Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Firmwares for K-5II/s, K-30, K-01, K-5 and K-r

The new firmware is available for download in the following page:-

http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/download_digital.html

And the changes for the new firmware are as follows:-

  • Optimized contrast AF when using [HD PENTAX-DA 560mmF5.6ED AW] lens.
  • Improved stability for general performance. 

Update (2-1) : I have roughly tested the LV AF of my K-5 after updated to the latest firmware and it seems that the AF is faster now and the way the camera is searching for focus is different, i.e., the algorithms have been revised. This is especially obvious for telephoto lenses, for what I have verified with my Pentax 300mm AF prime.

New Product Photos of the AF360FGZII Flash and the Q Body Cap Pinhole Lens




Via: http://www.pentax.jp/japan/news/announce/20130130.html
(in Japanese)

Note that the body cap pinhole lens is NOT a REAL Pinhole lens as there is glass/optics inside the hole! It is because owing to the really small-sized sensor of the Q, it is not possible to make a small enough hole to produce a sharp enough image but at the same time to observe the diffraction limit before everything is yet blurred much again! :-o

Last time I tried, I made a pinhole K-mount body cap lens myself, see the photos below:-









And it works, which will give you toy like images that a classical pinhole (film) camera could give! Life is easier with DSLR, though, as I did always set to ISO 1600 or above when used with my pinhole lens, on my K-x! >:-(

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WG-10, WG-III / GPS are Coming

See what Photo Rumors reports:-

http://photorumors.com/2013/01/28/full-list-of-new-cameralenses-to-be-announced-at-the-cp-show-this-week/



Update (1-31): The new WG-IIIs and WG-10 have been officially announced:-

http://www.pentax.jp/japan/news/2013/20130130_1.html

http://www.pentax.jp/japan/news/2013/20130130_2.html
(Both in Japanese)

There are four colours in total for the WG-IIIs, two for the WG-III and two for the WG-III GPS:-



As for the WG-10, there are also two other different colours:-

Sunday, January 27, 2013

6D Vs 5D3 ISO Test, 100 to 12800, Outdoor Scene



(Modelling photos taken with my Pentax Q.)

So, measurbation party again! Click on the following album and measurbate endlessly picture by picture, one by one by your oneself! ;-D


http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/RiceHigh/5Ds/6D_Vs_5D3_ISO/

Test Conditions:-

1. Camera mounted on a sturdy tripod (a giant Gitzo) and shutter was triggered via the original Canon remote cable switch;

2. Picture Style was reset to Standard, with all parameters all left at factory defaults. Other image settings such as Auto Light Optimizer and High ISO NR etc. were reset to their factory default values. Large Fine JPEGs were produced directly out of both cameras;

3. One-shot AF with 50/1.2L with Central AF point selected;

4. For ISO 100 to ISO 1600, the lens aperture was set at f/8, whilst from ISO 3200 to 12800, the lens was set to f/16 - This was particularly required with the 6D for its low maximum shutter speed of only 1/4000s;

5. Click to enlarge to images which are resized to about 4,000 pixels in width by the Photobucket server;

6. Full-sized original images are available to download per their respective picture page, nevertheless.

So, it's your take now! I won't give any observation of mine this time and will let you decide!~


Last Test:- 

Luxury 50mm Lens Fight: EF 50/1.2L Vs CZ 50/1.4ZE on 5D3

Thursday, January 24, 2013

D5200 Took the Crown of the Benchmark King from the K-5s

See the news: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Nikon-D5200-New-sensor-and-new-leader

Now, the D5200 is the new King of APS-C in the DxO BenchMark ranking!

And the comparison of the D5200 against the K-5IIs:-

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/850|0/%28brand%29/Nikon/%28appareil2%29/830|0/%28brand2%29/Pentax

So, the K-5 is beaten and it surely loses in the resolution too, which is yet not tested as part of the DxOMark tests.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Recent Pentax Samples (K-5IIs, K-5II and MX-1)

All via the 1001 Noisy Cameras:-

K-5IIs full samples here and DA18-270 samples here, by the ePhotozine.

K-5IIs Vs K-5II image comparisons of the same scenes, by WDC of UK.

Pentax MX-1 first samples (RAW) at Quesabesde with quick hands-on.

First "Ricoh MX-1" Hands-on Report and Samples



By fengwei/frank (who is a die-hard Chinese Pentaxian located at Singapore):-

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/pentax-ricoh/1209242-pentax-mx-1-handson-review.html

Quick samples and with particular crops are posted in thread via consecutive posts here and here. Do note that it is stated that the camera is a pre-production unit as provided, though.

Similar to the K-01 and the Pentax Q, I can see the tendency of magenta cast in quite some of the samples. As for the pictures, they are sharp enough as all of the previous posted samples by Frank no matter what Pentax camera models he was testing.

And, if you look into the EXIF, this camera is now called the "Ricoh MX-1" where in the "Make" field of the camera, it is just entered "Ricoh" but not "Pentax"!? :-o So, that's why and what I have entered into the title of my this Blog post and it is indeed NOT a typo! >:-(

K-5 SR Super Demo (YouTube Video)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XiPmR5SFQI

OMG! :-o

Speaking of the K-5 family, here is also a latest ISO test for the K-5IIs against the Fuji XE-1:-

http://www.neocamera.com/camera/fuji/xe1/samples/indoor

It seems the results of the IIs is good enough and it wins hands down the Fuji.


View Also:-

K-5 Mirror "Jumpy" Videos Galaxy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Evangelion (EVA) Q10 Versions



Via: http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/used/2013/01/pentax-q10-1.html
(in Japanese)

N.B. EVA stands for Neon Genesis EVAngelion, a Japanese popular science fiction cartoon series back to 1995.

Update (1-31): More official information about these special versions of the Q10 can be found at the Japanese EVA online store link below:-

http://www.evastore.jp/pc/index.php?toid=PC_ARTICLE&fromid=PC_ARTICLE&article_id=11500&category_id=top&toid=PC_ARTICLE&fromid=PC_ARTICLE#item

Monday, January 21, 2013

Luxury 50mm Lens Fight: EF 50/1.2L Vs CZ 50/1.4ZE on 5D3


(Modelling photos taken with my Pentax Q. Who said that such a tiny sensor doesn't give a "shallow" DoF? ;-p But it may still be not enough after all~)

Well, there is not much new Pentax gear that interested me for the time being and I have "nothing better to do" with my current Pentax gear. So, I decided to continue my measurbation dream to the Canonland. So, I did the following and here we go! ;-D


http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/RiceHigh/5Ds/50L_Vs_Zeiss/

Test Conditions:-

1. Camera mounted on a sturdy tripod (a Gitzo model) and shutter was triggered via the original Canon remote cable switch;

2. Picture style was reset to Standard, with all parameters all left at factory defaults. Other image settings such as Auto Light Optimizer and High ISO NR etc. were set at their factory defaults. Btw, all test shots were made at ISO 100 anyway;

3. One-shot AF with 50/1.2L with Central AF point;

4. Manual focusing with Zeiss 50/1.4ZE with Central AF point according to the focus indication provided by the camera.

5. Click to enlarge to images which are resized to about 4,000 pixels in width by the Photobucket server;

6. Full-sized original images are available to download per their respective picture page, nevertheless.

Some Observations:-

1. At large apertures below f/2.8, the IQ of the 50L is better. Blur and ghost are yet obvious for both, although the 50L yet seems to have better control;

2. From f/2.8 and onwards, it seems that the Zeiss pictures are sharper and with a bit more details;

3. The colour renditions of the two lenses are somehow different. The Zeiss produces an unique taste of its own;

4. The images of Zeiss are more pop and more three dimensional, general speaking;

5. As for the bokeh, each to their own, I would say;

6. Surprisingly, the exposure is more consistent and accurate with the Zeiss than the original branded 50L when the lens is being stopped down from wide. Oh, really? :-o

After all, both lenses are really good enough. Of course the 50L is more expensive than the Zeiss 50 (it nearly double the price!) and that with the Zeiss 50 any Canon user loses the AF (of course). But the good thing is that the MF feel of the Zeiss is really nice - the focus throw is long enough and it is well damped and operation is super smooth.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"New" Lens Roadmaps Have Nothing New to Tell! :-(

Pentax has "updated" and published their "new" lens roadmaps as at January 2013 at their official facebook page.

First of all, let's look at that "latest" K-mount roadmap:-



But if you compare the last one that was published back to February 2012, actually we could find nothing new, except those lenses announced in Photokina last year are now included:-



Actually, the same applies for the Q and 645 lens roadmaps.

Whilst I don't believe that there is nothing in development in the pipeline, it seems that Ricoh has decided not to disclose anything anymore for what are going to happen and they actually keep their lips tight about their plans, if any.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Ricoh's APS-C Lens Patents: 23mm F2.5 and 27mm F1.9

(27mm F1.9 APS-C lens, 40mm 135 equivalent FoV.)

(23mm F2.5 APS-C lens, 35mm 135 equivalent FoV.)

Via: http://egami.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2013-01-11 (in Japanese)

It seems that the development of APS-C and FF will be carried out in parallel by Ricoh, then.


Last Related:- 

New Pentax Lens Patent Published: 70-200mm F2.8 Full Frame Lens!

New K-5II/s Firmware and New Pentax DC

New Firmware for K-5II/s: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/k-5_2_s.html

Changes to V1.01
  • Enabled contrast adjustment on Monitor.
    (Added [contrast ]on [LCD setting ]menu)
  • Improved stability for general performance.
And the new Pentax "Efina": http://www.pentax.jp/english/news/2013/20130117.html

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

MX-1 Quick Hands-on and other Gear TidBits

Read what the Phoblographer found in the secret room of Pentax at the CES:-

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/01/09/first-impressions-pentax-mx-1/

Here were their first impressions and quick conclusion:-

"Overall, I walked away from the Pentax MX-1 a bit disappointed. When I saw the camera, I had hoped for more because of all the hype already surrounding it. But something about it just didn’t add up for me. Manual shooting was a bit cumbersome because of the cluttered back controls and the best experience I had with it was truthfully in program mode. But I feel like a camera like this should be much more capable than it is for the price point."

Next, the new "Pentax" DA18-270 was found to be made in China. Look:-



Via Pentax Forums.

So, this lens must be a Tamron (OEMed), as the Tamron factories are in China and Japan. In fact, there is no more Pentax lens production in neither China and Japan. Instead, they are all in Vietnam now.

This OEM thing reminds me of the MX-1 for being 80%+ alike of the Olympus XZ-2, which I suspect the MX-1 is again not a genuine Pentax product inside, but just something OEM made and then re-packaged stuff, ditto for the X-5.

And then, someone has made a 0.71X "wide" adaptor (with 4 lens elements) to convert Full Frame lenses to APS-C cropped, for the image circle of the sensors:- 

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/01/14/metabones-and-caldwell-photographic-annouce-speed-booster-lens-adapter-for-mirrirless-cameras

But for the last time, I did the reverse! :-o


Related:-

Are You Interested to Acquire the MX-1?

Pentax MX-1

Yet Another Pentax Lens Arsenal!



Well, the classic luxury FA* lenses could be used as the legs of a table for playing Chinese Mah-jong! :-o

Via Chinese Xitek Forum Here.

And then here is the White Pentax lens collection of that Pentax user/collector, who is in Taiwan:-



And then maybe most of his Pentax glass:-



Via Xitek Forum Here.

Now, I am knowing that I am really "not a Pentax user", in comparison with him! :-(


Previous Related:- 

Super Pentax Lens Arsenal w/ Sample Photos (Nice~)

Canon and Nikon Luxury Lenses Group Battle! ;-D

Yet Another Online Index to Pentax Gear Samples (Listed by Bodies and Lenses)

http://www.pixel-peeper.com/cameras/pentax/

And below are the other similar links that were previously reported:-

A Japanese Pentax User Site with Much Samples

Pentax Picture Samples (Full Sized, Japanese Link)

Pentax Lens Samples Galaxy @ Flick(river)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Excellent Page about Early Pentax Lenses and Designs



http://taunusreiter.de/Cameras/Pentax_Takumar_e.html
(in English.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

4 Million Visits to My Blog!

Oh, really? ;-D

DC Watch CES Live Report - Pentax: New Look of the AF360FGZ II



http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20130109_581023.html
(in Japanese)

It seems to be a mock up, though. Look at the back LCD panel, there is nothing inside!

Btw, there are some other photos of the MX-1, for a real product.

MX-1 Samples, Official in Small Size

See: http://www.pentaximaging.com/digital-camera/MX-1_Silver

They are directly linked as follows:-



N.B. Click to Enlarge. Those samples are converted to PNG format and of course there is no EXIF. Btw, I think they look good enough to my eyes although they are small.

Pentax Offers 100 Colours of the Q10 for the US Market



Further to what has been offered in the Japanese home market for the Q10, now custom ordering is also available for the customers in the US market. See what Engadget reports:-

http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/07/pentax-offers-100-different-custom-color-options-for-its-q10-ilc/

As for the Q10, last time I tried, it feels too plasticky than my like, especially when it is compared to the original Q.


Last Related:-
 
100 Colours Q10 - Real Dummy Units!

100 Colours of Q10 are Available for Ordering Now

100 Colours of the Q10

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Are You Interested to Acquire the MX-1?

At the weight of nearly 400g (loaded and ready) and at the price of (US)$500, would you consider to get one?

Do you intend to get the MX-1?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

"New" AF360FGZ II Flash is Coming (And K-01 is Not Yet Dead!)

See the official Press Release here - what are displayed in the CES is also told.

Future Product Concept

  • AF 360 FGZ II: Scheduled for a 2013 launch this automatic, external, clip-on flash has a maximum guide number of 36 (at ISO 100) with bounce flash functionality adjustable both vertically and horizontally.

So, it is just a 360 flash with a swivel head now, most probably. What a special "future concept" it really is! :-o >:-(

Btw, the K-01 is also on display. So, possibly it has not yet been discontinued, and would not be in the near future.

Why Use a Pentax Camera?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NnfBtxPvHY

The true answer is at after 1:00! :-D

Pentax MX-1



The MX-1 is announced over the DPR, but the same news cannot yet be found at the Pentax Japanese homepage. It is not a DSLR, nor it is an ILDC. It is just a DC, or you may call it an advanced compact if you want.

For more details, please go read DPR's quick hands-on preview.

Btw, I don't like Pentax Ricoh to use the MX' name so causally just for a compact. I think at least they should create the new MX digital series, which should be lens interchangeable. Below is a picture of my "old" MX! ;-)



Source post: Latest Family Photos of My Pentax Gear! ;-D


Related:-

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

Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Unbalanced Q - Part 2.5: Photo Samples

Here are some quick samples taken by the "560mm" lens Q-K combo that I posted for the last time:-



All the above photos were taken handheld, at ISO 320, lens set at f/4 using the aperture ring, which my DFA lens has one but not the latest version, with the in-body SR on (correct focal length input as 100mm at startup). I have done some minor retouch to the above photos, including light up the pictures a bit and to apply some sharpening.

This bird is a small one, more or less in the size of palm, which is very sensitive to human. So, this super-tele combo is a suitable gear to do the job. I don't know its name though. So, if you know, please tell me.

However, there are yet other ways of doing the same job, below is what I have got from my 5D3 body in 22MPs with just a 85mm portrait lens mounted on it, and then did some cropping (there is some room to do it, with the higher pixel count) and resizing/re-sharpening:-


(Copyright (c)2013 RiceHigh)

Okay, I think the IQ of the 5D3 pictures are yet far better. There are quite some obvious purple fringing on the Q pictures, in addition to the low image fidelity of them. I don't like the colour rendition and tone of neither cameras, nonetheless, the Q tone is too cool whilst the 5D3's too yellowish, under the bright sun.

Still, the Q is really funny to use. And how can I carry such a lightweight "560mm" lens and body so easily without such a small form factor of the sensor?! ;-D

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