Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I am Back!

You may notice that I have not updated my Blog for a whole week. You may think that there is no more special news on the Pentax side, which is somehow true but then more because I've been just way too busy in the last week for a business trip at France, for both business matters and some sight-seeing also afterwards. Actually, I am still at Paris de Gualle right now waiting for a late mid-night flight back to Hong Kong. It is just too boring for the time being but would see if I'd have the mood to select some photos taken in the trip for posting later. So, please come back! :-)

Besides, I noticed that now Google had mirrored my Blog site at each larger country in the world for better traffic management and share the loading of their servers. For example, here at France the URL is ricehigh.blogspot.fr instead of ricehigh.blogspot.com as before. The original site domain is now simply used for forwarding in other countries other than the US, where most readers of mine are based.

Dust in the Screen! (Not Wind ;-))


Honestly telling you, my DA Limited lenses had even more dust in them when they were born! So, just don't look at them, my humble advice!

K-01 DxOMark Has Been Out



So, theoretically K-01 is close to the K-5 in IQ but still it is not there. Nonetheless , I just wonder if one would see any practical difference in real world for what are measured. On the other hand, some other different characteristics may be easier to be spotted by the users, e.g., the different colour rendition and tendency.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Forced NR and Over-sharpened Images of 5D3

Read these two experiments here and here (Google translated) (by the same person) and it is verified that the Noise Reduction of the 5D3 is actually always applied regardless of the NR setting and that the default "sharpness" is far over-sharpened than what the 5D2 and 7D did! :-(

I'm afraid that Canon now goes down the same route as Nikon for being heavily tasted and RAW isn't really raw enough anymore but much cooked instead! >:-|

D800 Vs 5D3 Vs 5D2 ISO Shootout

Posted at DC Fever:-

(in Traditional Chinese)

It seems that the 5D3 wins in this particular test.

Nikon D800 - New King of DxOMark with the Highest Score of 95!


Via Digicame-Info (Japanese)

There is also an useful quick comparison table for comparing other FF DSLRs for their DxOMarks and sub-scores.

Actually, the DxOMark and sub-scores of the D800 exceed even those of the 645D! :-o

Read Also:-

IR Measurbation: 645D Vs D800

645D DxOMark is Out

New DA Limited Lens Tests at DxO

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hong Kong Flower Show 2012

The show was too crowded with people, so as the photo gear. Actually, I think it is more a camera show than flowers', despite that there are also many "seas of flowers".

I was seeing many people brought a lot of gear of theirs to the show, e.g., bringing several bodies plus a dozen of lenses and/or along with more than two tripods plus monopod, which just looked quite amazing and amusing to me! :-o On the other hand, there are also some other beginners and casual shooters who only had some simple and basic equipment. I am not a beginner, but I was just too lazy to bring just only my K-5 with a DFA 100 Macro lens attached, along with a NEX-3 with a E30 Macro mounted, so that I could have a wider view without the need of changing lenses when it was needed.

I was taking all my photos somehow in a hurry manner but not in a great mood, as there were too many people. Still, I would share some of my Pentax photos in the following album. Enjoy!~


(Or to view the Slideshow Here)

Retro ILC War: X-Pro1 Vs E-M5


(in Traditional Chinese, Google English Translation Here)

So, who wins and for what? Go figure out yourself! And, original pictures of the shootout tests are available for download. Just click on the "ori" links.

Unboxing: K-5 Silver SE with DA40 XS Silver

@ the Mapcamera:-

(in Japanese)

Last Story:-

When "Limited" is Not Limited Anymore..

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The P-TTL of the K-01 is even More Pathetic? (Or Is It the Silly Ambient Light Metering Instead?)

Read this latest K-01 user report (at the DPR) and it is soon learnt that the on-board P-TTL was doing a bad job for the daylight fill flash, everything is washed out seriously:-

The user then told that the camera was put in Full Auto. With an Auto ISO of 200 chosen (by the camera) together with an aperture of f/5.6, I don't think the result should turn out to be as poor as that, as for the flash settings. However, the 1/60s Tv seems to be rather low if the scene was actually brighter (if it was near the sunny-16 brightness, say). So, it might be the new super multi-segment "intelligent" ambient light meter (now under full Live View mode) has been fooled and went nuts and overexposed the scene so that almost the whole frame was burnt. Otherwise, once again the K-01 onboard P-TTL flash is really Pathetic, which could be even worse than the one found on our Pentax DSLRs! :-o

After all, the infamous Pathetic-TTL problem of Pentax will never end, as it seems to be! >:-[

Useless K-01 "Preview" at Dpreview

Just for the sake of reporting the news, I write this post. But the preview won't give us any new information and everything it presents is well known. Btw, the link is still included below but I suggest that you'd better skip this in order to save some time of yours! (This is at least my own feeling after going through it!)


The camera is a pre-production unit as told and there is not even any beta sample, not even one! Well, we knew that the K-01 has been marketed worldwide for weeks already but DPR guys still get the beta unit in their hands? Pardon? What's Pentax UK doing? Or, DPR has just been too lazy to give it a trial before they have finally decided to publish such an useless report until today, "Just"?! >:-(

Read Previous K-01 Reviews by Others (to See the Differences):-

Steve Huff's Full Review on the K-01

K-01 "Unboxing" at Mapcamera with Some Samples (Large but Not Full)

New Pentax Reviews for K-01 and 645D

K-01 1st look by Steve Huff (Video Review)

Another K-01 1st Review with a Few Full Samples

A Production K-01 Vs K-5 JPEG/ISO Shootout Test (Re-Tested)

Posting Rules for Making Blog Comments (Updated)

I have been hoping everyone who posts here is self-disciplined and as an adult, everyone should know what should be done and what shouldn't and what are the right things and what are wrong. But yet I could still see quite some repeated uncivilised comments by some individuals with name-callings/personal attacks or even foul languages in their replies posted at the "Comments" section. Nevertheless, a large number of those have automatically been caught by the IntenseDebate system by default, as those words are clearly not allowed for most sites and by common standards.

After all, I do hope that anyone here can enjoy the highest degree of freedom in providing his/her opinions, which are to be expressed freely. Particularly, this ideal of mine can be achieved easily here as I have no commercial nor money interest of any at my this pure hobby site. In fact, as many people could see, I often have greatest tolerance to people who jumped on me and I did not lose my temper and still replied to them with due respect and good manners and still let their comments remained unless they were really over the top.

What I want to tell is that I shall continue to insist my basic principles above and all I want is to keep a site at where all we Pentaxians can share our opinions and anything about Pentax, with the greatest degree of freedom in speech but everyone is hopefully to be self-disciplined and with due respect to each other. In this connection, I post the rules here which are copied from another blog of mine. Indeed, all those are very trivial and are the most basic things. Anyway, here they are:-

Posting Rules at RiceHigh's Pentax Blog

1. You have to write on-topicly according to the topic of each Blog post;

2. You bear all the responsibilities and liabilities personally by yourself for what you wrote;

3. Be civilised and human. Don't write in offensive language and in particular no foul language nor personal attack/name calling are allowed;

4. In case of any dispute that may arise, I reserve the rights of final judgement and the rights of settlement by whatever means as deemed necessary and appropriate;

5.* Please don't try to SPAM this site. If you have your point(s) to raise. Make it clear for only a limited number of times but NOT to REPEAT it *endlessly* in a way that all the replies are yours but actually with the same repeated viewpoint(s) in all of your replies within a short period but without anything new;

6.* Using Nickname in replying is welcome and that's actually how the Internet works. However, please don't try to use different nicknames, pretend and reply consecutively as I don't think this is ethical or at least
honest enough - My humble advice;

7. Rules will be reviewed periodically and are subject to change accordingly as deemed necessary;

8. Everyone who posts here hereby agrees with the above rules and should be bound by them. In case of anyone who violates any of the aforesaid rules, I reserve the rights to edit/delete the comment(s) and/or temporarily or permanently ban the user.

*Newly Added; Last Updated: March 22, 2012.


Pentax Fanboys' Club! (New Blog)

Blog Disclaimer

Compatibility of DA Lenses on Full Frame

In the course of studying the possibility of a Full Frame Pentax DSLR system and how ready the current Pentax lens system (i.e., the DA lineup) would be, I have done an extensive research to find out most of the relevant information in the Internet that have been there so far, as well as to do some tests on my own, all of which are summarised as below:-

DA PrimeCompatible? (Yes/No)Reason for No
DA 14/2.8NoDark Circle, Sample Shot Here
DA 15/4 LimitedNoDark Circle
DA 21/3.2 LimitedNoDark Circle
DA 35/2.4Yes, Sample Shots Here and Here (Mine)-
DA 35/2.8 MacroNoHeavy Vignetting
DA 40/2.8 LimitedYes-
DA 40/2.8 XSYes, Sample Shots Here and Here (Mine)
DA 50/1.8Yes, Samples Here
DA* 55/1.4Yes-
DA 70/2.4 LimitedYes, Sample Shots Here and Here (Mine)-
DA* 200/2.8Yes, Sample Shots Here-
DA* 300/4Yes, Sample Shot Here-
DA 560/5.6No, Sample Shots HereHeavy Vignetting at F5.6

DA ZoomCompatible? (Yes/No)Reason for No
DA 10-17/3.5-4.5NoDark Circle to Heavy Vignetting from 10 to 14mm
DA 12-24/4NoDark Circle to Heavy Vignetting from 12 to 16mm
DA 16-45/4NoDark Circle to Heavy Vignetting from 16 to 20mm
DA* 16-50/2.8NoDark Circle for the Whole Zoom Range, Sample Shots Here
DA 17-70/4NoDark Circle for the Whole Zoom Range
DA 18-55/3.5-5.6NoDark Circle to Heavy Vignetting from 18 to 28mm, see Sample Shots Here
DA 18-250/3.5-6.3NoDark Circle for the Whole Zoom Range
DA* 50-135/2.8NoHeavy Vignetting from 50 to 100mm
DA 50-200/4-5.6NoDark Circle for the Whole Zoom Range
DA 55-300/4-5.8NoDark Circle or Vignetting Below 200mm
DA* 60-250/4NoHeavy Vignetting from 85 to 250mm, see Sample Shots Here

So, there are five primes and one zoom that can be "used". And, not any of the wider DA lenses can be used. But it seems that Pentax has lately decided that their new DA lenses should be made to be Full Frame compatible as the latest DA zoom, the DA 55-300, has shown to be usable on Full Frame. The newer DA* 60-250, unlike other DA tele zooms, has an image circle covers Full Frame also, although the vignetting is serious from 135mm and onwards.

As Pentax has stopped updating their DA lens roadmap since March, it also seems that some important lens lineup revisions are in progress. I hope that they are actually planning for the Full Frame, from all signs that can be seen so far (and also this unconfirmed "leaked" lens roadmap as well).

Nevertheless, do note that when it is "compatible" it just means there is no dark circle nor heavy/obvious vignetting. However, whether the image quality at the image corners are yet acceptable to good would be somehow subjective as using a DA lens on Full Frame is surely not officially tested and guaranteed (at least up to this moment).

Original References (Now More Reference Links are Added/Quoted in the Above):-

http://forum.xitek.com/showthread.php?threadid=489970 (Simplified Chinese)

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=733914 (Simplified Chinese)
http://info.xitek.com/product/200906/12-20723.html (Simplified Chinese)




Disclaimer: Not all the data contained in the above reference links are totally verified by myself and thus there is no guarantee of any after all !

My advice is to be more conservative for those reports in the above links that there is not any sample photo to support the claims, e.g., when both xitek reports tell that the DA 18-55 has no vignetting and is usable starting from 23mm, my own actual shooting test shows that at 28mm, there is still obvious vignetting, which is clearly shown in my sample photos posted. All in all, I am afraid those "testers" were either using a DA lens on a film body but *just* looking through the viewfinder to verify before they told (but they'd forgot that the finders are mostly not 100% in coverage!) or that they were shooting negative and just viewed the final prints (which are not 100% coverage neither) and then came up with their conclusions too early! :-o :-(

[First Posted: October 17, 2009; Last Updated: February 17, 2013]



Compatibility List of Some Pentax Full Frame Lenses on Canon 5D Body

DA40 XS Lens Tested on Film

Thanks to Frank (aka Fengwei), who has carried out this test with the lens mounted on his MZ-S with film a bit earlier, we could know that this XS lens is actually completely full frame compatible!


I think he has done a good job which is beneficial to the Pentax community. After all, I consider his this quick test to be useful and valuable since no one has checked this and published the result before.

Furthermore, I would like to take this chance to make an apology to Frank as the last time I was mistaken that he was a camera dealer and that he had been breaking the Pentax NDAs for times which he had agreed and signed and subsequently he felt offended for what I'd supposed. Now, provided that for what he has declared here for the last time is true, possibly he is just a super die-hard Pentax fans and keen supporter who has bought almost every Pentax new item ever released these years such that the dealer could leak every new product information to him and let him play with all those beta units. Nonetheless, I still believe that the dealer broke the signed Pentax NDA for so many times these years then. But never mind, as Frank has also pointed out, this is not the fault of him as he has never signed any agreement with Pentax, which I agree. After all, it's always good for us to learn those leaks, only if there exists people like Frank, and his "brave" dealer as well! ;-D

Okay, let's talk back about the implication of the test result, i.e., the XS lens actually covers full frame. There are two possibilities for why's that: 1. Pentax has been too lazy and/or cost conscious to re-design the lens for APS-C and they just opted to use an existing old optical design of them and just re-packaged it so as to make it smaller, lighter and thin; and/or 2. They do really plan for the Full Frame in the Future!

Besides, I have done back a quick technical comparison between the specs of DA40 Limited and that of the XS lens. It seems that both of them are 5 glass elements in 4 groups and the maximum magnification / minimum focusing distance are exactly the same. As it is now also verified that the XS lens is also having a full 135 image circle, the chance of the same optical formula is employed is actually quite high.

Last but not least, my ever-updating summary about the full frame compatibility of DA lenses has been updated in conjunction.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Full Frame Review and Samples (of 5D3 and D4, Respectively)

Mobile01's 5D3 1st Look:-

(in Traditional Chinese, Google Translation Here)

This review is quite useful IMO, it demonstrates most of the new features of the 5D3 and how they could be different, as compared to the 5D2 and amongst different modes - watch those embedded videos. Furthermore, there are many original full samples for download.

Next, we have a new set of D4 sample pics at the DC Fever. There are "tons" of full samples and they are hot and new!


It's time to measurbate and then decide that if the 16MP D4 pics are actually "much" better than those produced by the K-5, which are actually in the same pixel count.

The Hoax Continues? Pentax K-z?

Further to the last story, the rumour continues!

Via: Photo Rumors.

But, the grammar is still wrong! The word "colors" should be "color" this time, in order to make it correct, as noun adjective should be singular! :-o Moreover, the word "select" is not a noun. As such, if it is used as a verb, it should be placed at the beginning!

It seems that someone has just read my last comment and intentionally added back the "s" but he has not been aware that it is yet incorrect in this case!

Nonetheless, if this is really true but not a hoax, those Pentax marketing guys should really go back to primary schools to re-learn the ABC of English and grammar! :-o And, in Germany, I'm afraid that they have to create another name for the same camera, too, as KZ simply means Concentration Camp over there! :-o

Update (3-22):-

Just seen this new post by Adam, owner of the Pentax Forums:-


It is told that "more details about this will be revealed tomorrow...".

Now, I believe that this new camera should be real. It is because it has already been quite a long time for Adam for working closely with Pentax as well as other business partners like B&H and other camera dealers. As such, he could be considered as an insider essentially and his words about unrevealed new Pentax stuff could be treated more seriously.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New K-01 User Samples Start to Appear at the Japanese Photoble


Most photos were made with the new 40mm XS lens. More and more photos are being uploaded to the server. Happy and endless measurbations to go! ;-) Feel free to comment on the IQ, colours of images and whatsoever!


Pentax K-01 Samples - A Flickr Set

New DA Limited Lens Tests at DxO


The direct lens test pages for the pancakes are as follows:-

SMC DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

SMC DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited

SMC DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

SMC DA 70mm F2.4 Limited

Well, the results of those wider lenses are not that good. I have the DA21 and 70 pancakes and would agree that resolution wise the DA21 is really not "sharp" enough but it is not that worst neither, IMHO.

Note also that the T-stop measurement and scoring (which affects the overall test score) is not completely fair to all those Pentax Limited primes, which are known to be slow actually, for what they were meant to, i.e., for the compact and lightweight design.

K-5 Vs NEX-3 IQ Shootout (Same Lens, Same Scene, Different Bodies/Sensors)

1. K-5 image - DA21 lens, ISO 100, 1/250s, f/6.7, Natural/Saturation +1, Fine Sharpness 0, AWB, autofocus (checked with both PMAF and LV CDAF - same focus point there!), resized to 3,999 pixels in width, EXIF preserved:-

(Click to Enlarge in a New Tab/Window)

2. NEX-3/5 image - DA21 lens, ISO 200, 1/500s, f/6.7, Landscape/Contrast -1, Sharpness 0, AWB, manual focus w/ peaking at/from 1X to 7X and then 14X, resized to 3,999 pixels in width, EXIF preserved:-

(Click to Enlarge in a New Tab/Window)

P.S. The scene was actually with warm sunlight from the left hand side when the time was near early evening. The NEX image turned out to be a bit too yellowish for the whole frame than my eyes could see whilst the K-5 one is just too white for the buildings and a bit too blue for the rest.

Pentax K-g? (Hoax, I Believe)

Photo Rumors have posted this, for someone sent them in the "secret":-

But I don't think that it is true and do believe that it is just a hoax. It doesn't make any sense at all to make a product like this, nor, it is really impractical for manufacturing and neither for sales. And, the fashion K-mount body is the K-01 in the meantime. They really do NOT need another body to compete with the K-01 amongst themselves nor they really have the resources to maintain so many product lines especially for the same market segment! Finally, the blurred name looks like "K-g", which is yet another obvious big non-sense! >:-o And, if they are going to market such a colourful camera, why the final image of it is yet in full GREY? (which can yet be clearly seen despite that it is blurred.)

Update: This is obvious FAKE! Because there exists an obvious grammatical mistake, also! All the words "color" should be read as "colors"! Yet to verify this error, I've just checked the old official K-r page at the Pentax Japanese home, it is confirmed that they just didn't make such an obvious and careless mistake!

So, Case Closed! Someone just had nothing better to do and tried to fool all of us via the PR! Really Disgusting! >:-|

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Japanese Pentax Gear Photo Page

This is impressive. Photos are grouped by Pentax lenses in use. The photos, by no means, are for pixel peeping and sole measurbation purpose. They are *photos* in small size that are for appreciation, only! :-)

(in Japanese)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Steve Huff's Full Review on the K-01


And a discussion thread and reactions can be seen here:-


Last Related:-

K-01 1st look by Steve Huff (Video Review)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pentax K-01 Samples - A Flickr Set


Many of which were made with the new 40mm XS lens. View and judge yourself on the IQ and characteristics. Colour saturation seems a bit too high to my like and maybe this is the root cause of the colour cast in many of the K-01 photos that I've seen so far. Large images are available but they are yet not full sized.

Update (3-18): Thanks to Blog reader eighter, here is the link to the Flickr K-01 user group and samples:-



New K-01 User Samples Start to Appear at the Japanese Photoble

K-01 "Unboxing" at Mapcamera with Some Samples (Large but Not Full)


The image sharpness is good but the colour rendition is not that natural and with a strong feel of colour cast for those daylight shots.

K-01 is a DSLR?? (It's Official!!)

Saw this unboxing post (in Chinese) and the product label underneath the camera body has really shocked me, for what it is shown:-

It states "Pentax Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera K-01"!?? This is really a big joke! I just wonder what's the intention of Pentax for making (up) this and it is certain that Pentax should not be so silly and naive in making such an obvious mistake! >:-| Should they?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

5D III User Manual Found Online (Simplified Chinese Version)


(Note: Large file, in about 36MB!)

English version has not been found yet. Nevertheless, if you are interested and if you can read Chinese, go download and find out all the details by yourself.

Update (3-16): The English version of the manual can be downloaded here, via Planet 5D Blog.

IR Measurbation: 645D Vs D800

The new D800 measurbation samples have been out at the IR, now we can use their "comparometer" to measurbate and "compare" endlessly!


Choose 645D and the D800, the match begins, for a few examples (Click on the following to view samplein full size in new tab/window):-

645D, ISO 100, 75mm, f/8

D800, ISO 100, 70mm, f/8

645D, ISO 800, 75mm, f/8

D800, ISO 800, 70mm, f/8

Now, I can safely conclude that the 645D is endangered! At less than 1/3rd of the cost of a 645D, the D800 actually lives up quite well to the 645, despite that I think the 645D images are still slightly better in IQ at *low* ISOs. Needless to say more about the rich feature set, better portability and much higher system performance of the D800.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A More Realistic Approach to Tackle with the Finderless/Pentaxless Trend of Pentax!

Since the Q and now the K-01, it seems that the Finderless and Pentaxless direction of Pentax is clear and could not be stopped! >:-o ;-D

So, what can those Pentax users do, if they still want to invest in those new bodies? Well, first see this DIY cheap solution!

A somewhat detailed discussion thread can also be found here at the PF:-


So, this is an end product for what a Q user successfully made:-

Do note that the finder must be matched in the Angle/Field of View (AoV/FoV) with the lens in use for its effective focal.

Well, there are other choices off the shelves, amongst them are designed and built for different AoV, I tabulate a quick summary of those which are currently on the market:-

Effective AoV in 135 Equivalent
Estimated Cost (US$)
Ricoh GV-1 for GRD21mm (w/ 28mm Frame)$259
Samsung Hotshoe-mount* EA-OVF1 for EX1
*Widely Reported to be Larger in Size than Standard, Samsung is Really Funny!
Panasonic DMW-VF1 for LX3/5
Sigma VF-11 for DP1/S/X
Nikon NH-VF2828mm
Ricoh GV-2 for GRD3/428mm
Olympus VF-1
Leica OVF for X1
Fotoman Zoom Finders for Medium Formats (Two Models)39-100mm / 60-140mm
Pentax O-VF1

Okay, my research would better end here. Nonetheless, even if the Pentax Q/K-01 users buy all of the above, has the problem been resolved completely? :-o If anyone still finds that the above are just too expensive and/or useless, they could also consider this:-

Simple Solution to the Lack of Viewfinder of the K-01!

Whilst it is really cheap enough, the image coverage will be lowered with the use of the this accessory as the LCD display image is magnified and a bulky thing is added, too!

At the end of the day, I am asking again: WHY all these troubles?!! >:-{

Bug Report: Repeatable K-01 Crash

Via: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxS9tszVRpA

Further to what Steve Huff found and reported last time, it seems that the K-01 is not stable enough as a production version, hardware and/or software wise. In the above case, the K-01 has become a torch with green LED light! :-o Undoubtedly, Pentax should roll out a new firmware soonest and hopefully all the reported problems could be eliminated completely - but only if those are not a hardware related issue. Otherwise, if it is just like the infamous K-r tungsten (yellow light) front focusing issue which is most likely to be a hardware design latent defect, it can never be cured via firmware update till the end of the days! >:-[

After all, I think this bug is an obvious oversight by Pentax, they just forgot that there exists some old Pentax FA* and F* glass are equipped with a quick AF/MF clutch for quick switching! Btw, I really doubt that if they ever bothered to find some old *users* (I meant real ones but not merchants!) to beta test their new cameras, or they have just roughly skipped the beta testing step and procedure! >:-(

Recent Pentax Product Show at Taipei (K-01 Focused)

Via: http://www.postants.com/article-347-1.html (in Traditional Chinese)

And two related video clips of the show at YouTube:-

It seems that the Pentax sole sales agent at Taiwan has been doing a better job than the Pentax local branch companies themselves elsewhere in the world in promoting the brand and new products! :-o

Last Related:-

K-01 Now Becomes Fashion Accessory!

Do They Look Alike? :-o

(Credit: Jimmy Yen's Blog, in Traditional Chinese)

(Credit: Pentax Ricoh Imaging America)

The 1973 Oly Pen has solar and metering (light receiving) cells surrounding the lens whilst the Pentax WG-1/2 has Light Emitting Diode (LED) surrounding the lens. Nevertheless, do they look quite alike for the design appearance and outlook?

Read Also:-

My Take (Tick) on the WG-1 GPS! ;-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sony A57 is Announced

See the official feature highlights and full specifications here:-


The sensor is the same one used in the K-5 and K-01. It has a fine and large EVF with 100% coverage as EVF is actually the policy of Sony. Furthermore, the Full HD 1080p at 60 frames (per second) capability should be noted. As usual, Sony SLT is able to continuous auto-focusing and track the subject during video recording. So, every time whenever some Pentax boys still told that K-01 is new and strong in video recording, this really makes me laugh! :-D Indeed, what to rave about actually? H.264 motion compression in MP4 was what could be found in the old Pentax Optio MX, which I also had. Besides, re-focusing upon the press of a button was what the Canon DSLRs could do a few years ago! Nonetheless, we should also note that lately PF has commented that the AF is really slow under the video mode, too.

Of course, there are a lot of features that exist in the A57 but are missing from the K-01. The size and weight of the two bodies are close. Price wise I don't think the difference is huge. So, if you are just not a die-hard old fan of Pentax but have to choose a *large* new interchangeable lens camera based on features, price and performance, what would you choose? (I think the answer is clear cut!)

New Pentax Reviews for K-01 and 645D

1. PF's K-01 full review has been out. Wow, their working efficiency is really High! :-o

Before jumping to view the conclusions of theirs (of which most of the "findings" are well expected!), I've discovered that the measurbation images of the K-01 are soft and it is rather obvious when the same crops of the images from both cameras are compared, e.g.:-


So, it seems that it exists some issues with the K-01. Are the images out focused? Or the sensor and image processing are actually different? Are the AA filters different? Or, have PF chosen very different settings in the cameras (which is unlikely IMO)? No matter how, the obvious differences in results are there!

2. Next, there is a late brand new 645D user review at Adorama:-


Nothing really special IMO but still worth a look if you want to learn findings from an user perspective and see his views.

3. Lastly, at the more official side, Ned Bunnell has lately re-activated his blog (after long inactivation) and has shown us a demo video about the manual focus peaking of the K-01:-

I think the demo is short but clear.

Anyway, MF peaking is not a new thing by now. Look at the old video demo below for the NEX-C3. It seems that Sony's is still easier to use and should be better:-

Via:Manual Focusing in LiveView Mode Will Make Ever Easy and Accurate

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Future of Pentax

See this article which talks about the future of Sony and the development direction of their ILCs:-

"The EVF Future": http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2012/03/12/the-evf-future/

Via 1001 Noisy Cameras.

That let me "suddenly" think about what's the future of Pentax then? If EVF is the future theme of Sony, I guess "finderless" is the future of Pentax as it correlates! >:-| Pentax has just done one more step than all the others in removing the finder, but not just doing it "half-baked" for merely a mirrorless! :-o

Sorry for the "bashing" again, but I just can't help myself!


Simple Solution to the Lack of Viewfinder of the K-01!

Ten Things that I Want Ricoh to Do for Pentax

PZ Measurebation Test on Sony E30/3.5 Macro on NEX-7


Btw, I don't think the E30 lens of Sony is a lens designed for measurbations. But in real-world use, I can see that it is not a bad lens optically and I do like it over the kit zoom of E18-55 for all the other more favourable characteristic of a piece of *glass*, e.g., less distortion, better colour rendition, finer grey description and smoother bokeh and etc. But then, the said things nowadays are always overlooked by people as they are usually watching and believing *too much* the lab tests, which IMHO is just a single source of reference of which the tests are carried out under a *single* testing condition for a single scenario, e.g., those MTF tests shoot only a resolution chart at close distance, i.e., should they place a large enough resolution chart at infinity to re-check the optical performance again? ;-D We all knew that it is impossible!

To balance with the really adverse rating of Klaus about the optical performance of the E30 lens in his test, you can read my previous tests and samples below made with the lens, real-world or not! :-)

NEX E30/3.5 Macro Quick Samples (Large + Full Sized)

NEX E30 Macro Prime Vs E18-55 Kit Zoom Shootout (Infinity Scene)

(Sony NEX) E30/3.5 Macro Vs (Pentax) FA28/2.8 AL Lens Measurbation and Shootout (Wide Opened to f/16)

New Pentax Lens Patents


1. 90mm/2.8 Macro for 645:-

2. 60mm/2.8 Macro for 135:-

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Firmware Updates Fantasies! :-o

Since the old *ist D days, nine years ago, I have been seeing that whenever there is a new firmware update from Pentax, people started to imagine and then reported that there were some silent updates for improvements or debugs embedded which had not been told officially. Lately, exactly the same phenomenon happened once again and actually it did happen every time! Some K-5 users started to rave about about how "great" the firmware version 1.13 was for the "improved AF" for both speed and accuracy! :-o And this saying has been spreading all over the Internet after the first few sayings and that's a showcase of how rumours work! So, I think it's time for me to measurbate again! ;-)

Test Conditions and Procedures:-

1. Mounted an AF lens onto the camera body (of which the battery was fully charged*), forced it to turn to the minimum distance. In this case it is at 0.3m for the FA28 lens in use. (At first I wanted to do this test with the DA35/2.4 but which lacks a focus scale which is not good for this test and thus I used the FA28, which I believe is still a standard lens on APS-C. Nonetheless, I checked and verified that the AF and hunting behaviours of the two lenses were very similar on my K-5.);

*MZ-S was using two LiFePO4 batteries with two hollow dummy conductors in AA.

2. Put the camera in AF-Single mode with only the Central AF point was selected and activated, focused it onto a target which was illuminated by 4000K and 2700K light sources roughly equally. The lighting level was measured to be at about 7.5EV (ISO 100 equivalent). The target object was at about 3 metres away;

3. The same test was repeated for five times (The camera was hand held). The K-5 was tested twice with the new firmware;

4. Recorded the sound and imported the sound file into a sound wave editor and measured precisely for the AF time required, from the AF started to work and then right before AF PCV confirmation tone was heard. All timings are recorded for all the AF achievements. See the following illustrations:-

5. For the last time of the AF, the photo was taken to verify the AF accuracy. (Not applicable for the MZ-S, which is just a film camera!)

The Results:-

AF Time (1st)
Sound File
K-5 FW 1.12
0.326 s
0.400 s
0.331 s
0.333 s
0.607 s
0.399 s
K-5 FW 1.13 (1st Test)
0.548 s
0.324 s
0.790 s
0.407 s
0.321 s
0.478 s
K-5 FW 1.13 (2nd Test)0.327 s
0.333 s
0.340 s
0.329 s
0.406 s
0.347 s
0.316 s
0.419 s
0.505 s
0.632 s
0.692 s
0.513 s

So, my safe conclusion is that the new firmware should make no difference. I have quickly checked the three last photos taken in 100% viewing size that the AF accuracy is not much different, neither. There are some randomness (inconsistency) of the AF performance as you can see from the above results which is not negligible and is actually significant. I guess at this point some would say that I should do the test on a tripod, but I think hand-holding the camera is a real-world case for what I wanted to check in this test. At least, I had tried to hold the camera steadily and pointed the AF sensor onto roughly the same part of the target as far as possible. That's it.

Of course, as usual, I Blog, You Decide! After all, different people will still have different conclusions and opinions even for the same tests, as always! :-)

Read Also:-

K-r AF Accuracy Comparison: FW V1.10 Vs 1.01, under Yellow and White Light Sources

My Pentax K100D Full Review

Friday, March 09, 2012

5D2 Vs 5D3 ISO Shootouts x4 (Impressive Results!)

(in Simplified Chinese)

Via: DSLR Maniac (Japanese)

(Original pictures from the Imaging Resource - The ZOL simply cropped and pasted them together side-by-side for direct and easy comparisons!)

Wow, the ISO 1600 of the 5D3 is more detailed and less noisy than the ISO 400 of the 5D2 for all tests and ditto for ISO 3200 shots Vs 800 ones for the two bodies! Oh, really? :-o

Once again, it's time for me this pity guy to save my money for a new 5D3! ;-D And, the measurbations will never end! :-(

Some "Negative" Comments on K-01 from PF's Initial Hands-on Review



"The K-01's contrast detect autofocus (CDAF) performs very well; it is more than adequate for its target audience. However, it is noticeably slower and less sensitive than the Pentax SAFOX IX phase-detect TTL AF system (PDAF) found in current DSLRs. It is slightly faster and more accurate than the DSLR live view contrast-detect AF system overall (much faster in bright light, but not much better at close range or in low light) and consistently seems to use a different (improved) algorithm to lock focus."

"As would be expected of this type of camera, the K-01 isn't perfect for more serious shooters and Pentax has deliberately excluded certain features."

"Overall, the K-01's shutter is noisier than we had expected, and since CDAF does more guesswork than PDAF, focusing is also more noisy than it would be on a DSLR."

Well, this time it seems that this PF review is balancing and fair enough, against what it could be overall too positive in the past and many of the shortcomings of those Pentax gear are not pointed out clearly and intentionally toned down. Maybe it's time for me to refer to their reviews more often, or even for me to re-post again at the PF (if I have the time!)! ;-D


K-01 1st look by Steve Huff (Video Review)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

2012 ILDC/DSLR Lab-Test Shootout by French Magazine Fnac (for 22 Models)

Someone emailed me the link for the review article in pdf (in French), which is really interesting and useful. I have to say thank you to that guy! :-) (Although it seems that he just wanted to be anonymous here, otherwise I should have given direct credit to him publicly.)

(in French)

They tested various IQ and performance aspects of a camera including resolution, colour accuracy, ISO SNR, AF speed and hit rate, lens distortion and vignetting, image stabilisation ability and etc.

Enjoy! If you do not read French, just use an Acrobat Editor (not pure Reader), change from the dragging view mode to cursor mode, select the text and copy and paste into the Google translater. That's it! :-D

In particular, Page 4 of the review has a detailed explanation on all the tests carried out for the conditions and purposes of the tests.

K-01 Now Becomes Fashion Accessory!






http://www.puretrend.com/rubrique/fashion-week_r19/fashion-week-de-paris-morceaux-choisis-1er-pus_a62982/1 (Video)

Via: http://bbs.kakaku.com/bbs/K0000340246/SortID=14256193/ (Japanese)

K-01 1st look by Steve Huff (Video Review)

@ http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/03/07/a-quick-1st-look-video-the-pentax-k-01/

So, here are what I've observed:-

1. The camera hanged and locked up starting from 4'10" after only some play and it was required to remove the battery in order to reset the camera.

2. The AF speed can be seen, which is not fast and the responsiveness/sensitivity is low with the 40mm XS pancake lens.

3. As Steve has mentioned, there is no viewfinder with the K-01 and we should notice that the hard reflection from the LCD of the K-01 throughout the whole video as it has no anti-reflective coating to minimise glare, despite that it is the only viewfinding device that is available in the camera. In contrast to other mirrorless like all the NEX bodies, the K-01 monitor lacks not only the anti-reflection coating, but also it doesn't have an articulated mon.

4. Near the end of the review video, the flimsy door cover for all the I/O port including the SD card slot can be seen once again. I just wonder when the thin and weak joint of it would be broken eventually sooner! :-o

Oh well, after the excitement of the initial product announcement, I now just tell myself: I should NOT buy this POJ and waste my money! :-x (Although I always want to buy new stuff from Pentax! :-()

Update on Reactions (3-9):-

Some Pentax fanboys are pissed off. They put much anger towards Steve for his this quick review for the hard facts shown and the simple statements made:-



At the end of the day, a reviewer like Steve is subject to his own opinions, isn't he? Yes, the K-01 unit is loaned to him by Pentax, very possibly. Some fanboys then suggested that Pentax should not "deal" with this guy anymore in the future because of what he has shown and commented and it was necessary to "punish" him! :-o

But I'm afraid that until recently even now the Pentax Forums, being a close business partner of the PRAC (Pentax Ricoh America Co.), has started to report more faithfully about the shortcomings of new Pentax products. So, this should be what the true role of a reviewer should take, i.e., to let the public know and decide and to help the manufacturer to improve! By doing so, the review site will earn more creditability and at the same time, I don't think this will hurt much for their income (in case if they are profit-making). If it really was, DPR had already run out of business long time ago!

I think if the PR guys at Pentax really have similar mentality like those boys are having, that would be the end of the brand! Very Frankly! >:-[ After all, they should treasure every of such "negative" findings and see what they could do to debug and improve - but not to put pressure or anger towards those who faithfully report their findings and to be honest enough!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Once Again, K-01 is Found to be Almost as Large as K-5

Source: http://camera.itmedia.co.jp/dc/articles/1203/06/news061.html (in Japanese)

Via: DSLR Maniac (Japanese)

This reminds me that in the last interview of the Pentax sales head by the PF that the large size of the K-01 is actually an advantage since it will be more easy to hold the body and now the body-n-lens combo as a whole will be more "balancing" especially when large lenses are used! What a marketing! :-o That guy is really brilliant, I must say, and glad to see Pentax has talent people like him!

At the end of the day, the viewfinder is cut but not much size and weight is saved. It is then lately discovered by someone that the K-01 cannot output video signal via HDMI under shooting mode but in playback mode *only*, followed by what we learnt about the omissions of many standard Pentax DSLR features as disclosed last time by Pentax officially via their Japanese website. These omissions include the in-camera wireless flash trigger and the full function support of the O-GPS1. So after all, I now know what it is all about the "simplified" design and concept of the K-01, i.e., everything is crippled but without any alternative and clear advantages! >:-o At Pentax' side, I think manufacturing costs are saved and hence there will be a larger profit margin!

In short, I think that the K-01 is not only half-baked, but it is now quite safely to say that it is half-brick, if it is just not a full one! ;->

Previous Related:-

Size and Weight Comparison for the K-01 (Against K-5, K-r and K-x)

Simple Solution to the Lack of Viewfinder of the K-01!

The Half-Baked K-mount Mirrorless! >:-(

Official K-01 FAQs (Somewhat Detailed)

Finally, DC Watch Has First Tested and Measurbated the 5D3!

(in Japanese)

It should be noted that the 5D3 under test is a beta unit, as stated.

Comparison of Sensor Specs - Latest FFs Against Pentaxes

Similar to what I did last time for the 645D, here is an updated comparison with the addition of the latest hot Full Frame cameras from Canon and Nikon (4/5 Nos.) and also the Pentax K-5/K-01 plus the now somewhat old Leica M9, total of 12 models:-

Camera / Digital Back
Sensor Size (in mm)
Sensor Area (in mm^2)
Aspect Ratio
Total Mega Pixels
Pixel Pitch Size (in um)
ISO Range
Canon EOS 1DX36 x 24
5184 x 3456
3 : 2
6.9 x 6.9
100 - 51200
(50 - 204800 Expanded)
Canon EOS 5D336 x 24
CMOS5760 x 3840
3 : 2
6.3 x 6.3
100 - 25600
(50 - 102400 Expanded)
Canon EOS 1D3 / 5D2
36 x 24
CMOS5616 x 3744
3 : 2
6.4 x 6.4
1D3: 100 - 1600
(50 - 3200 Expanded)
5D2: 100 - 6400
(50 - 25600 Expanded)
Canon C300
24.6 x 13.8
CMOS3840 x 2160
16 : 9
6.4 x 6.4
320 - 20000
Nikon D436 x 24
CMOS4928 x 3280
3 : 2
7.3 x 7.3
100 - 12800
(100 - 204800 Expanded)
Nikon D3X
36 x 24
CMOS6048 x 4032
3 : 2
6.0 x 6.0
100 - 1600
Nikon D800/E
36 x 24
CMOS7360 x 4912
3 : 2
4.9 x 4.9
100 - 6400
(50 - 25600 Expanded)
Nikon D3S / D700
36 x 24
CMOS4256 x 2832
3 : 212.05
8.5 x 8.5
D3S: 200 - 12800
(100 - 102400 Expanded)
D700: 200 - 6400
(100 - 25600 Expanded)
Pentax 645D44 x 331452CCD
7264 x 54404 : 340.246.1 x 6.1200 - 1000
(100 - 1600 Expanded)
Pentax K-5/K-01
24 x 16384
CMOS4928 x 3264
3 : 2
4.9 x 4.9
100 - 12800
(K-5: 80 - 51200 Expanded;
K-01: 100 - 25600 Expanded)
Pentax K-x
24 x 16
CMOS4288 x 2848
3 : 212.21
5.6 x 5.6
200 - 6400
(100 - 12800 Expanded)
Leica M9
36 x 24
5212 x 3472
3 : 2
6.9 x 6.9
160 - 2500
(80 - 2500 Expanded)

It can be noted that the pixel pitch size has direct relationship with the basic supported ISO range and the expanded span as well, as it is directly related to the primitive noise level of the sensors themselves. Besides, CCD is inferior to CMOS for lower noise higher ISOs, as we all knew.

Read Also:-

When the Diffraction Limit is Reached..

When the Sensor Outresolves the Lens.. (How Meaningful is a 24MP APS-C Sensor?)

Two Major Meanings of Full Frame - Choice of Shallower DoF and Most Optical Quality from (FF) Lenses

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Yet Another 5D3 First Test (also at the HK Press Conference)

(Traditional Chinese)

Four full samples at high ISOs are posted but only one is contained with full EXIF. Moreover, the silent mirror/shutter mode and the standard/normal mirror mode are compared in the following videos:-

(Above: Normal mode)

(Below: "Silent" Mode)

It is easily noticed that the mirror action in the silent mode is not as loud but it also looks slower. In fact, to make both a fast moving and slient mirror is really technically challenging, which I think only the EOS 1 series bodies of Canon will give you that (but not a 5D).

Btw, the same limitation can be found in the K-5, the K-5's mirror action is silent and gentle but I don't think its response could really be considered quick and fast - I feel that it is somehow a bit slower than my original 5D.

New Firmware Updates for 645D, K-5, K-r, K-x and K-7

For better support of SDXC cards:-






Update (3-6):-

It seems that there is a bug in this batch of firmware update that the user is required to do a complete reset to the camera after flashing the new firmware, otherwise strange things would happen! Just see two of the latest user reports on the issue:-



[First Post: March 1, 2012; Last Edited: March 6, 2012]

Another K-01 1st Review with a Few Full Samples

(in German)

There are some 100% crops of various test pictures. A few full samples are also available for download, just click on the links as provided. The lens used for the test is the 40mm XS super-thin pancake.

As far as I can see, the IQ of the pictures is more or less same as that of the K-5. It maybe a good thing or not, depending on what you think.

5D3 ISO Shots @100-102,400

(Shot at ISO 102,400)

(in Japanese)

Samples are small sized and with no EXIF. The lens used is told to be EF 70-200/4L IS, handheld.

Btw, this tells us how strong the 5D3 would be at high ISO. IMO, that ISO6400 image is completely "usable", at least at web size.

Monday, March 05, 2012

New Official 5D3 Full Samples at Canon Europe Server

18 Nos:-



















Via Chinese DC Home Canon Forum (Google-translated)

Impressive!! The 3D effect and the "depth" of the images are too magical! :-o Finally, this reminds me of the good old days when I shot with my Limited and FA prime lenses on Pentax film bodies! :-(