Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Canon Must Have Been Crazy!

First read, this is the latest Canon announcement they have just made today:-


They must have been insane! What? A 202 x 205mm sensor?! That is, 8" x 8"! Is this a 8R photo printout? :-o

Oh well, when the 645D is still having a 44 x 33mm "large" sensor, what camera Canon is going to make to adopt their this new super large sensor? But do note that the 645D is already large and heavy! @_@

Okay, personally I think the recent Canon announced new developments doesn't make any sense at all, frankly, including the last APS-H 120MP CMOS sensor's!

Pentax Announcement(s) for New Stuff Coming on September 9th?

PhotoRumors has just told this, just believe it or not!


Anyway, there is only 9 days to come. Will there really be a K-5 and a K-R, or even a Pentax IDLC. If the mirrorless is true, will it be using a new mount or keep using the K-mount? But then if using the K, how could Pentax manage to make the new body thinner and streamline it??

Well, let's wait and see! We will know soon! :-o

Monday, August 30, 2010

Yet Another Shootout for Six 50mm Lenses

Further to the last digital standard zoom shootout carried out by the ERPhotoReview, I think the author's last group test amongst six 50mm lenses is also worth mentioning:-


This test is yet quite interesting as the Takumar 55/1.8, Pentax A 50/1.4 and Pentax F 50/1.7 each represents the well-established optical formula and design of each own, which have been long and widely used in various variants of the Pentax "standard" prime lenses (now the 50 is just a "short-tele" portrait on Pentax DSLRs, anyway).

It can be seen that the 50/1.4 actually performs the best, except its dominant CAs found (same case as the DA 16-45). Other than that, it performs very well optically for both image centre and "corners" (Well, the projected images are still cropped on APS-C bodies, right?).

Btw, how about the DA*55/1.4 when compared against the 50/1.4 then, it was found that the DA*55 perform even better, optically! Just see this:-

DA* 55/1.4 Vs FA 50/1.4 - A Measurebating Shootout

But yet very unfortunately, the DA*55 is using the SDM, which is found to be slow, inaccurate in AF, and proven to be unreliable! :-( Furthermore, DPR previously put really adverse comments about the inferior quality and control found of the DA*55 lens and units (they requested 3 different samples from Pentax UK (as told by the DPR reviewers) but the lenses they tested did have similar misalignment and inaccurate focusing issues). Too bad..

Thursday, August 26, 2010

DA 18-55 I Vs II Vs DA 16-45 (Imatest Test)

Here is an useful test and quick review, which should answer the FAQs of quite some people who have been asking about the (performance) differences between the lenses. Btw, the Imatest results resemble many of my practical experiences and I in general do agree with the conclusions made by the author:-


I do not do Imatest as an unqualified measurebator! ;-) But if you are still interested in my test for those Pentax standard zooms, here is mine - a real-life one! :=)

Read Also:-

Summary Matrix for Equipment Tests and Reviews

Wow! Canon Really Announnces the 60D and Six New Lenses!

The previous Canon rumours and embargo date are true. Canon strikes back this time!

See the latest news and Canon's announcements at the Dpreview here (frontpage) or here (canon news only).

So, there is the 60D and a bundle of new lenses/lens updates. But, do you notice that they are all Full Frame EF lenses, but no more new EF-S lens? (Even though the 60D is a cropped DSLR..) Ditto for the 3 new Sony prime lenses and the 3 Nikkor lenses announced (there is only 1 new DX Nikkor amongst all!).

Nevertheless, the Pentax K-5 and K-R should be coming later and let's see if Hoya would choose to announce them earlier, just like what all the big boys have done. But anyway, where are the new Pentax lenses? IF Any!

Read Also - Other Pre-Photokina New Products Announcements:-

Sony New Alphas and Prime Lenses Announced!

Nikon D3100 and 4 New Nikkors are There!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Canon Announcement Coming?

After the announcement wars between Sony and Nikon recently, I've heard in the wild that Canon will make an earlier "pre-Photokina" announcement on tomorrow, possibly for the announcement of the upcoming 60D body, which has been rumoured for long.

Let's see if there is really something comes up by tomorrow, then! :-)

A Mega Shootout: D90 Vs 550D Vs K-7

This latest test by the Ephotozine is really interesting and useful, have a look!


Stop Camera Abuses!!

I am very disappointed with DigitalRev this time for their latest "test" which actually is a cameras abuse video but nothing else!

Kai has been rather silly and stupid throughout the whole course. IMO the only close-to-real-life "test" is the drop test at the football court, whilst all others are totally meaningless! >:-(

Last time, I was annoyed for someone abused the W90, this time the D70 and the 400D were cruelly abused before they were finally destroyed!

I have to say again if some gear are of no value (no matter in practical or money terms), just give it to others who find them useful and don't waste the resources of the Earth!

Every piece of photographic gear is actually the painstaking efforts of those camera engineers and many people and I do feel hurt once again for those stupid and actually metamorphosic people who imposed the abuses and then even share these online! >>:-(

Sony New Alphas and Prime Lenses Announced (and also News about a Canon Super Sensor)

The new Sony stuff have just been announced today, which IMO are just more exciting than the Nikon new offers which have just been announced. As usual, 1001 Noisy Cameras have made a very comprehensive nice summary at the first time for the new offerings and full reviews, in which there are many test and sample pictures.

This official video Ad by Sony UK is also nice, just have a look!

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

Well, as before for times, I once again have successfully spotted the correct "rumour" post for the A55 and A33 design and specs for almost one week. So, it's bingo again! =V= I shall continue to strive to keep that high hit rate, I promise! :-)

One thing I like about the A55/33 is its diminishing size and lightweight. It is not heavier than a typical (ex-?)4/3 SLR body of Oly after all, but far more feature-rich than those.

Besides, the next newer post at the 1001 Noisy Cameras reveals that Canon is to make a 120MP APS-H CMOS sensor! Yes, it is 120, not a typo!! :-o Well, are they crazy? So, my last suggested question would just happen in reality, that is: Is MF Really Needed for Higher Pixel Count? Umm.., it seems that the 645D (or its successors) would be in trouble! But on the other hand, I just wonder what Canon lens(es) is to be used to match (or just come close to!) the resolution of this super high-density sensor? Newly designed ones?

Update: Here is a YouTube video showing the translucent mirror of the A55/33 and the shutter action (and sound). Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Deepest Condolence..

..to those innocent Hong Kong hostages who got killed and deeply injured/hurt and those other survivors and relatives who've lost their loves and family members in the violent slaughter case at Manila, Philippines. (A few related news articles on the net can be found here, here, here and here - All in English.)

The people were killed at around 8 pm last evening when I witnessed the tragedy live on my local TV. My heart was broken and I lost my sleep mostly last night. I have been feeling really upset and highly disappointed but at the same time rather shocked and very angry at the precipitancy and complete inability of the Filipino Police as well as the total irresponsibility plus ridiculous bureaucracy and numbness of the Filipino Government.

Let us have a deep silence for those unfortunate people whom originally their lives should not be lost and would us bless for them to rest in peace in the heaven.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Re-published: My Original DSLR Exposure Measurbation Page and Tests

Since I cut my Yahoo Web Hosting service (which sucked!) and my old pages were removed, I have managed to re-publish them one by one (at the AtSpace.com, which I think is so far so good for its service provided and its reliability and is truly Free)..

I think this would be my last old page for re-publication, which is also my first publicly published homepage with the very first serious articles of mine, mainly on the metering/exposure accuracy and measurbations on DSLRs (Pentax *ist D and DS mostly), here it is!


And, I think the following article and page should also be read, which provides some basic concepts on exposure accurate and compensation for novices, by doing a simple experiment followed by some technical analyses:-


Enjoy! I do hope that these are still useful nowadays although the DSLR models I tested are just so old and too outdated by now. :-)

Follow-up on a New K-5 and K-R Rumour

See: http://digicame-info.com/2010/08/k-5k-r-1.html
(in Japanese, a better machine-translated English page here)

It is mentioned that the information provider is "Mr. Red", who correctly gave the blog author accurate information about the NEX before the official announcement. And that the name of K-R is given in capital letter for the R, not a small one (which might be a typo anyway).

So, now we would have two new Pentax DSLRs, as previously rumoured about two weeks ago.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My First Camera

The Canonet QL17 GIII is my first camera. After that, I acquired a Pentax SLR. The NEX is my most recently acquired camera (but it should not be the last, unless I die tomorrow! ;-)).

For these decades, each of my cameras took many photos for me. The photos contain many memories of my life and all my cameras are deeply associated with my memories. Of course, my memories are not photos only and I have indeed lost/got damaged quite some of my old films or even prints over years but my memories are still there. Anyway, photos can refresh the fading memories in a good way, as always.

Nowadays, sometimes I do find that we just take too many photos and the photos are just not as treasurable as what they did when they were rare. And yes, the Image Quality has tremendously been improved, but just to think it in another way: So What? :-o :-)


The World First / Pentax First: My (Obsolete) Pentax Collection

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cameras, Photos and Memories - As Time Goes By..


A very touching video with sorrow! But, that's LIFE!

N.B. "昔からある場所" means "the Old Place".

Update: All the video clips of the song are removed at the YouTube owing to copyright claims by the Sony Music. You can still view those at the Chinese "YouTube" site of YouKu, here is one (A random Ad in about ten seconds will be played in the beginning for the first time to play):-


Mr. Pentaxian Has Decided to "Move On". Who Will be the Next?

Further to the acquisition of the D700 and new Nikkors, Lance B, the once (and one and only one) official "Pentaxian of the Year" has decided to "move on" just a few hours ago so that he can continue his LBA and expand his Nikkor lineup and Nikon system further and better:-


Somehow, I feel for Lance. When LBA cannot be cured within the Pentaxland as there is no more new offer nor breakthrough of any (no matter it is about lenses or bodies), what can one Pentaxian do?

Now, at least, Lance can continue to take new medicine from Nikon to cure his LBA (which actually can never be completely cured, I believe!). And in fact, Nikon has opened up a new world for him to expand his system/lineup and graduate to another level as a gear collector/hobbyist! (which is Nothing related to the (skill) level of a photographer, though! ;-))

Read Also:-

It's Time to Seriously Think Again about the Future of Pentax.. Really.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NEX Designers' Stories

Here is the official interviews and article for the stories:-


Interesting.. (and it seems that Sony's designers are younger than those of Pentax!)

Nikon D3100 and 4 New Nikkors are There! Pentax?

Just read the official announcements at the DPR:-


The Nikon D3100 and 4 new Nikkor lenses are announced. The new Nikkors are all Full Frame lenses.

The D3100 is using the "new" Sony 14M CMOS sensor, which should be the same one used in the NEXes (which is not bad in performance and IQ from my own experience with my NEX).

So, whilst a folk has just reminded me that Pentax just hasn't shown their cards whilst others do, may I just ask: Pentax, it's your take NOW! Show us your cards in hands!! Don't let us Pentaxians just see that you only have a Tile 3 but nothing else in the end!!!

Nevertheless, the development of new lenses in Pentaxland has been rather pathetic in recent years. How many new Pentax lenses have been introduced since the DA lens roadmap and introduction of new DA lenses had been ceased since early 2009, I have to ask? One? One Only if those Kit Zooms are not counted?? Are you kidding, Hoya?? And, how many old Pentax lenses have been discontinued during the period? Ten and more? (at least for some countries and places..)

Last News:-

New Wave of Sony Alpha DSLRs Coming! Pentax?

Reports on the DA 17-70 SDM Issue and Failure Continue..

This is one of the few "SDM Only" lenses with a "KAF3" lens mount, but its reliability is still in question for a long time since marketed, for a long time already. Here is yet a latest user report on the AF (SDM) failure of the lens:-


In fact, there have been quite a number of previous failure reports, by different users/owners of the lens, for example:-


One of the above users has actually switched, he sold all his Pentax stuff except the 3 FA Limited, including his new K-7 body which has just been purchased in April, just owing to the SDM failure case of his DA 17-70, which was his standard zoom that he purchased together with his K-7.

The above story once reminds us that the never-cured SDM issue and the negative attitude of Pentax/Hoya (actually lack of remedial action and response of any!) actually hurt Pentax (and of course the victim users, needless to say). People will not wait for a solution from Pentax anymore, what they do to resolve the problem by themselves is to switch! :-( (And they voted with their feet!)

Once again, as a timely reminder, I still encourage you to participate in the following SDM petition, although I bet it will be useless and never receive any attention/response from Pentax Imaging/Pentax/Hoya at the end of the days! >:-{

The SDM Petition Online

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Wave of Sony Alpha DSLRs Coming! Pentax?

Photo Rumors confirms about the key specs of the four upcoming Sony DSLRs, namely, A55, A33, A560 and A580, which will probably be announced very soon (by August 24 or 28, according to some other rumours).

Yet, here is yet a latest rumour post (in Traditional Chinese) about the detailed specs, actual performance and selling price of the A55, of which the tone used seems to be quite firm. If what are told are really true, I think the A55 is really a very interesting D"SLR":-

Sony Alpha A55:
- 1670MP APS-C CMOS sensor, ISO 100-25600
- 15-point AF-system, 5 with crossed sensors
- Strong Nikon alike "3D Tracking" continuous AF
- Fixed Pellicle Type Mirror with Electronic Viewfinder (not Optical!) That's a new method of Live View anyway!
- Very high-resolution EVF
- 10 FPS continuous shooting rate
- Support AF during video recording
- Very low image noise (The author said that the noise level of ISO 6400 of A55 is close to that of ISO 400 of the A900!! Really?)
- Improved AF speed and performance with SSM
- Used same type of Lithium rechargeable battery as the NEXes
- Selling price about US$900-1000

Well, by the way, whilst Sony seems to try very hard to come back, where is Pentax? When will they respond?? What will they offer after all???

Update (8-19): Product Photos of the A55 and A33 are leaked (by the same poster)!

(in Traditional Chinese)

The rotating monitor is really interesting, but yet it doesn't look bulky! Nice~ The A55/33 is not large in size btw, which is also very nice. Just see this latest comparison via another post at the DCHome:-

However, do note that the A55/33 is actually a new type of EVIL, but not true optical DSLR btw.

Update (8-23): Thanks to Din for providing the new comment below, we've got this interesting comparison:-

Oh, the A33/55 is really smaaalll! Nice~ Good Job, Sony!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

IDLC ISO Shootout & Group Test by Serious Compacts

Here is an ISO group test amongst the NEX-5, NX10, GF-1, EP-L1, EP-2, G2 and GH1, done by the Serious Compacts.com:-


Well, I think the results coincide much with my own conclusions drawn from my own tests made (and published here) previously. In general, the bigger is better for the sensor but the Samsung is not much better here (but it is still slightly better btw).

Read Also:-

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

Summary Matrix for Equipment Tests and Reviews

Japanese DSLR/IDLC Top 10 Sellers for July 2010

Last time I talked about the results of June for the Japanese home market and made some quick analyses. Similarly, the results of July has been out from the BCN, here it is:-

(in Japanese, Google translation to English here)

A quick review on the brand share are as follows:

July Results and Share
June Results
Pentax (Hoya)

The top-selling models are the same as June. Well, the K-x is still there, but now appears as the last one in the list. In fact, the model is aging, as it will soon to be one-year old and is due for replacement, indeed. Moreover, I bet that the 12MP Sony sensor used in the K-x (and D90 and D5000 as well) will get replaced very soon and this sensor will become history by the end of this year.

European Camera and Lens (EISA) Awards 2010-11, Pentax Wins..

.. Nothing!

See: http://www.eisa.eu/awards/3/photo.html (N.B. Content of this page is updated every year!)

Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Samsung, Sigma and Tamron are all there, except Pentax!

IMHO, these awards are selected in a way that every brand could appear as the winner(s) for different categories as far as possible, already! :-o

Last Related News:-

TIPA Awards 2010 Announced

Saturday, August 14, 2010

NEX-3 Vs K-x Full ISO Shootout (Controlled Test)

Test Methodology and Conditions:-

1. The two cameras were fine tuned and set as close as possible for everything including the colour/tone response, focal length and frame composition, aperture value, exposure values, noise reduction level and so on..;

2. The test shots were taken at the same place, with the same lighting (diffused daylight indoor), at almost the same time, at the same position, on a sturdy tripod;

3. Detailed settings of the NEX-3 are as follows: "Landscape" colour/tone mode (-1, 0, -1), Spot metering, Contrast Detection Auto-Focus with single central AF point, 2 sec. Self-timer, Av mode at f/8, focal length at 45mm, Noise Reduction=Weak, EXIF data preserved;

4. Detailed settings of the K-x as follows: "Portrait" colour/tone mode (-1, 0, 0, 0, 0), Live View mode, Spot metering, Contrast Detection Auto-Focus with single central AF point, 2 sec. Self-timer, Av mode at f/8, focal length at 45mm, Noise Reduction=Weak, EXIF data preserved;

5. All lens correction and DR range/exposure "enhancement" features were turned off for both cameras;

6. Click on any of the thumbnails below will open an enlarged view in about 4,000 pixels in width in a new tab/window, where you can measurbate different pictures in the same viewing size endlessly! ;-)

Okay, let's go!



Enjoy! And, would the new Sony 14M sensor blow the old Sony 12M sensor out of the water for the image quality and noise control? Well, you are the one to find out yourself! I blog, you decide! :-)

Last but not least, I hope you folks just don't and won't spend/waste too much time for measurbation instead of going out to take some photographs! ;-D

Read Also:-

My NEX Sample Photos Gallery

Sony NEX-5 VS Pentax K-x ISO/IQ Shootout (Dual Scenes)

Summary Matrix for Equipment Tests and Reviews

Friday, August 13, 2010

Is the K-Mount a Modded Nikon F-Mount? ;-)

Go through this thread:-


Surprise again?! :-o Interesting enough? :-)

Read Also:-

Camera Mounts & Registers

Is the Sony E-Mount a Modded K-Mount?(!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is the Sony E-Mount a Modded K-Mount?(!)

There is no body cap nor rear lens cap bundled in the box for all NEX kit sets sold in Hong Kong (except that there is one lens rear cap for the twin lens kits). And there has not been any 3rd party (Chinese made) caps on sales for the NEX yet. As such, one has to order from Sony HK if he/she want a cap, no matter it is the rear one or for the body, which is a real annoyance IMO. How much does such a crappy piece of plastic costs actually? Why Sony HK needs to create all those unnecessary troubles to their customers (and for their staff as well)?

So, I just "nonsensically" tried my other lens and body caps of different mounts and brands to see if they would fit. To my surprise, the K-mount lens caps do fit well for the Sony E-mount lens!

Here it is:-

In fact, I've found that the width of space from the mount flange to the bayonet petals are almost identical. So, the lens cap does fit very well and tight when "mounted". I have also tried EF and micro-4/3 ones, but there is no luck and they do not fit in any ways, completely.

However, a more careful inspection will reveal that the mounted Pentax lens cap is actually slightly de-centred, which I suspect is caused by a minor difference in the inner diameters between the mounts.

To compare the outer and inner diameters of the E-mount against the K-mount, I put a semi-transparent original Pentax body cap onto my NEX body:-

Well, it can be seen that the outer and inner diameters are almost the same! The Pentax body cap does NOT fit the NEX body though, as it has more depth.

So, all these coincidences are just interesting, aren't they?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sales / Brand Market Share of System Cameras Worldwide in FYs 2007 to 2010

Read the following, which the table and its remarks underneath plus the opening post are all clearly self-explanatory. The source of information is cited to be from JP Morgan:-


For easy reading and reference, the table picture is directly linked:-

Well, Pentax's share is actually declining for the worldwide total sales, from 5.2%, in 2007 down to 2.9% lately in 2010 (there is a slight rise of 0.4% from 2009, though), with the fact that Olympus is doing better and that Panasonic is coming ahead.

I believe that the above data and results will end any further arguments about the market share of Pentax worldwide and that there is no need to argue again that "Japan is Not equal to the Whole World"! In fact, Pentax is just doing better at Japan than they could at the rest of the World!

For all related news, read this Tag and link:-

http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/search/label/Finance and Sales

Read Also:-

It's Time to Seriously Think Again about the Future of Pentax.. Really.

Monday, August 09, 2010

My NEX Sample Photos Gallery (36 Original Images Available)

Here are 36 samples (exactly one roll of "longer" 135 film :-)), at the following gallery:-


Click on any of the thumbnails in the above gallery will open a large default view of each picture, in 4,000 pixels in width, with all EXIF data preserved.

If you want to measurbate further and in full depth, you can still download the original pictures under the "download"->"high res image" menu item per picture page, where you can get the original, full-size and un-retouched images. Do note that all images were produced directly out of the camera at full resolution in finest Jpeg.

Whilst a full review of my NEX would follow, you can first judge on the image quality (noise, resolution/image details, etc.), lens quality (sharpness/resolution/contrast/bokeh etc.), colour response and accuracy, skin tone rendition, white balance reliability, moire and level of anti-aliasing, focusing accuracy, metering/exposure accuracy, dynamic range, flash usability and so on..

All in all, I found that my NEX is actually a very good camera, it has high image quality and favourable/accurate colour response (after proper setting of the colour/brightness profile: I use "Landscape" with Contrast and Sharpness both at -1 (Saturation yet kept at Zero)) and in general high accuracy and acceptable system performance that I require. I have never been able to be so relaxed with such minimal burden for travelling but yet with maximum portability and such higher level of image quality and usability at low light that I can get since I went digital (DSLR). Really Nice~

Last but not least, just mind that all photos of mine are copyright and all rights are reserved.

Read Also:-

NEX-5/3 First Practical Impressions and Quick Review

My Ten Reasons to Buy the NEX-3 Over the NEX-5! :-o

Sony NEX-5 VS Pentax K-x ISO/IQ Shootout (Dual Scenes)

My 550D Samples Gallery and Full Review

My K-x Full Review and Samples

My K-m Full Review and Samples

Summary Matrix for Equipment Tests and Reviews