Yes, that’s right Pentax shooters. The wait is almost over. The Pentax FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW lens you’ve all been coveting is finally being released. Pentax says that this is the first new lens which follows a new set of standards for their top-of-the-line Star series lenses. New standards that will, they claim, help to minimise aberrations and deliver the highest possible image quality.
Pentax users seem to have been neglected when it comes to the world of flash. There’s been very little 3rd party support at all. Pretty much their only option, if they want TTL or High-Speed Sync is to go the Cactus route if they don’t want to go with Pentax branded speedlights. Ok, you could go with Metz, but your options become even more limited with those if you want to combine it with strobes.
It seems, though, that Godox may have listened to the cries for help from Pentax users. According to a listing on the Godox UK online store for the dual AD200 kit, Pentax TTL support is coming sometime in June. Yes, this month. Or, maybe next year.
The Pentax K1 was already an impressive camera. It’s cherished by everybody who owns one. It contains features unique amongst DSLRs, such as its Pixel Shift Resolution feature. It’s seen an update, now, though, with Ricoh recently announcing the Pentax K1 Mark II, offering a couple of pretty significant upgrades. We went along to the Ricoh Pentax stand during The Photography Show to go check it out.
Pentax shooters waited for the original Pentax K-1 with great anticipation. After a few delays and issues, though, it was finally released in 2016. A full frame 36MP CMOS sensor, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, an articulating LCD and build as solidly as one would hope from a pro body. Now, though, the K-1 Mark II is here, with a couple of nifty improvements.
The image quality’s improved, thanks to a new “Dynamic Pixel Shift” mode which allows you to shoot pixel shift without a tripod. They say that the autofocus tracking system has also been improved. Oh, yes, and it can see in the dark, thanks to the new ISO 819,200 top limit.
There’s been a whole lot of new lens announcements lately. This latest pair are coming from Ricoh, with a 50mm f/1.4 full frame prime and an 11-18mm f/2.8 APS-C zoom for Pentax K-Mount. They form the beginning of a new generation of “Star series” lenses aimed specifically super-high resolution photography.
Ricoh say that the final specs, and even the names of these lenses are subject to change before official announcement next year. But here’s the information they’ve released so far.
Just when Pentax seemed like it might be starting to pick up, Nikkei Asian Review are reporting that Ricoh may be dropping the brand. There’s no doubt that smartphones are continuing to eat into camera sales, and Pentax has become a “money-losing” business.
Nikkei say that Ricoh plan to “radically review” a production and manufacturing strategy targeting the Pentax and GR brands. One of the options includes withdrawing from the segment completely.
A few weeks before Christmas my best friend’s husband rang me:
Daniela, I want to buy M a camera. What should I get her?
I asked the standard questions: how much does he have to spend and what sort of photography does he think she’ll be doing. He tells me there’s £500 in the kitty and she’s been making murmurs about taking more landscapes and getting better photos of the dog. I suggest that maybe he wants to look at an Olympus PEN. They fall well within his price bracket; they’ve a good frames-per-second rate and lots of AF points for capturing their off-his-rocker dog; and they’re pretty light. Given that my best friend lives close to the Alps and walks a lot, this is a bonus.
However, I add my usual disclaimer. ‘For that money, no one is going to sell you a bad camera. It’s more important to find the one that best suits your specific needs.’
Knowing how well our camera produces jpg files might not be a high priority for a lot of photographers. If you’re only shooting raw, then what does it matter, right? Well, there are still a lot out there shooting jpg, and even pros may switch over to jpg for less important tasks. So, The Camera Store have challenged 8 popular cameras from leading manufacturers to the Great JPEG Shootout!
It’s an interesting comparison. Cameras from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Pentax, Olympus and Panasonic are put head to head with an iPhone 7 Plus to see which produces the best looking images straight out of the camera. Perhaps not surprisingly, the iPhone didn’t do very well.
When live view first appeared in DSLRs, it was seen as a bit of a useless gimmick. No doubt, in those early cameras, it wasn’t always that useful. It was ok if you just wanted to line up a shot that was difficult to see through the viewfinder. Laying low to the ground, for example. But beyond that, it wasn’t very practical. Now that video has come more to the forefront of camera technology, people are finding live view more and more essential.
One feature missing from some cameras, though, is the ability to quickly grab shots while liveview is active. Thankfully, electronic shutters during live view mode are starting to become more common. It’s still lacking in a few bodies, though. Now, both Pentax and Phase One have added an electronic live view shutter to their K1 and XF IQ3 cameras, respectively with a new firmware update.
I always find it interesting to read about the things cameras survive that the manufacturers could never have foreseen. X. Fire and ice, car crashes, months under the ocean, rocket engines, and even babies.