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Saturday, November 19, 2022

K-r Hidden Function of Photo Challenger

According to a latest Japanese IT news report, it is revealed that the Pentax K-r actually had a hidden function of "Photo Challenger" mode which could be activated via an advanced (at its time ;-)) IR data communication mode with another compatible camera,.

(Credit: Japanese Cameota blog)

After linking up with the other camera, two photos can be selected for comparison and the computer will give marks to the photos in three aspects. The loser will have his photo displayed in a cracked glass window at the end.

A demo YouTube video could be found below:

Thursday, October 20, 2022

More Information about the Priced Gradual ND Digital Filter (for K-1 and K-1 II)

Now it is put on sales at the Japanese Ricoh online store (Google English translation of the page Here).

It is learnt that Serial Number of the camera shall be provided for the purchase of the license key for unlocking the function. The key is not portable across different bodies and one key is solely for one unique camera body. Besides, it should be noted that product keys for the K-1 and K-1 II are different. The price of the product key (without tax) is in Japanese Yens 10k.

Upon purchase of the key, Ricoh will send the buyer a QR code which the camera will read the code to unlock the function. It says it takes from several days to one week for Ricoh to generate and send back the code to the buyer. It seems that everything is being processed manually. The worst thing is that if the consumer has entered the wrong serial number of his/her camera, Ricoh will not be responsible for it and the correct code will not be resent?! :-|

As for the operation of the function, read the Chinese article here. The working principle is also briefed in the article.

In short, the camera takes two consecutive photos according to the maximum Exposure Value  (EV) difference. The camera will then process the photos and clone them into one with the selected gradual ND pattern. And, the pattern of dark/bright sections could be set by the user. It is recommended that the user should put the camera on tripod when using this function.

The EV range could be from 0.3EV to 5EV. Some example results are as below:

(1EV Grad ND applied with less exposure at the top)

(With and without Grad ND Filter, a 3EV difference applied)

After all, how about using the camera's built-in HDR function to solve the problem, which is free of charge? ;-)

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Seasonal Firmware Updates for K-1 bodies and K-3 III




And, according to Pentax Rumors, further updates with new custom images by theme will be delivered quarterly.

But what I really can't understand why any Pentax user needs to have particularly lenses in order to use those new Custom Images. It doesn't make sense at all unless Pentax wanted to promote their stocked lenses with such an inferior means.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Why Pentax Has Failed at Mirrorless?

See what PetaPixel says about the failure of Pentax in the mirrorless market, despite the efforts paid in the past two decades.

By the way, for what PP has listed out for the 37 interchangeable lens digital cameras wich Pentax has ever produced, I have bought more than one-third of all the models as follows:

From 2003 to 2021: My Pentax APS-C bodies acquired: *ist D/DS/DL2, K-100D, K-m, K-x, K-r, K-5, KP and K-3III, total 10 out of the 29 models produced.

From 2011 to 2014: I bought the original Q and the Q7, hence 2 out of 4.

From 2016 to 2021: I got the K-1, but I don't think Pentax has really produced 2 full-frame bodies as the K-1 II actually is just a mild variant of the original K-1.

From 2010 to 2014: I purchased the 645D, 1 out of 2 for the medium format bodies.

So, I acquired a total of 14 Pentax models out of the 37 that they have produced.

Besides what PP has mentioned about the causes the failure, which I generally agree with, I think from the user's perspective and practical point of view, the K-01 and the Q series failed in two major ways, which are the lack of EVF and fast Wi-Fi support. I consider that these are basic essential features nowadays, especially for mirrorless cameras and for easy social media sharing on-the-go. All in all, the external LCD monitor is really rather difficult to view under bright light environment outdoor. Without an EVF, it is indifferent to shoot blindly and composition and shooting have become rather difficult with such handicapped mirrorless cameras.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

K-3 III and GR T-shirts (by UNIQLO)


Ricoh Imaging Business Strategy Update (March 15)

Ricoh Imaging Japan gave a briefing about their latest business strategy on cameras and products on March 15. The following presentation screenshot refers:

All in all, the interchangeable lens business will be "re-launched" whilst the 360 business will fade out. Ricoh will focus more in industrial / professional optical and related products and components in more areas such as those in the automation and innovative technology areas.

Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see how they could "re-launch" the Pentax lineups, actually I would say *revive* instead, IMHO.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

DA*300 has Become the Lens of a Mini-satellite

See this official press release:


This Pentax lens was chosen because of its full metal barrel construction as well as its high resolution but yet compact size. By the way, the lens contributes to almost half of the size of the Japanese mini-satellite named "Kitsune", which was launched to the space via an US rocket in February this year.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Ricoh to Abandon Sales Distribution and to Stop Mass Production for Pentax

See what PetaPixel reports. And, their quoted official Ricoh source is here (in Japanese, Google English translation here).

After all, it seems that Pentax the brand is diminishing.. :-(

Friday, January 14, 2022

Interesting Comparison of Different Pentax Custom Images

At the Malificent Images..

The new Custom Image "Satobi" is compared side-by-side against "Flat" or "Vibrant" which is also known as "Miyabi" as mentioned in the above blog post.  The camera body used is a K-3 III.

It seems that Satobi is a colour tone that one would not use normally, but only for creating an aged and nostalgic mood and feel.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Digital Camera Utility 5.9.3 Update

Download for Windows: https://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/dc_utility5_win.html

For Mac: https://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/dc_utility5_mac.html

New features / improvements and debugs are made. In particular, glad that Pentax / Ricoh are still supporting the *ist D cameras, for what they mention in one of their fixed bugs. That's really nice! :-D