Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: April 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Camera Abuse on a Pentax W90! >:-(

Now, this maybe a new method of marketing, abuse the camera, put it to death and then use another one to complete the review and so on. It shows how sturdy such a shock and water resistant camera could be. Well, there should be a basket of camera units of the same model supplied by the camera company! Shouldn't it?


Nonetheless, it is just an utter non-sense for using tsim tongs to break the plastic LCD panel, but that crazy guy still did it! :-( (He is an aggressive marketing executive anyway! :-0)

The world is full of crazy people, I actually hate people who abuse camera gear, see this:-


For anyone who just don't need any gear, give it to others who need it. Don't abuse anything and don't waste the resources of the Earth under any circumstances! >:-(

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

As previously targeted, it is confirmed lately that the 645D is to be on sales on May 20:-

(in Japanese)

Also, the new kit lens DFA 645 55mm/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW (Umm.. What a Loooong Name!) will be delivered at the same time.

And, the latest pre-order street prices at Japan can be as "low" as JPY 763,200 (roughly equals to US$ 8,200):-

(in Japanese)

It seems that the availability is good.

Previous News:-

645D Will be Shipped within Two Months

Monday, April 26, 2010

TIPA Awards 2010 Announced

As you would have known, the TIPA has announced their this year's awards on camera products for 2010:-


Well, the K-x gets the Best Entry Level DSLR prize, whereas other prizes such as the Best Advanced DSLR, Expert and Professional Level DSLRs belongs to the Canon 550D, Canon 7D and Nikon D3s respectively. You can also look at the prizes for other bodies and lenses as well as for those photo and imaging peripherals and accessories if interested.

It is not bad to see Pentax to get a prize and honour with the K-x, although this is the only award they have managed to get anyway.

Read Also:-

My K-x Review is Here! (with Measurbations, Tips and Tricks)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

K-x Vs K-7 Night Scene ISO Shootout @ DC Watch

The Japanese Impress DC Watch has published a shootout of the above for a single scene, with quite a number of different combinations of ISO and NR settings, which is quite interesting:-

(Or the English Translated Page Here)

Do note all the differences and compare, measurabate, observe and make up your own conclusions by yourself. I again let you to do your homework and decide yourself and I won't spoil their test and results here (and better to save some of my time, too :-)) Enjoy!

Firmware Updates for the K-m, K20D, K200D and K10D

Just announced at the Pentax Japanese Homepage:-


Direct firmware update and download pages:-





(All pages in the above URLs are in Japanese)

There is only one change for all the above firmware updates, though. That is, to "improve the stability of SDHC cards for photo recording". It is not really an exciting update with no new functionality after all but it is still good to see Pentax does support their old product to ensure better compatibility with new SD cards even for a really old product like the K10D which was discontinued years ago.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Power of Back Side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS Sensor (Fuji HS10/11)

A few months ago, I talked about new sensor technologies and the Back Side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS imagers.

Recently, we have a new full review report of the Fuji HS11 (aka HS10) at a popular Chinese photo blog:-

(in Simplified Chinese, Google English Translated Page Here)

Besides, 1001 Noisy Cameras have made a good summary on the recent sample picture tests here.

With the sample photos shown, I am really astonished on the potential for the new BSI technology. If with such a 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor in 10.0 MPs can deliver such acceptable to good ISO performance (and do bear in mind the sensor has super high speed as well), I will be much eager to wait if this new sensor technology could be adopted in an APS-C sensor, or, even a larger one, say, 135 FF! What a new world it will open if it succeeds!

So, maybe some days later, we will have 20MP+ APS-C DSLRs which will have the same performance of the today's 12MP DSLRs, whilst 135 FF will go beyond 40 MP+ with yet the same performance of today's again. By that time, the need of MF DSLRs would really be in doubt but still those might become 100 MP+ cameras and systems but will there be such a real practical need for that super high pixel count by that time??

I think BSI CMOS is an innovation for sensor technologies, whilst some other evolutions may help but the steps in improvement could be minimal (although still existent). Just see the recent Canon 550D, which has the "gapless micro lenses" for its new sensor, when compared against the old 500D. The DPR test pictures and measurbations show us that the results in noise and image data retained are comparable for both DSLRs, although the pixel counts of them are different. This may be the benefit of the gapless microlenses and the evolution. But, the new processing hardware and software may also contribute, nonetheless.

Last but not least, I am not very impressed with the colour response of those sample pics produced by the HS10/11. But anyway it is just a P&S, or a super prosumer if you like (to call it this way).

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

I first saw this Rumour from a post of Photo Rumors which points to the source of what Valentin Sama writes at his blog (Google Translated English Page Here), which says that Pentax is going to join the Micro 4/3 camp from what it was told by "very well informed sources".

And then, 1001 Noisy Cameras have made some analyses and sensible guesses on the possibilities and what is going to happen. Whilst those 3 possible outcomes are exhaustive and it will not be going to have four, I would bet that Pentax will not / cannot join the Micro 4/3 myself. Why?

1. Olympus and Panasonic have been worked closely and put much investment on the Micro 4/3 development for both the sensor R&D and the optical form/factor infrastructure and lens development. As such, it is very unlikely for them to let an alien to enter the camp so freely. What is the benefit(s) for Oly and Pana to do so? Don't think the 4/3 and the m4/3 are open systems, in fact these are not!

2. Both Olympus and Panasonic have their own development and design capabilities of lenses and they do not need any of the expertises in Optics which is the only strong point of Pentax. In fact, Olympus is particular strong in optics design (and not weaker than Pentax, I believe) but Panasonic do have the support from Leica. The need with a new alliance for help is surely non-existent.

3. The electronics technologies of Panasonic are much stronger and advanced than those mastered by Pentax/Hoya, whom is just a laymen if compared. So, Oly and Pana has no incentive of any for letting Pentax to play in the game neither.

4. On the other hand, the EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) market has been somehow congested already and competition has become more and more vigorous with the introduction of the Samsung and upcoming Sony EVIL cameras which even have a larger APS-C sensor (which means better IQ/PQ/high ISO performance). Even worse, the EVIL market also competes somehow directly or indirectly with entry level APS-C DSLRs of different brands. So, why makes the competition even harder to let Pentax play in??

5. Pentax themselves simply have no more resources to make one more completely new line-up with new bodies and lenses of a new form factor. They now have the soon-to-be-released 645D and the current APS-C system (which possibly be softly migrated/hybridised to an APS-C/135 FF system like the C and N's ones (and what C and N did before). Those two have already put too much stress on Pentax/Hoya already for their limited capability/capacity for finance, R&D and production as well.

So, all the above facts just tell me that Pentax is not going to have a Micro 4/3, no matter they want to have one or do not want. It is just too difficult for them to have one, or, just almost impossible! And, what's the benefit to build a Pentax m43 (system) at this moment? Nope, I would say! The Pentax K-x has been doing well for gaining new market share and Pentax has done no worse than Pana and Oly alone. In fact, Pentax has not announced any new DA (APS-C) lens for almost two years now (but surprisingly just a new 135 FF lens, the DFA 100 WR). With their much limited resources, I think they will still continue to put those already much tight resources on APS-C and FF DSLRs and system (secretly for the FF) until some days they have secured the market share somehow and survival is ensured before they take more risks and enter into new area(s) without good reasons and/or supports.

So, rumours are just rumours, just believe it or not. Time will tell if the rumour will come true or not and I will be right or not, on the other hand. ( But I always encourage you to look back at my past track records on the hit rate of those of my judgements on rumours and predictions in the past, and you will know! ;-D =V= )

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pentax-Hack.Info Goes Panasonic?

See their latest post:-


Well, have they switched? :-o ;-)

Btw, I hope they continue to put efforts in hacking the Pentax firmwarez as ordinary Pentaxians just need their help, instead of begging Pentax for reasonable and sensible offers in firmware updates for compensating all those infamous and widely reported hardware issues, like the various AF out-focusing problems and this.

Is This Your Time Schedule? ;-)


K-7 SR Measurbations


Study of the Effectiveness of Shake Reduction in the Pentax K7

Pentax Shake Reduction Revisited

Just go read to figure out what they are doing and see if you agree with their findings and/or conclusions.

Do note that in order to obtain more meaningful and useful data and results, each test for a specific focal and shutter speed should be repeated for a number of times and some statistical analyses should be carried out for eliminating particular irregularities that could exist. It is because hand-shake is just something that could be somehow random, of which the magnitude could vary largely and be very different, even for the same person. In the above two tests, it seems that the testers have done something but it also seems that no further technical details are disclosed.

Besides, I think different subject/target distances could also affect the results but then all tests should be done at a particular distance per test above.

Last time, with the same concern and principle in mind, when I checked the SR performance of my K-x (against my 5D), I did carry out each test for three times (the target distance is also fixed, though):-

Pentax SR Performance Tested and Compared (K-x Against Canon IS)

I did no statistical analysis of any in the above as it is not meant to be a numerical analysis on the SR performance, but just a quick check and comparison of which I believe the shot pictures will tell.

Disassemble the Top Part of a K10D


Read Also:-

Exploded View Diagrams of the K20D and *ist DL

http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/search/label/Camera Hacking

Friday, April 09, 2010

Another Hitler the "Whiner" YouTube!

In 2008, a Nikonian created this. Now, in 2010, yet another Pentaxian have made his own loud whining noise!

(URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B5nh--rNFM)

You may find this video, with the new caption, somehow ex-exaggerated. But in fact, it tells all the truths about current issues of the Pentax' gear (and also the Japanese camera industry in general as well)! :-o :-(

Last Related Story:-

The SDM Petition Online

Monday, April 05, 2010

FA Limiteds: Made in Japan Vs Assembled in Vietnam (Continued)

A few posts earlier, I studied several real cases:-


As for Ned's blog post and his posted comparison photos mentioned, I actually made a guess at his post but unfortunately my that simple guess for which is which has never appeared on the net. It is because my that comment has been censored and blocked by Ned. :-(

[ Update (4-6): Ned has released my that posted comment today, 8 days after my submission and coincidently a few hours shortly after my this post. As I could see that Ned has been active during these 8 days at his blog, I am still not convinced that why it has been taken so long for such a simple and short comment (of mine) to get it "approved" and posted.

Still, Ned hasn't revealed his answer, on which is which. :-( ]

I am a bit surprised for that happening (but not totally surprised at all as I think he might have a sole intention to "protect" the interest of Pentax for trying to hide something that can be very true) but I supposed Ned should be prepared (actually he should be well prepared!) for people started guessing which is which for what he posted and once he posted something like that. But however, since my that simple comment for the guess has been blocked, it is quite obvious that he simply don't want people to guess as he only and just wants to tell us that there should be "no difference"!

But then I do see many differences in his "A" and "B" images in his post, I post his blog post link again:-


And the direct links of his A and B pictures below:-

A: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Imqe7pprpvs/S4lyJsRgtiI/AAAAAAAADKg/AdTz_5f3JfA/s1600-h/31mm+A.jpg

B: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Imqe7pprpvs/S4lx3NG_oXI/AAAAAAAADKY/TM7fQyFvv_c/s1600-h/31mm+B.jpg

I suppose you have downloaded the two pictures at this point. Now, do note that the differences in colour rendition, saturation, image transparency, focus accuracy, sharpness and contrast etc, although those might be not very obvious (but yet still noticeable, I believe)!

I guess "B" should be the image produced by the Japanese lens (but of late Japanese production, I believe also), which was just what I submitted as a comment at Ned's article, which was censored and blocked anyway.

What do you think? Do you agree with me that there are various differences that you can see? Do you agree with me that "B" is the Japanese lens image? And, do you agree that Ned should block my that comment for just such a simple and quick guess? Do you think Ned should answer us which is which and also if my guess is correct?! (I don't mind my guess is wrong after all, but I do mind censorship and narrow-mindedness! :-o)

Well, next, as promised last time that I should show you folks that there exists material difference for the early Japanese Limiteds against the late Limited productions. So, I have taken two shots of the two different lens caps of mine that were produced at different times by Pentax. Do note the shots have just been taken at the same time and place, under the same lighting. I intentionally swapped the positions of the lens caps and took another shots to eliminate the possible positional effect due to the lighting that could be taken place (but that has been proven to be negligible). For even easier viewing, I put the two shots into an animated gif:-

Unlike Ned, I just don't put an "A" Versus "B" comparison here. And, the differences are actually just so obvious. Just in case if you are still unable to figure out any of these, I can still tell! Do note the fineness/coarseness of the metal texture and the colours and reflection of the metal, it is not too difficult to judge the material of the later Limited used is just inferior, isn't it? In fact, the metal of the old Limited looks more shiny and with purer silver colour too, whereas for the late production, the metal look dull and yellowish, and the texture is much coarser, too.

Last but not least, I have a truly humble advice to Ned: Don't try to hide the truth from the people, people will know, unless you just even don't know/notice yourself.. (Ned, if you read this, please don't take this as an offence, but just a humble advice of mine, truly.)

Read Also:-

When the Old is Unmatched by the New..

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter :-)

This may be a bit late, but my greetings are still here! :-)

Let the peace and the joy of re-born to continue, two quick photos to share, for two really small Easter decorations in my home this year:-

Above: Click to Enlarge; Taken with the Pentax K-x and DFA 100 Macro, at very close distance, ISO 1600, f/5.6, auto-focused (with central single point and re-composed), handheld, straight in-camera JPEG, EXIF data preserved (but the f-number recorded is not correct as I shot at non-A position of the lens, which has an aperture ring - I use my this lens on both my Pentax DSLRs/SLRs and my Canon Full Frame DSLR, so the "A" position just won't work, for what I modified it.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The K-x Is Just So Strong!

As everyone knows, DPR's 550D full review has been (promptly) out!

So, how is the 550D compared to the K-x? First, we look at this:-


I found that the K-x wins everything at all ISO speeds over all the others for noise, colour rendition and details retained! And, if you read the noise graphs, the K-x is clearly the winner there! But then still, the DPR's reviewers needed to say this, quoted:-

"Once more the Pentax K-x gives the lowest measured results where it counts, towards the top of the ISO scale, but the differences you can see here don't translate into huge discrepancies in image quality, as you can judge from the images above."

So, when the differences are just so obvious for the picture crops as well as the charts they plot speak for themselves, they yet have to say that "the differences you see here don't translate into huge discrepancies in IQ.."! To explain, I have to say and recall for my old saying: "Pictures don't tell lies but people will!" :-o

In fact, I just have a strong feeling that the writers just don't want to embarrass Canon against what they have found out and noticed themselves, which is just so obvious and easily noticeable. So, they have to write some words to counter-balance the facts!

Well, I think my above "wisdom" should apply well unless some people are even so inhonest to an extent that they purposely manipulate the pictures that they post, with careful selection, pictures taken under particular conditions and particular settings so as to purposely show something (either for the strengths or weaknesses). It is actually not difficult to do that, for people who know well of the gear, but whom are just inhonest, when there are just too many different kinds of interests that are involved.

Next, I think we should see these "Compare To" pages:-


"Although it might sound like a rather obvious point, the main difference between default JPEG output from the EOS 550D and Pentax K-x is that the 550D's files are larger. There is very little difference in actual detail resolution, although the slightly more aggressive sharpening being applied by the 550D makes detail a little more obvious. Closer examination reveals that the K-x can resolve almost as much of the finest detail in this scene, but it is slightly masked by the fractionally softer default output."


"The difference between the raw output of the EOS 550D and the Pentax K-x is pretty much the same as we've seen in the JPEGs. Both cameras are capable of excellent resolution, but the EOS 550D just edges ahead thanks to its greater pixel count. However, the difference is so subtle as to be almost irrelevant to normal photography at print sizes smaller than A3."

These times, it seems that their comments are fairer and more objective..

I don't comment further on the particulars of their ratings, fairness and consistency of the marks given (that's what many Pentax fans have been arguing these days). It is because I found those marks are meaningless and of no reference value of any kind at all! In fact, when you read any review, I do encourage you do read facts and evidence and then make your own judgement (but not rely too much on the "comments" that the reviewers write)! Don't read too much and in-depth into those words and comments if you don't believe too much in them! Instead, read the facts which don't and won't lie and they are having little and much less subjectivity!

Last but not least, specifications wise, if you have a more careful mind, you should have been able to notice that they do not compare to K-x but only the other two models which they selected for their "Compared To" tests. That's somehow strange (but possibly intentionally, again), if I have to say. Well, why the specifications comparison is only for three whereas the comparisons have been made for four? The only reason is just simple, if comparisons are to be made, some results are just not so favourable (to the Canon and Nikon), the K-x actually wins in frame rate, size, weight (without battery and card) and some other aspects, so it would be better to avoid!

Well, sorry for the conspiracy theory and tone contained in my this Blog post, but I think I would like to air these out! :-)

Read All Other K-x News:-


and my own last K-x Full Review:-


Friday, April 02, 2010

If You Had a Pink K-x, You Don't Have To Do This!

(URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwZ_RleZ9Bw)

Lol.. Enjoy!