Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: July 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Canon EOS-M is Around the Corner, How Pentax Could Compete with the K-0x?

Yet another APS-C mirrorless system!

Credit: Canon Price Watch

The EOS-M seems to be making more sense with a new mount for a much shorter back focus register distance (which I guess to be around 20mm something) than the K-01 such that the body can be made thinner and overall body size and weight can be saved, whilst the sensor could be the same. But then compatibility is not maintained anyway.

In order to compete and survive, my humble advice to Ricoh is to quickly build a K-02, which should at least be equipped with a swivel back LCD and support an optional/external EVF. In order to hide the thick flange mount distance, a Ricoh Mirai or Pentax Optio MX style body form and shape will help, which is actually ideal for video shooting, too!

They have to be different in order to compete. But then all those differences should have to be sensible, but not the other way around! Right? Just look at the Q and the K-01, what do you think? And what did the market react and what are people saying? >:-[

Panasonic Tested that K-5's AF is Better than Canon and Nikon's

See this:-

Via Photo Rumors

Of course their latest G is the best, in term of speed and accuracy! :-)

I am sure that P fans must be happy this time, no matter P for Pen or Pana! ;-p

Friday, July 20, 2012

This is the *True* Flagship! :-o

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgGZtS1RFqc; Credit: Japanese DC Watch

And look at the high ISO samples in the hands-on review below:-

(Article in Traditional Chinese; Original samples are available for download.)

Wow, the ISO 12800 sample is actually less noisy and contains far more details than the ISO 1600 pictures of the old 6MP *ist Dx DSLRs! :-o

So, after all, whenever someone told me that the Pentax flaghip was a K-5 and that K-5 was truly a flagship, such sayings did really make me laugh! (but yet with sorrow! :-()

The Pentax Sex Party Continues..

At Taiwan:-

Credit: http://forum.pentaxfans.net/thread-128292-1-1.html (in Traditional Chinese)

Last Related:-

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

New Pentax Lithium Rechargeable Format - What's New?

Source: http://tsun2.bbs.coocan.jp/?m=listtop&p=2
(in Japanese)

Remarks: The new design is used for the K-01, K-30 and the new Silver Edition of the K-5. All older K-5 used the old design. It is also told that the newer 645D units are modified to adopt the new battery as well (and shipped with the new batteries with the new chargers).

The difference is the additional "D" contact, which appears in both the battery itself and a new charger with the corresponding new pin is required.

First of all, I suppose the P designation means "Plus". So, what is the new pin for? It is said in the above Japanese article that it is required as part of the newly enforced electrical appliance safety regulations in Japan, as it has been confirmed in the previous official Pentax announcement (Japanese).

Now, look at the above diagram, the old pins are "+", "-" and "T". Before we are going to guess/find out what the new "D" pin is for, what does "T" represent at the first place? Well, I once guessed before that it may be the centre (common) tap of the two cells so that each cell can be charged individually. However, a quick check to my BC-90 charger's printed label at the back revealed that the output rating as shown is 8.4V (at 0.4A), which simply means that the two battery cells are charged together in series. (N.B. The typical native unregulated output voltage of a lithium-ion/polymer cell is ranged from 3.8 to 4.2V). The following is a typical charger circuitry and design:-

Credit: http://www.bowdenshobbycircuits.info/page12.htm#lithium.gif

In general and on the other hand, quite some people believed that that T pin is for (direct and better) temperature sensing, which I have no objection on that supposition, but yet couldn't find any evidence for supporting this *guess*.

Now, let's think what the D pin is for. Actually, same thing happened for the Canon Lithium rechargeable batteries and there was also an evolution and change of the same. The newer ones are equipped with an additional "C" pin.

Without the C pin, there is no information and data about the status of the battery. So, I now know that the C pin could simply mean Code and it is almost certain that the D letter assigned by Pentax means Digital or Data.

This maybe part of the rationale of the new Japanese Law for why this is needed, i.e., to prohibit the use of 3rd party batteries, especially those with inferior quality, and to force more data communications (and thus checking and monitoring) amongst the camera, battery and the charger.

In fact, my Canon 5DIII reads the identity and data from the battery and also write number of shutter actuations per charge back to it. When the battery is used up, the counter is reset by the charger after recharge.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Not-so-common K-30/K-5/K-01 Comparison of Mine

I am not comparing every parameter of the official published specs, but am doing a concise summary and comparison on what are really different, official or not, and for those more important things that are obvious or not! :-D

K-30 K-5 K-01
Body Material
Metal Alloy Cover
Aluminium Cover
ColoursThree (Nine in Japan, two different finishing, glossy or matte)
Two (Black and Silver)
Three different combinations
Weather Sealed
Dust Removal
SR Shake (Ineffective)
Ultrasonic (Effective)
SR Shake
Battery Power
D-LI109P or four AAs (with Adaptor)
Expanded ISO Range
RAW Format
ADC (RAW) number of bits
Top Tv
Video Format Differences
1080p/30 frames or 720p/60 frames MPEG4 (motion compressed) in MOV file format (container)
1080p/25 frames or 720p/30 frames Motion JPEG (Not motion compressed) in AVI container
1080p/30 frames or 720p/60 frames MPEG4 (motion compressed) in MOV container
Re-AF during Video Recording
External Stereo Mic JackNo
Manual Video Settings
Remote Cable Switch JackYes
Focus Peaking
Yes, No during Video Recording
Yes, No during Video Recording
Interchangeable Focusing Screen
Yes, 3 types
Not Applicable
Support O-GPS1?
Support Vertical Grip?
AF Method/Option:
11-point phase-matching AF (9 crossed with yellow light sensor, 3D continuous tracking, zone selectable) plus LiveView CDAF
11-point phase-matching AF (9 crossed with yellow light sensor) plus LiveView CDAF81-point contrast-detection AF
CDAF Behaviour
Live image not enlarged
Focusing area enlarged during focusing
Live image not enlarged
Burst Rate:
6 fps up to 30 JPG and 8 RAW frames
7 fps up to 30 JPG and 20 RAW (PEF) frames6 fps up to 6 JPG frames
Top Monchrome LCD:
Yes (with limited data, though)
RTF Guide Number (at ISO100, 28mm film equivalent):
Tightly Closed RTFNo
Silent Shutter
Silent Aperture Coupler
Mirror VibrationVigorousGentleNone!
Live View Exposure Delay
Overall System Time Lag
Even Longer
Mass with Battery
AvailabilityNewly marketed but limited supplies, not easy to find
Almost discontinued, not easy to find
Recent major price cut, but yet not easy to find! :-o

New Pentax Circular Lens Aperture Patent

(in Japanese, Google English Translation Here)

Actually, this is a dual 7-blade aperture mechanism, instead of one that is composed of 14, so as to save manufacturing cost. The problem of a traditional 7/8-blade "circular" diaphragm design is that the aperture opening is not always in form of a circle, i.e., at different f-stops the shape may be deformed a bit, thus the new patent.


"Round" Lens Diaphragm? See This! :-o

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DA50/1.8 is to be On Sales on July 20th


Expected selling price is at 20,000 Japanese Yens, which is roughly equal to US$250 and is far more expensive than those similar offers from Canon and Nikon or even Sony. Whilst it is just not as cheap and competitive undoubtedly, I think Least is yet better than None!~

Pentax Q Prime Kit Sells for $375 at Amazon


This is for the prime kit but not dual lens kit, i.e., the heading contains a typo. Just looks at the optional items below and we can see the zoom lens is there.

Btw, the Q has been selling cheap recently and so did the K-01. And, the K-5 has been discontinued and thus what is left in the Pentaxland as being current and popular? The K-30? Only? Or, do we still remember the aged 645D? Well, even the Pentax DCs will exist no more very soon. So, what is the actual state of Pentax NOW?

Yes, they/we are now having a four-hierarchy product line as previously disclosed (i.e., 645D -> K-5/K-30 -> K-01 -> Q), but it seems that nothing has worked well for the company as well as the users and all the lines seem to be helpless by themselves and would possibly die out silently one by one, sooner or later! >:-(

After all and yet still fortunately, there are still some weak signs for the existence of Pentax up to this moment. At least someone is still willing to produce a few dedicated accessories for their products, see these leather covers for the Pentax bodies for example, namely for the K-01 here and for the Q here (which are sold at the Japanese home market). Otherwise, I would really safely to declare that "Pentax is doomed" right now! :-o

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pentax Ricoh Digital Camera Products Shuffle

"Noboru Akabane, President of Pentax Imaging Ricoh, announced plans to abolish future Pentax compact digital cameras and focus on DSLRs. All future compact cameras will be under the Ricoh brand while DSLR and mirrorless camera will be under the Pentax name."

Japanese Asahi News reports (log-in required to read article).

Via Photo Rumors via Digicame Info (Japanese).

So, this will soon marks an end to the Optio series of Pentax DCs. Yet another really very sad thing for Pentax fans, for sure! :-(

Btw, as a genuine die-hard supporter of the brand (not by mouth, but by purchases and actions! ;-p), I have the first Optio model of theirs and almost the last, see below:-

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

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

I need to say once again it is super sad after all!! >_<

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

K-01 AF Inconsistency (Video Demonstration)

URL: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDI1MzA4NTQ0.html

Via Chinese Xitek Forum

Why the focus had to be different every time? >:-o

Pentax Weapon Used by an US Soldier at Afghanistan

See: http://www.diyphotography.net/are-pentax-cameras-that-weather-proof

Full links of the galleries of the soldier posted at Pentax Forums, via Photoblog.hk.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

New Ricoh Lens Patents (4/3 and APS-C)

(in Japanese)

The 14mm lens is for 4/3" sized sensors, whilst the 19mm lens is for APS-C. Both are equivalent to roughly about 28mm in field of view of 135 full frame.

So, what is Ricoh planning? Are these lenses for GXR or just as the lenses for fixed focal GR new models? Who knows? Nonetheless, there is still no new 135 Full Frame lens patent of any, no matter from Pentax nor Ricoh (both of which now belong to the same camera division of Ricoh anyway).

K-30 YouTubes (CDAF Performance and Expanded AF Operation)

1. K-30 CDAF Test:-

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1GwD1XMtnU

The noisy and vigorous double shutter sounds and actions plus the prolonged shutter lag till exposure under the Live View mode are actually exact the same as what we got with the K-r. Much disappointed after all! >:-(

2. K-30 Expanded AF Points Operation:-

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWTc7kNlp94

The numbers of selectable AF point are so little to be anything meaningful anyway. It is pathetic afterall and implementation of such feature to an 11-point AF system is just a joke, IMHO.

Friday, July 06, 2012

My Canon EF40mm Pancake Brick Wall Test (on 5DIII FF)

See: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/RiceHigh/5Ds/40mm_Pancake/EF40STM/

Do note that there is heavy asymmetric vignetting at the right side of my pictures which can be seen even when stopped down, although the effect is not as dominant.

A quick comparison to another previous brick wall test by another user of the same pancake lens found that the asymmetricity can be found on his samples, but surprising at the left side instead for his samples!


My that copy of the lens was replaced shortly afterwards anyway. The replacement seems to have better symmetricity on vignetting at all apertures and from f/4 and onwards the effect has been far less obvious.

After all, it seems that manufacturing a pancake lens is not as easy as imagined and even tighter QC may be required. I guess and hope that Canon has learned the lesson.

I bet Pentax had the same mistake when they first produced the DA40/2.8 pancake lens, as what I can see and compare the test results of the first sample of the lens against the latest, i.e., the DA40/2.8 XS. The XS lens looks far more symmetrical now. Nonetheless, this maybe due to sample variation anyway.

Btw, if the quality of the EF40/2.8 lens is not good enough, just buy a EF400/2.8L, which can be used as a big stone for throwing during a riot! ;-D Read this Reuters story:-


Thursday, July 05, 2012

K-01 Limited Kit Set


This is the most non-sense and valueless Pentax limited offer ever, I am afraid. What the buyers will get is an ordinary body with an ordinary lens but just also an additional fit-size bag, which is so ordinary in look anyway! Who would eager to be one of those 300 "limited" owners at the end of the day? :-o

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

K-5 is Discontinued and K-01 Price is Dropped

Here is what is shown at the Japanese Yaotomi camera shop's K-5 page, it is described that the K-5 is discontinued and there is only limited stock of it.

However, it is checked that this is not told at the official Pentax Japan page.

On the other hand, the K-01 price has been dropped below 40,000 Japanese Yens (which is rougly equal to US$500).

So, what are all these about? Simple! That is K-5 has been phased out and the K-30 is replacing it, at least in the mean time. And, the K-01 has become the even lower end body than the already not so high end K-30. Btw, how is the PQ of the K-30 compared to the old K-5, here is yet the latest measurbation by the Yaotomi, also:-