We're stealing lines from "Love, Actually" today, because Natali can quote it by heart when it's super a propos to a guy very disturbingly embedding a camera in the back of his own head. Ew. But hey, it's art! Also, Twitter says it's not suppressing Wikileaks as a trending topic--although it's a trending topic in our show. And AT&T is the worst carrier in America, says Consumer Reports. Hey, at least we didn't say it this time. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
When I first saw this limited-edition Pentax K-r digital SLR called the K-r Korejanairobomoderu, I thought it was a dSLR made from Legos. And then I remembered that sadly, this is the company's second go-round with this Korejanai Robo design; it gave the same paint job to the K-x around this time last year.
If you were hoping to pick one up for the holidays you're out of luck. Only 100 are being made and reservations start on December 24, with the cameras shipping in January. They're available through Pentax's Japanese shopping site for approximately $1,… Read more
Pentax has leaped to a commanding lead over many rivals when it comes to image sensor performance with its latest high-end SLR, the K-5.
That is a notable sixth-place ranking of all the cameras on DxO Labs' list, especially because the top 5 cameras are pro models costing thousands of dollars more than the K-5. The result came, in large measure, from the K-5 sensor's excellent dynamic range, a measure of its ability to capture details in both bright and dark areas of an image.
The K-5's Sony-built sensor spans a notable range of 14.1 exposure values at ISO 80, trouncing direct rivals such as the 11.7 of Canon's 7D and 12.2 of Nikon's older D300s. That score is all the more notable given that the K-5 even outscores some cameras with larger full-frame sensors.
However, it's clear that there is plenty of new competition coming. Nikon's new D7000, for example, has a dynamic range of 13.9 and largely matches the K-5 through much of its ISO range. Notably, the sensor in Nikon's cheaper D7000 scores 80 on DxO's tests. Those tests, it should be noted, only measure the sensor, not countless other important camera details such as price, autofocus, lens and accessory selection, durability, performance, and user interface.
Pentax's 16.3-megapixel, $1,600 flagship camera also will face a new range of full-frame rivals for those willing to pay a significantly higher price. Canon's 5D Mark II, Nikon's D700, and Sony's A850 are relatively elderly, and it will be a surprise if their successors don't feature sensors with compelling, new image quality at their heart.
For those who want to go farther up the product pecking order, Pentax has a different answer than full-frame SLRs, whose sensors are the size of a frame of 35mm film from the the bygone days of analog cameras. Instead, Pentax is selling its medium-format 645D camera, initially in Japan but also in Europe and the United States by the end of the year. Its sensor measures 44x33mm, compared with 36x24mm for full-frame sensors and 23.7x15.7mm for Pentax's K-5. Larger sensors have greater light-gathering abilities, helping in particular in low-light situations, but cost much more to manufacture and require bulkier lenses and camera bodies.… Read more
COLOGNE, Germany--How much room is there in the medium-format digital camera market? Pentax is hoping to find out by elbowing its way in with its 645D.
The company showed off the hefty camera at the Photokina Imaging show here this week. It's been for sale only in Japan so far, but at Photokina, Pentax announced it will go on sale in Europe starting in December.
"The 40-megapixel picture-taking mean machine, [which] delivers unprecedented image quality while offering top end control and user friendly handling, will be spreading its reach beyond Japan to invade European photography," Pentax said in a statement.
When Pentax launched the 645D earlier this year after years of on-again, off-again development, it downplayed its ambitions by saying the camera was chiefly for Japanese landscape photographers who have equipment from Pentax's medium-format 645 film camera days. But the company is taking a new tone with its aggressive statement about geographic expansion. It's also investing in work to ensure Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can automatically correct Pentax medium-format lens issues, even before more mainstream optics have that support. … Read more
When Pentax briefed me on the K-5, its latest midrange dSLR--midrange for the market as a whole, but at the top of Pentax's food chain--its PR spokeswoman downplayed the announcement. "It's just an updated version of the K-7" was the gist of her pitch.
Then the team began to detail the changes: a beefed-up autofocus system, a switch to a Sony CMOS sensor with on-chip noise reduction, an increase of 2fps in continuous shooting, 1080p video capture. I pointed out that these were nontrivial changes, and that just because the body was fundamentally the same as the K-7--same weather sealing and magnesium-alloy build--didn't mean that people wouldn't recognize the importance of the enhancements.
It's not the replacement for the K-7 that many were expecting, instead filling out Pentax's lineup a price class up. Here's the company's current dSLR line:… Read more
Pentax would like you to play dress up with your digital camera. The Optio RS1000 is nice-looking out of the box, but its removable faceplate lets you quickly change its appearance as often as you want with whatever color or design you choose.
The camera ships with 11 standard skins, but you'll also get a SkinIt gift card to design and order a free, precut vinyl skin as well as a stencil to create a skin from printed photos, colored or wrapping papers, and drawings. You'll also be able to download an Adobe Air-based Pentax Personal Skin Designer … Read more
While putting together a recent roundup of inexpensive megazooms, I realized Pentax didn't have one in its lineup--budget or otherwise. However, as of Wednesday, it does: the Optio RZ10.
Priced at a reasonable $219.95, the 14-megapixel RZ10 features a 10x f3.2-5.9 28-280mm-equivalent lens with sensor-shift image stabilization and a 2.7-inch, 230K-dot resolution LCD. It can do macro shots as close as 0.4 inch from your subject, has a 720p HD-resolution movie mode, and a burst-shooting option that can capture up to 40 photos at up to 9.1 frames per second (though that's … Read more
The Pentax K-x was in many ways a breakout product for the company; it delivered exceptionally fast performance, low-noise images, and a robust feature set in a rainbow of colors, all for such a low price that it couldn't help but make waves in a market heretofore locked up by Canon and Nikon. In some ways it's easy to beat them, since they don't release new models at the bottom of the food chain--they just tend to let older models sink in price.
So what's an underdog to do for an encore in the murky step-up market? There you have to compete with Canon and Nikon's current-generation products, plus you have to offer obvious advantages over your cheaper product, but without incurring significant cost increases. Pentax seems to play it safe with its new K-r, basically preserving what's good about the K-x with just enough improvements to attract the more price-elastic buyer.
That amounts to using the same body and sensor, but incorporating an enhanced version of its autofocus system, a larger and higher-resolution LCD, and support for a dual lithium ion/AA battery design. In addition, Pentax has updated the viewfinder to display the focus points (yay), implemented the now-popular multishot Night Scene HDR mode, bumped the maximum shutter speed to 1/6,000 second, and will provide SDXC support via a firmware update later in the year. And, naturally, it still comes in colors, albeit a smaller selection of black; black and white; and red and black.
But the real key will be how the K-r stacks up against the competition. Here's how it fares compared with some current models:… Read more
Adobe Systems issued a release candidate for Lightroom 3.2 on Tuesday that fixes dozens of bugs, lets users publish photos to Facebook, adds automated optical corrections for dozens of lenses, and supports Pentax's new medium-format digital camera among other models.
Accompanying the software is a corresponding release candidate for Camera Raw 6.2, the Photoshop module that uses the same engine as Lightroom for converting raw files into more broadly supported, compact formats such as JPEG. Adobe skipped the Lightroom 3.1 number to synchronize the two related packages' release numbers.
If you want to fetch the software, … Read more