MP CCD sensor, support 16-bit RAW, effective 48MP in 48 x 36mm. So, the crop factor of the 645D will change! That is, from 1.36 to 1.25X, e.g., the DFA 645 55mm "standard" lens used to a 43mm on the 645D in 135 sense and it will effectively become a "40mm" lens on the new 645. The 645DN will be aggressively priced at 1,000,000 Japanese Yens (~US$ 13,000).

5. New O-GPS2 unit and an AF200FGZ compact external flash replacement.

6. First announcement comes on September 3rd.

There is no K-01 nor Q replacement. And there is no Full Frame! >:-|

The alarm clock sounded then and I saw no more things! :-(


N.B. Don't blame me for anything inaccurate! The Relative Humidity RH=50% (which is good for the storage of glass, lol..)! After all, it was just a dream made by someone who "needed to see a doctor" and who "has no credibility of any at all"!! ;-p


Last Related:-

Photokina for Less Than 30 Days to Come - Pentax Predictions

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fujitsu Milbeaut Image Processor MB91696AM

It is generally believed that this is the native Prime M processor which is originally designed and manufactured by Fujitsu for Pentax:-

http://jp.fujitsu.com/group/fsl/en/release/20110208.html

The MB91696 has a dual-ARM core and has built-in H.264 codec that supports Full HD video. In fact, it has an all-round/all-in-one system architecture for what a modern digital camera needs:-



(Credit: Fujitsu Semiconductor Pacific Asia)


Note that it has all the I/O interfaces and drivers/controllers for all the standard peripherals as shown in the above.

Besides, it has a maximum image processing frequency at 216MHz according to this published summary datasheet which means a maximum of 8 fps at 14MP or 5.5 fps at 20MP as told in the marketing information (which should be 7.7 and 5.4 fps respectively, to be exact).

So, let me further calculate the maximum frame rates for a 16MP or a 24MP sensor then, which is equal to 6.75 frames per second and 4.5 fps respectively, at most. The 6.75 fps figure tallies well with the 7 fps continuous shooting rate of the K-5 actually.

And, shall we see a Prime M II or a Prime III processor in the near future then? Possibly not I suppose, just see the roadmap as published by Fujitsu for the last time:-



(Credit: Fujitsu Semiconductor Pacific Asia)

It it noted that the 7th generation of the Milbeaut image processor has not yet been out and it is not found at any of the official Fujitsu pages.

Anyway, we shall see the new K-5 very soon, just wait for the first week of September, something may come.


Read Also:-

The Secrets of the K10D (Part 3 of 3) – The Brain: The IPU

The Maker of the "ADC" and "IPU" Chips used in K10D

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sony's New BSI CMOS Architecture, Further Improving Light Receiving Efficiency



Source press release with more information:-

http://www.sony.co.jp/SonyInfo/News/Press/201201/12-009/index.html
(in Japanese)

New Sony 1/1.7" BSI CMOS Sesnor (12MP, 4K Video)

The IMX144CQJ:-

http://www.sony.co.jp/Products/SC-HP/cxpal/vol93/imx144/index.html
(in Japanese)

Note the various significant performance and IQ improvements over the IMX078 sensor that was adopted in the Pentax Q as it is compared.

IIRC, the IMX144 is actually the first Sony *CMOS* sensor in 1/1.7" size. For all previous 1/1.7" imagers they created, they were all in CCD type.

Actually, it is possible to put this sensor into a new Pentax Q camera? In fact, the Q-mount is large enough, as the last time I measured and illustrated. However, even assuming the image circle of the existing Q lenses are large enough for the projection, the effective focal will be changed, inevitably. For example, the "01" 8.5mm prime will turn into an 135 equivalent 35mm standard wide angle lens and the "02" standard zoom lens is standard no more as it will become a 21 to 63mm zoom in 135 sense.

Nevertheless, if Pentax is yet to decide to keep the sensor size (but then I shall have little interest to buy into the Q then), they still have a newer choice, i.e., the IMX118, which I talked about it also previously.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Pre-Photokina Pentax Leak - Pentax X-5



(Web Host: http://cdn.uploda.cc/)

It is verified to be a real product (but not a hoax) in the following page, although it has not yet shown the price yet:-



See: http://www.photoprice.ca/product/03986/Pentax-X-5-price.html

Does it look like a K-5 from the front btw?

The description on the front page of the above website tells that it is a "New Pentax X-5: 16 Megapixel, 26x Ultra-Zoom Point and Shoot". As the product photo this time shows a black camera, we now know that it will be available in two colours, for both Silver and Black.

Nonetheless, isn't that prosumers are dying these days? Still making a new one in that declining category? Is there really a market of it? :-o

On the other hand, the really good meaning of the X-5 is that Ricoh is yet marketing DCs in Pentax brand, against what was previously considered by their head. Good news anyway!

Btw, as there are still twenty days something to go, don't forget to participate in my previous poll about Pentax predictions for the Photokina. Have fun! :-D

Update: More Photos of the Black Version of the X-5 from yet another Japanese web host:-

Monday, August 20, 2012

Korean SLR Club K-30 Full Review

http://www.slrclub.com/bbs/vx2.php?id=slr_review&page=1&divpage=1&select_arrange=headnum&desc=asc&no=290

(in Korean, no need to Google translate, the pictures and videos speak for themselves!)

Warning: VERY Large Page - As usual, they put the whole review into a Single page with all the modelling photos, illustration diagrams, measurbation results, sample photos and videos! If you are trying to click on the above link and view the page with bandwidth sensitive connection, just AVOID! :-o

Photokina for Less Than 30 Days to Come - Pentax Predictions

http://www.photokina.com/en/photokina/home/index.php

The Pentax/Ricoh booth is Here.

So, let's have some Pentax predictions and let me start a poll. What will Ricoh announce/disclose for new Pentax products at Photokina?

What Shall We See at Photokina for Pentax?
pollcode.com free polls
(Multiple Choices Allowed.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sony is to Roll Out FF NEX

See: http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr5-sony-nex-goes-full-frame/

But considering the really limited lens lineup of the original E-mount lenses, not even to mention FF, what's the point?

The most ridiculous thing, on the other hand in the Pentaxland, is that there are so many old original K-mount lenses out there but there is not a FF Pentax body!

So, if old Pentaxians are to get the new NEX, must they go down the "adapting" route?

My previous examples:-

http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2012/04/rh-02-k-mount-mirrorless.html

http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-new-aps-c-k-mount-ildc-d.html

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pentax Q Live View Time Lag



(URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYByS_1IJiQ)

By: What Blog is This?

Via: 1001 Noisy Cameras.

Btw, is this common for most ILDCs or just DCs? :-o

EISA Photo Awards 2012-13

http://www.eisa.eu/awards/3/photo.html

Everyone has an award but only Pentax nor Ricoh! Well, even Sigma and Tamron are there! :-(

Btw, the K-30 is not selling well even at the Japanese home market (where Pentax used to do it best over there), just see the latest BCN chart, the K-30 + DA18-135 kit struggles to stay in the chart, at position #58 at best.

If we look at the results of the whole July, we can see only the Q and K-5 appear at the end of the chart for Pentax items. In fact, the K-01 has never appeared anywhere in neither charts. So actually everything is indeed pessimistic for the sales of Pentax gear. To change the situation, I really believe that Ricoh should do things more pro-actively, and more importantly, better insight is required! (Which up till now I can't see it! >:-()

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Sony APS-C Sensor (16MP, PMAF Elements Built-in)



Via Sony Alpha Rumors (SR5)

So, with this new sensor, I am almost sure that new Pentax APS-C camera models will come, say, K-02, K-40 and whatever! :-D


Last Story:-

Phase Matching / Contrast Detection AF Accuracy Measurbation and Comparison

Monday, August 13, 2012

Phase Matching / Contrast Detection AF Accuracy Measurbation and Comparison

By Lens Rentals: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Via Post @DPR Pentax Forum.

Quick Conclusions:-

1. Live View CDAF is more accurate than conventional SLR PMAF for still objects;

2. New body is improved over old one for better PMAF accuracy with *any* lenses - the 5D3 was tested against the 5D2 head-to-head, with the same set of lenses, old and new;

3. New lenses are improved over old models for better PMAF accuracy with *any* bodies, old or new!

4. So, with the latest combinations of the newest bodies and lenses, PMAF's accuracy could actually match that of the LV CDAF, but consistency is still not as good.

But after all, don't yet forget about the true values of the PMAF, i.e., better low light performance, better continuous focus tracking and higher speed (which is faster in general).


Related:-

Panasonic Tested that K-5's AF is Better than Canon and Nikon's

Focus Adjust the K-5 and Pentax AF Lenses with Live View

Blog Notice: Country Specific Blog Page URLs are Disabled

After working for a few days, I have successfully completed and fully tested the required scripts to disable the country specific Blog page links and now wherever and whenever you view my pages, they are reverted to blogspot.com instead of blogspot.country for where you live and get online.

I hope from now on every incompatibility problem that was caused by this different domain per page evil could be solved, namely, with IntenseDebate (e.g., direct links to comments have not been working for quite a while, just in case if the first response was not made via the .com page), Statcounter, Feed/Rating Burner, Alexa and etc.

Still, after several days of test, I yet found that there is a bug with the Google server and/or browsers, which I can't resolve. It happens when the /ncr (No Country Redirect) switch could suddenly stop working anymore and the Google server simply ignores the switch even when it is entered, thus causing an endless re-direction loop and the page will never be loaded. So, just be reminded that if you encounter this case unfortunately, just click the stop button of your browser, close it and re-open your browser and then re-load the page, the same problem should not happen again, for most of the time.

Btw, happy reading and commenting at my Blog. Thanks for visiting! :-D

Thursday, August 09, 2012

New Measurbating Review: K-30 Vs K-5 Vs CNS

Digital Camera Info.com has compiled a full measurbation review/test on the K-30. The test consists of 24 sections and some sections are further divided into several sub-sections for even more measurbations! :-o

You can begin with the first "samples" section here, where the shootout against K-5, Nikon D5100, Canon Rebel T3i and Sony A55 begins! At the first glance, I am impressed with the noise and the level of details retained with the Pentax cameras, whilst the colour rendition of the K-5 images seems to be more vivid and "purer" but the noise control of the K-30 at high ISO seems to be better.

I have decided to give up on further commenting on the rest of the tests and it is just too detailed! :-o Just go read yourself and go figure out anything whatever you could find or interpret! So, my this blog post would just end here! :-D


Read Also:-

A Not-so-common K-30/K-5/K-01 Comparison of Mine

If the D600 Can Only Come This Fall, When Will the Pentax FF Come?

Ken Rockwell "forecasts" that the D600 would appear only by late 2012. But if the previous rumour of that the Pentax FF could only come as fast as 6 months later than the Nikon is true, when shall we see a Pentax FF camera? Late 2013?! (Taking into account that things like that often subject to delay, especially for the Pentax!) >:-(

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

DA50/1.8 Proven to be a Full Frame Lens (as Expected)

Although Pentax did not admit that it is a FF lens, a new DA50 owner and Pentax user has tested it on film with a MZ-3:-

http://forum.xitek.com/thread-1043959-1-1-1.html
(in Chinese)

See the posted samples, I think no one will disagree that it is not a Full Frame lens. The IQ, sharpness, colour rendition and bokeh etc. can also be inspected.

Now, we have one more FF compatible lens in the current Pentax lens lineup, the full list is updated.

Monday, August 06, 2012

My Practical Review on the DA18-135



As we all know, this lens received rather poor rating and adverse comments at the PhotoZone and then the official early samples posted by Ned Bunnell did look bad either.

But then stupid fanboys of Pentax like me are actually irrational ;->, I went bought this lens regardless of the poor reputation of this lens all over the Internet! :-o

This time, I am going to write a practical review on the lens, with more real-life photos of mine shown, for what this lens can deliver, on a K-5. You will see how "poor" this lens could be!~

First of all, still some comments of mine in words. As you can see from the above modelling photo, this lens is really compact and lightweight. It has an internal focusing mechanism such that the length of the lens will not change during focusing. And of course, the front element will not rotate.

I am much impressed with the build quality of this lens, which is the best amongst all DA Pentax standard zoom lenses that I have ever used, I would say. Even the bundled lens hood is better built than most of other Pentax', with matted lining inside and the rugged texture outside which contributes to a solid feeling. At the beginning, maybe owing to the weather sealing, when the lens was first opened brand new out of the box, it is very tight to zoom. But then after the first few days of use, the friction and resistance became just right provided that it is not zoomed too fast and too quickly otherwise higher resistance can still be found.

Speaking of the DC motor and its AF performance on K-5, it is fast, moderately accurate and silent although it is not completely silent and some very small sound can still be heard in really silent environments (ditto for the new Canon STM, which I also have). Under the Live View mode and with this DC lens, the LV CDAF is obviously faster than with other conventional type Pentax AF lenses.

Now, let's come to the IQ part, this lens is quite sharp in the image centre throughout the whole zoom range and from wide-opened, here are some various samples (Click to download in Large size, EXIF preserved):-


(18mm, f/3.5)


(18mm, f/5.6)


(18mm, f/6.7)


(21mm, f/4)


(21mm, f/8)


(28mm, f/4)


(36mm, f/4.5)


(36mm, f/6.7)


(36mm, f/8)


(40mm, f/7.1)


(53mm, f/6.3)


(100 mm, f/5.6)



(135mm, f/5.6)

It can be noted that the extreme corner softness is only existent at the widest side at 18mm. From 21mm and onwards, the effect is considerably eliminated and is not that noticeable. Distortion is significantly decreased, too.

In general, images produced are with good colours and contrast. Resolution is high throughout the frame except at the extreme focal ends, i.e., 18mm and 135mm. I do note that my lens' optics are perfectly centred by judging from the vignetting pattern, nevertheless. Maybe I am just lucky enough.

The flare resistance is superb. Look at this:-



The bokeh of this lens is not bad, look at these two (and also some of the above samples with a blurred background):-



Round bokeh of highlights can be seen.



Btw, why to use Live View with a DSLR? (I can see many DSLR beginners have been doing this!) Why not just use a K-01 if so?! :-o

There is one minor problem of this lens (or maybe the Pentax DSLR system in general), it is that it has a slight underexposure tendency, a +0.3/0.5 exposure compensation would usually cure it.

Besides, the Pentax SR system for tele-lens is proven to be ineffective, once again. I have got quite some blurred photos when shot at 135mm, just because the lens speed is slow but SR didn't help:-



All in all, I am quite satisfied with my copy of the DA18-135. It seems that my lens has far better performance than what is shown in the various measurbation tests and I do believe that it is a lens that performs well in real world but not so for measurbations. This maybe owing to the inconsistency quality control (or lenses are actually classified into different quality classes and batches - mine was purchased separately). The other possibility is that the optical design of this lens is not optimised for close range objects, where a test chart is placed and shot.

At the end of the day, this travelling zoom will not give you stellar optic quality which primes could give which is well expected, After all, let's see if my "favourable" review this time could retrieve the confidence of some potential buyers of this lens and maybe also for Pentax the brand as well! ;-D


Related:-

Interview with the Optical Engineer/Designer of the DA 18-135 Lens

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Recent Survey and Review Articles by the Pentax Forums

First of all, the following survey results once again verified that SDM is indeed rather unreliable and vulnerable to break, although some fanboys would still argue that the sample size returned in that survey is yet "not enough to prove anything"!

http://www.pentaxforums.com/news/pentax-sdm-failure-survey-results.html

Quoted:-

"What is a little bit more alarming is the fact that three of Pentax's most popular lenses seem to have problems with SDM reliability."

Well, how dare PF is to make a statement like this?!

"If you're frightened by the AF issue, then Sigma has readily-available alternatives to all three lenses: a 17-50mm, 50-150mm, and 17-70mm."

My pardon? Are that Pentax glass so easily replaceable? And what's the point of using Pentax bodies but Sigma glass?!! >:-(

Btw, if there are still not enough of the reported cases, just view this online Pentax SDM Petition, then you should be convinced, if not yet!

Next, there is a new comparison review of the Pentax DA14/2.8 Vs the cheapo Samyang 14/2.8 lens. It is tested that there should be a design deficiency of the Pentax lens that the field curvature for far objects is always greater than DoF(!?) so that the whole frame of the image is always not sharp at somewhere in the frame, no matter how and where the user focused! :-o I now know why Jun was forced to retire after creating this lens! ;->

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